Balloon Juice Site Rebuild – Sneak Peek

[Update at 3:30 Eastern:  I’ll be back at 6pm Eastern time to answer any questions or comments that come in then, or that came in during my afternoon siesta.]

Hey, everyone. WaterGirl here with an update on the site rebuild.

I’ll start with a tiny bit of information about the process. The kickoff meeting with the web developers was just over a week ago on Friday, May 3, and we started the design phase on Monday. The design phase lasts no more than 2 weeks, so it’s a whirlwind! In that time, we decide on all the features and functionality, as well as the look and the overall design, right down to the choice of fonts and exactly where everything will be and what it will look like. The actual programming starts right after that.

So we are in the design phase for just a few more days. Once the programming begins, there’s not a lot of room for adding functionality or changing the look, the fonts, the overall design, or anything, really. So your chance to share your thoughts in a way that could influence the outcome is right now, over the next few days, not once the site goes live.

Maybe you’ll want to know a bit about where we’re coming from? On other political blogs, there has never been a site redesign or site overhaul that I have liked; I always feel like they’ve ruined the blog. So the main goal here was to not do that. First on our spec list to potential developers:

“We don’t want a new DESIGN. We want better functionality. Our primary goal: a speedy, responsive, reliable, aesthetically pleasing site with a reliable commenting system that works consistently, and well — on mobile devices and desktops — with the features outlined in this document.”

What we’re going for here is streamlined and zippy, not flashy with a lot of bells and whistles. We still want it to feel like home, and we’re kind of excited about how it is shaping up. Now we get to find out whether you guys feel that way, too.

So jump in and tell us what you really think, and don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. Oh, wait, this is Balloon Juice, never mind, I’m pretty sure that last part goes without saying. If you prefer to share your thoughts privately, you can send email to BJfestivus at that google mail place. Whichever way you share your thoughts, I promise we will read every word. Scratch that. I can’t speak for John, but I promise I will read every word.

You never want to give up functionality in an upgrade unless there’s a darn good reason, and we’ve tried to stay true to that. So, for example, you’ll still be able to contact a front pager, but you’ll do it in a different way. We are going with email hosting using the balloon-juice.com domain, so instead of a contact form you’ll send email to directly to a front pager using their name. If their name is Humpty Dumpty, you’ll add a dash between the two parts of the name. (Each front pager can choose whether to keep their front pager email separate or to forward it to another account with their personal mail.)

You’ll see that Quick Links is gone, but there’s a floating bar and a category bar and some links that perform the same functions. So take a look and let us know what you think, but please understand that things are moving quickly and there have already been some changes that aren’t reflected in the mockup posted here, such as the reply button, which will always show for each comment even though the mockup indicates that it will only show up if you hover on a comment. And you’ll see that the checkbox to save your nym is on there, but not to worry, nyms etc will be permanent again and the little checkbox will be gone in the next mockup. If we waited to show you the mockup until it’s perfect, we would lose the window for your input.






375 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Looks good!

    As for fonts, well, comic sans is right out!

    ReplyReply
  2. 2

    It looks good to me. So why do I feel this sense of panic? I hate change.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Is there some way to have larger fonts for the mobile version, especially in the comments?

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!) says:

    I like it. Looks like the old, but better! Thanks for the work.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    Shantanu Saha says:

    If John can guarantee that Lily and Thurston will be regular commenters, I’m okay with all of it.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    Betty Cracker says:

    Where is my listing under “Featured Content”? It’s supposed to say: Betty Cracker | Angry Wine Mom Vituperation*

    *Kidding, in case that’s not obvious. You never know around here!

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    stinger says:

    If this is a commitment that Lily and Thurston will be active commenters, I’m good with that!

    ETA: And Shantanu Saha beat me to it!

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    Mr. Mack says:

    Don’t forget to add a feature (any feature, really) for us lurkers.

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I’m probably missing it, since you don’t have enough comments in the mockup to show this, but they’ll be threaded, right?

    ReplyReply
  10. 10

    I know that some valued readers don’t allow JavaScript, so make sure it works adequately for them too!

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    shaun says:

    Please please don’t pull a Booman, truly one of the great redesign bait-and-switches in intertube history. We love you!

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    But props for bringing the balloon man back.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    dnfree says:

    That looks…..impressive! And functional. I did not know that Lily and Thurston could speak (or at least write) Latin.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14

    @Betty Cracker: Right? I want, TaMara (HFG) – Your Blog’s Cruise Director

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Ha!

    The developers made their case for threaded comments. Twice, in fact. But I made it perfectly clear – no threaded comments.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    BeautifulPlumage says:

    Looks cleaner. Will ads still be in the same places: above the banner, between posts, and in the side bar?

    OT: the ads I get on this site are usually hard-right push poll click bait and sports shit. I don’t go to the faux news sites or blogs, so not really sure why that’s what the AI thinks I want. I also don’t sign into the Chrome browser or set preferences there. Is my phone infected?

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @shaun:

    No kidding. It’s awful now.

    As for Balloon Juice, it sounds as though the team is doing things right.

    And I’m thrilled that “Balloon Man” is back!

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    Davebo says:

    Can we go back to blog roll links opening in a new tab?

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    Baud says:

    ; I always feel like they’ve ruined the blog. So the main goal here was to not do that. 

    Too late for that.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Seconded. Remember that many of us who read on mobile are middle-aged and can’t read tiny letters.

    At this point, the site has gotten bad enough on my aging iPad that I will welcome almost anything that saves my nym and doesn’t randomly reload the page while I’m in the middle of typing a comment, when it loads the page at all.

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    WaterGirl says:

    @BeautifulPlumage: The thinking going forward is to have fewer and smarter ads, and no autoplay ads — enough to pay for the blog and web hosting, which is not cheap — but not so many ads that the site is essentially unusable, as it has been for many of us. The proof will be in the pudding, but that’s the plan.

    The conversations about ad placement will begin once we move out of the design phase into the building phase, but I know from the developer selection phase that our web developers do not care for top banner ads. Yay!

    Their philosophy is that you can get better results with say, just one ad per page, than with a million. No auto-play ads.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    stinger says:

    Layout: I like the design tip to toe — banner to pie filter! Clean and clearly organized. Thank you so much for not ruining it with that ghastly chock-a-block layout everyone seems to be going to.

    Content: Nice to see the categories identified for the right column. I’d love it if On the Road could be one of the tabs or a Featured Content link.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I want to thank everyone who is selflessly subjecting themselves to the pile of abuse that will be forthcoming. I am on my phone at my parents’ house, so I will wait until I get home and have a chance to really look at the new stuff before I start complaining.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Mnemosyne: Another set of old eyes here. Still looking for a pair of readers that work.

    The mock-up hardly looks different at all, which is the highest compliment I can think of. Continue apace!

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    Yutsano says:

    I’m going to treat this like every Doctor who sees a new TARDIS:

    “You’ve redecorated! I don’t like it!”

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    Baud says:

    What will appear on hover?

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @Davebo: The blog roll is something that Cole did not want to keep in the new design. Either the blog roll is so big that it no longer serves its purpose or it’s out of date, and we end up with the same result.

    Is that something that will be missed?

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    CaseyL says:

    Looks terrific! “Like the old, but better” is an excellent plan, and it looks like you did it.

    Also happy to see Balloon Man again :)

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    zhena gogolia says:

    Glad to see Balloon Man back.

    Just don’t give us Purple People-Eater avatars.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: No, I at least will be just fine without it.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    Mary G says:

    I like having a link to Balloon Juice ActBlue right up front like that.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jerzy Russian: @Mnemosyne: re: font size on mobile devices.

    There is one site design, and that gets ported to mobile devices and scales automatically. I assume that will be done appropriately, and I have mentioned several times that we don’t have a lot of 20-year old eyes on this site and that things have to be readable.

    We will have the same functionality on desktops and mobile devices, but where you find that functionality will differ between desktop and mobile. For instance, items that are in the floating bar at the very top will be accessed with the 3 lines at the top on a mobile device.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    jeffreyw says:

    floating bar and a category bar and some links that perform the same functions

    If that is going to be a “sticky” bar, a thing that stays visible while scrolling, I say kill it with fire.
    Kill Sticky!

    ReplyReply
  35. 35

    @WaterGirl: Thank you! I like the zigging and zagging conversations we have.

    Also I like having “recent comments” back. That’s how I kept track of where people were posting.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    People really shouldn’t be getting out of the boat.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Hungry Joe says:

    When it rolls out, I’m sure that over the course of about a week I’ll march through the same set of reactions I always do:

    1) What IS this? I hate it.
    2) Okay, I’m getting used to it.
    3) It’s always looked like this, right?

    ReplyReply
  38. 38

    @Omnes Omnibus: Great News Omnes, there are threaded comments.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    We will be doing serious testing before rollout, so if there is an issue with size on mobile devices — which I don’t expect — it will be dealt with the before the rollout.

    We will have another thread in the next day or two where I will ask for volunteers for *testing. More on that later, but we hope to have testers who have more than one device — or use more than one browser — so each tester can compare what things look like in different environments.

    * No jackals will be harmed in the testing.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Ian R says:

    @jeffreyw: Strongly agree. Sticky/floating bars always stay right where my eyes want to be focused while reading. It’s infuriating!

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Agreed on both.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    If we can keep some form of M^4’s add-on scroll buttons, that would be ideal. Long comment thread + reading on a phone = a giant PITA trying to check for new comments at the end of the thread.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43

    @Baud: We gonna need a bigger boat.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud:

    What will appear on hover?

    Subliminal text that says “We love you, Baud!” but it will come and go so quickly that you will never see in with the naked eye, but you will come away feeling refreshed and happy.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    JaySinWA says:

    @WaterGirl: I am Balloon Juice, your blog, you shall have no other blogs before me.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Should I start precomplaining?

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    geg6 says:

    Balloon Man! As long as he’s here, I’m fine.

    That said, no Lexicon?

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Sebastian says:

    Sooooo, no threaded comments?

    I think I need to tell the blogmaster via email to implement this feature. Lemme turn on ALL CAPS. Be right back folks.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It’s about time.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    WaterGirl says:

    @zhena gogolia: The developers offered the option of having avatars, and I think there is a very good chance that I actually snorted with laughter before I mentioned the Avatar Sunday that will live forever in our memories. (I didn’t even tell Cole that they offered avatars as an option, so please don’t tell him.)

    Cole isn’t even keeping his blue-colored comments in the site rebuild because he wants everyone to be on equal footing in the comments.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    karen marie says:

    I am a happy camper – everything I use is staying the same, and the “save your info” thingy is promised to be fixed. As for the font size – if I am on my tablet I can make it bigger by touching w two fingers and pull out, so it’s not ever an issue for me. I will look later from my laptop but I don’t expect any complaints will come up.

    I will miss the tags. Even though I never look at the aggregated content through them, they often make me laugh.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    When did Cole become a commie?

    ReplyReply
  54. 54

    @Omnes Omnibus: Of course, it’s Balloon Juice.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    Davebo says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Not by myself really. It’s demise may be a savior as I’ll no longer be temped to see that GGreenwald is spouting today.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
  57. 57
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mary G:

    I like having a link to Balloon Juice ActBlue right up front like that.

    Thanks for bringing that up!

    That one area on the right is something that will change according to what’s happening. If we’re doing the BJ calendar, that will open in a new tab that provides all the information about deadlines, how to send in your photos, how to order the calendar, etc.

    If we had had this feature last year, we would have put Leto’s GoFundMe up there. At hot election times, we’ll have the BJ Act Blue link.

    How do you guys feel about that?

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    karen marie says:

    @WaterGirl: That’s kind of too bad. I like our host’s comments being highlighted. They’re so rare, I am afraid I will miss seeing them.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59

    @WaterGirl:

    Cole isn’t even keeping his blue-colored comments in the site rebuild because he wants everyone to be on equal footing in the comments.

    The colored comments for Cole were nice, you could always tell when got of the Twitter machine and grace us with his presence.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    WaterGirl says:

    @jeffreyw: uh oh.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    karen marie says:

    @WaterGirl: Excellent.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Why not?

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If we can keep some form of M^4’s add-on scroll buttons, that would be ideal. Long comment thread + reading on a phone = a giant PITA trying to check for new comments at the end of the thread.

    That’s what the up and down arrows are for in the floating bar at the top.

    Right now, you should be able to see the “previous post” and “next post” arrows on the side. Yes?

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    debbie says:

    I like the cleanness of the design. I worry about serif headlines and how they render on different devices. Could the text font be a skosh larger? Will one have access to all threads or will we have to click on each category in the bar up top to see what all is going on?

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    germy says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Thank you WaterGirl and everyone for the work you’re doing on this blog. I appreciate this place.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    trollhattan says:

    Speed and stability are their own rewards and I’m wholly in favor of all improvements there. As to the clean and simple mockup, I’ll only note that with the dominance of 16:9 and even wider aspect-ratio monitors and diplays, be very stingy with banner height because Y-axis real estate is precious.

    Carry on!

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    JaySinWA says:

    You do remember you promised that refreshing the page would bring you back to the last comment you were on, not some random location based on how many images or tweets were in the post? Speaking of tweets and images, does commenter equality address the ability of front pagers to do magic in their comments while us plebs can’t?

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    randy khan says:

    The willow is too close to the front page.

    Seriously, it looks pretty good. I like clean designs.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    WaterGirl says:

    @geg6:

    That said, no Lexicon?

    Of course we have the Lexicon. Look at the floating bar at the top:
    About Us
    Lexicon
    Contact
    Our Store
    Up arrow
    Down arrow

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: So BJ is like a collective?

