New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

    I have closed the original New forum Wishlist - and boiled it down (and added some stuff) to the things we will do, the things we might do, the things we are unlikely to do and the things we won't do. Here is our roadmap. There are no timescales as we have a lot of other stuff on our plate.

    El Reg forums roadmap - no time scales

    Inbox to inform you if your account is upgraded, if suspended etc. Give users chance to reply to moderators via this mechanism

    Ability to view replies to self via my posts view

    Badges to indicate levels of accounts / moderators

    Formatting: introduce line breaks, bullet points, blockquote, superscript, subscript

    Most recent 50 posts view

    Demote "closed" topics so that they always appear underneath "open" topics

    Stats view - most popular topic, etc.

    Enable editing posts - 10 minute window for all [DONE - Oct 2013]

    One page - up vote / down vote [DONE - Oct 2013]

    Possible inclusions for roadmap


    html formatting bar in post comments form

    Ignore / Follow - individual commenters

    Nesting - three-level nesting, default or optional. Jury still out

    View from last read /last post. We think this is useful, but we haven't yet figured out how best to do this

    Notifications when someone directly replies to your post or to the thread. Via email or forum in-box? And what if there are dozens of responses to the thread?

    Possibles - but only if El Reg forums get very big

    Commentard to Commentard communication via forums

    Invite-only forums / topics

    Kharma-ish system have to balance rewards with attempts to game whatever system we come up with

    Ability to order comments by popularity - again this could be gamed

    Not on roadmap

    User-defined avatars - we don't want to have to store avatars, or vet them, or get angry if someone changes avatar to something abusive.

    Log-in via third parties - e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Disqus, Linked-in

    1. Aaron Em

      It could be nifty to have an optional "withdraw reason" field, which if used would produce something like:

      This post has been deleted by its author because it sucked.


      This post has been deleted by a moderator because every word but one was illegal.

      with the current message appearing if no reason is provided.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Allow me to jump in here (hi all).

        I came across an issue with flagging posts - IMHO it would be good if you could provide a one-liner with the reason why you flagged a post for review, as it may not always be immediately evident. That also allows for a feedback loop which should (hopefully) result in a degree of tuning between moderators and those who take the time to flag a message as moderators can offer feedback too (I'm assuming a message facility here, but you have the email address of the user so you could just ping an email).

        C'est tout :)

    2. poopypants

      Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

      Posted Wednesday 21st March 2012 10:00 GMT

      This is very informative if you happen to live in the UK. Not so great if you live somewhere else. It would be nice if you could change it to something like

      Posted Wednesday 21st March 2012 10:00 GMT (3:37 hours ago)

      Pretty please?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

        I think it just make sense to say "x hours ago", then "x days", then "x months", then "date/ no time". That works for everyone, yes?

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

          I think it just make sense to say "x hours ago", then "x days", then "x months", then "date/ no time". That works for everyone, yes?

          Not really. Trying to respond to a particular AC, when 3 or 4 of them posted "x hours ago", is rather problematic, doncha think? With an unambiguous timestamp, I can respond "@ AC (15 Aug 14 - 12:34:56 (GMT))" and the whole world (well, at least our whole world) will know exactly to whom I am directing my well thought out vitriol response.

    3. P. Lee

      Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

      Could we have fonts moved out of Javascript on Channel Register?

      1. Marco Fontani

        Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

        > Could we have fonts moved out of Javascript on Channel Register?

        The "custom" fonts for Channel are defined in the main CSS. What problem are you experiencing with those fonts?

    4. jheronimus

      Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

      Why doesn't www.theReg auto-redirect to m.theReg on mobile?

      Seems kind of silly to have to manually navigate to the mobile site like a savage, rather than have theReg if { us to its mobile site like a proper English gentlesite

  2. dogged

    I like most of these except for the "karma" thing which seems like unnecessary fluff.

    1. Ole Juul

      Yep, karma's a bummer.

      Otherwise the list is indeed well prioritized. And yes please, definitely NO avatars.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Quick search of one's own posts would be nice.

    Providing a link to the stray post I reference in:

    could come in handy.

  4. Gordon861

    Get rid of the advert/profile bit on the right of the page, currently 25% of available space is wasted.

    And/Or allow forum to fill whole browser instead of the fixed width bit.

    1. Aaron Em

      I'm actually going to argue against this one on the grounds that the widescreen displays it's almost impossible to avoid any more give you gobs of horizontal space but put vertical space at a high premium. That being the case, a columnar layout is really the only thing that makes sense.

      Here's a Javascript bookmarklet that'll get rid of the sidebar on any Reg or Reg Hardware page. To use it, create a bookmark (preferably in your toolbar) with it as the target, and then click the bookmark to remove the sidebar. To retrieve the sidebar, reload the page. It doesn't work on the homepage because there are only three headlines per row div and if you want that reflowed then you can damn well do it yourself.


    2. monkeyfish

      Use the mobile site if you want it fill the full width. m.forums.register

  5. Haku

    No to avatars.

    No to karma stuff.

    No to sorting comments by popularity (people will start trying to game the system at the detriment to the quality of the posts).

    IMHO this kind of stuff will just detract from people engaging in putting forward serious comments and engaging in interesting discussions. I really like the fact that certain forums I visit do not have avatars and very few people have bothered to make sigs (of which the ones that do usually put useful info/links in).

    Nesting - you shouldn't have brought in the silly curved arrow to indicate someone's post is a reply to someone elses, with the vertical grey bar it was instantly obvious it was a reply, and if you bring it back you can make it so two vertical grey bars mean a reply to a reply, and perhaps stretch it to 3 for a reply to a reply to a reply.

    1. Martin Budden Silver badge

      re Nesting

      Proper indenting is all that is needed. You know, 40px for a reply, 80 for a reply to a reply, and so on. Easy peasy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re Nesting

        Problem with that is you soon run out of horizontal space and on popular topics you end up with replies that are one word wide and forty feet tall.

        Another possible solution is after the name of the poster, have a row of tiny arrow icons with one arrow being one level of reply. You could nest 10 deep easily without messing the overall formatting up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re Nesting

          Just have a maximum width for indents, say 300px. 50px per indent. If you end up with too many indents, reduce the per-level indent amount until it is less than 300.

          Get rid of the pages of comments though.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Html wishlist from Irony Deficient

    Originally posted here.

  7. heyrick Silver badge


    A direct link to the forum/containing from your list of posts. If you get upvoted a lot or downvoted to hell and back, it might be nice to jump to your post for follow-ups. With the new system, I open the post alone and then click "posted in forum blahblah". The "ability to view posts to self" is a good idea, but fixing the above (back to what it was) will be a quick patch to make this simpler until then.

    Subscript? Superscript? Is this really necessary? Next we'll want fonts (so code can be in monospaced, etc), alignment/justification, and so on. I can understand linking things, and also italics for emphasis and bold for shouting at fanboys, but anything else is surely overkill? [I grew up when you had to make do with plain ASCII and a few symbols!]

    Please kill that grey arrow. No, seriously, take it out back and shoot it. I'm not a "old ways were the best" sort of person, but you've taken a large clear visual cue (the bar) and reduced it to an easily-missed icon.

    If we do avatars, mine will be Haruhi Suzumiya. That, along with somebody else offering the obligatory animated GIF of an ejactulating dick, ought to be enough to make you rethink the idea of avatars...

    Facebook login? Die.

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      … wants, really.

      heyrick, nothing in this thread (or in my post on the other thread) is a need; they’re all wants. My being a typographophilotard, a wide selection of formatting options rates highest with me, despite (or perhaps due to) having grown up when upper-case-only hard-copy Teletypes were the reigning “terminal”. As such, I disagree with characterising such a selection as “surely overkill”; those with no desire to make use of e.g. monospaced text will simply choose not to use it, just as I’ve chosen to not use the upvoting and downvoting buttons.

      I too believe that the grey vertical bar was superior to the curved arrow icon, and look forward to its triumphal return.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Might I suggest replacing "editing ability" with "10-minute editing window". This will enable a quick spell-correct or 'Oops I forgot that bit'; while cutting out most the 'rewriting history' shenanigans that are possible with unlimited edits.

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      another possibility

      moiety, another possibility would be to allow unlimited edits of a post only if it has no unwithdrawn “descendant” replies: so e.g. if A makes a post, B replies to A, C replies to B, and B withdraws his reply, A cannot edit his post again until C also withdraws his reply.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: another possibility

        That's good too. I do know that unlimited no-holds-barred edits can lead to dickery in some circumstances. Don't know for sure that it would be a problem on El Reg...the atmosphere here is a little more mature than many places on the net. Maybe even a "This post has been edited" tag would be enough. Maybe not though.

    2. stuartnz
      Thumb Up

      I strongly second this idea. My brain often races ahead of my CP-affected hands and submits my comment with all sorts of annoying typos. A ten minute window to clean up evidence of my lousy hand-eye co-ordination would be very helpful.

  9. JimmyPage

    Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ?

    (unless I am being very thick)

    When I view my list of posts, where I have REPLIED to a post, the little curly arrow acts as a link to take me directly to my post in context. However, if I merely add a comment (at the "top level) then I have no such link, and have to trawl through the comments, to see my comment (and hence if anyone has replied to it).

    I'm sure you used to be able to do this. If so it's a feature that has been lost in the upgrade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ?

      I dont recall what was there before. But I'll put this onto snag list to investigate for our next round of improvements.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ?

        Please please please !!!!!!

        If it helps to move this up the priorities list, it's not a new feature. It's fixing whatever broke it in the first place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ? Reminder

      "I dont recall what was there before. But I'll put this onto snag list to investigate for our next round of improvements."

      What was there before was View Post in Context. It took one straight to the post in the thread.

      In any conversation-based model, this is pretty important. Without it, it is hard (sometimes, in a busy thread, just too hard) to return to it.


      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ? Reminder

        Any life or movement?

        What seems to happen now is that when clicking on the reply-to arrow, it is a link to the post to which one replied. There is no way to get from a post in the my-posts list to that post in its thread --- except by searching the page[s] for it. As an index, then, the posts list is utterly useless. Well, ok. it's a reminder of what articles one commented on, but that's all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ? Reminder

          We should be making a couple of tweaks in coming weeks. Let me check on this.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          My posts / posting in context - your wish is granted

          in My Posts / post / Click on the "posted" timestamp link when in my posts to see in action.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: My posts / posting in context - your wish is granted

            Brilliant ... but obscure! I'd never have guessed if I hadn't stumbled on this while wandering the site news wondering what all the badges were about!

            Thanks anyway :)

  10. BlueGreen

    possibly dumb suggestion

    I understand el reg has considered full threading (I'd like that) but it's a hefty change, so I was wondering if there was any way of also republishing posts as nntp.

    Newgroup readers are mature, support full tree-structured threading and plenty more. Obviously you couldn't reply to a comment via nntp and expect it to end up in the html forums (could you? I know of no nntp authentication) so it would be read-only. Also I guess the html forums would be the permanent record, nntp threads would not be kept much past the 'this topic is now closed' point.

