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    1. Tildes can now receive Basic Attention Tokens (from the Brave browser or BATify extension)

      We've had a few topics related to the Brave browser lately, and at some users' urging, I've now set up and verified Tildes to be able to receive the Basic Attention Token that it allows you to...

      We've had a few topics related to the Brave browser lately, and at some users' urging, I've now set up and verified Tildes to be able to receive the Basic Attention Token that it allows you to allocate to sites that you visit often. Outside of Brave itself, there's also an extension called BATify that seems to allow you to use BAT from Chrome or Firefox.

      I'm not sure if this will ever be a significant source of donations for the site, but it's probably good to have it as an option anyway.

      I haven't tried Brave myself yet, so I can't endorse it personally, but quite a few people seem to like it and it just had a major update last week that made it Chromium-based. If you're thinking about trying it out, I'd appreciate it if you could download it through this referral link:

      https://brave.com/til524

      I don't know the exact details, but it should give Tildes about $5 USD in BAT for each user who "downloads the Brave browser using the promo link specific to your web site and uses the browser (minimally) over a 30 day period".

      I'll add some info about this to the Donate page on the docs site as well, and if anyone that knows more about Brave/BAT than me (which is a very low bar) notices anything wrong or that I should change, please let me know.

      56 votes
    2. Help/input wanted on a couple of updates

      Nothing very major has changed yet, but I'm working on adding a couple of open-source contributions to the site and could use some help and input related to them: Theme system rework First, I've...

      Nothing very major has changed yet, but I'm working on adding a couple of open-source contributions to the site and could use some help and input related to them:

      Theme system rework

      First, I've just deployed a rework of the "theme system" (for the display themes that you can select in your settings) that @Bauke has been brave enough to work on. As some of you know, the site originally only had two themes - Solarized Light and Solarized Dark. Because of this, the theme system was built around those themes and meant that the Solarized colors had to be used in all other themes as well. This is why, for example, the new default theme (with the white background) still uses Solarized colors for links/alerts/etc., even though the contrast and appearance of some of them isn't very good on white.

      This rework will allow every theme to have completely custom colors (as well as other possibilities), but the first stage was just deploying a refactor to convert the existing themes to this new system. If you've ever tried to refactor CSS, you know that it's not much fun and there are a lot of subtle things that can go wrong. So as of right now: nothing should look different yet, and if you notice any issues with colors or other appearance changes, please post here to let me know.

      This is mostly just to make sure that nothing's been messed up during the transition to the new system, and once it seems safe we can start making more interesting changes like adjusting colors, adding more themes that diverge from that Solarized base, and so on. But for now, we're just looking for issues in the existing themes to make sure everything survived the transition intact.

      Saving/bookmarking/favoriting/etc. terminology

      @what has also been working on a contribution that will add the ability to save/bookmark topics and comments. It's close to being ready to deploy, but I thought I'd ask for some input about what term to use for the function before it goes live, since it will be more hassle to change it afterwards if necessary.

      "Save" has the benefit of being short and also used on other sites like reddit, Facebook, and some others. I think it's slightly misleading though, because you're not really saving the post, just a link to it. If the author deletes it, you won't have it saved.

      "Bookmark" is probably more correct, and used by some sites including Twitter. However, it's longer and may be confusing to some people if they think it's related to browser bookmarks.

      Any preference on either of those, or are there other options (like "favorite") that might be best?

      57 votes
    3. Minor search update: topic tags are now included in search

      Not a very major update, but I figured it was worth letting everyone know: search has been expanded a bit to also cover topics' tags in addition to their title and markdown (for text topics). So...

      Not a very major update, but I figured it was worth letting everyone know: search has been expanded a bit to also cover topics' tags in addition to their title and markdown (for text topics). So if you search for a term that was only included in a topic's tags but not its title/text, it should come up in the results now.

      On that subject, are there any other pieces of data that you think should be included by default in search? In the future, I'd like to support searching certain parts of data deliberately (for example, maybe by writing a query like url:article to find only link topics with "article" in their url), but that's different from including it automatically in all searches. As a specific example, if you search for "youtube.com" or even "youtube", should all link topics from YouTube come up, or only topics that have the word "youtube" somewhere in their title/text/tags?

      47 votes
    4. General Tildes feedback, questions, and so on

      Things have been a little on the quiet and steady side for the last while now (which has been nice), and it's been some time since we had a thread for general questions and feedback. Feel free to...

      Things have been a little on the quiet and steady side for the last while now (which has been nice), and it's been some time since we had a thread for general questions and feedback. Feel free to use this thread to post things about the site that you're curious about, questions or suggestions you have, and so on.

      @super_james was also nice enough to start this other thread today about ways to help, so this one will probably be a little more on the "specific things to help with" side.

      As a couple other things from my end, I've topped everyone back up to 5 invite codes again, so you should have some available on https://tildes.net/invite if there's anyone you'd like to invite to the site (and as always, just message me if you ever need more codes).

      I also posted some information the other day about donations so far and the general financial status of the site, so that might be something that you'd be interested in reading if you didn't see it already. That thread also seems to have motivated a decent number of other people to pledge to the site's Patreon or donate, so thanks to everyone that donated, I really appreciate it.

      As a final thing, a couple people have asked me about the site's general activity levels lately, so I'll post some stats about that in a comment here in a little bit (so it's more easily collapsible than being in the post itself).

      As always, thanks for being here!

      67 votes
    5. Comment tags have been re-enabled to experiment with, input wanted on plans

      This has been a long time coming, but the comment tags have now been re-enabled. I want to treat this as experimental, and potentially make a number of changes to them quickly based on seeing how...

      This has been a long time coming, but the comment tags have now been re-enabled. I want to treat this as experimental, and potentially make a number of changes to them quickly based on seeing how they get used. A few notes about how they're set up now and what I'm planning to do with them, followed by some questions that I'd like input on:

      • The main change I want to experiment with is turning the comment tags (mostly) into a system where they're invisible, but cause effects. That is, instead of having the actual tags show up on each comment like they were before, they'll now be something that's "in the background", but can have different effects on comments that get tagged.
      • Currently, tags will only have an effect if multiple users apply the tag. This may change eventually if we start granting more weight to certain users that have a consistent history of tagging, but for now it means that a single user tagging a comment won't do anything unless other user(s) also apply the same tag.
      • As of the time I'm making this post, you can apply tags, but they don't have any effects yet. This will change very soon (probably even later today), but I wanted to get input on potential effects and get a baseline idea of how they start getting used before I turned any effects on.
      • Currently, anyone whose account is at least 7 days old will have access to comment tagging. This is to try to make sure that people have at least a bit of experience on the site before they start using the tags.

      Now, questions that I want input on:

      • What effects do you think might work well for the different tags? I don't want to bias the ideas by explaining a bunch of my own ones up-front, but an example of the sort of things that I'm thinking about is making it more difficult to reply to comments tagged "troll", such as by requiring the user to click through a dialog box like "Other users have tagged this comment as a possible troll, are you sure you want to reply to it and feed the troll?"
      • Is the current set of tags (joke, noise, offtopic, troll, flame) reasonable, or should we consider adding or removing some of them?
      • Now that the comment tags aren't being shown, should we consider changing them to more detailed descriptions? It was somewhat important to have shorter, "snappier" names for them before to keep them compact, but if they're not going to be shown often that may not be necessary at all. For example, "noise" could be changed to something more like "doesn't contribute to discussion".

      Let me know what you think—the comment tags are definitely one of the important aspects of the site, so I'm excited to start experimenting with them again and am confident that we can figure out a system for them that will work really well and help encourage quality discussions.

