One of the most common questions I get is simply "What does the '2 More' mean in the left side menu?" To me it's obvious: it means there are 2 more stories on say, apple.slashdot.org than you have seen on slashdot.org. This is because Slashdot probably already had 15 stories today, and this particular story is only of interest to users who explicitly chose to view Apple stories.
Those little 'N More' snippets clutter up the left hand menu, and confuse people. Our power users know that they can suck all the sectional content into the main page, but very few users actually bother with that kind of customization. And just as important, we have a lot of content that is simply lost because most of you never knew it was there in the first place.
What you'll see now is the interleaving of sectional content with main page content. These articles are displayed in a very abbreviated format, amidst the other stories. This is content we've been posting on Slashdot for years, but most users never knew. I'm pleased with the design of the whole thing. I think it looks really nice and doesn't clutter up the page.
Of course some users will always disagree with me, and for them there are now a plethora of user configurable options. Essentially, each section has a range of options ranging from "All" (Meaning, every story is displayed in full text) to "None" (Meaning I really really really never want to see anything about Apple really no seriously I'm not kidding!)
These options are available on the left hand menu by simply clicking the 'Sections' menu entry. A fancy little window will open with various tools for you do play with allowing you to choose what content on Slashdot you want to read... and perhaps more importantly, to disable the content you don't. The default view of Slashdot has slightly changed today, but you can set your preferences back to make the site look like it did before too.
We fully expect there to be some bugs with this, so please feel free to contact us... preferably by submitting a bug report to our sourceforge project tracker. We hope to have any major kinks worked out of the system in the next few days, so just hang in there.
All in all I am very pleased with this. This solves a number of long standing problems on Slashdot: That is to say sectional content getting "Lost" in the shuffle, the left hand menu being confusing, and the user preferences to twiddle these settings being buried so deep in the UI that nobody would bother changing them.
Best of all, if any of this bugs you, it takes just seconds to disable this stuff. In fact, it would probably take less time to fix it then to post a comment complaining... not that that will stop some of you ;)
update many people have commented on the design of the abbreviated story. Many make great points about how they visually could be interpreted as being "Footnotes" or "Related" somehow to the content above them. Just a reminder, the site is all nicely CSSified now... modifiy the CSS send it our way. If someone creates a design that works better, we'll use it! We're not married to what we have. Personally I wanted the grey curve on the bottom right side, but we thought we'd need an extra DIV to get it right, so this was the compromise.
updated again the reason we don't update the index 'on the fly' is because it is possible for you to get content that we don't actually have yet. We don't have a full ajax engine yet- so if you made an abbreviated article be a full text article, we'd have missing fields. When we have a real dynamic engine for loading the content, doing it on the fly will be trivial. Today I think it would just look crappy.