Site makeover opinion & wish list

August 19, 2010 at 08:56:48
Specs: Vista XP Win7, NA
It's still too early for me to comment on what I thought of the site dramatic makeover. For now I will just begin with my wish list;

1. Please reinstate the thread Print feature.

2. Unless I miss it the top level of Forum list of post has no Start a Discussion (aka Start new thread or Post your question). Why don't you add it?

i_Xp/Vista/W7User


See More: Site makeover opinion & wish list

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#1
August 19, 2010 at 09:04:15
0_o I don't like it.

It looks very intimidating and confusing. Sort of in-your-face, get the hell outta here look to it.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI


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#2
August 19, 2010 at 09:18:00
... Justin I can't seem to find the "keep/add" this post to "track"

... I'll just have to keep looking back(?) untill I see a response ...Anyone???

.../edit .... also not appearing in "database-ready dump"

http://www.computing.net/cgi-bin/my...


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#3
August 19, 2010 at 09:24:33
Welcome to Yahoo Answers Tom's Guide Tech Support area!

Really, I was going to complain about the Yahoo Answers makeover, but then I realized it's a pretty accurate view of what we do. If random person X isn't asking a question, no one is talking.

So instead, I'll complain about calling replies "Solutions." It implies the original post (I guess it's now "Question") supplies all the information required for an answer, and that clashes with my world view. I complain about this because the next step is sorting the replies solutions by their rank, which destroys the chronological nature of our discussions.

Also, I like how posters gone for years still have metals/ranks.

EDIT: I know the tone's negative, but really that's my only complaint. That, and the "see tracked posts" page breaks if the list is empty


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Related Solutions

#4
August 19, 2010 at 09:24:34
As Nancy Kerrigan would say: Why? Why??

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#5
August 19, 2010 at 09:32:41
The new page is just too busy, I believe simplicity is the key. Simplicity means a site is easy to navigate, right now it looks like a roadmap of china, just my humble opinion.

YIKES, I just noticed by looking in the security forum, it is starting to look like all the other generic tech websites....not impressive at all. Computing.net always was clean looking and easy to navigate, looks like those days of origionality are gone.
Justin, no need to compete with other sites, yours was origional and unique.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#6
August 19, 2010 at 09:49:40
mavis007,

Next to the title of the post, there should be a little set of binoculars. That will add the post to your message list. Its the same as the button that existed before. I'm not sure what you mean about the message list dump.

Justin


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#7
August 19, 2010 at 09:56:35
Maybe it will be OK when I get used to it - not sure.

One thing I've always had a problem with is what the categories actually achieve (general, installation, etc). Whatever is selected they still seem to appear on the same forums, such as XP, Vista, Security etc.

I guess I've missed some vital point (it's happened before) so maybe someone can explain.

Daylight Saving Time


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#8
August 19, 2010 at 09:59:42
Hmmmm.....the upgrade completely freaked out my Mozilla Firefox browser. The font is really really tiny and hard to read. The menu on the right hand side was way down at the bottom of the page instead of up at the top. Though I tried, I couldn't get it to return to normal and ended up using IE just to be able to read the posts. All looks normal to me in IE.

It's worth noting I quickly checked 10 or 15 other websites and the fonts on them are all "normal" size. Is this just me, or is anybody else using MF v5.0

I too find it a little "busy" but that could just be because I'm not used to it. I'd rather see "replies" or "responses" as compared to "solutions". It makes more sense since not every reply will actually be a 'solution'.

Other than that. It seems ok.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#9
August 19, 2010 at 09:59:42
... thx.... I was'nt wearing my binoculars

... message dump list link in #2

... tracked post are appearing in "dump"

... guess its us with these teething troubles!...lol

.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#10
August 19, 2010 at 10:03:21
Razor,

I believe I have fixed that issue.

XpUser,

I do agree that we need something at the top of the forum list allowing a user to start a discussion. I am going to see about adding that. I'll also look into the print feature, but I don't think that's a very big priority. I thought it looked terrible anyway.

To everyone else, I know the site is different. However, I really do think it is much easier to use for new users now. It is a modification to more of a technical support focus with "solutions" instead of "replies" and the like. I don't believe that is too confusing to the users. Its just a different terminology that helps the users to understand that, on this site, they are going to get help with their technical problems.

The style of the site itself is cleaner. I think it needed to be updated to fit more with the times. The site hasn't had a major facelift in around 2 years. I think doing this will keep the site current without drastically changing any of the underlying functionality and features.

Justin


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#11
August 19, 2010 at 10:04:08
mavis,

The message dump shouldn't be changed at all from the way it was before.

Justin


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#12
August 19, 2010 at 10:12:27
"...Its the same as the button that existed before..."

... was it(?) ... it's much crisper

... what colour are my alzheimer's pills?

....... thx

.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#13
August 19, 2010 at 10:14:03
mavis,

I mean the button does the same thing :)

Justin


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#14
August 19, 2010 at 10:16:17
XpUser,

I added a "START A THREAD" at the top of the forum listing page.

Justin


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#15
August 19, 2010 at 10:28:55
However, I really do think it is much easier to use for new users now.

No, not by a long shot. If anything it's a lot more complicated and overly complex now.

We need to start a pole.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI


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#16
August 19, 2010 at 10:33:37
Justin, you really need to throw out some sort of Public Beta site for a few weeks. That'll help you fix any technical problem/bug, and it'll allow us to get used to the redesigns/make our complaints.

And I agree with mavis007. The binoculars button is unintuitive. I initially thought it would lead to some sort of Search/Find page, and without clicking on it, there's no way to dispel that belief.

I'm still worried you'll end up wreaking the discussion by sorting posts by ranking or, worse yet, "accepted solutions."

EDIT:
Outlander: We need to start a pole.
The problem with that is the people who will respond to the poll. Namely the regulars, and regulars tend to resist change.

EDIT 2:
I think the "Start a Thread" button should be labeled "Ask a Question," if just to keep things consistent.


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#17
August 19, 2010 at 11:00:01
The problem with that is the people who will respond to the poll. Namely the regulars, and regulars tend to resist change.

That's kind of the point.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI


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#18
August 19, 2010 at 11:08:27
Justin!!

Just hit a bug in the new layout.

Upon trying to edit a post, the browser slowed to a crawl and only allowed roughly a character per second to be typed.

I'm 99% sure it's the 200% increase in adds on the site, 2 different flash adds playing in the same window is a no-no. Especially on a 2.66ghz P4.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI


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#19
August 19, 2010 at 11:17:51
I don`t know, but it seems to me that the forum parts of the web pages seem to blend in with the advertisments, which makes navigation a bit iffy. Just my opinion.

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#20
August 19, 2010 at 11:18:20
Razor2.3,

I took your advice and changed the track to a flag. If you hold down control and hit F5 (do a full reload), you will see it. I think that is clearer now.

There was a beta, but it was a private beta. Since the implementation, I haven't seen many bugs, just minor design changes. Those would be hard to find until the site goes live anyway. Its better to have feedback from the whole community for things like that.

Outlander,

I am editing this post fine. I don't believe it is a bug with the layout if it is concerning ads. Its possible that the flash was slowing down your editing. What browser are you using?

Justin


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#21
August 19, 2010 at 11:40:55
Justin

Any chance of addressing the point I made in #7 so that I am better able to understand the reasoning?

I appreciate it is not related to the current changes but it still seems to me like the refuse collectors asking you to segregate trash then tipping it all into the same old carts. My concern is that it makes more hassle for the original poster.

Thx.

Daylight Saving Time


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#22
August 19, 2010 at 11:56:46
Derek,

Sure... Those categories are subcategories. So, when you go to the main Windows XP forum for example, you will see all the posts in all the subcategories of that forum. However, if you click on the link to a subcategory on the XP forum listing page (see the top box that says Windows XP Subcategories), then you will only see the threads posted within that subcategory.

