Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Just what have you been eating? »« Welcome to the new digs!

The Complaints Department

Oh, look! Bugs and broken ugly stuff!

I know. Here you are in this new place, and it’s homely. There are glitches. There are clearly things that Myers guy doesn’t know how to do yet, and he clearly doesn’t grasp WordPress. Some stuff is just different, and you hate it.

This is your thread.

Tell me what sucks, and if you can, tell me how to fix it. I will listen humbly and take recommendations and advice. Implementation of your suggestions might be slow as I creep up the learning curve, and also because this is a new network of blogs and I can’t charge in and risk breaking things for everyone else, but it will improve.

We will make it sleek and beautiful and efficient together.

Comments

  1. Sili says

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I wish to complain about the very ugly red bar at the top of the page. It ruins the theme completely. I

    would appreciate your attention on this matter as I consider this deeply offensive.

    Thank you
    Sili con Opolitan

  2. Philip Legge says

    Okay, underline doesn’t work. Let’s try:

    Testing out some HTML™ entities. ♥ PML

    My brain hurtz!

  3. says

    Ah, is this on now…PZ, what kind of logins will you be using, the WordPress ones don’t seem to work. Will MT be implemented again ? To the theme, it’s a bit blue, and the red bar on top is a bit blinding, but I guess one would get used to it. Otherwise, a few error 404 messages to various links, but that will be straightened out.

  4. says

    The red bar is a placeholder for a banner ad, I think.

    It is very blue. I want to change it — it’ll have to wait until the thing is debugged and I can get access to the CSS files, though.

  5. Owlmirror says

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I wish to complain about many, many things.

    This comment box has no preview. This is unconscionable.

    The default font for comments is too small.

    Also, I am unaccountably deprived of a Leica rangefinder. Please remedy this situation forthwith…!!!

  6. Philip Legge says

    Just so people know – four html links will currently trigger the moderation filter.

    PZ, is there to be an equivalent of the class=”creationist” CSS which allows us to Gumbify the trolls and render their text in Comic Sans?

  7. Owlmirror says

    Someone said I should request a “LART”. Do you happen to have one that you could e-mail to me?

  8. Sili says

    Must be that small font confusing you, Owlmirror.

    I’m sure it said “OLD FART”.

  9. Philip Legge says

    Ooh, changes. First up, a WordPress account for this site seems to be needed – clicking the “login to reply” will bring up a page with a Registration link. Completion requires clicking on the usual link supplied in a validation e-mail sent to your e-mail address when you do the initial registration step.

    Second, now that I’m logged in with the WordPress account it seems there is now a Preview button. But it doesn’t actually do anything (at least on my Firefox 5 for Mac it won’t)!

    Testing two links to elsewhere to see whether that will trip the moderation filter:

    Butterfly and Wheels, Notes and Comment Blog
    Furious Purpose, Making sense of it all

    Testing possible Gumby stuff. (It will probably fail)

  10. Philip Legge says

    Two links made it through without a problem. Trying some inline CSS wrapped in a <p> tag in order to get red Gumby text. Preview button still no worky.

  11. Philip Legge says

    <b>Bold</b>
    <strong>Strong</strong>
    <i>Italic</i>
    <em>Emphasis</em>
    <u>Underline</u>
    <s>Strike-through</s>
    :) = :)
    :D = :D
    :( = :(
    :p = :p
    :/ = :/

    Can we haz un-de-line and strkethru plz like new blog haz smileys? Peezee?!? :D

    (And PML finally worked out that the Preview is displayed on the current page underneath the text box.)

  12. says

    Don’t know whether it’s a bug, but I can’t see the number of comments on each post from the main page. Not an essential feature, but it was informative (and sometimes amusing) to see how much feedback recent posts have been getting.

  13. Minnie The Finn says

    Yup, comment numbers invisible here, too. Not only on the main page, but on the comments section as well. Come to think of it, I’ve seen this with quite a few blogs. Usually results in multiple block-quote collisions.

  14. khms says

    It seems all the feeds are currently b0rken, or at least the two I tried (the main and Pharyngula RSS feeds).

  15. Minnie The Finn says

    Ok, comment numbers now visible :D … bigger than any other text on the page.

  16. Benjamin Geiger says

    “You attempted to access the “Pharyngula” dashboard, but you do not currently have privileges on this site. If you believe you should be able to access the “Pharyngula” dashboard, please contact your network administrator.”

    This from clicking my display name.

  17. Caine, ghetto féministe says

    Testing. I don’t understand a lot of the html commands. Oh well, I’ll get them figured out. I hope my text format toolbar still functions here.

    I seriously dislike the blue and I’m not too crazy about the preview showing up underneath the comment box.

  18. Caine, Ghetto féministe says

    Oh, and stupid little avatars? Nooooo. Please make them go away.*

    *Yes, I’m grumpy.

  19. Caine, Ghetto féministe says

    Sili:

    Caaaaaiiiiinnnnne!!

    You live!

    I do! So far anyway. ;p My apologies to Arthur.

  20. llewelly says

    Now I have a question. On Sb, and on many other blogs, if a comment is deleted, the following comments are renumbered. The result is that any comments which reference those comments by number become confusing. There were many threads that became difficult to follow because dozens of troll comments got deleted, and the resulting renumbering made utter nonsense of the by number referencing that so many people are so fond of.

    So I would like to know – if a comment is deleted here, will the following comments be renumbered? If so, I request that people please do not reference comments by number! Instead, copy and paste the time, the date, and the name of the commenter. Or use a link.

  21. llewelly says

    Oh, I hate avatars. They cause people to select a picture which looks fine at full size, but when scrunched down, and subjected to the horrible blurring and warping compression used for avatars, will transform a cat into a weird blobby jellyfish, or a young woman into a balding old man, or a neck with hair falling across it into a face with a giant tarantula crawling across it …

    Unfortunately, because the person selecting the avatar pic knows what it is intended to be, they are oblivious to the horrible transformation that has taken place; wherever they see their own avatar pic, their brain helpfully replaces the horrible reality with the picture they wanted to be there.

    You people have no idea how ugly, bizarre, and nonsensical your avatar pics are, and you will never know, because you know how they are intended look, and thus your brain lies to you about them.

  22. John Morales says

    bogus strikethrough

    Preview, editing etc all looking good.

    Comments look good.

    Recent comments working, too.

    [I see it pulled in my gravatar. Heh. Ol' bonehead, that's me]

  23. Benjamin Geiger (is exactly that awesome) says

    I actually like avatars. If anything, they make it easier to tell who’s who at a glance.

  24. Benjamin Geiger (is exactly that awesome) says

    By the way, the “logged in as” link needs a “/user/” added before “profile.php”. And it’d be nice if there were a “return to previous page” or even “return to previous blog” instead of bouncing to the top of FTB…

  25. Emrysmyrddin says

    I’ll second the ‘need a PZ frontpage button’ suggestion; it wastes too many clicks as-is. I think I’ve worked out the login (WP is new to me).

  26. says

    Well my comments can be summarized in two lines.

    1. Great idea for a site, although I was hoping that anyone could add their blog here but that’s okay. This is great too.

    2. WordPress sucks. Why on earth would you guys pick a WordPress site?

    Let the controversy rage ;-D

  27. Lynn David says

    I still don’t see any comment numbers.

    And why is there not an RSS feed for Pharyngula? All I can find is one for the entire Free Thought Blogs website.

  28. John Morales says

    Trance, what controversy?

    You claim WordPress sucks, but for mine it’s working no less well than the old, cast-off lobotomised shell over yonder ever did. Better, actually, comments just appear as they should.

    So, to what actual suckage can you point to, right now?

  29. Andrew G. says

    One word: OpenID. If you’re going to have login required for comments (as Ed seems to), then you really need this; having to maintain a separate login for every blog site is too much of a pain for me to even try.

  30. says

    Re: Red box at the top. Odd, I don’t see it, I see an actual ad. It’s supposed to be an ad, not a red box. I’ll get the tech on that when he wakes up (since he just went to sleep after pulling an all nighter to tinker and tweak and make the place usable). Same with the RSS feeds. Thanks for all your help debugging things, folks. It turns out that a site of this size and complexity can be a real pain in the ass to put together and get running smoothly. Fear not, we’ve fixed the worst problems already and will fix the rest as soon as we can.

  31. trancegemini7 says

    Ah … where do I begin ….

    Unnecessarily complex.

    Full of bugs.

    I can’t add my blog. (I got all excited when it allowed me to register, then went to the dashboard and … nothing.

    Like I said ….

    I use Blogger (Google I expect my payment – direct deposit please).

  32. says

    Odd, I don’t see it,

    Yes, it’s gone now. But there’s no ad banner there instead, just the format of the page seems to have changed.

  33. Philip Legge, ravageur de série says

    Lynn David,

    I still don’t see any comment numbers.

    Initially there were no comment numbers at all, and then they were suddenly switched “on” at about 3:00 am (Minnie the Finn’s #comment-31). Someone must have turned them off again. They’ll come back when someone works out which wrong button was pressed.

    Ed,

    Re: Red box at the top. Odd, I don’t see it, I see an actual ad.

    The red box appears very briefly when loading the page and is soon replaced by a Google ad – except for those unlucky people who are not receiving the ad, and thus have to continue seeing the red box.

    Trance Gemini 7,

    Unnecessarily complex.
    Full of bugs.

    Creating a WordPress login is about the same order of complexity as creating a Moveable Type login was for ScienceBlogs, and there were no problems with registration. The other bugs seem to be fairly normal Day 1 of a website, teething-problem sort of bugs.

    (Testing: added 3 links to see whether that triggers the moderation filter, since 2 links doesn’t, and 4 links does.)

  34. Insufficient Cringe says

    My wordpress login did not work. I was required to create a new wordpress login,and I useing the same name.

    IOW, the wordpress logins on this site are different to the wordpress logins on wordpress.com.

    I assume this is expected.

  35. says

    I’m glad the site is using WordPress; it’s great software and I’ve used it for my blog for the past seven years. I think the Freethought bloggers will come to like it.

  36. John Morales says

    [meta]

    I see the possibility of crossing the streams (of comments) on posts that make the SB site, but blog etiquette is that that’s boorish, right?

  37. says

    Ah, OK. Now my complaint. The central column is not dynamically sized. In my normal browser window it’s quite narrow, and I have huge white margins.

    BTW, I get red boxes when my work blocks ads. I’m home now, and have no red boxen here.

  38. Moggie says

    I’m getting “error establishing a database connection” when trying to login, and generally the site seems a little slow. Oh, and what is this “preview error” when trying to preview?

  39. Kris says

    The RSS feed autodetection link is broken. It points to the site-wide feed but is labeled as the Pharyngula feed. The feed link at the top of the page is fine. It would be nice to have links for both.

  40. Philip Legge, mensongère pornographe intellectuelle says

    “Error establishing a database connection”

    Me too, Moggie. We’ll see how well this new blog beastie fairs when the Pharyngulite Horde descend in their full numbers.

  41. serendipitydawg says

    I periodically get Error establishing a database connection when switching to a new page (any new page) but I assume that is a bug that the blue tongued lizard will catch at some point.

  42. Emily says

    I am getting an “Error establishing a database connection” when trying to get at a blog’s RSS feed.

    I also got it when I first attempted to post this, and then this page threw it for a little while afterwards.

    As a CS student, I wish I could help more than just bug reports, but my knowledge of the Web based languages is low.

  43. Andrew G. says

    Creating a WordPress login is about the same order of complexity as creating a Moveable Type login was for ScienceBlogs,

    But Scienceblogs allowed OpenID logins, so there was no need to create an account at all. Having to register separately on each blog network and individual blog site is silly.

    (Getting the “Cannot establish database connection” error a lot when trying to post this.)

  44. nancynewregulatorynightmarequeen says

    I DO hope that eventually you’ll be able to use the switching headers here. They’re simply too much fun to leave behind.

  45. bybelknap says

    connection errors. Also, fat fingers made me click the button on accident and post the comment too soon!

  46. KG says

    Hmm, so far extremely ropey – that’s the first comment I’ve managed to post. mostly I’m just getting “Failure to establish a database connection” when I try to comment or register with WordPress.

  47. David Utidjian says

    I want to make a complaint!

    But I see others have already made it.

    I want to make a compliment! (can I do that here?)
    I like the speed of loading and posting and just the general “feel” of the page.

    Carry on.

    Oh darn… I take all that back. I just got a database error when I tried to submit. Trying again….

  48. Emily says

    I DO hope that eventually you’ll be able to use the switching headers here. They’re simply too much fun to leave behind.

    I don’t see why not, even with my small knowledge of PHP, I don’t see implementing that as something that’s too hard to do. Just have a PHP function that grabs a random image from a folder holding all the headers, and then display it in the header’s spot.

  49. becominginvisible says

    Give Mary administrative privileges. Posts that are hers should show up as hers with whatever name she wants. Just happy the “error establishing data base” has stopped (link to site from The Digital Cuttlefish).

