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In our continuous effort to improve the deviantART experience, we're publishing Site Updates to keep members informed and to gather feedback. Below is a list of recent changes to the site, bug fixes, and feedback that was brought up by members in the last Site Update.

What's New


New Sta.sh Writer Toolbar
Formatting in Sta.sh Writer just got easier! Check out the brand new Writer toolbar, which includes new functionality such as adding lists, links, and text alignment! Though these formatting styles worked in the previous version of Writer, they could only be used if you manually typed in the HTML or copy and pasted from another application.

Screen Shot 2012 04 04 At 11 37 43 Am By Dan14lev  by danlev

Oh, and we have an exciting new feature coming next week! ;)

Bug Fixes



General

  • There was brief nightly site outage that occurred several nights in a row that was caused by a technical issue. Fixed by chris
  • Paging on comment threads pages was briefly broken. Fixed by muteor
  • Some portions of submission process such as group and folder selection was misbehaving for short period of time. Fixed by kemayo and allixsenos
  • The Groups affiliates widget in the "random" sort mode did not properly support paging. Fixed by mpsb
  • The "Add to Wishlist" behavior on Prints pages was inconsistent. Fixed by mpsb
  • Editing journals from the deviation page was unavailable for some time. Fixed by kemayo
  • Selection or editing of journal skins which resulted in inability to submit journals was briefly broken. Fixed by allixsenos

Sta.sh


  • Watchers were being notified on all updates regardless of whether "Notify your deviantWATCHers" was selected or not. Fixed by adahacker
  • The ability to submit to your gallery without submitting to a folder (including "Featured") was missing. Fixed by adahacker
  • The "Disable & Members Only" sharing option wasn't selectable. Fixed by adahacker
  • The current state of the license options wouldn't be restored properly when editing. Fixed by adahacker
  • Submitting to a new gallery was always triggering notifications to be sent to deviantWATCHers. Fixed by adahacker
  • Gallery folders were incorrectly displayed as valid options on journals. Fixed by aMoniker
  • A writer thumbnail on top of a stack would the stack's name instead of the top-most item's title. Fixed by adahacker
  • New submission wasn't working on oauth app deviations. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Legacy journal and news couldn't be edited with the new UI. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Writer items including images wouldn't be submittable through the new UI. Fixed by aMoniker
  • The license drop-down overflowed in Windows Chrome. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Emote codes wouldn't work right when editing a deviation's description inline. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Emotes now have a proper "alt" HTML attribute. Fixed by inazar
  • Searches in the sidebar are now sorted by popularity instead of newest. Fixed by inazar
  • Writer UI elements have a higher Z-index, so skin CSS can't possibly obscure them. Fixed by inazar
  • Link tool url field autofocuses. Fixed by inazar
  • Sidebar thumb spacing adjusted to look cooler. Fixed by inazar
  • The "preview" icon was updated. Fixed by inazar
  • On the "Edit" menu, the wording was change from on "insert big thumbs" to "always add full size images" for clarity. Fixed by kemayo
  • When opening a Writer document, the loading is now smoother. Fixed by kemayo

Your Feedback


  • Once a deviation has been submitted to a Group's gallery folder, admins should be able to redirect the deviation to another folder rather than rejecting it and asking them to submit to the appropriate category. From =The--Last--Hope
Bugs, issues, and feedback from previous Site Updates

Discuss!  Lightbulb



Last week we received some great feedback from members about Group Messages. We'd like to hear more about Groups!
  1. Groups profile widget: Currently, in the Groups profile widget, we display the Groups you're an admin or member of. How would you feel if Groups you are watching were also listed on this widget?
  2. Stacks in message counts: In the messages menu, the number of deviantWATCH messages you have refers to individual messages. If you have stacks enabled, would you prefer it if this number counted stacks rather than individual messages?
  3. Splinter menu vs. unsplintered menu: In the top navigation of deviantART, do you use the "splinter" version of the messages dropdown (where each message type gets its own link in the header), or do you use the "unsplintered" version of the menu (where all messages are consolidated under the messages dropdown)? Why do you prefer that version over the other?
  4. Group messages and notes: Currently, on the splinter version of the messages menu, Group messages and notes are listed under the dropdown. Would you prefer it if Group messages and notes were splintered out as well and not hidden under the dropdown? Suggestions originally from =XxMasquradexX and ~Ni3nk3
Splintered vs Unsplintered by danlev

 Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
:bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk(Be as detailed as possible!)



The Tree as Beautiful Machine

Wed May 2, 2012, 7:35 PM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:










:icontechgnotic:by techgnotic
May 2, 2012





While searching deviantART for images for the Earth Day article, I became intrigued with how trees have become not only such a central focus of our current environmental concerns, but also how they play such a central role in our art, whether as background or actual subject matter. There are so many Enchanted Forests on deviantART that it made me wonder if trees, so mundane and taken for granted yet at the same time so vital to life on earth and so steeped in myth, have always been the revered subjects of the world’s artists.





