Why was the design of the website changed?

Right, I tried it on the Election Day thread. It gave me a max value of “217”. That downloaded as a pdf of 12 MB, but it wasn’t complete; only went to a post dated November 4, with a link to go to “nexgt page”. When I clicked that, it took me to the next post on the thread.

So, difficult to load the mega-thread, but for the 30 post thread “Aw - kittens!”, should be just fine.

More excellent sleuthing. Not so bad for a man who modestly and IMO inaccurately labels himself a “techno-peasant.”

So Discourse in print mode does “page” really long threads, but you get them in hunks of 200ish printed pages each. Or at least 200-ish printed pages given our average post length. I’d bet the rendering is actually done by increments of some fixed number of posts, perhaps 500 or 1000.

I’m like the Master Patterner in Earthsea: if someone points out a pattern then I can start working with it. Doesn’t mean I understand it.

Thanks a lot! That was very helpful.

I hadn’t realised that the print dialog was from the browser (because I basically never print from a browser). I’m using Slimjet, a Chromium-based browser, on Win 10, by the way.

On that large thread, it prints up to post #1001, then gives a link to the next page, as @Northern_Piper said. But it will print with no problem, it just takes a while to load.

I’m also hitting that print limit, and reliable results from Ctrl-P are still to be determined.

I’m with you, I love just being able to scroll as I read. FlyerTalk uses vBulletin with infinite scroll and that implementation is horrible compared to Discourse.

Another way of looking at it is, when the SDMB went live, new computers were being sold with Windows 98.

That’s Windows 98, FIRST edition.

Whenever I see someone saying that vBulletin is better, they are trying to do something that’s done easier and better through Discourse. But they want to do it like they would have done it on vBulletin which is slower, takes more steps and is more time-consuming.

I’ve gone back to vBulletin forums and have forgotten how many clicks and scrolls it takes to get done what is done so quickly here.

That’s great! Thanks for the really useful info.

As always xkcd is on-point:

Folks have a legit complaint when someone rewires the maze that amounts to moving the cheese from the maze-runner’s POV. But refusing to adapt is like a toddler holding their breath until they turn blue: Both ineffective and childish. Mikey was right: Try it, you might like it. That’s the only attitude to have when dealing with a fast moving topic like consumer computing.

As well, the discoverability of modern “app”-style UI is far lower than was the classic XP & previous Windows or pre-javascript website design. When every control looked distinctively like a control and had a text label you never had to wonder “What (if anything) does clicking / hovering / right-clicking this random colored area do?”. Most users don’t care to go on that sort of expedition of exploration, and for them, modern “clean” design is a usability disaster.

Note that we’ve established that’s not always true. There’s some flakiness there at least on some browsers.

If you haven’t yet stumbled on it, also note that simply pressing ? while the browser focus is on the general text of a page will bring up a large menu of keyboard actions that are live all the time. And, ref my discoverability comment above, there is no visible link anywhere on any page to tell you that; you almost have to discover it by accident.

There’s a ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’ link on the hamburger menu that does the same as ‘?’.

But yes, it’s not obvious. A lot of features require the users to play around with the system and discover for themselves how it works. The learning curve is steeper than for traditional boards. That’s fine for people who enjoy messing around with software, but it’s not so good for non-techy users.

Still, it’s far superior to vBulletin in every way in my opinion, and I’m glad we switched to it.

Not on my OS / browser / theme combo there isn’t. Which goes again to discoverability.

Amen Bro/Sis as the case may be.

Whenever people say a former <something> was better, they’re usually saying, “I was familiar with that <something> and knew the ins and outs.” Learning a new thing when you know the old thing like the back of your hand is tedious.

I don’t think it will be browser or OS dependent, but it may depend on the theme, and whether you are using the mobile view or not.

I’m using the SD Light theme, and desktop view.

I just checked, and if I switch to mobile view, then I get an item ‘Desktop View’ on the hamburger menu rather than ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’. That makes sense, because you won’t be using keyboard shortcuts on a phone or tablet.

Another trick: You can switch between mobile and desktop view by adding




to the end of a url.


I have been using desktop view on my desktop exclusively since we began with Discourse. Earlier today I clicked Mobile View to see what it did. And found that setting to be sticky to new tabs, clicked links etc., despite not being a settable preference on the user control panel. So, yes, there is that querystring parameter, but there’s also a sticky setting stored someplace which the querystring parameter optionally overrides. Not what I would have expected and not very discoverable.

Anyhow, when I’d tired of my mobile view experiment I clicked back to desktop view. And now, what appears there at the bottom of the hamburger menu is “mobile view”, not “keyboard shortcuts”.

In fact I discovered the “mobile view” thing while hunting around for the “keyboard shortcuts” entry that I thought I remembered seeing right where you cite. I wanted to be sure I said the right thing when making my earlier post about the ? keystroke and discoverability.

So now you tell me it was where I remembered. But it’s not there now for me, or at least not anymore.

I just logged out & back in, with a browser close in the middle to see if that brought back “keyboard shortcuts”. Nope. Win10, Chrome, and SD light them; about as vanilla a use case as there is.

All apps and websites have oddities, but this one has a few extra. Fortunately the functionality seems pretty solid even if some of the UI trickery has intermittent … issues.

Perhaps deleting site cookies would fix it. I would guess that’s where it’s storing things.

That’s my assumption. Now if only Chrome supported deleting cookies by site.

One thing IE did right was expose cookies and favorites as ordinary disk files so all the normal tools and automation could be brought to bear on them.

It does. :slightly_smiling_face:

Or simply copy this into the address bar to go directly there, then search for ‘straightdope’:


Thank you! D’oh! I’d been over that site settings page umpteen times trying to find the choice to drill down to individual sites. That’s real handy for my future use. Thanks again.

And, having deleted everything under the SDMB section I found …

  1. It (unsurprisingly) then considered me logged out.
  2. It did not restore “Keyboard shortcuts” to my hamburger menu.
  3. But at least now Ctrl-P opens the new print-friendly window. Although I don’t know whether that behavior had changed previously or will be sticky now or for how long.

I got curious because I use Discourse in Firefox and the keyboard shortcut shows on the hamburger menu there, so I wanted to see what would happen in Chrome. That would be Win10, Chrome and SD light theme. I googled straight dope message board, hit the link, from Chrome. Without logging in, I got the keyboard shortcut at the bottom of the hamburger menu. I didn’t try logging in.

Are you still missing the keyboard shortcuts if you’re logged out?

One thing I wish would be an option is changing how the dates are displayed. I really don’t like seeing the year abbreviated to e.g. '19 instead of 2019*​. Otherwise it’s okay, even though for some reason the feel of it is not as good compared to the old site, IMO.

*Think of how confusing it will be in 79 years when you might mistake 1999 to be the year 2099, or vice-versa!:smile:

This has been mentioned several times before, and everyone seems to agree that it should be changed.

It needs a minor change to the CSS of the themes, not to Discourse itself. It should only take a few minutes for someone familiar with CSS and Discourse themes.

Somebody simply needs to ask the Discourse support team to do it, but since the loss of TubaDiva, nobody seems to be in charge of things like this.