Some bloggy adminy points with some questions:

1) Thank you to the person who just paid for my account to be upgraded to paid; I'm always very grateful when people do this, while slightly bemused; it was on my to-do list for payday, but that's not for a few weeks, danke.

2) I've been doing some more tweaks to my layout, it's still nowhere near finished but it's better than it was. However, [profile] mooism had problems with the tag cloud in the side column obscuring the text ox for commenting; this shouldn't happen in the code and I can't replicate it, is it happening to anyone else, if so can you let me know what browser you're using and send me a screenshot?

3) [ profile] theweaselking had problems logging in with OpenID so commented on the LJ mirror of my post; I know the OpenID commenting setup here isn't ideal, and it's being worked on by the dev team, but does anyone else have problems enough to stop them commenting here? Would a walk-through/explanation help people? I'll be doing some more work on my idea for improving the taskflow at some point as well; knowing what problems people have would be good, but obviously it's a low priority until post-election.
Couldn't resist writing this one up: In post-Soviet Russia, President blogs you. The President of Russia has a Livejournal ([ profile] blog_medvedev) and updates it (or gets someone to, anyway) fairly regularly.

LJ, its future, DW not a threat and SUp taking it in the wrong direction )

Ah well. I'm supposed to be writing up what's wrong with the OpenID implementation on both LJ and DW, but I keep getting distracted.

Short version: Both sites are problematic, DW has the excuse of being new, LJ has no excuse at all )

That's pathetic. Hopefully the competitive pressure from DW will push them into making more improvements, like it has done elsewhere. Competition is, after all, a good thing, and LJs been stuck in its own little rut with nowt but a bunch of clones for too long.

Meh, rambling. Time to go do something constructive.
Several things online have made me happy today, most of them related to the previously mentioned DreamWidth project.

Firstly, when designing the site navigation structure, they used a card sorting usability test to get it right, and came up with this navigation scheme, based around a design by [ profile] grrliz. I've used my LJ OpenID to login at the site, and while it's superficially similar to Horizon, it just makes sense. I was stoked about this project just fromt he basic ideas behind it, that they're actually following usability and accessibility guidelines? Yowsers. I uploaded a userpic. I was asked to provide "a description for visually impaired users". Userpics will get proper ALT text. If that means anything to you you know this is cool.

Secondly, they've got what appears to be a top notch comment importer:
When I import, your comments will be assigned to the OpenID you made them with, which means you take control of them if you want )
Such a simple, simple thing to do, but apparently beyond the ken of most other import tools I've encountered.

On the subject of importing or backing up, remember when I promised I'd write a backing up how to? Well, I never did. Don't really need to now, (my preferred online backup option) has upgraded their importer and launched Even Easier LiveJournal Migration. Seriously, you create an account, go to 'import', and follow the easy instructions. Mine is here if you want to bookmark it somewhere in case of LJ dying unexpectedly, I'll be turning off the search presence over there, don't want it to look like a mirror. Thanks for the heads up [ profile] foxfirefey. SRSLY people, you can mark the whole thing as private "your eyes only", just make sure you've got a copy of your journal, just in case?

Lastly, a completely non geeky post. I post a lot of anti-religion stuff when I'm in a ranty mood. I know that not all religious types are crazy bigotted loons, but idiots like Christian Voice tend to spoil it for the sane majority. Today, I got another reminder, several people linked to:

The Life and Opinions of Andrew Rilstone: An Immodest Proposal

Go read it. Really.

Anyway, my importer has finally finished, so time to shut down the PC. G'night all
Lemme hear a woo. And indeed a hoo.
Blogger in Draft: New feature: Blogger as OpenID provider

That's not only a very good explanation of how OpenID can work, it's also a very momentous step. Probably the biggest blogging platform in existence now allows OpenID for both comments there and for their users to comment elsewhere. Specifically, Blogger users now join, Typepad, Vox and Livejournal users as owners of an OpenID[1].

What does this mean? Well, a lot of people get confused or misunderstand the point of OpenID. But the basic rationale, as [ profile] brad said when he launched it, is that sites that allow you to comment as if you're the owner of a site without proving it are lame. Sites that allow open entry of a URL essentially allow you to claim to be someone else. OpenID means that if someone comments using an OpenID, you know it's them.

Biggest advantage for Livejournallers? If you allow OpenID comments[2] then your friends that don't have an LJ can both comment here and you know it's them, they can vote in polls, and you can friend them and let them read your protected content. They even get their own friends page and 6 userpics, and can give an email address to get comment notification.

I'm pleased. OpenID has it's faults, but it's undoubtedly one of the most advanced tools in the direction of the distributed web that I've talked (dreamed?) about many times before.
[1] Facebook only users don't (yet) have an OpenID, but can install the app to get one

[2] Currently requires allowing all anonymous comments, which is crap, they're supposed to have fixed it but haven't yet, I think lobbying our new Russian overlords may be a plan
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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