Status report on WUWT updates – reader poll on threaded comments

reader_poll_WUWT_updatesA week ago I asked what readers though about the new format updates, and overwhelmingly, readers have approved of the changes as seen in the results at right.

About 25% of the respondents were unsure, and I get that, you have to try new things out to decide.

Some people hate it. I suspect a lot of that has to do with the threaded comments that I enabled that day, though some people are simply resistant to change. I get that too.

Today I want to do three things:

1. Pass on some tips for using the new format (which I have decided to keep)

2. Put some misconceptions to rest.

3. Query readers about threaded comments, which some people love and some people hate.

First let’s cover some things I’ve learned in the past week.

1. Tips for using the new format

 

Issue: The front page may look different to different users based on your browser window size and/or screen resolution.

This is normal, because the theme is designed to detect and format the output of WUWT based on your display.

For example, if your screen resolution is set for 1024×768 pixels (such as many older computers and monitors) you’ll get a front page that looks something like this:

WUWT_at_1024x768

For those running larger monitors, such as an HD monitor at 1920×1080 or larger, you’ll get a screen that looks something like this:

WUWT_at_1920x1080

Note that when running a larger screen size, you get a drop shadow edge with grey background on each side. Some people reported this as some sort of problem, but this is normal. The design has an upper width limit. If it didn’t, things like the sidebar would never work right.

Note also when running higher resolutions, you get the vertical capsules of the 4 most recent stories where when running the lower resolution, you do not. If you aren’t seeing these, you may want to increase your browser window size and/or your screen resolution if your monitor allows it.

Having used every computer monitor style since the era of ASR-33 teletypes and 80 character 10″ CRT green screens, I can tell you that if you not upgraded to a wide screen HD computer monitor yet, you are missing out on a lot.

TIP: To get the most out of WUWT, run a screen/monitor resolution of at least 1280×1024.

Issue: Some people complained about font sizes, either too large or too small. That is easily remedied.

If you have not figured this out yet, use the browser zoom function. All browsers support this. I’ve played around with fonts for over a week now, and I think I have a good mix that “most” people can read. However, there are some older or oddball computer  and or browser setups that don’t render fonts correctly, and they look bad on a handful of those.

TIP: Use the CTRL key and the mouse wheel (if you have one to change the zoom up or down) Pressing the CTRL and + keys or the CTRL and – keys simultaneously will change the browser zoom. Pressing CTRL and 0 (zero) will reset to default.

Issue: Some people reported that they can’t see elements on the screen we have been discussing, or that the page rendering looks odd.

This is likely related to your computer hardware and/or browser.

There’s not much I can do about that except to say that the current theme expects a modern computer and a modern browser. If you are still running IE 6 and FireFox 4, then you’ll never get the benefits of the improvements we made. Here is a breakdown of browser versions in use on the net today:

Browser_version_shareSource: http://www.netmarketshare.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=2&qpcustomd=0

And by browser name:

StatCounter-browser-ww-monthly-201308-201408-barSource: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-201308-201408-bar

TIP: Use a modern browser, and one that is updated. Chrome works best I’ve found, followed by Firefox 31, and IE9 or better. Opera, not so much, and it is not recommended. Android web browsers are still hit and miss, but Apple users on modern versions of Safari seem to be doing OK with WUWT.

Issue: With the new threaded comments, some people say they won’t be able to determine if somebody replied to them without reading through the entire comment thread, and thus that’s a reason not to participate anymore.

I can understand where you are coming from, but there is an easy solution to this that is actually more precise than simply looking at the bottom few comments in a  linear comment thread, and hope to see replies to your comments there.

TIP: Use the “find within the page” search feature supported by all browsers. Pressing CTRL and F keys simultaneously brings up the search dialog. It looks like this on FireFox:

ControlF_dialogCommenter Kadaka sums it up nicely:

I have adapted.

I can find new comments by searching the page for a day like “august 31″, I can find by hour like “august 30, 2014 at 11″ and note am or pm. I can find replies to me by my handle.

In a small way nested comments are better, as before there were a-holes who would give derogatory replies using my words without using my handle, or use some version of my name. I’d have to scan the list to catch them.

Now, when they use the reply option, there it is near my handle, easy to find.

So with that in mind, the comment threading has advantages if you learn how to make use of them.

2. Put some misconceptions to rest.

 

A number of people have made suggestions about moving WUWT off of wordpress.com and onto some self hosting. Likewise a number of people have made comments about using wordpress plugins to solve issues or add features.

I can’t do either right now. Moving WUWT to private hosting is a HUGE undertaking and has large risks. We have over 10,000 articles, over a million comments, and over 3 gigs of image and video content that must all remain perfectly linked and synchronized.

I’ve studied the issue for months. I studied it more last week. It won’t be easy, and then I’m at the mercy of a company that may decide later to terminate the arrangement, get sold, go broke, or start censoring content because they get pressure from outsiders. I have less risk on my current setup with wordpress.com

Right now, WordPress.com and its parent company, Automatic are in my corner. Why? Well it has something to do with something I can’t talk about by an agreement I have. Suffice it to say that Al Gore got involved in an issue a couple of years ago, and WUWT was the focus. WordPress/Automatic took the high ground on my behalf and WUWT remains in the top 10 blogs on wordpress.com worldwide.

While wordpress.com almost lost me to the recent “beep boop editor” change, they have shown by their actions that they are still a company that listens to its users, and they rescinded the change last week.

So while I’m limited to what I can do on wordpress.com hosting (like being unable to install plugins, edit code to provide special tweaks beyond CSS, or provide some specialized themes) I can say I have better safety with them from attack, not only from things like IP based DDoS attacks, but also from business/dogma attacks. They hold the First Amendment dear and reject the calls of those would see WUWT shut down. I can’t really find a better deal anywhere, especially since wordpress.com hosting is free for unlimited traffic.