Justin


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#23
August 19, 2010 at 12:06:58
Thx for the explanation.

I have mixed feelings but yeah, I guess I can see some merit in that.

Daylight Saving Time


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#24
August 19, 2010 at 12:11:45
Getting back to the new appearance. When you go to the list of posts I wonder if there would be some merit in making the posters names either in bold and/or a slightly larger font.

Daylight Saving Time


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#25
August 19, 2010 at 12:21:23
Derek,

I agree... I have bolded it.

Justin


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#26
August 19, 2010 at 12:31:01
Justin,

Firefox 3 on an ancient P4 from 2001 at the office.

:)

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI


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#27
August 19, 2010 at 12:31:25
It's a bit harder to read now than before, but let no man stand in the way of progress. :P

Otherwise, it looks ok. :)



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#28
August 19, 2010 at 12:36:03
Justin

Oooer, we haven't got a few bugs about have we?

I just tried to answer using "Post a reply" and got a box asking me to define my problem. Rightly or wrongly I tried "pasting" an answer there but it displayed just the first few words in very large print.

Eventually I backed out and came in again. This time it worked just like normal but earlier there was a reply before mine that had now completely vanished. It was nothing offensive so I have no idea why I have now become the sole respondee (#1).

It was this post:
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...
Previously Mavis had responded with a link showing various monitor defects and suggestions. I had read it earlier before responding to see if it had already mentioned my suggestion.

EDIT:
Justin
In view of the response from Mavis below I'm wondering if it was finger trouble,
a glich, or perhaps I hit the page in the middle of some site mod. If anything weird happens again I'll let you know.

EDIT2
Seems from later post here that I didn't imagine it and Mavis has reposted the one that vanished. I seem to have developed amazing post removal powers. I'll just assume it was a site glitch unless it happens again.

Thks for bold mod in posters names - looks clearer now.


Daylight Saving Time


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#29
August 19, 2010 at 12:55:13
Outlander: Firefox 3
The solution to your problem.

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#30
August 19, 2010 at 13:00:50
"Derek"

... I do'nt recall posting today 19 Aug to that thread! #28

.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#31
August 19, 2010 at 13:07:53
Sorry Mavis - it must have been someone else, so thanks for putting me right.

I definitely followed a link from someone which showed problematic monitor pics. I feel certain it was on that post and can't find anything similar on the boards. Very weird.

Daylight Saving Time


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#32
August 19, 2010 at 13:22:21
Justin -

I guess you need to change "Solution/Solutions" to something else. I don't think it's wise to qualify each and every answers as solutions even the answer is stupid, wrong or just not a solution at all. Otherwise you would be making Computing.net the joke of the internet. Do you get me?

Once again, please reinstate the Print button feature!

Thanks

i_Xp/Vista/W7User


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#33
August 19, 2010 at 14:06:18
Outlander,

Well, I'm sure the flash combined with the old processor is what was doing it!

Derek,

That's odd... Hopefully it was just pressing the wrong button. let me know if you see something like that again.

XpUser,

Quite honestly, I kind of see your point. However, with the new "Tech Support/Get your answers" highlighting we want to go with the site, that is how we want it to be. I'll mention it to some other people at the company, but I don't think we'll be changing that unfortunately.

I'm working on getting the print feature back... Just for you!

Thanks,
Justin


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#34
August 19, 2010 at 14:07:14
Well hmmmmm.

1) It's not my site so I wil say nothing much.

2) Although I feel the site now looks generic with many other sites it will not stop me from coming back.

3) Okay I just have to say it. I feel like I had way to much bran and it's affecting my vision.

Like has been mentioned, I know I am not that much of a regular contributer here but, we are resistant to change. We will all get used to it over time. Look how long we went on about the ratings thingies.


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#35
August 19, 2010 at 14:20:34
1st try, I didn't like it. Thought it looked like 90s Microsoft software.
2nd try, I thought "meh"
I'm now on my 3rd, and beginning to like it. :-)

It's definitely faster than the "old" CN (using IE8).

Super PIII | Unlocked ES Tualatin @ 1.8GHz (150x12, 1.65v, 512K L2)
2GB PC2700 | 500GB | Radeon x1950Pro | Apollo Pro 266T | Win 7 Pro


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#36
August 19, 2010 at 14:20:47
I'm working on getting the print feature back... Just for you!

Good.

Let me get this to you. Not every questions asked here (especially The Lounge) are about problems. A solution is defined as •a statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem, and a method for solving a problem. Some threads are merely seeking information about something and not about a problem.

Picture this: Someone visit us and see the number of "solutions" to a question asked. Upon opening the thread and reading through the posts, it will gradually hit him that there is really no solution at all. You just cannot - and shouldn't - qualify all answers as solutions.

i_Xp/Vista/W7User


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#37
August 19, 2010 at 14:27:31
XpUser,

I have added the print option back. It is now an icon next to the report follow up in the first post (assuming you are logged in).

As for the solutions, I'm going to have to get back to you on that. I'm still not sure how I feel about changing it. I see your point, but its really just a naming convention. Further, even if I wanted to change it, which, like I said, I'm not sure about, that would be a feature I would not be able to change unless everyone at the company agreed.

Justin


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#38
August 19, 2010 at 14:33:32
Thanks for putting back the beloved print function. I think I should rest my case regarding the use of the word "Solution/Solutions".

I guess I am getting used to the dramatic makeover now.

i_Xp/Vista/W7User


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#39
August 19, 2010 at 15:15:13
You know, looking at the new questions page, like 80% of threads are in General. Can we get the forum it's posted on in there list somewhere? (The link's address doesn't count.)

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#40
August 19, 2010 at 15:43:21
I hate it. nuf said.

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#41
August 19, 2010 at 16:48:30
"I hate it. nuf said."

Yeah, that would cover it.

Skip
Audares Juvo


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#42
August 19, 2010 at 16:53:32
I'm getting used to it, but I liked the old format better. It seemed simple and to the point. There seems to be too much going on with the new page. I'm not going to bitch because it would be like bitching to my wife, it wouldn't do any good. I didn't know about the new format until it came up on my new 21,5" monitor. I used to use a 17" and decided to help my eyes out a little and get a new monitor. I have cnet as my home page and when it came up, I thought, wow, look what happens when you get a bigger monitor, Ha !! Silly me.

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#43
August 19, 2010 at 17:24:09
Razor2.3,

Well, hopefully, with the new design, people will see its more important to categorize it properly and there won't be so many in General!

Justin


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#44
August 19, 2010 at 23:02:04
... sorry "Derek" ......... Déjà vu ...#28

... my "alzheimer's pills" are transparant no wonder I can never find them!

... yes I remember now .... that solution of mine ...lol

.... were's my "binoculars" gone ..hee hee

edit... strange as it seems "Derek" I just edited that post via #28 link posting a second link in there when the "confirm offensive" box appeared ... of course I did not go ahead and confirm; but makes one think "are they read before removal"

... just because I said "I could'nt recall" does'nt mean it did'nt happen!

... anyway have a nice day!

"Derek" edit 2 in reply I just followed your suggestion to post a solution(?) to that link which I imagined that you were implying...
.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#45
August 20, 2010 at 01:56:05
I dislike it. It takes longer to read.

where's the track this message button?


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#46
August 20, 2010 at 06:03:25
mavis007,

Yes, all posts are read before removal. The report offensive asks you to confirm just to prevent people from unnecessarily clicking on it.

wizard-fred,

You can now track a message by clicking the flag next to its title.