    @WaterGirl:

    It’s scary out there, and there are strange ideas.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    Raven says:

    We’re a couple hours from home and are both whipped!

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    debbie says:

    @germy:

    Yes, I forgot to thank everyone who has been involved with this. It can’t be easy.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73

    @WaterGirl: floating bars take up valuable real estate on mobile layouts; combined with some people’s large text settings it can make sites pretty hard to use. If you’re considering hiding the top bar on mobile then you’d need a different place for the arrows, which are really more of a mobile feature anyway.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    debbie says:

    @Raven:

    Sick of fish yet? ;)

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    joel hanes says:

    You’re doing fine work. Thanks.

    Is the funding still adequate, or do we need to donate again to fairly compensate the team for this professional effort ?

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    SRW1 says:

    After the re-vamp this blog is gonna climb into the top 5,000 fer sure. Just kidding, godspeed to all blog workers!

    ReplyReply
  77. 77

    @trollhattan:

    be very stingy with banner height because Y-axis real estate is precious.

    They said there’d be no math.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    WaterGirl says:

    @karen marie:

    As for the font size – if I am on my tablet I can make it bigger by touching w two fingers and pull out, so it’s not ever an issue for me. I will look later from my laptop but I don’t expect any complaints will come up.

    Thanks for mentioning this. In the olden days when we had two options for mobile devices (desktop version and mobile version) you could only spread your fingers to make text bigger if you had selected the desktop version for your mobile device. If you chose the mobile version, you couldn’t do the finger spreading thing.

    When the (then potential) developers first said they use a single design so using the desktop version on a mobile device would not be an option, I was slightly horrified until I asked if we would be able to do the finger spreading thing on mobile devices and they said “of course”.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    Luthe says:

    @geg6: The Lexicon is in the menu bar at the very top between “About Us” and “Contact.”

    I’m not in favor of anything that only appears on hover, as that’s the sort of thing that’s impossible to idiot-proof and will quickly lead to grief.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    Baud says:

    We should have a captcha to keep the bots out.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Another Scott says:

    Looks good. Thanks for your efforts on this.

    I think we’ve discussed the following before, but I don’t recall the status:

    How much HTML will we be able to include? Has anything changed there? (E.g. snark font?)

    Comment Preview?

    How many links per post? Has that changed (from, what is it now, 5?)?

    On the mobile site, will we have the left/right Previous/Next Post flyout buttons? (I don’t see them on Android – maybe there’s not an easy way to do that since it’s not easy to hover a finger over a button.) If flyout buttons can’t be done, can you add L/R buttons along with the existing 4 arrow buttons? On the mobile site, will we have a Refresh button (it’s a pain to have to scroll back up to the top to refresh the page looking for new posts/comments) along with the existing 4 arrow buttons?

    On the L/R flyout buttons, is there any way to (somehow) have a counter to indicate whether there are new replies without having to actually click on it and see the page (e.g. some reply counter that is updated and displayed without having to refresh and display the page)? It might take some load of the database and reduce data consumption for those paying for data on their phones. (There must be some way to do it as Twitter updates their new post counter without refreshing the whole page.)

    Thanks again!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    JaySinWA says:

    @trollhattan: I don’t usually look at general web stuff on my phone, but when I do, it is usually in portrait mode not landscape. It’s more comfortable for me to hold that way. I’ll flip it if I need to see landscape photos, otherwise it’s y-axis is longer than x

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    WaterGirl says:

    @karen marie:

    I will miss the tags. Even though I never look at the aggregated content through them, they often make me laugh.

    I think you might be thinking of the CATEGORIES, not TAGS. A few years ago Cole had a rant about the fucking tags which I feel certain included the words “god dammit!” where he decreed that front pagers should stop using tags. So most of them did stop using them, but Adam and Cheryl started posting long after that so they never got the memo.

    Judging by the tags that were currently in use, it seems like they have mostly fallen out of use by the front pagers who were here for the rant.

    We had 2,025 tags (!) and my favorites were the 67 tags that someone had taken the time to create, but were never used! :-)

    As I deleted the tags, I will confess that the only one that was truly difficult to delete was the “We’ll Do it Live!” tag. The only reason I was able to see well enough to delete that through the tears in my eyes was that it hadn’t been named “Fuck it, We’ll Do it Live!”.

    Categories are staying, but they will be greatly reduced from the 400 we have now.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    Silvery says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I really like the arrows, and mostly use them on my mobile devices as you say. It’s a feature that would be greatly missed. Overall I’m very excited about the new build, looks great!

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    WaterGirl says:

    @karen marie: If you all start picketing for the return of Cole’s blue comments, I’m sure Cole would take it under advisement.

    That’s what this feedback opportunity is for — if you miss something that’s gone or desperately want something to be added, this is your moment to speak up.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    geg6 says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Ah, thanks! Did not see that.

    I now pronounce myself perfectly happy.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Baud says:

    I’m on a limited data plan, so anything that reduces the size of a web page would be appreciated.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    WaterGirl says:

    @trollhattan: Good point about the banner size. That has been discussed with the developers and the banner is staying, but we’ll see what it looks like on phones once the site is in actual development.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    trollhattan says:

    @JaySinWA:
    Admit I use the desktop and not mobile site when looking with my phone. Hopefully the new mobile site design will be robust enough to end that, because the text is pretty teeny tiny.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    p.a. says:

    I can adapt to new design, but what I have seen the last year + is interminable load times with iPad Safari (prolly 85% of my online time here) compared to my android phone, windows laptop, and late, lamented iMac $2k currently-just-a-paperweight. All using my fios wifi connection. Video ads are the issue I believe. Pls make it better 🛠🔧

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    WaterGirl says:

    @JaySinWA:

    You do remember you promised that refreshing the page would bring you back to the last comment you were on, not some random location based on how many images or tweets were in the post?

    The developers laughed when they read that requirement in the specs, and I explained that we are taking nothing for granted. We were super explicit with the specs. I have been around the block, and I don’t want to risk hearing “but that wasn’t in the specs” even if it’s something we should take for granted.

    Speaking of tweets and images, does commenter equality address the ability of front pagers to do magic in their comments while us plebs can’t?

    Hell no. :-)

    Can you imagine what this place would look like if we all got to post photos and twitter feeds in-line?

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    Plato says:

    I hope the mobile version reverts back to thread titles only in the FP and all the contents inside for easy navigation.

    Also, too, please get rid of the following download that appears in FP and in every thread.

    bWCjyqIK-3451682.mp4

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    JaySinWA says:

    @trollhattan: True, IFRCC the desktop site was impossible to use in portrait mode.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    currants says:

    @germy: Hear, here!

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    joel hanes says:

    You know, as a moderately active commentator who completely blocks ads but who donates to compensate, what’d I’d kinda like is a sort of quarterly report, or invoice: B-J costs X dollars/month to run, cost per reader-hour is Y dollars, joel hanes reads B-J and comments (some ungodly number of) hours in an average month, therefore joel hanes’s fair share of the revenues is Z dollars/mo.

    As it is, I have no idea if my irregular contributions are actually sufficient to defray the revenue I’m denying Cole by using an ad blocker/

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I am not afraid! Of course, I have always felt like there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity.

    I have had more than one person warn me about the risks of being involved with the site rebuild, and it may be high risk, but it’s also high reward to be able to help keep BJ from looking like we’re on the busy Vegas strip with flashing signs and too much going on. But it turns out that Cole hates that look just as much, so we are safe from that.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    joel hanes says:

    I like Cole’s blue comment format.
    I even like some of his comments.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    KithKanan says:

    @WaterGirl: I’ll be honest and say I’ll miss the blogroll – mainly because when I’m lazy and browsing with just my wireless mouse and the keyboard is somewhere out of reach, opening my most recent balloon juice tab is how I then get to most of the other blogs I read.

    I don’t think my laziness justifies the screen real estate for the feature though.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    JaySinWA says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Speaking of tweets and images, does commenter equality address the ability of front pagers to do magic in their comments while us plebs can’t?

    Hell no. :-)

    Can you imagine what this place would look like if we all got to post photos and twitter feeds in-line?

    You could always take it away from front pagers:-}
    Inline tweets seem to be a major page paint issue.

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Floating bars take up valuable real estate on mobile layouts; combined with some people’s large text settings it can make sites pretty hard to use. If you’re considering hiding the top bar on mobile then you’d need a different place for the arrows, which are really more of a mobile feature anyway.

    Everything in the floating bar will be in the 3 lines positioned top right on mobile phones, so those items will not take up valuable real estate on mobile layouts. I think that is a fine location for the up and down arrows on mobile, but if you want to explain why that might not be the case, I am all ears.

    it’s likely that the right/left arrows will also end up in the floating bar, and even though things are moving fast, we’re not quite at that point yet.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101

    @joel hanes:

    I even like some of his comments.

    Let’s not get carried away here.

    ReplyReply
  102. 102

    @JaySinWA:

    You could always take it away from front pagers:-}

    As far as I can tell, I no longer have the ability, so maybe they did already.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    WaterGirl says:

    @joel hanes: I’ll check with Cole on the status of funding. The developers are not cheap, that’s for sure. I am free, but for the record, I am not cheap. :-)

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    joel hanes says:

    @KithKanan:

    when I’m … browsing with just my wireless mouse and the keyboard is somewhere out of reach

    Bookmark/favorite folders are your friends.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    KithKanan says:

    @WaterGirl: Please make sure you see how the banner looks on mobile phones in both portrait and landscape orientation. I read in landscape while I’m at lunch with my phone propped up on the back of my bookstyle case and sites with 2/3 of my screen taken up by floating header and footer are a real annoyance.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    dmsilev says:

    Looks pretty good, though I’d love to see a phone-sized mockup as well. The real question in my mind will be how well the back-end hamster-wheels hold up to the strain.

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    matt says:

    Smart insight that most progressive sites seem to ruin themselves with their redesigns (washington monthly, booman tribune).

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    WaterGirl says:

    @SRW1:

    After the re-vamp this blog is gonna climb into the top 5,000 fer sure. Just kidding, godspeed to all blog workers!

    Actually, I haven’t mentioned this here because I didn’t want to depress anyone when we’re already struggling with the current events in our government, but…

    Balloon Juice was a nearly top 10,000 blog, but it dropped to more like top 20,000 after all the ad issues and we lost the permanent nyms. Totally hoping that if we do the site rebuild right, we will soon be back up to top 10,000 or higher.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    JaySinWA says:

    What is the purpose of the Facebook and Twitter Icons at the bottom of the page?

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    I likey.
    But other than operational I’ve had few complaints.
    The longest I’ve lived in any one place is 10 yrs, the shortest less than one. I may be more use to my surroundings changing than some others. What’s important is not as much what it looks like as how comfortable a place feels. This place is comfortable. OK sometimes one has to change rooms because of the noise but still, it’s a comfortable place. The new looks like it will provide the same level. On to the hard part. Making it work.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    frosty says:

    Haven’t read the previous comments yet, but Booman messed up his site by categorizing posts instead of letting them flow chronologically. I hope the intent of “politics, open thread etc” isn’t going to do that. I like having them all mixed up.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112

    @WaterGirl: it sounds like it’ll be taking up three lines of valuable real estate then, unless I’m misreading you. On some devices this will mean that you can’t even see the whole comment text box once you start typing. I have a big phone and I only have about eight lines of wiggle room once the keyboard’s open.

    That said, if it adds the left/right arrows to the mobile layout, it might be a good tradeoff! Just make sure to test it on smaller devices (or by spoofing something like an iPhone 6 via browser plugin).

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    KithKanan says:

    @joel hanes: They’re friends I take for granted. I need to clean mine up as they mostly consist of webcomics I last regularly read circa 2004.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    WaterGirl says:

    I have to say that I am totally excited to have reached 100+ comments and so far no one has raised anything that we haven’t already thought about.

    Except for JefferyW’s hate of sticky bars, and I am hoping that wasn’t serious, but I would like to know if it is.

    @jeffreyw:

    If that is going to be a “sticky” bar, a thing that stays visible while scrolling, I say kill it with fire.

    The sticky bar shouldn’t affect anything on the desktop version – are you talking about mobile or desktop?

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    Ruckus says:

    @JaySinWA:
    They take you to the BJ FB/John’s Twit pages.

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    Luthe says:

    Oh! I forgot a very important phone related issue. If I have B-J up on my phone and leave it be for a minute or two, my phone will not automatically go to sleep like it does whenever I leave any other site/app open. This is not a big deal when I am distracted for a few minutes, but if I am pulled away for awhile it eats battery like a mofo. Can this be fixed?

    Also, any refresh of the page = a new page where my browser history is concerned. Not totally annoying on the front page, but a pain when reading and refreshing threads and then wanting to go out front again.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud:

    We should have a captcha to keep the bots out.

    One of the potential developers planned to use recatcha before posting every single comment. But not the developer that was chosen.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    Another Scott says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think she means a “Hamberder” icon (3 line segments stacked), not 3 lines of text.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    eemom says:

    John Cole / Blog Owner

    I want BlogLord. #pout

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    MattF says:

    One thing that I keep bumping into is my inability to do cut-and-paste on mobile sites. Of course, this is my problem, but I suspect it’s a pretty common disability, and I wonder if any smart person has found a solution to it.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @WaterGirl: I can currently use the fingers to make the fonts larger on the phone, but then the text runs off the edges. So to read the comment I would need to scroll back and forth. Right now, the two finger thing is like using a magnifying glass to see a small part of the item, in this case a comment.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    frosty says:

    @WaterGirl: To answer your question, it won’t be missed. I don’t care about the blog roll. I didn’t know we have one not.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123

    @Another Scott: ohhh, that makes more sense, although unless it’s floated over the page content then the same issue applies.