So, I’ve decided to stay awhile longer. I really don’t need more work to manage WUWT nor do I want to live under the threat of censorship for daring to speak an unpopular truth.

3. Query readers about threaded comments, which some people love and some people hate.

 

OK we’ve had a week trying threaded comments. Let’s find out how the readership feels about it.

Again, thanks for your patience, and thanks for reading WUWT.

– Anthony Watts

P.S. Many people have expressed their thanks to me for keeping WUWT going, and I appreciate all those notes. To help keep WUWT strong, please always remember to SHARE on Facebook, TWEET stories, and use other forms of social media to tell others about what we do here. There’s a bar at the bottom of each story with easy links. Please use it:

WUWT_share_barOne thing the Pro AGW crowd does better than climate skeptics is to make use of social media to “get the word out” I’m asking that we all do better there, even though you may find much of social media unpalatable. – Anthony

 

 

 

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Can you post comments in reverse time order, with newest one on top?

TRM

Please no. Not unless there is an option for users to switch back to oldest at the top. We read from top to bottom and to follow a thread from bottom to top would drive some mad. If you think format changes cause people to rant just try starting a “top to bottom or bottom to top” discussion sometime when you are bored.
Vice
Versa
Not
Bottom
To
Top
From
Read
People
Type thing explodes.

Duster September 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm
Leif apparently “grew up” using Microsoft and didn’t learn the evils of top posting as those of us who started out using mailing lists and usenet learned.
The rule should be that the position of the top-level comment is governed by the latest time of any of the comments linked to it. If so, there is no ‘evil’ to ‘top posting’. The ideal would, of course, to have it both ways [selectable] so the masochists can be satisfied too.
An example of the evils of threaded comments without top posting [or bottom posting with the same rule] is Curry’s blog.

TRM

Leif you apparently missed that episode of “Computer Holy Wars” where there is one and only one way and that’s that! 😉
I’ve read with both for so long it doesn’t bother me but whoa can you get a good argument going by saying one is superior to the other. I prefer oldest at top but like I said I’ve worked with both for so long I’ll make do with whatever is here.
Cheers

No, I didn’t miss anything, but if I had just gone to the bottom of all the comments to see what was new, I would have missed your latest comment. Luckily, my top-level comment was the first of all, so I did get your latest comment. The ‘best’ rule would seem to be that if there is a new comment in a thread, then the thread is promoted to be either to first one or the last one. I prefer the first one, but can accept and live with the last one. The important point is not to miss the new comment because it is in the middle of 100 other comments.
P.S. be somewhat careful not to assume that people have ‘missed something’ just because they have a different opinion.

Duster

@Leif,
Rereading your original comment, I believe I misunderstood your remark. I was thinking about threading which is a different issue. Of course the newest comment on a – what’d’yah call it? – topic? can be at the top. If I did misunderstand it, my apologies; if I didin’t, well heck.

There may be some confusion here. Some terminology may be needed:
Post: the article describing a topic
Comment: a comment attached to the post
Thread: a sequence of comments connected by each being a reply to a specific comment
This introduces a hierarchy: a post has many comments on level 1, each being a thread. Each thread may have a sequence of comments at level 2. Each of there may have further comments on level 3, and so on.
Within a post, threads may occur with the oldest one first or the newest one first. Within a thread, comments are read in order, i.e. oldest one first. If a new comment at any level arrives the thread ‘inherits’ the arrival time and is placed either last or first, depending on the policy chosen. In this way, new comments do not get ‘hidden’ in the middle of hundreds of other comments. This was my idea. I don’t know if WP can support this, but, if not, would raise it to a suggestion for them.

[Interesting variation! It has many good points to address the comments/reservations/complaints listed above.
Thus, the most recent reply is ALWAYS at the bottom of the page, regardless of which date-time-group the first comment that began that spoecific conversation/thread the reply is a child/grandchild/stepchild of, right?
Thank you. .mod]

Thus, the most recent reply is ALWAYS at the bottom of the page, regardless of which date-time-group the first comment that began that specific conversation/thread the reply is a child/grandchild/stepchild of, right?
Thank you. .mod

or at the top, depending on one’s preference. But, as this reply shows, I can’t even figure out how to reply. There is no link to click on…

Beta Blocker

Ditto on Leif’s request, reverse time order listings are very handy.

Beta Blocker

….. Contingent on it being an option button as opposed to the default. Chronological order is best as the default with a newest-first button as an option.

I’d go from “Love” to “Hate” with a reverse time order. Thread flow would be counter to paragraph flow.

Mac the Knife

Agree.

You could have an entire separate forum for discussions about blog stories (and so much more). If you allowed everyone to contribute, it might be the busiest forum on climate ever. I will bet money volunteers would be happy to Moderate it, run it and even pay for the cost.
Just a suggestion. I like the new look, and the threaded responses. The problem with commentary is the amount, not the format.

DAV

Or at least the option to put threads in time order. Personally, I favor oldest to newest. But otherwise like the threading. Other blogs with newest comments on top can be confusing to the occasional reader.
Also, some collapse threads to the first comment which would be a nice feature particularly on an cell phone browser. Then it would be easier to scroll around.

Mac the Knife

A,
Thanks for doing what you do so well!
Mac

Brute

The new font type is much more difficult to read. The one used in quotes is perfect.
Otherwise, the new format is good/great in general.

