Balloon Juice Site Rebuild – Thursday Update

Hey, everyone. Anybody interested in an update on the site rebuild?  Lots of site rebuild news to share, and all good, I think!

First, some fun facts from Google Analytics:

– 87% of the Balloon Juice traffic starts at the home page. Good thing I didn’t bet on that; I would have lost my house.

– 70% of the traffic is direct to the site; 15% comes from Google.

– 54% of users are on desktops, about one-third are on mobile, 14% are on tablets.

Before moving on to more interesting news… You guys have my sincere apologies for my not doing my google analytics homework in advance; if I had, the Monday night worries most certainly could have been avoided.

Those of you who were here for the Monday night thread will know that by bedtime on Monday we had kicked front page options #1-5 to the curb. Today I can confirm that the decision to go with full posts on the front page has been finalized, and we have the full support of the developers on that. As the saying goes, if the 87% ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!

More news. The kickoff meeting was on Friday, May 3, the mockup phase began just a week ago on Monday, May 6, and the mockup phase ended just 8 days later on Tuesday, May 14. And the development phase started first thing on Wednesday morning!

This is the most competent, professional and personable team I have ever worked with on a website development project. Every one of them is sharp as a tack, and they totally rolled with the punches when I wrote to them on Friday night. Many of us are old enough to remember when Sally Field won an academy award, and she swooned in her speech: “You like me, you really like me!” Well, this was kind of the anti-Sally-Field email. “They hate it, they really HATE it!” (meaning the Front Page mockup) We were really happy that most of you really liked the Individual Thread mockups, so no take-backs on that, please!

I’ll be putting up a thread at some point over the weekend, asking for testers. We are looking for folks who have time to do some serious testing: pressing every button, clicking every link, trying the same things on multiple devices, operating systems or multiple browsers. So think about whether you’re interested and whether you might have some time for that, and maybe start thinking about the devices etc that you are able to test on because in the testing volunteers thread we will be asking you to provide specific information about your devices, operating systems, and browsers.

My best guess is that testing could start as early as 2 weeks from now, but I expect to have a better idea about that by the end of next week.

The developers use a program called BrowserStack, which says it gives users a seamless experience by testing on 2000+ real devices and browsers instead of using emulators and simulators.

So the developers may well have it covered, but in my opinion there’s nothing like real people who know the ins and outs of a site and the particulars of how we use Balloon Juice to verify that all is good. No rollout of any system has ever been perfect, probably in the history of the world, so I don’t expect this one to be, either. We have some pretty sophisticated users here, so I say we do our best to help find anything there is to find before rollout.

I’ll be taking names and detailed information from testing volunteers on the weekend training thread. In the meantime, have at it.

Edit: every thread needs a photo, right?  My tree peony blooms opened today.






151 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    This is the most competent, professional and personable team I have ever worked with on a website development project. Every one of them is sharp as a tack, and they totally rolled with the punches when I wrote to them on Friday night.

    They sound completely inappropriate for this community.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    @Baud:
    Yeah, we like being punched and rolled.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    ruemara says:

    Ooooh, WG is a blog overlord!

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: You’re right. They must be fired immediately!

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    WaterGirl says:

    @ruemara: Just trying to keep you guys in the loop.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    jeffreyw says:

    Yay for the full posts on the home page! I hates it when I have to click again on a post to read it. I always start the day with loading from a bookmark, thereafter using the next post side tabs.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    Bill Arnold says:

    I have not asked this previously, but please have the team make sure that this site is friendly to crawlers/spiders (especially search engines). (I can roll with most changes but breaking crawlers breaks the site, for me.)

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    WaterGirl says:

    @Bill Arnold: Well you’re in luck because they do, in fact, pay attention to that.

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    WaterGirl says:

    @jeffreyw: Yay for someone who is happy! We like happy.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    debbie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Glad you’ve clawed your way back from the Monday night thread. Will you be interested in testing on devices less than the greatest and latest?

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    Bill Arnold says:

    Well you’re in luck because they do, in fact, pay attention to that.

    Thanks! This place has a lot more lurkers than one might imagine, and they find their way here through various sources including search engines fed by crawlers/spiders. :-)

    ReplyReply
  12. 12

    @WaterGirl: Wait, someone’s happy? We can’t have that.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    WaterGirl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: What was I thinking? I must be tired.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: Most certainly! Though I can tell you that the one platform I know is not guaranteed to be supported is Internet Explorer.