Justin


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#47
August 20, 2010 at 06:17:21
Justin, I was part of that private beta, or some sort of private beta, but there wasn't really any chance to submit useful feedback. Unless there was more than one beta running concurrently, the one I had access to never received a single update. In fact it's still the same right now. There's almost zero functionality and alot of things which are not in English. It's very hard to comment about a few broken links.

I thought that they just hadn't made much progress, and then I found out that THG is getting a makeover shortly. I assume that Tom's Guide and CN are part of round 1 of the makeover. I guess I can submit feedback now... but it would have been helpful before it went live. I have already voiced my displeasure about that to Joe ;)

Oh, and I suppose I should say hello given that this is my first... er... solution.. on CN.


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#48
August 20, 2010 at 08:28:38
... "Justin"

... getting this at the moment, having trouble navigating down "dropdown menu" more so if not "logged-in"

... pic >> http://i34.tinypic.com/k3lrnb.jpg

... using firefox


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#49
August 20, 2010 at 08:41:50
mavis,

That is bound to happen with some (very few) ads. They are not programmed well and, no matter any work around I try, the seem to be able to get around that.

randomizer,

I assume you are talking about the Tom's Hardware private beta? That is a little different. For feedback, I assume you can talk to Joseph. Computing.Net's codebase and system is completely separate.

Justin


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#50
August 20, 2010 at 09:53:49
... you "fixed'em" before click>> #17

... hope this does'nt impact on newcomers using firefox who ca'nt see xp forum etc never mind not being able to click the dropdown menu!

... suggestion: might be handy to link to answer solution by adding ie: #17 to the end of the html link and ending up @ #17 (does'nt work)


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#51
August 20, 2010 at 11:04:48
Mavis,

Yeah, I fixed it before, but that fix is already incorporated in this design. The problem is that, before, the ad didn't go below the dropdowns like that, so the fix is more challenging. In fact, I don't believe there is anything I can do beyond what I've done :(

Either way, I think its only that visual studio ad.

Justin


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#52
August 20, 2010 at 11:56:50
... it did make the drop-down inoperable prior.

... looks like its sorted now its been moved to "were ever" ...thx

... the #(number) link would serve a good functional purpose do'nt you think? (#50)

... sorry I'm not any good @ html


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#53
August 20, 2010 at 13:40:59
Hey,

I see what you mean. I'll think about whether or not we should go ahead and add that.

Justin


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#54
August 20, 2010 at 14:54:32
You've absolutely destroyed our site.

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#55
August 20, 2010 at 16:41:56
@Justin: Ah, I assumed they were going to unify each of the sites somewhat with the new platform. I guess it is more an aesthetic unity than anything else.

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#56
August 20, 2010 at 21:18:43
I get a kick out of the 'subcategory' feature. Too many posters start their threads in the wrong forum anyway and now we expect them to also find the right subcategory? And isn't that kind of the point of the 'subject' line? It seems like a totally unnecessary addition.

And while I'm in the mood, when googling for computing.net links for a thread I vaguely remember I get a lot of false hits. Google shows my search terms are there but when I go to the computing.net page they're not. This started a couple years ago or so and I assume it has to do with the 'related posts' feature. I think it's a helpful feature but it causes havoc with search engines.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#57
August 21, 2010 at 07:08:16
All this is just my opinion after using the new site for a few days, no need to act on it, it's just my honest opinion......


In my opinion the "visited link" and "unvisited link" colo[u]rs are far too similar(it used to be slightly more defined before the upgrade and even better before that one), sometimes I use the links to know what topics I'm active in at a glance(I do know there is tracking features but I don't like to track 20+ posts).

I'm also not too fond of how the posts aren't boxed in, the box just focuses my eyes to an individual post, and helps me to ignore ads/other site content while reading.

I think the actual sub-forum links need a little more buffer on the left, it's kind of distracting how close to the left edge they are...


Far too much blue/purple, I'm all for darker tones on lighter tones but the better part of the seems to be white/blue/purple.....


I'm trying not to whine, just give my opinoin.


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#58
August 21, 2010 at 07:22:59
I agree with DAVEINCAPS about the subcategory feature. When I am moving a thread to the appropriate forum I don't even know where it best fits. It is idealistic to think the neophytes that find this site would bother to even read the instructions on using the site.

While I am here commenting I would like to point out something that should be obvious but I don't think it is.

What makes CN one of the best help sites on the net is us. The same folks commenting in this thread. If we all leave this site would fall to a lower level. I can't speak for why others give of their time here, I am not even sure why I do it. That said, at some point the aggravation may overcome the satisfaction and good helpers will leave.

One of my aggravations here is reading totally wrong responses posted by people that just registered that day. I have been around tech sites for lots of years. The unwritten rule has always been that you needed to earn your chops, so to speak. I surfed here for months before replying the first time. I feel that is how it should be.

The quality of the help given here has suffered since more people have been attracted to the site. I do understand that there are conflicting objectives in play. That said, perhaps there are some steps that could be taken to improve the quality of responses.

On that point I have a suggestion. Some times I search to see if a poster has been providing good or bad advice, IMO of course. This search is harder than necessary at present.

In the show all messages of my computing the original post is assigned a number, which is good. However, I would like to see the OP's user name also accompany the number.

The purpose is to find what threads the user has posted. Perhaps this can already easily be found and I am missing it.


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#59
August 21, 2010 at 12:14:57
In the old “Message List” section of My Home, any replies were given a green indicator, now it’s just a different shade of purple, Could it be made to stand out a bit more?
Different shades of the same color can be tough on an old screen and problematic with even older eyes.

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#60
August 22, 2010 at 05:33:50
Justin

I still agree to XpUser.
The naming Solution/Solutions is generally wrong and suggests a totaly wrong picture of the thread.

If I would be searching for solution on a problem and I would read 7 solutions, I would be very disappointed, if I would find 7 postings that are meant to clarify the problem itself.

So there are simply 7 replies, nothing more nothing less.


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#61
August 22, 2010 at 05:37:52
Next I would suggest to make a "Problem solved" button for the original poster and a status sign for that, so that everyone can see this status in the message overview.


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#62
August 22, 2010 at 06:46:57
Hey paulsep I'm glad I am not the only one still bothered with Justin using the term "Solution/Solutions." I don't understand why he chosen to use the term "Answer This" for threads that haven't yet been answered.

Justin - IMO the right thing to do is substitute "Answer/Answers" for "Solution/Solutions."

i_Xp/Vista/W7User


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#63
August 22, 2010 at 07:53:55
Also I would suggest, to switch off the ads for bronce users and upwards.
It's still annoying.
But this will presume, that the counting to get a bronce, silver or gold user will use another methode.
For me it seems, that who posts alot, gets automatically bronce user or upwards.


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#64
August 22, 2010 at 10:07:15
... Justin

... the dropdown menu advert bug is at it again!

>>>> http://i35.tinypic.com/30v2n0h.jpg

... can not click dropdown menu

... logged out with cookies flushed!

... firefox ...for newcomers a "problem"

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#65
August 22, 2010 at 10:07:34
OtheHill,

I agree, and you bring up a good point. Have I changed the My Computing.Net message list to the way you desire?

XpUser,

Answers! That's it. That we can change it to. I will go ahead and make that change, and I will fight for it. If we have to change it back, its because I lost the fight. However, I think this will work fine.

Mike,

How about if the ones with reply also have a greyish background. I have gone ahead and made that change. That should help.

Thanks,
Justin


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#66
August 22, 2010 at 10:22:47
Justin -

Mazel tov!! Finally you've done the right thing. Don't let the people who bought you out ruin Computing.net as we know it!!

i_Xp/Vista/W7User


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#67
August 22, 2010 at 11:36:13
Justin,

I know I'm late to the party, but I was having too much fun on a family vacation to even log in last week.

I'll withhold an overall evaluation of the new layout until I have had a chance to get used to it, both as a "member" and as a "moderator".