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    Raven says:

    @debbie: not sick of it, vacay is over. This will be my last one before l retire and it looks like I’ll use up a month of accumulated leave by hanging it up 9/3 and get payed for Oct. They really hammer you if you take the cash for annual leave so I’ll defer the rest. I have nearly a year of sick leave and they add that to your total.

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    J R in WV says:

    So…

    We’re gonna have to learn Latin, again, right!?!

    Si auctoritates patronorum in iudiciis valent, ab amplissimis viris L. Corneli causa defensa est; si usus, a peritissimis; si ingenia, ab eloquentissimis; si studia, ab amicissimis et cum beneficiis cum L. Cornelio tum maxima familiaritate coniunctis. Quae sunt igitur meae partes? Auctoritatis tantae quantam vos in me esse voluistis, usus mediocris, ingeni minime voluntati paris. Nam ceteris a quibus est defensus hunc debere plurimum video; ego quantum ei debeam, alio loco; principio orationis hoc pono, me omnibus qui amici fuerint saluti et dignitati meae, si minus referenda gratia satis facere potuerim, praedicanda et habenda certe satis esse facturum. Quae fuerit hesterno die Cn. Pompei gravitas in dicendo, iudices, quae facultas, quae copia, non opinione tacita vestrorum animorum, sed perspicua admiratione declarari videbatur. Nihil enim umquam audivi quod mihi de iure subtilius dici videretur, nihil memoria maiore de exemplis, nihil peritius de foederibus, nihil inlustriore auctoritate de bellis, nihil de re publica gravius, nihil de ipso modestius, nihil de causa et crimine ornatius: ut mihi iam verum videatur illud esse quod non nulli litteris ac studiis doctrinae dediti quasi quiddam incredibile dicere putabantur, ei qui omnis animo virtutes penitus comprehendisset omnia quae faceret . Quae enim in L. Crasso potuit, homine nato ad dicendi singularem quandam facultatem, si hanc causam ageret, maior esse ubertas, varietas, copia quam fuit in eo qui tantum potuit impertire huic studio temporis quantum ipse a pueritia usque ad hanc aetatem a continuis bellis et victoriis conquievit? Quo mihi difficilior est hic extremus perorandi locus. Etenim ei succedo orationi quae non praetervecta sit auris vestras, sed in animis omnium penitus insederit, ut plus voluptatis ex recordatione illius orationis quam non modo ex mea, sed ex cuiusquam oratione capere possitis. Sed mos est gerundus non modo Cornelio, cuius ego voluntati in eius periculis nullo modo deesse possum, sed etiam Cn. Pompeio, qui sui facti, sui iudici, sui benefici voluit me esse, ut apud eosdem vos, iudices, nuper in alia causa fuerim, et praedicatorem et actorem.

    I was just getting good at that when my Latin teacher accused me of cheating, somehow, sitting right in front of her desk. Straight Cs first year, CBA second year first semester, BAA last semester. I forget when she accused me.

    It was a 7 am class to make time for band in afternoons, and I sat down right in front of her to stay awake. “I don’t know how you’re doing it, but I know you are cheating, and I will see you expelled!” No, I wasn’t, I didn’t care enough to cheat, didn’t believe in cheating, denied it, went on to make more As while she watched me like a hawk. Hoping I drove her crazier by making As while she watched!

    I am willing to re learn Latin to keep commenting here. Tho I’m not that crazy about Cicero…

    Also, no hover revealed tricks, please.

    I had what I believed to be a good idea for the redesign, but I didn’t have room to write it down in the margin of my text and have now forgotten it!!!

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  126. 126

    How about the back room? New WordPress editing?

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @MattF:

    One thing that I keep bumping into is my inability to do cut-and-paste on mobile sites.

    On my phone, I can touch a piece of text and hold down. That text is highlighted in light blue, with two dots (upper left and lower right). I can drag those buttons to cover the text that I want. There is a menu that pops up, and I select “copy”. In the comment box, I push down and hold, then a menu pops up, and I select “paste”. I prefer to use the laptop to cut and paste, but my phone (iPhone 6S) does give that minimal functionality.

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  128. 128
    KithKanan says:

    @Major Major Major Major I swear it didn’t used to be this bad even on this device, but modern trends in web design and mobile OS UI design really aren’t doing me any favors in landscape mode.

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    Barbara says:

    It looks good but then I am used to improvising workarounds for balky devices. My toaster oven is currently closed by way of a coat hanger, and my dryer has been working for the last five years with a pen jammed into the start button. I’ll deal with whatever you come up with.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    germy says:

    The new design is so handsome I’ll want to wear a jacket and tie while lurking and commenting here.

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott:

    How much HTML will we be able to include? Has anything changed there? (E.g. snark font?)

    I had not thought of the snark font. Is that something people care about?

    Comment Preview? – that is on the spec list.

    How many links per post? Has that changed (from, what is it now, 5?) – I think we are at 5 now, including @reply. Does anything think we should have more than that? I can ask the developer whether that would have an impact on site speed.

    On the mobile site, will we have the left/right Previous/Next Post flyout buttons? (I don’t see them on Android – maybe there’s not an easy way to do that since it’s not easy to hover a finger over a button.) If flyout buttons can’t be done, can you add L/R buttons along with the existing 4 arrow buttons? On the mobile site, will we have a Refresh button (it’s a pain to have to scroll back up to the top to refresh the page looking for new posts/comments) along with the existing 4 arrow buttons?

    Yes to left right fly-out buttons on mobile.
    Refresh button for mobile was on the spec list. We haven’t specifically gotten to that yet, but my thought was that it would go in the floating bar.

    re: the 4 top/bottom buttons. Definitely keeping the “all the way to the top” and “all the way to the bottom” buttons. Discussed with the developers last week whether the the middle buttons (up a tiny bit and down a tiny bit) are even used by anyone. I have certainly never used them – is that something you guys use a lot on a mobile device?

    On the L/R flyout buttons, is there any way to (somehow) have a counter to indicate whether there are new replies without having to actually click on it and see the page (e.g. some reply counter that is updated and displayed without having to refresh and display the page)? It might take some load of the database and reduce data consumption for those paying for data on their phones. (There must be some way to do it as Twitter updates their new post counter without refreshing the whole page.)

    I asked for a counter so we would know how many new comments before refreshing the page. The developer is big on ads that are related solely to PAGE VIEWS rather than clicks on ads — so every time we refresh to see more comments, another penny goes in the jar for Balloon Juice. (so to speak) So I dropped the request.

    Thoughts on that?

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  132. 132
    germy says:

    @WaterGirl:

    One of the potential developers planned to use recatcha before posting every single comment. But not the developer that was chosen.

    Thank you again.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    J R in WV says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I will ask for volunteers for *testing. More on that later, but we hope to have testers who have more than one device — or use more than one browser — so each tester can compare what things look like in different environments.

    I volunteer, I use Firefox on Linux, also can use Chrome on Linux and on my Android tablet. No windows boxen for any purpose, so glad to drop MS like a hot rock day I retired!

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  134. 134
    Immanentize says:

    @J R in WV: Did she think you were cheating because you were good at the topic she herself was teaching? Oh my teachers can be dense.
    PS Or was this a Catholic school and cheating/sinning was the teacher’s first motivational tool?

    ReplyReply
  135. 135
    WaterGirl says:

    @WaterGirl: We are planning to add more html options above the comment bar, so if anyone wants to nominate items for that, jump right in.

    i asked for strike for sure, and maybe a couple more than that, but the discussion of which exact html options doesn’t need to happen in the 2 weeks of design – that’s definitely something that can be added during development.

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  136. 136
    Ruckus says:

    @matt:
    I think that a lot of sites, as they grow and age, bring in outsiders to rebuild. And the outsiders seem to like the latest shinny new thing. So what ends up is different than before and often seems to be designed by a committee that doesn’t talk to each other and for sure doesn’t use the site. It’s shinny new code and shut up – pay up.
    One would think that driving away viewers might not be productive but that doesn’t seem to be considered.

    ReplyReply
  137. 137
    Immanentize says:

    @WaterGirl: I agree with Germy. Thank you for choosing the non-captcha developers. AI is now as good as humans. The captacha wars will continue until you have to write in longhand cursive and mail your comments via the USPostal service.

    Also, just thank you for all your work — and that of the whole team.

    ReplyReply
  138. 138
    J R in WV says:

    @Baud:

    We should have a captcha to keep the bots out.

    NoNONONOno.

    Well. Maybe for first time posters, but I comment too much for that shit! hates it so much! Does that tiny thumbnail have a stop light in the background??? No one knows!!!

    Plus bots are fun to hate on! Wait. Was that snark???? Baud, you devil!!!

    ReplyReply
  139. 139
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud:

    I’m on a limited data plan, so anything that reduces the size of a web page would be appreciated.

    We have definitely got that covered! The month that I would read BJ on my phone will waiting for PT to start after I broke my ankle cost me 80 fucking dollars in extra data charges. (yes, I was crabby about that)

    Our current homepage is ~ 11x bigger than is recommended. Totally not slagging on Alain and Major Major; it’s exactly what you could expect from a site that has so many changes over the decades. i describe it as being held together with silly putty and string.

    ReplyReply
  140. 140
    Chacal Charles Calthrop says:

    where’s the right-hand link to John’s twitter feed?

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    Immanentize says:

    @WaterGirl: I like to use strike occasionally, but I would use underline more.

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    Another Scott says:

    @WaterGirl: The floating bar on mobile sounds like a good compromise, but I hope it doesn’t get in the way. E.g. on my Android phone, if I’m running Google Maps, when I hit the Square button to see the list of running Apps (say, to send a SMS text), the Map shrinks to a PiP mode (by default) at the lower-right corner – just in the perfect position to block seeing the bottom SMS/keyboard in my texting app. So I had to move the mini-map out of the way to do anything. Every.single.time. I finally got sick of it and turned off PiP mode for Maps.

    Can the floating-bar remember its position if it’s moved? One probably wants it away from the right margin (to have access to the scroll bar), but one doesn’t want it in the way of reading either. It might be tough to find something that everyone can accept.

    I’m disappointed about the No Counter thing, but understand.

    Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  143. 143
    jeffreyw says:

    @trollhattan:

    I’ll only note that with the dominance of 16:9 and even wider aspect-ratio monitors and displays, be very stingy with banner height because Y-axis real estate is precious.

    Hear! Hear!

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  144. 144
    germy says:

    @J R in WV:
    Let the bots come. Jackals here would have them in tears within minutes.

    ReplyReply
  145. 145
    WaterGirl says:

    @p.a.: Pretty sure we’ll have you covered in the rebuild.

    We are also changing our web hosting from Hosting Matters, who has treated BJ well over the years, to being hosted by our web developers. The web developers only host servers that they have designed/built — they don’t offer web hosting for anyone else — so by definition they have a big stake in the performance of their sites.

    Developing + hosting the sites they develop allows them to be certain that all the pieces are playing nicely together.

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  146. 146
    germy says:

    @Immanentize:

    I would use underline more.

    The italics function works as underline for me.

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  147. 147
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Under “link,” could you just get rid of the http:// that currently populates the box? Just about every bad link is because of an inadvertently doubled http://

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  148. 148

    @WaterGirl:

    Our current homepage is ~ 11x bigger than is recommended. Totally not slagging on Alain and Major Major

    Good, since we’ve expressed the same complaint for years :)

    @germy: that’s probably a browser-specific failover you’re seeing. The element you get by clicking ‘i’ is ‘em,’ which technically doesn’t actually specify how to render it.

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  149. 149
    Isobel says:

    Please bring back the ability to see tweets within the original article in Feedly reader instead of having to click through to the actual site.

    ReplyReply
  150. 150
    Immanentize says:

    @germy: I know that is the text actual substitute, but underlining still provides an visual emphasis that italics does not add because the latter makes the font look smaller, proportionately.

    ReplyReply
  151. 151
    jeffreyw says:

    @Another Scott:

    Comment Preview?

    That has my vote, as well.

    ReplyReply
  152. 152
    tobie says:

    Thank you, WaterGirl and the whole site design team. This looks like such a sensible update to our beloved blog. (That Thurston and Lily write posts in Latin is an extra bonus.)

    ReplyReply
  153. 153
    WaterGirl says:

    @Plato:

    I hope the mobile version reverts back to thread titles only in the FP and all the contents inside for easy navigation.

    Also, too, please get rid of the following download that appears in FP and in every thread.
    bWCjyqIK-3451682.mp4

    Because there is just one design, I am not sure whether mobile will show just thread tiles on the front page or whether it will show the 5-7 lines of text that will show with a thumbnail on the new BJ front page in the rebuild. The front page will get its own BJ thread on Monday so you guys can see it and provide input on that then.

    As for the annoying download, the site is being rebuilt from scratch and I can’t imagine any reason why something like that would still be in there. Speak up right away, though, with the rebuild if you see anything wonky like that.

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  154. 154
    satby says:

    I likey! Especially now that reply isn’t a “hover to appear”.

    ReplyReply
  155. 155
    Immanentize says:

    @Another Scott:

    the Map shrinks to a PiP mode

    Youtube does the same thing — such a damn annoying placement

    ReplyReply
  156. 156

    @WaterGirl: Overall nicely done.

    I agree with trollhatten about being mindful of banner height. For mobile, I’d take a look at doing a “scroll and lock” collapse version of the header — i.e. one that scrolls upward, but locks a portion of the header to the top of the screen. In this case, it would be nav bar below the balloon man graphic. Although it should also have a home button/icon of some sort.

