back to article Happy new year, readers. Yes, we have threaded comments, an image-lite mode, and more...

Happy new year. As you read this, we hope you're well past any New Year's Day hangovers, that you've caught up on your post-Chrimbo email backlog, and are fully limbered up for the first meetings of the year... all just in time to tiptoe off into the weekend. Anyway, to the point. We've made a few changes that you should know …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Width

    Not only did the El Reg gurus give us threading comments, they also gave us comments with more wifth Thank you!

    Any chance we could have a bit more width for article text too?

    Yes, yes, I know I'm greedy.

    1. quxinot

      Re: Width

      To be fair, there's plenty of width. It's just that it looks like whitespace if you have adblock enabled.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Width

      Never mind the width, feel the quality!

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Width

        just testing this threading goes deeper than 1 , er , step

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Width

          Yay!

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Width

            Just to see what happens in this brave new world if you reply to the second down comment. Will it end up in the logical place?

            1. DJ Smiley

              Re: Width

              Oh god I recall when we had some stupidish comment system which did this at university (10+ years ago). Web....mx? something like that anyway. It was much amusement to the computing students to keep replying to each other constantly on threads they didn't like, causing them to get narrower and narrower until you couldn't see any content anymore.

              1. Morten Bjoernsvik

                Re: Width

                collapse + expand buttons for nested comments would be great :-)

                1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
                  Trollface

                  Re: Width

                  What happens

                  when the

                  replies

                  get

                  deep enough?

                  1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
                    Flame

                    Re: Width

                    at about 3mm (on a 22" widescreen) we should find out in about another 20-30 replies to this thread...

                    Waiting for the first Threadnaught of the new year...

                    1. karlkarl Bronze badge

                      Re: Width

                      Am I late to the party?

                      1. Peter2 Silver badge

                        Re: Width

                        I suspect that your just getting in at the beginning.

                        1. jonathan keith

                          Re: Width

                          Masses more nests to explore!

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Width

                            supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

                            1. Zolko

                              Re: Width

                              wait wait wait, can we have +1 level more ?

                              1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                                Re: Width

                                No.

                                1. Steve Aubrey

                                  Re: Width

                                  But why not?

                                  1. Carpet Deal 'em

                                    Re: Width

                                    There are those who consider what we ought

                                    And plea to reconsider this quest for juggernaut

                                    1. Anonymous Coward
                                      Anonymous Coward

                                      Re: Width

                                      What does that mean?

                                      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                                        Re: Width

                                        Here be dragons.

                                        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

                                          Re: Width

                                          Let me just squeeze in here...

                                          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
                                            Happy

                                            Re: Width

                                            Yes!

                                            1. Shooter

                                              Re: Width

                                              Quitters! You gave up too soon!

                                              1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                                                Re: Width

                                                Those bars on the left are getting thinner and thinner. This is like Zeno's frog (or am I thinking of the Indefatigable Frog, by Philip K Dick?), which jumps half the remaining distance each time and never reaches the end...

                                                1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                                                  Re: Width

                                                  Who has the most perseverance? Idiotic commenters, like me, or the software controlling these comments?

                                                  1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                                                    Re: Width

                                                    Well...?

                                                    1. Anonymous Coward
                                                      Anonymous Coward

                                                      Re: Width

                                                      Hmm... good excuse to spark up the nonsense generator:

                                                      Well one day at Shrewsbury, and offers no accommodation for chance guests and, had it been known in the same time the engine and the other hand, it afforded us some time before he was well pleased, and he was always in a very successful man in his own name and Mr. Riach and the train was about to be a very long gradient, the hindmost carriages of the train at an early hour yesterday morning, Jan. 8th, 1884, in connection with the same time, he admits that tunnels were nuisances, which he had been so long as he had a great deal of opposition I have no objection to the other side of the most famous was the first to use the former, and the whole of the railway company for damages for the first time in the midst of the same way as liners used to make a great many of the two men lying impotent in their own hands.

                                                      ...or in other words:

                                                      Well one day at York, as the train was about to be a very successful series of stamps based upon the deck, and that the first to lay down to the other hand, it afforded us some time before we heard a cry, "Five minutes here!"

                                                      1. Spanners Silver badge
                                                        Go

                                                        Re: Width

                                                        On the Insert tab, the galleries include items that are designed to coordinate with the overall look of your document. You can use these galleries to insert tables, headers, footers, lists, cover pages, and other document building blocks. When you create pictures, charts, or diagrams, they also coordinate with your current document look. You can easily change the formatting of selected text in the document text by choosing a look for the selected text from the Quick Styles gallery on the Home tab. You can also format text directly by using the other controls on the Home tab. Most controls offer a choice of using the look from the current theme or using a format that you specify directly. To change the overall look of your document, choose new Theme elements on the Page Layout tab. To change the looks available in the Quick Style gallery, use the Change Current Quick Style Set command.

                                                        1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

                                                          Re: Width

                                                          Maybe a few more than 30...

