Some <details> about more <small> updates (you'll get that in a minute) and general Tildes feedback/questions/comments
Similar to the last topic, I've got some more minor updates to let everyone know about.
It's also been quite a while since we had a general feedback topic, so let's do that today as well—feel free to ask any questions or give feedback about Tildes overall.
Here's what's been happening:
@Algernon_Asimov's major reorganizing and rework of the Docs is now live on https://docs.tildes.net. A decent number of changes needed to be made to be able to support having the pages in categories/folders, dealing with some formatting changes, redirecting old urls, etc. Some of these changes have started being integrated back into the wiki on Tildes itself as well (and I'm still gradually working on it). For example, the pages in the ~tildes.official wiki are somewhat organized into the same folders, even though the UI doesn't handle it very well in a lot of places yet.
If you want to help edit the Docs at all, all of the pages (except site policies) are available in the ~tildes.official wiki, and I'll review and transfer any edits to the Docs site. If you don't have access to edit the wiki, send me a message and ask and I can give you access to edit (and you can edit the other groups' wikis too).
Some new HTML-exclusive formatting capabilities are available when writing posts:
<small>: lets you write a section of text in a smaller font. Good for "side notes" and such, and much better than using superscript, which some people were doing previously to get that effect.
<summary>: lets you make "expandable" blocks in your comments. This is useful if you want to do things like hide a large block of text or code and let people expand it if they want to read it. @hungariantoast used it immediately in his comment here, if you want to see an example. The current state of it isn't great for use for spoilers (but probably better than just writing them in plain sight), but I may make an adaptation of it specifically for use for spoilers.
There's a new site theme available, "Zenburn". It's a fairly low-contrast, and used to be one of my favorite color schemes. I had to do some work on one of my old sites that was using it last weekend, and it reminded me how much I liked it, so I added it. Here's the official screenshot of the vim color scheme for it, if you want an idea of what colors it uses. You can change the theme on the settings page if you're logged in, or there's a dropdown at the bottom of every page if you're logged out.
@deing has added a small warning to try to let people know when they're about to reply to an old comment or topic, since it seems fairly common for people to accidentally "necrobump" old threads without realizing. For now, the warning shows up when the topic/comment is over a week old. I set that threshold based on pulling out some stats and seeing that only 1% of comment replies and 2% of top-level comments were replying to anything that old, so it should be quite rare for anyone to see anyway.
Other than that, I haven't forgotten about the new group proposals and should be adding some new ones this week. I wanted to finish some backend changes to the group system first to help with that, and it's... gotten more ugly than I was expecting. Sorry for the delay, hopefully soon though.
Let me know if you have any thoughts about any of those changes, and as mentioned, feel free to use this topic for general feedback/questions as well, since I'm sure there are some things that people want to give feedback or ask about that might not feel like they're worth starting a thread in ~tildes for. As usual, I've also topped everyone back up to 10 invite codes, which you can get here.
Re: #4 warning about old posts:
I think that this looks too similar to locked threads. I came across this one recently on a thread and seeing the big yellow block at the bottom, my brain though "Oh, this is locked". This was on a weekly-ish recurring thread, so I even thought "Huh, I guess we're locking old ones to keep new conversation in whatever the latest thread is". I didn't notice the comment box below it both because I was already primed with the "locked" though and because it is so muted compared to the big yellow message.
I wonder if there's a way to split info warnings ("fyi this is old") vs hard-stops ("locked"), and make warnings less blaring. Different color like red for locked, maybe less saturation on the warning color or just an outline, something like that.
That's a good point, thanks. I hadn't thought about the similarity to the locked warning, but you're definitely right that they look really similar. I'll look at some ways to change one or the other to make the difference more clear.
FWIW I'm not fond of this particular change, if it is okay to post on threads older than a week, and it is rare that people actually do it, then a warning is superfluous. Especially given in order to see stuff that old bumped users need to explicitly change the default topic sort method, given the default is activity from last 3 days IIRC.
When I tried to disable this with uBlock Origin's filters, I noticed that it has no class or id attached to it to distinguish it from other potential warnings, so I did not proceed to filter it out.
I reduced the gaudiness of it, and also added a class to it so that you'll be able to block it if you want.
Thanks, looks way better now! FWIW, I won't block it out now that it is toned down.
Default got switched back to "all time" when the new Activity sort was added and the old method changed to "All activity". See: https://tildes.net/~tildes.official/egq/updates_to_activity_sorting_method_the_sites_default
But yeah, I honestly don't really understand this change either if I'm being honest. I think given how prominent it is, no matter how it's worded it's likely to discourage people from commenting on older stuff, which isn't a positive in my opinion.
