Code push scheduled for Sunday night

Apr. 27th, 2017 03:03 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We are planning to do a code push late this weekend, at approximately 8pm PDT / 11pm EDT / 3am UTC on Sunday, Apr 30 (or May 1 for you transatlantic types.).

I don't have a list of changes for you yet, but most will fall into the following categories: things users have complained about to support volunteers, things support volunteers have complained about to developers, things [staff profile] denise has complained about not working the way she expects them to (and as we all know, The Boss is Always Right), and things that were printing warnings over and over in the production server logs, making it hard to spot when less frequent, more urgent errors were being printed. Oh, and also all the unused code I ripped out at the roots, which if you notice that, I did it wrong.

To sum up: we are rolling out a bunch of requested changes, so thank you all for your feedback!

If you're new to Dreamwidth and interested in tracking our development process, our commit logs are published to [site community profile] changelog and [community profile] changelog_digest, and every month or so, one of our volunteers will translate those often-cryptic entries into witty, informative code tours! The most recent one was published on April 1, so we're about due for a new one. Hint, hint.

We'll update here again to let you know when the code push is imminent!

Home from travels

Apr. 26th, 2017 02:08 am
baratron: (cn tower)
[personal profile] baratron
Home from travelling. Actually, I got in somewhere around 1 pm yesterday and proceeded to pass out for many hours. Woke up at 1 am and (much to my surprise) have been awake ever since. Husband has been snuggled. Boyfriend has been talked to on Skype. He looks very sad, poor thing, but it remains against the laws of physics for me to be in two places at once. Hoping we can have him visit in late June/early July for my birthday.

Super weirdly, I have been physically energetic enough to have emptied the laundry rack, folded the dry laundry, sorted all of the dirty laundry in my suitcase, put on a load of laundry, emptied the clean stuff out of the dishwasher and refilled it. I hope that I will not pay for this tomorrow, though I have A Theory. A theory which involves, of all things, vegan bacon and my ability to get it.

(Gods, I knew that Yves Veggie Bacon wasn't very fatty, but I didn't realise that 3 rashers had only 0.5 g of fat between the lot of them, along with 14 g of protein. Short of actually, y'know, BAKING my own tofu, I am unsure where to get tasty textured fake meat products which are low fat and high protein. Nasty-tasting, weird textured but low fat, I can do. Nice-tasting, well-textured and full of fat, I can do).

Continue to be Unimpressed with Aer Lingus. Will relate the full story later when spoons exist.

Drawing tutorials

Apr. 24th, 2017 07:01 pm
green_knight: (Konfuzius)
[personal profile] green_knight
By chance I stumbled across this set of tutorials (hosted by one particular piece of software, but completely agnostic, you don't even need to work digitally).

In fact, the tutorial that made me go 'oooooh' was

http://www.sketchbook.com/blog/how-to-draw-dragons-step-by-step/

which teaches you how to draw a dragon, complete with anatomy. (I like this way of working. Iz impressed.)

The horse one is mostly accurate (it gets one coat pattern wrong and most of the horses move much stiffer than they should) but there's nothing egregiously _wrong_, so I hope that the other species - cats, big cats, foxes, wolves - are equally accurate.

I am starting to see the first improvements in my drawing - the lines I draw are smoother and more confident - so I'm hoping to eventually move out the line exercise phase into one where I actually begin to draw stuff.

Right now, these tutorials are way beyond me - I could copy the lines, but I cannot decide where they should go and vary postures or phases of the stride - but if I squint sideways, I can see there from here.

And it just gets better and better

Apr. 23rd, 2017 10:55 pm
baratron: (cn tower)
[personal profile] baratron
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 10:00 p.m. — Monday, April 24, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

Due to system maintenance during the dates and times listed, there will be a partial shutdown of AirTrain JFK service. There will be no service to/from all airport terminals and no service at the Howard Beach and Lefferts Blvd stations. AirTrain JFK service will continue to operate a normal schedule to/from Jamaica Station and Federal Circle. Free shuttle buses replace service and will be available at the affected AirTrain stations and airport terminals. Please allow extra time when traveling to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport and see a Customer Care Representative for assistance if needed.


