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_news2012-04-12 03:17 pm

Dreamwidth News: 12 Apr 2012

Hello, Dreamwidth! I'm eagerly watching the clock until the weekend getaway I have planned with my lovely wife -- and boy howdy do I need a vacation -- so in order to pass the time, I bring you an offering of hopefully-useful Dreamwidth information. Behind the cut:

* Development
* Javascript modernization: release candidate
* Paying via credit card
* Request for comment: username squatting
* Spam (not the singing Vikings kind)
* Default theme poll
* Arts and Culture: Changing Seasons


The tours of the latest round of development are available for your perusal:

14 March - 23 March -- all of these are live on the site
24 March - 11 April -- all of these will be live with the next code push

This month we welcome new developers [personal profile] purplecat and [personal profile] randomling, both of whom have been kicking ass and taking names! We're always eager to have new developers join us, so whether you've been looking for an excuse to learn Perl or you've been doing this for years, we'd love to have you.

Javascript modernization: release candidate

For those of you who have been participating in the new Javascript on journals beta test, you are likely already aware of this, but for everybody else: we have now labeled the existing beta as the release candidate. This means that barring any major, showstopping issues, the new version will be made default on the site very soon.

After the next code push -- which will likely be sometime next week -- we will be turning the beta flag on for everyone for one last test, with the ability to opt out of the beta if you discover a showstopper bug that prevents you from using your journal. With the code push after that, the new code will be taken out of beta entirely, and be made the default behavior for everybody.

This is almost entirely a backend change, being done to modernize the Javascript used across the site. We're pretty confident that the release candidate has had most of the major issues smoothed out by now, so you shouldn't notice any major changes. You may notice some errors when expanding comments, especially on entries with lots of comments or threads that are very deeply nested; the next code push should fix some of that. (So you don't need to report that issue!)

(Also, because there has been some confusion: the Beta Features page has two separate beta tests running right now: the new Create Entries page beta and the New Javascript on Journals beta. We're talking about the New JS on Journals beta -- the first of the two, not the second. You're still welcome to beta test the new Create Entries page, but it's not yet at release-candidate status!)

Paying via credit card

No, not an announcement of changes to the payment system -- a request to y'all in the hopes of saving some time and energy all around.

If you're using somebody else's credit card -- a parent, a partner, a friend, a roommate, etc -- to pay for your DW account, please let them know, and let them know that the charge will appear on their statement as coming from "Dreamwidth Studios, LLC". In the past few weeks we've had a few phone calls from people wondering what that charge on their statement was! (And since people are thinking that they're calling a big business, and if it's after hours nobody will be there and they'll just leave a message, one of those calls was at 1AM -- fortunately I keep odd hours, heh.)

We were able to straighten out the problem each time, but in order to prevent problems -- and to save me from having to answer the phone, which I hate! -- please be sure to confirm permission before using somebody else's credit card and let them know how the charge will appear on the statement. This will also keep your parent/partner/friend/roommate from panicking and cancelling their credit card. :)

Request for comment: username squatting

The question of username squatting -- people registering hundreds and hundreds of accounts to sit on them, to claim popular usernames, or to trade or sell them later -- has been coming up lately, and we're looking for a way to handle it that will be fair to everybody, without affecting people who are using the site legitimately.

If you have some time to consider the problem and give us feedback, check out the Request for Comment posted in [site community profile] dw_biz, which lays out all the factors, and comment there!

Meanwhile, I'd like to once again remind people that trading or selling usernames or accounts is against the Terms of Service, because a traded account can never be fully secured. We've seen a definite increase in the number of instances of account trading or selling lately, and we are definitely going to start taking stronger actions to stop it when it happens. Please don't do it, either by arranging trades on Dreamwidth or elsewhere.

Spam (not the singing Vikings kind)

As many people have noticed, we're seeing an uptick in spam coming from logged-in users, coming in the form of comment spam, private message spam, and spam blogs that keep to themselves but exist to boost search engine rankings.

The best and fastest way to handle these, if you get them, is to send a report to the antispam team. For comments, delete them and mark them as spam. For private messages, visit the Inbox and select the "Mark as spam" link at the bottom of the notification. Once you do this, there's no need to notify us further; the antispam team will take it from there.

The only time you should report a spammer to the Terms of Service team instead of using the "Mark as spam" option is if you find a journal while browsing around the site that looks like it's a spam journal designed to boost search engine rankings. (And do let us know about those; they're not as intrusive as comment or PM spammers, but they're just as bad for the site as a whole and the harder and faster we step on them now, the less likely that the people behind that kind of thing will start thinking of DW as a good host for their garbage.)

