Not only did the El Reg gurus give us threading comments, they also gave us comments with more wifth Thank you!
Any chance we could have a bit more width for article text too?
Yes, yes, I know I'm greedy.
Happy new year. As you read this, we hope you're well past any New Year's Day hangovers, that you've caught up on your post-Chrimbo email backlog, and are fully limbered up for the first meetings of the year... all just in time to tiptoe off into the weekend. Anyway, to the point. We've made a few changes that you should know …
Oh god I recall when we had some stupidish comment system which did this at university (10+ years ago). Web....mx? something like that anyway. It was much amusement to the computing students to keep replying to each other constantly on threads they didn't like, causing them to get narrower and narrower until you couldn't see any content anymore.
Have to say, I'm a bit disappointed with ElReg commenters. I'd expected the indent to be much greater by now. I suspect the average age of commenters is greater than that at which silliness becomes less likely and we start to say "Ah, who cares. We'll be dead soon. Better act my age." You all need to keep on acting as you did when you were twenty years old. I am still twenty years old, and intend to be forever. I'm probably younger than you suspect, but older than my mind thinks I am. Or something...I'm confused...
On the Insert tab, the galleries include items that are designed to coordinate with the overall look of your document. You can use these galleries to insert tables, headers, footers, lists, cover pages, and other document building blocks. When you create pictures, charts, or diagrams, they also coordinate with your current document look. You can easily change the formatting of selected text in the document text by choosing a look for the selected text from the Quick Styles gallery on the Home tab. You can also format text directly by using the other controls on the Home tab. Most controls offer a choice of using the look from the current theme or using a format that you specify directly. To change the overall look of your document, choose new Theme elements on the Page Layout tab. To change the looks available in the Quick Style gallery, use the Change Current Quick Style Set command.
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Hmm... good excuse to spark up the nonsense generator:
Well one day at Shrewsbury, and offers no accommodation for chance guests and, had it been known in the same time the engine and the other hand, it afforded us some time before he was well pleased, and he was always in a very successful man in his own name and Mr. Riach and the train was about to be a very long gradient, the hindmost carriages of the train at an early hour yesterday morning, Jan. 8th, 1884, in connection with the same time, he admits that tunnels were nuisances, which he had been so long as he had a great deal of opposition I have no objection to the other side of the most famous was the first to use the former, and the whole of the railway company for damages for the first time in the midst of the same way as liners used to make a great many of the two men lying impotent in their own hands.
...or in other words:
Well one day at York, as the train was about to be a very successful series of stamps based upon the deck, and that the first to lay down to the other hand, it afforded us some time before we heard a cry, "Five minutes here!"
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What happens when the replies get deep enough?
The amount of left padding between posts decreases, "harmonically" (taking logarithmically less space) until a point at which all replies are shown at the same level. The point varies by breakpoint: 40th child on 884px+ wide devices; 30th for 700px+ devices, etc. all the way to just 6 replies for devices less wide than 380px.
There are quite a few (mostly old) forums with very deep replies, which have been tested :)
While there is a theoretical limit for how many replies this system can truly support the nesting for, it's high enough to not be a problem anytime soon ;)
"While there is a theoretical limit for how many replies this system can truly support the nesting for, it's high enough to not be a problem anytime soon ;)"
The correct response to that is either "Famous last words" or "Challenge Accepted" and I am afraid it will be a combination of both, given the commentards here ;)
They already give us the full length... now you want girth as well? (run into the corner and sniggers)
On a serious note, 100% agree with this, this has been a pet-peeve on mine for at least the past 5 years - Fixed width is so 2005.. these days almost everybody will use a widescreen monitor, so this is a useability hindrance.
Really wide text is too hard to read (eyes have a tendency to jump up or down a line).
This is why newspapers have columns and the traditional layout of books. The width of typical paper sizes is a sensible upper limit.
Hence I've applied a little CSS (Stylus FTW) to limit to 800px wide for a more comfortable reading experience. (And also why I rarely have my browser maximised.)
