denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_news2009-08-24 07:58 pm

Weekly update: 24 August 2009

It's a lazy Monday evening over at DW World Headquarters (aka my living room), where [personal profile] zarhooie, one of our support coordinators, is visiting for a few days. We have all of our yarn piled out on the floor to show it off and re-catalog it (and, okay, lie on it like a dragon on top of the hoard), a Stargate SG-1 DVD marathon going on the TV, and an ice cream cake from Cold Stone waiting to be dessert. In other words, life is good, and it is time for the weekly Dreamwidth update!

1. Development

We resolved 41 bugs this week, 34 of which were resolved/fixed. (The rest of them were duplicates, invalid, or otherwise not something that needed programmer action.) You can view our week's development efforts in this week's Code Tour, which is something I've been trying to do on a weekly basis; it's great to review all the things that we accomplished in a given week and get a chance to explain to anybody who's interested.

As always, if you want to follow along with development, there's [site community profile] changelog for the nitty-gritty, [community profile] changelog_digest for the summaries, and [community profile] the_dw_herald for the high points.

This week's development heroes are [personal profile] afuna, with 9 patches (as well as review + commit duty), [personal profile] kareila with 9 patches (as well as review + commit duty), and [personal profile] yvi, who's been rocking the code-review queue. (As part of our quality control process, every patch is reviewed by at least one other programmer before it's committed to the site.) All told, we had patches contributed by 9 separate contributors this week -- all of whom we appreciate immensely!

Meanwhile, if you've been thinking about getting started in DW development, you could see your own name in the next weekly update -- even if you don't have any previous coding experience. Check out our Dreamhack service, as well as our Getting Started guides on the Dreamwidth Wiki. We have guides on getting started in Development and the Dreamhack service. We'd love to see you give things a try! If you get stuck, you can come join [site community profile] dw_dev_training for suggestions, guidance, and tutorials, or come visit us in irc at, port 6667, channel #dw_kindergarten.

2. Moving House

Now that we have a few months of experience with our traffic levels and server needs, we've decided that it's time to plan for the long haul. In order to keep the site stable, fast, and generally awesome, we're in the process of moving away from a shared hosting service to fully dedicated hardware -- still renting, but we'll be the only customers on those machines, instead of our existing shared setup.

Slicehost has been pretty good to us up until now, but we're ready for our own space (it's like when you finally get to move out of your parents' basement into your very own apartment). We'll be moving to Server Beach, where at least a few of the geeks have DW accounts of their very own -- which means that they'll take really good care of us.

We've been working on the backend parts of that all week -- okay, [staff profile] mark and [personal profile] matthew have been working on the backend parts of this all week -- and later on this weekend or next week, there'll be some brief downtime in order for us to make the complete switch.

It should be pretty painless (for you guys; we might be tearing our hair out a bit), but keep an eye on [site community profile] dw_maintenance for the details on when we schedule the downtime.

3. Invite Codes

This afternoon, we distributed a whole bunch of invite codes -- this time, for people who didn't have any available. As always, you don't need to use them all at once, and you don't need to save the email that you got with the codes. The Invite Someone page, available in the header of all the available site schemes, will always list your available invite codes. (And, if you're out of codes, you'll see a link to request more.)

If you're ever in need of more invite codes in bulk -- for a group project, a roleplaying game, or just to move a large group of your friends -- you can open a support request in the Account Payments category and let us know -- we'll see what we can do.

4. Styles

As [staff profile] mark announced last week, we released five new styles, designed by [personal profile] branchandroot, with our last code push. We're happy to announce that with our next code push (which should be sometime in the next week or two), we'll have even more styles available, thanks to the tireless work of [personal profile] afuna, [personal profile] av8rmike, the rest of the styles team, and all of the people who have been creating designs and making them available.

The new styles we'll have will be both new Tabula Rasa designs, and new color palettes for the existing system styles. If you've come up with an awesome color combination for your journal using Negatives, Transmogrified, or Drifting, we'd love to add it as an option. See [site community profile] dreamscapes for how to submit it for consideration as one of the system-available styles.

5. Suggestions

One of the awesome things I like most about how Dreamwidth is how [staff profile] mark and I aren't the only voices shaping the way the site is turning out. We've got a really strong vision for what the site is and should be, but we also know that we're not going to think of everything, and that people who are using the site are the ones who know what the site needs. (Of course, we're using the site ourselves, but there's still the risk of tunnel vision.)