Conferences and Meetups

We're pleased to say that Dreamwidth will be representing at YAPC::NA in Madison, WI from June 13-15, and at OSCON in Portland from July 16-20. Thanks to your support of Dreamwidth, this year we're going to be able to bring some of our volunteer developers along with us, too, which is tremendously exciting news. (Thank you to everyone who's paid for an account recently -- your payments are what's allowing us to reinvest in our volunteer developers, which will pay off down the road in awesome new features and fixes!)

I'm going to be attending the Ada Initiative's AdaCamp DC unconference July 10-11, and if you're interested in the topic of women in open technology and culture, why not consider attending as well?

On the topic of Dreamwidth meetups, meanwhile, if you're a SCA member as well as a Dreamwidth denizen, there's going to be a DW meetup at the Warriors and Warlords event in Northshield (Boscobel, WI) this July. For discussing, planning, and reporting on Dreamwidth in-person meetups, check out [site community profile] dw_meetups.

Default Theme Poll

Our default theme poll last month showed an interesting split: the two styles that were neck and neck for much of the voting were Abstractia, a super-snazzy, high-concept (and gorgeous!) layout, and Five AM, a super-simple, clean and organized (and gorgeous!) layout.

Five AM was the winner, however, and that means it's time to narrow it down further. Go check out the available themes, and help us pick the one that should be the default theme for newly-created accounts for a while:

Poll #10140 2012 Default Theme Poll
This poll is anonymous.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 425

Which Five AM theme should be the default theme for newly-created accounts?

View Answers

7 (1.6%)

Broad Horizons
31 (7.3%)

Celadon Blues
7 (1.6%)

Color Blockade
14 (3.3%)

16 (3.8%)

4 (0.9%)

Early Edition
100 (23.5%)

4 (0.9%)

Hollow Silence
2 (0.5%)

1 (0.2%)

Lavender Mist
14 (3.3%)

11 (2.6%)

4 (0.9%)

Love Game
2 (0.5%)

Low Frequency
7 (1.6%)

5 (1.2%)

4 (0.9%)

14 (3.3%)

19 (4.5%)

28 (6.6%)

49 (11.5%)

11 (2.6%)

Rainy Day
4 (0.9%)

6 (1.4%)

4 (0.9%)

5 (1.2%)

2 (0.5%)

12 (2.8%)

3 (0.7%)

Velvet Steel
22 (5.2%)

Yellow Highlighter
1 (0.2%)

Your Smile
12 (2.8%)

And, as a reminder, if you've got a color theme for one of our existing styles, or even a completely new style, that you'd like to submit for public use, check out [site community profile] dreamscapes. Or, if you're looking for an easy way to get involved in Dreamwidth development, taking submitted themes and turning them into a version that can be applied to the code is a great way to get started, because it requires no experience or special knowledge (seriously, you don't even have to know or learn Perl for it).

Arts and Culture: Changing Seasons

Just like last time, I'll turn it over to [personal profile] pinesandmaples to give us a tour of some of the neat things people are doing or making on Dreamwidth:

As days slide off the calendar and into April, a young student's thoughts turn to final exams and stealing kisses in library study carrels between papers. Fortunately for y'all, the rest of Dreamwidth has poetry, bunnies, Norwegian socks, and bicycles on their minds. This collection of links has a common thread of occupying the space between seasons as both hemispheres move into new weather patterns.

  • [personal profile] jjhunter is celebrating April with a Haikai Fest. The poem "And This Too Is Grace" has two charming threads seeded already.

  • [personal profile] sunt brings blooms to the April festival with Flora hexifera var. 'Spring Magic', a quilt of both traditional and nontraditional floral persuasion.

  • [personal profile] inyadreems jumped out of March with a visit to Tynemouth Priory in England. Macro and micro shots have an air of changing seasons and shifting skies in this little travelogue.

  • [personal profile] nearly_hairless got a jump on her season with this sweet little bunny, ready to bring cheer and nibble some fresh grass.

  • [personal profile] fajrdrako restarted the year on April 1 with a walk through the shifting sights.

