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_news2015-06-26 05:45 pm

Dreamwidth news: 26 June 2015

Hello, Dreamwidth! Greetings from Portland, where Dreamwidth has assembled for this year's Open Source Bridge. (Which remains my favorite conference ever for how wonderfully welcoming and diverse it is.)

Behind the cut:

* A fond farewell
* Email woes: mostly fixed
* Multiple sticky entries
* Rescreening screened comments when they're edited
* Other new features and tweaks
* Pretty pretty pictures

A fond farewell

We have news that's both exciting and sad. I'll turn things over to [personal profile] fu so she can make the announcement in her own words:
Bittersweet news: I'm stepping back from being an employee and into a more volunteer capacity. Dreamwidth has been a great place to work, and you our users have made my time here memorable and amazing. I've appreciated all the feedback that comes from how much you care about the site. But now I find myself faced with a wonderful opportunity elsewhere and I find myself... curious. Excited to see what that brings.

I'm writing this while sitting in a hotel room surrounded by the happy noise of lots of Dreamwidth folks gathered and working and chatting away, and I feel really lucky to be part of this community. It's been a great five years. I'm glad to have spent it here with you.

[staff profile] mark, [staff profile] denise, you have been bosses beyond compare. I'm glad to have been your minion. [personal profile] misskat, so happy to have been co-minion. I owe you the next round -- don't let me forget. Lots of love and giggles. Everyone else -- there are so many of you I should be good and not name you all but you know who you are -- I love you, thanks for being so supportive and enthusiastic <3

PS. I may no longer be working fulltime, but you haven't seen the last of me around these parts :)

[personal profile] fu was our first employee five years ago (and the first sign that we were a Real Grownup Business, which we still have trouble believing sometimes!) and she's done an amazing amount to shape both the development of the site and the establishment of our development culture. If I tried to tally up everything she's had a hand in, we'd probably be here all night. We owe her an immense amount of credit for what Dreamwidth has become. Her patience, diligence, and care for others has nurtured us from a tiny experiment to what we are today.

[personal profile] fu, [staff profile] mark and I are both incredibly grateful for all your hard work, passion, dedication, and commitment over the past five years. And we're both really excited for you and are looking forward to seeing what you can accomplish in the next phase of your career!

You're probably all wondering what the next step for Dreamwidth is. Fear not! I don't want to make any announcements until we've dotted all our is and crossed all our ts, but we're in the process of talking with a few people we think are the right folks to nurture Dreamwidth through the next few years. Stay tuned to future news posts for announcements on that front.

In the meantime, feel free to fill up this post with a ton of comments about times you remember [personal profile] fu being awesome.


Since our last news post, we've had two code pushes: one back in March, and one this week. (I didn't post a news post for March's code push, because it was mostly backend fixes and stuff you wouldn't notice.)

The code tours that cover the things that were changed are:

17 January 2015 - 14 March 2015, which has been live since March
15 March 2015 - 23 June 2015
23 June 2015-25 June 2015

I'll cover a few of the things that were in that push that deserve their own section, and then summarize a bunch of other changes or tweaks that you should know about, but if you want to see the whole collection of changes and improvements, the code tour is your place to go.


If you run a browser extension that automatically switches you to the secure (HTTPS) version of a website, you may have already noticed this, but the past six months we've been concentrating development effort on making Dreamwidth work via secure connection. We're getting closer and closer to being able to declare our HTTPS/SSL support 'done': at this point, it's down to just the last bugfixes and edge cases. (And there are a lot of bugfixes and edge cases, don't get me wrong -- the project was a lot bigger than you might think.)

What this means for you right now: if you have one of those extensions that automatically switches you to the HTTPS version of a website (such as HTTPS Everywhere), things should Just Work. If you don't have that extension, you can manually change links from (for instance) to, and once you do that, most internal site links should remain on the HTTPS end of things. (And if they don't, it's a bug and you should report it!)

Please do continue to let us know if you run into any problems while using the secure version of the site. We're pretty close to being ready to declare it fully ready for prime time.

