back to article Hey Commentards! [This title is optional]

Yesterday, we added three new features for Reg commentards. The most obvious - and many of you spotted this already - is that commenters no longer have to write a title to accompany their post. We like headlines but many of you don't, so this is our gift to you. We have introduced a new sorting option - now can you arrange …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


  2. Admiral Grace Hopper


    As per title.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd

      About bloody time too!

      Thanks Reg.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A title is not required and may or may not contain letters or numbers


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        Lord High Muck A Muck.

        But why do we still require message bodies?

    3. schnide

      I like not having to put a title if we don't want to..

      ..but I still think separate pages just to upvote and downvote a page is ridiculous, and discourages me from voting more than I do.

      Great work on the changes you made though Reg, keep 'em coming :)

      1. theBatman

        I just went to a separate page to upvote your comment....

        Because I agree, it's a bit annoying :D

        Oh. I did a title, that was unnecessary!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    :) That is all

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But does this sort by time?

  4. Dave Bell

    Reader-generated threads

    I'd be very wary of that. You could get the same result by using some sort of letter-column article, inviting a more wide-open thread use, but I'm really not sure how you could combine moderated comment threads on articles with fully reader-generated topics.

    Go look at Making Light for how "Open Thread" creation can work. But I doubt you will get the poetry. Or the debate on serial commas.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. Tech sites that allow for reader-generated threads tend to end up with all sorts of conspiracy nuts taking over the debates - partly due to the fact, that such threads will often be more lightly moderated.

      Oh, oh, my first post w/o a title... will it work?

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      NO to reader-generated threads !!

      Definitely and permanently not. If there is reader with something interesting to tell the world, he's already got a blog anyway. And, if he actually has a brain and knows how to write, he's probably got his own site.

      If I want to plunge into the madness that is the Word of the Public, I've already got plenty of incoherence and terrible writing in the comments, thank you. When I come to read at El Reg, I expect editorial overview and professional writing. For the inane and utterly idiotic, I have Slashdot.

      Let's keep it that way, shall we ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Yeah! I like The Reg specifically because it's NOT Slashdot.

    3. whbjr

      I was a bit worried at first, since I read that as "... but we are thinking of opening up forums to reader-generated threats."

      Although, come to think of it, readers seem to generate their own threats all the time, here.

  5. MattW

    A travesty!

    Was I first to comment on the comment story? Was I?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No you weren't.

  6. G2

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

    woot, we finally free of the old "The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits"

    //beer icon for obvious reasons :)

    1. Tim

      So that one's just for old time's sake then?

    2. Allicorn

      Title schmitle

      I'll drink to that!

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Richard Wharram
  9. DAN*tastik

    We also want to filter posts by poster's gender

    I would like to suggest 2 radiobuttons so you can choose the following options:

    A) Show boys' posts only

    B) Hide girls' posts only

    Also, since I am an anally pedantic foreign grammar nazi, the following options:

    A) Click here to report spelling fails

    B ) Hide illiterate posters' posts because they can't be taken seriously

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Live by the sword...

      So we can hide your post for the use of "2" instead of "two" then? "radiobuttons" instead of "radio buttons". Not sure if "nazi" should be "Nazi" but I guess so....

      1. DAN*tastik

        @ Live by the sword

        Ooooops :)

        That was my point ( and own fail ), it would have saved you from reading my comment, and I have just learned that radiobutton as a word doesn't exist, and it's Nazi, not nazi...

        By Christmas the world would be free from should-of-gone's and your-my-best-friend's.

        Everyone's a winner :) will be my best friend from now on, I guess

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Lower case generic

          When a word has taken on a more generic meaning using lower case helps distinguish it the original term. For example, I doubt many pedants are actually National Socialists.

          Who writes mentor with a capital m?

          1. Maty

            >>'Who writes mentor with a capital m?'

            Those people who are referring to the original Greek hero Mentor in Homer's epic poem The Iliad.


          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Who writes mentor with a capital m? E E 'Doc' Smith.

          3. briesmith
      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Die by the sword...

        it should be NAZI because it stands for National Asomething Zsomething Isomething.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And a "Block" button for idiots

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Can I have a block button for all comments containing the pretend word "simples"?

        Yes, I know it’s in a dictionary somewhere but that doesn’t convince me that anyone using it is worth listening to.

        1. Jan 0 Silver badge

          and a block for all comments containing "could of"? Please.

          1. DRendar

            "and a block for all comments containing "could of"? Please."


            Also a way to block people for the incorrect use of:

            their / there / they're

            too / to / two

            its / it's

            How about a grammar down-vote button? Get 100 of these and you have to suffer a "This poster is a moron" icon on all posts for 1 month!

