Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 18 submissions in the queue.
posted by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the cue-the-complaining dept.
I'm pleased to announce that we've released the next major version of slashcode, and upgraded the production systems as of today. Since yours truly forgot that May has 31 days, you're also getting it a day early. Here's the short list of what's in this update.

Slashcode 14.06 Changelog
  • New user-selectable themes, including a Night Mode. Themes are now CSS based and use no images for effects.
  • New collapsible comment with the Improved Threaded mode. (Has set as default for all users that have Threaded or Nested set. You can change it back if you dislike it.)
  • New message display that shows all messages in reverse chronological order as a full message (now without the email footer). Also set the Daily Newsletter to be off for new users.
  • Removed a bunch of unneeded code that will make page loading faster.
  • Static pages (FAQ and About) are now dynamic and show the proper user menu and theme.
  • RSS now encoded properly.
  • Preferences update to make pages work together better. (Most of the work was on the admin side so most of you will never see the bulk of the changes.) Also fixed a issue with the Homepage Prefs where the reset to default would not set everything to the defaults.
  • Updates to the Submissions system. The pages look better and now your past submissions are organized better.
  • Login system updated to allow passwords with unlimited lengths and user names of upto 35 characters.
  • Slashboxes fixed so that they show properly when you change your Homepage settings.
  • Pollbooth updates to make pages look better.
  • Fixed issue with long words and page elements overflowing their parent divs by adding word-wrap: break-word; to the css.
  • Smoke-test of subscriber code; expect to see a few users with stars running around as we get the bugs out
  • And a bunch of smaller fixes that you will be sure to notice.

A huge round of applause to paulej72 for going through the bug list and sorting out much of what was there. Furthermore, I'd also like to extend thanks to iWantToKeepAnon and TheMightyBuzzard for contributions to this release.

As always, feel free to submit your issues to our bugtracker where our crack team of flying monkeys will labor to try and make it part of future site upgrades.

Check past the break for more thoughts and comments on these changes.

User Selectable Themes
Hate the red? Not a problem, go choose "chillax", and enjoy a nice refreshing blue look and feel for the site. Right now, we're only using it for CSS changes, but each theme can override the default theme in an inherited matter. At some point, we are seriously going to look at giving SN a facelift and moving away from the stock slashcode red. Now, with any change, there are those who will dislike it for one reason or another, but with a simple click in their preferences, they can simply go back to how the site was before.

Improved Threading (D1.5)
Perhaps our most user visible change with this release, this brings the discussion system out of 1997, and something closer to mid-2000s. For anyone who's ever used the old "Slashdot/SoylentNews Expandable Comment Tree", this is going to look familiar. I took the GPLv2-licensed GreaseMonkey script, modified it into a server-side script, then Paul went and made it work with CSS instead of page-scraping. The upshot?

A *massive* improvement to site usability, and threading, preventing you having to have millions of tabs open to follow any discussion. Now, obviously, there is still some room for improvement, such as an inline "Reply" box, but this should go a long way in helping in browsing comments. Due to the way its implemented, non-JS users will gracefully degrade to the "Threaded" view, and for those who simply hate it, feel free to flip your user preference from "Improved Threaded" to "Threaded" or "Nested.

Improved Threading is now the default for ACs, and if your preferences were set to Threaded or Nested, you were automatically upgraded. This feature, as with all features, will continue to keep evolve. If you're interested in improving it, and are good with JavaScript or CSS, come find us on IRC, and make yourselves known, or write a nifty GreaseMonkey script, and we'll migrate it into a server-side one.

NOTE: There was a slight goof which is causing Improved Threading to not quite work the way most people expect it to, its more "Improved Nested" at the moment. We're discussing on IRC about this right now, but as a workaround, set your browsing score to 4 which will make it work similar to the way its supposed to work).
Dead Code Removal/Site Optimizations
Inspired by the LibreSSL efforts to strip down and clarify OpenSSL, I've started undertaking a similar project through the codebase. As of now, approximately, 50k lines of code and other garbage have been jettisoned from the codebase, including most of the bloated and unused Javascript. As a practical upshot of this, our average page load size is now 3/5ths smaller than what it was in the previous release. There's still a fair bit of cruft in the codebase in the form of unused functions, dead code paths, and other junk, but I'm optimistic that by time we're done, we can skim another 10-15k lines of code out of the codebase, making it easier to audit and bugfix.

The following bits of code were completely removed:
  • D2 (approximately 100 kiB of javascript per page load)
  • Firehose
  • Tags
  • Jabber Integration
  • World of Warcraft Integration
  • Daypasses
  • Many unused slash plugins
  • Bitrotted support for PostgreSQL and Oracle (both very incomplete)
  • Tagboxes (a MASSIVE amount code)

There's still a quite a bit of low hanging fruit, so if you like to blowtorch old codebases, grab the source and start deleting!

Subscriber Code Enabled
We're not offering subscriptions until post-incorporation, but we wanted to start looking and smoketesting this code in preparation for that happy day. Expect to see a few users with *'s after their name that marks them as a subscriber. As a note, the subscriber +1 pseudo-mod is disabled by default, so subscriber posts do not show up higher than they otherwise would.