      102 votes
    6. Many updates to The Feature Formerly Known as Comment Tagging

      A couple of weeks ago, I re-enabled the comment tagging feature. Since then, I've been keeping an eye on how it's being used, reading all the feedback people have posted, and have made a few other...

      A couple of weeks ago, I re-enabled the comment tagging feature. Since then, I've been keeping an eye on how it's being used, reading all the feedback people have posted, and have made a few other small adjustments in the meantime. Today, I'm implementing quite a few more significant changes to it.

      First, to try to head off some confusion: if you're very new to Tildes, you won't have access to this feature yet. Currently, only accounts that are at least a week old can use it. Also, the docs haven't been updated yet, but I'll do that later today.

      Here's what's changed:

      • The name has changed from "tag" to "label". I think it's better to use a different term to separate it more easily from topic tags since the features are very different, and "label" shouldn't have the implications that some people attach with "tagging".

      • As suggested by @patience_limited, "Troll" and "Flame" have now been replaced with a single label named "Malice". I don't think the distinction was important in most cases, and the meanings of them were a bit ambiguous, especially with how much the word "troll" has become over-used lately.

        Basically, you should label a comment as Malice if you think it's inappropriate for Tildes for some reason - whether the poster is being an asshole, trolling, spamming, etc.

      • This new Malice label requires entering a reason when you apply it. The reason you enter is only visible to me.

      • Another new label named "Exemplary" has been added, which is the first clearly positive one. This label is intended for people to use on comments that they think are exceptionally good, and it effectively acts as a multiplier to the votes on that comment (and the multiplier increases if more people label the comment Exemplary). Like Malice, it requires entering a reason for why you consider that comment exemplary, but the reason is visible (anonymously) to the author of the comment.

        Currently, you can only use this label once every 8 hours - don't randomly use it as a test, or you won't be able to use it again for 8 hours.

      The interface for some of these changes is a bit janky still and will probably be updated/adjusted before long, but it should be good enough to start trying them out. And as always, beyond the interface, almost everything else is subject to change as well, depending on feedback/usage. Let me know what you think—comment labels have a lot of potential, so it's important to figure out how to make them work well.

      105 votes
    7. Syntax highlighting for the coders, invites for everyone

      Another open-source contribution has now been implemented - @Soptik wrote the code to add support for syntax highlighting, which should be great for topics like the programming challenges in...

      Another open-source contribution has now been implemented - @Soptik wrote the code to add support for syntax highlighting, which should be great for topics like the programming challenges in ~comp.

      I'll update the formatting documentation to include info about it shortly, but it's straightforward to use. You have to use a "fenced code block", which usually means that you put 3 backticks above and below the code, and include the name of the language after the 3 backticks above it. So for example, markdown like this:

      ```python
      def word_count(string: str) -> int:
          """Count the number of words in the string."""
          return len(WORD_REGEX.findall(string))
      ```
      

      will render as:

      def word_count(string: str) -> int:
          """Count the number of words in the string."""
          return len(WORD_REGEX.findall(string))
      

      This is being done by the "Pygments" library, which supports a lot of languages: http://pygments.org/docs/lexers/

      And completely unrelated to that, it's been a while since I gave everyone some invite codes, so I've topped everyone back up to 5 (and as always, feel free to let me know if you need more). You can access them on this page: https://tildes.net/invite

      That's all for now, thanks everyone (and @Soptik in particular). There should also be more changes coming before too long, I've been working on some major updates to the comment-tagging system and hopefully should be able to implement those soon.

      78 votes
    8. Daily Tildes discussion - thoughts about making the site publicly visible, but still invite-only?

      To be clear up front, this probably won't be able to happen for at least a few weeks—there are quite a few things that will need to be done or adjusted before I'd be able to make the site publicly...

      To be clear up front, this probably won't be able to happen for at least a few weeks—there are quite a few things that will need to be done or adjusted before I'd be able to make the site publicly visible, including making sure that it can handle the load from a lot of logged-out viewers.

      However, I just wanted to bring it up and see if anyone has any particular thoughts about whether making it visible for people without accounts might be a good idea, or if we should just stick to keeping it totally private for a longer period.

      For a lot of people, not being able to see any of the actual posts on the site makes it less interesting, and I think we're already starting to get to the point where there's enough activity that it's not "embarrassing" to show off an inactive site any more. There's some great content being posted already, and it would probably be good to allow people to see it, even if they can't necessarily register and participate themselves just yet.

      Anyway, not much more to say about it. I just wanted to see if anyone had any particular thoughts on the topic to make sure I don't miss anything important when I start thinking more seriously about doing it, so please let me know.

      59 votes
    9. Comment tags now affect sorting, more changes coming

      After re-enabling comment tags a little over a week ago and starting to experiment with some effects, I'm going to be adding some more and continuing to adjust as I keep an eye on how they're...

      After re-enabling comment tags a little over a week ago and starting to experiment with some effects, I'm going to be adding some more and continuing to adjust as I keep an eye on how they're being used so far.

      I've just deployed an update that changes the default comment sorting method to one named "relevance" (subject to change, suggestions welcome). This mostly acts like the previous default of "most votes", but also takes into account whether comments have been tagged as certain types. As with the other tagging effects so far, these effects will probably be adjusted or may even be completely changed as we see how they work in practice, but for now:

      • If multiple users tag a comment as "noise" or "off-topic", it will be sorted below comments without those tags. That is, comments that are not noise or off-topic will be prioritized above off-topic ones, and off-topic will be above noise.
      • In addition, comments tagged as "joke" will act as though their vote count is halved. This will just help with de-emphasizing joke comments a bit for now, but I definitely still plan to have filtering/collapsing behavior attached to them eventually
      • The "troll" and "flame" tags still don't have any inherent functionality yet, but I've been using them a little like a reporting function in the background so far, so those tags are helpful to me for pointing out comments that may need attention.

      Let me know what you think of these changes or if you notice anywhere that they seem to be working poorly. There should be more updates and changes to the comment-tagging system coming this week as well, based on suggestions and observations so far.

      73 votes
    10. Starting to experiment a little with using data scraped from the destination of link topics

      This is very minor so far, but I think it's good to have a topic devoted to it so that people have somewhere to discuss it, instead of having it come up randomly in topics that it applies to. I've...

      This is very minor so far, but I think it's good to have a topic devoted to it so that people have somewhere to discuss it, instead of having it come up randomly in topics that it applies to.

      I've recently started scraping some data about the destination of link topics using Embedly's "Extract" API (Embedly was kind enough to give me a reasonable amount of free usage since Tildes is a non-profit). You can put in the url of an article/video/etc. on that page to get an idea of what sort of data I can get from it, if you'd like to see for yourself.

      I've only just started tinkering with it, and so far the data is only being used in two small ways:

      1. Tweets now display the entire text of the tweet on the topic listing page, similar to the "excerpt" from text topics. You can see an example here.

      2. On topic listings, the date that an article was published will be shown (after the domain name) if the publication date was at least 3 days before it was submitted. There are a few examples in the recent posts in ~misc

        I'll probably adjust this threshold, but I'd like it to be an amount of time where the age of the content might feel "significant". It would also be possible to just show this info all the time, but I think the topic listings are already fairly cluttered so it's probably best to hide it when it's not interesting/significant.

      As I said, these are very tiny changes so far, but there are lots of other possibilities that I hope to start using before long. I've mentioned this before, but something I'd really like to do overall is try to bring in more data about the links where it's possible to be able to show things like the lengths of videos and so on.

      Let me know if you have any thoughts about it or notice any issues, thanks.

