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posted by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @01:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the not-actually-an-NCommander-post dept.

Okay, I know it's been a long time since we did one of these but life does intrude on volunteer dev time. Hopefully this one will be worth the wait. Bear with me if I seem a bit off today, I'm writing this with a really fun head cold.

First, what didn't make it into this update but is directly upcoming. Bitpay is still down on account of them changing the API without notifying existing customers or versioning the new API and leaving the old one still up and functional. It's the first thing I'm going to work on after we get this update rolled out but it will basically require a complete rewrite. Don't expect it any earlier than two months from now because we like to test the complete hell out of any code that deals with your money.

Also, adding a Jobs nexus didn't quite make the cut because we're not entirely sure how/if we want to work it. One thing we are certain about, it would not be for headhunters or HR drones to spam us silly but for registered members who have a specific vacancy they need to fill and would like to throw it open to the community.

The API still has some broken bits but it's been low priority compared to what I've been busy with. I'm thinking I'll jump on it after Bitpay unless paulej72 cracks the whip and makes me fix bugs/implement features instead.

There were several other things that I had lined up for post-Bitpay but I can't remember them just now what with my head feeling like it's stuffed full of dirty gym socks.

Now let's throw the list of what did make it out there and go over it in more detail afterwards.

  • Tweaked the themes a bit where they were off.
  • Changed or fixed some adminy/editory stuff that most of you will never see or care about.
  • Fixed a mess of minor bugs not worth noting individually.
  • Improved Rehash installation. It should almost be possible to just follow directions and have a site working in an hour or two now.
  • Added a very restrictive Content Security Policy.
  • Added a link to the Hall of Fame. It was always there, just not linked to.
  • Return to where you just moderated after moderating. (yay!)
  • Return to where you just were after commenting. (yay some more!)
  • Added a field for department on submissions. Editors get final say but if you have a good one, go for it.
  • Added a Community Reviews nexus.
  • Added a Politics nexus.
  • Added <spoiler> tags for the Reviews nexus in case you want to talk about a novel without ruining it for everyone else. They function everywhere though.
  • Changed really freaking long comments to have a scrollbar now instead of being click-to-show.
  • Massively sped up comment rendering on heavily commented stories.
  • Dimming of comments you've already read. (You can turn this off with the controls on the "Comments" tab of your preferences page if it annoys you.)
  • Added a "*NEW*" badge to new comments in case you don't like dimming but still want to easily see new posts. (Disable it the same place as above.)
  • Removed Nested, Threaded, and Improved threaded comment rendering modes (Necessary due to the changes required for the massive speed-up)
  • Added Threaded-TOS and Threaded-TNG comment rendering modes. (TOS is the default)
  • All comment modes now feature collapsible/expandable comments. (Without javascript)

Morning Update: Really digging the constructive criticism. Some quality thoughts in there. Keep them coming and we'll see how fast we can get a few done. --TMB


Before the specifics, I know some of you are going to see the new Threaded modes and be like "that's pretty awesome" and some of you are going to call us dev types very bad names. Well, this ain't the other site. We're not saying "You Shall Use This Because It's New And Shiny". We're saying something had to be done about page load times approaching a full minute on heavily trafficked stories and the way we pulled and rendered comments made up nearly all of that time.

So, the first thing we did was we stopped pulling every single comment and then removing the ones we didn't want to display. Mostly that means that the comment counts in the dropdown menus for Threshold and Breakthrough are on a per-page basis now.

Next we did away with templates for comments. Wildcarded, case insensitive search and replace, even in perl, is horribly slow and that's a large part of how templates worked. The html and related logic is now hardcoded into the source. This did mean though that we had to entirely rewrite all the comment modes logic. Flat and Threaded-TOS are pretty much identical to the old Flat and Threaded, so there shouldn't be any surprises there except that we got rid of the javascript in Improved Threaded and gave every mode collapsible comments with nothing but CSS. Threaded-TNG is new-ish however. It's essentially Nested but without Threshold or every top-level comment being fully visible. If Nested users absolutely cannot live with that, we'll preempt working on the bitcoin rewrite and slap a Nested mode in as well. It shouldn't take but a week, testing included.

Third, we paginated every mode. I know it was nice being able to see every comment on one page but that meant pulling and rendering every comment and that simply doesn't work if a story has over a hundred comments.

The removal of sorting by score we can't roll back though. Its loss was a necessity due to the way we pull and sort only the comments that the user actually requests. Previously, we were pulling every single comment for a story and then removing the ones we didn't want. That was both bloody stupid and slow as hell, so it had to go. Unfortunately it means we have to do things slightly differently. It may make a triumphant return eventually but it would require some moderately tricky coding with the particular way our code is laid out.

Oh and if you have objections to the new Threaded modes, by all means bitch about specifics in comments here and we'll see what we can do to address them. After having spent so much time recently bashing on exactly these bits of code, we're quite familiar with them and changes/additions shouldn't take too terribly long to whip out.

Now to the specifics.

The buttons on the upper left of each comment don't work exactly like the Javascript version did but we do like how they work. The double chevron either shows or hides the comment tree beneath a comment but it does not change their collapsed/expanded state. The single chevron controls the expanded/collapsed state of each comment individually. Adding another button to expand/collapse every individual comment beneath a given comment may be doable but we haven't figured out how so far. It is high on the wish list but not high enough to delay the release any longer than it already has been.

Flat: Flat is still flat but now with a collapse/expand button that functions like the ones from Improved Threaded.

Threaded-TOS: If you can find significant differences between Improved Threaded and Threaded-TOS, let us know because it's probably a bug. The idea was to make it as much like Improved Threaded as technically possible with just CSS but paginated like Nested so we don't have to render more than 100 comments at a go. We defaulted everyone on Nested/Threaded/Improved threaded to Threaded-TOS to minimize the aggravation of unexpected change. Oh, and Breakthrough now takes precedence over Threshold, so high scoring comments will always be visible even if they're responding to blatant trolling.

Threaded-TNG: All comment trees start fully branched out but with the individual comments either expanded or collapsed. "Comment Below Threshold" functionality is gone. Breakthrough gets compared to a comment's score to decide if it gets expanded or collapsed. Play with it a couple minutes; it's not terribly hard to grok. Why do we need this mode if TOS covers most all of the best bits of the three old modes? Because I like it. You don't have to use it. Shut up.

What happened to Nested? What's old is new again. Threaded-TNG more or less is Nested but with the fun bits of Improved Threaded bolted on as well and without the annoyance of having to allow Javascript to run. Minus Threshold functionality. If you spot any serious differences between the two besides those, give us a heads up, because we didn't. It's a very easy mode to code on though, so if you absolutely cannot live without Threshold it's not at all difficult to clone it, add Threshold back in, and call it Nested.

Why not leave the old comment rendering modes in as well as the new ones? Because by rewriting them we got a rendering speed increase around a factor of two+, to go with the factor of two+ increase we got by pulling only the necessary comments instead of every last comment a story has with every page load. This has been becoming necessary as we increasingly go way above the 100 comment mark on busy stories. It's not cool for you lot to have to wait forty-five seconds to load a page of comments and it's even less cool to peg a cpu core for forty-five seconds to deliver it to you. If you ever again find a story that takes 10+s to load, something's going wrong and we'd appreciate a heads up. We think there's still some room in the code for improvement but this was the lowest-hanging fruit.

Now on to the rest of the details.

The Content Security Policy should cover what's required for operation of this site (plus allowing for Stripe payments) and nothing else. If your browser honors CSPs, it should not be possible to get smacked with XSS or inline script injection on this site any more; even if we write code buggy enough to allow it, which we have once or twice.

