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.
yabamena: (Default)

[personal profile] yabamena 2015-01-18 09:23 am (UTC)(link)
Are the little dinky arrows bookending the tags on posts now intentional? If so, why? Because I don't understand. They don't look good and on posts with several tags, the arrow clutter actually makes it very difficult for me to read them.
vethica: (Default)

[personal profile] vethica 2015-01-18 09:25 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I don't like the arrows either. Came here to ask if there was some way of disabling them.
yabamena: (Default)

[personal profile] yabamena 2015-01-18 09:46 am (UTC)(link)
I'm hoping there is, or will be a way to do that.
dancinpenguins: (| daisy | coffee cup)

[personal profile] dancinpenguins 2015-01-18 09:33 am (UTC)(link)
While I understand what they were going for with this function, it seems like a very strange design choice. Most people that I'm talking to agree that while they get what it's meant to do, they can't imagine why anyone would find it easier to scroll through tags individually this way, rather than just click the tag and find the post you want. All it does in that case is add a very bulky and visually unappealing element to the top of the page.

+1-ing a plea to give an option to disable please.

I appreciate all you guys do for the site, and keeping us updated/listening to feedback, so just wanna throw this in the ring.
Edited 2015-01-18 09:35 (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2015-01-18 09:41 am (UTC)(link)
I think the main usefulness will be in very old entries with tags that may have been used a hundred or more times.

There is probably something that can be done with css/custom styles to shrink/hide them, though I'm not sure of the exact method.

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yabamena: (Default)

[personal profile] yabamena 2015-01-18 09:48 am (UTC)(link)
I think that's what confused me so much about the purpose. Going back through a tag one entry at a time like that just seems counter-intuitive. So yeah, as much as I dig all the hard work, I hope there's a way to get rid of them.

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

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2015-01-18 09:34 am (UTC)(link)
It's one of the new things: the ability to go to the previous or next entry with that tag. I'm not sure what the options are for modifying the display.
woggy: Dom (from the webcomic Megatokyo) talking on a phone (Dom)

[personal profile] woggy 2015-01-18 05:58 pm (UTC)(link)
As it stands there are no options. The arrows will display on /tag/$foo pages and individual entries, but not on main-journal, read , or date-specific pages.
kikibug13: (Default)

[personal profile] kikibug13 2015-01-18 09:36 am (UTC)(link)
I find that new functionality moderately useful for some of the things I do, unnecessary for others, so,

+1 on the request to be able to disable that, both for journals and for communities

And, again, thank you for your work on everything!
tokenaussie: (BMV1)

[personal profile] tokenaussie 2015-01-18 09:47 am (UTC)(link)
Another +1 for the Disable Tag Arrows, at the very least for communities and seconding everything said here by [personal profile] dancinpenguins. For myself, the benefit doesn't outweigh the aesthetic negative, especially when there's an option to simply read all tagged entries by clicking on that particular tag.
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 09:53 am (UTC)(link)
Before we necessarily throw in a disable button on new things, we're going to try to iterate once or twice to see if we can get the designs to a place that works better for the majority of use cases.

So, post feedback, let us know how it could be improved (other than just "shut it off") and we'll see what we can do! Definitely give us a chance though. :)
kikibug13: (Default)

[personal profile] kikibug13 2015-01-18 10:01 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not entirely sure anything CAN improve it, on posts with tens, not to mention hundreds, of tags. Which happen more frequently than you'd imagine in roleplay, which is a big chunk of how I do use DW. When you already have a huge chunk of tags, adding anything more just makes it harder to process them, visually.

(For the record, I don't dislike the current design, per se. It just gets more of too much where there's already a lot, if that makes sense.)

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yabamena: (Default)

[personal profile] yabamena 2015-01-18 10:06 am (UTC)(link)
I don't entirely understand the need/desire to tweak something before giving people the option to opt out, but I don't work with code so I don't understand all the complexities of designing a site to suit a broad array of users.

In my particular case, though, I'm not sure I can think of how it can be improved design-wise as I honestly have no use for this function and as it is now, it makes it difficult for me to read the tags on my own posts. So at least having a "shut-off" option would be a great thing for me while not impeding on other users who might find the new function useful. I can leave my feedback (in dw-beta or dw-maintenance?), but I'm not sure how helpful it will be.

I do really appreciate all the hard work you all put into this site, though. Please don't think otherwise. :)

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tokenaussie: (BMV2)

[personal profile] tokenaussie 2015-01-18 10:23 am (UTC)(link)
On one hand, it theoretically could be improved by making the arrows significantly smaller. That being said, it would then make it difficult to use for those people who do want them and it would still see the tags take up more space than they previously did.

It becomes a matter of aesthetic versus functionality and you can't improve one without the other failing, whether you reduce the font size, the padding between the tag lines or just the size of the arrows.

While I understand you'd prefer constructive feedback and I promise you I'm trying to do that, I'm not sure there is anything that can be done to improve it without a sacrifice to either form or functionality.


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kvancelot: (A:tLA - Sokka - bright idea)

[personal profile] kvancelot 2015-01-18 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Spent the morning trying to think of viable solutions and came up short.

I can at least offer some thoughts on what I find bothersome, though, since I know that's something you guys are looking for.
1.) Using the arrows, especially in large groups of tags, becomes particularly unwieldy in that you have to "re-orient" yourself every time to effectively utilize them. This is particularly awful if you're doing DWRP with massive walls of text that are already traditionally difficult to navigate in mass quantities.