    So I hope what you have isn’t that old.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    debbie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Never!

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: I’ll look forward to seeing you as a volunteer on the weekend thread.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17

    @WaterGirl: I wouldn’t worry too much about MS Edge either, it’s going, going…. It’ll be replaced with a Chromium based Edge.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    WaterGirl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I believe Edge is covered, but I don’t know a single human who uses it. I wonder if anyone here does and I just don’t know?

    ReplyReply
  19. 19

    @WaterGirl: I don’t use it for this site, but I do use if for my LA history site since the primary poster’s pictures stopped displaying on Chrome.

    ETA: Reminds me, I should check out that site in the Chromium based Edge(yes I have a beta copy).

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    Another Scott says:

    Sounds good. Thanks for the update.

    How about the plumbing? E.g. Are tweaks going to be made to not hit the database so frequently for things like the Recent Comments gizmo? There was some discussion a while ago about things that could be done. Anything that reduces the need for (or if it’s needed, the latency) a CDN would be appreciated. (I hate having to refresh the page – sometimes multiple times – to see new comments.)

    Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21

    @Another Scott:

    How about the plumbing?

    They’re going to be using copper, no expense is too much for Balloon Juice.

    ReplyReply
  22. 22

    How else would you even start, if not the home page? Unless if you were picking up a thread from last night or something…………………?

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    WaterGirl says:

    @John Revolta: I almost never start at the home page. I have a RSS feeder and I always have a thread open so I just hit the wing at the right to go to the next post.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    MomSense says:

    I am really grateful all of you are doing this for us! We don’t deserve it but thank you all the same.

    I just found out that there will be middle eastern belly dancing at this concert – meaning audience belly dancing. I don’t think I’m prepared for this.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25

    @WaterGirl: Well you, and I mean this in the best possible way, are a weirdo.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    Baud says:

    Can we set the system to create an automatic open thread after 3 hours or 300 comments?

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Serious question?

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Maybe.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    MomSense says:

    @Baud:

    Like a default fresh 🧵!

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    J R in WV says:

    @Baud:

    There’s a great idea!! Auto-threading by clock or comment count!!!!!

    Really?

    Will be glad to test, hope I make the weekend threads. Have Linux/Firefox up to date. Also have chrome on an android tablet.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31

    @WaterGirl:

    I have a RSS feeder and I always have a thread open so I just hit the wing at the right to go to the next post.

    Some of us also come here from Twitter. Cole’s Twitter feed automatically tweets every time there’s a new thread, which is often the fastest way to find out. I would guess there are also some people who link to specific posts from other web sites.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    J R in WV says:

    @Baud:

    I’m kidding… how weird can you get?

    Although sometimes we could use a new open thread, how often will there be no one who could start one?

    Baud 2020 !!! ;-)

    ReplyReply
  33. 33

    @Baud: I thought we did that already at 25 comments.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @J R in WV:
    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Front pagers sometimes forget their duties on the weekends.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    J R in WV says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Haw!!!!

    ;-)

    HAHAHA!!!

    ReplyReply
  36. 36

    @Baud:

    Can we set the system to create an automatic open thread after 3 hours or 300 comments?

    It would be more in keeping with the blog practice to automate the process of bigfooting any interesting post with a silly open thread.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    eldorado says:

    browserstack is legit. fyi.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Were you asking about the version of the WP editing software we will be using? If so, it’s 5.2

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: That was quite diplomatic, Baud!

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    HeleninEire says:

    I have no real complaints. I like it here. I manage the bullshit. BUT where is the bleg? That is the combination of blog and beg.

    In other words where do I go contribute $$$ to the rebuild?

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    WaterGirl says:

    @HeleninEire: You can go to the PayPal link on the right near the top. Just tell Cole not to spend it on hookers and blow and you’ll be fine.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    frosty says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    …they find their way here through various sources including search engines fed by crawlers/spiders

    Oddly enough, I tried the phrase “skull fuck a kitten” today and I’m happy to report it still leads you to B-J. Some things never change.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Baud:

    They sound completely inappropriate for this community.

    No, see, when you have a chaotic unprofessional client, you need a super-professional team. Failure to follow that old mantra leads to fusterclucks like the current Oval Office Occupation!

