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_news2011-03-18 01:03 am

Weekly update: 18 March

Hullo, Dreamwidth! It's been a slow few weeks, and I haven't had much to update you on, but three weeks is a bit long to go without one of these news updates, so you'll get at least a brief walkthrough of what's going on in DW-ville. I even promise not to wax enthusiastic about our new kitten. (Who is TOTALLY ADORABLE OMG.)

it's also time to officially admit that I've been really lax on getting these updates out every week, and officially bow to necessity and say that from here on out these updates will be biweekly unless something really awesome is going on.

Behind the cut:

* Development
* Open Source Survey
* Help Japan
* Open Account Creation Results
* Paid Accounts
* Three Weeks for Dreamwidth


As usual, we have our code tours:

* 25 Feb - 9 Mar by [personal profile] ursamajor
* 10 Mar - 16 Mar by [personal profile] azurelunatic

This bunch was mostly backend stuff that you'll never notice, but a few user-facing highlights include:

* Improvements to the poll creator: before, adding a question would bring you back to the top of the page when the page refreshed, but now it will bring you directly to the question you just added.

* Adding Twitter as an option for the <user name> tag: once this goes live, you'll be able to do <user name=dreamwidth> and have it come up as a proper link to that username's Twitter account.

* Including your recipient's displayed name and default icon in addition to their username when you buy a gift for someone in the DW Shop, to make it more certain you've got the right account.

* Fixing a problem in which deleting a crossposted entry on DW's side didn't also delete the entry on the remote (crossposted-to) site.

* Improvements to our RSS parser, so that syndicated feed accounts will recognize authorship (who wrote the post) in more cases.

* The return of the link to gift a random unknown user in the Shop, which was accidentally removed in another bug earlier this year.

* Duplicating the "refresh" link to the bottom of the Inbox when there are more than 10 items being displayed, to prevent having to scroll back up to the top.

* Fixing the pluralization of "hour/hours" in layouts when hovering over the date/time of comments.

* Fixing up the Inbox so that comments that have been edited don't display the full (identical) text of the comment on subsequent notifications, just a notification that the comment has been edited.

As always, these fixes are not yet live, and won't be live until the next code push. We'll announce the code push in [site community profile] dw_maintenance when we're ready to do it!

This week we also welcome back [personal profile] wyntarvox from a DW dev hiatus. Good to have you back, Wyn! We missed you.

Open Source Survey

The Ada Initiative, a new project devoted to improving the representation of women in open source and a project which I am on the advisory board of, has started a survey of women in open technology and culture. If you participate in any project devoted to open technology and culture -- open source, free software, open hardware, open government, open data, open standards and formats, transformative works community, Wikipedia and other open-information projects, etc -- take a few minutes and fill out the survey!

Help Japan

Our hearts and thoughts are with the people of Japan as they start the long process of recovery from the devastating earthquake experienced earlier this week. The Dreamwidth community [community profile] help_japan has formed to auction off various things from craftwork to fan works to services and more, to fundraise for the disaster relief efforts. This round of fundraising ends 20 March, so take a look and see if there's anything you'd like to bid on!

If you're looking to donate directly, [community profile] help_japan has a list of charities doing work in the area. Our household's charity of choice in situations such as these is Doctors Without Borders, who do amazing work.

Open Account Creation Results

Last month we tried an experiement of opening account creation for a week -- allowing people to create accounts without needing invite codes. We had a fairly strong uptick in account creation -- you can see it in the raw stats, under "newbyday" -- and, thankfully, haven't noticed any real corresponding uptick in accounts created for spam purposes. (Okay, we had one, which is a pretty significant thing when it's our very first reported spam account, as opposed to spam from anonymous users or OpenID users. But still.)

So, it's pretty safe to say that the experiment was a success, and we will be likely to repeat it in the future! I don't want to schedule it regularly, because spammers will quickly learn that they should try to hit us on that particular week, but we will absolutely be doing it again.

In the meantime, if you're looking to create a Dreamwidth account, [site community profile] dw_codesharing is a good place to go to find an invite code, and if you're looking to move over a large group of people for a specific community or project, just open a support request in the Account Payments department and we'll hook you up with a bulk invite code.

Paid Accounts

It's been a while since I've explicitly mentioned it, so it's time for a reminder: Dreamwidth runs entirely on your payments. We don't accept money from outside investors or venture capitalists, and we don't run advertising. We think it's important that we only accept money from you guys, since you are the ones this service is built for, and taking money from anybody else means that we'd be focused on pleasing those people instead of pleasing you.

We finished out 2010 with really good results: we were only a few thousand dollars away from being "in the black", which is pretty darn amazing when you consider that we've only been open for a little over a year and a half and we were unable to accept payments for nearly the entire first quarter. I wanted to take a minute to say thank you to everyone who supported us with your cold hard cash (and everyone who continues to do so), because you're the ones who make it possible for us to keep providing this service, for you and for others.

