Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Do you like what we've done with the place?

390 Responses

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  • Sacha, in reply to Jolisa,

    I guess that large block of white background could be changed into a more soothing colour like the one in this comment box (though there'd be other flow-on changes required)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Sacha,

    "Subscriptions" to threads might be even better than favourites the way that most forums implement it: you can subscribe to threads and they end up in your "watch" list. Posting in a thread would automatically add it to the subscription list.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    I’m talking individual comments, not threads.

    I recall Emma saying when we discussed potential changes some time ago (can’t find the thread) that one of the sites she moderated had a “pin” feature to mark the last post you’d read.

    I’m broadening that idea, but the key is being able to jump quickly back to them in busy threads. Listing all your Favourites in one place like Twitter does would be another step

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Edit: ah! If you just go straight to publicaddress.net/system and bypass the front page, you end up with a list of the most ‘recently active’ threads.

    Like Gio I only ever went to the system front page, and found the column on the left showed new blog posts (including those which no one had commented on), and the middle column had the most recent discussions. Neither page at present seems to offer that conveniently. The front page has it, but one well on top of the other.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones,

    Yes, now that I've made that initial reluctant adjustment, having only recently (proudly) mastered the old PA system, I do like what you have done to the site (just don't ask me to explain why). More importantly, my teenage children approve.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    To keep track, I’m now using the Recent Discussions panel on the front page because the Cafe section on the System page does not (yet?) tell me who posted the last comment.

    I’ve suggested to Matt that emphasising the name and time of the last commenter would be useful (probably black text rather than bolder grey). I’m far more interested in that than the number of reads or comments which the new design highlights. But I trust that things will evolve.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I want to "like" comments.

    </shame>

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1821 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Ain't no shame in your game, Robyn, because I'd like to do that too. I often think 'gosh, that was hilariously put' or whatever, but don't want to post solely to say that. Too much noise.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3582 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    The original site design was, IMO, a near-masterpiece of elegant simplicity. For me most of the intuitiveness has gone. (Yes, I’m aware that I’m currently unfamiliar with the new layout, but I’m comparing this to back when I was unfamiliar with old layout).

    Here’s a few more comments on things that could, IMO, be improved (That’s right, Don; constructive criticism :)). Yes, some are minor points. I’m not being pedantic, just listing everything that comes to mind.


    Why “Last Active”, instead of “Last Comment” or “Last Post”? The former makes less sense, to me.

    Needs a button for “older threads” on “System” page.

    I always used the “System” as my PA hub, clicking on the masthead to refresh (often). Can’t do this anymore. The “Public Address System” link now seems to have been relegated to a small and generic button just above the search box.

    Preview window doesn’t preview quotes as quotes, just as a regular comment.

    Preview window now seems to allow no more than 20 lines per comment, but will publish the whole thing.

    Preview with YouTube in it just hangs, uncompleted (for me, at least. This may not generally be the case, but I did see someone else mention it).

    Preview button is greyed-out when shouldn’t be, and “Please Wait” doesn’t fit on the button.

    The old “bold”, “italics”, “link”, and “quote” procedures seems a bit tired. It’s comparatively labour intensive to copy and paste then fill in or (in the latter two cases) write in what’s required. Why not just have a system of just selecting the appropriate comment text then clicking “bold”, “italics”, “link”, or “quote”?

    Italics still doesn’t sit right (as noted by others above, it only looks right if you drop an extra space after it).

    Still can not start a quote or a “link text” with bold or italics, unless one uses the workaround of a preceding blank space.

    The list of blogs (centre-right column) no longer contains the author of each blog, or the logo, (or even the colour, except when hovering or while visiting a specific blog or its thread). I can’t see that this is an improvement.

    Personally, I don’t like the larger font (though I note that others do). I used to navigate largely by the “shape” of the comments, but with far less on-screen at a time this is no longer really possible. (Yes, I’m aware that 95% of people won’t know what I’m on about here, but maybe someone will).

    Ditto to what everyone else has said about page numbers and comment timestamps.

    I’ll probably provide another batch of comments if more occurs to me.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I’m with Robyn and Danielle on the liking! Damn FB has colonised our brains.

    And also, I like the new look, a lot. Shiny, Cap’n! :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3298 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Re the "like" thing... I'm glad they resisted the temptation. We validate each other quite enough as it is.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Wilfred Verkley,

    Im not sure i like the new layout...the previous version just seemed "cleaner". My gripes are minor though, and i love the new functionality. My feedback would be:
    - Typekit should be off by default, or only on if the browser / computer is compatible
    - Bring back page numbers to the comment threads...
    - All image buttons should have tooltips e.g. the email, twitter, and homepage images in the comments.
    - There are too many different fonts, font-sizes, and font decorations on the site. All the different parts on the template look different.

    More kitteh :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones,

    Does anybody know if Russell's cat is a teenager? Seems like I'd know that surly, sullen, sulky expression anywhere. My cat 'speaks' human with her facial expressions. She was born in the house so she thinks she's one of the kids, rather like Albert Otter.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Great comment, Gio :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Yeah, but we wouldn't need to validate each other if we just had a button to do it. In fact, instead of 'like', I would prefer the button to say 'validate'. Like parking!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3582 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I think we should introduce a “you’re an enemy of the people / you’re a communist” button for the benefit of disapproving lurkers.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Even better: clicking the "validate" button checks the internal logic of a comment! ;-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3298 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Hah! Yes, I want that.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Islander,

    Bears looking into...
    I just wonder why is a group of Ursidae
    known as a sleuth?
    Perhaps tearing all those trees apart
    they end up with gum-shoes...

    ...surely a shrewdness of evolved apes,
    like us, could work this out?


    Send in the cavilry...
    Finally found the 'Edit' link, perhaps that could be on the left and the 'Flag as inappropriate' changed back to 'Report' - as it is used a lot less than 'Edit' and it could be in the middle...

    ...also the line at the base which gives 'Location, Since date and number of posts' - the number of posts (and sometimes Since) gets lost when people have long locations - this is useful assessment info (otherwise why would it be there?) Perhaps it could push out to 2 lines when needed.

    I also prefer the Page number list, rather than newer / older etc,

    I note that when I first link to a comments page from the System list, all the posts show up with their dates and times until it has loaded, then they all change to the x-amount of time ago format... seems redundant somehow.

    I thought you might've added the YouTube clip embedding instructions to the "Style coding menu" under the Response box, as well, as it is a FAQ.

    I always liked the 'Discuss' button link to System pages, it seemed more civilised than 'Response' or 'Comment' or 'Reply' - all of which all could be just invitations to 'Rant'...
    er, this may be a case in point ;- )

    But all these minor cavilry charges aside
    - I'm impressed with the new look, easy
    readability and re-energised feel.

    Now, back to a very hot Show Day off...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4197 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Even better: clicking the “validate” button checks the internal logic of a comment! ;-)

    Except for Ian D., in which case computer would usually crash, I presume.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Where is my f******g pony
    We have been robbed

    Other than that I like this new system and that is over-riding my conservative nature (this is a surprise to you all) that dislikes change
    Lots of new things to learn and master

    Not sure if this has been mentioned but the
    First older pages etc that is way down the bottem would in my humble opinion be better at the top
    Well it would best suit my reading style

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 521 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Oh, BTW, the govt. just lost another minister.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to 3410,

    careless of them

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    what is with NZ politicians on the right and this sense of entitlement ..... going into parliament is NOT supposed to be a way to make money

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 1958 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to 3410,

    Except for Ian D., in which case computer would usually crash, I presume.

    Computers crash, humans collapse with laughter. All systems destabilised. ;-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3298 posts Report Reply

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