Geoff Shorten

Agree, serif fonts don’t suit the medium, sans serif far easier to read

The font type, size and color you see in your browser is under your control. Each browser lest you customize your fonts (as well as a lot more).

dudleyhorscroft

I run IE 8, and find that the screen does not look like your examples, a straightforward text taking up about 3/4 of the screen, with a thin sidebar on the right.
And threaded comments are an absolute pest. If I click on ‘reply’ what I write seems to disappear into the wide blue yonder. Fill in the comments form, and there is a far better chance it will appear. At the bottom , where it should be.,

rms

Dudley,
Upgrade your browser soonest.

dudleyhorscroft

Thanks, fms amd Anthony, but IE8 works very well. Why go to something else that might not. In any case the only problem is the idiotic messages that I occasionally telling me to update my browser – if I click on them for update, they then tell me I have the latest version. Why go to another version so that Microsoft can put bugs in it, and then take credit for taking them out?

petermue

@Dudley Horscroft
IE8 can’t handle most of the modern CSS3 features as well as widespreaded jQuery.
Time to update or abandon IE in general with all its security flaws and use a non-Mickysoft browser, like FireFox.

Not to mention the ability to run a 64-bit version of the program.
Dudley, do you still run 16-bit Windows programs as well? :))

Why are you using IE8? Using a 5 year old browser is an eternity by Web Standards.
If you are using…
Windows XP, you need to upgrade your OS.
Windows Vista, upgrade to IE9
Windows 7, upgrade to IE11
Windows 9, upgrade to IE11
Otherwise use the latest version of Chrome or Firefox.
No website owner should waste their time supporting an obsolete web browser.

Harry Passfield

Anthony, I think you’ve worked hard to get the site looking more up to date. It’s extremely good. I’m getting used to threaded – which is strange considering I’ve been a long-time user of DISQUS and it’s threaded comments (can’t put my finger on that….).
I do have a couple or three niggles though:
1. Can you reduce the indent on the threads so that a third thread reply isn’t too narrow to view?
2. Any chance that the comments counter will return on the summary of the post?
3. I still love the font that comments are written in – but not the font they subsequently display in.

The indent is less, about 1/2 of what it was. I like it.

David, UK

Again, I ask if it is possible to enable double-tap zoom for Android tablets? If not, no worries, but it’s a nice feature on Android that strangely doesn’t work anymore on WUWT…

ossqss

That can be controlled in your settings. You can override site limitations on zoom in most instances.

Harry Passfield

David: I was amazed to find my Android Nexus changed the double-tap to triple-tap at the last upgrade – and didn’t even mention it!!! Plus a few other weird things.

ossqss

Is it possible to implement a numbering system on comments similar to what Jo Nova does?
I would also second Leif’s request for newest comment first options. That would eliminate much of the tread milll effect many mobile users deal with getting to the bottom.
Looks good Anthony. Thanks for doing what you do.

Steve Divine

I second ossqss’s comment of newest comments “on top”. Much of my net reading is now on my cell and the scrolling becomes tedious due to the great number of comments in most threads.
Anthony thanks for all you do. You have and are making invaluable contributions.

latecommer2014

Steve, it’s much better to read on your cell than in your cell

In essence you are proposing that all users get the short topic most recent comment version.
Persistent readers must page down to the bottom to where the discussion actually begins.
Those of us who prefer to follow threads in their entirety parsing through orderly sequential time postings would have to start at the bottom and page upwards. When encountering new comments we then reverse order while we read downwards through the comment and then again search upwards for the next sequential comment. Rather bizarre that.
ClimateAudit has utilized the indented sub comment style for awhile now and frankly, the more complicated or detailed the topic the better the indented comment structure aids detailed review and analysis.
Add to that that using the ‘search on this page’ function would also hit the last reply first. Though we could search in reverse jumping from off hit till we hit a reply (searching in reverse for my name as a quick check would first find my name outside of the post thread).
If there is an option for user preferences, of course that is agreeable; other than that, I vote for keeping the current sequential form.
Numbered comments with sub number replies as suggested above sounds useful though. Especially if Anthony could apply color codes to dates of postings. (Just watch for new colors for the latest replies) But that does sound like asking too much from Anthony.

After all the requests here for things that WP can’t do, why are people asking for newest first instead of talking to their “smart” phone manufacturers about adding some effective way to scroll long distances and jump to the top or bottom of a web page? Or maybe you are and we don’t see those requests. I’d think the Android folks would be quick to implement that before Apple does.

ossqss

You still use a browser on mobile, and are subject to its functionality.. Now, if wordpress made an app for optimized mobile viewing only, that would be different.

Ted Clayton

… optimized mobile viewing only … ?

I’m not clear what you’re describing. And, I’m not a phone-user, but I want a website to serve them well.
Mobile support/plugins are exploding on WP, and I study them.

Rocky

I am very happy to read your blog. It is good work and hard work sometimes by yourself. Having access to legal protection is good thing and is well appreciated. For those who feel this is not necessary, try Andrew Bolt in Australia and his issues with people trying to shut him down.

simple-touriste

Is there a way to see newer comments? To change comment order?
Threading is very useful, but sometimes I want to sort by date.

eyesonu

Please read the lead post again and pay particular attention to the use of “CTRL and F” keys at the same time, then type in your search criteria.
“Commenter Kadaka sums it up nicely:” The search function allows you to sort/search by name, date, time, phrase, word, etc. This function remains operational through other posts/articles and remains until you close it of leave WUWT.
Works like a charm. Give it a try. You’ll like it!

simple-touriste

Please read my message again.
Please explain how “CTRL and F” has ANYTHING to do with my request.

eyesonu

PMS?

The search function is browser dependent and has nothing to do with this webpage, this feature has been around forever in browsers yet no one knows how to use it,
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/08/crazy-90-percent-of-people-dont-know-how-to-use-ctrl-f/243840/

Having trouble remembering Ctrl-F?
Think of it as “Control + Find” (any letters or text you choose to type) on the current web page.
By the way, there are a couple other keystroke/shortcut commands you may also use
Ctrl-C is “Copy the highlighted text to the buffer” (but leave it in place).
Ctrl-X is “Cut from the page (and put it in the buffer) the highlighted text.
Ctrl-Z is “Undo whatever I just did”
Ctrl-Y is “Undo the “undid” that I just did”
Ctrl-V is “Insert from the buffer” the text that is stored in the buffer.
There are others for formatting …

simple-touriste

Are you for real?

