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I can't stand the sections!

By tzanger in Meta
Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 03:07:07 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

Okay. K5's been back for a couple days and I'm already ready to go Red Ross on someone. Why should I have to click on eight (count 'em, EIGHT) links just to see all the news for K5? I mean Slashdot's bad enough with their hidden sections and my having to do a blank search to find ALL the news on it, but this is rediculous!

Don't get me wrong: I like K5. A lot. Especially the culture section, which has more "real life" geek news than the tech/political/anime <yeech> /.. Is there not a way I can choose to have all articles on one page, or even to put together a variant of "slashboxes" like on /. (i.e. I want DID, culture, tech, columns and news, but nothing else on my "my k5" page)?

I just can't stand the "Here's a paragraph, --next-->" that the web is turning into. I like to load a huge page and spend the next 5 minutes going through it with my spacebar as my guide. Organization is good. Breaking up things is good, to an extent. But gawd... K5 isn't even doing it to get more banner hits!


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I can't stand the sections! | 21 comments (21 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Checkout the summary (4.10 / 10) (#1)
by nuntius on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:00:14 PM EST

In the bottom-left corner of the main page is a list of all the current topics in all the sections--you don't have to visit the sections if you don't want to.

Also, play with the setting bar immediately below each article. If you set Display=Nested, all the comments for an article are posted on one page.

Re: Checkout the summary (3.00 / 1) (#4)
by tzanger on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:31:21 PM EST

In the bottom-left corner of the main page is a list of all the current topics in all the sections--you don't have to visit the sections if you don't want to.

The summaries seem to show the last few days' worth of stories for the front page, not for the entire site.

Also, play with the setting bar immediately below each article. If you set Display=Nested, all the comments for an article are posted on one page.

Oh I know all about nested and flat... My UID on /. is about the same as here and I'm already done up in nested mode. :-) I was referring to the index pages for the sections... I'd rather have *all* the stories on one page and then middleclick the ones I'm interested in, which come up in nested mode... Then alt-tab and spacebar the next 45 minutes away. :-p

[ Parent ]
Re: Checkout the summary (3.71 / 7) (#6)
by rusty on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:38:21 PM EST

The "Recent Section Stories" box shows the last 4 stories that were only posted to their section (i.e. did not appear on the main page). Over on the right side is the "Front Page" box, which shows the last couple days worth of front page stories (regardless of section). Just to clarify.

I do want to add the ability for users to select sections they always want to see on the front page, regardless of voting. Like, "Always show all stories from culture" or whatever. In your case, you'd probably just select all, and get the full, unfiltered feed.

As has been mentioned, sections are very new. I appreciate the suggestions, though. Do keep in mind that no one works "for" kuro5hin-- we're all volunteers. Sometimes it takes us a little longer than you, or we, would like to get new features in. We try our best though. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Checkout the summary (2.00 / 3) (#16)
by El Volio on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 10:40:56 AM EST

The problem with the summary is that (to me, anyway) it doesn't seem to actually work. As I understand it, it should list the latest stories in each section, which is exactly what I'm looking for. But it looks to me that a lot of stories aren't listed in there, which greatly reduces its value.

[ Parent ]
Sections exist for a reason. (3.81 / 11) (#2)
by Inoshiro on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:03:16 PM EST

Namely, to give the marginal stories a home that also won't interfere with the "mega discussion" stories. Not to mention a nice compromise in the MLP case.

Hopefully we'll get the choice of having stories and such to the front page regardless. Poke the feature request along to scoop.kuro5hin.org, and we'll hack it up.

[ イノシロ ]

Might add this to scoop.k5 too (4.22 / 9) (#3)
by panner on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:19:07 PM EST

The ability to change the boxes is somethind I'd like to see, along with building a custom page. You've got to remember, though, that sections are extrememly new (if I remember right, less than a week :) Personally, I think RDF boxes would also be neat. For stuff like this, you'll probably want to post to scoop.kuro5hin.org, so that the developers can see it and discuss it. As for the RDF thing, I'll look into that this weekend, since rusty is redoing the hell hole. Er, I mean, the comments code :) I suppose I have even more work to do with the cron scripts.

As for the "My K5" idea, the first thing: someone get a different name! The only "My" I can stand anymore is in Perl :) Anyway, I'd personally like to see a box for each section, along with other boxes, along with the ability to change their orders, and which column their in. If put together right, this could give people the option of dropping "that damn left column." Also, a story filter for the front-page would be cool, though I could argue which way to do it. It could either filter what is on the front page normally (as in, voted there), or filter everything. Or the user could have the option. Of course, this is starting to sound complex, though it can't be extememly powerful if it isn't complex (or something like that). Nevertheless, I'd like to see this in scoop.