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    HeleninEire says:

    @WaterGirl: LOL Will do. But wow what if I want Cole to spend it on hookers and blow? Well I guess money is fungible. Good Luck Cole with those Hookers and Blow.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    WaterGirl says:

    @HeleninEire: Just throw in a bit extra for the hookers and blow. :-) It’s good of you to want to contribute!

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    frosty says:

    @Baud:

    Can we set the system to create an automatic open thread after 3 hours or 300 comments?

    And make it a post from one of the Cole menagerie. A picture is easy, perhaps someone creative or clever* can come up with some rotating text to go along with it.

    * I know, I know, it might be a stretch for this crowd, but I bet we can do it.

    ReplyReply
  47. 47

    @WaterGirl: Thanks. No big deal, I’m just curious.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    HeleninEire says:

    @WaterGirl: You are too funny. My note to Cole via Paypall is gonna be LIT. I will blame you. 😆

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    Amir Khalid says:

    @HeleninEire:
    I suspect the Blog Overdog is past his hookers-and-blow phase, and has now become a Respectable Citizen.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Not the number you were hoping for?

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    Anne Laurie says:

    @HeleninEire: We can use any extra funds to buy hookers & blow for the developers, who may need it more than Cole!

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    WaterGirl says:

    @HeleninEire: Blaming me? I’m pretty sure that is in my job description under other duties as assigned. :-)

    ReplyReply
  53. 53

    @WaterGirl: I am not that much of a techie to even know what that number means.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I thought you wanted to know what version of WordPress editor we were going to be using on the new site? So it would match what you use at the Nuclear Diner.

    edit: We will be using the latest version. So if you’re on the latest version at the Nuclear Diner, you will have the same one.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    HeleninEire says:

    @Amir Khalid: I disagree. No one is ever past their hookers and blow phase.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @HeleninEire: I believe that lack of food may have gone to Amir’s head.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    FelonyGovt says:

    I will be happy to be a tester, just in case I don’t make it back over the weekend. iMac computer running Safari, iPad and iPhoneXR.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    HeleninEire says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Still. We love him.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Fasting will do that to you! Though if it were me, I think I might be thinking about food rather than hookers and blow.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    Aleta says:

    Water Girl what are your thoughts about a frequent tank fill issue on the American Standard 4215A?

    ReplyReply
  61. 61

    @WaterGirl: I thank you for all the good work you’re doing. Looking forward to the new site.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    HeleninEire says:

    @WaterGirl: Yeah. I always think of food.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    oatler. says:

    How about a big Huffpost- style banner with an exclamation point that jams you with autoplay if you click on it?

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    MazeDancer says:

    Continued big props and much appreciation for your giant efforts, Watergirl!

    Even I, who knew BJ skewed older, wouldn’t have placed the percentage of people who liked reading on the front page over 75%.

    87% is kind of decisive…

    Also, didn’t realize 87% of BJ could agree on anything.

    Will volunteer when time comes. Have every browser, a new Mac, a new iPad (yes, ouch, both old ones died in same year) a Kindle Fire, and no phone, so can hold down the Gimme the Front Page quotient.

    And gorgeous peony!

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I asked this probably too late in the Monday thread, but can we once again allow posting in non-Latin alphabets?

    ReplyReply
  66. 66

    I spent some time on Indian Twitter, wow, Balloon Juice is so sane in comparison.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodingers_cat (HectoringBully): I love your new nym, BTW.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68

    @Gin & Tonic: जैसी आपकी इच्छा

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    HumboldtBlue says:

    If you can give a time frame I can certainly take part if the schedule fits.

    I can give you a crappy desktop/Firefox feedback.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Spanky says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Commie.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71

    @Amir Khalid: The man has blown right past Respectable and is closing in on
    Stodgy.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    raven says:

    I chipped in but this terphulge is fucking killing this blog.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WaterGirl: I have the horrid suspicion I’m gonna end up as the developers’ dashboard tester… my home-cobbled desktop/PaleMoon browser combo is all too liable to do something really weird when the upgrade happens.

    (There were some horrible months after Alain came on board & saved the blog where I had to hand-code all the fancy embellishments, which for a dyslexic is *not* a happy task… )

    But I’m sure the developers are used to dealing with cranky back-end users, as well, Murphy the Trickster God bless them!