      57 votes
    11. General Tildes feedback/questions thread + invites given to everyone

      It's been quite a while now since we had a general feedback thread. So if there's anything you want to discuss, ask about, suggest, etc. but didn't feel like starting a dedicated thread for it,...

      It's been quite a while now since we had a general feedback thread. So if there's anything you want to discuss, ask about, suggest, etc. but didn't feel like starting a dedicated thread for it, feel free to do that here.

      Also, speaking of things that I haven't done in a while, I've topped everyone back up to 5 invite codes. Please don't feel obligated to find ways to use them, but if there are people you want to invite, that would be great. You can get the codes here: https://tildes.net/invite

      69 votes
    12. The Tildes code is now open-sourced

      Disclaimer: this post/information will probably only be interesting to more technical people It's long overdue, but Tildes is now open-sourced: https://gitlab.com/tildes/tildes There's still a ton...

      Disclaimer: this post/information will probably only be interesting to more technical people

      It's long overdue, but Tildes is now open-sourced: https://gitlab.com/tildes/tildes

      There's still a ton to do in terms of writing more documentation, filling out the issue tracker with known issues/plans and so on, but it should be ready enough to get started.

      I'm planning to make a post on the Tildes blog tomorrow or Thursday announcing this more formally, but I'd like to keep it a bit quiet until then, in case there are any issues or major gaps in the docs discovered when some of you start looking at it. I'd especially appreciate it if any of you would like to try setting up a local development version and let me know how it goes, and if the instructions all make sense.

      There are two new pages on the docs site as part of this as well:

      • Development Setup - describes how to do the initial setup necessary to get a local development version of the site running
      • Development - a general page with information and instructions related to a lot of aspects of site development. It's very scattered right now and I intend to split it into multiple pages eventually, but that will require some more work on the blog to support being able to organize it well. There are still some definite gaps in here, but it should describe most of the major pieces.

      I'd appreciate any feedback about the documents, code, etc. As mentioned, I'd be especially grateful if some of you want to try setting up a local development version by following my instructions, and give feedback about if any parts of the process are unclear, incomplete, or otherwise need more work. Please feel free to ask any questions you have as well.

      235 votes
    13. If you have the "mark new comments" feature enabled, old comments will now be collapsed when returning to a thread

      The "mark new comments" feature (which isn't enabled by default) has two main functions: From the listing pages, it shows which topics have new comments (and how many) On the comments page, it...

      The "mark new comments" feature (which isn't enabled by default) has two main functions:

      • From the listing pages, it shows which topics have new comments (and how many)
      • On the comments page, it puts an orange stripe down the left side of the new comments

      These are both extremely useful (and you should probably enable it if you don't already have it on), but it was still a bit hard to find the new comments in larger threads, even with them marked. You had to just scroll around and look for the orange stripes.

      I've deployed a new update now that makes it so that when you go back to a thread that has new comments, all the old comments will be collapsed, except for the direct parents of the new ones. I've also updated the appearance of collapsed comments so that you can see the first part of the text of the collapsed comments.

      No behavior will change if you're not using the "mark new comments" feature, and if visit a thread for the first time or go back to a thread with no new comments, all comments will be expanded as normal. Remember that you can also use the new "expand all comments" button added last week to quickly uncollapse all comments if you want to.

      Edit: And if you really don't like it, you can disable it now with the second checkbox at the bottom of the settings page: https://tildes.net/settings/comment_visits

      Let me know what you think, and if you notice any issues. This should make navigating large threads a lot easier, and there are also some other interesting possibilities with the "individually collapsed" comments that I'm going to be working on soon. One thing I definitely want to do is add an indication of how many comments are in a particular collapsed chain, since right now you can't distinguish a single collapsed comment from one with (potentially many) replies.

      81 votes
    14. Daily Tildes discussion - our first ban

      After reaching a nice milestone yesterday of over 1000 users registered, we've followed it up with a slightly less nice one—I've now banned someone for the first time. This almost certainly won't...

      After reaching a nice milestone yesterday of over 1000 users registered, we've followed it up with a slightly less nice one—I've now banned someone for the first time. This almost certainly won't happen with every ban, but I'm going to be quite transparent with this one since it was the first one, and it gives a good starting point for a discussion today.

      Trying to be transparent about this one is actually a bit funny, because the user I banned was named "Redacted" (really, I promise!). I had removed his comments from the thread, but I've un-removed them for now so that you can see exactly what I banned for: https://tildes.net/user/Redacted

      There were two reasons that I decided to ban him:

      1. Those last 3 comments, all in the ~talk thread. That thread has been a bit heated in places, but overall it's been civil and going pretty well. He came into it without being involved in the discussion at all and went straight to personal attacks.
      2. He went through and tagged almost all of Mumberthrax's comments as some combination of "troll", "flame", and "noise"—sometimes even all 3 tags on a single comment. That's just blatant misuse of the tags, with no possible reasonable excuse. (Note that I've already removed all his tags, so you won't be able to see them any more)

      So that's a pretty clear case of being an asshole, in my opinion. Let me know what you think—I'm not sure that there's any particular focus for the discussion today, so we can just talk about this specific case as well as banning/removing in general since this is the first time I've had to do anything (and I was just saying how nice it had been).

      161 votes
    15. Added buttons to collapse all reply comments and expand all comments

      Another open-source contribution, this time from Jeff Kayser. There are now two buttons at the top of the comments section, next to the header that says "X comments". The minus button will...

      Another open-source contribution, this time from Jeff Kayser.

      There are now two buttons at the top of the comments section, next to the header that says "X comments". The minus button will collapse all the reply comments, leaving only the top-level comments expanded, and the plus button will uncollapse any comments that have been collapsed.

      This lets you browse the comments in kind of the "opposite" way of normal—instead of collapsing the conversations you don't want to read, you start out with only the top-level comments visible, and can un-collapse responses if you want to read more.

      There will probably be some more work done along these lines in the future. A user setting would probably be nice so that reply comments are always collapsed by default, if that's what you prefer. And I'd also like to see the collapsed comments say how many comments there are in that chain, since right now there's not really any way to tell how large of a discussion you might be un-collapsing.

      60 votes
    16. Extremely basic search added

      Okay, okay. We really needed some sort of search, so I decided to just get an extremely basic version out today. It's very limited, but it should work for now and can be improved as we go forward....

      Okay, okay. We really needed some sort of search, so I decided to just get an extremely basic version out today. It's very limited, but it should work for now and can be improved as we go forward.

      Details/limitations:

      • Currently, the search only includes the title and the text of the post (if it's a text topic). It doesn't include the tags, the group, the link, the author name, comments, anything. Only the title and text right now.
      • There's no way to restrict the search to specific group(s) yet. Just full-site search.
      • All searches are "all of these words". There's no phrase-searching yet, or "X or Y", or anything else.
      • The search results page is just a quick hack on the normal topic listing page and will probably display some things weirdly in some cases (like the message when there's no results).

      It's a start though, and certainly better than not having any search at all. There will probably be a lot of minor issues, but let me know if you notice anything especially broken with it.

      118 votes
    17. Users can now be (manually) granted permissions to re-tag topics, move them between groups, and edit titles

      It's a bit late tonight (for those of us in North America, anyway) so I'm not sure how much attention this will get today or how many people I'll start granting permissions to yet, but it's now...

      It's a bit late tonight (for those of us in North America, anyway) so I'm not sure how much attention this will get today or how many people I'll start granting permissions to yet, but it's now possible for people-who-are-not-me to start helping with some moderation-like tasks.

