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Slashdot Index Code Update 386

For years now Slashdot has posted what we call "Sectional Content". That is to say, stories that we think are good, but since we try to keep the Slashdot Main Page to around 15 stories per day, some stuff just gets put into the sections. This content is mostly lost to readers who simply don't know it exists. Today we're deploying new code to help you find that content (and alternatively, to disable it).

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 are keen on making sure that this works for as many browser platforms as we can. We've tested it on the platforms used by around 96% of you. (that is to say, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, under Windows, Mac, and Linux) and it works on those platforms. However if your platform doesn't work, you can still change the settings from the user preference page (click the word 'Preferences' on the left hand menu if you are logged in. If your browser doesn't support javascript, clicking the 'Sections' menu item on the left hand menu should take you there.).

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.

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Slashdot Index Code Update

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  • AHA! (Score:5, Funny)

    by rilister ( 316428 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:01PM (#14540232)
    That's the thing I've just spent five minutes working out how to switch off, right?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:07PM (#14540313)
      "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!)"

      I only want to see the dupes. Really no seriously I'm not kidding!
    • Re:AHA! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Nice feature! I give it a digg!!
    • Re:AHA! (Score:2, Troll)

      by drxenos ( 573895 )
      OK, how did you turn the frickin' thing off???
    • by elliotj ( 519297 ) <slashdot@elliotj ... EBSDom minus bsd> on Monday January 23, 2006 @02:02PM (#14541009) Homepage
      I've always liked the fact that sectional content was largely missed by the wider readership: this fact acted as a filter of sorts. The problem with Slashdot is that the signal to noise ratio of comments has been getting worse and worse. I like the fact that only a few power users had figured out how to comingle all the content on the main page, or that only people interested in a topic would routinely read the sectional stuff. This meant that those non-frontpage stories generally had better comment quality. I think this will suffer under the new system.

      • The problem with Slashdot is that the signal to noise ratio of comments has been getting worse and worse.

        Well, who is submitting the noise and the signals? The best part about slashdot that I like is the 'slashdot effect' which punishes websites for publishing something of interest to the trolls. I don't think that is going to change. Besides, Slashdot's engine needs some upgrading soon so that stories are submitted faster and news arrives at a higher frequency, eventually the trolls will distribute the
      • "The problem with Slashdot is that the signal to noise ratio of comments has been getting worse and worse." Not as bad as over at digg. For a while, I found myself spending more and more time at digg, and correspondingly less time here. Over the past couple of weeks, though, the front page stories at digg have become less and less interesting to me, so I'm spending more time at slashdot again. I fear that any sort of automatic promotion system will eventually suffer a similar fate. I guess editorial co
      • by Dirtside ( 91468 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @10:37PM (#14545548) Journal
        The problem with Slashdot is that the signal to noise ratio of comments has been getting worse and worse.
        That's preposterous. Go back and look at stories from a year, two years, five years ago; there was just as much gibberish and nonsense back then as there is now.
  • by DeadSea ( 69598 ) * on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:01PM (#14540234) Homepage Journal
    Great idea. I have used the front page customization to turn off the politics section bring extra stories from sections into my front page. This gives me even more control, so I like it.

    There needs to be a bit more work to get the rough edges that I see out:

    1. My personal RSS feed no longer matches my home page. I see "Officer's Group Calls for Ban On 25 To Life" even though it is hidden on my home page
    2. RSS feeds should have no description for the stubby version of the story. Currently I'm seeing a full description even for those stories that have only a title on my home page.
    3. Stub stories in the mysterious future on my home page have a annoying green top 3 or so pixels.
    • We plan to fix up RSS to make it corrospond to your settings soon. The design stuffs on the mysterious future stuff needs a little work yet too... we'll get there...
      • Taco, the sectional updates seem to have a two pixel thick green line on top that gives it a chopped off look. While it is a design opinion, have you looked at alternate designs, like leaving it out altogether (the green lines, that is). It looks particularly odd for the red/green combo.
      • So far I dig it. More reasons to waste away my work day. God love you kid, you keep me young.
      • Suggested feature (Score:5, Interesting)

        by balster neb ( 645686 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:41PM (#14540758)
        This feature is a welcome addition, since I now no longer have to visit different sections to view the "sectional content".

        Here's one suggestion for an improvement: How about automatically "promoting" abbreviated stories to full stories if a certain number of comments are posted on it. In other words if, say 200 comments are posted on one of these abbreviated stories, it becomes one of the main page stories and it's full summary is displayed.

