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Is there a way to find a parent if you look at a post that is a reply? I didn't notice that being enabled in the beta site earlier tonight.
So this will be nested?
It threads and is flat so it does not nest. However, you can click on a parents "Replies" to see all descendent messages. Also, it appears you click on the "in reply to" link for the parent.
actually, we might say -- it is logically nested.
but visually not.
does that matter? as long as it's logically nested, we can always come up with the "right" interface later.
Nested comments would be sooooo cool...
I agree about nesting -- it would be rewarding to be able to coherently follow threads.
Thanks to the OSNews staff for all of the effort put in to this improvement!
I think people are missing a horrible problem with nesting. It causes a thread to completely take over.
If the first person post something, and it say isn't even relevant or just starts a flame and there is a million replies to it. That whole beast just pushes all the on topic good post down, so people come and look at something and just stop reading fast. Keep in mind such a thread may not get modded away. Just look at slashdot and how quickly the first 2-3 post start all the threads, so anything that comes later (which may be far more interesting) just gets shoved to the bottom and never gets read.
Furthermore I think most people just check OSnews here and there and remember how many post their was when they last read a thread, so they go to were they left off and see what got added. If things are nested, then you have to go through and see where new comments were added.
As long as peoples post clearly show what they are responding to, the current system is far better, and stops a few threads from taking over the whole discussion.
Also it's not like many OSnews stories get past 50 post, so it's not to hard to follow along. I think many people are stuck in the Slashdot mode but forget how awful it's usability is.
I think the current system is very good; it gives the benefits of nesting, allows you to filter out all the non-thread messages quickly and fits on my lowly 1024x768 screen nicely due to not nesting :-)
Good work, OSNews crew!
(1st post by the way :-)).
Is the digest just an alternative to the rss feed or will it have more tidbits?
So far I like the new changes!
so far I like the changes
>Is there a way to find a parent
Yes, you just click on the "in reply to" link.
Where is this link?
I can only see "score", "vote+1", "vote-1", "replies:X", "Reply", and "Permalink" at the bottom of the message.
It's just underneath the title, not in the bottom bar.
By Anonymous (IP: 81.38.84.---) on 2005-07-06 04:22:46 PM EDT in reply to "RE:Threading"
Only 5 comment votes per 24 hours? Weren't there 30 in the beta? 30 was probably too many, but 5 may be too few. Somewhere around 12 would be better. But anyway, great job and long live OSNews!
Most people felt that 10 per 24 hours was too many (and 30 was strictly for the beta so that people could test voting). We decided that it's easier to add more votes than to reduce them for everyone, so we will increase comment votes if/when need be.
I have several comments I would like to make. I would prefer to make most of them while logged in to my OSNEWS account. That does not seem to be working. I created an account, activated it by entering my password and then tried to log in. I even cleared the flag to block cookies from www.osnews.com and it still did not work. So, either the system is not really up yet, or you have other mysterious requirements that you want the users to find for you.
My main suggestion is a recommendation that you look at federated identity management. I have no association with sxip networks, but I think you would be a natural homepage for sxip. The main reason I don't have an sxip account yet is that I have not found a good homepage. With sxip, the home page should be a site that is visited by a pretty good number of users and regularly refers users on to other sites. OSNEWS seems perfect.
Hey, when I browse the threads at anything above -1, I get the following error:
Warning: mysql_fetch_array(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/osnews/web/comment.php on line 58
Warning: mysql_free_result(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/osnews/web/comment.php on line 59
Below -1 is fine, though.
ive registered some days ago, but now i can't login anymore - does that mean that the registrations made during the testing period were deleted ?
Yes, some of them were deleted. It was explained in the beta site how you could make the login stay put in the database during the transition. Please re-create it.
