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Tell HN: New features and a moderator
2381 points by dang on July 11, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 451 comments
Today we'd like to introduce five new features and one moderator.

1. You can collapse comments in threads. If you're logged in, collapses persist across page refreshes and devices for a week.

2. You can tell which way you voted and undo a vote if you want. An 'unvote' or 'undown' link appears after a post's timestamp when you vote.

3. Save and share the best stories and comments. Click on a post's timestamp to go to its page, then click 'favorite' at the top. Your favorites are linked from your profile, and you can browse other users' from theirs.

4. On the front page and /newest, click 'hide' if you no longer want to see a story. The next story in the list will slide up at the bottom. If you change your mind, visit /hidden and click 'unhide'. If you're logged in, hidden stories persist for a week.

5. Find out which stories were the most popular on HN on a given day by visiting /front?day=yyyy-mm-dd. You'll see all the front page stories for that day, sorted by how much time they spent there. For example, Alan Kay's AMA had the most front page time on June 20: https://news.ycombinator.com/front?day=2016-06-20.

Finally, I'm pleased to introduce sctb, a.k.a. Scott Bell, as a Hacker News moderator. Scott has been moderating HN incognito for a long time, but starting today he and I will be sharing the public part of the job. Since Scott is familiar with all aspects of HN moderation, you shouldn't notice any changes in practice; this is just an internal refactoring to enable such innovations as vacations and a day off. Scott is my cofounder from Skysheet (YC W09), an excellent programmer with a meticulous eye for detail, and a thoroughly decent human being. Please welcome him and be nice!




Some UI issues and recommendations.

1. The up/down arrows after a vote leave behind a clickable void. That means you can still click that void after you have voted. If you changed the visibility on .votelinks instead of the buttons this would get fixed. Though even better UX would be to have togglable up/down buttons ala stackoverflow and others.

2. Why not provide the favourite link directly on the comment instead of forcing an extra click and page load. If it's a UI clutter issue maybe consider adding star and flag UNICODE characters. Again, having togglable icons for the same would be nice.

3. The collapse icon would be better off on the left for improved UI consistency.

EDIT: UNICODE characters don't show in comment. Is this a bug? They show in the textarea while composing the comment.

EDIT2: Add the following User CSS using your preferred browser addon for a bit of cleanup.

    .togg {
      float: left;
      margin-right: 5px;
    }

    .votearrow {
      margin-bottom: 10px;
    }


It would also be handy to have some visual guides for the indentation levels of nested comments as on Reddit. I've hacked my own indentation marks using a CSS injection for now, but this is clearly still not optimal:

    @-moz-document url-prefix(https://news.ycombinator.com/) {
      td { vertical-align: top }
      td > img { background: repeating-linear-gradient(to right, rgba(0,0,0,0), rgba(0,0,0,0) 38px, rgba(0,0,0,0.3) 38px, rgba(0,0,0,0.3) 40px); margin-top: 4px; height: 12px!important; }
      div.votearrow { padding-bottom: 3px; background: url('http://localhost/uparrow.png') !important; background-size: 12px 20px !important; width: 12px!important;}
    }
I've also increased the size of the voting arrow because it's just uncomfortably small. By Fitt's law [0], smaller buttons require more time and effort to click!

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitts%27s_law


Riffing off your code, this extends the bars all the way up/down.

  td.ind > img {
      background: repeating-linear-gradient(to right, rgba(0,0,0,0), rgba(0,0,0,0) 38px, rgba(0,0,0,0.1) 38px, rgba(0,0,0,0.1) 40px);
      margin-top: 0px;
      height: 100%;
  }
  
  table.comment-tree td,
  table.comment-tree tr,
  table.comment-tree th,
  table.comment-tree,
  table.comment-tree tbody,
  table.comment-tree table {
      margin: 0;
      padding: 0;
      border-spacing: 0;
  }
  
  table.comment-tree td.default {
      padding: 0.5em 0.5em 1em 0.5em;
  }
  
  table.comment-tree td.ind {
      padding: 0 0.5em;
  }


Slight addition using wider, shadowy gradients to conceal some aliasing issues:

    td.ind > img { opacity: 0 }
    td.ind {
        background: 
            linear-gradient(to left, rgba(246,246,240,1) 0px, rgba(246,246,240,1) 14px, rgba(246,246,240,0) 14px),
            repeating-linear-gradient(to right, rgba(0,0,0,0) 0px, rgba(0,0,0,0.03) 39px, rgba(0,0,0,0) 40px);
     }
Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/f2WfHyp.png

Unfortunately it breaks on the 'threads' page.


Proper nesting layout will only work if they use proper nesting. Given the limitations - great job! I only use the first two lines as the png does not load.


Try this:

    background: url("data:image/svg+xml,<svg xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2000/svg' width='12' height='20'><polygon points='0,20 12,20 6,0' style='fill:rgb(179,179,179);stroke:none;' /></svg>") !important;


of course it doesn't.

the url leads you to localhost. you'd need a local webserver which serves your preferred upvote picture.


Re: #3, I think when Reddit first implemented comment tree collapsing they also put the button on the right, but I saw a thread where someone pointed out that since the length of usernames is variable, putting the button on the left makes it impossible to mass collapse/uncollapse several comments by only moving the mouse vertically. After that they moved the collapse icon to the left, which I think is a much better UX.


#1 should be fixed now. Thanks!

Re #2: yes, clutter (icons don't solve the clutter problem, and HN's design is emphatically textual), plus there should be a bit of a speed bump before favoriting much as there is before flagging.


> clutter (icons don't solve the clutter problem, and HN's design is emphatically textual)

Even if you don't want to add more icons, you could still improve the visual elements you have (the vote arrows.) Links with title tags around Unicode glyphs would arguably be more textual than empty divs with gif arrow backgrounds and no accessible text fallbacks.

I still think they should work something like this: https://jsfiddle.net/84q0zecv/10/ even without the colors I think it communicates the states well, and is visually not that different from what the site already has.


What about discoverabiliy? I doubt most users are aware flagging or favoriting comments is possible.


That's definitely a problem, which we're thinking about.


Regarding Unicode, we do strip the most distracting codepoint ranges: emoticons, dingbats, misc symbols, etc.


The "pointer" cursor state remaining after clicking an up/down arrow looks like it was rushed or not quite finished.

I understand HN likes to keep things limited, which has been a real benefit to the overall UX on HN. But minimalism is often something that requires more time to get right, rather than just the result of having spent less time working on it. I feel like that might have been the issue here.


Alas, one can spend plenty of time working on something, care quite a bit about one's minimalism, and still have bugs.

That one should be fixed now.


Suggestion: Can you move the collapse button to the left of the username? One way I tend to use nested comment threads is reading all top comments, collapsing as I go.

Great stuff, overall -- thanks!


That would certainly increase the number of accidental votes.


As it stands, I have already accidentally clicked "ago" and gone to a comment permalink when I wanted to collapse a thread. Not much better.


Since collapse persists on page loads, hopefully it is better now. Then again, we can un-vote now, so I think we're back to having the behavioral advantages and disadvantages being close enough that it's a toss-up what any particular user thinks is more of a problem.


Why not double-click the comment body to collapse/expand? or maybe some other behavior that isn't creating a click minefield.


But at least now we can undo upvotes/downvotes so it's not as much of an issue as before!


...which is now not a problem.


