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_news2010-10-29 01:45 am

Weekly Update: 29 October 2010

Hello, Dreamwidth! This week I bring you personal news: my wife and I are buying a house. (It's a pretty awesome house.) This is going to mean a change in the address where you send check/money order payments and other DW-related mail, but I will update you all when that actually happens! (We need to figure out which post office is the most convenient, for PO box obtaining.)

In the meantime, here's this week's update on the news that isn't about my life. Behind the cut we have:

* Development
* V-Gifts
* Code Push
* Styles stuff
* Styles poll
* Accessibility needs survey
* NaNoWriMo
* DW Community


This week we resolved 18 bugs. They were mostly styles-related -- both display fixes and new themes -- with an assortment of bugfixes from last week's code push. Welcome this week goes to new theme contributor [personal profile] musyc! This week's code tour was done by [personal profile] bookofjude, who didn't duck fast enough in irc when I was looking for someone to do it. (It's his first, too.)

There was one huuuuuuge thing committed this week, though, which leads me to:


This week, after six months of hard work, [personal profile] kareila's patch for the v-gifts backend was finally committed. This means that we're very close to having v-gifts available for you to purchase and send to your friends! For those who don't know, v-gifts are small images you can buy and customize with your own message. They'll then be delivered to your recipient, who will have the choice to accept or reject the gift.

We patterned our v-gift implementation on LiveJournal's, but it's entirely new code -- since LJ's version of it isn't open source -- and so there are a few changes. First of all, the recipient will be able to choose whether or not to accept and display the vgift -- they won't automatically be delivered. (You'll also be able to set your preferences to refuse all v-gifts by default, if you'd like.) There's also something I find really interesting: the ability for you all to make your own v-gifts. You'll be able to send those custom v-gifts to your friends, and you'll also be able to mark them as "for site-wide use" -- an admin will look over them and make sure they're okay and that you've given us permission to use the images (and that the images are your own), and then make them available for purchase and use by everyone. I'm really excited about that part of it!

It will still be a little while until we have the frontend -- aka the parts y'all see -- finished, since we want to really hammer on the backend and make sure it's rock-solid first. But this means that we're on the lookout for more v-gift art! If you have something you want to submit as a potential site-wide v-gift, we want to see it.

If you'd like to contribute a vgift for consideration, it should come in two versions: one that's roughly userpic-sized (100x100 maximum) and one that's larger-sized (300x300 maximum). Artwork should be submitted in PNG format or as a vector graphic and should be done on a transparent background. We'll ask you to sign and send in a Contributor Licensing Agreement: you will retain the rights to your work, but this document gives us a licence to use and redistribute your work as part of the Dreamwidth project. You must be able to certify that you own the rights to the image you send in -- in other words, you can't use someone else's artwork as part of yours unless it's in the public domain or the creator has explicitly signed over the rights to the work to you.

If you have something that suits, send it to denise @!

Code Push

In keeping with our desire to do more frequent code pushes, we will be doing one tomorrow! The goal is for it to occur around 1200 PHT / 0400 UTC / 2200 PDT, but it all depends on when [personal profile] fu has time in her morning. (We wouldn't want her to do a code push improperly caffeinated!)

This code push will include all the fixes in the above code tour. (Some of them are already live, since they were emergency fixes for last week's code push.) It will involve a brief downtime while we update.

As always, keep an eye on [site community profile] dw_maintenance and our offsite Twitter status page for details on when things will be starting.

Styles stuff

If you've been getting an error while previewing entries since last week's code push, you can fix it by recompiling your layout layer. Detailed instructions in [site community profile] dw_styles.

Meanwhile, if you've been looking for a new style, but browsing through the style browser isn't doing it for you, check out the unofficial prototype style browser that [personal profile] foxfirefey made, and leave feedback for her there. We'd like to bring it on-site and make it official once we've gotten some feedback from you guys!

Styles poll

Speaking of styles, a few weeks ago we ran a poll for the new default style for newly-created accounts. New layout Practicality won for the layout to be used as default, and this week we're running a followup poll to see which theme should get that honor!

The winner of this poll will be used for the default for newly-created accounts for around the next 3-6 months. It will not change any existing accounts -- even if you haven't changed your layout from the default at the time of your account creation, it won't change your journal layout. This will just be used for newly-created accounts.

Pick which theme you like best:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 513

Which Practicality theme should be used as default?

View Answers

Cherry Blossoms
50 (9.7%)

Choco Craze
17 (3.3%)

Neutral Good
215 (41.9%)

Night Light
56 (10.9%)

Poppy Fields
79 (15.4%)

96 (18.7%)

(And, a reminder: if you have a layout or a color theme for an existing layout that you'd like to submit as a site theme, you can do that in [site community profile] dreamscapes!)