                                                          1. Peter2 Silver badge

                                                            Re: Width

                                                            Possibly. But how many can it take?

                                                            1. davemcwish

                                                              Re: How long...

                                                              I suspect quite a few the back-end Vultures know what we're like; let's try anyway...

                                                              1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
                                                                Pint

                                                                Re: How long...

                                                                Could be that the added widths go in a geometric progression (and the total therefore converges)?

                                                                [edit: Oh, already answered: "harmonic" is the word]

                                                                Anyway, beer o'clock where I am.

                                                                1. Someone Else Silver badge

                                                                  Re: How long...

                                                                  Oh, K3wl! It gets all 3D looking as the threads extend all the way into spaaaaaace!

                                                                  1. Baldrickk Silver badge

                                                                    Re: How long...

                                                                    We're still not there yet...

                                                                    1. UNCL3LARRY

                                                                      Re: How long...

                                                                      Keep going!

                                                                      1. Anonymous Coward
                                                                        Anonymous Coward

                                                                        Re: How long...

                                                                        Free going...

                                                                        1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                                                                          Re: How long...

                                                                          Have to say, I'm a bit disappointed with ElReg commenters. I'd expected the indent to be much greater by now. I suspect the average age of commenters is greater than that at which silliness becomes less likely and we start to say "Ah, who cares. We'll be dead soon. Better act my age." You all need to keep on acting as you did when you were twenty years old. I am still twenty years old, and intend to be forever. I'm probably younger than you suspect, but older than my mind thinks I am. Or something...I'm confused...

                                                                          1. Anonymous Coward
                                                                            Anonymous Coward

                                                                            Re: How long...

                                                                            ...has this been goin' on?

                                                                            1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

                                                                              Re: How long...

                                                                              > ...has this been goin' on?

                                                                              Yes, harmonically.

                                                                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                                                                Anonymous Coward

                                                                                Re: How long...

                                                                                Please sir, can I have some more?

                                                                                1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                                                                                  Re: How long...

                                                                                  Apparently not.

                                                                                  1. This post has been deleted by its author

                                                                                  2. Anonymous Coward
                                                                                    Anonymous Coward

                                                                                    Re: How long...

                                                                                    err did the dream die?

                                  2. This post has been deleted by its author

                    2. Peter2 Silver badge

                      Re: Width

                      nope, replying to the thread (sensibly) keeps the replies at the same level.

                    3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

                      Re: Width

                      Thready McThreadFace!

                  2. Peter2 Silver badge

                    Re: Width

                    We'll have to keep posting comments to find out.

                  3. Marco Fontani

                    Re: Width

                    What happens when the replies get deep enough?

                    The amount of left padding between posts decreases, "harmonically" (taking logarithmically less space) until a point at which all replies are shown at the same level. The point varies by breakpoint: 40th child on 884px+ wide devices; 30th for 700px+ devices, etc. all the way to just 6 replies for devices less wide than 380px.

                    There are quite a few (mostly old) forums with very deep replies, which have been tested :)

                    While there is a theoretical limit for how many replies this system can truly support the nesting for, it's high enough to not be a problem anytime soon ;)

                    1. A.P. Veening

                      Re: Width

                      "While there is a theoretical limit for how many replies this system can truly support the nesting for, it's high enough to not be a problem anytime soon ;)"

                      The correct response to that is either "Famous last words" or "Challenge Accepted" and I am afraid it will be a combination of both, given the commentards here ;)

                    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

                      Re: Width

                      > The point varies by breakpoint: 40th child on 884px+ wide devices

                      So what you're saying is that 40 child threads should be enough for anyone...

                      1. Marco Fontani
                        Coat

                        Re: Width

                        Yup, we call it the 40 child threads policy.

        2. Dave White
          Trollface

          Re: Width

          And? Does it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Width

            Think it might...

    3. K Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Width

      They already give us the full length... now you want girth as well? (run into the corner and sniggers)

      On a serious note, 100% agree with this, this has been a pet-peeve on mine for at least the past 5 years - Fixed width is so 2005.. these days almost everybody will use a widescreen monitor, so this is a useability hindrance.

      1. richardcox13

        Re: Width

        Really wide text is too hard to read (eyes have a tendency to jump up or down a line).

        This is why newspapers have columns and the traditional layout of books. The width of typical paper sizes is a sensible upper limit.

        Hence I've applied a little CSS (Stylus FTW) to limit to 800px wide for a more comfortable reading experience. (And also why I rarely have my browser maximised.)

        1. wurdsmiff

          Re: Width

          Very much agree - as do the word boffins. El Reg's 70 char line length is already on the higher side and text size relatively small. Wouldn't want to go too modern all at once though.

          1. Nick Kew Silver badge

            Re: Width

            Too much text at El Reg? Tosh!

            I trust El Reg is not so dumb as to give even a moment's thought to following the stupid trend of many websites to emulate a vacuous powerpoint.