            I'm not talking about people who obviously don't have English as a first language - that's acceptable.

            Oh, and people who say "I could care less" should just be shot on the spot.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              +1 for down-voting bad spelling/grammar.

              And no exceptions for non-native speakers, who very often show a better command of the written language than the natives themselves.

              No choice of icon for anons does not make any sense.

            2. Dan White
              Thumb Up

              You omiited the one that forces me into a pedantic rage that burns with the heat of a thousand suns: Why can't you f**ktards learn the difference between "lose" and "loose"?

              1. sheep++;

                @Dan White on Lose/Loose

                Abso-loosely (terrible play on words, I accept) drives me insane too.

                You don't loose the game and you don't have a lose wheel !!

                Arrrrgggghhh !

                1. Just Thinking


                  Spelling/grammar is learned behaviour, copying. If you read lots of books which have been carefull checked, you will spot typos, spelling mistakes and grammar errors immediately. If you mainly read on the web, you will lose (loose it???) rapidly.

            3. Nick Pettefar

              "Oh, and people who say "I could care less" should just be shot on the spot."

              Which spot?

              1. briesmith

                Waste of a bullet surely? Better to keep them around and really annoy them, until they change their mind.

          2. Spot the Cat


            Don't forget "Bored of" etc. It's "Bored with" you idiots!

            1. Andus McCoatover


              Don't forget my English teacher's pet hate:

              .try and ...

              Not possible! ...try to... is correct.

              Now about the apostrophe: Just bought 'eats, roots, and leaves' as the pretty definitive guide for English punctuation. As I'm an old, sad git, I'll read it tonight. Bugger all else to do.

        2. Dave Bell

          The problem is that English is a moving target.

          Considering what some teachers have tried to do to the language, that would seem to be an inevitable survival tactic.

      2. Just Thinking

        Temporary block

        Idiots can be reformed.

        ACs can't.

        oh s**t I did a title. They can be useful sometimes.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Hide illiterate posters' posts because they can't be taken seriously"

      lack of English writing skills is not the same as lack of knowledge. Schools, colleges and universities do not teach in English in other parts of the world. This doesn't mean that the graduate will be less knowledgeable when compared to someone who studied in English. You need to understand that someone whose first language isn't English might have _more_ to offer then someone whose first language is English, and vice versa.

      By the way, my first language isn't English, so could you please excuse my lack of understanding of the English language and explain the difference between these 2 statements for me: "Show boys' posts only" vs "Hide girls' posts only"?

      1. Juillen 1

        There isn't. I read it as a humorous repartee, where the joke is truly on those that take it seriously.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Well, I think amanfrommars might have gender NULL so "Hide girls' posts only" wouldn't exclude him.

        1. awomanfromVenus

          RE: Difference by AC13:15

          "Well, I think amanfrommars might have gender NULL so "Hide girls' posts only" wouldn't exclude him".

          Why would you want to hide his/her/its posts (apart for the fact that nobody can understand them)

        2. Andus McCoatover


          Hasn't been around for awhile...New "nick" maybe?

      3. jonathanb Silver badge

        Show boys vs hide girls

        It is a bit like "Heads I win, tails you lose". He doesn't like women and wants to be able to hide their posts. There is no difference between the two, that is the point.

      4. Apocalypse Later

        English first

        "By the way, my first language isn't English, so could you please excuse my lack of understanding of the English language and explain the difference between these 2 statements for me: "Show boys' posts only" vs "Hide girls' posts only"?"

        I'm told English grammar is more irregular than that of many other languages, but it can be taught. The English sense of humour, however, is imparted only by osmosis.

        1. Chimp

          English grammar...

          ... is not particularly irregular. It may well once have been, though as with all living languages it has evolved in such a way as to remain useful.

    4. MarcusArt


      Also, since I am an anally pedantic foreign grammar nazi, the following options:

      A) Click here to report spelling fails

      B ) Hide illiterate posters' posts because they can't be taken seriously


      You mean: 'Click here to report problems with spellings'. In fact it's frowned upon to use 'click here' in terms of usability. So you should probably say 'Report spelling mistakes.' Make sure it's underlined.

      Oh and nazi should be written Nazi.

      And you simply need to say pedantic - technically.

      A dog just crapped by the bench I was sitting on so I'm grumpy and mean today. Sorry.

      B. Yep. So I should not have seen this beauty.

      Rant on folks. Happy days.

    5. Charlie van Becelaere

      Of course

      one assumes that what you really wanted was to filter by poster's sex. Gender options would be masculine, feminine, and (depending upon your choice of language) neuter. It appears to me that you are addressing male and female.

      I'm always happy to help.