I noticed that the story rating doesn't show up on the main page. It might be useful if it were integrated in the story box next to the "Read More" and "# comments" line. Also that line on the comments page doesn't list the number of comments for the story like it used to, it shows "Read More" and "Rating: #/10". For example Slashdot shows on the main page "X of Y comments" with X depending on what comment threshold you are at. Also on Slashdot the drop down box on the comment page shows the total number of comments viewable at each level.
Sorry I was not very coherent. Its pretty late here. I meant to say wrt Slashdot it would be nice if the main page is dynamically generated that it show how many comments are above your threshold vs total number.
Interesting changes. The scoring is a little ugly. Is it recommended by the site managers that we really use it?
The new OSNews is significantly harder to read than the old one. I don't know how other peoples' browsers render it, but on Firefox, I get big bold green words for "Score", "Vote +1", etc. This line of links totally dominates short comments. Perhaps small, unobtrusive icons would be in order?
Looks OK at my Firefox (1.0.4, Windows)
It would be nice to be able to select one "thread" (i.e, a post and its replies) and view them together, since they're now linked in the system anyway.
Congratulations for the improvement in the site, OSNews team
^bump. that was my first thought as well, very intrusive.
Do not replace text with icons. My brain is much faster with decoding words than it is with decoding icons.
However moving the links to the side of the comment and/or increase the padding (mostly vertikal) in the comment box. Would certainly help.
No, icons don't have the usability of text neither all browsers support ALT and TITLE tags. You will get used to it in time, give it a day or two.
Kind of on the subject you just raised (accessibility)... I really like the new features and am curious as to if you did any testing with screen magnifier/reader (vision-impaired/blind) users. A lot of the site is tables (which, when used for layout can be very confusing to navigate); would it be possible to use CSS2 for some of this stuff, perhaps? Have to say I am a great believer in changing only one big thing at a time, so perhaps assessing accessibility issues could be something for the future? I know a few people who'd be happy to test stuff out.
I appreciate the current interface as it is pretty clutter-free compared to most sites (and agree that text is better than icons in this case). Also seems very logical in comparison to other sites with discussion facilities that I have used in the past.
I hope that v3 entices more people to get involved with commenting and contributing in the future (I certainly hope to).
(oh cool -- ``preview'' turns to ``preview again'' when you've used it once already, how swish)
Is there a reason why you don't use the new reply function? I wanted to see replies to the above question, but yours wasn't listed because it wasn't posted as a reply.
I must say, the whole system seems quite nice. Thanks team!
Hey, I like this, reminds me a bit of the old BeOS News forum, nice simple up and down ranking. Takes up a bit of space though, But I like it.
Very happy about the account deal. I was here the first day the new OSnews was launched way back when (I think I followed a link from BeOSnews (or was it benews, geez so long now)). Since then there have been so many other brad's which is not a good thing. So thank you for ending the madness.
I think this will definitely help things. I really like that you are collecting info on how people vote and such, will make for interesting data in time I'm sure.
This site has been up for a week, advertised on the front page of this site, with over 500 active accounts in that period.
What you see here is the culmination of that test - before you judge too harshly, remember that several people, including many regular readers, had lots of input on the look and feel of the site.
Interesting, maybe this means my effort to get away from computers more is working, since I totally missed it.
So far it seams pretty good. Way to go guys/gals
Also I want to commend you on not going to something like a slashdot system, that system is awful. I like this, clean, simple, and doesn't have tons of pointless features.
It looks okish here ( firefox 1.4 )
Id preffer if there was more space between things ...
v3 seems to have come across pretty well. However, comments from the v2 articles aren't handled particularly aptly. They don't even say Anonymous- just an empty space where a name would go. Oh well. We didn't need them, anyway! Other than that minor bug, everything's nice. Still rendering well in FF 1.0.4 and Safari 2.0.
PS: Oh yeah, my linebreaks in my Bio were messed up too. That was easy enough to fix, though
PPS: Sorry for my incoherence. It is 1:30 in the morning...
Error: 'Ad' is undefined
What browser are you using exactly? This is probably a JS error that c omes from the advertisers, in which case we can't do anything about it.
