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_news2015-01-18 10:00 pm

Dreamwidth News: 18 January 2015

Hello, Dreamwidth! Greetings from glorious Auckland, NZ, where we've been for this year's (It was a great conference! But then, it always is.) We decided to sneak in a code push while we were here, since we were in the same place and code pushes are always more fun when you can yell across the room when something breaks.

Behind the cut:

* Development
* Responsive-design conversion
* Reading page: custom colors for accounts going away
* Quicker Reply: reply from your reading page
* Warnings when you don't keyword an icon
* The country list
* SSL Everywhere


In addition to the things I'm about to talk about, the code tour for all the changes in this push is here:

Code Tour, 11 Aug 2014-17 Jan 2015

A particular welcome to new contributor [ profile] emhoracek, and congrats to [personal profile] azurelunatic's first code contribution.

Responsive-design conversion

I first started talking about our responsive design converstion a while back. We're continuing on with our conversion of various pages on the site to use the new responsive framework, and this time around (in addition to pages that are visited less often or pages that are part of something else), we have converted the beta Create Entries page. There should be no functional change, but some minor visual ones.

We've also converted multiple small pages (such as the admin pages and a lot of tool pages and misc endpoints).

Finally, we've taken the page to join/unjoin communities and the page to subscribe to people or to grant them access and squished them together, with different things displayed depending on what you're trying to do with it. This page, too, has also been converted to our new responsive design.

You can report problems with any of these pages in the new sticky entry in [site community profile] dw_beta.

Reading page: custom colors for accounts going away

You may notice that as part of the previous change, from now on when you're adding people to your circle, you can no longer specify custom colors for them on your reading page. We ran some stats and discovered that fewer than .8% of subscriptions use custom colors. With such a small percentage of people using the feature, we're going to be removing it: it's not worth the work it will take for us to convert it.

If you are using custom colors: please copy down the information now! You will still be able to set and view the custom colors for a little while, but once we finish transitioning away from the feature, you won't be able to set or view them anymore. For now, you can still set or change custom colors by going to the Manage Circle page.

Before we remove the feature entirely, we'll give you instructions on how to achieve the same effect on your reading page using custom CSS.

Quicker Reply: reply from your reading page

The feature that let you reply to a comment without having to load a separate page to get the reply form, added to LJ lo these many moons ago, was called QuickReply. We've added QuickerReply: the ability to reply to an entry from your reading page without having to leave your reading page.

To take advantage, use the 'Reply' link on your reading page: it will display a reply form right there on your reading page. (If you still want to read other comments before adding yours, use the "# comments" link, not the Reply link.)

Warnings when you don't keyword an icon

As many people have noticed: if you upload an icon without adding a keyword, the icon is assigned a "pic###" automatic keyword. The bad news is, those automatic keywords are not 'real' keywords, and they can result in all kinds of errors and all kinds of weird problems.

So, from now on, if you have an icon that was given the "pic###" default automatic keywords, the Edit Icons page will warn you that those icons may behave oddly in all kinds of places, and you should give them keywords.

The country list

Many people have noticed that the list of countries available for selection on the profile was very out of date. (I believe it was the list from LiveJournal's inception in 1998 with a little bit of tweaking here and there since.) We've discussed how to update that list multiple times: the question of "what counts as a country" is very difficult (and often very political).

It's gotten more and more urgent lately, though, since it's been so long since we've updated the list. We've decided that we're going to outsource our checks -- and our decision of "what counts as a country" -- to somebody else: starting with this code push, we're using the Perl module Locale::Codes::Country. This means that the hard questions are somebody else's!

If you notice that there's a country missing from the list, let us know and we'll look into it.

SSL Everywhere

We've had multiple people asking us why it's not possible to browse the entire site in SSL. The answer is very convoluted, but it involves the fact that user-generated content loading data from all over the internet is very, very hard to serve via SSL without problems. (If you serve secure and non-secure content on the same page, browsers complain a lot, and sometimes refuse to load at all.)