I'm glad that I read all of the responses in this thread because even before the new layout had fully registered with me, the word Solutions jumped right out and said "Wrong use of the word!"

I will now voice my own opinion and add that answers is also the wrong word to use. Here's my reasoning...

I have come to the Lounge on occasion to vent about something bad that has happened to me or to praise a company or person when they've done the right thing. Any responses to those posts are not solutions nor are they answers.

As the Office Forum moderator I have often posted responses with tips about the use of relevant Subject Lines, the use of all-caps, the lack of an actual question in the post, etc. None of these responses were solutions nor were they answers.

Look at some of your responses in this thread alone. They are not solutions nor are they answers. In many cases they are simply responses and in some cases they are actually questions.

You have probably noticed by now that I have bolded the word responses many times in this post. I'm sure you can guess why.

Look at some other technical sites, be they application specific, automotive, GPS, etc. The most commonly used words are either Replies or Messages. Neither of those words imply that a question was asked or a solution was offered. The word Responses, which has been used at CN for years, also does not imply that a question was asked or a solution was offered. The word Responses covers every type of post as noted here.

As opposed to telling us why "the company" wants to change the word used, why not tell us what is wrong with maintaining the use of the word Responses?


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#68
August 22, 2010 at 11:46:24
Justin:

How about if the ones with reply also have a greyish background. I have gone ahead and made that change. That should help.

Don't see any difference. No greyish background that I can discern.

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#69
August 22, 2010 at 11:55:08
There are other times where "Response" fits too. Often something can be added which is useful in general to the poster (where an issue can be tackled a better way for example) but is not even intended to be a Solution - ie, it is a Response.

Daylight Saving Time


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#70
August 22, 2010 at 12:26:34
Mike,

You're talking about in the message list located here, right: http://www.computing.net/cgi-bin/my...

I've tried in both firefox and IE and it shows up with a grey backgound when there are responses. What browser are you using? Remember, it is replies since you have last read or responded to the post. This is how the green checkbox worked as well.

As for the comments regarding responses, its not the "company" wanting me to change it. I agree it should be changed with this direction. I think answers is a good compromise. I'm willing to listen to people's two cents on this subject, but I've outlined my reasoning. I also understand and have considered your points. That is why I won't be changing it differently.

Let me just give an example as to how the logic also breaks down. On the list, we could say a message has 6 "answers" or "replies." You say not everything might be an "answer" to the question. However, everything is some sort of answer to something posted in the comment. Why else would you post? In much the same way, all those "replies" might not be to the first question. Someone else might provide additional information, then someone may "reply" or "answer" that additional information. In either sense, I think answers is understandable.

Justin


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#71
August 22, 2010 at 12:51:48
Ooops I think this post length is making my head spin - goodness knows what it is doing for you Justin LOL.

Yes, sure, "Answers" sounds fair to me (I thought we were talking about using "Solutions"). I'll take more coffee.

Daylight Saving Time


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#72
August 22, 2010 at 12:52:46
Justin
You're talking about in the message list located here,

That's the correct page, but I still see only Blue for a new addition, light purple for a reply, and a darker purple for new replies. No gray background.
I'm using Firefox 3.6.8.

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#73
August 22, 2010 at 12:59:13
... keeping my beady eyes on those "ad's" ...thx Justin

... "Derek" ...stiff brandy's a solution


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#74
August 22, 2010 at 12:59:19
mmcconaghy

On my side, it's grey.
I'm also using Firefox 3.6.8.

Paul


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#75
August 22, 2010 at 13:04:27
Derek,

Thanks! I do appreciate all the help from all the members getting this new design perfect. I just didn't want to give people the impression I was willing to change it back to "replies." I was willing to be flexible on the wording, but, replies sent the wrong message from the redesign, in my opinion. I'm glad you find "answers" acceptable too. I think XpUser for coming up with it... It was a great idea.

Mike,

By "dark purple" you mean bold, right? So you're saying its showing up bold, but the background of the post is still white in Firefox? I'm using the same version of Firefox and, whenever the post is bold, the background of the table entry is also light grey.

Justin


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#76
August 22, 2010 at 13:07:29
paulsep,

As for eliminating the ads, that's not something I'm going to do. There are lots of solutions out there for people who want to eliminate ads from websites.

Justin


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#77
August 22, 2010 at 13:08:17
mavis007,

Have you ever seen any ad but the Visual Studio ad do that? I haven't and all the screenshots you show me are that ad.

Justin


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#78
August 22, 2010 at 13:11:26
Re #76

Yeah - I haven't seen ads anywhere for years.

Daylight Saving Time


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#79
August 22, 2010 at 13:17:58
I’m voting for the use of Response as opposed to Answer.
When you reply to a Posters Question, many times, you’re asking for additional information or clarification, so your replies are not “answering” the Posters Question but simply replying to a request for assistance.
In my opinion using the term, “Answer” supposes that the reply will “Answer” the Posters Question, not be simply a response of some type, such as a request for additional information.

.

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#80
August 22, 2010 at 13:37:28
I agree that response is better than answer.

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#81
August 22, 2010 at 13:54:36
Yeah sure, "Solution" is a no no, and "Response" or "Reply" are probably more correct then "Answer". The latter is a sort of compromise I could live with tho - at least an answer is much the same as "Reply" or "Response" so long as it is not taken to mean "The Answer".

Daylight Saving Time


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#82
August 22, 2010 at 14:18:21
Let me explain my reason for suggesting Answer/Answers as the most viable alternative to Solution/Solutions. I thought Answer/Answers were more befitting with the unanswered posts marked with "Answer This." In any event I do agree "Response/Responses" is far better but they would look out of place sitting above or under the "Answer This" posts.

i_Xp/Vista/W7User


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#83
August 22, 2010 at 14:20:17
I'd go with 'replies' too but as long as it's not 'solutions' then maybe we're nitpicking.

What's great is Justin is right here making the changes as the thread progresses. It's not some survey or suggestion box scenario where nothing changes or, if it does it gets worse.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#84
August 22, 2010 at 14:22:06
How about being given a choice?

Respond to statement

Ask for more info

Answer question

Solve problem

I know I know I am in way over my head. Just wanted to spit out my two cents.


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#85
August 23, 2010 at 06:25:02
Well, after looking the new interface over for a few days I've got to agree with what seems to be the majority.

"Solution" was definitely the wrong choice of words (sorry Justin) and I'm not so sure "Answer" is the right one either.

Take for example the following post in Networking:

http://www.computing.net/answers/ne...

I didn't supply an "answer". Instead, I requested more detailed infomation from the OP........as is so often the case.

Granted we're not dealing with function but instead in this case, semantics. But to me "answer" means the same thing as "solution" and both are wrong more often than they'd be right with regard to the repsonses to many, many posts.

I too think "Response" or "Responses" would be more accurate and less likely to confuse someone searching through the site for a problem similar to the one they're having. A lot of responses are by good intentioned people who lack in knowledge and therefore give an incorrect "answer". Some are by people who just seem to want to see their name up in lights and have no clue what they're talking about and also give incorrect "answers". Regardless, I just think that "respons(s)" is more logical and just makes more sense.

What would be nice is a "Problem Solved" button the OP could hit after their problem has been fixed. However, we all know how little use such a button would get since most don't even have the courtesy to come back and say "That worked, thanks!" so I doubt that idea is worth persuing.

Functionally, I've found everything works just fine, if not faster and the site looks excellent.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#86
August 23, 2010 at 06:39:50
Hey Justin - The majority have spoken. I succumbed and now think Response/Responses would be the better choice if you are willing to change "Answer This" to either "Awaiting Response" or "Unanswered"

Your verdict, please?

i_Xp/Vista/W7User


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#87
August 23, 2010 at 06:43:19
no solution and solutions might be fine.

