Commenting on the New Platform

Just click on the little fuchsia speech-balloon at the end of the post, on the right hand side.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

A reader was confused by this at first, so it led me to think that some other readers might be, too.

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90 responses to “Commenting on the New Platform

  1. Immediate thoughts:
    1. The text of the posts is thin and spidery. Low contrast. I’d like to see it changed to a bolder/darker font, made a sans-serif font instead of serif (current stack is itc-slimbach,Times New Roman,serif) and make the color black, or at least much darker than the current rgb 77,77,77,

    2. The overall design looks like an attempt to make the site more mobile-friendly that (as is often the case) makes it more desktop-hostile.

    3. My personal preference is for sidebars to be on the left, rather than the right. Or to have sidebars on both sides, rather than just on the right. So I find the right-side sidebar to be ugh. If we must have default sidebars on the right, I could wish for a user profile preference setting that puts them on the left. And no, ‘left vs right’ here is not a political preference on my part.

    1. Agree that the text is more difficult to read using a computer monitor and that a bolder/darker font would be an improvement.

    2. I agree about the font.

      My eyesight is not the greatest and the new font is harder to read. It needs to be darker and a shade thicker.

      1. Dude change your screen to “night mode” and the background goes black and you’ll never go back.

    3. Asking for black-on-white text is a lost cause. Websites are mostly designed by young men in their early twenties who don’t understand why anybody would find grey fonts hard to read.

      This I think was one of the reasons Google Plus died. They tried to outdo Facebook in many ways, grey-ness being one of them.

    4. I doubt Volokh has much control over the commenting system Reason uses

      a >=b

    5. Agree, more contrast, more depth and a slightly larger font.

  2. Where?!?

  3. Let me guess:
    Bernard and Arthur got together and chose “fuchsia” for the color of the comment bubble…?:
    Trump’s re-election gets more likely every day.

    1. Fuchsia represents the commie red-progressive purple (purple is supposedly the color of the Vermont Progressive Party) alliance, which has taken another leap forward. Carry on, clingers!

  4. Fuchsia? So your audience women only?

  5. Shakespeare wrote a play that might as well have been about format changes on the Conspiracy; he titled it Much Ado About Nothing. The consistently thoughtful posts make the blog worth a daily read. No amount of clever formatting can make up for lack of content; conversely, quality posts would be just as good formatted with a mechanical typewriter.

    1. While good formatting can’t make bad posts and comments worthwhile, bad formatting can spoil good posts and comments. “Quality posts would be just as good formatted with a mechanical typewriter” is not the case, especially when the typewriter ribbon is faded.

  6. Might want to explain the Flag as well. You can’t unflag or cancel if you hit it by mistake.

  7. The new format seems to be optimized for reading articles on smartphones, which is great . . . for people who just read the articles on a smartphone.

    The old format was from a time when commenting on articles was a new thing. When Hit & Run first came to Reason circa 2003, few news outlets would allow that. Facebook wasn’t even founded until 2004.

    Back then, it still hadn’t occurred to a lot of people that user generated content was not only fun to read but you didn’t even have to pay journalists to write it.

    Nowadays, I suspect they see us as an eyesore and a potential liability. Facebook and Twitter wish a fat chunk of their users would suddenly disappear, because they’re such a headache, and I’m not sure Reason might not be just as happy if a fat chunk of us suddenly disappeared, as well.

    Oh well. I’ll keep adding my two cents as long as they let me, but there isn’t a lot for a commenter to like about this new format.

    1. I think you’ve already said all you have to say at least a thousand times. That’s enough.

    2. Nowadays, I suspect they see us as an eyesore and a potential liability. Facebook and Twitter wish a fat chunk of their users would suddenly disappear, because they’re such a headache, and I’m not sure Reason might not be just as happy if a fat chunk of us suddenly disappeared, as well.

      That is unfortunate. I feel sad every time there is an occasional purge in my social life.

    3. How did you know my college nickname was “Fat Chunk?”

  8. There is a limit on reply depth that did not exist before, and old comments that exceed the limit are no longer visible.

