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_news2009-04-20 02:38 pm

Progress Report: 20 April

Another week gone by ... leaving us with 10 days until our Open Beta launch. Eeeek. If anybody needs me, I'll be hiding under the couch, breathing into my brown paper bag.

While I'm hiding under the couch, here's what we got done this week! We'll start off with the numbers:

Days to open beta launch: 10
Bugs blocking open beta, without a patch: 13
Total open bugs: 349
Total resolved bugs: 549
Bugs resolved this week: 56

And away we go.


As most everyone seems to have noticed by now, we committed the alpha version of our crosspost function this week! It's still got some bugs in it, and it's not fully feature-complete yet, but it's still pretty awesome. You can see information (and leave bugs) in the latest code release post:

Code Update

This week we also changed how we handle "adult content" to reflect the fact that we don't allow under-13 users on Dreamwidth, so the 14+/"adult concepts" setting is vaguely useless. We changed it instead to a "not safe for work" setting, which will allow people to (optionally!) indicate that their content might not be worksafe and allow people who are browsing at work to choose (again, optionally) to collapse non-worksafe content on their reading page and be reminded that content might not be worksafe if they click through to see it. As with our 18+ flag, use of this is totally optional, and no one will ever be penalized for not using it. We're still in the process of updating all of the text on-site to explain what's going on with that, so don't worry if you don't see it quite yet.

[staff profile] mark also fixed a lot of bugs with the journal importer this week, including missing userpics, non-updating comment counts/tags, and problems with importing icons from JournalFen. He also found a bunch of obscure bugs that were affecting five or six people each and fixed those. If you've been having problems with importing your journal, you may want to try again.

(We still haven't fixed the bug involving trying to import multiple journals into one Dreamwidth journal, or the bug where if you import your journal before you bring over all your icons the entries won't show the right icons, but we're working on those as well.)

Coding welcome this week goes to [personal profile] gchick and [personal profile] kareila! Congrats on your first commits. (This week we had patches committed from 19 contributors, plus me and Mark.)

At this point, most of our big features for open beta are in (and live on the site) -- the only thing that we still need to work on is the payment system -- and the remaining ten days are going to be occupied with bugfixes, styles updates, tweaking various options, and generally getting the site ready for an influx of users on April 30.

Which is in 10 days.

Did I mention that hiding under the couch thing?


This week we made three other site schemes available: Tropospherical Purple (a color-swapped version of Tropospherical Red, our default site scheme), Celerity (vertical navigation), and Lynx (light mode). You can change your site scheme on the Display tab of the Account Settings page.

We also added the Transmogrified style, designed by absolut for the 2005 LiveJournal style contest, and are working on getting our base core2 style (which can be fully styled via CSS) set up for people to create themes for.

For information on the core2 base style (along with a chance to name it!), check out this [site community profile] dw_styles post:

"Name our Style" challenge and pre-announcement about submitting stylesheets

For information on Transmogrified, and overall information on the styles overhaul, see:

Transmogrified! And notes on the style overhaul.

In general, anybody looking for information on our styles -- including how to submit styles that they've created, or how to make and submit themes for those styles -- should join the [site community profile] dw_styles community, where our styles team is valiantly laboring away at making our version of S2 kick ass.


We've seen a lot of confusion about invite codes going around, as well as a lot of upset about how we've given out invite codes up until now, and I wanted to take the chance to clarify again.

Dreamwidth is still in closed beta. (It's an extended closed beta, but it's still a closed beta!) This means that things are still broken, things aren't in the right places, we don't have all the functionality we're going to have, and -- most importantly -- we don't have all of the hardware we're going to be launching with in ten days. Right now we have 18 servers running our production site (, while when we launch, we'll have more.

We're being very, very careful about how many people we add to our closed beta because of this, and also because we wanted to squash a few more of the bugs that everyone helped identify before we opened the doors to more people -- it was getting cumbersome to explain the known issues to everyone. By the time we launch in 10 days (meeeeep), we'll have fixed a lot more of them, and we'll have the resources to support many, many more users. At that point, we're going to be mass-inviting people who've shown an interest in the project, as well as giving invites to all of our users to give out to their friends.