    It's been some years since I used newsgroups (bloody spammers) so I may be missing a very obvious problem, but it just might be a lightweight if freaky solution.

    Ur thinkings, please? not to flamey, ta.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not a dumb suggestion

      A couple of other people have mentioned this. We'll have a mull.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Not a dumb suggestion

        Without knowing what your back-end systems look like, Russ Allbery's News::Gateway perl module might be a starting point. I've used it in the past ... it's a trifle crusty around the edges (Tim Skirvin cleaned it up a bit about ten years ago), but the base code is usable. I can't comment on the security of the system if open to world+dog.

  11. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Pre-expanded comments

    When a comment is accessed via an explicit url, e.g., it would be nice if it was presented pre-expanded - if you're going directly, the chances are you want to see it all.

    1. BlueGreen

      Re: Pre-expanded comments

      Turn off jscript, they all show expanded.

    2. Minty

      Re: Pre-expanded comments

      With a bit o luck, that should now be fixed. Thanks for the suggestion :)

  12. TeeCee Gold badge

    Ok, not strictly "forum", but I'm not starting a new topic.

    A commentard-to-commentard message capability. An opt-in system for registered commentards only, with the capability to wield the banhammer on individual commentards at the receiving end[1]. Basic forward to the target's email would do the trick[2], option to add local inbox/outbox/reply capability later if it proves popular and people want it.

    [1] Something like: "You can't message ${commentard} as he's already decided you're not worth listening to. You may publicly grovel for forgiveness in the User Forums if you like."

    [2] Manual reply process via the same PM process, unless the sender wishes to divulge a return email address of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ok, not strictly "forum", but I'm not starting a new topic.

      What a cock!

  13. Simon Harris


    Now that we have basic html formatting, can we have a <font color = .... > tag with the colour attribute as specified in this long overdue colour standards document...

    The Color Of Irony

    Please, pretty please.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Colours

      Please, no ... My eyes hurt enough as it is.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Colours

        If you do that I want a <blink> tag too. If my experience of 70/80/90s computing is anything to go by, that idea alone should kill it off almost immediately :).

        On a serious note, I do support the idea of a FEW colours, like blue and red, but there is a serious risk it will start to look like the first years of DTP: some people just want to use ALL the possibilities in one post. OTOH, this tends to settle down after a while.

        In summary, I can see some people wanting it, but I'm not bothered. I started computing when everything was glowing in uppercase green, so I learned to cope early on :)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Colours

          That conversation was happening half a year ago, Fred.

          Thankfully ElReg hasn't implemented colo(u)rs, fonts, <blink>, and miscellaneous other bits of RansomNote text display ... ASCII is ASCII, and most of us techies like it that way.

          I prefer amber on black, not green on black ... Personal preference ;-)

  14. jake Silver badge

    So ... Is this "user forum" thingie working?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    [multi]markdown support

    Typing HTML is a pain in the arse —especially on a mobile keyboard. But I'd much rather have markdown support than some bloaty resource-hogging WYSIWYG formatting bar.

    1. Minty

      Re: [multi]markdown support

      Covered here

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Minty

    infamous quotes

    just testing


    and also the alternative q for quote tags.

  18. jake Silver badge

    What ever happened to implementing proper CR/LF handling?



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  22. Martin Budden Silver badge

    Can I please stay logged in forever, not just for 24 hours?

    1. jake Silver badge

      In reply to "Martin Budden"...

      For gawd/ess's sake, no! Can you imagine the damage the cats would do?

  23. heyrick Silver badge


    I reckon the up/down voting should be disabled once a forum is marked as "closed", or maybe programmatically after a specified delay of n days from closure date.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Upvotes/downvotes

      I dunno.

      You can still see the post, so why not be able to vote on it? It's not like you can vote more than once without sockpuppetry involved.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Upvotes/downvotes

        Who cares about "votes"? Seriously ... do "votes" have any real meaning?;

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Upvotes/downvotes

        It's not like you can vote more than once without sockpuppetry involved.

        M Gale,

        I believe the votes aren't linked to your login, but a cookie. So you can vote on as many machines as you have access to. Perhaps someone should hire a botnet and see if they can give some unsuspecting commentard 100,000 upvotes. Or downvotes...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Votes?

    Given how easy it is to amass upvotes by getting in at the right time with a popular comment, or downvotes by just trolling, any measurement based on the two is really pretty meaningless.

    What really brings home the value of anyone's contributions is the number of times they've been thoroughly ignored.

    So, I really would like to see an easy way of seeing how many of my posts just sank witout a trace. Any chance of a 'Number of posts which bombed" total?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: No Votes?

      Have an upvote. Oops! This post doesn't count now...

      My impression is that the site is changing. The number of people bothering to vote is going up massively. I think I got well over 100 votes this week - out of a total of less than 2,000. Also, it used to be rare to see any post with more than 10 votes, and that's not the case any more.

      Admittedly that may be partly because someone downvoted the first half page of my posts the other day. Oh dear... And also because I just commented favourably on a Windows Phone story, which is a reliable way of gaining me downvotes...

      So maybe un-voted posts will be more special than voted ones soon?

      I do like the idea of working with voting ratios though. If you haven't got more upvotes than downvotes, then maybe your ups shouldn't count so much. Not quite sure what the ratio should be between upvotes and no-votes though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Votes?

        Yep, things are changing. I broke 2000 upvotes one week when it seemed everything I posted got upvotes, and some quite significant (still puzzled by that).

        I think without catering for novotes, any measure based on ratios (even if just for fun) is pretty meaningless.

        It's only curiosity, really. It would only matter if the changes in the pipeline lead to any attempt to assess commentards based on vote statistics (other than the crude badges scheme we have now).

  25. jake Silver badge

    @IaS (was:"So maybe un-voted posts will be more special than voted ones soon?")

    Nah. All votes are crap. This has been my stand right from the git-go ... anonymous "thumbs" are meaningless. Commentardary is what's important in user feed-back forums like we see on ElReg.

  26. heyrick Silver badge

    At least, look on the bright side, we have the ability to upvote and downvote. So posts people like can get lots of green, and posts taking the opposite position in the eternal Apple/Android war can see lots of red. As a statistic is isn't a particularly solid one, but it is better than the retarded "LIKE".

    What we need, as has been suggested above, is a line that reads like:

    Posts: 10240; Ups: 4321 (24%); Downs: 1234 (7%); Nothing: 9999 (95%).

    The discrepancy between up/down counts and %ge is because it is showing the %ge of posts with one-or-more upvotes (etc) . This should be a better statistic than purely up vs down.

    You know, I've seen some forums where a post gets too many downvotes, it is hidden behind a message that reads like "This post received too many downvotes, click here if you really want to read this rubbish". (^_^)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree with your suggested stats line. Seems just right.

      On your last point - I'd like to see all, even those with massive downvotes. I like to see the comment thread in its entirety, even the posts that are panned by the commentards : a big negative reaction is often as informative as a favourable one.

      Bottom line - I don't want to have to work to see all that's been said (so I would never use an 'Ignore' button, even if elReg offered me one).

  27. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Proposal to settle brand w*nkers..

    You may have noticed a post where I threw a virtual brick at yet another "you mentioned make X and I'm a fan of make Y so I'm going to diss your choice for no other reason" poster. Apologies for blowing up, but it was getting irritating.

    I would like to propose a novel solution to preserve the signal to noise ratio: a checklist.

    If we could make a checklist with the major makes, say, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Linux, Facebook (etc, you get the idea) with an option to name a brand in full if it's not part of the list yet, a selection of products or "generic" and then the relevant denigrating statement (unsecure, cheap, buggy, monopolistic, flat out liers, privacy violators, FUD spreaders), you could generate a shortcode for such messages which someone could link to. So instead of responding to an OSX post with "Apple is for idiots" you'd end up with a reference "A6z" someone could look up if they were really bothered but otherwise ignore. You could possibly name the components in full if no selection existed yet, i.e. lada;unreliable;fool - with a bit of frequency analysis you can quickly spot new trends :).

    It's the genesis of an idea, I'm sure the esteemed audience will find ways to substantially improve on this but it would cut out the repetitive (and frankly spectacularly boring) fanboi squawking, and possible corporate trolls (no idea if you have them, but given some posts I'm almost sure of it).

    Opinions? Flames? Beer?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Proposal to settle brand w*nkers..

      You want to get right on that, Fred? Never mind ... I'll handle it.

      All code sucks. All hardware sucks. All operating systems suck. All fanbois/grrls suck.

      I think that pretty much covers it. Relax, have a homebrew :-)

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Proposal to settle brand w*nkers..


      1. jake Silver badge

        Oh, gawd/ess ... (was: Re: Proposal to settle brand w*nkers..)

        After reading TeeCee's "comment", I remembered why I tried to put a stop to this terrible idea in OneEasyPost[tm] ... Is anyone reading old enough to remember "geek code" as used in the wild on Usenet?

        Terrible idea overall (promotes "us v.s. them"), but reading the code might bring a chuckle or two to anyone over 40 who has been using computers for over 20 years. Safe for work, mostly, depending on where you work ;-)

        Beer, because ... well, it's 18:10 here in California ...

    3. Corinne

      Re: Proposal to settle brand w*nkers..

      "it would cut out the repetitive (and frankly spectacularly boring) fanboi squawking, and possible corporate trolls "

      But then you'd miss some absolute gems! Plenty of entertainment tucked in some of the fanboi ravings......

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Proposal to settle brand w*nkers..

        But then you'd miss some absolute gems! Plenty of entertainment tucked in some of the fanboi ravings......

        Maybe that is what triggered my reaction - there is a declining quality there. I agree that some people would put some effort into those replies, and did so with impressive humour . However, it has descended into bickering of a level that even my 14 year old wouldn't lower himself to, and he's shown some real talent in that direction.

        So, quality. Oh well. Maybe it'll just blow over. Or I'm getting old and cranky, but I can fix at least one of those conditions with a beer :).

    4. silent_count

      Re: Proposal to settle brand w*nkers..

      I think I can help with that, Mr Flinstone. Just disable AC posting for any article mentioning any phone brand. Granted, it's not a perfect solution but it would lower the noise level around here.

  28. M Gale

    SIlly idea

    Not sure if it's already suggested, but that "send corrections" link at the bottom of the article might be better off pointing at a page where you can send corrections, rather than the generic "here's how to contact us" page. At least while logged in, anyway.

    Sometimes I see an article that makes my inner proofreader want to curl up and cry a little. At the same time though, can I really be bothered firing up an email client just to tell someone they spelled "plant matter" as "plant madder"?

    It's in the article on green Li-Ion batteries, by the way. You might want to check that. Or not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SIlly idea

      Corrections link was disabled temporarily in response to possible security issue. Now restored.

      1. Robert Helpmann??

        Re: SIlly idea

        Not sure if it's already suggested, but that "send corrections" link at the bottom of the article might be better off pointing at a page where you can send corrections... can I really be bothered firing up an email client just to tell someone they spelled "plant matter" as "plant madder?"