Accessibility Needs Survey

I'm giving a talk at this year's Linux Conf Australia on web accessibility best practices, and as part of that I'd like to gather as much data as possible. If you have accessibility needs, please take a minute and fill out this accessibility survey in [site community profile] dw_accessibility -- it's pretty quick, and the more data I have, the more I can get open-source web developers thinking about helpful accessibility work!


It's that time of the year ... November, when everyone starts frantically typing at the stroke of midnight on November 1. Yes, it's National Novel Writing Month ... again. (I swear it was just yesterday.)

Check out the NaNo forums for our offer for users who are new to Dreamwidth! We're still pondering what we can do for our existing users who win NaNo this year. For support on this crazy journey, there's the [community profile] nano_writers community. And, this year any post tagged 'nano', 'nanowrimo', 'writing: nanowrimo", "nanowrimo2010", "nanowrimo10", "nano10", or "nnwm10" will appear on the nanowrimo tag feed of the Latest Things.

If you want to show off your NaNoWriMo pride, after tomorrow's code push there will be several NaNo themes, both using the NaNo colors and the NaNo participant badge. Look for the themes titled "NNWM".

Good luck to all of our DW NaNovelists! (...I still haven't decided what I'm writing this year.)

DW Community

* Check out this week's Etsy treasury of DW users' crafts!

* The Dreamwidth Flickr pool is going strong. My favorite photo this week is this leopard portrait -- so gorgeous! If you're on Flickr, why not add some photos of your own?

* [personal profile] old_man_of_hoy is creating a master list of community master lists, so if you've got a list of communities for your hobby/interest/fandom/etc, drop a link there. (Or browse around and see if there's anything nifty!)

* And speaking of communities, don't forget about [site community profile] dw_community_promo, for promoting your communities, as well as the unofficial [community profile] create_my_comm for when you've got a great idea for a community but you don't want to be the admin yourself.


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.

We'll see you next week for our next update. In which I will probably freak out about the fact that somebody out there thinks that I'm enough of a grownup to be allowed to buy a house.
soc_puppet: Words "Language Barrier" in yellow (Language Barrier)

[personal profile] soc_puppet 2010-10-29 07:19 am (UTC)(link)
Neutral Good! Practicality! ♥_♥ Even if I didn't love the way that layout looked, I'd totally have considered it for the name. *goes to switch*

...Tigers come with spots now?
napple: (stock; musee de louvre)

[personal profile] napple 2010-10-29 07:21 am (UTC)(link)
Voted for Neutral Good, since you can't really go wrong with black and white and I sense it's the least likely to get complained about. I really adore Poppy Fields and Warmth, though; they're all beautiful themes.
msilverstar: (corset)

[personal profile] msilverstar 2010-10-29 11:10 am (UTC)(link)
+1 - the others don't have nearly enough contrast to be good defaults

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[personal profile] elle - 2010-10-30 06:36 (UTC) - Expand
mrs_tribble: (Default)

[personal profile] mrs_tribble 2010-10-29 07:25 am (UTC)(link)
Congrats on the house buying - I hope it all goes as smoothly as possible for you :)
markmanching: (Default)

[personal profile] markmanching 2010-10-29 07:38 am (UTC)(link)
whatcha happening to your old home? i'll congrats you moved to new home!

btw: keep continue to make a good service!
florahart: (cheerleading)

[personal profile] florahart 2010-10-29 07:44 am (UTC)(link)
...has "clear answers" always been there in radio button polls? Or did I just not pay attention to a recent announcement?

Either way: *\o/*
Edited (grammar fail) 2010-10-29 07:44 (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2010-10-29 07:53 am (UTC)(link)
Psst: due == [personal profile] bookofjude.

(and I've just lost the game again, due to his username infallibly earworming me.)
lanterne_rouee: dreamy red background with text: dreamer (dreamer)

[personal profile] lanterne_rouee 2010-10-29 08:08 am (UTC)(link)
congratulations! hope your move is as low-stress as possible.

i'm pretty sure that beautiful picture is of a leopard. (the markings for cheetahs and jaguars - and tigers - are different.) :D

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[personal profile] lanterne_rouee - 2010-10-29 08:19 (UTC) - Expand
juliet316: (Autumn)

[personal profile] juliet316 2010-10-29 08:29 am (UTC)(link)
Congrats on the new house, love the update!
nanbungaku: (2miura)

[personal profile] nanbungaku 2010-10-29 09:03 am (UTC)(link)
And your news posts will never fail to make me go all emotional...
After all the cr*p I kept reading you know where, seeing something like this is really making me happy <3
doire: (Default)

[personal profile] doire 2010-10-29 09:26 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, oh, hand made vgifts!

