71 votes

Daily Tildes discussion - should we allow groups to have customized appearances?

Sorry for the lateness on this one today - this is a topic that's been very important on reddit lately, since the redesign is taking away a lot of customization from subreddits by taking away their ability to use full CSS and moving towards more limited tools. I wanted to get some thoughts from the people here so far about whether allowing similar levels of customization on Tildes seems like a good idea.

This probably wouldn't happen in the near future anyway, so don't worry too much about the "how" of it. I know that if we support it here it would have to be a fair amount different because there aren't really "owners" of particular groups or anything like that. For now, let's just talk about whether it seems like a good idea at all.

I don't want to bias the discussion about it too much, but just a few general thoughts about it from my end:

  • If we do allow it, I'd always make sure that it's very easy for users to choose not to see the customizations if they prefer the "stock" appearance.
  • Since Tildes is trying to keep the site itself as the main mobile interface, this means that we'd be able to have CSS customizations apply to mobile users as well.
  • Supporting full CSS on Tildes could be a significant factor in some reddit communities wanting to move over once it becomes more apparent that they're not going to get full CSS in the redesign (this could be a good or bad thing).

It's a pretty vague topic, but I'm curious what people's general opinions about it are, so let me know what you think.

101 comments

  1. [10]
    winter_storm
    Link
    I always prefer the "stock" look, but I'm all for giving creative liberty to subs. As long a I am not forced to use their style.

    I always prefer the "stock" look, but I'm all for giving creative liberty to subs. As long a I am not forced to use their style.

    80 votes
    1. [6]
      acosmichippo
      Link Parent
      Yes. let them do it if you want, just let me choose to keep the default.

      As long a I am not forced to use their style.

      Yes. let them do it if you want, just let me choose to keep the default.

      29 votes
      1. [3]
        UDK450
        Link Parent
        Perhaps a step further. On some communities I like their tweaks, on some I don't. If I set a blanket option for using default style, I'd still like an option to allow exceptions for individual...

        Perhaps a step further. On some communities I like their tweaks, on some I don't. If I set a blanket option for using default style, I'd still like an option to allow exceptions for individual communities.

        23 votes
        1. Emerald_Knight
          Link Parent
          I noticed that a similar sentiment was noted in a thread about theme settings resetting across devices. Specifically, the idea of setting an account default option and then overriding that setting...

          I noticed that a similar sentiment was noted in a thread about theme settings resetting across devices. Specifically, the idea of setting an account default option and then overriding that setting individually. In the case of account themes, that would be having all new devices respecting your account's chosen default until such time that a specific overriding theme is chosen--the behavior would largely be the same as it is now, but you could e.g. default to using a dark theme instead of defaulting to the standard light theme.

          I imagine this will end up being a recurring idea for handling flexibility in user account settings.

          3 votes
        2. PostPostModernism
          Link Parent
          Reddit ostensibly incorporates that feature a couple ways. Individual communities can modify their look, and even have the ability to remove the downvote button. Normally you can ignore all of...

          Reddit ostensibly incorporates that feature a couple ways. Individual communities can modify their look, and even have the ability to remove the downvote button. Normally you can ignore all of that either by setting your default options to ignore subreddit styles, or click a button on the subreddit page to turn off that style for that subreddit individually. Some subreddits have been eliminating or hiding that "turn off subreddit style" button though lately.

      2. Parliament
        Link Parent
        That's pretty much my outlook for the whole site barring a few exceptions. People should be able to customize their experiences as much as possible.

        That's pretty much my outlook for the whole site barring a few exceptions. People should be able to customize their experiences as much as possible.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      MindsRedMill
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      And as long as the customisation doesn't extend to functionality as it does in reddit. That, as several people have identified, is an issue. I would say as a principle: The functional experience...

      And as long as the customisation doesn't extend to functionality as it does in reddit. That, as several people have identified, is an issue.

      I would say as a principle:

      The functional experience of the communities should be identical for all users.

      The go from there. So allow for customisation that doesn't break that. Allow colours to be changed for headers, backgrounds if you want, but not things like using css to hide vote buttons, say. Equally spoilers, filters, categories, etc.

      13 votes
      1. Caelic
        Link Parent
        I would agree with this. There does need to be a consideration of site quality for viewers, and functionality is key to that. I've always turned off the CSS myself, but it definitely helps give...

        I would agree with this. There does need to be a consideration of site quality for viewers, and functionality is key to that.

        I've always turned off the CSS myself, but it definitely helps give communities their own feel.

        3 votes
    3. azazo9
      Link Parent
      Unrelated to the topic, but this is how i feel aboht the customization in video games (fortnite, battlefield, etc) allow everyone to have freedom to customize however they want, but give users a...

      Unrelated to the topic, but this is how i feel aboht the customization in video games (fortnite, battlefield, etc) allow everyone to have freedom to customize however they want, but give users a toggle switch to disable other players customizations if they want. This is pretty much the only reason (apart from night mode) that i used RES on reddit.

      1 vote
  2. [5]
    eyybby
    Link
    My initial feelings are no. Tildes main objective seems to be the content, not the appearances. That said it doesn't bother me much either way. As long as there's the option of leaving the...

    My initial feelings are no. Tildes main objective seems to be the content, not the appearances.

    That said it doesn't bother me much either way. As long as there's the option of leaving the everything with the default style I'm happy.

    58 votes
    1. PatrickRes
      Link Parent
      I'd say that it's important to allow users to make the site visually appealing, and to do that, I think everyone is going to want something different. But as a growing site, market share is...

