[New] Post Setting No Longer Works

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askew (unverified)

11 Oct, 2012 06:46 PM

Since the programming change last night, the [new] post setting no longer works. On the main page of elections, each diary shows all of the comments as new even if I have read some of them. I have to open the diary to find out if there are new posts. Also, if I view DK on multiple computers/browsers the [new] settings reset. Can this change be undone as it makes following the DKE posts impossible?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by elfling on 11 Oct, 2012 09:36 PM

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    What browser are you using?

    The change cannot be undone, as we feel it is an essential change to keep up with the increased expected load for the debates and the election.

    We (the entire tech team) did read your comments last night, and we appreciate that many of you are using multiple devices to access DK, and that this change is frustrating. We've brainstormed a couple of different ways we may be able to meet your requirements ([new] consistent across all devices when you're logged in) and ours (the site stays up to accept and display new comments). No promises on a timeline, but if people still want it, it looks like we'll be able to find a way to implement it.

  2. 2 Posted by askew on 11 Oct, 2012 10:04 PM

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    I am using Chrome on one computer, IE on another and Firefox on the 3rd. I also dump cookies in Firefox for safesearch which is very common. I don't understand why this is a problem for this site. Almost every blog/forum offers this option now especially with the growth of mobile devices. You can't use the DKE all day discussion threads without this option. You'll notice that there are significantly less comments today than in the past few days. In order to actually follow the discussions now, you have to decide which computer/phone you are going to use for that thread and only use that device. Otherwise, you have to re-read hundreds of comments trying to find new comments.

    It's a huge change that is going to impact a lot of people and I am really frustrated that you launched it without any warning or discussion in the middle of the night.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by elfling on 11 Oct, 2012 10:25 PM

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    I understand that you're frustrated, and we have taken your words to heart. We are looking into options that would have the functionality you've asked for.

    However, the notion of where [new] is stored is moot if the whole site is down and unusable. In the past, we have had to completely disable the [new] function during Presidential elections.

  4. 4 Posted by andgarden on 11 Oct, 2012 10:32 PM

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    It's hard to express how totally uncool this "upgrade" was. For what it's worth, [New] has never worked reliably since the DK 4 upgrade, but now it is totally broken intentionally. Shifting from server side to client side reduces the usability of the site to an untold degree--especially for those of us who do not post all of our comments (and read other people's comments) from a single PC in our parents' basement.

    I'm trying to be measured here, but I hope you recognize how disrespectful it was to the community to announce the "update" (lol) after much of the east coast audience had gone to sleep (after it was a fait accompli). I have written nice comments in the past about how useful [new] was as a feature, but I never had an opportunity to defend it before your feature death panel (no, I'm not completely kidding).

    I would add on a related note that, for some reason, you are still allowing people to embed tweets in their comments, even though they unavoidably make pages turn to molasses on mobile Safari. I reported the problem almost a year ago:

    http://helpdesk.dailykos.com/discussions/problems/768-embedded-twee...

    and have gotten no response whatsoever. It is frankly difficult to avoid the conclusion that you and your team never actually attempt to use highly commented pages on multiple devices and that, furthermore, you see those pages as being a problem to be managed (by taking away features!). But that's not right at all. Those pages are actually the community!

    Comments are not a bonus feature. They are a core of how dkos works and why it attracts such an audience.

    I won't beg you to reconsider, because you've already made it clear that you have no intention of doing so. But I do think you owe it to the community to drop absolutely everything else you are doing to make server side [new] work again as soon as technically possible. Not having it means that comments are broken, and everyone has noticed.

    Dkos is just a website, yes. But more than ever before it is the overwhelming center of liberal discussion on the Internet. And you broke it; just like that.

    My standing here is slim, I admit. After all, I don't pay for operations. But I have said that my $100 lifetime membership (bought several years ago) was money well spent, and I meant it. And, well, I care about how the place works; a lot.

    Please make this right. Soon.

  5. 5 Posted by MBishop1 on 11 Oct, 2012 10:51 PM

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    As the posters above have said, this change completely ruins the usability of longer threads, which are the entirety of what goes on at DK Elections. The same goes for any other live blog or extended thread though. When you go back to a thread you've already read much of, but now that record is erased, the inclination is to give up and disengage from the thread. It's way too tortuous to try to hunt and pick out new the comments you haven't seen.

    There must be an underlying flaw in the way this site in constructed if every other similar site I've ever seen can manage to track new comments across devices by login. There must be a way of doing so that isn't as resource intensive as the way DK has managed it to date without tying it down to one browser on one machine.

  6. 6 Posted by OLinda on 11 Oct, 2012 11:05 PM

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    I'm trying to be measured here, but I hope you recognize how disrespectful it was to the community to announce the "update" (lol) after much of the east coast audience had gone to sleep (after it was a fait accompli).

