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 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.

[personal profile] jade_pop 2015-01-19 03:50 am (UTC)(link)
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.

Like a site-wide poll on display names, that would be cool although I guess the staff are sick of hearing about it.
withbite: (Default)

[personal profile] withbite 2015-01-19 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
I understand that and like I've said, I appreciate you and Mark and the other developers and staff's willingness to have discussions about usability issues and offer transparency about the changes and situations going on with the site we've all come to love. I certainly don't think that just because people make a comment that they don't like something that they should be catered to on that basis alone.

I appreciate that feedback is something that's listened to and actually taken into consideration here. It's a far cry from other services I've used and it makes me feel more secure in using the site when I know that I'm not screaming into a void. (Tumblr? LJ? Haha... helloooo - oooo- oooo.)

That being said, I merely made the voting comparison an option because of the thread going on already. It was brought up as one of the reasons as to why the change was implemented and I thought debating against it was acceptable. I have no idea what you guys have to do behind the scenes to keep this place running and frankly, I don't want to. It's too much and my brain would break, so you and the rest of the staff have my utmost respect for dealing with the hassle of what this place can be.

Like I said, I found a workaround for the arrows by using a greasemonkey script that someone was kind enough to make and share. That takes away the arrows for me and that's was my biggest problem with it, since it was aesthetics and functionality for me. It's not a site-approved method, granted, but if it's too hard to initiate or apply an opt in for the site without it borking things, that's an alternative you can always offer (or point out - Post here, for those that would like it)

And since I'm in this reply and I'm a lazy cowfart, I figured I'd add this here: This is what userheads are looking like in my email now, along with the icons not showing up. Just in case you need something to show to the tweakers when they get back from traveling. =)
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.