      I'd say that it's important to allow users to make the site visually appealing, and to do that, I think everyone is going to want something different.

      But as a growing site, market share is immensely important, and to get that, I think it's necessary to try and create the niche that currently dissatisfied consumers do not have. (Forgive the economics, I mean to refer to a market of content, not money. If it was money Tildes was after, I wouldn't be here.)

      Back on the topic of customization though, I would really like to see accessible customization, not necessarily on just a group level, but even for the user to redesign their own UI.

      *Edit for clarity

      3 votes
    2. [3]
      olivesoup
      Link Parent
      Yeah, but there are examples like sports where just having an icon next to your name so you can quickly be identified as a fan of a certain team is so useful.

      Yeah, but there are examples like sports where just having an icon next to your name so you can quickly be identified as a fan of a certain team is so useful.

      2 votes
      1. acosmichippo
        Link Parent
        Flair can still be done without allowing custom icons. It would just be text based instead of an image.

        Flair can still be done without allowing custom icons. It would just be text based instead of an image.

        2 votes
      2. eyybby
        Link Parent
        This is by far and away the best reason I've heard so far.

        This is by far and away the best reason I've heard so far.

  3. [15]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [9]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      This was one of my first thoughts, too. A decentralised moderation model doesn't lend itself easily to decision-making for groups.

      This was one of my first thoughts, too. A decentralised moderation model doesn't lend itself easily to decision-making for groups.

      7 votes
      1. [8]
        PatrickRes
        Link Parent
        Ever seen Twitch Plays Pokemon? Try to imagine that, but instead of playing Pokemon, we write our own CSS.

        Ever seen Twitch Plays Pokemon?

        Try to imagine that, but instead of playing Pokemon, we write our own CSS.

        7 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. tim
            Link Parent
            /r/place basically

            /r/place basically

            1 vote
        2. [6]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          You're almost speaking a foreign language. Pokemon is a cartoon about little animals, and there's a computer game, but that's as far as I get with this analogy. Do you have another analogy I might...

          Ever seen Twitch Plays Pokemon?

          You're almost speaking a foreign language. Pokemon is a cartoon about little animals, and there's a computer game, but that's as far as I get with this analogy.

          Do you have another analogy I might understand?

          2 votes
          1. [5]
            PatrickRes
            Link Parent
            How about driving a car, but all eight people inside have to vote on every action the driver makes! Doesn't it seem much easier to just drive the car yourself? Don't worry, I'm not necessarily...

            How about driving a car, but all eight people inside have to vote on every action the driver makes! Doesn't it seem much easier to just drive the car yourself?

            Don't worry, I'm not necessarily saying that decentralized CSS doesn't work at all, it's just that you're very right about it being a different beast. I think that in the end, there will have to be someone or something actually putting in the legwork to create CSS, regardless of how much a group agrees. No matter how well we work together to decide what we want, it's going to be a lot harder to all try and work together to do any actual programming.

            Also, here's a little more reading on "Twitch Plays Pokemon"
            Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitch_Plays_Pok%C3%A9mon

            6 votes
            1. [4]
              Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              Ha! Yes, this is the sort of chaos I was imagining with a decentralised set of moderators - who can't actually function as a team because they're just a random set of individuals with high "trust"...

              How about driving a car, but all eight people inside have to vote on every action the driver makes! Doesn't it seem much easier to just drive the car yourself?

              Ha!

              Yes, this is the sort of chaos I was imagining with a decentralised set of moderators - who can't actually function as a team because they're just a random set of individuals with high "trust" settings in a particular group - trying to apply formats to that group.

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                Amarok
                Link Parent
                I think the way it's likely to play out is with moderators having their own 'backroom' - think wikipedia talk pages - where they work this stuff out and come to consensus on what to do. The trust...

                I think the way it's likely to play out is with moderators having their own 'backroom' - think wikipedia talk pages - where they work this stuff out and come to consensus on what to do. The trust system just gets you in the door - after that the humans have to take over. Most serious mod teams have this already, be it private subs, IRC, slack, discord, whatever. We may as well just build that right into the site and save everyone the hassles (and privacy risks) of using other platforms.

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  Algernon_Asimov
                  Link Parent
                  That's nice but, in larger groups, which will inevitably have more trusted users/moderators, those "backrooms" could get quite noisy.

                  I think the way it's likely to play out is with moderators having their own 'backroom'

                  That's nice but, in larger groups, which will inevitably have more trusted users/moderators, those "backrooms" could get quite noisy.

                  1 vote
                  1. Amarok
                    Link Parent
                    The noise is usually a function of how much crap they are having to deal with. If moderation is light, the backroom is usually a ghost town even in big places - mods are out in the community...

                    The noise is usually a function of how much crap they are having to deal with. If moderation is light, the backroom is usually a ghost town even in big places - mods are out in the community posting like normal people. If it's very active, involved moderation (without a lot of feature-based help, human eyes on every post) things can get crazy as hell even in a small place. Hopefully having so many curator/editor/deputy types will ease that burden.

                    2 votes
    2. [4]
      sid
      Link Parent
      Wait, I'm confused. I thought the plan was fairer moderation practices, but to still have actual moderators for each group?

      Wait, I'm confused. I thought the plan was fairer moderation practices, but to still have actual moderators for each group?

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Well... it's complicated. There will be no "moderators", as such. However, an individual user will build up something called "trust" as they post in a group and interact with that group, and...

