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_news2009-09-14 11:49 pm

Weekly Update: 14 September 2009

It's now eight days until [personal profile] sarah and I are going on vacation, and 16 days until [staff profile] mark's last day at his dayjob (and thus, working fulltime for Dreamwidth). (And it's a toss-up as to whether [staff profile] mark or I is more excited about having him fulltime.)

That's not all we have to be excited about in this week's update, though. Come with me as we take a tour of this week's activity in Dreamwidthville.

1. Development

This week saw the resolution of 30 bugs FIXED, and you can see the list in this week's code tour (or, for those who want to watch the development as it goes by, in [site community profile] changelog or [community profile] changelog_digest). A code push this weekend means that all of these patches, plus those from the last two weeks, are now live on the site and available for use.

A huge welcome this week goes to new contributor [personal profile] ninetydegrees, who provided a new layout for us: Funky Circles. (More about layouts in a few!)

I'd also like to take a second to highlight some awesome work this weekend. When we did our code push, we found a bug in production that we hadn't caught in our testing that was causing CPU usage on our webservers to max out (thus making the site fall down go boom). That's not the part to be proud of. The part to be proud of is the fact that, thanks to the quick work and dedicated troubleshooting of our crack IRC crew, the elapsed time from first spotting to final fix was under 15 minutes.

(I owe [staff profile] mark a beer, too; my working theory about what was causing it was wrong, while his was right.)

2. Reading Filters are here!

You heard it here! This weekend's code push brought us the long-awaited alpha release of reading filters. Now, you can sort your reading page into sub-categories for easy management.

Free users can use the basic version of filters, where you can build sub-sets of your subscriptions list so that only certain accounts show at a time. Paid users, though, have access to a number of other options.

Can't stop yourself from browsing DW at work, but your boss has a habit of dropping by and watching your screen? Create a filter that includes everyone on your subscription list, but set each user to only display entries that aren't marked as adult content. Want to be able to easily see any posts made by community administrators? Create a filter that only includes posts made by the comm maintainer. Is there someone you read who posts great entries usually, but you can't stand her posts tagged 'whining'? Create a filter that includes all of her posts except the ones with that tag. Is there someone you're reading only for his fiction? Create a filter that only shows you his posts taggged 'fiction'.

The great thing about tag-based filters is that, unlike subscription notifications, filters work based on what tags the entry has at the time you load your reading page, not when the entry was posted. So, if you've got someone you read who only tags her posts after the fact (making subscribing by tag useless), tag-based reading filters will still catch them for you.

The feature's still very much in "alpha" mode (not even ready for beta yet!), and we know you're going to have a lot of great suggestions about how to improve them. You can make your suggestions through our Suggestions process. We'll be updating and refining the system based on your feedback and our own observations.

You can get started using reading filters by going to the Manage Subscription Filters page.

3. Layouts

After last week's poll in [site community profile] dw_styles about how you look for the right layout for your journal, we've taken your feedback into account and added a new view to our Select a Style page. Now, you can view every available base layout in one place. Be sure to click through to the second page or increase the number of styles shown on the page to see all of the options!

This code push introduced five new layouts: Blanket by [personal profile] sforzinda, Bases by [personal profile] sven, Sunday Morning by [personal profile] regna, Tranquility III by [personal profile] branchandroot, and Funky Circles by [personal profile] ninetydegrees. The worst part is going to be having to choose!

In the customize area, you can always see all of the available color and image options for each layout by clicking the layout name. Remember, the preview image thumbnail shown in the Customize area isn't the only option for each layout. You can pick different column layouts, customize your colors, and move things around on the page. Play with options in the Customize Theme page until you find something you like.

This week's update from the hard-working [site community profile] dw_styles team can be found in this dw_styles entry. Be sure to drop by and give them thumbs up for all their incredibly hard work in the past few months -- they've been doing an incredible job.

4. Layout Submissions

So that everyone can use the results of your layout creativity, submit it to us! [personal profile] zvi has created a detailed, step-by-step tutorial on creating color themes. You don't need to know any programming -- you don't even need to know how to use HTML or CSS. The most advanced skill required really is cut and paste!

We accept -- heck, we eagerly jump all over -- any style submission to the [site community profile] dreamscapes community, and we're especially looking for color themes for existing layouts. In particular, we want to make sure that every layout has a good selection of both light-on-dark and dark-on-light options, with as many high-contrast choices as possible.

Meanwhile, if you have awesome HTML layout-making skills but don't know (and don't want to learn) S2, our layout language, or if you can make S2 sit up and bark but lack the artistic inspiration to design layouts, fear not. We've got a matchup post for designers seeking coders or coders seeking designers. There's also a post for artists to leave links to their work, for header and background images, so if you have some art to offer up we'd love to see it!