Errmmm... chaps... via the new modern cutting-edge shiny chrome miracle innovation of Graphical Windows Screens, you could just simply click&drag with your mouse to reduce the width of the window, such that TheReg has a text-column width which suits your reading preferences.
No CSS override custom twiddlery required!
What an awesome HACK!!
I'd like the editing font size (like in this edit window right now) to match the article display font size, so I don't have to zoom in/out to get something readable for editing. When the article display font is correct, the edit font is one or two sizes too small. This causes eyestrain and a LOT of typing mistakes that I have to correct later. The alternative is to zoom in once or twice, and then the article is displayed in a 'ginormous' font. I just want both to be the same, ya know?
Anyway it's been "like that" for a while now. I mention it occasionally. I'm mentioning it again.
why oh why... since you use cloudflare...
how about adding a IPv6 address ?
how about enabling DNSSEC ?
These are simple to enable...
also your web developers could do with getting a better score than a F for Fail
honestly the most important is DNSSEC
1. Log in to your Cloudflare dashboard.
2. Open the DNS app.
3. Scroll down to the DNSSEC module.
4. Click Enable DNSSEC.
5. A pop-up will open with instructions for how to add the DS record to your registrar.
Copy the DS record and paste it into your registrar’s dashboard.
Once your registrar publishes the DS record, your domain will be DNSSEC-enabled.
Re IPv6, "soon®". There's many backend bits we have to clean up before being able to turn it on for the main site. Meanwhile, IPv6 for places we could enable it at the flick of a button already have it enabled, like our image hosting domain, regmedia.co.uk... so not all hope is lost - it's "only" the main content site that lacks IPv6.
The rest is IMVHO as easy to enable as it's hard to recover from if we (or others!) fuck it up - while at the same time not providing as many tangible benefits to either us or users as, say, having https "on" and "default".
Considering that the (admittedly few) bank sites I've tried also get an F on that report, I'm in no rush either...
Never been to Great Yarmouth - He should consider how consider how lucky he is that life has been good to him so far.
Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to him so far, which, given the current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky he is that it won’t be troubling him much longer.
(One day I might regal you all with the Yarmouth\Gorlestone "Boom Boom Room" story from my week at the Offshore Survival Training in Lowestoff - See icon).
One odd aspect of the newly-introduced threading I've noticed is that it works on older comment replies that were made long, *long* before the upgrade- even ones that were posted literally years ago, like these from 2012(!).
The obvious implication is that although the forum only displayed comments at two levels- one for original posts, and another for anything that was a direct *or* indirect reply to it- it was keeping track of the full threaded reply structure all along.
If you are any kind of developer, it's worth your while keeping an eye on said site. Not for the bake-off drooling, and general low quality of debate. But more because it's an incredibly popular (albeit crap) site, and 80% if it's users are not only happy with it the way it is, but still reeling from changes made in 2012.
That how you stay grounded, and stop thinking the whizzier the better and that your users crave change.
Well done El Reg !!!!!!
There's no easy way to say this. I like it, it works, it flows, it looks good, it does the job and I can offer no suggestions on how it might be improved from my first use of the new format. For an IT professional I feel like I have failed in some way in not being able to pick holes in it in any way. Sorry about that.
Not sure if its the time of year or mayhap something is more 'right' than the last time ElReg updated layout, but this article has been up 5 hours and then some, and only 42 comments. I think last time the comment list was *substantially* longer 5 hours in....
I'm not certain I'm a fan of the staggered layout as it is but, it doesn't look horrible.