1 | 2 | 3

In examples 1-3 (from the role play side of things, of course), you'll see the placement of the arrow is very inconsistent. Not like a HUGE deal, obviously, but it adds an element of challenge when searching long lists of tags. If nothing else, maybe make certain the arrows stays with the character tag to avoid what's happening in example 2, as the arrows isn't sharing the same line as its associated tag. Get two or three of those in a row and it's going to be hard for the brain to pick the correct one without a little work.

2.) Hover options already concerns me because of the amount of miss-clicks I've experienced with all the other hover elements around town. I was very glad when I could turn that off and stop accidentally subscribing to journals or blocking my friends, haha.

3.) Mobile accessibility. Cannot say how often I already miss-click on links — especially tightly packed links — via my smartphone. I suspect this will frustrate more than just myself, but again, not a HUGE deal.
Thanks for listening~

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dragonring: (Default)

[personal profile] dragonring 2015-01-18 10:00 pm (UTC)(link)
But shut it off it's what we want. Maybe not for the whole site if some people really use it (can't imagine what for when it makes browsing actually slower) but give us a disabling option. Adding stuff makes the tags on entries a clusterfuck to read, like the screenshots the another person provided show.

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silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)

[personal profile] silverflight8 2015-01-19 03:12 am (UTC)(link)
Maybe a version of a cut? Like, the first ten tags will show with arrows, and the rest are hidden under a cut ("See other tags") which opens inline so people can expand when they want? Maybe have an option to always have all tags shown/always hide >10 tags?
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)

[personal profile] kyrielle 2015-01-19 03:29 pm (UTC)(link)
A little button next to the first tag (if there are any tags) to show browsing arrows. And have them default to collapsed or expanded, whichever way I personally last had them (so people who don't care for them can collapse them and leave them that way, but have the option to pull them up if they'd be useful, while people who are doing extended browsing of a tag set can have them open and not have to re-open them each time).

Or providing a class so I can use CSS to hide them, for those who don't have any use for them.

Or an absolutely minimal foot print. (Visually, the arrows for my 'links' tag on my latest post may occupy more space than the actual tag. I haven't got out a ruler to measure it, but it's a pretty close thing.) The current arrows are huge.

And...if you got to that page by doing next/prev on a particular tag (using those arrows), would it make sense to make the tag visually distinct in some way so it's easy to find it in the list of tags and arrows to keep on browsing? I don't really see a use case for me for any part of this feature, but people talk about browsing longfic and also about tag hordes, and I can see where this would be less than useful if you were in a journal using tag hordes and trying to chase one that naturally fell somewhere in the middle of the horde. You'd have to hunt it up in the visual barrage with each post.

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ree: photo of a woman with long blonde hair and glasses (Default)

[personal profile] ree 2015-01-19 04:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Please consider making the ?style=light pages free from tag-arrows. I can't think of a use case where someone specifically using that style would still want the arrows. (Which doesn't mean one doesn't exist!)

I'm a bit surprised the arrows weren't instituted as a URL arg (&tagnav=1), making them something users could freely call up or hide away as desired, instead of spreading arrows everywhere like so much glitter. Maybe that way is too much of a pain for so small a thing?
jordannamorgan: Alphonse Elric, "Fullmetal Alchemist". (FMA Al Rage)

[personal profile] jordannamorgan 2015-01-22 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
Nothing will "fix" the arrows for me. I found them useless, ugly, space-consuming, and more likely to make me click on something I didn't mean to accidentally.

This opinion is not going to change a day, a month, or a year from now. I just want them GONE. Please.

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ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)


[personal profile] ninetydegrees 2015-01-18 03:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Same reading issue for me which is a big problem for me as a community admin: tagging entries is already a nightmare because of the old UI but checking whether I've forgotten a tag or mistyped it is also harder now.

I'm sorry but I don't have any improvement to suggest. I thought about putting them below the tags but I'm not sure that would help or even make sense.

Edit: can the link at least have a class so we can hide them easily with custom CSS?

Edit2: and the blank space *not* be hardcoded...
Edited 2015-01-18 15:30 (UTC)
woggy: Dom (from the webcomic Megatokyo) talking on a phone (Dom)

Re: +1

[personal profile] woggy 2015-01-18 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
*self-deprecating laugh* And this is why I shouldn't code frontend UI.

Apologies for making it difficult to CSS modify - not my intention, I swear.

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green_knight: (Spitting Cobra)

[personal profile] green_knight 2015-01-18 06:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Seconded. I wish I'd been able to beta-test this, I would have gone NO WAY all over this feature - particularly as most of them lead to error pages.

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malurette: (Default)

[personal profile] malurette 2015-01-18 09:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Came here to ask this. Have read the entire thread and still don't understand what purpose the little arrows serve. They just clutter my community's posts and it seems I can't click anymore on my tags with them on the way, which defeats the very purpose of tagging. I'd like a way to disable them, please.

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woggy: Dom (from the webcomic Megatokyo) talking on a phone (Dom)

[personal profile] woggy 2015-01-27 04:33 am (UTC)(link)
Hotfix pushed to give the arrows their own CSS class. You can now banish them with

.tagnav { display:none; }

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