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.
derridian: image of a city with storm clouds behind it (Default)

[personal profile] derridian 2015-06-28 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
My first thought was TR
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

[personal profile] kaberett 2015-06-28 04:54 am (UTC)(link)
That's ambiguous with Twitter, unfortunately...
umadoshi: (Agent Carter - facing away)

[personal profile] umadoshi 2015-06-28 02:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Would "TW" work for Twitter? (Except as I typed that, "TW" jarred me a little because I'm used to unpacking it into "trigger warning" mentally. Hmm.)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

[personal profile] kaberett 2015-06-29 05:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Which is probably a good thing, because it exists! :-)