I agree: this message should be toned down to just a mild reminder rather than a BIG BRIGHT WARNING.
Great update, super excited about Zenburn, which is a colourscheme I use in one of the IDEs I use frequently. Sadly that's PHPStorm, so it leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth ;) but it's great to have more options!
I think it's been discussed before but I didn't find anything about it recently; any thoughts around automating weekly threads for groups? Something like your gaming thread, or a "what are you reading / watching / eating" in ~books, ~movies, ~food respectively?
Yeah, I think it probably wouldn't be too hard to automate some of the recurring threads, since a lot of groups have at least one weekly one now. I'm not sure exactly how they should be managed, and I don't really know which "user" should post them. Maybe I should add some kind of "system account" that just shows up as "Tildes" or something? I'm not sure, probably not too consequential either way.
TildesAutomator or something so there's no confusion as to whether this is "officially" the website or something that people have set up. Might not be a bad idea to include a documentation page or something so that recurring schedules can be traced back to a user.
I'm not sure this will ever become an issue, but there's the possibility for abuse in a system like this, so it might make sense to either restrict access until anti-spam is implemented, or implement a system of peer-review of some sort to approve new scheduled creations.
Maybe keep it as the creator of the original post, but with a robot icon beside it to indicate automation.
A system account makes sense. Possibly a single system account that is given a pseudonym to match the group it's posting an automated thread in. Eg: the weekly gaming thread is posted "by ~games".
I don't know if this was mentioned prior, would an "ignore" button that hides away individual posts or (my preference) just prevents them from jumping up in our feed every time a new comment is submitted when sorting by activity be possible? It would also disable the new comment notification in the case a user has it enabled and visited the discussion section already.
I think it's very possible (and needed). Having it also disable the reply notifications is an interesting thought. I'm not sure if it should always do that, but it might be nice to have as an option.
Oh, I didn't mean the reply notification, I agree that it shouldn't do that since it can stifle discussions a bit too much.
I meant: the new comment marking that is available under a user's setting page that displays how many new comments have been submitted on a topic since the last visit. Have it muted for any ignored post, I.e no "(X new)" next to the number of comments.
Oh, I see what you mean. I think the post would probably just be hidden entirely from the listing, so you most likely wouldn't see that anyway (and it might be nice to still have the new comments highlighted if you do go back to it separately).
Fair warning to anyone using Internet Explorer or Edge that they don't support summary/details tags. If spoilers are hidden in these tags, you'll see them without expanding. So be careful of any game/movie threads you've not seen yet.
Edge will gain support for the tags once they complete the switch to Blink.
That's actually one of the main reasons I've hesitated on officially building in a spoiler method using
<details>, even though I think it's almost perfectly suited for it.
Do you know if there's been any sort of timeline announced for Edge switching over? I know there are preview builds available, but not sure how far out they are from officially converting.
No, not off the top of my head. I'm not sure if they've announced a date. Recently MS have had a pretty quick turnaround time on these projects so I'd guess that the main release might not be that far away.
If everybody will be updated at once though is another question. It'll likely roll out via Windows Update which can be staggered or delayed. I don't think everybody will update at once like we're used to with Chrome and Firefox.
I'm sure there's polyfills you could employ in the mean time. But best to target IE/EdgeHTML users to avoid extra network requests for others.
Thanks for the changes, I'll definitely be using
<small>tags for my endnotes.
Three quality of life features that would be nice
1Yes, I sometimes have an unstable connection and the comment page doesn't load or only partly loads.
2Yes, I know it's been mentioned before ... it would just be nice to have, so I don't have to be subscribed to groups that I don't really want to see, but there is a sub-topic that I like.
<sub>not being changed by the
<small>tag working as intended?
Edit: Struckthrough an error on the my end.
Yeah, there are definitely a few annoying cases with this, where your last visit time is "lost". A couple of possibilities:
Do either of those seem reasonable? I think the first option would probably be pretty easy to do.
That would probably be nice. We do already have all the lines down the side, maybe they could be made to work like that. Another option available right now is just repeatedly clicking the "Parent" link in the comment header until you get back up to the top-level comment, and then collapsing that one. I've been thinking a little about adding another link like "Root" that would go directly to the top-level one.
