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Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:18 pm
by Rand
sweatshopking wrote:
YEAH, FROM AN INSIDER POSITION THINGS ARE LOOKING BETTER EVERYDAY. HAHAHA I'M AN INSIDER GOD HOW DID THAT HAPPEN

@Drfish also need to make is so clicking on an image in an article opens the full size image. right now they don't open


I think you as an insider might actually be the scariest thing of all.
But hey, if TR fails you can push for its future as the premier source for all WAG!
Your children will love you for it!

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:26 pm
by sweatshopking
Wag.....?

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:31 pm
by Yan
drfish wrote:
Just wanted to add that some good dialogue is happening in the TR Slack right now with John and Renee, who just joined us. I expect you'll have a proper introduction and explanation soon.

So far it seemed that Renee's job was to make three or four useless posts and then disappear for the rest of the day.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:32 pm
by excession
Redocbew wrote:
drfish wrote:
This one is actually addressed in Renee's post and on the header of the new site. The forums are here to stay. My understanding is that they are SEO gold. They may be migrated to a different platform, like the front pages comments were/are still in the process of, but I think they are safe.


In addition to phpBB, I've used Invision Power Board(pretty good), and Fusetalk(ugh, yuck, gak). Fusetalk was not my choice, and I wasn't working with it as a developer. It also came about during a migration which didn't go so well, and even after that was cleaned up everyone hated it. I haven't used IPB in many years so I don't know what it's like now, but if for some reason phpBB doesn't make the cut once the powers that be start shopping for forum software, then IPB is probably the first place I'd look.

Discourse is pretty excellent.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:58 pm
by Redocbew
Looks cool. Thanks for the tip. I was thinking there might be something a bit more modern out there considering it's been a while since I've had to administer a forum.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:02 pm
by Chrispy_
meerkt wrote:
How come there's no GDPR cookie nag yet? :) (Never got the point. Mandating by law that people would be required to dismiss, repeatedly, a meaningless popup that no one reads.)

I don't care about cookies, the browser extension for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox.

If you live in the EU and browse the web, it's pretty much mandatory (though the option to get driven insane by those cookie popups is a choice you can make if you're masochistic enough).

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:10 pm
by meerkt
excession wrote:
Discourse is pretty excellent.

Not for me.

Chrispy_ wrote:

Hah, nice. Didn't know it existed. I thought of creating something similar but never did. If I frequent a site I just add custom CSS overrides.
BTW, there are other useful extensions by the same author.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:16 pm
by Mr Bill
Mr Bill wrote:
Front page suggestion...
When you scroll down at Ars Technica, the top navigatnon bar disappears just like here at TR. But as soon as you scroll up even a bit; the navigation bar unhides floating at the top of the window and becomes avialable for navigation. TR should do that.
Hey I just realized that the adds bar on the right runs to its top and you can click on the "Build your own PC with the Tech Report System Guide" and Boom you are at the top of the guide and have access to the TR navigation bar. :D

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:17 pm
by Redocbew
meerkt wrote:
excession wrote:
Discourse is pretty excellent.

Not for me.


I'm curious, what don't you like about it?

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:19 pm
by Mr Bill
Ars Technica is using Server Central for their forum. Is that more or less SEO than TR's?

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:27 pm
by Redocbew
Mr Bill wrote:
Ars Technica is using Server Central for their forum. Is that more or less SEO than TR's?


It's hosted there, but it's running on phpBB like this one. Assuming they have a custom skin on a stock install(as most installations are), then I wouldn't expect there to be a huge difference in search rankings compared to any other phpBB board of about the same activity.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:07 pm
by meerkt
Redocbew wrote:
I'm curious, what don't you like about it?


Some of the convenience features in Discourse may be nice extras, but the base functionality is lacking. I also dislike the default skin. A non-exhaustive list...

Thread list:
* Infinite scroll
* No "thread starter" and "last post"
* Subforum/category repeated below each item

Thread:
* Posts load thru Javascript (I want static pages that are easy to cache, and that can be saved)
* No pagination
* No hash links for posts (can't save/mark position without page reload)
* Too much junk at page bottom (normally it's a useful anchor point)

General:
* The reply editor uses JS-based "windowing" (I don't like the overlapping aspect; it's also more awkward to open a new tab for replying)
* Poor features when JS is disabled
* Non-absolute dates, and times only shown in tooltips
* White, sparse feel, not enough separation between elements
* Big static top nav bar

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:08 pm
by thedosbox
Captain Ned wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
Gyromancer (Damage Jr) does peripheral reviews form time to time. Mice, keyboards, etc. It's good stuff, go check them out.