    The only other big issues I see are the blockquote and buttons need more contrast to meet accessibility guidelines. Event on (relative to most of the site’s readership) younger eyes, the blockquotes are hard to read. I’m assuming the “appears on hover” note next to the reply link is a note from the developer, but if not, that also probably needs more contrast. Likewise, the link color probably need to be a bit darker to meet contrast guidelines.

    (Yeah, the palette limitations are annoying, but it could be worse — at my day job we’re doing an accessibility overhaul and our brand colors, which used everywhere in the UI, don’t meet the guidelines.)

    A final designer nitpick, the text formatting buttons could use a few pixels of space underneath, and should align left with the input box. Likewise the “Comment” subhead needed to be left-aligned as well.

    ReplyReply
  157. 157
    joel hanes says:

    @WaterGirl:

    We are planning to add more html options above the comment bar

    AAAAAAAAGH.

    I enter HTML directly, have always done so, and will truly miss that capability if it disappears.
    I continually use blockquote, em, b, and strike, occasionally a href=, occasionally code.
    It never occurred to me that this capability might go away.

    I hate WYSIWYG in all its manifestations with a burning hatred that burns.
    (In a disqus comment on some site, try copy/pasting in some text with line breaks and then hit enter: braindead behavior)

    I suppose I could go back to Usenet conventions: *emphasis* _underline_ BOLD

    ReplyReply
  158. 158
    WaterGirl says:

    @joel hanes:

    You know, as a moderately active commentator who completely blocks ads but who donates to compensate, what’d I’d kinda like is a sort of quarterly report, or invoice: B-J costs X dollars/month to run, cost per reader-hour is Y dollars, joel hanes reads B-J and comments (some ungodly number of) hours in an average month, therefore joel hanes’s fair share of the revenues is Z dollars/mo.

    As it is, I have no idea if my irregular contributions are actually sufficient to defray the revenue I’m denying Cole by using an ad blocker/

    Some interesting ideas in there! I’ll talk with the developers/hosting to see what kind of reports we will get and will talk with Cole about how transparent he wants to be about costs. Web hosting will be explicitly tied to PAGE VIEWS, so when our traffic increases, the cost of hosting will increase. But then if we’re doing it right, ad revenue that’s tied to page views will also go up.

    Anyway, thanks for the idea, will add to the list of things to consider.

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  159. 159
    J R in WV says:

    @Immanentize:

    Public HS in the mid to late 1960s. Latin was not my favorite subject, but I was a straight C student at first, but as my vocabulary and grammar got better, suddenly my grades started to go up. That’s when she went off on me.

    What really gripped me was my cousin sat in back and cheated from day one, and never got accused, because she made As and Bs from day one. Grrr. Don’t have a clue why she went off on me… I was shocked because cheating for better grades implied I cared about her grades, which was SO far from the truth!!!

    Once we were reading real Latin stuff, esp J Caesar, that made it more interesting. So I did better.

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  160. 160
    debbie says:

    @Raven:

    Nice gift on the sick leave payments. That ought to fund a whole mess of fishing trips.

    ReplyReply
  161. 161
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @WaterGirl: @SiubhanDuinne:

    Oh, also, I would love to have links in comments show up in a more contrasty colour than the default dark purple or burgundy or whatever it is. That dark shade is often almost indistinguishable from the regular black typeface, and I’m sure I’m missed some good content just because it wasn’t obvious there was a hyperlink.

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  162. 162
    joel hanes says:

    @J R in WV:

    Latin in middle school and high school was one of the best choices I ever made.

    ReplyReply
  163. 163
    jeffreyw says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Can you imagine what this place would look like if we all got to post photos and twitter feeds in-line?

    Yes! It would be very nice, like the LGF site. Of course, the LGF site is coded by the owner and is a work in continual progress. It is tending towards the overburdened end of the scale and takes a while to load. It is very pretty, though.

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  164. 164

    @Immanentize: underlining things that aren’t links is 110% against web UX best practices. FWIW

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  165. 165
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I don’t think I have ever once used the blog roll in a dozen years at this place. So I’m fine with getting rid of it.

    ReplyReply
  166. 166
    Another Scott says:

    @joel hanes: ເປັນຫຍັງພວກເຮົາບໍ່ມີທັງສອງ?

    ;-)

    I think it’s in addition, for those of us who like point-clicky instead.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  167. 167
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    Latin?
    I have enough trouble with english. Or whatever you call what we speak in the US. In socal about half the inhabs call it spanglish, cause it sure isn’t one or the other. But Latin? Yes I had to take it for a year, but that was what 2 or 3 lifetimes ago and remembering why I got up and went into the other room can be a chore, so imagine how how much Latin I remember…..

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  168. 168
    J R in WV says:

    Regarding the site rebuild:

    Pie filter please! And it could be adjusted to only pie comments from someone in the filter, I’m usually interested in what others have to say to a troll…

    Floating bars of any kind NOT on mobile screens, there isn’t space to spare for that. Allow it to float away above the visible screen when scrolling down comments, and reappear when you scroll back up maybe. Mobile screen needs to be just comment text once you’re scrolling down the page of comments.

    Cole’s comments need to be marked, whether blue, green, stripy, whatever. But as Blog-Lord, he needs to stand out somehow. So we know what to ignore ;-) /snark

    ReplyReply
  169. 169
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Cole went through the list of WordPress user accounts — it was like a walk down memory lane — and had me clean up a bunch of accounts.

    User accounts for front pagers who haven’t posted in years, or who don’t post much at all, were downgraded to “no role for this site”. Even beloved front pagers like Kay and Sarah Proud and Tall, for instance. He figures if someone wants to start posting again, they will contact him.

    Other user accounts were downgraded to levels that make sense for their current roles, so M4, you are now an Author rather than an administrator because the web developers will be doing the site maintenance on an on-going basis after the rebuild. Talk to Cole or drop me a line if you have any questions.

    ReplyReply
  170. 170
    Immanentize says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Well, if it’s 110% (fake number) then we must certainly follow that command.

    ReplyReply
  171. 171
    Ruckus says:

    @germy:
    So in keeping with the theme of the place, jacket and tie – and nothing else?

    ReplyReply
  172. 172
    trollhattan says:

    @germy:
    That we have Russian-speaking jackals makes trapping trolls more fun.

    ReplyReply
  173. 173
    WaterGirl says:

    @KithKanan: We will, thanks. Perhaps you could consider volunteering to participate in testing. There will be a separate post for that, so no need to answer here, but maybe you can consider that. It’s a good way to make sure that the things you consider important are covered in testing.

    It’s like in college when we divided up the choose between roommates. If you were the one who really cared about how clean the kitchen was, that was your responsibility. And the guy who really cared about that bathroom got that chore. Cared about the flowers and the yard? You had responsibility for mowing etc.

    If you have a stake in a particular function or feature or device, consider volunteering. I am talking to the collective you here, not just KithKanan.

    ReplyReply
  174. 174
    Geeno says:

    I want threaded comments! *hides under endangered tortoise*

    Really, the only things I really want to see that we don’t have are:
    1. Remember my gd info, please <– this is a biggy, the rest are smallies
    2. What happened to Cyrillic? Can we have access to the full utf8 codeset? The whole site (all of WP) should be UTF-8, why can't we use it in the comments?
    3. I would love, but realize it's asking a lot, full use of html tags in comments — (though, thinking on it, I can see how dickheads could really foul the site up) there are ways to autoclose tags (ie close every open tag in the comment when posted, but that does have overhead

    ReplyReply
  175. 175
    WaterGirl says:

    @dmsilev: I had not thought of a mockup for mobile phones and tablets. Great idea!

    As for BJ holding up under the strain of traffic, our web developers host a sports blog that held up exceedingly well during the Super Bowl, so I have high hopes. Time will tell!

    ReplyReply
  176. 176
    germy says:

    @Ruckus:

    Sometimes, while in the throes of creative work, I get out of bed in the morning, look at my writing desk piled high with old bills, odd gloves, and empty ginger-ale bottles, and go right back to bed again. The next thing I know it is night once more, and time for the Sand Man to come around. (We have a Sand Man who comes twice a day, which makes it very convenient. We give him five dollars at Christmas.)

    Even if I do get up and put on a part of my clothes — I do all my work in a Hawaiian straw skirt and a bow tie of some neutral shade — I often can think of nothing to do but pile the books which are on one end of my desk very neatly on the other end and then kick them one by one off on to the floor with my free foot.

    But all the while my brain is work, work, working, and my plot is taking shape. Sometimes it is the shape of a honeydew melon and sometimes a shape which I have never been quite able to figure out. It is a sort of amorphous thing with two heads but no face. When this shape presents itself, I get right back in bed again. I’m no fool.

    – Robert Benchley

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  177. 177
    Immanentize says:

    @joel hanes: Just a funny current hidden truth about Latin — and Greek. If you have kids in mid- or high- school, then you should really encourage them to take either/both. Why? Because many of the top ranked schools (Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, you pick the one you like) still have largish classical language departments that NEED YOUR CHILD! in order to not be discontinued or worse — folded into the language department! So, for another 10 years, being in Latin Club is as good as being a nationally recognized athlete.

    ReplyReply
  178. 178
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:
    I use Safari/Mac at home, now Safari/Iphone otherwise and would be happy to test. I can use other browsers on either as well, no problem.

    ReplyReply
  179. 179
    joel hanes says:

    @Ruckus:

    Such a dress code would interfere with my mopping-related program activities.

    ReplyReply
  180. 180

    @Immanentize: 110% is a very real number. More real than many numbers, in fact.

    @WaterGirl: that’s fine, but I would still like to be able to embed tweets in comments.

    ReplyReply
  181. 181
    WaterGirl says:

    @JaySinWA:

    What is the purpose of the Facebook and Twitter Icons at the bottom of the page?

    The F will take you to the Balloon Juice Facebook page. The bird will take you to John G. Cole’s twitter page. The RSS feed will either automatically add BJ to your RSS feeder or RSS reader OR it will supply the information you can copy and paste to add it.

    ReplyReply
  182. 182
    WaterGirl says:

    @frosty: Me, too! I was sorely disappointed. It looks to me like ad revenue and looking like one of the big kids were the highest priority. Very glad that isn’t the case here. I’m not saying ad revenue isn’t important, but the first rule is to know your audience, and that would not have been right for Balloon Juice. And the new Pond is no longer right for me.

    ReplyReply
  183. 183
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Let’s take this level of detail off-line. Send me an email?

    ReplyReply
  184. 184
    Raven says:

    @debbie: Nah, they’ll add it to my years, we get 2% of our highest 2 years so I’ll get about 44% of that.

    My credentials are not being saved and I’m getting full page spam on Safari on an iPhone.

    ReplyReply
  185. 185
    Geeno says:

    @J R in WV: I like that – a captcha for first use from an ip address?
    I’d have to do one from home and one from my office, but any other ip’s using Geeno would be captcha’ed. It would also serve as an alert that you fat fingered your name for peeps who switch on occasion (DougJ).

    ReplyReply
  186. 186
    jeffreyw says:

    @WaterGirl: Like M4 said, when typing on a phone the keyboard takes a lot of room and the Kill Sticky bookmarklet is not available, Anything on the screen that stays there whether or not I need it is an abomination. Like popups, I hates them!

    ReplyReply
  187. 187
    Geeno says:

    If entered html is allowed, I would say we’d need a “preview comment” option. Of course, as long as we have “edit comment”, we can fix it, but still a nicety.

    ReplyReply
  188. 188
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Hosting web developers is a good move. Especially for a site with a lot of views.
    I know of a company that does that for city/county governments and it works far better than a hosting service, no matter how good the hosting service is. One stop shopping isn’t always the best but in this case it most often is.

    ReplyReply
  189. 189
    WaterGirl says:

    @Luthe: Those are two new issues I was not aware of. Since this will be a totally new rebuild, they may not be relevant. I will be sure to ask the developers about this.

    Thank you for raising those.

    ReplyReply
  190. 190
    Plato says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Thank you, I will.

    The standard html codes like line breaks in tweets are not working now. One has to introduce hard returns in the tweets.to produce the line breaks.

    ReplyReply
  191. 191
    soapdish says:

    Glad I’m not the only one that thinks the new Booman site is terrible. It’s actually on the verge of being removed from my regular reading list and it was one of my favorites before the switch.

    ReplyReply
  192. 192
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: Thank you thank thank you for being my translator.

    Is Hamberder the name for that icon? I wondered what everyone calls it. I guess my “three black lines” think wasn’t a good choice.

    ReplyReply
  193. 193
    WaterGirl says:

    @eemom: I’ll ask Cole how he feels about Blog Lord. One word, or two?

    ReplyReply
  194. 194
    gvg says:

    BJ has been eating my data, I think because of autoplay adds? Also I have been getting that suspicious “you have won something” popup from this blog fairly often. I can get rid of it on ipad, have more trouble with Android and would appreciate not having it happen. No idea what causes it but I have noticed it tends to happen on certain sites for awhile, then usually goes away.

    ReplyReply
  195. 195
    Plato says:

    @Luthe:

    Yup, this happens in my android phone too. No other site stops the phone going to sleep mode.

    ReplyReply
  196. 196
    stinger says:

    @WaterGirl: I do like having the blogfather’s comments stand out a little.

    ReplyReply
  197. 197
    jeffreyw says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I had not thought of the snark font. Is that something people care about?

    I find the snark font used now to be unreadable so I just scroll past whatever drollery is may hide. Too thin – maybe comic sans bold?
    Then again, no.

    ReplyReply
  198. 198
    WaterGirl says:

    @J R in WV:

    Also, no hover revealed tricks, please.