I'd like to get a discussion going with the community on what sort of things you'd like to see from subscribing, so look for that article, and start brainstorming on what you would be willing to pay for (like shell accounts, USENET access, or some other service we could reasonable provide?)


I do hope you enjoy this round of fixes and improvements. That being said, I am sorry that some promised work didn't make it into this release, most importantly, moderation and metamoderation reworks. With luck, I'll find time between now and the next release to really start hammering on it, and then look at releasing it to production in the form of a point release. As always, post below, and know that your comments are helping decide the future of this site.

Until next time, NCommander

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Foobar Bazbot on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:32PM

    by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:32PM (#49565) Journal

    ... go choose "chillax", and enjoy a nice refreshing blue look and feel for the site.

    I'd love to; where do I go to choose "chillax"?

    I quickly scanned the preferences pages and didn't see it -- maybe I just overlooked it, but I think an exact location will help many people.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Foobar Bazbot on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:36PM

      by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:36PM (#49569) Journal

      OK, I definitely overlooked it...

      In case it helps anyone else, the "Select Theme" option is the first option in the "Homepage" preference tab.

      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:37PM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:37PM (#49571) Homepage Journal

        I'll edit the top post to make that a BIT clearer. I forgot our preferences page still looking like something that came out of the space shuttle.

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by AndyTheAbsurd on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:41PM

          by AndyTheAbsurd (3958) on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:41PM (#49572) Journal

          I think Night Mode has the red for links set a bit too dim compared to what's around it. But that could just be me, because I'm an anomalous trichromat and my color perception is screwy.

          --
          Please note my username before responding. You may have been trolled.
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by paulej72 on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:08PM

            by paulej72 (58) on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:08PM (#49586) Journal

            I did not check any of the UI changes for color blindness. I was mostly worried about getting enough contrast between the elements given my color pallet.

            I think there are a few online tools to check for this kind of stuff. I'll look into for our next upgrade.

            --
            Team Leader for SN Development
        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday June 01 2014, @02:08AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Sunday June 01 2014, @02:08AM (#49779) Homepage

          I already broke it :)

          So I went to Preferences and tried out the various themes. What I got for Chillax was identical to Site Default. Night Mode gave me blue bars on white (oww, my eyes!!). SoylentNews was dark grey (restful!). Is that what I was supposed to see??

          And then it took two tries to make it go back to Site Default. First attempt apparently did not save.

          I usually have colors off in the browser anyway (and I actually like how the original red theme looks), but it's pleasant to have alternatives.

          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
          • (Score: 1) by paulej72 on Sunday June 01 2014, @03:46AM

            by paulej72 (58) on Sunday June 01 2014, @03:46AM (#49802) Journal

            For what ever reason, the page load after you save your prefs is in the old theme. I believe this is due to slash partially building the user page before processing the save request giving the old theme for that page. If you click on a new page you will get the new theme.

            --
            Team Leader for SN Development
            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday June 01 2014, @04:28AM

              by Reziac (2489) on Sunday June 01 2014, @04:28AM (#49810) Homepage

              Ah, okay, that would explain it. One of the original devs must have been a time traveller who did not grok doing things in chronological order. ;)

              Incidentally, comment posting seems to have gotten faster.

              --
              And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
              • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:47PM

                by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:47PM (#49900) Homepage Journal

                The DB save is the last step of the page (the logic is .. wonky to say the least). Most of the speed performance was removing 100-200 kib worth of unused javascript :-)

                (plus code removal which helps speed up Apache on the backend, though since comments are memcached, its really not the part that slows things down).

                --
                Still always moving
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by tnt118 on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:16PM

      by tnt118 (3925) on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:16PM (#49591)

      The theme really makes the site significantly more enjoyable for me to read, so thanks for that. I'm also amused by the updated bookmark icon for chillax, so nice job there.

      --
      I think I like it here.
      • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:27PM

        by buswolley (848) on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:27PM (#49615)

        When can we start calling it soylentcode?

        --
        subicular junctures
        • (Score: 1) by Yog-Yogguth on Sunday June 01 2014, @08:22PM

          by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 01 2014, @08:22PM (#49982) Journal

          Right now! :D

          And since I'm posting: love the RSS, love the themes, and I've set all sliders to -1 :)

          One more thing: in case subscriptions are extremely reasonable will we be able to gift subscriptions through the site?
          One more thing: with subscribing and stuff I would love to be able to have a setting to make the various auto-moderation benefits be opt-in rather than opt-out when commenting.
          One more thing: shell access always sounds tempting although I'm not sure what I would use it for.

          --
          Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
          • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday June 02 2014, @01:13PM

            by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Monday June 02 2014, @01:13PM (#50188) Homepage Journal

            1. Yes
            2. Its debatable if the +1 for subscribers will survive at all. I'm not a big fan of it. Right now, the feature is enabled, but set to 0 pseudo-mode
            3. Get creative :-)

            --
            Still always moving
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by AndyTheAbsurd on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:33PM

    by AndyTheAbsurd (3958) on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:33PM (#49567) Journal

    The only thing I've seen/noticed so far is the improved threading, but I have to say that IT'S GREAT. Good job!

