Front page change

Has anybody else noticed a change to the front page of the board? I came here like normal, the same way I always do, and found that the categories are all out of order today. I would like to know if this is a change or a glitch.

I got a chance 2/3 days ago and since it is CCChange I am annoyed. The scroll bar is gone unless you click the 25 out of 40 number , then you can scroll up or down.
Maybe this gives us a chance to see new stuff we might not see if we go straight into our favorite subs. I forget stuff easily so I might adapt and think it has always been this way.

Same here. It isn’t in alphabetical order nor is it in the order of how frequently I visit the forum. Right now, it’s:

  • General Questions
  • About This Message Board
  • The BBQ Pit
  • Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share
  • Site Feedback
  • Cafe Society
  • Politics & Elections
  • The Quarantine Zone
  • In My Humble Opinion
  • Marketplace
  • The Game Room
  • Thread Games
  • Great Debates
  • Comments on Cecil’s Columns/Staff Reports

ETA: The list of forums in the all categories drop-down list remains in the original order.

It was in the same order it has been in since I started reading two decades ago this morning. Just now I refreshed twice and the order changed twice.

Sorry about that, looks like a software glitch on our end. Right now it’s displaying in dynamic order, that is, the categories with most recent activity are at the top.

What category order makes the most sense – it can either be dynamic (most active categories at the top) or static (fixed order of categories, so some thought should go into what categories go “on top” and what order the categories are in). Can I get consensus from the moderators on what they’d like to do while we’re at it? cc @Colibri @engineer_comp_geek

edit: OK, we’ve patched that – but the question is open: which categories in which order? :thinking:

Whoa, that won’t do.

The forums have been in that order for like forever. They’re in an order that makes logical sense to us. We certainly don’t want the BBQ Pit to be the first thing someone sees.

This is what the order used to be under vBulletin:

About This Message Board
Comments on Cecil’s Columns/Staff Reports
General Questions
Great Debates
Politics & Elections
Cafe Society
The Game Room
Thread Games
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)
Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)
The BBQ Pit

OK, it should be the way it was. Looks like there’s effectively doubling of feedback categories (About This Message Board, and Site Feedback) since a new one was added in the migration.

And Quarantine was added somewhere along the way, so is that in the correct place?

Change bad. My Web 1.0 brain has been finding the BBQ Pit last for almost 20 years.

Seriously though, there aren’t enough categories to really make it that important what the order is. Ideal world, it would be customizable or put the categories we visit most often at the top. But if it is a global order, then just keep the old order.

We have been making the distinction that Site Feedback is about the Discourse software specifically, and ATMB is for rules and moderation and such (stuff that is not Discourse specific). That way you and the other software folks only need to pay attention to Site Feedback.

Yes, it’s in the correct place.

Looking at the data right now, here’s the category list, ordered by most popular:

Category Velocity (topics per week)
Cafe Society 38
General Questions 37
Game Room 14
Quarantine Zone 12
Politics & Elections 10
Great Debates 8
BBQ Pit 6
Site Feedback 5
About This Message Board 5
Thread Games 2
Marketplace 1
Comments on Cecil’s Columns 1

Poor Cecil … and Marketplace :cry:

If you’d like to learn how to make tables, here is how.

I get why BBQ Pit should be forced to the bottom of the list, not entirely sure users will respect that thin boundary between “About” and “Feedback”.

This thread being a case in point.

That said, I like the distinction. It’s useful, and keeps the drama of ATMB out of the way for those of you who maintain the software, or those of us trying to report issues or improvements.

I’ve personally just argued that the descriptions need to be updated. Flat out say that SI is “For issues with and proposed improvements to the Discourse software that runs this message board,” and change ATMB to something like “Discussion of the community, moderation, rules, and other aspects of the message board unrelated to the Discourse software.”

When it comes to categories, I’m an advocate of less.

When it comes to topics, I’m an advocate of more!

It’s a balancing act, totally up to the staff here. :woman_juggling::man_juggling:

The SDMB administration/moderators definitely share that view. The SDMB started small. I believe it had only two subforums (what you call categories)… Other than the (BBQ) Pit, each forum got added over time because a particular type of thread (what you call a topic) was overrunning one of the subforums. Most had to be fought for for a long time before they got implemented. (The exception is QZ, as it was just obvious that the pandemic was going to result in tons of threads).

Site Feedback, on the other hand, seems to have just come with Discourse. And, looking around, it seems to be a standard category name on the platform. To me, it seemed at first that we didn’t know what to do with it, but a natural division emerged where the new stuff about the site (i.e. the software) wound up in there, while the stuff that always was in ATMB stayed where it always was.

I was under the impression that the admin/mods had been told to keep it, since it didn’t go away like the other extra categories which were here when we first moved.

As has been said, we gradually added new forums over time, always because of user demand. There were usually discussions for years before new forums were split off.

A few forums are now effectively dead. Comments on Cecil’s Columns was the very first forum, but new columns haven’t been produced since 2018. I believe TubaDiva used to post classic columns on a weekly basis but that stopped when she passed away. There hasn’t been a post there since the change to Discourse.

Marketplace was originally a perk for paid members but that category no longer seems functional. In any case it has little activity.

Just a note here that forums can be muted by the user on Discourse from their view. I have Marketplace and Comments on Cecil’s Columns muted since they take up front page space and don’t add much by way of conversation.

To mute a forum, go to the forum, click the bell icon in the top right corner and choose mute. The forum won’t show on the forums list and won’t show posts on lists from that forum.

Aw, that’s too bad. It’d be great to carry on that tradition! Marketplace, I dunno, there’s so many options these days.

Quite so - the SDMB operates on the same principle as the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. :grinning:

I’ve often wondered why Marketplace was placed ahead of The BBQ Pit when it was added, and why it continues to stay in that position despite the lack of activity. :thinking:

Because The Pit is the Board’s underworld and has traditionally been been placed at the bottom of the list. We don’t want it to be the first thing a newbie sees.

Marketplace is the newest forum (aside from Site Feedback). It had to go somewhere, and below MPSIMS was as good as anywhere else.