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_news2009-11-30 08:54 pm

Weekly Update: 30 November 2009

Greetings, dwenizens! I hope that everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving this past week had a good one, and that nobody was permanently maimed in the annual paean to commerciality that is Black Friday. (Circumstances forced us to make a visit to IKEA. It was frightening.)

This week brings us a miscellaney, or perhaps an assortment; one of these days I'll figure out the right word to use. I'd also like to use this opportunity and audience to announce that everybody should go out and buy a copy of Changing the World, the latest anthology of stories set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar universe, available tomorrow, as Yours Truly is the co-author of the second story in the book. (And if you order your copy through that link, I get Amazon referral credit as well as royalties, too!) It's my first appearance in print -- although not my first sale, which will be coming out in another few months -- and I'm ridiculously proud of it.

Behind the cut: development updates, messages from a few project teams, Dreamwidth-in-person, community promo, a few things we'd like your opinion on, and the handover to Mark for next month's updates.

1. Development

Our development efforts this week bring about a few things that I've been looking forward to for a while. The full tally can be found in this week's code tour, done by the fabulous [personal profile] yvi, but there are two big additions that have been frequently-requested and that I'm really looking forward to having live:

* "Admins only" security level. This adds a new option, by analogy with the 'private' security level, when posting in communities: community admins can use this security level, and it will only be visible to other community admins. No longer will you need to maintain a separate "admin community" for high-traffic or high-profile communities with multiple maintainers; a judicious combination of tags and admin-only security level will let you do all the administrative work to keep your community in good order all in one place.

* Icon keyword renaming. As everyone with a fondness for icons knows, if you rename an icon's keywords (maybe you've changed your naming scheme, or discovered a typo that's been there for months and you just realized) all previous uses of the icon revert to default, because the keyword has been changed. Well, thanks to [personal profile] allen's hard work -- and I mean 'hard work'; this patch went through a ton of revision -- you will soon be able to pick whether or not you want to update old posts to use the new keywords, thus making sure that your old posts keep showing the right icon even though you've changed the icon's name.

All of these enhancements, plus more (including fixes to tag editing in communities, accessibility-related changes to the alt text on user tags, bug fixes for the inbox to make the single-entry view work properly, and several new themes) will be available with the next code push, which will be announced in [site community profile] dw_maintenance.

2. Development (Redux)

Two questions for you this week:

* Do folks find the weekly code tours interesting/informative/useful to y'all? We like doing them -- it's good for us to look back over things that we've accomplished -- but I wanted to check in and see if people find the posts useful and informative, or if there's anything else we should be adding in them.

* The Support Triumvirate suggested that we do a companion weekly post, of all new bugs/enhancement requests that were filed in our bug tracker that week, so people can see the sort of issues we have on our radar. I like the idea, although my impulse is to say that we should save the effort for other things, since it's possible to get Bugzilla to email you about all new tickets filed, but if it's something people would really be interested in, we could probably find someone to do it (or script something to make Bugzilla email a weekly report in as an email post). Would y'all be interested in that?

3. Antispam

The antispam team would like to thank everyone who's been deleting (and properly marking as spam) anonymous spam comments quickly. Through everyone's efforts, and the fact that our antispam team is really on the ball, it's sometimes a matter of minutes between when a spammer is brought to our attention and when we take steps to block them from continuing the spam, which is part of what keeps any given spam attack isolated to only a few journals.

96% of our spam reports are still invalid/not actually spam, but the remaining 4% are handled with alacrity. (I am amused, and slightly baffled, to report that this week's spam trend seems to be quoting Plato.)

4. Support

The Support team (all praise be to their devotion) would like me to remind people that if you find yourself unable to log in for any reason, and need to contact them, you can do so without logging into your Dreamwidth account first. Just hit up the Submit Support Request page and provide your name and email address.

Meanwhile, Support also would like to remind people that if you ever find a page that you can't load for some reason -- for instance, several of our pages don't function well in older browsers like Internet Explorer 6 -- you can choose the Lynx site scheme on the Display tab of the Account Settings page for your account. Lynx, or light mode, is a low-formatting site scheme that works well for screenreaders, mobile devices, and older browsers.