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    Ruckus says:

    I offered to test the other day but I have all up to date stuff. iMac, iPhone, use Safari for both for BJ, updates all updated, latest OS on both, latest upgrades on Safari on both…….
    Bet I can still break things, it’s my speciality, you know, if it wasn’t for bad luck…..

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Sab says:

    @raven: Pie filter is always an option.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
  77. 77
    Aleta says:

    Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon is reading the Mueller Report with feeling.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCjOA6-YXSI

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodingers_cat (HectoringBully): А може це також?

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodingers_cat (HectoringBully): I don’t know why you can get away with Devanagari and I can’t enter a comment in Cyrillic. I just tried, in response to your post, and it simply vanished. Not moderation, just disappeared.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80

    @Gin & Tonic: You know what you did.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I don’t know why you can get away with Devanagari and I can’t enter a comment in Cyrillic. I just tried, in response to your post, and it simply vanished. Not moderation, just disappeared.

    Could it be the spam filter is more suspicious of Russian bots than Hindi ones?

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I have the same problem. I used to be able to post in Cyrillic, but not now. I have to transliterate it.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    Sab says:

    @Sab: Also, we need to cherish our Hawaiians, because nobody else is posting at 3 am EST except about 3 insomniacs and the Hawaiians.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84

    @Sab: Excuse me, 3am EST is only 12am PST.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Let me check and see if I can find where it went. Please stand, sit, lounge, or lie by.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I found it and have freed it. It went directly into the spam folder along with the adverts for NFL jerseys and the twin Japanese sisters who are interested in having a very good time…

    ReplyReply
  87. 87

    @Gin & Tonic: Because it is the script of Gods! (that’s the rough translation of Devnagari)
    Trying Gujarati
    તમે કેમ છો (how are you?)

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
  89. 89

    Couldn’t hurt to make sure they’re making something accessible to screen-readers.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I actually did put “Cyrillic” in my list placeholder questions/issues for the developers. Not something we’ll get to right away because there are bigger fish to fry, but the placeholder is there so we will get to that question eventually.

    Hope that makes you feel at least a tiny bit reassured that this has not been forgotten.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    WaterGirl says:

    @raven: What the heck is terphulge?

    ReplyReply
  92. 92

    @Adam L Silverman:

    the twin Japanese sisters who are interested in having a very good time…

    I am intrigued by this.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Please disregard the email I just sent you in case you had smartly gone to bed at a reasonable hour.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    WaterGirl says:

    @Anne Laurie: Screw the hookers and blow (not literally), maybe Cole needs to get you a new computer! :-)

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    Origuy says:

    я думаю, что я могу писать по-русски

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I figured you would be.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    zhena gogolia says:

    @WaterGirl:

    TenguPhule. I find him inoffensive and scroll-by-able when I’m not in the mood.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    chris says:

    @WaterGirl: Thank you! I was afraid to ask.

    ETA: And answered. Thanks, ZG. I agree.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    Origuy says:

    я думаю, что я могу писать по-русски.

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thank you for finding that. To s_c, it was just “maybe this, too.”

    But, you know, Adam, about those Japanese sisters? You seem not to have forwarded that one.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    WaterGirl says:

    @Sab: Speaking of pie filter, is anyone in touch with Cleek? It’s looking more likely that the developers are going to build the pie filter, but Cleek might have some insights or hot tips that would be helpful to them. Cleek volunteered to talk with the developers, I think, a couple of months ago but I haven’t seen him since.

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Origuy:

    Lots of people can, just not me and Gin&Tonic.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Origuy: @Origuy: Both of these also went into moderation, not Spam. So it is interesting that your’s went one place and G&T’s went another.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Via Reddit, a graphic for Alabama.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    zhena gogolia says:

    @WaterGirl:

    He commented on a thread this morning, I think the one about Warren, early morning Anne Laurie.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    Origuy says:

    My post went into moderation with Cyrillic. I’ve been able to do it with no trouble in the past. I’m not sure why it was posted twice, though.
    ETA Adam unblocked them really quickly.

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The developers have an accessibility program that they use, so I’m not too worried about that.

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @zhena gogolia: My guess is that if I go digging back far enough in the Spam folder, that’s where your’s went too. Please don’t make me do that, you don’t know what it’s like in there…

    The horror!