Keith Smiley
Get it right, for God's sake. Pigs can work out how to use a joystick, and people still can't do this!
ok this time ... (3.14 / 7) (#5)
by forrest on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:35:24 PM EST

Since the "new K5" is just up, and I figure many people have opinions about the format, I voted to put this on the front page.

K5 has a tradtion of these meta-discussions, which is nice because it makes me feel much more a "part of" this site than certain other weblogs.

In the future, stories like this may be relegated to another page -- when we've learned to look for them there. But for now, I say, let's put it out in front in the great particapatory tradition of K5.

BTW, I disagree with the author, or at least, I'm willing to give the "categories" idea a try. There will always be more than we can possbly read on the 'net ... why worry about not being able to read all of K5?

Re: ok this time ... (2.66 / 3) (#7)
by IoaPetraka on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:51:56 PM EST

Perhaps a nice customization feature would be the ability to show or hide, depending on your inclination, how much of the article you see on the homepage for each category. So, if you are like this individual, you can crank it up to 100% and get your topics in a 25 page monster. Or, if you are in a hurry all of the time you can set it way down and skim just the headlines.

Personally, I dislike the paragraph->click to see more mentallity too. I think LinuxToday has the worst. You see a few lines, you click. You see a few more lines, you click. You are taken to the actual news...FINALLY.

On category variety, I think that the ideas of some of the other posters would solve this. Allowing a customization, or 'homepage' in k5 that lets you pick your favorite categories and throw the latest for each of them on one screen. I like this idea.

Ioa Aqualine Petra'ka
[ Parent ]

Re: ok this time ... (1.00 / 1) (#20)
by Louis_Wu on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 01:59:51 AM EST

K5 has a tradtion of these meta-discussions ... In the future, stories like this may be relegated to another page ...
Great idea! A new section for K5 discussion (Kuro5hin, Meta) or topic labels for DID to let us find the "I wanna change K5 this way, what do you think" submissions. If it is popular enough, it'll go to the front page. If not, the hard core K5ers will hash it out.

"The power to tax is the power to destroy."
John Marshal, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
[ Parent ]
I totally agree (2.28 / 7) (#8)
by xah on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 10:27:30 PM EST

Why can't we just have one big K5? As a regular reader of K5 for a long time now, this new section thing destroys the whole web site for me.

Bring back the old interface. I can't stand the new.

P.S. I don't like editorial vs. topical either.

Re: I totally agree (2.00 / 4) (#10)
by nurf on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 01:26:05 AM EST

Hmm. Well, as someone new to this site, I must say the first thing that struck me was "Oh bugger, I have to click on all these bitty bits to see everything" followed closely by "Why cant I just check the sections I want to see?".

I'm hoping the fact that I'm new will help convince people that it may not just be a "moan about the new user interface" thing.

Hyperlinks have their uses, but they require effort to follow. :-)

Perhaps we should be able to see everything, but specify that the sections we are most interested in appear closer to the top of the page than the ones we don't?

That would mean less clicking and still having all the stuff there for perusal in a useful way.

[ Parent ]

Customize, customize, customize... (3.00 / 13) (#9)
by plastik55 on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 12:47:27 AM EST

We should still have sections, but we should be able to see the contents of those sections IF WE CHOOSE TO. Some may want ot relegate all the Napster/dsCSS/flamebait stories to a section, some may want to see everything on the front page. We should have the choice.

p.s. while we're on things we hate, I HATE tables. I'm sitting on a dialup connection right now (phone company doesn't offer DSL, it's not my fault) and I hate looking at the "99% of 35K (stalled)" that's so often in my browser, knowing that the page would render if it wasn't just a big table. I should have the choice of rendering in HTML 1.0 (which was a well-thought-out standard, mind you) if I want to.

p.p.s., I also agree with the other guy here, editorial/topical sucks too. :-P

Netscape Tax (1.66 / 3) (#14)
by AndrewH on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 05:31:10 AM EST

K5, like many other sites, misuses tables because of the dire support for style sheets in Netscape 4.x, which Linux users have been forced to suffer. Users of all other browsers suffer as a result.
Netscape/AOL have been horrendously and shamefully slow in developing a decent replacement; however, vastly better alternative browsers will soon exist on all platforms (late betas exist now).
On a personal note, I design for a Netscape-free corporate network, and find it one of the few advantages of working in a Windows shop.
John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
[ Parent ]
Light mode and customizable templates (3.00 / 3) (#15)
by dlc on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 08:43:39 AM EST

Slashdot has the (relatively unknown) option of rendering all their pages in "light" mode, which is to say, usable on lynx or w3m. (Try it out) They do this by selectively outputting HTML, which is an ugly, unmaintainable nightmare.