There was one especially intriguing piece of information that I came across during my research of the Earth Day article that seemed the perfect way to feature some of the beautiful artwork depicting trees and forests on deviantART.  Even though most of us know the opening of Alfred Joyce Kilmer’s poem;

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree...
The tree went through a rough patch as being unsuitable as art subject for a period of nearly a thousand years, at least in Europe. This was the Medieval period from roughly 500 to 1450 A.D. The Church controlled artistic expression almost absolutely during that time and anything to do with nature or the woods was too closely linked with the “old religion” that Christianity had just superseded, Paganism, and Pagan animism (the idea of spirits being in all things, including trees) to be allowed to be fulsomely depicted in art. So it was mostly portraits of saints and kings and lots stained glass windows until Giotto kicked off the Renaissance by being rebel enough to put trees as natural backgrounds in his paintings in the 1300s.










A near-thousand year ban?


What is it so dangerous about trees that they could be suppressed for so long as art images to dream on? I suppose that climbing a tree as a kid might be our first great “victory” over the challenge and dangers of wildest nature. And the dark forests of fairy tales are well populated with evil beings and creatures intent on harming wandering children. So there’s always been that primal fear ingrained in us from birth to know the woods can be a “bad” place. But early humans lived and survived in the wild, so they embraced the trees and all the components of nature as the stuff of their religion and their art, making the forests as magical and spiritual as they were potentially lethal. It was only when humans built the cities and began razing the forests that trees became mere raw material to be exploited and the woods became less Pagan “Natural Cathedrals” and more scary backdrops to monster movies like “Dracula”.






Now it seems we’ve finally course corrected on trees and forests both out of practical concerns (our desire to survive) and our current cultural predilections (our insatiable spiritual explorations and the prevalence of fantasy in our entertainment). So whether it’s because we’ve finally acknowledged that the Earth’s forests and jungles are our planet’s “lungs” (and that there are secrets in the bark of the Amazon’s trees that might cure every disease), or if it’s because we need enchanted forests for the faeries and elves and witches of our favorite stories to inhabit, the tree has reestablished its rightful place as both necessary instrument of survival and emblematic icon of our artistic imagination. Trees give us oxygen so we can breathe. But they also provide a sense of mystery and timelessness so we can ponder and draw and dream.






















Questions


For the Reader





1As an artist, writer or photographer, do you think of trees as mostly background or backdrop to your art? Or have you actually used trees as a central subject?


2What’s your favorite work of fiction or movie that really made use of the forest as an actual “character” in the story?


3Do you find “subject-less” landscape photography or paintings generally boring or often compelling? Or does it all depend on the artist’s lens or brush?





4Can you remember a specific tree that played an important part in your own life? Or maybe that still does?


5Is a backyard without at least one tree really a “backyard” (i.e., a theater of childhood dreams of adventure) or just a soulless kid & pet pen?















Announcing the deviantART Creative Grants


At deviantART, we have spent the past 11 years building a place where artists can share and discuss their work and get inspired by the work of their contemporaries. A noble cause, for certain, but we would like to be so much more to our beloved community of brilliant creatives. Starting today, deviantART will also be a means of inspiration in an entirely new way with financial support for art.





On 3 month cycles, deviantART will accept applications from artists seeking to fund art-related projects. A panel called the Creative Grants Board will pick those projects that they believe will benefit particularly from a Grant and give those artists the support they need to make it happen. The lucky few who are chosen to receive Grants will also be given a beautiful accolade on their deviantART Profile Page to celebrate their success.






All applications in a given cycle will be reviewed by members of the Board fairly and Grants will be given to as few or as many as the review panel deems appropriate within the budget of available funds. Grants will range between $250 and $750 per application for the first cycle of funding, with a total funding of $10,000 available.












  • Installation of an art exhibition
  • Additional artist materials or resources to support
    the production or public display of art

  • A piece of work that requires specific tools
  • Costs to run a creative event


If you're looking for money to pay your rent, go to classes, upgrade your Group to Super status, buy a Premium Membership, or pay off your student loans, this is not for you.














It's time for our next deviantWEAR Design Challenge, and this one is a little different. Writers, you play a crucial role! We're calling on deviants to create an original phrase, statement, or saying and transform these writings into an artistic and unique t-shirt design. Entries should display an imaginative phrase, expression, or statement as well as a beautiful presentation of the words in a "Design Typography" style.

We are not looking for famous quotes by historical figures, fictional characters, famous poets, and the like. Instead, we are excited to see designs and phrases in your very own words. So let your creative juices flow and share your inspiring words with the world! A picture tells a thousand words, but your typographical design for the "Original Quotes" entry will tell us even more!

:star: Participation is easy!


You come up with potential designs for our deviantWEAR t-shirts.

Post entries to the design challenge.

Deviants vote on their favorite designs.

