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+ - How to fix Slashdot Beta? 17

Submitted by Forbo
Forbo (3035827) writes "Since the migration to Slashdot Beta was announced, it seems all meaningful discussion has been completely disrupted with calls to boycott and protest. Rather than pull an Occupy, what can be done to focus and organize the action? What is the end goal: To revert entirely to the previous site, or to address the problems with the new site?"
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How to fix Slashdot Beta?

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  • Too much whitespace. Formatting works on a phone or small tablet but is painful to read on a laptop or pc. Too much scrolling, nested comments quickly become unreadable. Drinking too much microsoft win 8 coolaid.

    • Actually, taking up my tiny screen with graphics and whitespace sucks more than inefficiently using my larger display.

      YMMV, of course.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why do we need to fix something in the first place? Is something broken?

  • Dear corporate overlords,

    Slashdot users are not just an audience. The most valuable content is often not in the articles (some people don't even bother to RTFA) but in the comments, witty, informative, funny, etc. The mod system helps readers navigate through lots of comments to find the valuable ones. Sure, there are consumers that behave as an audience, but if you drive away the commenters, the new site will be stillborn. No articles are being commented today, as a spontaneous user reaction. If that goes

  • by unitron (5733) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:21PM (#46176875) Homepage Journal

    Take off and nuke it from orbit.

    Seriously, it needs to die worse than Jar-Jar does.

    The Slashcottpocolypse begins February 10th!

  • Simple solution Nuke from orbit
  • Sort out:
    Black text, white background, anything else is absurd.

    Ditch the boxes round the comments they are seriously ugly and not helpful.

    When I ask for the desktop version, I want the desktop version FFS, my phones screen has the same resolution as some laptop screens.

    Get rid of the option to choose all insightful, all interesting etc comments - it's pointless because of the crossover between these things and it would lead to some bizarre meaningless threads being displayed. Not useful.

    Bring back the user

    • by steveg (55825)

      Good point about the user info. I also prefer the dark title bar on each comment to give a sharp visual separation between comments.

      Along with bringing back the user metadata, real timestamps. I've always hated sites that tell you "roughly" how long ago the post was. If they want to tell us exact how long ago it was (three years, eleven months, six days, nine hours and sixteen minutes ago) it would be annoying, but less annoying than "almost 4 years ago." But better, just put the timestamp.

  • All the protest about the Beta drove me to look at it. I can see a few things wrong. But in all it's not too bad; it looks a lot more like Slashdot than some forums do when they change code.

    The main things that need fixing are features that were innovative and unique and I miss their presence, like the intuitive comment threshold sliders. I don't understand why you'd discard these features; they were simple and unique to this board. Maybe that made them difficult to maintain, but since this is a techie site you want to be leading technology, not playing it safe. In this way Beta does feel like a step backwards.

    I'd also like to see the user page spruced up so that I can tell how my comments were moderated and whether they have any replies. Those are core features for a discussion board -- if you want to be part of a conversation, you need the ability to go back and check on how your contributions have been received.

    Other than that, my only complaint was the font size. I had to zoom in 130% using my browser to read the beta site. But now that I've done that it's fine. Haven't checked it out on a mobile device yet.

    In all, Beta is functional and not too bad. The protest seems overdone, to me. But like the protestors, I do prefer the classic look and features, just not enough to get groused about it.

    • by steveg (55825)

      And I didn't care for the threshhold sliders, in fact I had them disabled. I've been Slashdotting for quite some time with Javascript turned off. Ever since those sliders showed up, in fact.

      I'm confused about what you're saying abou the font size. It sounds like you're saying it's too small. I have the opposite problem. If the font were smaller, and there were less whitespace (or should I say, "pale green space?" The lack of contrast hurts my eyes ) I wouldn't have to scroll so much. The new layout ha

    • by steveg (55825)

      I just saved that comment and went to look on the beta site to see how it was rendered. HTML formatting is gone. Line breaks are (like I said in the comment) collpsed. Sigs are gone.

      Those are features that are fundamental for a techie site. Javascript sliders? Really, not so much.

      • I agree with you that formatting and proper line breaks are essential in any useful discussion forum. Sigs? Eh, they're nice, but I can see arguments for disabling them.

        The Javascript sliders were just an example of the innovations that we have now that are being thrown away. Maybe I'm one of the few who use them.

        The whitespace argument is weird. I don't mind excess whitespace in a comment; presumably the comment could take up more of that space if it changed in length and format, and that's fine. I do

        • by steveg (55825)

          It's not so much that the whitespace on the side is distracting (you're right, it is) but more that because it wastes space, it makes each comment take up more vertical space and reduces the information density. That makes it harder to see the whole picture. OK, in a thread with hundreds of entries, it's hard to see the whole picture anyway, but anything that makes it worse is not helpful. The whitespace on the sides is far more destructive in this respect than collapsing the line breaks is constructive,

  • It's obvious a large part of the Beta programming was designed to bypass tracker blocking and allow monitization of users. If you're going to do that at least be honest about it. Say upfront that you want to track and advertise at us. To pretend you're not doing this is at best dishonest and at worst an insult to our intelligence.

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