It's not as much of a problem, but if people are regularly trying and failing to perform the action they want it's a UI wart.


Accidental upvote is a possible wart, collapse on the right is a guaranteed wart.

When in doubt, stick with already established standards.


Reddit does it that way, and I haven't seen any of the developers complain about accidental votes.


Because accidental votes are not a problem when you can undo a vote, which is now possible as well.


I've used HN Enhancement Suite for a while, and that really wasn't a problem.


I feel like it would be worth the trade-off.


This would be appreciated here too. The functionality is great but it feels unnatural where it's currently positioned.


Making it a slightly bigger target with a dash would also be useful: [–] instead of [-]


More generally, can you try to adjust it so that the [-] button doesn’t move around after being clicked?

The spacing above the username at the top of the comment shouldn’t change when a thread is collapsed.


I would say: left of the vote button too.


That's the behaviour I have on the reader I wrote. https://hack.ernews.info Works pretty well


I agree -- the Hacker News Collapse Chrome extension works this way, and I have become accustomed to it.


+1


yes. it doesn't make sense from any design perspective. alignment is an important visual signifier and usability design tool.

there is no reason why vote arrows would be aligned across posts (it suggests a connection where there is none), while there are several for the collapse buttons.

this is textbook user interface design!


Great features, thanks!

The one feature I can't believe I lived without that the HN Enhancement Suite chrome extension provides, is highlighting unread comments since your last visit. It actually makes it worthwhile revisiting e.g. a 200 comment thread when there are now 300 comments without just reading all the same comments again and being unable to spot the new ones.

If it became supported cross device by HN itself I would be very grateful.


Yes. Another user has argued for this effectively and persuaded us to do some version of it.


Yay. I often find threads where I have an educated guess that there will valuable comments but the thread is very new, not many comments yet, ends up as yet another HN tab that I left open and then go through them all once or twice a week... Although maybe that's not a bad thing - that saves tons of time ;)


The simple hack I use in my own extension to provide that feature on reddit without Gold just simply logs the timestamp of every visit of the thread in a cookie, and then allows to select "new comments since visit X", and then just computes the comment time back into a timestamp, compares, highlights.

If HN would provide the actual timestamp in ISO format, as reddit does it, we could've had that a lot simpler a lot earlier.


For other people's interest - there is a "Reddit New Comments Highlighter" chrome extension that does that for non-gold users.


I could've saved a day of work if I had known that before, lol.

Although my thing nowadays uses an XPosed module to integrate with Relay and uses a server, cause I wanted that to work.


Thank you so much for these new features! They make using HN a much better experience.


It would be a massive improvement.


I bet whoever has the top comment on this one is going to see their karma go up and down as everyone tests out the unvote and undown feature. :)


Tested upvote, worked.

Tested undo upvote, worked.

Tested downvote, worked.

My testing is complete.


I followed your testing instructions on your comment. Test passed.


new user so pardon my ignorance but I dont have a downvote button. Do I need to enable it somewhere?


You need a certain amount of karma to downvote. I think it's 500, but I'm not sure because I don't have that much yet. :)

Edit: it's confirmed at 501: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12074198


Just 5400 more days and I'll be able to downvote! What a time to be alive!


I just upvoted you there because I'm nice like that.


Thanks! Only three more votes before I get superpowers. :)


I upvoted you. With great power comes yadda yadda yadda.

Edited to add: PSYCH!! Now it's going to take 4 upvotes to get super powers. BWAHAHAHA!!

Edited to add #2: Just kidding! You're 2 upvotes away again!

P.S. Dear friends, I'm sorry. I won't abuse my vast and terrible ability to grant or deny imaginary Internet points ever again. -xf


With imaginary power comes imaginary responsibility, and don't you forget it!


That's not how karma trains work!!


Just upvoted you twice and it seems you're now past the 501 mark! Welcome to voting land :P


Upvoted to join the upvote train.


And down vote arrows do not appear on aging posts.


I was confused as to why I have a downvote button now, I just realized I barely passed 500 few days ago, woo.


You need to have a certain amount of karma before you can downvote comments. I'm not sure what the threshold is these days.


You get it after 500


There is a karma limit (of ~500) to get downvote privileges.


you need to have a certain amount of karma (number next to your account) for the downvote function to be available.


A few weeks ago I recently obtained the downvote ability at 500 karma.


I suspect you mean 501. I reached 500 a few weeks ago, and left it there for a while... it was such a nice, round number.


Can I suggest 512 for an even nicer round number.


Sorry upvoted you, onwards to the next round number.


^ This is correct. I was equally confused when mine hit 500 and downvote wasn't there.


Presumably somewhere in the HN code you would find `karma > KARMA_THRESHOLD_DOWNVOTE`.


More likely (> karma downvote-threshold) since news.arc is written in, well, arc.



Sure. I should have disclaimed my pseudo-code I guess. Point was just that I expect there's a > and a 500, as opposed to a 501.


What did you do to get to 500? I am still at 84 and feels like it will be forever.


You need a certain Troll Level.


No, you generally don't get to downvote in HN until your karma is above some threshold that changes occasionally.


I went for iterations - up, down, up, down, up, down. So it seems to track. I left an upvote to make sure it stuck when I come back in a few hours to revisit.


Now put that in a loop to see if they have any memory leaks :)


You are on some kind of genius crowd sourced testing thing, you should start a SaaS!


So was the final state of your vote down or did you change it afterwards? Did you test attempting to upvote twice in a row, downvote twice in a row, etc? :)


There is a bug after you undo your vote for the 500th time :)


I can repro this. Thank you for the instructions.


when does one get down vote power? edit: never mind i read below.


You can downvote?? Are you a wizard?


nice username, i love memes too!


Finally! I tested on you :) The upvote is awesome, there have many times over the years I've mistakingly hit the up/down and wished for a redo.


I wanted to upvote that comment and so I did!

Then later I changed my mind because really, it deserved a downvote.

Anger passed and facing the consequences of my actions I was nothing but a broken man. I brought back equilibrium and removed that downvote.

This is when I realized that the timing was perfect for a self-centered comment.


This comment made me want to test the reply. When there is a mighty wind, two cheeks are funnier than one.


I tested it on you, and left the upvote. :)


I'm having fun refreshing your profile page and watching your karma jump around.


Wow that is quite impressive jumping. Sometimes I forget how many people lurk on HN.


Same lol.

1314, 1313, 1311, 1314....


GP's karma is in the 1500's now. Wow that's a great comment.


When it settles down you have to tell us how many upvotes you ended up with on this. I tested back and forth several times and left you with an upvote. Your karma was about 200 less last time I checked!


I can't downvote. How much Karma do I need to activate it?


I'm at 495 and can't downvote.

Quick, 5 people upvote me and I'll tell you if it kicks in.


OK, at exactly 501 you get a little down arrow (doesn't appear at 500).

dang already confirmed it below, but at least I got to feel like a camgirl for 5 minutes.

Thanks for playing!


Would you like to know whether you lose your downvoting ability if your karma drops below 500 again? Just ask, and I'm sure the HN crowd is willing to help you find out :-)

Also, would that freeze the downvotes you gave earlier, or would you still be able to undo them?


We can all dream


I got my downvote ability at around 550 or so...


For me it was 500.


I'm not sure the number is constant. I think it scales with either the age or the prominence of the comment. I've seen threads where I was unable to downvote top tier comments, even though I could downvote their children.