When I click the "Replies: 1" link in the first comment, I get a 404.
http://www.osnews.com/read_thread.php?news_id=11102&comment_id=8 is what it linked to
Using Opera 8.01 on WinXP, JS is enabled, nothing fishy changed..
The looks may not be great, but the most important is the effort to improve the comments system, a long due request from a lot of people, including me.
Great job guys. Version 3 is a wonderful improvement.
First of all: thank you to the staff for doing this. For the most part, this is a huge improvement, and will make reading OSNews much more pleasant. It's a great system. The user accounts are great, and with a moderation system, the quality of discussions is almost certain to improve. Kudos to you guys.
Second: I agree with rayiner. The small posts are really hard to read, especially when there are many of them in a row. I don't know whether little icons are a good solution, but I don't think I'm going to get used to it. A big row of text that takes up almost as much space as the comments themselves is extremely distracting. As for the argument that icons don't have the usability of text: if the text gets in the way and creates an unpleasant visual experience, I'm doubtful of its usability benifits.
As I explained, this can't be done smaller. It is already font size=1. And I also explained that icons are out of the question, as ALT and TITLE are not supported by all browsers and that would make usability worse. Besides, having ICONS in a row every few lines, it will be EVEN more distracting! So, the way it is now, it's the best it can be for this system.
And you haven't seen the administration mod line. It is ONE more row of stuff below the user mod line!
As I said, I don't know that icons are the right solution. Apparently they're not. But that doesn't mean it couldn't be done slightly differently. For example: what about putting the moderation stuff in a column on the side of a post? Well, I guess that would make 1-line posts 6 times as large. But I do wish it could be done in a slightly different way.
On the other hand -- if you say that you got used to it, even with an extra line, I suppose I should shut up and try it for a few days before I complain.
> As I explained, this can't be done smaller. It is already font size=1.
Sure it could be smaller. Just remove the bold-tags.
I actually like the way the comments were laid out on the beta site last week. This is going to take some getting used to, but as Eugenia said, it should only take a couple of days.
if my constant impersonations of the moderators on this site has been a catalyst for the creation of the new site?
I like the new system of having user accounts, it makes it easier to identify users and to totally disregard those posting anonymously.
However, the voting thing has in my opinion one downside. Now it's just easy to vote down posts that you don't agree with and vote up those that share your views. On really "bad" articles that discuss topics like Windows/Linux, KDE/Gnome, C/C++ etc it could very well end up in both sides just voting down the arguments of the other side. This in turn becomes a popularity contest where the "party" with most supporters can vote down posts (and eventually hide them from casual browsers) of the other camp.
Or then it will all work as it is supposed, lets hope for that.
I'm not even going to bother reading the comments now.
It's pseudo-slashdot, but it isn't quite there.
There's too much emphasis on the score of a post, then the content itself. It gives me a headache.
.... my usual user name is "Jed" and I had to put the extra "d" in there because you would not allow 3 characters. Very stupid that. Everything else is okay tho.
If you want to game the system a bit, you can use the username
[space]Jed using a space before the name. it doesn't seem to allow the use of a space after the name, but apparently you can use one before it.
Well done all, great work.
..I managed to overlook the "replies:" item, which does just that. Sorry.
I think you could and should replace "Vote +1" and "Vote -1" with "+" and "-", and make the message title the permalink. At the moment, the page feels entirely too busy (but not horrible).
Also, now that we have user accounts, I would like to suggest allowing us to individually set how many comments we would like to see on a single page. In the future, I would like the ability to ignore certain users altogether
>I think you could and should replace "Vote +1" and "Vote -1" with "+" and "-",
>and make the message title the permalink
Which will make the headline green and hence difficult to read (CSS is out of the question).
Instead of making the message title the permalink, what about putting (Permalink) next to the post title (with font size=1, etc.)? If vertical alignment is an issue, why not just move it to the top right?