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @HumboldtBlue: Here it is with attribution to the artist:

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    david says:

    “First, some fun facts from Google Analytics:”

    For those who don’t want to be tracked, download and install DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials.

    TEN trackers blocked on this website, alone.
    Balloon Juice is graded out as a “D” by the program. Hideous.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Nice!

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: Thanks, MomSense! It’s me and Cole, and we think you all are worth it. :-)

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @HumboldtBlue: We Silvermans have you all covered!

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thank you, Cheryl! You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but I am content knowing that I am giving it my all, and I can’t do better than that.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    Amir Khalid says:

    @HumboldtBlue:
    Since it’s not a match day for Liverpool, I’m sure Sadio Mane and Mo Salah will be fasting today.

    Bianca sends everyone greetings.She is relaxing on my lap right now.

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WaterGirl: My personal Tech Specialist is… the Spousal Unit.

    The good news is, I can demand he come fix stuff at 3am on a Sunday morning. The bad news is, I’m kinda stuck with what he’ll set up for me. The fact that I am old & tech-phobic and would rather *not* have to change anything ever in my copious online activity doesn’t help.

    My laptop-plugged-into-a-monitor most definitely needs to be taken down to the studs and renovated, but that’s a process which will take many, many more dedicated hours than he’s had to spare… or that I can bear to be exiled to meatspace!

    What’ll happen, eventually, is that there will be some kind of catastrophic failure, and he’ll set me up some kind of half-arsed make-do ‘temporary’ fix on one of his multiple old laptops while he works on my “home” machine. I’m kinda hoping (Murphy be generous!) that this won’t happen until after the Giant Blog Reboot, so that we can sort out ‘new platform’ before we have to cope with ‘new techniques’…

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    WaterGirl says:

    @MazeDancer: Thank you for your kind words. Yeah, 87% kind of shocked all of us. Data, who knew it could be useful? :-)

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    Steeplejack says:

    It would be useful to see mock-ups of how the pages scale to tablet and cell-phone screens.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    LurkerLoo says:

    When you say

    We were really happy that most of you really liked the Individual Thread mockups, so no take-backs on that, please!

    Is that (“most of you really liked the Individual Thread mockups”) with or without consideration of concerns over contrast?

    In the Sunday preview
    #308:

    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.

    You replied at #339:

    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.

    Additional comments followed that:
    # 341:

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

    #351

    This combination is extremely hard to read because there is not much contrast between background and text.

    Also #359 :

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

    Is that(darker color for blockquote text) still under consideration or (ideally) going to happen, or are readers who need the contrast to avoid headaches cordially invited to go away?

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    WaterGirl says:

    @Anne Laurie: You are describing my sister, by the way, and I am just the opposite. My dad was right, it does take all kinds, and that’s what makes the world go ’round.

    It takes a special frame of mind to work with older systems like that, and I don’t have that. Decades of doing tech support leaves you with the feeling that at a certain point it’s just not worth trying to baby older equipment along – but props to anyone who feels otherwise and is willing to take the time to do it.

    No way to tell in advance if running the newer software will be an issue, but it sounds like one way or another, it will get figured out. Your husband must be talented if he can get old clunkers to work!

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  121. 121
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: Hey Steep. I asked the developers if we could get mockups of mobile phones and tablets, but it’s not really a good use of time since it’s all screen size related and there are a lot of variations. They think the time is better spent building the new system and I couldn’t really argue with that.

    Which isn’t to say that it wouldn’t be nice to be able to have mockups! But seriously, things are moving really fast so no mockup would be accurate for more than a couple of hours at this point.

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  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    @LurkerLoo: On Sunday and Monday we were not just working with mockups, where it’s impossible to make an assessment of thing like contract. We were working with screen captures of .pdf files of mockups, posted on a blog, with mages half the size of what it will be on a computer when it’s live.

    Of course accessibility issues will be taken into account. It’s just way to early to be able to make any kind of assessment of that nature when it’s not even on a live screen yet.

    That’s what I should have said on Sunday instead of getting pulled into the specifics of how it looked from the mockups I just described.

    I am wondering if you can see my point?

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  123. 123
    TomatoQueen says:

    @WaterGirl: Internet Explorer is the standard and only browser authorized by the US Gov’t for its employees at the Social Security Administration. The current iteration is IE Eleven or something. It runs Win 7 Enterprise on a laptop by HP. Win10 might be rolled out to us this year. Maybe. Otherwise, during working hours east coast time IE is wot I got.