He's also a "trained technician" (I hope that picture is somewhere in the bowels of the CMS).


I am a little disappointed he doesn't use that pic as his avatar.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
by Draal
I've read all of the criticism surrounding the front page and don't want to add another "me me me" post, but why is it displaying the same stories in the same view, in all three columns? And how or why is this design more "mobile friendly" when I have to "request desktop site" on my phone for it to be even somewhat usable?

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:14 pm
by Redocbew
meerkt wrote:
Redocbew wrote:
I'm curious, what don't you like about it?


Some of the convenience features in Discourse may be nice extras, but the base functionality is lacking. I also dislike the default skin. A non-exhaustive list...

Thread list:
* Infinite scroll
* No "thread starter" and "last post"
* Subforum/category repeated below each item

Thread:
* Posts load thru Javascript (I want static pages that are easy to cache, and that can be saved)
* No hash links for posts (can't save/mark position without page reload)
* Too much junk at page bottom (normally it's a useful anchor point)

General:
* The reply editor uses JS-based "windowing" (I prefer local browser features; tabs in this case)
* Poor features when JS is disabled
* Non-absolute dates, and times only shown in tooltips
* White, sparse feel, not enough separation between elements
* Big static top nav bar


It's weird to argue against a set of points about a piece of software I've never used, but disabling javascript isn't a realistic use case these days, and I wonder how much of that stuff could be avoided by not using the default theme? At this point we're all painfully aware of how stock themes often suck. That's why everyone who can avoids using them in production.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:19 pm
by meerkt
Redocbew wrote:
disabling javascript isn't a realistic use case these days

I don't see why. phpBB works perfectly fine.

I wonder how much of that stuff could be avoided by not using the default theme?

Some of the more superficial stuff, perhaps. Core functionality, I'm guessing not.

PS: Edited my post above after you quoted it. (Why full-quote? Makes reading threads more difficult. :))

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:25 pm
by FireGryphon
meerkt wrote:
PS: Edited my post above after you quoted it. (Why full-quote? Makes reading threads more difficult. :))


Just a guess, but since the web page is so awful now I’ve been only looking on my phone, and it’s tough to edit text with an on-screen keyboard, such as whittling down quotes, so I’ve just been quoting whole posts, mostly. Maybe that’s his excuse m, too.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:27 pm
by Redocbew
meerkt wrote:
Redocbew wrote:
disabling javascript isn't a realistic use case these days

I don't see why. phpBB works perfectly fine.


... o... k. Come to think of it, haven't we talked about this before?

Oh, and I full-quoted JUST TO PISS YOU OFF!

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:28 pm
by Captain Ned
I know JBI mentioned it somewhere far upstream, and I also understand that there are some other issues involved, but a restoration of the HoB (known to mods as the +4 Hammer of Banning) would be greatly appreciated. Moving to a new platform and new hosting provider has brought out a whole new flock of spammers.

I can deal with this on my phone if the HoB is running, otherwise I need to get to a desktop/laptop. Given my vagabond road warrior work ways, I'd really like to be able to do this on the phone in a click or three.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:54 pm
by Rand
sweatshopking wrote:
Wag.....?

Women's Artistic Gymnastics. I am disappointed in you SSK. These are things you are supposed to know.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:00 pm
by Captain Ned
Nah, a WAG is a guess that isn't Scientific.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:09 pm
by meerkt
FireGryphon wrote:
and it’s tough to edit text with an on-screen keyboard, such as whittling down quotes

Oh.

Redocbew wrote:
meerkt wrote:
I don't see why. phpBB works perfectly fine.
... o... k. Come to think of it, haven't we talked about this before?

Probably no earlier than two pages back?

Oh, and I full-quoted JUST TO PISS YOU OFF!

Alright. Just asking.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:23 pm
by Redocbew
I was thinking of a thread where somebody complained about their search results being messed up when they had javascript turned off, but maybe that wasn't you.