    Now I'm off to read the rest of the post, then check out the other changes.

    --
    Please note my username before responding. You may have been trolled.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31 2014, @11:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31 2014, @11:44PM (#49742)

      Even AC can concur with that. Excellent work!

    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Sunday June 01 2014, @12:26PM

      by TheRaven (270) on Sunday June 01 2014, @12:26PM (#49884) Journal

      Except that it doesn't really work. Right below your post it says '1 reply below your current threshold' and when I click on the link, it takes me to another page. For posts where it does work, there's a tiny + symbol next to the post title, and if I click on the title instead of the + symbol I get the same problem: a jump to a new page.

      Given that the hard work of writing the infrastructure for dynamic comment fetching is done, how much effort would it really have been to make a UI that didn't suck?

      --
      sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 2) by AndyTheAbsurd on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:31PM

        by AndyTheAbsurd (3958) on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:31PM (#49895) Journal

        Interesting. It works correctly for me. Including your browser, browser version number, and OS would probably be helpful for troubleshooting!

        --
        Please note my username before responding. You may have been trolled.
      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:49PM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:49PM (#49901) Homepage Journal

        Its a quirk that we haven't fixed (yet). Threshold changes require a page reload, since we're not actually doing AJAX to make this work; instead its CSS magic; all the comments are loaded in a single go, then are collasped/loaded. Most of the code was basically adopted from a greasemonkey script, so there is relatively little code to make it go. We're discussing ways to improve further (inline reply is probably pretty high on that list as well; shouldn't be THAT hard to implement ....)

        --
        Still always moving
  • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:42PM

    by evilviper (1760) on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:42PM (#49573) Homepage Journal

    Hmm... There was another story before this announcement, that has now disappeared:

    Save the World - One Earth-Cooled Beer at a Time
    posted by janrinok on Saturday May 31, @06:43AM Printer-friendly
    from the I'll-drink-to-that dept.
    [ Techonomics ]

    Hawkwind (http://soylentnews.org/~hawkwind) writes:

    A group of Danes trying to save the word while keeping their Carlsberg cool have come up with a rather useful Green innovation. Earth cooled beer. This completely off grid solution is designed for the backyard patio or garden, relying on a hand crank to move beer from Mother Earth to the imbiber. The group's slogan is Save the world one earth cooled beer at a time (http://eng.ecool.dk/) and promotes itself with the testimonial "eCool is the greatest gift a man could wish for". No wonder the group can't keep up with demand. (http://cphpost.dk/news/danish-sustainable-beer-cooler-digging-up-success.9704.html)

    I suspect between Danish love of the outdoors during the summer time, and drinking beer, this is going to be a hit. Hard to say how it'll do outside of Denmark but I have this strong desire to find out if the $350 price tag includes shipping to California.

    (http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/05/31/114219)

    --
    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Lemming on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:44PM

    by Lemming (1053) on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:44PM (#49574)

    First of all: the new threading is great!

    But comments are never collapsed at the root level. Even if I set the threshold to 5, root level comments downmodded to -1 are still visible. I switched to the classic threaded and nested, and it seems to act the same. Was it like this before? I'm not sure.

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:49PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:49PM (#49652) Homepage Journal

      Crud, its a regression. Just checked on the staff slash instance which is still on the previous release. Thanks for the headsup, we're working on it.

      --
      Still always moving
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday May 31 2014, @11:02PM

      by frojack (1554) on Saturday May 31 2014, @11:02PM (#49728) Journal

      What the heck is Threshold and Breakthrough?
      Couldn't we find more descriptive terms?

      I don't like anything collapsed, just makes it harder to read replies.
      With the level of moderation happening here on SN, you simply can't rely on the
      score to indicate worthwhile posts. Some posts will sit there with a score of 1
      for three days before someone reads it and mods it up, or even replies to it.
      We do the community a disservice by only reading threads that scored high.

      I don't really see the improvement that improved threading is supposed to offer.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:58AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:58AM (#49774) Homepage

        I was opening so many collapsed comments that I ended up using Nested instead, because there are enough good comments at lower levels (I have threshold at 0 for now) to be worth the minor nuisance of having a longer page to scroll through.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Sunday June 01 2014, @06:45AM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Sunday June 01 2014, @06:45AM (#49839) Homepage Journal

          I'd recommend still using improved threading, and simply setting Threshold/Breakthrough to the same level, which will prevent it from creating multiple pages at the very least, but Nested isn't going anywhere for those who want it :-)

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday June 01 2014, @12:14PM

            by Reziac (2489) on Sunday June 01 2014, @12:14PM (#49882) Homepage

            Ah, didn't realise there was such a thing as 'breakthrough', but that combo sets the page up nicely, thanks.