On dimmed comments... This only functions for logged in users currently as it would take some serious work to get it functioning for individual ACs, even using cookies. What it does is when you load a page of comments, it picks the highest comment ID from that story and marks that comment as read by you. Switching between pages of comments or changing your Threshold/sort order should not update which comments you have read, even if new ones have come in since your last read comment ID was set. Hitting the "Mark All as Read" button or hitting your browser's Refresh button on the main story page should take the stored comment ID and set the opacity to 60% on all the comments with a comment ID equal to or less than that. It's not entirely accurate but it's pretty damned close and it doesn't bloat the db much at all. Oh and read histories get wiped after two weeks of not being updated for a particular user/story combination to save on db space as well.

The new comment badge functions exactly opposite of dimmed comments. It puts "* NEW *" in the title bar of comments you haven't read yet. It's there strictly so you can have the same functionality but dislike the aesthetics of comment dimming. You can technically use both if you really want new comments to stand out but that would just be weird.

Returning to where you last moderated works like this. If you moderate one comment, you'll get sent back to that comment. If you moderate several in one go, you should get sent to the one farthest down the page. Moderating does not update the comment ID of what you've read for dimming purposes.

Returning to where you just made a comment? That's pretty self-explanatory. It also should not update the comment ID of what you've read for dimming purposes.

The Politics nexus. This does not mean we're looking to have even more political stories. The balance of tech/science/etc... to political stories is not going to change nor will the quality of accepted political submissions. It's primarily a way to let people who are sick and bloody tired of seeing politics here set a preference and never see political stories again. It's also handy if you wish to see what political stories we've run recently as clicking on the nexus link on the left of the page will show you only those stories.

The Reviews nexus has been brought up three separate times that I can remember by different groups of people, so we decided to go ahead with it. It's going to be a book/film/software/hardware/etc... review and discussion place. By my understanding, though I'm not really involved, it's getting its own space because some folks wanted to start what amounts to a site book club. Tech books will of course be welcome but it's open to all genres of printed and bound words. Ditto non-book reviews. Just don't go sending in a review of something we normally wouldn't publish news about on the site. Not enough people are going to be interested in your review of the barber shop down the street from your house, so it won't get published.

Spoiler tags, <spoiler>text you don't want casually seen</spoiler>, work both in stories and comments and are just a bit of css trickery that hide the text between them until the person viewing them hovers over the *SPOILER* text. There's a slight delay, so don't think it's not working because it's not immediate. That's intentional so you don't accidentally trigger showing the contained text by briefly crossing it.

By popular demand, <del> tags were also added.

That's all worth mentioning in this site update. Look for another one hopefully in May or late April. If you find any bugs, please slap them up as issues on our github repo or email them to dev@soylentnews.org.

Related Stories

Site Update - Taking a Breather 62 comments

Martyb here once again with today's update on our site's update. I apologize that this is not as well written as my prior updates as exhaustion and outside issues are demanding of my time. I ask you to please bear with me.

Quick Recap: As you may recall, our servers were getting melted trying to serve up highly-commented stories. Further, this made for an unacceptably long delay between the time one would request a story and when it would finally get returned for display. Our devs have implemented alternative display modes, "Threaded-TOS" and "Threaded-TNG" which use a much more efficient means of processing comments and getting them to you. These changes went "live" on Saturday, February 25.

Like anything new, we expected there would be issues. We very much appreciate your patience as we tried to work through these as they were reported. And did you ever let us know!

Paulej72 (aka PJ) and TheMightyBuzzard (TMB) have been laboring mightily to keep up with the issues that have been reported as well as a few they found independently. Similarly, as their fixes have gone live, our community has had to deal with a changing landscape of "what happens when I do this?" To add to this, comments being such a major part of the site's purpose, there are "knobs" in several places where users can customize which comments are presented to them and how they appear. The permutations are many and wide-raging. As bug fixes have been made, the impact of changing these has had different effects over time.

I've been astounded at how much the community has been supportive of our efforts, how well problems have been described and isolated, and how quickly the devs have been able to fix bugs as they have been noted. Even more impressive was the discussion in our last update story on possible alternative means of implementing the <spoiler> tag. I'm proud to be part of this community — you rock!

Stories: While all this activity has been happening, stories have still been posted to our site for your reading and commenting pleasure. We are working with a reduced editorial staff at the moment. Us long-timers have been posting as we can, but I would like to personally thanks our new editors fnord666 and charon for their heroic efforts getting stories posted, and takyon for his continued efforts at providing well-written stories. I have noticed submissions from new folks as well, and the heartens me immensely! (Note: I hesitate to call out people in particular for fear I will overlook someone; any omission is purely my fault and I would appreciate being called out on it if I have failed to list your contribution.)

Plans: This development blitz has, however, come at a cost. For those who were with this site at its inception, there was a "day of rest" imposed on the developers who had worked basically non-stop trying to get our site up and somewhat stable. I have suggested a similar break to our dev staff. Recall we are all volunteers doing this in our spare time. PJ has plans coming up and will be unavailable on Friday and Saturday. From what I've seen, TMB is well nigh a crispy critter at this point and most certainly needs a break. And, quite frankly, I've put a lot of personal stuff on hold while working on this update and could use a break, as well. In short, we are tired.

So, PJ is around for a bit (in his free time while at work) for today and TMB is getting a well-deserved breather. NCommander is nearing burnout has been tied up with an outside project that demands his full attention and has been unable to help much. I'll poke in from time to time, but I really need some time off, too.

What I ask from the community is that we do something similar. Step back for a moment. Look at the forest and not just the trees. Play around with the different display Modes. Try setting a different "Breakthrough" and/or "Threshold". Things should be much more stable today, so that will make it easier to gain a "mental model" of what does what.

The other thing I would ask is for the community to pull together and try to address issues together. Someone posts an issue about struggling with having to click on all the little chevrons? Inquire about their user preference settings, and suggest a different value for Threshold/Breakthrough. My sense is that some are more adept at using the new features and they can help others to get a better understanding of how things work. With those issues addressed, we can more clearly identify and isolate underlying problems and focus our energies more productively.

tl;dr We're not done yet, we truly appreciate your patience and forbearance during this transition, we need a break, and you guys rock in helping others in the community understand and use the new stuff. As always, keep our toes to the fire — we are here for you — let us catch our breath and we'll be better able to move forward.

Continuation of:
Site Update 17_2
Comments Redux
Site Update: The Next Episode
Site Update - We're Getting There!

17_02 Latest Bug Fixes: UPDATED 89 comments

So the Dev Team has been hard at work fixing up issues with with the 17_02 release. We compiled all of your comments from the 17_02 Meta stories into a large bug and feature request list. We have been working on getting these issues fixed as soon as we can.

You may have noticed some changes over the last week that went out to fix some issues, and we just released some more fixes today.

Here is a list of the major fixes since the last story:

  1. Comment titles now act to trigger actions as well as the buttons.
  2. New icons for the buttons that are bigger and spaced out a bit more.
  3. Removed extra spacing for some of the modes when buttons are hidden. (Still needs some more work, but much better than before.)
  4. Changed how we set states for hidden threads so that the individual comments are not set hidden as well. This will lessen the number of clicks needed to open a comment in this case.
  5. Flat comment mode will now show a comment's children when look at comment (cid is set).
  6. Temp fix for Content Security Policy eating CSS when not on https://soylentnews.org.
  7. Domain Tags now show in comments.
  8. Fixed broken messages when looking at them from messages.pl.
  9. Fixed for @user: shortcut links that would eat a character after the ":".