Yes. Defining everything though your right hand and a one-mouse finger is going to lead to trouble for many billion fingers and hands and wrists in the future. Besides, ctrl+ keystroke commands are faster, less confusing, with less net movement of your hands from your fundamental typing position.
Now, if I could only figure out how to use Mozilla Firefox’s automatic text spell-checker without having to position the mouse over the red-lined (highlighted) misspelled words and then left-mouse selecting the correct spelling option …….

eyesonu

Thanks for the tips on additional use of the control function key. I played around with those you noted. Could be handy.
With regards to the buffer, well I don’t know what that is but the text is stored/remembered somewhere. Can the buffer be seen/read before pasting?

Steve P

I like to read all comments before making my own. In the previous format, It was trivial to read top to bottom, and to pick up at that point the next session. Now it is a chore to keep up with comments, because they’re all over the place. I voted ‘hate it’.
I like the typeface for the body text because it is clear and legible – I’m guessing it’s Garamond – but the block quote typeface is horsey, cheesy, and extraordinarily inelegant.
It is a rare and evil typeface that not only discourages reading, but also penalizes the determined reader with eyestrain should he persist.
Ditch it please and revert to standard practice for displaying quoted text, i.e. the italic font in the same size as the body text typeface.
Thank you!

rogerknights

I think the blockquotes should only be italicized too. It was changed to that for a day, but then reverted back.

John ;0)

Anthony
Chrome, under setting/advanced, gives you an option to change the font style/size, which works for some websites like wiki, is there something that is preventing it from working on wordpress?
Call me weird but I like reading comic sans font ;0)

WUWT change – we’re doomed!!!
(just kidding 🙂

Scarface

And it’s even worse than we thought!
I like it though. Thanks Anthony, for all your time and effort. WUWT is what keeps my hopes up high.

simple-touriste

Another effect of global [climate] change.

I don’t care what you do, so long you keep blogging. Keep leading the way!

stan stendera

You keep blogging too. I read your blog everyday.

Catcracking

Anthony,
Thanks for your continuing effort.
I currently cut and past your postings daily to the American Society of Engineers which they display weekly on one of their Environmental Newsletters. I always reference the WUWT website. They are well received and are viewed by possibly hundreds of Mechanical Engineers or more. As long as that works I am extremely happy with your site.
Thanks for your effort it makes it easy to spread the truth.
Regards,
Don Shaw

Resourceguy

You might want to think about an edit button next time so the user can clean up typos and save minor changes. See the abominable Bloomberg news site for examples.

Bryan A

I like the new format and the Nested Comments make more sense regarding imbedded conversations on subjects. What I miss is the Right Side Banner information regarding Temp and weather satellite loops that isn’t there any longer. Is it still accessible someplace on the page?

rogerknights

Please move the Recent Posts list higher in the sidebar, preferably much higher. It’s a chore tracking it down–it makes site navigation much harder.

Concur. That would be great.

Jimbo

Ditto. Directly under the Site stats – but WUWT ads and donate button might not get clicked as much.

Gunga Din

If WordPress allows it, maybe an option to “show more” Recent Comments would be good.

John Coleman

Anthony, the changes are all for the good. The entire presentation is great. Please don’t lose any sleep over the relatively few negative comments. Some people will never be satisfied. By the way I am a Microsoft 8.1, high resolution, wide screen, IE user and very satisfied with all of it, but because of your suggestion I will give Chrome a look see.

littlepeaks

I’m easy to please — so I’m happy with the new look. I guess the overall issue is what should occupy most of Anthony’s time — content or appearance? I think content will always win.

Resourceguy

Yes!!

Eamon Butler

Oh I’m so glad someone has made this point.
But if requests are being made, I would like First comments first, breakfast in bed and a nice sunny holiday please.
Keep the content as excellent as it always has been. I’ll work out the rest.
As always, thanks.
Eamon.

snopercod

I haven’t posted a comment in years because it was too difficult to log on. That seems to have been fixed now. Oh, and I like the new threaded comments, too!

mark from socal

Can we get a return to top button for those long,100 or more comments posts?

Do you mean like how the Home button works when you’re not clicked into an “enter text” box? You click on the general page outside of a data entry field if needed, then hit Home and the page scrolls back to the top. That sort of button?

Or, in reverse, the End button takes you to the bottom of the page.

with firefox back to top extension puts button on toolbars for this.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/back-to-top/
think they have chrome extension too.
very easy to use.
if on internet exploder…sorry.

MikeR

This site has just gotten better with time…
and a lot of work from Anthony…
and a lot of help from the mods…
and a lot of input from the posters…
keep up the good work, everybody.
I like the new look.

AlexS

I use Opera 12(so it is old but it has bookmarks) and have no issues.I suspect the new Opera based on Chrome code will have no issues either.

I hate the reply to comment feature, because nobody ever replies to my comments.

M Courtney

I hate the reply to comment feature because I hate threaded comments.
But I’m mainly replying because I thought you’d appreciate it.

John F. Hultquist

Not true!

Reply #3: I love your music videos!

Oh, that Elmer! Yes, M4GW videos are great (as is the consternation of the authors of the production software). Your mosquitoes have trained you guys well!

Gunga Din

Is this a thread-jacking attempt? 😎

Jimbo

“I hate the reply to comment feature, because nobody ever replies to my comments.”
If you really, really want a reply say “unprecedented“.

YOU LIE !!
🙂 🙂

I respectfully disagree that newest comments should be at the top. In reality it would be the comment group (comment and its replies) that would be affected, and the most recent “comment” would be a reply under another comment. I’m not sure how that would work out but it seems like it would be a mess to read through in addition to the unnatural ordering. Please don’t do that.
You might want to poll people in a future update on a) What device they use to read WUWT, and b) How familiar they are with browser customizations. The more knowledgeable can help out the less experienced in tweaking their browsers, but I realize a lot of people just want it to work.

