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

[personal profile] woggy 2015-01-18 05:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Makes perfect sense. My own personal use case tends to lead to a half-dozen tags at most, so I'd mainly noted it as "clunky but manageable". I can completely see it be unworkable with a plethora of tags.

That said - I have NO idea how to do it on some-but-not-all (especially given that one of the many-tags posts might be the place people are starting from). Suggestions greatly appreciated.
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. :)
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 10:27 am (UTC)(link)
Feedback right here is fine! Even if you can't think of a "how to improve it", telling us what rubs you about it is good. But definitely give it a little time to sink in -- knee-jerk reactions are almost always bound to change. :)
yabamena: (Default)

[personal profile] yabamena 2015-01-18 10:36 am (UTC)(link)
I don't think my reaction was knee-jerk? The arrows actually make it quite difficult for me to read the tags on my posts. The arrows and text run together for me, making it hard to parse where arrows end and text begins, and vice-versa.

I will admit my reaction to the new look of the create post page was knee-jerk in a "what fresh hell is this" way, but as I can still read everything on that page, I'll get used to it.

(no subject)

[staff profile] mark - 2015-01-18 10:51 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] yabamena - 2015-01-18 18:32 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] swaldman - 2015-01-19 17:35 (UTC) - Expand
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.
hydok: (Ransuke)


[personal profile] hydok 2015-01-18 12:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Seconding the idea of smaller arrows, even if you do offer an option for individual users to disable them.
kinetic: (pic#7572349)

[personal profile] kinetic 2015-01-18 06:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, making the arrows smaller becomes an issue of accessibility. It'd be better if the people who wanted it could keep the full-size arrows, and those who didn't could simply have no arrows at all.
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~
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2015-01-19 12:18 am (UTC)(link)
Would it still be a problem for you if the block of tags with the arrows were at the bottom of the page below the bottom comment navigation, assuming that there were anchor tags both for the bottom comment navigation and the bottom tag block?

*also throwing around ideas*
kvancelot: (Default)

[personal profile] kvancelot 2015-01-19 03:54 am (UTC)(link)
I don't think I'd necessarily be opposed to the idea. I guess I'd have to see how it works to know for sure, but it seems like a good possibly compromise!
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)

[personal profile] musyc 2015-01-19 04:47 am (UTC)(link)
That doesn't seem like it would be a good solution to the 'can't read tags through arrows to see what post is about' issue. (Especially for the segment of users who use tags for content/trigger warnings, now that I think of that.) Though I might be misunderstanding what you're meaning about anchor tags. As I'm reading it, I'm picturing something at the top of the post saying click here for tags and something with the tags saying click here for top. Y/N? If Y, that's a whole lot of unnecessary clicking for a thing that still isn't very readable.

(no subject)

[personal profile] azurelunatic - 2015-01-19 06:32 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] kyrielle - 2015-01-19 15:35 (UTC) - Expand
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.
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 10:07 pm (UTC)(link)

Shut it off is what you want, and what a few other people want... but this was a feature requested and talked about by other people who use this site, so, it's not a majority opinion.

It will always be impossible to give everybody what they want. If you have some constructive comments to leave, we'll totally take them into account as we iterate on the idea. I can't predict where we'll end up right now, but you can be a part of figuring that out, if you want!

dragonring: (Default)

[personal profile] dragonring 2015-01-18 10:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I got the part where some people do use it, and that's why I said it could at least have a disabling option (like the hover menu on userheads, some people use it, others turn it off). That would give everyone what they want.

[personal profile] jade_pop 2015-01-18 11:16 pm (UTC)(link)
If this is the suggestions post where the feature was discussed, I can guarantee more than 40 people do NOT like it. I wouldn't call that a minority opinion.
withbite: (Default)

[personal profile] withbite 2015-01-19 03:23 am (UTC)(link)
18 people saying yes to something is hardly a majority. That it was the majority of that post doesn't negate that I think you've received 18, if not more, reactions here of people that are decidedly against it, or would at least prefer an option to be able to disable it.

I'm not someone that plays around in the suggestions or beta comms, so changes like this are always brand spanking new to me. I can say that if you'd put up a DW-wide poll the week/month before with a 'this is what we're going to do, yes/no?', there would have been a wider pool of participants and you might have actually gotten an actual site-wide majority on one answer or another. Considering that the custom colors option was removed because less than one percent of the site uses it when far less than one percent of the site participated in that poll/discussion seems pretty contradictory.

As far as feedback goes, a lot of my concerns have been brought up quite nicely here. It's aesthetically jumbled, it has a likelihood of more mis-clicks because of how close they are together, the paired forward/backward arrows don't stay on the same line as what they're tied to, so you get what looks to be disembodied floaty arrows. I've heard from mobile users that it's already a pain in the booty, and, tbh, the functionality of it seems almost ridiculously picky when there is the easier option of just clicking on the tag itself and having all resulting entries brought up -- which I find much more practical, particularly if I have no idea when the entry I'm looking for was made or how many clicks back I'll have to go.

I really do like that you're interactive with people who have something to say about this and I appreciate the time taken to answer what can come across as a bunch of people whining that they're not getting their way. I think if you're concerned about what the majority wants, the option of putting up a poll and seeing how many would like an opt-out feature would be the more practical thing to do.

(no subject)

[personal profile] jade_pop - 2015-01-19 03:50 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] withbite - 2015-01-19 04:16 (UTC) - Expand
quantumreality: (Default)

[personal profile] quantumreality 2015-02-21 05:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I actually find it esthetically displeasing myself, especially after looking at the screenshots of 20+ tags shown by kvancelot.

I add my name to the list of those asking for a revert to non-arrowed tags; extra delimiters in some cases do NOT add to a parsing experience for the human eye. The comma is a perfectly acceptable delimiter that's been used for literally hundreds of years in the English language.
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.
lizvogel: text: I have more userpics on Dreamwidth (more userpics on Dreamwidth)

[personal profile] lizvogel 2015-01-20 06:26 pm (UTC)(link)
A little button next to the first tag (if there are any tags) to show browsing arrows.

This is a brilliant suggestion. Makes the arrows readily accessible for those who want 'em, makes 'em functionally non-existent for those who don't.

In case anyone's counting, chalk up one more vote for no arrows, please. It's actually a very cool idea, and I can see why some people might want it, but for me the visual clutter (even with only a few tags) outweighs any potential benefit.

Edited 2015-01-20 18:28 (UTC)
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.
maerhys: elementary | joan watson (Default)

[personal profile] maerhys 2015-01-28 06:20 pm (UTC)(link)