Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 00:32 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Now that the holidays are upon us (happy holidays!) and the year is about to end, we at OSNews thought it time to finally lift the veil a little bit on the next version of OSNews - OSNews 5. I've hinted at this next version of OSNews here and there in the comments, but we think it's time to make it all a little bit more official by taking in some initial feedback.
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Night Nina...
by pepa on Wed 26th Dec 2012 00:57 UTC
pepa
Member since:
2005-07-08

If you make Night Nina optional, I would be happy, or at least give users the option to choose Day Nina. Otherwise: looking forward to using this!

Question: No longer categories for up/down-voting??

Reply Score: 5

RE: Night Nina...
by joekiser on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:00 UTC in reply to "Night Nina..."
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

Years ago, I mirrored the OSNews color scheme on GMail.
As long as there is an option to keep the current color scheme, I'm fine with the redesign.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Night Nina...
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:06 UTC in reply to "Night Nina..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Question: No longer categories for up/down-voting??


I'd like to see them go (they're pointless), but we haven't really talked about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Night Nina...
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 26th Dec 2012 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Night Nina..."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

My mistake I thought you meant getting rid of moderation. Ignore that inaccurate mod then. It was meant to be ironic.

Edited 2012-12-26 15:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Night Nina...
by kejar31 on Wed 26th Dec 2012 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Night Nina..."
kejar31 Member since:
2006-01-08

I think that would be a mistake as the up-vote and down-vote allow's people who don't comment to feel involved.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Night Nina...
by Spiron on Thu 27th Dec 2012 08:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Night Nina..."
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

They're not talking about the actual voting, just the list of words that you get when you click the button. This would make it a simple Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down

Reply Score: 2

Heart of Darkness
by Lava_Croft on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:01 UTC
Lava_Croft
Member since:
2006-12-24

Nina at Night is looking very good. This will fit perfectly on my mobile devices.

Reply Score: 5

Voting down?
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:01 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

I had always hoped that voting down would eventually go, but I haven't read anything like that (sorry if I missed it).
We at InsanelyMac have always only allowed "Like This".
This has taken care that there is absolute freedom of speech (of course within the rules) and absolutely no petty wars or zealotry.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Voting down?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:04 UTC in reply to "Voting down?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Please, don't bring this up again. Great that "like this" works on your site, but that doesn't mean it works everywhere. We have debated this at length several times over, to the point where I pulled out the cold and hard statistics to prove to you that you, despite your claims, barely received downvotes at all.

The voting system will remain as it is. It works. Perfect, no - but perfect enough. The redesign is challenging enough as it is with so little manpower and manhours.

Edited 2012-12-26 01:07 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Voting down?
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Voting down?"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

The redesign is challenging enough as it is with so little manpower and manhours.


Believe me, I am aware of that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Voting down?
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 26th Dec 2012 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Voting down?"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a typical example of voting down being misused.
What did I say? I meant that as the administrator of a large site I am aware of the challenges of keeping it up to date, always with new features and to the liking of users.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Voting down?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Voting down?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So you received a downvote. So what?

As I've explained to you a billion times - it doesn't matter. It doesn't affect anything. It doesn't have any influence over anything. The moderation system and the algorithms it uses aren't impressed with a few comments getting a few downvotes. Your standing within the system is excellent, and not affected by this in any way, shape, or form. The system is smarter than that.

In fact, the system even alerts us of abuse, when a particular uses is oddly downvoted - say, by the same user, or in rapid fashion, and so on.

I honestly don't know how many times I have to point this out to you. Stop worrying so much over something that means nothing. Heck, this whining is why I originally wanted to hide comment scores altogether in favour of showing user standing.

We still may.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Voting down?
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 27th Dec 2012 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Voting down?"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

LOL, shall we laugh together now? ;)
I have a few enemies, it cannot be avoided, especially among tonymacx86 staff and possibly their users.
Could it be that, unable to attack me at InsanelyMac, they vote me down here?
Little more than a joke ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Voting down?
by kwan_e on Thu 27th Dec 2012 02:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Voting down?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I have a few enemies, it cannot be avoided, especially among tonymacx86 staff and possibly their users.
Could it be that, unable to attack me at InsanelyMac, they vote me down here?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl41VkyXUmk

They're not enemies. They're people who take themselves too seriously. A better idea is to suck it up and not take voting too seriously - or maybe consider the alternative that those comments deserved to be downvoted. People these days don't have enemies, or foes*, as the Slashdot system allows for...

* I've had two people on Slashdot foe me. All for comments I made that didn't buy into their extreme libertarianism. Says something about them I think ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Voting down?
by WereCatf on Thu 27th Dec 2012 03:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Voting down?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

* I've had two people on Slashdot foe me. All for comments I made that didn't buy into their extreme libertarianism. Says something about them I think ;)


I don't think I have any foes here as usually my comments go un-voted, but I've noticed that whenever I make a comment critical of anything to do with Linux or somehow positive towards Microsoft or Windows the comment is instantly down-voted -- there are no counter-arguments to anything I say or anything, these comments are just uniformly being down-voted by whomever the people are who do it. On the other hand, praising Linux or bashing Microsoft and/or Windows generally yields positive votes regardless of whether the comment actually adds anything to the discussion or even has a point to it. I chalk such behaviour to childishness and insecurity and just shrug it off.

The above in mind, however, I still personally view the voting system as a positive thing in general; the well-behaved people seemingly far outweigh these "voter-lurkers" and usually does give a semblance of balance as to what comments are worth paying more attention to than the others. It could be better, yes, and there's multiple ways of going about it, but even the current implementation works for me. Alas, YMMV.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Voting down?
by Kivada on Thu 27th Dec 2012 18:46 UTC in reply to "Voting down?"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Nah, if you say something completely moronic you should be downvoted.

Reply Score: 2

Krocs work MIA?
by kragil on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:07 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

In one podcast Kroc was talking about his new OSnews site, is there anything left of that?

And if you guys introduce captchas I will want the old site back really hard.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Krocs work MIA?
by Kroc on Thu 27th Dec 2012 09:34 UTC in reply to "Krocs work MIA?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I worked on a very complex redesign of OSNews that tried to present almost everything that already existed in the most logical and structured way; the categorisation and navigation were unified through a pretty innovative system called the power bar. Ultimately it was too complex for me to do in spare time and it had to be dropped, so applaud Thom for driving this new design and cutting it down to absolute basics, it's really what it needs. I liked v3 the most, and I hope we get back to that level of straight-forwardness ;)

Maybe the work I did helped to influence Thom's design a little, if there's anything they take away I hope it's the "hyper-threading" comment CSS I invented, there's no other website out there that uses something like it; nesting is a habitual problem.

If David allows it I might one day be able to show the prototype designs I did for OSNews.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Krocs work MIA?
by ansidotsys on Fri 28th Dec 2012 02:48 UTC in reply to "Krocs work MIA?"
ansidotsys Member since:
2008-08-15

As I understand it, it was being handwritten:

http://www.osnews.com/thread?400309

I’m hand writing the next version of OSnews. It is going to be faster than any other news site. It will be incredibly elegant, and well designed, and it will be HTML5. It will work in IE. It is the best piece of code I’ve ever written and it is leagues ahead of the game.

If you can’t compete with Notepad, then you don’t know your craft well enough. Get learning, all the knowledge is freely available on the Internet.


With the decision now to use Drupal, I think that speaks volumes against the practicality of pure text-based editors for managing a large site. While it can be done, it simply does not scale. Drupal, Dreamweaver, Wordpress, Notepad, TextMate, etc. are all tools that are a means to an end. It's when you get too attached to your means that you forget the end goal.

In this case, producing a website that is of maintainable complexity and actually getting it done. It's the difference between walking the walk and talking the talk.

Edited 2012-12-28 02:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Krocs work MIA?
by Kroc on Fri 28th Dec 2012 10:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Krocs work MIA?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And time. I have a job and now a wife and kid on the way. It was wrong of me to brag, but I already have a website and forum system I wrote myself to prove I can walk the walk. There's LESS and many other tools for managing a large scale website with a text editor as your main development tool. All computing is just advanced forms of processing "text".

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Krocs work MIA?
by zima on Fri 28th Dec 2012 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Krocs work MIA?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

All computing is just advanced forms of processing "text".

Except for processing states of blinkenlights! ;p (and a modern LCD or OLED screen can be seen as a dense array of them)

Reply Score: 2

category icons
by nadiasvertex on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:26 UTC
nadiasvertex
Member since:
2006-07-11

I liked them. They leant the site a certain charm. It will be sad to see them go.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:35 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

Looks good, but the Night Nina scheme is a bit too dark for me. I'd much prefer a BG in the #111111 range (or ideally, #333333 to match my terminal BG), but I suppose most people prefer pure black, especially if they use LED type screens (or amoled or whatever). Not quite feeling the fonts either. A bit too "weighty" for my tastes. Purely personal opinions though, and won't stop me from visiting this site/blog.

Merry Xmas and a Happy Gnu Year, btw.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by gan17
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by gan17"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The designs are made on a Mac - you're just looking at the Mac's font rendering ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Wed 26th Dec 2012 02:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by gan17"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Ah, figured as much. Didn't initially notice as I only use OS X for work (mostly just Phase One Capture and Corel Painter).

If you're searching for fonts, you could try Adobe's Source Sans Pro. They're open source, and (from what I can tell) look pretty good on various rendering engines and pixel densities.

Edited 2012-12-26 02:11 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by gan17
by MyNameIsNot4Letter on Wed 26th Dec 2012 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by gan17"
MyNameIsNot4Letter Member since:
2011-01-09

I'll put my 2 cent in. I think it should be pure black. As i understand it, the goal is to be reading in darkness, which means as little light from the screen as possible.

/Uni

Reply Score: 1

Good Job
by willm.wade on Wed 26th Dec 2012 01:53 UTC
willm.wade
Member since:
2010-07-13

Just wanted to add a note that I think the new stuff looks great (both day and night. Not sure which I would use.)

Keep up the good work!