[staff profile] mark and [personal profile] fu have been working really hard to fix a lot of those questions, though. We have a lot of code in this release to make it possible for you to browse the site via HTTPS. We're not turning it on as a default everywhere yet, because there are inevitably a ton of bugs, but you can now manually request things from and get it that way. (In fact, please do; it will help with testing.)

Once we're satisfied that it works, we'll be releasing it more widely to everyone.


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. (I'm a lot behind on the suggestions queue, though, just as a warning.)

Comment notifications may be delayed for up to an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted just after 2200 New Zealand time, 18 Jan. (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about missing notifications until at least two hours after that.
green_knight: (Default)

[personal profile] green_knight 2015-01-18 09:20 am (UTC)(link)
Custom Colours: Noooooo!

It's an accessibility feature for me: if I'm pressed for time, I can make easy decisions which things I need to read, and which I can easily skip; also which people (custom colours) I must read at all costs. There were times when I've relied on this *a lot* (travelling with small screens and bad internet access).

(And I think it's a vicious circle - few people use it because the DW support in themes isn't very good; I think you should do more for it, not dump it completely.)

azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2015-01-18 09:58 am (UTC)(link)
I like to combine custom reading filters with the links list, so I can get to them easily.
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)

[personal profile] cloudsinvenice 2015-01-18 12:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I do this too - I don't know how well it'll work for the other user in mobile, but I do find it the handiest way to split my reading list up so I always see personal accounts first when I'm pushed for time.
green_knight: (Spitting Cobra)

[personal profile] green_knight 2015-01-18 05:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Does the custom CSS involve a single quick action from the 'add this person' page? If not, then this is effectively a downgrade - having to work out and handcode a workaround is not the same as the ability to quickly set a property.

And reading filters do not match my needs: priority reading is a reaction to individual circumstances and changes with other people's experiences, my spoons and mood and half a dozen other factors; reading lists give me the wrong priorities. (I've tried using them. They don't match my needs. Custom colours do.)

If there has been a discussion of custom colours then I have plain missed it - it's very untypical for Dreamwidth to remove features, much less without discussion; I had hoped to be on a platform where 'here's your downgrade, learn to deal with it' _wasn't_ standard operating procedure.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)

[personal profile] kyrielle 2015-01-19 03:15 pm (UTC)(link)
It sounds like this may mean, for those who want it, editing the CSS every time they add someone. I'm assuming it involves a class of the username or something of the sort.

Would it be possible, when the color support is removed, to add a 'CSS class' box next to each user and let someone pick that? People who want custom colors could then tag it accordingly based on CSS they already had set up (and someone using the class for some other transformation we haven't thought of could do likewise).

Or would that just make it as painful as ever?
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 2015-01-20 04:54 am (UTC)(link)
Maybe it could be even easier - if it were possible to make it so that CSS classes were automatically added of the public access groups to which the author belonged, that could have the same effect, and be just as accessible from the page.
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)

[staff profile] mark 2015-01-18 09:50 am (UTC)(link)
We decided to dump it -- you can always use reading groups/circle lists to get the same net results about "which people do I want to read importantly" etc.
Edited 2015-01-18 09:50 (UTC)
basilmemories: (Default)

[personal profile] basilmemories 2015-01-18 10:07 am (UTC)(link)
Sadly in my case this isn't going to be possible. The list I run is about a network of games, meant for a group of people to look at and take in info about what's going on in their/other games. The circle lists for me aren't going to be the lists for everybody else.
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)

[staff profile] mark 2015-01-18 10:21 am (UTC)(link)
Reading lists can be public, so you can share them. for example. That might help.

Also, I'm sure other people will post the CSS workaround you can do with stylesheets so you can set colors on people however you want. The functionality is still possible, we just aren't building it into the UI anymore.
basilmemories: (Scholarly pursuits.)

