my journal
September 2016

Date: 2016-09-29 23:56
Security: Public
Mood:embarrassed embarrassed
Tags:apology, dreamwidth, psa
Subject: So, um... about that custom text in my style.

It's just come to my attention that I may have unintentionally portrayed myself as an Australian-Danish woman in Australia to some people looking at my Dreamwidth - namely, those who look at other journals in their own style. (Which you can do by setting the "Journal Pages Shown to You" box on this page, or by putting "?style=mine" at the end of a journal URL.)

The story is that this text (describing myself as someone I wasn't) was in my custom text module in my style. Since my style doesn't actually use the custom text module, it didn't show up for most people viewing my journal, including me. However, while previewing a style for someone else, I noticed this description and thought it may have been accidentally hardcoded in the style, so I let them know. As it turns out, though, the problem was on my end. Oops.

I guess I must have been testing styles at some point with someone and may have needed to use the custom text module to see how it looked. My guess is that I then left the text in there unintentionally, and never noticed until now because it doesn't normally show up.

I sincerely apologise to anybody who I have accidentally misled. While I am not going to detail what the text read (or whom the text actually described - even if I could remember) out of privacy concerns, the text did portray me as being in several underprivileged groups to which I do not actually belong.

To be clear, I am a white 34-year-old transgender woman living in Scotland in the UK. I am not currently employed and am living with my parents. My hobbies mainly revolve around the computer, including making music. I have a mild ataxic cerebral palsy, but no other physical diagnosed issues.

I don't know how long this text has been up, as I don't remember the last time I edited that part of my style, but I just deleted it. Once again, I am extremely sorry if I misled anyone. This is completely my fault and I cannot apologise enough for appropriating (even unintentionally) things to which I have no right.

Thank you for reading.

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Date: 2014-11-14 17:53
Security: Public
Subject: An interesting statistical anomaly

So I discovered an interesting anomaly in the Dreamwidth stats recently.

One of the things I do is keep historical daily copies of the raw stats file for Dreamwidth, which is updated daily. I've been collecting this file automatically every day since September 2010, and today I decided to take a look at today's file.

One thing I noticed was that the number of accounts with a birth date listed that would put them at 5 years old seemed to be really quite high compared to its surrounding data. While the number of accounts "aged" 6-12 totalled 107, the number of "5-year-olds" alone totalled 259.

It's worth noting at this point that you can't create an account if you put in a birth date that would indicate that you're below 13 years old, because Dreamwidth doesn't want to have to deal with COPPA. In other words, to have an account listed as any age between 5-12, you'd need to have created the account with an earlier birth date and then adjusted it after creation to be the birthdate you wanted it to be.

I decided to take a look at the historical copies of the stats file. The biggest part of the rise seemed to have taken place mostly in April-May 2014. At this point I plotted a graph to show the statistical anomaly, which internally I felt very conflicted about doing. (Without knowing why the graph was plotted or seeing the data, it sounds very creepy to plot a graph plotting the number of accounts with a birth date indicating they were 5-12 years old over time.)

My first thought was that these must be bots or RPers. I shared it with Dreamwidth's IRC channel and we all pondered over it, before [personal profile] pauamma realised what must be happening.

It turned out that what we were seeing was basically a replay - much diminished, mind you - of the growth Dreamwidth experienced in open beta when it started in April 2009 - 5 years ago! Some of the accounts created then must have set their "birth date" to be the date of the journal's creation - an account birth date rather than the user's birth date. We hadn't noticed before now because the stats file only goes down to 5 years old, and even though there were accounts in closed beta, the figure wasn't high enough to particularly notice before now.

What I'm saying is, we basically missed Dreamwidth's fifth birthday, if we take "birth" to mean the start of open beta. Dreamwidth is officially five years old!

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Date: 2011-12-23 02:27
Security: Public
Mood:happy happy
Tags:dreamwidth, greasemonkey, livejournal
Subject: LJ comment preview Greasemonkey script

[this is a public post on LJ]

I don't tend to do new stuff explicitly for LiveJournal nowadays, since I'm on Dreamwidth, but LJ came out with an interesting claim recently regarding the lack of a Preview button on the new commenting form:

Since a Preview button isn't easily/quickly possible with the new form, we have made the ability to edit comments available to all account types.
I was honestly a bit baffled by this, because it's actually really easy to add a Preview button. In fact, I knocked up a Greasemonkey script to add one in less than half an hour, and I've never previously touched the new commenting code. (Download here. Greasemonkey script has been tested on Firefox and Chrome; if anybody else knows if it works on other browsers, let me know! To run it on Firefox, you'll need the Greasemonkey add-on. Chrome users don't need any separate addon!)