  50. Benjamin Geiger (is exactly that awesome) says

    WordPress is NOT the same thing as WordPress.com. One is the blog engine, the other is a site running the blog engine (set up by the people who designed the blog engine).

    My (neglected) blogs all run WordPress, and you can’t use a WordPress.com account to log into any of them. The user lists are separate and distinct.

    That being said: Alternate forms of authentication would be nice. OpenID, for starters; maybe Twitter or Facebook integration at some point…

  51. dvizard says

    Hi,

    First off: it seems to me that you are not on a hosting package adequate for the traffic you get / will get. The “database connection” error probably comes from this. If you really have Bluehost’s $6.95 plan, I am probably right. First off, don’t believe anyone selling you “unlimited” traffic. Unlimited traffic is always “unlimited” until you start to, you know, actually use a lot of traffic, at which point they start to slow down your connection, pull out their “fair use” policies, or threaten to kick you out. They do pay for traffic, so they will never really give it to you for free, no matter what their ads say.

    I am pretty sure that you will need at least a managed VPS very soon. Take a managed one, not an unmanaged one, so they will take care of any security-side updates for you.

    Second, from a web designer’s point of view, your overall design is great for a start, but a few components make it look a bit unfinished. Here I have a pic how I would adapt the thing with little effort: http://i.imgur.com/dkOVp.png

    The white space above the banner serves no discernible purpose, but is what will draw the viewer’s attention first. Also, the blue background on the outside of the title bar is, to my eyes, a web design fad which passed away a few years ago. My advice would be to minimize the amount of optical elements to the absolutely necessary, i.e. use the blue bar just as an element to isolate the FTB/Advertise/Privacy bar from the main page, and for the “content” part, use just the central container and nothing else. (You can have your gradient in the background if you really want it :) )

    Hope this helps and that it doesn’t come over as patronizing :)

  52. rwahrens says

    Ok, this is a test, it is only a test.

    Your picture may change, but that is only the result of us taking control of your computer. We will relinquish that control momentarily. Maybe. If you beg. Piteously, please.

  53. Thor the Unmarvelous says

    My humble opinion: You should change the font to a more classical kind (yeah, like that on the OLD Pharyngula) and darken the background color a few nuances with a tendency to some eggshell type of color. Like it is now, it appears a bit cold and impersonal.

    Best regards!

  54. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Just seeing if it will let me sign in…it didn’t ask if it was Movable Type or WordPress…Firefox knew what I meant to type, but that doesn’t mean anything. Here goes nothing.

  55. says

    There are way too many ads on each page. Having a big square ad between the post and the comments is especially bad. Many of the ads seem to be pushing scams rather than promoting actual products (“Earn a Bible Degree”, “Californians are using one small trick…”). At least they’re not animating.

    The copyright notice at the bottom of this page, “Copyright © PharyngulaEvolution…”, is kinda busted. Shouldn’t it show your name rather than the name of your blog?

    The copyright notice at the bottom of http://freethoughtblogs.com/ is even worse; it seems to be claiming that the excerpts from *your* blog are copyright someone else (The Digital Cuttlefish).

    You might want to disable comments on the decaf version, and redirect the comment links here instead. It would suck to have the community split between two comment threads for each post.

  56. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    OK, it worked! No numbers on the posts, so it’s gonna be kind of hard to keep track of. And Preview didin’t work: “Preview error”. Seems to be a lot faster than the old site, though. Gotta love the TinkerTool logo up top!

  57. Philip Legge, mensongère pornographe intellectuelle says

    Whoa. The site has been slashdotted Pharyngulated.

    (I’m loving the Preview error, and the inability to alter the WordPress profile.)

  58. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    What are the chances I don’t get a database error on the second third try?

    (Ok, preview doesn’t work. Let’s see about posting a comment.)

  59. says

    Oh dear, the “Error establishing database connection” errors make the site almost unusable. I have to keep refreshing constantly in the hope that one of the loads will take.

    The RSS feeds suffer from the same problem. I had to repeatedly add the feed to my news reader to get it to take. Also, as someone pointed out earlier, the mime type for the RSS links is wrong, so even with a default feed handler set, my browser (Safari) tries to open the RSS feed itself.

  60. Emily says

    The biggest bugs at the moment seem to be the database connection. Every step taken on the site keeps running into that same error.

  61. Lynn Wilhelm says

    I can’t wait to see how things go once the bugs are worked out.
    Don’t like the blue much either. And I agree that the ad between the comments and post is icky.

    Hopefully, you’ll be able to get comment numbers up soon. I really rely on those.

    Having trouble submitting (says website may be under maintenance) and preview didn’t work for me.

  62. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    Ok, accountulated.

    I think there might be a dead cat stuck in your Database Connector, PZ.

  63. says

    Ah, managed to create an account, but it took an awful lot of refreshing and re-submitting to get there.

    I think the words “Error establishing a database connection” are starting to get burned into my display.

  64. says

    Aside from the obvious database teething issues…
    (at least it seems if you get the error, your comment hasn’t gone through!)

    • The ads are currently pretty intrusive and cluttered, and push the useful stuff in the right-hand column “below the fold”. I hope you don’t object if I continue to use adblock for the moment.

    • The overall site design is… okay. Looks a little amateurish. It’s too busy up the top, and too spartan below in the comments area. Separate comments aren’t visually distinguished from comments with multiple paragraphs. (Borders, separators or alternating background colours would help a lot.)

    • Pharyngula & Cuttlefish under one roof! Woo!

    I’m sure everything will settle in nicely over time. Glad to see the jump has finally been made; I trust you have a lot more control now!

  65. says

    I think there might be a dead cat stuck in your Database Connector, PZ.

    I think it’s a cunning creationist plot to unsettle PZ in his new home; the blog equivalent of leaving a dead fish inside the curtain rail.

    Oh, wait. I said “cunning creationist”, didn’t I? Forget that then.

  66. Minnie The Finn says

    This is odd. I didn’t think I was logged on, yet it lets me comment. Or does it? Should it?

    All this new-fangled technology is making my head spin.

  67. RahXephon says

    I came to comment, finally got in. I’m confused though, is registering/logging in required? The comment box I got just asks for a screenname and email.

  68. says

    I like the login (not having an OpenID or Movable Type account, I used to be yahoo gunk) but the ad at the very top of the page is badly placed, no other complaints, thanks.

  69. says

    In fact, playing around with the CSS in Firebug (strongly recommended for anyone who has any contact with web development), and there are plenty of CSS classes for tidying up comments already present; including odd/even classes for comment rows. There just aren’t any styles applied yet.

  70. Sastra says

    Testing, testing.

    I’m getting a lot of error messages. Plus, this place looks funny.

    I like things to look the same.

  71. Sastra says

    Ok, I can see one specific feature I miss: the numbered posts. With so many posts it was useful to be able to refer to the # you were replying to.

    Now it’s giving me a preview error. Let’s see if it posts.

  72. chigau says

    I, too, would like numbered posts.
    and I think PZ should change his photo.
    I’m tired of that one ;)

  73. Ben Breuer says

    I got the oft-mentioned “database error” earlier, but at least part seems to work fine. I’m sure it’ll be smoothing out in a few days.

    Have fun at the new digs!

  74. Pteryxx says

    I don’t much care for this pointy little sans-serif font. Makes it hard to visually scan pages of comments, or walls-o’text. Also, seconding the call for numbered comments – inline links aren’t so helpful when I’m on dial-up and trying to load a 1000-comment thread.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the resurrection of the rotating banner and the random quotes. Won’t the different banners clash with the blue theme, if it stays blue? (Or is the blue-and-white theme supposed to keep the Horde calm and malleable? *snrk*)

  75. Rey Fox says

    Let’s see, post numbers, make the comment text the same size as the post text (or at least bigger than it is now), um…I’ll think of some more stuff later maybe.

  76. Matalius says

    In no particular order:

    1. IMHO, some things need borders. The top ad and the Pharyngula banner, specifically. Really just aesthetics, not that important.

    2. I find the comments a little hard to follow. I think some slight shading of individual comment boxes would help.

    3. COMMENT NUMBERS! (I know, you’re getting to that.)

    4. Post times are an hour off (for me, I’m on Eastern). Is that on your end or my end?

    There’s probably more, but that’s what I can think of right now.

    Preview works for me. Everyone should try again.

  77. Rey Fox says

    What else…

    Are you going to be implementing the Typepad/Whatever login? If so, what will become of Googlemesses and Yahoomesses? I like having the login, I think it cuts down on the riffraff.

    On a related note, will the Dungeon be migrated here eventually?

    Also, you need a new “About The Author” picture. The PZ cerub thumbnail is too small and is showing up all artifact-y in that space. Or the space is too big. In fact, if I had to make one general design complaint, it’s that all the sidebar features are too big and clunky and they overwhelm the text (which, as others have noted, is rather small).

    Speaking of text, could we go back to Times New Roman? A serif font would surely make longer posts easier to read.

    And could you get me a sandwich while you’re up?

  78. says

    Just testing to see what I ned to do to log in a comment using my WordPress blog as a basis. I used to have to do a two step process before, logging into my blog first, then this one. PITA, but not necessarily too off-putting.

    Now, I click the “Submit Comment” button below to see if this works.

    Here’s goes nothing….

    …OK. That didn’t work.

  79. Pieter B says

    When I click on the Dispatches banner on the home page I get

    Error establishing a database connection

  80. Crudely Wrott says

    Checks to see if the door is unlocked.
    Hhmmm. The knob turns, will the door open?

  81. Pieter B says

    Rey Fox:

    Speaking of text, could we go back to Times New Roman? A serif font would surely make longer posts easier to read.

    I agree that serifs are easier to read, but I’d vote for Georgia. TNR is too condensed.

  82. Richard Austin says

    Seems to be working a bit better now, but obviously it’s going to require the new site to be fixed.

    Is it just me, or are there more ads than on sb? Understood if that’s necessary.

  83. Crudely Wrott says

    (Door swings open, I peek inside . . .)

    Got a preview error on my first comment, now the preview button is missing.

    Nice place, PZ. It’s got . . . potential.

  84. Marcus Hill says

    1. Buy some proper hosting
    2. ….
    3. PROFIT!

    Also, I’m quite happy with all the ads I can see – none. People who don’t have adblocking or who are reading on a computer where they can’t install it (i.e. when they should be working) deserve acres of ugly ads.

  85. chigau says

    After much trouble, I registered with WordPress.
    Now I can’t Log in.
    But I can still comment (when I don’t get Database Error).
    Why did I register?

  86. says

    I have an ad-blocker, but I turn it off for the sites I visit a lot, unless they have those obnoxious ads that have sound and animation and hover on top of the page your trying to read until you can find the teensy little close button cleverly hidden in there…

  87. havre says

    Still insanely slow and I had a bit of trouble creating a wordpress account – apparently they don’t like people having spaces in their names. Brilliant.

  88. Aquarai says

    I fear change.

    Seriously, I’ll get used to it, like I get used to a new husband’s quirks.

  89. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Oh, looky here…if you mouse-hover over the post date, you can see a post number in your status bar. But post #132 is numbered 207. I guess that indicates how many didn’t quite get through.

    <rant> Sans-serif fonts cause brain damage! </rant>

  90. Weed Monkey says

    What nefarious black magic are you working on now: scienceblogs stopped responding?

    (Or it just might be the fault of my craptacular “mobile internet”, which is neither. Hopefully I’ll get a real connection next month.)

  91. says

    interesting; this pharyngula is working now, so in turn, the other one isn’t loading :-p

    anyway

    test
    test

    test

    test

    test
    test
    test test

  92. says

    No login required?

    Comment numbers! The comments tend to run into one another. Maybe a larger typeface for commenters’ names?

  93. rwahrens says

    Hmm, first comment made, database error. But coming back later, I now find that it did post.

    By the way, nice digs, PZ, but you really oughta change the wallpaper, its kinda plain…perhaps something cephalopodish? (is that a word?) Or maybe a bit on the Metazoanish side…

    I’m going to test the preview button now…or I would if there was one!

  94. says

    hmm… I don’t think I can figure these new tags out

    random
    filler

    random
    filler

    random

    filler

    also, what’s the “del datetime” tag for?

  95. Rey Fox says

    if you mouse-hover over the post date, you can see a post number in your status bar.

    The number appears to be a sequential numbering of every comment made to a particular blog and all the posts therein. Hence the number skipping you can observe if you mouse over every post date here.

  96. says

    d’oh, forgot about link-limits in my testing. anyway, i’m not sure i’ve firured the new tags out yet… what’s the “del datetime” tag supposed to be for?

    one more test

    test

  97. says

    wtf? do all posts with even a single link go into moderation now?!

    that would be highly inconvenient. either that, or I’ve accidentally tripped a spam filter by posting too much at once :-p

  98. Zombie says

    I got an error trying to get the RSS for the freethoughtblogs index page: ERROR: networkrss is not a valid feed template.

