I'm still a grumpy cat: a final plea to Alex



  • An expansion on the comment I started http://what.thedailywtf.com/t/poll-how-do-you-feel-about-discourse-on-tdwtf/761/150?u=lorne_kates

    @apapadimoulis, tagging you right at the start because for all intents and purposes, this post is for you.

    @darkmatter said:

    I wonder if any of the 3 or 4 people who ditched the forums altogether came back to vote.

    No, and that's the entire problem here. Alex said wait a few weeks. Fucking Jeff says wait a few MONTHS. And then Discourse gets "ok" and "used". Yeah, sure-- by the few remaining community members who haven't been driven away, told to fuck off, or left out of frustration.

    Discourse guts communities, leaving behind only the few who can stomach this shit, or who have no choice. It's already pretty much destroyed the forum. A good number of the most senior members upped and left. I haven't posted anything Sidebar in weeks because it's a fucking chore to use this piece of shit software. Plus I'm actively refusing to support it, so even if I wanted to "get used" to this dentist drill, fuck that.

    Posting here used to be fun. It isn't anymore. It's an unfamiliar horrendous experience that is a chore to perform. It looks wrong. It feels wrong. It works wrong. I have better things to do with my time than to have to perform chores to have fun.

    I've given this place "a few weeks" in deference to @apapadimoulis , but I'm pretty much at my limit. The content wasn't brought over. The look and feel UI is wrong; rather than looking like TDWTF and minimizing the change-shock, it's this godawful hideous white-space filled, flat, shit fading out void. Change shock! Feature reduction. Fuck you forum users.

    Rather than presenting the information the community wants to see-- post count, last logged in date, proper date/time stamps on messages-- it's what Jeff thinks we want to see. Change shock! Feature reduction. Fuck you forum users.

    Rather than having the content transferred over from the old forum, it, well, doesn't. All conversations were killed dead, and all the thousands of posts (and care and time that went into them) are effectively gone. Great slap in the face to the forum users on top of everything else. Not that the forum is for discussing sidebars anymore; the only thing to do is complain about Discourse and do free QA work for Jeff "the fucking asshole" Attwood. Change shock! Feature reduction. Fuck you forum users.

    Rather than the email notifications being unchanged, they changed entirely. The "from" name is different, the emails are littered with useless information that breaks gmail, and they all contain click-tracker links. Since I read the forum 99% of the time via gmail, it has literally destroyed my ability to casually read the forum. Instead I have to come here and perform the chore of using Discourse. Change shock. Feature reduction. Fuck you forum users.

    Rather than having optional pagination, it doesn't, because again-- it's "wrong". Change shock. Feature reduction. Fuck you forum users.

    So here's my final recommendation, @apapadimoulis. Again, because you asked, I stuck around and tried to use this place for a few weeks. I filed bug reports. I explained the reasons why the software is deficient to actively hostile in as much evidence-based ways as I could. It's three weeks later, and nothing's changed. You've literally ignored all the advice I've given you, than your forum community has given you, and that your front-page commentors have given you. You've done the cardinal sin of ignoring your users. There's really no coming back form that. You've already lost several "big name" members, and who knows how many others. Or how many you've just driven off altogether, never to join or come back. That's some hefty, permanent damage.

    If you want any hope of having Discourse widely accepted, you need to do the following. This isn't just "I feels"-- this is what the community, your community, the people who made your site famous over the course of a decade, who gave you a large platform to present your own ideals (Alex's Soapbox), your own projects (BuildMaster), your own other amazing ideas (do you really think Release! would have funded 400%+ that quickly otherwise)? Honestly, these are things that if you had done in the first place, as it was discussed months ago, Discourse would have gone off without a hitch and any complaints could have just been written off as "haters".

    These must be done, or you should abandon Discourse as unsuitable for use:

    1. Optional pagination. Full stop, deal breaker. Listen to the feed back. Understand the technical and biological reasons. Read the goddamn poll. Ain't fucking no one wants Infinite Scrolling as the only option. There is no technical reason this should not exist. It does for the non-JS version. It would take a few hours of effort for a Discourse developer to implement. It should be enabled by default. If it isn't there, Discourse is unsuitable for a forum, for this forum especially, and should not be used.