        The reason behind this is that if a "sectional" story is particularly popular, it probably deserves the same treatment as the major stories. I am more likely to take interest in a story if a large number of comments have been posted to it. Assuming that a good default is chosen for number of comments before an article is upgraded, this shouldn't affect your 15 stories a day rule much. Of course, registered users should be allowed to select their own minimum comment count.

        In effect this would probably be a type of crude article moderation. The sectional stories are moderated up by way of user comments.

        Of course, if you have more ambitious changes to story selection in mind, this wouldn't be of much relevance.
        • Re:Suggested feature (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Sarisar ( 842030 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @02:17PM (#14541163) Journal
          Article Modding sounds interesting, but should also include post scores as well. A story with 10 +5 insightful / interesting / funny mods is a better read then 200 goatse links!

          Of course that would slow down it turning up on the main page as people would have to first post and then be moderated.

          Although I still generally just read the RSS and go from that as to which stories I want to read but it's nice to see people are still trying to improve /.
    • by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:09PM (#14540348)
      I don't like the way they display. It makes them look like they are part of the story listed above them. Maybe a line with "In other news..." and a rounded upper-left corner would help. Or just the rounded upper-left corner. But right now, they look like footnotes to the story above them.
      • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:25PM (#14540557)
        I agree that they look like they should be part of the story above. They seem to be just randomly placed on the page... it's confusing.

        Why not put them together in a separate section at the top or bottom of the page and organize them better?

        • They're woven in by posting time, so if you have main articles posted at 1PM and 2PM, and a semiarticle (is there a better word for this?) at 1:30, the semiarticle appears between the two.

          I think the fastest solution to the "looks like a part of the previous article" is to just use a grey bar with all square corners. The rounded bottom curve looks like it matches with the rounded upper curve on the previous article.

          I like the "In other news..." idea someone else posted though. If there are 4 or 5 articles
      • That's exactly my problem. The upwards curving edge looks like it is supposed to be the bottom part of the downwards curving headline above it. Perhaps if the bar curved in the same way as the normal headline bars it wouldn't be so bad.

        The best solution would be to have a separate sidebar or something that listed all the "lesser" stoies, and not trying to do it inline. However, if Slashdot is really attached to doing it inline, you could only show stories from the same topic were under each story, so that a
        • by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:48PM (#14540845) Journal
          Curve the upper left corner as well as the lower left. That makes them look all their own. Takes care of the looks like a footnote problem nicely.

          Personally, I love the interleaving lesser stories with the main page.
          1.75 thumbs up (reserving the .25 for the rounded top corners).
          • Good idea. (Score:3, Insightful)

            by raygundan ( 16760 )
            I was thinking much along the same lines. Because the "little stories" have bars that curve the opposite direction from the "big stories," they all look like they're grouped together. I was thinking the new stuff was some sort of broken "related articles" system before I saw this article. Change the bar so it's a gray version of the main story bar, or do what the previous poster suggested. Anything to end the unintentional appearance of "grouping related topics" that is there now.
      • I agree with this post. Although I got it in about 2 seconds, It's still not that intuitive.

        Major props to anyone who can figure out a good way to show that they are different stories without adding another line.

        My idea is to have a transparent gif...er...png vertially centered on the right side of the section thingys. It should say "In other news" or "In unrelated news."

  • I like the layout... it's clean, easy to read, and relatively unobtrusive. Good work.
  • Awesome feature (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metlin ( 258108 ) * on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:03PM (#14540252) Journal
    This is a really, really neat feature.

    I've always felt that having to browse separate sections of Slashdot was a little painful, and a way to know if new articles were posted in certain sections of interest would be neat.

    This is a really cool feature and a much needed one. Props, folks!
    • I'd like to see the color scheme be consistant though. On the front page, the headlines of articles are covered green. That these are colored grey makes them look like something other than headlines of articles.

      Why not make them green like the rest of the headlines? As a bonus they could even expand when clicked to look just like a normal front page article.
    • Very nice; an excellent improvement. The aesthetics aren't perfect, but those can be tweaked over time; the core new functionality is great.

      Of course, Slashdot login was still broken in Safari 1.0 last I checked, but unlike most people, I'm not in love with any individual browser; I've got Safari, IdiotExploder, Netscape, and Opera all running. I'm content.