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  124. 124
    NotMax says:

    One item to mention which usually falls through the cracks of site builds, mostly because no one is motivated enough to bother looking. Not a Big Thing, barely even a thing – remember to look at the layout and message (if any) of what will be the 404 page.

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  125. 125
    Steeplejack says:

    @NotMax:

    Don’t tell anybody, but I have been using the 404 page to see where recent comments are.

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  126. 126
    NotMax says:

    As it is a site rebuild thread, shall bluntly opine again that the body text font in the mock-ups sucks hippo butt. Bigly.

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  127. 127
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Your husband must be talented if he can get old clunkers to work!

    He’s a professional tech writer and a pretty darn good shadetree programmer, who came to computers sideways during the punch card, mainframe days. He *likes* tinkering with old machines, scavenging for parts, bricolaging code.

    I like using tech stuff I already know, so I can save my learning capacity for things like political speculation and social-media memes.

    It’s a codependent relationship; I ‘bully’ him to get what I want, or some approximation thereof; he ‘cons’ me into moving forward by introducing new processes buried inside old fixes, as though he were mincing vegetables into my mac’n’cheese…

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  128. 128
    NotMax says:

    @Steeplejack

    Solemn promise it shall travel no further than my shell-like ears.

    ;)

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  129. 129
    WaterGirl says:

    @TomatoQueen: That’s a bummer. SS needs to get with the program, but that sucks for you. I’m not saying nothing will work with IE, I’m just saying that there are sure to be things that won’t work with IE that will work with other browsers.

    But even with JavaScript turned off (not the same thing at all, but it bodes well for your problem with IE, I think) the basics of the site will function. We will hope it ends up better than you fear!

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  130. 130
    WaterGirl says:

    @NotMax: And I heard you again. :-)

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  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    as though he were mincing vegetables into my mac’n’cheese…

    I laughed out loud!

    Maybe symbiotic relationship sounds better than codependent? :-)

    It’s all about what our interests are, isn’t it? When I hurt my back years ago, I quit mowing my own lawn because it made my back hurt, but I still played volleyball. To me, volleyball was worth it but mowing wasn’t.

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  132. 132
    WaterGirl says:

    @david: I use Ghostery, myself, and have all analytics turned off. That’s probably why it’s at 87% for landing on the front page, it’s because I’m not being counted!

    TEN trackers blocked on this website, alone.
    Balloon Juice is graded out as a “D” by the program. Hideous.

    Please be sure to let me know how BJ comes out once the site is rebuilt. I will be very interested. Seriously.

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  133. 133
    LurkerLoo says:

    I believe I can see your point, which seems to be that contrast will be assessed when it’s convenient. It’s actually pretty easy to make assessments by following pertinent standards, regardless of whether you’re asking readers to consider mockups and then live with whatever you pick in spite of the limitations of the mockup presentation. The comment “most of you really liked the Individual Thread mockups, so no take-backs on that please!” in the post sounded pretty much like people were being scolded for having opinions.

    Does the developer have a plan to provide for text that has a 4.5:1 contrast ratio with the background? Or is it just gonna be the colors that you and Cole love and “the designer feels that it’s in the same color family and believes it works” (from Sunday #339)? I suspect that’s an important question for a few people.

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  134. 134
    WaterGirl says:

    @NotMax: I made a note of it.

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  135. 135
    TomatoQueen says:

    @WaterGirl: I’m reminded of Bill Murray’s line in STRIPES, as he leads the way to the lady mud wrestling pit: “This might be fun.”

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  136. 136
    WaterGirl says:

    @LurkerLoo: I am beginning to feel a bit like there’s nothing I can say on this issue at this point that will be acceptable to you.

    I obviously offended you with my offhand comment on Sunday, which was insensitive, and for that I apologize. But I’m gonna leave the conversation here for now because at this moment because I don’t believe it would be constructive to do otherwise.

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  137. 137
    NotMax says:

    As the saying goes, if the 87% ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!

    Gratified almost beyond words that this time around we aren’t being admonished that we’re not internetting properly.

    :)

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  138. 138
    LurkerLoo says:

    @WaterGirl: I used too much detail to ask the simple question (apologies). An acceptable response on the issue is yes or no to this:

    Does the developer have a plan to provide for text that has a 4.5:1 contrast ratio with the background?

