mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
Mark Smith ([staff profile] mark) wrote in [site community profile] dw_news2010-02-16 12:37 pm

Weekly Update: February 16th, 2010

Time for the weekly update! It's late this week because I was out with some friends yesterday and didn't get home until late, sorry about that. This week we bring you more information on cross-site reading and some updates on what's been going on around here in Dreamwidth land.

1. Cross-Site Reading



I'll cover this first since it seems to be a well received topic when mentioned last week. This is sort of scattershot facts, feedback is welcome.

* The feature is going to be a paid user feature, because of how much data we have to store and the load I expect it to place on our servers.

* We will only download new entries every 60 minutes (this may change). This means that, when you view your reading page on Dreamwidth, we only contact remote sites every ~60 minutes to ask for new entries.

(If you typically view your reading page and refresh it every 30 seconds to see if there are new entries, it won't work that way with cross-site reading. This 60 minutes might change when we see how many people are using the feature, but this is the main way that we are able to control how often we hit remote sites. If we hit them too often, then they'll ban us for being bots/bad/broken/etc. If we wait too long, we could miss entries.)

* Technically, we can only load the most recent 100 entries from the remote site. This is a limitation of the protocol, it only allows us to get recent items. Skipping back indefinitely won't work. However, if there never get to skip=100 on your reading usually, this won't affect you.

* Comment counts will be updated every time we download entries, but it could be up to an hour out of date. The same goes with edited entries; if we download entries, we won't be able to tell that they were edited until the next time we pull (next hour).

* We only download entries while you're browsing the site. In short, whenever you view a page on Dreamwidth (any page), we will update your reading page with remote entries if it's been more than an hour.

In effect, this feature will work best for average users. If you only watch 200-300 accounts and get fewer than 200-300 new entries a day on your remote reading/friends pages, you will find that this feature works pretty well for you. On the other hand, if you've maxed out your subscriptions and the people you read post hundreds of posts every few hours, you will probably not find this feature too useful.

Okay, with the technicals out of the way, let's discuss privacy. Since we're downloading entries for people that don't use Dreamwidth, privacy is a really tough question here and one we finally think we have a good answer for.

Downloaded entries are only viewable to the person who is using the cross-site reading feature.

That's the rule, and it is pretty simple. We will not show entries to anybody except the person who we downloaded them for. Even if it's a public entry; you will never be able to see it on the site unless you are logged in to the account that has cross-site reading turned on and subscribes to that account on the remote site.

Further, we will not allow any interaction with the entry on Dreamwidth. They can be viewed, but that's about it -- you can't add them to memories, bookmark, comment on, edit, or anything. It's a read-only view.

Lastly, entries are only stored for two weeks. At that point we remove them from our servers completely. (Similar to syndicated feeds.)


2. Weekly Community Participation Meme



I've seen a meme floating about Dreamwidth since yesterday that I really like. It's about community participation and was originated by [personal profile] rydra_wong:

http://rydra-wong.dreamwidth.org/197790.html

In short, people who say 'DW is too quiet' can solve the problem by actually making it louder! If we all take a bit of time out of our week to post to a community about something we find interesting, we'll build them up and work towards being the kind of place people want to gather.

For this week, [staff profile] denise recommends [community profile] poetry for all of your poetical needs. [personal profile] zarhooie further mentioned [community profile] selfportraitweekly as a new community that is just getting off the ground and could use some participation, too.

If you have your own suggestions, leave them in the comments!


3. Community Imports



A lot of people have asked us about importing communities from remote sites. We've been doing this manually until now, but we are at the point where we want to start opening this up to everybody.

A bug has been filed to make the importer work for communities for everybody. There will be some guidelines (you must be a maintainer, you should get permission of your community first), but we will no longer be manually vetting every community that gets imported.

This is made possible because of all the OpenID changes we made to allow users of other services to actually maintain their entries in communities: delete them, moderate comments, etc. Now that these users have the tools they need to actually maintain their entries, we feel confident opening up the community import tools.

Please keep an eye on the weekly updates for more information about when this comes to fruition.


4. Latest Posts - Olympics!



The 2010 Winter Olympics are going! We've added a feed to the Latest Things tracker that will let you find posts related to the Olympics:

http://www.dreamwidth.org/latest?feed=olympics

Keep in mind this feed only updates when someone makes a post, so it looks a little barren right now (I just made it!) but should fill up as people post things.