Fortunately, we have a great resource in helping us figure out what we should do: [site community profile] dw_suggestions and the Suggestions Generator. We've been gathering (and discussing) your suggestions for a few weeks, and this week, we did a major migration of suggestions from [site community profile] dw_suggestions to our Bugzilla installation (where at least a few of them have already been implemented, and [personal profile] yvi is working on one of the bigger ones).

If you're interested in helping to shape Dreamwidth's development, there are a few ways you can get involved. You can make a suggestion if there's something you can think of that might make things better, or read and review the existing suggestions, discuss their merits, and vote on whether or not you think they'd be a good fit for Dreamwidth. The votes and discussions aren't the only thing we use when we decide whether or not to migrate the suggestion from the community to our bug tracking database, but we rely heavily on them, so don't be shy: let us know what you're thinking.

6. The Business Stuff

As [staff profile] mark announced last week, beginning in October, he'll be working for Dreamwidth full-time. (Neither of us can wait -- the amount of development we'll be able to get done with Mark on the project full-time is going to be great, and Mark's looking forward to being able to work from home in his boxers.) We also provided a link to our latest business update, in which we mention that our current income situation is very nearly at break-even, although slightly in the red. (Don't worry -- we totally planned for that, for the first few months at least; the Seed Account sale we held at open beta launch was intended to cover our shortfalls for the first year of the site.)

With our move to our new hosting setup, we'll actually be lowering our montly costs, but the savings will be correspondingly eaten up by what we're going to be paying me and [staff profile] mark for our labor. (We're not talking about rolling-in-dough here, either.) If you've been thinking about buying some Dreamwidth paid time, for you or for a friend, you can do so in the Dreamwidth Shop. Likewise, our last code push introduced the ability to purchase paid time for a random active user, which is a great way to make a payment to the site if none of your friends need paid time. (And, as we've previously mentioned, if you don't want to be eligible to receive random paid time, you can opt out under the Privacy tab of the Account Settings page.)

Our goal is to take in about $8,000-$10,000 a month, which will cover our server rental, our contractor payments, and a very modest salary to both me and [staff profile] mark. If there are any suggestions you have for how to make paid accounts more appealing, we'd love to hear them through the Suggestions generator, and if there are any questions you have about our business setup, you can ask them in the dw_biz Q&A post.


I'm sure that the minute I post this, I'll think of five billion things I forgot to mention, but that's all I can think of right now! As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check the Twitter status page; if you just want to come and hang out with us, join us in irc at, channel #dw. We'll see you next week for our next update.
zarhooie: Girl on a blueberry bramble looking happy. Text: Kat (#dw YES WE CAN)

[personal profile] zarhooie 2009-08-25 03:41 am (UTC)(link)

Also, I would like to say how AWESOME Suggestions is. Seriously, everyone should be following it and keeping up with the polls.
Edited 2009-08-25 03:44 (UTC)
azurelunatic: "Azz: LiveJournal Suggestions Queen" (suggestions queen)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2009-08-25 07:27 am (UTC)(link)
And (speaking as someone who has a ton of suggestions subscriptions elsewhere) it's unbelievably relaxing to pop in, say what I have to say, vote, and then put it from my mind. And if I neither know nor care about something, I can just say no opinion! Even if I'm sure it's a good idea but I don't want to have to examine it to see if I like it as is but want to see if I can think up something better.
trinity_clare: (doctor badass is in)

[personal profile] trinity_clare 2009-08-25 03:42 am (UTC)(link)

Kidding, kidding. Yay for the good news of moving servers!
cynthia1960: (knitting instead of murder)

[personal profile] cynthia1960 2009-08-25 03:51 am (UTC)(link)
That is excellent yarn pr0n, especially the shot of [personal profile] zarhooie wallowing in stash.
zarhooie: Girl on a blueberry bramble looking happy. Text: Kat (Default)

[personal profile] zarhooie 2009-08-25 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
That's actually [staff profile] denise! There are no photos of me lounging on the yarn as far as I am aware. I am too dignified.