            --
            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
            • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:53PM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:53PM (#49903) Homepage Journal

              It's actually been there since day one, but it was buried in the user preferences. This is what caused the initial "comments always expanded" bug since when it was wired, it was wired to the wrong variable, which caused unexpected behavior. THe interface at top could be clearer, but this was written in an "OH SHIT, ITS BROKEN BECAUSE THE UI SUCKS".

              --
              Still always moving
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 01 2014, @06:21AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 01 2014, @06:21AM (#49832)

        I don't like anything collapsed

        Same here. I generally read at &mode=nested&threshold=-1, so all the CSS doesn't change anything for me--even if I *did* download the CSS.
        (I unblocked it this time and the last time tweaks were made to see what the fuss is all about. It takes me back a decade, but, nostalgia aside, it doesn't do anything useful for me.)

        Unless someone is reading with e.g. Lynx (no pull-down dialog boxes), I see the simplest page of anyone here: visible text on a white background.

        The only gripe I have ever had is that Reply to This and Parent are stacked vertically on my pages.
        If those were on the same line, thus adding less white space, I'd be happy as a clam.

        -- gewg_

        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:50PM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:50PM (#49902) Homepage Journal

          Having slept on this, and reviewed the code much more in-depth, it should be relatively trivial to allow ACs to save their preferences as a cookie ...

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 01 2014, @05:13PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 01 2014, @05:13PM (#49939)

            it should be relatively trivial to allow ACs to save their preferences as a cookie

            One of the reasons I haven't bothered to establish an account is that I don't do cookies
            (well, I'll grudgingly allow Netcraft to temporarily make one, but it's nuked immediately).

            I was hoping this would be as simple as substituting a nbsp between the 2 elements for what is currently generated.
            The positioning of Parent is currently being done *afterwards* via CSS, so in the HTML-only view I use, it appears in a different place from those using CSS see (aka doesn't degrade gracefully).

            -- gewg_

            • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday June 02 2014, @07:34PM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Monday June 02 2014, @07:34PM (#50381) Homepage Journal

              This should be relatively trivial to fix. My HTML foo kinda sucks, but if you could look at the templates on https://github.com/SoylentNews/slashcode [github.com] (in the themes/default/templates directory; grep should find the right template easily), and submit a patch, we can probably get it rolled out sooner or later.

              --
              Still always moving
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02 2014, @09:28PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02 2014, @09:28PM (#50418)

                My HTML foo kinda sucks
                Yeah, I only know enough HTML to be dangerous.

                github
                ...which, again, requires a signup and cookies. 8-(

                -- gewg_

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:19AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:19AM (#53663)

              One of the reasons I haven't bothered to establish an account is that I don't do cookies

              Which is no reason not to allow those ACs who are not afraid of cookies as long as they are not identifying, to save their preferences in a cookie.

              After all, you have to store the preferences somewhere. OK, a Greasemonkey script would also work ... for those whose browsers support it.

      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Sunday June 01 2014, @06:34AM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Sunday June 01 2014, @06:34AM (#49833) Homepage Journal

        Threshold is the lower bound of what comments will show up. i.e., with a Threshold of 0, comments at -1 are hidden. Breakthrough is when a comment is automatically expanded. So a Threshold/Breakthrough of 0/3 would cause all -1 to vanish, and all 3 comments to autoexpand.

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:22AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:22AM (#53664)

          Actually I think the current default breakthrough of 4 is much too high.

          An ideal solution would IMHO be to make the default dependent on the number of articles. For example, you could set the default to the highest non-negative value so that at least 20 comments are non-collapsed.

  • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:52PM

    by evilviper (1760) on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:52PM (#49576) Homepage Journal

    The big usability improvement to "Improved Threading (D1.5)" is that it became the same as "Nested". I'd call that an improvement, since I've used nested mode forever, but that's about it. Yes, I see the new expand/collapse buttons, they are bright and distracting clutter, and I would nearly never use them, so back to nested I go.

    If there's one thing you should learn, it's coming up with manageable names... "Improved Threading" is god-awful and inaccurate. Notice "Nested" isn't called "Expanded Threaded" or anything similarly cumbersome. Just pick an actual damn name for it...

    --
    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by paulej72 on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:04PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:04PM (#49584) Journal

      evilviper
      Well you are welcome to go back to nested, but I would like to let you know that the Improved Threaded, is a bit better than Nested. It will show all of the comment (i.e. no pagination) and it will allow you to easily see a comment that is below your threshold without reloading the page.

      Yes, I never understood what slash considered different between nested and threaded as they seemed to layout the same just with a few different options (threaded was paginated differently). I used the name Improved Threaded as NCommander had already started setting that up.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:06PM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:06PM (#49585) Homepage Journal

        I'm not against renaming the mode. That being said, I was expecting that we'd have comments collaspe as w/ Threaded automatically. Appears something bugged up.

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by evilviper on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:16PM

          by evilviper (1760) on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:16PM (#49590) Homepage Journal

          Yes, thresholds are completely hosed, and not just for "Improved Threading" but also for Nested and Flat. Now seeing lower-rated comments that shouldn't be displayed, AND still showing the "x comments below your current threshold" links.

          Change your threshold to +5 and it becomes painfully obvious.

