This is something I've found as well. I've never received any formal instruction in grammar, but I like to think that my standard of writing is fairly high. A few years ago however, I started trying to learn a foreign language and found that my lack of understanding of the grammar of my own language made it much more difficult to relate to the rules of the foreign language.
Password reset process doesn't necessarily need it either. You can just tell the user '*if* you entered a valid username, we're sending you reset instructions', without revealing whether there was a match or not.
The only (non-technical) reason I can think of is that they think that longer passwords are more likely to be forgotten, and they don't want to deal with the support calls.
On the other hand, the people I work with who constantly forget their passwords can't even remember a string of 3 or 4 numbers, so maybe the length doesn't really make a lot of difference there.
I think we have a winner!
I tried recently to change my banking password to something much longer, only to find there's a limit of just 14 characters. None of the several bank staff I asked about it could tell me why that is.
I can do this, no problem. It really doesn't take long to learn where a few knobs are. If they're designed well, the shape also tells you which direction they are pointing and therefore what their current setting is. There's no need to look in order to find or change any of their settings.
I want them to refer to me as 'it'. Is there an option for that?
As someone trying to compete by building a 'Better Product'... unfortunately this is true.
What is $6.3 million of goodwill, anyway?
I really do. I checked out the beta back in October. I felt, like now, that the front page and headers and stuff were alright, even quite nice looking, but that the comments section had been totally ruined. I said so in an email to the feedback address. I got a personal reply from Timothy agreeing that yes, comments were the most important part of the site, and that he understood the complaint about all the whitespace.
Looking at it now, at least it's no longer fixed width, but there are still huge amounts of pointless padding and margins everywhere, and comments are still confined to a column of about 55% of the window width. Compared with the existing design, every comment takes up about 150% of the current vertical space whilst simultaneously providing about 10% of the current information.
I quite like the new navigation, and the article list... don't really need such a massive font, but I could get used to it. But it still seems like nobody's really listening regarding the comments. They keep saying that they understand and agree, but still seem to be missing just how incredibly seriously they should be taking this. There's nothing special about the news on Slashdot. It's usually old, with a poor summary. What's special is the community of people who comment here. Without them, there is no reason to come here. Until the comments are fixed, the new design never stands the slightest chance of being accepted, no matter what they do to it.
There's obviously no way the redesign is going to be cancelled. It's going to happen, so let's concentrate on fixing it. Here's what you need to do: drop everything else for now, it's not anywhere near as important. Polish all the shiny bits later. Work on the comments, right now, for as long as it takes, until the community approves.
There won't be any relevant story comments in future if Slashdot doesn't start listening to its users.
Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.
On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.
One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!
What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.
— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.
— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.
— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.
Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.
1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.
2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.
4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.
5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.
The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.
It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.
Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.
If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.
User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.
Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.
If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."
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