Just a couple thoughts.
I don't agree that we should do those things, but I would point out that it's not strictly necessary that the interface be inutitive. If there is a little learning curve to participating, I don't think that would necessarily be a bad thing. I'd be willing to have an interface that's a bit more cryptic and more clean. A CLI for OSNews, if you will.
Would *love* the ability to subscribe to posts via email, or better yet implement CommentRSS for feed readers (this is one of the few sites I still have to poll manually to check on threads I've participated in...a pull model would be nice. Other than that, looks good so far.
I'd also like to see some sort of CommentRSS integration in the future - especially now the comments section should become less of a flame fest and more of a sincere, sensible discussion.
Excellent work guys and gals - I really do like the new system
The "votes" should not even be visible to those not able to use them.
The UI could really use a clean-up.
It is cleaned up. And we DO want the votes words to be showing to anonymous, to push them to register.
Is it possible to post in a thread where you voted someone else's post already?
Is it even possible to vote your own post?
Finally, will it be possible one day to vote the articles themselves? This would be very useful to the OSNews stuff to weed out trollish editorials (and sources thereof). This feature would be a gigantic improvement over what Slashdot is today.
>Is it possible to post in a thread where you voted someone else's post already?
>Is it even possible to vote your own post?
>Finally, will it be possible one day to vote the articles themselves?
This is already implemented. It's called "rating" and it happens on the OSNews original articles, just like this one (not the external newsbits).
Everything looks great, even better than the beta. I like being able to choose the threshold on the message view page.
>>Finally, will it be possible one day to vote the articles themselves?
>This is already implemented. It's called "rating" and it happens on the OSNews original articles,
>just like this one (not the external newsbits).
I would like to see the story ratings on the front page near the title. And why not rate external stories? Some of them are either very good or real stinkers and it would be nice to get a clue as to what people think of the article itself and how many voted.
I like the style of message threading here. Clicking on replies works pretty good. But maybe clicking on the title would show all replies/parents (in other words the whole thread)? Right now you can track replies but not the parent.
you should change the title of the page while reading all of the comments. right now it is alwys "OSNews.com - Exploring the future of computing" but I think it should be "OSNews.com - " followed by the title of the artitle.
This *is* done but only in the actual story page, story.php, not in the comments pages. It is an additional SQL query to implement it here too (because the HTML headers are rendering before the story query is happening) and so we don't want to do that because the commenting part of osnews is already the most heavy of all and we don't want to make it even more CPU heavier.
OsNews becomes another Slashdot
I've used the login skx almost everywhere I can - but here it's too short.
If this lower length limit could be reduced I'd signup, but without it I can't.
Also other tags such as 'p', 'tt' would be appreciated instead of just bold and italic.
Now using <tt>skx2</tt>.
not bad at all
Ok, nice those features. However, some of them are also in the way in some way:
* A lot of people don't necessarily want all those features of an account, but they do want to post with their own name. To be able to post with your own name, a registration + e-mail authentication is way too exagerated.
* Score isn't that important that it doesn't need to be highlighted in bold with extra colours. It is still the comment itself that matters.
* Like others, I don't see the need for a whole line for comment rating. Put in the line below the subject on the right. It can be just as simple as:
[i]Replies: 1, Score: 1 [ +1 | -1 ]
In other words, for good user interface design, group the statistics together.
Another user interface design quirk.
If I register, I am asked for my real name. I therefore assume my real name is going to be displayed as author of my comments and choose a simple all lowercase user name.
However, it appears my username and not my real name is displayed as author of the comments.
"To be able to post with your own name, a registration + e-mail authentication is way too exagerated. "
Be glad they didn't throw a captcha in there as well! Seriously though, email auth is good for the admins, as it's a layer to keep away spambots, and it's good for users, who frequently lose passwords.
"Like others, I don't see the need for a whole line for comment rating. Put in the line below the subject on the right."