    You can rest easy. After our momentary dalliance with “only visible on hover”, the use of hover has been totally discarded on the site rebuild.

    I had what I believed to be a good idea for the redesign, but I didn’t have room to write it down in the margin of my text and have now forgotten it!!!

    Write it down when you think of it again or send it to me by email to BJfestivus at the google mail thing.

    ReplyReply
  199. 199
    2liberal says:

    Pie filter!
    some options here to
    1. just redact someone (cleek filter option) and not get snarky pie-related commets
    2. also to pie the responses
    3. an option to click the post to see what was said

    ReplyReply
  200. 200
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    How about the back room? New WordPress editing?

    Yes! I don’t know the exact version, but I’m sure it will be whatever is considered latest and greatest, but not bleeding edge. I would be glad to check on the version if you would you like.

    ReplyReply
  201. 201
    WaterGirl says:

    @germy: That made me smile and laugh! Thank you.

    ReplyReply
  202. 202
    Cathie from Canada says:

    @shaun: yes, I was very dissppointed that Booman didnt inform readers about the subscription plan, and the newspaper format. I dont mind the subscriptions but hate that format

    ReplyReply
  203. 203
    Suzanne says:

    It looks great! The one thing that I was really hoping to have make a return appearance—big comment numbers—is there! Woohoo! Is there some way to easily jump to a specific numbered comment?

    As for fonts…..keep it simple. I prefer serifs. Or Helvetica.

    Great job, team.

    ReplyReply
  204. 204
    stinger says:

    @joel hanes: I too would like some mild periodic reminder to chip in — for blog expenses, not just pet transport and candidates.

    ReplyReply
  205. 205
    FelonyGovt says:

    I really like the new format, very clean and not that different. Thanks to WaterGirl and all for your hard work.

    I use Safari on and iMac and an iPhone (about to upgrade to an XR) and would be happy to be a tester.

    ReplyReply
  206. 206
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @2liberal: 1, 2, and 3

    Steve at a luxury resort on the Nile

    ReplyReply
  207. 207
    WaterGirl says:

    @Chacal Charles Calthrop:

    where’s the right-hand link to John’s twitter feed?

    It’s the boring gray box to the right of Lily’s first comment. Lily, being the queen of all things that are good, was not even moderated for her first comment.

    ReplyReply
  208. 208
    WaterGirl says:

    @Immanentize: Will add to the list. I almost never use underline, so good to have someone else put it out there.

    ReplyReply
  209. 209
    Ruckus says:

    @germy:
    I see that I’m in good company about how I used to keep my desk.
    I had a boss that wanted me to keep every scrap of paper I was mailed and print out every email and save them. I resisted. I would collect the mail till each pile got about 6-8 inches tall and if I hadn’t searched for anything in that stack, into the recycle bin it went. Did that for about 3 yrs and then said “Fuck this.” BTW just for comparison that bosses desk never had more than 4 pieces of paper on it and it was meticioulslcy aligned and mostly bare. One would have thought that there was no work accomplished in his office. One would be correct.

    ReplyReply
  210. 210
    Cathie from Canada says:

    @frosty: me too! Please, stay with the chronological listing

    ReplyReply
  211. 211
    Ruckus says:

    @joel hanes:
    What is this mopping you speak of?

    ReplyReply
  212. 212
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes. I use it as a repository for the links I do not have or as a quick jump out to see what others are saying after I have read a particularly provocative Jackal comment. It’s sort of an extension of the BJ community for me.
    Bless you for all your effort. I’m sure it will be success. Just wear your helmet and keep your head down for a week or so to duck the brick-bats of the chronically never satisfied.

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  213. 213
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: i am unable to answer any of those questions at the moment. Are you willing to be drafted as a BJ tester?

    Yeah, I liked the counter idea but their argument was pretty persuasive. Especially since the hefty monthly hosting fee is a huge commitment for Cole without being able to really know what the ads will bring in at this point. But maybe if Cole starts to get rich of the ad revenue we could consider the counter again. :-)

    ReplyReply
  214. 214
    West of the Cascades says:

    @WaterGirl: I use the blog roll a lot because it’s a convenient link to about six other blogs I read regularly … I can accomplish the same thing by bookmarking them, or using some indexing thing in Google Chrome that I’m sure exists. Basically the BJ blog roll has been a crutch for me to remember to look at interesting blogs I might otherwise not look at. Not a necessity, a convenience — I will miss it, I suspect few others will.

    ReplyReply
  215. 215
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Under “link,” could you just get rid of the http:// that currently populates the box? Just about every bad link is because of an inadvertently doubled http://

    That’s very do-able. I’d like to hear other thoughts on that in case there are as many people who prefer it there as there are who want “http://” gone. If anyone cares about this, please jump in.

    ReplyReply
  216. 216
    Auntie Anne says:

    It looks terrific! Familiar enough to feel comfortable, but with some needed improvements. Would John reconsider giving up the pale blue highlighting? The threads can get long, and his comments usually make me laugh, so would prefer not to miss them.

    I’m with all of you on the Booman redesign. The subscription part is fine – I will gladly pay for Martin’s insights, but OMG, that format is terrible.

    ReplyReply
  217. 217
    West of the Cascades says:

    Also, re: blog roll … IF it’s kept, maybe delete Glenn Greenwald?

    ETA the new site looks GREAT, thank you!!

    ReplyReply
  218. 218
    texasdoc says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes, the blog roll will definitely be missed. I never would have found this place, where I lurk continuously, but for the blogroll that Daily Kos used to have. And I never would have found sites like Talking Points Memo and Emptywheel, among many, without this blog. It’s true that the current list of blogs contains quite a few that are out of date, but it’s still useful. I always start my online day here and use the blogroll then to quickly check out others.

    ReplyReply
  219. 219
    Raven says:

    Here’s the spammy page I keep get

    http://bigwin28.website/reward.....147485704#

    ReplyReply
  220. 220
    WaterGirl says:

    @Isobel: Can you say more about what you mean by that? I’m not quite sure I understand what you are getting at.

    ReplyReply
  221. 221
    bob7094 says:

    @<a href="#comment-@WaterGirl: 7283469″>KithKanan:

    I will miss the blog roll. I use it everyday to manage my surfing.
    And oddly, this is the first time by nym & email are missing.

    ReplyReply
  222. 222
    Raven says:

    @West of the Cascades: I hounded Cole for a couple of years before he dumped Pat Land.

    ReplyReply
  223. 223
    WaterGirl says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: I am marking your notes to read more carefully later.

    ReplyReply
  224. 224
    Cathie from Canada says:

    @WaterGirl: as long as the web developers stay in businesd and keep paying their bills…

    ReplyReply
  225. 225
    jeffreyw says:

    @soapdish: Yeah Booman was tending tl;dr, now it’s wtf:dr.

    ReplyReply
  226. 226

    @WaterGirl: No big deal, but I use a newer editing version at Nuclear Diner, so it would be nice to have the two the same.

    ReplyReply
  227. 227
    WaterGirl says:

    @joel hanes:

    I enter HTML directly, have always done so, and will truly miss that capability if it disappears. I continually use blockquote, em, b, and strike, occasionally a href=, occasionally code. It never occurred to me that this capability might go away.

    Not to worry, but you won’t lose the ability to enter your own formatting codes, as you can now. I was just trying to say that another handful of them will show up as icons that you can just click on.

    But there will be limits, as there are now — we won’t be able to post photos in-line or the kind of twitter comments the front pagers can do.

    I hate WYSIWYG in all its manifestations with a burning hatred that burns.
    (In a disqus comment on some site, try copy/pasting in some text with line breaks and then hit enter: braindead behavior)

    WYSIWYG preview is in the specs for comments – like we could do on BooMan before. You click “preview” and you can see your comment exactly as it will appear, with an active blockquote and your words showing up as bold (or whatever). Do you hate that?

    ReplyReply
  228. 228
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:
    I don’t find it to be a problem because when I open the link box it is highlighted and I just paste over it. That is on the desktop, I can’t recall if I’ve ever used link on the phone, probably not. However if one has copied the link then it’s already in the link so getting rid of it would seem to not matter at all and if it resolves an ongoing problem, it’s one less thing, which would matter in a good way.

    ReplyReply
  229. 229
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Noted! I’m sure we can do that.

    ReplyReply
  230. 230
    karen marie says:

    @WaterGirl: Oh, duh – I always look at the desktop version on my tablet. It never occurred to me that others might not or might not have that option. I am a bit cranky that I won’t be able to continue using the desktop version on my tablet (I hate mobile versions of everything) but we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll get used to that particular change, if I have to. As long as I no longer have to retype my info every single time I comment, I’ll be happy regardless.

    @WaterGirl: Tags, categories – you say tomato, I say tomahto. As long as the hilarity continues, I’m all good.

    @WaterGirl: BLUE COMMENTS FOR COLE – BLUE COMMENTS FOR COLE – BLUE COMMENTS FOR COLE

    WHAT DO WE WANT? BLUE COMMENTS FOR COLE!

    ReplyReply
  231. 231
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: Okay, now you are officially hired as my translator, for real!

    ReplyReply
  232. 232
    WaterGirl says:

    @J R in WV: Pie filter is on there — look toward the bottom. Interesting idea for each commenter to choose whether to only filter the original comments or to filter both. No guarantees, but that could be considered.

    The floating bars will not show as floating bars on mobile – they will appear when you touch the hamburger looking icon in the upper right hand corner. See upthread for Scott’s explanation.

    I will add another tick mark for Cole’s comments being highlighted in some way. This is not a democracy, of course, but maybe Cole would be open to it if it matters to a number of people.

    ReplyReply
  233. 233
    WaterGirl says:

    @Geeno:

    threaded comments – I am giving you the side-eye.
    1. permanent nyms etc was a dealbreaker in the specs, all developers agreed that it can be done again.
    2. Cyrillic – I can bring that up with the developers and ask if that will be the case
    3. sorry, not gonna happen. it would be fun until someone loses an eye.

    ReplyReply
  234. 234
    karen marie says:

    @Ruckus: #DeleteFacebook

    Twitter is a bit annoying because one cannot look at tweets in their natural environment unless you have a twitter account. My original twitter account was suspended for a completely innocuous comment but because I refuse to allow it to be struck and replaced with a “she is a very bad tweeter” statement, that account is still locked down and I can’t look at twitter on my tablet. I did some sneaking around and made a new twitter account that I can access on my laptop but haven’t figured out yet how to access the new account on my tablet, because I can’t seem to log out of the old account.

    ReplyReply
  235. 235
    Suzanne says:

    @2liberal: Along these lines…..I have only recently started using the pie filter, and I would love it to work more like a Facebook block. Not only do I not want to see some people’s comments, I also don’t want them to see my comments. Any way to make that happen?

    Also too….I hate the mobile site and I very much want to use the regular site on my tablet and phone. Please reconsider…..

    ReplyReply
  236. 236
    Doug R says:

    @WaterGirl: Regarding ads, especially on mobile. PLEASE NO taboola, especially that rage inducing rack of full phone screen multiples that you had to very carefully scroll through to get to comments, phones being really touchy about touching the wrong part of the screen, accidentally going to the page and then getting whatever freaky thing in your adchoices.
    Also, will there be translation from Latin?

    ReplyReply
  237. 237
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Noted! No promises but I will check on it.

    ReplyReply
  238. 238
    JaySinWA says:

    @WaterGirl: The //http: thing should go away. I don’t know what’s happening with //https: migration but it mostly gets in the way of cut and paste linking.
    And the hamburger menu description is archaic, I think, referencing the three layers. Mostly now it is rendered as three vertical dots, like … on its side. I’m not sure it has a name that everyone uses. Something like additional items or more.

    ReplyReply
  239. 239
    WaterGirl says:

    @Geeno: Preview comment in WYSIWYG is in the specs.

    ReplyReply
  240. 240
    karen marie says:

    @WaterGirl: Anyone who includes more than five links in a single comment (including the @reply) should get their own blog.

    ReplyReply
  241. 241
    WaterGirl says:

    @2liberal: Pie filter!

    some options here to
    1. just redact someone (cleek filter option) and not get snarky pie-related commets
    2. also to pie the responses
    3. an option to click the post to see what was said

    #1 is requested in the specs
    #2 current pie filter automatically pies the responses
    #3 if you click on the asterisk in a pied comment you can see the actual comment.

    #2 and #3 will remain in the pie filter.

    ReplyReply
  242. 242
    FelonyGovt says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes I would like the http in the comment box gone because I need to go in and edit the link every time to remove the duplicate. It took me forever to figure out how to post a link for that reason (yes I’m slow)

    ReplyReply
  243. 243
    karen marie says:

    @Ruckus: I love me some Wonkette – I even send them a small quantity of money – but I absolutely loathe the redesign and visit much more rarely than I used to. The comment thread thing — where the thread for the story you came to read remains even though you’re reading a different story — is really, really annoying.

    ReplyReply
  244. 244
    2liberal says:

    i am picketing for blue cole comments, makes them more visible on his very occasional visits to his own comment section.

    ReplyReply
  245. 245
    JaySinWA says:

    @WaterGirl: If we are going to have the capability of editing comments and have formating stuff in the original comment options, the edit should have the same formatting ability.
    ETA our current editor is bare bones.

    ReplyReply
  246. 246
    WaterGirl says:

    @Suzanne:

    It looks great! The one thing that I was really hoping to have make a return appearance—big comment numbers—is there! Woohoo! Is there some way to easily jump to a specific numbered comment?

    As for fonts…..keep it simple. I prefer serifs. Or Helvetica.