The one thing that throws me off at times is that the PC credentials are above the 1st post in small letters so I missed that a few times till I realized it was there.

There was another time when I couldn't see the 'my home' button on the top, then I realized I had to scroll way down the page to find 'my computing.net'

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#88
August 23, 2010 at 07:36:11
Hey,

I'm pretty happy with the wording now for the thread listing page. I think I'll leave it as is.

Justin


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#89
August 23, 2010 at 10:55:25
"...ever seen any ad but the Visual Studio ad do that?..."

... nope just that one... last time I looked it was in it's own little "boxed-in" prison

... nice one!

... (still thinking about #53 link?) {...#number rather than "#postfp"}


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#90
August 23, 2010 at 11:14:58
Mike,

By "dark purple" you mean bold, right? So you're saying its showing up bold, but the background of the post is still white in Firefox? I'm using the same version of Firefox and, whenever the post is bold, the background of the table entry is also light grey.

Justin

That is correct.
I've played around with some of the View settings and other Options from the Tools menu, but I still get only Bold with white background.

Currently under View:
Page Style: Basic Page Style
Character Encoding: Unicode (UTF-8)

Under Tools, Options, Fonts & Colors:
Colors:
I have the check box marked for:
Allow pages to choose their own colors, instead of my selection above.

Advanced, Character Encoding: Western ( ISO-8859-1 )


MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#91
August 23, 2010 at 11:23:27
Mike,

Hmm, I don't understand. If you view the source of the page, do you have the code: "background-color: #F5F5F5;" anywhere on it?

Justin


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#92
August 23, 2010 at 11:33:01
do you have the code: "background-color: #F5F5F5;" anywhere on it?

Yes, it appears twice:

class="forum_main_list_title" style="background-color: #F5F5F5;">

align=center class="forum_main_list" width="20%" style="background-color: #F5F5F5;"

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#93
August 23, 2010 at 11:43:19
Hey,

Well, then its working. If its not appearing grey, it might be the contrast on your monitor or something with your browser setup. Remember, its light grey.

Justin


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#94
August 23, 2010 at 21:23:42
Justin,

I do not know a lot about web design, but while poking around trying to figure out why I was not getting a gray background, I found, that according to this web site:

http://www.w3schools.com/Html/html_...

The color number #F5F5F5, is defined as "White Smoke" not any shade of Gray.

Is that correct?

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#95
August 23, 2010 at 23:01:07
Justin

if I haven't known, that there is an option to track a message, I would have never found it. There should be a text, that make this funktion clear to everyone.

Also "My Home" and "Logout" is nearly unreadable, because of the colors, white text on light grey background is a bit unfortunate, isn't it?

Paul


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#96
August 24, 2010 at 05:10:01
""Also "My Home" and "Logout" is nearly unreadable, because of the colors, white text on light grey background is a bit unfortunate, isn't it?""

Where are you seeing these on a light gray background? In my browser they are white, inside of the blue background next to the search button up at the top of the page.

My name is JRComp, and I approve this message.


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#97
August 24, 2010 at 05:35:05
Mine are also medium blue background with white or off white text. The text is small but readable.

I am using FF 3.6.8.


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#98
August 24, 2010 at 05:39:40
Ah found it. My son played arround in the Firefox settings and set the minimum font size to a high value, so that the "My Home" and "Logout" was shown in the next row.
Now it's shown correctly.

Thanks

The original poster should always write the last response !!!
Let us know, if the problem is solved !!!


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#99
August 24, 2010 at 06:14:09
Mike,

Yes, it is a light shade of grey/greyish white. I could make it darker, but, you should be able to see some grey. In this post reply box, do you see it as being grey around the outside of the text area to enter text? That is the same color.

Justin


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#100
August 24, 2010 at 06:35:23
In this post reply box, do you see it as being grey around the outside of the text area to enter text?

No, it's just a large expanse of white.
To post a reply, I put the cursor under the words "Post Reply", which is a light blue, and under the formatting tags which are gray, and hope I've hit the reply box.

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#101
August 24, 2010 at 07:02:31
Hey,

Ok, then, for some reason, your monitor isn't showing that color as greyish, just white. It must be some contrast setting or something.

Justin


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#102
August 24, 2010 at 07:10:46
Justin,

I've played with the physical settings on the monitor,
I've played with the display settings in control panel,
I've played with the config file for Firefox,
no joy.......

Any suggestions?

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#103
August 24, 2010 at 07:23:25
Mike,

For the posting backgrounds in this thread, do you see them alternating between grey and white?

Justin


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#104
August 24, 2010 at 07:43:35
Nope, still just white.

I compared by Firefox config with my son's laptop and everything relating to "color" are the same, but he is using Vista while I'm on XP which could be the difference, because on his laptop I can see the very light gray background.

It may be my old monitor, or something else, but thanks for the effort and time, will keep playing around with this and see if I can find a solution.

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#105
August 24, 2010 at 07:54:57
Hey,

Yeah, I'm sorry, but, if you can't even see the grey in the backgrounds of the alternating posts on this page, I don't think I can help you more. I was considering changing the background on the message list to that color grey. It is quite a bit darker.

Justin


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#106
August 24, 2010 at 10:50:36
Do we have alternating background colors? *Opens FireBug* (Seriously, it's the best FF plugin for web developers.)

Wow, we do have alternating backgrounds! Granted, #F4F4F4 is probably a bit too close to #FFFFFF for my POS monitor, but I guess it is there. (Personally, I'd go darker. Possibly something in the range of #D0D0D0-#DFDFDF.)

EDIT: And I'm glad to see you drop "Solutions."


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#107
August 24, 2010 at 10:59:30
Razor,

Wow, you too? Its a pretty big difference on my monitor. Yours not LCD?

Justin

BTW, Firebug is awesome... I agree.


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#108
August 24, 2010 at 11:33:57
Oh, it's a cheap LCD (Acer X221W), and its contrast range is horrible. On the plus side, I got it for roughly $200 a few years ago.

EDIT: I should probably mention there isn't any discernible difference between #FFFFFF and #F0F0F0 on my monitor. It's probably the reason why I like the colors in the C's and D's so much. So yeah, I'm a edge case, and whatnot.


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#109
August 24, 2010 at 12:55:55
Ah,

That's a shame... At least it was cheap!

Justin


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#110
August 24, 2010 at 13:31:02
Just to add that I can see the alternating white/gray without much difficulty. For reasons that I fail to really understand I have often found laptop screens a bit thin, sometimes having to try hard to see when a file is highlighted.

Over the years I've tweaked the brightness, contrast, colors on my XP PC and am very happy with the situation. I only had a modicum of sucess doing the same with my wife's Vista laptop, although she seems to see them OK - maybe it's better when sat down with the screen angle carefully adjusted.

Ms Hulot goes horse riding


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#111
August 24, 2010 at 22:22:24
I can see the alternating grey and white. It's not a stark contrast, but it's there.

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#112
August 25, 2010 at 07:47:56
On my work system, the Dell LCD has no problem displaying the alternating grey and white.

On my home system, with a very old IBM branded tube, the contrast is there, but it's not as big of a difference.

Maybe we need to alternate something like this:

Medium Sea Green

and

Dark Orchid

That oughta stand out on any monitor! ;-)


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#113
August 25, 2010 at 08:49:51
Hey Justin...

Where's the option to Preview a New Question?

Did we have that ability prior to the site make-over?

All I see is a "Publish Your Question" button. If I don't like what I see, I have to edit it, but the original is still out there for somebody to read.

How come we can preview Follow Ups, but not original posts - or am I'm missing something?

Thanks!


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#114
August 25, 2010 at 13:16:55
Hey,

Yeah, that's gone. With the edit now available on new posts, I decided to take that out.