        The original post was about a year ago, so there have been a few changes. The corrections link is currently at the top of the comments page and is a mailto link. I suggest two changes. First, use a web form rather than a mailto link so that sending corrections works in much the same fashion as posting to the forum. Second, post this link on both the discussion page for the article as well as on the page for the article itself.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: SIlly idea

      My inner proofreader has died a long time ago, tortured to death by auto-correct and every other "auto-screwup" that now infests word processing kit, and that trains misspelled words into your muscle memory.

      That's where the "teh" problem comes from..

      BTW, in that context, thanks for the "edit" button. There are still some auto-correct gremlins infecting OSX that I haven't managed to kill off (the OS has it, the browser has it - it's a game of whack-a-mole to kill it all) so I get last minute "corrections" thrown at me which aren't. With edit mode I can at least try to clean it after the evil deed of posting :).

  29. AceRimmer

    Hiding Replies

    One thing I have noticed is how replies to the first post can result in the second post being shoved further down the page or sometimes even onto page 2.

    Given that most of these long reply chains are of little real value and just offer entertainment as either a troll gets lambasted or a couple of commentards slug it out, could all replies except the first 3 or 4 be hidden unless requested.

    There is an example of it in action here:

  30. M Gale

    Private Reg front page

    As first suggested in here.

    Though for BOFH's sake, make it an option and not mandatory.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get rid of the 1990's badges, has someone stepped into a time machine, or has a nursery opened nearby? There must be some motivation for it? Can't logically see why!

  32. Jay Holmes


    Why is the voting anonymous, it would be nice to know who exactly likes or dislikes your posts. Purely and simply to enable a conversation with that person for example if they like what you have said, they could either just agree with you or they are easily led and may be interested in joining your cult!! If someone dislikes your comment, they may not of understood the comment or they may just have a unique way of offering themselves up for ritual sacrifice!!

    Also why post anonymously, I am in the RAF I have no problem posting under my real name if I believe the topic to be sensitive or could potentially get me into trouble I just dont post. However there are other options to the whole anonymous coward tag, assign a name to those that tick the "post anonymously" box just to make replies a bit easier.

    1. Corinne
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Anonymous!!!

      "if I believe the topic to be sensitive or could potentially get me into trouble I just dont post"

      In a way this would be like a form of censorship - people would feel unable to comment on anything they think could be controversial just in case there are repercussions. Silencing any criticism of things people believe to be wrong leads to a dark place I doubt any of us would like to go! Replies are OK at the moment, you just need to ensure you put "@AC date/time" to clarify which post you're replying to, just as identifiable as some system generated UID.

      Regarding anonymous up/down votes, I think you may have led a sheltered internet life. There are some very sad people out there who take such things personally even to the stage of tracking people down IRL - this also relates to my point above about why some posters prefer to make anonymous comments.

      1. Jay Holmes

        Re: Anonymous!!!

        Thanks for taking the time to answer. I can see your point with regards to teh censorship angle, to be honest hadnt really looked at it from that way. I hadn't looked at it from that point because as I said in my original message I either post or I dont and if I do post I stand by what I say and would back it up in the flesh just as I would online. (maybe I'm odd??? Hmmmmm!)

        A lot of the time it can get annoying when you are replying to an AC@ (whatever time) or even reading someone elses reply to an AC as you then have to search through user names and times they posted. Is there anyway that when the user checks the "Post Anonymously" box a system name could be given to them, this could be a random name that is not connected in any shape form or way to the name they registered to the site with. Like bob, or dave something random lol. Purely and simply to make it easy to refer too

        As for the idiots that track people down IRL then there is a place for them too, it has padded walls and they feed you 3 times a day whilst letting you wear a lovely jacket that fastens at the back!!

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Order posts by postdate

    As alluded to by AceRimmer above, the current pseudo-threaded system breaks down into a confused mess pretty quickly, once everyone starts hitting "Reply" to other posts. This makes it especially confusing when you revisit a previously read topic to catch up on the latest commentardery. Rather than all new posts being at the end, they are jumbled up and scattered throughout the thread, depending on where a particular commentard was when they hit the reply button. So you have to re-read the whole thread all over again, picking out the new stuff.

    Just asking generally —Is there any particular reason so much of the functionality on El Reg [login cookies, voting system, viewing own threads, notifications, formatting, threading... etc. etc] is so completey shitely implemented? Seems to me you're on some kind of "We roll our own" ego trip. All well and good if your own was in any way half decent but, seeing as it's not, maybe you should just swallow your pride and implement some off-the-shelf stuff that actually works in a user-friendly fashion.

    1. AceRimmer
      Thumb Up

      Re: Order posts by postdate

      and is preferably tapatalk compatible

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Order posts by postdate


      Sorry to state the bleedin' obvious, but there is a drop-down menu at the top right of any forum page, which allows you to sort posts by newest, oldest or thread order. Although I think it disappears unless you're logged in. So when I come back to a forum I use that to see only the newest posts, unless there have been lots - when it often makes more sense to go through in order, so you can see what people have replied to.

      On your main point though, I agree with you. These forums really aren't very user friendly. The semi-threaded thing really doesn't work, although I do prefer it to just having posts in date order, as when there aren't too many replies it makes more sense.

      While I'm posting, I do have another gripe. There's the swirly arrow thing on the left of a post to tell you it's a reply. Normally clicking on this takes you back to the post it's a reply to. However, if you're in the newest or oldest thread order, it takes you to the post it's a reply to - but now you've lost the post you clicked on - because they're not being shown in order. I guess if you are going to implement this, then when you click the arrow, it probably needs to re-order back into thread order - so that you can look at the OP and replies in order.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Order posts by postdate

        Soorry. I didn't make myself clear. I was talking about the ordering of comments on articles, not threads on the forum.

  34. Vimes

    Just a couple of thoughts:

    Most forum threads seem to be almost dead when you compare the activity in them to those directly associated with articles. Perhaps it would be possible to have links to threads on the forums on the homepage as well as featured articles to encourage people to use them more? If anything else it might make more people interested in posting within threads they may not even be aware exist.

    Also it's not always entirely clear what a reply is actually replying to. Would it be possible to add a 'in reply to post xxx posted by yyy' or something to that effect together with a link in the header of each reply?

    1. I like noodles

      Forum threading

      Vimes said: "Also it's not always entirely clear what a reply is actually replying to. Would it be possible to add a 'in reply to post xxx posted by yyy' or something to that effect together with a link in the header of each reply?"

      Herein lies an issue: There were a number of posts I could have quoted here, and would have liked to have done. But without getting out notepad or something, I can't.

      Personally I think the whole thing should be properly threaded, with an ability to expand or contract each individual branch of the conversation "tree". And I think a proper quote (and multiquote) system would be a big benefit.

      The fact that I can't quote more than one person at a time - and they way the system works I can't even see the other posts in order to cut-and-paste and do some kind of pseudo quoting - does I suggest lead to the kind of topics where no-one knows who's replying to whom.

      I also think there's probably more than a few commentards who Reply to one of the first posts rather than post their own new comment simply in order to get their comment on the first page. A proper collapsible threaded system would help alleviate that.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Notifications when someone directly replies to your post or to the thread. Via email or forum in-box? And what if there are dozens of responses to the thread?"

    How about a graphic (or a number) to denote replies to a post/thread in the "My Posts" view? That'll give a quick HUD display of which comments are turning into conversations without spamming. You could use a + to denote that "this comment has replies" or a number to denote the number of replies (which would be more useful).

  36. Danny 4

    fixed-width pages?

    Is there a good reason why El Reg pages are fixed-width HTML?

    My complaint is that it's only using half of my monitor's screen. And it scales horribly if I attempt to make the fonts larger.

    I know, from personal experience, that creating HTML that fills the entire screen and gracefully scales takes a little more effort.

    Just curious. Lots of other sites do the same thing. I'm sure I've read the W3C recommends that one should not make assumptions about target screen resolutions. Yup, graphics will look smaller but I went for a hires monitor so fonts can be scaled larger and still be crisp.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: fixed-width pages?

      Most big websites are fixed width, although there does seem a recent trend to return to fluid width.

      The original impetus for fixed width was to get more control over design and layout. Of course since then, screen formats have proliferated - and the design control that fixed width is largely illusory.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Preview message weirdness

    Discussion thread here.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zap withdrawn posts?

    Request here

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Zap withdrawn posts?


      Rather than do extra work, why not just extend the edit function to all users?

      Is there a reason that only gold and silver badgers have it? As it's only a five minute edit window - it's only open to very limited abuse. Unless it creates too much server-load of course.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Zap withdrawn posts?

        It was an arbitrary line in the sand. And we were being cautious. I am inclined to open this to everyone.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Zap withdrawn posts?

          It's what I'd recommend - if there's no other reason not to. People have always complained about it. And even more so since some people now have the ability, and others don't.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Zap withdrawn posts?

            Really? Some can and other's can't? Yes it's annoying the hell out of me scrolling through all my withdrawn posts! It seems to me like the only reason not to allow it is _because_ its annoying!

            If I knew how to type a splutter...

            Some people can? What is it called again, when you make one thing seem of greater worth by unreasonably restricting the alternative? Can't think of the term, but Windows Home Edition comes to mind.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Re: Zap withdrawn posts?

              No-one can zap withdrawn posts, Ozzy Mandias. The discussion was about extending post-publication editing rights to all - which we implemented in October 2013.

              As for zapping withdrawn posts - we'll have a think.

  39. Corinne

    Reasons for reporting abuse

    I had reason recently to report a post for something that in my view was taking just that one step too far in the direction of abuse. This was the first time I've done that here, I'm not one to be easily offended and I'm happy to get the gloves off & argue my point, or just ignore it when I think someone has been ridiculous.

    But this one post I decided I needed to report as IMO it crossed one particular line; and I was very surprised that when I did so I wasn't offered the chance to say WHY I felt the post was abusive. Obviously the mods need the ability to make judgement calls on whether something really is abusive rather than a personal vendetta or just someone disagreeing with a particular post, so surely giving the person who reported the post the opportunity to say why they felt it was abusive could help this?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Reasons for reporting abuse

      Good point. I reported a spammer the other day. Well I think it was. 3 posts in 2 days from signing up the account, all plugging one app.

      But just reporting the one post, that was almost in context, wouldn't have made much sense. So I reported all 3, in the absence of an ability to comment.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reasons for reporting abuse

      Typically we get two or three posts reported a day. More often than not, the reporter simply dislikes the post - but with the rest it is obvious at a glance why the post has been reported e.g. xenophobia, overly abusive, libellous - and so on. So, right now this is a non-issue. We would have a re-think only if volumes of reported posts increased substantially.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Reasons for reporting abuse


        Only a couple of posts reported a day. That's impressively high quality moderation! Given how few dodgy posts I've spotted, I think I've only ever reported about 5, I'm very impressed.