    The individual blog RSS seems to be ok, though, it’s just the overall site RSS that’s broken. But I was planning on reading everything…

  99. dWhisper says

    A few additional things to toss in there that I’d say are more design things. First, the FTB logo is where I’d expect the Pharyngula logo to be… I’d like to click on it to return to blog home, not to the top page.

    Going to the homepage and getting here by opening in a new page is kind of annoying too, and a bad design.

    The top ads are jarring, and break up the flow of the site. It offsets what I’m looking at, and makes me scan down to find the site home. Bad design in my mind… there are better ways to fit in ads.

  100. Ant says

    I’m logged in to WP on my own blog, and WEIT recognises that, but not FTB. Nor can I login directly; it tells me I’m using an invalid username! … ?

    /@

  101. alligatie says

    Can we have a “like” button? Or “smile at”, like on formspring? Sometimes i really wish i could quickly let the author know that her/his post is awesome :) w/o having to write a comment about it.

  102. Alex says

    “Can we have a “like” button?”

    Oh please no! That has entirely undefined dynamics to it, and I’ll think I’m on Youtube, or Facebook and such.

  103. ThirdMonkey says

    I’m glad to see you breaking free of Scienceblogs.

    Is there a place to send suggestions for the entire site, specifically for the main page?

    I would strongly recommend that you swap the header ads and the site banners. Either the header ads should be above all site content (even the tab bar) or they should be below the site banner.
    Since there is not enough left-rail content to push the left side ads below the fold they should be removed from the main site page. Having ads on both side rails looks very disjointed.
    I’d recommend a better visual separation of the different blog sections on the main page. Even just an HR under each blog section and a faint line down the center gutter would help.
    Also I’m experiencing occasional lag from the Akismet spam blocker which is causing the comment text box to become unresponsive (IE9 64-bit, Win 7, megabit connection).

  104. Alex says

    Btw, may I bring up the idea of a time-limited edit option for own posts again? I have no idea if that is even feasible in WP, but I would find it very helpful.

  105. ThirdMonkey says

    Actually, on second thought about the left-rail ads…
    You should move the FTB Posts and FTB Comments from the right rail to the left under the FreeThought Blogs section. This will push the left-rail ads below the fold and bring the posts and comments into better prominence.
    The goal of the side rail ads should be right-rail is visible on page load then left-rail becomes visible as you scroll down. This gives the benefit of always having ads visible. But you should avoid having both sides visible at the same time since this will clutter the page too much. This also allows for variable pricing based on ad location since some locations are preferred (header, right, left, then footer). But I’m guessing that AdChoices goes by flat rates regardless of location…

  106. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I always have the site plus-sized three sizes, anyway, so I have no idea what’s supposed to be on the right side. I think they assume everybody has a 9 by 16 monitor….

  107. Rey Fox says

    do all posts with even a single link go into moderation now?!

    I tried one with a link and a URL in a blockquote cite tag on the “Welcome” thread, and it hasn’t posted either. Which sucks because I’ve never used cites or titles in blockquote or href tags, and I wanted to see if they work.

  108. says

    I agree with others that individual comments aren’t distinguished enough. Alternating colors or borders would help, and allow the comment section to be more compact.

    Numbered comments would also be nice.

    Regarding the numbering change when banned commenters’ comments are deleted – couldn’t you leave a placeholder there with a message like comment deleted by moderator?

  109. Ava, Ornithologist of Doom says

    Good luck with new site. Beefs:

    1. Serif font, pls

    2. Square ad centered amongst the content–boo. Too many blogs are doing this now to force you to see ads you were avoiding on the sides. ; ) It’s a big turn-off.

    3. Would much rather sign in with Type Pad. I don’t trust having to give them my email to sign in. Hackers ‘n’ all, you know.

  110. says

    How about showing the timezone next to the timestamp of the comment?

    On deleting/renumbering comments: please don’t! Just show a message “post deleted” and keep the numbering sane.

    And no threaded comments, please. What does work well is a reply to option. The new comment is posted at the bottom, but has a small link to the comment it’s a reply to.

  111. Alex says

    Let me chime in, no threaded comments!

    WEIT etc have that, and there it is sometimes kind of useful although already there it makes it almost impossible to catch up on a longish thread in finite time.

    It would generally run very much counter the pharyngula flavor and commenting culture from what I’ve seen, and make some things that are traditional here basically impossible.

  112. JPS, FCD says

    1) What Jadehawk said! (i.e., no no no threaded comments!)

    2) Viewing in Firefox 4.0 (I think; public library PC), I see no comment numbers.

    3) Full justification of comment text just looks like crap at times. See dbvizard’s comment for an example. Oh damn, I see it looks fine in Firefox; saw the problem earlier in IE 8. (Was viewing in IE 8 because the default comment fault is too small and that’s something I know how to change using IE — but not using Firefox.)

    4) I submitted this and my earlier comment without doing any sort of sign-in.

  113. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Just checking if I managed to register properly.

    Numad,

    Everything is so white. So, so white.

    That bothers me a bit too.
    And just in case : no nested comments!

  114. The Chimp's Raging Id says

    Comment numbering is definitely needed.

    No goddamn threaded comments! It will make the conversation impossible to follow on comment threads of Pharyngulan proportions, and especially on TET.

    Stylesheet tidy up required to reduce the amount of screen real estate wasted due to the amount of space between comments and increase the width of the body text column.

    Integration with external authentication is a must (WordPress, Blogger, Facebook, OpenID, etc.).

    A low priority request would be for the reinstatement of the Pythonated creationist CSS class.

  115. EvoMonkey says

    I agree with Ava, a serif font would better for reading longer posts.

    Comment numbering and alternating color background blocks in the comments does make it easier to scan and return to my place in the comments after doing some “real” work.

  116. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    My thoughts:

    1. NO THREADED COMMENTS EVER! Please. WEIT is unreadable, and the conversation unfollowable, because Jerry has threaded comments. With the volume at Pharyngula it would crash and burn within an hour.

    2. Yes, please use a serif font. Long blocks of text without serifs are harder to read.

    3. Way too much space both between comments and between lines of text.

  117. The Chimp's Raging Id says

    SQB:

    On deleting/renumbering comments: please don’t! Just show a message “post deleted” and keep the numbering sane.

    And no threaded comments, please. What does work well is a reply to option. The new comment is posted at the bottom, but has a small link to the comment it’s a reply to.

    +1

  118. JPS, FCD says

    I second all the preceding requests for a serif font, all complaints about too much whitespace between lines and comments, and all complaints about the body text column being too narrow.

    Also, what EvoMonkey said at 3:49 pm.

  119. says

    Heh. First thing I did when I configured the comments was to turn OFF threading. OK?

    There’s a bunch of stuff I want to change as soon as I can get my hands on the css file here. All of the font stuff on the old Pharyngula — sizes, spacing, font family — is defined in one simple css file. All I have to do is link that in here (with a little finagling to match identifiers) and presto, the text layout will be just like it was on the old site.

    Comment numbering and alternating comment shading is harder…I might have to ask the tech person to modify the php files that generate the pages. Unless he lets me do that myself…

  120. twincats says

    Got my seatbelt on, my coffee and some danish to tide me over while things are bumpy.

    Agree that we need comment numbers here and there’s an awful lot of white space (but that’s better than everythingjammedalltogether,eh?)

  121. 'Tis Himself, Supreme Overlord of Something or Other says

    The white space is for loading and unloading only.

    Don’t be an idiot, the red space is for loading and unloading only. There is no stopping in the white space.

  122. says

    Salvete Pharyngulitae et PZ!

    Propria affixionis modo probo in hoc cyberdiario (quod placet quidem mihi)!

    Utinam hoc servitorium nobis beneficentius mox sit!

    Curate ut valeatis! Valete!

  123. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I’m sure freethoughtblogs will eventually get a favicon—but right now it’s not even the blue-globe “no special favicon” in my bookmarks, it’s actively blank.

  124. Crudely Wrott says

    . . . and presto, the text layout will be just like it was on the old site.

    Wow. Just like that. If I didn’t know better I’d call it magic.

    More Wow. Don’t need magic. Got a Horde, a Poopyhead, and a brand new playground.

    Can ever haz MT sighnn inns plz?

  125. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    OK, that gravatar was illegible. Let’s try this one….

  126. Emily says

    The site-wide RSS feed is currently not working. The title bar reports “Page not found” and Google reader can’t even identify a title for the subscription, much less get anything from the feed.

  127. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Caine:

    Oh, and stupid little avatars? Nooooo. Please make them go away.*

    I ♥ my avatar!

    Pbbbbbbbbbblt!

  128. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Also, PZ:

    Heh. First thing I did when I configured the comments was to turn OFF threading. OK?

    Yes yes yes! I hates threading. Hates it!

  129. says

    I realize this is unfinished and the layout and colour scheme will improve and look more professional soon but I thought I would mention a few things.

    One thing I immediately found annoying was the small text used for the names of the posters. As it is the same size as the comment body text I find the comments blur together in my head and I have a hard time reading them. I wish they were bold, or larger size.

    Second, when a person does not have an avatar the name is still pushed to the right due to the space left for it. When I see this it just looks strange.

  130. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    The Sailor:
    The toolbar for WordPress? You can turn that off in your profile– just go to dashboard -> profile -> show admin bar and uncheck “when viewing site”.

    That worked for me.

    PS: I really like preview now. :)

  131. says

    Heh. First thing I did when I configured the comments was to turn OFF threading. OK?

    Thank you, PZ. I would hate not being able to Marjanović a thread if I wanted to. :)

    One thing I immediately found annoying was the small text used for the names of the posters. As it is the same size as the comment body text I find the comments blur together in my head and I have a hard time reading them. I wish they were bold, or larger size.

    ^This.

  132. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    If you could find some way to add in an “Edit” button for posts that are already up, it would be great.

    That’s all I’m askin’ for man.

  133. says

    I had another comment but I got distracted with the important business of creating an avatar. Maybe it will come back to me.

    Oh well. I guess I will go back to some of the other threads and wait for some of the old, newly unbanned trolls to show up. Perhaps I will see other areas for improvement after they get me into a happy, grumpy mood.

  134. Travis says

    Please increase the space utilization, what I mean is on the left and right there is a bunch of unutilized space, then blog rolls, archives and ads then a little roo for text sqished in the middle. I know advertiser money may make certain part placement a requirement, but its bugging my eyes out…

  135. says

    @ Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says:
    1 August 2011 at 6:31 pm

    The Sailor:
    The toolbar for WordPress? You can turn that off in your profile– just go to dashboard -> profile -> show admin bar and uncheck “when viewing site”.

    I tried it, but every time it just asks me to update Firefox. In WP speak.

    So, apparently I can’t. Until one goddamn fucking program insists I update another fucking program, which is impossible/unlikely for me to be able to do with my bandwidth constraints from home.

    It’s one thing for Firefox to constantly hound me about upgrading, it’s very different for WordOpression to hound me on their behalf.

  136. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    The Sailor:

    I tried it, but every time it just asks me to update Firefox. In WP speak.

    Yeah, I get that, too (using FF4). You can’t click on the “Profile” link on the left hand side of the page and access it that way*? Or does it tell you you can’t update your profile after you’ve hit, er, “Update Profile”?

    That’s shitty, dude.

    *Or hover over your ‘nym on the toolbar and click “edit my profile”?

  137. says

    I also notice that the text in the FTB Comments seem to occasionally go outside the box designated for it. The example I see had a link that was too long and it wrapped to a new line outside the border.

    Of course I am in the lab using IE8 so perhaps this is just a horrible quirk based on that.

  138. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Okay, you know what, The Sailor? I’m having issues with the tool bar popping up at other WordPress blogs and I can’t get that to go away. At all. And I can’t click anything in the drop down menus without being told that the page isn’t redirecting properly. If I try to log out there, the toolbar goes away until I try to scroll down or switch tabs.

    Shorter: I’ve turned the toolbar off here, but it’s acting up elsewhere.

    *sigh*

  139. says

    Hello PZed! ..ed…ed… Wow! Nice place! It’s a bit empty and echo-ey, but I’m sure some furnishings will fix that. You gotta have a throw-rug at least, it’ll bring the blog together. :)

    I heartily second what the venerable they said, WRT the easy (CSS) stuff – font faces, colours, spacing, and so on. Can’t wait to see how a lick ‘o CSS paint goes!

    WRT the other suggestions:

    * At my age, I find avatars *much* easier to help identify posters, rather than the bizarre URL-based and, er, _fluid_ display names used in the old place. I don’t give a tinker’s testicle if the avatars aren’t works of art, that’s quite beside the point! My avatar was hand-drawn by a gifted artist 16 years ago, but it’s dead easy to identify.
    I agree, the Sistine chapel would be indistinguishable from a bacterial culture at 32×32!!! But Michaelangelo didn’t understand dithering or jpeg compression…
    * Comment numbers really help, especially when I get past twenty-one comments :)
    * I agree the deleted comments need placeholders, but it can work against you if there are more than a small percentage of deletions! I guess you already know that though… But “silent” deletions are just as bad… Something cute and porcupine-y… Maybe a porcupine avatar with steam rising from the freshly-deceased body?