Argh! I just LOVE the idea of having to travel around the airport in a shuttle bus instead of a nice, accessible train! *facepalm*
baratron: (boots)
[personal profile] baratron
I have many photos of my trip to the US to post, when I get A Round Tuit. They are crappy mobile phone pictures, but I cannot be bothered to carry a real camera with me any more. I am a terrible photographer with the best equipment in the world, and I'm more interested in recording memories than attempting to take good shots.

Currently I am worrying about being stranded in New York tomorrow once Delta drop me off there.

It turns out that Aer Lingus are morons. I've had several "incidents" with them this trip and am never flying with them again, but in the meantime they are supposed to be getting me home to London tomorrow.Read more... )

Bitdefender got under my skin

Apr. 21st, 2017 01:48 pm
green_knight: (Default)
[personal profile] green_knight
After a brush with a virus-infected website a few days ago, I decided to install Bitdefender (we have a household licence), scanned my computer, and so far, so good.

It very soon got under my skin. The application is designed to always run - but how that's implemented is a) a menu bar app (so far, so good), and b) the main app is running ALL THE TIME, telling you that you are (or are not) protected. Every hour, it updates its virus definitions, and sends you a notification. (You can turn this off, but still.)

I hate the interface of the app. It's black and blocky and intrusive and I find dark blocky interfaces stressful. If your website contains a black navigation strip at the top, I will either not visit it or block the top of my screen because IT STRESSES ME OUT TO VIEW THIS ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

So you can guess what Bitdefender's dark intrusive, impossible-to-kill interface was doing to me. You can quit the app, but it comes back immediately. It's not needed - the menu bar app is perfectly capable of doing the background scanning etc - but it just sits there and glares at me.

And it's sneaky. I know that what it tries to out-sneak is malware writers, but you cannot kill it with any of the options built into the system - it does not play well with the system, it circumvents the usual settings, all so that it can shove its dark, ugly interface into your field of vision.

I've uninstalled the app. I will eventually reinstall it (or something else) to protect my computer, but right now, protecting my mental health was a priority.

Sometimes, I hate programmers.
green_knight: (Writing)
[personal profile] green_knight
I've been using Storyist (Mac-only) for three or four years now, and I am completely and utterly in love with this software.

Right now, it's available as part of a bundle containing a lot of other useful software (Aurora is a decent photo editor; Scapple is my mind map of choice, and a number of the rest of apps in the bundle look very yummy, too.)

Storyist works on the same principle as Scrivener (it also has an iOS app which I use frequently; though there's no Windows version if you need that); but for me the main difference is that I found Scrivener unintuitive and clunky: if you want to use it, you need to work through a lengthy tutorial and watching these five videos, and at the end of all that I still felt that I needed to mould my workflow to please the software rather than the other way round.

With Storyist, I felt inspired from the moment I first opened it, and it has improved my workflow tremendously.

I use the side-by-side feature extensively; and it's made a big difference to my writing: the fewer things I need to hold in my head, the more capacity I have for writing.


I like the ability to have the same document side by side, so you can keep writing while scrolling through and pulling up previous scenes for comparison. I've worked with two documents side by side when translating, but mostly, I will pull up relevant information in the second pane while never losing my place in the main one. For characters, I simply dump descriptions in there; but I may also keep reference photos, maps and diagrams. Recently I wrote a council scene where everybody was sitting around a table - having a seating plan made it possible to consider who would hear a whispered remark, who might inadvertently (or deliberately) step on someone else's toes, whether my protagonist would see a speaker's expression or not... it made for a much better scene.

I've also used Storyist for editing so I can keep characters and their quirks straight - this means that the descriptions of a technology remain coherent, but not identical. If a phrase is repeated too often, or all characters use the exact same phrase all of the time, readers will notice. At the same time, you want a certain consistency in how characters describe a new technology like mind speech or FTL travel: how does it feel, what metaphors do they use, does it _mean_ something if one character experiences it differently. And you don't want descriptions to differ between books, so you need to write them down _somewhere_... and I've found Storyist to be perfect for that.