Meanwhile, if you've been thinking about possibly supporting Dreamwidth with a paid account, now would be a great time! Paid accounts start at $3 for one month, and give you a bunch of awesome features, in addition to the warm and fuzzy glow you get from knowing that you help to keep a completely independent internet business running.

Three Weeks for Dreamwidth

Last year, for the first anniversary of DW being open for business, [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw organized a really awesome site-wide block party of DW-specific content, hanging out, and squee. This year, they're back for another round! The party will start April 25, and is looking for your ideas.


That's it from us for now! 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 in two weeks for our next update. By then, hopefully our new kitten will have realized that chewing on toes is not a good way to endear himself to us. (Who am I kidding, he's adorable no matter what.)
azurelunatic: Dreamwidth antispam: a dreamsheep holding a hammer, the better to smack spammers with. (spamhammer)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2011-03-18 05:45 am (UTC)(link)
Technically I think it might be the ... third? fourth? user account spammer. I was going through the archives and there was a cluster of two or three quite some time ago. *checks*

It was three of them, this past September. So that puts us up to four total.

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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 (Default)

[personal profile] trouble 2011-03-18 05:51 am (UTC)(link)
I'm very excited about the twitter username thing! Something similar for Tumblr would be awesome as well!

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bethmccombs: Kermit celebrates by shouting "Yay" before the curtain of the Muppet Show (Muppets - Kermit Celebrates)

[personal profile] bethmccombs 2011-03-18 05:58 am (UTC)(link)
I don't usually comment on these, but I'm very happy for the Twitter username thing. That could come in very handy.

And I'm also very happy to support the site. I just renewed my account for another six months... the site is wonderfully laid out, intuitive to use, and (most important to me) no advertising!

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whitelder: (Default)

[personal profile] whitelder 2011-03-18 06:28 am (UTC)(link)
at least im getting your notifications, livejournals email notifications are down for the count, missing so much content!

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[personal profile] alexbayleaf 2011-03-18 07:21 am (UTC)(link)
Just to clarify/extend on [staff profile] denise's comments... if you work on Dreamwidth in any capacity, paid or unpaid, including as a developer, support person, creating styles, moderating communities, or any other capacity, please take the Ada Initiative census, as it is trying to get a sense of where people (esp. women) are involved in open source projects (and open tech & culture projects more generally), and DW is one of the biggest projects (anywhere! in the world!) for women in open source.

[personal profile] feathertail 2011-03-18 06:34 pm (UTC)(link)
The title page of the survey is not very clear about whether or not males are allowed or desired to participate. The opening paragraph says it is a survey "of women," and one has to read to the end to see that males' answers are allowed as well.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)

[personal profile] silverflight8 2011-03-19 02:35 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the clarification; I was sort of confused there about what constituted tech.
springheel_jack: (Default)

[personal profile] springheel_jack 2011-03-18 09:20 am (UTC)(link)
I am wondering if someone can have a look into this glitch that a lot of people are having with the LJ Importer. Open support requests are gathered here:

This is the "no element found" xml error when attempting to import comments.

Some of them have been open for six weeks without any kind of reply. That's not very good.

My support request is here:

I know some people having this problem say the importer works intermittently, but not for me. It's a 100% failure. I just paid for an account, partly to keep a backup of my LJ here, and this makes it totally useless for me.

I don't know if the problem is at DW's end or LJ's end, but this glitch needs to be escalated. It's time to get this one dealt with.

Or at least give us some more information so we have some idea what is happening.
Edited 2011-03-18 09:22 (UTC)

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trixtah: (Default)

[personal profile] trixtah 2011-03-18 09:57 am (UTC)(link)
Actually, one thing that seems to be a bit of omission, especially on LJ, but maybe it'd become handy here too - the ability to flag an account as a potential spammer. I don't think a user report should be able to take the account offline, but at least flag it for review by a support person.

Otherwise, I'm not sure what the procedure is to report accounts that spam.
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2011-03-18 11:09 am (UTC)(link)
Submit a support request in the "Terms of Service" category with a link to it, maybe? They'd be the ones to deal with it, since posting spam is a violation of the ToS.

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sharpest_asp: the DW logo 'D' surrounded by words (General: Dreamwidth)

[personal profile] sharpest_asp 2011-03-18 01:21 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm happy to know we had an upswing in new DWenizens! I know I was surprised that over about a week and a half the 100+ codes from various journals in my keeping (RP does this to me!) were all taken pretty quickly.

The twitter thing is neat.

And I'm going to send virtual kitty scritches to the kitten, Sounds adorable!
lobsterdesigns: (Default)

[personal profile] lobsterdesigns 2011-03-18 01:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Kitten photos please!