You'll receive two months of paid time and five invite codes for every theme that's accepted onto the site, whether it be an entirely new layout or a color theme for an existing layout. Help contribute to the styles explosion!

5. How Edge-y!

This past code push also included a way for people to extract relationship "edge" data in computer-readable form -- which is a really fancy way of saying that there's now a easily computer-readable form of the relationship information available on the Profile page. This will make it easier for people to program useful toys and tools, such as the popular Joule tool, which tracks who's added (or removed) you as a friend on LiveJournal.

[personal profile] foxfirefey, who together with [staff profile] mark did this patch, has already used this tool to figure out some nifty statistics. For instance, 50% of Dreamwidth usernames are between 7 and 12 characters long; 9 characters is the average, and 7 is the most common. See the graph of username lengths she made.

If you come up with a cool toy using this data, or want to see what other people come up with, check out the unofficial community [community profile] memewidth!

6. Suggestions

Earlier, I mentioned that suggestions for improving reading filters should go through our Suggestions form. Since it's been a while since we implemented the Suggestions form, I thought it might be a nice moment to stop and look back over some of the suggestions that we've already implemented.

Past suggestions that are now live on the site:

There are many more fabulous suggestions that have been added to the bug tracker and will be implemented as soon as someone has the spare cycles to write a patch. You can view implemented suggestions using the "bugzilla: implemented" tag of [site community profile] dw_suggestions. (This tag may lag slightly behind the actual implemented suggestions count -- it's a manual process to update it, and I only do that when I remember.)

You can also view, discuss, and vote on others' suggestions! Currently-active suggestions are posted with the "untagged" tag; any suggestion thus tagged hasn't had a final decision made yet. The "bugzilla: migrated" tag contains all suggestions that have been put into our bug-tracking software, which means it will get added to the code as soon as someone has the time to devote to it.

We've added 72 things to the bug tracker so far based on your suggestions (the tag number is doubled due to invisible administrative entries), and more come in every day. Part of our vision for Dreamwidth involves making improvements that reflect how you use the site, so if there's anything at all that would make your Dreamwidth experience smoother, drop by the Suggestions form and leave us your ideas.

7. Bug Reports

We are still in beta, though we're getting closer and closer to being ready for an official site launch every day, and beta means bugs: things that just plain don't work right, as opposed to things that work as they are but could work better.

It can be hard sometimes to tell whether something is "working as designed, but as designed could be improved" vs "this is a bug and needs to be fixed". If you know that something's a bug, though -- you get an error message, or something displays wrong in your browser, or something like that -- you should report it to Support. Our team of volunteers will work with you to diagnose the problem, figure out how to reproduce it, and add it to our bug tracker for fixing.

You can always find the link to the Support center any time you're looking at a site page. In Tropospherical Red and Tropospherical Purple, it's on the top left of the page (next to your icon), labeled 'Help'. In Celerity, it's on the top right of the page, also labeled 'Help'. There's also a link to the FAQ under the "Explore" menu.

Huge thanks go to our support volunteers, who have been doing an absolutely stellar job! You can see the list of support high scores to see whom to thank, and check out [site community profile] dw_support_training if you want to get involved yourself.


That's it from us for another week! (Now that it's taken me something like five hours to write this...) 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. (Warning: studies have shown that participation in #dw may result in volunteerism in test subjects.)

We'll see you next week for our next update.
noxie: friendly girl smiling (Default)

[personal profile] noxie 2009-09-15 09:10 am (UTC)(link)
Yay for reading filters! :D *throws glitter*

"In the customize area, you can always see all of the available color and image options for each layout by clicking the layout name."

I'd like to suggest adding a link there that says something like "View all color options for this theme" - because I would never have tried clicking on it to get more color options. In fact, I only tried clicking on it after I'd read somewhere that there were more color options available, and I didn't know where to find them. :)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2009-09-15 10:06 am (UTC)(link) is the form for new suggestions :)
amber: ⌠ ART ⊹ Panda&Girl ⌡ (ⓑ cleopatra; joan of arc; & aphrodite)

[personal profile] amber 2009-09-15 09:16 am (UTC)(link)
Reading Filters by tag are seriously the best innovation to the LJ code I have seen from you guys so far. Thankyou so much!

(ps; new styles looking hot, a couple of those are making me consider getting back into layout customization myself.)
foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (mischief)

[personal profile] foxfirefey 2009-09-15 06:41 pm (UTC)(link)
If it helps tempt you any, our basic style has a lot of CSS classes specifically made for customization. (Examples: comments from a post's author have a CSS class, the CSS class will tell you what page view you are on, whether or not a post has a userpic, posts are labeled by journal type and content level (non/NSFW/18+) and security level, etc etc).