Wil W

Reply Score: 1

Looking good
by BluenoseJake on Wed 26th Dec 2012 02:16 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

I'm looking forward to Night Nina

Reply Score: 4

RE: Looking good
by Morgan on Wed 26th Dec 2012 03:36 UTC in reply to "Looking good"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Same here, it's much easier on my eyes. Whenever I'm working in Xfce or other X WMs I always choose a theme with white or light grey text on a dark background.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Looking good
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 27th Dec 2012 01:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Looking good"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Me too. I always liked dark themes, too bad most sites use a migraine-inducing white or similar background. It would make sense in a magazine or some other printed material, but on computer monitors it makes little sense why bright background colors are so common.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Looking good
by BluenoseJake on Thu 27th Dec 2012 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Looking good"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I've been going dark for a while, lately I have been going dark and monochrome, so the OS just fades into the background. Works pretty good for most things, but surfing the web is painful, as white webpages will sear my brain.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Looking good
by zima on Fri 28th Dec 2012 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Looking good"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I find that's usually because of ridiculously high display brightness levels :p

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Looking good
by UltraZelda64 on Sat 29th Dec 2012 08:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Looking good"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

That only helps somewhat, and can make everything else not look right.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Looking good
by zima on Mon 31st Dec 2012 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Looking good"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure, properly setting up display is hard - but it doesn't help how over-the-top the default settings usually are (to look stand out in the shop). They aren't even named properly... (brightness is really "brightness of black", contrast - "brightness of white"; hardly anybody even remembers gamma)

Edited 2012-12-31 00:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Sodki
by Sodki on Wed 26th Dec 2012 02:26 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

It's always nice working on the stuff we love. On my part you won't hear many complaints: I come here for the community, not the design. :-)

Drupal is a good choice, but please try to make it as easy as possible to upgrade (for your sake) and do it as soon as possible because exploits come and go and Drupal is a nice target for them, just like Wordpress and other common content management systems.

Regarding the theme, I confess that I quite like the current one. Since this is the age of CSS, maybe we can come up with a theme for the new site that somewhat mimics the old site. That should keep everyone happy.

Thom, you've mentioned that category icons are going away. Do you plan to introduce text-based categories or labels of some sort?

Reply Score: 5

existing feature I like
by Lion on Wed 26th Dec 2012 02:30 UTC
Lion
Member since:
2007-03-22

One thing that I don't expect to remain, but that I do currently quite like, is that comments are not visible unless I click something to make them visible.
It helps me resist the temptation to get pulled into the bullshit on what I would expect to be very contentious topics.

also, I like the day scheme, but expect that night nina would be my preference on mobile.

Reply Score: 3

RE: existing feature I like
by M.Onty on Wed 26th Dec 2012 18:40 UTC in reply to "existing feature I like"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

For most sites on the web I would heartily agree with you. Comments, especially on general news sites, mostly seem to be magnets for the reactionary right, sanctimonious socialists, rabid racists and the dangerously deranged.

However I find that on OSNews, even when people are busying themselves proving the bike-shed principle, the comments do still add value. A lot of facts seem to come out and the original authors (not always Thom) often feels the need elaborate on their articles and defend them, which I like a lot.

In other words I think Thom is right to emphasise comments.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Wed 26th Dec 2012 03:19 UTC
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

I like the technical benefits of the new look but, given how many sites I developed when I was younger and how little I consider myself to be a graphic designer, I'm rather sick of pages which use color so sparingly and look so flat.

(And it also reminds me of the UI formerly known as Metro... and not in a good way)

Oh well, no big deal. I can always whip up a Stylish userstyle to fix that for myself so I guess the only part that's not a matter of personal taste is "lookin' good."

Edited 2012-12-26 03:37 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Not a fan
by edwdig on Wed 26th Dec 2012 03:44 UTC
edwdig
Member since:
2005-08-22

I can't get behind the new design. First, I'm really, *really* not a fan of the Metro style flat designs. I'm a very firm believer that we need bevels/shadows/etc to give a little depth. I feel that makes a being difference in drawing your attention to things.

Second, I'm not a fan of the gray background. A quick flood fill of it with pure white in an image editor makes it look a lot nicer me. The text also feels easier to read that way. I'm guessing that may be a side effect of Mac font rendering. I like the black version better than the gray, but not as much as pure white.

I'm also a little concerned about the comments section. You didn't show enough to go off there, but I'm guessing there's going to be a lot less distinction between individual comments than there is now, which might make it harder to follow.

Overall, it just feels so bare. I totally understand why the icons are going, but add that in with the new design choices and I think it's just going to end up being a big boring wall of text. I feel like the site is going to be really unappealing to look at, and I don't think elements will be distinct enough. My gut feeling is that I'd read the site a lot less with the new look.

Reply Score: 12

RE: Not a fan
by VenomousGecko on Wed 26th Dec 2012 05:14 UTC in reply to "Not a fan"
VenomousGecko Member since:
2005-07-06

I second some of edwdig's concerns. The first thing that jumped out at me (and I do remember Thom stating that the site might not ship looking like this) is that there is a complete lack of OSNews branding. To me, there is no "feeling" of OSNews in the site design, sans green. Even OSNews at the top of the page is simply text. The other thing is, as edwdig pointed out, the flat design. I too feel like there is this huge pendulum swing toward flat design and it is being overdone. Sure, the design does not have to jump out at you like a webpage from 1995, but using shadows, rounded corners and bevels can be very simple and pleasing.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Not a fan
by Morgan on Wed 26th Dec 2012 05:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a fan"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Take a look at the main site as is though. Flat, rectangular buttons and the only exceptions are the "search" and "RSS" buttons with just a bare hint of a bevel. Apart from that, we have the comment box buttons which are themed by the OS/browser. Everything else is flat and fairly simple, and very text-oriented.

The new design just seems to be an evolution of that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not a fan
by gan17 on Wed 26th Dec 2012 05:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not a fan"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Maybe their opinion might be more to do with the monochromatic look, not the actual flatness? Similar to how people mistake contrast for sharpness in photographs, to some extent. It might not be the actual flatness that's bothering them, but the nondescript nature of the layout. Personally don't see it as a bad thing, but I assume some people would like more "pop" in their web pages. Just an assumption, though.

Strange that I prefer the light grey backdrop to the black, considering I often work with dark terminals and GTKs. The light theme's got a nice smoothness about it, without the jarring contrast ratio of the dark theme. Heck, I think I'll go make a new Xdefaults colorscheme around that light grey and green, just for kicks.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Not a fan
by edwdig on Wed 26th Dec 2012 06:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not a fan"
edwdig Member since:
2005-08-22

Maybe their opinion might be more to do with the monochromatic look, not the actual flatness? Similar to how people mistake contrast for sharpness in photographs, to some extent. It might not be the actual flatness that's bothering them, but the nondescript nature of the layout. Personally don't see it as a bad thing, but I assume some people would like more "pop" in their web pages. Just an assumption, though.


It's a little of both. I'm probably using "depth" a little loosely. Even adding some colored boxes makes things feel like it "pops out" a little, even if there isn't a 3d effect. Also, even the small bevels on the current site design help a ton.

A lot of my feelings here are based on working heavily with Visual Studio 2012. I found that the flat, monochrome UI design made it easy to miss UI elements if you didn't know where to look for them. Working with TFS was a little rough (at least from my SVN background), as the UI elements tended to blend in, making them hard to find if you didn't know where to look for them.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not a fan
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 07:10 UTC in reply to "Not a fan"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm also a little concerned about the comments section. You didn't show enough to go off there, but I'm guessing there's going to be a lot less distinction between individual comments than there is now, which might make it harder to follow.


Great that you picked up on this - this is a feature, not a bug ;) . I've often noticed that some people tend to focus on who posted a comment, instead of the actual content of a comment. As such, I wanted to make it less clear WHO posted a comment, so that the CONTENT of a comment gains prominence.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not a fan
by WereCatf on Wed 26th Dec 2012 07:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a fan"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

"I'm also a little concerned about the comments section. You didn't show enough to go off there, but I'm guessing there's going to be a lot less distinction between individual comments than there is now, which might make it harder to follow.


Great that you picked up on this - this is a feature, not a bug ;) . I've often noticed that some people tend to focus on who posted a comment, instead of the actual content of a comment. As such, I wanted to make it less clear WHO posted a comment, so that the CONTENT of a comment gains prominence.
"

People have differing tastes. I personally would call this a mis-feature as I find the availability of graphical avatars making it much quicker for the eye to latch on and discern where one comment starts and another ends and whose comments I'd like to view first. It's one of the things I hate about e.g. Slashdot: I know several people who tend to make insightful, read-worthy comments, but without such a quick way of finding those aforementioned comments I have to trudge through them all in the hopes of finding those gems. It totally discourages me from participating and results in me skipping 99% of all the comments.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Not a fan
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 07:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not a fan"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The comments are heavily based on HackerNews - a site with zero content, entirely focussed on the insightfulness of its comments. You can go try it out to get a feel for it - and they are even more stark.

Still, it's definitely a concern, so it's on the radar.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Not a fan
by WereCatf on Wed 26th Dec 2012 08:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not a fan"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The comments are heavily based on HackerNews - a site with zero content, entirely focussed on the insightfulness of its comments. You can go try it out to get a feel for it - and they are even more stark.

Still, it's definitely a concern, so it's on the radar.


There's plenty of such sites and yes, I have gotten a feel for it multiple times. I still view it as a mis-feature. It makes me feel less productive instead of more productive and it works as a disincentive to commenting. Alas, I guess that's just me.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Not a fan
by Moochman on Wed 26th Dec 2012 14:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a fan"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

"I'm also a little concerned about the comments section. You didn't show enough to go off there, but I'm guessing there's going to be a lot less distinction between individual comments than there is now, which might make it harder to follow.


Great that you picked up on this - this is a feature, not a bug ;) . I've often noticed that some people tend to focus on who posted a comment, instead of the actual content of a comment. As such, I wanted to make it less clear WHO posted a comment, so that the CONTENT of a comment gains prominence.
"

I love the fact that people's names and identities are tied to their comments. It makes it feel like a conversation with real people, rather than an anonymous horde. I second the thought that this is a "mis"-feature.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Not a fan
by Drumhellar on Wed 26th Dec 2012 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a fan"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Distinction between individual comments is preferable, and the origin of the comment should be easily identifiable. I mean, lets face it: Not all comments are equal. While I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that there are those who always post garbage comments I'd want to skip, there are those that frequently post insightful, well-informed comments, and it would be nice if it were easier to pick their comments out. Heck, being able to color-code the people you pick as one of your favorites would be useful.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not a fan
by Morgan on Wed 26th Dec 2012 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not a fan"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

This is already possible using the "friends and fans" feature. If someone is a "fan" of yours, their comment header shows up in yellow. If you become a "fan" of the same person, your relationship changes to "friends" and their header is now a light green.