            1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

              Re: Width

              Errmmm... chaps... via the new modern cutting-edge shiny chrome miracle innovation of Graphical Windows Screens, you could just simply click&drag with your mouse to reduce the width of the window, such that TheReg has a text-column width which suits your reading preferences.

              No CSS override custom twiddlery required!

              What an awesome HACK!!

              1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

                Thus

                messing with every other site (and indeed most of this site) that uses the extra space intelligently.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Width

      I'd like the editing font size (like in this edit window right now) to match the article display font size, so I don't have to zoom in/out to get something readable for editing. When the article display font is correct, the edit font is one or two sizes too small. This causes eyestrain and a LOT of typing mistakes that I have to correct later. The alternative is to zoom in once or twice, and then the article is displayed in a 'ginormous' font. I just want both to be the same, ya know?

      Anyway it's been "like that" for a while now. I mention it occasionally. I'm mentioning it again.

  2. Gimme Badge
    Pint

    Blimey

    China go to the dark side of the moon, NASA discover snowmen in space & now ElReg has a nested & Image lite mode ! 2019 is proving to be a great year so far - have a beer on me :-)

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Blimey

      No, they've gone to the light side of the moon, otherwise they wouldn't be able to see anything. Look out of the window, the dark side of the moon is currently the side facing us.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Blimey

        There is no dark side of the moon

        .. matter of fact, it's all dark.

  3. ukgnome Silver badge

    holograraphic love dungeon layout

    It glitches like a bugger, can you get the devs to oil it?

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

      I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one to get one of those for Christmas.

    2. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

      What OS version you on?

      Bars 3.1 is worth upgrading to 3.11.

      1. defiler Silver badge

        Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

        Holographic Love Dungeon for Workgroups?

        1. Admiral Grace Hopper

          Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

          Well, the more the merrier. I prefer a domain to a workgroup, but it's different strokes for different folks.

          1. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

            "I prefer a domain to a workgroup"

            You'll have to take that up with your Domain-atrix.

            1. Admiral Grace Hopper

              Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

              You're looking at her.

            2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
              Angel

              Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

              Sarah Bee left ages ago....How is she?

      2. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

        In a holographic love dungeon, the last thing you want to do is iron out the kinks.

      3. DJ Smiley

        Re: holograraphic love dungeon layout

        I think he got the european version: Bears 3.2 ;)

  4. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Pint

    Lite mode ...

    .... is glorious! Thank you!

  5. Giovani Tapini
    Trollface

    How do the vultures find time to make these changes

    if they have a holographic love dungeon? There must be a queue for beta testing volunteers!

    Oh yes, and I, er, have a friend that wants one so where do you get them?

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: How do the vultures find time to make these changes

      If it's a love dungeon, surely that should be beater testing.

      1. 21st Century Peon

        Re: How do the vultures find time to make these changes

        Or conversely, Tester Beating.

        1. J. Cook Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: How do the vultures find time to make these changes

          Kinky!

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Happy New Year El Reg

    Thank you for your continued efforts in bringing us the bite, the schadenfreud and, most importantly, the news with a side of snide whenever possible.

    I love you guys the way you are so don't change a thing and keep up the good work.

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: Happy New Year El Reg

      Seconded. Happy New Year all!!

  7. Steve Button

    If only...

    ... you could also have popular comments bubble up to the top.

    Wait, what!? It does that too (if you select the option). Sweet. Happy new year.

  8. john.jones.name
    Go

    security ?

    why oh why... since you use cloudflare...

    how about adding a IPv6 address ?

    how about enabling DNSSEC ?

    These are simple to enable...

    also your web developers could do with getting a better score than a F for Fail

    https://observatory.mozilla.org/analyze/www.theregister.co.uk

    https://observatory.mozilla.org/analyze/forums.theregister.co.uk

    honestly the most important is DNSSEC

    1. Log in to your Cloudflare dashboard.

    2. Open the DNS app.

    3. Scroll down to the DNSSEC module.

    4. Click Enable DNSSEC.

    5. A pop-up will open with instructions for how to add the DS record to your registrar.

    Copy the DS record and paste it into your registrar’s dashboard.

    Once your registrar publishes the DS record, your domain will be DNSSEC-enabled.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: security ?

      I didn't realise El Reg provided banking services too.

    2. Marco Fontani

      Re: security ?

      Re IPv6, "soon®". There's many backend bits we have to clean up before being able to turn it on for the main site. Meanwhile, IPv6 for places we could enable it at the flick of a button already have it enabled, like our image hosting domain, regmedia.co.uk... so not all hope is lost - it's "only" the main content site that lacks IPv6.

      The rest is IMVHO as easy to enable as it's hard to recover from if we (or others!) fuck it up - while at the same time not providing as many tangible benefits to either us or users as, say, having https "on" and "default".

      Considering that the (admittedly few) bank sites I've tried also get an F on that report, I'm in no rush either...

      1. john.jones.name
        WTF?

        Re: security ?

        Marco good on your for responding,

        That Said not many banks criticise theregister for its security practises nor do they publish articles about software security...

    3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: security ?

      "

      how about enabling DNSSEC ?