        I know you let a lot go that some other sites wouldn't (and long may that continue), but even so there's always a good number of problem posters who need dealing with. So I guess your pre-moderation for trouble makers is very effective.

        And/or you have the most amazingly lovely commentards in the whole of internet-land...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whatever happened to "Ability to view replies to self via my posts view"? Just a number of replies to a particular post would do. Right now the choices are relentlessly call up the 'My Posts' page and then locate your comments (which feels somewhat narcissistic); or potentially ignore someone who may have had something useful to say.

    Just a 'number of replies to this post' in the 'my posts' page would do the job admirably.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh yeah - also a direct link to that post if it's not too tricky to do; now that I think about it and seeing as I'm making unreasonable demands anyway. Comments can be quite hard to find if it's an active topic.

  41. Vimes

    This already seems to be in the roadmap - partially at any rate - but is there any chance of adding wysiwyg functionality when formatting posts rather than just adding HTML tags around selected text? If it's already on the list is there any sort of estimate as to when it will be available?

    Incidentally whilst it has also been mentioned that you used to use beehive forums in the past - or something similar to it anyway (can't locate the message at the moment) would it not be more appropriate to move back to something like that if you want to grow these forums past the point of just being a way of commenting on individual articles?

    This might benefit your website as well as it's users: at the moment you just have wasted whitespace on the right hand side after the thread reaches a certain length - if you use a layout that includes a static menu bar at the top - a la beehive - then this guarantees that any advert placed within it will always be visible for example (believe it or not I'm not against advertising per se, just the sorts of excessive displays that I've seen from time to time on this site).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thanks for the feedback - we will do some serious thinking next year about forums.

  42. Mondo the Magnificent

    Where has... little Bronze vulture award gone?

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Where has...

      " little Bronze vulture award gone?"

      To be bronze, you need to have made 100 posts in the last year. My guess is that a big bunch of your earlier posts are now more than a year old - knocking you below that threshold.

  43. This post has been deleted by its author

  44. monkeyfish

    Mobile site icons.

    Can we have icons for the mobile site please? It's not as if they are large images that will slow down the connection... Personally I prefer the mobile site even on the desktop, as it re-flows text properly, and allows me to resize the window as I want it.

  45. Faye B

    More icons please

    Or have a review of the ones available. We could really do with a 'laughing my ass off' icon or a better 'I am not being at all serious, tongue in cheek' icon. I have also been using the Paris Hilton icon to indicate the female perspective but we should have a separate one for that (maybe a Ada Lovelace portrait).

    I have used the Divine Being icon here to show what I mean about the confusion/lack of laughing ones.

  46. Vimes

    One more idea (which may well have already been mentioned) but have you considered offering some sort of paid-for membership that would allow members to see this site without adverts?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A FILTER to skip comments from trolls that are repeatedly & heavily downvoted

    I'd like a filter system that skips comments from trolls that are repeatedly heavily downvoted. You banned Eadon. But actually having a filter option would have been fairer IMHO!

  48. This post has been deleted by its author

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Comments posted on a first-come first-served basis in GMT time-zones

    At the moment comments are listed on a first come first served basis. This hugely benefits 'hey I'm first poster' commentards in GMT or nearby time-zones. That doesn't always promote quality discussion!

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm probably dreaming right?

    I'd like to see certain commentards get their own articles from time to time. Sometimes, just sometimes, enlightened comments rival the quality of the parent article. For example Games Reviews. But hey- I'm probably dreaming right?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Promote Comments from Posters that have past proven to be intelligent, thoughtful & offer insight

    The problem with the comments section is that it never promotes or rewards quality writing. So what do you get? Mostly noise! I'd like to see comments get some kind of ranking or promotion based on a hidden rating system. We shouldn't know what that system is, so it can't be gamed! But as a start, it might have something to do with having posted over a hundred times and having a high ratio of upvotes to downvotes.

  53. monkeyfish

    Posted Wednesday 30th October 2013 14:50 GMT to 14:51 GMT

    Several AC posters are all within minuets of each other. Talk about gaming the system... (I mis-read some of the times and down-voted Vimes, sorry about that, how about an un-up/down-vote option.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Posted Wednesday 30th October 2013 14:50 GMT to 14:51 GMT

      I accidently downvoted someone once. The only way I could find to undo it was to turn it into an upvote.

  54. FartingHippo

    Longer log ins

    Why do I have to re-enter my credentials every day? Disqus, vanilla and several others do not require this.

    If you insist I re-enter my password intermittently, please can it be weekly, or at worst every 72 hours?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paris: time to move on. And formatting. And thanks

    My discomfort with the PH icon and the way that it is used grows daily. Nerds, turds and CEOs in the IT industry are fair game, but Paris is none of those things.

    Sure, I have no time for the celebrity as ...celebrity culture either, but this icon, smacks to me of victimisation.

    Now I've got that off my chest...

    Yes, we are all supposed to be moderately techie, but html remains the language I'm second-least enthusiastic about learning (the first is sql) and the sheer difficulty of typing all those damned angle brackets every time I just want to italicise everything is really a major pain. Couldn't we have, at lease, basic ctrl-i, ctrl-b, etc formatting?


    Thanks for one-click voting. Wonderful.

  56. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Please don't sacrifice usability

    I actually think that the Reg is the best coded site I use.

    Even though the pages are quite complex and detailed, the site loads smoothly, fast, and reliably on both my low specced tablet, and my "so old its brothers are in landfills" mobile phone. (Mind you, I can't use icons on my phone. I get the javascript thing where the icons are brought up in a seperate 'div', but when i click on an icon, although it's highlighted, the page simply reloads and ignores my choice.)

    Even on my more powerful desktop, if I've got a lot running, and maybe a lot of browser tabs open, whilst other sites can be slow, El Reg is still super fast.

    What I'm getting at is that I am no luddite, but please, don't sacrifice usability for new features..

    For instance, a WYSIWYG editor was recently mentioned. If you do that, please let us have the option to disable it (a settable option in the account settings too, not just a check on browser capabilities, because even if a device is capable of doing something, it could still be detrimental to the user if it slows things down somewhat)

    Incidently, I had a few more suggestions, but they have all been covered in the (very old!) roadmap.

    Thanks, Jamie

  57. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  58. This post has been deleted by its author

  59. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Some simple(!) suggestions!

    1) "Send Corrections" link

    The "Send Corrections" link should be back at the bottom of the article (like it used to be, and as still mentioned on the 'House Rules' page!), and not just on the forum page.

    2) Number of posts

    When you click on a user-handle via the forum section (including your own) , it shows total number of posts (and join date).

    If you click on 'My Posts', this information isn't present, and I don't know why!

    3) Time-stamps

    Any chance of articles being time-stamped, and not just date-stamped? - the time is displayed next to the article on the main index page, but not within the article itself!

    4) Easier 'href' parsing

    ..... when posting HTML links.

    5) Saving incomplete posts

    I've often lost along post before posting it (especially when using a tablet) - Also, sometimes, I don't have enough time to complete a posting I'm working on - I'm sure that I'm not alone in either scenario!

    Lately, if the browser has started playing up I've intentionally posted an incomplete post, just to continue writing it via the edit function. (And 'preview' is no use, as the content is still not saved remotely)

    I think an option to save posts without publishing would be most useful - you could modify the 'preview' button to be 'preview/save' - that would work as it does now, but also save the draft copy.

    You already have 'held post awaiting moderation' facility - holding the post in a similar way, but with non-expiring edit/post buttons would be great. Once a post is finally posted, it would simply be treated as it is now.

    You could even delete non-posted drafts after a week (for example)

    6) Keeping track of 'Anonymous cowards'

    Sometimes it's hard to keep track of 'anonymous coward' posts.

    It would be nice if each coward was assigned a unique identifier (seeing as all anonymous posts are from registered users)

    As there would be concerns about genuine anons becoming more recognisable over time, you could have different random id's per user per article forum comment section - I.E. each id assigned to an anon is only trackable within that particular articles forum section. Maybe using the forum post id as a an internal reference?

    This not only makes the forum more readable, it also stops anons gaming the system by replying favourably to their own posts.

    The username could be shown as:

    Anonymous Coward #2331

    Where the number is a random or sequential one that hadn't already been used, and is created keyed on the users id, and the articles forum comment section id.

    Obviously, once a user/article pair has been assigned an anon-id, they won't be assigned another one.

    7) "My Posts" housekeeping

    Any chance of the option to permanently delete our own rejected/withdrawn/un-posted(see above!) posts?

    Cheers for listening!


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some simple(!) suggestions!

      Thanks Jamie, - the random ID thing is an interesting shout.

      BTW why would you want the time stamp in the article - after a few hours, surely this info is irrelevant anyway?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Some simple(!) suggestions!


        As for the timestamp, more or less for that reason!

        Not often, but sometimes there have been 2 articles on a story in the same day, and it's useful to know which is the most uptodate.

        Also, if a story is about breaking news, it's useful to see the articles time (and/or last-updated time) to see how current the information is.

        As you obviously know, the posting time is available on the main page, and there have been a number of occasions I've been reading an article, and have found myself going back to the main page to check the articles time - that's why I thought I'd mention it!

        Sure, that information is largely irrelevent when the article is a few days old, but even then it could be useful on those occasions that a topic is covered twice in the same day.

  60. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Helping with the non-threaded reply setup...

    A much simpler suggestion this time:

    When someone hits 'reply', how about pre-loading the textarea with something like:

    "In reply to Fred Bloggs post at 12:45pm:"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Helping with the non-threaded reply setup...

      That sounds good to me.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Helping with the non-threaded reply setup...


        To avoid confusion, perhaps you should dump post titles altogether? Many posts don't use them, and people can just as easily use the first line of the post if they want.

        Thus saving a bold bit at the top for telling us who the post is a reply to . You'd probably want this a bit less bold, but it adds more info without increasing complication. This would mean you'd have to create a new field for when you start a topic though, as currently the title of the first post is also the topic title.

        Personally I still think you should go for full threading. But as I assume that means totally redoing your forum software, this would be a lot less hassle.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Helping with the non-threaded reply setup...

          Without any replacement mechanism, replies do sometimss get easier to track if someone changes the reply title, and then someone replies to that reply without also changing it, but yeah, I like your replacement suggestion.

          But yes, a properly threaded system would be better - I think the closest analogy would be like a traditional forum setup, but where every article creates its own sub-forum (rather than a new post in an already existing forum)

          As for my current use of the system, I'd like to keep track of new posts in a forum I mark appropriately. I'd especially like to be alerted of replies to any thread I'm involved in.

          At the moment, it's either a case of posting early (and missing other posts) or getting in late and missing the party.

          I very rarely visit a forum twice. I have tried doing it whilst switching to 'latest posts first', but found that too confusing when tracking replies.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I have a filter to automatically downvote anyone who uses the word 'sheeple'? Pure laziness on my part, obviously.