    I'm sure it wasn't planned, like a "Friday night news dump." The last few site update diaries, even with good news, have gone up around 10:30PM-11:30PM mountain time which is past midnight on the east coast. I noticed because I always miss them as I am engaged with the Night Owls diary. I have been very late to the update diaries because of this timing. I think it is just Jason's working hours, or when it is convenient for him. Might look into changing that so that more Kossacks see the diaries.

  7. 7 Posted by OLinda on 11 Oct, 2012 11:09 PM

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    Further, it wouldn't hurt for diaries about the site to be fp'd. You could just have a sentence or two above the fold so it doesn't take up a lot of space.

  8. 8 Posted by Setsuna Mudo on 12 Oct, 2012 01:02 AM

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    Indeed, what you're doing is punishing the most involved members of the community and all it will do is drive away the most valuable volunteer members of DailyKos and facilitate the de-evolution of the comments section not just in dedicated, community-oriented subsites like DKE but throughout the site. andgarden could not be more right that DailyKos is a community site and that comments are the core of DailyKos and should be placed first. DKE in particular has seen a drop off in participation over night with this, frankly, disastrous "update." I can only hope that you are working to fix this, as by any objective, rational standard (which I'm not convinced at this point the DK tech team is operating under. Seriously, I don't want to resort to hyperbole, but many users at DKE have said they find the site effectively unusable after your update and I honestly think this should have been apparent to the tech team. There was a lack of basic common sense with this update.) this should be priority one.

  9. 9 Posted by MichaelNY on 12 Oct, 2012 08:53 AM

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    I would like to support what the others have said above. I navigate through threads - especially long threads - by doing a search for "* [". With no "NEW" setting within threads and every thread being marked as if every comment were "new," how I am supposed to navigate through threads when actual new posts are added? This type of lack of practical functionality doesn't work well at all on this kind of high-traffic site. I hope you reconsider.

    (For the record, I use Firefox 15.0.1 in a Windows XP environment.)

  10. 10 Posted by WisJohn on 12 Oct, 2012 02:21 PM

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    It worked well before. Why fix what isn't broken?

  11. 11 Posted by aamail6 (unveri... on 12 Oct, 2012 04:31 PM

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    Just to offer my support for the comments above. DKE has a vibrant community and is worth checking back on throughout the day, in large part due to the [new] tag. When a diary gets to 500 comments (commonly happens) sorting through them without a functioning [new] tag is tedious to the point I have stopped bothering. I have noticed myself visiting the site less (maybe good for my productivity at other things), but probably not what the DK was going for with this shift. Given that many of the most active commenters on DK or from the DKE subsite and that numerous people have mentioned that they will be visiting the site less due to this change it would be to the benefit of DK to keep the [new] feature fully functional. Please correct this issue as soon as is feasible.

  12. 12 Posted by James Allen (un... on 12 Oct, 2012 05:15 PM

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    Since this update pages have been updating very jerky and suddenly, making it hard to navigate, and loading pages seems to take about twice as long. Perhaps that's because I'm using firefox, I don't know, but my complaints seem to be different than others.

  13. 13 Posted by FrugalGranny on 12 Oct, 2012 06:38 PM

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    Add my voice to the rest. I used to enjoy reading the various diaries on DKos, but now it's a pain in the ass. I know that tech support does their best and I won't insult that, but this last system upgrade was NOT an upgrade. It's like going back to the dark ages. I use Firefox and Chrome and I like being able to switch back and forth depending on what I'm doing. Since I'm not inclined to sacrifice that convenience, I'll just avoid this place as much as possible. Given the comments above, I'm not the first, and I'm sure I won't be the last.

  14. Support Staff 14 Posted by elfling on 12 Oct, 2012 06:43 PM

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    We typically do major feature changes at night, and announce them via diary as soon as they're up. The reason for this is to bother the fewest possible users during any needed downtime or if we discover mistakes. Believe me, we'd way rather do site updates at say 2 pm during our prime working hours rather than coordinate everyone's schedules to stay up late after hours. The announcement diaries are always tagged dk4, if you want to follow that tag. (Won't be long before we need a dk5 tag. :-o)

    We are looking at various ways we might augment the [new] onto the server side. Please understand that when 20,000 users simultaneously are trying to update that value, as tends to happen with the liveblogging, it's just going to be a problem. We realize you're unhappy, but the tech group is very happy that the site stayed up and fast all night long last night. We're brainstorming various options.

    I'm looking at the javascript anomalies. There's nothing concrete but there's obviously an issue for some people in some circumstances, most likely Yet Another Conflict with embedded content.

    We do have the staff all using different main browsers among Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, which helps us to find widespread bad browser behavior, but individual browsers, especially with plug-ins, can and do have their own weirdness.