      "

      Why? What scenario are you thinking of that would cause you any harm whatsoever due to insecure DNS on this particular site?

      Going to a lot of trouble to secure your wallet when you go swimming makes sense. Securing your towel, not so much.

      1. ukgnome Silver badge

        Re: security ?

        "Securing your towel, not so much."

        You've never been to Great Yarmouth have you.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: security ?

          Never been to Great Yarmouth - He should consider how consider how lucky he is that life has been good to him so far.

          Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to him so far, which, given the current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky he is that it won’t be troubling him much longer.

          (One day I might regal you all with the Yarmouth\Gorlestone "Boom Boom Room" story from my week at the Offshore Survival Training in Lowestoff - See icon).

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: security ?

        Ford? Why would he want to know where his towel is?

        Everyone should know where their towel is.

  9. Whitter
    Unhappy

    Pulled the plug...

    I just go to the "Weeks headlines" now.

    "Most read" and the like are just aping the print red-tops.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Pulled the plug...

      @ElReg you could also let readers hide those under account settings

      Another gripe of mine are paginated articles. As with comments, you should allow your readership to decide how they want to see long articles

    2. ukgnome Silver badge

      Re: Pulled the plug...

      "Most read" and the like are just aping the print red-tops.

      I have checked the very top of this website and it appears to be a red top - are you new here?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Pulled the plug...

        I thought Redtop was an RAF air-to-air missile from the 1960s? Sadly we never had Goldtop - kaboom with extra cream...

    3. Steve Foster
      FAIL

      Re: Pulled the plug...

      It's a bit of a nuisance that the URL for that view is capitalised *and* case-sensitive (which makes both remembering it correctly and typing it in that little bit harder than necessary)

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Pulled the plug...

        Yeah, that tripped me up. Fortunately, there's a link to it at the footer of the main page, so I've just been using that.

      2. Trilkhai

        Re: Pulled the plug...

        I'm lazy, so I just added it to my browser's bookmarks. :-p

  10. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    I had noticed

    Seeing as I was not far from a computer over the holiday, I dipped in... quite frequently, and was quietly rather pleased.

    Now, about that TP icon we asked for...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I had noticed

      Toilet paper?

      1. Siberian Hamster

        Re: I had noticed

        I think he meant PTerry..

  11. Locky Silver badge
    WTF?

    But like Oliver Twist to the Master....

    We want more

    Where are our new icons?

    1. Joe W
      Pint

      Re: But like Oliver Twist to the Master....

      It's enough that we have icons when using a tablet etc. Lots of those - - - >

      thanks!

  12. wolfetone Silver badge

    Still no tin foil hat Icon though...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      That's what they want you to think...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Image-Lite mode in my settings - Opted in - but getting thumbnail pictures for each article's summary on the front page on my desktop.

    Is Image-Lite supposed to remove those pictures?

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Ah....so not just me then? I switched on Image-Lite mode, but I'm struggling to see any difference to normal.

    2. Marco Fontani

      Is Image-Lite supposed to remove those pictures?

      Yes, but until a few mins ago, that was getting overridden when one opted out or in the "new design".

      This should be fixed now that "old" is gone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thanks for the diagnosis. Now seeing the Lite version - still not as compact as my custom filtered old one. I can either waste time reworking my filtering - or reduce my visits to El Reg. The latter is the quick solution.

  14. JDX Gold badge

    Collapsible comment tree?

    Many thanks for the improvements, I was slightly taken aback to see the threading but it's much appreciated.

    The only real thing that would be neat is ability to collapse a thread, now we have them. So feature request logged :)

    1. Baudwalk

      Re: Collapsible comment tree?

      >>>So feature request logged<<<

      And upvoted.

    2. Michael Strorm

      Re: Collapsible comment tree?

      One odd aspect of the newly-introduced threading I've noticed is that it works on older comment replies that were made long, *long* before the upgrade- even ones that were posted literally years ago, like these from 2012(!).

      The obvious implication is that although the forum only displayed comments at two levels- one for original posts, and another for anything that was a direct *or* indirect reply to it- it was keeping track of the full threaded reply structure all along.

      1. Marco Fontani

        Re: Collapsible comment tree?

        it was keeping track of the full threaded reply structure all along.

        Yes, and I thank a previous tech overlord for it ;)

        1. Michael Strorm

          Re: Collapsible comment tree?

          Ah... nice one!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only Mumsnet to go then ...

    If you are any kind of developer, it's worth your while keeping an eye on said site. Not for the bake-off drooling, and general low quality of debate. But more because it's an incredibly popular (albeit crap) site, and 80% if it's users are not only happy with it the way it is, but still reeling from changes made in 2012.

    That how you stay grounded, and stop thinking the whizzier the better and that your users crave change.

    Well done El Reg !!!!!!

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Only Mumsnet to go then ...

      I suspect that if you drew a Venn diagram of Mumsnet users and El Reg users the intersection area would be quite small.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Venn diagram of Mumsnet users and El Reg users

        So techies not interacting with 80% of the potential users of their output isn't seen as unusual ?