5. Suggestions Update



[staff profile] denise wanted me to mention that our suggestions process has reached another milestone. We just passed 400 suggestions that have gone through the process, and the breakdown of results is:

* 86 (21%) suggestions rejected due to impracticality, community disapproval, or not being what we want for Dreamwidth
* 24 (6%) deferred for later review (read, [staff profile] denise and I sitting down and hashing them out)
* 221 (54.7%) in Bugzilla waiting for implementation
* 73 (18%) have been implemented

So, ~40% of suggestions have been resolved one way or another, and ~60% are still waiting for resolution. I feel this is a good ratio! I don't expect us to ever implement every single good idea people have (if only we had the developers to do that!) but to know that we're making progress on them and actually getting things done that users suggest is a good sign.


6. Update Page Redesign



This is a big issue and we want to start getting everybody thinking about it now. [staff profile] denise has spent a lot of time (a LOT of time) on working on the update page. She's been putting together wireframes, researching other blogging tools, showing designs to people, and iterating. She's getting to the point where the wireframes can move to the next step, so let me take a minute to tell you what's going on.

In short, we're going to change the "metaphor" that represents posting to your account. Right now, the post interaction metaphor is akin to a "neverending scroll". You write an entry, post it, and that's that. If you want to edit it, you edit the "last entry" or you have to look around the scroll to find what you want to edit.

Similarly, if you want to create a draft, it only stores what you're writing at the newest end of said scroll. One item, there until you either rip it off or commit it. This metaphor has worked for a while, but it's not going to support the new functionality that we want to add to the system.

The new metaphor [staff profile] denise has been working on is in the wireframe stage right now. What we're going to do next is create a mockup (a small, non-functional preview) that you will be able to interact with. You will be able to get a feel for how it looks, how we want it to work, and then provide feedback.

Once feedback is received, we'll update the mockup and do another round of review on it. "Okay, this is what you told us about the first mockup, how do you like the second?" That process can repeat as many times as necessary, but at some point it will be considered done and we'll move to a full implementation of it.

One thing to note now: we will not be supporting the 'old update page' AND a 'new update page'. Once we've gone through the community review and gotten the mockup to a good place and implemented it, that will be the only update page.

Hopefully by telling you about this in the weekly update and in advance, we can make this process relatively painless. I know it will be a big change for everybody, and there will certainly be some people who prefer the old page, but I hope we can convince you with the great functionality the new metaphor will provide.

Stay tuned!


7. Long Update is Long



This is probably the longest update I've written in quite some time, but we've now reached the end. Yes, I didn't do a development update section this week, focusing instead on bigger items. Next week we'll dive into the development of the past two weeks and see how things are going.

Thanks to all of you for being part of the Dreamwidth community. See you next week!
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2010-02-16 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Further, we will not allow any interaction with the entry on Dreamwidth. They can be viewed, but that's about it -- you can't add them to memories, bookmark, comment on, edit, or anything. It's a read-only view.

Still excited about this featured, but...will there be links to the original comments page on the other server? Honestly, I would not be interested in this feature if I had to separately go search for the original post to comment.

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katieastrophe: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)

[personal profile] katieastrophe 2010-02-16 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Meep, if I'd known you were doing this sooner I'd have asked you to plug this: http://uk.dreamwidth.org/3846.html - maybe next week?

Also, yay for, well, all of this \o/

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elfin: image:  olivia;  text: invincible (Default)

[personal profile] elfin 2010-02-16 08:51 pm (UTC)(link)
The update page redesign sounds really interesting! Can't wait to see what Denise has been doing with it.
kiwikiwi: (Default)

[personal profile] kiwikiwi 2010-02-16 09:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the info!
msilverstar: (corset)

[personal profile] msilverstar 2010-02-16 09:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Possibly random, but in my reading page, I don't see your icon, I see:

[staff profile] mark posting
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2010-02-16 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
That would be the image not loading, and the very useful alt text filling in. Haven't a clue why the image wouldn't be loading, though, as the possibilities are legion.
chaosraven: Chopper (Default)

[personal profile] chaosraven 2010-02-16 09:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Sort of tangential to [personal profile] rydra_wong's meme: isn't there a community for promoting communities? I can't remember the name of it at all but for the comms I moderate, actual subscribers are more of an issue for seldomness of posts.

Also, I'm really looking forward to what you guys come up with for the new update page. EXCITING.
rydra_wong: "dreamwidth" on green/red background (dreamwidth -- green)

[personal profile] rydra_wong 2010-02-16 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
[site community profile] dw_community_promo? There's also the Wiki Community List.

