Hi all. I just wanted to give you all a heads-up about two coming changes to Thurrott.com and our sister site, Petri.com. We’re hoping to implement these changes in the next day or so, but certainly by the end of the weekend.
The first is related to comments.
As you probably know, we currently have separate comments for Premium and non-Premium members. We did this for good reasons, but the result is a custom component that bogs down the site performance. And we’ve wanted to change this to a more traditional comments system to allow for more natural and fluid discussions for a while now.
So, going forward, we will be using a more standard commenting system. This will be properly nested and threaded, answering long-standing complaints. It will be much faster overall. And previous articles will display existing comments correctly commingled.
There is one bit of bad news, however: Premium badges will temporarily all be the same color, meaning that those who chose a custom color will lose that, at least for now. That will be fixed soon, however.
The second change is related to the mobile version of the websites.
Google recently announced a page experience update to its site ranking system, and the current versions of our websites rank poorly using this new system. As a result, we are moving to Google AMP (which is no longer an acronym but used to stand for Accelerated Mobile Page). The new mobile sites will have cleaner, faster new themes for the home pages and article pages. (And I think they look great, for whatever that’s worth.)
<p>"Is this gonna raise the price of beer?"</p><p><br></p><p>"No."</p><p><br></p><p>"Then what do we care?" — Norm Peterson :-)</p>
<p>Hopefully, it fixes the issue I have where I can reply to someone else's comment and not make one of my own.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#625715">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yes, that's the goal.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#625722">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>Paul, while you're at it please address the broken since the sites launching notification system and the need to find one of our own posts and click on our name just to find our activity page.</p><p><br></p><p>I hope this work you're doing now is only the start of fixing so many comment, account and notification issues.</p>
We have a long list of things we want to fix, yes. 🙂
<blockquote><em><a href="#625844">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>That's welcome news Paul. ?</p>
It appears the new commenting system is in place, but:
(1) Paragraphs are not honoured;
(2) Editing and deleting of comments is not possible any more;
(3) Basic text formatting is no longer possible (i.e, italicisation, emboldening. etc).
Please fix. Cheers. ?
<p>AMP is terrible. You do realize if you use amp google will just host your amp page on google meaning anyone clicking on an AMP link from google search will not be going to Thurrot but rather stay within googles ecosystem and your site will not be credited with that page hit?</p><p><br></p><p>This is a terrible decision and you should replace your IT staff immediately if they are the ones recommending this. </p><p><br></p><p>See here for more reasons why this is a terrible idea. And ironically uts using amp as well. </p><p><br></p><p><a href="https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/ecrzvp/eli5_what_are_amp_pages_and_whats_bad_about_them/" target="_blank">https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/ecrzvp/eli5_what_are_amp_pages_and_whats_bad_about_them/</a></p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#625735">In reply to CrownSeven:</a></em></blockquote><p>I concur with your sentiments in relation to AMP, and I too cannot stress how awful the use of AMP would be.</p><p><br></p><p>I use an extension that redirects AMP webpages to their original non-AMP pages.</p>
What extension is that? I’d like to know.
<blockquote><em><a href="#625735">In reply to CrownSeven:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>This is a pretty bold conclusion to say "fire the people who made this decision" without knowing any longer-term plans. </p><p><br></p><p>We are aware of the good and bad that come with AMP but without going into more detail, this is the first step we are taking to make bigger changes and on that journey, we have to make decisions that are best for today while we work towards the bigger picture.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#625735">In reply to CrownSeven:</a></em></blockquote><p>I'm not a fan of the AMP change either, but jfc– they should fire everyone immediately? Come on.</p>
<p>To read that the commenting system shall be receiving an overhaul is most welcome, as the current setup has numerous flaws, many of which have been randomly discussed, scattered across the articles here.</p><p><br></p><p>As I recall, prior to the current commenting system, this site used Disqus. The decision to migrate from Disqus to the in-house <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">commenting system was to segregate the premium comments from those of the plebs. As Paul seems to acknowledge now, a </span>traditional commenting system shall allow for a more "natural and fluid discussion". Indeed it shall, moreover, the commentariat shall become more engaged as both premium and non-premium members will be able to exchange views and opinions.</p><p><br></p><p>I welcome your decision Paul, if long overdue. ??</p>
It’s not my decision. And it’s something we’ve all wanted to change for a long time.
<p>That is good new, regarding the comments. I expect that it was a lot of effort to make the custom comments section and it always had a few quirks, such as your comments often not relating back to the original comment and comments to lvthunder often appearing dislocated at the top of comments.</p><p>That is a lot of work for a dev, especially when there are complete solutions out there that allow the dev to concentrate on more important things.</p>
<p>Thanks for the update, Paul!</p><p><br></p><p>I've never understood why Premium and Non-Premium comments were separated; I've never found any-other website that works in this way. And to view Premium comments on an article, as a free-member, you have to use up one of the three free monthly acticle views.</p><p><br></p><p>Glad to hear the comments will <em>finally </em>be threaded properly too… though any-chance of also explaining what the difference is between the red heart icon and the black? I'm assuming it's when one of the site owners like a comment, as it clearly doesn't mean "most-popular comment" as you can easily find articles where the red heart comment isn't the most-liked overall.</p><p><br></p><p>On an area you didn't mention though — the forums. Any chance of making it so a forum-post gets auto-locked say one month after the last comment so years-old dormant ones cannot suddenly get resurrected from the dead? Again, something most other websites do as-standard with their forums…</p>
We had good reasons for it. They made less sense in execution than in theory.