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. briesmith

        No it's not; mot at my age anyway. Gender is a class, sex is either a piece of anatomy, a noun or a verb.

        "The detail of her sex was clearly visible through the shimmer that was her dress."

        "Would you like sex?"

        "I need to find out how ro sex a tortoise."

    7. William Wallace

      The best suggestion, surely, would be to ban anyone who wants to comment on anything, as like Groucho Marx who would never join a club that would have him as a member, I don't want to read comments on a site that would allow me to make comments.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up



  11. Svantevid
    Thumb Up

    *Optional*, thanks Grud

    "now can you arrange by time of posting"


    This will definitely come in handy, for reason Mr. Orlowski - praised be his name, he allowed comments on his article - already knows... looking for new posts in long threads will become much easier.




    "Lastly, if you post anonymously you don't get to pick an icon. All Anon posts get a V for Vendetta mask instead."


    Can we get reasons for it? Just out of curiosity, I have no problems at all with that decision. :-)

    1. Dan 10

      I'm guessing because many sites tend to encourage a slightly inferior user experience for those that don't sign up...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Posting anon can be done without signing up?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Except that anonymous posters HAVE signed-up..they have simply chosen not to show their used ID.

        1. Anonymous Cowerd

          Quite so.

        2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Anonymous comments (I don't mind titles!)

          Can we have two names registered against a mail address?

          I am open enough to post many of my comments under my real name (unlike many of you), but I frequently use the anonymous option, normally if I am posting things that may upset my employer, wife, children, the police etc (OK maybe not the wife, she is a technophobe, and does not read the Register, and the police could get a court order if what I have said was against the law).

          But I appreciate being able to use an icon with my anonymous posts.

          What I may have to do is register a second account with an unrelated name to my real one. If I were allowed to have an alternative "alias" for my account, and be able to select it like I do Anonymous Coward as an alternative, I think that would be really useful.

          Now, what has not been used yet, but would be suitably humorous?

  12. JDX Gold badge


    They could easily have a "general" board for non-topic threads, which are not moderated the same way... i.e. a moderator is around to remove spam and so on but not to personally gatekeep every post. Like all the other forums.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You're lack of posting a threaded comment indicates you don't understand the comments forum, there fore I'd suggest we ignore your comment.



      There are already too many good (and bad) open forums out there. Keep El Reg to commenting on the published stories, although perhaps there should be a "suggest a story" option so the moderators can be notified of potential articles.

      1. Stoneshop

        @AC 09:19

        Your apostrophe catastrophe and misspelling of 'therefor' will cause your comment to be ignored.

        1. Camilla Smythe


          Please find your missing vowel in the title.

          Please try not to excuse yourself by suggesting you were trolling. There is an icon for that. Your other more obscure excuses, should you be able to find them, may also be rejected.

        2. nyelvmark

          misspelling of 'therefor'

          Skitt's law. Enough said.

      2. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        RE ".........a "suggest a story" option ........"

        That I have to say is a good idea. Opens up for more reader-input without (at the outset) risking the "baby out with the bathwater" risk implicit in reader generated threads - although not excluding that option at a later date if it was thought desirable. Suggestions could perhaps be divided between a "specific news items board" and a "suggested topics board". The latter being suggestions concerning what posters here would like El Reg's reporters to take a look at even if the topic concerned is not necessarily a hot current news item.


  13. Jim 59


    The Register forums - do they run on Windows or Linux ?

    1. lurker

      The title is no longer required

      Debian. Good choice.

      1. Shades

        Why did you go to Netcraft when El Reg provides all the details themselves?

  14. Trygve Henriksen

    Wrong icon...

    I never post anonymously.

    Except that I may be incognito now and then...

    Please, can't we get a choice of icons for those of us who aren't lametards living in their parent's basement?

  15. Steve Renouf
    Thumb Up

    The title is fine on the article but is unnecessary on replies to the same topic...

    so I'm glad this has finally been realised! (About time!) :-)

  16. Gwaptiva
    Thumb Up

    A title is optional and must consist of letters and/or numbers

    And a "Remember me" tick box. Hope this is in line with the rather confusing cookie regulations. Too complex for a simple software developer to understand

  17. James Pickett

    Optional (it says here)

    Not reader-generated threads as well, please! I spend far too much time on here as it is...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What am I supposed to complain about now?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The weather.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Titles? We need Titles

    Mine's the mask with a coat in it.

    1. Christoph

      We don't need no steenkin' titles!

  20. tony

    Can't we have optional post body's now?

    Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

    1. theBatman


      Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

  21. Anon


    "All Anon posts get a V for Vendetta mask instead."