I left the preview for replies because I knew a few regulars like it... Regulars spend most of their time posting followups, not new messages, so this should be more palatable.

Justin


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#115
August 25, 2010 at 15:43:56
The issue I see with not be able to preview new posts is when a member tries to use the pre tags or other such formatting as is often done in the Office forum, they have to actually post to see the layout.

If it comes out wrong, yes, they can edit the post but the layout is different on the Edit screen than on the Preview screen. The Edit box is smaller than the Post Reply box so lines wrap differently.

Keep in mind that "questioners" can be "regulars" too. Some members of the Office forum are "regulars" in that they ask a lot of questions as they design spreadsheets and databases for their jobs.

Not knowing much about web site design, I'm curious as to the resources required or other obstacles to having the Preview feature available for new posts. I know I would use it.


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#116
August 25, 2010 at 20:06:08
Hi,

Well, its more of a design thing. I think it looks a lot cleaner without it. You are right, some people might miss it. However, I tend to think much less people (probably almost no one) who makes new posts ever uses that. If people start requesting it after I take it out, I will reconsider my decision. Its just, in my experience, I don't think its something that will be missed by much, if any, people.

Justin


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#117
August 25, 2010 at 20:41:50
My kid walked by & said, "Dad, why are you spending so much time on Dictionary.com"? The new layout does look very similar:

http://dictionary.reference.com/


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#118
August 25, 2010 at 21:14:16
re: I don't think its something that will be missed by much, if any, people.

Huh? Am I not "people"? I noticed it was missing the first time I started a new thread.

Maybe nobody else will miss it, but you certainly can't say "if any" because I miss it.

Ouch! You've hurt my feelings! ;-)


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#119
August 26, 2010 at 02:42:52
... "Justin" I have noticed since your "test" period has lasped using this >> redirector

... the blue link in this post (click>>#3<< takes me about 3 or 4 clicks to end @ the correct site! or it'll just refresh to the thread page.

... I have rechecked quite a few times with cookies flushed!

... if I have this problem maybe the "op" or new viewer may aswell(?)

.

.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#120
August 26, 2010 at 05:16:18
Justin,

I just noticed something:

When I hover over a thread title on any of the 1.html pages in this forum the full URL appears in the status bar. I can also right click the link and choose "Open In A New Window/Tab" etc. That's nothing out of the ordinary.

However, if I hover over a link in the "Answer Column" (Answer This, 2 Answers, etc.) nothing appears in the status bar and the Right-Click menu doesn't recognize it as a link.

Of course, it is a link since the finger appears and clicking it takes you to the tread.

Why does that happen? I thought a link was link was a link.


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#121
August 26, 2010 at 05:22:25
A link is only a link if it has an HREF element. Otherwise, it's just an anchor. In this case, it's an anchor with a JavaScript onclick element that runs some function called BOMgo().

EDIT: This seems to be done to punish non-JS-enabled browsers. Probably for bot control.


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#122
August 26, 2010 at 06:10:29
Thanks Razor2.3.

Why would a developer use "bot control" on some links, but not on all?

Is it to prevent the bot from using/searching on a specific word e.g. "Answer" to perform it's nasty work?


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#123
August 26, 2010 at 06:38:35
Sounds like a question for Justin.

I assume the nature of this function will change over time. Presumably for advertising, but I know the internal workings of BoM about as well as you do.

I should probably point out bots can be far from nasty, and you can generally tell the quality of a search engine by its bot fleet.


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#124
August 26, 2010 at 06:42:43
Justin,

is there a way to search the HOWTOs ?
Sometimes it would be nice to use a link to an existing howto, instead of always typing the same things again and again, like posting the output of ipconfig /all and other things, that we need all the time.


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#125
August 26, 2010 at 06:48:28
DerbyDad,

Sorry! I meant new users who weren't aware of the old way it was setup.

Also, Razor is right, the BOMgo function is for bot control. All the links will work if you have JS enabled. You are right that hovering over them will show nothing in the bottom bar though.

mavis,

That is odd, I clicked once and it worked. Are you running any sort of ad blocker?

Justin


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#126
August 26, 2010 at 09:28:19
"...Are you running any sort of ad blocker..."

... only the standard firefox "block pop-up windows" then it asks me; but has'nt in this case!

... also just "added" http://www.computing.net/ to the "allow list" flushed my cookies tried again same thing happens.

... not to worry if I'm the only one ...... anyone? ... see #119

.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#127
August 26, 2010 at 10:40:13
Hey,

Yeah, lets see if its happening to others as well.

Justin


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#128
August 26, 2010 at 11:19:08
You know what would be sweet?

If clicking the title of the thread took you to the OP but clicking the link in the answer column - e.g. "127 Answers" - took you to the last response.


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#129
August 26, 2010 at 19:27:13
The only issue with having links that point to JS functions is that they don't work with middle-mouse clicks for opening in a new tab. If you plan to surf with only one tab for the site then it's fine, but if you want to quickly open a number of threads from the same section in new tabs it's a problem.

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#130
August 26, 2010 at 21:28:49
paulsep

Justin,

is there a way to search the HOWTOs ?
Sometimes it would be nice to use a link to an existing howto, instead of always typing the same things again and again, like posting the output of ipconfig /all and other things, that we need all the time.

I created a couple "how-to" guides and instead of typing that info out endlessly, I just say in a response, "Click on my name above in this response and read my "how-to" guide on blah blah blah"

I can type that out faster than I can go to the guide in question and copy, then paste the link..........lol..............works for me.

I figure you're more referring to guides that someone else wrote (like say my "troubleshooting wireless issues" guide) in which case a search would be nice. But since there's a link to the how-to guides in the menu on the right, I'd just open that in a new tab, do a quick search of the page (ctrl - F) by a keyword or phrase and then copy/paste the link.

Justin, should you find the time to look into paul's idea..........what about maybe setting it so we can pick a forum category to tag guides under as we create them? Like the guide of mine I mentioned above could be tagged "Networking" or "Wireless Networking" and then have the categories listed on the top of the how-to page. To me that sounds very similar to the "sub category" feature you just added in all forums.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#131
August 26, 2010 at 23:25:12
Curt R

yep, just right.

"I'd just open that in a new tab, do a quick search of the page (ctrl - F) by a keyword or phrase and then copy/paste the link."

Yes, this will work as long, as there are not that many Howto's. But what, if there are hundrets of Howto's on several pages.
Then, to find the right howto would take more time, than writing it by yourself, especially, if the howto, you're looking for, is written by another guy, or you even don't know, whether there already exists such a Howto.

Sub categories is a good idea too.
We should be able to place the Howto's in the correct category. But this is not a substitude for a search function in the Howto's.

Paul


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#132
August 27, 2010 at 00:09:05
[yawn]

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#133
August 27, 2010 at 05:51:05
Hi,

I agree. However, that is something I am going to look at once there are many more how-tos. Right now, with less than 200, I can't justify doing all those things for that section. Hopefully, it'll grow much more, but its growth so far has been pretty anemic. I'm not sure how much adding those features would help it grow either. I don't think better categorization is going to convince a user to post vs. not post a howto. That's the main reason I'd like to wait. You can always see all the howtos you have posted by going to your "My Home" section.

Justin


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#134
August 27, 2010 at 05:57:55
DerbyDad,

I am looking into doing that, along with the recommendation about allowing anchor tags for each post (ie url#12 would take you to post 12, etc).

randomizer,

Yeah, I realize there are downsides to doing that. However, in this case, the downsides are outweighed by the upsides.