  • I actually like it, there are always good articles on 'other pages' (ie - not the front page) but I rarely ever look around for them. I used to click on the Apple section, but all of those are now on the front page, thus I don't anymore. Often I've read great BSD stories, but since they weren't on the front page there was little or no discussion attached to them; this should address both points and make Slashdot more interesting/informative. A welcomed update, thanks!
  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:03PM (#14540261) Homepage Journal
    I read that there was "sectional content" and thought finally, news about modular sofas. But, noooo...
  • by heinousjay ( 683506 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:04PM (#14540263) Journal
    The whole upward sweeping curve gives the impression that it has something to do with the story above it, which of course isn't true. Not really good design from a user perspective. This is what happens when you focus on 'pretty' and forget to deal with 'works.'
    • I think it would look a lot better if the stories were simply bullets with a white background. There should be a way to tell if the story is on or in the Mysterious Future though, perhaps red bullets (I believe this can be done in CSS)?

      Honestly, having red and grey blocks in the middle of story lists where said blocks are supposed to be for headers, really makes my eyes a bit confused and unable to simply scan down the page. When I saw this last night, I actually didn't want to read through the stories be
    • I have to agree with the parent post. The little "mini headlines" should be their own, distinct oval or some other such shape ... having the 'upward sweeping curve' really does seem to attach it to the previous story.

      Otherwise, nice feature. I'm not 'fanboi'-level acceptance yet, but I imagine it'll grow on me over the next few days.

    • by CmdrTaco ( 1 ) * <[gro.todhsals] [ta] [adlam]> on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:10PM (#14540357) Homepage Journal
      I think exactly the same thing- I wanted the curve on the right hand side, but it was decided that doing so would require an extra DIV in the CSS to make it work. So we went with this because it looks nice.

      The case can be made that the 2 pixel green border at the top of the abbreviated article seperates it at least somewhat from the content above it.

      Of course all of this is irrelevant since we hope to redesign the whole schebang soon too...

      • I agree with both of you. Put the extra div in ;-)

        What's the problem with that...?

      • Infinitely better than the "x more" on the side. Count me in as one of the "What did that mean?" people.

        I would increase the margin on the stories here... blank space on one of the sides would help me separate that content from the one above it. Another option is to make these section stories -- and all the main page stories, for that matter -- look like a Dr. Mario pill, and have background colors for the stories. That would be ideal, because then I would know for sure where your content started and stop

      • by ahecht ( 567934 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:30PM (#14540621) Homepage

        You can try to explain to people that the two pixel green bar means it's separate, but if everyone who looks at it immediatly thinks that that they are footnotes to the previous story, your UI is bad.

        Go ahead and spring for whatever extra code you need to make it look intuitive.

      • But you've been hoping that for years. Sort of like controlled fusion which has been fifty years away for, oh, fifty years or so.
      • To be honest, I hadn't even thought about the confusion until it was pointed out, and I'm sort of a user interface nazi. Now that it's been mentioned, it kind of looks life a set of top comments to the article, but I think it's really easy from the context to figure out what it is.

        Personally, I really like the new feature. It's a great addition to the site, and I look forward to seeing the new redesign. Is it being done partially to address the complaints some people have about the site not conforming to
      • by CrazyWingman ( 683127 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:38PM (#14540725) Journal
        I have to say I agree the with the grandparent. The quarter circle upward curve on the bottom left does associate the "brief articles" with the article above. I have a simple suggestion to fix it, though.

        Just change the curve to a half circle. Then you'd get something like a little bubble for each brief article.

        Seems like it would be easy, and I think the curve on top would help dissociate it with the story above it.

        I spent quite a while this morning before this article came up wondering what relevence any of the brief articles had to the rest of the articles. It seems I'm not the only one.
    • I tend to agree it is a bit ambiguous as to whether the stories relate to the one above or not. Perhaps adding an "In other news..." or "At the same time..." title just above where the extras start, to clarify that these were posted simultaneously, but are not related.
    • I agree. In my mind, the upper sweeping design integrates it with the story, even though its unrelated.

  • by pimpimpim ( 811140 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:04PM (#14540268)
    I have one request. Can the sections that you choose to be in 'Full' format also be added to the 'older stuff' slashbox? Since the topics end up in the 'older stuff' box now faster than before, I'd like to see if I've missed something.
  • This content is mostly lost to readers who simply don't know it exists.

    Because they are unable to follow the "Yesterday's News" links? Unable to see the "Sections" links? Us the "Search" function? Thes must also be the people that have never been to a web portal or blog before. I would have never guessed it was a "problem".