    I have really missed the big comment numbers, too. I asked for numbers to include a period at the end – so if you search for “35” it doesn’t pull up every date and time stand that includes 35 minutes. I love the new big numbers so much that I haven’t pressed them on the “period” but I haven’t forgotten it, either.

    In case you don’t know what I mean by “search”, on my Mac if I hit command-F, a find box appears upper left and I enter what i want to find on the page. I use that all the time if FYWP loses my place on the page — I just type in a word that I remember for the comment I was on. That works pretty well for some things, but if I remember “fuck”, I’m out of luck because there are too many matches.

    Comment fonts will be san serif, (sorry!)

    ReplyReply
  247. 247
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cathie from Canada: We are. Not to worry.

    ReplyReply
  248. 248

    @Baud: That’s a joke right. It is a huge pain in the neck.

    ReplyReply
  249. 249
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes. I use it as a repository for the links I do not have or as a quick jump out to see what others are saying after I have read a particularly provocative Jackal comment. It’s sort of an extension of the BJ community for me.
    Bless you for all your effort. I’m sure it will be success. Just wear your helmet and keep your head down for a week or so to duck the brick-bats of the chronically never satisfied.@WaterGirl:

    ReplyReply
  250. 250
    Ruckus says:

    @karen marie:
    I used to check FB about as often as I do BJ, many times a day. I have friends that I kept up with on FB and really, any other methods were worse. However, a while back I just stopped going on FB more than once a month or so and far fewer ads show up everywhere else and when I do occasionally check my feed the intrusive bullshit is far less. I’d delete my account except that is how I keep up with some friends, found out about one who died, my HS reunion, etc. It’s a not unreasonable compromise. But I do agree that FB is pure evil dressed in electrons. I’ve also avoided a twit account because I’d bet I’d waste far too much time there, right up until I got banned.

    ReplyReply
  251. 251
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I can understand that! What is the version number you use there?

    ReplyReply
  252. 252
    CatFacts says:

    Looks nice! And thank you for keeping the chronological format. The current trends in “Newspaper” formats for political blogs are ugly as sin (hello, sites that reuse the same 5 stock photos ad nauseum), plus it’s basically impossible to tell whether you’ve just clicked on a recent post or a “popular” post from two years ago that the algorithm decided to spit out. This is clean and clear and looks flexible enough to accommodate everything from BillinGlendale’s photos to Mayhew’s tables to Adam’s long text-heavy posts.

    ReplyReply
  253. 253
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Not related to your comment, but…

    For highlighted contact, I debated “Nuclear Issues” and then “Nuclear Safety” before I landed on “Nuclear Security”. What would you like as the descriptor?

    ReplyReply
  254. 254
    Auntie Anne says:

    @karen marie: I’m with you!

    ReplyReply
  255. 255
    karen marie says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes, do please remove that http:// – it’s always a challenge to me to get it covered by the “paste.”

    ReplyReply
  256. 256
    Ruckus says:

    @karen marie:
    A good example of what I was talking about.

    ReplyReply
  257. 257
    Plato says:

    Half a Tbogg unit already? And it’s only Sunday.

    ReplyReply
  258. 258
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @WaterGirl: Thank FSM!

    ReplyReply
  259. 259
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @WaterGirl: I like the design and I like Cole’s blue comments.

    ReplyReply
  260. 260
    WaterGirl says:

    @karen marie: I initially asked for the desktop option for mobile devices, and every developer said no to that because this way is the industry standard. That’s about the only “no” that I wished could be “yes”.

    Other than that, the only other compromise has been on the comment counter, and I didn’t push for that because they made a good point.

    Happy to say there has only been the one “Sorry, Dave, but we can’t do that” responses from the developers.

    ReplyReply
  261. 261
    Doug R says:

    @KithKanan:

    I swear it didn’t used to be this bad even on this device, but modern trends in web design and mobile OS UI design really aren’t doing me any favors in landscape mode.

    Some sites with nested comments on mobile you gotta go to landscape or you have comments
    look
    like
    this.

    ReplyReply
  262. 262
    JaySinWA says:

    @JaySinWA: Also too, you should be able to fix your nym in edit and not have to have an FP’er pull you out of moderation. A comment should be reevaluated for moderation after editing at any rate. Can I make an innocuous comment and then mess with in in edit? Hm’n evil testing temps.

    ReplyReply
  263. 263
    Cathie from Canada says:

    @Doug R: Yes, that’s the way Daily Kos looks to me some of the time, even on my laptop.

    ReplyReply
  264. 264
    WaterGirl says:

    @Suzanne: @2liberal:

    Along these lines…..I have only recently started using the pie filter, and I would love it to work more like a Facebook block. Not only do I not want to see some people’s comments, I also don’t want them to see my comments. Any way to make that happen?

    Also too….I hate the mobile site and I very much want to use the regular site on my tablet and phone. Please reconsider…..

    Sadly, I think that’s two “no” answers. I am hoping that the mobile site in the rebuild is much more to your liking. If not, that’s crummy for you, but I don’t think “yes” is a possibility.

    ReplyReply
  265. 265
    Cathie from Canada says:

    @CatFacts: YES! X 1,000

    ReplyReply
  266. 266
    J R in WV says:

    @jeffreyw:

    Anything on the screen that stays there whether or not I need it is an abomination. Like popups, I hates them!

    What he said!!! Hates them!!!

    ReplyReply
  267. 267
    WaterGirl says:

    @Doug R: Read my lips: there will be no TABOOLA!

    As for latin, you are just going to have to learn a new language.

    ReplyReply
  268. 268
    WaterGirl says:

    @JaySinWA:

    If we are going to have the capability of editing comments and have formating stuff in the original comment options, the edit should have the same formatting ability.

    Happy to say that is already in the specs.

    ReplyReply
  269. 269
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Waiting until you’re informed before you start complaining? I thought you were aware of all internet traditions.

    ReplyReply
  270. 270
    JaySinWA says:

    @WaterGirl: @Suzanne: I assume the rendering uses the browser id information. You used to be able to forge those to look like another version or device. With some transparency on the developers part you might just be able to forge your way to what you want.

    ReplyReply
  271. 271
    Doug R says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Read my lips: there will be no TABOOLA!

    As for latin, you are just going to have to learn a new language.

    Euax EGO coniecto

    ReplyReply
  272. 272
    J R in WV says:

    @Suzanne:

    As for fonts…..keep it simple. I prefer serifs. Or Helvetica.

    Serif vrs. Sans Serif — a never ending battle. I believe research shows that sans serif fonts are more readable on e-devices, and I actually prefer them now even in printed texts. But any good font works for me, some fonts are well designed and some are not.

    Perhaps we could select a font, set a preferred font for B-J ?! Or a wacky colour, too!!! /s

    ReplyReply
  273. 273
    JaySinWA says:

    @J R in WV: Yeah, I want dark mode damnit

    ReplyReply
  274. 274
    WaterGirl says:

    @JaySinWA:

    Also too, you should be able to fix your nym in edit and not have to have an FP’er pull you out of moderation. A comment should be reevaluated for moderation after editing at any rate. Can I make an innocuous comment and then mess with in in edit? Hm’n evil testing temps.

    I thought we could already edit our nym if we misspelled it, but you are probably right. The thing is, the first comment for any nym goes into moderation, and WP can’t tell the difference between a new commenter and a misspelled nym. Not sure we can do anything about that.

    ReplyReply
  275. 275
    JaySinWA says:

    @WaterGirl: You can fix your nym but you are still stuck until someone pulls you out. I’m just saying you should be able to edit yourself out of moderation.

    ReplyReply
  276. 276
    Starfish says:

    @Another Scott: The issue here is that Google Maps is being developed by Satan, and no one needs that picture-in-picture nonsense or the map to ask you “DO YOU WANT TO SAVE THIS LOCATION FOREVER?” No, I am meeting this person for the first time, and we are not besties.

    ReplyReply
  277. 277

    @JaySinWA: i think this is sort of a WordPress core issue that can’t be helped.

    ReplyReply
  278. 278
    WaterGirl says:

    Looks like I’m all caught up. I’m gonna take a break and get some lunch, and give my laptop a chance to recharge.

    I’ll come back at 5 my time – which is 6pm in BJ time — to see answer any questions that come in. I imagine there are people who are out having fun and might not see this post until later.

    ReplyReply
  279. 279
    J R in WV says:

    @Ruckus:

    I see that I’m in good company about how I used to keep my desk.
    I had a boss that wanted me to keep every scrap of paper I was mailed and print out every email and save them. I resisted. I would collect the mail till each pile got about 6-8 inches tall and if I hadn’t searched for anything in that stack, into the recycle bin it went. Did that for about 3 yrs and then said “Fuck this.” BTW just for comparison that bosses desk never had more than 4 pieces of paper on it and it was meticioulslcy aligned and mostly bare. One would have thought that there was no work accomplished in his office. One would be correct.

    I had a co-worker who was screwed by another co-worker and couldn’t defend herself because she had not kept a note from screwer. She literaly printed out every email she ever received, filed them, every single piece of paper she received, filed. Her office was difficult to turn around in, I had trouble just consulting with her on issues, no room for me…

    Retired now, I bet she spent the last month preparing to shitcan all that. Or not, I would have left it for the next habitent. I did that myself, packed up my rocks and art, personal docs and coffee cups, left all the files, stuff on the desk. No longer my problem…

    ReplyReply
  280. 280
    JaySinWA says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Can you edit yourself into moderation? I would hope so. (Twirling fake mustache in anticipation.)

    ReplyReply
  281. 281
  282. 282
    Another Scott says:

    @WaterGirl: Dunno if I’d be able to be a tester; lots of real-life stuff is coming up soon. I’ll drop you a line if I’m able.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  283. 283
    MomSense says:

    Thanks so much Watergirl and team!!!

    I ended up at a brewery today with a bunch of friends and dogs! There is even a cat in a custom backpack. Not able to evaluate anything right now but I’m about to take a turn dancing with hula hoops.

    ReplyReply
  284. 284
    Central Planning says:

    I was going to make a joke about the latin, but was beaten to it. Hmm, just like the old format.

    ReplyReply
  285. 285
    jeffreyw says:

    @JaySinWA:

    If we are going to have the capability of editing comments and have formating stuff in the original comment options, the edit should have the same formatting ability.
    ETA our current editor is bare bones.

    QFT

    ReplyReply
  286. 286
    karen marie says:

    @WaterGirl: I’ve been ignoring talk of “comment counter” because I have no idea what it means but suddenly I’m wondering – does this mean that comments will no longer be numbered? I’m hoping that’s not the case and it’s something else that doesn’t affect me (that I know of). Having comments numbered helps me keep track of where I am in a comment thread. I’d hate to lose that.

    ReplyReply
  287. 287
    Starfish says:

    @WaterGirl: When Anne Laurie posts a whole bunch of Tweets as a post, the people who read through feedly usually lose context because the images that accompany the Tweets are stripped. There is a link at the bottom of the tweets so we can click through to either the main site or directly to Twitter to see that content.

    We often lose our place when we do that.

    ReplyReply
  288. 288
    J R in WV says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I have really missed the big comment numbers, too. I asked for numbers to include a period at the end – so if you search for “35” it doesn’t pull up every date and time stand that includes 35 minutes. I love the new big numbers so much that I haven’t pressed them on the “period” but I haven’t forgotten it, either.

    You can search for “35space” and not get 35’s embedded in comments that way. And or even ” 35 ” which I do sometimes.

    ReplyReply
  289. 289
    Another Scott says:

    @karen marie: See my comment at #81. It would be great if the Left/Right buttons would have a counter on them, or some other indication that a new comment had been posted on the thread above or below without actually having to reload the page. Or if the New Comments widget on the page updated without having to reload the page. As it is, I spend a lot of time reloading pages that haven’t changed. It would be helpful for people who are on data plans where they have to pay for every byte used.

    It sounds like that feature isn’t coming because of ad revenue conventions (money is based on ad page displays, not ad clicks).

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  290. 290
    jeffreyw says:

    @Another Scott:
    All the cool kids are going to the three dot icon, as noted above in a comment by a person I did not note the name of.

    ReplyReply
  291. 291
    J R in WV says:

    But interestingly, when I search for a number with a space… I don’t get comment numbers at all… I don’t ever search for comment numbers, but if I remember there was a word or fragment, I can use a space. Like searching for ” minute” won’t find 35minutes.

    ReplyReply
  292. 292
    JaySinWA says:

    @jeffreyw: sniff, forgotten already…
    ETA not a notable commentator. Hurts, but accurate.

    ReplyReply
  293. 293
    JaySinWA says:

    @J R in WV: Regular expression search or go home /s
    ETA you grep me?

    ReplyReply
  294. 294
    Inspectrix says:

    @WaterGirl:
    What about a more visible way to see meet-ups? Mentions are usually buried in long threads of comments and I see them too late to make arrangements.
    Could we have an events calendar or a pinned map with meet-ups added by a front pager?
    Or is there some other creative way to make them just a little easier to stumble upon?
    Thanks for working on this!

    ReplyReply
  295. 295
    Another Scott says:

    @jeffreyw: JaySinWA discussed it in #238 above.

    That should be called the “Kebab icon”. Dunno if it is though…

    What do you know!? It is!.

    :-D

    Generally speaking they are used to open different types of menu.

    The ‘burger’ is used to open a ‘burger menu’, which is presented as a drawer that appears from the side of the screen and occupies most of the screen;

    The ‘kebab’ (three vertical dots), which originated in Google’s Material Design languge, is designed to open a smaller inline menu from a button or other control.

    In terms of icon naming specifically, Google refers to the burger menu as “menu” and to the ‘kebab’, vertical or horizontal, as either “more horiz” or “more vert”.