"Our website is now mobile-desktop responsive, meaning whether you visit us on a phone, laptop, workstation, tablet, telly, holographic love dungeon, whatever it may be, it should automatically display in a layout appropriate to your screen size. "
And yet you've been aware since you first launched this crap that it absolutely does not do any such thing. Use a normal browser on a normal PC and it remains always stuck at no more than 4 articles to a row on the front page, with the text in an actual article restricted to about 10-12 words, in both cases taking up at most maybe 1/4 of the available space and leaving the rest of the screen completely blank. And yes, I've seen the excuses about people not wanting more than that and so on. The problem isn't just that it's such a crap design, but that you insist on lying about it. It is not in any way a "responsive" site, it's simply a mobile site that you happen to able to view on a real computer if you're willing to put up with a shit layout and huge amounts of wasted space.
Also, there's clearly an image in that screenshot. I do love the idea of insisting on cramming hideous adverts down the throat of people who have specifically asked not to have pictures shown.
Yeah, sorry, but this "responsive design" fad is nonsense.
It's just not possible to make a single user interface that works as well on a tiny, fat-fingered smartphone touchscreen, as on a widescreen mouse & keyboard PC.
There are multiple ways around it, like using separate, dedicated programs for browsing news (RSS feeds) and writing comments on mobile.
Or have a very simple, standardized layout that lets the browser do the job... (also, hiding the pictures is certainly a job for the browser's side !)
This explains why m.theregister.co.uk stopped working over the holidays.
On my tablet, which has a screen 1/4 the size of my laptop but twice the resolution, there's no way to force El Reg into dumb mode because it thinks I've got a 42" monitor...
Congratulations, any more advances like this and you'll be qualified to work for Microsoft.
There used to be buttons to Up/Down vote a comment. They no longer get read by my screen reader. I thought the reader was glitching but a forced OCR of the screen reveals there are no such buttons to be read. This wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that just clicking the numbers to vote spits me back to the top of the page & loses my place in the comments thread. I have to copy the last line of the post I'm about to vote on, vote, then tell my machine to Control+Find the copied text to get back to where I had been. I haven't changed my browsers settings, my readers settings are the same, yet now the site makes me jump through hoops just to vote. Am I missing something? Is there a box I need to tick in my site settings, or some other form of Voodoo chicken sacrafice I'm supposed to do to make it work?
There used to be buttons to Up/Down vote a comment.
They're now simple "a" tags instead of a complex form with a button, so we can have less markup to deliver pretty much the same thing, to the detriment only of no-js users, who instead have to go through one more hoop to find the html form to upvote (sorry, but the site runs on ads and ads require js!)
They no longer get read by my screen reader.
My (admittedly limited, being sighted) testing with the accessibility inspector and with NVDA on Windows (which I'm using more often in recent months) shows me that tabbing through the links on the page the "new up/downvote links" get read as "NNN link Like this post? Vote for it!" or "MMM link Dislike this post? Vote it down!" with NNN being the number of upvotes, MMM the number of downvotes. I'm not sure how or why your screen reader isn't showing you them. They're links, and can be tabbed to :/
clicking the numbers to vote spits me back to the top of the page & loses my place in the comments thread
Now, this is something that doesn't seem right in the slightest. Our client-side guru is aware of this and will be looking into it (likely Monday, as it's about beer o'clock...).
Ok, I hear what you're saying (well, what my reader is saying) but it still doesn't make sense. I've had JS turned off for aeons & not had this problem, so why it suddenly starts now is a mystery.
The numbers are links, I can click on the number to Up/Down vote, but there's nothing prior to either number to indicate that they ARE for Up & Down voting. No button, no text, no AltText, nada. Jaws19 can't seem to find anything there to read at all, even when forced to do a manual OCR of the screen & read things even the normal OCR doesn't identify. *Shrugs & sighs*
I'll try fiddling with the settings in Jaws to try & get it to find the buttons, but that still leaves the bit about being kicked back to the top of the page.
Thanks for the help. Go enjoy a pint on me, just as long as you sober up in time to give it another look come Monday morning. =-)
I've had JS turned off for aeons & not had this problem, so why it suddenly starts now is a mystery.
We used to have a form for each upvote and downvote button, and that's a "form" tag and a "button" for each arrow for each post. As we're now showing many more posts per forum page, we needed to find ways to reduce the amount of markup per page, to keep the amount of bytes sent and amount of DOM elements the browser has to deal with lower.