Yes, this is actually part of the changes to the group system I was working on that have ended up difficult. I'm trying to significantly rework how subscribing works, and part of it is being able to base it more on tags. So hopefully things will start moving in that direction pretty soon, once I can work through more of that tangle.
I'm not sure what you mean. Here's some small text with a superscript and a subscript inside it. Do you not see the superscript/subscript in there? Maybe it's a platform/browser/font issue? Or am I misunderstanding what you mean?
If I understand this correctly, it should also mean we can see new comments (by setting the time) in old threads where our viewing data has been deleted, right? That sounds like a great way to knock out several issues at once.
Yes, exactly. It would help with lots of other cases too, like even letting logged-out users choose to highlight newer comments. I agree it's definitely the better solution overall.
I was hoping the first option would be straightforward, but I tried to implement it today and it's not as simple as I was thinking. Preventing the second "new" visit in quick succession from overwriting the first new one actually doesn't fix the problem, it's that you can't go back to basing the highlighting on the "old" visit previous to both of them.
To get it to work properly I'd probably either need to start keeping track of at least two visits instead of only one (and still preventing the overwrite), or having some kind of "delayed overwrite" where the new visit doesn't replace the old one immediately, but only actually does it after a minute or two.
I like both options, especially since the second option could give more control over viewing new comments, but it's definitely not a feature that needs to be implemented soon. That said, the first one really appeals to my desire for simplicity and I would probably look at more comments, knowing that the new comment designation wouldn't be immediately discarded if I have to refresh.
I would be content with the first option.
Well, going to the top of rather large comments is sometimes difficult on mobile. Could a root link or top link be added to the bottom right of a comment? It could just be something like
^to save space.
That's good news, thanks for the hard work!
Never mind, I had set the minimum font size at 13 in Firefox, so it didn't make the size difference distinct. I've set the minimum size to 10, and I can see the difference now. Sorry about the confusion.
Thank you again for migrating my work on the wiki into the Docs. :)
When I first saw hungariantoast's comment yesterday, the first section ("Metro Exodus") was already expanded, with the other two sections (Oxygen Not Included, Dwarf Fortress) showing only as stubs. When I open that same comment today, I see the same thing. Even if manually collapse the "Metro Exodus" section, it re-opens when I refresh the page.
Also, do you have any details (ha!) about how the "details" and "summary" features operate? I've done some brief testing and can't work out how these operate.
There's some in the text formatting docs, let me know (or edit in the ~tildes.official wiki) if you think it doesn't make sense: https://docs.tildes.net/instructions/text-formatting#expandable-sections
And yes, he made the first one open by default which you can do with
<details open>instead of
You'd think that I, of all people, would know to read the instructions! (But I assumed they hadn't been updated yet.)
Also, @Bauke saw my attempts at testing this feature and helped me out there.
I'm new here and this seems like a fine place to post interesting links. Thanks!
I'd like to put a vote in for a ~money group. It would be nice to get business news, economics, personal finance, and so on in one place, and it seems there is precedence for this grouping with shows like Planet Money?
Also, how do invites work? I don't seem to have any yet and that's fine, but I was wondering what the policy is?
Just FYI, ~finance (&/or ~business) was proposed in last month's round of group proposals. @Deimos has yet to reveal his final decisions regarding any of that yet though.
Invites are given out to everyone on occasion, like they were to all users when this topic was created (which you unfortunately missed by a few days). However, Deimos has stated before that if anyone wants some invites, all they generally have to do is ask him for some and he will usually oblige.
P.s. Welcome to Tildes :)
Just out of curiosity Deimos, could you provide some Tildes activity stats? I just started looking into ~anime, and it's activity is pretty low compared to other groups with high participation. So I wondered how many of the about 10.000 registered people are active on Tildes.
Any particular stats you're wondering about? Just general active users, or something specific for ~anime?
Mostly general active users, I assume number of active users of ~anime would scale linearly to average number of votes per topic compared to other groups.
Wait--we can use HTML for formatting? Neat!
Yes, markdown is processed into HTML, and then the HTML goes through sanitization, which removes any non-whitelisted elements/attributes. You can just write the HTML directly and it's a little like bypassing the first step (but you can still use markdown elsewhere in the post too).
Markdown should work, but I think you need to have a blank line first so the parser knows you're not writing HTML any more. Something like this should come out the same as what you did:
Thanks for your continual work. :)
The warning message is missing punctuation in the parentheses.
Do you have any ideas on how to deal with the duplicate output for color schemes in the CSS? I don't imagine that it's a big issue right now, but it does put a limit on the number of color schemes that could be added to the site.
