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_news2010-09-30 11:43 pm

Weekly Update: 30 Sept

Hullo Dreamwidth! It's another week, which means it's time for another weekly update, which means you get me in your inbox. Aren't you lucky?

Behind the cut is a plethora of DW news. This week's sections are:

* Development
* Code Push
* More DW Creativity
* RIP, Vox
* DW Advocacy
* Icon Renames


This week's code tour host was Yours Truly, guiding you through a brief introduction to the 14 bugs we committed fixes for this week. Welcome this week to [personal profile] jld, who has contributed his first patch!

None of those fixes are live yet ... but they will be, which leads me to:

Code Push

We are still planning on a code push this Sunday evening (Eastern time). We'll let you know an exact time when we get closer.

The full list of fixes that will be in this code push are:

(Some of) 2010 July 23 to 2010 August 10
Aug 10 - Aug 19, 2010
20 August - 25 August
26th August - 1st Sept
1st - 8th September
9-9 to 15-9
2010 September 15 to 2010 September 21
22 Sept to 30 Sept

If you don't want to read through the full code tours, here's my collection of favorites that will be going in this push:

* Over 50 new themes and layouts to customize your journal.

* Rename tokens! You'll be able to rename your DW account to anything you want (assuming that the "anything you want" is a deleted & purged account or an unregistered account, or under your control). A full overview of the rename process can be found at the bottom of the 20 August [site community profile] dw_news update.

* Adding links to choose your page setup (ie, how many columns you want your journal to have) on the Customize Style page as well as the Select a Style page, where it is now.

* Fixes to previewing entries and comments to prevent the way that things are spaced and formatted weirdly. (I don't usually put bugfixes in this roundup, but this has been driving me stone flat insane since I first noticed it.)

* The "URL for community rules" -- which comm admins have been able to set for a while, in the Community Settings on the Manage Community page -- will now be available for all communities at a fixed URL: for [profile] examplecommunity, etc.

* Polls will be "AJAXified" -- you'll be able to submit your poll answers without having to leave the page you're on. (This was a Google Summer of Code project, and I'm so excited about it!)

* You'll be able to set a poll to "anonymous responses" -- all responses to the poll will display to you-the-poll-owner as coming from numbers, not usernames. It won't be perfect anonymity, since if someone comments right after they answer you might be able to guess who it was, but it's close! (Another GSoC result!)

* You'll be able to specify a number of tickyboxes for people to tick in a poll, so (for instance) you'll be able to say "choose no more than three answers", and the system will enforce it. (And another!)

* Various sections on the profile will have an anchor, so you'll be able to link directly to them (with, for instance,

* There'll be a "collapse cut" button at the end of an expanded cut-tag, so you can re-collapse something you've expanded once you're done with it. (And it's smart enough to fold up the cut and then bring you back straight to the bottom of where you were reading, instead of keeping you alllll the way down where the expanded cut ended, too!)

* There's been a "random icon" selector on the Post an Entry page, but with the next push, there'll be one for comments, too! It picks a random icon for you, and then lets you change it before hitting 'submit' if it isn't appropriate. (You would not want to use your "You suck and that's sad" Happy Bunny icon on a post about a death in someone's family, for instance. Or maybe you would, you sick fuck, I dunno.)

* Another bugfix that's been driving me nuts: If you made a comment in reply to another comment, and then the parent comment was deleted, you couldn't edit your comment in reply (even if it hadn't been replied to). This is a bugfix from [ profile] andy at LJ, since they had the problem too, and we are grateful to them for the bugfix!

* You'll be able to specify a default security for your remote crossposting sites, so that editing the entry locally won't change the security remotely as well. (This would only happen if your DW account was public and your remote account was locked: when you'd edit the DW entry and save it, the edit sent to the remote service would include "hey, this entry is public", and the remote security would be updated.) You'll set this on your crossposting preferences here on DW, and once you set it, the security on remote sites won't be updated to anything less permissive than the default security.

