I want to apology for last week's limit controversy. I need to stop making rushed technical changes that have social implications. While I've been told that before, this latest incident really made it clear.
Fortunately, we've got the new servers online and we've done some optimizations to the database that have improved performance, so I'm not stressed out anymore. With a clear head, I can now look back and see that I did handle things poorly.
Most of all, I made the change too quickly without giving people warning ahead of time, especially the other employees and support volunteers. Second, the wording of my original post wasn't clear in parts, introducing more questions than it answered. For example, my clarification "posts to communities count" was interpreted by many users as "the community can only have 5 posts/day" where what I meant to convey was that the 5 posts/day limit on free users was on any journal they posted in, be it their own or some community. So the free community could get 200 posts/day, if they come from different users. But anyway, that's just one example of a detail that was unclear. There were many others.
Before any form of rate limiting goes live, I'll put up a page explaining the details about everything. I'll also release the raw stats to show why whatever limits we end up deciding on are reasonable.
The goal when choosing the numbers is for paid users to never be affected (the limit should be so high that it'd never be hit except by scripts) and for free users to be able to use the site normally, with only the most addicted of those occasionally bumping into the limit, reminding them they're heavy users and should support the site.
Any future limits will be heavily discussed first in lj_biz, with a notice made to news to come there and participate. We won't ever limit max comments per post. (which was a lot of people's concern)
Anyway, I am sorry. I feel really guilty getting everybody so angry unnecessarily. It could've been handled a lot better. I know I can only make the "I'm a programmer, not a business person" excuse so many times, but please believe that I'm learning from my mistakes, at least slowly.
denisep and jproulx are going to resume using comm_news, describing it as "a more low-key place to keep you updated on community stuff. For now, we're running it as a question-and-answer format, but in the future, there'll be some other features." So, add that to your friends list if you want to read more about LJ stuff.
We've also decided that starting soon, we're going to have a regularly scheduled maintenance window. Obviously, we can't plan ahead for emergencies, but for cases when we know ahead of time that we're going to need to do server work, it'll all happen at one specific time per week.
We've scheduled Tuesday nights at midnight PST (GMT -0800) for scheduled server maintenance. Each week, if there's routine maintenance to be done, that's when it'll happen. So, if it's coming up on midnight PST on a Tuesday, save your work just in case. (Of course, lisa or I will also post to lj_maintenance before & after...)
We're looking into T-shirt sales again. The plan is to get high-quality, rugged silk-screened T-shirts with a simple design (no embarassing slogan, like last time, which many people objected to) and sell them incredibly cheap, just barely above cost. (and we'll probably buy a bunch to start, just to make it even cheaper...)
The Debian project has a Social Contract which many other sites on the web have copied and altered. We've been talking about putting up our own social contract (perhaps with a different name?) to lay down our promises to the community.
For example: we'll never advertise, we'll never spam (or sell our email list), permanent accounts will never be charged, the core code will remain open source, etc...
We're still working on collecting items users would be concerned about, but we do want to have one central place for people to see our intentions. If you want to help flesh this out, check out Jesse's post.
We're about to launch a new developer area of the site: The Bazaar. Consider this a sneak preview. More detailed post about it coming later.