But at the same time, I don't think LJ are deliberately and shamefacedly lying, because allowing all users to edit comments is going to put a dent in their bottom line. Lots of people find the ability to edit comments incredibly useful, and there's now one less reason for people to have paid accounts.

Rather, I suspect the reason they're not introducing the Preview button on the new form is because the Preview page includes a subject line field, and they seem to be doing their best to want to get rid of subject lines. (Don't ask me why, I have no clue.)

Anyway, I mainly made this post to get this Greasemonkey script out there, because as much as I'd love people to come to Dreamwidth, there are some people who aren't going to want to do so, and being able to preview comments is kind of important. That said, if you do read this, do consider giving Dreamwidth a try. You don't even need an invite code if you sign up before the end of the year, because DW have opened up the create flow for a limited period of time. So come on over and give it a try. :)

[edit (Dec 23rd): I updated the code as there were some cases when the code would pop up a "No can do." message box - if the page wasn't using the new commenting scheme. Please download the new version.]

[edit (Dec 24th): I've learned that [ profile] stuntpilot99 has made a Stylish style that makes LJ a bit easier to read by replacing the fonts with the fonts used before, slightly widens some margins, and other things. It also puts a soft grey background on everything, but as I don't like that myself, in the version I've got installed I edited it and replaced every instance of "#f7f7f7" with "#ffffff", which makes it white. In any case, go check it out. :)]

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Date: 2011-12-22 06:01
Security: Public
Tags:dreamwidth, link, livejournal
Subject: (no subject)

I've been meaning for a while to do a post about Dreamwidth and the differences it has from LiveJournal, but for now I just want to point out that from now until the end of the year, you don't need an invite code to join! Just click to create an account and you'll be able to do so. :)

(This post is mainly being done for the people reading this on LiveJournal, but some already-existing dwenizens might find it helpful too!)

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Date: 2011-02-24 10:27
Security: Public
Subject: Dreamwidth: No code required this week!

[this post is public on LJ]

I meant to post about this before this week, but there's still a few days left, so.

This week, from February 21st to February 28th, you don't need an invite code to create an account on Dreamwidth, at all. So if you've been thinking of creating an account but didn't want to ask anybody for a code, go ahead and create an account! I'm [personal profile] sophie over there if you want to add me to your reading and/or access lists. :)

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Date: 2010-11-12 18:41
Security: Public
Tags:dreamwidth, nntp, psa, tutorial
Subject: Dreamwidth and NNTP

In the latest Dreamwidth news post, it was asked how people would feel about using NNTP to access Dreamwidth. NNTP itself is a very old protocol from before the Web (although it can use HTML for its posts thanks to various features implemented later in some newsreaders), and as such, a lot of people are wondering why Dreamwidth users would be interested in using such old technology.

Let me phrase the question another way. How would you feel if you could have a client for DW that not only allowed you to post, but allowed you to read posts and comments using an interface much like a threaded email client? How about if that client kept track of the posts/comments you read, and alerted you when there were new comments to read?

A newsreader can do all that and more. (Includes screenshot!) )

Now, I want to talk a little about the differences between this proposed NNTP server and 'normal' NNTP servers. One thing that will catch out many people not used to NNTP will be the notion of 'subscribed' groups. With newsreaders, 'subscribing' to a group is something that only takes place on your computer. Newsreaders will then ask the server for the contents of your subscribed groups, one by one; the server doesn't know which groups you're 'subscribed' to.

Secondly, while normal news servers will give you a list of all the groups on the server, with the Dreamwidth version will only show you the journals, communities, and feeds in your circle. If you want to add something to the list, you'll need to go and add them to your circle via the web interface.

When you first connect to the server and download the list, your newsreader will show you that you do not 'subscribe' to any of them. You would have to go to view the list of 'all' groups (really just the list of accounts in your circle) and then 'subscribe' to the ones you want to keep up with.