To do that, we've switched each of those "form and button" to a link, which halves the amount of DOM elements (and quite a few bytes!) for each post.
Behaviour wise, both perform an AJAX request if you have JS disabled.
Unfortunately for JS-disabled users, the link requires you to go through an additional step to up/downvote. As this is an ad-supported site, which stays afloat due to ads, and since ads are delivered via JS... there's only so much we can do towards supporting JS disabled users, and we've got to draw the line somewhere.
I can click on the number to Up/Down vote, but there's nothing prior to either number to indicate that they ARE for Up & Down voting. No button, no text, no AltText, nada
The "a" tag for up and downvotes has a "title" attribute ("alt" is for images), which should be read by screen readers. NVDA does find it and read it (if I tab through to it). I'm not sure why JAWS19 doesn't do that, but there's only so much testing I can do... What I've bet on so far is that if we provide semantic and meaningful markup, screen readers ought to work well.
It is a strange sight to see someone claiming that "ads require JS", isn't it. In a technical sense it's a blatant lie. In a commercial sense it may have some truth in it...
It may be that this site's owners have made a choice that JS is an (ahem) "essential" part of the site's ad-delivery infrastructure. But acknowledging that in public may be a career-limiting move for some people.
Quite a few other people, including me, have made a choice that sites which rely on JS are an increasingly untrustworthy species - that's why script blockers exist, not just ad blockers. This applies especially when sites are economical with the truth about why JS is needed.
Another aspect of this is the whole "where does the site get its money from" discussion (e.g. why rely on ads via the usual channels, why no role for micropayments per article, etc), but that's probably another discussion for another day.
Be interesting to see which side "wins" a few years from now.
in case it's not obvious, it's probably the world-infamous adbroker that's driving the move to "responsive" sites and the reliance on JS. If you don't follow their rules, you're likely to fall down in their associated search engine rankings. That's been known and discussed for a couple of years. I haven't seen it mentioned here (I may have missed it).
OK, someone had to view source. Might as well be me.
Shadow Systems is right, and his screenreader is also right. The arrows are nowhere in the markup, they're merely part of the stylesheet.
Here's a relevant cut&paste .. damn, neither unescaped nor fully-escaped works here, I'm going to switch <> to  instead:
[div class=actions] [a class="vote up" title="Like this post? Vote for it!" data-user-vote="true" href="https://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/vote/up/3687493"] 9 [/a] [a class="vote down" title="Dislike this post? Vote it down!" href="https://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/vote/down/3687493"] 0 [/a]
What Shadow Systems describes is exactly what's there. Putting on my accessibility hat, I'd say that's a real issue, and should be remedied.
The simplest remedy would be to add the up and down arrows as icon images within the links: this is what it already looks like to a visual browser. Then alt=upvote / alt=downvote will render just fine in a screenreader. The drawback there is the extra markup, but the icons themselves are purely passive: being within the links is what matters, and you can get rid of that abusive use of the title attribute on the links.
There is probably an alternative solution using an audio stylesheet to inform screenreaders, but my knowledge of the subject is way too outdated to suggest implementation details.
I wanted to get my positive comment up front, because that's literally the only one I have.
Everything else is substantially worse. The responsive design is seriously interfering with my use of the site. It's impossible to regain the information density that used to be achievable (image lite mode doesn't help a bit with that). Ugh. I wish that the new design didn't make the site harder and more unpleasant to use, but here we are.
Developers completely fail to take into consideration anyone who is less than a 100% functional individual using their software. Supporting our OH users here over the last few years has shown me that even developers of assistance software can have absolutely no concept of the conditions and abilities of their users.
The world is in a sad place.
The new front page just looks cluttered. Having the "top stories" then latest with a brief bit of "top stories" is just distracting. But then again, I'm not a trendy person, I just happen to like stuff that works and the ability to find information without a lot of "fluff".
