boutell: (shave)
Dear LJ,

Congrats on the new design. Sincerely, it's a significant improvement.

But until you do something about this absurd 1999-esque business of leaving the current page to comment, hitting the back button and not picking up where you left off in reading your feed I'm still going to feel like a dino for using you.


Dino Q. Dino.
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Hey guys, are you drowning in LJ comment spam lately?

I moderate all comments in advance, so they usually leave me alone, but lately it's been ferocious.


Jan. 25th, 2011 08:53 pm
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LiveJournal charges $5 less per year if I sign up for "automatic" payments, vs. a one-time payment for a year.

Note that it's the same time period and I can theoretically cancel. They are just bribing me to forget and continue to pay if I don't really want it next year.

I think this is a tacky business practice.
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ljmigrate really works. On my LJ of 4,000+ postings, it successfully pulled down every post and every comment, digested them, saved them as XML, and spat out a simple collection of HTML pages as well. Locked posts were saved too (since I chose to give it my username and password).

ljmigrate is a Python script. That means you'll need Python and a willingness to spend a little time at the command line getting it set up right. This is not particularly scary to do, though, honestly. Just read the ljmigrate readme files and you'll get there. Expect to go get a beer, go on with your life, remarry etc. during the download of your journal.

It's called ljmigrate for a reason: you can also carry out an automated reposting of your articles to any alternative site that runs the open-source LiveJournal server code, such as InsaneJournal. But you don't have to turn that on, you can just download your stuff and keep it.
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Rumors are circulating that LiveJournal may go belly up. This CNET story is a good accounting of what really seems to be going on at this point.

There's some good news buried in there: they belong to a Russian company, but apparently their servers and administration live in the US, while their software development lives in Russia. I'm glad my blog is not sitting on a hard drive in Russia.

But I've been meaning to move my blog the heck off LJ anyway. I use it less and less for what it's good at, which is semiprivate custom friendslocked wizardry, in part because the people I interact with day to day are on Facebook now.

Maybe ljbackup will actually complete for me this time. That sure would be nice.

LJBook may be a better option for people who don't have Windows available to them or don't have the skills to turn ljbackup's output into a new blog.
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If you're a Philadelphian who never remembers to pay attention to the weather forecast... like, um, me... you might wish to add [ profile] yahoophillyweat to your friendspage.

If you have a paid LJ account, you can set up a syndicated feed for any zip code, which others (paid or unpaid) can then add to their friendslist. Go to the syndication page and add a feed for the URL:

I've only had this on my friendspage for 24 hours, but so far I've seen one update, with a three-day forecast in it. Which is about right.
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In case you don't bother to read the official stuff on the LJ home page: LiveJournal has apologized for the recent inappropriate suspension of way too many journals that should not have been suspended.

I still have concerns after reading this post. Like the assertion that if you list something as an "interest," it must be assumed that you advocate it. And the suggestion that some communities which advocate horrible things (e.g. pedophilia) hide beneath a thin veneer of literary value. But the very same post acknowledges that literary communities were inappropriately suspended. So I'm pretty sure LJabuse now realizes that discussing Nabokov is not a criminal act.

Anyway, the post is pretty spectacularly apologetic. A reasonably accurate summary: oh boy did we fuck up! We're really, really sorry!

Hmm, LJ could add "bitterly opposed to" and "survivor of" fields, distinct from its "interests" list! That way we could safely enumerate all the horrible things that have happened to us.

More likely, though, rape survivors will now be expected to list "rape survivors," "rape prevention," etc. as interests rather than listing "rape." (Should they choose to go there at all, of course.)
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For a long time the userinfo of [ profile] metaquotes (which I enjoy and have occasionally contributed to) has stated that appropriate quotes are "funny (and occasionally deep)."

I've always quoted the funny.

This morning I quoted the deep and got smacked around good for it. Apparently there's been a run on "deep" over the last 24 hours. And yesterday the mods made a posting that I missed. It seems the userinfo needs editing: deep isn't enough, there has to be funny. And if someone else wants to start a "just plain awesome things said on livejournal" community, they are, after all, welcome to do so... and so on.

I understand their position, but I know I'm not the only one who has always assumed [ profile] metaquotes was an OK place to point to the excellent as well as the funny, bearing in mind that people overwhelmingly prefer the funny. It's a shame to find out such a community doesn't exist. Difficult though it would be to moderate successfully. What's funny? Subjective, but at least you can usually identify intent. But what's good? Good luck making that call in a way that satisfies anybody.