          --
          Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
          • (Score: 4, Informative) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:50PM

            by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:50PM (#49603) Homepage Journal

            The variable got skewed. The problem is the UI and the code are *hugely* inconsistent. The code is attached to the $threshold variable, which you'd think is what a comment breakthroughs (and what its referred to in the UI). Its not, $threshold refers to the score cutoff. The magic variable is $hilight_threshold which does what you'd expect it. This slipped by on dev due to lack of moderation, and lack of variety in our settings.

            We'll have a fix in an hour or two.

            --
            Still always moving
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:29PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:29PM (#49646)

              Try browsing here on a never logged in machine, as an AC with scripting off in the browser.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday May 31 2014, @11:46PM

            by frojack (1554) on Saturday May 31 2014, @11:46PM (#49744) Journal

            We don't have enough moderation going on to really use ANY option that only shows highly rated comments. Setting that option just makes other people do your thinking for you anyway.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Sunday June 01 2014, @04:28AM

              by evilviper (1760) on Sunday June 01 2014, @04:28AM (#49811) Homepage Journal

              +5 was just for testing.

              If you want to browse at -1, be my guest, but I'm not at all interested. Why use the site if you don't use the benefits of moderation? YouTube comments should suit you, better.

              I *always* try to have other people do my *tedium* for me, and modding-down spam, trolls, flames, etc, is exactly that... tedium. Little to no thinking necessary.

              --
              Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 1) by ticho on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:13PM

      by ticho (89) on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:13PM (#49588) Homepage Journal

      I can't see any difference between Nested and Improved Threaded with javascript disabled. In fact, I did not even notice it got changed in my preferences, which was an unpleasant surprise. You pulled a nasty facebook on us users there, please don't do that.

      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:20PM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:20PM (#49592) Homepage Journal

        The threading bit got slightly bugged up due miscommunication. You can see the way its supposed to work by setting your score to 3/4/5, and then works the way you'd expect it. We're discussing it on IRC.

        As for the Facebook jab, you're right that we updated user preferences, but there were approximately 15 users with no setting when I applied the change. Improved Threading is a hybrid between Nested/Threading, and so it made sense to migrate them. If we were facebook, we'd remove the option to go back.

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by martyb on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:18PM

          by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:18PM (#49612) Journal

          I politely, but strongly, disagree with the decision to change a user-selected preference.

          The primary reason I came to this site is that The Powers That Be at another site decided to force a user-interface (UI) change down my throat and did not listen to the community. From what I've seen, many others came here for the same reason.

          I followed the other site from before the time they even had user accounts. I have developed a mental model of what controls do what and what I have to do to accomplish a task. This UI change that was decided for me breaks that mental model.

          Please do *not* change anything *I* have set. If a selection change is *necessary*, then put up a notification page (for example) with an explanation of what and why and let *me* choose. In as much as possible, the user should be in control.

          For those users who had *no setting*, then a default is understandably necessary for database and UI consistency sake. I have no problem with that.

          For the Anonymous User, I'm willing to defer to whatever works best for the site. One of the benefits of creating an account is that I get to select what I see and how I see it.

          On the other had, I see no reason why this was *necessary*. To my knowledge, there were no system-crashing or performance-degrading behavior problems with the old selection. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If there were such problems, then I could understand the need for a unilateral decision.

          It appears to me, as a user, that The New Powers That Be thought *they* knew better than I did what I *should* see. That's the same behavior that drove me away from /. and I'd hate for us to make the same mistake: lack of respect for a user's choice(s).

          I understand that many users would prefer the new layout. That is fine and wonderful! A lot of work went into making it work. I *commend* those who implemented and tested it. You are proud of your new "baby", as well you should be. I'll likely give it a try; I'm willing to be open-minded. Promote it, sing its praises, show off how it's so much better. That's as it should be.

          So, barring a site-crashing or security-related bug, I ask that the choice be mine, and mine alone.

          --
          Wit is intellect, dancing.
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:29PM

            by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:29PM (#49685) Homepage Journal

            This deserves a long response than I can't do right now. I'm going to write a post once we get the threading situation fully sorted (its about 75% right now), and I'm going to wrap it in with that.

            --
            Still always moving
            • (Score: 1) by martyb on Saturday May 31 2014, @09:11PM

              by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 31 2014, @09:11PM (#49716) Journal

              Much appreciated. We chatted on IRC about this a bit, and I think we see eye-to-eye. I know you're busy getting the kinks out of the upgrade. I'd prefer you to put your energies into *that* at the moment. Best of luck at the bug squashing!

              --
              Wit is intellect, dancing.
          • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Sunday June 01 2014, @04:34AM

            by evilviper (1760) on Sunday June 01 2014, @04:34AM (#49812) Homepage Journal

            I politely, but strongly, disagree with the decision to change a user-selected preference.

            I was a bit upset at first, too. But try to balance your uneasy gut reaction against the facts:

            A) It's not a big change from old threading/nesting.

            B) You can change it back very easily.

            C) They have an interest in getting user exposure and testing of new features.