It would be great if this particular feature survives the change.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not a fan
by cfgr on Thu 27th Dec 2012 01:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a fan"
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Great that you picked up on this - this is a feature, not a bug ;) . I've often noticed that some people tend to focus on who posted a comment, instead of the actual content of a comment. As such, I wanted to make it less clear WHO posted a comment, so that the CONTENT of a comment gains prominence.


On the other hand, I use the name as a filter to decide if a comment is worth my time or not. When I read two annoying comments from some hyperactive fanboy who's arguing for the sake of arguing despite overwhelming evidence, then his next posts in that discussion are likely to be annoying as well - and usually they start dominating the whole comment section which ruins other discussions.

It might be an interesting experiment to fold all of someone's posts in a topic when that person has two down-voted posts in that same topic (or perhaps even for x posts with score 1 where x > 10, which means he's spamming the place with non-upvoted comments). Other topics would be unaffected.

Edited 2012-12-27 01:40 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not a fan
by Moochman on Wed 26th Dec 2012 14:26 UTC in reply to "Not a fan"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06


Second, I'm not a fan of the gray background. A quick flood fill of it with pure white in an image editor makes it look a lot nicer me. The text also feels easier to read that way. I'm guessing that may be a side effect of Mac font rendering. I like the black version better than the gray, but not as much as pure white.


This was the first thing that jumped out at me too. White is nice, gray off-white is blech, reduces contrast and makes me feel like I'm reading Daring Fireball -- which IMHO is *not* a great association.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not a fan
by Chrispynutt on Thu 27th Dec 2012 22:15 UTC in reply to "Not a fan"
Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

I regrettably have to agree. If it wasn't for the acid green I would have guessed it was a generic wordpress theme.

In recent years it has been plain I am not on the same page as Thom (and others) for design.

Oh well I wish you well.

The whole content is king look works if you have visual content. A wall of text tends to make it look as inviting as a EULA screen.

Man I hate being the hater, but its just how I feel.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not a fan
by drstorm on Thu 27th Dec 2012 23:25 UTC in reply to "Not a fan"
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

I agree wholeheartedly.

This seems like a step back, but that's how I feel about all other metro-ish interfaces out there. It just feels like we cannot display any images because it's '99 and people are using 56K modems.

If you must keep "text oriented" - wall of text design, at least drop the gray background. Please, pretty please!


FTR, I dislike skeuomorphism more, but there is a world in between a paper rendered hanging on a fake wood door, and ASCII art. BTW, ASCII art would be way more cool. ;)

Edited 2012-12-27 23:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The Green
by bertzzie on Wed 26th Dec 2012 04:06 UTC
bertzzie
Member since:
2011-01-26

Hi,

Long time reader but seldom post here. I think the new design is great - I like how you focus on text (I'm one of those who love Metro). And also, Night Nina rocks ;)

A little feedback for Day Nina though, the green - it's just too bright. Maybe a little darker green? As I see it now, the light green hurts my eyes, and it takes focus away from the text when it's visible. The dark green from the current OSNews' story title (or even Night Nina's green) might be better IMO.

Hope this helps.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The Green
by Moochman on Wed 26th Dec 2012 14:23 UTC in reply to "The Green"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Agreed, I can't quite get behind the new green either. The current, gentle yellow-green is just perfect and has represented the OSNews "brand" for ages -- why change a good thing?

Reply Score: 5

Eye-Searing
by tpchur on Wed 26th Dec 2012 05:08 UTC
tpchur
Member since:
2007-02-12

The green is eye-searing, especially on the day theme. Also, it just doesn't make sense to attempt to replicate the metro look for a site that is supposed to be about operating systems in general. It looks like a Windows Phone/Windows 8 fan site more than a general OS website.

Reply Score: 3

Looks nice. Keep it up!
by phoenix on Wed 26th Dec 2012 05:39 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Very nice looking.

The only request I have for a new site is to please, Please, PLEASE make 'seen status' for comments an attribute that is saved in the server database.

There's nothing worse than following a deep comment thread on your phone,only to have to start all over when you read on your PC. Or when switching from home to work. Or whatever.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Looks nice. Keep it up!
by sb56637 on Wed 26th Dec 2012 06:30 UTC in reply to "Looks nice. Keep it up! "
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

Should be good, I believe this is a standard Drupal feature.

Reply Score: 2

New Poster
by franks on Wed 26th Dec 2012 05:49 UTC
franks
Member since:
2012-12-26

An old fart here who has followed OSNews for quite some time. And one who took time to register just to be able to comment.

I understand that OSNews 5 is about presentation and not content. That said, I'm increasingly unaware what OSNews is about.

I don't know how many here remember names like Byte Magazine (not the new version), MicroCornipcopia, Turbo Pascal... Not to dwell in the past, but my reason for following OSNews has been an interest in "grassroots" news. I'm not involved anymore in extending my ZX80 computer. But I'm still very interested in how non-corporate people/groups can bring new energy to computer technology.

Don't see why that should vanish.

frank

Reply Score: 7

Drupal
by sb56637 on Wed 26th Dec 2012 06:13 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Drupal is an _excellent_ choice. It's my CMS of choice for all my sites.

The biggest downside of Drupal is that most of the coolest functionality comes from third party modules that are often not available for the newer releases. For that reason. I'm still stuck on Drupal 6 for several sites.

What editor are you using for the inline commenting? Looks pretty good. Have you considered using a markup language like Textile ( http://textile.thresholdstate.com/ ) or Markdown ( http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax ) instead of bbcode or plain HTML? Textile and Markdown are simple and intuitive and powerful at the same time.

The cool thing about Drupal is that you can let users pick the theme they want. You could probably offer a light and a dark theme as a user choice.

Drupal offers an incredible amount of functionality, which means that it also can get pretty heavy, especially in terms of SQL queries. Fortunately, it has a staggering number of cache system plugins that can drastically decrease load on the SQL server.

I've written several articles about the pros and cons of Drupal, together with some configuration tips that I have personally used on my own site. (Shameless plug: The URL is in my profile here on OSNews.)

Edited 2012-12-26 06:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Coloured Buttons!
by shotsman on Wed 26th Dec 2012 07:03 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

Fantastic. What a great idea. Won't someone go and tell those responsinle for the horrid monochromatic/low contrast stuff coming out of Microsoft!

And a Twitter/Facebook free zone!
What more can someone want in a news website.

Keep up the good work Thom and all those in the OSNews team.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 26th Dec 2012 07:10 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

I have a friend who is a big shot drupal guy. If I had a dollar for every time he mentioned how drupal is the cats tits (it probably doesn't hurt that he gets paid a ridiculous amount of money for drupal work), I would be typing this from the Bahamas. As previously mentioned, a lot of the awesomeness comes via third party but that the stuff exists and is active is more important imo.

As far as a redesign.. I'm not scared of change so as long as it enhances or improves the experience, go for it! I look forward to giving the new iteration a test drive. Hopefully it won't disappoint -- I doubt it will.

Reply Score: 2

Flat view comments?
by WereCatf on Wed 26th Dec 2012 07:36 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I've never enjoyed the threaded view and therefore I've been using flat view ever since I first joined OSNews. As such I must ask: does the new layout support flat view or will threaded view be forced upon us?

As for the looks: it's too plain. There's not enough distinction between the different UI-elements and -sections, making it really dull to look at. Thankfully I can always rectify that problem with the Stylish - addon for Firefox, so it's not the end of the world.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Flat view comments?
by darknexus on Wed 26th Dec 2012 10:05 UTC in reply to "Flat view comments?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I've never enjoyed the threaded view and therefore I've been using flat view ever since I first joined OSNews.

I'm with you there. I find flat view much easier to use, especially when I want to pick up a comment session later. I can just go to the last page I was on, scroll down, and pick it up. No scrolling through a lot of stuff I've already read just to see one new comment in that thread. I cast a "please keep flat view" vote if votes are being counted.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 26th Dec 2012 07:52 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I have four comments, two of which are possibly useful.

1. I like the flat design. It is nice and clean.

2. Threaded comments are cool, but I sort of like it the way some sites do it, with a top-level comment, and all comments below at a single level.

3. Your ipsum is old and tired. Might I recommend something more... tastey? - baconipsum.com

4. I wasn't aware that the Cardigans made any albums besides "First Band on the Moon". "Lovefool" was their best song, much in the same way that basal-cell skin cancer is the best form of skin cancer ;)

But seriously, I love where the design is headed.

Reply Score: 4

One question
by Soulbender on Wed 26th Dec 2012 08:18 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Is the downright stupid "you have already commented so you can't vote up/down" rule going to stay?
Cuz that thing annoys me more than anything.

Reply Score: 7

RE: One question
by darknexus on Wed 26th Dec 2012 10:03 UTC in reply to "One question"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Is the downright stupid "you have already commented so you can't vote up/down" rule going to stay?
Cuz that thing annoys me more than anything.

I sure hope so. It's already bad enough, with people voting down any comment they don't agree with, not just offtopic or downright inaccurate comments. I can imagine what's going to happen if you allow rabid commenting *and* voting by the same user. I doubt you, yourself, would abuse it this way, but can you imagine what would happen with less honest users who have a vested interest in making sure only their side gets seen? There are already times when this comes close to happening, and I suspect the only thing that keeps it in check is that very restriction.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: One question
by ilovebeer on Wed 26th Dec 2012 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE: One question"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Is the downright stupid "you have already commented so you can't vote up/down" rule going to stay?
Cuz that thing annoys me more than anything.

I sure hope so. It's already bad enough, with people voting down any comment they don't agree with, not just offtopic or downright inaccurate comments. I can imagine what's going to happen if you allow rabid commenting *and* voting by the same user. I doubt you, yourself, would abuse it this way, but can you imagine what would happen with less honest users who have a vested interest in making sure only their side gets seen? There are already times when this comes close to happening, and I suspect the only thing that keeps it in check is that very restriction.