    2. ALL old forum content should be ported over, with the exception of anything deleted as spam, and obviously not user passwords. A contiguous, uninterrupted flow of conversation is a 100% absolute must for any social software change. You don't need to give people reasons to stop discussing, stop conversing, stop posting. Killing conversations in mid-stream is 100% guaranteed to do that and is, honestly, extremely disrespectful towards the people in the middle of the conversation. If it isn't possible to port information into Discourse, something that every other forum software on the planet can do, then Discourse is unsuitable for a forum, for this forum especially, and should not be used.

    3. The look and feel for the forums and front page should match up as closely to 100% as possible. This goes beyond just the colors, fonts, sizing, spacing, borders, etc. It should "feel" like the same forum. If it had the same look at feel, almost no one would have even noticed the change. If it had the same look and feel, you could have expanded upon it to your heart's desire-- adding the floating comment box, the like buttons, all that extra shit. Because that's the key word there. EXTRA. Instead, users were presented with something that looked and acted 100% different, and all the feature reductions became glaringly obvious. That becomes the only thing someone can focus on. Rather than seeing "new, updated, spiffy TDWTF", they just see "giant blob of scary and unfamiliar whitespace WTF". If it isn't possible to style the forum and front page comments to be as close to the existing UI as possible, then Discourse is unsuitable for a forum, for this forum especially, and should not be used.

    4. The featureset of the forums should be exactly the same. Many of these features were laid out in the original discussion from a few months ago, others were raised during this disastrous "beta" test. The email notifications should have been exactly the same. I even posted a template. It would have prevented any disruptions to email users. Hell, there's no REASON to disrupt email users, they aren't even using the forum software! The post counts were declared an important feature to port over, so they should have been, and they should be displaying in the UI. They are a feature. The date/time stamps should be date/time stamps, not "hours" ago. They aren't. So fucking much changed, and all of it for the NEGATIVE. Discourse took away feature, and ain't fucking NO ONE likes features being taken away, especially not developers. If you want people's favour, don't take away their toys. If Discourse isn't capable of displaying timestamps, or sending emails in a custom format, or displaying post count-- like every other forum software on the planet can do-- then Discourse is unsuitable for a forum, for this forum especially, and should not be used.

    5. Fire Jeff Atwood. I know he's not your employee, and he invited himself to the forum rather than the other way around (from what I understand), but he's probably one of your main opponents to getting Discourse implemented. I'm fucking serious. This guy is poison to your goals. He's antagonistic, actively hostile, rude and abrasive, and is probably single-handedly responsible for every bit of friction during this whole process. At least @sam came around and was ultimately helpful and slightly reasonable. Not @codinghorror. His attitude of "you are doing things wrong" is shit. He turned feature discussions into religious debates. He pollutes threads with unhelpful insults and meme pictures, serving only to antagonize and destroy conversation. He's abused his moderator powers (which he never should have had in the first place), ranging from splitting topics that didn't need to be split, to censoring and deleting posts that he disagrees with (something, I will note, that forum moderators never did, because they are responsible adults). He's alienated developers who might have learned Ruby, written plug-ins and stylesheets, and helped you. Let me repeat that-- Jeff Atwood has antagonized developers, the people who are your core audience, and cost YOU the ability to raise manpower and support for your project. I will officially go on the record that I rescind all my previous offers to help with coding, importing, anything. I've already wasted way to much of my time filing bug reports-- actually, I'll save that for #6. Basically, I actively refuse to do anything that supports Jeff Atwood's software and his personal projects and business. I'll say again, I wouldn't have any problem helping you, Alex, get the forum software working on this site, even if that forum was Discourse-- but I 100% actively refuse to have my hard efforts go towards furthering any goal of Jeff Atwood's. He's proven to be a despicable, unlikable, community-destroying zealot, and he's done more harm to your goals than anyone or anything else in this whole process. If an instance of Discourse can't run without the involvement of Jeff Atwood, then Discourse is unsuitable for a forum, for this forum especially, and should not be used.

