marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Your hostess is not feeling too hot (it's been a rather rough winter) so my usual wordiness has gone wanly MIA, with apologies if you actually read me for my wordiness.

I've been kind of outed by one of my friends (*cough [personal profile] darkoshi*) for discussing this under access lock, so since I'm rather alarmed by one aspect of it I was going to make a public-facing post to discuss it more thoroughly, anyhow. I just didn't know when, but as I like to own what I've been quoted as saying, I guess that'll be right about now.

What Anyone Knows

There are zero confirmed reports that anything's changed for LiveJournal. There are many unconfirmed reports, IP tests and pings done to find on a per-user basis that LiveJournal moved its servers (which store content such as user's journal entries, comments written and received, pictures, Scrapbooks, usericons, mood icons, profile information, friends lists and payment information) from San Francisco, California over to servers located within Russia.

Here's a MetaFilter written by our own [personal profile] brainwane, with enlightening comments made by many people:
https://www.metafilter.com/164293/LiveJournal-represents-social-media-without-borders - written Dec. 30, 2016

I don't want to create public editorial on what it means because I left LiveJournal six years ago over clickjacking done by SUP, the Russian company that runs LiveJournal to this day, and I didn't do so with the expectation I'd ever look back and feel I have to make public comments on any fresh fiascos from here. I really do wash my hands of the place.

Other people have made excellent editorial on it, though. Some links:
https://lynnenne.dreamwidth.org/305395.html - written Dec. 30, 2016
https://twistedchick.dreamwidth.org/4141297.html - written Dec. 29, 2016

What Concerns Me, Part I

The least important thing is many people seem to think if they hit "delete" then poof! LiveJournal can never touch, change, disseminate, share, prosecute them for, or republish any of their stuff again. But LJ still has their stuff; hitting "delete" doesn't change that.

You know how Windows has a thing where you can go into the Recycle Bin when you hit "delete" on files you forgot you needed and just point your mouse at them and hit "restore"? It's pretty neat, isn't it? Lifesaver, sometimes. Same idea.

Nothing changes, you just can't see your LJ anymore, but it's sitting around in a "to be purged" file somewhere on LJ's servers - unpurged and restorable with just a click or two. So don't think deleting it protects your copyright or ensures your freedom from any possible Russian prosecution.

Deleting, as others have said, might make a nice political statement, or make it just a bit harder on LJ staff as they might have to dig around a bit in a server version of a Recycle Bin to find what they want, but that's about it.

What's most important is what you post to LJ from now on. It's basically too late for anything you've already put there.

What you post from Dec. 23rd on (yes, flex with me back in time to the actual date the server move occurred!) is now sitting on servers operating under Russian law, so from Dec. 23rd on, their law applies, not ours (US/stateside here). Act accordingly, as again, I have little desire to make additional comments.

What Concerns Me (the most), Part II

According to scattered user reports like this one and my own at-home tests, at the same time the server change was made the https:// URL protocol was suddenly no longer live nor allowed to function on any part of LiveJournal (and as of this writing, the HTTPS Everywhere add-on won't help, so if that's the only reason you're tempted to install it...*shakes head*...don't bother).

Lack of secure socket technology (in simple language, "sudden lack of a private web connection to LJ") means hackers, spies, governments, and yes, even your nosy next-door neighbor can easily spy on you while you're on LJ.

As almost any LJ/DW user already knows, the implications of that last paragraph are fairly terrifying, as friends locks (LJ) and access locks (DW) are important to nearly all of us, so this change should scare everyone and convince people to stop using LJ until it's corrected, if indeed it ever is.


Because Dreamwidth is a place that's always encouraged people to continue using LiveJournal (DW supports both full imports of all LJs and crossposting to LJ and Wordpress.com) I'll add a disclaimer that by reporting on the LJ server switch and by talking about the current lack of secure browsing on LJ I'm in no way suggesting, "Stop using LJ and forever and ever!!!111!".

In referring to LJ's lack of secure browsing, I *am* simply suggesting you stop using LJ until that gets fixed, but ultimately, what works - and feels - best for you is always your own decision to make.

As far as making comments here goes, I welcome them, but really don't want to talk about Russia. I do enough of that under lock, so if you're on my subscribe list I can consider adding access so you can share all of my sheer, overwhelming joy on that. There is so much joy. But I'm always keen to answer any question(s) you might have on "how to Dreamwidth" or to point you in the right direction if I can't (or shouldn't try to) answer myself.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

When I deleted my last LiveJournal (about mid-summer of 2010) I left all of my comments and community posts behind - even stuff that anyone else might want to delete to save face (since, you know, I could act up a lot over there, and back in the full flush of my youth - from my mid to late 30s - I did).