It's constant at 501.


I did see interesting behavior when I crossed the threshold: I couldn't downvote comments that existed before I reached that karma level (or at least the UI didn't render them with a down vote button).


Downvoting wouldn't be affected by that per se, but downvote arrows last for a much briefer time window than upvote arrows do.


I think after 8 hours you can't downvote a comment anymore.


Are you sure you do not suffer from a mitm?


I have 117 and can downvote.


Are you certain? Maybe you are thinking of the 'collapse' button, which is represented by a minus sign?


Yep, although it is not near the upvote button and sits among such links as parent and flag.


500 AFAIK


400 or 500 points, I forgot which. Maybe someone with something between those two can tell?


Don't know for sure but empirically it's more than 450.


Voted up. Saw the "unvote", didn't click it. I believe Hacker News has tested the functionality. I'll leave the upvote. Here's to you splawn.


I failed unvote by tapping on collapse link


Haha, looking at your profile page, your comment karma is increasing at about 20 upvotes / min


A pessimist would see their karma go down, then back up -- maybe.


I actually did that before reading this comment. :)


I think we really just need to test that down-voting works. But I almost never use down-votes so I'll leave that up to the "crowd".


It's you :-)


I found a potential bug/oddity.

If you collapse a comment in a thread it also collapses when viewing the comments page on a user's profile, and visually it is very hard to spot when collapsed on that page due to the styling.

For example, open the below link[0], collapse this comment, then refresh the link. The comment becomes quite hard to spot on that page. The red/orange star or vote button is also strangely missing while collapsed, which further makes it visually hard to distinguish.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=Someone1234


I agree this is somewhat confusing. If I collapse a comment thread on a story page, I wouldn't expect that same comment to appear collapsed in every other context. The only other ones that come to mind right now are: on a user's comments page or the new user's favorites page.


This is a side-effect of how regular the HN codebase is at its best: when you make a change, you get it everywhere. It would require special code to make this not work on /threads pages. Perhaps we should do that, though.


Alternatively a style change would help massively. Even if the thread is hidden it should have the same anchoring on the page as a thread which is not, so the eye tracks the positional anchor.


Why is hiding stories available to logged-out users? Reloading just makes them appear again. :p (EDIT: may be bug)

On a related tangent, why have all instances of "submissions" on HN been replaced with "stories"? It's an change which IMO does not fit the usage. (A Show HN wouldn't make sense as a "story.")


> Reloading just makes them appear again

Well, that's true of collapsed comment threads as well, and I somehow doubt that logged-in users are the only ones who see things on the front page they'd rather not.

> why have all instances of "submissions" on HN been replaced with "stories"

Because posts to HN are either stories or comments? Happy to discuss this at hn@ycombinator.com if you want to apply some lexicographical fine points.


> I somehow doubt that logged-in users are the only ones who see things on the front page they'd rather not.

Currently, the change is not persistent across reloads, which make the feature (to hide undesirable submissions) not helpful. I'm unsure if that is a bug but that does not seem intentional, and it reproduces on several browsers. FWIW, it works as described on logged-in accounts.

(Edit: Scott mentioned in another comment about Local Storage issues. That may be related.)

> Because posts to HN are either stories or comments?

Edited OP to note that "story" doesn't fit the tone of content unrelated to news, like Show HN. It's not a big deal, but it was a recent change I found odd and unprompted.


OK, we've disabled hiding for logged-out users for now, since they weren't persisted (that part wasn't a bug) and had other issues.


Now that we have thread collapsing there's no reason not to discuss finer lexicographical points right here!

Great changes btw.


How long does the "unvote" option last? Permanently? If I accidentally bump the "unvote" button on a comment that's years old, can I re-apply my vote, or only if it's an upvote?


That is a subtle point and I was curious if someone would ask about it!

Unvote links last for an hour. This is because the main use of voting data is to rank posts, and that's time sensitive. If we let people go back and unvote after hours have gone by (let alone years), that would be rewriting history, or counterfactually messing with it.

Even an hour is arguably too long. Since the main purpose of this feature is to correct misclicks and over-hasty impulses, a few minutes would probably be enough.


An hour seems a good compromise, since one reason you may want to change your vote would be if the post was edited after you voted.

An hour provides enough time for the edit to happen, and for you to see it and change your vote.

If this is not a target use case and you only want people to be able to undo misclicks, then 5-10 minutes may be adequate.


I think a few minutes would be fine - but it would be nice to still know how I voted after the fact.


Hmm. Good point.


How about in lieu of a stylesheet/visual change (since those seem to be few in number over the years), have upvote/downvote status result in a HTML element class attribute that browser-plugins can leverage for custom styling?


I was always under the impression that the reason you couldn't undo was purely to encourage putting thought into your votes, instead of clicking after the first sentence, getting through the rest of the post, and looking to take your upvote back.

Guess I was wrong. I'd say 30 seconds should be enough, with this thought in mind =]


The main use case for the unvote button is for mobile, and on a spotty mobile connection it might take a lot longer than 30 seconds until the action registered.


Sometimes I'll vote on a comment, and then as I'm reading the replies and clarifications, or other comments elsewhere in the discussion, I'll realize I misunderstood something and will want to go back and change my vote.


I'd agree an hour is too long; I would only really unvote if it was accidental (ie, immediately) or upon perusing the other comments or data that made me rethink my moderation (which would reasonably be ~5m or so).


I'm glad to see you guys finally got the resources you deserve to make these changes!

I'm also happy you guys are stealing all the best stuff from Reddit and leaving the other stuff behind. Great set of new features!


What I find more annoying is that it's on the right hand side even though all the other actions (vote on post, vote on comment, reply) are on the left hand side. Seems like a trivial thing but that is annoying quite a bit.

>>> 5. Find out which stories were the most popular on HN on a given day by visiting /front?day=yyyy-mm-dd. You'll see all the front page stories for that day, sorted by how much time they spent there. For example, Alan Kay's AMA had the most front page time on June 20: https://news.ycombinator.com/front?day=2016-06-20

That's cool, I guess, but algolia <https://hn.algolia.com/> seems like a much better tool for the task.


From your comment, I was curious whether they were pulling the results from Algolia behind the scenes. The result sets for a given day look to be pretty different with Algolia being ordered by points purely.

Front [0]

(92 stories hit the front page)

Top 10:

    1. Sega Saturn CD Cracked after 20 Years
    2. Tell HN: New features and a moderator
    3. Restoring Y Combinator's Xerox Alto, day 3: Inside the disk drive
    4. Riffle: an efficient communication system with strong anonymity
    5. Hacker News' “Who is Hiring?” thread, part 2, remote and locations
    6. Chalice: Python Serverless Microframework for AWS
    7. Yoshi (YC S16) launches “set it and forget it” vehicle re-fueling service in SF
    8. A Glimpse into the Apollo Guidance Computer
    9. Errol Morris's Secret Weapon for Unsettling Interviews: The Interrotron
    10. Friends are as genetically similar as fourth cousins
Algolia [1]

(885 stories)

Top 10:

    1. Tell HN: New features and a moderator
    2. Sega Saturn CD Cracked after 20 Years
    3. Pokemon Go is a huge security risk
    4. How we're scammed into eating phony food
    5. Pokémon GO: The Data Behind America’s Latest Obsession
    6. Announcing TypeScript 2.0 Beta
    7. Elixir 1.3.1 released
    8. Hedge Fund Wants to Use Atomic Clocks to Beat High-Speed Traders
    9. A beginners guide to thinking in SQL
    10. Hacker News' “Who is Hiring?” thread, part 2, remote and locations
Note: The Algolia date picker doesn't seem to like you starting and ending on the same day. It changes start date to the day before, so perhaps this is including a little more than one day of data.