We have a lot of bugs open to improve the process of selecting your browsing preferences and making them stick -- for both the site-styled pages and journal-styled pages. In the meantime, though, if you ever find that you can't load a single page, there's a workaround: add ?usescheme=lynx to the end of the URL. (Or, if there's already a ? in the URL, make it &usescheme=lynx.) That will force the single page to reload in the Lynx style without resetting your preferred site scheme, and it works on any site-styled page. (For non-site-styled pages, add ?style=light. Yeah, the fact that it's so confusing is one of the things we will be fixing up!)

5. Holiday Gifts

As we approach the holiday season -- no matter what holiday you happen to celebrate -- it's time for a question: what do you want as a holiday gift from Dreamwidth this year?

That is to say: we're starting to think about our project plans for the first half of 2010 (oh God, remember when 2010 seemed like it was aeons away?), and while we've got a bunch of things on the list that we want to accomplish, I figured we'd also poll y'all. What things are you really looking forward to? What particular small annoyances do you really want fixed? What are you looking forward to that will really enhance your Dreamwidth experience?

(If you're looking for ideas to call out, you can look over past suggestions in [site community profile] dw_suggestions, or browse the open bugs list.)

While I can't promise anything, I personally am going to be spending much of December hard at work on things that have come through the Suggestions queue -- trying to give as many holiday gifts as possible, of course -- and I know that a lot of our other developers are looking for projects that will make people happy -- so sound off in the comments.

6. Suggestions

Last week I gave some numbers on the progress we've made through our Suggestions process. Well, this weekend (while in the turkey coma, of course), I sat down to do some housekeeping on the tags in [site community profile] dw_suggestions, and found that a number of posts had been mis-tagged. 680+ entries later -- yes, I went through every entry to update the tags properly and make sure everything was in the correct status -- things are now properly counted.

So, my numbers were wrong, but I'm happy to announce that they were wrong in the "under" direction instead of the "over". The number we've migrated from the suggestions process into Bugzilla was right -- 160 suggestions -- but the number implemented was under-counted; we've actually implemented 49 of them. This makes it a 30% implementation rate so far. The tags on the community have been cleared up so that you can now tell at a glance how many of your suggestions have been added to Bugzilla or to the site -- just look for the bugzilla: implemented for things that have been coded already, and the bugzilla: migrated tag for things that have been added to Bugzilla but not yet completed.

As always, you can search for past suggestions, submit your own suggestion, or read others' suggestions in the [site community profile] dw_suggestions community. We love hearing what you think.

7. Community Promos

This week's community promotions revolve around lifestyle communities -- fashion, food, and fun:

[community profile] shoes is for, well, shoes! All kinds, all shapes, all sizes: this community brings you your daily dose of shoe images to drool over and discuss.

[community profile] bakeitup: With holidays approaching, many people are starting to think about the holiday baking. (My girlfriend's mother, for instance, produces enough cookies in December to feed a small army. Or a small nation.) This community is for recipes, pictures, tips and tricks, so join and share the baked-goods love.

[community profile] style_salon is for people to discuss their own personal style, along with sharing tips, tricks, and hints on how to create and build your style -- not just clothes or fashion, but all the little details and flourishes that make up the way you present yourself to the world, from interior decorating to designing your online haunts and beyond. If you're looking for tips on ways to express yourself without breaking the bank, or in search of help so that the next shopping trip won't be as much of nightmare, this may be the place for you.

[community profile] thesims3: I personally can't keep the Sims installed on my computer if I ever want to get anything accomplished ever again, but this community is for those who have more strength of will than I do: a collection of everything and anything having to do with The Sims 3, the second-best timesuck known to humanity. (The best, of course, being the Civilization series. Or, okay, Zilch... and having loaded that page to confirm the link means I'm going to be toast for the rest of the day.)