    6. Fix the fucking bugs. Or make the Discourse devs do it. I know all software has bugs, but the amount and severity of the bugs in a supposedly "production" release is goddamn shameful. It is almost impossible to make a post without encountering a bug. Common use cases that should have been tested-- especially on a production ready piece of software that people PAY form-- never were. Like pressing the end key. Or deleting a post. Or any fucking other number of things. I'm goddamn sick and tired of being a free QA tester for Discourse. I know people joke about the QA model of "release to production, let the users test"-- BUT THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT IS HAPPENING. You know how much developers bill for their time. Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars of free work you've made us give this asshole Jeff? To support his "vision" that none of us want? FFS, I was more than willing to do a test for you, Alex-- but this is fucking ridiculous. I mean, imagine going to your favorite bar, and instead of being able to relax and joke with your friends, you're put to work hanging drywall-- all to redecorate it into Vegan-friendly soy bar (no whiskey). So not only do you have to watch your favorite place being gutted, you're forced into labor during your supposed "relax" time, and all to further a goal that is completely opposite to your own. This is more of a subset of #5, because the end goal here is making us to free labor for Jeff, to further his goal, and gut our community. I'm not filing any more god-obvious bugs. This shit should have never been bugs in the first place. Edge cases and weird interaction, sure-- I'll help with those. But pressing the END key not working? Not being able to highlight a sentence starting with "I"? Fuck it. If Discourse can't roll out bug-free enough to be a gold release instead of a pre-Alpha, then Discourse is unsuitable for a forum, for this forum especially, and should not be used.

    So to summarize, if you want any hope of having Discourse accepted, and you want to please your community, you must do this:

    1. Optional pagination, on by default
    2. Import all forum content
    3. Duplicate the UI to reduce change shock (but improve/expand on it)
    4. Duplicate forum functions, especially those highlighted (email format, date/time stamp, post count, nested quotes)
    5. Fire or Ban Jeff Atwood
    6. Bug-free-ish experience.

    Until then, I'm done posting here. I hate to leave-- probably way more than you can ever imagine-- but it's not like there's a forum left anyways. I haven't posted or read a sidebar in weeks. It isn't fun being here. All I've been doing is trying in vain to point out what's going wrong and how to fix it (not "just being a hater"), and being ignored. I've posted bugs, most of which were ignored. I've had to deal with that goddamn fucking asshole Jeff Atwood, and I'm done with that. So, @apapadimoulis, if your goal was to gut the community, destroy people's favorite place, and just make their time here as miserable as possible until you break their spirit and they leave, then goddamn mission accomplished. You now have a "successful" community of Discourse adaptors, because they're the only ones who stayed.

    If your goal was to update your site, make it better, and still make happy the thousands of people who made the site a success-- well, the list is above. It isn't arbitrary. It isn't based on "feelings". Go count the number of likes my posts have. Go see how many "I agree with @Lorne_Kates" responses there are. Go look at the membership dropoff of your top posters. You opened up an artery. Your community needs some major fucking attention-- more than a bandaid.

    And don't forget, it's never too late to just switch back to CS, re-evaluate and try again in a few months with much better product (either something different, or a TDWTF-ready Discourse as above).

    Until then, I may accidentally come back to check on this topic out of habit, but I'm done. To anyone reading this, if things change for the better, please drop me a line at lkates@gmail.com and let me know.


  • Banned

    Given enough time, I think all those are more or less possible except #1.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I am pretty sure you are using your "likes" to mark stuff to look at again later but

    at a post that is basically "Don't use Discourse" this looks pretty mean spirited.

    Also I thought @Sam or you said somebody was working on pagination for next week... but I can't seem to find it (not yet fully understanding the search-function -> can I search for "pagination" only in @Sam s posts?), so maybe I just read wrong.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Lorne_Kates said:

    And don't forget, it's never too late to just switch back to CS, re-evaluate and try again in a few months with much better product (either something different, or a TDWTF-ready Discourse as above).

    Until then, I may accidentally come back to check on this topic out of habit, but I'm done. To anyone reading this, if things change for the better, please drop me a line at lkates@gmail.com and let me know.

    I think I read every post you wrote about this topic and I can completely understand where you are coming from. It's not that big of a problem for me but to somebody who has been active as long as you have this could truly look terrible.

    That said, I would be sad if you left. I am already sad I am most likely not going to experience other people I have read a lot from live and in colour.
    The Community is what makes a Community and pillar-stones leaving does not only hurt the people you want to hurt (in this case everybody who does not listen to your pleas) but also the other users who would like to talk about WTFs with you.

    I am not going to stop you, nor can I influence how things roll here but I at least make an honest attempt at stopping you and playing around with the bugs in this software (like you guys did with CS) (You missed the whole "HTML including scripts in titles"-bug that was fixed today! It was awesome while it lasted!)