I preferred the old home page style, though I was still applying GreaseMonkey scripts to get rid of the crap I didn't want. At least it all ended up in neat, evenly-sized columns.
With a few tweaks to the script I have things are sort of how they were, Latest News, Most Read, and clutter eliminated, but it's not looking good with varying-width columns and blank space where things have been removed. It will do for now. Long term I'll probably scrape the Weekly page or pull the RSS feed, build a page how I want it, and go through that.
Anyway; keep up the good work; it's the articles I come to read. And the comments of course.
replies don't appear after submitting unless I reload the page; then they pop in.
Assuming you're talking about comment replies... it's just the way things are: when you submit your reply it's accepted and stored for later processing; it _can_ just so happen that if your comment is auto-approved and the processing queue is clear and the time it takes for your browser to redirect you to the forum page takes long enough, you'll see your new comment "there"; but it may as well happen that the queue is busy (or down for maintenance) and it'll then take longer. I believe the message shown after each reply makes mention of this.
The new front page is too sparse, only seven article headlines visible on Opera (five on PaleMoon) without scrolling as opposed to thirteen with the older version (with Adblock, Scriptsafe & Stylish applied). The main article is just a black rectangle with the headline in it, even with Image lite (sic) applied.
The nested threads are a good idea but are too wide - makes my eyes ache to the point where I just select 'thread' to condense the width, even if it means more scrolling, I can't explain it any better, it just feels 'more normal'.
There's also possibly too much white space glaring at me, although it has caused me to turn down the brightness so battery life should be a bit better and i'd rather have white space than ads....
There seems to be a gremlin.
After a week or two of threaded comments mostly all-on-one-page over the season of humbug, today I'm getting oldfashioned pagination (three pages to this article). From memory, today's Friday regulars On-Call and Dabbs also paginated on me.
Yes, I did check my personal settings before posting this. Everything was set to the defaults, which apparently should mean no pagination!
Thanks for all the work!
One thing that I would find very useful would be a dark mode theme, if you happen to have any spare development time?
I don’t know why it became almost standard for most websites to have #ffffff’ing bright searing white page backgrounds (I always turn the CSS down a few notches to pale grey on any sites that I develop), but I do find too much bright white very overwhelming and it would be very much appreciated if an option could be added to select a dark theme instead. Many thanks if you could do this!
This -- I don't care for either blinding white *or* overly-dark mode themes (as switching from dark to another tab/website is then too blinding), but it'd be nice if they'd code the pages to respect the user's browser settings instead of forcing the black/white scheme.
FTA: "For those clinging to the previous layout, we allowed you to opt in to continue receiving the old homepage. ... According to our stats, about 4,000 people a month were still opting in for the old homepage in December, so we figured it wasn't too popular."
IME, every time I selected the old desktop format it got reverted automagically within a week even though I allowed/kept the cookie that must have stored the preference. I'd wonder how that statistic was swayed by others who also preferred the old desktop site layout but got frustrated at having to keep selecting the optout they just admitted defeat. It was a bit Mrs Doyle in the end - You'll use the new format won't you? Oh you will, you will, you will, you will..." Looks like I'd better try the lite mode. For me it made much more sense to look at the front page 1-2 times a day and check the new stories added since I last looked than go hunting for them on the new design.
Thumbs up at least for the threaded comments - spotted over Christmas. Good work guys!
I expected the opt-out to the old front page to be time limited. Comments about the blurring of consultation and affirmation a few months ago are still valid.
As for threads. I read comments in date order because that is the way the world works. time is linear. I also suspect that commentards make comments on the earliest original posts to gets their words up near the top of the page.
Still too many columns (three is the max advisable). Have to dust off Greasemonkey to see if that can be fixed. If anyone has already got there, perhaps they could post the script somewhere. As for the idea of a responsive web page design suitable for all types of reader, (phone, tablet, PC ). Ever heard of the old phrase "jack of all trades and master of none"