Let's be honest here... Voting, or giving a post a thumbs up or thumbs down rather, has no real value beyond entertainment. As you've already pointed out, people vote down points of view they disagree with or people they don't like. Favoritism and bias always prevails in forum & message voting. Thats not to say there aren't users who take it at least half-serious and try viewing it as something more but it would be a lie to say "you" have never seen a good post voted down or a bad post voted up based solely on some form of popularity. The votes are simply not a good gauge to determine the quality of the posts.

As far as restricting voting after a user has commented.. That's completely stupid. Why would you make it impossible to show support or dislike for something simply because the user has already commented? Additionally, it robs the people who get discussions going in the first place of their voting voice. The restriction serves no purpose other than to annoy those who like using the voting (entertainment system).

Edited 2012-12-26 17:29 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: One question
by Morgan on Wed 26th Dec 2012 20:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: One question"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Voting, or giving a post a thumbs up or thumbs down rather, has no real value beyond entertainment.


I think it is also meant as a filter for obvious trolls and troublemakers. Once a comment reaches a "0" score it is collapsed and must be clicked on to be read. It's meta-moderation Slashdot style, and it mostly works. That said, I always read a collapsed comment in case it was downvoted simply because it's an unpopular opinion or was written by someone unpopular. It may still be a valid comment despite the group opinion, and I wouldn't want to miss out on it.

As far as restricting voting after a user has commented.. That's completely stupid. Why would you make it impossible to show support or dislike for something simply because the user has already commented? Additionally, it robs the people who get discussions going in the first place of their voting voice. The restriction serves no purpose other than to annoy those who like using the voting (entertainment system).


This, combined with the restriction on voting more than once for the same person in a given time period, prevents an unscrupulous user from monopolizing on a discussion. Let's say Joe posts something insightful as a response to Bob's original post, but Bob hates Joe and will do anything to discredit him. With no restrictions in place, Bob can vote Joe's original comment down as well as any comment that supports Joe, while at the same time commenting away with his own opinions. This is unfair to Joe as well as the rest of us.

Of course, despite all these restrictions and rules the system is not perfect. I actually agree with you: I wish we didn't have comment voting at all. But since we do, the current system is tolerable and seems to do its job (meta-moderation) fairly well. If I were to suggest any improvements, it would be that members would have to earn votes instead of starting of with a given amount. Something like, for each time a comment hits the +5 threshold, they gain a comment vote point, and each time they are modded down to 0 or below, they lose a vote point. That keeps voting power out of the hands of the overt trolls. Unfortunately, it also gives too much power to the really popular people, so it's still far from perfect.

Reply Score: 6

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Wed 26th Dec 2012 10:02 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

So the "design"...

Face..palm

Reply Score: 3

Categories and filters?
by judgen on Wed 26th Dec 2012 11:23 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

Will it finally be possible to filter out anything about legal and mobile news?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Categories and filters?
by Kroc on Thu 27th Dec 2012 09:40 UTC in reply to "Categories and filters?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"http://www.osnews.com/?not=x,y,..." where x, y, ... are keywords to hide

Hope this feature stays ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Wed 26th Dec 2012 11:25 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

I like the light one more. It's clean, it's simple, it's flat. Awesome!

Computer user interfaces ought to be flat from the start anyway. Making them "3D" is like trying to make a physical object flat. That just doesn't work and looks kinda stupid.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by marcp
by Treza on Wed 26th Dec 2012 12:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

Paintings ought to be flat from the start anyway (egyptian drawings style, no perspective). Making them "3D" is like trying to make a physical object flat. That just doesn't work and looks kinda stupid.

Don't try to judge other's stupidity.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by marcp on Wed 26th Dec 2012 21:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

"Iooks kinda stupid" doesn't equal to "somebody is stupid". It's painfully obvious.

I think that paintings differ from computer interfaces big time. Don't you think there is a conceivable and observable difference there? [and yes - some people decided that they should resemble 3D object, but I'm trying to explain that it was not a necessary and needed step.]
Paintings aim to reflect reality. Interfaces shouldn't. Do you make letters in book 3D-like? in most cases not, because it doesn't make sense.

Reply Score: 2

Here's hoping
by deathshadow on Wed 26th Dec 2012 11:26 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

You do NOT waste time with HTML 5 asshattery, do NOT have a major case of divitus and classitus, and actually have semantic markup with separation of presentation from content.

Colors look ok, though a bit washed out. Here's hoping you do NOT make it a crappy fixed width, do NOT declare all the fonts in PX so I have to shove custom user.css at it to even make the page usable, and here's hoping that you might just leverage responsive layout via media queries so instead of screwing around wasting time making custom versions for each and every stupid handheld, you just send the same markup to everybody and adjust it via CSS to each device.

Though I really do cringe whenever people mention off the shelf CMS systems -- I've yet to see one that didn't shove half assed crappy markup down your throat that you either cannot change using the skinning system, or fixing somehow neuters the upgrade path... It's like the people writing CMS and forum softwares don't know enough HTML/CSS to be opening their mouths on the topic.

Though it could be worse, you could have said you were using Turdpress. King of the "What do you mean I don't need ten separate classes on every LI?!?" and "WCAG, what's that?!?"

Edited 2012-12-26 11:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Here's hoping
by BallmerKnowsBest on Thu 27th Dec 2012 15:17 UTC in reply to "Here's hoping"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Though I really do cringe whenever people mention off the shelf CMS systems -- I've yet to see one that didn't shove half assed crappy markup down your throat that you either cannot change using the skinning system, or fixing somehow neuters the upgrade path... It's like the people writing CMS and forum softwares don't know enough HTML/CSS to be opening their mouths on the topic.


The big problem with Drupal is that 95% (conservative estimate) of the people working with it have no experience with any other CMS, so they assume it's the best solution for every site. You can spot them immediately, they're the folks recommending Drupal for 3-5 page sites that barely warrant a CMS in the first place (much less one as heavyweight as Drupal).

Though it could be worse, you could have said you were using Turdpress. King of the "What do you mean I don't need ten separate classes on every LI?!?" and "WCAG, what's that?!?"


Hey now, WordPress is awesome... if you don't mind having your site compromised every other week, usually because of vulnerabilities in incompetently-written 3rd party plugins, which are necessary if you need anything other than the most basic functionality, at least until the next WordPress upgrade breaks compatibility with them, leaving you high and dry because the plugin's developer abandoned it 2 or 3 years ago, etc.

But at least WordPress isn't Joomla... or Zope/Plone.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Here's hoping
by deathshadow on Fri 28th Dec 2012 07:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Here's hoping"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Hey now, WordPress is awesome...

If you don't mind the idiotic wasteful use of the TITLE attribute and ten classes on every LI wasting all your bandwidth, and other garbage like that hardcoded into the system with ZERO control over it from the theme -- to the point the only way to fix it neuters the upgrade path.

... and it's easy to blame third party plugins, but that's like blaming a locked screen door for a completely open inner door -- you can peel it wide open with a knife in under a second. The underlying code wasn't built with even the slightest knowledge of security -- see the absolutely mind-numbingly stupid practice of putting the SQL Username, passwords and hostnames in global scope as DEFINE -- meaning even the simplest code elevation has 100% access to EVERYTHING. One ring protection is no protection at all.

... and of course the use of the steaming pile of manure known as HTML 5 has only made all these CMS even MORE of a mess -- what with the HTML 3.2 that used to masquerade as 4 Tranny, now having 5's lip-service wrapped around it; bad coding practices suddenly being advocated by the pointlessly redundant new allegedly "semantic" tags... resulting in even fatter bloated skins with code to content ranges that make sites from a decade ago sleazed out in Frontpage look good...

...and that's before we even get into idiotic BS like jquery or mootools that dev's now seem to have raging boners for, pissing all over the functionality, usability and speed of sites.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Here's hoping
by BurntAliveCorpse on Mon 31st Dec 2012 06:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Here's hoping"
BurntAliveCorpse Member since:
2012-12-31

I don't normally post/comment anywhere and this will probably be my only post here...but just had to take my hat off to you and BallmerKnowsBest...I agree 100% with your comments. Drupal is not simplicity and definitely not built with security in mind. Here's a little morsel you may appreciate or not:

http://clearfusioncms.com/

It is very new CMS if you are looking for something different/better...and no I'm not the developer

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kovacm
by kovacm on Wed 26th Dec 2012 12:37 UTC
kovacm
Member since:
2010-12-16

Über GREAT!

I like this "new" light-design: I would finally browse www.osnews.com from my 20-years-old Atari in full speed and all it's glory!

:D ;)

Reply Score: 2

Commenting without JavaScript?
by bhtooefr on Wed 26th Dec 2012 12:44 UTC
bhtooefr
Member since:
2009-02-19

The inline commenting will clearly require JavaScript, will it support, if your browser doesn't support JavaScript (or has it disabled), clicking on the Comment link/button/whatever, and it going to a dedicated page like before?

Reply Score: 3

change
by maccouch on Wed 26th Dec 2012 13:03 UTC
maccouch
Member since:
2012-03-14

Sadly, that has changed. Back then I attended university, and had loads of free time to dedicate to OSNews. Writing 2-3 long items every day took about 4-5 hours every day, and that's something I can no longer do, as you've undoubtedly noticed. I run my own business now, and my time is much more limited now. I want to focus on shorter items now; less verbose, more direct. So, OSNews' design has to adapt to that new publication flow, and this means 'short items' (the stuff in the right-side 'page 2' column) have to be integrated back into the main column.


Or, you could pass the baton to some one else, who has the time and insight to investigate, report and write interesting stuff about Operating systems and computer technology, not just an "anti daringfireball" kind of site.

No offense to your work Thom, but if that description is what OSNews is going to be, then i'm not sure what kind of added value could this site provide anymore? There's few stuff i've found here lately that i didn't already saw on the other techsites i read frequently

I actually enjoyed the articles posted on the weeks under Howard Fosdick and thought it was more what i wanted to see. I like reading the verge and others for the mainstream, somewhat "light" news. I would really liked if OS News focused on technical, geeky, strange stuff out there. *BSD technologies, ZFS on a Mac, the new MINIX, databases, etc. more insight, more interviews, a bit less quick links and stuff about patents & apple/samsung.

Reply Score: 3

RE: change
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 13:21 UTC in reply to "change"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You do realise people willing to spend several hours per day unpaid aren't exactly dime a dozen, right? Especially since, you know, they have to deal with thankless comments insulting their efforts.

