Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

In response to comment by Raemon on Feedback on LW 2.0
Comment author: SaidAchmiz 08 October 2017 10:15:57PM 0 points [-]

Yes, click the big words that say "Stylish themes for LessWrong 2.0" :)

Comment author: Raemon 09 October 2017 04:19:10AM 0 points [-]

Oh, t'was not at all obvious that was a link.

In response to Feedback on LW 2.0
Comment author: SaidAchmiz 02 October 2017 06:44:14AM *  12 points [-]

Hi all,

I made a pair of Stylish themes (for use with the Stylish browser extension, for Chrome, Firefox, etc.) that address some of the appearance / usability / typography concerns that people have been mentioning, in this thread and elsewhere. Here they are:

Stylish themes for LessWrong 2.0

(There are two versions of the theme: the first version uses a serif font, the second uses a sans-serif variant. Pick whichever you like, they're identical otherwise.)

Screenshots: https://imgur.com/a/xI4ia

What these themes do:

  • Better choice of body text font (more readable, especially on Linux and Windows machines, and on lower-end displays)
  • Text color is black instead of grey (i.e. fully opaque instead of partially transparent)
  • Alternating background colors for comment boxes (LessWrong 1.0 style)
  • More clearly readable comment headers, especially commenter names
  • Much more distinctive highlighting for activated upvote/downvote buttons
  • Content column visually separated from contentless margins
  • Removed all CSS transitions, which should make many parts of the page UI feel snappier (and be a little less hardware-intensive)
  • Some other minor changes…

UPDATE: The latest version of the themes adds these features:

  • Visually distinctive highlighting for new comments
  • Improved blockquote styling
Comment author: Raemon 08 October 2017 09:53:32PM 0 points [-]

Is the stylish style actually available somewhere?

Comment author: ingres 08 October 2017 06:06:25AM 0 points [-]

My tentative thought/vote is "make it easier to take parts of the survey and auto-save as you go".

That is not actionable, unless you have a magic way for me to make that happen.

Comment author: Raemon 08 October 2017 06:20:31AM 1 point [-]

Oh, I was referring to this which had sounded like an actionable plan you were considering:

Right now I'm exploring the possibility of setting up a site similar to yourmorals so that the survey can be effectively broken up and hosted in a way where users can sign in and take different portions of it at their leisure. Further gamification could be added to help make it a little more fun for people. Which leads into...

Comment author: Raemon 08 October 2017 05:59:40AM 7 points [-]

Thanks for doing this. I think the survey is pretty valuable and would definitely like to see more people involved to make it happen. If money turned out to be an obstacle* I'd be willing to pay for crowdfunding stuff to make it happen.

(* I don't actually think money will turn out to easily translate into ability-to-do-it, for reasons )

My tentative thought/vote is "make it easier to take parts of the survey and auto-save as you go".

In response to Feedback on LW 2.0
Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 01 October 2017 05:17:11PM *  14 points [-]

First, I appreciate the work people have done to make LW 2 happen. Here are my notes:

  1. Strong feeling - the links and descriptions of the Sequences, the Codex, and HPMOR (while good) should not be at the top of the page. The top should be the newest material.
  2. Please please please include a "hide subthread" option to collapse a comment and all its responses. That is a dealbreaker for me, if a site doesn't have that feature, I won't read the comments.
  3. Current LW has a really nice alternating color scheme for comment/reply. One comment will have a grey background, the comment below it will have a beige background. That is a key feature for visually parsing a comment thread.
  4. I liked the concept of having a main section and a discussion section, where the bar for posting in the latter is lower. For whatever reason, people seem to get angry if you post something that they feel is low quality or not relevant.
  5. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but somehow I don't quite like the default font. It may be that I like a different font for reading on dead tree paper vs on a computer screen?
  6. It may be slightly evil, but the karma display on the right side of the screen makes the site more addictive, because people love to see if they get upvotes or comment replies.
  7. It seems weird to allow people to upvote/downvote an article right from the home page, do you really want people to vote for an article without reading it?
Comment author: Raemon 01 October 2017 10:39:25PM *  3 points [-]

Much of this is stuff that's on the development team's agenda (either to change or to think about).