As a bonus, you get outlining and notecard tools which are pretty good - I don't use them that often, but they're worth mentioning. This is a tool that will work in oh-so-many ways for very different workflows. I can't emphasise how much difference it has made to me to have all of my materials - different mss, notes, images - in one place, and to be able to access them without losing my place in the running text.

So if you haven't tried this kind of tool, now is a good time; $29 is as good a price as you're going to get (Storyist has a free trial!) and you'll get a bunch of other apps into the bargain.

The importer has (mostly) caught up!

Apr. 19th, 2017 11:02 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
Our content importer has mostly caught up with its backlog; almost everything that's still listed as being "in the queue" are jobs that were tried, failed once or more with a temporary failure, and are waiting to try again. (The importer tries a few times, at successively longer intervals, when it gets a failure it thinks might be temporary/might correct itself later on.) This means that new imports scheduled now should complete in hours (or even minutes), not the "several days" it's been taking.

If you tried to schedule a second import while the first one was still running, at any time in the past 10 days or so, you may have confused the poor thing. If you think your import should be finished by now and it isn't, and you're seeing "Aborted" on the Importer Status part of the Importer page, feel free to open a support request in the Importer category and we'll look into it for you. (It may take a little bit before you get a response; those of us who have the access to look into importer problems have been really busy for the past two weeks or so, and I at least need a few days to catch my breath a bit before diving back into the fray! But we'll do what we can.)

I hope all y'all are continuing to settle in well to your new home!

So tired

Apr. 19th, 2017 03:16 pm
baratron: (sleepy)
[personal profile] baratron
Ye gods, I am so tired.

Shifty is in the process of replacing all of the kitchenware and appliances that he "inherited" from various relatives. However, he doesn't ever use his toaster, so it's pretty low priority for him. The toaster doesn't pop up properly, so I usually unplug it and then reach in with a fork to get the toasted item out.

Today I caught myself reaching into the toaster with a fork while it was still plugged in, thought "I don't want to electrocute myself" and flipped the pastry with (now-burned) fingers. Then I did the exact same thing when getting it out to serve!

My brain is just fried with fatigue. I am seriously contemplating going back to bed because I'm woozy as hell. No idea why I should be so tired, beyond the normal chronic fatigue. I'm sleeping well and falling asleep within minutes of getting into bed, which almost never happens at home. Although yesterday I was feeling like a sim whose Social bar was close to zero, so maybe it's that.

Emailed Dawn and [personal profile] hoopycat a few minutes ago to see if they want to come round for dinner tonight. We have a metric buttload of food that needs to be eaten up because Grant and I keep going out. I'll be up for socialising once I've rested some more.

Easter, Christians, and Church

Apr. 18th, 2017 02:27 pm
baratron: (endurance)
[personal profile] baratron
Well, I am an idiot. On Friday I went into a complete panic because the official invite for the party with Grant's cow-orkers got sent around, and it was very actively Christian. I generally have no problem with Christians who I meet through queer or poly circles, or who are members of the same political party as me, since I know they are likely to share my liberal values. However, given the state of American politics and the people currently running the country who call themselves "Christian" but share none of the values of tolerance and love expressed by Jesus Christ, I have something of a phobia of American Christians.

Grant says that I am being judgemental and jumping to conclusions, but it is a real problem when people who are in favour of love, equality, and social justice use the same name for their religion as people who are in favour of hatred and rich-white-cis-heteros being superior to everyone else. Of course, neither of them are willing to change to a different name, with the argument from liberal Christians being that they need to reclaim the name of Christ from the hatemongers. I can understand their point of view, but it makes it really difficult to know whether a person who calls themselves Christian is the "good" kind of Christian or the "bad" kind.

of course this gets long, it's me after all )

Very small grump

Apr. 18th, 2017 12:13 am
green_knight: (Spitting Cobra)
[personal profile] green_knight
Cannot buy bin liners for our food bin (only approved liners allowed, but not provided by Council) from the one source they're allowing online: I went to the site, tried to put them into my shopping cart, found the site hideously slow, and then got a fake virus warning from 'safe-guard.com' which mimics (badly) the Apple website and which informed me that my system was infected with (3) Viruses! and that I needed to remove them immediately.