We can’t touch the forums yet because it’s a different system.
I’m not sure what you mean by black heart. 🙂
<blockquote><em><a href="#625837">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>At the top-right of a comment is a heart-icon, which shows to the left of it how many likes that comment has received.</p><p><br></p><p>Sometimes this heart icon, for some comments, is coloured red, even on a browser I'm not signed into, and have cleared cookies on. In such an instance, what does the red colour represent? I've always assumed it's a comment you, or another owner, has liked?</p><p><br></p><p>(When I'm signed in, a red-heart means a comment I've liked personally, of course).</p>
If it’s red, it’s because it’s been liked by one or more people. If it’s not, it hasn’t been.
Hi Paul, I’m not seeing any way to upvote posts. Will this come later as you nail down these changes or is this a site policy moving forward?
<p>Another thing: maybe revise the error-message displayed when trying to adding an image or URL to a comment? Currently, it just says "Something went wrong.", which is rather generic, and makes the user think the issue is their-side, such as browser settings or blockers. I'm guessing it should say "Sorry, adding links is only available to Premium members" or similar?</p>
<p>First, I am glad to hear about the combining of comments and the improved experience. I REALLY hope there will be a fix for the notifications system, which has never really been stable. There are a ton of other enhancements I would like to see as well (just visit the TWiT Community forum as a point of comparison).</p><p>Second, I am very disappointed to hear about moving to Google AMP. I appreciate the desire to improve site ranking, but my understanding is that a website can be optimized to perform better– and as a result improve its ranking– without specifically using AMP. Maybe this is some kind of interim step to jump start performance enhancements? Hopefully so, and that it is not a vote (however reluctantly) for Google's proprietary system over open web standards.</p>
If we don’t adhere to what Google requires, we can be erased from the web, basically.
Someone in an antitrust regulatory role should look into that, come to think of it.
Anyway. The AMP site looks great.
<p>Cool! Looking forward to the site upgrades, thanks for the update!</p>
<p>Personally, I will miss the separated premium comments, but I get it. Maintaining custom code/site elements is not ideal. If it means resources can be more efficiently directed, then it is a net win.</p>
Oh good. My subcription is coning up again in about a wekk. Will ad another year 🙂
No way to edit comments.
No way to delete comments.
No way to represent line breaks.
No way to handle boldface, italics, etc.
How long with the new pre-alpha commenting system be like this?
We sincerely appreciate your comments and they are fair.
This update isn’t meant to be a consolation prize for our members and community. It is a necessary change that had to happen right away. It will provide much needed agility for the team to develop both basic and new features, not to mention, the dramatic improvement in site performance that we are already realizing.
<p>Nice. That is all.</p>
<p>The one thing I’m really missing is the ability to edit my posts. I am mildly dyslexic and often only spot errors once I’ve posted and come back later and re-read the posts. I have already had a couple of times where I have sworn at the screen, because I have spotted an error and can’t change it.</p><p>Otherwise the change is positive so far.</p>
This should be working already.
<p>I’m not able to edit a comment I’ve made… or at least it’s not obvious how to do it, if I can.</p>
<p>I think the new website looks good and it’s way faster than before. The unified comments are also great. Of course we look forward to the possibility of editing/deleting posts but I guess it’s just a matter of time. Thank you for the good work</p>
You should be able to edit and delete comments.
<p>I see there is no option to report spam. Is this something that will eventually be added?</p>
Will check on that.
<p>One thing I’ve noticed is that when you click on the "x comments" link in the byline of an article stub on the Thurrott.com homepage, it takes you to the very bottom of the comments section. Shouldn’t it take you to the beginning of the comments?</p>
Yep. I’ve raised that issue.
<p>I see there is no way to read comments under Premium articles if you aren’t a Premium subscriber. It seems it is still possible to leave a comment though.</p><p><br></p>
<p>I have the same issue. If I look at one of my 3 free articles, I don’t see any of the comments. I don’t know if it’s by design or a bug.</p>
<p>Currently, on 2021-05-11, I</p><ul><li>do not see Edit,</li><li>do not see Delete,</li><li>can Heart my own post,</li><li>would prefer "day(s) / hour(s) ago" in the Name row,</li><li>would prefer clicking on "x COMMENTS" to jump to the top (rather than the bottom) of all comments,</li><li>within the same level of alignment of replies, would prefer consistent sorting by newer dates further below,</li><li>for top level of alignment (new posts that are not replies), consistent sorting by newer dates further above,</li><li>would prefer the editing window of a reply to be right under the message to which I reply,</li><li>after posting a comment, scrolling should be where the message / reply appears.</li></ul><p>That said, putting all users back in the same place of discussion is great! Bullet lists are useful indeed, thanks!</p>
<p>On no Edit / Delete: me too.</p><p><br></p><p>Not adding this to complain, just as an FYI Paul mentioned above that this was already implemented but I still don’t see it.</p>
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