        Well... it's complicated. There will be no "moderators", as such. However, an individual user will build up something called "trust" as they post in a group and interact with that group, and become a de-facto moderator.

        Over time, that "trust" will gradually unlock more and more super-powers. One such super-power might be the ability to apply a tag to someone else's post. A higher super-power might be the ability to move a post to another group. One super-power might be the ability to report a comment. A higher super-power might be the ability to remove a comment. The more "trust" you earn in a group, the more you're able to influence and curate the group and its content.

        There'll be "editors" and "curators" and other powerful roles within a group, but there won't be one defined group of people called "moderators" like there is on Reddit. The power to influence the group will be distributed amongst various trusted users with differing levels of power - and anyone can become a trusted user over time, just by participating positively within that group.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          aethicglass
          Link Parent
          This concept is really intriguing. Can trust be diminished in this model? Because it can certainly be diminished in reality.

          This concept is really intriguing. Can trust be diminished in this model? Because it can certainly be diminished in reality.

          1. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            I'm not involved, but I believe the developer intends for two negative effects on trust: If you're no longer active in a group, any trust you earned there will deteriorate. If your actions aren't...

            I'm not involved, but I believe the developer intends for two negative effects on trust:

            • If you're no longer active in a group, any trust you earned there will deteriorate.

            • If your actions aren't conducive to improving the group, your trust may decrease.

            4 votes
    3. bigby
      Link Parent
      This is a good point. CSS could be in the pipeline way down the line, but it would be unnecessary unless there's mods involved. So basically, with mods, the question of custom CSS is necessary,...

      This is a good point. CSS could be in the pipeline way down the line, but it would be unnecessary unless there's mods involved. So basically, with mods, the question of custom CSS is necessary, otherwise it's an afterthought.

  4. Ruex
    Link
    Definitely. Would add lots of potential for creativity. Making the groups stick to one uniform design would make the site pretty dull and boring imo.

    Definitely. Would add lots of potential for creativity. Making the groups stick to one uniform design would make the site pretty dull and boring imo.

    23 votes
  5. [4]
    NamelessThirteenth
    Link
    A bit of customization would be nice but I wouldn't want it to be like Reddit. Some of the CSS on some subReddits are just too...loud and noisy.

    A bit of customization would be nice but I wouldn't want it to be like Reddit. Some of the CSS on some subReddits are just too...loud and noisy.

    20 votes
    1. sid
      Link Parent
      I think a custom color scheme and top banner image would be good. Check out /r/learnjapanese for example.

      I think a custom color scheme and top banner image would be good. Check out /r/learnjapanese for example.

      6 votes
    2. Gyrfalcon
      Link Parent
      For the most part I agree with you, but there are some subs that really get their magic from loud and noisy CSS. /r/PartyParrot is pretty much the only sub I leave CSS on for, because their custom...

      For the most part I agree with you, but there are some subs that really get their magic from loud and noisy CSS. /r/PartyParrot is pretty much the only sub I leave CSS on for, because their custom dancing parrot emoji's are truly a work of art.

      1 vote
    3. Kraetos
      Link Parent
      Like everything else, CSS should be moderated. Users should be able to "report" CSS to the admins and if it's too obtrusive, the admins should disable it.

      Like everything else, CSS should be moderated. Users should be able to "report" CSS to the admins and if it's too obtrusive, the admins should disable it.

      1 vote
  6. [2]
    tim
    Link
    Absolutely not. One thing I hate about reddit is how the UI is so inconsistent across subs. But as long as you have a global off switch, I'm happy. It appears that I'm in the minority anyway.

    Absolutely not. One thing I hate about reddit is how the UI is so inconsistent across subs.

    But as long as you have a global off switch, I'm happy. It appears that I'm in the minority anyway.

    18 votes
    1. Tissues
      Link Parent
      I feel the same way. I like a uniform environment with as little distraction as possible.

      I feel the same way. I like a uniform environment with as little distraction as possible.

      4 votes
  7. [3]
    Jedi
    Link
    I'm all for group appearance customization, but what are the limitations? Images could really bloat the site which I know you're against, but it's also a big part of customization. And what about...

    I'm all for group appearance customization, but what are the limitations?

    Images could really bloat the site which I know you're against, but it's also a big part of customization. And what about light/dark theme choices for the user? Do they still choose, or does the group decide for you?

    15 votes
    1. [2]
      Inothernews1
      Link Parent
      Yes! One of the core parts of tildes from the docs was that it was going to avoid website bloat. Too much customization may lead to it just completely wreaking that tenant.

      Yes! One of the core parts of tildes from the docs was that it was going to avoid website bloat. Too much customization may lead to it just completely wreaking that tenant.

      5 votes
      1. Amarok
        Link Parent
        Yep - I expect there would be limits set on file sizes and whatnot just to keep the bloat under control.

        Yep - I expect there would be limits set on file sizes and whatnot just to keep the bloat under control.

        2 votes
  8. [5]
    vakieh
    Link
    Hell no on a no sandwich. Not even if individual users can opt out. It is a system that gets abused left right and centre on Reddit, with CSS being dry rammed on a regular basis to provide...

    Hell no on a no sandwich. Not even if individual users can opt out.

    It is a system that gets abused left right and centre on Reddit, with CSS being dry rammed on a regular basis to provide functionality from what is a styling language. 'filters', 'custom spoiler tags', 'automatic flairing' and all this other whacky crap that people hack in means that people who don't opt in to custom CSS end up not being able to participate in the sub.