For instance, I made a gruvbox theme some time ago. Well, six gruvbox themes, to be specific. A soft, medium, and hard variant for both the light and dark versions of the theme. Probably tomorrow I'm going to write a PaperColor theme to try out and I'm sure I'll eventually do Srcery as well, since creating new themes is easy with a development environment.
But, as much as I love these themes, I'm hesitant to ask about adding them to the site, because eight or nine new themes adds a lot of new data to the CSS output (also, I've only ever seen like, one other comment ask/recommending a gruvbox theme for the site, but whatever).
So, I was just wondering if you had any ideas/plans on how to solve the duplicate CSS output issue?
It's really not a big deal overall. Because there's so much duplication in the rule selectors and such, the CSS file gzips very well. Currently, the main CSS file transfers as a gzipped 27.6 KB. If I disable the new Zenburn theme, it goes down to 26.1 KB. So adding around 1.6 KB per theme to a static file that's cached indefinitely until it's changed is nothing, I probably wouldn't even start to worry about it until we're talking about having dozens of themes. Loading the front page once transfers about 20 KB of gzipped HTML, so if we were to add 15 themes it would have about the same impact as someone pushing refresh one more time every few days.
If it ever starts going far enough that it's a concern, all we have to do is split each theme into its own CSS file and only include the individual file for the theme the user is using, it's extremely simple to deal with. At that point, the concern is honestly more about how difficult it is for people to choose between all the options than the size of the file.
Ah, gotcha. I thought dealing with the CSS output would have been more of a challenge. I also didn't know what your tolerances were for adding more data. That's all good news though!
So, what about, in addition to setting the site's theme on a user's settings page, have a custom page built for displaying various kinds of content like comments, topics, both voted and unvoted, etc. Then, like the settings page, have a dropdown menu for selecting themes? That way, the user gets to immediately see a select representation of the theme and all they need to do is press the down arrow key on their keyboard. (Unless they're on mobile.)
Alternatively, how difficult do you think it would be to automatically capture screenshots of every theme on Tildes? If you could automate the process of selecting each theme, capturing an image of what it looks like on the sight, and then posting that to the docs or some wiki page, that might make having a bunch of themes not too bad. Users could just check out the gallery of theme images on the wiki page then select the one they like.
I think that's a great idea, some kind of "theme demo" page would be really nice to have. It could have various "fake" site elements, like what a topic in listings looks like, a little fake comment tree showing how the different types of comments (e.g. exemplary, new) look, and so on, so you can get an overview of the theme in one spot.
I think doing it as a page is a better idea than screenshots, since it will always keep itself updated with any changes, and will also show exactly what the theme's going to look like on the user's device/browser/etc. instead of being a screenshot that might be using different fonts.
It's not something I'm going to work on personally right away, but I'll add an issue for it. It would probably be a pretty straightforward project for an open-source contribution too.
The docs page supports themes, so I'd just do it dynamically! Copy in a snippet of some of the DOM and it should all just work.
I've come across the necrobump warning (#4) a couple times now and I think it's a useful feature. If I understand correctly, it only appears on topics or comments that are over a week old.
I think I'd also like to see one if there has been zero activity on a topic for some amount of time. I don't know how long the cooldown should be, but it should be less than a week and it should reset whenever a new comment is posted in the topic discussion. 48 hours might be a good amount of time. This would only be shown during the window between the cooldown and the current warning threshold in place today.
It would be purely informational, not really a warning. Could be colored blue or green. I just think it would be useful to know that the conversation has lulled, since that might not be readily apparent (I'm not usually noting timestamps on content as I browse).
It's a little out of the way (especially on mobile), but there's a "Last comment posted" in the sidebar of each topic that will tell you how long it's been since someone commented in the topic. It links to the last comment as well, so you can jump straight to it.
I have been waiting for new groups. Few interesting groups.
What groups would be interesting to you?
Are any of the suggestions in last week's proposals thread of interest to you?
as programmer, i would love if programming will exist.
That basically already exists in the form of ~comp, although the group is not exclusively for programming. But if that's what you're looking for specifically there is always the tag: https://tildes.net/?tag=programming
I'm sure once the traffic here can actually sustain it a ~comp.programming will be created, but until then it's not really a good idea to create it IMO, since otherwise you end up like Imzy where the site winds up looking like a ghost town.
Have you looked at ~comp? A lot of the posts there are about programming.
Yes, i regular check the community