Larry, I think you have hit upon a key point about reverse order:
In reality it would be the comment group (comment and its replies) that would be affected,
If the 1st level comments are in reverse order (most recent at top), then you will encourage people to post in nested replies.

Rational Db8

Hi Larry,
If I’ve understood you correctly – it usually doesn’t work quite that way. When threaded comment sections are in reverse order, it’s only the first order comments that are revered – all the replies under them are still in normal chronological order. For example if you had a few comments as it is now, they could be represented like:
1. First comment
……1a first reply
…………1a1 follow up
……1b 2nd reply
…………1b1 2nd rep. follow up
…………1b2 2nd rep. another follow up
2. Second comment
……2a first reply
…………2a1 follow up
3. Third Comment
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Then reverse chronological order that’s still a threaded version of those same comments would be on the page in the following order:
3. Third Comment
2. Second comment
……2a first reply
…………2a1 follow up
1. First comment
……1a first reply
…………1a1 follow up
……1b 2nd reply
…………1b1 2nd rep. follow up
…………1b2 2nd rep. another follow up
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In other words, the only comments reversed are the first order ones, the primary comments. Their nested replies all still are in descending chronological order within each nested level.

Do you know any blogs with 3 level threaded comments that are organized in a Level 1 reverse order?

I just noticed that Linked-In Pulse blog has a “Newest” “Oldest” “Most Popular” order to its listing.
When on Newest, the 1st level replies are in newest order, and the replies to the replies are in newest order. Only 2 levels allowed.
Main Post
Comment 5
Comment 4
— Reply 4.3
— Reply 4.2
— Reply 4.1
Comment 3
It is a disconcerting order for any discussion.
Example:https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140826190850-3388458-everything-we-know-is-wrong-part-1
On the other hand, there are very few replies to any comment. Finding 2 replies to a comment is very hard.

Rational Db8

@Stephen Rasey
Do you know any blogs with 3 level threaded comments that are organized in a Level 1 reverse order?
Offhand, no. Pretty sure I’ve seen them before, however. It seems that reverse order comments used to be more common than they are now.

Latitude

I love it all……except for the threaded
I stopped reading Jo’s and Judith’s blog because of that…..it’s impossible for me to keep up
….and no, I’m not being resistant to change…I’ve never liked it
Might as well be playing a jigsaw puzzle trying to put all the pieces together……..
..or just stop reading the current threads and pick them up stale

Rational Db8

I have the same problem over at Jo Nova’s. I’ll still work through them if I’m really interested, but it’s a bit off putting and I’m not over there nearly as often as a result. It just depends on how long the comment sections get – and how many nested replies get made. The fewer the comments the easier it is to know where you are. A lot of comments however, and I find myself having to put my finger on the page at the nested level I’m at, then scrolling up and up to find out just what comment that person was even replying to so I can understand the context and not misinterpret, then scrolling back down to find the place I left off at. It can get VERY tedious.

Ursa Felidae

it’s a love/hate kinda thing. I like the threaded feature when I’m in the conversation and I keep checking back on that particular thread, otherwise, I pick up from the bottom to see new statements. But really long comments section means you can never go back and read all the new additions to individual threads….what to do?

NikFromNYC

It’s still scroll fatigue hell on most iPhone browsers. The paragraphs narrow down to a single word when threads branch down. It simply refuses to load as a desktop site despite my usual ability to set browsers to pretend to be desktop ones.

Hey, Nik –
Part of that may be the text size you are using. Even so, try holding the iPhone in “Landscape” position and you get more text across the screen.
Further, two tricks may help you:
To go to the top of a page (Safari), tap once at the very top of the screen.
While there is no iOS “go to the bottom” touch method, I’ve been using this:
save an page as a “bookmark”. Doesn’t matter what page.
Copy the following line in the “URL” area:
javascript:window.scrollTo%280%2C100000%29
Now “Edit” that bookmark, and rename it “Go to bottom of page” (or whatever makes sense to you). Make sure the info in the “url” section remains that “javascript” info.
Now when you are looking at a loooong WUWT page, to go to the bottom, select that bookmark and it will take you to the bottom of the page.
Viola!

H.R.

Cello!

NikFromNYC

What’s missing is the good old link at the bottom to display a desktop site. Of dozens of sites a day I view comments at there is no bizarre two word wide paragraphs. The era of mobile sites is over now anyway now that I have such a high resolution screen in my pocket with just as many pixels as most laptops. The site was fine before the update. Landscape mode is even more confusing since though it allows longer lines, I must scroll even more to scan down in posts. My font size has little effect on the line breaks, a screen shot being here that is representative of quite a few browsers I’ve tried:
http://i58.tinypic.com/2aj6fx5.jpg
Since this only occurs on this site but not on the hundreds I’ve visited this month, it’s a bug that should be fixed now that so many people are on iPhones, especially Democrats who haven’t been convinced yet.

Leon Brozyna

The changes have come along just fine with one small quibble … I miss the color change which denotes previously visited stories/links.
I’m on IE11, so I don’t have those issues associated with dated browsers.
As for nested comments, as a routine matter, they’re just fine. The only problem I expect would be on a hot-button story, when everyone’s jumping in with their own 2¢, and then commenting on other comments. As for reverse order, I don’t see any advantage to that … if I want to go to the latest comment, I have this magic button on my keyboard marked “end” that takes me to the latest comment.

Sam Hall

I like the new format and love the nested comments.However, that black toolbar across the top bugs me. Is there any way to get rid of it? Please

Are you logged in to WordPress? If so, that is a WordPress feature and you will see it on any WordPress blog you visit. I am not logged in and I don’t see it.