      As of right now, these abilities are restricted to (and I can grant each individually):

      • Changing the tags on topics
      • Moving topics between groups
      • Editing topic titles (I may not actually give anyone this permission yet)

      All these actions will be logged publicly, and if any of them are taken, they'll display in the topic's sidebar, in the "Topic log" (which you have to click to expand, and will only show up at all if anything's been done). I've changed the tags on this post so that you can see an example here.

      For the immediate future, these permissions will be getting granted manually, will apply site-wide (not to specific groups), and will probably only be given to people that specifically express interest in helping with these tasks. I've written about grand, vague plans for a "trust"-based system that will hopefully help with doing this automatically in the future, but for now we'll have a more rudimentary trust system. Here's how it works:

      1. I trust you, and give you access to more powerful tools.
      2. If you abuse it, I take the tools away, and don't trust you any more.

      It's not very sophisticated, but I think it should do the trick for a while.

      So if you're interested in helping keep things organized, please let me know (post here or send me a message if you prefer). I'd probably prefer if you had at least some history of submitting well-tagged/titled topics to appropriate groups, but it's not necessarily required.

      Edit: I would prefer that you have at least been around on the site for at least a week or two though. This is mostly important because the tasks are mainly organizational, so I think it's best if you've had some time to get accustomed to what's "typical" on Tildes for tags, which types of posts go in which groups, and so on.

      109 votes
    18. Input wanted about title-editing, especially by topics' authors

      It was a bit of a side topic in the thread last night about giving other people access to some organizational tools for topics, so I wanted to have a more specific discussion about how we should...

      It was a bit of a side topic in the thread last night about giving other people access to some organizational tools for topics, so I wanted to have a more specific discussion about how we should handle title-editing.

      Editing titles is definitely a useful ability, both for being able to fix typos/mistakes as well as remove editorialization or misleading phrasing, or even update the title later if the story progresses and the original title is no longer correct. However, it can also be confusing or mis-used—the title is the main way that we (the users on the site) identify a particular topic, and when the title changes it can be difficult to recognize what happened.

      So I just want to have a general discussion about how we should handle title-editing, and especially whether we should allow people to edit their own topics' titles, and if there should be any restrictions on that. For example, should a topic's author only be allowed to edit the title in the first 5 minutes? Should they always be able to edit it, like they can always edit the post text itself? Maybe it varies, based on their history/account-age/something-else?

      One thing to keep in mind is that this doesn't need to be a system that's immune to abuse. If someone uses the title-editing to change a popular ~music post's title into a Star Wars spoiler or something, we don't just shrug and go, "oh well, they're allowed to edit titles, nothing we can do." We edit the title back, and either take that ability away from them or ban them from the site entirely if it was done maliciously. Trust people, but punish abusers is a good approach in my opinion—we don't need to hobble features constantly to try to make them un-abusable.

      Also, whatever we decide to do doesn't necessarily need to be kept forever. We can always try something, and if it obviously isn't working very well, we just change it. Decisions about how the site works don't need to be final, it's very difficult to predict how features will actually be used in practice.

      Anyway, let me know what you think. Thanks.

      38 votes
    19. Two-factor authentication is now available

      Another excellent open-source contribution has been deployed today - @oden has added two-factor authentication support (via TOTP apps like Google Authenticator). Here's the code, if anyone wants...

      Another excellent open-source contribution has been deployed today - @oden has added two-factor authentication support (via TOTP apps like Google Authenticator). Here's the code, if anyone wants to take a look.

      If you want to set it up for your account, the link is available on the settings page. If you do, please please please write down or store the backup codes that it gives you after you enable it. If your phone dies or you otherwise lose access to your 2FA device, you won't be able to recover access to your Tildes account.

      On that note, I wanted to ask for input about whether I should be willing to bypass 2FA for people if they've set up the email-based account recovery. People will lose access to their 2FA device and not have the backup codes, and I don't know if just telling them that I can't help them is truly the best thing to do. Allowing it to be bypassed does lower the security, but sometimes it's a reasonable trade-off. One possibility is adding a security option that people could enable for maximum security, like "Do not bypass 2FA for me under any circumstance, I promise that I've kept my backup codes".

      Let me know what you think about that, as well as if you have any concerns or notice any issues with the feature. Thanks again, @oden!

      74 votes
    20. Markdown for strikethrough and tables is now enabled

      Previously, the only way to do strikethrough or tables on Tildes was by using HTML. I've updated the markdown parser now so that it supports the methods of doing them through markdown. The...

      Previously, the only way to do strikethrough or tables on Tildes was by using HTML. I've updated the markdown parser now so that it supports the methods of doing them through markdown. The Formatting help page on the docs has been updated as well with info about how they work.

      I don't think there should be any conflicts between strikethrough and linking to groups, but it's possible that there are some weird edge cases, so please let me know if you notice anything. Generally, strikethrough requires you to have two tildes both before and after the text you want to strike out, whereas group links will only have one before. So something like This ~~should work~~ doesn't work will result in should work instead of a link to a group named ~should.

      69 votes
    21. The unread notifications page now has a "Mark all read" button

      There are a few updates coming in today, and I'm going to make separate posts for each of them. This is the first one, added by James Southern (I don't know if he wants his Tildes account named)...

      There are a few updates coming in today, and I'm going to make separate posts for each of them. This is the first one, added by James Southern (I don't know if he wants his Tildes account named) as an open-source contribution:

      Your unread notifications page now has a "Mark all read" button at the top, just to the right of the title. Clicking it will mark all notifications on the page as read so that you don't need to do them each individually.

      It works in a way that makes sure that it only marks ones that are on the page, and won't affect any new ones that came in after the page was loaded. If you have the "Automatically mark all notifications read when you view the Unread Notifications page" setting enabled, it won't show up (because you don't need it).

      Please post with any feedback or issues you notice with it. Thanks, James!

      41 votes
    22. Username mentions in comments now send notifications

      Another feature update courtesy of open-source contributors - @Celeo was brave and took this complex update on as a first contribution to the Tildes code. Mentioning a username in a comment will...

      Another feature update courtesy of open-source contributors - @Celeo was brave and took this complex update on as a first contribution to the Tildes code.

      Mentioning a username in a comment will now send them a notification. Any of the following formats work:

      It won't send a notification if you mention yourself, or if you mention someone that already would have gotten a notification for the comment anyway (the author of the parent topic/comment).

      Edits should be handled as well, so if you edit in a mention that wasn't there previously it will generate the notification at that point, and if you edit one out it will delete that notification (whether the user has seen it yet or not).

      Please let me know if you notice any issues or strange behavior (and please don't use this maliciously to annoy people).

      85 votes
    23. General plans for the week

      For my fellow Canadians, Happy, uh... Regatta Day / Terry Fox Day / Saskatchewan Day / British Columbia Day / Natal Day / Simcoe Day / New Brunswick Day / Colonel By Day / Heritage Day / Joseph...

      For my fellow Canadians, Happy, uh... Regatta Day / Terry Fox Day / Saskatchewan Day / British Columbia Day / Natal Day / Simcoe Day / New Brunswick Day / Colonel By Day / Heritage Day / Joseph Brant Day / Benjamin Vaughan Day. For everyone else, Happy Monday.

      Here are my overall plans for this week, in no particular order:

      On Friday, your own user page had topics/comments views added, and has been paginated. Sometime in the next few days, I'm intending to extend this to other users' pages. I haven't finished deciding yet which privacy options (if any) will be available as part of this, so feel free to add your input in that thread if you haven't already.