* We'll be setting the base font to all styles and layouts to 1 em. This will likely result in a change to how your journal displays -- 1 em means, in most browsers, "display in your browser's default font," but some browsers act weird. If your journal text gets huge after the code push, go to the Font tab of the Customize Journal page and select your preferred size. (If you have already set your preferred size, it shouldn't be overridden.) The reason we did this was for accessibility -- it's better to define your font size as the browser default, so that people with low vision, who have already set their default browser font to much bigger than the 'norm', can read the text.

This isn't all that will be going live in this code push -- there's tons of stuff, mostly minor bugfixes and little tweaks to make your DW experience that much better. Because of the volume of fixes going out in this code push, there might be a small amount of downtime, or some rocky moments, while we push -- but we will do our absolute best to minimize the disruption.

More DW Creativity

So, when [staff profile] mark and I started Dreamwidth, we wanted it to be a haven for creative people of all sorts. We knew that we'd mostly start with people who were writers in some fashion -- creative writing, essay writing, or people who journal about their day -- because all of the tools we had in place when we forked from LJ were concentrated on textual expression. People can find people who write things they want to read really easily on DW, thanks to our site search and the Latest Things page, but since the reading page is centered around text, it's hard to find people who are into visual arts or crafts that you'd like to see.

We do have a lot of things planned to increase the tools for all other sorts of arts and crafts -- from image hosting to expanding the definition of "reading page" so that images, video files, audio files, and more can be posted on their own instead of as part of a separate entry. (I know we've been slow to introduce them -- there's just so much we have to do!)

In the meantime, though, there are other sites out there that offer a great place to show off artwork and craft work, and I'd like to start collecting lists of DW users on those other sites (and creating DW teams or groups there) so we can show off how awesomely creative DW users are. Here are some that we've already started:

* Etsy: If you have an Etsy shop, leave the URL of your shop in comments to this entry. I'll collect them all, and every week I'll feature a Treasury collection to show off the awesomeness that is made by DW users. This week's Treasury is here: Dreamwidth Users, 9/30/10. (Disclosure: [personal profile] sarah and I are 'faultlesspajama'.) Once I see how many of you there are, I'll probably start up a "Team Dreamwidth", too, and contact everyone who's got an Etsy shop and invite you to join. (There's also [community profile] etsy here on DW for discussion of all things Etsy!)

* Artfire: If you have an Artfire shop, leave the URL in comments! I haven't explored Artfire much, but I will come up with a way to collect the DW people from there, too.

* Ravelry: If you're on Ravelry, there's a Dreamwidth Knitters group! Unfortunately, I don't believe the groups can be made public, but if you're on Ravelry already, we'd love to have you in the group.

* Flickr: If you're on Flickr, we've just started a Dreamwidth Flickr pool. Join the group, and add your photos, or just browse others' photos and revel in the awesomeness that is the creativity of DW users.

Is there an arts or crafts site out there that I'm missing? (For instance, I know that DeviantART is popular -- do they have some kind of group thing?) Let me know in the comments, and I'll start up a DW group there, with associated promo code so people stumbling across the group/pool/team/whatever can create an account if they want.


And speaking of promo codes, I'd like to take a minute to say goodbye to Vox, the (now-former) blogging platform from Six Apart. Mark and I were both working for Six Apart when they were making Vox, and a lot of the people I knew inside the company spent a lot of time and effort on trying to make Vox a success. It's a pity that we have to say goodbye to it now.

Welcome to everyone who came to Dreamwidth from Vox! I'm really sorry that we couldn't get a content import from Vox working in time to welcome you, but if you moved your content to TypePad or Wordpress, we do hope to offer import from both of those services in the future. We've had 844 accounts created from the special Vox promo code we gave out, and while I know that a lot of people were using it to move from elsewhere (not Vox in particular) or to create new journals, I've still seen enough people saying "Hey, I moved here from Vox" on the Latest Things page that I know we've had a bunch of Vox people move on over. So, welcome to you all, and I hope that DW can be a good new home for you!

DW Advocacy

And speaking of moving over to DW (my sections are blending nicely into each other this week!)...

Back when we were in closed beta, gearing up for the open beta launch, I made a page on the DW Wiki called Advocacy -- a set of guidelines for how people should promote the DW project, and the best ways to get the word out. Since then, I've linked to it here and there in the updates, but I'd like to ask everybody who talks about Dreamwidth to their friends to take a second and read it over to refresh your memory.