Email woes: mostly fixed

The problem we were having with many sites deciding that email from us looked spammy (no matter how carefully we sent it) has been mostly fixed. If you have a email address (or any of the associated domains also run by Microsoft), you've probably noticed that the notification delivery rate -- the number of notifications that actually make it to your email inbox -- has been steadily improving over the past few months. We've been slowly and steadily transitioning to a new email infrastructure that will hopefully avoid many of the things that make webmail providers tend to think our messages are spam.

We did the transition so slowly to avoid overwhelming our new mail delivery system, but last night we flipped the final switch: all our comment notification email and all mail sent from the site itself now goes through that new system. (Mail sent to your forwarding email address will still run through the old system, so your mail provider may continue to block those from time to time.)

A reminder: if you ever have problems receiving notification email, or you're only getting email intermittently, you can always go to your on-site inbox for a collection of notifications you've received.

(Another reminder: when new posts go up in [site community profile] dw_news, it often delays all other email notifications for 30-60 minutes or so while the system processes all of the notifications for the new news post. I'm honestly not sure whether this will keep happening now that we've changed things fully over, but if it does, please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least an hour after this entry has been posted.)

Multiple sticky entries

This one was released back in March, but in case you haven't discovered it yet: it's now possible to make more than one entry 'sticky' in your journal. The sticky entry is a way to keep one (and now more than one) entry pinned to the top of your journal so visitors will always see it first. Previously, we limited you to one sticky entry, but people who have several journal policy posts, fic indexes, link collections, etc, were forced to choose only one to make sticky.

Now, you can add more than one! Go to the Display tab of Manage Settings and scroll down to the setting labelled "IDs or URLs of Sticky Entries". Paste the URLs of the entries you want to make sticky and hit 'Save'. Those entries will then appear on the top of your journal.

How many entries you can make sticky depends on your account level. Free accounts can have two sticky entries, while paid, premium paid, and seed accounts can have up to five.

Rescreening screened comments when they're edited

So, here's a situation that comes up pretty often: Let's say that you have an entry set to screen comments (or your journal set to screen comments automatically). When someone comments, their comment is screened -- visible only to you (and to them if they're logged in). It's a useful anti-abuse tool -- for instance, if you're writing an entry about a highly contentious subject and you want to avoid flame wars happening in your comments, you can set the entry to screen all comments and only unscreen the ones you think add to the discussion.

There was formerly a bit of a loophole, though: once a comment that had been screened was unscreened, it stayed unscreened no matter what the poster did to it. So, somebody really determined to troll you could post a comment saying "I like kittens!", wait for you to unscreen it, and then edit the comment to say "Kittens are awful and I can't believe anyone could possibly like them!"

So we've made a change to the screening behavior. Now, if a comment in your journal was initially screened and you unscreen it, editing the comment after it's been unscreened will rescreen the comment. You'll then have a chance to look at the comment again and see if you still want it visible on your journal.

This works on any comment that was screened because of your comment settings. When the comment's edited, you'll get a notification of the edit, and that notification will tell you that the comment has been screened.

Other new features and tweaks

Aside from multiple fixes for backend bugs, developer tools, and stuff that makes the code easier to maintain, we also have a number of frontend changes and bugfixes:

* The "use current time" option when updating your journal is now a 'sticky ticky' -- if you check the box when you post an entry, it will remain checked the next time you post an entry. That way, those of us who prefer the entry time to be the time that you started writing the entry and those of us who prefer the entry time to be the time that you hit 'post' on the entry can coexist peacefully. (If you only want to use that option once, you'll have to remember to check or uncheck the ticky when you post your next entry.)

* If you use the 'site' option in user tags, you can now do so more easily. Instead of having to type out <user name=exampleusername>, for instance, you can now just type <user name=exampleusername site=lj>. We'll be updating the documentation in a bit, but in the meantime, here's the collections of abbreviations that will work:
  • DW
  • LJ
  • DJ
  • DA
  • JF
  • AO3
  • FFN

* The landing page after you post a comment that winds up being screened because of journal settings is now more informative: the link text is better, and the text more clearly explains who can see the comment before it's unscreened.

* Our RSS feed system has been improved so that feeds from sites using HTTPS update correctly.

* The landing page after you post an entry is now more informative: it contains the security level and the title of the entry.

* Comments will no longer wind up being too narrow to read when they get highly nested: there's now a minimum width applied.