    Individual custom styling on a per-user basis, sure. But at no point should mods be able to set the style for ~.

    14 votes
    1. [2]
      Michael
      Link Parent
      The solution to this isn't to throw out css altogether. Those "hacks" are a result of Reddit not building in native functionality for common features communities want. If those are added natively...

      The solution to this isn't to throw out css altogether. Those "hacks" are a result of Reddit not building in native functionality for common features communities want. If those are added natively then CSS can be purely aesthetic (as it should be) and easily diabled

      5 votes
      1. vakieh
        Link Parent
        It's nothing close to throwing it out altogether - it's letting precisely 2 groups of people touch the CSS on ~ : the admins, and the specific user. Mods moderate, css mods break shit.

        It's nothing close to throwing it out altogether - it's letting precisely 2 groups of people touch the CSS on ~ : the admins, and the specific user. Mods moderate, css mods break shit.

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      Would you like a side of "no" with that "no" sandwich? :)

      Hell no on a no sandwich.

      Would you like a side of "no" with that "no" sandwich? :)

      1 vote
  9. Ganymede
    (edited )
    Link
    Heavily-customized styles for subreddits create unique and enjoyable environments, and the loss of that feature is one of my biggest issues with reddit's redesign. I think Tildes groups lend...

    Heavily-customized styles for subreddits create unique and enjoyable environments, and the loss of that feature is one of my biggest issues with reddit's redesign. I think Tildes groups lend themselves well to customization and I'd be sad if it didn't end up being a feature.

    I think one way it could be accomplished and tied into the global user-created themes could be to use the same system, and just allow the selection of a certain theme to be applied to a group by default. Users could also select the theme for global use like normal if they wanted, they wouldn't need to be "special" themes or anything like that.

    It would be nice if a user preference was available to always use the group-specified theme, or always use the user-specified theme. Along with the option to ignore certain group themes, I think everyone would win.

    12 votes
  10. Baldemoto
    Link
    Absolutely. Having each community have its own style and twine is one of the things that made communities such as Reddit so special. It's almost a no-brainer. Here's a poll, just to get a good...

    Absolutely. Having each community have its own style and twine is one of the things that made communities such as Reddit so special. It's almost a no-brainer.

    Here's a poll, just to get a good idea of what people want.

    11 votes
  11. JakeL
    Link
    Personally, I think if this did happen, your choice of a theme should somehow be reflected. If you like dark theme, the customized theme shouldn't be completely white.

    Personally, I think if this did happen, your choice of a theme should somehow be reflected. If you like dark theme, the customized theme shouldn't be completely white.

    10 votes
  12. [2]
    jellybones
    Link
    I'm for limited appearance customization; banners, colors, and flairs. The base design of all groups should be the same.

    I'm for limited appearance customization; banners, colors, and flairs. The base design of all groups should be the same.

    10 votes
    1. elf
      Link Parent
      Yeah, banners, flairs, and custom colors are all good fun but when a subreddit tries to customize more than that it can get annoying.

      Yeah, banners, flairs, and custom colors are all good fun but when a subreddit tries to customize more than that it can get annoying.

      4 votes
  13. zowesiouff
    Link
    I can't remember where, but I think @Amarok talked about potentially having custom thread posting forms, so theme / layout customisation should be available too? but it should ideally have a few...

    I can't remember where, but I think @Amarok talked about potentially having custom thread posting forms, so theme / layout customisation should be available too? but it should ideally have a few properties:

    • respect the user's theme, which removes most color-scheme changes
    • not bloat the site with 3rd-party fonts, images ...
    • mobile friendly

    All in all, I'm not sure ~ and its community has the bandwidth to tackle this kind of high-quality customisation properly at this stage, so it's probably worth revisiting this later imho. If there is an effort for "customisation", I think ~ needs to go further than just CSS: forms, tweaked sorting mechanics ...

    8 votes
  14. Mumberthrax
    Link
    I think it would be kind of neat, and I do wonder at who would be responsible for it. If it were more than just header graphics, colors, font, etc., like if it were text content in a sidebar or...

    I think it would be kind of neat, and I do wonder at who would be responsible for it. If it were more than just header graphics, colors, font, etc., like if it were text content in a sidebar or links in a semi-permanent spot, that'd be a somewhat different matter. I guess even the graphics used might depend... i could see someone putting, just for example, something like a generic CNN or FOX scene at the header of the ~news tilde, which might bother some people.

    6 votes
  15. tan
    Link
    I personally wouldn't ever use them, and I don't think an offswitch by itself is enough of an option - if the custom CSS becomes part of a group's culture, people who have it turned off are less...

    I personally wouldn't ever use them, and I don't think an offswitch by itself is enough of an option - if the custom CSS becomes part of a group's culture, people who have it turned off are less involved in the community. If the population using an offswitch is small, it will likely be ignored.

    6 votes
  16. Velzerat
    Link
    Definitely. This is one of the things that made reddit so great, and they've seen a lot of hate for trying to remove/change CSS and custom themes. As long as you implement a RES-like disable...

    Definitely. This is one of the things that made reddit so great, and they've seen a lot of hate for trying to remove/change CSS and custom themes. As long as you implement a RES-like disable feature, I'm all for it.

    5 votes
  17. shadey
    Link
    Maybe I'm boring but I prefer the stock appearance, though I do understand the need for being able to customise groups.

    Maybe I'm boring but I prefer the stock appearance, though I do understand the need for being able to customise groups.