    1. jake Silver badge


      For what should be an obvious reason ;-)

      More seriously, why do you hate such a wonderfully descriptive mutation of the English Language so much?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Downvoted.

        Firsly the suggestion was made with tongue firmly in cheek...there's zero chance of it being implemented: The coding would be difficult and a feature to automatically apply prejudice is never A Good Thing. I didn't expect anyone to take it a face value, to be honest, but irony never comes across as clearly as the submitter is seeing it in his/her head**

        I have nothing against the word itself -as a portmanteau it works rather well- but rather the mindset of people who use it in forum posts. It conveys a sense of unjustified smug superiority and is almost certain to be followed by something irritating and/or inaccurate. The literary equivalent of that orange fake tan...whenever you spot it, you know there's an arsehole following closely behind.

        ** A sarcasm tag that uses a different font might be a good idea. Perhaps Comic Sans, if you want nested layers of irony. Quote tags might be an idea too.

        P.S. I didn't downvote you - mysterious third party there.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Un-downvoted (was: Re: Downvoted.)

          My down-vote was also firmly tongue-in-cheek. Rectified ;-)

          The coding would actually be quite simple. Filtering on a simple text string in the un*x-like languages is trivial (c.f. "bozo filtering" on Usenet).

          Unjustified smug superiority? I question that statement ... I only use it on the occasion that the person or idea I'm replying to is obviously incapable of looking past their religion of choice. e.g Ford/Chevy, PC/Mac/un*x, C/C++, vi/EMACS, the orthogonal multiple sides of so-called "global warming", barley/wheat beer, red/white wine, English/Western equestrianism, ::insert other religious conflict(s) here::

          P.S. Votes as implemented in this forum are meaningless, as my cowardly, voiceless serial downvoters so aptly demonstrate. Regardless, have a cold bevvy on me :-)

          1. Hungry Sean

            Re: Un-downvoted (was: Downvoted.)

            wait, since when can you retract a thumbs up/down??

            That is an interesting development. Looks like I can convert an up to a down or vice versa but can't merely undo. Is there a timer on this?

  62. This post has been deleted by its author

  63. Vimes

    Any chance of detecting URLs in posts and adding the necessary HTML so they are shown to the users as usable links?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I asked for this as well; only to be astounded by my own gormlessness on the discovery that it had been there all along. The link for your post is:

      ...and can be obtained by right-clicking on the date of the post (says "2 months ago" at the time of writing)

  64. M Gale

    User-defined avatars - we don't want to have to store avatars, or vet them, or get angry if someone changes avatar to something abusive.

    Aw, please?

    Think about it this way: The moment someone sends you goatse as a picture to review, you can invoke a "we don't want to see that shit" clause in the terms of use for this place. Rather than ban them, well, that's a use for up and downvotes. To get the ability for a custom avatar or selection of icons back, you're on probation and you need to get a 75/25 split in favour of upvotes over the last 200 (or so) votes on your posts with the count starting from the start of probation and continuing for as many votes as it takes to achieve 75/25 people from the last 200 liking your posts. Until then you're stuck with Anonymous Coward, Hello Kitty, or some other variety of dunce cap.

    If it's something less gross, say annoyingly repeating attempts at trying to get the same disallowed image approved, you can implement the same sanction but maybe minus the enforced dunce cap and with a lower voting sample and easier ratio required to get it back.

    I reckon there's enough people posting and voting for an idea like that to work, and I know I honestly couldn't care less about waiting a week to a month or more to see a batch of icons get approved. I know it's going to take someone a while to sift through the requests at first, and I don't think people will make that many requests when they realise it takes a week to a month or more for changes and updates to be approved.

    If there's a hardware issue, you could always go the whole hog and make it a feature of a Register Plus Ad Free Paid Membership or something. Keep Free pretty much as it is (maybe fix the threading issues, oh please fix the threading issues), £10/year per member to hire a few terabytes in a rack somewhere, buy your own fat pipe and some boxes, or some kind of big blob of virtual cloudiness?

    How much do you reckon you make per commentard (as opposed to, ahem, read-only viewers) from the ads at the minute? If the price is right, I reckon there's people here who'll buy into extra bells and whistles and a full page of news minus the ads, even if you can just run ABP+ for the latter feature.

  65. Vimes

    I'm guessing this will be turned down, but how about logging the IP address of those making the comments and making that IP address visible to posters when the message is in response to one of their own or the person viewing the IP address has been round long enough to earn a silver badge?

    It might help discourage the sort of shrill posts that seem to be pushing one agenda or another that we see pop up from time to time, since it would limit - whilst not entirely removing - the anonymity that they enjoy at present.

    1. M Gale

      I double dare you with sugar on top to determine if I'm a different person to whoever else is coming from the same mobile provider.

      Carrier NAT. It's shit, but it has some uses. Especially if you're a bit of a troll or a company shill.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We have no plans to do this.

  66. Vimes

    Just a small suggestion where the look and feel is concerned: the name of the poster - in each thread as well as the previously mentioned posts page - seems to be in a smaller and different font than that of the text of the comment itself.

    I'd suggest making the poster name the same font as the comment text, at least where font name and size is concerned. Granted it's a small thing though, but it just looks inconsistent.

  67. Vimes

    A few requests:

    Please could you consider extending the number of supported HTML tags. The 'u' tag for underlining doesn't seem to be supported.

    A wysiwyg HTML editor?

    At the moment when you reply to a post it starts off by showing the post you're replying to above the form. When you preview your post however this gets replaced with the preview of what you've written. Sometimes I copy and paste bits from the post I'm replying to into my own post when I'm trying to address certain points made by the previous poster, and having this replacement going on makes any referring back to the original more awkward if I want to make any further additions after previewing the post.

    If the user is replying to a post please consider always displaying the post that is being responded to, even during the preview of a post. The user may still want to refer back to it and make more changes.

    Come to think of it. If you have a thread of replies and can link them together then it might be even better if you just showed that thread of replies within the form, so you also have the opportunity of seeing what the previous poster replied to if there is more than one reply in the chain.

  68. Don Dumb

    A couple of requests:-

    I've made the point in a recent comment to an article, but as this is the proper place to make suggestions:-

    I think a 'BS' (we all know what that means) icon would be helpful. Many of the less useful comments are simply made up opinion stated as fact. It would be fair to highlight such perceived nonsence with a Bu**Sh*t (if that helps) icon. Nothing else seems to be appropriate.

    I also agree that it is time to retire the Paris icon. as - a) it is only surving to boost such celebrity and b) it does seem to be an unfair targetting of someone none of us have likely ever met.

    My other suggestion would be to have an identifier to the parent comment within a reply comment, perhaps something like "In reply to <username> <subject title> posted <date-time>" in the comment header. That way we could work out what the reply is responding to when there is nothing to work that out from. Particularly when there are so many levels of comment that one reply doesn't directly follow the original comment.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Hey, Don Dumb ...

      Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits are all valid here. This is an adult forum. Get used to the idea ... or maybe you should fuck-off back to nanny-ville ...

      The entire Paris meme was retired when her grandfather disinherited her. I have no idea why ElReg continues to try to make the useless bint newsworthy.

      We've tried to convince ElReg to do proper threading & reply headers for years. ElReg refuses, for whatever reason. Gut feeling is lack of knowledge of simple text processing ability amongst the staff.

      In other news, one wonders why ElReg recently dropped the time/date-stamp on posts. Probably because of the same person(s) ... I'll bet a dollar it was a fuck-up :-)

      HTH, HAND.

      1. Don Dumb

        Re: Hey, Don Dumb ...

        Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits are all valid here. This is an adult forum. Get used to the idea ... or maybe you should fuck-off back to nanny-ville ...

        Well, you clearly *are* an adult.

        I'm quite happy with swearing and I will sometimes in posts. But I don't always feel the need to and being an adult I know when its appropriate and when it isn't. I used the term 'BS' rather than 'Bullshit' as I'm guessing The Reg would probably use the former if they actually did introduce an icon. Notice they don't have a "What The Fuck?" icon.

        Only a 5 year old thinks tits and piss are swearwords.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Hey, Don Dumb ...

          And you, Don, are clearly to young to know who George Carlin was, and when anglo-saxon expletives make sense in a reply to a post in an adult forum.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      "My other suggestion would be to have an identifier to the parent comment within a reply comment, perhaps something like "In reply to <username> <subject title> posted <date-time>" in the comment header."

      I suggested that on this very same page!

      1. Don Dumb

        @Jamie Jones

        I suggested that on this very same page!

        I do apologise. Consider my post a second for your suggestion.

  69. Evil Auditor

    7 days ago "timestamp"

    Since very recently the comments don't display a time stamp anymore but an indication of how long ago it was posted. I much preferred the former timestamp because one could use it to refer to a specific post, e.g. "@AC GMT 01:43..."

    Why the change?

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: 7 days ago "timestamp"

      Arrrrrgh. Totally agree.

      This is a news site. Stories change by the minute. It was bad enough when the time was removed from articles (there can be a big difference between a breaking-news story posted at 9.30am or at 4.30pm) but now we can't tell when comments are posted either?

      And as the Evil Auditor points out, without proper threading, this timestamp was even more necessary.

      Sorry to sound negative, but I really can't see any advantage in the change, and many disadvantages (even Facebook, when they made similar changes [ 'xxx days ago' ] kept the timestamp for posts less than 48(?) hours old.)

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: 7 days ago "timestamp"

        "(even Facebook, when they made similar changes [ 'xxx days ago' ] kept the timestamp for posts less than 48(?) hours old.)"

        Ok, i now notice that for recent posts, a more granular timescale is used.

        I must have missed that, so apologies...

        Still, you aren't getting your ball back and get orrrf my land!


        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: 7 days ago "timestamp"

          Actually, I wasn't wrong after all.

          I use El Reg most on my tablet. javascript is disabled because it makes things too slow.

          Without javascript, the date/time is shown as date only. Please fix the fallback non-js version to provide the original date/time please!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: 7 days ago "timestamp"

            Sorry, just noticed this. I have pinged our web devs for their perusal.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. jake Silver badge

              @Drewc "3 hours ago" (was: Re: 7 days ago "timestamp")

              "Sorry, just noticed this."

              Really? REALLY?!1!? REALLY???!!11???!??

              "I have pinged our web devs for their perusal."

              I'd fire 'em on the spot. And then personally resign for not noticing it in the first place.


  70. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    This change also makes the link to the post, in context of the forum, smaller - and even less obvious than it already was.

    To be grumpy, I must say that I think your web designers keep making changes to these forums, that make things less obvious and easy to read at a glance.

    In your pursuit of minimalism, readability seems to suffer at every turn. Text size gets smaller, links are removed, along with dividing lines, shading and colour. Have you secretly been taking refugees from Microsoft's Metro team?

    This is in marked contrast to the articles\main pages, where you have a few too many elements for clarity. I've no objection to adverts, but because you have so much stuff, mixed in with ads, jump-lists and menus, all the stuff on the side-bars sort of merges into one.