* If you have an underscore in your username, your Dreamwidth forwarding email address will now work in both and forms. (Before, it was only the underscore version that would work, but people tend to use them interchangeably.)

* Accounts that you've banned from your journal will no longer appear on the lists of "people who subscribe to you" on your profile page.

* When you send a private message, the 'success' page now contains a link to view the message you just sent in your outgoing messages folder.

* We fixed a problem with the Practicality, Bases, and Planet Caravan styles that meant certain text was invisible (because the same color was being used for the text and the background.) Please note, if you'd customized those text colors using CSS, you might need to redo your customizations. You can find out more in Style-related code push things in [community profile] style_system.

* We changed how rename tokens work, so you can now use a rename token on an account other than the account that bought the token, thus avoiding the problem where you had a token on one account but you wanted to rename a different account.

* We fixed a bunch of issues with embedded things from other sites, and whitelisted a few more sites for embedding from.

* We added labels and alt text in a bunch of places, to make the site more accessible to screenreaders and other assistive technology.

A great big "welcome to Dreamwidth development" goes to [personal profile] me_and, meanwhile, who has joined us with a bang (and a lot of patches).

Pretty pretty pictures

This code push brings us a new style: Seamless, by [personal profile] timeasmymeasure. It comes with one theme, Pink Envy.

We also have a whole whackload of new themes for some of our other styles:

* 12 new themes by [personal profile] zaluzianskya, for Summertime: A Thing With Feathers, Capricious Insect, Dimensions, Enough At Last, I'm Gonna Let It Shine, Once Is Enough, Reason Does Not Understand, Take It Away, The Poet's Abstract Head, The Very Opposite of Meaning, Thicker Than Water, and Uncertain Inevitability. (Which are totally the best names ever.)

* 5 new themes for Lefty: Beach Hut, City Spring; and The Trees, The Forest by [personal profile] forthwritten, and Foggy Beach and Glossalia by [personal profile] timeasmymeasure.

* 2 new themes for Patsy by [personal profile] timeasmymeasure: Foggy Beach and Glossalia.

* 7 new themes for Line Up by [personal profile] timeasmymeasure: Clear Heads, Crossroads, Deep Waters, Honeycomb, In Sight, Open Roads, and Roja.

* 13 new themes for Crisped, by [personal profile] forests_of_fire: Alice Blue Blossoms, Flowers and Curls, I Get Misty..., Kyler, Lawless Speckles, Luka, Night Flowers, Purples and Golds, Sea the Flowers, Soft Olive Flowers, Softest Flowers, Springtime Flowers, and Verdena.

* 3 new themes for Crossroads by [personal profile] forests_of_fire: Enjoy the Love, Falling Leaves, and Neon Sequins.

Thanks to everyone who submitted styles and themes! Remember, anyone can do so. Instructions for how to submit themes can be found in [site community profile] dreamscapes.


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 still 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 at 5:45PM PDT (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.
angelikitten: Happy Ness (on a bike) (Happy - HappiNess)

[personal profile] angelikitten 2015-06-27 10:23 am (UTC)(link)
Does anyone know how I'd go about submitting a moodtheme for official use? The moodtheme in question is my Big Eyes moodtheme that I made myself.

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amihan: black and white image of freema agyeman as martha jones in doctor who, small smile on face ([doctor who] m. jones)

[personal profile] amihan 2015-06-27 10:45 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the update and definitely appreciate all these new tweaks. :) All of these are fantastic, even if they're ones I haven't thought of before, e.g. multiple sticky entries.
ninetydegrees: Text: Don't Forget to Be Awesome (DFTBA)

[personal profile] ninetydegrees 2015-06-27 11:07 am (UTC)(link)
Man, I'd missed news posts!

Yay and many thanks for all the new shiny!

Fu, <3 and good luck on your next adventure!
wytchcroft: heavent sent (cat)

[personal profile] wytchcroft 2015-06-27 11:16 am (UTC)(link)
i may be an invisible freeloader pretty much - but i'm very grateful to all the DW crew.

rock on Fu in the next when/where. i hope it's an adventure.
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)

[personal profile] china_shop 2015-06-27 11:31 am (UTC)(link)
* When you send a private message, the 'success' page now contains a link to view the message you just sent in your outgoing messages folder.