    5 votes
  18. Zeerph
    Link
    When subreddits first started using custom CSS, I turned it off sitewide. Generally I found it really didn't add much to the experience. Eventually I ended up using RES and its night mode, which...

    When subreddits first started using custom CSS, I turned it off sitewide. Generally I found it really didn't add much to the experience. Eventually I ended up using RES and its night mode, which wasn't really compatible with most custom CSS anyway.

    Although I do understand that some subreddits heavily depended on their custom CSS, I figure the use of tagging and filtering posts is already implemented in tildes.

    Now, some people do seem to like their flair, maybe group and subgroup flair could show fandom allegiance, while still keeping the experience consistent.

    4 votes
  19. efraimbart
    Link
    I would personally much rather user specific CSS than group specific CSS, something like advanced themes that can be applied for a user across all groups.

    I would personally much rather user specific CSS than group specific CSS, something like advanced themes that can be applied for a user across all groups.

    4 votes
  20. what
    Link
    I'd say no. Maybe some basic customization, but not with CSS, just some built-in settings. I think the website looks really nice, it's fast, and works great on desktop and mobile.

    I'd say no. Maybe some basic customization, but not with CSS, just some built-in settings. I think the website looks really nice, it's fast, and works great on desktop and mobile.

    4 votes
  21. EightRoundsRapid
    Link
    In my opinion, no. I like things to look and work the same across a site. Also, a lot of people who think they have mastered good design really have not.

    In my opinion, no.

    I like things to look and work the same across a site.

    Also, a lot of people who think they have mastered good design really have not.

    4 votes
  22. Crash
    Link
    Certain communities culturally rely on emotes. If nothing else, support for emotes would be wonderful. Evan if they are limited in scope to 70x70px for example, that would be sufficient.

    Certain communities culturally rely on emotes. If nothing else, support for emotes would be wonderful.

    Evan if they are limited in scope to 70x70px for example, that would be sufficient.

    3 votes
  23. tomf
    Link
    I don't think it needs a lot of customization. If you let us do overrides and stuff, we end up with a mess of over-complicated hacks. A header image is plenty, in my books. From a mod perspective,...

    I don't think it needs a lot of customization. If you let us do overrides and stuff, we end up with a mess of over-complicated hacks.

    A header image is plenty, in my books.

    From a mod perspective, I actually like the method of reddit's redesign, even though i don't like the redesign itself. Taking a bunch of CSS from qtx or rolling your own works, but it becomes a headache as the site changes.

    If wider customization does come down the pipe, sticking with class fields and simple color changes is plenty along with the ability to disable or apply a site-wide theme would be ideal.

    Personally I love how the site looks now. Its pretty basic and my to-go laptop (a chromebook on xubuntu) loves it.

    3 votes
  24. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    There are two issues to consider here: appearance and functionality. Simply changing the colour and style of certain elements on the screen is not really a big deal. It's a nice-to-have, but I'm...

    There are two issues to consider here: appearance and functionality.

    Simply changing the colour and style of certain elements on the screen is not really a big deal. It's a nice-to-have, but I'm not sure it's necessary. Despite the hatred for it on Reddit, I think they have the right approach to customisation: give moderators a standard set of tools to use to customise their groups in a common way (paradoxically).

    However, a lot of CSS in Reddit is used to support custom functions, like adding new features to a subreddit (banners) and adding functionality (filters). I'm not sure that we want some groups have different functions to most other groups. Maybe it's worthwhile creating a set of functions that group moderators can enable for their group, but those functions are standard across the whole of Tilde (if there's a filtering function, it's the same filtering function across the whole website, even if only a minority of groups switch it on).

    3 votes
  25. pyyric
    Link
    Customization is fun. I love editing reddit's CSS. But maybe keep it to a 3rd level tilde or lower. So ~games.streetfighter.V would be able to be styled but not ~games.streetfighter

    Customization is fun. I love editing reddit's CSS. But maybe keep it to a 3rd level tilde or lower. So ~games.streetfighter.V would be able to be styled but not ~games.streetfighter

    3 votes
  26. [4]
    ninja
    Link
    Yes and no. I like it when the layout stays same and colors are customizable. As a developer I would like to see the site have uniform look and feel and enough customization for each group. May be...

    Yes and no. I like it when the layout stays same and colors are customizable. As a developer I would like to see the site have uniform look and feel and enough customization for each group. May be a banner with background etc.

    I think UI treatment can wait and there may be more priority items to be ironed out. Is it possible to publish TODOs?

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      apoctr
      Link Parent
      By "publish TODOs" do you mean what the current bugs, feature requests, work-in-progress type stuff is? A lot of that is on their gitlab repo.

      By "publish TODOs" do you mean what the current bugs, feature requests, work-in-progress type stuff is? A lot of that is on their gitlab repo.

      1. [2]
        ninja
        Link Parent
        My bad. I am sorry. I do not know about the repo. Thanks for sharing it.

        My bad. I am sorry. I do not know about the repo. Thanks for sharing it.

        1. apoctr
          Link Parent
          No need to feel bad, man. The repo's kinda hard to find anyway.

          No need to feel bad, man. The repo's kinda hard to find anyway.

  27. Bear
    Link
    I think that letting different sections have the option to customize their appearance is a good idea that should be kept. It doesn't have to be a high priority, but it should at least be on the radar.

    I think that letting different sections have the option to customize their appearance is a good idea that should be kept.