    Hmmm, unordered lists don’t work either…

    Oooh – scrollbars on the comments box pleasepleaseprettyplease? (Only for posters with chronic digital diarrhoea, like me :(

    Otherwise, keep the tech slave at it until their eyes bleed. It’s good for them, you know – reduces blood pressure and improves their choler.

    Oh yeah, this looks great on iChromy on the iPad II… and you haven’t written HTML until you’ve used the Apple keyboard! 10 keypresses to close a tag…

  140. broboxley OT says

    Some thing offered from a wordpressian

    Yeah, that can do CDN for you
    There’s a few plugins, best would be WP Super Cache. Walks you through setting it up.

  141. Martin, heading for geezerhood says

    1) Need to be able to access other blogs on FTB without having to go back to the home page (a drop down like sciblogs is good enough).
    2) Numbered comments, retaining numbering even if some are deleted.
    3) OL and UL (with LI) would be nice
    4) Is one login enough for all of FTB? (will check it out)

  142. says

    Comment numbering and alternating comment shading is harder…I might have to ask the tech person to modify the php files that generate the pages. Unless he lets me do that myself…

    You’ve got plenty of classes already applied that you can style, PZ. Your comment, for example, has these classes:

    comment byuser comment-author-pharyngula bypostauthor odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1

    Odd/even classes are present and ready for styling if you want to.

    Numbering will require more work. The data is there – every comment has a unique ID, but it’s not being printed at the moment. There’s probably some config for the comment metadata (where the post date is currently shown) that can enable it.

  143. llewelly says

    chigau () | 1 August 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I have an incomprehensible avatar!

    Most avatars are incomprehensible, but yours is easy; it is a gigantic, vertically elongated eye, with a red pupil, sneaking up on an oblivious prairie dog.

  144. says

    Comment numbering, was on for a while yesterday, now gone again.
    I can’t imagine that you don’t need some kind of filtering process via a login procedure, and it’s actually quite nice not having to type your details for each and every post.

  145. MFHeadcase, not frothing, its just toothpaste. says

    Might as well test out my newish ‘nym and ask, new host already? or was sufficient ass kicked to get the original hosts to stabilize?

  146. Richard Austin says

    My avatar is only incomprehensible because it’s infinite, vast, cool, and unsympathe- oh, wait, that’s the aliens. Okay, maybe it’s just pretty.

    Regarding avatars – you get them at gravatar, which the main WordPress site links to but the login page from here didn’t take me to. So, for those who need to know, there you go: http://www.gravatar.com

  147. Crudely Wrott , Empathic Drinking Buddy of Death (on occasion) says

    I tried it, but every time it just asks me to update Firefox. In WP speak.

    Sailor, I’m using FF 3.6.18 and all I had to do was to make the change in WP Dashboard and then refresh the FTB page.

    Dashboard bar gone. Like magic. Like sufficiently advanced technology.

    YMMV. I find these sorts of fine tuning to be highly dependent on the individual computers and devices that people use to be here. Everyone has slightly different settings on everything from browser type to cookie settings. It’s a wonder it works as good as it does.

  148. chigau () says

    It’s a kitty, touching a TV, turning to the camera and saying something. Nemo™ is on the screen.
    I fearlessly predict that this is the first (re)incarnation of the Endless.
    Underline doesn’t work?

  149. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Lord Shplanington:

    If you could find some way to add in an “Edit” button for posts that are already up, it would be great.

    ^This! I just made a sacrifice to Tpyos on the Newt thread.

    (Although, I don’t know if we should risk the wrath of the all-mighty Tpyos! ALL HAIL TPYOS!)

  150. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Regarding avatars – you get them at gravatar, which the main WordPress site links to but the login page from here didn’t take me to. So, for those who need to know, there you go: http://www.gravatar.com

    Or if you don’t have the URL handy, mouse-hover over your avatar (or anybody’s avatar actually), and you’ll get a balloon with the account name in it and a recumbent “G” at the other end. Slide over and click on that, and it’ll take you to gravatar.com.

  151. Sunday Afternoon says

    Any chance of being able to specify one’s timezone so comments appear with my time stamp?

    I note that comment links have a comment number – can that number be displayed in the comment header so we can reference it like on Sb?

  152. says

    If threading was available but (rightfully!) turned off, then post-referencing replies must be possible – otherwise, there’d be no way to build the threads.

    Disabling threads may have hidden the reply-to functionality, but it ought to still be present. It should be possible to (optionally) link blockquotes back to the original post, for context.

    (The “cite” attribute of the blockquote tag could in theory do this; but no major browser currently supports it. It would have to be decoded by WP and the link inserted separately. But I’m assuming, given threading, WP must have a built-in mechanism anyway.)

    For the same reason, I expect deleted comments should not result in renumbered posts (assuming the display number matches the comment ID). Doing so would completely break threading if it was enabled.

    I think a system such as the following would be best, if available:

    • Comments are numbered with their ID

    • Comments can be deleted or altered manually, or automatically based on a rule set

    • When a comment is deleted, the username can optionally be displayed, and a reason can optionally be specified:
    [Comment by TomJohnson deleted: sockpuppetry]
    [Comment deleted: linkspam]

    • If you get a whole lot of garbage in consecutive chunks, a nice option might be grouping together multiple deleted comments in a single block:
    [12 comments by DMabus deleted: mabussing]

  153. chigau () says

    I don’t like the idea of editing a posted comment.
    If you can edit spelling, you can edit content.
    Resulting in “I never said that!”

  154. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    chigau:
    Hmmmm, good point. Imagine what the creepy MRAs could do with an edit button!

    I formally retract my previous statement.

    ALL HAIL TPYOS!

  155. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    @chigau

    I have literally never seen a case where that shit is let fly. Every time I’ve ever seen someone attempt it, it just resulted in them being mercilessly ridiculed for their dishonesty.

    Not that it wouldn’t help for there to be a log of previous versions of posts that PZ can view if necessary.

  156. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I don’t like the idea of editing a posted comment.
    If you can edit spelling, you can edit content.
    Resulting in “I never said that!”

    Well, on other WordPress blogs—Balloon Juice is the only one I frequent that has editing—there’s a four-minute time limit. You can edit any mistakes you made, but you can’t change it later.

    There are forums I go to where you can edit your own comments in perpetuity, and you’re right—I think that’s a bad idea.

  157. says

    Another option is to only allow editing until another comment has been posted after yours.

    Works well on low-volume forums… probably not so well on Pharyngula :)

    An X-minute limit would be fine.

    Mind you, the new preview seems to work much better than the SB abomination, so that should help cut down the need for editing. A bit.

  158. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Awe, look! It’s Josh!

    (I will not be satisfied until everyone’s here.)

  159. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Ooooh! Mr. Myers call on me!

    If we could have a much better search function for posts and comments than SB offered, that would be kick-ass.

  160. chigau () says

    and what is up with the time marker??
    I’ve shifted time zones a (dozen) bunch of times today.
    /s doesn’t work either???

  161. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    /s doesn’t work either???

    This is a constant with WordPress—you have to spell out <strike> fully.

  162. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Bill:

    I’m here from home, at least, Audley

    *waves at Bill!* I suppose everyone will come on over once TET moves.

    Oh, you know what? I bet I could fit the “Dr.” back into my ‘nym!

  163. Ragutis says

    Um, er… complaints, eh? I missed Mabus’ post. That was annoying. I was in the mood for some crazy. The “Jesus Loves You” ad I got earlier was pretty funny, though. Seems like someone took my drunken “Click A Prayer” idea.

    Congrats on the new digs, PZ!

  164. consciousness razor says

    gah!

    The login was a bit troublesome, but I think that may be behind me now.

    Testing….

    I do not like that blockquotes are in italics and gray rather than black, like so:

    This is a nested blockquote.It’s all in italics, which is not so great, because I’m italicizing and emphasizing this and you can’t even tell!

    Also, imagine trying to read a huge chunk of copypasta in this font.

    I do like that the comment preview is on the same page as the thread. I will nevertheless complain about it, because that is why this thread exists.

    Also, I can’t get the [sub] and [sup] tags to work. A little help?

  165. Richard Austin says

    I never got a nickname (I seem to be missing at all the wrong times). Maybe I should be Richard Austin, the Nymless.

    Anyway, the tags all seem to work. At least the ones I tried. Not sure if anchor tags will show. Let’s see if it does.

  166. says

    I agree that unlimited editing would be a Very Bad Thing™, but I’d be happy with a limited-time (no more than 5 min) window to correct errors, if it’s not too much of a hassle. Preview is better here, but [a] it’ll take me a long time to retrain myself after learning not to use preview at SciBlogs, and [b] the sort of fuck ups I usually want to change are the very type I fail to notice on a first proofread (which I always do in the comment window, preview or no).

    [Hrrmmm... Speaking of Preview, it appears that neither &sup1; nor <sup>1</sup> works here; how am I gonna' make the footnotes I so love?]

  167. Richard Austin says

    Ah well, the anchor “name” doesn’t work. Ahoy mateys, anchors away!

  168. says

    consciousness razor:

    Also, I can’t get the [sub] and [sup] tags to work. A little help?

    As you can see from my comment @… @… damn, where did that comment number go?… anyway, as you can see, I had the same issue. Dunno if I can live without my footnotes.

  169. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    If anyone touches my popsicles, I swear to Andrew Hussie’s lips I will cut off their face and wear it as a Halloween mask.

  170. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Well, viewing the source code, PZ used the <sup></sup> tags in the Vox Day post…

    E=mc2 (test)

    Nope, doesn’t work in preview at least. <George Lopez> “Man, I can’t do nothing in this house! </George Lopez>

  171. says

    The freethoughtblogs.com domain is blocked where I work (office on a military installation) because of the “blog” nature of the site.

    ScienceBlogs wasn’t blocked even though it is just as bloggish as the new site is.

    PZ’s blog and the other blogs on freethoughtblogs.com make for good reading during meal breaks and coffee breaks at work.

    Thanks.

  172. Richard Austin says

    Supposedly, wordpress allows various embeds. I’m tempted to try some, but I also don’t want to suffer the Wrath of OCE. I would assume most have been disabled.

  173. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m utterly baffled by the lengths to which companies go to prevent their employees accessing huge swaths of the web. As the boss in a tiny office, I’ve been spoiled I guess – I had no idea it was this common.

    What’s the point (no, not the claimed point, I know they think they’re cracking down on productivity)? Why is it worth so much effort to them?

    And why in hell does anyone think the word “blog” means something that is never too much to be blocked? Who finds it inconceivable that an employee might find a solution to a problem on a blog? Hell, many companies’ entire sites are blogs!

  174. Richard Austin says

    Josh: it’s not just productivity – there are liability issues such as involving harrassment complaints from person x happening to walk by while person y reads/watches something, or even person x posting something on blah.com while on the clock and, therefore, the company being sued for allowing such.

    Yes, it sucks, but that’s often the “real” justification.

  175. llewelly says

    pharyngula attracts far too many mendacious trolls for editing of existing comments to be a safe feature, even with a short window.
    More importantly – we already have preview, which is superior in that it encourages care, forethought, and reconsideration of one’s words before clicking [submit]. But most importantly, it is not vulnerable to abuse.

  176. Ragutis says

    HEY! Someone already has my username on that there Gravatar site. Bugger. Well, guess I’ll be avatarless. You all will just have to imagine Warhola’s cover art for the 90′s editions of “Stranger in a Strange Land” whenever I post, ok? Good.

    (Actually, at the scale of these things, it would probably look more like a blue vagina than a martian with a halo)

  177. Ing: Od Wet Rust says

    FFS PZ. Registration allows only lower case letters, no spaces, no symbols. Fix for the love of Squid.

  178. says

    Ragutis, I do not think the Gravatar username really matters. I wanted to just use my name but it was taken. My next standard nickname was taken, so I had to use a variant of that. However when it comes to commenting here I am able to use the name I wanted to as the display name.

  179. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Thanks for the elucidation, Richard. What a bizarre place this “world of corporate work” is. Sorry, I haven an aversion to the word “liability”—it’s the most evil thing to have invaded American public life:)

    If any of my few employees got their noses bent over what they saw on a coworker’s screen when walking by their office I’d tell them to mind their own screen.

  180. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Josh:

    I’m utterly baffled by the lengths to which companies go to prevent their employees accessing huge swaths of the web.

    Rumor has it that my company had a pretty huge “porn on the clock” problem a few years back. Now we’re blocked from everything that isn’t industry related.

    Ing:
    After you register, go to WP dashboard -> profile and fill in the “nickname” field however you’d like. Then choose that ‘nym from the drop-down menu that’s directly beneath and bingo! A ‘nym that looks good.

  181. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    I might have to get myself an appropriate avatar. I do rather hope that’s the extent to which they’re going to go with graphics, though; the last thing I want to see are a gazillion eyewatering flashing smileys and gifs and so forth.