  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame you didn't fix the site logon problems with Opera password manager. This seems to be the only site on the entire internet that's broken with it.

    I'm guessing it's because you have multiple logons on the same page on different domains (theregister, reghardware, channelregister etc etc etc).

    1. DJV Silver badge


      No, that is probably just to annoy the Opera user that everyone down votes.

      1. Anomalous Cowturd

        Re: Opera

        Do you mean me?

        Or the other one?

        Andrew Orlovski, where are you when I need you?

        Ducks! :o)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    1 - Fix tabbing so I can log in and check the options without switching between keyboard and mouse.

    2 - Fix the whole "reply to" thing.

    ...waits for a barrage of comments blaming both problems on my browser.

    ..oh ok then, I'll go and test it on Firefox.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if I want to post only a title?


    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      but we need bodies, preferably heavenly ones

  25. Jon Double Nice

    How about a points system

    For commenting "First!!!" (with any combination of caps and punctuation)

    For posting 'First' and getting the first post, 1 point

    For posting 'First' and not getting the first post, -the position of your post (i.e. 2nd post = -2 points)

    At the end of the year, we check all the totals, and then everybody who has partaken in this game gets a kick in the nads.

    1. Velv
      Thumb Up

      How about a running total of votes next to your handle. Up votes +1, down votes -1

    2. Magnus_Pym
      Thumb Up

      How about a league for highest average upvote/downvote ratio per post. See who is the most popular popularist.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And the winner is

        Anonymous Coward

      2. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

        Second the "league"

        OK, maybe not a league but perhaps a number next to each poster showing their accumulated total. Should flag up the most blatent trolls so I know who to ignore (exhibit A, "Barry Shitpeas" - 219 down votes in the 2 weeks since he signed up).

    3. Sir Runcible Spoon

      "and then everybody who has partaken in this game gets a kick in the nads."

      Brilliant :D

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        May do the kicking?

        May I? May I? May I?


        Icon, because, well, obvious, innit?

  26. It wasnt me

    I quite like the titles though.

    Damn, now I've nothing to say here ....

  27. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Hmmmm, good show!

  28. Anonymous Cowherder


    That title thing really did annoy me!

  29. Swoop

    Wot, no title?

    What is the world coming to?!

    This would *NEVER* have been allowed under the reign of Sarah Bee!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't actually care at all about titles, long since having learned to make one up as required. Sorting, well, the order was right for me already. If it'd been the other way around I'd avoid reading comments and likely have posted much less or not at all.

    I wasn't too pleased to have a large chunk of my posts retroactively tagged with a mask, as many were deliberately left without icon. After a bit of... getting used to it, I could live with it on new posts, grudgingly. But cranking it up to the exlusion of all else, is making me seriously consider taking my day-and-a-half worth of toys elsewhere. I fully expect you not to care one whit, but not telling would've left you in the dark. So there.

  31. Jedit Silver badge

    A good start

    Now, how about making it so you only have to log in once to post? Every time I enter the forums I see "You are logged in as $NAME", but below that there is the usual email and password box that must also be logged in through before I can post.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It already does that

      something screwy going on at your end, I'm afraid

      1. Jedit Silver badge


        It's happened at work on IE7/WinXP and at home on Firefox 6/Win7, so it's neither hardware nor software.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Works here.

          If I dab the "remember me" checkbox when logging in it, er, remembers me.

          Maybe there are too many people here trying to forget you and there's some sort of democratic process involved?

  32. It'sa Mea... Mario

    Two steps forward, one step back.. <<< could have been a title but isn't just because it doesn't need to be :)

    At last! re first point, and nice touch re third point however..

    ..why have the useful little arrows that took you to the actual comment that was being replied to been taken away?

  33. Jim 59

    A title is still better

    Using a title makes your post easier to read, and therefore more likely to get read IMO.

  34. introiboad
    Thumb Up

    In-page thumbs up and replying

    Great job the Reg! Thanks for the effort.

    Could we add in-page thumbs up and reply? That is, not having to reload a whole new HTML page when you want to give someone a thumbs up (or down) or reply to a post. It seems to be a standard in at least some of the other interwebs sites...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's not a good idea

      You may have noticed that el reg is rather faster than plenty of other sites. The reason for this is heavy emphasis on simple html niced up through css, and NO JAVASCRIPT.

      This is a good thing. It makes for nice, snappy webpages. It also makes for very predictable web browser behaviour once you catch on to this. Compare and contrast, say, anything "powered" by disqus. If you try and input more than a few paragraphs it becomes so slow that a sentence of typing ahead blind takes a minute or more to catch up with me. It also manages noticeable amounts of cpu even in backgrounded pages if the "live updates of comments" thing isn't set to "paused" ("off" is not an option).