8. Dreamwidth in Person

I'm pleased to announce that I've been invited to the National Center for Women & Information Technology's annual conference, to speak (with [personal profile] damned_colonial) in a session on women in open source. The conference will be held on May 18-20, on the Intel campus in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The attention that Dreamwidth has been getting in the Open Source world, in recognition of our success in building a high-quality, diverse team of passionate and skilled contributors, is one of the most awesome things about this project. I am still astounded by the kind of response we've had so far to this crazy dream of ours, and when I was looking for things to be thankful for this year, Dreamwidth -- and y'all -- were really high on the list.


And that brings this update -- and the month of November -- to a close! 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've got an idea to make the site better, you can make a suggestion; if you just want to come and hang out, join us in irc at, channel #dw. (While the denizens of #dw do not bite, we have been known to gnaw gently.)

We'll see you next week for our next update, in which I hand the reins over to [staff profile] mark for December.
hopefulnebula: Farscape/Aeryn grinning (Aeryn Grin)

[personal profile] hopefulnebula 2009-12-01 04:11 am (UTC)(link)
Can I just say how much I love you guys' news posts?

Because I do.

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sara: S (Default)

[personal profile] sara 2009-12-01 04:24 am (UTC)(link)
This makes it a 30% implementation rate so far.

And this is why we live in the castle, D. *GRIN*

If I can do anything to facilitate you and D_C's visit to our fair state, well, y'all know where to reach me.
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2009-12-01 04:24 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on the stories!

For #5--as always, the feature I am ever most looking forward to is the cross-site security-friendly reading list. Second to that, I'm looking forward to draft post and scheduling capabilities. A downloadable client with Flickr/Picasa integration and crossposting would be nice, too.

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peoppenheimer: A photo of Paul Oppenheimer at the Australasian Association of Philosophy meeting. (Default)

writer (published)

[personal profile] peoppenheimer 2009-12-01 04:25 am (UTC)(link)

“… Yours Truly is the co-author of the second story in the book. … It's my first appearance in print—although not my first sale, which will be coming out in another few months—and I'm ridiculously proud of it.”

<In which I do the happy dance.> Mazal tov!

brooksmoses: (Default)

[personal profile] brooksmoses 2009-12-01 04:34 am (UTC)(link)
* Do folks find the weekly code tours interesting/informative/useful to y'all?

Absolutely. I bought my Dreamwidth account in large part to support your development work, and this is how I see what that's going towards (and I think I'm getting a really good value for my money!).

* The Support Triumvirate suggested that we do a companion weekly post, of all new bugs/enhancement requests that were filed in our bug tracker that week, so people can see the sort of issues we have on our radar.

I wouldn't be as interested in that. What's interesting about the code tours is not the things I could get from the version control commit logs, but the "tour" part of them -- the analysis, the picking out of noteworthy things and describing what makes them noteworthy and some of what they're about, and so forth. A similar sort of upcoming-issues (and "longstanding issues that are finally bugging us enough that we're going to start on them", and "longstanding issues that we can't fix right now", and so on) post would be interesting, perhaps, but that does sound like a fair bit of work.

What things are you really looking forward to?

Oh, I missed this when I first started replying. I would really really like to see a cross-site friendspage, so I could read everything from DW and LJ on the same page. That's basically the reason I don't actively use DW right now -- I can read most things on LJ because people crosspost, so that's what I read all the time. (I know this is a big and difficult project. But it wouldn't be too far from the truth to say that I bought a paid account to support your development in hopes that you'd eventually implement this particular feature so that I would be able to use the site with my existing community.)
Edited 2009-12-01 04:41 (UTC)
zarhooie: Warning: studies have shown that participation in #dw may result in volunteerism in test subjects.  (DW: volunteerism in test subjects)

[personal profile] zarhooie 2009-12-01 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
I think the idea behind the new bugs/enhancements thing was not to just churn out Bugzilla emails, but to increase awareness of the things that we *are* aware of. We (Support) have had some people come to us and say "and I know this is an issue" when, in fact, their report is the first we've heard of it.

