7 Jan 2005 skx   » (Master)

LiveJournal Hacking

To see how easy it was to modify I installed the LiveJournal codebase upon a Debian Woody machine last night, this all went fairly well once I patched the database scripts up to work properly.

It's a lot of work installing it, although the steps themselves are pretty straightforward. I'd be almost tempted to write it up, but the target audience is probably minimal and there are an awful lot of different choices users might wish to make wrt installation - MySQl vs Postgres, etc..

for those of you familiar with LiveJournal there were two things I wished to change:

  • Remove the emotional connotations of the word "friend", by replacing it with "trusted readers", and "interesting users".
  • Update the LiveJournal calandars so that users can only see a count of entries they are allowed to read.

The latter was what I achieved last night, with only a short amount of hacking.

For those of you that don't know LiveJournal every user has a calendar, such as this one.

The calendar shows the number of posts made on each given day.

However when you post to livejournal you can make your entries private, or restricted to only a small group of people - this is not reflected in the calendar.

If I make one public post today, and one that only I can see when you view my calendar you see "2 posts" were made, despite the fact that you cannot see the second entry.

My patch fixes this.

(There's a similar issue with the public nature of calendars vs. private/secure entries which occurs with users "memories" - anonymous users can enumerate the names + number of each memorable entry, even if the entry itself is private.)

(Another interesting privacy issue is the availability of "icons"..)

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