            --
            Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
            • (Score: 1) by ekimnosnews on Monday June 02 2014, @06:11PM

              by ekimnosnews (1855) <reversethis-{moc ... a} {swensonmike}> on Monday June 02 2014, @06:11PM (#50338)

              B) above keeps me from caring at all. Maybe to satisfy both sides it could be configurable through your preferences:

              [X] Willing to be Guinea Pig
                  Automatically enable all new features as soon as they become available.

              • (Score: 1) by WhiteSpade on Wednesday June 04 2014, @08:34AM

                by WhiteSpade (301) on Wednesday June 04 2014, @08:34AM (#50978)

                And /of course/ I don't have modpoints at the moment...

                I think this is a great idea. I don't mind having new features automatically enabled, as long as I can turn them off if I find them to be offensive.

                But I think there are quite a few people who would really appreciate the option to opt-out of new features by default.

                ---Alex

      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:39PM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:39PM (#49599) Homepage Journal

        The behavior been fixed on dev: http://dev.soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/04/03/198243 [soylentnews.org] (this is what it should have been)

        THe code was attached to the wrong variable which caused it to collaspe/expand off the score value instead of threshold, which was confusing. We're fixing it, and the change will be deployed within the hour (I hope). I'm adding a second dropdown which is for Hide Below Score, and Threshold to clarify this.

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday June 01 2014, @02:20AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Sunday June 01 2014, @02:20AM (#49786) Homepage

          If I switch from Improved Threading to Nested, after I click Change, the page reloads as expected, but now the Story is completely absent. This is a nuisance since sometimes I want to refer back to the article, and I don't always want to Save the altered comment view. (Did it do this before? I can't remember.)

          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
          • (Score: 1) by paulej72 on Sunday June 01 2014, @03:51AM

            by paulej72 (58) on Sunday June 01 2014, @03:51AM (#49803) Journal

            Yes it did that before. Fixing this is planed for future updates.

            --
            Team Leader for SN Development
    • (Score: 1) by codermotor on Saturday May 31 2014, @06:56PM

      by codermotor (166) on Saturday May 31 2014, @06:56PM (#49674)

      I agree that the new expand/collapse buttons are a bit cluttery where they are now, distracting from the title. Might I suggest moving those buttons to the far right of the posts' header bar.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Justin Case on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:40PM

    by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:40PM (#49600) Journal

    Soylent keeps getting better while the other one keeps getting worse.

    I'll go submit a couple bugs about https vs. http, if they're not in the queue already. Really, with the state of the net, there's no reason to keep using http.

  • (Score: 2) by d on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:41PM

    by d (523) on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:41PM (#49601)

    Thanks for fixing the RSS, now it's perfect. It was so annoying I was about to write my own filters that fix that.

    • (Score: 2) by Popeidol on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:38PM

      by Popeidol (35) on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:38PM (#49621) Journal

      Agreed entirely. The main thing holding soylent back from becoming my primary tech news was the extra effort deciphering the rss. Now it is beautiful and clean, I expect I'll be visiting a lot more.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02 2014, @02:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02 2014, @02:23AM (#50060)

        Agreed. Another AC saying thanks for the rss changes.

  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:50PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday May 31 2014, @03:50PM (#49602) Journal

    How do I distinguish seen from unseen messages in the new interface?

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:23PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:23PM (#49683) Homepage Journal

      There's a little star in the title, though I admit that can be clearer ...

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday May 31 2014, @08:40PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday May 31 2014, @08:40PM (#49703) Journal

        I also only now understood that in the new interface, unlike in the old, and unlike in the comments, the newer messages are at the top, not at the bottom, which had added to the confusion.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 1) by Refugee from beyond on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:21PM

    by Refugee from beyond (2699) on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:21PM (#49613)

    Post/comment titles look much better without gradients, IMO.

    http://i.imgur.com/iYIf9Ke.png [imgur.com]

    --
    Instantly better soylentnews: replace background on article and comment titles with #973131.
    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday June 01 2014, @02:14AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Sunday June 01 2014, @02:14AM (#49783) Homepage

      Hmm. I strongly prefer the current color-gradient. But perhaps a flat style could be added to preferences at some point?

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:32PM

    by lhsi (711) on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:32PM (#49617) Journal

    I can now get to the submissions form on a phone without having to scroll down 7+ screens worth of previous submissions :-)

    Does the nagger link directly to the submissions page? I think it was mentioned when introduced as an improvement but don't know if it was implemented.

    Blue layout is kinda cool.

  • (Score: 2) by Subsentient on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:53PM

    by Subsentient (1111) on Saturday May 31 2014, @04:53PM (#49627) Homepage Journal

    I still can't use my proxy on SN! I can't login and I can't even post as anon, because I get "invalid form key".

    --
    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @06:04PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @06:04PM (#49660) Homepage Journal

      Son of a *****, I know we've talked about this. If you can send a way that I can go through your proxy to fully debug to my email, I'll try and see if I can fix it tomorrow.

      --
      Still always moving
  • (Score: 1) by kbahey on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:20PM

    by kbahey (1147) on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:20PM (#49640) Homepage

    While I like the new Chillax theme, and greatly appreciate the fix to RSS (finally!), there is a big problem.