I figure if you post anything, even comments - though they seem so throwaway in nature - you create a record of yourself, and for better or worse I wanted to preserve that record, to look back one day and say, yeah, that was me then, but this is who I am and where I'm going now. Of course I've got a lot of LJ tied up in my memories, but reading what you've written makes the reality of what you've said and done that much more concrete.

So it came to pass a short time back as I was reading a DW community post that a Dreamwidthian mentioned LJ deleted every comment she ever made after purging her account. And I thought, oh no, that must be why all record of me was expunged from [livejournal.com profile] thefulcrum, a fact that puzzled me until that moment. I mean, to erase literally hundreds of comments and break so many threads seemed far from...from what I knew of Liz, I guess you might say.

I made a mental note that night to check other LJ communities to see if I'd been expunged from them, too. I was particularly anxious about [profile] s2_bloggish because I wrote some tutorials for them that I was kind of proud of. But I figured if LJ wiped my comments, they'd also wiped my posts. Then I let a month go by, because I was too afraid to find out.

I finally dared take a peek tonight and while my tutorials are still there (here's one, so I assume all three are still kicking around) the comments I made on them are gone. Blotted out. Erased. On the tutorial linked to above there was a thread between my CSS mentor [personal profile] av8rmike and myself, just disappeared (I can still remember what it was about, too: he was telling me my wording was off, and I was keeping him posted on my edits as I made them).

How does that help any of LJ's users, that they can't even follow a comment thread properly anymore? What's the point of erasing comments with purged accounts? When I deleted my LJ accounts, purging comments wasn't even an option - they just went ahead and did so without even asking. If they had asked I would've said no.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

From the LJ News update:

2012: A Look Ahead

Expect to see big changes in the coming months. Over the last year we've decreased advertising across the site. We're excited to announce that by mid-2012, advertising will be phased out completely for virtually all of the LiveJournal service pages, journals, and communities that we know and love. Advertising will only be shown in select communities that opt in to displaying it (which you'll hear more about on February 15).

Found out via DW but the post in question is under f-lock, so to quote my response to it (which I think I can do, despite the f-lock?)

[...] I'm having trouble remembering now, but I think the ads were exactly why I left. (Dear God, please don't make me think about going back, whatever you do...).

gives self a second to think...

Oh, wait, that's right, it was the link-jacking that drove me away, since it was happening on my blogs, too, but that's ad-related as well...will they still link-jack?

Of course, I think they'll still link-jack. And that they're removing most ads in most places isn't exactly re-assuring. And the very thought of re-joining LJ kind of makes me sick. I'm trying to turn a new leaf, and based on my nearly-magical ability to process what little information I have and accurately apply it to the future, I think DW will turn out to be a better bet, both feature- and comfort-level wise... but *shrug* I could be wrong.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
  1. Collapsed comment threads. Nothing against Dreamwidth; I have always, always hated them, no matter where they might pop up. Knowing I'll have to click on one thing to "open" another that should already be on the page (and in fact, is on the page, just in a hidden form) is the online equivalent of chalk across a chalkboard.
  2. Expanding comment threads. Try this experiment on anything less than a blazing-fast connection: open this comment thread in a new tab. If you use Firefox, you can install this add-on to check page-load time (or you can just use Opera). Now go back to that thread and "expand" it (which will not exactly happen; you'll expand only part of it, then keep expanding it as you work your way down the thread). Check page-load time again. Which way loads comments faster? If you don't have a timer add-on, which way seems to load them faster? Now imagine how long it must take people on slow, unsteady (wifi/3G/dial-up) connections to use expanders.
  3. Being informed by the Intertubes that there's Greasemonkey scripts to save you all that comment expansion. Using scripts might've made sense when the only sites with collapsed threads were LJ and, well...LJ? Now everyone has them, from LJ to Dreamwidth to Facebook (and FB's implementation is even slower) to The New York Times, so you need scripts for increasingly large swaths of the Internet. Even worse, scripts (especially if you use a lot of them) can slow page loads as much as waiting for threads to expand, so what exactly do you gain?
  4. Being unable to show anything on Dreamwidth's default view besides unexpanded comment threads. DW strikes me as more user-friendly than LJ and its clones, so as a user, I would love to see the option to keep comment threads expanded by default across the site.
  5. "Flattened" comment pages. Instead of threads looking like threads, they become shapeless and without form so you have no idea what's going on. In Flattened Comment Dimension, you rely on clues like "Re: DIAF already", "In response to Jerkof11" and the almighty blockquote to figure out who's replying to who. Why not just chuck comments into a blender and display the output? Same difference.
  6. Facebook design. The chilling insistence upon one blue and white background, one tiny, greyish, and nearly illegible font, one Timeline, and one slowly expandable and completely un-navigatable comment thread is how I envision every website will look once Communist China takes over. Which scares the crap out of me.
  7. Photobucket. Page load times there will make you want to move to South Korea to speed things up by even a few seconds. I've never seen anything, and I do mean anything, like it. I would delete both my accounts if they hadn't gained over one billion of my pictures long before the site got so slow, and if only Photobucket would offer an export tool to help me get them out of there.
  8. @font-face. I've been playing with imported fonts for years but I still can't find much use for them. The best examples I've seen can make sites look marginally better, but for that one bit of splashiness we all pay by way of slower page loads and flashing text. Computers should come with a better and wider range of fonts - not slow down to load fonts from a far-off website. It's the worst implementation of a good idea I've ever seen.
  9. Google Plus. I have just one thing against it - besides this (but since I don't use it, I don't really care what they put everyone else through) - that Google took their ideas for Circles and filters from our very own Dreamwidth. I didn't guess where those ideas came from until Google tried to hire [staff profile] denise, this site's owner, shortly before rolling G+ out to the masses.
marahmarie: MM straightenin' ur blog & stuff (alignment)