I have a feeling that I had comments about disability access stuff, but right now I can't for the life of me remember what they were. One thing I do remember is that it would be great if you could expand the range of options with regard to overall colour schemes and such. I attempted to learn Stylish and so forth but it was completely beyond me.
rydra_wong: dreamsheep with spork and "SheepSpork" logo; no, it wouldn't make any more sense if you saw it  (dreamwidth -- sheepspork)

[personal profile] rydra_wong 2011-03-18 07:27 pm (UTC)(link)
If you remember what the comments were (or even if you don't *g*), do come and join us in [site community profile] dw_accessibility. It's the official comm in charge of making DW accessible, so people with input are always welcome.

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richmodis: (hooray for books)

[personal profile] richmodis 2011-03-18 03:46 pm (UTC)(link)
The old problem with payments is that not everyone has or want a credit card and sending money can be expensive, if you aren´t from the USA.
Maybe something like Paysafecard could be a solution.

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[personal profile] fioletv - 2011-03-19 19:05 (UTC) - Expand

Wot no debit?

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Re: Wot no debit?

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[personal profile] faithofone 2011-03-18 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
So excited about Twitter user links that I'm bouncing.

Also very excited that you have a new kitten! May you be blessed with many years of cat hair on everything you own, important things being used as scratching posts and most of all, kitty on keyboard syndrome.

[personal profile] feathertail 2011-03-18 06:40 pm (UTC)(link)
The Ada Initiative ... has started a survey of women in open technology and culture. If you participate in any project devoted to open technology and culture ... take a few minutes and fill out the survey!
It sounds like you're assuming that everyone you're talking to is female, there. Because you say it's a "survey of women," and then encourage everyone to participate.

The survey page itself isn't much clearer, as it says it's "a periodic survey of women" in the opening paragraph. It's not until the third that it says "We would like anyone and everyone involved in open technology and culture to participate!"

I'd be totally okay with it if they were just surveying women. But it makes me nervous to be invited to do something when I'm not sure I'm allowed to do it, and don't know if you just slipped up there and forgot there were guys in the audience (or something). Is this how women feel in male-dominated open-source projects? >.>;
zaluzianskya: (Harumi // Books are nice)

[personal profile] zaluzianskya 2011-03-19 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
Pff, I'm glad you said this. I felt the same way but felt awkward saying so. The way it was phrased felt like an assumption that everyone reading would be female. =\

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inoru_no_hoshi: The most ridiculous chandelier ever: shaped like a penis. Text: Sparklepeen. (Default)

[personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi 2011-03-19 12:29 am (UTC)(link)
Yay, new kitten! :D Give him scritches and cuddles for me.

I feel I should mention that I love the way you guys code for user names; so much easier than going to a profile page and snagging a huge chunk of HTML, or using the link HTML. Also, yay Twitter linking! (My home away from home. I swear. I'm on all the time. xD)

And further - did not know your paid time was that cheap. I think it's cheaper than both IJ and LJ paid time, or about the same for premium paid. Nice. Making a note for when I can afford it. :)

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wyntarvox: (Default)

[personal profile] wyntarvox 2011-03-20 03:45 am (UTC)(link)
I'm excited to be back! :D
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (books and feathers)

[personal profile] booksofafeather 2011-03-20 04:32 am (UTC)(link)
I just want to say I am so glad for the lack of censorship and your working so hard to give us all great features that we would want... I'm sorry that I will never probably use a paid account m(_ _)m Well, if it had an option to store your pictures on Dreamwidth, I would definitely use a paid account then as I never have anywhere good to put my pictures, such services always expire very soon... maybe that's one thing that would get people to buy a paid account (´・ω・`)

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(frozen comment)

[personal profile] carlos_penguin 2011-03-20 11:32 am (UTC)(link)
"The Ada Initiative, a new project devoted to improving the representation of women in open source..."

How sexist.

Computer code should be, like Jazz, gender blind.
rebism: (Default)

[personal profile] rebism 2011-03-20 11:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi, I know this is really not the place to do this but I can't work out where to ask a general question such as this. (Perhaps you could answer that for me as well?)

Currently the notification "Someone replies to any comment I make" is "only available by email and won't show in your DW Inbox". I wonder if there is a reason why this is the case?

I thought it maybe appropriate to post as a "suggestion" that these notifications be available in the Inbox, but the detailed proposal would have been less about "why you think your specific suggestion is the best solution, what problems or drawbacks your suggestion might have if it's implemented" and more along the lines of "I can't work out why it's not a good idea. Since this is how it's done, there may be a reason why this is the way it's done, but if there's not, can it change?", which is more of a question than a suggestion, really.

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libitina: snake across an open book (Default)

[personal profile] libitina 2011-03-21 11:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I was just commenting over on [site community profile] dw_codesharing, and I did not have an option to comment anonymously, just with my logged in identity.

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skywaterblue: (ruth)

[personal profile] skywaterblue 2011-04-04 08:16 pm (UTC)(link)
What would be the best way to make a duplicate of this community:

We control the log poster account, and the logs are obviously posted on our private hosting. I'd just like to duplicate the formatting and link in each post.

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