    What made me hate Slashdot Beta is that it does not respect my saved preference for comment threshold. On Slashdot, I browse at threshold 5, and want to see only upvoted comments that reached 5, and change it if I find a topic interesting.

    Soylent News was the same until today. I browse on level 4 by default, and don't want to see any other level unless I change it.

    The comments view is broken. I see stuff that is modded -1 Troll. This happens whether I chose Threaded, Nested or Improved Threaded.

    This is major breakage for me. Not sure if it is intentional or just a bug, but it has to be fixed.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:42PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:42PM (#49649) Homepage Journal

      IT's a bug. We accidentally connected the improved threading code to the wrong variable in slash, so its affected based on score, NOT breakthrough which is the intended behavior. http://dev.soylentnews.org/ [soylentnews.org] has the corrected behavior, we're just making sure we didn't miss anything else since we reworked a LOT of the commenting the code. Expect a post about this in a bit.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by kbahey on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:50PM

        by kbahey (1147) on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:50PM (#49653) Homepage

        Great! That is a relief ...

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @06:33PM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @06:33PM (#49666) Homepage Journal

          A partial fix has been applied, it should be more consistent with what it should be.

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 1) by kbahey on Saturday May 31 2014, @06:45PM

            by kbahey (1147) on Saturday May 31 2014, @06:45PM (#49668) Homepage

            Nope. Still seeing comments that are 1,2 and 3 threshold.

            Don't go about experimenting with partial solutions.

            Just update the post above saying that we know of the bug and working on it, then take your time to fix it properly.

            • (Score: 1) by paulej72 on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:00PM

              by paulej72 (58) on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:00PM (#49677) Journal

              Is it still broken if you change back to threaded?

              --
              Team Leader for SN Development
            • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:20PM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Saturday May 31 2014, @07:20PM (#49682) Homepage Journal

              We've determined that this behavior DOES happen with the older slashcode; sometimes comments with a lower-than-threshold score still show up despite the settings. We just made it worse inadvertently; Paul and I are working on it, but right now, comments now collaspe/extend properly. You just don't get the THreshold cutoff message at the moment.

              --
              Still always moving
              • (Score: 1) by bziman on Saturday May 31 2014, @10:12PM

                by bziman (3577) on Saturday May 31 2014, @10:12PM (#49722)

                I've observed another oddity... I'm browsing with threshold/breakthrough at 1, flat, oldest first, and I noticed several posts either out of order, or with their time stamps wrong.

                Screen shot at http://swisspig.net/images/snorder.png [swisspig.net].

                Note that the first message is at 1:20 PM, the next at 11:27 AM, and the third at 2:14 PM.

                Wait, is this because despite my having selected "flat" and "oldest first" it's grouping them by thread? I think it is... if so, then that is seriously broken.

                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:45PM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Sunday June 01 2014, @01:45PM (#49899) Homepage Journal

                  That's ... odd. I'm not sure its a regression (though its definitely a bug); we're probably engaging the threadsorter even when in flat which is what's causing that; I don't think we've touched that bit of code at all so its likely been there from the beginning and just been noticed since everyone is poking threads now. Will poke paul to look at it, or will look at it myself this weekend.

                  --
                  Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by kbahey on Sunday June 01 2014, @12:38AM

        by kbahey (1147) on Sunday June 01 2014, @12:38AM (#49755) Homepage

        It seems to have improved now.

        No longer see comments below my threshold.

    • (Score: 1) by paulej72 on Sunday June 01 2014, @04:01AM

      by paulej72 (58) on Sunday June 01 2014, @04:01AM (#49805) Journal

      Should be fixed now. We reverted to an older version of the Comments.pm file. I think some of my code purge to remove D2 code broke something that out testing did not show.

      Sorry for the troubles.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tynin on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:27PM

    by tynin (2013) on Saturday May 31 2014, @05:27PM (#49643) Journal

    Fantastic release everyone! You've outdone yourselves.

  • (Score: 2) by martyb on Saturday May 31 2014, @08:14PM

    by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 31 2014, @08:14PM (#49697) Journal

    Though I've posted a criticism elsewhere, all-in-all I want to say how IMPRESSED I am at all the hard work that has gone into this site.

    I stepped back for a bit and remembered where we were a few short months ago. Just a vision, a hope, and a bunch of attitude.

    All volunteer labor.

    And a will for something better.

    And some very old, creaky, and unsupported code.

    Today, we have something I am proud to be a part of. I see a community developing. Comments that are witty, funny, insightful, and a few that are inciteful, too. Thanks to all of you who have given of your time, energy, and experience to bring us where we are today.

    I have a strong sense that a year or two from now we'll look back on these past few months and be amazed at what has been created. It's not my intent to go all goopy drippy saccharine sweet, but only to point out just how far we've already come.

    I am proud to have been able to play some small part in our getting here. And the primary reason I express any dissatisfaction is because I *so* want this to succeed and am impatient for us to get there!