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/front?day=2016-07-11

[1]: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=&sort=byPopularity&prefix&page...


> <https://hn.algolia.com/>

I see this bug's still hanging in there.


Dang those are some nice features! :-) I really really love the collapse feature. Does the collapse persist across new comments being added or are those not collapsed? We'll have to see.

And final thought on the stories/submissions vs comments the challenge is that comment is both a verb and a noun, you comment, and you can read a comment. Whereas stories is always a noun. Submission is the correct name for something submitted.


Collapses persist even if new comments are added underneath them, though the number of comments in the tree (e.g. '[+4]') will update.

Comments are submitted, too, though, so the word 'submission' seems oddly ambiguous to me. Also, I doubt I've ever anyone say 'submission' in conversation. People say "story" or "post" and of those two only "story" is unambiguous.

(But I'm happy to change it back if people feel strongly about this! It's an amusing lesson in how you can't change things without being noticed.)


Posts is an interesting alternative. It has the same verb/noun flexibility as comments. But really it is minor, I wondered what 'stories' was but quickly realized it was things that I had submitted. So I think you should keep what ever you feel is best.

Given that you know "when" a thread was collapsed and you know when a given comment was added, there is data available to compute "new since you collapsed it" but I recognize that would an interesting challenge. So you keep the comments in a list, and the list can be internally sorted in date or karma order, then sorting by date you could splice it at the date it was collapsed and compute the length of the two lists (pre-collapse and post-collapse). I have no idea how useful that is, just collapsing huge threads (especially ones that wander off topic) is such a huge win.


I agree with Chuck, by the way. "stories" is much less clear than "submitted". Perhaps in the theme of verbose clarity, "submitted stories" would be a good label?


Never!


Even if I mention that you could make it "Submitted stories / comments" on a single line to be just like the two others?


yeah collapse is nice, but curious what will happen on collapsed thread which is added to...

i'm also confused, wasn't there already a "saved" section where upvoted items went previously? seems like all which was done was renamed a few items (and added the favorite which allows marking for later, without giving a vote)


The old 'saved' list still exists, but has been renamed to 'upvoted' because that is a more precise name. That list is private—we certainly don't want to publish users' votes.

The new 'favorites' list is for highlighting the best stories and comments you see on HN. That list is shared, because want people to browse each other's favorites. The idea is to help disseminate more of the amazing content that people post to Hacker News, much (most?) of which is only seen by a few readers. And I hope that for dedicated HN users it will be fun to curate your own list of highlights, plus see what others have on theirs.

Also if the most-favorited stories and comments turn out to be interesting, we'll publish those lists.


Users could see stories which they've upvoted, but these were not visible to others. Your favorites will be.


I've been playing around with the 'hide' feature on the new page for a bit and I've developed a simple workflow to help catch spam:

Look at a submission, decide whether to just ignore it, upvote it, flag it as spam or open a tab and leave a comment or to watch it for later.

Then 'hide' the submission. Like that you can easily keep track of what you've seen and what still needs to be looked at.

You could use the same method for the homepage.

It's a super useful feature.

Thanks Dan & Scott!


Great features!

Request: Feature 5 most-popular-by-day is almost exactly what I've wanted for a long time, except in RSS form - a feed that updates once per day with the top 30 stories from the previous day in the order of most time on front page. None of the external HN-specific RSS generators do it quite right.


We'll look into RSSifying this if you'll email hn@ycombinator.com to remind us.



Thanks, folks, for the great improvements!

1. The time-capsule feature is really cool. Traveling back in time to see what sort of tech people were building / what other things were on the front page when X popular product launched is going to be so much fun. Update: it only goes back about a year and a half. See below.

2. Undoing votes has also been something I've wanted for a long time. I've accidentally downvoted/upvoted more times than I'd like to count when using my phone.

3. I currently use a bookmarking service to keep track of posts I want to save on HN, but native favoriting is much better. :)

Also, welcome, Scott!

--

Edit: I tried to view the front page [1] on the day I launched Breakup Notifier [2] ~5 years ago, but I get an error message. Is there any way you HN wizards can add the ability to go back further in time?

> We don't have this data before 2014-11-11.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/front?day=2011-02-21

[2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2243650


Alas, we only started tracking this data in November 2014.


I have historical rankings for all major list pages (/news, /news?p=2, /active, /best, /classic, etc) since 2014-05-05, if it's helpful. Currently 27MM records.


Sounds like it might be useful for getting the front page archive to back that far. Can you email us at hn@ycombinator.com?


Maybe you could complete your data with what would have been scrapped / archived at the time. Though I don't know if there's such a dataset for this timeframe (pre Nov. 2014)


Bummer. Oh well. :)


Which bookmarking service do you use, just curious?


I use Pinboard. FWIW, I also write one of the more popular iOS apps for it. :P

http://lionheartsw.com/software/pushpin/


Huge thanks to you guys. Collapsing comments are working perfectly on iPad.


> 1. You can collapse comments in threads. If you're logged in, collapses persist across page refreshes and devices for a week.

The most impressive thing to me is that this feature exists and yet HN seems to have kept its good ol' fashioned <table>-layout. Obviously, it logically follows that it is perfectly possible to write a script to traverse a hierarchy of nested-<tables>, just as it's possible to recreate the Apollo guidance software in Brainfuck...but it's still impressive nonetheless.


Hey, we need something to keep complaining about....


Hey, good job there, much needed improvements. Thanks.

There is a CSRF vulnerability in the "favorite" feature.

A very quick demo, Visit this URL: https://jsfiddle.net/o9hw1u75/embedded/result/

Now visit your favs from your profile and you'll notice that "SQL Injection" post is automatically added your fav list. Just like upvote system fav needs to be protected against CSRF.


Whoops, good catch! Will fix. Edit: still can't believe I forgot about that after all these years...


Thanks for the report! This should now be fixed.


Thanks dang et al. for doing such an absolutely stellar job. Even more than this steady stream of new features, the key thing I've been noticing for the last couple of years is a complete absence of laments about how things have been going downhill. Keep it up!


I have a piece of feedback.

The new collapse button is at the end of the comment. This means that the collapse button's position on the page changes based on username length and duration wording (hours Vs. minutes, etc).

One nice thing about other websites which I won't name, is that you can read and collapse all of the top comments without having to "seek" the collapse button constantly. You can literally scroll and collapse as you read, it is always in the same spot.

The functionality is most welcomed, and I'd take this design over not having it. But it could be slightly better with a subtle design change.


The argument against that is that with the collapse button so close to the vote arrow, we would be guaranteed to get misvotes, especially on mobile. The undo vote feature would no doubt help with that some, but only so much.


To be honest I would rather have the vote arrow moved somewhere else. I'm often more interested in collapsing a comment thread than voting. I'm not sure if this is something only I care about though.


It'd be hard to say what most users prefer. I would venture to guess that we're all conditioned to vote before collapsing comments simply because we've never had the option to collapse comments until today. So behavior preferences will change over time.