  15. Support Staff 15 Posted by elfling on 12 Oct, 2012 06:54 PM

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    OH! Since I always look at elections posts using www.dailykos.com, I was completely unaware that the [new] was not working on the home page at elections.dailykos.com. This I completely understand and is definitely fixable today. My apologies for not figuring this out sooner.

  16. 16 Posted by OLinda on 12 Oct, 2012 07:54 PM

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    elfling, maybe you could do the update, publish the diary at the usual late hour, but then follow it up by sliding the diary over to the FP the next day as you do many side diaries. Or, do a follow up diary the next morning.

    I have not read all of the recent help desk inquiries, but from titles, it looks like a lot of people don't know what's going on. Letting more people know could save you some work.

    Just an idea, elfling.

    Personally, I am not having any problems as I am using one computer exclusively. On the few occasions I'm out of town and use the library, I don't have the time to check new comments, etc., anyway. But, I can sure see how it is a problem for most people, and it would have been a problem for me in the recent past when I was working. This is one of those good news, bad news things. The bad news is I'm not working. The good news is DK works for me! Ha! Now, is it worth it... LOL.

    Sorry this upgrade has turned out to be such a problem. I appreciate all you guys are doing.

  17. 17 Posted by OLinda on 12 Oct, 2012 08:08 PM

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    Speaking of brainstorming. Would it be possible to have Kossacks opt in to have the "new" tracking. Keep it for logged in users only, and then have them opt in for the feature. My thought is that say there are 1000 people logged in on a normal day, but only 350 are really active and following comments closely.

    I have no idea of the real stats, so not sure how much this will help, but it sounds right to me that you would have a lot of people logged in that aren't really commenting that much or too concerned about the "new."

    You could explain how important it is to not opt in if you don't really use it. Offer an alternative. Those who don't opt in get something else. A little reward feature.

    Implementing this idea sounds impossible, but I have seen you all do the impossible too many times to not mention it.

    If you happen to know what the real stats are roughly, as far as logged in users and really active users, I'd appreciate it if you could say. Thank you.

  18. 18 Posted by andgarden on 12 Oct, 2012 10:15 PM

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    elfling:

    I don't want to drag this into next week, but your glib response gives the impression that you are not taking the details of our complaints seriously. For example, you pretty clearly misunderstood my objection about timing. The problem wasn't that you made the changes in the middle of the night. Rather, it was that you made the decision without notice --apparently even to the editors--and announced it late at night.

    I see no recognition from you of our view that you took away a core feature of the site that enables us to interact as a community. You are acting like server side comments are just "nice to have," and that we should be happy if you can be bothered to develop some weak approximation an indefinite way down the road.

    As for the tech group being happy, with all due respect, of course you are! You chose the solution for the problem as you defined it. Had there been any notice of the impending change or subsequent discussion, I (and apparently many others) would have urged you to tailor your solution more reasonably. You would have discovered how many people rely on server side comments, and why. It is wonderful that the site worked well last night. But for many of the rest of us, it is now broken every day.

    You do not report to the community. That is the downside of the (usually) benevolent dictatorship we exist in here. But I hope it is clear to you that there are consequences to making changes without consultation or input. It seems that you neither knew nor attempted to learn what damage your decision on server side comments might cause. I used "death panel" mockingly and only half-seriously yesterday, but I think it is incumbent on you to reflect on how you came to this decision. A sincere and responsive apology would go a long way toward rebuilding trust--if you even care to have it.

  19. Support Staff 19 Posted by elfling on 12 Oct, 2012 10:43 PM

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    andgarden, I interact with the community every single day, not only in my professional capacity but as an ordinary user in comments. I also do so through multiple devices. Losing the [new] across devices was not my first choice... but I am honestly used to it on most sites where I comment. Many sites these days, with their reliance on facebook-style logins for comments, do not implement [new] at all, and when they do, they do tend to be browser associated.

    This actually was an emergency change and it was flat out necessary for the servers at this time. It could not have waited, or it would have. Normally, for something in comments especially, I would have wanted to at least invite a group over to a development server to beta test before rolling it out, as we did during DK4 rollout. We didn't have the time.

    Certainly we are listening, and as I type, there is a vibrant discussion about the update we are working on. I am optimistic that we'll end up with something that will work for you and for us relatively soon, and something that is much better at guessing which are actually [new] at some time after that. (For example, it drives me crazy that it reports as [new] comments I wrote myself!)

    Thanks for taking the time to give us your input. Even though I'm obviously not enjoying it, it will push us to a better experience for all users across the board.

  20. 20 Posted by wwmiv on 14 Oct, 2012 02:17 AM

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    OH! Since I always look at elections posts using www.dailykos.com, I was completely unaware that the [new] was not working on the home page at elections.dailykos.com. This I completely understand and is definitely fixable today. My apologies for not figuring this out sooner.

    This has still not been fixed. I'm wondering if there's an update on the time frame for this fix?

  21. 21 Posted by andgarden on 16 Oct, 2012 12:11 AM

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