And some people are using the Follow Friday meme to rec comms they love.

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flick: (Default)

[personal profile] flick 2010-02-16 09:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Cross-site reading sounds interesting, and probably-viable, for which yay.

Quick question: will it work off the whole FL of the other site, or will it be possible to use a filter (and which way will it go with LJ's Default View filter)?
noxie: friendly girl smiling (Default)

[personal profile] noxie 2010-02-17 09:41 am (UTC)(link)
I'd like to know this as well. Reading filters would be very cool. I have a *lot* of people friended on LJ whose LJs I don't read (yay for access/subscription on DW, which is so much better), and if all these entries showed up on my cross-site-reading page... that would not be of the good.

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sharpest_asp: Head shot of Black Canary of DC Comics (General: Dreamwidth)

[personal profile] sharpest_asp 2010-02-16 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
You, all of you from you to Denise to your support at home, need a HUGE pat on the back.

I am looking forward to the vetting process on the update page.

[personal profile] rydra_wong's community meme is, I think, already showing dividends.

Looking forward to seeing just what is in store in future weeks for my internet "home".

[personal profile] feathertail 2010-02-16 09:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm a little dismayed that cross-site reading lists only work for paid members. On the other hand, Dreamwidth is awesome already, and I don't mind the idea of adding more awesome that only works for subscribers. It increases the chances DW will still be around in 10 years. ^.^

I wasn't aware that posts from syndicated feeds only hung around for 2 weeks ... drat, I'd already added some of them to Memories I think. I may have linked to them in my entries even. Oh well, I'll make sure to link to the originals from now on, like I should've.
zarhooie: Girl on a blueberry bramble looking happy. Text: Kat (Default)

[personal profile] zarhooie 2010-02-17 03:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I think Dreamwidth is limiting this feature to paid users because of the load on the database.

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[personal profile] kishenehn 2010-02-16 09:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I know I'm risking incineration by posting this comment here, but I feel very strongly about this and feel the need to say it.

I'm still on LJ, with no imminent plans to move to Dreamwidth ... and to put it bluntly, I don't want my material read over here. I want it read on LJ, where I interact with people and people interact with me, and where the commenting and dialogue takes place. Posting that material over here will be a disincentive to that dialogue, and that interaction is the reason why I blog. I know that you have a rationale that disagrees with that, but my journal is my intellectual property -- and whether or not this is a legal infringement on that intellectual property, in my mind its clearly an ethical infringement.

If your professed devotion to the privacy and personal rights of internet users is anything more than a sham, you'll make this an opt-in feature for the users of other blogging platforms. And if that professed devotion is a just sham, well -- you won't.
sky: (Default)

[personal profile] sky 2010-02-16 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
They've already said up there that there will be no commenting, memorying, etc. on Dreamwidth's end, that people will have to go to the originating site for any of that. I don't think there's any chance of dialogue on your posts being fragmented by people choosing to read from over here, since if they want to talk to you they still have to go to your LJ.

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anatsuno: a women reads, skeptically (drawing by Kate Beaton) (Default)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2010-02-16 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh, I must have missed something about the management of comments by OpenId IDs! I have to check that out.

All this is pretty damn exciting, man. Wow.
anatsuno: a women reads, skeptically (drawing by Kate Beaton) (Default)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2010-02-16 09:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Hm. When I log in with OpenID I don't see where to find the comments I've made to manage them - apart from a very short list in 'recent comments' - I'm okay with that because I have no intention of changing them in any way, personally, but I thought what you said about how this management being possible was key to allowing the import of communities meant it was really possible? *confused*
Possibly I have to go read Help pages, ha. Don't mind me...

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watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)

[personal profile] watersword 2010-02-16 09:19 pm (UTC)(link)
There is nothing in this post that makes me regret giving DW my money and quite a lot that makes me feel smug about doing so. Well fucking done!
sarken: leaves of mint against a worn wall (Default)

[personal profile] sarken 2010-02-16 09:41 pm (UTC)(link)
I cannot second this comment hard enough. Damn, I'm good at spending money. ;D

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echoweaver: (Default)

[personal profile] echoweaver 2010-02-16 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
I am one of those users who is jumping up and down about cross-site reading!

