Comment sublevels and formatting

David Franks's Avatar

David Franks

23 Jul, 2018 07:29 PM

Look at the comments under this diary:

See how narrow they get? Your indent increment for the text of comment sublevels is too great. I see no reason for all the blank space to the right of the comments as your plugs for other Daily Kos diaries and actions don't usually drop past the end of a diary, but assuming that keeping it is preferable to creating a column width change at the end of the diary, I'll pretend that it would not be possible to make the comments section wider.

Use the current indent increment for the headers of comments-- avatar, user name, date/time. The location of the avatar would continue to indicate the sublevel of a particular comment. You should consider adding tick marks, bullets or actual numbers to the left of the avatar to help the reader keep track of sublevels, as sometimes there are jumps of three or four levels.

Move the left margin of the comment text to match the left margin of the avatar. It seems clear that several sublevels of comment are needed, as discussions here can be complex, so thank you for that. However, it is ridiculous to have quotations in the sixth sublevel limited to two characters in width because each level of commentary text is indented so much. Regular comment text becomes uncomfortably narrow at the fifth level. (If a gap between the user name line and the comment text bothers you, then put the date/time below the user name to finish filling the vertical space of the avatar.)

In conjunction with a comment text left margin change, I would hope that you would consider making the margins withing quotation boxes larger (less empty border space), making quoted text wider at deeper sublevels. Perhaps you would consider darkening the quotation box by a value or two as well. I can barely see the tint of a quote box. The generic Daily Kos avatar could be a shade darker as well.

Thank you.

David Franks

  1. 1 Posted by David Franks on 30 Jul, 2018 09:34 PM

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    Is anybody there -there -ere -ere?

    Daily Kos Support -upport -port -ort -ort?

    Hello -ello -llo -lo -o?

    I understand that you might be busy with other things, but you can't even post an acknowledgement via auto-reply? This seems to me to be a worthwhile issue, as resolving it would make your comments easier to read and reply to. That is, as I understand it, what the comments are for.

    Thank you.


  2. 2 Posted by siab on 31 Jul, 2018 08:28 AM

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    As usual, Staff seems to be up to their ears in problems. My personal view is that auto-reply would lend a false sense of security -- better to bump the original question up every day or so until it catches someone's eye.

    There is quite a bit of previous discussion on your questions, should you wish to search for it. Work is still going on re upgrading this problem, but it's not first priority at the moment.

    I am only another humble member, not staff.

    Oh, and the current workaround is to open the skinny comment in a new tab, where it will display full width..

  3. 3 Posted by David Franks on 31 Jul, 2018 08:55 AM

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    Thank you for your reply.

    I'm sure they're busy, but considering the misunderstandings, set-tos, brouhahas and donnybrooks that occur in the comments of many articles, many of which are caused by the poor formatting of the comments, I would think that reformatting the comments would be a higher priority. The diaries I read are uniformly good or better, and their formatting is fine. The links to other material seem to be fine. As far as the design of the site is concerned, as a user I find the poor formatting of the comments to be the most serious issue on the site. It actually hampers intelligent communication, and discourages readers-- this one, anyway-- from going through long subthreads, and even from delving very far into the comments at all. It hurts to read them.

    If discussion of diaries is anywhere near as important as the diaries themselves, then Daily Kos is doing itself and its users a great disservice by ignoring the formatting of the comments in order to do whatever it is they're doing. The problems they're working on and the solutions they come up with are too subtle to affect my experience of the site. The formatting of the comments, on the other hand, definitely and constantly detract from it.

  4. 4 Posted by David Franks on 14 Aug, 2018 08:22 AM

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  5. 5 Posted by David Franks on 11 Oct, 2018 08:26 AM

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  6. 6 Posted by siab on 13 Oct, 2018 02:09 PM

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    David, it's Saturday. Only the top priority problems even get looked at, because, as noted on the entry page, it's the weekend.

    May I suggest that if you are serious about this, you come back Monday, and bump the thread about every six hours for a couple of days?

  7. 7 Posted by David Franks on 13 Oct, 2018 06:41 PM

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    Thanks for your comment. However, you clearly didn't read my original post carefully enough. I didn't post this on a Saturday; I posted it on a Monday almost three months ago. I bumped it on a Monday, a Tuesday and on a Thursday (as well as a few other times that never showed up, despite the allegation of the page itself).

    So far, I have had only two responses, neither of them from the people I've tried to contact, and neither of them acknowledging the fact that I've made note of a problem that appears to contribute to the confusion, and even anger, in the comment sections under articles--which would seem to be of interest to a site that encourages reasoned discourse, which I take to be a top priority at Daily Kos (as was claimed by the first person who responded), and which, in my limited understanding of modern HTML, I think would be relatively easy to address.

    I suppose I should be glad that they're working on stuff instead of wasting time telling specific people that they're working on specific stuff. But I'd feel better about the money I send them if I knew that they were addressing an issue that makes it nearly impossible (for me at least, and probably other visually-impaired people, and even people who see well) to enjoy--or even interpret--the dialogue that they otherwise encourage, and which they brag about in order to solicit donations.

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