      There are multiple open-source contributions for features in progress, so there should be a few more things coming in shortly from there. I'll make separate changelog posts for anything particularly major, but one that was added over the weekend (contibuted by @what again) was some special appearance/behavior for "nsfw" and "spoiler" tags on topics. They'll stand out more, always be displayed at the start of the tags list, and the "spoiler" tag makes sure that text posts don't have their excerpt displayed in the listing (but can still be clicked to expand).

      @cfabbro did a massive rework and update of the Docs site that I want to get applied this week. There's a ton of new information in there that should help a lot as we keep bringing more people into the site.

      On that note, there's also a new official invite-request thread in /r/tildes on reddit, so we'll probably have a decent number of new registrations this week as that gets worked through. I've also topped everyone back up to 5 invite codes (available here: https://tildes.net/invite), so please feel free to invite people yourselves as well (and as always, if you need more codes, just send me a message and ask).

      I think that should cover the main plans, any extra time I find above that will probably go into various random things on the backlog (and if I have time to work on a major feature, probably basic search).

      Thanks for being here, and please let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions.

      42 votes
    24. General plans for the week

      As mentioned last week, I've stopped making the official Daily Discussion posts, but I'd still like to have this general weekly one on Mondays to talk a bit about my overall intentions for the...

      As mentioned last week, I've stopped making the official Daily Discussion posts, but I'd still like to have this general weekly one on Mondays to talk a bit about my overall intentions for the upcoming week.

      This week, my main focus is definitely going to be working through more open-source-related tasks, especially reviewing the open merge requests that people have contributed. It's been great to see people diving right in and contributing significant features already, there's some really exciting stuff in there—username notifications, post saving, 2-factor authentication support, and even more. So I want to try to get through reviewing most or all of those in the near future (and deploy some when they're ready).

      Beyond that, there's still a fair amount of documentation and other things related to the open-sourcing that I'd like to do, and (as mentioned last week), I've now got most of the work for user-page pagination done but haven't quite had a chance to finish it up yet. There are also some company-side things that need attention, including looking into applying for some grants that I should be eligible for now that the code has been open-sourced.

      I think we also need to bring in another significant-size group of users fairly soon. Some people have been giving out invites on reddit in /r/tildes and other locations where the site's been brought up, and I expect we'll also do one of the official invite threads this week too (which tends to bring in a lot). To help with that a bit, I've given everyone 5 invite codes again (you can get them here), but if you have some way that you'd like to invite more people through and need more codes, just send me a message and let me know.

      40 votes
    25. Editing "grace period" for comments and topics increased to 5 minutes

      This is an extremely minor change and I don't know if it's even really worth posting about, but I think it's probably good to make people aware: I've just increased the "grace period" for editing...

      This is an extremely minor change and I don't know if it's even really worth posting about, but I think it's probably good to make people aware: I've just increased the "grace period" for editing both comments and topics to 5 minutes (previously it was only 2 minutes). That is, any edits inside the first 5 minutes after it was posted won't mark the post with the (edited ... ago) text.

      Currently, all older posts that were edited between 2-5 minutes after posting will still be marked as edited, but I'll probably go back and un-mark those as well.
      Updated all old posts now as well.

      90 votes
    26. Four new groups added (and everyone subscribed): ~anime, ~enviro, ~humanities, and ~life

      A couple weeks back, we had a thread for people to propose some new groups, and then I got too involved in open-sourcing and some other tasks to follow up on it properly. Thanks again for all the...

      A couple weeks back, we had a thread for people to propose some new groups, and then I got too involved in open-sourcing and some other tasks to follow up on it properly. Thanks again for all the suggestions and the patience with the long delay - I've finally gotten around to going through the thread now and selected 4 groups from the suggestions to try adding. If I didn't select a group you suggested or were excited about, it doesn't necessarily mean I don't think it was a good idea, I just don't want to add too many groups too quickly, and I think these ones have some interesting possibilities.

      I decided to auto-subscribe everyone to the new groups, but if you're not interested, you can easily unsubscribe from them through the groups page: https://tildes.net/groups

      Here are the new groups:

      • ~anime - this is one that I'm really iffy about from a hierarchy perspective, so I think it'll be interesting to experiment with because of that. It's unusual because it will probably contain posts that technically could have fit into ~tv, ~movies, ~games, and other existing groups, but having the anime subject split across all of those groups doesn't seem great either. There will probably be some interesting possibilities to play with here, like possibly making ~anime.games and ~games.anime basically point to the same "location".
      • ~enviro - we've had a fair number of topics being posted about recycling, alternate energy, and other related topics, so I think this will be a good one to try.
      • ~humanities - this should be able to cover a wide range of the topics that have mostly ended up in ~misc so far (and I'll probably move some previous ones here) - history, ethics, philosophy, etc.
      • ~life - the proposal for this one was named ~personal, but I think that term has some other implications that might be a little off, so I decided to go with ~life. This is intended to be a group for discussing and posting about general life topics - work, school, families/parenting, and those kind of things.

      Let me know what you think, and if any of the names or descriptions of the groups (in the groups page and in their sidebar) are confusing or should be rewritten, I'd appreciate suggestions.

      69 votes
    27. New variant of "open links in new tabs" setting to apply to links inside the text of comments, topics, and messages

      Following up on his original addition of "open links in new tabs", @what has added another sub-option to it, which will make it so that external links in the text of comments, topic, and messages...

      Following up on his original addition of "open links in new tabs", @what has added another sub-option to it, which will make it so that external links in the text of comments, topic, and messages will be opened in new tabs by default.

      This can be enabled on the Settings page, and I enabled it by default for everyone that has the setting enabled for topic links.

      31 votes
    28. Daily Tildes discussion - general plans for the week

      It's been a few weeks since I did this, but I'd like to start getting back into the routine of using the Monday post for a general outline of how I'd like to see the week go. So for this week,...

      It's been a few weeks since I did this, but I'd like to start getting back into the routine of using the Monday post for a general outline of how I'd like to see the week go.

      So for this week, here's my general intentions:

      • I added some new groups today, so I'll want to see how those are looking, and think about whether some other adjustments are needed soon.
      • I'm planning to make a proper blog post (on blog.tildes.net) about the site being open-sourced tomorrow morning. This may end up getting a burst of attention for the site again if it gets some traction on HN, programming/open-source subreddits, etc. (but it's hard to predict if that will happen or not)
      • Related to the above, I think it's about time to start actively trying to bring some more people in again. The site's size has been fairly constant for a few weeks now, and it's been pretty stable in terms of activity, so I think bringing in more users is a good idea. The blog post may help with this, but we'll also probably do another official invite thread on /r/tildes or look for some other possibilities.
      • Various work related to the open-sourcing. There are multiple merge requests open for features/fixes that I need to review, and I'd like to put more work into the documentation, filling out the issue tracker, and so on.
      • Get user pages paginated. I think this is my top priority for a feature to implement personally now, and I believe I should be able to do it this week while working on the other items. My current intention is to start out by only allowing users to look through their own full history, and leave that for a few days to allow people to go back and edit/delete anything they want to. After giving a bit of time for that, I intend to enable it for everyone. We can talk a bit more about this, but that's my current plan.

      Feedback and suggestions for those plans (or other ones, if you think I'm prioritizing the wrong things) are welcome, thanks.

      48 votes
    29. Daily Tildes discussion - Just... try to relax a bit

      Today I want to talk about a pattern that seems to keep happening—someone makes a post that's on the low effort end of the scale, and people freak out in response. Multiple users attack the poster...

      Today I want to talk about a pattern that seems to keep happening—someone makes a post that's on the low effort end of the scale, and people freak out in response. Multiple users attack the poster in the thread itself, at least one separate meta post gets made about it, people send me messages concerned about the direction of the site, etc.