    So yeah... said what I wanted to say... still don't know how to end posts in a normal fashion! (Signatures might fix that :D)



  • @Lorne_Kates said:

    it's a fucking chore to use this piece of shit software.

    I simply cannot relate to this. I will grant you that I changed my workflow, since I turned off email. But it's very easy to check in and only read new stuff. I definitely like it better.

    @Kuro said:

    That said, I would be sad if you left.

    I agree. But then, he won't be the first person I was sad to see go, and he probably won't be the last.


  • BINNED

    @codinghorror said:

    Given enough time, I think all those are more or less possible except #1.

    It's impossible to implement an already existing feature, which exists by a way of "inferior" server-side only technology when Javascript is not available?

    It's impossible to have a function, that already takes a value defined in settings, which loads posts load a "page" worth of posts instead of loading a "chunk" of posts? Wait, never mind, that's not even a change, that's just the same function.

    It's impossible to override a function that responds to scroll event (or whatever the actual binding is) and disable it so that reaching the end of page doesn't load more posts? Something I can do with a userscript without even having access to the server?

    It's impossible to do these things, and make them configurable per installation, hell, make it configurable per user and let people chose their own poison?

    No Jeff, I know you don't like it, I know this is your baby and you don't want to do it, but don't insult your fellow developers, probably 99.99... % of this community demographics, by saying it's impossible. We know it's not. We do that kind of shit for living. So man up and say it that way. We all know it already anyway.

    And what is it all for? To encourage reading, right. So you're saving the users from the hell that is clicking the "Last page" link if they don't want to read it all. Poor buggers, they'll have to reach for the keyboard and hit End.

    And built-in browser search, that blight on humanity the likes of which were never seen before. We can't have that because we can't have things in the DOM! Having things in the DOM is evil and should be injected at the last possible moment, and then thrown away ASAP. No going back, you will quote stuff right away, otherwise it shall never be found again. It's almost like there's a structure that would allow for that while keeping context... like a tree, or something.

    And what about those scrollbars, eh? Hah, remember when we thought those were a good idea? Oh, such fools we were.

    Look, I don't hate Discourse. It does some things well. It possibly does them better than any other piece of software ever. But that's what it is. It's software. It's a thing used by people to do shit they want done. For most of us it's not a matter of religion, or ideology, we just want to have shit done. In a significant majority of cases, ideology doesn't sell products, meeting your customer's requirements does.

    And I don't hate you Jeff. But some days you can say something really stupid. And I have to call out stupid when I see it, be it someone else, or even myself.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Kuro said:

    still don't know how to end posts in a normal fashion!

    With a Filed Under, of course!


    Filed under: I've given up bothering with pretend links because I'm lazy today



  • @codinghorror said:

    Given enough time, I think all those are more or less possible except #1.

    Are you trolling?@boomzilla said:

    I simply cannot relate to this. I will grant you that I changed my workflow, since I turned off email.

    I changed my workflow, too - I now read the forum through e-mail, because it's easier to follow that way, and I see exactly what I already read, and what's left unread. The only problem is that when topics are split, I sometimes get duplicate messages (and I wouldn't mind if "[What the Daily WTF?]" was removed from the subject either - it's too long, and there are better ways of filtering messages than matching on subject).


  • sockdevs

    No, he's not. #1 on the list is technically possible. As in, the software could be made to do it. But a less than unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, in this case Jeff's belief that infiniscroll is the Best Thing Evar, the object wins through staying power.

    All power to Jeff for his belief and faith in it, because weaker men would have caved in by now.

    I won't deny, I didn't have much of a workflow before, but I don't like the workflow Discourse is pushing on me. I'm one of these people that likes to read everything, and I get topics with (x) after them (indicating some unread posts), topics with (new) after them and topics I've never read not having either, so I don't know myself if I've read them or not. I'm used to other systems that work consistently in this regard by telling me 'new' or 'nothing new' and not trying to be clever about it.



  • @Arantor said:

    I won't deny, I didn't have much of a workflow before, but I don't like the workflow Discourse is pushing on me. I'm one of these people that likes to read everything, and I get topics with (x) after them (indicating some unread posts), topics with (new) after them and topics I've never read not having either, so I don't know myself if I've read them or not. I'm used to other systems that work consistently in this regard by telling me 'new' or 'nothing new' and not trying to be clever about it.