        No wonder most software these days is so pisspoor.

  16. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Devil

    Add an icon

    Now that there is more width, I notice that the icons box is more capacious and just crying out for more icons to be added.

    (I see others have already put in specific requests)

  17. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Joke

    "Now that we're fully responsive, and have an optional image-lite mode in place, it's time to call exit(), retire the code behind that old design..."

    Are you sure that's wise? I mean, it's been three and a half years since Win10 launched, and there's still people banging on about Win7...

    1. Sceptic Tank
      Childcatcher

      Three years?!? So much suffering!

    2. Dave Lawton
      Holmes

      It wouldn't be so bad, but the 'new' look is sh***

      I, and I'm damn sure a lot more than 4000 others want the 'old' front page back

      Happy New Year

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Alert

        According to our stats, about 4,000 people a month were still opting in for the old homepage in December, so we figured it wasn't too popular.

        Out of how many total viewers? 4000 out of 5000 would put the lie to the above assertion.

        Lies, damn lies and...

    3. Danny 2 Silver badge

      12 months until Win7 updates end for domestic users and it still has a third of market share, less a migration and more a forced march.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "[...] and more a forced march."

        Ah - but to where? For me it will be to Linux Mint - after 30 years of Windows.

  18. Admiral Grace Hopper

    It really is so much easier to nit-pick and complain

    There's no easy way to say this. I like it, it works, it flows, it looks good, it does the job and I can offer no suggestions on how it might be improved from my first use of the new format. For an IT professional I feel like I have failed in some way in not being able to pick holes in it in any way. Sorry about that.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: It really is so much easier to nit-pick and complain

      I think I had a few gripes last autumn when the changes started to roll out, but this latest set of refinements has left me, also, with little or nothing to complain about. Bastards...

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: It really is so much easier to nit-pick and complain

        If you need some gripes, have a few of mine! I have several sitting around here.

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: It really is so much easier to nit-pick and complain

          I'm sure he can breed his own kids.

  19. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Hmmm

    Not sure if its the time of year or mayhap something is more 'right' than the last time ElReg updated layout, but this article has been up 5 hours and then some, and only 42 comments. I think last time the comment list was *substantially* longer 5 hours in....

    I'm not certain I'm a fan of the staggered layout as it is but, it doesn't look horrible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm

      "[...] and only 42 comments."

      Possibly people have seen that El Reg is not for turning. Image-lite means Image-lite etc.

      Feels like the deja vu of My Space, Flickr etc when they "improved" their layouts..

  20. Cuddles Silver badge

    Not even close

    "Our website is now mobile-desktop responsive, meaning whether you visit us on a phone, laptop, workstation, tablet, telly, holographic love dungeon, whatever it may be, it should automatically display in a layout appropriate to your screen size. "

    And yet you've been aware since you first launched this crap that it absolutely does not do any such thing. Use a normal browser on a normal PC and it remains always stuck at no more than 4 articles to a row on the front page, with the text in an actual article restricted to about 10-12 words, in both cases taking up at most maybe 1/4 of the available space and leaving the rest of the screen completely blank. And yes, I've seen the excuses about people not wanting more than that and so on. The problem isn't just that it's such a crap design, but that you insist on lying about it. It is not in any way a "responsive" site, it's simply a mobile site that you happen to able to view on a real computer if you're willing to put up with a shit layout and huge amounts of wasted space.

    Also, there's clearly an image in that screenshot. I do love the idea of insisting on cramming hideous adverts down the throat of people who have specifically asked not to have pictures shown.

    1. BlueTemplar

      Re: Not even close

      Yeah, sorry, but this "responsive design" fad is nonsense.

      It's just not possible to make a single user interface that works as well on a tiny, fat-fingered smartphone touchscreen, as on a widescreen mouse & keyboard PC.

      There are multiple ways around it, like using separate, dedicated programs for browsing news (RSS feeds) and writing comments on mobile.

      Or have a very simple, standardized layout that lets the browser do the job... (also, hiding the pictures is certainly a job for the browser's side !)

    2. stiine Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Not even close

      This explains why m.theregister.co.uk stopped working over the holidays.

      On my tablet, which has a screen 1/4 the size of my laptop but twice the resolution, there's no way to force El Reg into dumb mode because it thinks I've got a 42" monitor...

      Congratulations, any more advances like this and you'll be qualified to work for Microsoft.

    3. Baldrickk Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Not even close

      I do love the idea of complaining about ads being present on a site that is paid for by them.

      Please, do go on.

  21. livin' thing
    Happy

    As a long-time lurker, I look forward to reading the robust and well-reasoned feedback you'll get from the community.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Pint

      The best bit so far has been the nest-o-fest

  22. nifto

    Back to home page form comments

    Can the back button navigate to the home page from the comments page as well, saves clicking twice each time. or is that a ridiculous idea?

    1. cbars

      Re: Back to home page form comments

      I click on the giant banner

  23. chroot

    Mug shot

    So where can we order that fancy mug?