Just in case, I zapped all my cookies/caches (there went my LJ cookie; I'd known I'd have to accept the new ToS at some point, oh well) and am currently scanning my system for viruses just in case. (Nothing found.)

Tomorrow's job will be to get someone else (cough, cough) to buy more binliners over the phone...

Song of Durin

Apr. 17th, 2017 09:35 am

End of an Era

Apr. 15th, 2017 01:22 am
green_knight: (Default)
[personal profile] green_knight
I have just renamed the folder in which I have saved a draft from 'LJ posts' to 'DW posts'.

Which is only acknowledging a process that has happened over several years: first I turned on crossposting, then I asked people to comment on DW, then I turned off LJ comments altogether, then crossposts. In the meantime, I read on DW first, commented on DW, friended new people with journals on both sides on DW... LJ was pretty much a backup location for me, with the exception of a couple of people I don't want to lose touch with. (And might have, if they decide to delete now.)

But DW isn't just a 'backup Livejournal'; it has grown into it's own thing. Maybe it's time to embrace that. I have closed my LJ friends list which always sat on the left edge of my browser and moved my DW rlist there.

Here's to good times and good people on DW!
baratron: (poly)
[personal profile] baratron
Yesterday was a little surreal. First of all, a friend who I've known for 15+ years outed themselves as non-binary and planning to start a medical transition approximately 5 hours before we were due to meet in person. Of course, I have no problems whatsoever with a person changing their name and pronoun (as I said, sometimes I feel like the only person in the bi/poly community who isn't non-binary or genderqueer*)- but I usually expect to find out a bit sooner than the day we're meeting for the first time in seven months! It helps to practice the new name and pronoun for a bit by myself so I don't accidentally blurt out the wrong one with the person present.

As it was, I blurted out the wrong name within minutes, and didn't even mean to - I was trying to say "Grant", but my stupid noun aphasia (caused by high doses of venlafaxine, which is otherwise a really good medication for me) cut in and substituted the friend's old name. Just great. Fortunately, friend has indeed known me for 15+ years and has been aware of what my mental health is like when inadequately medicated, and could agree that annoying side-effect beats the state I used to be in.

Then the friend (who may out themselves here if they wish) and I went out for dinner with Shifty and two of his cow-orkers. They were all hideously late owing to their charity work being extremely disorganised, and I was very glad I wasn't sitting in the restaurant by myself. The cow-orkers asked how Shifty and I had met, we started talking about Elder Scrolls Online and the UESP Guild, and it turned out that one of the cow-orkers has been using the UESP wiki since Oblivion (2006). And he was basically fanboying at me for running the UESP Guild and knowing the site owner.

Meanwhile, my friend was talking about their wife and girlfriend, and I was talking about Grant and "my husband, Richard". I mentioned things like when the three of us go out for dinner, how they always pick the same thing and then one of them has to switch so they can try more dishes - that they don't just have the same taste in women. While not explicitly at any stage using words like "polyamory" or "open relationship".

The dinner was nice and it was not too stressful, but I was feeling pretty wiped out by the end. I seem to be fighting some sort of throat infection, which is attempting to ruin my holiday and can sod off any time now.


*I am bigender rather than non-binary or genderqueer, so I am female except when I'm not. I have somewhere between a few hours and a few days of raging gender dysphoria per month where my entire body is Wrong, and the (actually bi but scared of women) gay man in the back of my head comes out. And the rest of the time it's just fine and I want to be addressed as "she/her" and recognised as A Female Geek Doing Nerdy Things. The conclusion I've come to is that my social and political gender is female, but my sexual gender is male.

New Exciting Dreamwidth Meta

Apr. 14th, 2017 12:53 pm
baratron: (baratron)
[personal profile] baratron
I am about 50% of the way through fixing my Dreamwidth Circle to include people's DW names instead of their LJ names if I am certain that they have moved over. It's exhausting! And removing the people who are ACTUALLY DEAD or who I have irreversibly lost contact with (i.e. they haven't logged into LJ since 2003) is emotionally draining.