    Do it like me: receive everything by e-mail, and read there (there's a setting in the profile). It's much less frustrating than trying to figure out what you already read on the forums. Just make sure to sort the folder you'll filter TheDailyWTF's messages to by created and not received date.


  • sockdevs

    Eh, I don't like my email that much :stuck_out_tongue:

    But isn't that a serious indictment of the usability of Discourse that plenty of people prefer to actively read it from somewhere else?

    See, I get the use of things like RSS to filter out stories that would interest you and reply as appropriate, and using email could fit that pattern too. But to have it as the primary method of interaction just seems like accepting the primary method of interaction sucks that badly.



  • @ender said:

    It's much less frustrating than trying to figure out what you already read on the forums. Just make sure to sort the folder you'll filter TheDailyWTF's messages to by created and not received date.

    I don't understand what's hard about figuring out what you've read. What settings do you have? I set the following, and aside from the occasional ajax fuck up, it works great:

    Automatically track topics you enter
    always

    Consider topics new when
    you haven't viewed them yet

    If there are new or unread topics, they always show up at the bottom of a thread. I can also just hit gu to get to see unread stuff (that shortcut is actually useful). I go right back to where I left off.

    @Arantor said:

    But isn't that a serious indictment of the usability of Discourse that plenty of people prefer to actively read it from somewhere else?

    I used to read most of CS stuff from email. First thing I'd do on a topic was enable email, read what was there, and wait for email for follow ups. Much prefer coming right to Discourse now.


  • sockdevs

    Ah, that would be the problem. I was using the default settings which assumes that anything started more than 2 days ago is clearly not anything I might be interested in. Thanks for the nudge, now everything is marked new when it should be.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election


  • Banned

    @Arantor said:

    As in, the software could be made to do it. But a less than unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, in this case Jeff's belief that infiniscroll is the Best Thing Evar, the object wins through staying power.

    I think really it makes sense for the community to sit down and spec how they think Discourse could work with pagination, we do not plan to ship this feature in core.

    However, extensibilty wise I would like us to support this level of customisation via a plugin. Trouble is it is unclear exactly how "pagination" would fit in, even as a plugin. Would it break the stream into pages and enforce boundries forcing a click between pages, would it only introduce a "pagination control" every N posts. What about internal links, would all the URLs change, would it change the topic list page and introduces pages there.

    I think there is a tremendous amount of detail that needs covering, if anyone is going to have a chance at building this as a plugin they are going to have to start with a very clear spec.

    @Arantor said:

    I'm one of these people that likes to read everything, and I get topics with (x) after them (indicating some unread posts), topics with (new) after them and topics I've never read not having either, so I don't know myself if I've read them or not.

    Blue circle with new or number means "new"

    Trouble is our default is a huge problem for people who want to track everything.

    Change it to track everything I enter.


  • sockdevs

    That's kind of the problem. I do forums a lot. I kind of expect them all to work a certain way and while I'm coming to terms with infiniscroll, tracking of things I haven't read / things I have is one thing that I do not like about Discourse - because the default behaviour seems illogical to me, and somewhat unnecessarily different to everything else.


  • Banned

    @Arantor said:

    because the default behaviour seems illogical to me, and somewhat unnecessarily different to everything else.

    We definitely want forum admins to be able to set all defaults for users. Default tracking states, muted categories and so on.

    Our default is indeed trying to be "smart" ... track everything you seem to spend time reading. It can be very effective in some communities, less effective is others.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Kuro said:

    I am pretty sure you are using your "likes" to mark stuff to look at again later

    I thought you were supposed to use bookmarks for that.

    Filed under: is Atwood doing it wrong?


  • sockdevs

    Surely telling me that everything I haven't seen yet is 'new' is the smart way to do this? As far as tracking goes, I don't understand this idea of 'track things I've seen'... surely I'd want the software to unilaterally remember what I've seen for me like most of the others do? (A number of them have an additional filter to progressively mark older stuff read even if it "wasn't" but that's still more desirable to me than the current behaviour seems to be.)


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Maybe it's a desperate cry for help? @apapadimoulis might have trapped him in some kind of basement to code for TDWTF and with his mouse he can't reach the :bookmark: but only the :hearts: icon!

    Sidenote: Did anybody in here (except the admins) use bookmarks, yet? Tell us your thoughts about them in 10 words or less! :smiley:


  • sockdevs

    I are confused by stars/bookmarks. My browser has bookmarks, different?