  • [personal profile] katieintheworld acknowledged the true nature of transitional seasons with these amazing Selbu Stars socks (Ravelry link, mea culpa), ready for windy days and chilly nights between the sunny patches of the

  • *

    And that's it from us for another update! 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 a few weeks for our next update. (Meanwhile: who else already has your tickets for the release of the Avengers movie? it here yet?) I shall leave you all with something that boosted my mood at least 80% the instant I saw it: Suddenly, ducks.
    sofiaviolet: drawing of three violets and three leaves (Default)

    [personal profile] sofiaviolet 2012-04-12 07:52 pm (UTC)(link)
    but they're just as bad for the site as a whole and the harder and faster we step on them now, the less likely

    The Spam section cuts off here. You may want to finish off that sentence. :)
    inoru_no_hoshi: The most ridiculous chandelier ever: shaped like a penis. Text: Sparklepeen. (Default)

    [personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi 2012-04-12 08:06 pm (UTC)(link)
    YAY, news post! :D *snuggles it* *and you* :D

    (Least helpful comment ever. ♥)
    hardasbone: (Default)

    [personal profile] hardasbone 2012-04-12 08:07 pm (UTC)(link)
    How's progress on buying icon packages?
    doldonius: (Default)

    [personal profile] doldonius 2012-04-12 08:16 pm (UTC)(link)
    I've been wondering for some time now... is it at all possible to reproduce the old (as of 2003) default LiveJournal style using this new style system? And if that's already done, what's the name so I could vote for it? (Immediately after getting rid of all those distracting pretty thingies and annoying purposeless sidebars, of course.)
    dedicatedbitch: alone ❏ | (❝THE BOY AUCTION)

    [personal profile] dedicatedbitch 2012-04-12 08:20 pm (UTC)(link)
    Not here to say anything useful, but you guys continue to amaze me and make me incredibly thankful that me and my friends have migrated over to dw. This site - as well as the people behind it - are incredible.
    amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Default)

    [personal profile] amielleon 2012-04-12 08:36 pm (UTC)(link)
    Not particularly relevant to this post, but I was just wondering about this and google, ironically, was not giving me very helpful answers.

    The only time you should report a spammer to the Terms of Service team instead of using the "Mark as spam" option is if you find a journal while browsing around the site that looks like it's a spam journal designed to boost search engine rankings. (And do let us know about those; they're not as intrusive as comment or PM spammers, but they're just as bad for the site as a whole and the harder and faster we step on them now, the less likely that the people behind that kind of thing will start thinking of DW as a good host for their garbage.)

    What would this look like, and how does it help the spammer?

    And what's the tactic behind those comment bots with blank journals that just leave inane comments like "This is fascinating!" (I've only seen these on LJ so far.)
    brisus: (Default)

    [personal profile] brisus 2012-04-12 08:46 pm (UTC)(link)
    Speaking of themes... there really aren't a lot of nice looking green themes. I'd love to see more! There are a lot of whites, darks, blues, pinks, yellows... but no green. :(
    narrativian: black maned lion doing the wild thing (F: wrowwwrrr)

    [personal profile] narrativian 2012-04-12 08:50 pm (UTC)(link)
    Thank you for ducks! And enjoy your break!
    kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

    [personal profile] kaberett 2012-04-12 08:57 pm (UTC)(link)
    Have a fantastic break <3
    demonempress: (smile while I reign)

    [personal profile] demonempress 2012-04-12 09:11 pm (UTC)(link)
    Thank you to everyone who's paid for an account recently -- your payments are what's allowing us to reinvest in our volunteer developers, which will pay off down the road in awesome new features and fixes!

    No, thank you for being a company that I'm only too glad to pass along some of my hard-earned money to! Didn't even hesitate to spring for a premium account last week. I have no trouble supporting a site that truly listens to its userbase, and opened its arms only too happily to the RP community.

    Keep on rockin, all of you, and I hope you enjoy your trips and they go safely!
    tephra: (kitty squid)

    [personal profile] tephra 2012-04-12 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
    There is one thing that really bugs me about the Five AM theme, the all lowercase text. It's a pet peeve, but I find lower case headings really irritating. It's irrational, but there it is.
    pocketmouse: pocketmouse default icon: abstract blue (Default)

    [personal profile] pocketmouse 2012-04-12 09:53 pm (UTC)(link) Five AM supposed to have half the links (date of entry, reply/link, tags in post) in Times New Roman? Everything else is in something Arial-like. It seems...odd.

    I see in the code tour that there's a fix for the Expand All issue -- is there one for the hover menu never going away? I keep accidentally mousing over icons and then not being able to read comments without reloading the page.
    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 2012-04-12 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
    I agree with a lot of people on the poll that Early Edition is one of the best themes to have as a default, as it's accessible in a lot of way. However, it customises the navigation strip such that the non-link text is a dark red, which makes it hard to see against the black background. Also, many people have a problem with a pure white background.

    My preferred theme is Broad Horizons (preview using your journal) because it has clearly coloured links, clearly delineates different parts with lines, and doesn't mess with the navstrip. The pale green background isn't so great IMO, but its probably better than pure white.
    archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)

    [personal profile] archangelbeth 2012-04-12 10:20 pm (UTC)(link)
    Oooo, lovely pictures in the links!
    dreamatdrew: (Ragabash)

    Prolly the non-optimal place for this, but....