      This really isn't necessary. Every instance of a post being a bit outside the lines isn't a harbinger of the site's impending doom. I know that a lot of you are passionate about having a higher-quality community site, but it doesn't mean that everything even slightly outside that goal needs to be viciously suppressed. It's okay to just ignore some posts here and there (or nicely point out that they don't really fit the site's goals), we don't need to try and chase off anyone that dares to post a joke or a cat gif.

      So... just try to relax a bit, it'll be okay. Tildes is still very new, and there's a lot to figure out. The site's got a lot of growth and evolution in its future, and it doesn't need to be run with an iron fist from the very beginning. I promise that there's a solid vision for the site and I'm going to make sure it goes in that direction, but every minor deviation from that goal doesn't need to be destroyed. One of the most important parts of these early stages is to build up a good base culture, and we really don't need the community to feel extremely unwelcoming with people scared to post anything because it might be judged "too low effort".

      148 votes
    30. Not-so-daily Tildes discussion

      I've already been doing this a little (both deliberately and not), but I'm going to stop specifically finding something to make a Daily Discussion post about every day. I'll definitely still be...

      I've already been doing this a little (both deliberately and not), but I'm going to stop specifically finding something to make a Daily Discussion post about every day. I'll definitely still be asking for input and posting about general site topics often, but I think it'll be good to move to doing it as more of an "on-demand" thing. Part of the reason for doing daily discussions was to try and help boost the site's activity, but I think we've gotten to the point now where it's not really needed any more.

      There's already a pretty good backlog of plans and ideas that we've discussed in the previous posts but I haven't had a chance to implement yet, and I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves in talking about all sorts of features that may not show up for quite a while. I'll still be making changelog posts whenever a significant update is deployed to get feedback on those, and if there are any features that are being worked on that I'm not completely certain about, I'll post to ask for input on those as well.

      In terms of more formally scheduled posts, as mentioned this Monday I'd like to keep making a post at the beginning of each week with general plans, and I'll probably keep doing an overall feedback/questions/suggestions one every couple of weeks or so as well.

      Other than that, as always please feel free to post in ~tildes with any questions, feedback or suggestions you have, or submit things directly to the issue tracker on GitLab if you're comfortable doing that.

      37 votes
    31. Daily Tildes discussion - General questions/feedback

      It's been a couple of weeks again since the last general feedback thread, so let's do another one today. Especially since the site has finally been open-sourced now, and we've already had people...

      It's been a couple of weeks again since the last general feedback thread, so let's do another one today. Especially since the site has finally been open-sourced now, and we've already had people starting to submit code contributions, it would probably be great to hear about some more general issues/suggestions/etc. that can be added to the issue tracker and potentially worked on by other people.

      So if there's anything you want to discuss, ask about, suggest, etc. but didn't feel like starting a dedicated thread for it, fire away!

      48 votes
    32. User settings are now available for opening links in new tabs

      Tildes has been open-source for about 4 days now, and there have already been a number of people diving in and making some great contributions. Thanks to Ivan Fonseca, we now have our first...

      Tildes has been open-source for about 4 days now, and there have already been a number of people diving in and making some great contributions. Thanks to Ivan Fonseca, we now have our first feature update from an open-source contribution, and it's a heavily-requested one: you can now choose to have links open in a new tab.

      This is split into two separate options, so there are two new checkboxes on your settings page under "Open links in new tabs":

      • "Topic links to other websites" - this will make the external links (from link topics) open in new tabs
      • "Links to text topics and comments" - this will make links to comment pages open in new tabs, both from clicking the title on text topics and the actual comments link

      Please let me know if you notice any issues or unexpected behavior with it. There are multiple other open-source contributions in progress as well, so expect some more updates soon.

      56 votes
    33. Daily Tildes discussion - more details about handling removed posts

      Sorry, I've been busy with open-source-related things and have been bad about the daily discussions for the last couple of days (late today, and completely forgot about doing one yesterday). Today...

      Sorry, I've been busy with open-source-related things and have been bad about the daily discussions for the last couple of days (late today, and completely forgot about doing one yesterday).

      Today I want to ask for opinions about some specific details of how removed posts should be handled. To be clear, this is related to posts that are removed manually by me (and maybe someday by other users, in response to reports, etc.). This is not related to posts that have been deleted by their author.

      Specifically, I'd like to answer these questions:

      1. Should the author of a removed post always know that it's been removed?
      2. When informing the author that a post was removed, should it be a "passive" notification (like an indicator on the comment noting that it's been removed), or should they get an actual separate notification telling them? The difference is mostly that "passive" ones may never be seen if the author doesn't look back at the comment after it's been removed.
      3. Should the removed comments/topic still be visible on the user's profile page, when other users look at it? That is, is the comment/topic only removed its "context" but still visible from their profile, or is it completely removed and no longer visible anywhere?

      Please let me know what you think for those specific questions, as well as any other suggestions or concerns you have about removed posts in general.

      37 votes
    34. Daily Tildes discussion - approaches to self-promotion

      This is a topic that's been brought up a little here and there, but not something we've gone into very formally yet. Specifically, this was prompted by this post today. Not to pick on @nkv too...

      This is a topic that's been brought up a little here and there, but not something we've gone into very formally yet. Specifically, this was prompted by this post today. Not to pick on @nkv too much, but it makes a good example of a user that (so far, at least) has very little activity outside of posting about their own project/business.

      For my personal opinion, when I was a moderator on reddit, the guideline that I would generally use to explain to people that were overly self-promoting was along the lines of: "It's fine to be a redditor with a website, but not a website with a reddit account." When I started working at reddit later, this was included in the "Guidelines for self-promotion on reddit" wiki page (though some Confucius guy stole my credit).

      Reddit doesn't follow those guidelines any more, but I've always thought it was a reasonable way to explain the distinction. Members of the community occasionally posting about their own projects is good (and something we should want to encourage), but we don't want people outside the community coming and trying to just use established communities as a source of traffic.

      What are your thoughts about self-promotion in general? How should we try to determine if someone's activity on the site goes too far into self-promotion territory? If we find people that are over that line, how should it be dealt with?

      42 votes
    35. Daily Tildes discussion - how can we maintain quality without drifting too far into "gatekeeping"?

      The daily discussion from Friday about the site's activity level has been great, with a ton of solid insight, feedback and suggestions from many different people. Today I want to continue...

      The daily discussion from Friday about the site's activity level has been great, with a ton of solid insight, feedback and suggestions from many different people. Today I want to continue discussing one particular theme that came up in there multiple times: a number of people seem to feel like they're not "worthy" of posting on the site, with it seemingly exacerbated by seeing complaints about the quality of other people's posts.

      This is a bit of a tricky thing to balance: we want to try to keep the quality of content on Tildes up, but it can be unwelcoming and discouraging if people feel that they're likely to get berated for posting something that isn't "good enough". By its very nature, being more selective about content means that we have to discourage (or remove) some types of content, but how can we do it in a way that doesn't feel quite so antagonistic to the people submitting?

      A good way of thinking about this is to try to consider it from the submitter's perspective. If you were to post something that wasn't really suitable, how would you like to be informed of that? And (just as importantly), how would you not like to be informed of it?

      As always, all thoughts and suggestions are welcome. Tildes is still going to require a lot of growth, so it's important to figure out how we'll be able to integrate people into the site's culture over time without feeling overly hostile towards new users.

      60 votes
    36. Daily Tildes discussion - thoughts about the site's activity level

      The activity on Tildes has been (mostly) slowly dropping for a while. To be clear up front, it's definitely not doing badly at all and I'm not worried about it—it's still very good for how early...