I've worried that vgifts are one of the extras that all add load until something breaks, but there seems to be some point if they have love built in.
karmag: Stylized face based on Dreamwidth logo (Default)

[personal profile] karmag 2010-10-29 10:56 am (UTC)(link)
Oh wow, the responses to that accessibility survey are great. It's like I finally get to meet people who hate all the same things as I do.

And congratulations on the house, of course.

[personal profile] najla 2010-10-29 11:27 am (UTC)(link)
I am so glad you liked my picture on flickr! Thank you so much for highlighting it!

Good luck with your move!
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Slytherin: Dreamwidth sheep; Other: Drea)

[personal profile] musyc 2010-10-29 11:36 am (UTC)(link)
Eeeeeee, I have to go to the dentist in a few minutes and I'm phobic, so seeing my name in the update was a lift I very much needed. ♥ ♥ DW
galbinus_caeli: (Default)

[personal profile] galbinus_caeli 2010-10-29 12:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on your house.

And thank you for making dreamwidth so friendly for those of us stepping out on Livejournal.
chagrined: Winged Victory saying "FTW!" (ftw)

[personal profile] chagrined 2010-10-29 12:50 pm (UTC)(link)
HOORAY V-GIFTS and wow EVEN CUSTOM V-GIFTS! That is so excite.
technoshaman: (pirate)

[personal profile] technoshaman 2010-10-29 01:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay, the poll bug is fixed! And yay house!

As for growing up? NEVER grow up! And NEVER GIVE IN!
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)

[personal profile] havocthecat 2010-10-29 01:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Neutral Good! Even if I didn't think it's the most accessible visibly (I may switch to that for being just so damn EASY to read), the Dungeons & Dragons reference would win it for me on geek points alone.

Also: V-gifts! Yay! I want to send v-gifts out to people and so I'm thrilled to hear we're close.


[personal profile] babysprite 2010-10-29 02:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Woo-Hoo to the two of you! \o/
~ babysprite does the "Ha-cha-cha-cha" dance ~
thezonefic: (event-sg-1)

[personal profile] thezonefic 2010-10-29 02:26 pm (UTC)(link)
First: Thanks for the great update posts, I keep learning about things inspite of myself, and the love the idea of V-gifts. And thanks for making things idiot proof for me, I can do the things I want to with my journal and rarely have to edit after posting 'cause y'all do such wonderful things behind the scenes. Yay the Dreamwidth behind the scenes genius'.

Congratulations on the upcoming home purchase, here's hoping that everything goes well for y'all.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

[personal profile] mdlbear 2010-10-29 02:39 pm (UTC)(link)
The style browser is wonderful! Thank you!
twinchy: smiling young man (Ford) sitting at a console (FordWonder)

[personal profile] twinchy 2010-10-29 02:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Congrats on buying a house! That's always going to be a very special occasion in your life.

All the best with it too. *hugs*
chaobell: Pyro taking a walk, firing flamethrower into the air just because. (Default)

[personal profile] chaobell 2010-10-29 03:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Okay, I wasn't crazy about v-gifts--they're fun but whatev, I can take or leave them--and then you dropped the custom v-gifts bomb and I went eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

BRB, making presents.
403: This is your brane on string theory. (String Theory)

[personal profile] 403 2010-10-29 03:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi Denys!

Does Dreamwidth plan to offer a response to the Firesheep problem, before someone writes a DW extension for the tool? I often find myself using public wifi, and would like an HTTPS option so that random people can't simply copy my login cookie (after I've logged in via the secure interface) and masquerade as me. If the server load of doing something like that is sufficiently high that you'd need to make it a paid-user feature, I'd happily pay for it.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2010-10-29 03:55 pm (UTC)(link)
and would like an HTTPS option

Now, granted, i am not very knowledgeable when it comes to security, but does not do that?

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[personal profile] intermezzo - 2010-11-04 11:57 (UTC) - Expand

Re: +1

[personal profile] intermezzo - 2010-11-04 12:42 (UTC) - Expand

[personal profile] insidethestorm 2010-10-29 04:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Good luck with your move and thx for the great update!
via_ostiense: Eun Chan eating, yellow background (Default)

[personal profile] via_ostiense 2010-10-29 05:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Congrats on the house! I hope that the document process and the moving go swiftly and smoothly.

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