I wish I had time to take on the moderation of a "goodlikewhoa" LJ community. But I don't. So I'll hush now. Unless there's a volunteer out there...

Edit: [ profile] worldoflj was just set up. Cool.
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Okay, that was easier than I expected:

1. LJ home page (or any page with the "mini sitemap" at bottom)
2. Manage Account
3. Comment Settings
4. Set Comment Screening to "anyone not on my friends list."

I can still approve the occasional worthy comment from someone who is not among the 280 selected to sit at my left hand in heaven (*) on my friendslist.

I hadn't realized this was retroactive to my existing posts. But by default, your posts go out with "Comment Screening" set to "Journal Default," which means they inherit whatever your current journal-wide settings are. How awesome is LiveJournal? Very awesome.

I'll still have to see the worthless spammy crap, but nobody else will, so they won't get anywhere at all with Google and will therefore hopefully piss off.

Are you listening, "Balder Edwards?" Please go away now and save us both some time and energy.

Edit: dumbass is still at it... and his comments are being screened. How long will it take him to figure it out, I wonder?

(*) You don't want to sit on my right in heaven. I'm deaf on that side.


Dec. 18th, 2006 10:55 am
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"Philly Roller Girls corrupt the LiveJournal Skater Girl" theme.

(Puzzled? See the new LJ winter theme selections on the LJ homepage)

ljwho 0.2

Dec. 3rd, 2006 11:52 pm
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Version 0.2 adds support for adding real names to syndicated feeds and communities, allows usernames with underscores, and does not display unnecessary extra "RN"s next to usericons and various other extra links. I solved this by displaying "RN" only when the link actually contains the username as text. Please let me know if there are LJ styles in which this messes things up by giving you no "RN" at all for some or all users on your friends page. I've done some testing and so far, so good.

You can pick it up here. To upgrade, just install the new version. No, you will not lose your old settings.
boutell: (Default)
Everybody (well, everybody but me) has a clever LJ username. Nobody can remember who's who. Everybody's too embarrassed to ask. More than once, anyway. This was a common complaint at the Philcon blogging panel.

At Philcon I made a rash promise: to deliver a Firefox browser extension that remembers the real names of your LJ friends for you.

And now I've done that thing. Come and get ljwho! ljwho is a Greasemonkey script that makes it easy to keep track of your LJ friends. Once you install Greasemonkey and ljwho, A small red "RN" button appears to the right of LJ usernames. Click on the button, type in your friend's real name and click OK. The button turns green.

From now on, mousing over your friend's username (or the RN button) will display their real name for you. It doesn't get a whole lot simpler than that.

Everything is stored on your own hard drive (Greasemonkey allows scripts to have some private storage), which means that my web server has no idea what the sekrit real names of your LJ friends are. So you can use ljwho safely. If you're not 100% sure, check out the source code, it's there for the taking.

A few things I'm not 100% wildly happy with: there are a few more RNs than there should be. For instance, your own name often gets an RN link. But I don't want to do this in ways that work for one LJ style and totally break for another, so I've tried to err on the side of generosity.

Speaking of which, if ljwho doesn't work for you, check my friendspage to make sure you do see "RN" buttons there. If you don't, you probably didn't install both Greasemonkey and ljwho, or you have an incompatible verrsion of Firefox and should upgrade Firefox to version 2.0. If you do see "RN" buttons on my friendspage, but not on yours, send me a bug report and I'll see if I can figure out the problem. When I get a chance. Which may not happen tomorrow morning. So the very best solution is to grab that source code and fix it yourself!

OK, ready to go?

Click Here For Complete Instructions To Install ljwho.

If you try ljwho, your feedback (as comments to this post) would be appreciated. Thank you!
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Identities are screened, so feel free to answer truthfully about whether you read your entire friendslist or not, read at work, etc.
LiveJournal reading habits poll. )
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The LiveJournal Abuse Team has apparently decided that pictures of breastfeeding are unacceptable as default LJ icons. To be quite clear: you can have them, but they can't be your default icon.

You can track the swirling shitstorm here.

I've given this some thought personally, and I've concluded that:

1. Politically speaking, I'm utterly with the breastfeeders on this one. I can have a default usericon of myself, eating pie. Or myself, feeding my daughter pie. Mmm, pie.

