Please STOP suggesting threads for me to look into

Go here and click on Forum & Thread Notifications.

Thanks, that helped, found it

If you wish to discuss something that you want, that you think should be part of a “Theme”, please look here:

One Theme To Rule Them All

I’ve created this thread so we can all discuss, in one place, our wish-lists for what a Theme should be like. I hope we can all come to some more-or-less agreement on what a good theme should be. If you’ve tried various themes, tell us what features of which themes you really MUST HAVE and which things you could do without.

For example: The two SD themes now have mouse-over and a good-looking banner, but the thread list page lacks some good stuff that Sam’s Simple theme has.

OTOH, Sam’s Simple Theme, on the thread list page, shows the name of the OP in plain-text and the time-stamp, and the name of the latest poster in plain-text and the time-stamp, which the SD themes lack, but Sam’s has an ugly banner and lacks mouse-over.

Ideally, we could at least agree on a lot of the most important details, and then TPTB could pull together one theme with all of that!

Thanks for the link. I got SO EXCITED when you said that the posts have timestamps that I immediately switched to that theme (Sam’s Simple Theme).

But unless I have a different understanding from yours of what a timestamp is, I’m corn-fuzzled. This still just tells me how many hours or minutes ago it was submitted.

Whatever. I’ll hit the link and join the discussion.

See, we have some hard choices to make now.

Sam’s Theme shows better information on the Thread List pages: first and last posters user names in plain text and the time-stamps of those posts, none of which appears at all on the Thread List pages of the Straight Dope themes. That’s what I was referring to about the time-stamps: Just that the Thread List page shows them. Wherever you see those time-stamps, you can hover your mouse over it to see the actual date and time. It would be nice if we can have a theme that shows time-stamps that way to begin with.

OTOH, Sam’s Theme, last I looked, does NOT have mouse-over previews! :frowning:

The SD themes DO have mouse-over previews, but don’t show the names of the first and last posters. That’s why I want One Theme that has all the good stuff collected into one theme.

When there is time, I think we ought to hide topic suggestions which come from the Pit category. It is often against the rules to link to the Pit from a topic in other categories. We probably shouldn’t let Discourse break that rule.

The administrator or transition team can hide topic suggestions which come from the Pit category using a CSS rule, according to this topic from the Discourse meta forum: “Hiding specific categories or sub-categories from ‘suggested topics’


It is? I didn’t know that.

Add me to the “do not like” column.

I find it interesting. It’s like the SD version of random Wikipedia page.

I’ve given up on trying to keep up, so this allows me to go for a bit of a wander through SD.

Yes, this. I find myself reading interesting things I wouldn’t have likely stumbled on.

I enjoy it too.

I don’t mind it either. It’s an easy way to see what threads I’ve read have been replies.

I do notice though that because of the way this new site is set up, I often have no idea what forum I am actually in when reading a thread.

That’s the problem I had at first too. But I’m an organized person and it was easy to form a routine. I hope others will too and people will start feeling more comfortable.

I had a certain type of link in mind where the link was made to a pit thread against the poster. For example, from the thread titled New Rules for Great Debates and Elections - January 2020:

Under the current system, you could for example make a Pit thread titled “Max_S is a fucking idiot”. Then you could quote every one of my posts. Discourse will automatically append a link that reads “Max_S is a fucking idiot” to every post of mine (or anybody else’s) which is quoted in that Pit thread.

I noticed this because UltraVires is the subject of an active Pit thread, and whenever someone in that thread quotes UltraVires somewhere else, the quoted post (eg: in IMHO or GD) gains a link that reads “We have a winner for West Virginia’s dumbest lawyer”.


Okay, so since this is happening automatically, we need the mods to come up with a policy for what the rules should be. We can’t just have a rule that no Pit thread is allowed to quote a post from elsewhere, can we?

Reporting this post to bring the question to the moderators’ attention.

It’s not at the top of my priorities, and I think the moderators have bigger fish to fry at the moment (although admittedly I’m not UltraVires).

When they get around to it, if the auto-linking can’t be disabled, one solution might be to keep insults out of Pit thread titles. EG: instead of “We have a winner for West Virginia’s dumbest lawyer” or “Max_S is a fucking idiot”, the thread might be named “UltraVires’ Pit Thread” or “I Pit Max_S”. That way the mere auto-link would not be an insult.

This wouldn’t work for all cases though. Generic or omnibus Pit threads would still violate the rules (if Discourse were accountable to the rules). Imagine a thread titled “I found another troll”. You can’t call another poster a troll outside the Pit, but the system would gladly make the accusation in GD or GQ on your behalf.


One of these days we REALLY need to find a way to prevent Discourse from shoving their oar in. Discobot has no business getting involved in the way the SDMB is administered and moderated.

And if the software was written in such a way that its involvement in our internal affairs CANNOT be eliminated, then we need to give serious consideration to finding software that we CAN bar from participation.

It was really hard for me to compose (and choose to keep) that last sentence, as it carries a connotation that tends to dismiss TubaDiva’s final accomplishment in our service. Please believe me when I say that was never my intention. I really believe that if she had been given more years, she would have reached a similar conclusion.

Smells too much like Googling “capital of Albania” search, and get “People also ask: What;s the capital of Uruguay?” Also, if I jump to end of thread, I have to backtrack page by page to the top end of all that clutter, which is no improvement over paging down to the “end”.

I assume you already saw that there’s an always-there button in the top left of the page to get you to the forum home and to the topic-list home. But in case you didn’t – that’s actually more convenient than at the bottom of the page.

I actually have stopped seeing the recommendations, because I’ve simply stopped scrolling down that far. Not because I hate the recommendations, but because I’m lazy, and there’s no need to scroll down that far, now.

I agree that it would be nice if a theme removed those entirely, for those who prefer a simpler environment.

I wish they’d turn on in-line images. When people link images they show up in-line. So people who hate images still have to see images. But those of us who don’t want to deal with random third party image-hosting sites still can’t share photos here. I wasn’t able to give DrCrap a high-res photo to turn into an avatar, for instance.

I realize we have bigger fish to fry with the loss of Tubadiva, but this one just keeps bugging me.

This is the wrong approach. It’s manifestly obvious that different people like different things. The goal should be to find popular clusters of features and create 3-4 themes that will satisfy most users.

I suppose I should post there, but I was thinking we might want:

low graphics – a theme that hides images, hides avatars, shows user names in text, shows dates as actual time, not time-passed, hides thread suggestions at the bottom. Includes mouse-over.

(if there’s enough demand for that feature set, we might even want it in dark and light)

wide screen – a theme that runs the text all the way across your window, however wide that might be, with whatever other features are popular among the people who like that feature.

Discourse style – (but modified to accommodate straight-dope style useage) a theme that shows images and avatars, shows users as avatars, shows mouse-overs (even with a touch screen!!! Please!!!) has the nice-looking straight-dope banner, has a LARGER, more visually prominent button for the forum name, but is otherwise similar to the current discourse themes.

Maybe I should start a new thread, now that you’ve thrashed out a lot of the issues in the “one theme” thread.

This is a really good idea. I don’t care whether there’s a rule or not. The pit should be opt-in only, and while I often opt-in, I don’t think the software should be actively promoting pit threads.