In the past few weeks and months, we've seen an increase in the number of people who are promoting DW as "the anti-LJ", or "better than LJ", or, in the most extreme examples, "the place you need to be because staying on LJ makes you an evil horrible person who probably kicks kittens when nobody's looking." This makes me really, really sad. I know that a lot of people have been really disappointed in the choices that LJ management have made lately, but nobody reacts well to the kind of pressure that I've seen some people using to try to get people to move to Dreamwidth, and it can cause people who haven't moved, for one reason or another, to really dig in their heels and refuse to even think about it.

Not to mention, positioning Dreamwidth entirely as "the place for disgruntled LJ users" stifles DW's growth in a lot of ways. If people think that DW is limited to LJ power users, or people who were on LJ and got fed up, that's going to turn a lot of people away. We want Dreamwidth to be a place where everyone feels welcome, no matter where they come from and what their experience is. By making a service with excellent tools for self-expression with a strong concentration on privacy and community, we think that we can appeal to everyone, not just to people who are coming from LJ -- and if you've noticed, we've been doing a lot of reaching out to populations of people who aren't from LJ, because we know that in order to survive, we need to have growth from everywhere.

So, if you want to help DW grow, the best thing to do is to tell your friends about all the positive things DW has and does -- not compare it to other services out there, and not make switching to DW into some kind of moral issue or something. (I mean, obviously we like to think that we're a moral company, but that doesn't mean that choosing to have an account here is on the level of a moral imperative!) And as a personal favor to me, I'd like to ask people to stop promoting DW so heavily in the comments to official LiveJournal communities. I've seen a lot of people on LJ saying that they'd never create an account here because of those comments, and that makes me really sad.

I'm not asking people not to promote Dreamwidth at all -- indeed, the best source of new, committed users is you guys, because when you bring your friends over, they automatically have at least one social connection, and the more social connections people have on a new-to-them service, the more likely they are to stick around! All I'm asking is for everybody to take a deep breath, think about what makes DW awesome, and tell people about that instead of telling them about how much other sites suck.

Icon Renames

As I mentioned last week, icon keyword names are temporarily disabled while we do some work to speed up the process. (It's what was partially causing the slowness and timeouts last week.) Because I've seen some confusion: you still can change the keywords on your icons, or add new keywords to your icons, on the Edit Icons page! What you can't do is make that change retroactive -- old posts and comments that use that keyword will revert to your default icon, not change to use the new keyword or icon.

We've worked out a way to speed up the whole thing, and after the next codepush, we'll be making the conversion. It will involve a brief period of read-only mode for each account as we make the change. We'll keep you up to date in [site community profile] dw_maintenance.


That's it for us for another week! 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.

And, finally, since this week is a celebration of DW users' creativity, I leave you with the DW logo woven out of seed beads -- or icon-sized -- by [personal profile] weaverbird aka Weaverbird Beads. She says the icon's free for the taking, with credit to Weaverbird!

We'll see you next week for our next update.
fu: Close-up of Fu, bringing a scoop of water to her mouth (Default)

[personal profile] fu 2010-10-01 06:41 am (UTC)(link)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
luciferous: ([misc] more lives is more fun)

[personal profile] luciferous 2010-10-01 06:54 am (UTC)(link)
Collapse button at the bottom of expanded cuts = SQUEEEEE

...And other shiny things as well, but that's the one I'm going to find the most immediately useful 8D;
lobster: (Default)

[personal profile] lobster 2010-10-01 12:21 pm (UTC)(link)
I agree, this is a very exciting feature :D
chronographia: airship from Tonight, Tonight's excellent tribute to Melies video (airship)

[personal profile] chronographia 2010-10-01 07:02 am (UTC)(link)
This is all pretty awesome, but I'm super excited to integrate my presence on other online places like Ravelry and Etsy! (I mean, other than a plain old link on my profile page.) Wooo!
weaverbird: beadwoven in peyote stitch with 11/0 seed beads (Dreamwidth Logo by Weaverbird)

[personal profile] weaverbird 2010-10-01 08:05 am (UTC)(link)
I *love* your hats! Wow.