  24. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    A question about buttons...

    There used to be buttons to Up/Down vote a comment. They no longer get read by my screen reader. I thought the reader was glitching but a forced OCR of the screen reveals there are no such buttons to be read. This wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that just clicking the numbers to vote spits me back to the top of the page & loses my place in the comments thread. I have to copy the last line of the post I'm about to vote on, vote, then tell my machine to Control+Find the copied text to get back to where I had been. I haven't changed my browsers settings, my readers settings are the same, yet now the site makes me jump through hoops just to vote. Am I missing something? Is there a box I need to tick in my site settings, or some other form of Voodoo chicken sacrafice I'm supposed to do to make it work?

    Thanks!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: A question about buttons...

      "There used to be buttons to Up/Down vote a comment."

      They are still there. They have mouse-over text descriptors too. I have no idea why your screen reader is not finding them. May the El Reg webdevs or more knowledgeable commentards can look into it.

    2. Marco Fontani

      Re: A question about buttons...

      There used to be buttons to Up/Down vote a comment.

      They're now simple "a" tags instead of a complex form with a button, so we can have less markup to deliver pretty much the same thing, to the detriment only of no-js users, who instead have to go through one more hoop to find the html form to upvote (sorry, but the site runs on ads and ads require js!)

      They no longer get read by my screen reader.

      My (admittedly limited, being sighted) testing with the accessibility inspector and with NVDA on Windows (which I'm using more often in recent months) shows me that tabbing through the links on the page the "new up/downvote links" get read as "NNN link Like this post? Vote for it!" or "MMM link Dislike this post? Vote it down!" with NNN being the number of upvotes, MMM the number of downvotes. I'm not sure how or why your screen reader isn't showing you them. They're links, and can be tabbed to :/

      clicking the numbers to vote spits me back to the top of the page & loses my place in the comments thread

      Now, this is something that doesn't seem right in the slightest. Our client-side guru is aware of this and will be looking into it (likely Monday, as it's about beer o'clock...).

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        Re: A question about buttons...

        Ok, I hear what you're saying (well, what my reader is saying) but it still doesn't make sense. I've had JS turned off for aeons & not had this problem, so why it suddenly starts now is a mystery.

        The numbers are links, I can click on the number to Up/Down vote, but there's nothing prior to either number to indicate that they ARE for Up & Down voting. No button, no text, no AltText, nada. Jaws19 can't seem to find anything there to read at all, even when forced to do a manual OCR of the screen & read things even the normal OCR doesn't identify. *Shrugs & sighs*

        I'll try fiddling with the settings in Jaws to try & get it to find the buttons, but that still leaves the bit about being kicked back to the top of the page.

        Thanks for the help. Go enjoy a pint on me, just as long as you sober up in time to give it another look come Monday morning. =-)

        1. Marco Fontani

          Re: A question about buttons...

          I've had JS turned off for aeons & not had this problem, so why it suddenly starts now is a mystery.

          We used to have a form for each upvote and downvote button, and that's a "form" tag and a "button" for each arrow for each post. As we're now showing many more posts per forum page, we needed to find ways to reduce the amount of markup per page, to keep the amount of bytes sent and amount of DOM elements the browser has to deal with lower.

          To do that, we've switched each of those "form and button" to a link, which halves the amount of DOM elements (and quite a few bytes!) for each post.

          Behaviour wise, both perform an AJAX request if you have JS disabled.

          Unfortunately for JS-disabled users, the link requires you to go through an additional step to up/downvote. As this is an ad-supported site, which stays afloat due to ads, and since ads are delivered via JS... there's only so much we can do towards supporting JS disabled users, and we've got to draw the line somewhere.

          I can click on the number to Up/Down vote, but there's nothing prior to either number to indicate that they ARE for Up & Down voting. No button, no text, no AltText, nada

          The "a" tag for up and downvotes has a "title" attribute ("alt" is for images), which should be read by screen readers. NVDA does find it and read it (if I tab through to it). I'm not sure why JAWS19 doesn't do that, but there's only so much testing I can do... What I've bet on so far is that if we provide semantic and meaningful markup, screen readers ought to work well.

          1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

            Re: A question about buttons...

            Ok, thanks. I'll leave things as-is & just continue to use the Control+Find to get back to where I had been.

            Now go grab that pint before one of the other commenters swipes it while I'm not lookin'. =-)p

      2. stiine Bronze badge

        Re: A question about buttons...

        No, ads don't require javascript. Ads are either a block of text with markup, or are .jpg/png/etc images of a uniform size... Anything else isn't an ad.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "ads don't require javascript. "

          It is a strange sight to see someone claiming that "ads require JS", isn't it. In a technical sense it's a blatant lie. In a commercial sense it may have some truth in it...

          It may be that this site's owners have made a choice that JS is an (ahem) "essential" part of the site's ad-delivery infrastructure. But acknowledging that in public may be a career-limiting move for some people.