2. Personally speaking, I think it's a little... odd as a default, "this picture says who I am" userpic. But I say that as a divorced father of a nigh-unto-seven-year-old, not as a parent of a newborn or toddler, whose life probably will be 99% "about the kid" for quite some time yet. They don't have to view LiveJournal partly as their grownup-oriented escape valve just because I do.

3. Any sense on my part that it's a little odd is my problem, and my mild weirded-out-ness is far less important than their freedom to represent, yo.

When I say "freedom," I don't mean in the legal sense. Or do I? There are laws on the books in various states that protect public breastfeeding. Yes, in private places of business. Whether they apply to pictures of breastfeeding on the Internet... hey, I'm no lawyer. But I'm sure I'll hear from those who are.

The best reason for an individual, thinking about using such an icon, to reconsider might be that creepy people will look at that icon in creepy ways. But, well, people look at lots of things in creepy ways, and we don't solve that problem by burqa'ing everybody back to the Stone Age. And it's a problem probably caused in large measure by lack of exposure to the utter boring NORMALCY of breastfeeding.

At any rate, the trouble seems to be that the abuse team (based on emails cited in the thread I linked to above) fears the offended sensibilities of one group of users and is about to offend those of a much, much larger group.

Unfortunately, according to one commenter, the whole mess seems to have begun when a user asked to remove his own questionably "offensive" default icon - a painted portrait of a topless Bea Arthur, certainly more art than porn - cited breastfeeding icons as a counterexample. And the abuse team supposedly responded by going after those icons. D'oh. Edit: So [ profile] hardvice put spinning tassels on the portrait. Har. Warning: [ profile] hardvice's usericon collection is extensive and utterly unsafe for work. Goatse played for comedy on an epic scale, okay? There's shit there that offends me.

One thing is certain: the LJ abuse team has no idea what they are getting into with the public-breastfeeding advocates. When La Leche Justice League pull out their magic lassos, they leave no steer unturned.
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Does anyone know what really happens when you date a livejournal post ahead, and then that date and time arrives? Does it appear on friendspages then, and not before? Does it appear on friendspages annoyingly and constantly at the top until that time arrives? Or does it not appear on friendspages at all?

I don't need your best guess, I have my own. (: But if you've actually tried this, I'm all ears.

boutell: (Default)
A friend needs a way to friendslock his entire journal. I know such things exist, people have mentioned them here, but Google isn't finding them for me tonight. I could write one, but it's probably reinventing the wheel. Pointers appreciated. Thanks!
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I won't be reading LJ in November. I love you, and you, and especially you, but I need the writing time. And the energy. And the adjectives.

Does this mean I'll be incommunicado? Oh hell no. If we know each other, don't hesitate to call or email. I intend to have a social life this November. Please take me up on that intention! There will be steam. It will need venting.

What I don't want to do is routinely point my randomly malfunctioning grenade launcher of love prose at anything other than the 50,000-word target.

I'll be posting a little bit, promised family photos and NANOWRIMO updates and possibly some things already scribbled in notebooks which are in danger of being lost, or hopelessly untimely.

See you on December 1st. Or, hey, sooner! Let's be optimistic here.

And now I must put Miss Glucose 2005 to bed.
boutell: (Default)
tagsfrom10k doesn't do Unicode yet. If your posts are not in a Western European language, it probably isn't for you until I'm able to understand why this doesn't Just Work in Python, wxPython and xmlrpclib.

What's new in version 0.81:
  • FIXED: a bug which could cause "delete" to delete the wrong tag (it never deleted *entries*, it just deleted the wrong *tag* in a certain case). I fixed this in a way which should rule out any similar problems.
  • The tag(s) to be deleted, and how many entries would be affected, are now displayed in the confirmation dialog when deleting tag(s).
  • Tag navigation! Previous and Next buttons for each tag make it easy to check out all of the articles that feature a particular tag, quick and easy. When you use this feature, the tag you're exploring moves to the left of the new list of navigable tags so that it stays put and the arrows can be more easily clicked on.
  • 0.81: 0.8 briefly broke the regular next/previous buttons. Oops. Fixed.
  • 0.81: you can't create mixed-case and uppercase tags on LJ, not really, so my "new tag" buttons now fold those correctly.

Find out more about Tags From 10,000 Feet here, or just download the latest version here.

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