If you're coming from LiveJournal to Dreamwidth: What's Missing?

Dreamwidth is a code fork of LiveJournal's open source software, but we don't have all the features LiveJournal has. Sometimes it's because the feature wasn't part of LiveJournal's open source codebase, and so we couldn't legally use it. Sometimes it's because the feature was very old and rarely used, and we removed it to streamline our usability. Sometimes it's because LiveJournal added the feature after we forked our code from theirs — we've diverged so far that we can't easily adopt code from LiveJournal anymore, so it's often easier for us to code new features from scratch instead of doing the manual work to adapt LiveJournal's code changes.

Here's a partial list of things LiveJournal has that Dreamwidth doesn't:

  • Ads — Dreamwidth is not an ad-supported service. We've removed all ad-related code.

  • Custom userheads — Everything having to do with LiveJournal's payments system is not available under an open source license, so we can't use it. We've chosen not to implement custom userheads for sale because of accessibility concerns: having lots of different userheads displaying on a page is difficult for people with cognitive disabilities, and would make it very hard to tell at a glance which accounts are staff accounts and official communities.

  • Extra icon packages and loyalty icons — Everything having to do with LiveJournal's payments system is not available under an open source license, so we can't use it. Also, icon space is one of the most expensive things we could offer, so we have to be careful about it, in order to avoid overloading the site. We do offer icons which can be purchased individually, and do not expire. See FAQ 16 for more information.

  • Last.fm music detection — Using this would have needed for us to agree with Last.fm's terms and conditions, some of which we weren't comfortable with. We hope to add a replacement for this at some time in the future.

  • LiveJournal.app iPhone/iPod Touch Client — We don't have an official mobile client. In the meantime, you could use ShoZu, or our mobile site.

  • LJ-Like — This was released after we diverged from LiveJournal's code. We have plans to release a low-commitment instant feedback system, but it will be very different.

  • LJ Talk — Usage of LJ Talk was always very low, and running a chat server is a lot of additional work. Chat isn't part of our main site focus, so we decided to put our attention elsewhere.

  • My Guests — This was released after we diverged from LiveJournal's code, and we'd like to do it differently. In the meantime, paid users can use Google Analytics for some aggregate statistics about their traffic.

  • Pingback/Trackback — We're planning on adding this one — we don't want to implement it the same way LiveJournal did.

  • Repost button — This was released after we diverged from LiveJournal's code.

  • S1 journal style system — S1, the oldstyle journal customization system, was outdated and hard to support. We've put our work into improving the usability and customizability of S2 instead.

  • Schools directory — Maintaining the schools directory took a lot of manual administrative work, and we would've needed to reproduce all the categorization and validation work LiveJournal had done over the years, because while the code for the schools directory is available for us to use, the curated data isn't. We decided that since the focus of Dreamwidth is more about finding new people with interesting things to say, rather than finding people you know offline, that effort was better spent elsewhere.

  • Scrapbook (photo hosting) — Scrapbook is unavailable for technical reasons; we hope to eventually add our own photo hosting service with better integration and usability.

  • Todo lists — This feature from LJ's early days never came out of beta, and time and development passed it by. We removed it as part of our process of streamlining things that few people used.

  • Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace integration — This was released after we diverged from LiveJournal's code, and we have some privacy concerns about the exact implementation details. As part of our commitment to interoperability, we do plan on letting you integrate your presence on other sites into your Dreamwidth journal, but the implementation will be very different.

  • Virtual gifts — Everything having to do with LiveJournal's payments system is not available under an open source license, so we can't use it. We have virtual gifts in the works, but we've needed to do a lot of backend work first.

  • Voice posts — The voice posting feature (also known as phone posts) is not part of LJ's open source package, so would require us to re-write it from scratch and negotiate contracts with phone providers in each country where Dreamwidth is used. This is time-consuming, difficult, and expensive, so we've shelved this for now<./li>
  • Your Journal Your Money — We don't accept advertising for the site as a whole, and as part of that, we don't want to display ads on individual journals either, even if the proceeds go to the journal owner.



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Last Activity:
January 10th, 2013 (misskat)


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