September 11th, 2001


Lack of contributions?

Hey all,

Yeah, a lot of people make a lot of significant contributions to the site, but important things seem to take forever to get done.

Brad's recent patch request. has been sitting there for a day now, and hasn't even received a single comment. Not even a stupid witty remark. He has practically written everything for you. Very little design work left. I'm sitting here wondering why someone hasn't picked up on it. If I weren't about to be beaten up by several people awaiting contract work, I'd go do it myself. Instead, here's a little poll. I encourage everyone to take part in it so we can continue to address problems and get more people writing code. Good comments are appreciated as well.

Poll #4732 lack of contributions

Why don't you contribute more code?

lack of perl knowledge
lack of SQL knowledge
lack of LJ internals knowledge
lack of time
fear of getting rejected
cartoon cat
  • katyism

A suggestion. Mature discussion responses tolerated.

Since there are so many people who don't know much programming and don't know how livejournal works, but still want to help, it might be a good idea to develop some way of letting them know what they CAN help with and HOW.

It seems like a lot of devs who are more "advanced" are doing "mundane" things because they can't find or don't trust newer or less knowledgeable people to do them, like us peons who are interested in LJ_dev but haven't contributed. Things like writing FAQs, organizing pages around the site, I don't know what, just non-programming things. It seems that there's a marked gap between developers and people who are interested in lj development, and that the gap is we don't know a thing about most of the topics thrown around here since they're highly lj specific, and we don't know how to get started learning and practicing this stuff so we can get to your level.

I bet a lot of us are at the level where we don't trust our programming skills or don't have many such skills, but we're still techy enough to be able to help manage a site in other ways. We just aren't sure what the ways are, and/or need someone to sort of show us the inner LJ ropes, give us permissions, and we're off.

I know there is a little bit of documentation somewhere about such inner workings of LJ and perhaps how to get in and edit stuff once you've volunteered, but it's hard to find. I can't find it. I may be hallucinating that it exists. But anyway, my point is:
-There's stuff for us to do, isn't there? Tell us what it is.
-Give us directions on how we need to do it (
such as "add this page, find a better way to organize these documents, etc, here is where all the stuff for X part of site is, here's how you get in, good luck).
-Tell us who to pass our work by for approval or who won't mind if we bug them with questions.

Also, my apologies if it's a matter of me just not looking hard enough for documentation that covers *ALL* of this, and if said docs are hard to understand, but if such docs exist, that's also an issue standing in the way of us helping out.

Capability auditing done

Since nobody else audited my code, I've been working on it the last few days.... found a few bugs :-)

More than capabilities, this latest work totally separates LJ & ljcom ... paidfeatures/paiduntil/paidreminders are out of user table. All ljcom logic is gone and moved into hooks, etc. (see doc/capabilities.txt and doc/hooks.txt)

Only problem now keeping me from making the site go live with this code is that when I view my stats.bml page on my test server I get:

[Error: Unmatched ( before HERE mark in regex m/^( << HERE xmlrpc// at (eval 22) line 153. ]

Whatever that means. xmlrpc? grep -ri xmlrpc ~lj/ returns nothing except the XML-RPC gateway that revjim and I did, but it's not preloaded by BML, and has no m/, xmlrpc//, or HERE in it anyway.

Some library that we're using has a bug? Well, I grepped all the perl modules on my system also... can't figure it out.

I'll try this on my goathack tomorrow. Going to bed now.

Announcing the 1.4.7 Beta Availability?

Possibly the wrong place to post this (don't you hate it when an entry starts with that), but will the 1.4.7 version of the windows client be added to the download page soon? I'm noticing that with the crisis that is going on, more and more people are using LJ as their main news source. As we move further and further into peak usage time, we stand an even greater risk of server-side issues. While I don't think this will have enough effect to completely prevent a server crash if one does occur, i think it will provide us with a little more leeway. Another suggestion would be to link to it from the Status page (I haven't seen Opi around or I'd have made him do it myself). If the site does go down, then at least they'll read about the Beta client there and give Dorm some breathing room to bring things back up. LJ has been one of the few bastions of fairly reliable news for most of it's users today. We can't have it failing us. This is information that should be made available to everyone and should be readily visible. This is what makes LJ great. We can't have it fail....