However, I'll hypothesize that it's preferable (overall) to have more friction on collapsing comments. A lot of great discussion happens in response to even a mediocre top-level comment, and forcing the user to take a few extra moments to skim the child-comments will increase the serendipitous discovery of these nested gems. Furthermore, the problem of a mediocre top-level comment with mediocre nested comments being at the actual top of the discussion is mitigated by the ability for people to downvote the thread, as has been done (with varying levels of efficacy) until today.


> . . . forcing the user to take a few extra moments to skim the child-comments will increase the serendipitous discovery of these nested gems.

Excellent phrasing. As a fairly long-time user who lurks more than he comments, I can concur that much of the best conversation I've read and participated in happened to be such nested gems. Serendipitous, indeed.


>A lot of great discussion happens in response to even a mediocre top-level comment, and forcing the user to take a few extra moments to skim the child-comments will increase the serendipitous discovery of these nested gems.

Is this actually data-driven or just a guess on your part? My experience is that a mediocre comment rarely ever gets good replies.


Anecdotal; comment vote scores aren't exposed so I'm not sure if an analysis is possible, even with what's been loaded on to BigQuery [0].

Maybe "mediocre" is the wrong word, as it implies an absolute judgment (on some non-existent scale of "quality"). I guess my intuition is derivative of the "don't judge a book by its cover", in that even if a submitted and upvoted story is not something I feel like reading, I still might read the comments to see the discussion.

Maybe someone internal to HN can do a quick calculation of how many child-comments surpass their parents (while accounting for the differences in visibility).

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10440502


Why I agree with you, and would argue for putting the vote arrows somewhere else, is that voting should only happen after someone has fully read a comment and at least given it a second to think about it. It makes more sense for the collapse functionality to always be in the same place so you can do it somewhat "mindlessly", but for voting you specifically don't want to be able to do it mindlessly.


Definitely agree, the collapse should now be prefixed and the voting should be moved elsewhere.

This design was the minimum change possible (which has a value, but usually a net negative one).


But it would be a backward incompatible change :D


So why not switching these two, putting the vote arrow on the right and the collapse button on the left? The tree controls I know all work that way that the collapse button is on the left.


The vote arrows really could use some size/distinction love on mobile.

A subreddit I was on recently (sorry, can't recall which) has styled the collapse-sensitive region to be the entire indent region of a comment block. This is actually unbelievably awesome.


> The undo vote feature would no doubt help with that some

As long as the user is aware of the misclick, I don't see this as a likely problem, personally. Awareness of the misclick is, in my opinion, quite likely, given that they will see the arrows disappear and won't observe the expected thread collapse.


Easily solved with some margin and padding, heck maybe even a media query for the mobile users!


If you're going with mobile in mind, would you consider replacing "-" and "+" with "collapse" and "expand"? Trying to hit one character on mobile can be frustrating.


The HN app I use lets you click anywhere in the heading line to collapse/expand. Could you do the same here?


> The HN app I use lets you click anywhere in the heading line to collapse/expand. Could you do the same here?

Both the username and the date are clickable links in the HN interface (to the user profile and the comment itself, respectively).


I meant 'the empty space to the right of the line'.


I actually prefer it at the end, as HN uses the same (or very similar) theming for Desktop and Mobile. Before Reddit redid their mobile experience, having voting buttons next to collapse meant many inadvertent votes when trying to collapse on mobile.

Until HN has a good mobile theme by default, I'd prefer collapse and voting buttons to be well separated from one another.


But you can undo votes now!


So true! I'm not sure which I dislike more: random location for collapse or inadvertentle votes that require an undo action.


For me, at least, the most frequent use case for collapsing a thread is in the middle of it, when the discussion has veered off into territory in which I have no interest. In this case, I need to either scroll back up and find the originating post of the thread in order to collapse it, or scroll down until I find the beginning of the next thread.

What I'd like to see is a control that takes advantage of this right-side position of the collapse button to add something like the following, perhaps only visible on rollover:

  [-] all
In which the `all` link collapses all the way up to that thread's OP, immediately revealing the next thread below.


That's precisely the hack I mentioned a few comments back on ... some subreddit somewhere.

Essentially, the left-hand indent zones are collapse regions for the post topping that level of the hierarcy. It's sheer brilliance.

Can't find the sub, though I've looked for it. I thought it was a science one. Maybe politics -- somewhere I don't often go. Hrm, no, not there either.


100% agree with when the desire to collapse a thread occurs.

I think this old reference is on par with your comment, at least it's how I view and agree with it.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11355675

Realizing many comments down that you are wading into unwanted territory makes the side column incredibly useful to pulling the rip cord as it were.

Each comment has a significant vertical footprint(at least 2 lines after the upvote triangle) on mobile so maybe this opinion is biased, but I am also of the mindset that users shouldn't be alienated to a separate app to cover a relatively simple wart removal.

Heck, having a visible column in the left position to flick up or down for a collapse or return to parent becomes increasingly useful. But now I'm on a new tangent.


Coming from HN Enhancement Suite add-on I too found this annoying.


and it broke the plugin :/


A piece of kludgecode for Greasemonkey[Firefox] or TamperMonkey[Chrome/Chromium]. The script will all move the collapse links to the left margin on this page:

  // ==UserScript==
  // @name        move_collapse_link
  // @namespace   com.kludgecode.hn.demo
  // @include     https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12073675
  // @version     1
  // @grant       none
  // @run-at      document-end
  // ==/UserScript==

  window.$destination =  document.getElementsByClassName('comtr');
  window.$source = document.getElementsByClassName('togg');

  for (var i = 0; i < $source.length; i++) {
    var row = $destination[i].getElementsByTagName('tr')[0];
    var cell = row.insertCell(0);
    row.children[0].appendChild($source[i]);
  }
Modifying the @include line by replacing the query portion of the URI with an asterisk, will cause the code to run on all HN "story" pages. Matters of preference ought to be within the users control. I like Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey because suddenly a lot of things are.


+1

Perhaps also adding the first line (truncated if need be) of the Parent's comment would be a nice addition also?

It would help when scanning all the collapsed comments and seeing some context other than the Parent's username?

Nevertheless these enhancements are much appreciated!


That site is reddit, and they too introduced collapsing on the right side of the name. I have faith that HN will change it!


I like the button well separated from voting buttons. It's still too close to the "unvote" text, on mobile, which needs considerable love.


I was going to say the same thing. On mobile, hitting collapsing or unvoting is 50/50 right now.


I've been using this handy Chrome extension for years. It places the collapse button in front of the username.

https://github.com/andrewheins/HN-Comment-Hider


Similarly, I've been using the userscript version of this (or at least something similar to this if it isn't the same) now available at https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/2960-hacker-news-collapsib...


> The new collapse button is at the end of the comment. This means that the collapse button's position on the page changes based on username length and duration wording

exact same thing happened on reddit when the feature was introduced


I can confirm, I personally implemented a reddit-like app and started with the [-] on the right. Realized that it was really annoying and placed it on the left.


This. It took me a minute to find the collapse link, but once I found it... What a time to be alive.


You mean seek the collapse button linearly. :)


Yay, some extra RAM for me! I was using this extension to collapse comments, the new functionality seems to be identical with what the extension does.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hacker-news-collap...