Judges choose 3 winning designs: 2 designs based on the highest-voted submissions and 1 design from ALL of the Entries to the Challenge.

Artists of the winning submissions get cash and their designs printed on t-shirts and sold in deviantWEAR shop!

For more inspiration on the deviantWEAR Design Challenge, check out the “Original Quotes” Challenge Category!

:star: Prizes, prizes, prizes!


Three winners will be selected!  Each winner receives $1,500 cash and 20 units of their t-shirt! Plus, each of the winning designs will be sold in deviantWEAR. You could find your “Original Quotes” design emblazoned on someone’s shirt out in the wild someday.

:star: Not a designer?


If you’re not interested in entering, you still have a chance to make an impact and determine the future of deviantWEAR's designs without being a designer.  All throughout the Design Challenge, keep an eye on the “Original Quotes” Category.  If you see a design that would make a great shirt, click "I’d Wear This" on the deviation to cast your vote for the entry. View the entries!

:star: Worried about cheaters?


Fret not.  When the contest is over, deviantART will review the source of all entry data (including but not limited to username and IP data) for suspicious activity and remove fraudulent votes.  We will also review ALL entries to ensure they qualify. Additionally, just because a design has the most votes doesn't mean it automatically wins.  The 50 designs receiving the most votes will move to the final judging round. Then, our panel of experts will pick two of the most inspiring phrases and best typographically designed “Original Quotes” t-shirts to produce, along with an additional finalist that will be selected from all of the entries to the Challenge.

But hurry! The deadline for entries is May 15, 2012, and voting ends on May 22, 2012. Submit your designs and cast your votes now!

:megaphone: Don't delay!


Click here to get started!  And be sure to read the Official Terms for all the technical details.




In our continuous effort to improve the deviantART experience, we're publishing Site Updates to keep members informed and to gather feedback. Below is a list of recent changes to the site, bug fixes, and feedback that was brought up by members in the last Site Update.

What's New


Coming Soon: New Sta.sh Submit
Beta testers are currently trying out the new submission process for Sta.sh, deviantART's upload and publishing platform. This new version includes a simplified and tidier interface that makes it easier to understand and use. The feedback on this new process has been very positive, so we will be rolling it out to all members early next week. If you'd like to try it out early, upgrade to a Premium Membership and enable Beta Testing in your Account Settings.

UPDATED (APRIL 30): The new Sta.sh submission process is now live for all members! To try it out, visit your Sta.sh!


Screen Shot 2012-04-12 at 1.21.13 PM by danlev


New Thumbnails (Beta Testers Only)
Just over a month ago, we released a preview of deviantART's new thumbnails. Since then, we've been tweaking the display of the thumbnails based on community feedback. Beta testers are now testing the new thumbnails throughout the site, including browse, search, galleries, and favourites.


New deviantART Thumbnails by danlev

Want to try this feature? Upgrade to a Premium Membership and enable Beta Testing in your Account Settings.

Bug Fixes


General
  • At some browser sizes, print page images were being overlapped by the menu. Fixed by muteor
  • Scraps category had incorrect file type restrictions. Fixed by shadowhand
  • Deviations from the Scraps category were showing up when browsing by newest without selecting a category. Fixed by shadowhand and allixsenos
  • A default font color was missing, which made the site look odd to people who have adjusted their settings to override browser fonts. Fixed by shadowhand
  • The Points modal had display issues when opened while another menu was opened. Fixed by mpsb
  • Sharing tools disappeared. Fixed by samshull
  • Literature thumbnails on stacks don't animate. Fixed by kouiskas
  • When visiting a Sta.sh link while logged out, it would sometimes not redirect to the correct link after logging in. Fixed by kouiskas
  • The "next" button broke for public stacks. Fixed by kouiskas
  • The "delete" button on Sta.sh item pages was not working. Fixed by aMoniker
The following Sta.sh bugs apply to features that are only available to beta testers:
  • Fixed display issues with Film thumbs on the submission page. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Dimmed watermark text when checkbox is disabled. Fixed by aMoniker
  • The page no longer flickers when switching to edit mode. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Sta.sh item pages now have a new submit button. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Inline editing for title/description on Sta.sh item pages. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Fixed some issues with copy and pasting into titles and descriptions. Fixed by adahacker
  • The footer was broken on published deviations. Fixed by adahacker
  • Fixed category picker issues for Internet Explorer. Fixed by adahacker
  • If you edited a skin and then carefully didn't touch your Writer thereafter it wouldn't save the item. Fixed by inazar
  • Opening the 'link' menu scrolls to the top of the document in IE. Fixed by Alisey
  • Regression: adding a link erases selected text in Firefox. Fixed by Alisey
Your Feedback

Discuss!  Lightbulb


Group Messages
As a group admin, how do you feel about the Group messages you receive? What do you like about the Groups section of the Message Center and how do you feel it could be improved?

 Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
:bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk(Be as detailed as possible!)



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