    Not to play the disability card (he says as he's doing it), but as someone with about 5-10% of average vision, I value clarity extremely highly. And I call down curses upon all web designers who choose dark brown text on a light brown background!

    I admit I'm an edge-case, and discrimination legislation notwithstanding, I believe you should concentrate scarce resources on catering to the majority of your customers. But I struggle to accept that any user would prefer a lack of clarity to the alternative. I'm not saying things are bad, by any means, just that several changes in the last year or so, have been for the worse.

    1. Evil Auditor
      Thumb Up

      @He ain't Spartacus, get a braille device, ffs! Just kidding. But I do wonder how such would render El Reg's overloaded articles pages. Oh, maybe you DO use a braille device...

      Seriously, I couldn't agree more with you.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        No braille for me. 5x magnification all the way baby.

        I think there's some pretty snazzy braille and screen-reader kit out there now. Like smartphones, it's pretty good at re-streaming the main article text, and just giving you that. So many ads are image-based (with no ascii elements), that I'd imagine they just get dropped.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Taking your points re readability on board - but we increased point size of forums text recently - so that it is now same size as articles. Also, I am not aware that we have removed links - but please correct me if I am wrong.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge


        As I recall, the comment text has just got bigger - but the handle text smaller? Or maybe it's just the handle not going up with comment text size - and it now looking smaller?

        I think one thing I missed was the varying thickness grey bars you used to have on the left of posts, to indicate indentation. Which I thought was nicer than your swirly arrow thing. Although that arrow is a link back to the post it's replying to (which is often helpful).

        Also, there used to be nice thick lines between posts. And everything seemed a bit more separated, and less 'flat'. It seems to be the current fashion in UI design that everything should either be white, or pale grey - and there should be as few separators as possible - presumably in order to make minimalis designers feel all gooey inside. Use of colour, lines, shading and shadows does seem to be going out the window. Grey and white seems to be the biggest contrast that modern UI aesthetics will allow. It's a trend I entirely fail to comprehend.

        On the subject of links that have gone (or at least I'm sure used to be there), in the non-article forums I'm sure you used to have a nested formum titles link at the top of the page. In something like the format:

        You are in: User Forums > El Reg Matters > New Forum Wishlist

        Where each was a link, so you could move around within the forums more easily. If I'm mis-remembering, and that wasn't there before (and my memory is playing tricks) - well this is the Forum Wishlist thread...

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          "As I recall, the comment text has just got bigger - but the handle text smaller? Or maybe it's just the handle not going up with comment text size - and it now looking smaller?"

          I agree. Well, to me, the comment text seems the same, but as I'm forvever pinch-zooming in/out on all sites on this tablet, I may well have compensated for any change without remembering.

          However, the handle-text is definitely smaller - at least as related to the comment text, and as you mentioned in your previous post, this also makes the 'link to post' less obvious, and more fiddly to use.

          I fortunately don't have any sight problems, but then am more likely to have things generally smaller than othes might, so as to fit more on the screen at once, and keep the main text to a comfortable reading size, so ultimately, I think the issue is to do with proportions rather than specific size per se. (After all, people can zoom in/out pages, and have all sorts of different size monitors, and indeed, sit all sorts of distances away from the screen! )

  71. Sanctimonious Prick

    Up / Down Votes Dolled Out By Me

    At the top of the 'My Posts' page is a count of how many up/down votes I've received. I'd like to see a count of how many up/down votes I've dolled out to others.

  72. as2003

    I'm sure this has been mentioned before, but up-voting and down-voting requires a complete reload of the site. This is *so* 1990's. Could you at least add one or two lines of javascript?

    If you use the principles of graceful degradation then it doesn't even have to break anything. And it would really benefit the one or two of us who have these cutting edge browsers that support this new-fangled javascript.

    Similarly, seeing as I'm being forced to log in every day, perhaps you could make that a less tedious task by throwing a bit of javascript at that?

    Also, I don't see why a bunch of ideas have been ruled out because "they could be gamed". Entire websites have been (successfully) built around these ideas that can be "gamed".

    I would also like to "+1" the suggestion of getting notifications when any post of mine has been responded to. It's a pain having to log in, open an article, click comments, click my posts, middle click a handful of my posts, ...and scroll.

    All great apart from that!

  73. Mike Flex

    Where's Wally?

    Now that el Reg is working on on a New York - Paris - Peckham basis it would be handy to have some indication, e.g. a national flag, of which office was filing a story rather than having to memorise where each Reg correspondent is based or wading through an article trying to find out whether or not it is relevant. For example in this article I need to read down to the third paragraph to discover that this story relates to the other side of the world.

    I note the earlier unwillingness to let us commentards display goatse avatars but it would also be handy if we could opt in to display national flags which would help even out cross-cultural surprises.

  74. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Feature request: Per-Author pre-moderation setting.

    Is there a way to premoderate me *only* when replying to emotionally negatively-charged Andrew Orlowski articles? :) Can't comment on US journo articles atm without them growing mould first.

    Oh, and can we get a Burning Man icon, for willingly standing in the way of a horde of flamers? Owchy, if necessary at times (non-troll variant).

    Having moderation rejection reasons might be a balm - unexpected post-facto quiet rejections are paranoia-inducing.

    Still not sure why/when I got the eternal mark of Doooooooooooooom, but hey, as long as someone isn't using it for retaliation, I'm cool, if timeshifted :)

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Feature request: Per-Author pre-moderation setting.

      Or you could try, you know, obeying the forum rules. They're hardly onerous.

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        Re: Feature request: Per-Author pre-moderation setting.

        Bah, even with the new pills, what's the point of reformation? There is no redemption. No expiry. No appeal. If you get premod-flagged, you burn the toon and re-roll, because *duh*.

        Anyone soldiering on is either too dense to notice or some kind of naive hairshirted rule-abiding do-gooder!! *cough*

        Maybe they can be flagged for a redemptive review after 6 months of rejectionless activity? That way there's a point in not playing whackamole re-roll with the mods. If you're good, you can still get the little medals! :)

        At the mo I'm growing a linked list of rejections, rejected for mentioning my previous rejection was rejected, rooted in a rejection rejected for quoting someone in context, passing pre-moderation, until re-moderation for casting someone in a negative light :) This will be my latest entry. It's all about the Meta! :)

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. jake Silver badge

          @ Daggerchild: (was: Re: Feature request: Per-Author [dotdotdot])

          Oh, how cute. A teenage prima donna.

          Try posting content, not air-headedness. HTH, HAND.

          1. Daggerchild Silver badge

            Re: @ Daggerchild: (was: Feature request: Per-Author [dotdotdot])

            Kip-tin! I bee-weave the inimmy wezzoo is twyink to... twoll us...? Should I infom Mister Scott?

            Analysis, Spock?

            Captain, it appears to be using a primitive form of psycho-analysis. I recommend we study it further. It may be trying to communicate. I should remind you that the Prime Directive.. oh never mind..

        3. Daggerchild Silver badge

          Re: Feature request: Per-Author pre-moderation setting.

          Hurm. Getting weighted digraph descriptions rejected from routing discussions now. Barely enough text to describe a triangle, never mind break a house rule. Not expected.

          Re-iteration of hope for mod-rejection-category or mod-feedback or mod-sanity-check or just a feedback channel that isn't open?

          1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: Re: Feature request: Per-Author pre-moderation setting.

            We see posts that trip the moderation filters individually, without the context of the ongoing discussion. Hence something with lots of characters and few words looks like spammy gibberish (which, of course, your post wasn't) and gets canned.

            I'm feeling charitable this afternoon so I've unfiltered that particular post.

            1. Daggerchild Silver badge

              Re: Feature request: Per-Author pre-moderation setting.

              What do you do when you pass premoderation but your post doesn't appear or get linked from your posting history? It's all gotten headscratchier recently.

  75. Mummy's 'ickle soldier

    Concerted and Determined Campaign to educate the masses about British Telecom

    Anyone who has had experience of this shameful, shambolic and frankly disingenuous company for broadband...need I say more?

    Just sign the f*****g petition people! let's get this done!

    1. Phil W

      Re: Concerted and Determined Campaign to educate the masses about British Telecom

      I don't see that petition going anywhere, for one thing it's poorly written and doesn't even make sense for instance wtf is "superset broadband"? It seems that you (and whoever started the petition if different) need to be educated about BT as much as the general public

      BT has for some time been composed of a number of separate companies, these are not divisions of one company but separate registered businesses (albeit owned by a parent group) that interact with each other at an operational level just like they do with any company not called "BT <something>".

      Lodging a complaint about one that is the responsibility of another is daft, like complaining to Volkswagen that your Skoda is crap or complaining to Virgin Trains that your flight on Virgin Atlantic was rubbish.

      BT Openreach look after the infrastructure, BT Broadband provide your ADSL/FTTC connection, but they get this done just like any other ISP by requesting it as a BT Openreach customer. In general BT Openreach's only customers are ISPs and other Telcos, and maybe some businesses. If you are a home broadband user, you are not a BT Openreach customer.

      BT Openreach won the contracts for the BDUK money, and are actually meeting the obligations of rolling out rural broadband. Somewhat slower than some people would like but they are getting there. The moderately sized rural village where my parents live was recently upgraded to Infinity.

      BT Broadband are a business and residential ISP, who provide broadband connections to users. It is them who you can be a customer of. They are not responsible for the installation of copper of fibre cabling, upgrading your exchanges or cabinets.

      They have no requirement to provide good customer service as such, apart from certain regulatory requirements, their motivation to provide good customer service is largely to maintain market share and stay in business. The BDUK money has nothing to do with the customer service that BT Broadband provide.

  76. BillG


    I'd like to see SSL added to the forum. At least for the username and login - DUH!. But I'd also like the option for SSL when posting and viewing comments. This is especially important for those of us that use this website from a place of business, which we all know are monitored more and closely these days. Web habits seems to be of intense interest to employers.

    Monitoring software has the ability to flag an employee who is visiting a web page with too many curse words and SSL would protect us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SSL, SSL, SSL

      > This is especially important for those of us that use this website from a place of business, [....] Web habits seems to be of intense interest to employers.

      Of "intense interest" as in, are our employees pissing the day away on forums and the like? If so, a connection to is still a connection to The Register, encrypted or not, and your employer may still ask you for an explanation as to the business purpose of those visits and/or question your idea of "reasonable personal use".

      > Monitoring software has the ability to flag an employee who is visiting a web page with too many curse words and SSL would protect us.

      "Monitoring software" also has the ability to MITM you with fake certs, a la the recent Lenovo fiasco, something which the vast majority of users would be unable to notice, let alone prevent, with the HTTPS icon doing nothing but providing a FALSE sense of security.

  77. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    BBC has just stolen el-Reg's website design!

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: BBC has just stolen el-Reg's website design!

      Where do we send the consultancy invoice?


      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: BBC has just stolen el-Reg's website design!

        I'd recommend calling your IP lawyer and telling them to sharpen their pencils first...