Anyway, in an attempt to re-rail the de-rail I inadvertently started here it used to be the case that dynamically generated content was considered an SEO no-no, because search engines couldn't index dynamic content. That has since changed, but like I said earlier when or if that will penetrate into the alternate reality where some SEO wonks tend to spend their time is anyone's guess.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:27 pm
by Usacomp2k3
I still have my TR t-shirt flowing around. The one with the “less T&A, more T&L” graph on it.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:49 pm
by meerkt
Redocbew wrote:
search results being messed up when they had javascript turned off

That'd be unexpected, but don't know. My searches use an external search engine.

dynamically generated content was considered an SEO no-no, because search engines couldn't index

I assume dynamic forums serve plain static pages to bots. Even TR's custom commenting system did that.

in an attempt to re-rail the de-rail

Yeah, best split off to a dedicated thread. Or if/when there are any forum software announcements.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:58 pm
by Captain Ned
meerkt wrote:
Yeah, best split off to a dedicated thread. Or if/when there are any forum software announcements.

I do believe I've found the ultimate oxymoron.

The Internet Hermit.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:48 pm
by JohnC
Gotta honestly say, even though I have not participated for quite a long time and I was not always on friendly terms with some of the members it's sad to see one of my memorable online communities to go away, in one of the worst ways I've ever seen - randomly becoming an ugly, unusable WordPress template with late announcement by some random person about "hey guys, in case you didn't notice, we did something to the site for the sake of making it look different and optimizing it for search bots to "drive more organic traffic" (this marketing speech reminds me of certain episode of Oregairu anime, Season 2 episode 7 for curious people, those who watched it will know exactly what I am talking about) . I remember when Steve sold the Shack, even that was handled much better. Oh well, what's done is done, there is no turning back or salvaging this site anymore (no matter what new site owners will say - my experience shows me that I am right). See you guys on other sites and forums.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:08 am
by meerkt
JohnC wrote:
I remember when Steve sold the Shack, even that was handled much better.

An apt comparison. For some reason that was also what I had in mind. ShackNews' design had character, and also comments were prominently featured in the homepage (and TR articles linked in the right-side column). Then the homepage turned into a white-backgrounded collection of image boxes, plus a few top 10 lists (though the article pages retained to commenting system, and some other features).

Today, surprisingly, it's dark-themed by default, and even the light theme is grey-based. And an interesting pagination system. Apparently they're having financial trouble there as well.

Captain Ned wrote:
The Internet Hermit.

What hermit?

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:27 am
by dashbarron
Mr Bill wrote:
Waco wrote:
SecretSquirrel wrote:

Ha, no kidding.
Probably hired someone else to write it. It reads like a fluff piece.


Did you see his bio? Online Influencer? Really? Maybe he's a great guy, but any of the dozens of people I've met who are "influencers" are shallow-cores of human beings that I want nothing to do with because they're so self-absorbed and tone-death to everything.

I feel really bad for this site. I don't comment and post much, but I read a lot of the content and visit the forums frequently. This is one of my 3 morning stops. I feel worse for JBI, Ned, and all the other better and active regulars than me who are probably wrenching inside but nicer to be brave for the lesser gerbils.

The TR BBQ isn't a far drive for me and I'm debating it, but I just feel so depressed over this whole business.

Who thought I'd be so attached to a website, the staff, and what it used to be.

Re: Something's different...

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:34 am
by tanker27
Redocbew wrote:
meerkt wrote:
Redocbew wrote:
I'm curious, what don't you like about it?


Some of the convenience features in Discourse may be nice extras, but the base functionality is lacking. I also dislike the default skin. A non-exhaustive list...

Thread list:
* Infinite scroll
* No "thread starter" and "last post"
* Subforum/category repeated below each item

Thread:
* Posts load thru Javascript (I want static pages that are easy to cache, and that can be saved)
* No hash links for posts (can't save/mark position without page reload)
* Too much junk at page bottom (normally it's a useful anchor point)

General:
* The reply editor uses JS-based "windowing" (I prefer local browser features; tabs in this case)
* Poor features when JS is disabled
* Non-absolute dates, and times only shown in tooltips
* White, sparse feel, not enough separation between elements
* Big static top nav bar


It's weird to argue against a set of points about a piece of software I've never used, but disabling javascript isn't a realistic use case these days, and I wonder how much of that stuff could be avoided by not using the default theme? At this point we're all painfully aware of how stock themes often suck. That's why everyone who can avoids using them in production.


I am starting to think Javascript is quickly becoming the new Flash. And I am saying this as a developer who uses Javascript extensively, everyday at work. I hate it but its a necessary evil.