I was resistant at first as well, but it was much more cluttered when everything was in the header. There's also the conceptual nicety of having the "reply" link at the bottom of messages.
"Score isn't that important that it doesn't need to be highlighted in bold with extra colours. It is still the comment itself that matters. "
I couldn't agree more.
This way unregistered people may not realize the feature is available.
Personally, I am missing the ability to label a comment with an adjective (interesting, insightful, informative, pointless, funny, overrated). Does nobody feel the same?
In order to decide the score threshold, I need to know how many comments are there with that threshold.
If there are 30 messages rated +5, I may decide to choose 5 as a threshold. But if there is only one message rated 5, I may want to choose 4 or less.
In other words, the items in the combo box which selects the threshold should look like
+5 (23 comments)
+4 (55 comments)
Good that you've given the osnews site a whole buncha new gimmicks. User based community is a ine trick. It should keep at least the medium trolls away from posting their abusive and else stuff - if no one wants to read it, simply vote it down and no one will see it. I like that. No need any more to complain about a complete troll/moron.
Bad usability: the "comments below your current score threshold" link should show only those comments and not change the threshold requiring you to scan through all comments for ones below threshold now being displayed additionally.
osnews uses invalid html and its so very easy to fix.
Add document type
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
- Fix form tags used inside of tables. I know this is just a hack to fix spacing but you can use valid html and just style the form tag to remove spacing by style="margin:0px;"
- Fix the broken </a> tags near Score:
- Fix the missing tr tag
There are lots of errors infact but most of them are easily fixed
I hope these get fixed as the layout isn't that complicated and there is no reason for the pages to have invalid and broken html v3 is definately an improvement and so would be nice clean valid HTML
OSNews has the HTML it has for a REASON. And OSNews does not use 4.01, it uses a mix of things, mostly 3.2.
> Fix form tags used inside of tables. I know this is just a hack to fix spacing but you can use valid html and just style the form tag to remove spacing by style="margin:0px;
No, CSS is not acceptable for this. We have to render well on old browsers and using FORM instead table TRs is the trick we need.
>- Fix the broken </a> tags near Score:
>- Fix the missing tr tag
I will let Adam have a look on that.
I totally understand having to support older browsers but for the other 99.8% (i dont want to argue the actual percentage of older browsers but we are talking probably less than 1% after all i'm just trying to help!) of browsers out there it'd be nice to have valid html.
Its probably better if you suggest to Adam to look through the validation results are there are lots of small errors.
how about for the future improvement the accessibility of pages to say at least level AA?
Even if OSNews must support a lot of browsers. Does it have to look EXACTLY the same in all of them?
If a little touch of css would improve usabillity for a large group of users but otherwise don't mess with the layout for non-CSS browsers, why not?
Kudos to the OSNews programmers, this will improve the quality of comments on OSNews and this is a good thing.
the bold Score does seem to attract the eye or should i say distract the eye.....
besides that LOVE IT!
Im viewing the mobile osnews (series 60 opera) right now and I agree this huge color line ruined the elegant v2 comments page look.
>Im viewing the mobile osnews (series 60 opera) right now and I agree this
> huge color line ruined the elegant v2 comments page look.
I don't understand what you mean. Can you please be more specific? What is wrong *exactly*? I checked it as "mobile" browser and it looked fine to me.
Sorry, maybe its me only,but the big font score line after the small font comment looks inconsistent. And by the way what's the purpose of ID info on the mobile version?
Would be nice
Why is it not allowed to vote -1 on posts with factual errors? At least I'd rather skip posts with a lot of factual errors.
I havn't read any rules, but my guess is:
If one poster has factual errors it's likley that some of the readers has been fed with the same misinformation.
Instead of hiding the missinformation it is better if someone takes the time to provide a convincing declaration of the actual facts so that the real information can be spread.
I an interested in a possible "OSNews Digest" email (read more)
Should this be " I am interested in a possible "OSNews Digest" email (read more)"?