And here are the latest updates:

  1. Editor fixes: added new lines to story editor and fixed topic tree popup issue.
  2. Fix for black on black text boxes in Grayscale theme
  3. Added SVG icons for buttons and CSS fixes to enhance look.
  4. Mod Points now back to UTC 00:10.
  5. Add # of children to collapsed thread title.
  6. Fix comment details to bring in the correct data which broke email and journal links.
  7. Add time to collapsed comment title.
  8. Fix select all button in messages.pl.
  9. Redirect returns to correct article.pl page after moderating.
  10. Updated CSP to fix issues. We still need to search for some inline JS that may need to be purged or rewritten to work correctly.

Continuation of:
Site Update 17_2
Comments Redux
Site Update: The Next Episode
Site Update - Taking a Breather
Outstanding Issues

So if you see any new bugs that you think are related to these changes, or just want to let us know about an ongoing issue, please feel free to comment below.

Here are the currently known bugs that we are working on:

Comments Redux 113 comments

Continuation of: Site Update 2/27

So, the recent site update got a lot of news, and comments. Predictably, there was a lot of comments split on the fence both ways. I've been out sick and haven't been actively involved in SN in a few days, but I did review the updated changes on dev before they went out. I'm still not up to responding to you guys personally, and TMB/Paul have had things covered, so I'm just going to write a blanket story. So, let's open this and say THIS ISN'T THE FINAL SET OF HOW THINGS WILL BE. I'm leaving my comments above the fold to make it clear what's going on. I'd put that in a blink tag on if that was still in the HTML standard.

The changes to commenting were primarily driven on technical grounds. To do D1.5, the site had to load a mass load of comments and do server side processing to thread them. To give you an example, on a cold page load, before we apply caching a few points in the site would take over a minute to load, render and thread. The only thing that prevented the site from becoming unusable in 503s is that the frontend has a lot of caching. Even with that, we can't cache every single bit of the site at once. In a "cold cache" scenario such as after a varnish or DB update, the site would be borderline unusable until those caches could be loaded. So let me make this clear that this change wasn't a change for changes sake. There was (and is) a need to revamp the commenting.

We noted that this change was coming in other meta stories, and even had a landing article on dev for people coming to check it out. No one did. How we use commenting on dev and how we use it on production are two different things; you can't realistically test these things in real world conditions without updating production.

As TMB stated, we couldn't get the same behavior without making the site cry in the corner, and this was fairly extensively tested on dev before it went live. For older users to the site, you may remember this is not the first time we've changed comments, and rather predictably, the roll out of Improved Commenting actually was fairly buggy. This is a more drastic update.

Right now, we're going to keep improving and changing things to address as many things as possible. To that extent, there will be a daily article for at least this week if not longer to allow for feedback as we work to make things better. If, at the end of all the tweaking, we can't satisfy the vast majority of folks, a revert remains as an available option. We've built this entire site on listening to the community, and taking their feedback into account. That isn't going to change now. I'm hoping we've earned enough trust from you guys collectively to be allowed to at least experiment for a bit.

I'm going to leave the rest of the article for the dev crew to use. Due to personal real life issues, I'm likely not going to be around much, so if you don't see me, that's why. I have full faith in the staff in helping manage and keep things going.

~ NCommander

Hi! I'm martyb (aka Bytram) your friendly neighborhood QA/test guy chiming in with my 2¢ on the upgrade/rollout.

Firstly, I apologize that you are seeing ANY issues with the site upgrade. I took this update very seriously and was, unfortunately, only able to perform about half of the testing that I wanted to see done before we went live. That said, there are some issues that were reported that I had not foreseen, so this has been a learning experience for me, too.

Secondly, I'd like to point out what you are NOT seeing -- the many MANY changes that TMB and PJ made as a result of feedback arising from testing. That said, comments are THE thing that makes this site. It's not the timeliness or fine writing of the stories — as I see it, this site is all about providing a venue for discussion.

Look past the fold for the rest of my comments.

Site Update: The Next Episode 139 comments

Hi there. Martyb again with an update of our progress on issues arising from the site update. (The new comment grouping and display code was necessitated by huge server loads as well as long delays on constructing and returning highly-commented articles.)

First off, please accept my sincere thanks to all of you who made the time to comment in the prior stories and/or engaged us on the #dev channel on IRC. Really! Thank you for your passion and willingness to provide steps to reproduce and ideas for overcoming the issues that have been found.

ACs: If you access the site as an Anonymous Coward, be aware that we have NOT forgotten you. We are still trying to ascertain what features work best for the most people and are holding off changing (and rechanging and...) settings until we have a better idea of what to change those settings to be. So, please speak up on anything that you continue to find problematic and help guide us to making a choice that works the best for the most.

Scrolling Within a Comment: From what I saw in the reports from Monday, one of the key issues had to do with the scrolling within comments. We heard you. Oh, did we ever! Scrolling within comments was quickly removed and replaced by setting a limit on how long a comment could be submitted. This was especially problematic on mobiles and tablets.

Display Modes: Another of the often discussed issues had to do with "Display Mode." This can be set in your preferences (for logged-in users) and ad hoc when you load a story.

Display Mode - Defaults: If, prior to the release you had chosen "Flat", then you were transitioned to "Flat" (Doh!) If you had anything else as your selection for "Display Mode", you were transitioned to "Threaded-TOS". That mode was intended, as best as we were able to do using only CSS, to replicate the behavior previously supported by the old "Threaded" mode. You CAN change this. Many have reported that changing "Threaded-TOS" to "Threaded-TNG" and setting a lower value for "Breakthrough" (in this mode, "Threshold" is ignored) seemed to do the trick.

Display Mode - ad hoc setting: For the ad hoc case, just load the story as you normally would. Below the actual story text and before the comments is a set of controls. If you are having issues with the current default of "Threaded-TOS" click on that text and change it to "Threaded-TNG". if you find you have way too many icons to click in order to read comments, choose a smaller value for Breakthrough (-1 displays all; in this mode Threshold value is ignored).

Spoiler: Another popular topic of discussion was the way the new <spoiler> tag was implemented. We've heard you, but have not as yet decided on a course of action on how to update its functionality... Stay tuned!

*NEW* and/or Dimming: A surprising (to me at least) number of folks had issues with how we flagged old/new comments. For logged-in users, again go to the "Comments" tab of your "preferences" page, scroll down a little, and there are checkboxes that you can toggle:

Highlight New Comments [ ] Highlight new comments with *NEW* tag
Dim Read Comments [ ] Dim already read comments

Please give those a try and see if that works for you. Our first implementation of "Dimming" was a bit too strong for most folk's liking - this has been reduced so as to be less jarring. As for the "*NEW*" text, there were several positive comments that on mobile devices especially, one could quickly search for the text and rapidly navigate comments to find out what was new. There was a suggestion that uppercase-only looks like YELLING. Yes, it does. On the other hand, whatever text is selected for display has to be a reasonably unlikely string to appear in the normal course of reading comments. (False positives, anyone?)

There were some suggestions on changing the color of the comment title to flag it as new. This sounds pretty simple, but the devil is in the details. We have some in our community who are color-blind and others who have very limited vision, if any at all. For them, any color changes could be well nigh invisible. But it gets worse. On the "Homepage" tab of the "Preferences" page, there are currently 11 different themes that one can choose as your default. Setting a new comment to have a lighter (or darker) title bar would not work across all of those disparate themes.

Chevrons: And as for those chevrons that control the display of a single comment and of a comment tree, yes we heard you. Work is underway to see if we can replace those images with single/double plus/minus characters.

Penultimately, I would like to add a call-out to Paulej72 who took point yesterday (giving TheMightyBuzzard a well-deserved respite) and worked tirelessly into the night to address the issues that were raised.

Lastly, again many thanks to you, our community, who have guided us through this transition. Your feedback matters. We listen and for those who have been following along, I hope you can see the changes and the progress. We continue to strive to earn your trust and support. Thank you!