That being said, you may be *entirely* correct when you say that you (and therefore people who are not me) would not find this interesting. :)

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zarhooie: Text: Warning: participating in #dw may result in blacking out and discovering yourself as head of a project team. (DW: project team)

[personal profile] zarhooie 2009-12-01 04:39 am (UTC)(link)
What I want for Christmas (either this year or next):

The Advanced Options page, which is tagged as deferred but maaaybe it will be less deferred?
Photo hosting! I know you're working on it but I want it *now*
Someone to spec out the new Support design and then code it and implement it. Er, maybe that is more of a daydream...
V-gifts, please and thank you!

D, you are awesome.

sky: (Default)

[personal profile] sky 2009-12-01 04:44 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the hard work as always, guys :)

Let's see, I have a bunch of things to say for once this news post...

1) Congratulations on the story!!! I haven't read anything Valdemar in a while but I love the universe, so I'll have to pick that book up sometime :)

2) I personally find the code tours very interesting and helpful -- I like to keep up with what's being changed on the site, but I'm not a techy person and I find Bugzilla very confusing + hard to navigate. I'd actually be quite interested in hearing what was entered into the tracker each week too, but that does seem like it might be too much work.

3) As for the holiday present I'd want... I see it's already been mentioned, but still, I would trade every single update and new feature Dreamwidth has added since closed beta for cross-site friends page reading. This is the holy grail for me, haha. If we got that I would never need anything else.
rosebee: Adam Lambert touches the gauges/plugs in his ears (Default)

[personal profile] rosebee 2009-12-01 04:54 am (UTC)(link)
I ADORE Ms Lackey's Valdemar universe! How cool that you wrote on of the stories!!
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)

[personal profile] sasha_feather 2009-12-01 04:54 am (UTC)(link)
Yes these are interesting and helpful! I didn't realize I was supposed to be deleting and marking spam. Also, shoe comm, that is hilarious and awesome.
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2009-12-01 04:59 am (UTC)(link)
Know what might be highly entertaining? Sam Winchester (re?)reading 2010: Odyssey Two.

That anthology is half of ex-roomie's Christmas present. I'll be getting a copy in February sometime when the other thing I preordered from B&N at the same time goes on sale.
zarhooie: Girl on a blueberry bramble looking happy. Text: Kat (Default)

[personal profile] zarhooie 2009-12-01 05:04 am (UTC)(link)
Just so you know, Amazon has a free Prime dealy-bob going on right now, which means free 2-day shipping for any item, including things that are less than $25. Soooo in theory you could order it and get it for not any more than the Amazon selling price. Just sayin'.

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dragonfly: stained glass dragonfly in iridescent colors (Default)

Gift request

[personal profile] dragonfly 2009-12-01 05:04 am (UTC)(link)
Assuming you thought it should be implemented at all, could you hurry up with replacing the search default "interest" with whatever the user last chose (or "site and account" if last chosen is too hard)? This one has bugged me since LJ suddenly changed the default and didn't give me any power to change it back.
dancing_serpent: (Dreamwidth - to boldly go)

Re: Gift request

[personal profile] dancing_serpent 2009-12-01 09:59 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, that's something that would make me incredibly happy! I'm using it exclusively for site/account name searches, and it annoys me to no end that I always have to select that option first.

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cheyinka: a spoof of an iPod ad, featuring a Metroid with iPod earbuds pressed against each of its 3 internal organs (iMetroid iScree)

[personal profile] cheyinka 2009-12-01 05:06 am (UTC)(link)
The thing that I want that I know is a long way off but still I can wish is importing from DeadJournal. :sigh:
Aside from that, there are things that'd make me happy, but nothing I'm dying for. (Of the things that have been named in the comments so far, the cross-site friends page reading's way up there on my list.)
jae: (livejournalgecko)

[personal profile] jae 2009-12-01 05:08 am (UTC)(link)
What are you looking forward to that will really enhance your Dreamwidth experience?

I want to be able to read my livejournal friends list over at dreamwidth. I would totally switch over permanently if I could do that!


