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Dreamwidth

I've been doing a little (very little...) coding over the last couple of weeks for Dreamwidth, which went into closed beta at the weekend. (Which was/is very exciting!).

It's a code fork of Livejournal, but they're taking the opportunity afforded by starting up anew to rip out large chunks of code by the roots & rewrite things *better*. The biggest example (for me, anyway) of this being the replacement of the friends system by a system which explicitly separates "people I want to be able to read my stuff" from "people I want to read". For me, that's pretty much the Killer App right there. The increase on the comment limits from 4,300 char to 16,000 (there's a similar post size limit increase, but I've never hit the post limit so that bothers me, personally, less :) ) is also shiny. Plus: no ads. And one of the owners (synecdochic) has discussed at length why ads on social content sites Do Not Work, financially speaking, so I believe that they actually mean this.

The meta-things that I'm impressed with:

- a commitment to openness (of business practices and site-running) and consultation that I believe in. Possibly in part because I've been involved with and/or witnessed discussions about proposals or ideas that have resulted in decisions being changed :)

- a diversity statement that doesn't read like corporate bullshit.

- the business plan is along the lines of "small, stable, functioning, ongoing business" rather than "let's flog it in due course & bathe in web2.0 cash". An interesting post on the subject of business aims & so forth.

So, yeah. I shan't be moving off LJ altogether unless/until various things change[0], but I'm certainly going to be doing a certain amount of moving across. I gather there is a crossposting tool, for starters. I'm very fond of LJ, but only in the sense of being fond of the things it enables me to do. DW feels like a project I can be fond of in a more specific sense, and I like that.


[0] The real Killer App would of course be full interoperability - i.e. being able to read one's LJ friends-list, even locked posts, on DW via OpenID. This is a Difficult Technical Problem for which there is at present no decent fix, but it is being contemplated. Full import of your own LJ will be in place before open beta; OpenID already allows cross-site reading & commenting on non-FL posts.

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synecdochic
Feb. 16th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
The roadmap currently exists as a bunch of scribbles in pencil in the notebook next to my computer, so no. ;) It's on the "list of stuff we will dump on the site before launch", though.

You can check our open-beta-blocking items, though, which is the roadmap for the next two months. There's also the planned enhancements and planned bugfixes. (The Priority flag on those is roughly akin to how much we care about them at this particular moment, at least for the enhancements. Anything that's keyworded why-bugfix is pretty much functionally P1.)

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