    It doesn't have to be a high priority, but it should at least be on the radar.

    2 votes
  28. dfin
    Link
    Personally, I like a little bit of flair (like, literal flair on, say, sports subreddits) and banner images. Other than that I've always turned off site-wide CSS customization. Some unstructured...

    Personally, I like a little bit of flair (like, literal flair on, say, sports subreddits) and banner images. Other than that I've always turned off site-wide CSS customization.

    Some unstructured thoughts:

    • Full CSS grants a lot of power to the author of that CSS, be it Admins or otherwise. It could change a whole lot about that community. We can see this pretty clearly in Reddit right now - while much of it isn't my personal cup of tea it does foster a stronger sense of community through uniqueness.
    • It feels like giving and then taking away is what really grinds people's gears. If you give out large amounts of power then roll that back, users could feel that are being shafted. So, I'd start with only the amount of power/customization that you're comfortable with going forward.
    • How would styles cascade into sub-communities? ~music.folk and ~music.metal may not want the same thing. they also may or may not want to inherit from ~music. Some sort of sub-classing may be useful here, but frontend is way out of my ballpark. (I don't even know if cascading was in consideration, but just a thought)
    • Potentially starting with a few sanctioned global themes that communities could choose to display would be good (with a per-user site-level override).
    2 votes
  29. teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I think it should be very limited if it's supported at all.

    I think it should be very limited if it's supported at all.

    2 votes
  30. rib
    Link
    If it's set to 'off' as default then I would vote yes. Being default off would mean people who hate the custom appearances on reddit (like me) were entirely unaffected. For communities certain...

    If it's set to 'off' as default then I would vote yes. Being default off would mean people who hate the custom appearances on reddit (like me) were entirely unaffected.

    For communities certain functionality can be helpful in the form of 'spoiler tags'.

    2 votes
  31. ZetaFish
    Link
    Please don't. You will always get groups that abuse those features, e.g. TD.

    Please don't. You will always get groups that abuse those features, e.g. TD.

    2 votes
  32. roadrunner
    Link
    Yes. I like the idea of groups having a sense of place. I’m a big fan of the psychological component that comes from a sense of place. I hope to have more creative users here with whom to speak...

    Yes. I like the idea of groups having a sense of place. I’m a big fan of the psychological component that comes from a sense of place. I hope to have more creative users here with whom to speak creatively. I like creative surroundings. It doesn’t have to be all circus and cotton candy, but allowing a color scheme and some sort of icon or logo or banner would be just enough to make groups feel unique and wouldn’t affect the perception of homogeneity in the site’s functionality.

    2 votes
  33. Brian
    Link
    Reddit can't make a functioning calendar app in the redesign. CSS with a bunch of bots is our only real way to do it. There's also a branding aspect to it.

    Reddit can't make a functioning calendar app in the redesign. CSS with a bunch of bots is our only real way to do it.

    There's also a branding aspect to it.

    2 votes
  34. BBBence1111
    Link
    Group specific CSS would be great. Allowing more customization is always nice. It would easily solve group specific needs that appear.

    Group specific CSS would be great. Allowing more customization is always nice. It would easily solve group specific needs that appear.

    1 vote
  35. Halfdeaf
    Link
    I think we should support full CSS all the way. It will be an important part of the site going forward and if we get big it will important for smaller communities within the larger one to have...

    I think we should support full CSS all the way. It will be an important part of the site going forward and if we get big it will important for smaller communities within the larger one to have their own identities. This is what is still great about reddit. Reddit is reddit but the amount of people that don't identify as redditor but as a part of a smaller community within reddit is huge.

    One idea for implementing this going forward. I don't know how much work this would be on the back end. Have each group be able to control their default appearance through perhaps a committee that consist of the most trusted user(the equivalent of active mods) who then could put it up for a vote. Each member with a certain trust level could design a look for the group and then get his design in the design pool that people could then choose from along with default tildes look.

    Or if there are several designs available for the users to choose from, the default could be the most popular one. There would have to be some vetting process to avoid misuse but that could maybe be handled by highly trusted members of the group.

    1 vote
  36. Aiwanei
    Link
    I think having groups have their own identity is very important, because otherwise what is the point of having groups when just tags would suffice? Allowing groups to create their own identity,...

    I think having groups have their own identity is very important, because otherwise what is the point of having groups when just tags would suffice? Allowing groups to create their own identity, helps create a better sense of community. That said like most others, giving the option for users to not see custom styles should be part of allowing customization.

    1 vote
  37. Hypersapien
    Link
    Would it be you and other future admins that decide on the look? Since subbranches aren't going to be user created, but admin/algorithm selected based on frequently used tags.

    Would it be you and other future admins that decide on the look? Since subbranches aren't going to be user created, but admin/algorithm selected based on frequently used tags.

    1 vote
  38. AlastrionaCatskill
    Link
    I think this is an okay idea, as long as the custom css doesn't change features at all. The "Sub to enable voting" on Reddit irks me so much.

    I think this is an okay idea, as long as the custom css doesn't change features at all. The "Sub to enable voting" on Reddit irks me so much.

    1 vote
  39. vaddi
    Link
    I think customization was one of old reddit's features. Communities need some freedom to choose their own "face". Some minor rules would be good though, in order to preserve every user's experience.

    I think customization was one of old reddit's features. Communities need some freedom to choose their own "face". Some minor rules would be good though, in order to preserve every user's experience.