We tried to find people for years, and no dice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: change
by M.Onty on Wed 26th Dec 2012 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE: change"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

You do realise people willing to spend several hours per day unpaid aren't exactly dime a dozen, right? Especially since, you know, they have to deal with thankless comments insulting their efforts.

We tried to find people for years, and no dice.


Thom keeps the place alive, which is as much as you can ask of someone unpaid and largely unthanked. The fact that he comes up with interesting articles too (in my opinion) is a bonus. A Christmas thanks to you Thom!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: change
by Luminair on Thu 27th Dec 2012 09:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: change"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I agree, I'll take wacky ol thom over nobody!

Reply Score: 2

Great
by Nelson on Wed 26th Dec 2012 13:19 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

The new design is pretty awesome. You're never going to please everyone, as the content over chrome, flat look is polarizing.

I find it attractive, I love how much of the noise you've cut down on. The site is a lot less busy, no bullshit.

Up/Downvoting:

I think the current system works well, restriction and all, I don't really have an issue with it. It isn't perfect but these things are notoriously difficult to get right.

I think the categories can go, but in addition to that, I think the "score" should only be visible once you've voted "Up/Down" or once you've posted already.

This will discourage "flock style" voting where people up-vote a sky high comment because it's been upvoted, or bury a low comment because it's already at 0 or something.

Comment Style:

I'm a fan of the inline style, however a fast way to switch between the flat layout for comments would be helpful. Sometimes comments go into these deep nested chains, and using the flat layout helps me quickly see who replied to my comment.

Color choice:

The green could use some toning down, but not too much. I like the green we have on the current site.

Overall UI:

I think you're on the right track with the fierce reduction in UI elements. Especially around the Comment UI. That's likey what I think is the biggest improvement of all. I'm glad you've made this change.

I'd like to see more sample shots though, including one with a long article and a lot of inline images.

Reply Score: 5

Curious about adverts
by flypig on Wed 26th Dec 2012 13:42 UTC
flypig
Member since:
2005-07-13

The new design looks great, and clearly a lot of effort has gone into it. I've always enjoyed the relatively uncluttered OSNews design, and will be pleased if this continues.

However, I'm curious to know about the advertising on the site. I suspect it's really easy to destroy a great design with overly prominent advertising.

Will there still be the option to pay to have the adverts removed?

Reply Score: 2

Logo
by kwan_e on Wed 26th Dec 2012 13:52 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

I say keep the logo.

Reply Score: 9

No prefs
by Sodapop on Wed 26th Dec 2012 14:25 UTC
Sodapop
Member since:
2005-07-06

I find myself unable to agree or disagree with what's done to the design. It's very hard to do so when you spend all of, a few minutes, browsing a few stories.

That's the whole point right, quick news, in and out?.
I use to come here for all the independent type news and the like; but it feels like you guys have no direction now.

There are things on here, I sometimes think 'Huh?'. And with the onset of extreme Fanboys and Trolls now days, posting ANY comment is just asking for trouble.

I think ALL sites should find ways to quell the extremists rather than worrying about site design. The whole point of a Troll and Fanboy is to drive users away. I may be mistaken, but I think some new laws are about to take hold starting next year, welcoming news indeed.

As far as site design, all these sites trying to copy Windows 2.0...uhm...'Modern', should please just stop. It's ugly.

Reply Score: 3

Keep white on black!
by Dekonega on Wed 26th Dec 2012 14:35 UTC
Dekonega
Member since:
2009-07-28

What strikes me the most about the new design is that it's background is dark grey. Please use white colour instead since it's known that black text on white background is best suited for reading.

The other design with black background and grey text isn't much better. It lacks distinction, and reminds me just little bit too much of a Hack a Day website.

Otherwise it's a good start for a new design.

Edited 2012-12-26 14:36 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Keep white on black!
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 15:17 UTC in reply to "Keep white on black!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

dark grey


You may need to check your monitor's settings. There's no dark grey.

This is the background colour: http://www.colorcodehex.com/f0f0f0/

Edited 2012-12-26 15:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Keep white on black!
by Dekonega on Mon 31st Dec 2012 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Keep white on black!"
Dekonega Member since:
2009-07-28

After adjusting, it's still grey, and grey text on top of it is difficult to read and stress eyes.

Reply Score: 1

noscript
by NuxRo on Wed 26th Dec 2012 14:42 UTC
NuxRo
Member since:
2010-09-25

I hope the new web site will work without javascript (just like the current one).

Happy holidays!

Reply Score: 3

RE: noscript
by Spiron on Thu 27th Dec 2012 08:42 UTC in reply to "noscript"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

What is driving peoples hate of Javascript, it's a good way of adding functionality to a website without having to resort to underhanded measures. I have heard about how some sites use it to track you but I haven't encountered any of this in my years of being on the web and especially not on sites such as this one, where the main article writer is so clearly FOR internet freedom.

As a secondary note though, if you have javascript blocked you can always add a blocker exception for this site.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: noscript
by darknexus on Thu 27th Dec 2012 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE: noscript"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

What is driving peoples hate of Javascript, it's a good way of adding functionality to a website without having to resort to underhanded measures.

I think most of it comes from the way most websites use it when it's not necessary and, on top of that, a lot of js coding these days seems to be done by twelve-year-old script kiddies who have no understanding of code optimization rather than professional web developers. The over-use, misuse, and widely varying performance and implementation of Javascript across various browsers and platforms (particularly slightly older mobile platforms) has resulted in a great deal of wide-spread resentment of the technology. Javascript itself isn't the problem, it's the people who misuse it for in-your-face flashy looks or who accidentally degrade your machine's performance without realizing it. Remember that not everyone's running the latest and greatest, although I'd bet most people who visit OSNews are.

I have heard about how some sites use it to track you but I haven't encountered any of this in my years of being on the web

Are you saying you have never used Google, or any other modern search provider? If you have, then you'd better believe you've encountered it. Any webpages that have been infested with Facebook or Twitter? How about any web page that uwses Google Ads? You've never seen those, in years of being on the web? If you've seen any of these things at all, then you've seen use of both Javascript and cookies to track you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: noscript
by zlynx on Thu 27th Dec 2012 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE: noscript"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Javascript is the #1 way of being hacked through the browser. Usually in combination with Flash, PDF or Java plugins.

I use NoScript for security reasons. It has the nice benefit of scrambling most advertisements and tracking methods as well.

Most sites work fine without script. For those that try to insist via overlay layers and other tricks, there's various methods to override their CSS or edit the DOM via script. I find these Javascript-demanding sites to be so annoying that I enjoy defeating their silly tricks.

Reply Score: 2

Two voting systems
by lucas0 on Wed 26th Dec 2012 14:49 UTC
lucas0
Member since:
2012-04-20

I'd like to have two voting systems:

One if you agree with the content of the text (+/-) and one for the quality (like we had it till now).

I think many people use the current voting system both ways, what makes the score less meaningful. I'm really interested what the majority of the readers thinks and this would be an easy way to make it visible.

Edit: I've forgot to say that I really like the new design. Less fancy and focus on the content is great.

Edited 2012-12-26 14:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Two voting systems
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 15:12 UTC in reply to "Two voting systems"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

One if you agree with the content of the text (+/-) and one for the quality (like we had it till now).


Too complicated, and entirely needless. The current system is actually designed to handle both types of votes. There's loads of algorithms underpinning it all which handle these matters. Few people realise - luckily - just what our mod system entails. Beneath those plus and minus links there's a lot of magic going on, continuously developed over a long period of time.

We already have voting systems for both agreement and quality. Adam was just smart enough to roll them into the one single system ;) .

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Two voting systems
by Luminair on Thu 27th Dec 2012 09:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Two voting systems"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Intriguing. Adam has god mode enabled

Truth is most people aren't qualified to judge those two factors, and the result of supporting both would just be a mess. You could promote a certain class of users to rate value however

Reply Score: 2

Feedback
by Moochman on Wed 26th Dec 2012 15:27 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Here's my feedback on the redesign mockups, in no particular order:

(Disclaimer: not that it necessarily gives me extra authority, but I am an interaction designer in real life.)

1) Color scheme: The green is a tad too edgy for my taste. I actually like the current green (though I just noticed it doesn't *quite* match between the "Search OSNews" color and the "News" box headline -- I'd go with the current "Search OSNews" color in order to keep things mild and maintain the brand while not veering too far into chartreuse territory...) As for the background, I also prefer white to gray in the name of contrast and overall "friendliness". On the other hand, I'm glad you got rid of all the dark gray elements from the top of the site -- they were just needlessly darkening things IMHO.

2) The logo -- where did it go??? What I would really love to see is the current (and much-beloved) logo, but all-green (the same green as mentioned above, of course). That would be a nice brand identity!

3) The menu bar at the top left -- the most important actions should be more clearly given precedence. For instance, probably less than 1% of readers are interested in the menu item "Advertise" -- so why should it be given such importance, as opposed to a small link e.g. at the bottom of the page or underneath another banner ad? And "Support" -- really how often do we readers need support? It's not like it's a home electronics company here. Wouldn't it be enough to offer a link to a support e-mail on the "Contact" page?

Also, I'm not convinced that the "Topics" and "Originals" really need their own menu points--after all, both of them are "windows" on the Archive, so they could just as well be implemented as filters within the Archive page.

4) The user account controls on the right-hand side: The fact that this tiny box takes up all the space on the right-hand side strikes me as wasteful. The current UI of having other news items listed along the right-hand side is much more useful, if a bit distracting/cluttered. However, this is IMHO due to the current way it's implemented. The current clutter could potentially be reduced by showing only the first few lines of text per article followed by ellipses (...), and by responsively docking the news column to the right edge of the browser / hiding it when the browser window is too narrow.

As for the points within the user menu: Where are the links to comments, settings, and submissions? IMHO the current "My Account" menu is near perfect (aside from the fact that it requires mouse hovering as opposed to a more usable and touch-friendly click-to-expand). Baby/bathwater and all that...

On the plus side, I recognize the benefit of the fact that this user controls menu is (I'm guessing) designed to float and be available regardless of scrolling on the page. I applaud that. However, it could just as well be integrated in the top bar and the entire bar floated, as on some other sites such as Ars Technica.

5) The search field ... It needs some kind of "Search" button for touchscreen users, and IMHO it would make more sense at the top since that's the current established convention on web pages. Again see Ars Technica for a good example of this.