Great features, the collapsable comments chrome plugin is one of the first things I install on a fresh machine


Awesome! One small bit of feedback: clicking [-] to collapse a thread moves the nearby text ("user 3 hours ago [+ 5]") a small amount vertically. It would be cleaner visually if it stayed in place, and it's easier to un-do an accidental collapse if you don't have to move your mouse.


A bit more info here - it moves a small amount vertically only if both the upvote and downvote arrows are visible. Collapsing older comments where only the upvote arrow is visible doesn't have the same effect.


Welcome Scott. @dang - Good luck with the initial "vacations and a day off". I found that the initial incantations of these turned into a "Astro work day on neglected home projects" by the life partner. Hopefully not too many down rounds before you see a positive cycle.

Like the new features.


Please make the Up and Down arrows 3-4 times larger and put a square around them that changes colour when it's hovered.

Thanks a lot for these useful additions though!

EDIT: An image says 1000 words (slight exaggerated): http://imgur.com/LKyUaSl


Especially for mobile ;)


Ah, I noticed sctb a few days ago when he posted along the lines of "we detached this thread" or something like that and wondered how many low-key or sporadic moderators there are.


One fewer now!


Collapsing threads! Thanks!


The problem is that the collapse is on the right. It used to be this way on Reddit too, but after users complained they moved it to the left. Right now it's hard to collapse a series of top level comments in a row since you have to keep moving the mouse around a lot.

Feature request to move the collapse to the left side, like on reddit?


For people holding a mobile phone with their right hand and using their right thumb to collapse, works wonderfully.


Is there a reason not to have the mobile version slightly different from the desktop one? You could keep happy both populations.


For me it's on both sides: https://i.imgur.com/vTPD63G.png

One of those is because of a chrome extension. I guess just get the extension. :)


The one thing the web should have had from the beginning: flexibility of what happens to the contents on the client. Somehow this "feels right", given the original Alan Kay's vision of what should be happening on a personal device. Users should always be able to tweak things the way they like them.


There were no multi-level collapsible threads, so I'm replying to your post to see it work :)


Another reply for deeper testing!


It seems to work. I mean of course it will, and it's going to be a great way to skip "I'm surprised by all the negativity here" posts.


And thank you for extending the test case!


Looks like this means HN's JavaScript is no longer just a single short script tag's worth. Definitely welcome changes, and thanks to those involved.


I've been using HN with JavaScript disabled and it has worked fine until today. Only thing that didn't work for me was search.

But these new features require JS and that's fine with me. Not all JS is evil.


Same story here. Actually, I think all of these new features would work without JS, using just CSS, except retaining collapsed threads across page loads (although given that CSS is technically Turing complete it is probably possible if the state were persisted server-side, which you can do with an html form; personally I would just use JS and cut my hosting costs). Check out this demo of CSS-only HTML:

http://codepen.io/ekrof/pen/YqmXdQ/


I love the hiding feature, thank you. I did noticed I can't hide YC company "hiring" posts.

Ex: "GitLab is hiring a security engineer (gitlab.com)"


Good catch. That's probably a side effect of job ads being treated differently in the code. We'll look into fixing it.


Bug: This appears as a "Please read about some new features. [x]" heading, but clicking the "x" does nothing (including after page reload)

Otherwise: Awesome! The collapse feature in particular is something I've long wanted.


It looks like this can happen if you have local storage disabled (perhaps temporarily, if you're using an incognito window).


Doesn't seem to be the cause for me. I've not disabled anything (in fact, going into local storage I can see a few settings), and I'm not incognito.


If you'd like to email hn@ycombinator.com and include any errors you see in your browser's console, we can help troubleshoot. Otherwise, we'll remove the banner before long.


As someone who can never keep track of interesting links, I welcome the "favorite" functionality as another system I will use for a while, until it gets cluttered up and meaningless :) But honestly, good stuff.


I think many HN readers should take a good look at this list of features and look at how long HN has been around. These may seem like obvious things, but HN stayed very true to MVP for a very long time.

Any insight as to why now was the right time to add in these features might help others identify timing of expanding on a core feature set.


These are awesome improvements. One change set, 1000% improved messaging. I think the only thing left that I wish I could do is click on a parent link from a given link (when you're in the middle of a long comment list and you want to see the specific post to which a message is responding).


> You can collapse comments in threads. If you're logged in, collapses persist across page refreshes and devices for a week.

This is a nice feature, though I'd prefer if collapsing preserved the "root" comment and collapsed the responses, rather than hiding the root comment.


We did consider that, but sometimes one wants to collapse a very long top-level comment.


Why not set a max height for the top-level comment and use overflow CSS?


When hiding the first and then the last story, this was the result: https://news.ycombinator.com/snip-story?onop=news&id=1207282...

I guess that's not intended...


Damn it, first bug. Ok will try to reproduce. Can I email you if we can't?

Edit: this should be fixed now. Thanks!


Was able to reproduce, but only hiding first then last - last then first doesn't break things.

Was that intuition to test that? Hiding the first then the last story seems an awfully specific test.


It was just pure coincidence.


This is an interesting read: https://news.ycombinator.com/hn.js?fviVA4TBdTrpMa3yBUk0:

function $(id) { return document.getElementById(id); }


I am happy to add "undown/unvote" to my list of internet words that should have existed before but did not.


Just curious - why are things like "Gitlab is hiring" not hideable? I don't plan to apply for a job there, so I don't care to see that story anymore today. But I don't see a way to hide it.


That's a bug: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12074233.

Edit: should be fixed now.


Looks good! Thanks!


All good stuff. The HackerNews Enhancement Suite plugin for Chrome really borks the page the now!

http://imgur.com/CXaHIqO


Can confirm.

Hopefully, the extension will be updated soon.


I'll work on it once I get home tonight. I must be the only one who hates to hear of new HN features :)


Glad to see it mainlined! Wish I hadn't spent the past few days rejiggering all this stuff, though...

There's a new proof-of-concept branch that doesn't break beyond some presentational stuff. Would love to get some feedback and help proving it out. It might not provide much benefit in light of these changes, but it could be a good base for new features.


You're not alone :)

Luckily, this didn't break my userscript, so I just updated it to hide the new built-in toggle.


Thanks for your work.


Opened a ticket with the things I've found so far.

https://github.com/etcet/HNES/issues/117


Very cool. Great work!

Small suggestion: Maybe put a link to /hidden somewhere, like the user's own profile page.


Good idea. Will add to list.


I'd appreciate a link to /hidden as well, as I just spent some time hunting around for one.


"Scott is[...] an excellent programmer with a meticulous eye for detail, and a thoroughly decent human being"

Worked with Scott, can confirm he is both a great programmer, and great human being.


Thank you!

#2 in particular is most welcome; as hard to hit as the buttons are on mobile, I've misvoted a few times, and I'm glad I can finally correct that when it happens again.


The collapsing comments thing is great, but what I'd really love to see is the ability to display only the top-level comments, so then I can drill down to sub-comments I'm interested in reading. Often I find that there'll be one sub-comment thread I'm not particularly interested in (e.g. discussion trails off into a completely different topic) and end up scrolling a lot to try and find the next top-level comment.


When I was at HuffPost, we briefly had a comment interface that let you switch between depth-first and breadth-first comment listing. We retired it pretty quickly with our entire comments system, but I remain convinced that some version of that is the way to go.


Great to see so many long-awaited features land today!

Awesome job and big a thanks to everyone involved.