    Here’s a good demo from Luke Wroblewski of kebab and other menu options: […]

    Dunno which would be more appropriate for us – presumably the web slingers would know.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  296. 296
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    I think I can do one better. I gave the CEO my 2 week notice and he told me I had to tell the boss I described. Told him if he wanted him to know, he tells him, I wasn’t up for any more drunken bullshit. About a week in I was leaving for the evening and the CEO stops me in the hallway and asks a question. As you might imagine there was a twinge of smartass in my answer. CEO said “I can still fire you!” Please do, I answered. “Why did you say that?” Because I get a weeks pay for every year I’ve been here and I can use the money. “Asshole.” I laughed and walked away. Friends who were still there told me after I was gone that I got out at the best time. And I was still friendly with that CEO, he wanted me to fill in my boss as to what I was involved in, told him no, I will tell him but not the boss alone. That’s when he found out that my boss had no idea what was going on, zero, zip, nada. He knew the bartenders at all the local establishments, but that was the extent of it. I’ve seen hell and it had a paycheck.

    ReplyReply
  297. 297
    JaySinWA says:

    @Another Scott: Good to know who remembers you. So i thought most all android stuff went with all kebabs but I see gmail still has a hamburger on the left. Chrome has the kebab on the right in the search box line on all platforms I think. Hamburgers mostly to the left, kebabs to the right might be a rule of thumb. And the bento box from the reference shows up in M$ designs. The … meatball used to be comment in hamburger items to indicate a submenu.
    ETA So I guess the hamburger is not completely out of style.

    ReplyReply
  298. 298
    Kristine says:

    Probably way too late in the process to ask if there could be a way to be notified via email if someone responds directly to your comment? Threads fill up so fast that it’s easy to lose track of a question you asked or answered.

    This would have to be an opt-in, I think, because the regulars talk back and forth so much that they’d get flooded with emails.

    ReplyReply
  299. 299
    Kristine says:

    And I want to chime in that it’s good to see Balloon Guy again. The redesign looks good.

    ReplyReply
  300. 300
    germy says:

    @Kristine: You could do a word search for your nym in the thread? Anyone who replies will have your nym in their comment.

    ReplyReply
  301. 301
    JaySinWA says:

    @Kristine: No to emails but a search for mentions? I’d love that, especially if you could search across recent posts.
    ETA or a notice bell for mentions, that would be spiffy. Some forums have an alert option, for a post you want to follow, that probably wouldn’t have much use here because of the number of posts per day.

    ReplyReply
  302. 302
    Ruckus says:

    @Ruckus:
    Forgot to mention that I was manager level, with only one person between me and the CEO, whose office was next to mine. Only one person could screw with me at that office, and he did, and besides I had made sure that I didn’t piss off any of the rest of the employees without real and obvious cause every day I worked there. And there was no real and obvious cause. I’ve been both employee and employer and know very well the need not to piss off people for the sake of one’s own ego.

    ReplyReply
  303. 303
    tybee says:

    @West of the Cascades: i, too, will miss the blog roll.

    ReplyReply
  304. 304
    jeffreyw says:

    I just remembered an issue that is only mildly annoying, but when I reply to a comment and hit post it leaves me looking at the comment I just made. Nice, in a way, that it lets me look for typos and such right away. I would like for it to take me back to the comment I am replying to so I can continue reading from there. I could (and do!) click on the nym that is included in the reply. Like I said, only mildly annoying. Maybe not even that. Just never mind! Sorry I brought it up!

    ReplyReply
  305. 305
    zhena gogolia says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Oh, I kind of liked the blue comments. He comments so infrequently, it was nice to be alerted. But not a big deal.

    ReplyReply
  306. 306
    Doug R says:

    @JaySinWA: Looks more like grilled cheese sandwich and stoplight to me.

    ReplyReply
  307. 307
    Ruckus says:

    @jeffreyw:
    Not that long ago when I hit post it would take me back to the comment I had replied to. Now it takes me up a few comments so I’m looking neither at my comment nor the one I replied to.
    I’d bet this has as much to do with each browser and OS than it does with the site. I have noticed that when I update a browser the site often acts different than it had been. It could be that the site is so borked from revision after revision that a complete blank page rewrite was the only way to have at least a consistent process.

    ReplyReply
  308. 308
    NotMax says:

    Initial purely personal reaction. Have only skimmed comments so apologies for any duplication.

    1) Move comment number above the separator line (i.e., the area where the nym is). When we get to 3 digits (not uncommon), those extra numerals will take up more space and scrunch the comment text to the right.

    2) Quote marks in the blockquote area are extraneous. Doin’t care for ’em at all. Not no way, not no how. There have been and doubtless shall continue to be times or occasions when what people but in the blockquote box is not an quote or citation but something for other purposes – emphasis by isolation, humor/snark by way of layout or other purposes. In cases of nested blockquotes, those huge quote marks will be visually cumbersome and impede clarity, also too.

    3) Lighten the colored background in the blockquote boxes. If it is deemed necessary to have a colored background there, as in the image above it is too jarring on the eyes. As pictured above, it also makes it much more difficult to make out the text in the blockquote, as that text is appearing as more gray than black.. If it must be a colored background, why green? A very pale blue, in complement to the colors of the page header would be preferable, along with using the same dark color for the text as employed in the comment itself.

    4) Recent Comments? Yay!! However there is no need for teaser text of the comment – it just takes up space (and if someone should being his or her comment with a blockquote, the teaser would show that instead of the commenter’s words). Also the time of posting included in Recent Comments would seem to be unnecessary. As by definition it shows X number of most recent comments, that alone serves to indicate which threads are active regardless of the time stamp.

    5) Don’t see the elephant ear tabs pointing to previous and next (if any) post. Those are handy to have.

    6) No edit function?

    7) Could we possibly get a screenshot of what the front page looks like, not just a comments page?

    8) Can’t tell if the hard coded https: has been excised from the Link function. Hope it now swims with the fishes, as it often causes people’s links to break.

    9) This is more of a tenuous suggestion, although motivated by the history of mismade links or capture of the reply button. Rather than just a single ‘link’ option above the commenting box, could it be split into two: ‘Open Link’ and ‘Close Link’ – maybe that would be less confusing to some as to how to insert links.

    10) Rather than Date – Author’s name – # of comments, would prefer Author’s name – Date – # of comments, as it is currently set up. Credit where it’s due and all that.

    11) Something about the font chosen really bothers me. Can’t quite put my finger on it but it lacks a certain heft and weightiness. And the kerning (proportionality) is definitely too kooky. Look, for example, at the phrase “Ut enim ad minium veniam” to see how the lower case n and the m are squashed up against the i. Or the word “elit,” where the l and the i are nearly indistinguishable from one another.

    12) The word “comment” under “Leave A Reply” is unnecessary. How about changing Leave A reply to something more inviting, for example, “Add Your Comment”

    13) Hard to tell because of the way the screenshots were made but there doesn’t appear to be a separator under a comment, making the nym Thurston look like it’s a part of the comment above it.

    14) Last, the background color appears to be a much brighter white than is the color background color. On a large monitor all that white space will be blinding.

    ReplyReply
  309. 309
    NotMax says:

    Oh, one more thing. Double – nay, triple-check that the number of comments appearing on the front page at the time of it’s loading matches the number of comments on the comment page at that same time. Currently that is entirely hit or miss. Mostly miss.

    ReplyReply
  310. 310
    John Cole says:

    @WaterGirl:

    (I didn’t even tell Cole that they offered avatars as an option, so please don’t tell him.)

    You all really do think I never read the comments, do you? Why do people confuse not having anything to say with not reading something? My mom does this too- she’ll talk and talk and talk and I won’t say anything and she just assumes I’m not listening.

    Also fuck avatars what is this 4chan?

    ReplyReply
  311. 311
    Kristine says:

    @germy: Maybe it’s just me, but this site gets so busy sometimes that I forget which thread I commented on. The conversations drift, so the title of the thread often has nothing to do with what I posted about, and if it’s hours later, or the next day, forget it.

    If I recall the thread, I do search via Find in the browser menu.

    ReplyReply
  312. 312
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Oh, shazzbot. its, not it’s.

    (leaves desk to find wet noodle for self-flagellation)

    ReplyReply
  313. 313
    joel hanes says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Preview is wonderful, and I could live with WYSIWYG in the preview pain

    I am reassured, and back to grateful.

    ReplyReply
  314. 314
    RoonieRoo says:

    Just a quick drop by that I really like the design. It reminds me of the older design that I miss. Also thank you for the fight against threaded comments. The lack of threaded comments is part of what I love about BJ comments.

    ReplyReply
  315. 315
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Oughtn’t try proofreading before first cup of coffee is duly emptied.

    Make that “a much brighter white than is the current background color” rather than ” a much brighter white than is the color background color.”

    Also, should read “what people put in the blockquote box” rather than “what people but in the blockquote box.”

    The other typos I neglected to catch don’t affect clarity as much as those do.

    ReplyReply
  316. 316
    joel hanes says:

    @John Cole:

    You all really do think I never read the comments, do you?

    Well, I counted six times in four threads last year when people looking at your nest/eggs pictures told you “house finch”, but when you posted the picture of this year’s nest/eggs, you still didn’t seem to know what kind of birds they were.

    Would you like a nice Petersen’s Field Guide to the Eastern Birds? I’d be happy to send you one, now that you’re rearing and feeding and all. The painted identification pictures emphasize the field marks that are diagnostic in identification, which makes it IMHO far superior for a novice than one of the guides with photographs.

    BTW, finches (who are seed specialists) like the “thistle” seed that pet good stores sell as “niger”, and adore the Audobon finch mix, which IIRC is niger mixed with chopped black sunflower kernels.

    ReplyReply
  317. 317

    @John Cole:

    You all really do think I never read the comments, do you?

    Yes.

    ReplyReply
  318. 318
    joel hanes says:

    @jeffreyw:

    when I reply to a comment and hit post it leaves me looking at the comment I just made.

    Worse than that, on a desktop the current design changes the URL in the address bar to be specifically the URL for your comment, which sticks the browser so that no matter how many times you hit refresh, comments much past your most recent one will never be displayed. I’ve been having to manually remove the #commentblahblah off the end of the URL, or go to another site and come back to see what’s been said since I last commented.

    Because the implementors are pros, I’m assuming that this will not be the case on the new site design.

    ReplyReply
  319. 319
    glaukopis says:

    Another vote for Cole’s blue-colored comments.

    ReplyReply
  320. 320

    @WaterGirl: if you’ve got any follow up questions, just shot me an email.

    FWIW, I’d insist that the developers also provide a mock-up of the mobile version. Most stuff should just be “responsive design,” that just adapts, but headers usually require switching to a different version at mobile sizes. So there can be some issues that come up when making the switch.

    ReplyReply
  321. 321
    WaterGirl says:

    @karen marie: Not to worry, comments will still be numbered.

    What we’re talking about would be a feature where you would be able to see the total number of comments in a thread without having to reload the page. Say you’re on comment 280 – right now you have to refresh/reload the page to see how many more comments have been added. So the “counter” could show that total comments was at 301 and you could know that 21 comments had been posted since you last refreshed.

    But as I explained above, there’s a good reason not to do that, so it won’t be happening, at least not at this point.

    ReplyReply
  322. 322
    WaterGirl says:

    @Starfish: I don’t have an answer for that, but I will make note of the question and follow up. thanks.

    ReplyReply
  323. 323
    WaterGirl says:

    @J R in WV: Interesting. Just tried that, and that doesn’t work on my mac in Safari.

    ReplyReply
  324. 324
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott:

    Or if the New Comments widget on the page updated without having to reload the page.

    I can ask about that, but absolutely no promises on a different answer.

    ReplyReply
  325. 325
    WaterGirl says:

    @Inspectrix:

    What about a more visible way to see meet-ups? Mentions are usually buried in long threads of comments and I see them too late to make arrangements.
    Could we have an events calendar or a pinned map with meet-ups added by a front pager?
    Or is there some other creative way to make them just a little easier to stumble upon?

    That’s an interesting idea! thanks

    ReplyReply
  326. 326
    daize says:

    Looks great. Clean and classic. Sorry if this was brought up already… will there be the link to submit pet pictures for the calendar?

    ReplyReply
  327. 327
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kristine:

    Probably way too late in the process to ask if there could be a way to be notified via email if someone responds directly to your comment? Threads fill up so fast that it’s easy to lose track of a question you asked or answered.

    This would have to be an opt-in, I think, because the regulars talk back and forth so much that they’d get flooded with emails.

    don’t think that’s a feature we’ll go with at this time. I think that feature was tried here for about 45 minutes a few years ago and then taken down; I always assumed that it had turned into a nightmare, but I guess I really don’t know that for sure.

    I do the same thing as germy. If it’s something important to me, I will leave the BJ tab open and then search for “watergirl” to see if the person replied to me.

    ReplyReply
  328. 328
    WaterGirl says:

    @jeffreyw: That made me laugh!

    Actually, for replies, I believe we won’t be taken down to the Comment box – it will sort of come to us at the thread we are replying to. I haven’t seen that in action yet, so I can’t answer any questions about that.

    ReplyReply
  329. 329
    NotMax says:

    Minor, but shall mention again a Birthday List. Some may be skittish about the self-promotion of announcing their special day.

    ReplyReply
  330. 330
    WaterGirl says:

    @JaySinWA: I have asked for the search box to find matches in both the posts themselves and from the comment section.