K5's templating system would make this much simpler to implement. In fact, it would be cool if, in the Display Preferences option here, you could select from one of a few templates. It seems as if this was one of Rusty's original ideas, based on the existence of the $S->{UI} variable in Scoop. With multiple templates, the user could choose the one they wanted: The "standard" K5 we see now, the light version for lynx, the WAP version, the Slashdot lookalike, whatever.

If I get enterprising (and have some free time), this might be something I'd tackle. I have a bunch of small patches to submit anyway...

[ Parent ]

Re: Customize, customize, customize... (1.66 / 3) (#19)
by PresJPolk on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 12:57:56 AM EST

First off, to add to what AndrewH said, I'm typing this into Konqueror right now.

Second, do you even understand why editorial and topical comments exist, plastik55? A comment explaining how a story should be editied belongs in a category separate from a comment explaining why the story's conclusion is wrong.

Just be glad that scoop now defaults to neither topical nor editorial. I personally made far too many mistakes of posting a topical comment as Editorial, in the old k5.

[ Parent ]
A thousand pardons (2.90 / 10) (#11)
by Demona on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 01:50:34 AM EST

But I could not resist voting to post this "to section only".

I will now go flog myself with a penis bird.

I like the sections. (3.30 / 10) (#12)
by transiit on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 03:32:39 AM EST

The sections are big fun in my book. I used to always find myself voting "Don't care" on stories that didn't do anything for me. I didn't feel right voting against a well-written story that wasn't interesting, so I would rather defer the decision to other people that might care. Now I get to vote things to an appropriate section and everyone can be happy. I tend to seriously dislike culture stories (a byproduct of living as an uncultured slob), so I can help let people beat those topics to death and never have to see them outside of the submission queue.

As for having to click on multiple links to see ALL the news, lay off the griping a bit. Extend hand, grip mouse, position, click. Whoa. Mind-numbing effort, that one.

And for the "My K5" page. Portals are dumb. If you really want a k5 summary page you can call your own, go grab the RSS perl module, point wget at backend.rdf and make a page you can really call yours.


How to fix this problem (4.10 / 10) (#13)
by DJBongHit on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 03:43:46 AM EST

I coded up a patch for scoop (which I never ended up submitting because the CVS changed out from under my feet when I wasn't paying attention :-) which made each story show something like "15 comments, 6 new" and the new number is the number of comments that have appeared since you last viewed the comments page for that story. I think something like that would be useful for the sections as well - it should show, next to each section name, the number of stories which have appeared since you last visited that section.

rusty, hurst, et al - let me know if you want me to code up a patch for this (you know where to find me... :-)


GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

(2.00 / 5) (#17)
by psicE on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 03:43:27 PM EST

There should be no "post to section only". Stories can be put in a section so you could theoretically go to http://did.kuro5hin.org and get only DiD's, but the front page should just be everything.

My thoughts on the K5 layout (3.00 / 7) (#18)
by Elendale on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 08:11:47 PM EST

I have a few thoughts on the K5 layout, probably nothing that has been said before, but here we go!

One of my biggest complaints about K5 is lack of customization of the front page. I would enjoy being able to drop anything i feel like on the left and right sides (including nothing at all), moving the poll around, arranging the order of the parts, and remove the oh-so-redundant 'front page' column and replace it with the recent section stories.

Also i would enjoy being able to see comments rated at 0 without 'mojo-whoring' up to the 3.5 average required to be trusted. Maybe in the display preferences there could be a checkbox labeled 'view all comments' defaulted to no.

Other than that i'm not exactly sure what to do as far as making the site nicer. Maybe after a few weeks we should take another look :)

-Elendale (oh yeah, and the color scheme should be brilliant yellow text on bright purple background! Yeah! That would be awesome!)

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

Sections are a good idea but hard to decipher. (none / 0) (#21)
by DoctorE on Fri Sep 22, 2000 at 07:18:12 PM EST

I like the idea of sections, it gives room for growth.

Unfortunately the naming of the sections is a bit confusing. If "what is MLP?" and "What is Meta?" end up in the FAQ, then they aren't descriptive enough section titles. How about "Sightings" and "Suggestions" for the MLP and Meta sections, respectively.

I can't stand the sections! | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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