    1 vote
  40. aki
    Link
    I think having customisation is important, but at the same time being able to keep the overall feel of the site be the same. I think there also needs to be restrictions on how bloated the styles...

    I think having customisation is important, but at the same time being able to keep the overall feel of the site be the same. I think there also needs to be restrictions on how bloated the styles can get, and a way to theme mobile and desktop separately.

    1 vote
  41. ras
    Link
    I like the idea of having customizations but I think the default should be the default with an option to see the customization.

    I like the idea of having customizations but I think the default should be the default with an option to see the customization.

    1 vote
  42. Awoo
    Link
    Completely agree - A important factor in all communities is identity. The themeing of a community typically becomes a community driven thing. Users that are present when the decision to...

    Completely agree - A important factor in all communities is identity. The themeing of a community typically becomes a community driven thing. Users that are present when the decision to collectively change a part of the community's image feel they are a part of that community, of that decision. The community goes from an "it" to a "we". The same occurs with things like policies and site development. People on Tildes already significantly refer to themselves as "we" when saying "we should try to do x" not "it".

    Empowering the users is a massive part of the success of reddit. And I have said it a number of times lately - taking away power through the redesign is not a good move. They have gutted the capabilities of communities to differentiate themselves in interesting ways. I think you are absolutely correct to be thinking "we should get css because reddit is trying to move away from it". You're also completely correct that moderators and communities will be thinking "I want my css back" when reddit eventually turns off access to old reddit and moves to the redesign entirely.

    I think they've been shortsighted regarding just how much the css is part of the identity of the core group of users in each subreddit. Something they've all weighed in on and built up over years as community members, feeling as though each change is partly a personal contribution based on their feedback and participation in those changes over years. They're in for a blast of negativity when a piece of identity all of them are attached to is eventually taken from them. It's going to be a really significant blow back.

    1 vote
  43. whyarentihigh
    Link
    As others have said, as long as there is an opt-out feature, then I'm all for it too. I quite like some of the themes that people have made over on reddit.

    As others have said, as long as there is an opt-out feature, then I'm all for it too. I quite like some of the themes that people have made over on reddit.

    1 vote
  44. crius
    Link
    Answer: yes, if it's given the user the choice to use it. Proposal: Given that the groups are not owned by the user, a simple solution could be to allow users to add a CSS code that will be...

    Answer: yes, if it's given the user the choice to use it.

    Proposal: Given that the groups are not owned by the user, a simple solution could be to allow users to add a CSS code that will be applied to the groups for him.

    What I suppose it's that every user has a list of groups that represent the subscription.

    Simply adding a text field/column to that object/table will means that the frontend could receive the custom CSS to render that group as well.

    To save bandwidth this should be passed just on login and stored in browser localstorage.

    Once a user load the specific group, the fronted code look into localstorage and if it find something, load the custom CSS on top of the regular.

    Should be quite simple.

    That CSS could be imported in the setting page of the user via a simple textarea on which you could run validation on the backend before saving to avoid bad things to happens.

    1 vote
  45. Dex
    Link
    I think giving group owners the ability to use CSS to theme their group is great and would be a good selling point for people to have their community discussions on ~.

    I think giving group owners the ability to use CSS to theme their group is great and would be a good selling point for people to have their community discussions on ~.

    1 vote
  46. Amarok
    Link
    I only worry about one thing with this issue - if style also drives custom functionality. If the answer to this is never, then it's cosmetic-only and not an issue. Any other answer opens up a can...

    I only worry about one thing with this issue - if style also drives custom functionality.

    If the answer to this is never, then it's cosmetic-only and not an issue.

    Any other answer opens up a can of worms. If a community has bots and custom features that depend on the community's style in order to operate, like we see very often on reddit, then we're dooming that custom functionality to be only available to a small subset of that community's users - and we're also likely dooming it to be something that only a tiny subset of users even know about, so they won't even be informed enough to make the choice to use the custom features.

    Reddit's 'widgets' (as clumsy as they are) present a possible solution to this issue. If a community needs a gallery header, or a custom navigation system, or customized user and / or submission styling, flairs, or tags... there has to be some way for the users to know about these features and use them. I'd like to think we'd avoid building in that direction, and keep everything running on standardized elements - so that when a community develops a custom feature, it's just another element that's represented in all of the styles, user or custom. Just one more lego in the box, for all the communities to use. Styles and style guidelines can be standardized in a way to facilitate this and make it easier.

    1 vote
  47. vaddi
    Link
    I think customization was one of old reddit's best features. Communities need some freedom to choose their own "face". Some minor rules would be good though, in order to preserve every user's...

    I think customization was one of old reddit's best features. Communities need some freedom to choose their own "face". Some minor rules would be good though, in order to preserve every user's experience.

    1 vote
  48. jgb
    Link
    Ultimately it depends where on the spectrum of tight-knittedness you want tildes to lie. Right now it's far over to the left side of that spectrum - whereby it is undoubtably a single community,...

    Ultimately it depends where on the spectrum of tight-knittedness you want tildes to lie. Right now it's far over to the left side of that spectrum - whereby it is undoubtably a single community, and the groups are just a neat way of categorising content. A certain degree of rightwards shift on this spectrum is inevitable - but it's ultimately a choice on behalf of the admins as to how large this shift is. Reddit chose to shift a long way right, to the point where it can often feel more like a forum host than a cohesive community. In some ways that's a good thing - but I'm not sure that tildes should go that far just yet.

