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marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 11:43 am

It seems many people haven't really thought through the implications of this new feature, and some people might not be aware of it. So.

LJ has introduced a feature where, if you link your LJ account to your Twitter or Facebook account, you can publish all your entries and/or comments to that remote site. It will include the title, the first bunch of words, and a link to the entry or comment.

The settings don't completely suck; even if you turn on crossposting by default, it will be turned off by default for comments to locked entries. But it's not hard to turn on (just a checkbox), even by accident (a checkbox interjected in the tab order that's muscle memory for some people). I think the greater risk here is going to be people who don't have crossposting comments on by default, but do choose to crosspost comments semi-frequently; for them, crossposting their comment to a locked entry won't feel any different than crossposting to an open entry. As much as I hate them, an "are you sure" popup might have been appropriate here, just for locked posts.

So, here's the thing. If you quote when you comment, and you crosspost, then you're crossposting whatever you quoted. Even if you don't, your comment is likely to be indicative of what was being discussed and possibly some of the content, and it will include a link which indicates the presence of a locked entry on that topic.

No real privacy on the Internet, information wants to be free, blah, blah, blah. I know none of you wants to be the jerk who reveals something someone preferred to keep to a select group [locked post] to a broader audience, so tread very carefully with this new feature. If you even turn it on.

marcmagus: (regexp)
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 11:47 am

So, remember a month and a half ago when I wrote about how LiveJournal was munging outbound links? They had this horribly buggy code with the laziest-written regular expressions I'd ever seen that actually broke a lot of outbound links by trying to insert affiliate URLs where they didn't belong, in addition to the inherent evil of inserting their own affiliate URLs and hiding the fact. They'd supposedly turned it off.

Well, it's back, and it's breaking browser behavior such as opening links in new tabs again. Note that this new version actually makes the link address you copy when you right-click and select "Copy Link Address" be the munged version rather than the original link.

More info at:

  • http://jonquil.dreamwidth.org/954897.html
  • http://rydra-wong.dreamwidth.org/226445.html
  • http://pne.dreamwidth.org/869809.html

Blocking outboundlinks.net and outboundlinks.me with NoScript seems to stop the evil JS for me (but possibly I just did the opt-out thing the last time around). Jonquil has some other suggestions as well, see the first link above.

marcmagus: Me as "The Enforcer" at a RHPS pre-show (Enforcer)
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 11:49 am

I attempted to post a reply to a recent post over at [livejournal.com profile] ontd_science. Oddly, it asked me to log in. As LiveJournal has been occasionally dropping my login credentials for no apparent reason recently, I thought nothing of it, and so I missed the "Logged in user: marcmagus - Sorry, you are not a member of ontd_science, and commenting is restricted to members only."

That's mildly irritating, but fine, it's my own fault. The problem is with the error message I received when I attempted to post:

You did not enter your LiveJournal username. You can choose to post as "Anonymous" if you don't have a LiveJournal user account.

Only members of ontd_science can post in this community.

The first line is the real problem. I entered my username and password in the little boxes. Correctly. Three times, thinking there was some weird interaction going on between LiveJournal and NoScript or something. The second line didn't register because it came second, and because I'd forgotten that I just follow the community and never joined it.

If the error message at the top of the page when I tried to post had been the same as the more helpful one buried next to the radio buttons, I would have shaken my head at not noticing the problem before typing in my credentials and moved on. Instead, I got this weird confusing crap that made me think there was a technical problem.

I hope DreamWidth has fixed this one in their fork. I haven't tried to post to a community I don't have posting privileges to there.

marcmagus: Me as "The Enforcer" at a RHPS pre-show (Enforcer)
Monday, March 29th, 2010 12:30 am

Seriously, audio/video ads that I have to sit through before I can get to the login screen? What the hell were you thinking?

And not only that, but they're broken so I can't actually activate the login screen properly in Opera even after the video is gone.

So not cool.

No love,


marcmagus: (regexp)
Friday, March 5th, 2010 12:17 pm

This signal needs boosting even if LiveJournal has actually speedily responded and repaired the problem. This is why we test before we ship, people. Especially with stuff that has potential financial impact. Seriously.

In brief, yesterday LJ shipped a code change which used some really sneaky JavaScript to munge outbound links when you click on them. Yes, as I'm reading this, that means that for most users the address they saw when hovering over the link was different than the link they were actually directed to upon clicking.

Specifically, the code would cause outbound links to a whole bunch of e-commerce sites to have the LJ affiliate link silently added. In fact, it would even replace an existing affiliate link with LJ's. Seriously, that's the behavior people are reporting.

It apparently only made these changes when your page was being viewed by someone who wasn't logged in. That's not really any comfort.

I haven't actually gone through the code to confirm it did what people are saying, but what I'm reading is certainly plausible.