If you are reading this but are not already in my Circle because your name is different here than it was on LJ, please let me know. Also all of my old filters are messed up, I literally cannot remember who used to have access to what, so if you happen to have a bookmarked post which you can't read any more, let me know and I'll filter you back in. I'm a little tempted to simply delete ALL of my old filters and start again, but I have around 25 of the things - they must have been useful for something!

I also need to remind myself how the S2 system works, and port over my old LJ style if it's actually S2. I can't remember whether I ever got around to switching from S1 to S2! I quite like the default Dreamwidth style that I'm using at the moment, apart from all of the titles being in BLOCK CAPITALS. I am the sort of person who even likes to put her own name in lower case, so all of these BLOCK CAPITALS are quite SHOUTY and I don't like my own journal SHOUTING at me.

In related news, I need to set up a custom mood scheme because I don't like any of the defaults. I *like* my rainbow faces over at LJ, okay?! Might have to commission someone who can sprite to create a custom mood scheme for me. That's not actually a bad idea...

Edit: Ye gods, this is depressing. Apparently it's livejournal's 18th birthday. I could cry.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_news
Hello, Dreamwidth! Goodness, this past week has been unexpectedly exciting, hasn't it? A warm Dreamwidth welcome to everyone who's just joining us: we're glad you're here, and we hope you're liking the new digs.

Before we get into all the things I have to cover, though: Given the reasons most people are citing for not wanting to agree to LiveJournal's new ToS, I'd like to take a moment and ask: if you're able to (and only if you're able!), please consider donating to the Russian LGBT Network/Российская ЛГБТ-сеть. They not only do excellent work across the Russian Federation, but are currently mobilizing to help evacuate LGBT people in Chechnya who are in danger of detention or death. (EDIT: If you're outside Russia, you can donate through All Out; the Russian LGBT Network website won't accept donations from outside Russia.)

To our friends in Russia who are LGBT and those who are against the mistreatment of anyone because of their sexual orientation: We stand with you. Please stay safe above all else, but if it would be safe for you to post that link, the LGBT Network is asking that as many people as possible publicly share the information that the LGBT Network is ready to help. (They also ask that you do not contact people in Chechnya directly to let them know, as there are reports the authorities are searching people's phones and computers for evidence of sexual orientation.)

The rest of this post is primarily to give y'all new folks a brief orientation (or as brief as I am ever capable of; no one has ever called me concise) to help you settle in, although I hope at least some of it will be useful (or at least interesting!) to those of you who have been with us for a while. Come with me as we discuss Dreamwidth's history, a bit of what (we think) makes us special, the answers to a few common questions about how we roll, and a few useful tips that may help you with the transition.


Dreamwidth 101! )

Whew! That was a lot to throw at y'all at once, I know. (Yes, I always am this longwinded. And I always use this many parentheses.) Everybody who's been here for a while: thank you for your patience as I got our new arrivals up to speed! We'll be back in a few weeks with a code push and a bunch of new features and fixes, so the next news post should be more broadly applicable.

In the meantime, let's have a welcome party in the comments:

* If you're looking for new people to subscribe to you, leave a comment with some basic info about your journal and what you tend to write about! Then everybody can browse around and meet each other. (There's also [community profile] 2017revival and [community profile] addme, both of which are unofficial but bustling lately; holler if you know of any more.)

* If you've been here for a while and have a favorite community that's active, drop a link and a brief description!

* If you're new or you've been here for a while, and you're looking for an active community on a particular topic, leave a comment with what you're looking for and people can recommend you some options. (We've done this a few times before, as "the great community rec-o-matic", and it's never a bad time for another round.)

* If you know of any scripts, resources, extensions, tools, or toys that will help someone make the move, get settled in, or customize their DW experience once they're here, drop a link and a description in the comments. (We can't be responsible for unofficial tools, scripts, extensions, etc, so use at your own risk, but I know there are a bunch of them floating around!)

Finally, a quick note on the importer queue: it's still going, I swear. The jobs finishing now are the ones that were scheduled around 48 hours ago, though, so we really appreciate how patient y'all are being!

As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check [site community profile] dw_maintenance and the Twitter status account. (We can't do support through Twitter, though! Open a support request instead. Me trying to fit into 140 characters is not a pretty sight.)

Comment notifications may be delayed for 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 5:30AM EDT (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.
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