1) I don't like not being able to declare my name if not registered and logged in. Arg! (Though, I just put it in the subject field, so there!)
2) The "score / voting / replies / permalink" fields on the bottom of each of the comments adds *way* too much visual clutter. Find a way to make this information available to those who are seeking it, while keeping it out of the way for those who could care less.
Like you I found the new fields VERY distracting. But once I got used to it (took about 20min) they weren't so bad.
I do which there would a little more padding in the comment field though.
To whom should security issues be disclosed?
You can mail me at http://www.steve.org.uk/contact/ if that's easier.
I personally would love to have the ability to filter by article type. For example, I could really care less about Amiga and PDA articles, so wouldn't mind if those never showed up on the list
OSN Staff Vote +1 Vote -1 Replies: 0 Reply Permalink
this last roe after each comment is pretty ugly and very distracting. you guys are so techie... i'm sorry for you
...and I can take up this Wonderful username that Slashdot won't let me have
I like the ideas behind the new site and everything. However, as stated many times, the design of the score + replies thing is too cluttered.
Here's a simple suggestion. It's just a photoshop mockup. The +/- things arent images, just simple tables with +-i text so they work in all browsers.
Your suggested layout
looks really much cleaner. Before seeing that, I created little mockup too (with altered color for score line):
Maybe combining/advancing these ideas could produce even more "content oriented" look
What about a choice of color themes for registered users?
Even if there are only two or three choices that aren't much different than the original colors, some people might find one better than another as far as contrast, highlighting the parts they're interested in (the content, most likely) and downplaying the stuff they'd rather ignore (status/title/author bars), in order to improve readability.
Yeah, the alternate color definately helps. Contrast is much better. I like it.
Much better.. I doubt it'll be considered however. OSNews editor(s) are kind of/very anal about design issues.
Hmm... I like that layout. We'll definitely entertain other designs. That was what the beta was for, but we're already hard at work on osnv3.1.
so far it is excellent, I LIKE it a lot !
yes, I also think those green "Vote +-1" buttons under the comments dominate way too much. Maybe move them to the right side of the box? Or change the color?
Hey can you change the text of the button in the edit preferences page to say "Save Preferences"? "Edit Preferences" is a bit misleading.
looks good, I really like it. Keepp on doing such a good job!
I did a nice CLI in PHP for remote access to my server. It only shows the most recent command at the moment, but it works good, and looks convincing.
I'm planning on implimenting it's own command language too that runs before PassThru, and prevents PassThru if it is run.
Perhaps a CLI for OSNews wouldn't be a bad idea...or mabe an interface like an old Fidonet Node Reader
I see you implemented my suggestions, with some improvedments
I definately like where permalink is now, better than where I had it. Very cool. Nice job
Don't suppose I could get a little "thanks", even if buried somewhere deep in the site where no one looks?
The permalink changed position because the colspan design required is not supported by old browsers (we either had to use some crapped up colspan coding or CSS, which are both out of the question for old browsers).
BTW, we would not have implemented your idea if the admin row cell wouldn't fit in the last row (previously it was its own row). Thankfully it did, and so we went ahead with it.
Well I'm glad the permalink changed, because its better where it is now.
I'm glad I could be of use
Keep up the good work.
I like the improved look, but I still have trouble with the convention of having the "reply" link at the bottom-left as opposed to the bottom-right.
I wonder how it would look swapping the voting and reply links (keeping the permalink at the left, but switching everything else).
You guys did accept the change.. gracefully. This looks much better than it did before. Though I'd not make the Score: part bold, just the actual score itself. Reply to the far right like drew says may be better also.. but whatever. It looks good enough to me now
I registered as anand78 and lo and behold my username has vanished. Registering is pain in itself and to register twice absurd.
Uh....dude, nothing "vanished."
You're right here: http://www.osnews.com/user.php?uid=1150