One thing that's a significant change that was very intentional is the "Opening up with the sequences, codex, and HPMOR" (albeit with a lot less certainty with HPMOR being included there).

We do plan to have an "All Posts" page that ends up being the primary way you consume the site (with newest content first). And for people who've already read the sequences et-al, that'll be the preferred way for them to interact with the site.

But for newcomers, a major shift with Lesserwrong is essentially, "since the glory days where most good content is from were way back when, and since understanding the sequences really is important for being able to engage productively with the site, we want to be encouraging newcomers to first engage with that content rather than treating it as a forum where newcomers can show up and start posting immediately." If you don't have that, then the discussion won't really have the elements that make Less Wrong particularly valuable.

Comment author: root 30 September 2017 06:19:34PM 1 point [-]

Unfortunately, due to the shape of modern web development

I humbly request this to be unpacked.

Comment author: Raemon 30 September 2017 08:47:15PM *  1 point [-]

There's a large number of tools that expand the options available to you as a front end developer (as well as tools that are part of the ecosystem that supports the first set of tools). Basically all of those tools are built around the assumption that you can just use javascript.

You can build sites that function without that, that have javascript as an optional thing that spruces up the site for people who use it. But you will be putting in more effort. ReactJS (which Lesswrong 2.0 is built on), is built around the premise that you literally just use javascript for everything (HTML is rendered out of javascript files). This has a lot of benefits. You don't need to have three sorts of files (html, javascript, and css) for every component of your page, and it's generally easier to automatically test your site if you know what you're doing.

I don't think this was necessary or inevitable, but it is the way things have shook out.

Comment author: root 24 September 2017 12:23:35PM *  3 points [-]

Small (but critical) complaint: the login button doesn't work without javascript.

Comment author: Raemon 26 September 2017 11:27:21PM 0 points [-]

Unfortunately, due to the shape of modern web development, basically the entire site (at least, all the features you would log in for) will not work without javascript. This does suck but it's not really an option at this point.

Comment author: MrMind 25 September 2017 10:30:05AM 0 points [-]

Which is the proper route to signal a bug?

Comment author: Raemon 26 September 2017 06:07:51PM 0 points [-]

Intercom on the lower-right corner, although the team is currently focused on addressing some basic reliability and performance issues.

In response to comment by tut on LW 2.0 Open Beta Live
Comment author: Dustin 21 September 2017 04:39:01PM 0 points [-]

What, specifically, is the problem you're having that requires patience? It's not using any notably weird/esoteric/advanced technology...

Comment author: Raemon 21 September 2017 07:23:25PM *  1 point [-]

We'll be doing a lot of work to optimize the site experience. (Right now, I don't have the sort of issues you describe, but it does take an unacceptably long time to load the comments on a page, for example). I expect some of that to help with these sorts of issues.

It wouldn't be practical to have the old and new sites running in parallel (they don't communicate with each other easily, they'd basically be two separate sites and part of the whole point is that this current site has too many underlying issues to make it practical to maintain), but if it's still having issues running on older hardware we may figure out some kind of "accessibility mode" that renders less complicated stuff, possibly with fewer features)

(I expect the people currently working on it to not get to that sort of thing for awhile because there's a long list of things that need doing fairly urgently, but it's worth noting that it's open sourced, so anyone who has time to fix an issue that's bugging them is welcome to do so)

Comment author: lifelonglearner 17 September 2017 01:07:29AM 5 points [-]

Quick summary:

Author Toby Green acknowledges that while others were bickering about other ways to sort of open up open-access-type journals, they are all already dwarfed by the fact that Sci-Hub pretty much already has all the articles.

Green then goes on an analogy involving how some airlines have "unbundled" their tickets, making consumers pay extra for add'l baggage, more seat room, drinks, food, etc. Green says that maybe publishers should switch to a similar approach, where journals are free to read, but additional premiums would cost money.

Comment author: Raemon 20 September 2017 07:32:11PM 0 points [-]

Thanks, I attempted to read this and felt like I was missing enough context that doing so was annoying. Appreciate the summary.

View more: Next