You can see them documented here.

I also think I'll regenerate [community profile] the_style_kit sometime today or tomorrow, it needs it badly. So, watch that and you'll get handed a really nice ready-made workspace!
flick: (Default)

[personal profile] flick 2009-09-15 09:50 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, I like the tag reading filters!

Quick question: I thought, back when you first launched, that there was an intention to allow people to read their LJ FL on their DW RP. Is that the case? Is it on a list somewhere, or should I add it to the suggestions?

flick: (Default)

[personal profile] flick 2009-09-15 10:31 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for getting back to me!

I hope you do manage to find a way that's acceptable for everyone, if only so I can use tagged reading filters on my LJ FL!
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (sheeeep)

[personal profile] liv 2009-09-15 09:55 am (UTC)(link)
Reading filters are completely awesome, but I have a couple of questions:

1. How do we get to advanced options, eg filter by tag, by privacy level etc? I can't see any mention of that on the subscription filter page, and I can't think where else to go to look for more options.

2. I created a Default View filter, and it worked, but now I can't see the unfiltered reading page. As far as I can tell, ?filter=0 doesn't work; is that intentional, or an oversight? Do I have to get round this by explictly creating a filter with all my subscriptions on it?
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)

[personal profile] afuna 2009-09-15 09:58 am (UTC)(link)
To get to the advanced options, you need to click on the user name, once they're in your filter.

No idea about the second, I'm afraid!
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-09-15 10:10 am (UTC)(link)
I created a Default View filter, and it worked

How did you do that? I want to have changelog now show on my usual reading page and created a filter named 'default view', but that doesn't seem to do the trick...
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (sheeeep)

[personal profile] liv 2009-09-15 10:14 am (UTC)(link)
On LJ, you have to call the filter Default View, with exactly that capitalization and spacing. That's what I did here, and that's what worked for me.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-09-15 10:17 am (UTC)(link)
Oh how I hate case-sensitive stuff like that. Thank you!
foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (Default)

[personal profile] foxfirefey 2009-09-15 07:00 pm (UTC)(link)
You can also create one called "Default" -- again case sensitive.
cesy: Home is where the <3 is (Dreamwidth) (Dreamwidth)

[personal profile] cesy 2009-09-15 10:09 am (UTC)(link)
[Obligatory "You're awesome" post]

yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-09-15 10:09 am (UTC)(link)
For instance, 50% of Dreamwidth usernames are between 7 and 12 characters long; 9 characters is the average, and 7 is the most common.

*is special*

Well, almost.

And yes, I do like implementing other people's (and my own!) suggestions. They are all so shiny! *hides active entries module patch*
reginagiraffe: Stick figure of me with long wavy hair and giraffe on shirt. (Default)

[personal profile] reginagiraffe 2009-09-15 02:38 pm (UTC)(link)
*is special in the other direction*

jalendavi_lady: Meant To Do That... (Sidious Meant To Do That)

[personal profile] jalendavi_lady 2009-09-15 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
*is also special*
dragonfly: stained glass dragonfly in iridescent colors (Default)

[personal profile] dragonfly 2009-09-15 03:32 pm (UTC)(link)
*is dead on average*

adalger: Earthrise as seen from the moon, captured on camera by the crew of Apollo 16 (Default)

[personal profile] adalger 2009-09-15 07:00 pm (UTC)(link)
*is common* :(
alixtii: Mary Jane, talking to her Spidey doll: "Some help you are." (help)

[personal profile] alixtii 2009-09-17 02:01 pm (UTC)(link)
*also is not special*

Or at least, not that way.
tree: a figure clothed in or emerging from bark (Default)

[personal profile] tree 2009-09-15 08:34 pm (UTC)(link)
*is also special* though not quite as special as [personal profile] yvi.

[personal profile] snowsurrounded 2009-09-16 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
*is very slightly special!*
jaciem: (Incred - Oy)

[personal profile] jaciem 2009-09-17 03:33 am (UTC)(link)
*is special by only ONE*
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 2009-09-18 11:02 am (UTC)(link)
Yay six-letter usernames!

[personal profile] alittlebirdy 2009-09-15 12:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh wow, when you guys do something, you really DO something. Those filters are AWESOMESAUCE. Thankyou so much! :D :D :D
delight: shadow of a woman holding outline of a heart on a string (want to be kitsch)

[personal profile] delight 2009-09-15 12:56 pm (UTC)(link)
When school settles down, I need to make layouts. If school settles down. Nobody let me slide like that.