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auroraprimavera: Michelle Monaghan (Default)

[personal profile] auroraprimavera 2010-10-01 07:04 am (UTC)(link)
I am very excited about all the changes. OH YAY \o/ And I'm more than willing to put up with a little bit of downtime to get all this awesomeness.

And thanks for mentioning the Advocacy thing - I've been saddened by seeing that as well.
enotsola: (Default)

[personal profile] enotsola 2010-10-01 07:05 am (UTC)(link)
I'm probably guilty of the "DW > LJ" thing myself. Partially because you see some of the drama there (staff actions that supposedly happened, I'm not involved so I can't say either way) and compare that to DW folk, and it really is hard not to saw "<3 DW!!!!1shiftone"

Expanding on that a little though, I think more than anything else, why I say Dreamwidth wins is the community. I can read a news post here and see positive comments! You don't need to position someone as a buffer to keep the users from making the devs cry. I think that is a HUGE step up from a lot of places, not just LJ.

When I do make comparisons though, I try to keep them strictly technical. Subscribe/Access vs Friends is probably the big selling point. The fact you all rock usually comes up, but not until the end. And in [staff profile] mark's case, he really does. Stupid making me feel like I such at Rock Band. Alas!

I'll try in the future to keep my promotion of dreamwidth to just saying "so they do this, and this!" instead of "well, unlike LJ who does thing, DW does this!"

[personal profile] feathertail 2010-10-01 07:14 am (UTC)(link)
I do tend to feel DW's targetted at LJ power users, just because it's got a really complex interface that LJers are in the best position to understand. >.>b Well, that and a lot of the suggestions I see in the suggestions community are of the "Make power users' lives easier" kind.

Since it's power users making those suggestions, though, that might help explain things ... and since I don't see what's going on behind the scenes, I don't know what else is planned that would make things cooler for non-power users unless it is mentioned here.

I like the summary that [staff profile] denise gave ... a place where everyone is welcome to share their creativity, with good privacy and a strong community. I'd add principled, enthusiastic leadership to that, along with a passionate userbase. And I'm happy to welcome the newbies from Vox.

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fangirlism: (Default)

[personal profile] fangirlism 2010-10-01 07:07 am (UTC)(link)
deviantArt does have a group system (I'm *aeiouna over there, by the way! Mostly cross stitch and fractal art, with some writing and photography as well.)]

I also happen to be aeiouna on Flickr, and will be joining the DW pool. Yay!

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mommy: Arshtat; Suikoden V (Laugh like you mean it.)

[personal profile] mommy 2010-10-01 07:10 am (UTC)(link)
I've been using the expand-cut option a lot more than I thought I would, and a collapse option seems like a very sensible thing to put with it. I'll probably put it to a lot of use in the near future, so thank you for providing it.

I also appreciate the accessibility improvements. The DW team's attention to accessibility issues is one of the biggest reasons for using DW as my primary journaling site these days.
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)

[personal profile] musyc 2010-10-01 07:11 am (UTC)(link)
(You would not want to use your "You suck and that's sad" Happy Bunny icon on a post about a death in someone's family, for instance. Or maybe you would, you sick fuck, I dunno.)

So if THEMGMT makes a user spit coffee down their shirt, should that go to feedback, suggestions, or support? :D

All I'm asking is for everybody to take a deep breath, think about what makes DW awesome, and tell people about that instead of telling them about how much other sites suck.


Bug 2879: Collapse Cut button at end of cut
*sparkly eyes of glee*

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blueraccoon: (Default)

[personal profile] blueraccoon 2010-10-01 07:11 am (UTC)(link)
Is there an arts or crafts site out there that I'm missing?

The one I know of that's not listed up there is, which is like Etsy but apparently charges lower fees for artists. My iWife [personal profile] sanders has a jewelry site over there.
sanders: (Default)

[personal profile] sanders 2010-10-01 07:39 am (UTC)(link)
Christ, woman. Always having to beat me to the punch. And you're right, the fees are lower (ie no listing fee, and fees based solely on what's sold).

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trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (NaNo One Good Word)

[personal profile] trouble 2010-10-01 07:16 am (UTC)(link)
Will you soon be changing the "latest thing" ... clicky at the top of the page thingy (ooh, technical, but it's right after 4 a.m. here) that says "world cup" to NaNo?