Does the black toolbar have a WordPress logo on the far left, right next to “Watts Up With That?” That one automatically comes from being logged into WordPress (and your blog(s)).
If so, you can get rid of it by being completely logged out of WordPress. Or run two browsers, for example have Firefox logged into WordPress for those duties, use Chrome (or Epiphany or Midori) for WUWT.

dayday

Would it be possible to have the amount of comments posted on each article on the front page. At the moment you can not tell whats hot and whats not.

A tip about whether or not to nest a reply.
If you use the “Reply” button, you can compose your reply in an edit box immediately under the comment to which you are referencing.
If you then click the “Cancel Reply” link, what really happens is that it de-nests the pending comment. You still have the comment text in the edit box but it will be a Level 1 comment now. You can then click the Post Comment and your composed reply will appear as a Level 1 comment at the bottom.
So, you can start with a short reply that you want nested, but if you go long and decide to make it a Level 1, click Cancel Reply, then Post Comment.

Greg.

Anthony: “Issue: Some people complained about font sizes, either too large or too small. That is easily remedied.
If you have not figured this out yet, use the browser zoom function. All browsers support this. I’ve played around with fonts for over a week now, and I think I have a good mix that “most” people can read.”
Thanks for spending time and listening to comments. It is more readable now than when I raised the issue following the initial change.
The comment font is still rather heavy but is at least readable. The article text is fine.
I still prefer the ligher weight, smaller fonts we get in the reply box, but I can live with it. It is no longer detremental to using WUWT.
I did not vote because I don’t “love it” but I would agree with “let’s keep it about the other poll options.
Thanks again for the time you’ve put into this ( and the excellent resource that WUWT is generally ).

Greg.

BTW replies seems to work better here than over at Judith’s. Not sure why.

This web-site is the best if I am honest which I always try to be . Sometimes to zealous for my part which Anthony has brought to my attention and I have benefited from it.
Anthony you are doing a great job and I sincerely believe you are seeking the truth when it comes to all of this climate controversy and will always to new thoughts and ideas on the subject within reason.

Meant to say will always be opened to new thoughts and ideas

Jim G

The “thread” is in the eye of the beholder, or in this case the moderator, which can be confusing to us who post and, I am sure, the moderator as well. I say this as there is sometimes no “reply” button so I assume the moderator must make the call as to if the comment belongs in the thread. I voted “on the fence” at this point.

I enjoy reading the nested comments. It is more like a conversation than otherwise; and on the other hand, some conversations I don’t care for, so I just scroll on past and the threading makes that easier. 🙂

Leon says:
I miss the color change which denotes previously visited stories/links.
Yes! Sometimes a link is the same in another post. It would be nice to see that it has already been viewed, like we could before this update.
And:
…the block quote typeface is horsey, cheesy, and extraordinarily inelegant… It is a rare and evil typeface… Ditch it please, and revert to standard practice for displaying quoted text, i.e. the italic font in the same size as the body text typeface.
Have to agree with that comment, too.
I don’t like the nested comments either, but it looks like I’m outvoted. So I’ll just suck it up.
Otherwise, excellent!

dp

Anthony – the inline browser search function does not work well with Firefox and possibly others. The JetPack infinite scroll mod actually brings new pages in and tosses out earlier pages as you scroll, so for posts with a lot of comments over several pages the inline search will find a pattern only if that content is in the visible page. I haven’t explored a solution as time is limited at the moment.
Example – from the top of the current home page a search for All Rain is Acid Rain will not find anything. Scroll down far enough and it will pop up. So far this is my only complaint with the Expound theme (which I like so much I’ve adopted it for one of my blogs, too).

Ted Clayton

I have a 256K copper DSL connection, coupled with several personality anomalies. Although I am a computer, programming, Internet enthusiast … I balk at some of the predictable developments that digital trends bring. I am WordPress-experienced, run my own localhost with WP and other wares … and just received the Bluehost invoice for my new hosting package. I hope to start putting my site up and have a web-presence again, in coming days.
I run Firefox with NoScript, which controls/blocks JavaScript. The usual reason to run this, is that many sites do things with JS, which they know folks don’t want going on, but heh – you can’t live without JavaScript!. Well, actually you can … and if you do require a JS-mediatated functionality, you can turn it on temporarily or selectively, easily. (Some people running sites, don’t know how much JS their pages require, nor what kinds of things JS is doing on the visitor’s screen … mostly fairly innocuous, but some of it ‘edgy’.)
Although it used to be excessive graphics that were the leading ‘offender’ at many websites, JavaScript has for some time been the big download-hog. This is pretty weird when you think how much code this represents. 100s, even 1,000s of times more JS code, than all the HTML code for the ‘native’ functionality & content, combined. whoa.
Ok, here’s how it works. With a slow connection and with images and JavaScript turned off, one first enables images and lets the page reload, noting how long it takes to load the pictures. Then JavaScript is turned on, and the download-time for all the script is observed. Normally these days, it takes much longer to download the JS, than it does the graphics. With a fast connection it might take some software measuring tools to get good numbers.
Most folks using NoScript (it’s a popular Add-on/Plugin) are not concerned about download times, since most have a fast connection. Rather, they are blocking JS, due to the ‘antics’ it is being used for. They don’t notice what a colossal mass of code is involved, since everything happens quickly for them anyway.
I normally ‘force’ webpage colors in the browser, mainly because so many places do not show link-colors, which becomes a problem for me because I can’t tell at a glance which links I have already visited.
So when I visit WUWT, it doesn’t look like the Expound WP Theme. The JavaScript is broken; images are blocked; and the element-colors are all overridden. But … this is how I see most of the web. And mind, many other folks in my area, even business folks with online responsibilities are still on original 28K dial-up. I was able to upgrade to low-ball DSL ‘fairly’ recently, but we still have a lot of locales where people will never have fast terrestrial service. Gulp – I will probable move, and rejoin them.

