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 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.
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 10:51 am (UTC)(link)

You're right, and sorry about that, I didn't choose my words well -- I wanted a different connotation, uh, "quick response"? But without the "automatic" part. I think "first reaction" is probably closer to what I meant.

For the update page, feedback is definitely welcome too! That's a first iteration, so at this point mostly it's a technology change (switching over to the Foundation framework we're moving the site to) and now we can get some good input into the design (which we did do, but only from a handful of people who have the time/interest to look at in-development stuff).

yabamena: ([push - nick] imagine where you are.)

[personal profile] yabamena 2015-01-18 06:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you. I appreciate it. :)

Okay, I can definitely give more concrete feedback on the update page. It would mostly be cosmetic anyway. Where exactly should I leave feedback for that?

[personal profile] swaldman 2015-01-19 05:35 pm (UTC)(link)
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 suspect that *that* was a useful bit of feedback! Demonstrates what Mark was saying about "even if you can't think how to improve it, tell us why you dislike" :-)