I've known it all along, but outside of re-installing my last Bloggish layout (it was on Anti-AOL, but my custom code for it no longer works, which I know because I have an LJ account that exists just to help me fix it, which I haven't gotten around to doing in three years) I could never think of a good reason to put myself through all this just to install any Mixit/Expressive layout currently in existence. For reference, I used nothing but Bloggish and Mixit on LJ for EE (this blog) but of the two layouts, I found Mixit the hardest to work with and the least stylish (but I liked it because its code base is more modern than Bloggish's, which was created in, I don't know, 2001, I guess).

Then I saw The Croatian Magician, and even though I'm banned forever from commenting on layouts at The Fulcrum, I fell really hard for it. So I've installed it, without comment of course, as a theme layer. You can see it live on my Dreamwidth (well, sort of live - you have to keep that "?s2id=764192" part of the URL after the last backslash of whatever page you're on, or you won't see it at all). I had meant to add the theme layer it uses to [community profile] css_code but I done screwed up (forgot to switch users) but owing to this issue I can't. I'm not sure if I have to buy paid time for my comm to install and use it, but I'll look into that another day. In the meantime I'm going to play with it like I play with all pre-made layouts I use, before going absolutely live with it in either location.

Which all came about because I can't go a day without coding or re-coding something anymore - it's an addiction. It's how I 1) relax, 2) continue to feel somewhat productive and 3) keep my brain moving so it doesn't completely rot from lack of math/spatial challenges/moar pretty. I've recoded this layout to the point there's almost nothing left to do (I don't like my comment-page titles, and I have a huge bug I haven't unraveled in the edit box attached to comment forms, but besides that, it's starting to bore me) and I won't be updating the layout on [community profile] css_code because I don't like it, and I'm taking a seriously long break from Greasemonkey coding because Google's pushed me waaaaay past the point where I can suffer along with all the changes they're making, so my new Mixit layer should keep me busy trying to fix the un-fixable and/or spiff things up for a while (in fact, I imagine Core 1 will drive me crazy before long - which is kind of how I like my challenges to work).

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

...people will tell me to blog on Wordpress instead of LiveJournal (in the past) or Dreamwidth (now). Can any of you perpendiculars imagine anyone telling me back in the early days of LiveJournal: "Well, LJ is for fandom - you know, where people steal IP and copyright to make up their own stories using other, more talented people's characters, but just for fun, not profit - that's what LJ's all about?"

Everyone from LJ's creator to users would have been all "W.T.F. peeps trippin'" - but not anymore.

Or...turn the example on its head for a minute - right after LJ's creation, people start telling others who actually write normal posts on their LJs: "You need to 1) get your own website, 2) move to Tumblr or Wordpress, 3) love and live for fandom or 4) GTFO". Again, everyone from Fitz on down would have been asking anyone so inclined to get their heads examined - and quick.

Here's the basic logic problem fandom can't solve: Blogs - believe it or not, people - really are for blogging. Journals are for journaling. I kind of do both, and lo and behold, LiveJournal and Dreamwidth also allow and encourage you, by the very nature of their design, to do both.

So what do millions of people do when they see that? They turn every hybrid journal/blogging site out there except Wordpress and Tumblr into fandom parties, then tell me to GTFO if I don't like it. Really? Without the slightest hint of irony or any sense of how absurd the whole thing sounds to someone who just wants to use their own blog to blog?

So here's me turning the logic problem around on all of you: AO3 or GTFO. I'm tired of feeling like I'm the one who doesn't belong.