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  139. 139
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It takes a special frame of mind to work with older systems like that, and I don’t have that. Decades of doing tech support leaves you with the feeling that at a certain point it’s just not worth trying to baby older equipment along

    I used to do this. Just got tired of stuff always being a day late and a dollar short of decent and never working just when you didn’t have the time to screw with it.

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  140. 140
    JaySinWA says:

    @TomatoQueen: Yeah, how are the Feebs gonna monitor us if we don’t do IE? Or is that the plan?

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  141. 141
    JaySinWA says:

    @Anne Laurie: Pale moon! I read about that. I might have even installed it. seemed awfully fiddlely to me. Maybe he was trying to keep you occupied. Linux I assume?

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  142. 142
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It’s all about what our interests are, isn’t it? When I hurt my back years ago, I quit mowing my own lawn because it made my back hurt, but I still played volleyball. To me, volleyball was worth it but mowing wasn’t.

    Excellent example!

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  143. 143
    something fabulous says:

    Analytics to the rescue!!! Great news. Thanks for the update!

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  144. 144
    Anne Laurie says:

    @NotMax:

    Gratified almost beyond words that this time around we aren’t being admonished that we’re not internetting properly.

    Yeah, that’s the glass-half-full-or-empty part: The last redesign was such a fustercluck, a lot of old-timers are extremely gun-shy about any proposed change. On the positive side… well, it’d be hard for the new team to do any worse, wouldn’t it?

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  145. 145
    JaySinWA says:

    @JaySinWA: Whoa Pale Moon is still under active development. I can’t remember why it got press when I looked at it last. I thought it was a vanity project that was not going to last.

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  146. 146
    Anne Laurie says:

    @JaySinWA: When IE became ‘too much trouble to keep patching‘, he researched alternatives, & switched me over to Pale Moon as ‘like FireFox, only less likely to blow up your machine or make you learn new tricks you don’t wanna know.’ Currently installed version — 25-point-something? — lets me write these posts, read my email, and play solitaire games, which is what I want from The Online Experience.

    I’m fussy, but I’m not (in tech terms) demanding. Suspect there are a LOT more users like me than you tech-friendly ‘natives’ imagine!

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  147. 147
    JaySinWA says:

    @Anne Laurie: So older Windows probably given the IE migration. Wikipedia says 26.5 was the last supported version for XP but was out in 2014-5 so maybe Win 7 possibly upgraded to 10- but unlikely if you are risk adverse., Stripping it to the studs and reinstalling a working OS would definitely take hours..

    I’m fussy, but I’m not (in tech terms) demanding. Suspect there are a LOT more users like me than you tech-friendly ‘natives’ imagine!

    Yes, I have run into more than a few. I expect the majority of users just want it to work the way they understand it. They hate the upgrade/obsolescence treadmill (as do I, but I try to adapt and avoid the worst of the traps up front. Specialized hardware is a tell, I have learned). I had some relatives that had Windows embroidery hardware/software that was abandoned in one of the Windows upgrades/phase outs.

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  148. 148
    Anne Laurie says:

    @JaySinWA: Bingo, Win7 ‘migrated’ to PaleMoon (maybe three years ago? five?).

    Because of our separate & joint brain wiring, it takes forever for either of us to get focused on something, and then it takes a crowbar to distract us from it. Also, I dread change, and he dreads ‘less than perfect’. So, joint upgrades of this level of complexity tend to be avoided until the old system breaks down entirely…

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  149. 149
    SG says:

    I hope I’m not too late to request this: can we please have an archived list of all the colorful, overly specific tags? Sort of like the lexicon, and just so they’re not lost and forgotten. Actually I’m still not clear on the differences between a tag, a category and a chimera, but I’m talking about the quirky lists at the bottom of the posts, e.g. “John Cole Presents This Fucking Old House.” As I understand it, these will be severely edited. This is, imo, a real loss humor-wise.

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  150. 150
    Jay Essel says:

    Late to the party, but would love to help as a tester – I’m a UXer so I love to try breaking interfaces :)

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  151. 151
    Ascap_scab says:

    I get to BJ content by Greader via Feedly. If I want to see the photos, I go to the site directly. Not sure how that shows up on your analytics.

    ReplyReply

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