In the proposed implementation, the "group names" used for accounts will look something like "dreamwidth.personal.sophie" or "".

Hopefully this helps you to understand how this might affect you! If anybody has any questions about how a newsreader works, I'll do my best to answer them. Also, nobody will *have* to use this, of course - it'd be there if you wanted to, but nothing is changing elsewhere. :)

[edited 2011-03-27 to correct a typo.]

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Date: 2010-09-02 08:09
Security: Public
Tags:dreamwidth, livejournal
Subject: Oh, LJ.

This one goes out to all my friends on LJ.

If LJ's latest screw-up with the Facebook/Twitter crossposting options hasn't yet convinced you to jump ship, take a look at Dreamwidth's proposed new Update page. That's a demo, not the real thing (which hasn't been coded yet), but give it a try. Go on.

And then, if you want any Dreamwidth invite codes, I have plenty to give out. Feel free to comment on this post.

Y'know, just sayin'.

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Date: 2010-03-29 08:53
Security: Public
Mood:worried worried
Tags:big posts, dreamwidth, google, google summer of code, livejournal, programming
Subject: DW and the Google Summer of Code

I've been hesitant to post about this, as I know that both Mark and Denise read this journal, but this issue is important enough to me to post it.

So, the application phase for students to apply to organisations participating in the Google Summer of Code begins today. Dreamwidth is one of these organisations.

From the start, I haven't liked the idea of DW taking part in the GSoC, and that's because GSoC, by definition, focuses on the code. Students enter the GSoC to code, and to get money from Google for doing it. They're not there to spend ages learning about the culture.

Thoughts on DW's community, passion and culture... )

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Date: 2009-11-24 20:42
Security: Public
Subject: (no subject)

A patch just got pushed into the Dreamwidth codebase that makes me squee. As of the next code push, there will be a way to post entries in communities visible only to the community admins!

Internally it uses the 'private' security setting, but it'll be displayed to admins and the option on the update page will say "Administrators". Only admins will be able to post these admin-only entries to communities, obviously.

I love Dreamwidth.

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Date: 2009-10-29 16:29
Security: Public
Subject: Dreamwidth invites!

If you want a Dreamwidth invite, there are now a few options to get one.

Firstly, [site community profile] dw_codesharing has just got a lot more accessible; codes are now posted as-is in separate posts. If you want a code, check it out - there are more than likely going to be codes available right on the first page you see. No need to email anybody and ask!

Secondly, I do still have invites available myself. If you want an invite, let me know in a comment to this post - I've got at least 12.

Please spread the signal!

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Date: 2009-07-13 12:43
Security: Public
Tags:dreamwidth, my journal
Subject: (no subject)

Dreamwidth now has the option of setting custom footer text that can appear even if you don't disable comments, courtesy of [staff profile] denise, so I've taken the opportunity of doing that. You can still comment either on LJ or on DW; I'm not disabling comments on LJ.

I'd love to see more people over here, though. :D

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Date: 2009-03-19 12:38
Security: Public
Tags:dreamwidth, dreamwidth-only post
Subject: [dw] On importing.

So, for the record, the reason I haven't yet imported my old posts/userpics/etc. is because I'd like to do it all in one go, and I don't want to import comments until I know everything is okay with the importer. It's not that I don't trust it, but I don't want to import comments from other people without giving them warning. This is probably just me, though.

Also, the font in the HTML tab of the editor is waaaaaay too small. (I think this is the case with LJ too.)

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Date: 2009-02-22 05:03
Security: Public
Tags:dreamwidth, omg first post, silliness
Subject: Haiiiii!

On LJ, I looked back at my journal and wished I had written a more eloquent first entry.

Now I'm on Dreamwidth, writing my first entry, and all I can think of is to address the following to future-me looking back at this entry:

"Hi! How is it over there in the future? OMG I CAN HAZ DREAMWIDTH ACCOUNT kthxbai"

Oh, and "I hope things are going better for you than they are for me. Hey, when humanity invents that time-travel machine, come back and give me a visit, k?"

Sadly, nobody's appeared to me as I was writing this entry, so I can only assume that future-me TOTALLY IGNORED ME.

Thanks, me.

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