    • Because they have to think about it and click on a link. Which takes time and effort. This new layout gives it a little more prominence, and reduces the amount of work needed to know if there is something that you might be interested in.

      The cost is a minimal amount of visual clutter, or a small one-time effort to turn it off. Probably not a bad trade.
  • While I kind of also liked the old format, this new format works nicely, too. The beveled corners fit in really well with the news item immediately above it.
    • That's one concern I have about the implementation of this. The "lower left corner" curve on the blocks that these headlines appear in, visually ties them to the article directly above them (with its "upper left corner" curve. I found this confusing at first, and I still find it disconcerting. Inverting that to the same "upper left corner" treatment (same as the featured articles) would make it much clearer that these are independent items, not footnotes.
  • by Average_Joe_Sixpack ( 534373 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:05PM (#14540286)
    All I want to know is if the new format is Lynx compatible ... because if it isn't there'll be hell to pay!
  • Apparently it knows I always click the Games header after I read the main page. Very cool, please keep it going or at least make it a selectable style sheet.
  • I was wondering what all those new tiny lines were. I thought that you were just not expanding them into full posts unless they got a certain number of comments. Silly me. It looks good, although for my personal preference I'd like to see it tightened up a little so it takes up less screen realestate.
  • I'm glad to see that the competition has made the monkeys running this gig a little more interested in making it better. Of course, it's not like there was anything to improve on to begin with... right? Anyway, I think these new 'improvements' make the front page look broken. But that just may be me.
  • At first, I thought the grey boxes were attached to the stories above them but once I finally stopped to read all of the text, it made more sense.

    Imagine that, a Slashdotter that doesn't read something the first time.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:08PM (#14540336)
    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 ;)

    I have a complaint, why do you say that it probably takes less time to fix it than it does to make this post?

    Is my typing not fast enough for you?
  • I guess I fall under the "poweruser" category. I've had the slashboxes that I want over on the right for years now, and I'll admit that having the mini stories between full stories looks a little cluttered to me (but I've already turned it off, so no big deal).

    I did notice, though, that after changing that setting, my top-most slashbox got moved all the way to the bottom. Is there an easy way to get it back to the top without clicking that "up" widget about 15 times? (I haven't done any searching for i

  • Bless the editors (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dubl-u ( 51156 ) *

    Wow! There's so much content that doesn't make the main page. And thank goodness, as I sure wouldn't care to see it. I had no idea that the editors were doing such a good job.
  • by gasmonso ( 929871 )

    What are you doing??!?! Don't you know that /. users fear change! Next thing you know, /. will update the hideous green color scheme that we have all come to know and love!.

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
  • I tried to use the bug tracker, but kept getting errors.

    The little sub-headings frequently count the comments wrong, saying things like "15 of 1 comment".

  • More discussion (Score:2, Interesting)

    by engagebot ( 941678 )
    Now maybe we'll have more posts on the stories that wouldn't normally on the front page. I usually read the games section, but alot of the stories hardly get any posts at all...
  • n more (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:11PM (#14540371) Homepage
    It looks good the way it is now. I like it. Now I have to commit fewer clicks to see stories. I don't have to memorize the number on the sidebar and then just compare when I load Slashdot.

    About this...

    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.

    I imagine that much *is* obvious, but what isn't obvious is how that number is determined. If there are "5 more" stories on Apple, and I click on Apple, why do I see more than 5 stores? How is the number "5" factoring in at all? At first I figured it might have been cookied to only show unread stories within a certain timeframe, but that quickly proved to be false. So, the usefulness of the link is apparent, but the descriptor is byzantine.
  • by matth ( 22742 )
    Oooops.. looks like the Mysterious Future has a bug!

      The next Slashdot story will be ready soon, but subscribers can beat the rush and see it early!
    Games: Officer's Group Calls for Ban On 25 To Life
  • Like it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RealProgrammer ( 723725 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:12PM (#14540382) Homepage Journal
    I figured it out when the storyless stories started moving down the page. It's nice, but I have a suggestion.

    The verbosity of a story on the main page should be a function of its activity, moderation, and timeliness. In other words, stories appear as a single line, then gradually get more page space as people reply, and less as they fade away, until finally you have a bunch of one-liners at the end. Sort of like the way threaded postings work with but with 'newest first'.

    Done right, the code would be simpler.