          Quite a few other people, including me, have made a choice that sites which rely on JS are an increasingly untrustworthy species - that's why script blockers exist, not just ad blockers. This applies especially when sites are economical with the truth about why JS is needed.

          Another aspect of this is the whole "where does the site get its money from" discussion (e.g. why rely on ads via the usual channels, why no role for micropayments per article, etc), but that's probably another discussion for another day.

          Be interesting to see which side "wins" a few years from now.

          ps

          in case it's not obvious, it's probably the world-infamous adbroker that's driving the move to "responsive" sites and the reliance on JS. If you don't follow their rules, you're likely to fall down in their associated search engine rankings. That's been known and discussed for a couple of years. I haven't seen it mentioned here (I may have missed it).

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: A question about buttons...

      OK, someone had to view source. Might as well be me.

      Shadow Systems is right, and his screenreader is also right. The arrows are nowhere in the markup, they're merely part of the stylesheet.

      Here's a relevant cut&paste .. damn, neither unescaped nor fully-escaped works here, I'm going to switch <> to [] instead:

      [div class=actions] [a class="vote up" title="Like this post? Vote for it!" data-user-vote="true" href="https://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/vote/up/3687493"] 9 [/a] [a class="vote down" title="Dislike this post? Vote it down!" href="https://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/vote/down/3687493"] 0 [/a]

      What Shadow Systems describes is exactly what's there. Putting on my accessibility hat, I'd say that's a real issue, and should be remedied.

      The simplest remedy would be to add the up and down arrows as icon images within the links: this is what it already looks like to a visual browser. Then alt=upvote / alt=downvote will render just fine in a screenreader. The drawback there is the extra markup, but the icons themselves are purely passive: being within the links is what matters, and you can get rid of that abusive use of the title attribute on the links.

      There is probably an alternative solution using an audio stylesheet to inform screenreaders, but my knowledge of the subject is way too outdated to suggest implementation details.

  25. JohnFen Silver badge

    Threaded comments are nice

    I wanted to get my positive comment up front, because that's literally the only one I have.

    Everything else is substantially worse. The responsive design is seriously interfering with my use of the site. It's impossible to regain the information density that used to be achievable (image lite mode doesn't help a bit with that). Ugh. I wish that the new design didn't make the site harder and more unpleasant to use, but here we are.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Threaded comments are nice

      I tried it out, and I can get by with "the week in summary" page. It's still not great, but I can live with it!

      1. TaabuTheCat

        Re: Threaded comments are nice

        Agree John, it's as close as you can get to the old, simple, eminently usable front page from a while back.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Developers completely fail to take into consideration anyone who is less than a 100% functional individual using their software. Supporting our OH users here over the last few years has shown me that even developers of assistance software can have absolutely no concept of the conditions and abilities of their users.

    The world is in a sad place.

  27. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Open minded about the changes but mixed feelings....

    The new front page just looks cluttered. Having the "top stories" then latest with a brief bit of "top stories" is just distracting. But then again, I'm not a trendy person, I just happen to like stuff that works and the ability to find information without a lot of "fluff".

  28. Joe W

    Boxes...

    *sigh* makes not too much sense on a big display (use grouping of objects), and on a small screen in single column view it is very much unnecessary.

    I like the threaded view, that was really missing! And I like that we can now use icons from our mobes.

  29. TRT Silver badge

    Meh

    Not a fan.

  30. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Pint

    As one of the 4,000 ...

    I preferred the old home page style, though I was still applying GreaseMonkey scripts to get rid of the crap I didn't want. At least it all ended up in neat, evenly-sized columns.

    With a few tweaks to the script I have things are sort of how they were, Latest News, Most Read, and clutter eliminated, but it's not looking good with varying-width columns and blank space where things have been removed. It will do for now. Long term I'll probably scrape the Weekly page or pull the RSS feed, build a page how I want it, and go through that.

    Anyway; keep up the good work; it's the articles I come to read. And the comments of course.

  31. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    "Thanks to our hardworking backroom vultures, the Reg now has threaded comments "

    So *THAT'S* what you broke. Can you at least have the display option drop-down available without me having to log on so I can switch it back to sane.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      The other thing that got broken some time ago appears to be a browsing cache glitch of some sort- replies (at least for me on multiple machines and multiple browsers) don't appear after submitting unless I reload the page; then they pop in.

      1. Marco Fontani

        replies don't appear after submitting unless I reload the page; then they pop in.

        Assuming you're talking about comment replies... it's just the way things are: when you submit your reply it's accepted and stored for later processing; it _can_ just so happen that if your comment is auto-approved and the processing queue is clear and the time it takes for your browser to redirect you to the forum page takes long enough, you'll see your new comment "there"; but it may as well happen that the queue is busy (or down for maintenance) and it'll then take longer. I believe the message shown after each reply makes mention of this.

  32. ratfox Silver badge
    Pint

    Finally icons are available to mobile phones!

    Beautiful. Have a beer!

  33. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Angel

    I hate the new

    layout things and threads....