    Right now, if I use the search box for my nym I mostly find Garden Chats where Anne Laurie has posted my garden picks. If the search box functions in the way I described in my first paragraph, that could possibly get closer to what you want – I assume recent matches would appear first. I haven’t seen that in action yet, either, so I can’t say more than that.

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  331. 331
    Kristine says:

    @joel hanes:

    BTW, finches (who are seed specialists) like the “thistle” seed that pet good stores sell as “niger”, and adore the Audobon finch mix, which IIRC is niger mixed with chopped black sunflower kernels.

    I have the mix–a different brand but same seeds–in my finch feeder, and over the past few days, you could watch the level drop in real time. Even the downy woodpeckers like it.

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  332. 332
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus:

    Not that long ago when I hit post it would take me back to the comment I had replied to. Now it takes me up a few comments so I’m looking neither at my comment nor the one I replied to.

    This happens to me, too, and it makes me crazy. I have mentioned it in the spec list; we’ll have to see what happens on that one.

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  333. 333
    WaterGirl says:

    @John Cole: That was my attempt at humor – saying “don’t tell Cole” in a comment on your own blog!

    Oh, and why would I tell you they offered us avatars when I already knew from our experience on the Sunday avatar thread so long ago that they were a no go. :-)

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  334. 334
    WaterGirl says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: Agree, I added that to the list when that came up earlier.

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  335. 335
    WaterGirl says:

    @daize: See my comment at #57. Seems like a lifetime ago!

    ReplyReply
  336. 336
    NotMax says:

    Think I’ve hit on what else nags me about the font aside from what I mentioned above. (Again, purely personal.)

    The old school curlicued lower case g clashes with the general look of the rest of the text, and stands out like a sore thumb even more in comparison to the lower case q and y.

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  337. 337
    daize says:

    @WaterGirl: You are very kind. Thank you. Sent a wee contribution.

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  338. 338
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Might suggest having them do a mock-up of the same page(s) in an easy to read clean and crisp sans serif font which most everyone already has installed, such as Verdana, and doing a side-by-side visual comparison.

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  339. 339
    WaterGirl says:

    @NotMax:

    #1 unlikely to make that change.

    #3 talked with the designer about that on thursday; I love the color, Cole loves the color, and the designer feels that it’s in the same color family and believes it works.

    #4 removing the teaser text is already on the list for changes. As i mentioned up top, some things had already changed and aren’t reflected in the mockup that is here. things are moving very quickly and it’s just not possible for the mockup to be more than a reflection of a single point in time. the time is important if you are trying to see when the last comment was made. could be 5 recent comments, all from the last 5 minutes. or they could all be from 5 hours ago.

    #5 they are there, just more subtle. Look near recent comments on the right-hand side.

    #6 of course there is an edit function.

    #7 covered above. that will be tomorrow night. we wanted to focus the discussion to a page at a time rather than people talking about 5 pages at once.

    #8 discussed above

    #9 will not be making that change. just highlight the text where you want the link to show up, and then hit “link” once.

    #10 here is the format for the information about the post; it just didn’t make it on to the mockup before the end of the designer’s workday:

    by John Cole | 5:15 pm on May 10, 2019 | 75 comments

    #11 font was selected late Friday, not sure if it’s the one in the mockup or not.

    #12 that change was already made, just not reflected in this mockup

    #13 it’s not a problem – it’s just not showing up well in the image.

    #14 noted, but no guarantee of a change.

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  340. 340
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    re: #14, will note that during Tommy time the site started out with a similar bright white background and there were multitudinous comments about people having to reach for sunglasses due to the vistas of glaring tundra-like white.

    The current more muted background color is oh so much easier on the orbs, IMHO.

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  341. 341
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    re: #3. In that case, darken the text within the blockquote. It’s too pale.

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  342. 342
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    Also re: #3, feel that the giant quote marks add naught but visual clutter.

    Ms Kondo would frown. ;)

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  343. 343
    WaterGirl says:

    @NotMax: I’m not fond of the quotation marks, either. we’ll see what happens.

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  344. 344
    NotMax says:

    Neglected to inquire as to whether stackpathcdn will be given the ax. Please.

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  345. 345
    stinger says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I can’t speak for you, but for myself I think it’s a product of our current government and society. Most of the changes in the past two and a half years have been for the worse, dreadfully so.

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  346. 346
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    Might have ’em set up some nested blockquotes to confirm (or not) how clutterific and distracting they become.

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  347. 347
    WaterGirl says:

    @NotMax: We are not using stackpath.

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  348. 348
    WaterGirl says:

    Whew! I am out of gas for the evening. The Doctor is Out. (so to speak)

    Good night, all!

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  349. 349
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    Hip hip hoorah!

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  350. 350
    karen marie says:

    @WaterGirl: The industry can get stuffed.

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  351. 351
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @WaterGirl:

    @NotMax: I’m not fond of the quotation marks, either. we’ll see what happens.

    That should be easy enough to tell the developer “no quotation marks”-it’s a very simple fix (leave them out).
    From NotMax #308

    3) Lighten the colored background in the blockquote boxes. If it is deemed necessary to have a colored background there, as in the image above it is too jarring on the eyes. As pictured above, it also makes it much more difficult to make out the text in the blockquote, as that text is appearing as more gray than black.. If it must be a colored background, why green? A very pale blue, in complement to the colors of the page header would be preferable, along with using the same dark color for the text as employed in the comment itself.

    I agree that this combination is extremely hard to read.
    @WaterGirl:

    talked with the designer about that on thursday; I love the color, Cole loves the color, and the designer feels that it’s in the same color family and believes it works.

    That’s great,; I’ll suggest y’all run it by the potential readers before making it final. I repeat: This combination is extremely hard to read because there is not much contrast between background and text. As NotMax suggests at #342

    In that case, darken the text within the blockquote. It’s too pale.

    NotMax #308

    #14 the background color appears to be a much brighter white than is the color[current?] background color. On a large monitor all that white space will be blinding.

    @WaterGirl:

    #14 noted, but no guarantee of a change.

    Again, I’ll suggest y’all let potential site users take a peek before setting it in stone.
    I agree with NotMAx at #340

    re: #14, will note that during Tommy time the site started out with a similar bright white background and there were multitudinous comments about people having to reach for sunglasses due to the vistas of glaring tundra-like white.

    The current more muted background color is oh so much easier on the orbs, IMHO.

    It’s hard to tell from a screenshot but if it’s as bright as Tommy made it, it could be problematic. The appearance of brighter white may simply be an artifact of the screenshot.

    Fino a domani.

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  352. 352
    karen marie says:

    @WaterGirl: oh, well, that would be handy. I am so used to hitting refresh, it never occurred to me that might not be necessary. I am assuming though if I have a particular post open and people comment while I am doing something else that the page would need to be refreshed to see the newer comments? I would think if the new comments automatically populate it might jerk the page around if one were at the top or middle, especially in a long, active thread.

    Who knew there’d be so much to think about! Thank you very much, WaterGirl, everyone else working on the upgrade, and most especially our host, Lord of the Blog, John Cole.

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  353. 353
    WaterGirl says:

    @karen marie: Not to worry, new comments will not be populating automatically.

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  354. 354
    WaterGirl says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Taking the quote marks out is beyond simple. I don’t care for them but Cole liked them fine, so I left them in and figured we would get feedback one way or another today, which we did.

    And of course readability is being taken into consideration. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You guys have to remember that we are working with mockups at this point, the actual development hasn’t begun, so there’s no screen to even look at to judge brightness.

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  355. 355

    Switch the category : Mayhew on Insurance to Anderson on Insurance

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  356. 356
    WaterGirl says:

    Remember, what you all are looking at is an image of a mockup of a blog, posted on an actual blog. It’s not ideal, but I was thinking that you guys might all want to see what it looks like at this point and would welcome the opportunity to share your thoughts.

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  357. 357
    Another Scott says:

    @WaterGirl: Indeed. Thank you! We appreciate (all of) your efforts! Don’t let our sometimes strongly expressed opinions make you lose sight of that.

    Colors and spacings and such were tweaked after the previous re-design. I would expect that there will be opportunities to do that this time as well, if necessary. JC’s been known to change his mind occasionally. ;-)

    Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  358. 358
    WaterGirl says:

    @David Anderson: @David Anderson: Where are you seeing Mayhew on Insurance? If you are looking at Quick Links, that is the current blog.

    You show up on the right-hand side in the mockup as: “David Anderson | on Health Insurance”.

    Either that or I am losing my mind.

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  359. 359

    @WaterGirl: Here’s a resource for checking if there’s adequate contrast for accessibility:

    https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/

    If Cole is attached to the background color, then I’d recommend using a darker color for the text.

    FWIW, the link colors are likely insufficiently contrast as well. However, you can mitigate that on desktop by adding an underline onHover, which a pretty common practice, or by adding underlines to the links within a body of text, e.g. links within comments.

    We’re still on the accessibility learning curve with the outside company that’s doing the audit, so I’m not sure how insistent they are about all links having secondary indicators, such as underlining, to indicate that they’re links. (It’s a bit different for us because it’s legal liability issue.) For my UX designer POV, I think some things are clearly links by context, e.g. the links in the header, the “reply,” etc. So it’s less necessary to make those links “linky” appearances.

    There’s also some boilder-plate accessibility stuff that your developer should be doing, e.g. ensuring proper tab order, accessible link menus, etc.

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  360. 360
    Inspectrix says:

    Is anyone else learning lots of new things from this thread?
    I don’t know a thing about web design, so I’m fascinated by the back-and-forth by those that have that knowledge.
    I just switched to reading on my laptop and now I can see Cole blue and the blogroll that I never noticed.
    I guess I’m late to the party. The drinks and snacks are running out, and the cool people have moved on to someone else’s house.

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  361. 361
    J R in WV says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Nope… I thought it would work… it does work for non-comment numbers, as in text of a comment. Not the first time I’ve been wrong, but of course in front of the whole innertubes — wow — that’s a humiliation!!

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  362. 362
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @stinger:
    I am also in this camp.

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  363. 363
    NotMax says:

    Mr. Cole simply needs to get his own dedicated server.

    Steve will be ecstatic to have a nice new pre-warmed bed in the manse.

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  364. 364
    JaySinWA says:

    @WaterGirl: Cool, then we could do the “Washington read” (just check the book index for our name and read those pages). I still think a notify feature would be cooler for dynamic tension but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

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  365. 365
    JaySinWA says:

    @NotMax: Jeebus, we are not relitigating buttery mails here!

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  366. 366
    NotMax says:

    @JaySinWA

    a notify feature

    Waste of bandwidth when it comes to those who use phony or throwaway, never checked e-mail addresses.

    ReplyReply
  367. 367
    WaterGirl says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: Thank you!

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  368. 368
    Ithink says:

    I’d so be down with some more unconventional fonts like cool jazz, rosemary or gothic bold as our typing or display ones here but those are merely my faves from my phone…

    Usually averse to change but you guys di so much perfect just providing a wonky and unapologetically progressive news blog/media site in this neverending nightmare of a Trump era I can’t complain about much of anything around these parts or how its run! I know I probably need to comment more personally.

    Honestly, can we not shut down or off comments on a thread until it’s at least a year old. That’d be terrific to me!

    ReplyReply
  369. 369

    Testing

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  370. 370
    TomatoQueen says:

    My thanks to all Upgraders for the whole process, mirabile dictu it’s happening.
    I join jeffreyw in fervently hating floating bars they need to fuck right off. OTOH, Latin posts from Lily and Thurston are the best idea anyone has ever had.
    And it will be most interesting to see what happens when I open up the site in the gov’t laptop, IE, Windoze7, vpn, twit, fb, yootoob and web gateways completely blocked, no webmail access at all ever, and see if it even works.
    Tonight John’s blue background is coming out light green.
    GREAT STUFF.

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  371. 371

    Having written computer programs, some of major scale, for 35 years, I was reminded of some our humor in the trade about projects. This from Wikipedia:

    In computer programming and software engineering, the ninety-ninety rule is a humorous aphorism that states:

    The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.[1]
    — Tom Cargill, Bell Labs

    This adds up to 180%, making a wry allusion to the notoriety of software development projects significantly over-running their schedules (see software development effort estimation). The anecdote expresses both the rough allocation of time to easy and hard portions of a programming undertaking, and the cause of the lateness of many projects in their failure to anticipate their difficult, often unpredictable, complexities. In short, it often takes both more time and more coding than expected to complete a project.

    Summed up by this aphorism: Projects progress quickly until they become 90% complete; then remain at 90% complete forever.

    We used to know that one by heart.

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  372. 372
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ithink: As soon as a thread turns 1 month old, comments have always been turned off for that thread. We’re not planning to change that, so I guess you got your wish!

    ReplyReply
  373. 373
    Bard the Grim says:

    So many sites have been ruined by adding whitespace (by which I mean open, empty, useless space of any color, not just white). Keep things compact: high information density, less time wasted scrolling scrolling scrolling and losing your train of thought. Death to whitespace. I beg you.

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  374. 374
    Madeleine says:

    I’ve been reading the comments over the last day, as Inspectrix said, learning a lot. I’m also extremely grateful to John, WaterGirl and the others on the design committee. The new site is looking good to me, granting that I’m not especially particular except that it be uncluttered and easy to read.

    That brings me to one point of agreement with some other commenters. Since I’m visually impaired (though I can read quite easily most of the time) I rechecked the block quote contrast, and I’d say that increasing it would be helpful.

    Finally, I’ve appreciated the Blog Roll. I don’t use it often, but sometimes when I’m looking for something new to read, that’s where I go. I’ll miss it. I can live without it.

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  375. 375
    BroD says:

    I have no worthwhile input. I realize however that this means it will be my fault if this goes badly.

    ReplyReply

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