  182. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Ing: once you log in to WP, go to your profile settings. You can edit your display name there (first you have to enter a “nickname” on the line above). Your display name can be anything you want.

  183. MFHeadcase, not frothing, its just toothpaste. says

    Hmmmm… any chance of being able to view through https? Might allow a bypass of some work filters. (as of today at least I can access at work, but hadn’t yet created WP account to test logging in and commenting.)

  184. Richard Austin says

    Ragutis: I think it’s based on email address, not login. So, as long as your email address between here and Gravatar are the same, it should be okay. I think.

  185. cashforyourscars says

    Perhaps a compromise on the avatars? Align them to the right and align names to the left. That way, people who like to identify others by their avatars can just skim down the right, while the people who are used to just using names can skim down the left. It’s kind of silly, but I’m getting thrown off by the blanks (for commenters without avatars) in front of commenter names. So…instead of

    [Avatar] Commenter
    post post post post post post

    it would be

    Commenter               [Avatar]
    post post post post post post

    dig?
    (sorry if that looks terrible, I’m trying to use non-breaking spaces to get the alignment right…)

  186. consciousness razor says

    CR: New and Improved, now with a dark box of colored blobs next to my name…

    I wish logging in would be a bit more streamlined. The sites make me go through several intermediate steps of 1) login taking me to my dashboard, 2) which links to the main FTB page, 3) which links to the main Pharyngula page, 4) which links to specific Pharyngula threads. Granted, once I’m logged in, I can just close the dashboard and use a bookmark to open Pharyngula, but the old account I used would take me directly back to the thread where I had decided to comment.

  187. cashforyourscars says

    Oh, and is there any way Jeffrey Rowland could be coaxed to rustle up a large-size version of PZ’s twitter avatar? (I wasn’t smart enough to figure out his email from the Overcompensating site, plus I probably would have ended up in his spam folder anyway..)

    So many…discernible…pixels…it hurts…
    (I like the avatar, just seeing it blown up like that…owies.)

  188. says

    I might have to get myself an appropriate avatar. I do rather hope that’s the extent to which they’re going to go with graphics, though; the last thing I want to see are a gazillion eyewatering flashing smileys and gifs and so forth.

    Don’t see it happening. A way was found to get images to display on SB; it was just tricky enough to keep the frequency down, but once it became common knowledge it ended up getting abused anyway. Then PZ took our toys away. I don’t think he’ll be giving them back.

    Identicon could be used for default avatars if a Gravatar is not available; they’re patterns generated from the email address, so the same email gets the same icon regardless of the name used. It might make it easier to spot lazy sockpuppeteers, but it’s also be easy to get around. Not sure if I’d really want them though.

    Perhaps a compromise on the avatars? Align them to the right and align names to the left.

    Easily done, and it looks good too.

    I tested the following styles locally, and I think they look pretty snappy:


    .comment { background-color: #e0e0e0; }
    .avatar { float: right; }
    .comment-meta { border-bottom: 1px solid #bbbbbb; }

    Here’s how it looks with just those changes.

    Did I mention how much I goddamn love Firebug? I think I did.

  189. Hodge says

    A better comment by Consciousness Razor says:

    I do not like that blockquotes are in italics and gray rather than black, like so:

    This is a nested blockquote.It’s all in italics, which is not so great, because I’m italicizing and emphasizing this and you can’t even tell!

    Also, imagine trying to read a huge chunk of copypasta in this font.

    QFT

    Also I concede to living with my mistakes and not have post-post editing. Perhaps it will encourage errors or maybe pre-post editing. Better justification here.

  190. says

    In fact, having changed it temporarily, it really bugged me going back to the current default. So I made it permanent!

    If you’re running Firefox, you can create a file called userContent.css in your Profiles/<profile-id>.default/chrome folder, and paste this into it:


    @-moz-document domain(freethoughtblogs.com) {
    .comment { background-color: #e0e0e0; }
    .avatar { float: right; }
    .comment-meta { border-bottom: 1px solid #bbbbbb !important; }
    }

    (or whatever other style overrides you like)

    Restart and away you go!

    You might want to disable it once in a while and keep an eye on the “real” FTB styles, because these rules will always take effect as long as they’re present.

  191. Hodge says

    @cashforyourcars: I liked your justification for no editing comments better than my own. Then I failed the link.

  192. says

    How about not breaking up entries to where you need to click on ‘read more’ unless they’re excessively long (which few of your entries are – none so far on the new site that merit it).

  193. Alex says

    I fearlessly predict that this is the first (re)incarnation of the Endless.

    If PZ doesn’t stop this soon, Pharyngula will one day be like the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, whose complaints department, as you well know, now covers all the major landmasses of the first three planets in the Sirus Tau Star system.

  194. Alex says

    Also, I want LaTeX support! Drawing integrals in ASCII art is soo tedious!

    wrt editing comments, I was thinking more along the lines of 1 minute or so. If I had to implement it, posts would receive a little symbol which indicates whether they are “frozen” already, and a little revision number, though I have no clue if that would be feasible.

  195. says

    Uh oh.
    LaTeX support in comments could be subject to some \textbf{abuse.}

    (Fortunately it’s more difficult to manage than CSS styles, so hopefully few will bother to try. It looks like a very useful tool, so please don’t ruin it for those who can make use of it.)

  196. says

    Shplane:

    If you could find some way to add in an “Edit” button for posts that are already up, it would be great.

    No. We have preview, it’s on the same page, it works much better than Sciblogs preview. That, along with spellcheck should be enough. There’s way too much room for abuse when it comes to editing on Pharyngula. Even a short window leaves room for dishonesty and other crap.

    Everyone makes typos and grammar mistakes, it’s not that big of a deal. Consider it all offerings to Tpyos.

    alligatie:

    Can we have a “like” button? Or “smile at”, like on formspring? Sometimes i really wish i could quickly let the author know that her/his post is awesome :) w/o having to write a comment about it.

    FFS, no, please, no! This is like asking for smilies. Aargh. If you can’t be bothered to comment, what’s the point? The last thing anyone needs is some sort of asinine ‘scoring’ deal.

  197. says

    I’ll revise my earlier guess regarding comment IDs — it seems the IDs are globally unique, not post-specific, so they won’t follow a contiguous numbering scheme for any given post.

    That means to have a linear numbering scheme, it will be added after the fact; so the only way consistent numbering could be maintained is if no comments are completely deleted, and are instead replaced by a [deleted] message.

    On the other hand, if post numbers aren’t displayed at all, deleting comments isn’t a problem; but managing replies is a bit harder.

    In that case, I’d like to see a “Reply” button next to the comment timestamp, that copies the whole comment text into a blockquote in the reply box, along with a reference link.
    eg. something like:

    Kagato, August 1 2011 at 11:22pm:
    In fact, having changed it temporarily, it really bugged me going back to the current default. So I made it permanent!

    Then you can edit it down, and add more replies to other comments, as needed.

  198. says

    Didn’t work for me earlier today, but now seems to be holding up. Huzzah!

    PZ, bring over the custom CSS from Sb, purr-leez! Sans-serifs, what gives?

    I should say that the bigger, nicer font was one of the (many) things that kept me prefering Pharyngula over everything else in Sb!

    (I had posted this in the wrong thread, apologies!)

    Also, it would be nice to have the following HTML constructs added:

    <ul> and <ol> and their <li>
    <dl> and its <dt> and <dd>
    <hr />
    <small>
    <big> (can be nested to cause havoc, yep)
    <pre> (that dendrogram the other day)
    <b> (if you have <i>…)
    <script> (just kidding)

  199. says

    Hi Caine! Great to have you back!

    *sniffs*

    Bit of a smell of new paint around here…

    Anyway, thanks, whoever it was, for the help with WordPress nicknyms upstream – very useful. I’d switched to moveable type – now I can switch back.

    I’d really like comment numbers. And i’m looking forward to the first great Marjanovic comment.

    Hokay, now. *pulls sitemap out of pocket* Off to do some exploring.

  200. Matt says

    Larger font and variable width post/comment frame (most of my widescreen is white space on each side) would be fabulous. Great job guys. :)

  201. says

    Posting from work! Woo hoo! (If I suddenly disappear, it’ll mean the unpitying forces of [outsourced] IT have figured out this is a blog.)

    Caine:

    FFS, no, please, no! [Asking for a Like button] is like asking for smilies. Aargh. If you can’t be bothered to comment, what’s the point? The last thing anyone needs is some sort of asinine ‘scoring’ deal.

    I agree… and yet, I’m so conditioned by Facebook that I keep instinctively looking for the Like button in all sorts of fora. I even thought it might be a clever little novelty item to print the FB thumbs-up icon (or something that would evoke it without falling afoul of copyright) on some kind of weatherproof Post-It style stickers, so folks could Like other people’s bumper stickers.

    (I actually got a nice note tucked under my windshield wiper once in response to a pro-marriage-equality sticker on my car!)

  202. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Bill:

    Posting from work! Woo hoo!

    Woo hoo!

    I am anti- like button. They use them over at Wonkette and, I don’t know, it seems excessively lazy to just up-fist or down-fist a comment. It’s all connected with you reputation score (or whateverthefuck) and it just seems useless.

  203. says

    @Audley:

    +1!

    XD Just kidding. I kinda hate the Like button, too. I figure if you think a comment is good and worth reading that you can make a response to it that says such or builds off of it. To just pull a “I like this!” seems incredibly lazy. The only time I use the Like button is in tandem with responding to a really good post.

  204. says

    Can you make links automatically open in a new tab? That way, clicking to follow a link can be cut in half.

  205. says

    I once tried changing the default behavior of links so they opened a new tab. There was nearly a riot. I think it lasted a day before I had to rescind the change.

    But wow, this morning I am dazzled at how perky the blog is — I posted a couple of things to both my blogs, and FtB goes blink, it’s done…Sb wallows for a couple of minutes trying to cope. That may change as traffic rises — I get the feeling we’re straining the system more at peak loads — but right now it feels good.

    I must get the power to tweak the CSS, though!

  206. drbunsen le savant fou says

    +1 for comment numbering

    minus several million for retroactive editing

  207. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Katherine:

    The only time I use the Like button is in tandem with responding to a really good post.

    That doesn’t bother me at all. I rarely “like” posts (‘cos, really, who cares about it when it shows up in my newsfeed/stream?), but if other people want to do it, whatever.

    Liking comments is just, ugh. I don’t know. Obnoxious, maybe.

    Here’s a thought, PZ: toodle over to Wonkette, take a look at the comments, then do the exact opposite of their set up. I would comment over there more frequently if I didn’t find it so annoying.

  208. MoonShark says

    I miss the category tags, e.g. godlessness, stupidity, kooks, science, weirdness. Sometimes it’s nice to flip back through to see a bunch of posts on similar topics.

  209. says

    No “like” buttons.

    I want to add comment numbering and cleaner separation between comments, as well as a larger serif font. And all my comments should automatically be purple, with lightning bolts for borders.

    Is there comment editing for you guys? (if there is, I don’t see it, because I’ve got an option to edit all of your comments all the time.) That’s nice, but it has to be limited to, for instance, a 15 minute window.

  210. Alex says

    There’s none apparently, and there seems to be quite some resistence to it. 15 minutes would maybe indeed be a little long, as it would make controversial arguments with trolls and other dishonest folk etc entirely impossible. That being said, a 1 minute window or so… anyhow. Everyone’s against it.

  211. says

    Audley:

    It’s all connected with you reputation score (or whateverthefuck) and it just seems useless.

    Yep. Even though they might not be intended as a rep system, that’s what would happen if they were implemented and the trolls would go crazy with such a thing. I’ve been on forums with rep scores, the whole thing is silly.

    PZ:

    I must get the power to tweak the CSS, though!

    Yes! I’m using Kagato’s user content css right now, because having the avatars on the right side makes them okay, even for seriously grouchy types like myself.

  212. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    I really would not have expected this much resistance to editing. People seem to be hugely overestimating the few problems that come with it. It really is not at all easy to use it to fuck up a discussion. All that ever results in is an extremely dishonest person being outed as extremely dishonest.

    Saying that we shouldn’t have the ability to fix our posts because some people might abuse it is similar to saying that we shouldn’t have comments because some people will lie in them. Or that we shouldn’t have keyboards for the same reason.

  213. says

    PZ:

    Is there comment editing for you guys? (if there is, I don’t see it, because I’ve got an option to edit all of your comments all the time.) That’s nice, but it has to be limited to, for instance, a 15 minute window.

    No, there isn’t and like most of the others, I don’t want editing. Too much room for abuse. This commenting system is seriously fast compared to Sciblogs, and the preview is much better too. Typos are just offerings to Tpyos.

  214. Rey Fox says

    Hey Caine, you got comment #666! Hope that makes you feel a tiny bit better right now.

  215. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    I have to agree that a “Like” button would be useless, though.

    Well, mostly useless. At best it would allow people who like to post things like “QFT” and “+1″ a less intrusive outlet for doing so, or allow posts to be sorted by “quality” if someone wants to take the time to set up such an option.