Justin


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#135
August 27, 2010 at 06:33:59
... "DerbyDad03" ... it's also been mentioned @ #50 + #52, #53


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#136
August 27, 2010 at 06:51:43
Justin, with the amount of spam I have to deal with daily, I understand that anything to cut it down is a good thing! :)

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#137
August 27, 2010 at 07:05:23
I might as well get on the 'wish list' bandwagon:

A) Going with the anchor posts idea, change the watch thread list's behavior to link to the new answers.

B) Have a list of Moderators on the forum. I don't care if it's a static list in 1 pt. font. -- I just want to know who the mods are without randomly clicking though threads.

C) Change the behavior of the 'Report Offensive' button to alert Mods instead of Justin. This could take the form of a specialized version of the 'watched thread' page, or some sort of special icon on the thread listing and post in question. If you're feeling saucy, an unacknowledged report could go to a general Mod pool after, say, 72 hours. I know, I dream big. -- A lot of moved posts follow a pattern. (1) OP posts in wrong forum. (2) RegularX tells OP to post in the correct forum. (3) OP does. (4) Mod on wrong forum moves post to correct forum. (5) Mod on correct forum deletes one of the duplicates. Giving ReguarX the ability to just alert the Mods should cut out a couple of steps.

D) An alternate, darker, stylesheet. -- Just because I'm too lazy to write a Greasemonkey script.

E) A funny hat. Why can't I have a funny hat? =(


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#138
August 27, 2010 at 08:25:56
Razor,

I am still researching (waiting to hear from an expert) about how the anchor thing would work in practice. Until I hear, I won't be able to do anything.

I will try to think about where a list of moderators might be able to fit into the design. If I come up with something clean, I will add it.

As for the reporting tool, I prefer seeing those myself so I can watch the general trend of offensive/spam messages on the forum. For that reason, I don't want to allow moderators alone to deal with those... I want to see, moderate them myself.

Justin


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#139
August 27, 2010 at 08:55:01
I am still researching (waiting to hear from an expert) about how the anchor thing would work in practice. Until I hear, I won't be able to do anything.
What, how to add them to the threads? How do you print the reply numbers now? Just stick an A tag around it, and give the tag a name equal to the number of the reply.

Or are you talking more about changing some sort of site behavior?


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#140
August 27, 2010 at 09:05:56
Hey,

I'm talking about changing the behavior of the backend and how the site interacts with bots.

As for the moderators, I have done it. I added it to the bottom of the message index. You should see it now.

Thanks for that suggestion!
Justin


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#141
August 27, 2010 at 09:11:13
Wish List Item:

The ability to highlight a word or phrase in a reply and then click the formatting tags to apply instead of having to physically place the text between the tags.


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#142
August 27, 2010 at 09:40:32
Here's something for the Wish List.

Please make the site display compatible with the iPad. The current rendering makes the site unbearable and due to the Flash limitation, there is a lot of blank space too.

Some content owners have a UI completely unique for the iPad that really takes advantage of all the cool capabilities. For example, on the iPad checkout the unique ABC News with the globe. Even boring sites like AP news has cool features. It's a nice to have now with an iPad install base of a few million, but growing.


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#143
August 27, 2010 at 09:44:16
DerbyDad,

That would require changing the system I am using for text editing. Doing so could introduce security breaches. As it gets more complicated, its more complicated to discover every possible way some ingenious person could find around it. So, for now, I'd prefer to leave it as is.

Radix,

That is a good idea, but there are no plans for a mobile site as of now. Maybe in the future...

Justin


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#144
August 27, 2010 at 21:41:58
I think the reply to name at the bottom of every reply is redundant. If you reply to a certain poster, I thnk his post should be in quotes. It would make things easier ;-)

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#145
August 27, 2010 at 22:56:41
I hope you're not talking about that stupid echoing of previous postings in each new one which is done in some help sites. Can you imagine how long the threads would be if we did that with tubesandwires' postings?

Maybe you mean just quoting a line or two from the posting you're respoinding to?

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#146
August 28, 2010 at 05:58:41
I don't care for the idea of redundancy in any manner. If a responder is too lazy to read the entire thread then they shouldn't be responding.

As it is there are many responses that when read indicate the poster has not reviewed the previous responses.

I personally hate the echoing that DAVEINCAPS referred to. Makes it twice as hard to come into the middle of a thread and pickup the gist of it.


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#147
August 28, 2010 at 08:54:59
Oooo, please don't be even tempted to start that repeating of posts nonsense.
Not doing so has always been one of the good points of Computing.Net.
We can always highlight bits ourselves when needs arise.

You go to so many forums where there are miles of repetition and it's a job
to find the new additions.

I'm getting on fine with most of the new changes already.

Ms Hulot goes horse riding


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#148
August 28, 2010 at 09:30:11
actually, it would help to answer to a certain poster.
If it is not working, then Justin should just put down reply, and NOT reply to the poster.

Right now under each post it says reply to eg: 'reply to Derek' but inactuality you are JUST responding to the post...it is generic.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#149
August 28, 2010 at 13:05:37
Justin

This was not there in the previous interface either......

Could you add a second Remove Selected Messages button on the Your Messages List pages , above the listings ?


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#150
August 28, 2010 at 16:35:55
Re #148, line 2

Yes that part struck me as repetative too, if not confusing.

Ms Hulot goes horse riding


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#151
August 29, 2010 at 05:44:05
... "Justin"

... Visual studio "ad" is @ it again!: http://i33.tinypic.com/2l9gta1.jpg

.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#152
August 31, 2010 at 06:01:16
Justin,
When logging on using FF 3.6 I have been having a problem with the new layout of the site for a couple of weeks now, after the site loads “http://www.computing.net/forums/”, and I then move the pointer over to “GENERAL FORUMS tab”, a very annoying “POPUP/HOVERING” banner, IE “neustar” comes to life and I am unable to move over it without the drop down menu from the selected tab suddenly disappearing.
I fully understand the need for the ad's, however not being able to navigate the site is really not much fun.

Keep the old stuff running


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#153
August 31, 2010 at 07:08:49
LinuxOS2

I recommend two plug-ins for Firefox that make navigating this site much better.

Flashblock
Disables Adobe Flash features from loading on all web pages, without you getting messages about Flash being disabled - if you want to see the flash feature, click on the gray circle with the F on it

Web pages can have a lot of Java Script that makes the page load a lot slower , especially on a slower computer.

YesScript
Switches off Java Script on any specific web site you choose. A scroll icon in your taskbar lower right allows you to toggle disabling/enabling a web site from using Java Script, on the fly - when you change the state of that, go to another web page that's not on the same web site, come back to the web page.

Disables Flashblock from loading, which uses Java Script (Adobe Flash is still disabled if Flashblock was loaded, without you getting messages about Flash being disabled) .
Disables tool tips (explanatory text) from appearing when you hold the cursor over certain icons that have that feature on this site.

When I use this for www.Computing.Net , there are no ads at all, the pages load at max speed !

Get them here:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/pages/sandbox


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#154
August 31, 2010 at 08:39:41
Justin, how do we track a message without posting a reply? Sometimes I like to see a post and see what solutions they get.
The old layout had the button to track a message in that way.
Thanks,
Oh, I'm using windows 7 IE8 if that helps
Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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#155
August 31, 2010 at 08:43:18
XPUser4Real, and anyone else who wants to know.

"...how do we track a message without posting a reply? "

At the bottom of the saved messages list, there's this...

Add new message to your list using the unique number, etc.


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#156
August 31, 2010 at 08:54:45
... I thought one just had to click the red flag to "track" (#20)

... (just after topic thread... up top ^ )


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#157
August 31, 2010 at 10:16:39
Hey,

mavis is correct, the "Add to Message List" button has been replaced by the red flag icon next to the title of the post.

Justin


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#158
August 31, 2010 at 11:03:32
Hmmmm....hidden assets, that's pretty funny! Thanks for the replies.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#159
August 31, 2010 at 13:13:37
Wish List item:

If I click on link within a post that should take me to an external site, it opens in a new window, at least in IE6.

e.g. http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...