    1 vote
  49. creesch
    Link
    I am not sure if allowing communities to do custom css is a good idea, though it would be nice if each community has their own color scheme or something like that in a subtle manner. Just enough...

    I am not sure if allowing communities to do custom css is a good idea, though it would be nice if each community has their own color scheme or something like that in a subtle manner. Just enough to make you notice you are in a different community.

    Extended idea, giving users a custom css field would be cool. I have been using stylus to do my own tweaks here and there but that also means that on mobile I have to use mobile firefox if I want my custom tweaks.

    1 vote
  50. brighteyes720
    Link
    I lean on small changes like colour and theme, maybe a header. But not a full fledged CSS like Reddit. And will there be user created groups in the future?

    I lean on small changes like colour and theme, maybe a header. But not a full fledged CSS like Reddit.

    And will there be user created groups in the future?

    1 vote
  51. [2]
    Goat_On_A_Table
    Link
    First tilde post, woo! Specialized communities get a TON of mileage out of customization. Here I'm specifically thinking of certain game subreddits- the Destiny sub, for example, evolved to have a...

    First tilde post, woo!


    Specialized communities get a TON of mileage out of customization.

    Here I'm specifically thinking of certain game subreddits- the Destiny sub, for example, evolved to have a TON of highly useful tools, links, and information on their pages. Other communities would have pages like FAQs, Wikis, relevant art and decoration, etc.

    As I understand it though, there are no mods? So, who would create/upload this content?

    1 vote
  52. DonQuixote
    Link
    What are the disadvantages of current customizations, and could we tweak Tildes to avoid these, while retaining a degree of creativity and freedom that would draw creatives here without going full...

    What are the disadvantages of current customizations, and could we tweak Tildes to avoid these, while retaining a degree of creativity and freedom that would draw creatives here without going full anarchy? That's a question for @Deimos and his volunteers.

    1 vote
  53. [6]
    EditingAndLayout
    Link
    I think having CSS available here would be huge. I'd love to move /r/HighQualityGifs and other gif subreddits over here eventually, and our CSS is what makes the community unique. Plus we have fun...

    I think having CSS available here would be huge. I'd love to move /r/HighQualityGifs and other gif subreddits over here eventually, and our CSS is what makes the community unique. Plus we have fun options for user flairs and other crazy stuff. And the same goes for /r/NBA and other sports subreddits.

    If you can fit CSS in with the core ideas that make Tildes great, I'd say absolutely go for it. I love the minimalism here and focus on agility and privacy, but the plainness of everything is a bit of a shock after coming from Reddit. I think having custom CSS will help ease the transition from Reddit to Tildes.

    1 vote
    1. [5]
      toly
      Link Parent
      I honestly never really visited the comment section of either /r/HighQualityGifs or any of the other gif subreddits. Did it have good discussions (asking honestly)? I ask because I would watch the...

      I honestly never really visited the comment section of either /r/HighQualityGifs or any of the other gif subreddits. Did it have good discussions (asking honestly)? I ask because I would watch the gifs but never ventured into the comments for any of them.

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        EditingAndLayout
        Link Parent
        Yeah, I think it just depends on the post, like most other subreddits. Posts that hit /r/all are always more of a mess. But I think we have a great community.

        Yeah, I think it just depends on the post, like most other subreddits. Posts that hit /r/all are always more of a mess. But I think we have a great community.

        1. [3]
          toly
          Link Parent
          Not in terms of whether the comments were a mess or not (you're right though), but what is there to discuss? The only thing I can think of is possibly talking about cool techniques or effects that...

          Not in terms of whether the comments were a mess or not (you're right though), but what is there to discuss? The only thing I can think of is possibly talking about cool techniques or effects that were used to make the gif but that's really all that comes to mind.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            EditingAndLayout
            Link Parent
            There are also a lot of good conversations about the source of the gif. For example, yesterday someone posted a gif from The Good Place, and there were about 150 comments back and forth from users...

            There are also a lot of good conversations about the source of the gif. For example, yesterday someone posted a gif from The Good Place, and there were about 150 comments back and forth from users talking about the show. People frequently find new movies and shows to watch by seeing them in a gif first.

            And people meet a lot of friends in the subreddit too. We actually have had an invite-only IRL meetup with some of the users and mods of the subreddit for the past three years, and about 22 people came last year. We all stayed in a house in Austin for four days and just hung out. Plus we have HQG Slack and Discord channels that are always busy, and a bunch of people do a Google video hangout every Friday night. It's a surprisingly big, fun community that we've developed.

            1. toly
              Link Parent
              That's amazing. Still can't wrap my head around the fact that you can turn a internet corner and find a whole online community and ecosystem that you had no idea about. Almost feel like the...

              That's amazing. Still can't wrap my head around the fact that you can turn a internet corner and find a whole online community and ecosystem that you had no idea about.
              Almost feel like the flashlight guy that posted a while back probably just hasn't found where people with his interests meet up yet, but I'm sure he will.

              1 vote
  54. cahaseler
    Link
    While I don't see the need for a custom style so much, the ability to add custom features the way we do on Reddit with our IAmA calendar and stuff like that is invaluable.

    While I don't see the need for a custom style so much, the ability to add custom features the way we do on Reddit with our IAmA calendar and stuff like that is invaluable.

    1 vote
  55. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. acr
      Link Parent
      I agree with this view point. Also, if everything is site wide, we know what certain things mean and why they are how they are.

      I agree with this view point. Also, if everything is site wide, we know what certain things mean and why they are how they are.