NodeBB misfeatures (BIG PICTURE STUFF ONLY)



  • Yeah, another migration whine thread. But this one is different, I swear!

    Sure, I'm also annoyed by visual glitches and lack of thread title and other problems that were rightly pointed out. But these things can (and hopefully will) be fixed with time.

    I'm talking more about the big picture. Long term decisions, features that are lacking or are worse than on Discourse. Stuff that will be a bit more difficult or outright impossible to fix. Stuff we'll have to actually learn to live with.

    No reply context

    0_1458469493804_upload-5fc300f4-f241-4bbb-8ec7-d8c42582473b

    On Discourse, it's pretty easy to see the context the post was made in. You can bring up the last few posts in the mini-thread right above your own reply. Or you can freely navigate up or down the reply chain.

    Here, all we have is this little button. It brings you up (roughly) around the post you replied too. That's it. There is no option to go back, or to see several posts rearranged in a thread, so you can follow the conversation more easily.

    Signatures

    0_1458470141575_upload-ff6989da-4432-4af8-a086-6e3171f9ff19

    One of the best decisions Jeff made with Discourse was getting rid of these. Sure you can add custom CSS to hide signatures, but then you exclude yourself from any conversation or injokes that evolve around them. It's all or nothing, and NodeBB unfortunately went with all.

    Chat

    I'm still not sure about this one. But so far, it seems like a waste of effort. Instead of focusing all your (limited) time into making one great conversation system, you split it between maintaining two mediocre ones. Discourse's decision to reuse their threading system for private messages and pretty much everything else is probably a better strategic choice.

    Downvotes

    Likes and upvotes are cool. It allows users to award good content without spamming threads with meaningless +1 posts. It also allows algorithms to point out "worth to read" posts when you're catching up with a thread and want only to skim over the best stuff (btw, "Summarize Topic" - another great feature gone).

    Downvotes are... problematic, to use the SJW term. It fosters negative emotion. Imagine getting 20 downvotes on a post. It'd feel like the entire forum is against you. Would you even want to go back and post again? This is too impactfulf to be left to a mob-powered automated system.

    In places like reddit, downvotes serve a real purpose. The system is designed to float subthreads with high scores above the ones with lots of downvotes, serving as a way to "sink" low quality content. This, however, isn't how forums work. I know you can sort by score, but without an effective way to link reply chains together, this is only useful in threads with lots of individual amusing posts (eg Funny Stuff thread). The way forums work just isn't compatible with a scoring system like reddit and its ilk use.

    IMO moderators should immediately hide the downvote button with some custom CSS. Also fix up the interface to move this upvote widget to the left side, where it belongs.


    I'm sure there'll be more, this is just the stuff I noticed during the first few hours of usage.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @cartman82 Not that it changes anything you said, but I think upvote/downvote thing is a plugin, so it's probably easier to mod.



  • One thing I missed straight away was the avatar in quotes. In Discourse it was very easy to see a sea (haha) of @Fox or @Polygeekery going down the screen, and allowed you to easily set your expectations.


  • Dupa

    @cartman82 said:

    On Discourse, it's pretty easy to see the context the post was made in. You can bring up the last few posts in the mini-thread right above your own reply. Or you can freely navigate up or down the reply chain.

    Here, all we have is this little button. It brings you up (roughly) around the post you replied too. That's it. There is no option to go back, or to see several posts rearranged in a thread, so you can follow the conversation more easily.

    It's worse! There's no such feature on mobile. You can't even see who is the post in reply to!

    @cartman82 said:

    Downvotes are... problematic, to use the SJW term. It fosters negative emotion. Imagine getting 20 downvotes on a post. It'd feel like the entire forum is against you. Would you even want to go back and post again? This is too impactfulf to be left to a mob-powered automated system.
    IMO moderators should immediately hide the downvote button with some custom CSS. Also fix up the interface to move this upvote widget to the left side, where it belongs.

    Hear, hear!



  • @cartman82 said:

    One of the best decisions Jeff made with Discourse was getting rid of [signatures]

    I haven't noticed how much I hated them until they returned. So annoying, especially when the signature is longer than the post sometimes.



  • If you click the 'in reply to' link it takes you up to the relevant post. Then it draws a little blue shield thing in the top-right corner of that post.

    This shield has no tooltip, cannot be clicked, and fades away after a second. What is it supposed to convey?