I've searched help about this, and I wanted to ask someplace -- is there any existing hook or plan for a hook to allow me to get a secure RSS feed of my friend list? LiveJournal has a semi-supported display style that formats the reading page into an RSS feed. This is different from being able to subscribe to friends individually as RSS feeds.
cesy: Unofficial Dreamwidth volunteer (Dreamwidth volunteer)

[personal profile] cesy 2010-02-21 12:25 pm (UTC)(link)
If you don't get a response here, you might want to try submitting a support request, as that's less likely to get missed.
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2010-02-16 09:31 pm (UTC)(link)
When entries are grabbed from LJ to show up on your DW flist, what order will they show up in? Will they show up in the posting order as they would on your flist normally, or will they show up in the order of when they're grabbed from LJ? Because if they're only grabbed every hour, but are shown in chronological order of when they're posted on LJ, that would make reading your flist really difficult as you'd never know if new entries had shown up mixed in with the stuff you've already read.
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 2010-02-16 09:36 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a very good point.

I suspect it might work the same way as syndicated feeds work - entries will show up in the order at which they were entered in to the Dreamwidth database, not the entry date. In fact, I can't see it happening any other way, really.

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spudtater: (Default)

[personal profile] spudtater 2010-02-16 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Hurrah! This is the feature I was waiting for. I'm not at all upset about having to get a paid account, because I was going to switch to a paid account once this was implemented, anyway!

Let us know when it's ready to go!
helens78: A man in a leather jacket, seated on the ground, looks up hopefully. (Default)

[personal profile] helens78 2010-02-16 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
#1 sounds really good to me. There still seem to be some questions about exactly how this will look once it's implemented, but I am definitely excited about it!

#6 sounds amazingly exciting. I'm just hoping the actual URL for posting new entries won't change; it is probably silly and curmudgeonly of me, but I like the cleanness of http://dreamwidth.org/update and would hate to end up with http://dreamwidth.org/newfancyupdate instead!
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 2010-02-16 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
I know that there's going to be an URL change to /post, *but* there's going to be a redirect and that's going to take place before the new update page anyway, I think.
chagrined: Marvel comics: zombie!Spider-Man, holding playing cards, saying "Brains?" (brains?)

[personal profile] chagrined 2010-02-16 10:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Metaphors are exciting. I shall anticipate the reveal.

[personal profile] ex_bel786 2010-02-16 10:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Excellent news all around. Thank you for all your hard work!
ardhra: Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes, with a feather fascinator in her hair and a colourful drape (Default)

[personal profile] ardhra 2010-02-16 10:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh, so saving drafts is close to being implemented!? I don't know what to be more excited about!
vangirl: (Default)

[personal profile] vangirl 2010-02-16 10:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I am SO EXCITED for cross-site reading! This will make following my LJ friends so much easier! \o/
aveleh: Close up picture of a vibrantly coloured lime (Default)

[personal profile] aveleh 2010-02-16 10:37 pm (UTC)(link)
That sounds super exciting; congrats :)

Based on other comments, I'm just wondering if there's a planned format for how cross-site entries are displayed. That is, for LJ/DW based sites, can it be based on that journal's RSS settings? It makes it a little less convienient for us as readers, but I think that then best fits privacy concerns (aka, it would show exactly the same thing as using an authenticated feed reader). Although maybe a little fancier than just what the RSS feed would show, because I would want cuts to be preserved instead of full entries. But those "title only" users wouldn't have their content stored, but their readers would still have notification on DW of entries and comments.
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2010-02-16 11:07 pm (UTC)(link)
That is, for LJ/DW based sites, can it be based on that journal's RSS settings? It makes it a little less convienient for us as readers, but I think that then best fits privacy concerns (aka, it would show exactly the same thing as using an authenticated feed reader).

+1 to this question!

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ilyena_sylph: rainbow over a fescue pasture, midsummer (Photos: country rainbow)

[personal profile] ilyena_sylph 2010-02-16 11:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Y'all are so damn awesome, I can not even.

ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)

[personal profile] ursamajor 2010-02-16 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
This update? Amazing. ♥♥♥ bigtime. Especially #1 and #6, but all of it is good.
camomiletea: (Default)

[personal profile] camomiletea 2010-02-16 11:37 pm (UTC)(link)
What is the new metaphor if it's not a secret? Did I miss it in the entry? Sounds exciting, by the way.
the_future_modernes: (Default)

[personal profile] the_future_modernes 2010-02-17 12:31 am (UTC)(link)
community importing will now be allowed? great!

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