OT Site Dev Sitrep

CK MacLeod

WordPresser: Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001.

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39 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Thinging, things are things. Thinging, they gesture–gestate–the world.

    One would like to say: This is what took place here; laugh, if you can.Report

  2. it’s OK to say “Heidegger” and “Wittgenstein”

    But still not B*lgium.Report

  3. Glyph says:

    Hey CK, I don’t know if you saw my comment elsewhere, but the selective-highlight/comment-quote works on mobile iOS now.

    Whether that was an intentional fix, or a side effect of another fix, thanks!Report

  4. Guy says:

    Not sure if it came up before, but can we get authors on OTC posts? It would be nice to know who, precisely, is making today’s presentation with or without comment before clicking through.Report

    • Vikram Bath in reply to Guy says:

      I wouldn’t mind seeing those there either. I’m still feeling a sort of euphoria about having them back on the regular posts.Report

      • CK MacLeod in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        @Guy, @vikram-bath

        OTC is produced by a peculiar plug-in called “Miniposts” that is interestingly written… and that I would like to see junked and replaced by a blog whose most recent posts are displayed similarly to OTC’s.

        Miniposts re-produces a more common WP post-type – “Aside” – and sets it up in a way that makes it difficult to archive and otherwise treat like a normal post (inside the famous WordPress “Loop”). Could be the plug-in author left the by-line out because he had single-author blogs in mind, and because the “Aside” approach often leaves a lot out. It would have to be hacked for us to get authors included in the current display. Not a complicated hack but not a totally straightforward one either.

        I’m guessing ourTod, who is always after authors to write realish posts rather than OTCs, might actually prefer we leave OTC as is. Putting the author by-lines back in would just encourage authors to go OTC on something instead of writing “regular” posts. This all actually goes to inestimably profound questions about what this here place is and ought tobe.

        For instance, I ended up writing this OTC as an OTC because I wanted something on the front page that would alert people to further site development developments, but didn’t think there was anything here that warranted a featured post. It was only as I neared the end of the post that I didn’t post that I realized just how non-warrantingly boring the post was. In future, I think that Site Dev ought to be a color-coded Site Homeland Security widget: Code Orange/Red when crash/glitch threat high, and so on – linked to a Development Sub-Page or Sub-Blog, recording and illuminating the transition from the OT we know to the glorious future Site of Sites. Report

  5. Glyph says:

    @ck-macleod – we are seeing more of those instances where in-line comments appear out of temporal order. I haven’t done the validation, but I think it may be technically “correct” from a threading point of view, but due to nesting limitations etc. it is “wrong”.

    Is that a fixable thing, or no? It’s pretty confusing to me.Report

    • CK MacLeod in reply to Glyph says:


      Could you point me to an example of the confusing output?Report

      • Glyph in reply to CK MacLeod says:

        Damon made this comment first:


        Then Vikram made this one:


        But Vikram’s appeared above Damon’s (and intervening comments have since spread them apart).

        I think what is happening is once we enter “the infinity zone” (>5 nests) all subsequent replies appear in line – and in the past, also continue to post in strict temporal order down the line.

        In the new world, replies always get threaded succeeding the comment they are replying to (though everything remains in-line) which throws the comment’s temporal/physical order out of whack, which has the potential to get real confusing real fast.Report

        • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

          In retrospect, it occurs to me that avoiding this problem was probably why the “reply” button used to remain up top on the last nested comment. Putting a “reply” button on every comment is probably what gets us this.Report

          • CK MacLeod in reply to Glyph says:



            I did say that the IR implementation was short of the ideal.

            I’m going to take a look at another way of achieving this effect that I know of, just to see if it happens to provide a solution for us, although my guess is that it will not. How to achieve IR simply and efficiently was something that another developer and I kicked around for a few months off and on: He ended up with his own preferred intermediate solution, while I stuck with mine, but I was left with certain unrealized visions of alternative implementations.

            Back to what’s happening: VB’s comment was a reply to Damon. Subsequent comments were replies to comments in the Infinite Zone which, even though they appear in the same column are, as someone pointed out, not 7*sub- but >7*sub-, if you get my math.

            One solution MIGHT be to set max-depth level at something very high, but format all “children” at “depth > n” not to indent, or to indent only a teensy bit, or to start over again at or near the far left, and to identify them as “in the infinity zone” by some kind of formatting or color coding – say, all with the same background-color or a faded background infinity symbol, or, if you really want to get cute, different colors or borders etc. for each “over-limit” level. Another solution would be to force IZ comments to take on a new CSS class I could use to achieve a similar effect.