    Filed under: you did say 10 words or less. I think I managed it on a technicality.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Your browser also has a search function! Guess what Discourse does to that! :D

    Filed Under: Nope, your "Filed under" - field was too long!


  • sockdevs

    I invariably use Google to search websites :stuck_out_tongue:

    Filed under: it didn't count, mkay? This is just the narrator speaking, it's not part of the story.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    You should let google handle your bookmarks, too

    Filed Under: This Post was written in a world where Chrome does not exist!


  • Banned

    @Arantor said:

    I'm one of these people that likes to read everything

    You should change your user preferences to reflect that; average users do not want to read everything, so the defaults are safe for them. I was going to describe more but as I read and scroll down while I compose my reply, I see @boomzilla already answered with specifics!

    @Kuro said:

    I am pretty sure you are using your "likes" to mark stuff to look at again later

    No, I liked it because I liked the first post. It is a whole giant in-depth essay about the pros and cons of Discourse that @Lorne_Kates took a long time to write. I appreciate the effort, and if he didn't care he would just walk away and say nothing. As stated here:

    And when it was all over, one of the other assistant coaches came over and said, yeah, Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he? I said, yeah. He said, that's a good thing. He said, when you're screwing up and nobody's saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up. And that's a lesson that stuck with me my whole life: when you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @codinghorror said:

    No, I liked it because I liked the first post. It is a whole giant in-depth essay about the pros and cons of Discourse that @Lorne_Kates took a long time to write.

    If that is the case I appologize for my accusation. It just appeared that way to me.


  • sockdevs

    I'm sorry, but I disagree. Average users may or may not want to read everything, true enough - but assuming that by default is a violation of expectations for most forum users. No other forum starts out with the assumptions Discourse does. I'm glad you tried it, I'm just not sure it's going to work out so well for you in the long term.


  • Banned

    Very, very, few people want to read everything. But read @sam's posts above closely about setting site wide defaults on every possible (user) setting.


  • sockdevs

    I did see the post. I'm just not sure you're picking up on what I'm saying. Trying to guess what a user wants invariably doesn't work - which is why the other systems don't do it. They just offer up the list of what has/hasn't been read and let the user decide how to interact with it.

    Filed under: former developer of a forum software, and of a fork of a forum software. Been watching users tackle this for a while.



  • @sam said:

    Trouble is it is unclear exactly how "pagination" would fit in, even as a plugin. Would it break the stream into pages and enforce boundries forcing a click between pages, would it only introduce a "pagination control" every N posts. What about internal links, would all the URLs change, would it change the topic list page and introduces pages there.

    What my design would be is:

    • you're already loading posts in chunks, so only have one on the page at a time,
    • change the green thing at the bottom to be a page navigator, so first/previous/select/next/last page instead of first/select/last post.
    • to move to a page, unload all pages, fetch "chunk" N and show it,
    • when moving to a post via other methods, load that page, discard the previous one, and update the green thing accordingly.
    • post-specific URLs (i.e. /t/i-am-a-grumpy-cat/839/5) would load page (thread_length/N) + post_num%N and then scroll to the appropriate post.

    Hard mode:

    • allow a "page" URL, e.g. /t/i-am-a-grumpy-cat/893/page/4.
    • this would have the same effect as /t/i-am-a-grumpy-cat/893/(L*4) where L is the page length.

    You are already doing this in a way:

    • when I reach the end of the currently loaded "page", it fetches the next "page" and adds it to the DOM,
    • when I scroll down, it unload[i]ed[/i] (but no longer does because you set it not to) all but the last few "pages" I'd seen,
    • when I click the up arrow on a quote, it loads the correct "page" and puts me there.

    I've been trying myself to write a plugin, but it's hard and there aren't resources. After over a week of familiarizing myself with Discourse I've almost got it to display signatures, so for us non-Discourse-employees it is hard and slow going and I can't exactly put a lot of my time in this. Pages'll be way harder still, and honestly I'm afraid to write it because I'd not be surprised for it to "suddenly" become incompatible with Discourse a day after I show it to people.

    Also, @sam, thanks for being a reasonable person. You seem like the Zhou Enlai to @codinghorror's Mao Zedong.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @codinghorror said:

    No, I liked it because I liked the first post. It is a whole giant in-depth essay about the pros and cons of Discourse that @Lorne_Kates took a long time to write. I appreciate the effort, and if he didn't care he would just walk away and say nothing. As stated here:

    And when it was all over, one of the other assistant coaches came over and said, yeah, Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he? I said, yeah. He said, that's a good thing. He said, when you're screwing up and nobody's saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up. And that's a lesson that stuck with me my whole life: when you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care.