      To me the benefit of no javascript is more than worth a little ^R or F5 hitting.

      1. introiboad

        Not being a web developer, I didn't even realize this would require Javascript.

        Of course the advantages that you point out are indeed patent, and the last thing I want is the reg to become slower. But in these days of Webkit everywhere, can't we have a little JS that runs along nicely on any platform? Then again some people disable JS I think, so this may not be a good idea after all...

        Anyways, good point!

        1. Martin Lyne

          Adding the relevant jQuery functions for in-page thumbs this would barely impact site speed. Unnecessarily hiding/showing things could. Making everything javascripty like Facebook's pages-that-aren't-pages is the ultimate drain.

          Still, it's all in the implementation.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "It's all in the implementation"

            Why yes, it's probably entirely possible to write it such that it won't interfere except for some niceties here and there. Though "webkit everywhere" isn't quite true, but it is true that webmonkeys like their latest webbrowsers so by now most of that sushi eating breed all have sped-up javascript engines in their browsers... forgetting that large swathes elsewhere don't, and won't for some time. It's probably why disqus and the like suck so much.

            I for me like the school of thought that content is more important than dress-up, as in the latter exists to support the former, not the other way around. So gear up your kit so that generation occurs preferrably once per update to the page, not per pageview. That sort of thing. "No javascript" could be taken as somewhat of an extreme on that, but if you can make it work for you it easily works better than a fancied-up take, and it has an inherent simplicity I find admirable.

            Then again, el reg are slowly moving down the fancied-up with javascript road anyway, in ways that make me feel distinctly unwelcome. So perhaps this argument is entirely moot, and it is indeed past time for me to bugger off.

  35. Geoff Thompson

    Thank You

    I never knew there were so many comments. Never thought about it before. Don't think I will try sorting, but nice to know I could.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not liking the thing about the icons.

    1. DRendar

      Tough titties AC - don't be such a coward, and you get your pretty pictures back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I actually hate pretty pictures, *incuding*

        <<<< this one

  37. BoldMan
    Thumb Up

    Can we have a "Like" button (runs and hides)

  38. Neil 7
    Thumb Down

    Sorting by Newest/Oldest

    now means that thread replies are often quite meaningless as they appear to be replies to unrelated threads and therefore without the appropriate context. Not sure what you can do to fix this, other than to display the entire thread so retaining context, but using the date/time of the most recent/first reply for newest/oldest criteria respectively.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its odd having no titiles

    1. Elmer Phud


      I dread to think what a 'Titile' is.

      An island of tits?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is that coz you is a bloke?

    3. Steve Renouf


      For a second there, I thought that said "no titties!"

  40. introiboad

    Comments count on article page is wrong?

    I just clicked on the Comments link and it said "5 comments", but obviously there are a few more than that here...

    1. Christoph

      The comments count has always been severely broken, often showing fewer comments than there actually are, or no comments when there are some.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Not broken, just lazy. We update comments count every hour.

  41. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    That's nice

    Great improvements.

    One more thing... it'd be handy to be able to see on your 'My Posts' page if there have been any replies to your posts. I generally miss replies... but then, we all know forums are for airing your views, not reading other peoples' ;-)

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      Re: replies to your posts

      I agree, it would save the hassle having to go to "my posts" and then open the discussion and find your posts to see if anything has been added.

  42. Gabor Laszlo


    Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

  43. IsJustabloke
    Thumb Up

    I CHOOSE to enoble a simple forum post!

    I like the Icon idea :-) not that I pay much attention to the icons really...

    I think the sorting malarky is a bit pointless because you lose the thread (as it were) of the comments.

    Please no Raeder generated stuff because that will just degenerate into the following threads...

    MS users are idiots.

    Get Apple or get lost

    Penguins are cool!

    Or similar I think you get the idea :-)

  44. tardigrade
    Thumb Up


    All this is superb apart from the V for Vendetta stupicon for AC's. The mask will only make them think they are cool.

    They are not.

    Surely a rubber chicken would be far more appropriate.

  45. JeffyPooh

    I like...

    ...funny titles.

  46. Harmless

    Why discriminate?

    Why discriminate against Anons? I've always believed a message speaks for itself regardless of the identity of its writer. What difference does a made up name make to the quality of a comment?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      As an anon who tries very hard not to be a dick (and is mostly successful), I fully support this post.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I, for one, only post anonymously when I don't want the comment to be associated with my handle. This doesn't (usually) mean I am trolling, or that the post is not serious, just that I do not wish others, who might find the content contentious due to, for example, political or religious beliefs, to go and systematically downvote my other comments because they are dicks.

        AC, becaus other users are dicks!11eleventyone!