    Still mostly useless, though.

  216. says

    Shplane:

    I really would not have expected this much resistance to editing. People seem to be hugely overestimating the few problems that come with it. It really is not at all easy to use it to fuck up a discussion. All that ever results in is an extremely dishonest person being outed as extremely dishonest.

    You know, editing has been discussed many times, long before you found Pharyngula. I don’t think anyone is overestimating potential problems – if you think it would be all that sweet and clean, you haven’t been paying attention to either the traffic or the types of commenters we get on threads. This is not a discussion board, where editing is a common function and can be visibly tracked.

    Saying that we shouldn’t have the ability to fix our posts because some people might abuse it is similar to saying that we shouldn’t have comments because some people will lie in them. Or that we shouldn’t have keyboards for the same reason.

    That’s absolute bullshit. You going to cry freedom of speech! or censorship! next? You have preview. You have spellcheck. You have the ability to be thoughtful, read and re-read your post as many times as you bloody want before hitting submit.

  217. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    PZ,
    15 minutes seems excessively long, especially now that the comments post super duper quick. If you’re gonna allow editing, it should be around 5 minutes, IMHO.

    By the way, commenting is much easier while using my ‘Droid– Sb gives me error messages all the damn time, but so far, I’ve had no problems here.

    Drawing Business:

    Since the Wonkette comments are on, wouldn’t the exact opposite be for PZ to turn them off? Just sayin…

    :P

    Okay, do the opposite of Wonkette’s commenting style. It stinks!

  218. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Me:

    If you’re gonna allow editing, it should be around 5 minutes, IMHO.

    And, of course, by if I mean that after thinking about it, I’d prefer just to offer up my mistakes to Tpyos rather than deal with any shenanigans.

  219. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    Caine:

    You know, editing has been discussed many times, long before you found Pharyngula. I don’t think anyone is overestimating potential problems – if you think it would be all that sweet and clean, you haven’t been paying attention to either the traffic or the types of commenters we get on threads. This is not a discussion board, where editing is a common function and can be visibly tracked.

    I think that a few idiots would occasionally try to abuse it, and then the twenty people who read their original post would call them a gigantic idiot.

    Most people simply understand that trying to pull that sort of shit is useless. Especially trolls, since they want people to see the bullshit they’re spouting.

    I may not have been here when Pharyngula was discussing this, but I have been involved in numerous internet communities with edit functions, many of which had even more vile and moronic trolls and imbeciles than are attracted to Pharyngula. The things you’re afraid of almost never happen, and when they do the person perpetrating them gets laughed at.

    That’s absolute bullshit. You going to cry freedom of speech! or censorship! next? You have preview. You have spellcheck. You have the ability to be thoughtful, read and re-read your post as many times as you bloody want before hitting submit.

    All of those things are less flexible and useful than just letting me fix my damn post.

    And you missed my point, I think. I was simply stating that trying to use editing for dishonest purposes is going to be about as useful as trying to use normal comments for them. Which is to say, Not Very.

  220. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    And of course I manage to blockquote fail in a discussion about fucking up posts.

    Good thing I find irony hilarious.

  221. Alex says

    A discussion about what buttons to put turning into a heated political debate about freedom of speech! This really is a shark tank ;)

  222. chigau () says

    15 minutes is waaay to long.
    If you want to retract what you said in a comment, write a new comment.
    ‘Like’ buttons are as useful as Internet polls.
    Caine is BACK!

  223. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I frequently post on a forum that has editing options. It’s nice. When you edit, there is a little note at the end of your post that says when the post was last edited and how many times it was edited. That said, I don’t think this could work here. In discussions, people often deny saying things that we all can see have been said (that is, written). With editing, that would add much more dishonesty. Even if those people were showed to be dishonest in the end, why make it easier for them and more troublesome for others?

  224. says

    Audley:

    Can we not have quoted text in italics?

    Yes! That’s bugging me too.

    Chigau:

    If you want to retract what you said in a comment, write a new comment.

    Exactly.

    Caine is BACK!

    Hi Chigau! How ya doing?

    Beatrice:

    I frequently post on a forum that has editing options.

    Right, it works on discussion boards. It wouldn’t work here.

  225. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I should have added that the forum I mentioned is pretty “tame” and heated discussions are rare, which is why editing comes only as a benefit instead of a hindrance.

  226. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    Eh, I still disagree that it wouldn’t work here. It’s really not a big deal, though, so I won’t push it any more.

    Congrats on fighting off those tyranid eggs, Caine.

  227. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Good ideas articulated by others that I approve of:

    1. No “like” buttons. They’re just stupid and pointless. And they clutter up the screen and add more pointless script-running (yes, I know about Noscript).

    2. Absolutely no smileys or emoticons, particularly the animated sort. If I get a craving I’ll just visit 1997 for a while.

    Other ideas:

    1. How about a native text-formatting bar? Don’t know if WP is capable of that for commenters and not just admins. If it could be restricted to the small set of html commands you want to allow, it would be nice.

    2. Please tell WordPress to stop dumping one onto their “admin” page when one logs in. It should take you right back to Pharyngula.

    And, does anyone know if there’s a way to get rid of that obnoxious gray WordPress user bar sitting at the top of every screen once you log in with WordPress?

    I feel a little entitled making so many “I want this and I don’t want this” comments since there’s nothing I can do to help make any of it happen. So thanks, PZ!

  228. says

    @Josh, OSG:

    I think I saw an option in the WordPress profile edit page to get rid of that bar, lemme see…

    Yea – just go to Edit My Profile (by hovering over your username in the top left corner) and click off the “When Viewing Site” and “In Dashboard” check boxes on that first page.

    Additionally, you can make it blue if you’d like.

  229. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    OK, how are you guys being offered an opportunity to sign in through WordPress? All I get is the standard “Name” “Mail” “Website” fields from every other SciBlog except Pharyngula, and when I sign in over there, I wind up with the Movable Type logo next to my name. I still don’t know what cookies it’s reading, and whether I’m signed in here through WP or MT or without restriction.

  230. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Katherine – thank you!

    Battleaxe-scroll up and look at the left-hand column. There’s an option labeled “register.” That’s the WP thingy.

  231. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Well, “Made Up Name” with the email address “[email protected]” had no trouble posting a comment

  232. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Battleaxe – yes. That’s because *mandatory* logging in hasn’t been turned on here. It’s optional (for now). You can still register with WP and then at least you don’t have to type our your name and email address for every comment.

  233. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Ah, thanks, Josh. I registered—I don’t know why I had to, I’m automatically registered at every other WordPress site, but oh well.

    I only had to put in one letter for each field, anyway, but Firefox doesn’t just autocomplete like Safari, it gives you a drop-down menu to choose among everything you’ve ever typed into a sign-in field that started with the same letter. Four keystrokes to sign in? Oooh, carpal tunnel syndrome, here we come! /jk.

  234. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies says

    *light bulb!*

    Holy moly, we’re not going to have to deal with google- and yahoo-messes anymore! (Provided that registration stays the way that it is. I like it.)

  235. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Wow! I even figured out how to get rid of that gray bar at the top of the page! That was annoying.

  236. says

    Yeah, registration is currently optional. It will become mandatory at some future date, but right now I’m just trying to make it easy to get to know the place.

  237. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Don’t know if this has been mentioned but is there or will there be a mobile css setup for the site?

  238. broboxley OT says

    on editing it can be done successfully. The edits act as a new comment while the unedited is retained and a link in the edited posts points back to the original. Keeps people honest

  239. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Oh and fuck editing.

    No chance do i want people going back and editing content after showing their ass. Hold them accountable.

  240. says

    Just chiming in to agree with everyone calling for the de-italicization of block quotes. Also, can we do without the grey font? Seems like the inset and vertical rule are sufficient to identify that something’s a quote (and what level it’s at).

    Also, my comments about Like upthread should not be construed as a request for it here: I absolutely agree with everyone that in this context, Like is unnecessary and lazy, and any form of comment scoring or rating (aside from our Cephalopodic Overlord’s ability to ban and delete, which amounts to a score of zero) is right out. As an aside, I once participated briefly on a fan forum for The West Wing. It was a threaded forum, and I was in the habit of replying separately to each different comment I wanted to address, because that kept my comments logically connected to what I was reacting to. The sysadmin got quite cross with me for “double posting”: Apparently the local norm was to bunch replies together in DDMFM-style batches, and this was because they’d previously had a problem with people artificially breaking up their contributions in order to pump up their number of comments score. My gast was flabbered at that: It had never occured to me that number of comments was a competitve sport, or that anyone would give the tiniest flying fuck about it. <headscratch>

    So no: No rating, no scoring, no ridiculous notches on our cyberpistol butts.

    All that said, I do actually like Like in its native habitat of Facebook: My FB newsfeed flows past me like a mighty river, and Like gives me a simple way to wave at some of the passing boats. YMMV.

  241. says

    This is another of those interminable ‘testing’ posts. If it had been a real comment, there might* have been more content.

    (*/In no way guaranteed. Void where prohibited. City mileage may be less. Etc.)

  242. EnoNomi says

    I’m leaving my complaint here about an issue I’m having on Chris Rodda’s blog – because I’m able to leave my reply here and not on her’s which is my complaint. I’m logged in, but when I go to her blog the border at the top goes away and behaves as if I’m not logged in, therefore I can’t ask my very important question. PZ, please pass along my compaint to Chris.

  243. Midnight Rambler says

    Is it possible to get the comments to look more or less like the ones on the old Pharyngula? The setup there was not only better than the new site, but better than all the other ScienceBlogs – large serif font, compact, headers and colored backgrounds making it easy to tell where a new comment starts. Orac and the SB version of Dispatches use a cramped font that’s painful to read. The big whitespace between comments here is really annoying (though until proper headers and/or backgrounds are in place I guess it’s needed for separation).

    OTOH, if it’s not as easy to read, maybe I won’t waste so much time reading through 500 comments… :)

    I see preview is now working; yay!

  244. chigau () says

    OK.
    This one is actually about freethoughtblogs.
    What time is it?
    Why are all the blogs different?

  245. Meaderborn says

    testing.

    No serious complaints, except the appearance ones–font, whitespace etc.

    don’t like all the new tabs opening when I move around the site, though,

  246. JPS, FCD says

    One more thing — I just noticed the difference in contrast between blockquoted text and “main body” text. I really really dislike low-contrast fonts. (It’s an eyesight issue.) Is there a current fashion fad for tiny low-contrast fonts in the Web site development world?

    And why is all blockquoted text italicised?

  247. JPS, FCD says

    Apologies for posting the above without reading; now I see I’m seconding Bill D and Midnight Rambler on the blockquote-related complaints.

    And, I forgot: No blogroll? No Archives?? (Seconding Travis.)

  248. Ibis3, féministe avec un titre française de fantaisie says

    I find the middle column way too narrow. It’s kind of claustrophobic. The effect is worse on my new monitor, but even on the squarish one it feels crowded.

    I also support the call to mimic as much as possible the fonts and comment layout style of Pharyngula 1.0.

  249. consciousness razor says

    I find the middle column way too narrow. It’s kind of claustrophobic. The effect is worse on my new monitor, but even on the squarish one it feels crowded.

    Until the layout changes take effect (and after, if you like), you can embiggen a website by hitting Ctrl+ or make it less cromulent with Ctrl-. That works on Windows/Firefox and may vary depending on your OS/browser, but I think no matter what, there is some keystroke that will do it.

    I also support the call to mimic as much as possible the fonts and comment layout style of Pharyngula 1.0.

    That was the plan. (BTW, this is actually Pharyngula 3.0. It was around for a few years before PZ moved to Scienceblogs.)

    As for the all-white background for comments, I’d like to propose an alternative to the style used at Sb. Instead of giving the odd-numbered comments a white background, perhaps it could be something slightly off-white (beige, or a color that doesn’t make it seem too busy, or just a different shade of gray) at about the same value as the gray currently used in even-numbered comments. That way, the contrast between text and background would be about the same in all comments. Also, if blockquotes would continue to have a white background, they would be easier to distinguish just as they are in the gray comments.

  250. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    No italicized quotes, <class=”creationist”> enabled, A bas avec avatars, sub- and superscripting turned on, and cookies (no macaroons) with every comment.

  251. says

    I don’t actually mind the WordPress bar at the top… provided something useful can be done with the dashboard. At the moment, regular users get the WordPress notices, and that’s it. (Turn those off and it’s a blank page.)

    If it could list the posts you’ve commented on, and (if implemented) replies you’ve received, that would be pretty useful.

    I agree with everyone else that you should be returned to the page you were reading after login, not dumped at the dashboard to find your way back. Hopefully WP will let you.

  252. Rey Fox says

    Just had a thought. One of my first questions was whether the Dungeon was migrating over here, which I asked shortly after it was. Nobody seems to have asked about the Order of the Molly page yet. We’re so negative.

  253. Rey Fox says

    And speaking of negative, I just registered with FtB, thinking that it would register me with WordPress and Gravatar. It didn’t, so I had to register with them separately. And some asshole is squatting on “reyfox” there. So I’m complaining about that.