  78. Vimes

    Have you tried viewing the BBC news site with javascript disabled? It looks like it's the mobile layout that ends up getting displayed.

    JavaScript controlled layout. Seriously.

    It's a joke. Perhaps some of us could club together and buy the BBC website designers a book on CSS?

    Didn't the BBC use to win design awards for their websites? I wonder when was the last time they won anything?

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      And clicking on any picture at the top of the page currently leads to Angelina Jolie's lost ovaries.

      What a bunch of wankers!

      1. Vimes

        Funny how by trying to make the site more usable they end up making it useless.

        Have you noticed that they seem to be changing the font size based on window size too? If the browser window happens to be sized below a certain width then the size jumps up. Nothing to do with the type/version of the browser used of course - that would be asking too much evidently.

        Just for the hell of it:

  79. JennyZ

    What I can't figure out do you make a NEW forum post? I can't see it anywhere.

    1. Vimes

      On the right hand side of the page towards the top there's a section labelled 'Forums'. Your name should be displayed underneath that followed by a bunch of hyperlinks. Click on the 'Create a new topic' link.

  80. Vimes

    10 minute window for editing posts

    There have been a few occasions where I've managed to start editing a post, go over the limit by a minute or two and then get the change rejected when I submit the change (which can be annoying if the change was big).

    Is there a chance of extending this window for times when editing started within the 10 minutes? It wouldn't require a huge difference - perhaps allow a total of 15 minutes to edit a post if the editing started within the 10 minute window for example.

    Although personally I would suggest extending the period either way. Sometimes I find myself wanting to add additional points to the post but finding myself unable to do so within that post. Perhaps allow additional text to be added outside the 10 minute window but label them as edits & display a timestamp for when the edit was made?

    Also I'm not sure if this counts as a bug or enhancement but the 'my posts' link on the mobile version of your site seems to appear at the bottom of the page. This makes getting to it more time consuming than it needs to be on phones when there is a lot of scrolling to do to get past all my comments to get there. Could you please add these links at the top of the page too on the mobile version?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Vimes

        Re: 10 minute window for editing posts

        Example: You post: 'Apple is crap, but so is Samsung'. Other people post, 'yeah, I agree', then you edit your post to remove the Samsung reference....

        I was thinking of additions rather than edits or outright deletions. Given the lack of any real structure to the threads (for some reason they thought removing the timestamp from posts was a good idea which has only made that even worse) and the large number of posts in some of them being able to append something might be useful.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: 10 minute window for editing posts

          If you really feel the need to edit a post after ten minutes:

          Open your first post.

          Copy the content.

          Withdraw the first post.

          Paste the original, and edit it. Then post.

          Note: Not a suggested idea if your original has already been responded to.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

  81. This post has been deleted by its author

  82. Vimes

    If I'm already in a section and have clicked on the link to start a new topic, then I have to select that section a second time before posting my message.

    Shouldn't the section I've just come from be the default selection in the drop down box, since if I'm in that section then I'll probably want to add the topic there?

    Also please consider re-introducing the time stamp for each post or display some sort of unique ID with each post. Doing so will make referring to a specific post much easier - especially when so many people post as anonymous coward.

  83. Vimes

    In the desktop version of the site the link in a post that shows the time has passed since the post, and also leads to that post by clicking on it is right aligned over the 'withdraw' link. In the mobile site it's left aligned above the user name. Why the difference?

    There's also no way that I can see to go directly back to the topic containing the selected thread without going back to the main forum list first. It would be nice to be able to go directly from one to the other.

  84. Vimes

    If you continue to keep the 10 minute editing window, would it be possible to add a spell checker? I just noticed a typo in one of my posts (and there are probably others too elsewhere that I have simply missed), but because the 10 minute period had already expired I'd lost the chance to correct it.

    1. Dan Paul

      Good Lord man!

      Next thing you'll be wanting is a drop down menu for fonts and text formatting.

  85. This post has been deleted by its author

  86. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Feature request: Mod rejection reason

    Cuz I'm grasping at straws here after those last three. If I've run over someone's cat, it was using some pretty advanced cloaking technology.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

        "What on earth are you guys posting that gets you moderated?"

        Actually, probably 20% of my posts that have been rejected in the last couple months were in response to yourself. Most in answer to direct questions from yourself. Are you related to someone with moderation capability at ElReg?

        Immoderate moderation is an ugly thing.

      2. Daggerchild Silver badge

        Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

        "What on earth are you guys posting that gets you moderated?"
        The first rule of premoderation club is that you won't be able to talk about premoderation club... ;-)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

          If ElReg is actually reading & paying attention, my reply to this post:

          was nixed. Why? What, exactly, was off topic and/or against the forum rules in that post?

          1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

            Try not to imply other forum users are stupid. That's exactly the sort of thing which gets comments rejected.

            1. jake Silver badge

              @ gazthejourno (was: Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason)

              No implication of stupidity implied or intended. Rather, ignorance.

              Ignorance can be rectified through education.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

      "If I've run over someone's cat, it was using some pretty advanced cloaking technology."

      Gawd/ess only knows. The only thing that I can figure out about my posts that have been nuked is that they have ALL been nuked when Australia was in 9-5 mode. None of them were off-topic, nor were they against forum rules.

      ::shrugs:: ElReg's forum, ElReg's rules. Beer, just because.

    3. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

      Random electric shock time again. Okay, I give up, what was that one for?

      I joked last time, but I just lost a straightforward genuine question I even titled 'Genuine question' just in case. Yeah, that *might* have been part of a subtle multipart passive aggressive plot to start a religious flamewar or something..

      But it actually wasn't. Nor was the last. Or the one before that. Is everything.. okay?

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

        Well.. here we are again. Methinks mods can't see what post you've replied to, and need to guess what you're talking about.

        Happy to discuss the practical realities of Cloud dependence with the mod if they disagree with me.

        1. Daggerchild Silver badge

          Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

          Oookay.. so, I can't talk about Cloud security weak points, in the context of Cloud security (while working with Cloud security), and now I can't talk about the canonical Exchange mailing list explosion, in the context of Exchange mailing list explosions (they even made T-shirts for it).

          Dudes. What is going on?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

            "Dudes. What is going on?"

            My gut feeling is that CommentardsWithAClue[tm] are stepping on the toes of a "senior" editor who is under a quarter century old.

            Hint to "senior editor": Some of us were doing this before you were born.

          2. Daggerchild Silver badge

            Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

            Last couple of rejections are a conundrum. Forbidden from highlighting a source negatively, yet to all available data, the source genuinely *is* negative (to put it very mildly). I thought I could call the spade a spade.

            I again don't know what aspect caused the rejections. Is there any way to phrase a 'be aware - manipulative source' (not journo, not article) to get it past moderation?

            (Not comfortable with Reg glossing over their long reputation, then muffling comments highlighting it. That piper isn't playing that tune for our benefit, and you really shouldn't pull us into their dance without warning us.)

            1. Daggerchild Silver badge

              Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

              Arf! Feature request stands. Moderators can't tell I'm not laughing at Reg Moderation when joking about potential future moderation in an article about moderation. Yes, lawyers would take a long time to moderate posts! That was the joke!!

              Moderators need at least an idea about what the conversation context is. This isn't the first time context-loss has gotten me binned.

              And what's with the spooky Moderated-but-not-released-or-rejected limbo mode? You took *ages* to finally reject that obviously dangerously insidious joke :)

              I declare thee silly sausages!

              1. Daggerchild Silver badge

                Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

                Woah. Okay now *what* was that last rejection for? It was a perfectly cromulent insinuation that Google are developing the technology to wipe out mankind. You like that kind of thing round here!

                Were you actually worried about me saying Leia's Deathstar plans were in fact stolen? We aren't allowed to say what we all believe, in another country, in a joke?

                1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

                  Re: Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

                  Generally not a great idea to state without caveats that a company has stolen IP from another company when they settled out of court.

                  99.99% they are not going to sue over an article comment, but it's always the ones you least suspect that end up triggering a legal headache.


                  1. Daggerchild Silver badge

                    Re: Feature request: Mod rejection reason

                    Ah, and since you were forced to judge it, you lost the reactive-moderation safe harbour defence thingy?

                    Does that mean posting at different times gets me judged under different laws? :)

                    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

                      "Does that mean posting at different times gets me judged under different laws?"

                      No. We're judged by the jurisdiction where any action is brought against us.


  87. This post has been deleted by its author

  88. Kiwi

    A voting indicator and change vote...

    For an odd change I am reading a topic as the comments are fresh, and that means a fair bit of going back through the thread.

    Lots of posts to vote on for me tonight..

    I'd love to have a marker on the posts I have voted on so I don't try to tick them again. This could eg green text for up and red for down.. I realise there could be some interesting backend work to achieve this of course :)

    Also, I accidentally ticked the opposite of what I wanted on a vote. Can we get an option to change a vote? Perhaps like the post edit - only if within X minutes

    Thanks El Reg

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A voting indicator and change vote...

      Upvoted for the indicatormejig but no idea how it could be done without adding reams of crap to the pages.

      As for changing your vote: just click on the other one.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  89. Vimes

    Is there any chance of extending the editing window for those of us that are regular posters and have had the chance to prove ourselves to be responsible individuals?

    Personally I've never really understood this 10 minute rule, since deceiving changes can be made just as easily after five minutes as fifty.

  90. Robert Helpmann??

    Keeping Score

    It would be interesting to have an annual update of site participation. I propose calling it the Badges & Ban Hammer Report. When the badge system originally came out, we were given cold, hard numbers (e.g. "about 650 commentards qualify"). It would be interesting to have occasional updates on that. It would also be nice to have a list of which HTML tags are available without having to fiddle around with a post to find out, so include that too. As far as the ban hammer portion of the report... there have been one or two people who have been non-voluntarily retired from El Reg participation. It is a good and common practice to remember those no longer with us at year's end.

    1. Marco Fontani

      Re: Keeping Score

      The story you point to explains the additional HTML tags that are allowed, but doesn't mention all of them. Ah well.

      Basic allowed HTML tags are: b strong i em s strike

      Additional ones (as per the article, and our code) are: sub sup ul li code pre q blockquote

      People who can submit "links" have also the "a" tag available, with the only customisable attribute of it being, "href".

  91. Runilwzlb

    New member - Unable to create new "topic"

    Hi, I'm a new signup. Wanted to start a topic, but The only place I can create new content is in response to someone else's post. No tools at the topic level. [Firefox on Ubuntu, all scripts permitted, current on all updates.]

    JIC - I wish to post on a problem with Windows 10 and the system restore tool. Attempted to perform a restore on a Windows tablet. After 'special startup' the restore proceeds to require user input using a physical keyboard and mouse. Which, of course does not exist on a tablet. No BT kbd or touchscreen input was recognized.

    My tablet only has one micro-usb port on it - which I used for the specially-purchased micro-usb thumbdrive containing the previously created restore image.