Yay! Thank you! :-D
narva: (Kitten be cute.)

[personal profile] narva 2015-06-27 11:47 am (UTC)(link)
"site" tags getting shorter and easier to handle wheeeee that's awesome

Also I'm really happy about the info on the landin page re: who can see the entry, that will hopefully keep the damage of my failed postings to a minimum in the future.
needled_ink_1975: A snarling cougar; colored pencil on paper (Default)

[personal profile] needled_ink_1975 2015-06-27 11:58 am (UTC)(link)
Only just woken up and html-stuff is not yet loaded in brain. But I can manage a bold tag AND CAPSLOCKINESS :)


angrboda: Close-up of hedgehog bristles, with my username written above (Default)

[personal profile] angrboda 2015-06-27 12:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh I want one of the new themes. Well, actually I want two of the new themes and can't choose. Ideally a combination of the two, actually...
artemis10002000: (Default)

[personal profile] artemis10002000 2015-06-27 01:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for your hard work Fu and good luck!

Team, thank you for letting us have more sticky posts and adding a minimum width to comments, I'd been hoping for these changes.
sizedyouup: (Default)

[personal profile] sizedyouup 2015-06-27 01:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh wow, I'd noticed some of the changes but hadn't realized that there were so many!

Thank you.

And [personal profile] fu, thank you for your work and best of luck with your new endeavors. Glad to know you won't be gone entirely!
musyc: Text: Serpents upon my dirigible (Text: Serpents on dirigible)

[personal profile] musyc 2015-06-27 02:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, Fu! Your delightful comments and assistance will be missed on the official side, and you are a fantastic and so helpful minion of the DW overlords. Good luck with your new opportunity. I'm sure that you will be amazingly successful.


The "use current time" option when updating your journal is now a 'sticky ticky'

This is one of those things that I am probably NEVER going to use, but I am so pleased that it exists for other people who want it so desperately. Sticky tickies are the best kind of tickies!

If you use the 'site' option in user tags, you can now do so more easily.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, this is so awesome.
kotoba: (Default)

[personal profile] kotoba 2015-06-27 03:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much for all the updates!

The "use current time" option when updating your journal is now a 'sticky ticky'
I don't see this option on the update page. Where is it?
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)

[personal profile] silverflight8 2015-06-27 03:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for all your work, fu!

Hooray for both the sticky ticky "use post time" and the hotmail notification fixes!
jjhunter: Closeup of monarch butterfly (butterfly closeup)

[personal profile] jjhunter 2015-06-27 04:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Best of luck with your new opportunity, [personal profile] fu, and I will look forward to seeing you around when you've time. All you've built here grows. <3

[personal profile] jazzyjj 2015-06-27 04:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you Dw! This is another great site update. That spammer is no longer in my profile, so thank you for removal of the account completely. Also, yay for alt text! I haven't yet tried out the new themes/styles, but I'm sure they're just as accessible as the ones I have tried out. I can only sense light and dark, so I'm basing my previous statement on what my screen reader has told me. Fu, best of luck in your future endeavors--wherever they might take you. You've been a fantastic resource around here, and it's good that you'll still make an appearance at Dw hq from time to time. Rock on Dreamwidth!
yumi_usagi: (Kon)

[personal profile] yumi_usagi 2015-06-27 05:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks for all of your hard work!
blnchflr: Art by Peter Holck (Peter Holck)

[personal profile] blnchflr 2015-06-28 07:50 am (UTC)(link)
@[personal profile] fu: Best of luck with your new endeavours!
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2015-06-28 03:25 pm (UTC)(link)
post with a ton of comments about times you remember fu being awesome

But fu is always awesome. This quality of hers is not limited to any specific times.

--hardest worker on Dreamwidth
--always bright and cheerful
--always helpful
--a genuinely nice person

Never got to know fu on a personal level, but for her seemingly single-handed ability to keep everything together I am not only going to miss her but will also feel deeply uncertain of any future here without her.