[personal profile] basilmemories 2015-01-19 10:08 am (UTC)(link)
Oh that's actually quite good to know! I was concerned that the functionality itself was being stripped out and that a new, less system intensive setup was being put in its' place.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

[personal profile] melannen 2015-01-18 03:09 pm (UTC)(link)
+1 to this! NOOOO I need my custom colors! And the reason nobody uses it on DW is that support for it in most standard DW themes is really really bad so probably most newer users don't even realize how helpful it can be. (Reading filters are OK but they don't really provide the same ablility easily & quickly filter your reading by priority using, you know, HUMAN EYES. :P)

Maybe doing it with custom CSS will mean I can make it work the way I need it to without having to still relying on my old style kludged from LJ c. 2002? :/
momijizukamori: A sleeping dreamsheep with a '<3' sign. It says 'Momiji' above it, and 'Styles' below it. (dreamsheep volunteer)

[personal profile] momijizukamori 2015-01-18 10:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, CSS-workaround will probably work on any of our Tabula Rasa-based layouts (which is a good 90% of what's live). It'll also give more flexibility in appearance, though at the cost of it taking a little more time to set up.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2015-01-21 07:13 am (UTC)(link)
Can't we just add this functionality to wizard? I mean, I know CSS and still the idea of what this will involve for the casual user is making me pretty much cringe. DW SUggestion post #nth billion, I guess here I come. :(
Edited (typo) 2015-01-21 07:14 (UTC)
lizvogel: text: I have more userpics on Dreamwidth (more userpics on Dreamwidth)

[personal profile] lizvogel 2015-01-20 06:04 pm (UTC)(link)
the reason nobody uses it on DW is that support for it in most standard DW themes is really really bad

Yes, this. I've always used custom colors on LJ, for all sorts of convenience-related reasons; I've never used it on DW *only* because finding a theme that it worked with was such a pain.

Have to agree with the comment above that if it's so rarely used, maybe the answer is to make it work better/more available, not to get rid of it.
zdashamber: painting - a frog wearing a bandanna (Default)

[personal profile] zdashamber 2015-01-21 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
Agreed, love custom colors, can't say much nice about DW's ability to use them. Years ago in one of the theme communities I asked how it could be better, but it's apparently super hard to do something visually simple like big blocks of color along the side of the post.
antimony: an entry for antimony in a periodic table (Default)

[personal profile] antimony 2015-01-25 07:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I spent hours trying to find a theme that supported it; was never able to do so, and couldn't find enough information for someone who otherwise cares very little about theme to try to hack it in myself. It's the #1 reason I read most of my DW friends via their crossposted LJ posts rather than natively on DW.

I'm not sure if I still have them set on, or if I gave up in frustration and turned the feature off entirely; I know I then didn't set it on on any of my other journals (RP or personal) because I knew it would just annoy me.
onyxlynx: The words "Onyx" and "Lynx" with x superimposed (Default)

[personal profile] onyxlynx 2015-01-18 07:32 pm (UTC)(link)
As one of the .8% who uses custom colors: Seconding that "Noooooooooo!"

Also, not a CSS user.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

[personal profile] melannen 2015-01-18 10:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Custom CSS for standard DW styles can be really simple - at it easiest you just c&p someone's code into the custom CSS box and you're done, I hate and fear CSS and I found it pretty painless the times I've tried..

I have no idea how that would get you to setting different custom colors for 300 different people though...
onyxlynx: The words "Onyx" and "Lynx" with x superimposed (Default)

[personal profile] onyxlynx 2015-01-19 12:12 am (UTC)(link)
Only half that number, but...yeah.

(I've done minor c&p code, but this sounds a bit more complicated.)
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2015-01-21 07:26 am (UTC)(link)
Exactly. I just don't see how it's possible without another, say, 300 lines of code. We have a CSS pseudo-class that covers each journal's name; beyond that I don't know how you'd economize the code to take a theoretically endless amount of journals into account without blowing the code up to gargantuan proportions (even my limited knowledge of CSS3 is failing to produce an answer at this point; I can see using a little :nth-of-type to consolidate the CSS for say, each five DWs you want to group all into the same one color, but beyond that, no. Just no!).
Edited (typos) 2015-01-21 07:27 (UTC)
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)

[personal profile] pebblerocker 2015-01-19 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
I have always set custom colours when I add someone to my circle, out of habit from LJ where it's very useful for me; I haven't yet found a way to make the colours I choose actually show up in any DW style, but I'd like to have that option one day.