    1. If so, that’s horrifying. Commenting platform changes should always be backwards compatible.

    2. 1st level reply.

      1. 2nd.

        1. 3rd.

          1. 4th.

          2. 4 is the limit, notice no “Reply” button at the bottom.

              1. Only 5?

                1. But still no edit functionality…

              2. Does this show up as 6th?

                1. On the other hand, excessive indent levels may not look good on a phone.
                  I remember a comment system (¿History News Network?) where the comments went to such extreme indent levels there were replies with one word per line down the right margin on a hi res desktop screen.

                  1. Some word press comments systems are so bad they eventually become vertical text. I’m looking at you, Slatestar Codex.

  9. Is there now a way for me to see all my prior posts/comments? Had it at the old site (super easy and intuitive), but this really useful feature was lost on the move to Reason. (Or, it exists, but is really cleverly hidden.)

  10. Thank you!

  11. The old RSS feed for reason.com/volokh/ died.

    I really don’t want to have to use the RSS feed for the entire site. Please restore an RSS feed for just the Volokh Conspiracy page.

    1. Reason is preparing to assimilate Volokh.

      Think of a honky-tonk setting up next to the country club. You won’t be able to discuss your golf scores over the sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd blaring next door.

      1. So … we’ll talk about financing Taylor Swift projects?

        I’ve got some ideas for music videos.

        😉

    2. hear hear

    3. The RSS feed will be back shortly — just give us a day or two.

  12. It loads much faster in Vista using MSIE than it used to.

  13. Why am I hoping the reverend is colorblind.

    1. No such luck. I would love to meet that guy at a Reason convention. My guess is he wouldn’t be quite so mouthy in person.

      1. Usually it’s the internet tough guys itching for a forum based on political debate to become physical who end up being the dumpy cowards.

        Say what you will about RAK, he’s not the one who lacks so much confidence in his side he’s calling for an end to speech and a start to violence.

      2. I would welcome a chance to call you a bigot, faux libertarian, and irrelevant malcontent in person. I probably would not add the anti-social and on-the-spectrum parts, though, because that would not be good manners. But I have lost my taste for political correctness and now believe in calling a bigot a bigot.

        1. “I would welcome a chance to call you a bigot, faux libertarian, and irrelevant malcontent in person.”

          And I’d be happy to point out that you’re a fucking imbecilic asshole.

          1. Bigoted, superstitious, anti-social, culturally vanquished, faux libertarian, stale-thinking right-wingers seem to dislike me.

            I am content.

          2. Little blue fairies dislike you too, jackass, and there are just as many of them running around.

            In fact, I have yet to see anyone say they do like you, unless it’s because they think you’re a clown.

            1. I have been elected repeatedly and never lost an election.

              I guess there just aren’t enough belligerently ignorant right-wing malcontents to stop me from accomplishing my objectives, or to prevent me from being popular.

              Carry on, clingers.

  14. I like the bigger font size, but I think the line leading spacing is about 40% too large for a sans-serif font face. Bring those lines closer, and I think it will be much easier to read.

  15. It’s all about me and me is unhappy.

  16. Eugene, you are the absolute sweetest.

  17. I particularly like the new ‘edit’ button and the preview feature. The font is great because now I can use my lighted magnifying glass every day!

    KMW, you’re so IT clever; just like those robots you love!!

    1. I particularly like the new ‘edit’ button and the preview feature.

      Yup, time for a burner post to see what HTML tags still work. (Make sure you type it all in just right the first time, kids….)

      1. Testing 1234

        Strike 1. How about this?

        1. Ok, so underlining is gone (really?), but more importantly neither quote nor blockquote work anymore. Who in the world would want a simple, visually attractive way to call out a portion of the post they’re responding to?

          1. but more importantly neither quote nor blockquote work anymore.

            but more importantly neither quote nor blockquote work anymore.

      2. Test

  18. I must say I am really missing Hit and Run. so is my wife. and I agree on the font size and color. reading on a laptop and the old eyes aren’t what they used to be,

  19. I’m still getting bombed with popup ads, from the left, from the right, from the top and from the bottom. And everything must wait for the latest iteration of the popup to wait for the cache and load, and load and load some more.
    I don’t like the new typeface as it is to thin and thready.