Ah, I for one really appreciate the unvote feature! I have an awful habit of mis-voting or accidentally voting when I just want to see a profile. Thanks!


>Save and share the best stories and comments.

Tried using different bookmarking apps etc but always prefer native saving of items on actual sites, great addition!

...Also welcome Scott!


I'm concerned about the "voting" feature. Years ago we had a downvote feature. Basically, downvoting lead to a big decline in the quality and level of discussion going on.

pg removed it because it was leading into a trend of people downvoting comments because they disagreed with them, not because the comment in question wasn't making valid points.

And if the collapse feature could be moved to the left, woot!


The new features notification bar at the top was really nice. Maybe it could be used again in the future when the topbar goes black in memoriam?


These are great! especially the collapse comment threads!

Welcome sctb.


Hey, dang and sctb, thanks for all the great moderating work. You've built a fine site. Happy to hear you're getting a vacation!


The persistence of collapsing is a killer feature that I wish reddit had.


Try RES :) https://redditenhancementsuite.com/ lots of other nice features aside from collapsible comments (got no affiliation to them, just a happy user).


I don't want to have to install browser extensions or configure reddit. Seriously I get enough of that by using Linux desktop.


RES does this. I know that's not the same thing..


Interesting to see more js in hn, esp with collapse-comments.

For a while now, hn has (in)famously had only a couple of functions: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11307758 (Not that the new features changed this dramatically).


> Scott is my cofounder from Skysheet

Off-topic, but if anyone is interested in educating a non native speaker: why is the word "my" used here? Wouldn't this mean that Scott founded the author? Which doesn't make sense. Or does it mean that the author and Scott are both co-founders?

Thanks for any input.


Many people have cofounders, but Scott is their particular cofounder.

It's like saying "my dog" or "my house". The use of my doesn't change just because the noun changes.


I should add that if humans did have founders, then we would say "my founder".

But we don't. So understanding of that phrase depends on us knowing the use of the noun cofounder.


Yeah I get the grammatical usage but I don't know how humans can have cofounders. My mom and dad kind of cofounded me, I guess.


Super late to this, but I have a weakness for grammatical puzzles. I think you put your finger on something rather obscure—the sort of thing the people on Language Log would come up with competing explanations for. Here's a guess about what is going on.

The "my" in "my cofounder" is different from how "my" usually works. Normally it expresses an "of" bond, as "my father" means "father of me". But here, it expresses a "with" bond, as in "cofounder with me", not "cofounder of me". Think of "my" as being bound to "co" rather than "founder".

The reason why the "founder of me" meaning doesn't arise here is partly because (as graeme pointed out) we never speak of founding a person in English. But it's also because the phrase already mentions what Scott is a founder of (Skysheet), so "cofounder" has a natural object nearby to bind with.

Compare this to a phrase like "my coworker". There, the "with" meaning is unambiguous, but that's because "work" doesn't normally take an object, so there's no competition for what "my" should bind to.


Welcome Scott. These are all good features, thanks.


Yay, thank you HN developers, whomever you are! One more Chrome extension I can disable :-)


I would prefer it if all root level comments were collapsed by default. That way people would be better able to organize their postings. Without it, many threads seem to get the same root level comment multiple times.


I wish you a nice and well deserved holiday, @dang! And good luck + fun, @sctb!


I run a site called Product Pains where people can post and vote on feedback for any product. Several people have contributed to feedback about Hacker News. Interestingly, the top post is "Make comments collapsable".

https://productpains.com/product/hacker-news

Hacker News stands out to me as a product that could be significantly improved through aggregated user feedback. I encourage others to contribute and Dan + Scott (Welcome!) to subscribe to feedback.

Thanks for the improvements.


Feature request: a "fold all/none/random" button (top level, a single "link" cycling through would be fine.)

Rationale and further spec: "ain't+anyone+got+time+for" reading 400+ comments, not if they're doing anything else. Setting a profile value for the N comments I'm willing to look at in a first pass would help, and a random sampling would probably be fine.

Snag: desired behavior is folding off a single comment (i.e. hiding its text, leaving the id and time), not all those beneath, as current hierarchical folding obviously works.


How do you reverse a hide on the homepage? I am not seeing anyway to do that.


You have to go to the /hidden page. We'll add a link to that from your profile (but it's not there yet).

It would be nice if there were a way to do this from the front or newest page themselves but that's kinda inconsistent with hiding the thing.


I notice when I navigate to /hidden there's a link called "hidden" that shows in the header with all the other main links, but it doesn't show anywhere else.


You mean the 'hidden' label in white? That's just there to tell you what page you're on. All pages have it (or should have), whether or not they're normally linked in the top bar.


Oh, gotcha. Hadn't noticed that before now.


Hah. Well now I see that that /hidden was in the parent post but who rtfm's? I know others have said this but would also suggest putting a hidden link at the top in addition to a link in the profile. (Intuition says to look at the header imo).


> 4. On the front page and /newest, click 'hide' if you no longer want to see a story. The next story in the list will slide up at the bottom. If you change your mind, visit /hidden and click 'unhide'. If you're logged in, hidden stories persist for a week.

So ... navigate to https://news.ycombinator.com/hidden in your location bar.


The Hide feature will help with tangent arguments that add little to discussion. The vote change will help with long-time problem of people clicking wrong button. Great improvements. :)


Is there a place to ask for features?


Emailing hn@ycombinator.com is the way to ask us anything.


I was thinking more of a public place where others can see it.

For instance, I would ask for a feature that downvoting shall require a mandatory comment or similar improvements to discourage anonymous drive-by-downvoting which gives you no info as to what's objectionable/irrelevant in your comment. From experience, 2/3 of the downvotes appear to be subjective likes/unlikes leading to anonymous downvotes. In fact, I never downvote anything, so I'd be fine if the downvote button was replaced with the FLAG link. But there are some who see use in the downvote function, so that's to be considered as well.


FWIW, here's a fun solicitation from pg from nearly 10 years ago: "Please tell us what features you'd like in news.ycombinator" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=363

There are more than 1,700 comments (which would be a ton of comments on any thread today)...so I only skimmed through, but I think I saw way more suggestions that sound good that, for whatever reason, aren't implemented today.


Would you consider setting up an issues page here? It might be good to have some public location where people could post requests/bugs and communicate with the developers.


A quick HN search indicates people submit them as individual posts.

I for one would be curious of which users I've upvoted stories/comments the most, and vice versa.

But I feel most features should be chrome extensions, the simplicity of the site is its strongest feature.


Awesome! Now I need to dig out my list of suggestions for HN improvements, and see how many you hit, but this is a lot of them.

(Extending / changing markup to catch _underbars_ and include them on highlighting would be nice.)

OK, misses a number of Mobile usability issues, but still an improvement.

https://ello.co/dredmorbius/post/286xclrgdn2hgbgrikrovg


Love the changes and thanks for the un-feature. My only wish now is making the up / down arrows bigger, but the un might just make that a moot point.

Is this still written in Arc?


On a related note, I wonder how well an Arc implementation on top of (the newly freed) Chez Scheme would work.


Yes.


It's so nice to be able to collapse comment threads. That's a feature that was a long time in coming. Now I have one fewer reason to use Greasemonkey...


Thank you so, so much! Reading anything but the first top level comment was a complete pain on mobile and now I can collapse it to see other discussions. Thanks!