I do want to stress, however, that once we hit open beta, it will still be beta! We've made a number of sweeping changes, both to introduce new functionality and to clean up some of the already-existing functionality, and while we've gone to tremendous effort to make sure things work, there are still some sawdust puddles in the corners and all the trim isn't painted yet. Unlike Google's definition of 'beta', where things are in beta for five years or more, we plan on having our open beta period last about three to four months.

During our open beta phase, we'll be concentrating on doing the last bits of cleanup, adding the last pieces of functionality that we couldn't get to before open beta begun, adding more pretty, extending our documentation, and otherwise doing the last things we consider necessary for us to consider all the basic bits of the site "finished".

Once we've finished all of that, we'll take the "beta" off the logo, have a big release party (both real and virtual), and start working on the big new features we want to add.


With excitement about the open beta launch getting bigger and bigger, I also thought it was a good time to remind everyone of some of the requests we've made regarding Dreamwidth advocacy:

Advocacy Guidelines

In particular, we ask people to remember the Code of Conduct, in which we specifically ask that people remember that Dreamwidth is not going to be the right choice for everyone, and we're totally okay with that. We don't expect (nor do we want!) for everyone to move to Dreamwidth overnight from whatever service they're currently using, and we're designing from the ground up to make cross-site interoperability as easy and painless as we possibly can. We want everyone to be comfortable choosing, or not choosing, Dreamwidth based on their own priorities, and we ask that everyone who's advocating for Dreamwidth remember that fact.

We also would like to request that people, when talking about Dreamwidth and the Dreamwidth project, concentrate on what we do offer, not what we don't. It's tempting for a lot of people to describe Dreamwidth in terms of "not LiveJournal", and that makes us sad, because Mark and I both worked on LiveJournal for years and many of our close friends and former colleagues still work or volunteer there. We ask everyone to remember that Dreamwidth wouldn't exist without the hard work that everyone put into LiveJournal over the last ten years, and also remember that we don't intend for LiveJournal/Dreamwidth to be an either/or option. Many people are quite comfortable choosing both.

It's also worth repeating, I think, that Dreamwidth is not a fandom project. While we are very welcoming of fandom, we are not fandom-exclusive or even fandom-focused. We hope to build a broad, diverse, creative community from all walks of life and all groups of interests.


As we get closer and closer to our open beta launch, the question we're hearing more and more: how can I help?

We're in the process of gathering all of our Dreamwidth-volunteering-related information in the [site community profile] dw_volunteers community. Once we're finished, that community will hold information on all of the volunteer-run and volunteer-driven projects, along with how you can get involved.

We might not have everything all collated by the time that open beta rolls around, but we will get that information put in place as quickly as possible (once we're all done running around like headless chickens trying to get the last bits nailed into place, that is).


Our docs team is in their final documentation push, so many of our FAQs are slowly filling in with information about how to do what you'd like to do!

There's also an unofficial community for people who are looking for a more immediate answer:

[community profile] getting_started

If you can't figure something out, feel free to post there until we can get our official support board up and running.


A bunch of people are organizing Dreamwidth open beta parties! If you're interested, and you live in a major metro area, check it out:

Open Beta parties - update

If your area isn't listed yet, and you've got plans for a DW open beta party, leave a comment there.


As a reminder, right now there's no way for a Dreamwidth user to "claim" an OpenID account, so when you get an invite to Dreamwidth, you have to recreate your reading list, your access list, etc. All comments that were made from the OpenID user will also continue to display as having come from the OpenID account.

We've seen that many people have been deleting their OpenID account when they get a Dreamwidth account. You don't need to do that (and, in fact, it could cause problems in the future, for managing any comments that were left under that OpenID account) -- it doesn't hurt anything to leave the OpenID account undeleted.

We'll be adding a way to integrate your OpenID account with your Dreamwidth account as soon as possible after open beta. (We realized we couldn't get it finished by open beta, but it's a big priority for us shortly thereafter.)


People have been looking at the stats page and wondering where all of those accounts are coming from, given the shortage of invite codes!