    So when do we get the :facepalm: emoji? Or are you saying that you really will implement optional pagination, post counts, etc.?

    Filed under: at least players actually listen to coaches and modify their play



  • I don't understand why people are all butthurt about infinite scrolling. I also don't see why it would be so hard to make an ajax widget that calls the same RESTful url to get batches of messages by the "page" instead of loading more.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Kuro said:

    Tell us your thoughts about them in 10 words or less!

    For sale: baby shoes, never worn



  • @Captain said:

    I don't understand why people are all butthurt about infinite scrolling.

    Because most of us have been using traditional forums for a decade or two, and we're used to pagination. With pagination, you can navigate through a thread easily.

    • You can skim every 5th page of a 30-page thread and see what the overall mood is.
    • If you've been away for a week, you can skim a few pages back from where you left off so that you actually remember what the conversation was where you left off.
    • It's way easier to remember that a post was on page 10 of 30 than that it was post 235 out of 1449.
    • Javascript-based "web apps" never seem to run well.

    These things could no doubt in time be worked around once everyone's used to the new paradigm. But being forced to change to something completely and deliberately alien is not fun and if it doesn't even work better then it's useless on top of being unfamiliar. All you're doing at that point is taking away from people the instincts honed by decades of experience, while not even offering them anything at all in return, and that is not something that people tend to welcome with open arms.

    Do remember that forums have been this way literally as long as they have existed with the exception of Discourse. Even if Discourse really were a vast improvement there would still be plenty of resistance, and only because it has a hipster's need to be nonconformist at all costs.

    @Captain said:

    I also don't see why it would be so hard to make an ajax widget that calls the same RESTful url to get batches of messages by the "page" instead of loading more.

    Go try. It's harder than you think. Aside from the regular developers, who have religious objections to this, there aren't many people who know what's going on. Discourse is huge, the documentation is nearly nonexistent, and to make a plugin for it is basically just guessing and seeing if what you did works.



  • But I'm not butthurt...



  • @marinus said:

    Hard mode:

    • allow a "page" URL, e.g. /t/i-am-a-grumpy-cat/893/page/4.
    • this would have the same effect as /t/i-am-a-grumpy-cat/893/(L*4) where L is the page length.

    http://what.thedailywtf.com/t/im-still-a-grumpy-cat-a-final-plea-to-alex/893?page=2

    Filed under: open in a new tab



  • @Arantor said:

    But isn't that a serious indictment of the usability of Discourse that plenty of people prefer to actively read it from somewhere else?

    This. If the users of your forum trade tips on how best to read the content, and these tips include not using the software originially provided for it, then that software has some very serious issues in the usability department.

    But it's something of a recurring theme with Discourse on TDWTF: the community is trading workaround tips on how to do things in cases where the software works against you:

    1. Nested quotes. Possible, but you have to manually assemble alle the needed quotes.
    2. Quotes in a post only. Possible, just add   for further content.
    3. Whitespace only edits: just add some non-whitespace and remove that in a second edit

    Did I miss something? Hope not.



  • @sam said:

    Trouble is it is unclear exactly how "pagination" would fit in, even as a plugin. Would it break the stream into pages and enforce boundries forcing a click between pages, would it only introduce a "pagination control" every N posts. What about internal links, would all the URLs change, would it change the topic list page and introduces pages there.

    Erm, since pagination already is build into the core of Discourse as a javascript-is-not-available fallback, all of these problems should actually have been thought through and solved already.



  • @Lorne_Kates said:

    So to summarize:

    1. Optional pagination, on by default
    2. Import all forum content
    3. Duplicate the UI to reduce change shock (but improve/expand on it)
    4. Duplicate forum functions, especially those highlighted (email format, date/time stamp, post count, nested quotes)
    5. Fire or Ban Jeff Atwood
    6. Bug-free-ish experience.

    I would like to add one further point:

    7) make it usable for people who do not have javascript turned on

    That is, provide a good-ole CGI interface for registering, logging in, posting and replying.

    Because the absence of that is another reason you are loosing community members (in this case Jim the Tool).