    [personal profile] dreamatdrew 2012-04-12 10:24 pm (UTC)(link)
    Is there an actual path for submitting a mood theme for inclusion in dw_free?
    angelikitten: Yami Yugi looking lost in thought (Thoughts - Thoughtful!Yami)

    [personal profile] angelikitten 2012-04-12 11:16 pm (UTC)(link)
    Wait, wait... does the Rainbow Child moodtheme being in the 24 March - 11 April code tour mean that people will be able to use it as soon as the next code push is done, or are there other things that need to happen first? Because I really have no idea how these things work.

    (I'm also thinking about making another moodtheme, because I don't have enough to do with my life right now.)
    Edited (Can't spell, can't type, can draw a little.) 2012-04-12 23:18 (UTC)
    sarajayechan: surely being creepy and scaring everyone will help me achieve that! (Default)

    [personal profile] sarajayechan 2012-04-12 11:31 pm (UTC)(link)
    I remember back in December when the great migration was taking place, there was mention on Twitter of more icon spaces for paid/premium accounts. Will we be hearing anything on this front soon?
    got_swagger: (G_S:  Mutts - Earl)

    [personal profile] got_swagger 2012-04-12 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
    I was SO HAPPY to buy a paid account here! You're so very welcome!

    I do wonder if Dreamwidth will have a noting feature like LJ does?
    ocariness: (Jubilant hero.)

    [personal profile] ocariness 2012-04-13 12:06 am (UTC)(link)


    ........ Yeah I have nothing constructive to say as always except screaming ducks. (Also somehow whenever I go to comment to these, I'm always logged in to this account without realizing it! IT'S GETTING SPOOKY.)

    Oh wait I guess I might: thanks for all your hard work, new and old DW team, volunteers and all! You guys rock. <3

    But eeeeee ducks
    florentinescot: (device1)

    [personal profile] florentinescot 2012-04-13 12:25 am (UTC)(link)
    too bad we didn't think of a DW meet-up for Gulf Wars (or did I miss it?)!
    marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

    Oh wow, three paragraphs in reference to (among others, perhaps) me!

    [personal profile] marahmarie 2012-04-13 01:09 am (UTC)(link)
    Spam (not the singing Vikings kind) [...] The only time you should report a spammer to the Terms of Service team instead of using the "Mark as spam" option [...]

    Seriously Spam Team, et al, I did not know there was a "Mark as Spam" option for Private Message spam. That's why I closed out my Support Request without further comment once it was answered - I was too embarrassed to admit it. But since it's on the front page of News and all now...yeah, that was embarrassing. Plus I didn't log in that night except to make a Support Request over it - if I had checked my Inbox before doing so, maybe I would've caught the "Mark as Spam" feature, but I never got that far.

    I'm sure it's one of those things where if I didn't know it was that easy to bring to the Spam Team's attention, others probably might not know, either, so it's nice to see you mention it.

    (Further ways to make myself look unaware: Until I got some that night, I had no idea there was such a thing as PM spam. I did Google searches on the name of the account responsible and the email addy tied to it, and both show up on dating sites, Facebook, other blogging places, just everywhere, with the same offers of um, "lovin", worded in exactly the same way. I had no idea such things went on.)
    Edited 2012-04-13 01:57 (UTC)
    darjeeling: (Default)

    [personal profile] darjeeling 2012-04-13 01:40 am (UTC)(link)
    Is there a place we can TL;DR on our thoughts RE: the new Journal Entries page that's in beta, or for that matter any of the features in beta?
    wytchcroft: heavent sent (grrl & guitar)

    [personal profile] wytchcroft 2012-04-13 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
    you more than deserve a vacation - and holy wow, what a hive of indutsry! i'm sort of stunned and shamed!
    and grateful :))
    mackiedockie: Wiseguy icon JB by Tes (Default)

    [personal profile] mackiedockie 2012-04-13 03:37 am (UTC)(link)
    I enthusiastically vote for any theme that does not sport a blinding white background--please?
    nilavae: (Default)

    [personal profile] nilavae 2012-04-13 07:57 am (UTC)(link)
    It took me forever to get here onto DW when you had the invite codes, but I did like it when you had them. Because the people that really wanted to be here kept trying and the invite codes kept people like name hoarders away. :,( Now I'm getting people adding me on facebook asking me "wats up" and not updating their journals (and I'm NOT adding them back). It's like a hoard of annoyance. Other than that, I still love DW and it's layout and community (for the people that care). I enjoy it here and happy to have a paid account. But I hope this place does not end up like LJ/IJ or else I don't know what I'll do.

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