Dev Note: Currently there is an issue with Flat mode and viewing single comments such as https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=18223&cid=472653. It just came to our attention and we will be working on it to fix it. This issue will cause you to get a server error. Workarounds are to either switch modes to anything other than Flat or avoid going to single comment views.

Continuation of:
Site Update 17_2
Comments Redux

Site Update - We're Getting There! 58 comments

Martyb here once again with an update on our progress with the site upgrade.

Our development team (paulej72, TheMightyBuzzard, and NCommander) have been hard at it trying to isolate and quash the bugs that have been reported. Having looked at some of the site source code (Perl) I can attest there are places where the comparison of Perl code to line noise is an apt description. Also, some of the code we inherited was written by, um, creative people who did not write the most readable code. Further the code documents what it does, but is just a wee bit short on the why. Translation: we have an amazing dev team here who have slogged many many hours trying to isolate and correct the issues that have arisen. If you've ever been bleary-eyed after a several-day coding sprint, you have an idea of things. I hereby express my personal thanks to the brain-numbing hard work these guys have put in for this site. And now on to where things stand.

We had an issue with getting a single comment to display correctly in "Flat" mode which appears to have been caused by issues with specifying the correct page it appeared in. Also, there was a rewrite of this code so things should be better, but watch out for regressions.

There are known issues with accessing the site via TOR most likely because we added a very restrictive Content Security Policy.

The new comment viewing modes "Threaded-TOS" and "Threaded-TNG" have been tweaked.

There is a strong voice to replicate the old "Threaded" behavior and it appears that may be feasible, now that we better understand how the community used it in the past. No promises, but it is being looked into.

We are close to making some changes for the defaults for Anonymous Cowards (non logged-in users), so if you have a preference, please speak up and make your voice known.

Oh, we have had reports of seemingly random 503 (Site Unavailable) errors. If you should experience one, please reply to this story with a description of what you were doing and a copy/paste of the entire error message. That will greatly help in our identifying, isolating, and hopefully fixing whatever gremlin is in the gears.

We have not forgotten about replacing chevrons with single/double plus/minus, but had some fires to put out that postponed action on these.

I expect I've left out a thing (or three) — please reply with a comment to (gently) remind us if you see a problem persisting, or if you find something new. it is most helpful to provide your user nickname, the date/time (and timezone), steps taken to cause the problem, and (ideally) suggestions on how you expected it to behave. Reports so far have for the most part been amazingly detailed and helpful — thanks!

Penultimately (I like that word!), I must express my sincere appreciation to the community who has been amazingly supportive and helpful in this transition. One benefit of the upgrade is you should see quicker page-load times on highly-commented stories. Our servers are experiencing a much lighter load to serve up those pages, too. Speaking of servers, I noticed that several of you have renewed your subscription to the site which is the primary way we can afford to keeps the lights on. Please accept my sincere and heart-felt thanks! The "Site News" slashbox has been updated to reflect our current situation.

Lastly, I must express my sincere gratitude to the community. I continue to be amazed at the breadth of knowledge that is freely shared here. Nary a day goes by that I don't learn something new. And many days when I am just blown away. Some long-held ideas have been challenged, and in some cases changed, thanks to what I've read here. Thank you!

Dev Note: Deployed a fix tonight for broken comment links that was due to yesterday's deploy. Alos deployed a partial fix for Flat comments and single comments. TMB will be working on getting it fixed up fully but I thought we needed what we had out now. -- paulej72

Continuation of:
Site Update 17_2
Comments Redux
Site Update: The Next Episode

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1) 2
  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:34AM (12 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:34AM (#471694) Homepage Journal

    Gotta see what 'del' does

    Ethanol rules!

    YAAY!!!! Strike!

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:42AM (4 children)

      Ya, apparently strike was deprecated back in HTML 4.something, so we could either go with s or del.

      --
      My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
      • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:31PM (3 children)

        by Pino P (4721) on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:31PM (#471876) Journal

        The <del> [mozilla.org] element is for use in diffs to show removed text alongside <ins> for added text. If it's not a diff, use <s> [mozilla.org], which means "no longer relevant or no longer accurate."

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:51PM (2 children)

          Good to know. We'll probably need both around here.

          --
          My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
          • (Score: 2) by Refugee from beyond on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:37PM (1 child)

            by Refugee from beyond (2699) on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:37PM (#471947)

            https://developers.whatwg.org/edits.html [whatwg.org]

            > The ins and del elements represent edits to the document.

            --
            Instantly better soylentnews: replace background on article and comment titles with #973131.
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Refugee from beyond on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:55PM

              by Refugee from beyond (2699) on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:55PM (#471957)
              Oh, and really the difference is paper-thin at best, IMO. There is some mumbo-jumbo that tries to separate the two “semantically” but it looks like a way to retrofit <s> back as “semantic” more than anything.
              --
              Instantly better soylentnews: replace background on article and comment titles with #973131.
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:43AM (6 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:43AM (#471702) Journal

      Apparently I never removed strikethough from my extension, but it inserts <strike> instead of <del>. I'll have to change that.

      Looks like the headline is now clickable to allow you to open the story again from the comment/reply page.

      But it's about time for

      dank spoilers

      .

      Oh wow it's not even inline spoilers. And it has a 1 second delay. 0/10.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by looorg on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:46AM (5 children)

        by looorg (578) on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:46AM (#471703)

        I think I would prefer clicking on the spoiler for it to show (instantly) instead of it being mouse-over-delayed-appearing.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:09AM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:09AM (#471715)

          Yeah, that is just too much fancy shit. Stuff jumping around the screen and everything.

          Spoilers should just be black text on a black background and then you select it with the mouse to make it white text on a black background.

          Much simpler, much more intuitive and less busy-body. If you can highlight text for copy-and-paste then you can unhide a spoiler. Does this new timed thing even work for people who are keyboard navigating because, say, they are handicapped?

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:25AM (1 child)

            I doubt it but it's what the guys wanting to start a Reviews nexus asked for, so it's what I wrote.

            --
            My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
            • (Score: 2) by mmcmonster on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:19PM

              by mmcmonster (401) on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:19PM (#471822)

              I think the black text on black background is great for a desktop user, but is a usability nightmare on touch screens.

          • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:59PM (1 child)

            by Justin Case (4239) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:59PM (#471934) Journal

            Stuff jumping around the screen and everything.

            Spoilers should just be black text on a black background and then you select it with the mouse

            I like most of the changes, especially the ability to distinguish new comments from already-read. Bravo!

            But the spoiler thing... I think you are going to get grief whatever you do. (No good deed goes unpunished.) I agree with the distaste for pages that move around and change while my poor eyes are trying to keep up. However I wouldn't favor the black-on-black either, because it's my computer and I may not allow your color choices. Hover or select with mouse is not good for those of us who are keyboard-enabled.

            So how do I think it shoud work? Hell if I know!

            • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:50PM

              by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:50PM (#472019) Journal

              Isn't it obvious? It should read your mind in order to figure out whether you'd appreciate the display or not. :-)

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:39AM (#471698)

    1. Awesome job on the improvements, I especially appreciate those that speed this place up. Personally, I could wait forever, as I have been properly conditioned from my modem+acoustic coupler days, but I know the admins and some young'ins have been complaining.

    2. Everyone has a complaint, so one I'd have would be to implement https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security/Guidelines/Web_Security#Referrer_Policy [mozilla.org] with a sufficiently paranoid setting, like strict-origin-when-cross-origin or no-referrer

    3. The real reason for this comment is to test some new features.

    Specifically the neato spoiler elements!

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:41AM (40 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:41AM (#471699)

    Any way to get back the collapsing + and - boxes instead of the arrows pointing up and down back? A purely cosmetic issue.