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afropuffchan: (Default)

[personal profile] afropuffchan 2010-10-01 07:42 am (UTC)(link)
expanding the definition of "reading page" so that images, video files, audio files, and more can be posted on their own instead of as part of a separate entry

Similar to Tumblr, or will this be something a little different?
kerravonsen: (Default)

[personal profile] kerravonsen 2010-10-01 07:47 am (UTC)(link)
I've seen a lot of people on LJ saying that they'd never create an account here because of those comments, and that makes me really sad.
Yes. This.

Two of my friends on LJ swear they will never ever come over to Dreamwidth because "Dreamwidth users mob and attack people who they don't like" and "Dreamwidth users are smug and self-righteous and holier-than-thou", and nothing I can do can change their minds.

Bad impressions linger. Bad behaviour is never forgotten.
juliet316: (DW: Um... awkward much Ten?)

[personal profile] juliet316 2010-10-01 08:01 am (UTC)(link)
Sadly this. I understand some of the 'mobbing' that's been done in recent weeks is in part a knee jerk reaction to LJ's asshattery, (the fact that they banned a user from their [ profile] news comm as well as their other offical comms for being vocal about their asshattery didn't do them any favors), but yeah, the 'either you're either with me or against me' and 'LJ's a sinking ship, why would you want to stay?' (and I've been guilty of the latter a time or two myself), really does turn people off. That combined with the lack of similar comms that are on LJ (which many of us are trying tor rectify; in either making the comms here more active or creating similar comms) are going to make some dig their heels. Best to play up what's here and entice them to make things more active here than to play the Doomsday card or make them feel they have to make an 'either or' choice.

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hypatia: (Default)

[personal profile] hypatia 2010-10-01 08:00 am (UTC)(link)
i'm stoked to see the GSoC code getting integrated so quickly - this is a really awesome achievement :D

[personal profile] andy 2010-10-01 08:14 am (UTC)(link)
Yay patches going downstream!

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jadesfire: Bright yellow flower (Default)

[personal profile] jadesfire 2010-10-01 08:15 am (UTC)(link)
Ooh, shiny pretty links :) Can I just check - is the Rav group for knitters only, or crocheters too? No worries either way, but I just wanted to check whether or not I'll be able to make sense of what's going on there!

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jane: (D - Heart!)

[personal profile] jane 2010-10-01 08:29 am (UTC)(link)
So much awesome! Thank y'all for all your hard work! ^___^ ♥

Ooh! DW Etsy team! \o/ I'm bleaknimue on etsy. I'm so happy to see visual art stuff coming up! yey! ^__^)b

and fyi, Deviant Art started a group thing recently, but I've been too busy to look at it closely. I've heard good things, though?
navaan: (Chucks)

[personal profile] navaan 2010-10-01 08:38 am (UTC)(link)
I can't wait for all the changes. Some of the things I didn't even know I wanted until I read about them.

I have to admit that before I came I was a little skeptical about DW myself, because I mostly saw the name pop up in exactly the context you described. Later I thought "Why not at least look around?" and tried it anyway. Then I found it to be a great place to be and I really hope more people just make the experience without first having doubts about it.

There is so much here that is fantastic and we should all emphasise that.
moonvoice: (calm - snow white and rose red)

[personal profile] moonvoice 2010-10-01 08:45 am (UTC)(link)
Yay Etsy! You can find some of my visual art here:

jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)

[personal profile] jumpuphigh 2010-10-01 09:09 am (UTC)(link)
It's another week, which means it's time for another weekly update, which means you get me in your inbox. Aren't you lucky?

So very lucky!!!!!
gwaihiril: "Gwaihiril, Lady of the Wind", photo of an eagle (Default)

[personal profile] gwaihiril 2010-10-01 09:34 am (UTC)(link)
I won't lie, there are tons and tons of awesome things mentioned in this week's update, but because I was reading it on my reading page by uncollapsing the cut tag that was there, I'm really excited for the "collapse cut" button at the end of expanded cuts. And the new themes and layouts - I keep saying I'll make my own when I have free time, but of course I never have free time. So I'm excited to see what other people are doing!
fulmar: (Sparkler)

[personal profile] fulmar 2010-10-01 09:41 am (UTC)(link)
"Not to mention, positioning Dreamwidth entirely as "the place for disgruntled LJ users" stifles DW's growth in a lot of ways"

I am so glad you mentioned this. It was the exact thing that made me hesitate about moving my website here so it's good to see DW is trying to grow its own community (with encouragement for non-fannish activities as well).