    Or maybe not. As I said, I like the new feature/design.
    • Re:Like it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CmdrTaco ( 1 ) * <[gro.todhsals] [ta] [adlam]> on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:17PM (#14540445) Homepage Journal
      That is a really fantastic idea. Here's the problem:

      Say a story gets posted, and then it gets 100 comments, say that is the threshold for making it appear in full text mode. At this point it might be the 5th story down. Do I push the article to the top of the page (hearing 50 readers post DUPE as they cry in their soup!) or expand it and let it continue to slide down off the page... knowing that some users will miss it because they only read until they get to where they left off?

      Really good idea. I'd like to figure out a way to use it somehow.

      • Couldn't you signify in the article text (an icon or something) that the article was promoted from sectional status to front-page? This would have three useful effects. First off, it'd make it clear that the story was probably interesting (since it was interesting enough for the public to bump it up to the front page), which sort of adds some of the "story moderation" functionality people have been clamoring for. Second, it'd signify to people that the article isn't a dupe (at least, not on its face), and t
      • Re:Like it (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ryan Stortz ( 598060 )
        Here's an idea, how about after so many replies, the article is 'promoted.' Where the full article summary is listed rather than just the one title. This would only apply to articles that were posted as the one-liners to begin with. Basically, it would prevent topics from falling through the cracks because you or one of the other editors didn't believe it was worthy of the front page.

        I'm probably in the minority in this second suggestion, but how about allowing the one-liner articles to be expanded using
      • My suggestion is to add a line after the "Posted by" comment with the date & time that the article was promoted so that it's clear that it was posted at one time and promoted at another. Also, I'd finagle the promotion algorithm to be slightly dependent on overall moderation or unique users to avoid trolls abusing the system or promoting an article that has become filled with nothing but flamebait about abortion, intelligent design, or people trying to curry favor by flaming about SCO or whoever's up o
      • Re:Like it (Score:3, Interesting)

        Do I push the article to the top of the page (hearing 50 readers post DUPE as they cry in their soup!) or expand it and let it continue to slide down...

        Hmmm, I don't know. I was only thinking about how verbose the story references were.

        Personally I'd prefer not to have stories sort by popularity, but only by time as it is done now. That might be a per-user preferences selection. I can see that kind of sorting being a real problem, as one story could explode and dominate the attention of users and mo

      • First, you really, truly, do NOT want to bubble-sort the main page. Especially with dynamically-sized bubbles. That would not be pretty. However, the idea does sound excellent and I think it could be made to work.

        My first thought would be to have a "virtual" section for the most popular stories. All that section would do is beg/borrow/steal articles from other sections and reformat them to the way desired and in the order desired. That takes care of avoiding the dupe-detector but at the same time retaining

  • by AutopsyReport ( 856852 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:12PM (#14540386)
    The first thing that caught my attention was the grey background (behind the new links) that seemed off. The grey background should be reserved for the right column; it is not present in the left and center column. I find it very distracting and out of place. Perhaps keep the same design, but lose such a dark background in the middle column.
  • Browser Stats! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:13PM (#14540410)
    More importantly, can we have a page dedicated to the browser stats for /. ? Maybe something that shows trends over the past year or two?

    (Yes, I realise people here are stuck to browse with what's at work, but it's still a extra blip of information)

    BTW, Kudos on the /. re-org, and, more importantly, on the open dialog that you are giving us now.
    • (Yes, I realise people here are stuck to browse with what's at work, but it's still a extra blip of information)

      Given that, it would be interesting to see browser stats based on time, and possibly Time Zone. This of course won't be the most accurate thing in the world (people work different hours, proxy servers in various locations etc etc)..but it would be nifty to see for lets say the Eastern Standard time zone between 7AM and 6PM 95% of the browsers are brand X...During the rest of the day for that sourc
  • I think it's a good idea to have links to sectional content on the main page, BUT.

    This is really ugly. It distracts me while I'm trying to read. I think it belongs more one a side pane somewhere. Look at kuro5hin.org for a good example of this (minus the ads)
  • I have a hard time re-engaging my brain to read story titles as black text. It requires a fairly substantial context switch. In the interest of a unified theme, is it possible to change the black on gray story boxes to white on green? That'll tell my brain "these are stories" and makes it easier for my eyes to scan them.
  • I think it's an awesome idea. I don't always see stories in other sections, and I see a lot of old stories (you know, 8 more, but the same 8 you saw two days ago).