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:48AM (29 children)

      Not with exactly the same functionality, no. The js version was "do this, state be damned" while the CSS versions are toggles. If you'd just prefer plus/minus buttons though, it's easy to replace them either using something like Stylish [userstyles.org] or by making us some sweet looking buttons that we think look better than the chevrons.

      --
      My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:06AM (13 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:06AM (#471714)

        Scollbars inside individual comments?
        horrible

        usernames in black text on red background?
        horrible

        • (Score: 1) by charon on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:25AM (3 children)

          by charon (5660) on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:25AM (#471718)
          The text is white on red bars for me.
          • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:11AM (1 child)

            by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:11AM (#471731) Homepage Journal

            *spoiler

            Male announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone.
            Female announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone.
            Male announcer: [later] The red zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the white zone.
            Female announcer: No, the white zone is for loading of passengers and there is no stopping in a RED zone.
            Male announcer: The red zone has always been for loading and unloading of passengers. There's never stopping in a white zone.
            Female announcer: Don't you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for stopping!
            Male announcer: Listen Betty, don't start up with your white zone shit again.
            [Later]
            Male announcer: There's just no stopping in a white zone.
            Female announcer: Oh really, Vernon? Why pretend, we both know perfectly well what this is about. You want me to have an abortion.
            Male announcer: It's really the only sensible thing to do, if its done safely. Therapeutically there's no danger involved.

            --
            --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
            • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:41PM

              by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:41PM (#471881) Journal

              looks like we have an error with spoilers and scrollbars. Need to investigate.

              --
              Team Leader for SN Development
          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:14AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:14AM (#471733)

            It's all green on black for me (VT100 mode forever!!)

        • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:53AM (5 children)

          by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:53AM (#471724) Journal

          Usernames will be fixed shortly. The scrollbars only show up for long comments as part of the stuff that went away was the code to truncate long comments. The max height could be tweaked if needed.

          --
          Team Leader for SN Development
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:20AM

            by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:20AM (#471745) Journal

            Maybe an option to always show the full height of the comment? Although that won't help our ACs...

            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:29AM (2 children)

            by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:29AM (#471761)

            I can tell you this is really annoying to read on a tablet; having to zoom in and hit dozens of little buttons just to read all the comments. I see no reason to have the comments rolled up anyway, what's the purpose?

            • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday February 27 2017, @07:53PM (1 child)

              by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 27 2017, @07:53PM (#472489)

              Even on a desktop it's a lot of clicking. There can be a lot of discussion hiding under one of those arrows so you have to click them all : /

              --
              SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
              • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday February 27 2017, @11:51PM

                by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 27 2017, @11:51PM (#472580)

                I changed my preference settings so that they're all unrolled by default.

          • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:35AM

            by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:35AM (#471762)

            Nevermind, figured out settings.

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:42AM (1 child)

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:42AM (#471796) Journal

          usernames in black text on red background?

          Actually from what I can tell, it seems to be followed links that are black, and of course user names are links to the user page; apparently you tend to follow them.

          But let a user of the Chillax theme tell you: Black on dark blue is much worse that black on red ;-)

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by Appalbarry on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:10PM

          by Appalbarry (66) on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:10PM (#471893) Journal

          Agreed. Scrollbars inside comments are intensely irritating on a smartphone.

          Please, please kill it off!

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by BK on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:41AM (7 children)

        by BK (4868) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:41AM (#471740)

        I'd sure appreciate a double-down chevron button that opens/loads *all* nested comments in a thread...

        --
        4 out of 5 dentists choose Brand X. The other is just a denier.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @11:20AM (3 children)

          Already on the to-do list.

          --
          My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
          • (Score: 2) by sbgen on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:03PM (2 children)

            by sbgen (1302) on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:03PM (#472022)

            Why cant I see paulj's comment right underneath this but can see the one beneath that?

            --
            Warning: Not a computer expert, but got to use it. Yes, my kind does exist.
            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 27 2017, @12:11PM (1 child)

              Dunno. Your Threshold/Breakthrough settings both set to where they'll expand his comment at a score of 1 and you don't have him marked as a Foe and ranked down?

              --
              My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
              • (Score: 2) by sbgen on Thursday March 02 2017, @02:38AM

                by sbgen (1302) on Thursday March 02 2017, @02:38AM (#473688)

                Oh well :-)) I have no one marked foe, or friend for that matter. Among the nested comments I some times do not get to see some child comments regardless of the threshold. May be I havent figured out chevrons yet. I will keep an eye out for the behavior.

                Thanks for the good work, I appreciate that. Wishing you success.
                 

                --
                Warning: Not a computer expert, but got to use it. Yes, my kind does exist.
        • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @11:48AM (2 children)

          by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @11:48AM (#471811) Journal

          I believe that it would require a small amount of JS to work, but The Mighty Buzzard thinks he can get something that is all CSS and HTML. I was able to code up a small Jquery script that does what you asked for, so if we go that route, it would take a short time to get it working.

          Maybe if we go this route, we might make it a user preference.

          --
          Team Leader for SN Development
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by BK on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:34PM (1 child)

            by BK (4868) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:34PM (#471973)

            In the end, only the default view counts. I usually am logged out while reading and only log in when I feel a need to comment or maybe spend mod points. If it doesn't work in a naked browser without a cookie then it won't help me much.

            I'd be tolerant of a javascript solution so long as it failed gracefully for those that run without it. But if The Mighty Buzzard can do it with just html and css... well that'd be why he's 'The' Mighty Buzzard instead of 'A' Mighty Buzzard or maybe just Some Buzzard. :)

            --
            4 out of 5 dentists choose Brand X. The other is just a denier.
      • (Score: 2) by WalksOnDirt on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:28AM (6 children)

        by WalksOnDirt (5854) on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:28AM (#471768) Journal

        better than the chevrons

        Chevrons? What chevrons?

        Oh, I see (or don't). They are rendered in black which I can't see on my black background. Maybe they could be done in reverse?

        • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @11:54AM (5 children)

          by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @11:54AM (#471815) Journal

          Which theme are you using as they should be visible in all of them.

          --
          Team Leader for SN Development
          • (Score: 2) by WalksOnDirt on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:32PM (4 children)

            by WalksOnDirt (5854) on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:32PM (#471946) Journal

            Themes have nothing to do with it. My browser ignores color suggestions of sites and uses my preferences.

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 27 2017, @12:14PM (3 children)

              Do you by chance have images for the site blocked? The chevrons (and the more familiar +/- that are due to replace them shortly) are images.

              --
              My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
              • (Score: 2) by WalksOnDirt on Monday February 27 2017, @05:25PM (2 children)

                by WalksOnDirt (5854) on Monday February 27 2017, @05:25PM (#472385) Journal

                Are you sure? The images at the top of the page look fine, and when I right click on where the chevrons should be there is no "view image" selection available.

                Still, if they are images you've probably made them black with a transparent background. That would make them invisible.

                Well, it's not that big of a problem. I don't see much reason to want to collapse comments anyhow.

                • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday February 28 2017, @07:01AM (1 child)

                  by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 28 2017, @07:01AM (#472689) Journal

                  Looking at the element in the web developer tools on Firefox, I see that it is a background image applied through CSS.

                  --
                  The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
                  • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Tuesday February 28 2017, @06:26PM

                    by paulej72 (58) on Tuesday February 28 2017, @06:26PM (#472940) Journal

                    Yes the images are applied as a background to the element and the images are black border and chevron on a white background. If you are not seeing them, then it must be due to blocking the CSS.