  254. says

    Rey:

    I just registered with FtB, thinking that it would register me with WordPress and Gravatar. It didn’t, so I had to register with them separately. And some asshole is squatting on “reyfox” there. So I’m complaining about that.

    Yeah, when I figured out I had to register separately with word press, someone was sitting on “caine”. Since I was doing it solely for the gravatar thing, I went with “caineflower”. *shrug*

  255. says

    Does anybody else’s page never technically finish loading?

    Mine is perpetually waiting for a resource from “c.statcounter.com” that never downloads.

    (If you’re hosting your own blog software, I wouldn’t have thought an external page tracker would be necessary; you should be able to get your stats straight from the Dashboard…)

  256. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Folks, I’m baffled and would appreciate some help.

    1. I’m registered here, on FtB, natively, with a wordpress id.

    2. I went and created myself a gravatar at gravatar.com. I thought that was linked to one’s wordpress account, but apparently not.

    3. I cannot figure out how to get that gravatar to show up when I log in here at FtB.

    4. Or, am I missing some other way to log-in to FtB?

  257. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I’ve just discovered a serious lack at FTB. There’s no provision for killfile. Given the choice between having a tiny avatar that’s almost unrecognizable and killfile, I know which I’d rather have.

  258. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Josh—yeah, it takes five or ten minutes. I actually got a screen at one point where they told me as much, after my third or fourth try.

  259. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’ve never used killfile, because I don’t understand the point. Someone else who hasn’t killfiled the troll will quote him/her, which means you read it anyway. And when the conversation devolves around a troll, you can’t avoid it anyway.

    But I may be missing something?

  260. Midnight Rambler says

    Thanks CR, that makes it look a lot better. Will have to remember that for other sites as well.

    Re killfile: unfortunately it’s only tailored for certain sites, and (IIRC) SB was one of the original ones it was developed for. I actually don’t use it much here, because the trolls either 1) take over a single thread, with replies by other people that make it pointless to killfile them, and then disappear, or 2) become persistently stupid enough to get banned. It’s more useful at Respectful Insolence where there are some regular idiots who show up spouting nonsense.

    I really wish it worked on Disqus comments, because political/news sites that use it tend to be largely unmoderated and attract trolls.

  261. Ibis3, féministe avec un titre française de fantaisie says

    Just for info: I’m pretty sure that the WordPress login here has naught to do with a login at WordPress.com. You don’t have to go there and register at all. The registration here is for FTB only. It is set up to pull a Gravatar icon if you have one associated with the email you use to register here. (please someone correct me if I’m wrong)

    Came here to whinge about something….let’s see…oh yeah. More of a suggestion than a complaint. No offence to whomever did the FTB logo… but it’s not very, um, impressive. After all the cool banners that Pharyngulites came up with for PZ, perhaps it might be an idea to do a call for logo designs with the site contributors deciding on a winner.

  262. Patricia, OM says

    ROAWR! My avatar is lost somewhere between here & hell. WTF?

    Oh, wait…is this the place we aren’t allowed to swear?

  263. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    No, we can swear up in this piece Patricia. Did you get a gravatar account? Do you also have a WP account? If so, give it 10 minutes or so, and clear your cache. Mine started working mysteriously.

  264. patriciaom says

    Thanks Josh. I’ve logged in, and trying the next step.

    Fuck, I must like PZ and the Ilk a LOT to go through all this shit. *snort*

  265. says

    ‘Tis:

    Given the choice between having a tiny avatar that’s almost unrecognizable and killfile, I know which I’d rather have.

    It’s been brought up, unfortunately, no answer. I want my killfile.

    Someone is going to have to write a script that will work here. Unfortunately, I don’t have a clue how to do that sort of thing.

  266. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Thank god some of the regulars are showing up here. Damn it, I need hot commenter on commenter TET action, even if this isn’t TET.

  267. consciousness razor says

    Patricia, it looks like you’ve got gravatar setup with the right email, but the picture isn’t showing. I seem to remember that I had to upload a picture, then once that was done, there was another button at the bottom of the screen that I had to click to “approve” it, or apply that picture to the account or whatever.

    I think they make you do that extra step because you can have multiple emails and multiple pictures on one gravatar account, but I haven’t tested that.

  268. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh yes, CR is right, Patricia. Log in to your gravatar account, go to my account—->manage my gravatars, then physically select the image you want to use by clicking on it. When it pops up, hit confirm.

  269. Patricia, OM says

    Josh, So what type of hot comments do you need?

    Wanna hear about the most drop dead CUTEST hawt gay knitter evah? Hint: I got to meet him.

  270. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Fuck yes, Patricia. And pix or it didn’t happen. No “Canadian” pix, either.

  271. raven says

    What????

    No registration and login!!!!

    I know this is a hassle but it will have to be done someday.

    The rule on the internet is that what the trolls can overrun, they will overrun. It always happens.

    A forum like freethought will last a week before the troll death occurs.

    Or am I missing something and there is a registration system but it isn’t required yet?

  272. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Or am I missing something and there is a registration system but it isn’t required yet?

    Yes, that’s it. Registration is available through WP natively here (see upper left menu), but it’s not yet mandatory. PZ says that will be coming.

  273. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    crosspost from Old TET:

    Guess what I just figured out? Something most of you home cooks probably already know. There is a use for the juice left in an empty pickle jar. You can (wait for it) make new pickles. Just slice up firm cukes into thin slices, and plop them suckers in there and wait. I’ve had them in the brine for 6 hours, and they’re already starting to pickle up.

    Stupid, non-frugal me, for buying so many new jars of pickles.

  274. consciousness razor says

    Razor – Oh great! So everyone can see my email?

    No. No need to fear. I just know you have it setup with the right email account because I can see your “hovercard” thing. I haven’t clicked on your account to see if any of that stuff is visible to others, but I’m fairly sure by default it wouldn’t be.

    (Mine doesn’t pop up because there’s also an option to “hide” the gravatar account, and for now I don’t want to link to anything, though I do sort of like that you can include a short little blurb about yourself.)

  275. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    No, no one can see your email address just because you linked it to your avatar behind the scenes.

  276. raven says

    OK. I found the left side WP registration link.

    Supposedly, I’m registered.

    I suppose when PZ requires registration, I’ll find out.

  277. Patricia, OM says

    C Razor – Thanks for the splainin. Whew, I about had to wring out my panties thinking of the hate mail I’d get from all my christian fans.

    Josh – *Snort* yeah, like I could figure out how to post pix. Probably won’t be able to post links yet either, so go to the blog The Panopticon by Franklin Habit, with his imaginary sidekick, Delores the alcoholic, SLUT sheep. Franklin is so CUTE for a minute I thought I could turn gay for the guy….but then it dawned on me, it wouldn’t quite be the same for him…. … . and he was wearing a utili-kilt.
    *le sigh*

  278. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh shoot, Patricia. Not just cute. Hawt. Knit me a swimsuit, baby. . .

  279. Patricia, OM says

    Josh – Yeah, he’s a hottie. But he’s nice too, because he had girls squeeing all over him all weekend, and he was gracious to us all.

  280. Serious says

    The advertising of “Creation — it can be PROVEN!!!” and “Hot Christian Singles!!!” is a bit annoying.

  281. Patricia, OM says

    Some fuckwit over at the comments on the Wall Street Journal is saying that he wonders if PZ’s horde will move with him. (Don’t know if the links are up) Why wouldn’t we move? How many tentacled Overlords are there on this planet?! That’s stoopid.

    On the other hand. Moving sucks.

    Dear Sir/or Madam,

    I wish to complain. The hauling over here of the OM lounge, the casks and buckets of grog, troughs of swill, trebuchet, ten tined manure fork, torches, pitchforks, fainting couch, spanking couch, OM paddles, whips, paddles, rabbits, and Pullets TM , not to mention the skewers, crosses and nails, is a heavy burden.

    Balaam had a talking Ass, and Jezeus Hussain Christ had a colt to help ease the load, now come on PZ – send me twelve lords a leaping* to tote a few thangs.
    Thanks,
    Pat
    *or Josh

  282. says

    @ Patricia

    If you can haul the pullets here, I can drag my ass.

    The WSJ commenter has no knowlege of nor understanding of the horde.

    I’m an Ed fan, too. Even the poker posts.

    SASTRAAAA…time for you to blog, too. Please? Pretty please with grog and swill and bacon on top?

  283. chigau () says

    We’re not “moving” a damn thing.
    We’re kicking-in a new door and walling-up the old door.
    —–
    I logged-in to Gravatar, Freethought, WordPress on various occasions today and was forced to pretend that I had forgotten my password five times.
    it’s all good now.

  284. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Complaint!

    I just got a pop up ad over on the Molly thread. Not a problem on my comp, but super annoying on my phone.

  285. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Yep pop ups blow donkeys. I got one too (a pop up, not a blown donkey).

    Also, I’m assuming when get get true registration and sign in that the timing of posts will display for our appropriate time zone.

  286. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Also, I’m assuming when get get true registration and sign in that the timing of posts will display for our appropriate time zone.

    Me fail english? Thats unpossible

  287. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Rev,

    Yep pop ups blow donkeys. I got one too

    Whaaaaa?

    (a pop up, not a blown donkey).

    Okay, whew.

    You use a phone with the Android operating system, right? Do you know if there’s any way to block pop ups or is that just something I’ll have to continually deal with?

    ‘Cos, woah. With any site that’s takes a while to load, it’s extremely annoying. And I’ve got stupid fingers, so I always end up hitting the damn thing AND I HATES IT!

  288. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Patricia:

    Some fuckwit over at the comments on the Wall Street Journal is saying that he wonders if PZ’s horde will move with him.

    Seriously?

    I… woah. Are they accusing us of being too lazy to type freethoughtblogs? ‘Cos that’s what it sounds like.

  289. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    You use a phone with the Android operating system, right? Do you know if there’s any way to block pop ups or is that just something I’ll have to continually deal with?

    Well, this pop up was on my laptop, however no I haven’t had the issue on the phone yet so I haven’t looked into it.

    Might do that though.

    I’ll let you know what I find out.

  290. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Looks like stand op of Android doesn’t block pop ups, but if you switch the the Dolphin HD browser it has that built in.

    haven’t tried it though.

  291. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Thanks, Rev! I’m gonna do some Googling and whatnot, too.

    Le Havre en Chêne:

    You say that, but my fingers are so used to typing “sc” and pressing enter…

    Me too and yet here we are! :D

    (Oh sweet FSM, comments roll out so fast. I lurve it!)

  292. Ibis3, féministe avec un titre française de fantaisie says

    I just type ‘ph’ and voila. Old or new.

    @consciousness razor

    Where’s the option to hide the Gravatar acct?

  293. The Chimp's Raging Id says

    You should be returned to the page on which you clicked the ‘Log In’ link rather than being deposited on the WordPress dashboard.

  294. JPS, FCD says

    Full justification of text strikes again here, in both IE8 and FF and using two different text sizes in the former. (I know, mostly it’s harmless, I just find the weird spacing it sometimes causes very jarring.)

    Also — no quick links to the Molly list, the dungeon, etc.?

  295. Nerd of Redhead says

    PZ, the login appears borked on the new site for my iMac using Firefox 5.0.1 and OSX 10.6.8. Nothing but white screen. Safari 5.1 logs in, as does IE8 from my work computer.

  296. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    We need an archives. The only way I got here was clicking on Nerd’s link in Recent Comments.

  297. Richard Austin says

    … Okay, that’s gonna leave a mark. Might want to look into disabling all the embeds.

  298. The Chimp's Raging Id says

    It doesn’t seem to be possible to change the email address associated with your account after you have registered. When I tried, I received an email at the new email address containing a link to confirm the change. Unfortunately, when I follow the link, I get this error even though I am logged into FTB:

    You attempted to access the “Freethought Blogs” dashboard, but you do not currently have privileges on this site. If you believe you should be able to access the “Freethought Blogs” dashboard, please contact your network administrator.

  299. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Dear Sir and/or Madam,

    I wish to ask a question. Is the blog broken?

    Sincerely,
    ‘Tis Himself

  300. foghawk says

    It looks like most of the CSS suggestions have been covered, so I’ll simply second what’s already been said there, but: Old Pharyngula didn’t use “cuts”; the main page showed each entry in full, regardless of length. Can we go back to that, please, please? Getting halfway into a post and then being interrupted with links to follow drives me crazy. It wasn’t as though I was going to skip any posts by our Tentacular Overlord anyway, so it was really convenient to have everything on one page and easily read serially!

  301. foghawk says

    Oh, and now that I’ve posted… I don’t mind avatars per se, but being associated without consent (or even warning) with a weird ugly drawing is kind of awful. Frankly I would much prefer a uniform default image—I realize that it lacks the element of recognizability, but do we really need it?