The 101,795 total accounts takes into account personal accounts, communities, OpenID identites, and syndicated feeds. By the time we launch to open beta -- or, at the very least, in the next release after -- we'll have better stats presentation, so you'll be able to tell at a glance how many of which type of account we have. Right now, there are 2943 personal accounts on the service. (I know this because I'm subscribed to all of them through closed beta, to find reports of problems or questions that I can answer. And yes, I am reading everything!)

Our stats page will also include breakdowns of how many journals we have by payment account type (free, paid, premium paid, and seed) as well as by personal/community/OpenID/feed. So, for instance, you'll be able to see how many paid communities there are, or how many free personal accounts, or how many active personal journals, etc.

In the meantime, [personal profile] sophie has charted our active usage over the past few weeks, which you can see here:

DW activity graph

(We all may be a little addicted to pretty graphs.)


As we get closer and closer to April 30, when we launch to open beta and permit people to purchase paid accounts, someone reminded me that it'd be a good idea to reiterate the information about Seed (permanent) accounts for those who are curious.

We are selling 400 Seed accounts, for $200 USD each, when we launch to open beta; this is to finance what we project to be our first year of operating expenses. You can read more about why we don't plan on having them regularly available in our Business FAQs:

Dreamwidth business FAQs - Account levels

There's also more about Seed Accounts in the 30 March progress update:

30 March Progress Update

In recognition of the fact that not everyone is in a US timezone, we're going to be selling our Seed Accounts in two batches. One batch of 200 accounts will go on sale the evening of April 30, and the other 200 accounts will go on sale 12 hours later, on the morning of May 1. ("Evening" and "morning" relative to my time, of course.) We'll let you know an exact time in next week's update.

Seed Accounts will be first-come, first-served. We priced them at the equivalent of four years of Premium Paid account service, and they are functionally equivalent to Premium Paid accounts; there's nothing that a Seed Account gets that a premium paid account doesn't get, except the warm fuzzy knowledge that you're helping us subsidize the first year of operations for everyone and the need to never have to pay again.

We're building Dreamwidth with a careful eye on the notion of long-term sustainability -- we want to make sure that we're going to be around for the long haul, and part of that is being responsible and careful about making sure we spread out our income as well as making sure that we limit growth to what we feel we can reasonably support. That's one of the reasons why we're only selling the number of Seed accounts we think we'll need, in order to finance that first year of operation.

After that, we're going to be relying on providing a kickass enough service to make y'all want to pay us to keep it going. You can read more about our paid account reasoning, as well as what features paid accounts will get (and what features we plan on adding), here:

Paid Account features


Until we can get a better reporting system in place -- we're working on it, honestly! -- right now, the best way to leave report of a problem is by commenting to the latest [site community profile] dw_news update. The best way to report suggestions for improvements is by leaving a comment in [site community profile] dw_suggestions.

We are reading each and every comment, and replying to them as we can. As you can imagine, we've got a lot on our plates right now, so we might not be able to reply to every comment or message individually. If you see that your comment hasn't been replied to, while those around you have been, it's probably because you're reporting something that means we're going to have to do a little bit of work to debug or track down.

(I'm also very, very behind on [site community profile] dw_biz comments and some promised posts I haven't gotten a chance to make yet -- those are still on my to-do list.)


For commentary, quick questions, and important announcements, you can subscribe to the dw_news community:

[site community profile] dw_news

(You can log into the site with your OpenID account -- OpenID users can maintain reading lists.)

For semi-regular announcements on what-we've-done-lately (and by semi-regular I mean "whenever Mark or I remember to update it"), as well as downtime announcements, check out our Twitter account:

Dreamwidth on Twitter

For more real-time discussion, commentary, brainstorming, storytime, and the ability to consign things to hell, or at least to our irc bot "hEll", come join us in irc:, port 6667, channel #dw

Questions? Comments? Excitement about the open-beta launch in 10 days? Comment here!

We'll see you next week for our next update, at which point I'll really be hiding under the bed.
ladyvox: (Default)

missing link

[personal profile] ladyvox 2009-04-23 08:39 pm (UTC)(link)
While browsing the support board I noticed that on the page where you "Post a comment or solution" [] the link to the "Support Guide" posted in the red Important Notes sections is linking to a non-existing page.
Edited 2009-04-23 21:18 (UTC)