                    --
                    Team Leader for SN Development
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:54AM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:54AM (#471709) Journal

      li.comment input[type=checkbox] ~ label:after {content: "+";}
      li.comment input[type=checkbox]:checked ~ label:after {content: "-";}

      and removing from li.comment input[type=checkbox] ~ label

      background: url(//soylentnews.org/images/chev1up.png), no-repeat;}

      From looking at it just now, I came up with that. Doesn't quite work yet, but it's a starting point.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:00AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:00AM (#471775)

      The buttons are now just angled lines. Visually it's all the same, kind of a zig-zag really. I have to really stare at it to tell the state.

      The old '+' and '-' were OK. The horizontal bar was ignorable, and the vertical bar in the '+' made a nice distinction. Also it matched common GUI icon language.

      I want that back. The only thing possibly worth changing would be to make the '+' bold or larger, helping to make it visually distinct.

      • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @11:57AM

        by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @11:57AM (#471816) Journal

        Noted. We can try to create some new buttons. It would be possible to make the choice user pref, and could be done if it will not affect page load and rendering times.

        --
        Team Leader for SN Development
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by scruffybeard on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:13PM (6 children)

      by scruffybeard (533) on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:13PM (#471869)

      I really dislike the new button functionality. How can I expand an entire thread without having to click on each message?

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:16PM (5 children)

        I'm going to try to add that as a third button this morning. Not entirely certain it'll work well with only CSS but I think I can do it pretty quickly.

        --
        My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
        • (Score: 2) by gidds on Monday February 27 2017, @03:12PM (2 children)

          by gidds (589) on Monday February 27 2017, @03:12PM (#472296)

          Why would it need a third button, instead of just tweaking the existing ones?

          Look at it this way: if you come to a collapsed subthread, would you ever want to show just the comment placeholders without actually showing any of the comment text? I can't see why.

          So, two crazy ideas:

          1) When clicking the double-chevron, why not show placeholders for all comments below, not just the next level down? That avoids having to click several times at each level.

          Or 2) When clicking the double-chevron, why not expand the comments immediately below, as well as showing placeholders for the level below that?

          Also, since you're making more use of read/unread status, how about a mode where comments you've already read get collapsed instead of dimmed?  That should make it easier to come back to a story with may comments, and just read the new ones without having to scan a long page.  (Alternatively, expand the new ones, and expand and dim their immediate parents, but collapse everything else.)

          --
          [sig redacted]
          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 27 2017, @03:51PM (1 child)

            The third one there is the most doable. The first two are likely to lead to some very funky behavior if you expand a tree with one double chevron then try to collapse a deeper one with another. I guess we could always hide the deeper ones if you've used the double chevron. I'll play with it later and see if I can come up with something better than what we have.

            --
            My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
            • (Score: 2) by gidds on Monday February 27 2017, @06:19PM

              by gidds (589) on Monday February 27 2017, @06:19PM (#472429)

              Cool.  I'm just trying to give you some ideas; you know how it all works far better than I do :-)

              I'm a member of a (proprietary) conferencing system which is displayed rather differently: each time you visit, you only get to see new comments (but with some context of the thread tree structure).  So a thread doesn't get bogged down if there are tens or hundreds of comments already.  This lets discussion continue for days or weeks.  And because people keep coming back to threads, discussion can continue at its own pace.  (Unlike this site, where in the past you've needed to post a comment within the first few hours if you wanted anyone else to see it, and being in a different time-zone could be a disadvantage.)

              I'm not saying Soylent should be exactly like that; but I think some of the recent changes might go a little way to gaining some of those benefits.  Which is good!

              --
              [sig redacted]
        • (Score: 2) by andersjm on Wednesday March 01 2017, @06:01PM (1 child)

          by andersjm (3931) on Wednesday March 01 2017, @06:01PM (#473424)

          Why would it have to use only CSS? Can't we have a mode for non-luddites people who prefer the smooth interactive experience that Javascript can provide? I mean either a separate mode or a "progressive enhancement" type design.

          • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Thursday March 02 2017, @12:07PM

            by paulej72 (58) on Thursday March 02 2017, @12:07PM (#473815) Journal

            One of the issues, is that we don't have much JS experience on the dev team. This makes it a bit harder to create these features. Also one of the big issues many of us that left the green site had with it was the heavy use of JS to do anything. Even after all this time the green site still has significant bugs in the UI in the preferences due to trying to do it all through JS with popover windows. We are trying to avoid those issues and create a site that will work on the most devices as possible.

            --
            Team Leader for SN Development
  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:46AM (2 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:46AM (#471704) Homepage Journal

    Reviews give a 404

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @02:50AM (1 child)

      Ya, refresh the page. It should be Community Reviews now. Apparently Reviews was already taken by a topic and it did make me say bad words when I found it out as I tried to create the new nexus.

      --
      My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:55AM

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:55AM (#471726)

        I'm having fun with a pretty bad case of the flu here too :)

        Very impressed with the site updates, and hope you feel better. Props for the awesome work while feeling like crap.

  • (Score: 1) by The Vocal Minority on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:25AM (6 children)

    by The Vocal Minority (2765) on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:25AM (#471747)

    A lot of the formatting was missing from the front page when I wasn't logged in:
    Click on article - formatting ok
    Log in - front page back to normal
    I'm guessing this has something to do with the update?

    • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:00PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:00PM (#471817) Journal

      Looks fine to me, now. There are sometimes glitches for the AC account after a reload like this. Or your browser did not pull up the latest version of the CSS until you logged in.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
    • (Score: 2) by Kymation on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:37PM (4 children)

      by Kymation (1047) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:37PM (#471929)

      I'm still seeing this. I've done a force reload several times, but still no theme unless I'm logged in.

      Pale Moon 27.1.0 (64-bit) on Linux.

      • (Score: 2) by Kymation on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:20PM (3 children)

        by Kymation (1047) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:20PM (#471970)

        Same result in Firefox and Chromium, so it's not just the browser.

        • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:28PM (2 children)

          by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:28PM (#471972) Journal

          What url are you using to access the site. I think our new Content Security Policy may be causing issues. When I tested the frontend servers directly using IP address I saw a page with no CSS.

          When using https://soylentnews.org, [soylentnews.org,] the site is fine when not logged in. When you log in it forces you to that url during the login redirect.

          --
          Team Leader for SN Development
          • (Score: 2) by Kymation on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:41PM (1 child)

            by Kymation (1047) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:41PM (#471995)

            My bookmark is set to https://www.soylentnews.org/ [soylentnews.org] so that's what I have been using. It's worked up to now, but apparently the www subdomain is no longer resolving correctly. I'll go change my bookmarks.

            The www subdomain should probably do something useful. Maybe you could add a redirect to the URL you want us to use.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by tftp on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:27AM (12 children)

    by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:27AM (#471748) Homepage

    I used to read the site in the Nested mode. All comments are shown, nested as appropriate. No need to click anywhere. I just read them all, top to bottom, scrolling with the mouse.

    Now all I see is headings of the comments, but to get to the comment itself one has to click somewhere. This is bad. People do not come to the site to click buttons - they come to read the comments! I cannot say that there must be no room for threaded and other collapsed-by-default modes, but there MUST be a mode that is equivalent to the old "Flat/Expanded" or "Nested/Expanded" mode. In other words, there must be a way to read without making hundreds of precise clicks with the mouse per thread.

    Currently the thread is shown mostly collapsed (in some modes - fully collapsed), creating an impression that there are no comments inside. This is OPPOSITE to what should be done. So far I was unable to find a combination of modes that return the old, sane presentation. The site is mighty unreadable now, and I would implore the powers that be to look into this ASAP.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by canopic jug on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:28AM

      by canopic jug (3949) on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:28AM (#471760)

      It's got bling and is interactive without scripts, but as a Nested Mode user, I must say that it is broken for me too. Please add back the Nested Mode so I can read in peace and calm.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by MorePower on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:54AM

      by MorePower (5891) on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:54AM (#471783)

      Me Too!
      Please please please put it back! Clicking dozens (possibly hundreds) of tiny little buttons is a huge pain in the ass at best; and when reading on my phone it borders on impossible. There is no way the site is usable for me like this. I have a hard time believing anyone could read the site set up like this.