    1. Sounds like you may want to check out an adblocker. That part of the new “user experience” (gag) is just fine even just using the built-in blocker in Opera (which also is generally the most responsive lightweight browser out there right now in my view).

  20. When you cultivate an audience of incels, anti-social malcontents, marginalized wingnuts, and faux libertarians, explaining elementary and even obvious website operation seems to be part of that bargain.

    (I would have expected most Volokh fans to be intensely adept at online activity, as a consequence of their interpersonal awkwardness and social inadequacies, but it appears the lack of strong education can overcome other factors.)

    1. “When you cultivate an audience of incels, anti-social malcontents, marginalized wingnuts, and faux libertarians, explaining elementary and even obvious website operation seems to be part of that bargain.”

      And we end up with fucking imbecilic assholes like you…

  21. We need a tutorial on the new commenting system until everyone learns the ropes.

    bold italic

      1. try u underline
        try under underline

        Preview would be nice. Edit within, say, sixty seconds of post would nice plus.

        I am getting gray text on white background which is not good.

        1. try underlining again .

  22. Fuchsia? More discrimination against the colorblind, I call it.

  23. Wait, did someone say that blockquote no longer works?

    How about italics or bold?

    1. Why would you eliminate blockquote? Bad Reason.

    2. no block quote?

      Also no review button to see what will post.

      1. Yeah, preview was good. I think an edit button is unnecessary if you have that. Plus it seems like cheating.

    3. Wait, did someone say that blockquote no longer works?

      It works, the result is what you would get with a paragraph tag which doesn’t work.

  24. Italics
    Bold
    Underline
    Link

    1. 1st level response.

      1. 2nd level response.

        1. 3rd level.

          1. A 3rd level troll?

  25. So, we’ve been saved from the horror of underlined text? Not sure why someone thought that was needed…

  26. Does this blockquote work?

    Blockquote isn’t actually being filtered out, it is being stylesheeted out, so let’s see if we can use a little inline styling to recover it.

    1. No such luck. The <blockquote> survives but the styling doesn’t.

  27. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
    April.14.2019 at 6:52 pm
    “Bigoted, superstitious, anti-social, culturally vanquished, faux libertarian, stale-thinking right-wingers seem to dislike me.”

    All decent people dislike imbecilic assholes

  28. The new platform continues a trend of such changes over the 13 years I’ve been following this blog. Each such change seemed to erode incrementally the VC user experience.

    To be fair, in view of the consistency of those perceptions, one may reasonably wonder if they say more about me than they do about the website changes. I know I do.

    About the comments themselves, however, there’s no such ambiguity. These threads, at one time informed and civil, have mostly degenerated into a fetid pool of tribal dreck. So much so that the arrival of commenters from Reason, a cite with a well-earned reputation for noxious threads, barely elicited a yawn from those of us with distant memories of the persuasive yet civil VC comment thread arguments.

    1. The Reason commentariat went south when threaded comments were introduced.

    2. Volokh readers had to work hard to get the comments section into such a state that the arrival of Reason commenters didn’t elicit any new outrage over violation of standards.

    3. “About the comments themselves, however, there’s no such ambiguity. These threads, at one time informed and civil, have mostly degenerated into a fetid pool of tribal dreck. So much so that the arrival of commenters from Reason, a cite with a well-earned reputation for noxious threads, barely elicited a yawn from those of us with distant memories of the persuasive yet civil VC comment thread arguments.”
      You (the patrons of Volokh) seem to have drug in the fucking imbecilic asshole rev, and you are griping about a lack of civility?
      A break I do deserve….

      1. No kidding. That fuckhole makes Tony look clever, and that’s saying something.

      2. Q.E.D.

  29. What an awful font!

    But at least they preserved the ability to not edit your comments.

  30. Various header texts are way too big and bold. Zoomed out and now the content text is very small.

  31. So blockquote does work now?

    Okay, that’s not so bad.

    What about

      underline

    ?

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