More at the following:

  • http://vichan.livejournal.com/392527.html
  • http://shatterstripes.livejournal.com/1065670.html?format=light
  • http://shatterstripes.livejournal.com/1065749.html?format=light
  • http://shatterstripes.livejournal.com/1066190.html?format=light

The problems with this are so numerous I don't even know where to begin:

  • This is a major change [even if it seems minor] that never should have been released without thorough testing.
  • Stealing money from users.
  • Creating misleading links like that is not ok for any reason, and could well break functionality on some browsers.
  • ...

marcmagus: (regexp)
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 10:13 am

I awoke this morning to an email from the LiveJournal Community Care Team explaining that the changelog is beta code and that they would have fixed this before release:

Letter you've probably seen by now )

Given hope, I went and checked out the changelog. True to their word, r16042 rolls back the commits associated with the gender field over the last few days.

Hopefully when this comes back it will retain an "Unspecified" field and add "Other".

Given that the first diff went in on 2009-12-10, I kind of wonder how long it would have taken before somebody inside LiveJournal had caught this and fixed it [and how they would have fixed it] had [personal profile] synecdochic not caught it and pointed it out.

marcmagus: (regexp)
Monday, December 14th, 2009 11:26 pm

Update: LiveJournal has rolled back the relevant changes and sent letters indicating these changes would never have been allowed to go live.

If you haven't heard yet, [personal profile] synecdochic has pointed out that LiveJournal is changing their codebase to make the gender field mandatory at account creation. http://synecdochic.dreamwidth.org/366609.html

I've been asked if the code really does what's being reported, and I'm starting to see a fair amount of speculation about what it does and what it will do, so I'm going to go over the changelog entries which seem relevant myself and report back on what I find.

Details behind the cut )

TLDR: I'm not 100% certain, but my code browse suggests this forces only new users to select a gender. I'd anticipate an upcoming change to force existing users to select a gender at next profile edit, if this doesn't do it. I believe you will still be able to change your gender in your profile, unless they decide to add some extra Fail.

Edit: If it's not immediately apparent to you why this is a bad thing, well, I don't have the energy to explain it right now. [livejournal.com profile] rm does an excellent job at http://rm.livejournal.com/1770434.html.

marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Thursday, December 10th, 2009 04:54 pm

As it required minimal effort on my part and might someday help someone get in touch with me, I've turned on LJTalk.

As with the other IM-type services I use, I'm just going to leave it logged in all the time. Feel free to use it if that's convenient for you.

I'm experimenting with the feature that lets some notifications come as IMs rather than as emails....it's a nice idea; we'll see if I actually end up liking it.

marcmagus: Me as "The Enforcer" at a RHPS pre-show (Enforcer)
Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 04:24 pm

LJ's comment notification is broken and seems to be getting worse, not better, as time passes. If they don't fix it soon, I may turn off comments at LJ and direct everybody to Dreamwidth [something I've been considering anyway to consolidate discussion].

If I did so, I hope the comment count and direct link to mode=reply would suffice to not be too much of a pain for people to comment.

marcmagus: (regexp)
Monday, June 29th, 2009 04:30 pm

Thanks to a comment and link from [livejournal.com profile] pw201, the script maintainer, on my last post about the script, I've gotten the LJ New Comments GreaseMonkey script working correctly in Opera, and, further, working correctly in Opera with DreamWidth as well!

First, for full functionality in Opera using LiveJournal:

If you want to get DreamWidth working as well, you'll have to do a bit of extra work. Mair gave me the clue, that you need to get the GM emulation to set the correct domain in its cookies so the data can be retrieved again. Here are patches to both scripts to enable this. (I really need to get someplace to stick this sort of thing.)

For DreamWidth:

  • Patch Mair's patched aagmfunctions.js with my patch (below) to provide API for setting a cookie domain.
  • Patch LJ New Comments 1.3 with my patch (below) to use the domain API.
  • Turn on the hidden '&nc=xx' feature at DreamWidth by visiting http://www.dreamwidth.org/settings/?tag=comment.

Comments/suggestions welcome.

Patches )

marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 02:06 am

The LJ New Comments script for Greasemonkey is really cool. It keeps track of which comments you've already read, and gives handy keyboard shortcuts to jump to the [n]ext/[p]revious new comment.

It works with Dreamwidth, too.

Opera )

marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Tuesday, March 11th, 2008 04:26 pm

Not that anybody in a position to do anything about it is likely to be listening, but it would be really cool if I could reply to comment notification emails and have LJ do the right thing.

That is, when I get an email from LJ that someone has replied to my <post|comment>, I want to be able to reply using my email client and have my reply appear in the appropriate comment thread, threaded correctly. It wouldn't be hard, and it would be really helpful not to have to open a web page just so I can read what I've already read and then enter my reply into a textarea (or use "It's All Text...") instead of using the editor my mail client is already configured to use.