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lorena: (Default)

[personal profile] lorena 2009-08-25 03:52 am (UTC)(link)
server beach are good 'uns. Yay.
lacey: Me and my leather :D (Default)

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dragonfly: stained glass dragonfly in iridescent colors (Default)

[personal profile] dragonfly 2009-08-25 04:23 am (UTC)(link)
Ice cream desert? ;-)
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-08-25 06:35 am (UTC)(link)
*sleepy eyes*

where at least a few of them have already been implemented, and [personal profile] yvi is working on one of the bigger ones


Oh, right, there was something.

*more sleepy eyes*

Love you all <3

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dougs: Photo of Doug S showing a rounded face with thinning hair and a beard. (Default)

[personal profile] dougs 2009-08-25 07:36 am (UTC)(link)
Re the server move: You just know that 85% of your post-move grief will be persuading various ISPs that email from your new IP addresses isn't spam... and you just know that 85% of that will be with AOL.
angelikitten: Cat with a halo (Default)

[personal profile] angelikitten 2009-08-25 07:43 am (UTC)(link)
Am I the only one who wakes up on Tuesday mornings (I'm in England, okay?) thinking "The weekly [site community profile] dw_news post should be up now, YAY!"?

(If you think that the level of obsession with this site doesn't get any worse, I should tell you about the nightmare I had last night where I got an email saying that my paid time had been shortened by a month because the site had severe financial problems and I woke up crying ;_;)

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labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (my marxist feminist dialectic)

[personal profile] labellementeuse 2009-08-25 09:04 am (UTC)(link)
I want a stash mountain of my very own. :(

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princessofgeeks: (Default)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2009-08-25 11:22 am (UTC)(link)
congratulations to mark, and you guys rock!!!
all_official_dreamwidth: "Dreamwidth: open source, open operations, open expression." (Default)

[personal profile] all_official_dreamwidth 2009-08-25 12:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Many thanks to you and Mark for the recs.
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)

[personal profile] archangelbeth 2009-08-25 05:51 pm (UTC)(link)

*contemplates her hoard of yarn in its boxes and smiles*

I like you people.

(I also note that I don't see any way to opt out of random paid time in the Privacy tab. I suspect this is because I'm a Seed account, but mention it in case you'd meant for it to show something different.)
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)

[personal profile] triadruid 2009-08-25 07:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Most likely that's why you're not seeing it. For me, "Random Paid Gifts" is the last option under the Privacy tab.

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rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2009-08-25 08:25 pm (UTC)(link)
your stash mountain makes me squee. i'mtempted to unbox mine and take pictures, although i think the kitties would be ::cough:: dangerous (12 cats. very busy. love yarn, really mama, let us PLAY with it!). the wool stash is bigger than the yarn stash, though. i think.... (but boring to look at in that it's mostly either batting for dyeing and felting or raw wool).
cesy: Home is where the <3 is (Dreamwidth) (Dreamwidth)

[personal profile] cesy 2009-08-26 10:53 am (UTC)(link)
It is only Wednesday, and already I am looking forward to next week's News post.
archersangel: (Default)

[personal profile] archersangel 2009-08-26 06:41 pm (UTC)(link)
i know this not the place for this, but i was hoping that someone could answer a question.
for the invite codes, just the codes, not the: "____ has invited you" e-mail thing, will the person that you give the code to get a message saying who it was that gave them the code? the reason i ask is i got 3 invite codes the other day & wanted to share them with some people on a bboard that i go to, but i'm under a different name there & don't want them to know who i am here.
1_mad_squirrel: (Default)

[personal profile] 1_mad_squirrel 2009-08-26 07:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Great pic. I hope you didn't get hurt getting down to or up off of your horde.

Love the whole "Dragon on a horde" image. Speaking of which, have you ever read a children's book called "The Paper Bag Princess" by Robert Munsch?
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)

[personal profile] sophie 2009-08-27 12:08 am (UTC)(link)
The Paper Bag Princess? Sounds like Denise when open beta launched. ;) *ducks*

(You know I love you, D.)
oona: (Default)

[personal profile] oona 2009-08-27 06:41 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much for the invite codes. :)

[personal profile] thedolphingirl 2009-08-30 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
All that yarn looks so nice and comfy!

As for making paid accounts more appealing, I'm not sure where to go from there. I like the idea of gifting a random active user - I think things like that will be good. Maybe invite codes should be made a bit more default, too, so we can get more of our friends over here.