      The activity on Tildes has been (mostly) slowly dropping for a while. To be clear up front, it's definitely not doing badly at all and I'm not worried about it—it's still very good for how early this is, the fact that the site is invite-only, and that we haven't had a real "burst" of people for almost a month now.

      Just as a point of comparison, saidit.net (a reddit clone that's been trying to get attention and doesn't have restricted registration) has had 9 comments and 3 submissions posted in the last 24 hours. Tildes is far, far better off than that and is already doing better than most community sites ever get to. Here's the last month of stats:

      DateCommentsTopics
      2018-06-13104067
      2018-06-1482769
      2018-06-1583243
      2018-06-1646730
      2018-06-1737731
      2018-06-1882885
      2018-06-1966264
      2018-06-2088382
      2018-06-2192675
      2018-06-2255342
      2018-06-2347937
      2018-06-2428032
      2018-06-2563462
      2018-06-2666648
      2018-06-2769137
      2018-06-2843345
      2018-06-2941558
      2018-06-3029929
      2018-07-0136941
      2018-07-0223936
      2018-07-0335345
      2018-07-0433839
      2018-07-0550131
      2018-07-0648539
      2018-07-0737836
      2018-07-0842228
      2018-07-0944534
      2018-07-1042443
      2018-07-1135237
      2018-07-1229831

      So the numbers are still quite good overall, but there's an obvious downward trend in there. I'd like to talk about what you think is behind this—is it just a bit of a feedback loop, where the activity isn't very high, so people get bored and the activity drops more? Or are there other causes? For those of you that feel like you're drifting away a bit, are there any particular reasons, or anything that would encourage you to participate here more?

      We probably also just need another influx of users before much longer—it's been nice for me to have it a little quieter so I can focus on coding things more than community-management lately, but we're obviously not at the point yet where the activity is self-sustaining. On that note, I haven't given out invite codes for a while, so I've given everyone 5 again. You can get them here (and always, if you need more for a particular reason, just send me a message and let me know): https://tildes.net/invite

      Let me know what you think. There are still quite a few high-priority things that I'm trying to get done in the near future, but if there are other changes we could make to try to help keep the site active, I think they're definitely worth considering.

      81 votes
    37. Daily Tildes discussion - figuring out some early details of the group hierarchy

      This week, I'm trying to focus on the last few pieces needed to finally get the site's code open-sourced (really, I am!). One of those pieces is that we'll need a group on Tildes for discussing...

      This week, I'm trying to focus on the last few pieces needed to finally get the site's code open-sourced (really, I am!). One of those pieces is that we'll need a group on Tildes for discussing development, answering related questions, and so on. The obvious location for this is something like ~tildes.dev, but adding it opens up a few questions related to the group hierarchy in general, so that's what I want to talk about today.

      Currently, we only have one subgroup on the site, this one (~tildes.official). The way it works right now, if you visit or subscribe to ~tildes, you will also see the content from ~tildes.official. You also have the option of going to ~tildes.official directly, so that you see only the content from that group without the posts from its parent group. However, there's no way to see only the content from ~tildes without ~tildes.official. This will become more significant when ~tildes.dev is added, because that group will probably only be interesting to a small group of the site's users—people that are involved in (or interested in) the actual code/development behind the site.

      So now we have a more interesting case, a subgroup that most people looking at the parent probably won't want to see. How should this work in practice? Some more specific questions that might help thinking through it:

      • When someone visits ~tildes, do they see ~tildes.dev posts in there?
      • When someone subscribes to ~tildes, are they automatically subscribed (implicitly or not) to both ~tildes.official and ~tildes.dev?
      • If someone only wants to see the content from ~tildes and ~tildes.official, what sort of process should they need to go through to make that happen?
      • How might these ideas work once the hierarchy gets much larger (for example, imagine a ~games with hundreds of subgroups inside many branches)?

      Any input about the topic is appreciated—try not to worry too much about whether a plan is "perfect", we can always adjust it as the hierarchy actually starts becoming more extensive.

      34 votes
    38. Daily Tildes discussion - please help find omissions from the issue tracker

      I'm continuing to inch closer to finally open-sourcing the site, and one of the aspects of having it open-source is that other people will be able to start contributing fixes/improvements/etc. To...

      I'm continuing to inch closer to finally open-sourcing the site, and one of the aspects of having it open-source is that other people will be able to start contributing fixes/improvements/etc. To keep this process organized, I want to treat the issue tracker as the "definitive source" of what needs to be done, who's working on it, etc. A lot of the existing plans and known issues are already in there, but there are certainly some things missing.

      I'm not expecting anyone to register a GitLab account to help with this, but I'd appreciate it if some of you would take a quick look through the issue tracker (which you don't need an account to do), do some quick searches for features/fixes that you know should be planned, and make sure that they seem to be present: https://gitlab.com/tildes/tildes/issues

      If you notice anything missing (or aren't sure if it's there), please just leave a comment here about it, and I can make updates.

      Thanks, any help is appreciated (and if you have any other general questions about how the open-sourcing/contributions/etc. are going to work, please feel free to ask as well).

      29 votes
    39. Daily Tildes discussion - more filtering options?

      I added topic tag filters a few weeks ago, which should make it so that people can more easily filter out certain types of topics that they're not interested in. How much further should we...

      I added topic tag filters a few weeks ago, which should make it so that people can more easily filter out certain types of topics that they're not interested in.

      How much further should we consider going with filters? Should we allow filtering out posts from certain domains by default? Posts with certain words or phrases in their titles? Other possibilities?

      Is there a point where it's possible to filter out too much, too easily and that starts having negative effects on the site? What do you think?

      28 votes
    40. Daily Tildes discussion - general questions/feedback

      It's been a couple of weeks since we last did a "general" post, so I think it's about time for another one. If there's anything you wanted to ask about or give feedback on but didn't want to start...

      It's been a couple of weeks since we last did a "general" post, so I think it's about time for another one.

      If there's anything you wanted to ask about or give feedback on but didn't want to start a thread about it, feel free. You're always welcome to send me a private message with anything as well, I don't mind at all.

      I know things have been a bit slow for updates over the last couple of weeks, but there's a lot happening in the background. Thanks for your patience with everything, and all the input on everything.

      29 votes
    41. Added a confirmation prompt if you're leaving a page with something "unfinished"

      This has been requested a number of times, sorry for all the lost comments in the meantime. The site should now ask you to confirm if you try to leave a page with an "unfinished" topic, comment,...

      This has been requested a number of times, sorry for all the lost comments in the meantime.

      The site should now ask you to confirm if you try to leave a page with an "unfinished" topic, comment, or message. This includes starting to write new ones, but also covers the forms for editing a post. It should only trigger if you actually make any changes, so if you click "Edit" on a comment/topic, but don't edit it at all (or do, and then change the text back to what it was originally), you shouldn't get a confirmation when you leave the page.

      Please let me know if you notice any issues or strange behaviors with this.

      63 votes
    42. Daily Tildes discussion - how do we make groups feel more like "separate spaces"?

      This is a topic that some of us have started to go into a bit in yesterday's daily discussion, but I think it's worth splitting out and continuing more. I think one cause of people being so...

      This is a topic that some of us have started to go into a bit in yesterday's daily discussion, but I think it's worth splitting out and continuing more. I think one cause of people being so sensitive about content that they think doesn't belong on Tildes is because the site currently feels like one overall shared space, instead of many individual groups that might have their own different types of acceptable content.