PhilipPeake

Ted, unfortunately, Javascript is pretty much a necessity these days. Pure HTML coding can only take you so far. I suspect that you have a very limited set of sites that you visit, and that even on those you are missing a large percentage of the content/functionality.
I just finished a website that has maybe 10 lines of HTML, and several hundred lines of Javascript. its the only way to do a lot of things that users need/want these days.

Ted Clayton

Hi Philip,

Ted, unfortunately, Javascript is pretty much a necessity these days.

About 2% or 20-some million in the US have JS off. NoScript (to not just block but ‘manage’ the JS activity (and Flash)) is well-up on the short-short list of most-popular browser plugins.
That’s roughly the same as the Linux usership, and several other markers for ‘post-consumer’ Internet usage.
NoScript is actually about “security”, rather than download bandwidths or JavaScript-driven ‘foolishness’. Folks using it for the latter, though, push its popularity almost into ‘mainstream’ ratings.
No doubt about it: A typical Internet user slaps NoScript on their browser (unawares), they will be put-off by the changes in the browser-experience. But it’s more just ‘change’ than breakage.
JavaScript is a “necessity” only in certain functionality-contexts. You can tell what they are easily-enough, and you just click an icon in the toolbar, the page reloads, and JS works.
I will also say, there is a certain activism, advocacy or ‘message’ aspect to running NoScript … for a meaningful number of users. The lead “security” role it plays is to fight tracking, spying & surveillance (all these are done with JS). Eg, each time another NSA story comes out, NoScript downloads jump.
I have 20,000+ links in Bookmarks, and ‘roam’ heavily online.

Javascript is not a security threat on modern browsers that run these in a sandbox. All such vulnerabilities are browser exploits that are fixed by keeping the browser patched (Chrome does this automatically). NoScript is a waste of time and simply breaks functionality on pages. Oh please, if you want to fight NSA surveillance NoScript is not going to do jack. You have to use more advanced methods of masking your IP.

What sort of masochist is still on dial-up? If you can get cell phone service you can get Broadband from your cell phone provider otherwise Satellite broadband is widely available in remote areas.

Anthony,
I didn’t participate in the poll. The new format takes some getting used to visually but is plenty functional and more importantly has a high end look which should help WUWT continue on its path to take over the entire internet.
Thanks for the huge continuing effort you put toward taking WUWT to the next level. Your efforts are much appreciated.

Bair Polaire

Thanks for all the effort! Reminding me of the zoom function of my browser was what I needed. Now WUWT looks fine with 125%. (Chrome on Mac, fn + cmd + “+” or “-“)
I do like the better readability, but I miss the reference to “puzzling things in life”. Will Willis’ and Anthony’s personal stories be banned? Hope not.
I am unsure about the new comments format. I tend to read less comments than before. My favorite format for comments is like this:
1. Headlines
2. Reply – but not moved inward, just different background color.
3. Likes – but only for registered users
4. Sorting function to rearrange comments by time, likes, most recent first, etc.
5. Background color for replies of the author, Anthony or mods.
6. Featured comments
What I don’t like so much is the new header jpg. The image is not as sharp as before. And for me the green color of the aurora is evocative of venom. I liked the warm orange glow of the older header images better. They were more inviting.
Now:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/wuwt_test_header91.jpg
Before:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/wuwt_header10.jpg
My favorite header was the old one without the red thermometer line:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/wuwt_header_final.jpg
But whatever Anthony choses to do: WUWT is a fantastic resource. Thanks again!

Kasuha

Fonts readability seems to have improved. I view WUWT at 75% zoom now as that’s about right size for me and it feels like it’s easier to read now than it was right after the change. It’s good the browser only applies the zoom to this site and not to other sites I’m visiting. Only this comment entry box font feels a bit tiny.
I like the new comment nesting. In the old format i had problems finding replies to my comments as most people failed to copy my nick right to their reply. This way it will be at least immediately obvious who replied.
If possible, it would be nice to have all replies to comments initially collapsed so only root level comments are visible at first, and only expand discussion to individual comments when I press a button at that comment. Not all sites have that option, but it is very comfortable to have since discussion to comments often more or less diverges from topic of the article.

Mick

It’s all wonderful but even so, we all would like something extra….my extra would be…when you click on the date/time of a comment, it slightly changes (maybe colour? Or maybe the whole comment appears ‘over’ a shaded box?) so that when you come back to the comment later you can see instantly if it has had any extra new comments added. These in turn will change after you’ve read them. This would also be useful when trying to find where you’d got to in a long thread.

Rational Db8

Nifty idea, if there’s a way Anthony could easily do it. It certainly would help us tell at a glance what we’ve already read vs. what’s new.
I’ve seen a slightly different version of that with comments at the Washington Post and a few other sites – you don’t have to click on anything, but new comments come up automatically with a horizontal bar along the lefthand side… and if you hover your cursor briefly anywhere in the text of that reply the horizontal bar disappears. I’d like the entire comment very lightly background shaded as you suggest better… I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that those things wind up hogging memory – oh, plus, if you close and reopen the page later it’s all refreshed and no longer shows what you’ve read or not read. But it’s still helpful.

H.R.

I voted “Hate it” on threaded comments, but that’s the only thing I disliked about the format changes. Everything else seems to be an improvement to me and to borrow a phrase, “I’m lovin’ it!”
I’m always mindful that this isn’t my blog, and if the host is doing only one thing I don’t care for – in just the format, fer cryin’ out loud, this isn’t a content issue – then it’s my problem to deal with and not our gracious host’s problem.
Anthony has enough on his plate wrasslin’ aligators, running a business, keeping up with family, and running this blog of the finest kind. I’m not a child who has to pout because I don’t get an extra scoop of ice cream when Anthony and WUWT is serving up the whole bloomin’ ice cream factory to me. I have sense enough to know when I’m getting a good deal.
Thanks for all you do Anthony. Threaded comments or not, I’m with WUWT all the way.