    • (Score: 2) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:07AM

      by fido_dogstoyevsky (131) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {eldnahexa}> on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:07AM (#471787)

      Me too for what tftp said in comment 471748 [soylentnews.org].

      --
      It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Popeidol on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:52AM

      by Popeidol (35) on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:52AM (#471799) Journal

      I think that can be fixed by changing the breakthrough setting at the top of the comments, I had to fiddle with it to replicate what you're seeing. Just set threshold/breakthrough to -1 and you'll get every posted comment in full.

      If you'd like it to be the default for all articles, you can change that under your preferences [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @11:24AM (3 children)

      Try Threaded-TNG with Breakthrough set to -1. It's pretty much exactly the same as Nested with both settings at -1.

      --
      My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
      • (Score: 1) by gmrath on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:21PM (1 child)

        by gmrath (4181) on Sunday February 26 2017, @06:21PM (#471942)

        Tried that: doesn't work. In fact I tried all the thread settings. I'm still confronted with a bunch of arrows to click on. The old way, I had is set up so that, when logged in, I opened an article all comments were expanded. I don't see why I need to mouse-over and click on a bunch of arrows to read through the comments; this is a real pain in the butt if a comment has multiple nested responses. Please add another option that opens an article with all comments expanded. Keep the arrows for those that like the arrows, but as it stands, this site is now borderline unusable for me. I cannot justify the time wasted clicking, clicking, clicking. And wondering what I missed by not clicking.

        • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:08PM

          by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:08PM (#471962) Journal

          When I set my settings to TNG with a breakthrough of -1 all the comments are expanded. What browser/os combo are you using. Also are you applying the new settings with the change button?

          --
          Team Leader for SN Development
      • (Score: 1) by tftp on Monday February 27 2017, @12:46AM

        by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 27 2017, @12:46AM (#472055) Homepage

        It works now as it should with Breakthrough=1 and Threading=TNG. The same did not work last night, I saw only the headings. Now I see nested comments. Thanks for the fix!

    • (Score: 2) by Zz9zZ on Monday February 27 2017, @02:36AM (3 children)

      by Zz9zZ (1348) on Monday February 27 2017, @02:36AM (#472082)

      Same here, I don't always log in just to read so custom profile settings are a no-go. Please bring back the previous setup as a default, the arrows are detrimental.

      --
      ~Tilting at windmills~
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 27 2017, @12:17PM (2 children)

        Which mode and precisely what behavior are you looking for?

        --
        My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
        • (Score: 2) by Zz9zZ on Monday February 27 2017, @06:11PM (1 child)

          by Zz9zZ (1348) on Monday February 27 2017, @06:11PM (#472421)

          Desktop mode. Well it looks like comments are hidden for performance reasons, so there isn't much to be done about that. I simply don't like clicking to see each comment, and I really don't like clicking twice to open the parent comment of a hidden thread.

          --
          ~Tilting at windmills~
          • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Tuesday February 28 2017, @06:30PM

            by paulej72 (58) on Tuesday February 28 2017, @06:30PM (#472944) Journal

            TMB meant what comment mode and what settings for threshold and breakthrough. Using Thread-TNG with a Breakthrough of -1 will get you all of the comments shown without having to open them indivually. You need to click on the change button for them to set and if you check save, the setting will change and be saved as your default.

            --
            Team Leader for SN Development
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by AthanasiusKircher on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:31AM (1 child)

    by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @08:31AM (#471770) Journal

    I appreciate all the work the devs do. Thanks for trying to create a flexible yet stable platform.

    However..

    I haven't looked at this on a computer screen yet, but on a tablet, the defaults for long comments are annoying. The length of a comment that gets turned into a scrolling comment seems almost comically short. I'd also really like an option that just allows one to expand long comments (even all of them at once). With a long comment, there's actually often a more detailed argument being made, which means you may want to refer back to an earlier point... Except now you can't even view the whole thing at once. Add in the possibility of a long comment replying to another long comment, and it can rapidly become difficult to follow the arguments without a bunch of scrolling back and forth. (And scrolling in multiple places, which means if I have five long comments in a thread, I need to use 6 scrollbars to try to sort out what's going on instead of one.)

    And -- perhaps more concerning -- the scroll bar is way too subtle unless you're actually scrolling. There were several comments when I first looked at a story where I thought they were complete as they appeared, not realizing there was more text to see. Unless the line breaks fall such that it's obvious the comment isn't finished, it's hard to even determine which comments might scroll... Unless you look really closely at the right margin.

    I'll add to other comments that the buttons for collapsing/expanding also are less intuitive. I understand there are technical reasons for the new way, but the old system was immediately intuitive when I first visited. This is not so much.

    Just my initial thoughts.

    • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:03PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:03PM (#471818) Journal

      Scroll bar issue, noted. We will address this soon.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by number6 on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:48AM (3 children)

    by number6 (1831) on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:48AM (#471781) Journal

    I was reading this page:
    How can I implement a spoiler quote with just CSS - Stack Overflow, Dec 2015 [stackoverflow.com]

     
    and the user 'Ilmari Karonen' gave some really neat solutions for implementing CSS spoilers by mouse-click AND NOT mouse-hover.

     
    What caught my eye (and made me post here) was his concluding comment:

    "Please consider also providing some way to make the spoilers permanently visible, especially for touch screen users who may find it very hard to "hover" the cursor over an element."

     
    Personally, I prefer spoilers which activate by mouse-click and not mouse-hover.

    • (Score: 2) by number6 on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:26AM (1 child)

      by number6 (1831) on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:26AM (#471792) Journal

      HTML

      <div class=spoiler>
      <div>
      My hidden text
      </div>
      </div>

      CSS

      .spoiler { display: relative; cursor: pointer; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 10px; }
      .spoiler:before { content: "Click to show:"; position:absolute; cursor: pointer; font-weight: bold; color: #2C3635; }
      .spoiler > div { cursor: default; top: 0px; display: none; position: relative; right: 10px; top: 20px; border: #A6B2A6 1px solid; background: #d4dfd0; padding: 0px 10px 15px 10px; border-radius: 4px; }
      .spoiler > div:before { content: ""; display: block; width: 100%; height: 20px; margin-top: -20px; }
      .spoiler:active > div { display: block; }
      .spoiler > div:hover { display: block; }

       
      Behavior:
        On Click the spoiler shows; it remains visible while your mouse is in the spoiler area. If your mouse leaves, the spoiler hides.

       
      Source:
        http://fezvrasta.deviantart.com/journal/Spoiler-without-Javascript-in-deviantART-Journal-361515500 [deviantart.com]

      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:24PM

        by TheRaven (270) on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:24PM (#471824) Journal
        This scrolling behaviour is really annoying. Who thought it was a good idea, why, and have they ever even read the cover of a book about HCI?
        --
        sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:05PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:05PM (#471819) Journal

      We based this on what our editors wanted for the new Community Reviews Nexus. We may need to reexamine the issue now that we have had some feedback.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by EETech1 on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:59AM (19 children)

    by EETech1 (957) on Sunday February 26 2017, @09:59AM (#471784)

    The scrolling comments have to go! It makes reading on a phone clumsy, as you cannot just scroll through the page.

    Also I like how the old page showed the username right above the comment instead of above in the title bar.

    The title bar text also doesn't reflow in my browser (opera Mobile) so I can't even see who posted the comment unless i scroll up and over.