  • I'm going to add another one straight away:

    The category view shows this:

    0_1458474196749_small.PNG

    but the real post is this:

    0_1458474214870_big.PNG



  • @coldandtired Ok, not to piss on your legit complaints, but I'm looking more at the big issues. Can we have a separate thread where we post little glitches and annoyances?



  • @cartman82 I'm fine with it, but I think we need a whole separate category at this point!



  • No oneboxing

    0_1458478154660_upload-ad4b591d-b73b-4b8e-9340-642b6aaecbf7

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm pretty sure these used to be nice twitter oneboxes.

    0_1458478272397_upload-608fc960-6905-4bbc-9058-21f5e8064d12

    And this used to be an animation loaded from imgur.

    Preferably, I'd like all the content cached locally, so these threads don't become wasteland once their links inevitably die. But if we can't have that, Discourse's one-box was a decent alternative.

    NodeBB apparently has neither. Funny Stuff Thread, Bad Ideas Thread and similar topics, which used to be teeming with fun animations and videos, are now dead seas of links.

    This sucks.

    Long term, I expect to see these "lets post shit" threads that became popular on Discourse slowly die out.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @cartman82 Oneboxing is probably a plugin that will be included once the most of the current busg are fixed.

    Filed Under: Oneboxing IS an attack-vector



  • Oneboxing was done via a plugin on Discourse; I imagine the same is true for NodeBB



  • @cartman82 said

    It's all or nothing, and NodeBB unfortunately went with all.

    Not quite. There's an admin option to disable signatures.



  • @loopback0 said:

    Not quite. There's an admin option to disable signatures.

    Great! So why are they still on? Come on @administrators , kill the sucker.



  • @loopback0 said:

    Not quite. There's an admin option to disable signatures.

    Darn.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Groaner said:

    @loopback0 said:

    Not quite. There's an admin option to disable signatures.

    Darn.

    You're not helping the case to keep signatures.........



  • @sloosecannon said:

    You're not helping the case to keep signatures.........

    In all my years on the Internets, I have yet to see a legitimate use case for them, actually. Aside from using the space to inject html to create fake subsequent posts.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Groaner said:

    I have let to see a legitimate use case for them, actually.

    Well, traditionally they're used to inject enormous flashing slabs of seizure-inducing GIFs of Nyan Cat, but that doesn't seem to work here…



  • @Groaner said:

    Darn.

    You finally made me get off my ass and install stylish, just so I can setup .post-signature { display: none!important; } for this site.

    Thank you


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I don't think the chat misstep is unfixable. It serves a totally different use case than PM threads on Discourse, though. It's more akin to the IRC channel - transient chatter as opposed to long running conspiracies.

    In particular, I suspect you could bolt on proper PM threads with a plugin that self-service builds groups and such. If I can be arsed to L2Node, I might do it.


  • sockdevs

    @cartman82 said:

    You finally made me get off my ass and install stylish, just so I can setup .post-signature { display: none!important; } for this site.

    you're stricter than i am.

    i went with:

     .post-signature {
         max-height: 4em;
         overflow: hidden;
     }
    

    @administrators can we get this added to our site CSS to prevent zalgo in signatures, as well as to prevent too much signature abuse?



  • @accalia I already applied max-height: 100px; overflow-y: hidden; before @cartman82 made his post.



  • @Weng said:

    I don't think the chat misstep is unfixable. It serves a totally different use case than PM threads on Discourse, though. It's more akin to the IRC channel - transient chatter as opposed to long running conspiracies.

    In particular, I suspect you could bolt on proper PM threads with a plugin that self-service builds groups and such. If I can be arsed to L2Node, I might do it.

    The point is, why are they wasting their time maintaining two completely separate discussion paradigms? If you're a small startup with limited resources, pick one thing and do it well. Don't waste your time making a hundred half-completed crappy little things.


  • sockdevs

    @ben_lubar ah.

    well that works too.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cartman82 That is in fact true. I hadn't realized there was an actual commercial interest at play here. I'm not sure why, it's been forever since I've seen a new opensource project that wasn't actually a veneer over a play for hosting and support dollars.



  • @cartman82 said:

    The point is, why are they wasting their time maintaining two completely separate discussion paradigms?

    Guessing here..but at some point, someone asked for a simple chat thingy to be added. It makes sense to want private chats sometimes. But people come at this stuff in different ways. Having gotten used to discourse, we think about PMs as their own threads, which makes a lot of sense in its own way.

    But of course, there were people who "lost their shit" when the implementation was pointed out.