Steve P September 2, 2014 at 11:58 am
I like to read all comments before making my own. In the previous format, It was trivial to read top to bottom, and to pick up at that point the next session. Now it is a chore to keep up with comments, because they’re all over the place. I voted ‘hate it’.

I cannot express in words my distaste for threaded comments. It is so easy to copy and paste what you are replying to as I have done above. Those who simply hit “reply” often do so in reply to a multi-paragraph comment, but don’t bother to single out the sentence or specific issue they are replying to. New comments wind up jumping all over the thread, and frequently result in reading old comments for a second time before realizing, hey! I’ve seen this before.
This is a vote that I sense Steve P and I will lose, but the fact is that the blog was far more easily followed with the old format, and those who can’t take the few extra seconds to copy and paste for clarity are, in my opinion, lazy. Not having button forces you to be clear.
Sorry, but I gave the reply thing my best shot, and it just ruins the readability of a thread with a lot of comments on it. I hated it at first, made an honest attempt to adopt it, but I hate it more now. You may see a larger number of people vote to keep it, but the true measure is what happens to the quality of the debate. I think it will decline.

Comment to both H.R. and davidmhoffer:
You know, I don’t see why one can’t continue to do the “cut & paste” old method if they prefer.
I see the new change as giving us an “either/or” choice.
Can it not be?

Scute

I know Anthony can’t do the following but WordPress could so why don’t they?
1) first of all, comments sitting in the Level 1 chronology (old style) could have an unobtrusive icon at top left along with the wording “reply to [name]”. Stand-alone comments would not have the icon (but see ‘mini menu’ below).
2) When you click on the name it immediately culls that comment from way above in the list and sets it into the Level 1 chronological list temporarily for you to read first. If you want the full thread you click the icon- this drops down a bubble that says “set in thread?” . Click on that and the comment immediately appears nested in its place along with all the other comments for that thread as if they’ve all been temporarily culled from the Level 1 thread. When you’ve read all you want in the thread, you click on the icon again (in any comment in that threaded list) and click “return to Level 1?”. If you were then to scroll up and down the Level 1 thread you would see those same comments separated into chronological order as it always used to be. You would know which were threaded because they would have the icon. A stand-alone comment would get a thread icon added only if someone replied (ie the first respondent).
3) Mini menu: the icon could drop down a small menu with a veritable cornucopia of options. You wouldn’t ever have to use it (or the ‘set in thread’ function) if you didn’t want to- it’s just an icon sitting at the edge if your familiar old thread. But I would use it for sure.
4) often when you start to scroll up and down the comments they turn into a blur and you have to keep stopping to see where you are even with numbered comments (4a- number the comments!). So there should be small window at top right that appears after a certain speed of scrolling (or time of scrolling) that shows the comment numbers going up and down. That way you can scroll to your hearts content and stop dead on the comment number you want. You could even have the date scrolling with the number or select that option from your drop-down mini menu in every comment.
5) include a function (driven by cookie information) that highlights all the new comments since you last visited that page. That could apply in level 1 or threaded. Looking through Jo Nova’s threaded comments for recently added replies is difficult to say the least. The highlight of course could be toggled on and off from the mini menu in any comment.
6) allowing the option to click on ‘reply’ but carry the other comment with you to the comment box, temporarily, to refer to if it’s a long one (I know some blogs do this already)
7) an option in the mini menu to ‘save comment to file’ so all your comments are sitting in your own WUWT account. The file could be arranged by date or blog post at will. The Economist does something like this.
8) an option in the mini menu to save other people’s comments to file in the same manner as above. In both 7) and 8) you could click on the comment and see it in context in the post. Also a ‘reply later’ or ‘add to clipboard’ option- I often read a hundred comments and wonder if I might reply to comment 50, 80 or 99, depending on what transpires in the thread and how much time I have. Trying to find the one I really do want to reply to is time-consuming.
In conclusion, old timers who like things as they were would never have to bother with any of this. They could even hide the mini menu icons and read on in bliss. Others could use it as much or as little as they liked- they wouldn’t be a slave to any WordPress system sending them down avenues they don’t want to go. The mini menu sitting as an icon in every single comment means that it’s your baby and you’re in full control. Many would suddenly find these indispensible tools while others would happily continue with the old way.
These are just a small number of things that I thought would be commonplace on all blogs by now when I dreamt them up years ago due to shear frustration. I can hardly believe how unimaginative programmers are. And we’re talking about just text and files/fields here. No video or massive data crunching. It would all happen in an instant and requires minimal programming when compared to say gaming and animation.
Scute

John ;0)

For everyone using internet explorer 7 or 8 with vista or windows 7 you can change the fonts and colors with a few simple clicks http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/change-webpage-colors-fonts#1TC=windows-vista
This also restores the color change after clicking a link so you know you have been there ;0)

No one should be using IE7 or IE8 both are obsolete browsers.

Old'un

Anthony, this is a truly excellent site both in terms of content and its new format. The threaded comments format is a great improvement for both reading and the occasional contribution. I hope that the majority of users want to keep it.
I find that the most user friendly improvement is the one that seems to be unheralded: Now, when you click to read a link you return to the same position in the thread when you hit the ‘back’ symbol. Previously, on an Ipad1 at least, you would always return to the main post and have to scroll down to find the point at which you left the thread to read the link. On a long thread this became a real disincentive to click on a link. No such problem now.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/tapatalk/
is this type of plugin allowed?
if so it MAY help with mobile users as well as being another ad revenue tor you.
I have never installed on WP but have installed on many invisionpoer/smf/phpbb setups and its very useful.