    I like that the "niche" stories stand out more - I find it a bit distracting, but I'd rather see them than not notice them.
  • I already went and found the setting to turn it off before this story was posted. FYI it's under your Preferences->Homepage tab. Since the columns only have little pictures instead of headings (not even alt text), I can only tell you to click the 2nd radio button from the left.
  • by aug24 ( 38229 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:20PM (#14540481) Homepage
    How about clicking on the bar makes it fold out to reveal the usual synopsis? J.
  • Design Issue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dom2 ( 838 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:20PM (#14540484) Homepage
    I have one minor point to do with the design of the "compressed" stories. The left hand curve makes it look like a footer of the full-text story above it. Of course, if you get two or more "compressed" stories, it rapidly becomes obvious, but with only one, they start to feel like they're part of the story above, instead of separate entities in their own right.

    Good idea, though. Thanks!


  • Very good, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <wgrotherNO@SPAMoptonline.net> on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:21PM (#14540506) Journal

    Excellent idea. Nice to see content instead of having to hunt for it and this will force submitters to get creative with their headlines!

    I have only one complaint and that's having the stub stories "grafted" onto the bottom of full stories. While I like the curve and it makes for an interesting visual package, I think the stub stories should be in their own individual little capsules, color-coded to the sections they belong in. This will make it easier to see them for one and also indicate that they are not "attached" in any way to the full story above them.

  • The main story title and the "other" stories seem to frame the main story description. In my mind this implies that the other stories are somehow related to the main story item which is not true - except that they get posted in chronological order. It seems to me that the "Read More... | story stats | msg count" should be the bottom framing element of the main story (ie. a frame that is flat on top and curved on bottom) and the each of the other stories should be distinct in little frames that are curved bo
  • Disclosure Triangles (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Time to go from "what the heck" to "hey neat": 50ms.

    How about some disclosure triangles next to to the stubs so I could check out the description without having to open up a new tab?
    • We talked about that, but decided against it since it would have a fairly substantial increase in page size to include what could on some days be twice the story content.

      maybe someday tho...

      we have plans to use something similiar to this in articles to show other related articles... in that space, where we would probably be talking about only 3-4 maximum articles, this concept works really well.

  • My main issue with this is that the articles look associated with the previous article
  • ...but I still like to think it was inspired by this [slashdot.org].
  • It would be nice to see the last 100 stories in that same small font at the bottom or side of the page...

    your "Older Articles" link under old stories has been horribly broken for years... the older articles link should pick up where the old stories secion leaves off. Instead, it seems to be random, and repeats a lot of stories.

    OK I'll admit that this is a minor issue.
  • by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:33PM (#14540667) Journal
    Obviously now the trick of changing the color on subsection stories by just changing the initial part of the URL doesn't work any more ...
  • Missing Sections (Score:3, Interesting)

    by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:34PM (#14540670) Homepage Journal
    I noticed that at least the BSD and Apache sections are missing from the nifty Sections javascript window. Yet, they are there in the Preferences section. Oversight? On purpose? Customizable?
  • Any chance of getting another color for visited links? It'd be a nice feature to tell at a glance what you've already seen...

  • Digg Dotted (Score:3, Interesting)

    by carrier lost ( 222597 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:40PM (#14540745) Homepage

    Wow. Digg really has you guys shook up. That's great. That's what competition's all about. This is the exact kind of action Microsoft, the recording industry and the Baby Bells would be forced to make if there were really competition in their worlds.



  • by slank ( 184873 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:47PM (#14540829) Homepage
    There's a lot of talk of adding an upper curve on the related stories, but it makes more sense to me to have them look like the main headlines: White text on a green background. That way they just look like collapsed story boxes, and stand on their own. Using any other coloring will make them look like they are part of the story box above, as footnotes of some sort.
    • Make it look like the main headlines, and also have a small upward facing arrow either on the left or right. Clicking on the arrow should make it face down, and expand the story. pehraps something like TiddlyWiki [tiddlywiki.com]'s ability to close and open articles from the sidebar as well. So when you click on a section link, all of its articles expand onto the main page, or close if they are already displayed.
  • RSS vs. front page (Score:3, Informative)

    by Deviant Q ( 801293 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @02:02PM (#14541011) Homepage
    Just want to say, I never use the front page any more. I just use my Firefox live bookmark (i.e. RSS feed). I think other users might be in the same situation.

    So, whatever changes you make, I think you should definitely keep in mind that at least some people (probably a lot) rely on the RSS feed as the main means of getting slashdot information.

    Thanks for the great site, and especially the recent efforts towards improvements!

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