            But, as I reflect on how to spend time best, I’m not sure how confusing the results really are in practice – how frequently the confusion crops up – and whether users concerned about the possibility couldn’t easily mark their comments, for instance by liberally using the quote/reply function, to remove the confusion. Maybe spending time on this would be overkilling the lily.Report

            • Glyph in reply to CK MacLeod says:

              Well, others can weigh in, but as I look at that thread now, it has only gotten more confusing over time to anyone trying to read it now, as the subthreads it contains have elongated (and could themselves bifurcate, presumably?). Damon’s old comment from yesterday continues to appear, to my casual eye, as though it is ever more “recent”, since it now appears after a comment I just made minutes ago, completely in-line with it.Report

            • Vikram Bath in reply to CK MacLeod says:

              CK MacLeod: One solution MIGHT be to set max-depth level at something very high, but format all “children” at “depth > n” not to indent

              IANAWPG (I am not a WordPress guy), but that doesn’t sound very promising to me. At least right now, I don’t know how that would stop someone from being able to insert their comment above an existing one by clicking reply to a comment above.

              One thing that would make sense to me would be suppressing the Reply button on comments at the max-depth level except the last one.

              I don’t actually have an opinion formed yet about how confusing it is. (And I don’t know how much work it would be for CK, but it sounds like the answer is “more than zero”. Maybe we can see if it comes up again now that we know to expect it?Report

              • CK MacLeod in reply to Vikram Bath says:

                Vikram Bath: One thing that would make sense to me would be suppressing the Reply button on comments at the max-depth level except the last one.

                When I was discussing IR with that other developer, I pointed out that functionality like that would be more ideal than this solution that he and I reach in different ways: His approach simply adds the Reply link on all comments. My solution kind of fools WP into thinking we’re not really at max-depth just for purposes of supplying Reply links. I’ll set aside the reasons for preferring one approach over the other, but one ideal implementation would instead be that when you reach max-depth, the rest of the sub-thread proceeds like a standard non-threaded comment thread, which would lead to the result I think you want.

                Another implementation I flirted with is formatting the comments to start snaking back in the opposite direction when you reach max-depth – could add formatting of some type to distinguish from other comments at same or near-same indentation. Might be fun to look at it sometime.

                I already mentioned the third alternative of starting threads at max depth over again at the far left, again with some kind of further distinguishing formatting, and probably other formatting adjustments to “normal comments.”

                A fourth alternative is to give users the option to view thread as they prefer: threaded vs not-threaded. If we added comment-liking/-voting or comment-featuring, then that would open up additional viewing options.

                But I kind of like where we are right now even with the formatting bug you and Glyph have noted. One thing I could do is format the time signature so it’s easier to make out. The “in reply to” addition Glyph asked for earlier is another possibility, though it has its downsides – especially since people end up replying to someone other than whom they’re actually replying to.Report

              • CK MacLeod in reply to Vikram Bath says:

                But what I didn’t mention is that, yes, turn-max-depth-sub-thread into non-threaded-single-column-reply-at-end is a task of work/difficulty level definitely > 0. Bigger than “solve in an hour for $50,” too.Report

  6. zic says:

    @ck-macleod I’d like to put together a slide show post; it will take me a few days to process the photos and write what I have to say. I’m also migraining on weather, so the visual thinking will be helpful to me; it often saves me from being helpless and confused when migraine attacks. (This is something I want to include in the post.)

    I liked the slide show you shared with me. If you could tell me a few things, that would be helpful:

    1. the size of images (I literally know nothing about this, so this is my schooling; understand how and why to size images for this post). I’m a quick study.

    2. if it’s possible to have the whole slide show in the top, but also to have a section of text with a thumbnail (pref. that you can click to enlarge in a popup) or button to display the image under discussion, makes it easy for people to look at it as they read;

    3. I would put the images on G+ or I could probably load them into my wordpress blog; I’ve only used once to put together the piece on contraception that Jason K. edited for me. (I am eternally thankful to him for doing that, and I recommend each of you, find a really good editor to edit your best work; it’s the single best way I know to improve your writing).

    4. I can either publish it there and cross-post it here, or here; I don’t really care; but know as little about wordpress as I know about sizing photos; and have a lot less incentive to learn it. I’m sort of hoping you’ll cure me of that shortcoming.

    5. Approx. time frame when you wouldn’t mind helping me with this.

    An extremely big thank you for offering, CK.

    Feel free to send an email when you’ve a mind.

    If anyone’s interested, some of my photos from the summer were used in a local magazine spread, Edible Main St..Report

    • CK MacLeod in reply to zic says:

      Hey Zic – I’ll make good on my offer, of course.

      As a general note (suitable for anyone else thinking about authoring an image-intensive post), pretty much any size images can be adapted, though there’s no reason to upload a huge image at resolutions suitable for high quality printing, when the biggest thing that’ll display will still be well under 1920×1280 px (typical HD resolution). Current image parameters at this site will have to be, and should be, adjusted soon.

      Best presentation alternatives will depend on what you have and how you want to describe it. There’s no single one-size-fits-all rule. Key question is whether you really need and want to link to a slideshow or other “lightbox”-style presentation of images in addition to any presented in the body of the post. Decision does not have to be made ahead of time.

      Do you already have posting privileges here? If so, simplest way to go would be work with whatever here. You (and anyone else) can also contact me via email using the new handy-dandy contact form I mentioned in the post, and linked via main menu or here: https://ordinary-times.com/supportsuggestionsglitchesReport