However, if I click on a link that keeps me within computing.net, such as a link to another thread that was included in the post or one of the Related Posts links, it (EDIT: sometimes) opens in the same window and I "lose" the thread I was reading.

e.g. http://www.computing.net/answers/do...

Is it possible to make it so that all links open in a new window?


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#160
August 31, 2010 at 14:18:51
... I tend to right click link, "open link in new window" (firefox)


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#161
August 31, 2010 at 16:14:32
Whether a link opens in a new page or on the same page depends on the HTML script. Unless a poster includes the script himself, computing.net configures it so it opens in a new page.

(Of course 'open link in new window' always works.)

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#162
August 31, 2010 at 19:44:29
DAVEINCAPS,

I'm not sure what you are trying to explain.

I'm using FF right now. As I type this, if I click on the link in Mavis007's Response #160, it opens in a new tab. So does XpUser4Real's link in #158. Both of those links are to sites other than computing.net.

Links in Responses # 2 and #28, both to pages on computing.net also open in a new tab.

However, if I click any of the links shown below, in the "Results for: Site makeover opinion & wish list", they open in this tab and replace this thread.

Why is that?

Note: I don't really care why, although I'm curious 'cuz I like to learn, but I just wish every link opened in a new tab - or not. I'm just looking consistency so I know what to expect.


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#163
August 31, 2010 at 20:12:26
If I paste a URL in a posting, computing net recognizes it as link and adds the HTML syntax to make it a hyperlink and open it in a new window:

http://dictionary.reference.com/

But if I do the syntax myself, computing.net leaves it as it is. So if I don't include the info necessary to open it in a new page--usually because it takes more characters--then it doesn't open in a new page:

Dictionary

The above is true for external links. When you click on a new computing.net forum it opens on the same page because that's the way it's set up here

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#164
August 31, 2010 at 21:00:20
I managed to find Robert Bale's new site:

http://bobbale.741.com/hyperlinks/h...

Print it out and keep it handy.

On your next posting include a link and then click 'preview follow up' instead of 'submit follow up'. You can see the HTML script that computing.net adds. The part that says target="_blank" is what opens the new page.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#165
September 1, 2010 at 00:42:40
... new window test

... thx "DAVEINCAPS" ... I'll be using that!


.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://a.imageshack.us/img833/1862/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#166
September 1, 2010 at 04:15:46
Thanks for the explanation.

re: When you click on a new computing.net forum it opens on the same page because that's the way it's set up here

Which brings us back to my Wish List item:

Justin:

How about setting up the Related Posts link so that they open in a new window?


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#167
September 1, 2010 at 05:47:51
Isn't that better left up to the user? If the user wants to open a Related Posts link (or any link, for that matter) in a new window/tab, he can just hold down Shift while clicking on the link (IE), or Middle-click the link (FF).

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#168
September 1, 2010 at 06:55:26
Razor2.3 - Yes, I agree.

Then why the difference between the actions of different links?

Why not make them consistent - either they all open in a new window or they all open in the same window and the user can right-click, middle-click, shift-click, whatever for more options.

I, for one, get used to links in posts opening in a new window. So I'm typing a long response and what to see a Related Post to possibly cut and paste some info into my response. I click the link, it opens in the same window and I have to go use Back to get back to where I was. At least on this site the text I've entered is still in the Reply box, but I'm always nervous that it will be lost.

Anyway, just looking consistency, that's all.


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#169
September 1, 2010 at 10:53:41
Hey,

The idea is usually that links within the site open in the same window, because you aren't leaving the site. Links to the outside open in a new window. However, in the case of a user posting, if you place the link yourself, you can do whatever you want. I don't want to do it for him. As for turning anything starting with http into a URL, that is done automatically, and I chose to do a new a window.

Justin


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#170
September 3, 2010 at 08:27:11
DerbyDad03

Why are you using IE 6, unless that computer has ME or previous on it and that's the highest IE you can use?

You should install IE 7 or 8 in 2000 and up.

IE 6 has lots of problems on many web pages these days, many of them caused by Java script that was NOT designed to run in IE 6.
E.g.
Java script that was NOT designed to run in IE 6 can cause LONG delays loading some web pages.
You can't load the web pages on some web sites unless you're using a newer browser than IE 6.
You can't play newer (recorded more recently) You Tube videos in IE 6 - IE will get an error that requires it to quit.

If that computer has ME or previous on it, you should install IE 6 SP1 if you haven't already, and I recommend using an older version of Netscape ( 9.0.0.6 max ) rather than IE 6 SP1 for most web pages. (It's similar to older Firefox versions, but I have no idea where you could get an appropriate old enough Firefox version.)

When you use IE 6 SP1, I recommend you use something that toggles disabling/enabling Adobe Flash, set to disable it.

E.g. Get FlashSwitch.exe off the web.
- it works only for IE versions
- when you change the state of FlashSwitch, you must exit IE if IE is being used at the time, then load it again.
- enable Flash when you're using FlashSwitch when you're using FireFox or Netscape, otherwise you will get a Flash related error message in those browsers.

"I'm using FF right now."

See response # 153

I'm using those plug-ins in Netscape 9.0.0.6 in 98SE, but they also work in newer Firefox versions.


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#171
September 5, 2010 at 13:08:56
Justin,

Any chance you could maybe allow more than two topics to show up (say maybe 4) underneath the "Private Message" area link, where topics are tracked?.

Helpful tips before getting started: http://www.computing.net/howtos/sho...


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#172
September 5, 2010 at 15:00:12
Tubesandwires:

re: "Why are you using IE 6"

It's a locked down Corporate Image that I have no control over.

Sit back and enjoy this mess...

Our IT department was really, really busy migrating all of our mainframe based apps to the web (under IE6) when we acquired another company. This other company was a spin off from still another company and their apps were still integrated with the Mother Ship's apps.

So, now our IT department has merged with the acquisition's IT department to work on separating their apps from the Mother Ship's, without being allowed to see into the Mother Ship's apps too deeply because they're still one of our competitors.

Once they get the acquisition's apps segregated, they'll need to merge their apps with ours, which, by the way, aren't finished being migrated to the web yet.

Once all of that is done, then maybe, just maybe, they'll have time to think about an upgrade beyond IE6.

Of course, by then all of the apps will have be written for IE6 and will have to modified to run on whatever version they move to next.

It's going to be a long wait.



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#173
September 6, 2010 at 10:35:19
Derby you might want to put a bug in ITs ear and suggest thinking of upgrading to IE 12. It should be ready about the same time they are.

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#174
September 7, 2010 at 04:10:40
Good idea!

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#175
September 8, 2010 at 19:32:17
DerbyDad03

regarding # 172

You could try using FlashSwitch, if they'll let you.


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#176
September 9, 2010 at 07:42:17
Tubesandotheroldstuff...

Didja see the part where I said:

"It's a locked down Corporate Image that I have no control over"?

;-)

They don't want any "non-standard" software installed. We don't have admin rights so we have to go through our Help Desk for everything. It sucks.

Even when we want to use approved 3rd party software that is not part of the corporate image, we have to go through the Help Desk for remote installs and updates.

We recently had a problem with one 3rd party application and the fix was to remove Windows SP3 just from those machines that exhibited the problem.

Even their standard images are becoming non-standard.

It's a mess, but I've seen it with other companies that try to lock down machines.

It's a Catch-22. Some users can't do their jobs with the standard image, so they are granted "exceptions". Then the apps they need don't play well with the image so they have tweak things on some machines to get them to work. Now those machine don't play well in the overall environment because they are not standard.

Eventually you have so many one-offs that they start to open things up and the whole environment becomes a miss-match of configurations all over again.


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