(Also, I feel so uncreative for my 7-letter username! Then again, it was an extremely uncreative username choice.)
foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (mischief)

[personal profile] foxfirefey 2009-09-15 06:45 pm (UTC)(link)
If it makes you feel better, I don't think username creativity can be measured by how long it is! Also, sometimes iconic (like your name is) is better than creative for a certain aesthetic, you know?
seakisst: (i am not a pretty girl)

[personal profile] seakisst 2009-09-15 01:00 pm (UTC)(link)
YAY for having Mark full time. I'm sure that will make things better for everyone. WOOOOO! Loving the new layouts and it's great we've got filters. You all are doing such a wonderful job. Continue kicking ass!
norah: Little mouse with a flower. image by leo leonni, from Frederick. (thankyou)

[personal profile] norah 2009-09-15 02:18 pm (UTC)(link)
aurora: (Default)

[personal profile] aurora 2009-09-15 04:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Whooo filters!
cyprinella: a red octopus on a white background with a red star above it (Default)

[personal profile] cyprinella 2009-09-15 06:17 pm (UTC)(link)
One of the code pushes way back in the beginning did something to custom lay-outs pulled over from LJ that made all of the usernames on posts disappear. I'm seeing that on my network page now. Anyone have a link to the fix? I can't seem to find it.
foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (mischief)

[personal profile] foxfirefey 2009-09-15 06:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the fix is something like:

The $.view on the Network page now uses "network", instead of "read"; looks like that broke the logic that your style was using to print out the username. If you change $.view == "read" to $.view == "read" or $.view == "network", that should clear this right up.

(Shamelessly stolen from [personal profile] afuna.)

PS: I like your icon!
Edited 2009-09-15 18:55 (UTC)
turlough: Lena Horne in orange jacket looking gleefully happy, 1950s ((other) happiness)

[personal profile] turlough 2009-09-15 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I love reading filters so much!!!
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2009-09-15 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
The great thing about tag-based filters is that, unlike subscription notifications, filters work based on what tags the entry has at the time you load your reading page, not when the entry was posted. So, if you've got someone you read who only tags her posts after the fact (making subscribing by tag useless), tag-based reading filters will still catch them for you.

Is there any way this can be done for subscribing to tags alone? Because if I'm reading this right, this is only for people you actually have friended.

But like with your example of someone you just want to read one tag of, friending then filtering seems like an extra step. Will it eventually be possible to just subscribe to the tag and have it show on your flist?
sofiaviolet: drawing of three violets and three leaves (Default)

[personal profile] sofiaviolet 2009-09-16 12:01 am (UTC)(link)
... ooooh.

IDK whether it's planned or not, but you could make a post to [site community profile] dw_suggestions proposing this feature.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-09-16 06:24 am (UTC)(link)
Not with the current way the subscription system is set up, which triggers e-mails at the event of an entry being posted, a poll being filled out, a person adding you to their circle, etc.

That isn't to say this can never be changed and if you want to make a suggestion, go ahead. Just saying why it's currently not that way.
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2009-09-16 06:39 am (UTC)(link)
Right, I know it's not that way now, but I don't want to make a suggestion if it's already something that's been suggested (and is in the pipes or has been rejected).

Plus I was talking more about something you could read on your flist, not having an email sent. The current way is a lot of extra steps, where it sends you the email, then you have to go to their journal to read the entry. It would be cool if you could just friend a tag, so that its entries show up on your flist.
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 2009-09-18 11:09 am (UTC)(link)
Do remember that subscribing to people here doesn't have the same connotations that friending does on LJ, since you can subscribe without giving access, something you can't do on LJ. Or is it just the fact that it takes more steps?
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2009-09-18 11:16 am (UTC)(link)
It's more steps, plus I just don't like the idea of friending someone only to filter them out.
baggyeyes: Princess Leia (Dreamwidth Social Content -2)

[personal profile] baggyeyes 2009-09-15 11:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay filters! Whoo! whoo. How do I start using them? I made some, But only the default communities, Journals and feeds show up in the drop down.

Yay for new styles and [staff profile] mark's impending full-time DW status!
baggyeyes: Princess Leia (Default)

[personal profile] baggyeyes 2009-09-16 12:20 am (UTC)(link)
Ok! Thanks. :)
trinity_clare: (how do I love thee)

[personal profile] trinity_clare 2009-09-16 04:01 am (UTC)(link)

Okay, that's it. Next time I have money, you're getting some of it.
solitaryjane: ~ made by lon_gina (Milk & Cookies)

[personal profile] solitaryjane 2009-09-17 05:08 am (UTC)(link)
I will always be a paid member with you guys, because the features just rock.

Thank you!

- Sincerely, Me