    2. Steve Knox

      Why discriminate.

      Because actually posting anonymously (as opposed to posting with a pseudonym attached to a throwaway e-mail address) removes the potential for a coherent conversation. Any Anonymous Coward could be any other Anonymous Coward. I've seen pages of discussion on this site that were nothing more that AC vs AC vs AC, and it read like something more fractured than Andy Serkis's portrayal of Gollum.

      If you don't want your post tracked back to you, do what Harmless has done -- use a pseudonym. The forum members here generally respect pseudonyms and there is very little identity hacking, no matter how easy it is to do for those who know how.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > AC vs AC vs AC

        This is much less often a problem than you might think.

        Lack of nested indentation in the threads, on the other hand...

  47. Russ.T.Starfish

    Additional features...

    I think I prefer posts that have a title myself, but it's good to have the option of not having one.

    But for gods sake don't trev the shit out of your site with all this bollocks.

    the last thing that we need is something like a row of stumbleuponredditfacbookfarktwitter icons next to each post that your mouse passes over which then pops out and covers what you're trying to read. (even more irritating on a mobile phone, I'll hasten to add.

    KISS. Leavitaloneanddontfuckaroundwithitplease.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    don't move to a new page to add a vote

    right now, when readers up/down vote a post, they are taken to a new page then they have to click the link that brings them back to the current page. Can you make it so that the vote is counted without sending the reader to a new page?

    1. nyelvmark

      You're obviously not using Opera.

      The current behaviour seems to be: Click "upvote"/"downvote" and (if you are logged in) be sent to a page which confirms your vote. This page contains a "Back to the forum" link which attempts - presumably using Javascript - to return to the previous page and then reload that page so that the vote count is updated.

      The result in Oracle appears to be an infinite reload loop. Suggested work-arounds in decreasing order of something:

      1. Do not click the "Back to the forum link". Instead, use "back" and then manually refresh.

      2. Use a browser which is supported by the official El Reg webdev team, i.e. one that they've actually looked at their webpages in. I can't find an official list, but I'm guessing you'll be pretty safe with IE6.

      3. Avoid visiting The Register's forums. Or even the entire website. I mean, you tell yourself you're remaining on the cutting edge by watching for breaking IT stories here, but really it's all about Paris jokes, isn't it? You've got better uses for your time.

      4. Hack into El Reg's webservers and fix the broken Javascript.

      5. Hack into Opera's version control system, fix the broken Javascript interpreter, then force an automated compulsory update for all Opera users.

      6. Enter the cheat code for "god" mode. In gode mode broken Javascript runs correctly even on broken Javascript interpreters.

  49. Herby


    How about at least having the Anonymous Cowards being identified as being separate (you know like Ebay does) so when they re-comment on the same thread we all know that they hail from the same corner.

    I do not suggest doing this across different stories though.

    Just sayin'

  50. jai

    woohoo no title required!!

    but apparently the post itself is still mandatory? such oppression to our basic rights of expression!!!

  51. Alfie
    Thumb Up

    This isn't the title you are looking for

    Finally, I have perfected my Jedi mind control!

    On another note, general comments wouldn't be a good thing. If there is something out there worth our opinion then we can email the story to you guys, and if it is genuinely relevant then you will publish a story about it (maybe), and then we can comment on that. Otherwise, as already mentioned, it will degenerate into "Windows/Linux/Apple/Android/OS2Warp* is the best" flame wars.

    * OK, maybe not the last one... (tin hat on)

    1. Trygve Henriksen

      You better swap that tin hat with a hard hat...

      Before I drop my tower PC on your head...

      Also, everyone knows that it's eComStation you buy these days, not OS/2 Warp.

      Still runs fine on just about any Pentium CPU, though.

      (I recommend having more than the minimum of 64MB RAM, though)

      Mine's the one with the OS/2 REXX manuals in the(very large) pocket.

  52. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Block up votes / down ovtes anybody?

    That way you can express your appreciation as you go.

    BTW Is it just me or are those icons looking a bit "pale"?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Nice one...

    Like the changes, keep it simple, innit?

  54. jake Silver badge

    It's not a title, it's a subject, and should be mandatory.

    Icons, on the other hand, are for AOLers, and should go away ...

    On the gripping hand, please do NOT allow any old idiot (that would be me) to start a new discussion here ... that kind of insanity should be reserved for Usenet.

  55. This post has been deleted by its author

  56. proto-robbie


    for a poignant moment.

  57. Martin Lyne

    It's.... BEAUTIFUL.

  58. Byte

    So since the handle you post under can be changed and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your real name, etc., I don't understand the decision to no longer allow custom icons for anonymous posters. All the same, I don't know of any other forums I participate in that allow anonymous posting anyway so hey, whatever...