    So, I extend my sincere and heart-felt thanks to all of you: the developers, editors, IRC channel masters, commentators, and those of you who lurk. Did you know that stories regularly have several *hundred* views, and occasionally into the several thousands? Yes, you who read the site without commenting, I thank you for being here.

    And, NCommander, as the one who is the lightning rod for our complaints and gripes and all-too-infrequent accolades I offer you a humble "Thank-you". You certainly don't hear it enough.

    --
    Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31 2014, @08:29PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31 2014, @08:29PM (#49700)

    I loved hearing about the removing the cruft part. It means to me you're

    1) serious
    2) professional
    3) in it for the long run

    Couldn't be a happier soylentil! Thanks alot.

    • (Score: 1) by lcklspckl on Sunday June 01 2014, @06:43AM

      by lcklspckl (830) on Sunday June 01 2014, @06:43AM (#49838)

      Thanks for the diligence. I know mostly my comments amount to jackassery but I really do appreciate the work of the volunteer crew here.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday June 01 2014, @12:55AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Sunday June 01 2014, @12:55AM (#49762) Journal

    These text lines below the story get mangled and is hard to see:
            * 1159 words in story
            * 54 comments

    An the personal message panel has a new design that makes it hard to have any overview of what is in the inbox and what has been read or not. Please use a table and relevant info inside it. But the direct-to-the-action link is helpful.

  • (Score: 1) by Kunasou on Sunday June 01 2014, @03:41PM

    by Kunasou (4148) on Sunday June 01 2014, @03:41PM (#49922)

    I'm subscribed to SoylentNews since it started and RSS has improved, now shows the submissions correctly, in the past it only showed the title or the entry was filled with plain text with all the html tags visible.

  • (Score: 2) by xorsyst on Monday June 02 2014, @08:56AM

    by xorsyst (1372) on Monday June 02 2014, @08:56AM (#50132)

    Finally I can read the headlines in my rss feed via inoreader correctly :) It's the little things that can make a real difference.

    And the thread collapse is awesome, a definite improvement over the other site.

    • (Score: 1) by bart9h on Monday June 02 2014, @12:27PM

      by bart9h (767) on Monday June 02 2014, @12:27PM (#50173)

      Too bad we that follow SoylentNews from RSS will miss new polls, as they are not included in the feed.

      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday June 02 2014, @01:33PM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Monday June 02 2014, @01:33PM (#50197) Homepage Journal

        Can you file a feature request about this on the bugtracker? We could probably establish polls as a new RSS field, though its not a high priority feature.

        --
        Still always moving
  • (Score: 1) by bart9h on Monday June 02 2014, @12:30PM

    by bart9h (767) on Monday June 02 2014, @12:30PM (#50174)

    Thanks for the collapsing threads.

    But I also really wanted an option for all the threads to start expanded, and/or a button to expand all the threads.

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday June 02 2014, @01:12PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Monday June 02 2014, @01:12PM (#50187) Homepage Journal

      It already exists, though admitly not in the most intutive fashion. The two dropdowns at the top of the comments section control Threshold and Breakthrough. The former is a filter on how high a post must be to show up, and the second controls if it starts expanded or collasped. If you set it to 1/1, then it will expand all comments like tested.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by bart9h on Tuesday June 03 2014, @08:29PM

        by bart9h (767) on Tuesday June 03 2014, @08:29PM (#50767)

        thanks, it works!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02 2014, @09:18PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02 2014, @09:18PM (#50411)

    Previously, long text strings (URLs) had a break in the link text every 50 characters.
    Something has been changed and I'm sometimes seeing my horizontal scroll bar.
    http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=2145&cid=50172#50172 [soylentnews.org]

    -- gewg_

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:45PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Thursday June 05 2014, @04:45PM (#51788) Homepage Journal

      We modified the code to use CSS wraparound instead of putting spacebreaks in the URL (which, while functional, got a fair bit of complaining on the bugtracker). I can't reproduce this myself, but what browser, and OS are you using?

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:23PM (#51826)

        We modified the code to use CSS wraparound
        Ah, the focus sharpens.
        So then, that guy who choses to use Lynx[1] is going to see what I noted.
        Again with the Doesn't Degrade Gracefully thing. 8-(
        Another instance that defies the old If it isn't broken... truism.
        When I encounter this sort of thing, I recall the -original- concept of the Internet:
        A homogeneous network with a heterogeneous infrastructure.
        You guys are reminding me of Google's move to HTML5 to do basic page layout on their non-search services.

        what browser, and OS are you using?
        It isn't so much the browser (SeaMonkey) as the fact that I almost never download CSS or anything else that isn't viewable text (using AdBlock Plus with my own extremely discriminatory filterset).

        .
        [1] After you guys have "improved" something, looking at that stuff with a text-only browser would be a useful Least-Common-Denominator check.

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:37AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:37AM (#53671)

      Previously, long text strings (URLs) had a break in the link text every 50 characters.
      Something has been changed and I'm sometimes seeing my horizontal scroll bar.

      Great. I don't like broken-up URLs. I don't mind an eventual horizontal scrollbar.