[personal profile] sunshiny 2010-10-01 09:45 am (UTC)(link)
As usual this post is made of win. I just love DW!
elialshadowpine: (Default)

[personal profile] elialshadowpine 2010-10-01 09:50 am (UTC)(link)
Oooo. Some awesome changes this week. I'm particularly looking forward to checking out the new layouts and themes!

Thank you for addressing the LJ issue. I came here earlier in the month when the latest LJ privacy fail happened, since a decent amount of my friends list either left or was talking about leaving, and I bought a paid account after reading some of your weekly updates, guiding principles, and diversity statement.

But, I very nearly didn't. I've been on LJ since 2003, and I've seen a lot of drama. I've seen people move every time to different journal systems like JournalFen, InsaneJournal, GreatestJournal, and Dreamwidth being the latest. Frankly, it gets old having people pressure you to dump something you're emotionally attached to because they've become disillusioned. Not to dismiss people's concerns, because there have definitely been very major, real issues brought up over the years, but people IMO swing too far towards vilification. And it can spread from not only the service, but to people using the service. I hate seeing that.

I think DW is all kinds of awesome and wish more folks would give it a shot, and I've talked about some of the positive things I like about you guys over on my LJ. In particular, there was a comment thread on a recent weekly update about accessibility and consideration for users with migraines. I have NEVER, EVER, EVER seen a web development company bring up concerns about making their product accessible for people with migraines, and as someone who has had them on a 3-5 a week basis... I cannot say how much I love you guys for that. Words just simply do not express.

It's stuff like that, that made me decide that I would rather support you guys as a company. I'd rather support a company that cares about its users, than a company that seems to want to drift in the direction of Facebook.

But, users bullying and guilt tripping do no favors. It took me awhile to check out DW because of it, and I myself know people who have said they have no intention of checking it out because they're tired of being made to feel like a bad person for using the LJ service. And I think it's entirely reasonable to feel that way.

So, um. To close this utterly long comment that probably makes no sense whatsoever (... this is what happens when I write comments with a migraine -_-)... thank you for being aware of the issue, and thank you for addressing it. I don't hold you guys in any way responsible for what your users are saying, but it is nice to know you don't support the bullying/etc. <3

[personal profile] madelienegrey 2010-10-01 02:02 pm (UTC)(link)
This comment, long or not, made me smile. I have a lot of similar feelings.

Migraine accessibility?

[personal profile] zdashamber - 2010-10-01 18:45 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Migraine accessibility?

[personal profile] delight - 2010-10-01 18:57 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Migraine accessibility?

[personal profile] foxfirefey - 2010-10-01 20:00 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Migraine accessibility?

[personal profile] niqaeli - 2010-10-01 20:13 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Migraine accessibility?

[personal profile] jumpuphigh - 2010-10-01 22:06 (UTC) - Expand
weaverbird: beadwoven in peyote stitch with 11/0 seed beads (Dreamwidth Logo by Weaverbird)

[personal profile] weaverbird 2010-10-01 10:02 am (UTC)(link)
Yay for creativity on DW! There are so many artisans here and this will bring in more - always a good thing.

Thanks for linking to the logo. *g* If any beadworkers out there are interested, I have a PDF of the bead chart plus word chart for it, and I'm happy to share. Just contact me with an email addy and I'll send it along.
linaelyn: (Linny sunshine)

[personal profile] linaelyn 2010-10-02 12:01 am (UTC)(link)
It's gorgeous piece you made! Well done.

(no subject)

[personal profile] weaverbird - 2010-10-02 07:11 (UTC) - Expand
tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)

[personal profile] tajasel 2010-10-01 10:02 am (UTC)(link)
This code push is the one that has excited me most so far <3

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