And to fu, personally - all the best of luck to you in your future endeavors. Thank you for all you've done for us!
Edited (typos) 2015-06-28 16:04 (UTC)
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)

[personal profile] sophie 2015-06-30 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
While I agree that Fu is a very awesome person and has done a ton of stuff, I think it's unfair to everybody else to imply that Dreamwidth has an uncertain future without her. Dreamwidth is the product of a lot of work by a lot of people, and quite honestly, I'd say that [staff profile] mark and [staff profile] denise have done most of all. I've seen the amount of work they've both put into this - it's been an incredible amount.

Please don't disparage the work that everybody else is putting into Dreamwidth.
Edited (Fixing user tag.) 2015-06-30 14:58 (UTC)

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marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Re: rescreening

[personal profile] marahmarie 2015-06-28 03:42 pm (UTC)(link)
So we've made a change to the screening behavior. Now, if a comment in your journal was initially screened and you unscreen it, editing the comment after it's been unscreened will rescreen the comment.

So I'm not sure where to provide feedback on this or if this is the appropriate place to do so, but I'm not thrilled. I screen all comments and no one comments who upon an edit of their own words I would willingly, knowingly choose to rescreen - in other words, I am in the lucky (and likely rather unusual) position of being able to fully trust the people who are allowed to comment.

And my audience does tend to edit for typos or add more info on later or decide to scratch out something - same as I do - and the fact that I tend to make more edits than anyone means that on my own blog especially I have to watch my own comments rescreened when I edit them, then unscreen them again (and my own edits are so voluminous as to make this a chore of truly gargantuan proportions as I'm totally OCD about - and obsessed with - comment re-editing).

In other words, for someone like me, this change will prove time-consuming and downright onerous, as I don't have a lot of time to spend on Dreamwidth and don't want to devote more time to all the new rescreens/extra unscreens. Which is why I wish this new feature - while I'm sure it's quite handy-dandy for most users - could still be optional for those of us who'd rather do without it.
Edited (clarity, typo) 2015-06-28 16:06 (UTC)

Re: rescreening

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marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

These things are awesome

[personal profile] marahmarie 2015-06-28 03:59 pm (UTC)(link)
If you use the 'site' option in user tags, you can now do so more easily.

A truly great improvement.

Comments will no longer wind up being too narrow to read when they get highly nested: there's now a minimum width applied.

Can't wait to check this out as it's been the one thing I've had the most trouble coding for CSS-wise over the years (stretching back to LJ itself, where the problem started...but in a way it was a silver-lining situation, as it was this very issue which eventually inspired me to learn how to write and edit CSS).....

Accounts that you've banned from your journal will no longer appear on the lists of "people who subscribe to you" on your profile page.

This makes me want to dance for joy. There's a very real thing called "artifacting" online and this, to me, was one of the more embarrassing artifacts arising out a situation where the last thing you ever want to do is see the other's name ever again.

One question about the following change, which I'm otherwise thrilled with: The landing page after you post an entry is now more informative: it contains the security level and the title of the entry.

Will this apply to edited posts, as well? If not, are there any plans to make it do so in the future?

Re: These things are awesome

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Re: These things are awesome

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sahara: (pink hair)

[personal profile] sahara 2015-06-28 05:41 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm loving the new styles for Crisped, especially the one I'm currently using!
tehomet: (Enjoy your coffee)

[personal profile] tehomet 2015-06-28 07:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the update.

Thank you for everything and good luck, [personal profile] fu! :)

[personal profile] lelooch 2015-06-28 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Please. Load more good graphic themes for blogs. Something old and good like in old

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yabamena: (Default)

[personal profile] yabamena 2015-06-29 02:55 am (UTC)(link)
Awesome work! I'm especially excited about the site abbreviations and the multiple sticky posts.

The only issue I've noticed is with my custom mood theme not showing up. When I make a new post and select a mood, I get the broken image icon. When I right-click and select view image, I get taken to a page with this message:

Get dial tcp: lookup Temporary failure in name resolution

However, when I go directly to the image link, the image is still there.

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aedifica: Drawing of Kiki, an enthusiastic ferret from the comic Sluggy Freelance (Kiki!)

[personal profile] aedifica 2015-06-29 04:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm very excited about the sticky ticky for entry timestamps! Hooray!

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