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    V for Vendetta, eh? V for "I can still fire a bow" seems more likely.

  60. fLaMePrOoF

    WTF is this?


  61. Wize

    What about all those people who put their message in the title and not in the body?


  62. DRendar

    Feature request

    El Reg, could you PLEASE stop automatically turning line breaks in comments into paragraph breaks?

    It is highly annoying when you want to list a couple of things in a comment:

    Like this

    and this

    any this too

    and each item has one line-break turned into two... I mean WHY!?

  63. KirstarK

    Arrrggg at the stupid face

    maybe you should make anon no icons at all.

  64. nichomach


    *this post still requires a body, however*

  65. Leon Stringer

    El Reg will have to do better than this to make up for the loss of Sara Bee...

  66. Rovindi

    User generated threads - Opinions are like arseholes. Everyone´s got one.

    Nice one dearest El Reg.

    Re User Generated threads. I´m quite divided on this, as there are some reet clever buggers on here, who can provide wisdom and enlightenment on a myriad of technical (and other escoteric subjects). But there are also the usual bunch of numpties that just want to pick fights.

    For example, I was thinking the other day "wouldn´t it be nice if I could go to El Reg and post a question about purchasing a new laptop" as I´m looking to do that at the mo. The downside is I would be told repeatedly that I should go for a Mac, HP or whatever bunch of overpriced wanking-spanners that Tosh are selling this week. The post would then be diverted when the Mac crew tool-up and take on the PC Crew (cue Sharks and Jets from West Side Story - interesting image </digress>) and it all goes horribly wrong and pisses everyone else off.

    How do you get around that? Start making some of us Mods? Mmmm, tricky one. Otherwise it means a fuck-load more work for your moderatrix (moderatrices? moderatrixes? moderati? Moderators is, well, to normal).

    Genuinely curious to know...

    1. nyelvmark


      >>there are some reet clever buggers on here, who can provide wisdom and enlightenment on a myriad of technical (and other escoteric subjects). But there are also the usual bunch of numpties that just want to pick fights.

      The problem, as so often, is the size of the overlap.

      Tangentially, I'm more than half convinced that amanfrommars is, in fact, the smartest poster here.

      1. unitron

        Well, obviously...

        "Tangentially, I'm more than half convinced that amanfrommars is, in fact, the smartest poster here."

        As the only person here who understands those posts, he probably is the smartest.

  67. Bernard


    Now that I don't have to use it, I can't seem to break the habit.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No icons for anon?

    That sucks :(

    It means you can't steer your reader towards the type of post it is you're making through the type of icon you select.

  69. Richard Scratcher


  70. Anonymous IV

    Can Moderators be made more visible?

    Since the quite wonderful Sarah Bee signed off, leaving us to the dubious mercies of someone called "Jude", the new Moderator/Modereratrix/Moderatrice, all we see to have had is Obscurity (ho-ho...)

    You would have thought that he/she would have been allowed an article to introduce him/her-self?

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Can Moderators be made more visible?

      Dubious mercies? How very dare you! *sheepish grin*

    2. unitron

      Well, I guess he's okay...

      ...but hardly a saint.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I too dislike the inability to choose icons.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please can you use Google Predictions API to predict only the comments that I am interest in. Thankyouverymuch

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Titles are fine...

    ...but no icons for Anonymous? Boo. I like leaving a small footprint online.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    reuse of old handles

    I changed mine for a off posting, but then I couldn't change back to the previous one due to site policy. I guess I should have just used the AC option instead for that one.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Oh, and people who say "I could care less" should just be shot on the spot."

    Absolutely! At least when they actually meant "I couldn't care less".

    Can I do the shooting? Pretty please? With a Hello Kitty branded mini-gun?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      You'd better be off to the Sanrio store in Milan then.

      If you can make it pink and put a cat logo on it, they have it in stock, in pink, with a cat logo on it.....

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I first encountered this ere site I was hugely impressed with the verbosity, wit, erudition and general level of knowledge exhibited on so many subjects on so many levels, by this fellow who called himself Anonymous Coward. And then the truth dawned on me, and I thought 'what a tool'.

    Just me then?

    AC, obviously.

  77. Ben Norris

    The title is not required


  78. Alex 14
    Thumb Up

    YES! YES! Free from the title tyranny at last! They didn't feel this happy when the Berlin wall fell.

    ...But do you realise the new grievance will be the fact that when you sort by date, you have no idea which original posts the replies belong to, making them all a bit useless?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      a threading issue?

  79. Liam Proven Silver badge


    That's nice, but it's lipstick on a pig without proper threading support.

