I have lots of thoughts about Tildes that I end up forgetting. This post is my attempt to put them to good use. Some of those were already stated elsewhere.
Just to make it very clear: I am extremely happy with the way things are going on Tildes. If that was not the case, instead of drawing criticism I would simply not be here. So, please, let's be civil and avoid taking things personally ;)
I'm also a regular user, so please be gentle with my ignorance regarding the technical reasons why some things are either impossible or unpractical.
1. An Answer To A Common Objection
Some of these suggestions may encounter the following answer: "this should be an extension, not a core feature". To which I might respond:
- Extensions impact performance and it's good practice to keep them at a minimum
- Not everyone uses the same browser.
- Features implemented by the actual developers will probably be of a better quality
2. Golden Rule
Unless explicit or clearly unpractical, all suggestions should be interpreted as to be as optional (and preferably
opt-in) as possible for the user. I'll also make frequent use of the imperative mood: please understand that those are still suggestions. The imperative mood is just more practical. Also, notice that this is not my first language.
3.1 Keyboard Shortcuts
The majority of Tildes users would probably welcome a good set of keyboard shortcuts. I apologize if such keyboard shortcuts already exist: if they do, there should be a page listing them all.
3.1.1 Vim-like and Emacs-like keybindings
There should be Vim-like and Emacs-like (you could choose which one!) keys all around. Even with things like Vimium, not everyone uses them, and a well-thought-out set of keybindings would be extremely beneficial.
This also applies to text fields.
4. Open Calls For Moderators
Right now, I'm not sure what criteria are being used to give someone moderator powers. I think being a developer or contributor is the main criterion, which makes a lot of sense. But other participants might be up to the task, and giving them a chance could be beneficial.
5. Moderation Action Should Always Present Reason
This may seem obvious and even unfair, but I think when a moderator is in no condition to dedicate the time to justify their moderation action (such as locking threads, removing contents or banning users), then the moderator should wait until this condition is met in order to take action.
6. Heated Discussions Should Be Allowed in More Circumstances
I understand Tildes is, and should always be, a place for politeness, even affectionate discussion, but sometimes heated language, including irony and sarcasm, are necessary to stress a point and take the discussion forward. I understand that's a fine line, and that is usually better err on the side of caution, but I also feel the need to caution my fellow Tilders and Tildes administration against excessive moderation, which could stifle the discussion of sensitive subjects
7. There Should Be a Page Explaining How to Collaborate
This page should be short and to the point, with lots of links. I, for instance, wanna collaborate in the documentation, but the information telling how to do so was in a comment I cannot find anymore.
8. Table of Contents
Tildes markdown should support the automated creation of a simple table of contents, which would be very useful for longer posts. Preferably, there should be a limited set of options, such as:
- title of the table of contents ("TOC", "Table of Contents", "Contents" etc)
- numbered vs unnumbered
- depth of the numbering
9. Search own content
I find very hard to search my own content. Sometimes I must reference something I said earlier, or adapt a previous response to a question I already answered. On these occasions, I have to manually
Ctrl+f page after page of my user page, which is tedious and inefficient.
10. Sort my own content
I wish I could sort my own content in the same manner I can with other pages. This would help with item
9, and also help answer faster to comments that were recently made.
I wish it was possible to
op-in desktop notifications for Tildes to show me whenever I get an answer to a thread, a comment or a private message.
Correction: I'm not referring to Email notifications, but desktop notifications. The ones that appear occasionally on your browser or screen.
12. There Should Be Space for Comedy
I'm not saying Tildes should become a place for lazy memes and endless puns, but comedy is valuable content and I don't like the idea of Tildes being a more conversational version of Stack Overflow. I fully agree with @deimos vision for a website for meaningful interactions with a focus on privacy. I just don't think comedy is necessarily a menace to this and all the other Tildes' stated goals. Right now, we're a very serious bunch of folks. There should be a place for humor in Tildes. How would that work? IDK. I leave this open for discussion.
13. Link to Excerpt
It would be awesome being able to link not just to a particular comment, but to a selection of that particular comment. After linking to the excerpt, I would go to the full comment, but the excerpt would be highlighted.
This is more of a collection of thoughts than an article, therefore I cannot offer a proper conclusion. But I'd like to kindly ask my fellow Tilders to give some considerations to my ideas. And please understand that they are not complaints. It's just may to contribute to this great community.