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.
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.
dancinpenguins: (| daisy | waterbottle)

[personal profile] dancinpenguins 2015-01-18 09:59 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.

I guess that statement confuses me too. Even when you're looking back at old entries and reach the point where it scrolls by day, you can still see several posts at once, assuming there were more than one per day. And even when there aren't, then you still see one by one as you scroll back, but don't have to load all the comments/cut content, which seems more convenient than the alternative.

I don't know, I'm sure there are arguments the other way, I'm just really scratching my head on this one, and it seems strange that such a visibly dramatic change would be made to support a function that is only going to be used in very rare circumstances such as you describe.
dancinpenguins: (| spn | dem boys)

[personal profile] dancinpenguins 2015-01-18 10:04 am (UTC)(link)
I did notice that, looking through the push info. To clarify, that's why I'd prefer it to be an optional disable, so that people who wanted that functionality could have it. Just trying to wrap my head around its uses, in case that winds up not happening.
goesdown: (Default)

[personal profile] goesdown 2015-01-18 10:43 pm (UTC)(link)
For a lot of the reasons other people have already listed here, I also would really prefer that there be an option to disable them. They're cluttered and not particularly useful for me. I'm more likely to mis-click them than use them on purpose.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2015-01-18 10:08 am (UTC)(link)
The times when I really wished I had this was when I've been linked to fic from like 2004, and the author has been very diligent about tagging a zillion part series but hasn't really set up good links from one section to the next. Or worse, when your friend links you to part 4. Meanwhile, page 1 of the tag is stuff from 2014 ...

Also, I like to read the comments, so this will be good for that.
dancinpenguins: (belle.)

[personal profile] dancinpenguins 2015-01-18 10:14 am (UTC)(link)
Mmkay, yeah, I can definitely see how that's a reasonable example. I still maintain that it seems like such instances would be few and far between, compared to the visual trade-off. But I'm coming from a place like [personal profile] kikibug13 below, where I'm used to rp communities that can utilize massive amounts of tags on entries, that are being rendered twice as long from the redesign.
Edited 2015-01-18 10:15 (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2015-01-18 10:24 am (UTC)(link)
Now I'm envisioning one of those twisty - arrow toggles with cookie - based memory to expand/collapse the arrows, like the sections on the profile.

(And can I just say how much I love it that people are going into depth about the specifics of what they don't like and why? My day job involves, among other things, filing bugs about internal tools that are broken so the devs can fix them, and you would not believe how hard it is to get a senior software engineer to expand on "it's broken.")
dancinpenguins: (| lois | :3)

[personal profile] dancinpenguins 2015-01-18 10:32 am (UTC)(link)
LMFAO well like I said, I really appreciate all the work and attitude of the staff here, and it's so ungrateful to come in and just be like IT'S AWFUL I DON'T LIKE IT FIX IT, and that's not what I'm trying to do. I understand that it wouldn't have gotten this far if there weren't a reason for it, but want to try to articulate what's frustrating about it from this end.

But for example, this is what I'm talking about for rp tags:


The size increase alone is probably something we could get used to (although it feels like it will be extra frustrating on mobile, although I confess, I haven't looked yet), but the excess of arrows is just plain dizzying to look at in comparison.
lemon_badgeress: basket of lemons, with one cut lemon being decorative (Default)

[personal profile] lemon_badgeress 2015-01-18 03:45 pm (UTC)(link)
....oh my gosh. I don't do anything with tags, so I hadn't seen. That's...horrid. I hope it can be a toggle-able feature!
kinetic: (pic#8535571)

[personal profile] kinetic 2015-01-18 06:29 pm (UTC)(link)
I first looked at it on mobile. Rest assured, it's quite unpleasant.

I can only hope our lovely admins realize that this isn't a kneejerk "I hate change" response, but rather one that's measured and looking at how a large community can or would (not) apply this feature vs. its clunky and unwieldy aesthetic. The RP community has no use for this function, and given how huge a part of the DW site base that is, I'd hope we can get a way to shut it off.
random_ooc: The words Tam I am on a purple background (Default)

[personal profile] random_ooc 2015-01-18 08:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh yes. That is unpleasant. And awkward.
woggy: Dom (from the webcomic Megatokyo) talking on a phone (Dom)

[personal profile] woggy 2015-01-18 05:51 pm (UTC)(link)
This was my first foray into actually designing frontend UI, so... oops. I got some bits wrong - had not really considered the use-case of 'more than twenty tags'.

Some sort of collapsible thing would be brilliant - I'd have liked to integrate it into hover/mouseover, but that has accessibility concerns.

green_knight: (Hydra)

[personal profile] green_knight 2015-01-18 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Someone should have picked this up. The main point is that adding a lot of visual clutter *also* is an accessibility concern - it makes it harder to parse the page and to find the text you're looking for, so a feature like this ought to be opt-in, either via a setting (preferred) or via custom css, or both.

(This is not to say that your work isn't valued, and that the people who squee over it aren't going to be happy, but the rest of us are suddenly faced with a lot of visual clutter that is extremely unwelcome, and so we complain.)
woggy: Dom (from the webcomic Megatokyo) talking on a phone (Dom)

[personal profile] woggy 2015-01-18 06:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Complaining is fair. It is a lot of clutter.

dancinpenguins: (| lois | Hmm)

[personal profile] dancinpenguins 2015-01-18 06:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I just wanted to say thanks for being so receptive to constructive crit about this. ♥ You are very appreciated.
woggy: (Hanging Frog)

[personal profile] woggy 2015-01-18 07:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you. <3
random_ooc: The words Tam I am on a purple background (Default)

[personal profile] random_ooc 2015-01-18 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I second this.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2015-01-18 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)
At the very least, it would be great if you could check whether there's a previous/following entry on the tag, and if not, don't display an arrow.
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2015-01-18 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, I see. Is there a simpler check for "is this the person's latest entry" so that you can at least not display forward arrows on someone's most recent post?
woggy: Dom (from the webcomic Megatokyo) talking on a phone (Dom)

[personal profile] woggy 2015-01-18 08:49 pm (UTC)(link)
As I mentioned to [personal profile] brainwane here, doing the calculations for whether or not to display the arrows would be a massive server-performance hit. Which is really a shame, because having the information would be really cool.

kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)

[personal profile] kyrielle 2015-01-19 03:21 pm (UTC)(link)
That would be awesome, because I just saw these, and wow. Really, really ugly. I don't even use hordes of tags, but the way they look tweaks the same part of my brain that misspellings and "Your going to have to move" type grammar errors do.

Anyone have some CSS to get rid of them?
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2015-01-19 03:35 pm (UTC)(link)
There are instructions in [community profile] style_system to remove them.