Some Small But Important Techdirt Updates

from the without-further-ado dept

A couple months ago, we launched the beta test of a revamped version of Techdirt with some key new features, most importantly a responsive design for a better experience on phones and other devices. As we noted, it wasn’t about diving into a big redesign, but incrementally improving the blog, for a variety of reasons.

Today, we’re coming out of beta and turning on the new version of Techdirt for all users!

Apart from some small adjustments to the layout and sizing, very little has changed if you’re viewing the site on a desktop or laptop screen — but if you’re on a mobile device, you’ll see we’ve changed everything to fit naturally on any size of screen. We’re not blazing any trails here: this is something we’ve needed to do for quite a while now, and we’re excited to finally launch it.

If you want to know more about the strategy behind the changes and a few details on the implementation, check out our post announcing the beta. And if you have feedback on the updated site, let us know via our contact form or on Twitter!

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Comments on “Some Small But Important Techdirt Updates”

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Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Defaults

I don’t want a way to edit comments after posting


And if you were going to bring up the usual objection–that it would lead to confusing conversations if someone can change something they wrote after someone else replied to it–that can be ameliorated easily enough. StackOverflow has had a fix for that problem for 10 years now: changes leave a trail.

For the first five minutes, edits are "free." This is for fixing proofreading problems: typos, bad word choice, stuff like that. It’s expected that few people are going to see and respond to your post during this time anyway. But after a post is 5 minutes old, if you edit it, it leaves an "edited" link on your post that takes anyone who cares to click on it to a change history, letting them see exactly what it used to say.

I don’t know if that’s exactly how it ought to be implemented here, as the workings of this comments section are fairly different from the way StackOverflow works, but the basic principles are pretty generally applicable and could be adapted as appropriate to come up with a solution that works for Techdirt.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Defaults

I know enough to know it isn’t as simple as you are sayin.
Citation needed.

Also, this is a change request for someone else’s website. TD has to balance the time/cost effort of such a task against the return. Their call.

This isn’t a feature I see at other blogs – so I’m going to guess that it ain’t super easy.

Also – Woot! Default Markdown!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Defaults

I like the fact that anything submitted here is as permanent as it can possibly be on the Internet. It usually makes me stop and consider my words a bit more carefully than on all the sites where I can retroactively go and change the content.

This is important because in reality, anything put on the Internet IS permanent, even if you change it after the fact — someone out there has likely mirrored it in the interim. So I like the permanent comments because they force people to come to grips with this instead of hiding it behind a sometimes deceptive veneer.

R.H. (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

That’s the thing, now they’re only serving one version of the site to everyone mobile and desktop alike and your browser is handling the decisions to resize everything properly. That’s (roughly) how adaptive sites work. Try putting Techdirt into a window and resizing that window to the size of a phone screen and see if it looks similar to how it looks on a phone to verify.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Hmm… for the next round of improvements, maybe placing all posts in a 5 minute holding pattern before they show up for anyone but the original poster would work?

That way, what everyone sees is still permanent, but the OP gets a chance to see how their comment looks beside everything else for a few minutes before it goes live — allowing them to make any quick fixes that might be needed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not liking how the text is now on the very left side of the page. I’m used to it being a bit off the left with a margin. I also zoom the main text a bit for readability, but now the main body text is almost the same size as the headers. The headers don’t stand out as much anymore.

It looks weird how the "from the X dept" is the only font passage I can see that’s serif – everything else is sans-serif. Might be browser defaults, but you can also set it via CSS, as I’m sure you already know.

Will probably get used to it given time, but it doesn’t look as good on desktop or a large monitor as it did before.

Michael Costanza (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There is something going on with the font sizes on mobile, especially with respect to the headlines. We’ll get that sorted out.

I’m not sure what you’re seeing with the left margin. I do see a margin on my phone. But I’ll play with it a little.

Both the headlines and the department are serif. That hasn’t changed from the previous design.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: darn

As more and more website pull this kind of shit it makes my tablet less and less usefull. It has a resolution twice that of my laptop on a screen 1/4 the size. This means that the pages I have a hard time reading, without zooming, on my laptop are fucking impossible to read on my tablet.

Can you explain the problem here? This change is designed to make things significantly more readable on mobile devices. I know that for me it’s much more useful. The desktop change is minor, but on devices it should be much more readable now.

Thad (profile) says:

Couple things I’ve noticed:

The link on my username disappeared. It was working for awhile but now it isn’t.

Also, I think markdown may be enabled even if I uncheck it? I wrote something where I put a hyphen at the beginning of a line and it showed up as a bullet, even though I’m pretty sure I unchecked the markdown box. I’ll double-check here:

  • markdown is unchecked; that should be a hyphen, not a bullet

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