    Can't you outsource it to Livejournal, like the Independent does, or something?

  80. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton


    (Or was it Hooray!) ?

  81. Rob O'Connor

    How about up or down voting without it taking you to a seperate page?

    1. briesmith

      Did he really write "seperate"? He'll get fried, you wait and see...

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon


    Oh and what's with the main Reg forums insisting on throwing you to the last comment on the page on some browsers when sorting by thread? The hardware and channel forums don't seem to have any problem with that.

  83. cloudgazer
    Thumb Down

    better but still terrible

    Lets face it, El Reg has perhaps the worst comments system around. Thread support is non existent beyond a single level, and it's made worse by the fact that there is a potentially long wait for posts to be moderated before they appear.

    This means we often get a dumb post followed by half a dozen identical responses.

    This is a technology site, so how about you actually take the tech approach and either use somebody elses forum system or develop one that is actually good? There's no point using a custom solution that is worse than the available standard alternatives.

    A big start would be switching to moderating after the post is displayed rather than before.

    1. Gavin King

      I'd hardly say terrible

      Although the identical responses is something I have noticed, too. Maybe a little "a reply has been made to this post" notification of some sort is in order, so at least anyone wanting to reply knows that they might just be making one of those identical responses.

      Maybe it's just me, but I find these comments quite easy to navigate; perhaps that comes from familiarity more than anything.

      In any case, this is my two cents: that doesn't necessarily make them gospel truth.


  84. json

    Feature Future Enhancement

    .. I suggest weaponizing responses to comments.. where we can fire (figuratively of course) a nuclear bomb to comments we dont like and the comment gets marked as 'nuked'. As an alternative we can also lob cacti if nuking is too strong.

  85. unitron

    Is this where I put the title I don't have to have anymore?

    Thumbs up/down and reply on same page, please.

    A separate thumbs up button (meaning "I agree", or "well said") and another that means "I found this post very amusing/you owe me a new keyboard".

    Either I'm logged in and your entire site knows that I'm me, or I'm not. I shouldn't have to log in on each comments page.

    Bring back the icons that you used to have, in addition to the ones you added.

    Leave the "V" icon for whatever people used it for before, and create a new one for the anonymous cowherds, perhaps a cow wearing a Zorro mask.

    If possible by keeping track of IP addresses from which comments come, make the first AC to comment on a story AC1, and the next one AC2, and so on, for that story's comments, so that we can tell which AC is which. Or you could start numbering them from zero like they were SIMM modules or IDE headers or something.

    And please, put the "New BOFH column" alert back on the main page.

    Thank you for your time and attention.

    Mine appears to be the one with a long list of demands in the pocket.

  86. Doug Glass

    As I've seen here so many times ...

    ... meh.

  87. Pseu Donyme

    Ta! :)

  88. Vince

    Titles are optional, which is a shame

    ...because the sarcastic stuff said in the title because you had to have one was good for the posts.

  89. lpopman

    titular nonsense (now optional)

    I'm in two minds about the titular nonsense. On the one hand I didn't like having to put a title, on the other I have got used to putting stupid references in my titles.

    Don't mess with my head, El Reg, It doesn't work well with my Asperger's ;)

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah but

    Can you make el reg look and behave like an iniquity bbs behind frontdoor?

  91. Ashton Black

    Oooooooo. Nice.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All of you suck!

    (yup this works ;).

  93. Daniel B.


    Now, can you pleeease fix the mobile version? I can no longer select any icons on the mobile comments section.

  94. sheep++;

    AC Icon

    I can just see a flood of "Vendetta" icons occuring on most El Reg pages. I may get bored or not be able to sleep at night. Of course, everyone has their own opinions, but it's the opinion that counts, not the icon and IMHO (whoops; unintentional pun) there will always be a mix of sensible and troll opinions, but hey, that's just what social life is like - a mix of good and bad and you have to accept it - but of course you intelligent people know that.

    BTW, do you think all you people posing as Anonymous are really AC. You're being recorded for your own safety/security and training purposes and your details won't be used for any other purposes (other than being loaded onto an unsecured memory stick and left on a train).

    Yeah, ok I'm grumpy today.

  95. Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't help it:

    "El Reg Forums houses all live reader posts" - how do you get notified when a reader dies?

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why can't anons pick icons?

    El Reg always slag Google off for trying to force people to be less anonymous and yet you are copying them

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OI!?

      We are rewarding readers who choose (usually pseudonymous) handles.

      We are not trying to force people to be less anonymous. Full stop

      1. jake Silver badge


        That, and icons are pretty bloody useless in this context, and one of the things that I still hold AOL accountable for ... and not in a good way.

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