      A lot of this is just because the site is so small right now, and will probably gradually change as it grows. Quite a bit probably also comes from the fact that new users are subscribed to all groups automatically, so to them, everything just feels like "part of the site", not really separate groups that they individually opted into.

      What I'd like to discuss is if there are any ways we could help make that separation more clear—should we stop auto-subscriptions to everything soon? Could we try to display posts from different groups in a more distinguished way? Any other ideas for ways to make things feel a bit more "separated", even while the site is small and there will probably be common users across most groups?

      37 votes
    43. Daily Tildes discussion - how can we help people "acclimate" in a friendlier way?

      One of the things I've noticed so far (and there were a couple obvious instances over the weekend) is that we've had a few issues with new users posting content that doesn't really fit some of the...

      One of the things I've noticed so far (and there were a couple obvious instances over the weekend) is that we've had a few issues with new users posting content that doesn't really fit some of the ideas behind Tildes (primarily, trying to focus on higher-quality discussions/content). This in itself isn't a bad thing or surprising, it's always going to happen. However, I think we need to try to think about some better ways to deal with it—it's great to have other community members telling people that it's not really the type of content they should be posting, but sometimes it's been done in a pretty hostile way, which isn't very good and makes the community seem unfriendly even though it's still very small.

      So I'm mostly just looking for general thoughts about how we could try to improve the situation. Are there mechanics that we could implement? Should we try to get "what types of things should I post?" in front of new users more prominently? Could/should we have a "standard" way of dealing with new users posting things without realizing it might not be particularly welcome here?

      Any other ideas or suggestions?

      50 votes
    44. Daily Tildes discussion - minor group updates

      Just a few minor updates to the groups today, mostly as a follow-up to this previous thread: I've renamed ~lifestyle to ~health and changed the description, as requested by a number of people. I...

      Just a few minor updates to the groups today, mostly as a follow-up to this previous thread:

      • I've renamed ~lifestyle to ~health and changed the description, as requested by a number of people. I think the purpose of ~lifestyle was pretty muddled, and I'm going to be moving the non-health-related topics out of there into ~misc or other appropriate groups in a bit.
      • I've updated the "short description" of a number of groups, mostly using suggestions that people wrote in the linked thread (thanks again for doing that).
      • I made a few small style changes to the list of groups page so that it's more obvious which groups you are and aren't subscribed to, since it was quite difficult to tell apart before.

      Discussion-wise, let's just talk a bit more about groups (and feel free to suggest more description updates if you'd like, a lot of them could still use work). Has the switch from ~lifestyle to ~health created new gaps? Are there any topics you've wanted to post about but felt discouraged because there wasn't a group that they fit in?

      25 votes
    45. Daily Tildes discussion - please help write new descriptions for the groups

      Maybe not so much a "discussion" today, but this is something I've been meaning to do for a while and I think it would be good to specifically ask for some input/help. When creating new groups, I...

      Maybe not so much a "discussion" today, but this is something I've been meaning to do for a while and I think it would be good to specifically ask for some input/help. When creating new groups, I wrote quick little descriptions of each of them, but they're not very good. You can see all of the groups and their descriptions here: https://tildes.net/groups

      I'd like to replace some or all of these descriptions to help clarify what types of content goes into each group, so I'd appreciate any suggested new descriptions, especially from people that have been active in those groups and have a good feeling of what does/doesn't belong in them. Even just thoughts on what needs adjusting if you don't want to write something yourself would be great. A few specific things that I know could use clarification, but I'm sure there are more:

      • What's the difference between ~tech and ~comp?
      • What is ~lifestyle for?
      • What distinguishes ~talk compared to just having discussions in all of the other specific-subject groups?

      Thanks, any input (or entirely new descriptions) would be great.

      27 votes
    46. Daily Tildes discussion - how to handle account deletion

      This came up yesterday, and I think it's worth discussing in a little more depth. There isn't currently an account-deletion feature (though I can do it manually on request), but it's going to be...

      This came up yesterday, and I think it's worth discussing in a little more depth.

      There isn't currently an account-deletion feature (though I can do it manually on request), but it's going to be needed in the future. The main thing that probably needs to be decided is what exactly to do with all of the user's posts when they delete their account. If the user was prolific and you wipe out all their posts, it can damage a lot of history. But if you leave their posts up (possibly no longer associated with their username), it means that all of the user's content is now basically "orphaned" and they no longer have control of it even though they posted it.

      I won't go into too much detail about my own thoughts, but I'm curious to hear what you all think of how deletions (and the deleted user's content) should be handled.

      38 votes
    47. Minor text formatting updates

      I've just updated the site's markdown processor a bit to allow a few more HTML tags through, and added a section to the Text Formatting docs page to explain these options. The short form is that...

      I've just updated the site's markdown processor a bit to allow a few more HTML tags through, and added a section to the Text Formatting docs page to explain these options. The short form is that the following formatting is available only by using HTML (some of these may be added with markdown syntax eventually):

      • strikethrough - <del> tag
      • strike replace - <del> and <ins> tags
      • superscript - <sup> tag
      • subscript - <sub> tag
      • Tables - using <table>, <tr>, <th>, and <td>

      I think at this point we should probably have almost all of the wanted formatting available, but there may still be a few missing.

      38 votes
    48. Daily Tildes discussion - starting some moderation

      Alright, this is very late today, but I had some other things to get through first. If you missed it, I locked this topic earlier today (which involved quickly hacking together a lock method...

      Alright, this is very late today, but I had some other things to get through first.

      If you missed it, I locked this topic earlier today (which involved quickly hacking together a lock method because I didn't have one). There was nothing wrong with the subject itself, and some reasonable discussion did happen in it, but overall it was disappointing to see it start devolving into the same old tired arguments, and it was unlikely to go anywhere productive if it had continued. I don't want to focus on that specific post though, and let's (please) try not to turn this thread entirely into a debate about it.

      The thing that I'd rather discuss is that I think this marks the first time I've done any sort of "strong" moderation-like action that wasn't also associated with banning a user (and there have still only been a few of those total). This shouldn't be a shocking or surprising event—introducing some moderation was inevitable if we want to have any hope of maintaining quality, and I'm honestly impressed that we managed to make it a month before it was necessary. From this point, I'm probably going to start doing it a little more (especially as we continue growing), and at least for the near future the actions should mostly be restricted to:

      • re-tagging topics (and I'll give other people the ability to do this as well)
      • editing topic titles
      • moving topics between groups
      • (hopefully rarely) locking topics, or removing topics/comments

      The main thing I'm working on finishing up now is a sort of "topic log" that will show which actions were taken on a topic, and who took them. So for example, once this is deployed, you'll be able to see things like "Deimos added tags x, y, z" or "Deimos changed title to ...".

      So what I'd like to talk about in this thread is just general thoughts on moderation—would you like to see a bit stricter moderation to try to set the bar a bit higher to start? How aggressively should I move topics if I think they don't fit? Do you think we need some sort of global log to list topics that are removed? Opinions on those sorts of questions are welcome, so I can take it all into account as I figure out how I want to approach it.

      62 votes
    49. Daily Tildes discussion - nothing in particular

      It's a bit late on a Friday and I didn't have anything in particular I wanted to bring up today, so let's just use the thread today as a sort of general feedback/questions/discussion area. If...

      It's a bit late on a Friday and I didn't have anything in particular I wanted to bring up today, so let's just use the thread today as a sort of general feedback/questions/discussion area.

      If there's anything you wanted to ask about or give feedback on but didn't want to start a thread about it, feel free. You're always welcome to send me a private message with anything as well, I don't mind at all.

      As always, thanks for being here, and have a good weekend!

      35 votes