    • (Score: 1) by EETech1 on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:01AM

      by EETech1 (957) on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:01AM (#471785)

      And my username in a comment shows up in black, that sucks

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:48AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:48AM (#471797) Journal

      The scrolling comments have to go! It makes reading on a phone clumsy, as you cannot just scroll through the page.

      It also doesn't work too well with keyboard navigation, at least on Firefox.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:49AM (13 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Sunday February 26 2017, @10:49AM (#471798)

      Moving the username back from the title might be more accessible for the color blind.

      Alternatively, maybe align title+score to the left and username to the right?

      p.s.

      Thanks for the spoiler and del strikethrough tags.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 2) by Marand on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:03PM (12 children)

        by Marand (1081) on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:03PM (#471866) Journal

        Maybe it's just me, but putting the username on the right seems to make it much more difficult to quickly see who wrote a comment. I believe it's because the comment title lengths vary, so I don't have a consistent place to look. Having it on the second line means the username is always in the same place, which seems much better to me.

        Also, the styling on the spoilers needs to change for the Grayscale theme. Spoiler background is #0D0D0D and the comment background is #111111, which isn't visually distinctive enough. Unless I look closely it just looks like the spoiler is normal text and surprises me when it expands, especially on my primary monitor, which is better calibrated than the others.

        Finally, I just noticed while writing this that comment preview loading is a bit strange now. I'm on a high-latency connection so it probably is more noticeable to me, but when I preview I'm getting an unstyled version of the page for a few seconds before the styles apply. This wasn't happening before the update, and doesn't occur on any other part of the site I've tested; it's exclusive to previews so far.

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:14PM (11 children)

          1) paulej72 is working on that right now.

          2) Yeah, we really need to revisit the spoiler tag entirely. Folks above had a point about it not being workable for phones or disabled people.

          3) Weird. I wonder why...

          --
          My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
          • (Score: 2) by Marand on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:39PM (7 children)

            by Marand (1081) on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:39PM (#471879) Journal

            No idea. I'm not seeing it with Konqueror using khtml or webkit, nor with Chrome's Blink. It's only happening with Gecko browsers (Firefox, Conkeror). Oddly, Conkeror — which I don't normally use, but it's only other Gecko browser I could think of offhand — is at least being reliable and doing it to every page, while Firefox only does it on the comment previews.

            I would have just chalked it up to "lol satellite" except that it's new behaviour.

            Oh, completely unrelated but while I'm thinking about it, is there any chance of getting a way to do inline code? Like how markdown syntax allows `code` to do an inline equivalent of the <code> blocks. I know there's <tt> but it's not distinct enough by itself and I usually end up putting stuff like commands, code, etc. in bold or italics because you don't always need a separate line. Like when talking about a language's map function.

            Actually, I'd love to just have markdown support in general, but I've got emacs' ham-mode as a workaround for that :)

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:44PM (6 children)

              Try Extrans posting mode. That's what it's there for.

              --
              My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
              • (Score: 2) by Marand on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:14PM (5 children)

                by Marand (1081) on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:14PM (#471923) Journal

                That seems to be the opposite of what I was asking about, probably because I wasn't explaining myself well. Here's a randomly chosen github issue [github.com] that hopefully better illustrates what I mean. You've got two types of code snippets — inline and block — with a distinctive background change that helps indicate they're different from normal text visually. It looks like part of what I want was already changed at some point, because I can use <code> inline now and it doesn't add breaks before/after like it has in the past, but it doesn't stand out well at all against normal text, especially when in the middle of a paragraph.

                • (Score: 2) by Marand on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:16PM (4 children)

                  by Marand (1081) on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:16PM (#471924) Journal

                  Ugh, bumped submit instead of preview. Anyway, to finish what I was saying, it looks like all that's missing now is some CSS tweaks to the code tag to make it stand out better. Not sure if it's just the theme I'm using or all of them, though.

                  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 27 2017, @12:18PM (3 children)

                    Yeah, that's doable. Honestly, I didn't even know <code> tags worked here or I would have styled them long ago.

                    --
                    My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
                    • (Score: 2) by Marand on Monday February 27 2017, @04:30PM (2 children)

                      by Marand (1081) on Monday February 27 2017, @04:30PM (#472338) Journal

                      I checked the source and they do something strange. You can use them in comments, but in the source they turn into tt tags. Odd. Code tags are normally valid so I don't know why it's doing that.

                      • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Tuesday February 28 2017, @06:32PM (1 child)

                        by paulej72 (58) on Tuesday February 28 2017, @06:32PM (#472946) Journal

                        That code is from the days before there were official code tags in html. We can fix the html sanitizer to leave the code tags as is and then style them appropriately.

                        --
                        Team Leader for SN Development
                        • (Score: 2) by Marand on Tuesday February 28 2017, @09:31PM

                          by Marand (1081) on Tuesday February 28 2017, @09:31PM (#473043) Journal

                          Please do that if you can :D It would be awesome; proper code styling is something I miss greatly here, and allowing code tags means it wouldn't affect use of tt. Just please don't doing anything when styling it that would force the code onto newlines; that way it can be used inline or in blocks.

          • (Score: 2) by Marand on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:46PM (2 children)

            by Marand (1081) on Sunday February 26 2017, @03:46PM (#471883) Journal

            Oh, something else weird: I'm seeing username and comment ID links are underlined by default and lose the underline on hover. Is that correct behaviour? It seems backward. (At least this one's happening regardless of browser.)

            • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:23PM (1 child)

              by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @04:23PM (#471898) Journal

              Just added that, but could be removed. Wanted something to destinguish it was a link.

              --
              Team Leader for SN Development
              • (Score: 2) by Marand on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:29PM

                by Marand (1081) on Sunday February 26 2017, @05:29PM (#471927) Journal

                Oh, makes sense. It just seemed backward to me so I thought maybe you were adding an underline hover and accidentally did the reverse somehow.

    • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:13PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:13PM (#471820) Journal

      The move of the username was done so that collapsed comments could be crated easily without having to duplicate text. I see that we need to tweak it some in terms of fixing the visited color of the links and possibly some other things.

      I will also be looking into the scrolling comments. It was put in place to fix an issue where very long comments would not be truncated as in the old system. This was one of the pieces of code that got removed when we changed how we were pulling comments from the database. The old method was inelegant and we did not see an easy way to replicate it in our new system.

      We may just tweak the amount of comment shown before it scrolls as a temp fix.

      Long term fixes would be a user pref to toggle the scroll bar, or fix the code to add long comment truncation back into the comment generation.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:31PM

      by TheRaven (270) on Sunday February 26 2017, @12:31PM (#471828) Journal

      The scrolling comments have to go! It makes reading on a phone clumsy, as you cannot just scroll through the page.

      On the other hand, it's a nice equaliser: it makes the experience bad for everyone, irrespective of screen size. If you have a small screen, the scrolling is difficult. If you have a large screen, you're wasting screen real estate because you're now constrained to a tiny window into a larger post. In other words, it's a terrible idea. Please just get rid of it (or, if you really like it, have a checkbox labelled '[ ] I am an idiot' to turn it on).

      Honestly, none of the changes are a significant improvement. If I had a feature request list for Soylent, my top two things would be Markdown input in the comments box and a messages UI that made it easy to quickly navigate through all of the replies (currently, for example, I can't differentiate between two replies to comments in the same or different threads). Lower priority things would be AJAX preview and in-page commenting.

      --
      sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:11PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Sunday February 26 2017, @07:11PM (#471964) Journal

      Scrolling comments are gone. Applied a filter to block large comments to keep the trolls at bay. Hopefully we can re ode a sane version of the long comment hider.

      One of the issues with the long comments is that the html needs to be broken sanely when hiding part of the comment. Need to do some investigation.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
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