6) The comments:
a) In just about all modern OSes aside from Windows, as well as most web apps, the "Submit"/"Continue"/"OK" button is on the right, and the "Cancel"/"Back" button is on the left. This makes a lot more sense from a web conventions perspective as well, since the right side is associated
with moving forward and the left side with moving backwards. So I would advise to switch the button order.
b) As I mentioned in another comment, the distinction between comments and the ability to identify the speaker is important for the "conversational" feeling of the comments section. I believe it is possible to maintain a minimalist aesthetic while still clearly demarcating comments and commenters from each other. And this is important. Historically OSNews has been a kind of "community" because its membership is somehow small enough to easily recognize many of its members and get a feeling for their personality. When you recognize a funny user ID or a cat picture or what have you as an avatar, it gives you a warm friendly feeling inside to see someone you "know" and it makes you feel like part of the community to involve yourself in conversation with them and have yourself be recognized as well. This is one of OSNews' strengths and should be supported, not repressed. IMHO.


Anyway, I like the minimalism and the general aesthetic, I love the fact that comments are going to be in-line, and I am *especially* relieved to hear that the news submission process will be improved. That's my feedback for now. Keep up the good work. ;)


P.S. I'm generally available to contribute a critical eye or a creative hand to the design process, with or without pay. ;) So feel free to hit me up for this as you feel might be beneficial, if you ever just want a quick round of feedback without taking it to the general readership...

Edited 2012-12-26 15:36 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Feedback
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 16:26 UTC in reply to "Feedback"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The green is a tad too edgy for my taste.


I chose it specifically because of its neon-radioactive hue. It's incredibly distinctive, and yes, a bit sharp, but that does give the whole a unique identity that would be lost (in my view) with a softer green. Still, this is one of the easier aspects to play with, and of course, actual wider testing on different displays may easily reveal it's simply *too sharp*.

As for the background, I also prefer white to gray in the name of contrast and overall "friendliness".


I dislike plain white as a background colour - I find it unpleasant on my eyes. On my displays, there's more than enough contrast in the current mockups, but again, this may be different for other displays or people with eye issues.

Luckily, the text is actually a dark grey, so I could make it black instead, like so:

http://postimage.org/image/ds7xv1ahv/

Does that improve things? I really want to avoid going all-white for the background :/.

The logo -- where did it go???


I just can't get the current logo to look right on the smaller size I require it - so I went with all text instead. I'm indifferent about it, though - if an actual designer can get the logo to look right at the same size as the text 'logo' is now in the mockups, it could easily work.

The menu bar at the top left


(you mean top-right)

Don't worry too much about the items currently in there - I specifically designed it to be able to hold more items than it actually will, all for future-proofing. The 'advertise'-thing is a vestigial aspect of an earlier idea in which I want OSNews to play a more active role in advertising, and rent out advertisement space directly to people/companies interested. However, this is probably too much work, and likely wouldn't work anyway (we're too small).

The 'support' one should actually read 'support OSNews' - it's a page where you can become a member (pay a little bit and remove ads), donate (perhaps), stuff like that. I just can't find a good single word for it though, so for the time being, I just stuck to 'support' - even though it's clearly suboptimal ;) .

The current UI of having other news items listed along the right-hand side is much more useful, if a bit distracting/cluttered.


Won't happen ;) . Getting rid of the second column is a core aspect of the redesign, and I don't want it back in.

As for the points within the user menu: Where are the links to comments, settings, and submissions?


Same as with the top-right menubar - I just threw a few placeholders in there. It can easily hold more stuff like you just summed up.

It needs some kind of "Search" button for touchscreen users, and IMHO it would make more sense at the top since that's the current established convention on web pages.


I just think it needs to be above the fold, and not necessarily at the top. Putting it at the top would introduce a non-standard item to the top-right menubar (they're all text links, not input fields), which I don't want (it would look hideous). I can play with moving it above the user menu, though. Made a note to try this out.

It's actually a throwback to Eugenia's OSNews - it was at the bottom of the left-side menubar in OSNews 2.

In just about all modern OSes aside from Windows, as well as most web apps, the "Submit"/"Continue"/"OK" button is on the right, and the "Cancel"/"Back" button is on the left[


I prefer cancel to be on the right, but I have no hard feelings about it. I wondered when someone would bring this up ;) . This is easily addressed.

As I mentioned in another comment, the distinction between comments and the ability to identify the speaker is important for the "conversational" feeling of the comments section.


Heard this one loud and clear. I really, really, really don't want to go back to individual thumbnails (god those things are ugly and ridiculous, esp. since many people don't change it and you just get loads of default icons), so I'm going to look for a different solution. I'm currently drawing blanks, but hey, I'm tired.

I'm generally available to contribute a critical eye or a creative hand to the design process


Once we hit the stage where we're going to ask users to test, you're more than welcome ;) .

Edited 2012-12-26 16:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Feedback
by kwan_e on Thu 27th Dec 2012 03:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Feedback"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Once we hit the stage where we're going to ask users to test, you're more than welcome ;) .


Just don't go all Josh Timonen and you'll be fine.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Feedback
by WereCatf on Thu 27th Dec 2012 03:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Feedback"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

"The logo -- where did it go???


I just can't get the current logo to look right on the smaller size I require it - so I went with all text instead. I'm indifferent about it, though - if an actual designer can get the logo to look right at the same size as the text 'logo' is now in the mockups, it could easily work.
"

I don't think you really tried that hard. The logo doesn't actually have to be pixel data, it could be an SVG-file that allows it to scale to any screen resolution you might need, or it could simply be text with a few lines of CSS to sprite it up.

I just whipped you an example of what I mean: http://pastebin.com/Huq52qpF -- just save the contents to a .html - file, open it up in any browser of your liking, and POOF! Instant logo. Hell, it even scales well on all of my mobile devices, too, and looks good even if I overlay it on top of your own screenshot: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11811685/nina_story.png . Also, yes, the red dot is there on purpose.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Feedback
by jrronimo on Thu 27th Dec 2012 03:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Feedback"
jrronimo Member since:
2006-02-28

Something like Gravatar maybe? I believe it generates a 'random' thumbnail for people, but they are also able to customize it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Feedback
by WereCatf on Thu 27th Dec 2012 03:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Feedback"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Something like Gravatar maybe? I believe it generates a 'random' thumbnail for people, but they are also able to customize it.


I was thinking about randomized avatars myself, too, earlier today. One would really only need a randomized bunch of greyscale images, then randomize the colour the image should be shifted to, and then assign that to any new account. Since even the basic 32bit colouring scheme yields ~4 billion different possibilities and each new greyscale template would add another ~4 billion different possibilities the system would basically never run out of avatars. Quick, dirty, and yet surprisingly efficient.

There's a whole lot of various avatars and templates available under Creative Commons - licenses, so it doesn't really seem that big of a problem to me.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Feedback
by Luminair on Thu 27th Dec 2012 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Feedback"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I do suggest you listen to that guy and provide accurate designs rather than useless stuff that wastes time with useless replies. He provided a lot of correct answers and your replies were a lot of ehhhhhh meh

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Feedback
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 27th Dec 2012 10:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Feedback"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I do suggest you listen to that guy and provide accurate designs rather than useless stuff that wastes time with useless replies. He provided a lot of correct answers and your replies were a lot of ehhhhhh meh


Wut?

Each of his points were properly addressed. I really don't undrstand your comment at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Feedback
by Moochman on Thu 27th Dec 2012 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Feedback"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Luckily, the text is actually a dark grey, so I could make it black instead, like so:

http://postimage.org/image/ds7xv1ahv/

Does that improve things? I really want to avoid going all-white for the background :/.


Maybe a bit. But actually, what I forgot to write in my previous feedback is the question: Why don't you just allow users to tweak the color scheme for themselves? If you're already offering a "night" mode, I imagine it shouldn't be too much trouble to offer a few more alternative color schemes or even to allow more detailed per-user/per-HTML-element customization.

I just can't get the current logo to look right on the smaller size I require it - so I went with all text instead. I'm indifferent about it, though - if an actual designer can get the logo to look right at the same size as the text 'logo' is now in the mockups, it could easily work.


Agreed on the idea of taking on an actual graphic designer. Unfortunately I am not one. Anyone else reading this want to volunteer their talents?

Anyway, at the very least I would suggest you could try filling the current logo with all-green and with the font size of the word "news" increased. I think that could look quite decent even at smaller sizes.

Don't worry too much about the items currently in there - I specifically designed it to be able to hold more items than it actually will, all for future-proofing.


Fine and good, but seeing as you are playing the role of UI designer as well as graphic designer these things are important to define as best as you can *now*. Otherwise some technical "features" will in all likelihood fill in the blanks for you, in a manner that in all likelihood will be sub-optimally usable.

Think about what the actual needs of your users are, not about some abstract concept of "future proofing". Learn a lesson from KDE 4 and don't ignore current usability concerns in the name of an abstract ideal of future flexibility.

The 'support' one should actually read 'support OSNews' - it's a page where you can become a member (pay a little bit and remove ads), donate (perhaps), stuff like that. I just can't find a good single word for it though, so for the time being, I just stuck to 'support' - even though it's clearly suboptimal ;) .


Why not space the menu items out more so you can fit more than one-word item names, and call it "Support OSNews"? Seems simple and unambiguous enough to me.


The current UI of having other news items listed along the right-hand side is much more useful, if a bit distracting/cluttered.

Won't happen ;) . Getting rid of the second column is a core aspect of the redesign, and I don't want it back in.


OK if you're that set against it. But please at least take a cursory look at e.g. Ars Technica and the Verge, both of which make good use of this extra space.

It needs some kind of "Search" button for touchscreen users, and IMHO it would make more sense at the top since that's the current established convention on web pages.

I just think it needs to be above the fold, and not necessarily at the top. Putting it at the top would introduce a non-standard item to the top-right menubar (they're all text links, not input fields), which I don't want (it would look hideous). I can play with moving it above the user menu, though. Made a note to try this out.


Above the menu sounds good. Or again, check out Ars Technica -- they make putting it in-line with the menu work visually even though it is indeed another kind of element.

I prefer cancel to be on the right, but I have no hard feelings about it. I wondered when someone would bring this up ;) . This is easily addressed.


