|Denise (denise) wrote in dw_news,|
@ 2009-06-22 12:30 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||weekly announcements|
Before we get started, though, we'd like to extend congratulations to chemicallace, one of our Support coordinators, who got engaged this week. (We're starting to wonder if there's something in the water...) Congrats, Allyson.
The astute will also notice that starting this week, we aren't calling these Monday updates "progress reports" anymore. This isn't because we aren't making progress -- far from it! -- but because to us, "progress report" implies that we're working towards a concrete, one-time goal. When we were working to get the site open for business, that was appropriate, but by this point, we're all starting to settle into our new home, getting ready for the next few years of ongoing improvements. Since it doesn't quite feel like we're pushing towards one goal -- since now, we have a number of them -- we're switching over to calling these the weekly roundups instead: a summary of everything we got done in that particular week, along with any important news for you guys to know. We'll continue to post news from each of our volunteer departments, as well as generalized announcements and other important things -- it'll be the same content, just with a new name.
And speaking of content, let's get to it!
This week saw the resolution of 19 bugs, which was a slow development week for us. The reason for this is that mark is actively working on a big project: the long-awaited reading filters. The delay has been because of the access/subscribe split, and while we could have hacked up a version of reading filters quickly, we decided instead to take a little more time and build something that isn't tied to the old vision of how things work. We're taking the chance to reinvent the old model and instead deliver something that's a lot more flexible and useful.
This isn't to say that things will be totally unrecognizable from the way people are used to reading filters working on LiveJournal -- the same core functionality will be there once we're done -- but the implementation will look different, and there's going to be some awesome extra features, including some (resource-intensive) options that will be paid user enhancements. It's a major project, but it's Mark's priority at the moment. Look for more details about what we've got in store for you soon.
Development welcome this week goes to yvi, who had her first patches committed and has continued to rock house since, including considerable work on the support board. And speaking of support, special thanks go to domtheknight and ysobel, along with the rest of the support bughunters, who did a fabulous job this week tracking down some more obscure bugs that have been reported, taking the symptom of "it doesn't work!" and poking through it until they could figure out why it doesn't work. Hats off, guys.
One of the biggest pieces of feedback we've been hearing for a while now is that people would like more options for journal layouts. The communities dreamwidthlayouts and mintyapple have been doing a great job of serving as a repository for user-created themes, but this week the dw_styles team is pleased to announce that they're ready to start accepting themes for addition to our system styles. This means that we're looking for you to create themes that we'll add to our Customize options for everyone to use just by selecting them, without having to go through all the trouble of creating a custom layer.
Even better, thanks to the Styles team's hard work, it can be done entirely via CSS -- you don't need to know S2 at all. This is the payoff for everything the styles team has been doing for the past six months or so.
More information can be found in dw_styles: Soliciting Tabula Rasa Themes. There's also a new community for news and information for designers who are just looking for information about designing themes for us: dreamscapes, including the introductory post. We do ask that anyone who's submitting a theme to fill out a Contributor Licensing Agreement, which makes sure that we have permission to use and distribute your work. (It also explicitly states that you keep all rights to your work, and are only granting us a permanent license, not a transfer of copyright.)
You won't just get the satisfaction of knowing that thousands of people are using your work, either. We'll be giving a paid time bonus to everyone who has a theme accepted for use on the site and added to the codebase for other sites using the Dreamwidth code to use as well. (We're not quite sure yet how much paid time, but it'll be at least a month of paid time for everybody who has a theme accepted.)
3. Invite Codes
As I'm sure y'all noticed, we did another invite-code handout this week:
Meanwhile, if you'd previously left a comment there saying that you needed an invite code, and you found an invite through some other method, reply to your comment and say that you don't need a code anymore. That will let us screen requests that aren't needed anymore, which we do on a fairly regular basis.
Sadly, our previous prohibitions against username squatting still haven't stopped some people from trying to claim large numbers of popular/desireable usernames for trade or resale. We've continued to monitor that situation, taking steps to block people who are abusing the invite code distribution system from receiving more invite codes and prohibiting them from making new accounts. This week, we collected stats on the worst offenders and bulk-renamed a number of accounts and communities that were being squatted, so if you were looking for a particular username that was taken by someone who appeared to be squatting on it, you might want to check again. (We don't currently have the ability to buy a rename token to rename your journal, but we do plan on adding it, hopefully fairly soon.)
We'd like to remind everyone that registering a number of Dreamwidth accounts for the purposes of trading, selling, or squatting on popular usernames is against our Terms of Service, since it interferes with everyone's use of the site. Seriously, people, don't do it. We will notice, and we will do something about it.
On a more cheerful note, mark ran some statistics on popular communities, which I found pretty interesting. Go check them out, and see if there's something you find interesting too!
6. Dreamwidth In Person
Looking to talk to us in person? mark and I will be appearing at Azkatraz 2009 as part of their "MPA" track, both in a panel moderated by Henry Jenkins called "Social Networking, Fandom, and Web 2.0" and a presentation of our own called "Building a Fan-Friendly Journaling Site With Dreamwidth". Both of these will be on Monday, July 20.
We'll also be at OSCON 2009, although we won't be presenting, just attending. However, damned_colonial will be presenting a keynote called Standing Out In The Crowd, about women in open source, in which she plans to talk about Dreamwidth and the OTW's Archive Of Our Own, the only two majority-female open source projects on the internet.
If you plan to be at either event, stop by and say hi! We'll also have invite codes with us, so if you're looking to create an account for you or a friend, we've got you covered.
7. Bug Reporting
As a quick reminder, since I mentioned it earlier: if you've noticed any weirdness, you can report it to our Support team, who will work with you to diagnose the problem, see whether it's one of our known bugs, and report it if it isn't. Unless something is listed in the Known Issues box on the support page or in our Current Issues FAQ, don't assume that we already know about it! We might know about it and not have those resources updated yet, or you actually may be the first person to spot it.
With all the changes we've made, there are always going to be bugs, and a lot of them are like the way that your car only makes that weird knocking noise until you take it into the mechanic -- goes away when someone's looking at it, but it's driving you nuts anyway. Everybody uses the site differently, and everyone's got a different setup, workflow, and usage pattern, so a lot of times, bugs don't come up during our testing, only under certain conditions. Our kickass support volunteers will work with you to diagnose the steps to reproduce the problem so we can get it logged to fix.
That's it for this week! It's now time for me to go back to my daily routine of slaving over the keyboard, working my fingers to the bone in order to bring you all the absolute best in ... aw, who'm I kidding, I'm going to go play an hour of online poker before heading off to bed; I've been up all night. In the meantime, if you'd like to come hang out and be social with us in irc, we'd love to have you: irc.dwscoalition.org, port 6667, channel #dw.
We'll see you next week.