    How can Windows 10 succeed as a tablet OS if the restore tool cannot accommodate a tablet environment? Either I need to get a usb hub and micro-usb adapter so I can attach a kbd/mouse/storage simultaneously, or MS needs a new restore procedure: Perhaps by asking all configuration questions b4 the reboot and creating a batch file that is used to direct the restore process.

  92. Vimes

    When replying to a post, would there be any chance of the reply displaying a hyperlink back to the post that has been replied to, with the text reading something like 'In reply to [USER]' (and possibly add the subject in brackets if the original post had one). It would add a little more structure to the conversation IMO. Also reverting back to timestamps and including them in the link would also help.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      There already is. Admittedly it's not the most user-friendly,and it's a shame that they took timestamps away.

      At the top left of this post, replying to you, will be a little grey curly arrow. hover over that and a tooltip says "in reply to". Click on it, and it takes you to the actual post this is a reply to. Puts it at the very top of the page.

      Not the most elegant solution. I'd like them to introduce proper threading, or find some way to improve the comment-usability-jungle. But there is something.

      1. Vimes

        It's what one of my former colleagues would probably refer to as 'mystery meat navigation', only in this case it's even worse. There is no indication there is a hyperlink there, much less where it leads to (do the staff here really expect people to randomly hover over elements in the hope of finding what they're looking for?).

        Personally I wouldn't mind seeing the forums occupying it's own site so it can have a completely different layout. It's as if they're trying to shoe horn in elements of design from the main site here and it just doesn't work particularly well with regards to the forums. A site for a forum that been designed to be just a forum though would probably work much better - and might end up being more frequently used too.

  93. Vimes

    I can appreciate that in some cases moderation is necessary or simply wanted for whatever reason (any article by Andrew Orlowski comes to mind, where moderation always seems to be switched on) but some people, myself included, have been around for some time now and it would be nice to think that we have in most cases proven ourselves to be reasonably responsible individuals.

    Is it really necessary to moderate everybody proactively? Can't you allow some of us to be moderated on a reactive rather than proactive basis even when moderation is switched on for everybody?

    This might minimise the moderation queue and give you less work to do too, so there would be a benefit for you as well (not to mention everybody else whose posts get approved more quickly because they're seen more rapidly).

  94. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. JudeKay

      Re: Will "delete account" delete all my posts?

      Hi Larry. Jude here from The Register. The usual procedure is that your public posts will appear under the anonymous icon and username after you leave us. If you're sure you wish to delete your posts, you can delete them yourself, but you'll have to do this prior to deleting your account. There is nowhere like Reg forums though, Larry. Think about that.

  95. Kiwi

    Invalid HTML warning

    I sometimes screw up the spelling of a [blockquote] (using [ instead of < for the example only) or forget a "/" when I want to close a set of italics or bold etc etc. This causes El Reg to flag the post as containing invalid HTML, which is good.

    However, some of my posts are long, and/or sometimes quite late at night/early in the morning for me, and in my bleary-eyedness I find it hard to spot the actual error.

    Could we have something where the offending code is flagged up in red? Even an approximation of the area if the system is unsure?

    Or, if that takes more work to code than I think , how about flagging our html tags in red/underlined/blink/whatever? Being able to spot the valid HTML tags would often make it quick and easy to spot where something was missed. Even better, flag them in different colours - eg [blockquote][/blockquote] in blue, [i][/i] in red and [b][/b] in pink with purple polka dots. Perhaps flagging the respective block, so [i]this is in italics[/i] would also be in red.


  96. Kiwi

    Idea for hiding/changing the look of certain commentards posts

    First, some thanks. A while back I asked for a couple of things - stopping the reloading for up/down votes and highlighting the arrow if you have voted a post up or down. Both of these have been implemented and make my time on el Reg a bit more enjoyable and easier to use - if I go from reading a long thread in thread mode to "newest" mode, I can see which posts I've read a bit more quickly (since I vote most posts I read). I'd still love to be able to "remove" a vote, eg I read a post I don't want to vote on but accidentally click the arrow, or I vote in haste and change my mind - would be nice to be able to click on the opposite arrow ONCE to remove the vote and twice to change the vote. But thanks for the changes, they really are very much appreciated.

    Now, over at I was talking Ublock and a tool it has that lets you easily select various page elements to hide. I understand there's also style manipulating addons for some browsers that would let you set a specific style for certain pages and the elements within (eg (speculating) you could change the red of El Reg's banner to cowshit green or babyspew yellow).

    The idea I came up with would be for El Reg to set a div class around each user's posts, based on their names, eg for me you could have :

    [div class="post first reply edited kiwi>

    [div class="dateline"> [a class="permalink" [.......stuff snipped.......]

    [input class="reg_btn" value="Reply" type="submit">

    [/form> [/div> [/div>

    Or maybe a separate [div class="kiwi"> if could help, even if a wrapper a little deeper in, eg before the "dateline".

    By giving a [div>[/div> wrapper around a user's posts, it would then be possible for us to come up with our own way to hide or highlight certain users posts (we're mostly supposed to be techie types after all), through the use of plugins and the like. With Ublock someone could select that "" block and make Ublock forevermore hide my posts, and with some of the style editing plugins they could make my posts stand out in shocking pink, or fade the text a bit so they're less visible.

    Enjoy.. I mean, you site coders weren't going to do anything else this weekend but bow to our whims, right? :) (while you're fixing the code - that captcha thing - KILL IT please, I shouldn't be having to go through it every edit, often with it losing the text of the post!)

    (an icon that consists of a lightlbulb floating over a steaming pile of bullcrap could be appropriate for this post...)

    1. Marco Fontani

      Re: Idea for hiding/changing the look of certain commentards posts

      You can easily do that today using JS – instead of CSS, as CSS doesn't support styling of a parent div based on properties of a child element.

      $('.post .author a[href*="/53495/"]').parent().parent().css('background-color', 'pink')

      That's all your posts on any forum page (but not on your own user's page) styled with a pink background.

      Any "user scripts" addon should allow you to add the above and have it work.

      If you don't like using jQuery (although we load it on all forums pages, so it will currently always be available) you can always Just Use Plain JS, provided your browser supports querySelectorAll:

      (function(){ var posts = document.querySelectorAll('.post .author a[href*="/53495/"]');for(var i=0;i<posts.length;i++){posts[i] = 'pink'} })()

      ... or whatever floats your boat.

  97. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Automatically linkifying UR's

    Automatically linkifying URLs

    I remember this was requested years ago, but the official reply back then was "you're techies. You can work out how to enter an HTML link"

    Sure, and many of us do, but as has been seen, many don't, and it's a right royal pain in the arse to copy/new tab/paste etc. - especially on mobile.

    So please can this be added?

    Thanks muchly

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Automatically linkifying UR's

      "it's a right royal pain in the arse to copy/new tab/paste etc. - especially on mobile."

      Sounds more like a problem with the mobile interface than an ElReg problem. Perhaps complain to the millennials who "knew better" (being marketers, who clearly know everything) and re-designed the human-facing interface without bothering to understand how computer users actually use computers?

      I mean, I don't know about you, but for most people I know computers are primarily about moving chunks of text[0] about between and within files. Copy and paste is a huge part of that. To get it so completely wrong with mobile devices is a sign of cluelessness of the first order.

      [0] Pr0n, cute cat pictures and pirated music & video being the exceptions to the rule, of course.

  98. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Something's changed again, hasn't it?

    If I hit the forum link at the top, it goes to article topic sections, not the forum as we know it. I have to click User Topics on the right to get to TFAWKI.

    You don't really need another path to find article topics at the end of forum topics, they're linked to at the end of every article, so after having read too many IBM/HP stories I can only assume this is to to deter the casual forum viewer before the inevitable chop due to lack of readership, because it's certainly not very discoverable.

    Wouldn't it be better to have both types of topic sections listed on one page for max discoverability? Why can't we all just get along in this world?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Something's changed again, hasn't it?

      You want to go to a specific page on ElReg on a regular basis, and yet you don't have it bookmarked?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Something's changed again, hasn't it?

        Only work stuff gets bookmarked at work.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Something's changed again, hasn't it?

          Skiving off reading ElReg at work? You're fired.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Something's changed again, hasn't it?

            I am rather hoping they take the hint, but it hasn't worked so far.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something's changed again, hasn't it?

      So, we are trying the new view because although lots of people click link on forums home page, hardly anyone read the user posts and even fewer were posting.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Something's changed again, hasn't it?

        Hey there, Drew...since we're discussing what changed...what happened to the icons that once could choose to present alongside a post? Without them, it's really hard to raise a pint to a poster, or indicate that one blew one's caffeinated cola-flavored soft drink all over one's keyboard, or imply that something is hidden in my coat's pocket, or graphically indicate an epic fail, or...well, you get the idea.

        What happened? Are they coming back?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Something's changed again, hasn't it?

          Icons have never gone away and certainly are displaying on desktop.

          Unsure about mobile view - i don't think the functionality to add an icon was there, ever. I have no recollection if the visibility of icons via m.thereg was ever a thing. Will double-check but we will want to ensure same functionality as we gradually switch to full-responsive.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: Something's changed again, hasn't it?

            Hmmm...Not showing up here on my desktop, and haven't since upvoting/downvoting stopped explicitly reloading the forum page. I'm running on Chrome (not by choice...), and have uBlock Origin and Scriptsafe running. No changes to either's settings since I last saw the icons, but I have disabled both, and still no pictures. Are they being served by a new, different server since the change that I now have to whitelist?

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Something's changed again, hasn't it?

            I vaguely recall they were visible on the mobile view, but they were a strange size and disappeared pending a fix of some sort, however I don't think the mobile view has never allowed an icon to be chosen when posting.

            Back to the other subject, people clicking on the forums home page is a route to My Posts. At least that's how I do it without bookmarks. But if you make it less discoverable, even fewer people are going to read or post user posts. The thing to do would be to make it more discoverable.

  99. Kane Silver badge


    I don't know if this is still an active thread or if it's currently being monitored by any vultures, but I'd like to propose some ideas for the functionality of the commenting system on articles/forum posts? I didn't see anything on the roadmap, so added here.

    1) Indicator/Alert when someone replies to a comment in a thread that you have contributed to.

    2) Indicator/Alert when someone replies directly to a comment in a thread that you have posted, or to a thread that you have started.

    An additional one for the icons: Terry Pratchett (Pterry) icon, maybe a picture of a wide brimmed fedora, or a skeletal rat?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Request?

      Have you seen this page? It does kind of what you are looking for.

      The only icon worth using is Beer. It is Friday, after all. This round's on me.

  100. ratfox

    I understand that there's no icons on the mobile version of the website, and apparently no way to edit posts either. I understand that it's tricky to do these things right and it may be a lot of work to just port a feature from the desktop to the mobile version.

    What I don't understand is why requesting the desktop version on my mobile phone does not simply give me the desktop version. There are sometimes technical reasons why a desktop version would not work on a mobile phone, such as using Flash or WebGL, but surely that's not the case here?

    Beer icon, because I can.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

This topic is closed for new posts.

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