    Apart from that I love el-reg and its exclusive hand biting articles(more please) and its zany bootnotes stuff, but best of all

    Please please please... more BoFH.. please.

    There is so much he can teach us mere mortals.

    Oh and more icons please

  34. OffBeatMammal

    love the responsive features - makes it a lot more usable on my phone (thanks!)

    for the 'image lite' option though ... any chance of making it device/class specific ... I am happy to have images on my Mac, but like the ability to turn it off on my phone/ipad ...?

  35. 10forcash Bronze badge

    Not a fan...

    The new front page is too sparse, only seven article headlines visible on Opera (five on PaleMoon) without scrolling as opposed to thirteen with the older version (with Adblock, Scriptsafe & Stylish applied). The main article is just a black rectangle with the headline in it, even with Image lite (sic) applied.

    The nested threads are a good idea but are too wide - makes my eyes ache to the point where I just select 'thread' to condense the width, even if it means more scrolling, I can't explain it any better, it just feels 'more normal'.

    There's also possibly too much white space glaring at me, although it has caused me to turn down the brightness so battery life should be a bit better and i'd rather have white space than ads....

  36. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Pagination

    There seems to be a gremlin.

    After a week or two of threaded comments mostly all-on-one-page over the season of humbug, today I'm getting oldfashioned pagination (three pages to this article). From memory, today's Friday regulars On-Call and Dabbs also paginated on me.

    Yes, I did check my personal settings before posting this. Everything was set to the defaults, which apparently should mean no pagination!

  37. Sammy Smalls

    One of the 4000..... :(

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

    1. Trilkhai

      Probably far more than 4,000

      They should include the uptick in people who switched to using the Week In Summary URL -- I can't speak for anyone else, but the only reason I'm not "one of the 4,000" is that I was unaware of the option and used the WIS page instead.

  38. Dave559 Bronze badge

    Dark mode theme?

    Thanks for all the work!

    One thing that I would find very useful would be a dark mode theme, if you happen to have any spare development time?

    I don’t know why it became almost standard for most websites to have #ffffff’ing bright searing white page backgrounds (I always turn the CSS down a few notches to pale grey on any sites that I develop), but I do find too much bright white very overwhelming and it would be very much appreciated if an option could be added to select a dark theme instead. Many thanks if you could do this!

    1. Trilkhai

      Re: Dark mode theme?

      This -- I don't care for either blinding white *or* overly-dark mode themes (as switching from dark to another tab/website is then too blinding), but it'd be nice if they'd code the pages to respect the user's browser settings instead of forcing the black/white scheme.

    2. Marco Fontani

      Re: Dark mode theme?

      There are many "dark mode" browser extensions out there which purportedly work, on this site and others.

  39. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Pint

    El Reg is one of my favourites. They say it like it is.

    Sometimes you get good humour in the articles as well, which is good for a chuckle or two.

    Here's hoping Simon (BOFH) will be more active. And, of course, OnCall and Dabbsy as well.

    Cheers (with Beers) from South Africa!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But not what we really want

    Quality journalism.

  41. Whiskers

    Getting more like Usenet:))

  42. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    The title is no longer required

    Fucking shite. This just means I need to enable desktop mode on my Note9 so I can see the front page as I want to see it every time.

  43. DragoCubed

    Fingers crossed we get collapsible comments and inline replies!

  44. paulf Silver badge
    Gimp

    Old desktop front page design

    FTA: "For those clinging to the previous layout, we allowed you to opt in to continue receiving the old homepage. ... According to our stats, about 4,000 people a month were still opting in for the old homepage in December, so we figured it wasn't too popular."

    IME, every time I selected the old desktop format it got reverted automagically within a week even though I allowed/kept the cookie that must have stored the preference. I'd wonder how that statistic was swayed by others who also preferred the old desktop site layout but got frustrated at having to keep selecting the optout they just admitted defeat. It was a bit Mrs Doyle in the end - You'll use the new format won't you? Oh you will, you will, you will, you will..." Looks like I'd better try the lite mode. For me it made much more sense to look at the front page 1-2 times a day and check the new stories added since I last looked than go hunting for them on the new design.

    Thumbs up at least for the threaded comments - spotted over Christmas. Good work guys!

    1. EastFinchleyite

      Re: Old desktop front page design

      Upvoted.

      I expected the opt-out to the old front page to be time limited. Comments about the blurring of consultation and affirmation a few months ago are still valid.

      As for threads. I read comments in date order because that is the way the world works. time is linear. I also suspect that commentards make comments on the earliest original posts to gets their words up near the top of the page.

      Still too many columns (three is the max advisable). Have to dust off Greasemonkey to see if that can be fixed. If anyone has already got there, perhaps they could post the script somewhere. As for the idea of a responsive web page design suitable for all types of reader, (phone, tablet, PC ). Ever heard of the old phrase "jack of all trades and master of none"

  45. TimBiller

    A threaded discussion/commenting system? What, like CIX had with Ameol in ooh, 1994? I say, well done.

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