    Filed under: another ground for implementation would be to make Discourse more accessible.



  • @Lorne_Kates said:

    you must do this:

    I agree with all of this, with the possible exception of the bugfixing stuff, which is normal procedure anyway, and the discourse guys & girls are working pretty hard to do it.

    Likes being limited to one post, I can only +∞

    @codinghorror said:

    Given enough time, I think all those are more or less possible except #1.

    That's absolute fucking bullshit and you know it. Your software already does this for the non-DOM-raping interface you feed up to google and friends, all you need to do is make that functional for users, like it should have been from the start. Obviously, that would go against the Jeff Atwood vision of how users should use software, but hey - fuck that.

    Anyway, we don't have a "dislike" button, so you earn a -∞

    As faoileag points out, fixing the non-javascript side would help to make Discourse accessible. Accessibility matters. He gets a +(1 < χ < ∞)

    Filed under: Normally we only have to worry about making websites accessible for handicapped users


  • Banned

    @antiquarian said:

    Filed under: at least players actually listen to coaches and modify their play

    This assumes the coach and player are in fact playing the same game...



  • I don't think a football team would appreciate being told they now play rugby and if they don't like it, well, there are plenty of other football teams out there...


  • Banned

    You need to remember, the Discourse team played no part in this decision to change the forum software.


  • Banned

    @faoileag said:

    make it usable for people who do not have javascript turned on

    I wonder if this is the best approach people who wish to provide a paginated front end should take. Build a plugin that gives an HTML only front end. I worry that attempts to shoe horn pagination onto our interface will have 2 major issues

    1. It is still JavaScript, and I feel that a lot of the objection is to the fact this is a JavaScript app
    2. It is probably harder to shoehorn into our app than traditional html front end.

    Design wise you could simply add a rails engine in front (my blog http://samsaffron.com uses this pattern - its an open source discourse plugin).

    That said, it is a fair amount of work, there are maintenance concerns and the Discourse team do not have the bandwidth to work on this.

    Note, most screen readers these days do JavaScript.


  • Banned

    @faoileag said:

    Whitespace only edits: just add some non-whitespace and remove that in a second edit

    This is going to die next week. Going to clean up this mess.

    @faoileag said:

    Quotes in a post only. Possible, just add   for further content.

    This should be an admin setting really. I think the default is sound but get that certain communities may not want to strip out quotes before checking for post length.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @sam said:

    I worry that attempts to shoe horn pagination onto our interface will have 2 major issues

    You're serving up a range of posts already? Then delivering the data should be the easy part; the front end can just request a fixed number starting at a known point (it would be a fixed range except for moderator actions). The hard bit will be to stop doing so much JS meddling after display. :smiley:

    Filed under: Why do I keep reading “JavaScript app” as “JavasCrap”?



  • @sam said:

    Build a plugin that gives an HTML only front end

    I fail to see the appeal of "build a plugin for this", "build a plugin for that", for several reasons:

    1 - The documentation isn't there. It's not reasonable for most non-discourse developers to do this. I've personally being doing rails dev since it came out (my first rails-based site was running rails 0.14 or so), and I can't fathom how you're supposed to do it.
    2 - Plugins need a stable interface to develop to. Discourse as it stands is far from stable.
    3 - What you're suggesting in this case makes zero sense. You already have an HTML-only interface; you're presenting it to google. Rather than making that work "as expected" and have it as a developed, supported, core part of Discourse, you're suggesting that we develop a fragile thing that somehow de-javasciptifies what discourse is throwing out. It doesn't matter how many abstraction layers you add on top, you won't be able to hide the fact your hammer is a hammer, and not, in fact, the screwdriver you're trying to pretend it is.



  • @Kuro said:

    Sidenote: Did anybody in here (except the admins) use bookmarks, yet? Tell us your thoughts about them in 10 words or less!

    Yes. They work. Now we even have shorcut in menu.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Zecc said:

    Yes. They work. Now we even have shorcut in menu.

    I save this. Maybe I needing later.


  • BINNED

    @dkf said:

    The hard bit will be to stop doing so much JS meddling after display.

    I wouldn't even change the meddlesome functions themselves if they are unwieldy. It might be a bit hacky but overriding them with

    function doReallyFancyStuffHere() {
        return false;
    }
    

    would do the trick nicely, at least as a temporary measure.


    Filed under: We'll fix it in post


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.