Glad you are responsive to this. It would be more consistent with the rest of the web. ;)

I really, really, really don't want to go back to individual thumbnails (god those things are ugly and ridiculous, esp. since many people don't change it and you just get loads of default icons), so I'm going to look for a different solution. I'm currently drawing blanks, but hey, I'm tired.


Why not only show avatar icons if they're available, otherwise don't show anything? That's how The Verge does it and it seems to work fine there.

One more thing: The "Submit News" link doesn't have anything to do with the user profile and so shouldn't be buried inside the user menu. In fact this is an incredibly important function that you want to encourage the use of, no? I should think it's at least as important as the "Support OSnews" function, seeing as content is the number one priority of a user-content-based news aggregation and editorial site. So why not put it in a highly visible position, for instance in the top-right menu, perhaps in a brighter color to emphasizes it (like the "Subscribe now" item on Ars Technica)?

Cheers for listening, looking forward to the next update. ;)

Edited 2012-12-27 18:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Feedback
by zima on Fri 28th Dec 2012 16:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Feedback"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I just can't get the current logo to look right on the smaller size I require it - so I went with all text instead

It would be a bit sad if the only notable gfx on OSNews were those in ads... (which stay, I suppose)

Also, do links to comments stay the same? (as in, will old links to old comments still work?)

Reply Score: 2

Exciting!
by parrotjoe on Wed 26th Dec 2012 15:57 UTC
parrotjoe
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is very exciting that a new design of OSNews is coming again - and all the hard work that goes into it!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Wed 26th Dec 2012 16:20 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

I disagree with those calling for a white background. I'm quite fond of the of white you're using in the screen shot.

The white would be too blinding in my opinion, a more muted look is easier on the eyes.

Reply Score: 2

Too generic
by HarmHilvers on Wed 26th Dec 2012 17:31 UTC
HarmHilvers
Member since:
2010-12-29

I believe the design looks too generic. A site with the proposed theme might be about anything: zoos, philosophy, movies, my sister's blog. The screenshots show content, beautifully lay-ed out by the way, but nothing that puts the content in context, nothing that makes the content shout aloud that this side is about operating systems and technology.

Graphics and images are great ways to communicate that OSNews is about precisely those subjects. You won't need a lot of images, but some – an image next to the name of the site – and one or two teasers would really improve things.

You have quite a lot of readers, is there no-one who can help you with graphics?

Reply Score: 5

Two thumbs up
by Sabon on Wed 26th Dec 2012 17:55 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

From what I've seen and read I'm looking forward to the redesign very much.

I like Night Nina. I've always preferred dark/black backgrounds over light backgrounds. Usually because I'm reading these in circumstances where light screens are like flashlights pointing into my eyes. Not nice.

I'm also looking forward to the short and long articles being combined into one section. I fully understand why they were separated and for the time it was definitely the better way to go.

In-line comments are something I'm probably going to enjoy the most. It has been very frustrating over the years (I think over ten with different user-ids a couple times) has been to open a comments window and not seeing the article and other comments in-line so we could not copy and paste short bits into our new comments.

Reply Score: 2

I like it.
by M.Onty on Wed 26th Dec 2012 20:22 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

I think its possible to worry too much about flat UI design on the web. Most sites, including this one, function perfectly well as a collection of documents rather than fully realised web portals. Documents don't need bevels and shadows, alive, alive oh. So long as links look like links (underlined and/or different colour), its all good.

Reply Score: 2

Great Revision
by AaronMiller on Wed 26th Dec 2012 20:25 UTC
AaronMiller
Member since:
2011-05-23

I've been coming to OSNews for a few years now. I rarely comment, but I wanted to say that I am pleased with the overall redesign. For what it's worth, here are some of my thoughts...

Pros:
* Simplified text-based interfaces means those of us with sub-par connections can view pages quicker.
* Content is more important to me than bevels and shadows, so the focus on content is very welcomed.
* Because of the focus on content, main site options being capitalized helps find them. Still, it's not used everywhere (which would make it quite annoying, albeit with seemingly more consistency).
* (Based on other comments) I'm glad "dislike" is staying in. I dislike how Facebook doesn't have one of those buttons. It works, and I like it. (Is there a place to like the dislike button?)

Concerns (not necessarily cons):
* The blueish-gray background is bothersome. It made me feel like I was looking through an old CRT monitor with some color mis-calibration. Perhaps using a pure white (#ffffff) background, or a VS11 light-theme (#efeff2) background would be better.
* Why not allow users to make their own color schemes? It's not a considerably complicated thing to do, and would be a catch-all solution to those who have slightly different preferences.
* Is there some indicator for "featured" or "front-page" items as opposed to just links ("page two" items)? I like both, but prefer reading the "front-page" items as I don't have to leave this site then.
* The "Search" box feels a bit misplaced... It looks like the comment box appears before user comments (content), but the search box appears after the meta-data (also "content"). That is, the "dynamic" (input) elements are misplaced relative to the "static" (comments/content/links) elements. (Hopefully that made sense, lol.)
* Will I be able to (opt-in?) enter in plain-text into the text boxes still? That works better for me on many of my devices and, just in general.
* Avatars are helpful. Opt-in?

I'm looking forward to the new system. ;)

Reply Score: 5

Looks great
by MyNameIsNot4Letter on Wed 26th Dec 2012 20:41 UTC
MyNameIsNot4Letter
Member since:
2011-01-09

I'll be quick. I think everything looks great. I have two suggestions.

I think it is important to have a logo, even if it gets a redesign.

Second, maybe the comment system could store your comment-in-progress locally in case you accidentally navigate away. That way, when you return, your comment is still there. These things are possible now with html5 ;)

/Uni

Reply Score: 4

Mobile
by vivainio on Wed 26th Dec 2012 21:02 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Any info on the mobile version look and feel? Also, will the new osnews have an API for third party clients?

Reply Score: 3

Ugly :/
by Rhodium on Wed 26th Dec 2012 22:49 UTC
Rhodium
Member since:
2012-12-26

Ugly as fuck! it looks like my first template or something, i love simple designs but this have no soul, looks unbranded... i hope see improvements in final version :/

Reply Score: 3

in-line commenting
by Lazarus on Thu 27th Dec 2012 00:15 UTC
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

"Another important goal was to make the site more user friendly. If you comment on OSNews, you're probably aware that it's a pretty disjointed experience right now. If you click on 'reply' or 'post comment', you're taken to a dedicated page, completely out of context. Once you click 'submit comment', the page reloads once more, and your posted comment is shown. For OSNews 5, we'll finally have in-line commenting, without reloads. You write your comment amidst all the other comments, so you have the entire context of the both the news item and the other comments right there."

I love you guys.

Reply Score: 4

Another bad day for the console :'(
by capi_x on Thu 27th Dec 2012 00:31 UTC
capi_x
Member since:
2012-08-29

Oh, the best of OSNews is the compatibility and perfect rendering for text based browsers.

http://s9.postimage.org/o604rh70f/osnews_elinks.png

The new theme is similar for text based browsers? I'm think no.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's our mobile site. Has no relation to this.

Reply Score: 2

capi_x Member since:
2012-08-29

If the mobile site will be intact, all perfect here :-)

Sorry for my mistake (i was thinking about in a complete redesign for all sites)

Reply Score: 2

Wow
by Jesuspower on Thu 27th Dec 2012 00:38 UTC
Jesuspower
Member since:
2006-01-28

This feels a bit nostalgic for me. Reminds me of the earlier design for absolutely no reason, and I love it. ;)
Can't wait!

Reply Score: 1

Ads
by Shane on Thu 27th Dec 2012 01:34 UTC
Shane
Member since:
2005-07-06

Where will the ads go? Can't see any on the mock ups.

Reply Score: 3

Exciting!
by jrronimo on Thu 27th Dec 2012 03:36 UTC
jrronimo
Member since:
2006-02-28

I'm really, really fond of the current -- v4 -- design of OSNews. I thought it was a great update over the V2/V3 design that kept a lot of the same elements but modernized the look. I love how lines line up and that the site is clean looking.

That all said, I understand that it needs to change a bit and I look forward to the final version of V5. If I may make a request or a suggestion, though: Don't follow the trend of "infinite scrolling". (See: tumblr, Polygon, others.) It's very useful while you're scrolling, but if you click an article title, you're often taken to a new page in the same tab, and if you then hit 'back', your scroll location isn't remembered. Tumblr's actually pretty good about this, but is the exception. I find that if I sroll a long ways, it's very annoying when I hit 'back' and have to re-scroll a vast distance. In part I've gotten around this by using "open in new tab" more than just clicking an article title, but it's slightly more annoying.

Anyway, it's a minor gripe and I probably didn't explain it very well, but the takeaway is: "Avoid infinite scrolling", in my own, personal opinion.

Reply Score: 3

Content is King
by benali72 on Thu 27th Dec 2012 04:31 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

I like the new design, and kudos to OS News for putting in the effort to upgrade!

Where OS News can improve is in its content. Thom Holwerda does an outstanding job. But regular posts from a couple more contributors could expand the range of perspectives and thereby strengthen the content. Even if there are no funds available for paid contributors one can often find volunteers who will commit to placing a couple items per month.

This is not meant to detract from Thom's excellent work, but would strengthen the site through diverse perspectives.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 27th Dec 2012 05:50 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Why not only allow a down vote if the voter gives a motivation?

It's not uncommon for comments that are correct and/or just someone's opinion to get down voted just because someone doesn't like an opinion.

If one can't explain why one casts a down vote one should not do it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Alfman on Thu 27th Dec 2012 06:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Votes are just that: opinions. People need to only read into them as such and not take them too seriously. Still, I think it should be fixed by making it much more transparent and ditching the you-are-prohibited-from-voting rules, which are an anti-feature IMHO.

Can this be put to a vote? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 27th Dec 2012 06:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Votes are indeed opinions, but currently when you down vote you have to choose between 'inaccurate', 'troll' and 'off-topic'. It doesn't include 'I don't agree' or 'I don't like you'.

To keep things simple I don't think there shouldn't be any categories, because for one nobody ever sees the results. If these were dropped I wouldn't object to people down voting without giving a written motivation.