  302. Mary says

    I agree that the center column seems a tab mashed together, with extra white space on the boarders.
    And I do prefer the comments set up from the old site: 1) number make finding you plave when returning to a comment thread much easier, 2) the contrasting colors are easier on my eyes, and 3) being able to easily find PZ’s replies by being darker is very convenient.

  303. says

    I’ve just got to ask. Is the Comradde PhysioProffe blog here for real or is it some kind of joke? Right now its just a waste of bandwidth and in my estimation I think it will hurt the FreeThoughtBlogs brand.

    Really I’m not at all sure why it’s here. I thought for a while that maybe some high school kid had hacked into the PhysioProffe profile and was just posting all that crap to prove he could to his friends.

    I am otherwise thrilled with the line up here but really WTF is that? Give me some writing worth my time please!!!!

  304. says

    The RSS feeds still not working.

    I got directed to a Cuttlefish post today. Not that I don’t like the Digital Cuttlefish!

    Still, I hope you guys can work on that issue now that I have two links in my blogroll list:

    Pharyngula (this site) and “decanted” Pharyngula

  305. Philip Legge says

    A few more items for the wishlist:

    * Ditto Josh’s request for ragged-right;
    * No superfluous says: in the commenter header;
    * <u>Underline</u>, <sup>Superscript</sup>, <sub>Subscript</sub>, and the short version of <s>Strike-through</s>;
    * Ability to use class="creationist" in the
    <blockquote> header for Gumby + ComicSans comment goodness
    * Colour-coded background for the Squidly Overlord’s posts, e.g. the normal dark grey on sciblogs would appear here as:
    .comment-author-pharyngula { background-color: #dbd9d9 }

    Pretty please with a cherry on top, PZ. :)

  306. chigau () says

    I have a complaint!
    on SB the HTML advice can be copypasted, as is, and manipulated to suit one’s needs.
    on FTB the HTML advice is useless.
    Yes, I am computer-challenged.

  307. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says

    @ Josh

    New .css layout:

    I have made a mock up of a simple layout for this blog. The current on is still too noisy. Also have changed out the justification for regular text. (Sorry for font.)

    Link to alternative format.

    (Also posted on TET)

  308. Pertel says

    Hi, When I visit the blog, I always get a non-updated version, with the latest entry being the same as last time I visited it. I always have to hit F5 and refresh the site to get the latest entries. Don’t really know what’s causing it, but could it be something with DNS or maybe just my browser cache? Anyway just letting you know.

  309. GenghisFaun says

    The “Quick link to the endless thread.” isn’t linking to the latest endless thread. It’s linking to the previous Endless Thread.

  310. Brownian says

    Please add my grating, nasal whine to those clamouring for an archives link or some such doomahickey enabling us to find older posts.

    And does anybody else see the Eye of Horus in the small Freethought Blogs logo that appears at the top of your browser tabs, or is it just that the tabs I bought from that hippy at the Folkfest haven’t worn off yet?

  311. GenghisFaun says

    Has anyone requested the “Jump to end” link that takes you to the bottom of the page? That’s a real time saver on a mobile device.

    P.S. Thanks to Josh for collating these issues for Mssr. Poopyhead! You’ve got your work cut out for you. Didn’t want you to think it went unnoticed/unappreciated.

  312. James says

    When I log into freethoughtblogs.com and freethoughtblogs.com/phyrangula I don’t get the most recent version.

    The latest phyrangula post I’m currently getting is the Aug. 10 post titled “There aren’t many Presidential candidates one can say this about …”

    I’ve refreshed my browser — nothing. I’ve used both Firefox and IE — nothing. I’ve cleared my browser history — it changes to a more recent posting but still not the latest one.

    I’ve seen in this thread that a few other people have had this problem, but I haven’t seen a solution.

    Any ideas?

  313. Physicalist says

    My humble requests:

    1. “Jump to end” link (especially on TET)

    2. I prefer avatars on the right (so I’m still using the Owlmirror CSS).

    3. Ditch the “says”

    4. The shading on the commenter’s names is better in the owlmirror CSS too. Currently it’s choppy; it only covers the name and is white to the right and there’s a white gap before the shaded date-time.

    Ok. Thanks. Bye. (I’m not very good at LOL-speak.)

  314. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    We need archives. Right now the Glenn Beck has a very silly poll thread is quite active but since it was started several days ago it’s fallen off the Recent Articles list. So if it doesn’t show up on the Recent Comments list we have to hunt for it. Archives would make the hunt much easier.

  315. Physicalist says

    Also needed: A favicon (if that’s what it’s called).

    The little logo on the address bar that shows up on tabs and bookmarks etc. It’s hard to spot freethoughtblogs b/c everyone else has a favicon, but you’re just a blank.

    And I wouldn’t complain if a good web-graphics-designer spruced up your FTB logo (and the rest of the site for that matter).

    And the tabs on the top with “Advertise” and “Privacy Policy” seem a tad obtrusive; design-wise it seems like those three tabs are the core of the site.

  316. Physicalist says

    Hmm. I just noticed Brownian’s comment about the favicon, so I tried the site with Safari, and there it is. So my complaint is now the following:

    Your favicon is not visible in my Firefox for Windows for some reason.

  317. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    OK folks, here’s the compiled list, and I’ve sent it to PZ. Just thought you’d be interested in the overall picture.

    Requests are separated into several categories. Within those, I’ll list the most popular requests first. As you go further down the list, there may be little or no difference between items in terms of how many people wanted them. There is some subjectivity, because I’m going on memory of frequent requests from threads other than Complaints. I’ve also left out things that you’ve already solved, and never-gonna-happen stuff like emoticons, etc. The most important items that people were clamoring for (serif font, shaded comments, etc.) you’ve already taken care of.

    Broad Agreement/Consensus Items

    * Everyone’s dying for comic sans and Gumby

    * Though comment numbers are visible, they’re still not searchable. Lots of requests for unique post identifiers that can be searched.

    * The center column (where commenters live) is too narrow, leaving loads of ghastly white space on the left and right. Several people suggested dynamic re-sizing.

    * No threaded comments EVAH.

    * (Note—this was contentious and partisan) More people said ‘no’ to allowing any comment-editing, even with a time limit, though almost as many argued for some version of comment editing. In my opinion, the argument that editing should be off-limits entirely because of the high traffic and volatile nature of some topics is really compelling. Pharyngula gets too many contentious arguments (and bad faith guests) to allow this.

    Layout and Typography

    Many people said the overall FtB logo, typeface, and layout look amateurish (I agree, and I realize these aren’t necessarily your decisions to make). Suggestions include:

    * ragged-right text. Lots of us find the justified spacing hard to read.

    * get rid of the unnecessary white space above the banner

    * ditching the blue border around the frame at the top of the page

    * ditching the FtB logo altogether for something more. . .well, more

    * reduce the leading between lines of text (it looks almost like double-spacing)

    * better delineate the left and right boxes and get rid of the skinny sans-serif type

    * Make PZ’s comments clearly identifiable with a dark background or some other visual cue.

    There were scads of complaints about the ads. Not their existence, but their placement between the actual post and the comments, and other placement issues. With adblock turned on, I can’t see these so I don’t know if I’m relaying complaints accurately. I did turn it off to check but still got no ads.

    Additional items people would like include:

    * A “Jump to end” link for comment threads (this was the most requested)

    * a prominent link to the archives

    * easy-to-find links to the Mollies and Dungeon

    Mechanics and Features

    * Scads of requests to allow killfile

    * Lots of complaints about RSS feeds not working correctly (since I don’t use them, I don’t know if this has been resolved)

    * Make WordPress send you back to FtB/Pharyngula when you log-in rather than to the WP dashboard (if possible-it’s quite frustrating how many clicks it takes currently)

    * enable underlining in the allowed html commands

    * Lots of people would like to be able to log in with OpenID, Movable Type, Typepad, etc.

    * People with mobile devices would really like a mobile-specific css, or at least a “jump to end” feature for comments

    * Get rid of the unnecessary “’nym says” format on comments. Example: “Josh, Official Spokesgay, says: blah, blah, carpbellyache blah”

    * Get a favicon

    My Own Requests
    I didn’t notice anyone else raise these, so take them for what you think they’re worth, but I do think they’re sensible and would help lots of readers:

    * Make the log-in link way more prominent. Even as an everyday reader who knows where it is, I often struggle to find it, which indicates sub-optimal site design.

    * Include a link to some boilerplate instructions on setting up a FtB-native WordPress account, and how to link it to Gravatar. It’s very confusing that one’s normal WP account doesn’t work, and how WP relates to Gravatar is really non-intuitive.

    * Add prominent links to “page 1,” “page 2” at both the top and the bottom of the overlong comment threads that paginate. It’s very difficult to figure it out the first time.

    * It would be great to have a better search function than what SB had. I found it nearly impossible to find specific comments and phrases. The algorithm SB used made no sense to me – results came back with no discernible relevance or chronological order. Something with an “advanced search” option that returned results in chronological order by default would be nice.

    * Snu-snu

  318. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m only the chronicler, SG. I don’t know the killfile author so I wouldn’t be comfortable imposing on him.

  319. says

    Make PZ’s comments clearly identifiable with a dark background or some other visual cue.

    And if anyone finds out how to do that with wordpress, please let me know !

    Scads of requests to allow killfile

    killfile.js is written for livejournal, scienceblogs and blogspot, IIRC.

  320. Philip Legge says

    Great job, Josh. No one else wanted superscripts or subscripts?

    Rorschach, my comment above gives the CSS code for displaying PZ’s posts with a gray background; you should be able to adapt it to your own WordPress blog by including it in your site CSS, substituting your own login name for “pharyngula” (and changing colour to whatever you’d prefer).

  321. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Phillip:

    There were a few things I left out because the list was already overwhelming for PZ. I think one or two other people wanted sub or super scripts. I made a subjective judgment not to include those, because they seemed among the least important in the overall picture (no, I’m not saying your preferences are unimportant).

  322. MG Myers says

    I agree with Philip Legge. Great job, Josh!

    Thanks for summarizing the suggestions! That list will certainly keep someone very busy.

  323. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh, Mary, I should have said that people also suggested that your posts be set-off in the admin. style so that you may be seen to exercise Goddess Powers. :))))

  324. Philip Legge says

    <meta>
    (That’s assuming that she with Goddess-like powers has logged in.)
    </meta>

  325. consciousness razor says

    Josh (et al):
    Some of those adjustments can be made by modifying/creating your userContent.css file. All of these and then some:

    * Everyone’s dying for comic sans and Gumby
    * The center column (where commenters live) is too narrow, leaving loads of ghastly white space on the left and right. Several people suggested dynamic re-sizing.
    * ragged-right text. Lots of us find the justified spacing hard to read.
    * ditching the blue border around the frame at the top of the page
    * reduce the leading between lines of text (it looks almost like double-spacing)
    * better delineate the left and right boxes and get rid of the skinny sans-serif type
    * Make PZ’s comments clearly identifiable with a dark background or some other visual cue.
    * Get rid of the unnecessary “’nym says” format on comments.

    I realize this is extra work for you; but if there is something that never gets implemented by PZ, or if you just want to personalize the features a bit, it is possible to do it on your own relatively easily (generally — .css only does so much).

    For a start:

    1) Getting rid of the blue/white background images is very easy with Firefox’s Adblock Plus. I usually do it by right-clicking on an image, selecting “Adblock Plus: Block image…” in the context menu, then select the “custom” option (which will be the address of the image you right-clicked), then clicking “Add filter”.
    2) To resize the page, thus making the center column larger, just use the shortcut keys Ctrl+ and Ctrl-. (The keystroke varies with your OS/browser, but can probably be found under in a menu called “View” or something similar.)

    I could post my personalized userContent.css again (or maybe just a bare-bones version), and try to break it down into pieces with step-by-step instructions so you can adjust variables to your liking.

  326. says

    I’m getting an issue when accessing from my android phone. In order to update the page I have to clear the cache. FTBpharyngula is the only page where I have to do that.

  327. strange gods before me says

    Thanks, consciousness razor.

    +++++

    fossifishy’s comment reminds me: I also get a caching problem, with Firefox 3.5 on Linux.

  328. says

    Sadly, wordpress.com won’t let us riffraff have access to the css without paying, but it’s ok, change is coming, hopefully soon…(My own WP site, not FtB)

  329. cicely says

    Terrific job, Josh!

    I’d like to put in a vote to add the super-and-subscripts. My style is feeling cramped. :)
    -

  330. strange gods before me says

    * A “Jump to end” link for comment threads (this was the most requested)

    It would be nice to one it more visibly saying “jump to end” but basically there already is one. It’s the link at the bottom of each original post that says:

    “You can leave a response

  331. GiantPanda says

    May I have a longer “most recent” list?

    The old site had
    http://scienceblogs.com/channel/24-hours/
    which gave a timeline the last 100 (?) posts.

    With the increasing number of frequently updated blogs it has become a lot harder to keep track of what I’ve already seen without opening each blog homepage.

  332. says

    If you’re still taking complaints, the ‘Read More’ link is not very visible. It gets lost in the octopus picture, and I’ve missed it a few times.