[personal profile] ex_pseudonym472 2009-12-01 05:08 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you once again for keeping us all up to date. I really appreciate the news posts.

Also, icon keyword renaming THANK YOU [personal profile] allen! This makes icons a billion times more useful to me :D
jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)

[personal profile] jumpuphigh 2009-12-01 05:11 am (UTC)(link)
the latest anthology of stories set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar universe, available tomorrow, as Yours Truly is the co-author of the second story in the book

Super-Awesome! Congrats to the 1,000,000th degree! I've been wanting to snuggle in with my collection of Valdemar books lately. I'll have to start with your story. :)
libitina: snake across an open book (Default)

[personal profile] libitina 2009-12-01 05:14 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on the publication! Woo! WooOooooOoOooo!

1. icon renaming - that's brilliant! Seriously, that's something I'd just figure was my own damn fault, and I'd have to suck it up. But I love it not having to be.

2. I love the code tours. I don't find time to read them every week, but it's wonderful to know what is going on and what is coming up. It gives me warm fuzzies about dreamwidth as a corporate entity that are entirely new to my experiences with corporate entities. And now I want everyone to be as awesome as you guys.

As for bugzilla reports... well, they would be a benefit to me. And I like the idea of getting them in digest format (see also, not always having time to read these weekly updates). But, that does sound less helpful to you guys, and if there were a choice between coding and writing summaries, then I'd pick that you guys continue writing code. If, however, there were someone still reluctant to start coding who has been hoping for a less technical thing to do... why that'd be perfect. And, damn, now I'm a modicum of self restraint from volunteering myself (see also: not always having time to read the weekly update).

Have fun in Oregon.
jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)

All I want for Christmas...

[personal profile] jumpuphigh 2009-12-01 05:16 am (UTC)(link)
It's a teeny thing, I think.

When I delete a mail from my inbox, the number in my header doesn't change unless I refresh the page. I know the programming came over from LJ with it that way but LJ has fixed it so you might be able to use their fix.

As I said, teeny, but to my perfectionist, detail-oriented brain, one thing that drives me a bit mad.
arie: (Default)

[personal profile] arie 2009-12-01 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks to UPS being ridiculously efficient I actually got my copy today. Alas, I have not had a chance to read it yet as when I showed Sage the table of contents and showed her you were in it she was so excited, she took it from me to read herself. :P
ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)

[personal profile] ninetydegrees 2009-12-01 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
I like the code tours and would read a support one for sure.

As holiday gift, I'd like to be able to rename my account.

[personal profile] doro 2009-12-01 05:25 am (UTC)(link)

Do folks find the weekly code tours interesting/informative/useful to y'all?


Thank you for the additional work in putting them together.

eponymousanon: Rainbow City (Default)

[personal profile] eponymousanon 2009-12-01 05:30 am (UTC)(link)
Dude!!! Congratulations, that would be like a childhood dream come true for me!!

[personal profile] feathertail 2009-12-01 05:38 am (UTC)(link)
I like the code tours.

Congrats on your first published fanfic. ~.^
tesserae: white poppies in the sun (Default)

[personal profile] tesserae 2009-12-01 05:42 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on the story!
waketosleep: signboard saying 'I have seen the truth and it doesn't make sense' (Default)

[personal profile] waketosleep 2009-12-01 05:51 am (UTC)(link)
Since the cross-site friends page has been mentioned more than once already, I would love to see this change to tag filtering implemented.
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)

[personal profile] troisroyaumes 2009-12-01 05:55 am (UTC)(link)
A "holiday gift" request that hasn't been said yet...ability to compose and save drafts! And maybe even schedule publishing. (It's kind of ironic that I don't use these features on other blogging platforms, but I want it for DW because DW is where I do the type of blogging that needs it most.)

Other requests: ability to make "post templates", keyboard shortcuts (Gmail-style "j" and "k") for scrolling through the friends page. I don't know if these have been brought up in [site community profile] dw_suggestions yet but I remember the ideas being mentioned somewhere during the closed beta stage.

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