I do agree that it's rather difficult to cast any vote sometimes, because there seems to be an extensive set of rules of engagement which I have never encountered before.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by Bobthearch on Thu 27th Dec 2012 06:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

There are currently several different reasons given as choices to vote someone up or down. What I'd like to see are the reasons people chose for voting my hypothetical comment up or down. Did the comment readers thin I was wrong, or was I trolling? Was I insightful, or funny? And it would be interesting to see how many voters chose + or - to come up with the final score.

Then again, maybe I don't want to know. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by Neolander on Thu 27th Dec 2012 10:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Considering that the vote score is now hidden, the website could just silently ignore what it considers as abusive downvotes without this dictatorial "you are prohibited from doing that" warning ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by kwan_e on Thu 27th Dec 2012 10:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

ditching the you-are-prohibited-from-voting rules, which are an anti-feature IMHO.


I think the comment-XOR-vote system is a good thing. Either vote, or write a comment to influence voting. Most people won't say anything that hasn't already been said, so they can just choose to vote. Commenting influences votes much more than an anonymous vote, so it's a matter of balance that commenters shouldn't be able to use both comments and voting to abuse their power of influence.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Alfman on Thu 27th Dec 2012 15:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

"Either vote, or write a comment to influence voting. Most people won't say anything that hasn't already been said, so they can just choose to vote. Commenting influences votes much more than an anonymous vote, so it's a matter of balance that commenters shouldn't be able to use both comments and voting to abuse their power of influence."

Kind of like how the bigwigs are prohibited from voting in real life.. err, oh wait. ;)

I can understand having vote quotas in place, but a voting system that tells us where we can/cannot vote is bad. Voting should be simple, straitforward, and open to all members. I suspect today's voting restrictions are motivating some users to register extra accounts for voting (write comments on desktop, but vote on tablet, etc) to get around the vote prohibitions.

Anyways it's looking like Thom's quite adamant about implementing the current voting system under drupal, and even though I complain about it, I still respect that it's his choice to make.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by kwan_e on Fri 28th Dec 2012 01:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Kind of like how the bigwigs are prohibited from voting in real life.. err, oh wait. ;)


I personally think that should be the case. The bigwigs either lobby or they vote. They shouldn't get to both lobby and vote. I think we can all see the damage the whole "corporations are people" has done.

I suspect today's voting restrictions are motivating some users to register extra accounts for voting (write comments on desktop, but vote on tablet, etc) to get around the vote prohibitions.


If they're willing to go that far, then good for them. They're losers who take themselves too seriously.

Reply Score: 2

Few comments
by Bobthearch on Thu 27th Dec 2012 05:57 UTC
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

Just a couple of comments on the mock-up web page:

First thing I noticed, a wall of text. Boring. Hopefully the articles themselves will have enough charts, graphs, and images to make up for the website's cold layout.

The green is a bit neon-ish for my taste.

I find the text difficult to read. Perhaps it's simply that the mock-up is displayed as a low-resolution image that can't be enlarged without making the text blurry, but it also appears to lack contrast. The light gray "Score 32..." text against a lighter gray background is especially straining and tiring.

But the worst is that all of the text is written in some foreign language, perhaps Martian. Can't read a word of it. ;)

The operational issue that really needs addressing is the time limit 'rules' regarding commenting and voting. Here is the error message when attempting to comment on one of the headline stories on OS News right now: Sorry, this item has been archived. You can only attach a comment to a story for 5 days. Seriously? So the entire page is full of articles that I'm not allowed to comment or vote on? The most valuable feature of OS News is the comments by community members, so why not allow comments at least until the story falls off the front page.

Reply Score: 3

A few remarks
by Neolander on Thu 27th Dec 2012 09:52 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Since I'm better at rants than praise, let's mention right away a few possible flaws that stood out to me, from top to bottom:


1/This OSnews logo is, as others pointed out, a bit weak. Even if you only work with text, there are ways to put more contrast between the "OS" and the "news" so as to make things more interesting, as is done with the current logo.


2/Do we need an "Archive" button? If it works the way the current one does, we should probably just put a "next page" button at the end of the article column and be done with that.

If, however, you are thinking of introducing some kind of more advanced archive search that requires a webpage in its own right, then do we need that, and what exactly do people need to search?


2/Do we need an "Originals" button? Couldn't it just be a content filter that is accessible on the archive search page, on the main page, or both? Same question holds for the "Topics" button. I ask this because this row of buttons is still a bit cluttered, and a bit of extra fresh air in this region of the page would do no harm.

Content filtering controls on the main page could be put on the right column, under the search bar. Filter status should probably also be transparently saved in user preferences when a user is logged in, but this proposal is arguably more controversial.


3/Congratulations for making the "submit news" button more visible! However, it is still somwhat oddly placed. Unless you want to make the functionality exclusive to users who are logged in, you should probably put user controls and that "submit news" button in two separate paragraphs.


4/Writing stuff in a search box is a bad idea, because it makes it easy to miss. You should probably do it like other websites do instead, by leaving the box blank and just putting a small gray looking glass icon on the far right.

Let's also point out that you could add article filtering controls under the search box, so that they perform two functions at once: act as search filters AND directly eliminate articles from the main view. That would be some efficient use of screen estate.


5/Please tone done that green used for links a bit so as to make it match the green used elsewhere on the page. Right now, it hurts eyeballs.


6/Those colored buttons are impressively ugly. You should probably look into other ways to make them stand out, such as directly integrating them in the box in which comments are typed (possible design: at the bottom of said box, with a thin colored line to visually separate them from the typing area), or putting a larger space below them to strengthen the visual association between them and said box.


That's all I can think of right now. Otherwise, good luck to everyone working on OSnews v5 !

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

This point was raised a few times - namely, that in the comments, it's difficult to pick out who posted a certain comment. I did this on purpose (focus on content, not who posted it, which in my view is irrelevant), but it's pretty obvious people don't agree with me.

Late last night I came up with a possible solution, and I mocked it up just now.

http://postimage.org/image/imger3oz7/

I'm calling it Hearts for now. First, usernames have been given the accent colour to make them stand out (ignore the fact that some of you don't like the neon green - that's a separate issue).

Second, every user has an empty heart next to his name. Click it, and you favourite said user. The accent colour of each of his comments turns red (or whatever else looks best, I just chose red to make a point). If he favourites you back, the heart fills up.

A few issues remain. One, using colour like this is dangerous re:colour blindness. Two, the heart isn't exactly touch-friendly. Three, I don't know how much work this would add to Tess' workload.

I kinda like it. You're not obliged to use it and if you don't use it you won't be bothered by it either (i.e., even if someone favourites you, nothing happens on your end), and it looks kinda nice. Looking further ahead, we could even add custom colour selection - e.g., favourite a user, pick a colour. However, this is quite a bit of complexity that would certainly only come AFTER the more important work is done.

This would allow you to manage which users you want to follow more closely, and make their stuff stand out - without resorting to stupid avatars and more of that nonsense that's virtually impossible to make pretty (not a single site with avatars looks good. They fcuk everything up).

Edited 2012-12-27 11:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Clever, but is this not entering the realm of cruft and over-engineering you're trying to strip out?

If even this needs to be done at all, how about having an up-vote threashold for users that defines them as a friend. If you up-vote a person, say, 5 or more times, they become friended and get highlighted in threads. People you down vote 5 or more times get automatically dimmed.

Reply Score: 2

MyNameIsNot4Letter Member since:
2011-01-09

Nice idea. That way you don't have to do anything at all, the system will kinda adjust to your preference. Although, it might be difficult to automate something for lots of different people with different use-patterns.

Personally, when there are two many comments on a news item, i just quickly scroll down through the list and see if i recognize any icon which usually has insightful comments, and don't even bother with the rest.

/Uni

Reply Score: 2

2 letter names
by MyNameIsNot4Letter on Thu 27th Dec 2012 16:16 UTC
MyNameIsNot4Letter
Member since:
2011-01-09

Oh, i have one more request for the new system.

Allow people to have two letter names. I find it ridiculous that i cannot even use my real name because the system thinks people should have at least 4 letter names.

Sad part is i even know two people with 2 letter names. These guys (including myself) are simply F...shunned on the internet these days.

/Uni

Reply Score: 2

RE: 2 letter names
by flypig on Thu 27th Dec 2012 19:47 UTC in reply to "2 letter names"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

I feel for you (although personally my problem is the opposite, with a name too long for some systems).

The following might be an interesting read, although it's a shame (as pointed out in the comments) it doesn't offer any solutions:

http://www.kalzumeus.com/2010/06/17/falsehoods-programmers-believe-...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 2 letter names
by WereCatf on Thu 27th Dec 2012 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE: 2 letter names"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The following might be an interesting read, although it's a shame (as pointed out in the comments) it doesn't offer any solutions:


Allowing users to change their names whenever they have the need for it and using UTF-8 or UTF-16 generally covers most different characters, and those two solve almost all the issues mentioned. Then just define the maximum length of the name as something more reasonable, like e.g. 1024 characters, and minimum length as 1.

Reply Score: 2

looks great
by ikev85 on Thu 27th Dec 2012 19:11 UTC
ikev85
Member since:
2012-12-27

having been reading osnews since 2000 or so I think this redesign is great! ;) Good job everyone

Reply Score: 1

Comment by aargh
by aargh on Fri 28th Dec 2012 09:46 UTC
aargh
Member since:
2009-10-12

I like it overall and can imagine myself comfortably using it. Here are some comments:

* white on black - definitely do that. I love it on Ars Technica and incidentally, as the black guys like to say, once you go black you never go back.
* css - although I love white on black, I sometimes find the white too bright, e.g. on my Nexus 7 display, and prefer bright grey on black. So mark up the elements sanely with css classes so that it's easy to change the color just by overriding a single css class in a user stylesheet (or even make it configurable for logged in users).
* I like textual vote up/down
* With a heavily text-based site you should consider carefully selecting your fonts. There should be an interesting and readable one by default and possibly one other. Less is more. And remember that now w3c finally standardized WOFF 1.0.
* merging features and news - I have mixed feelings about this one. There must be a way to easily tell them apart and make the features stand out.
* I go to OSnews for features and news, so when I looked at the menu I wondered what the other items are and had to check the current menu ;)
* where's "Submit news"?
* icons can be dropped, but display tags/categories prominently instead

PS: +1 to Gran Tourismo, I just listened to it again yesterday and thought this is one of the best albums ever.

Reply Score: 2