    But you have to expect that sort of difference when you look at different software written by different groups of people. On NodeBB, the group functionality seems more mature, so there's a capability to segregate private messaging in a different way.

    I like the discourse style private message topics, except that since the profile page was broken they're difficult to use.



  • @Weng said:

    it's been forever since I've seen a new opensource project that wasn't actually a veneer over a play for hosting and support dollars.

    It's the only way these open source projects can end up even half decent in the long run. Enthusiasm will get you only so far.


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said:

    I like the discourse style private message topics, except that since the profile page was broken they're difficult to use.

    SockMessage will be returning with a proper implementation

    .... unless @weng gets to it first


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia The likelihood of my actually bothering is so small that science cannot measure it.


  • sockdevs

    @Weng well then we'll consult you for implementation ideas when we start work then. ;-)



  • @accalia said:

    SockMessage will be returning with a proper implementation

    Is there a thread around here that explains this?

    If not: will that be a plugin, core functionality or what?


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said:

    Is there a thread around here that explains this?

    not yet.

    @boomzilla said:

    If not: will that be a plugin, core functionality or what?

    plugin. there's already chat so i think incorporating PMs into core is not the best idea.



  • @accalia the only complaint I've seen so far about chats is that you can't see more than the 50 most recent messages. Is there anything else that you've seen complaints about/want to change?



  • You can see more if you widen the time window, but it only goes back 3 months or so



  • @RaceProUK how's the secret PM club working, by the way?


  • sockdevs

    @ben_lubar said:

    @accalia the only complaint I've seen so far about chats is that you can't see more than the 50 most recent messages. Is there anything else that you've seen complaints about/want to change?

    • chat room names. they're not visible outside the chat and aren't searchable
    • create a new chat: functionality is minimal at best
    • Search old messages
    • see all messages

    basically stuff like that



  • @ben_lubar said:

    Is there anything else that you've seen complaints about/want to change?

    Small editor, no response linking. Basically, I'd prefer to have the same interface for posts and for PMs. Chat fills a slightly different niche than disco-style PMs, which are useful.



  • First impressions are good :)

    Once we get back into the swing of things, if we encounter any issues, we'll drop you a PMchatmessage of some variety ;)



  • @cartman82 said:

    @loopback0 said:

    Not quite. There's an admin option to disable signatures.

    Great! So why are they still on? Come on @administrators , kill the sucker.

    OK, but enable animated avatars in return.

    Edit: more seriously, I liked the Discourse thing of being able to attach a "tagline" to your username. Like signatures but slightly less annoying.



  • They still exist; they're just not displayed on posts



  • @RaceProUK said:

    They still exist; they're just not displayed on posts

    That's not entirely true.
    https://what.thedailywtf.com/topic/11820/poll-polls/11

    nevermind, misread.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    They still exist; they're just not displayed on posts

    yes they are, you just have to click on the pony.



  • @cartman82 said:

    Signatures

    I'd vote for burning. The minimalistic design with almost-white-on-white post separators somehow makes them even more annoying than usual.

    In places like reddit, downvotes serve a real purpose. The system is designed to float subthreads with high scores above the ones with lots of downvotes, serving as a way to "sink" low quality content.

    All that ever does is create echo chambers. Likes should only ever be a non-consequential counter. IOW reddit sucks.

    IMO moderators should immediately hide the downvote button with some custom CSS. Also fix up the interface to move this upvote widget to the left side, where it belongs.

    Yeah. There's no need for CSS workarounds though, there is a site setting to disable downvotes.

    I miss selective quoting.Select and then use 'reply' instead of 'quote'.



  • @CatPlusPlus said:

    I miss selective quoting.

    reply button?



  • @ben_lubar said:

    @CatPlusPlus said:

    I miss selective quoting.

    reply button?

    On desktop, sure.
    On mobile? Not so much.



  • @ben_lubar No, selecting bit of text and then clicking 'quote' to add it to the post. Quote button here adds the entire post regardless of selection. Also seems to screw up undo stack.



  • @CatPlusPlus said:

    No, selecting bit of text and then clicking 'quote' to add it to the post.

    Click 'reply' instead. Like @ben_lubar said.



  • @loopback0 said:

    Click 'reply' instead. Like @ben_lubar said.

    Oh, okay, cool.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia 0_1458502891164_rps20160320_154119.jpg

    Purple bit in the middle. (I R software architect, my design scribbles are totes legible!)


  • sockdevs

    @Weng koala!


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