> Please welcome him and be nice!

Welcome, @sctb.

(Just wondering: who won't be nice to a moderator?)

@dang, Is there a post available that talks about some of the tooling that you might use for moderation?


This is an official welcome of Scott's official role!!


Somebody had to try it...

https://news.ycombinator.com/front?day=1970-01-01

    We don't have this data before 2014-11-11.
https://news.ycombinator.com/front?day=3000-01-01

    Not there yet.
Nice touches :)


This is useful. And welcome sctb!


This is my first favorited story! Thanks dang and HN team!


Welcome to Scott, people have long wondered whether you were using the royal "we". We'll have to start writing "Dan/Scott". :)


Favoriting doesn't appear to work for me. When I click on the 'favorite' link on an article page, I am taken to my favorites page, and nothing is shown added to the list. I only see the message "To add a story here, click on its timestamp to go to its page, then click 'favorite' at the top."

Using Firefox 47.0 on Ubuntu 16.04. uBlock Origin shows "0 requests blocked".


Love the minimalism of the collapse/uncollapse!!!


Will Feature #5 be available through the Firebase API?


Good question! We can look into it if you don't mind emailing hn@ycombinator.com.


In a similar vein - are there plans to make user favorites accessible through the API? Number of favorites an item has received would be cool too.


I recall vaguely that one of the reasons for not allowing collapsable comment trees in the past was related to the desire to make it difficult to continue comment trees, which was a good thing (more comments is generally bad, beyond a point, was the underlying philosophy).

Does this represent a departure from that philosophy, or was this never part of consideration for the feature?


Not sure I follow; introducing collapses makes it harder to extend trees (once they're collapsed), so wouldn't that argument go the other way?

In any case, we didn't think much about that concern in discussing the new features. We did (and do) worry about whether they will lessen the impact of HN's having a single communal front page and threads, now that people can hide and collapse things they don't want to see. That's something we'll try to watch out for, though I'm not sure how to measure it.


From what I understood, once you start needing to collapse threads, you're already at the threshold of "more comments are detracting from the quality," or that was the theory, anyway. I'm almost certainly misremembering.

I feel positive about this change though, I just was curious about the decision making process is all, thanks.


These are very welcome and exciting improvements, especially on mobile!

Is there a way (through site or API) to see all users who have favorited a given story?


Thank you for the great features! More than the collapsible comments, I'll look forward to people's favourite list :D


Once collapsed, the summary gives a count of the child comments. However, the gut reaction is that this correlates to upvotes/karma. I'm wondering if [-] & [+] can be fixed to their appropriate size while the number of children is supplemental to this. Not sure what the best way to format it would be but worth exploring.


Thank you, these are all fantastic except #4.

The problem with the story-hide feature is that some days you may think something is not interesting from the title, but then an hour later there are 100 comments.

edit: A solution is not "well then don't use the hide feature" - Because this feature is site-wide, in some cases, that momentum would never occur.


I have mixed feelings about that feature too and am not sure if we should keep it or not. It felt like it was worth trying, though. For one thing, it's a stealth way of getting more people to look at page 2.


I'm using it only to hide obvious spam from the newest page that is already [dead]. It is boring to review the newest page later and see again all the spam. I hope this help me to find a the good stories.


I don't think it will do any harm. If 100 people comment on something I'm not interested in, it's rare indeed that my opinion would change to find it interesting. Granted, all this means is that I'm part of the target demographic for the "hide" feature. I like it. Although it's going to play havoc with my super-advanced self-discipline system, which is the break at the end of page 1!


Love the collapse comments in threads feature.


UI request

Can you make the "flag | hide | past | web ..." buttons have consistent spacing from the left margin? I'd like to keep my mouse in the same position while I filter through the articles on /newest, rather than hunt and click as the "hide" button moves back and forth based on the username/etc length.


Glad to see the "collapsing" feature. It's definitely helpful.

Weird to see the "favorite" one. I implemented it on my reader[1], but almost no-one used it ( I do though ).

Any update on whether auth will be given to the API consumers?

[1]: https://hack.ernews.info/


Interesting! Would https://news.ycombinator.com/classic get the "hide" treatment as well? (It doesn't currently.) Or perhaps one assumes one doesn't need to hide anything on the classic page?


Great to see new features like this that are simple and a good fit with the current site.

@dang - Any chance you will be working on the API more soon? Would love an easier way to build out http://hackernewsletter.com each week. Thanks again!


Good thing for HN, but this is actually really annoying for people like me who have been using the HN suite extension on firefox to place the [-] on the left.

Now that it's on the right you:

* can't minimize and maximize quickly

* can't minimize a series of comments quickly (you have to move your mouse a lot to find the [-] every time


The comment-collapsing feature is nice, but the big [-] on every comment is somewhat ugly, visually speaking.


I think it's the brackets. A simple - changing to + would suffice IMHO. Also, it would help my OCD (exaggerating) to auto-collapse if I have visited the page before, instead of collapsing all of the comments.


Link to "hidden" stories should be on the user profile page and if you click "hide" it should take you to the user profile page.

-OR-

Take you to the "HN.com/hidden" URL and tell the user to bookmark it.

-OR-

Just be on the main nav if you've hidden links and are logged in.

________

Hidden the link to unhide links that hidden... To hard to do.


Upvote and collapse buttons have similar symbols. Could the upvote button also not be the collapse thread icon? Have to collapse thread to see the comment score (as [+25]) - could [-] not also mean that a comment was downvoted? You have to know that grey means negative score.


Unvoting is a very welcome change. I've misclicked and accidentally downvoted people a few times.


Welcome Scott!


This update broke regular indentation for me; comments have no indentation at all for me now.

My setup is: Chromium Version 54.0.2794.0 (64-bit) on Win8.1, uBlock Origin with literally everything blocked.

I could start allowing scripts from news.ycombinator.com but I'd rather not make an exception.


Are you just letting us know you've determined that you can easily solve your own problem in less time than it took to describe it, but chose not to; or are you very subtly asking HN to inline hn.js into every single page because <%= reasons %>? :)


That I can work around a bug does not mean it doesn't exist.

As an aside, inline JS gets blocked too, so that wouldn't work. My point isn't that it should be inlined; my point is that the styling should come from the CSS and not from some untrusted script.


I have a skimpy monthly data plan, and appreciate the fact that your changes does nothing to increase data intentionally or accidentally (like Reddit).

I like the fact that the hide feature does not persist when I am not logged in. I mostly use mobile and never log in (via mobile).


Interesting, not sure if this happened a while back or in part of this update, but I am noticing you can only down vote relatively new comments? See here: http://imgur.com/0bNIi6B


dang, I have to admit some surprise that you didn't "favorite" this post.


This is awesome. Thank you for all the work you do to keep HN one of the best sites on the web.


The "hide" new stories feature is awesome. Thanks for rolling this out. High five!


Ok, now I'm wondering how many flag reports HNs is getting now that I accidentally hit it twice. :)


There is one thing I often think about when I see certain comments downvoted: downvoting a comment should cost one karma.

After all, this score system is called karma. And hurting someone else's Karma - even for valid reasons - is bad karma by definition :)


Interesting suggestion. I am not sure about it costing the same karma. The net effect will then be, that the threshold of acquiring 'downvoting power' will shift further upwards. For example, people who get to 501 karma, will have to wait to get to decent threshold (perhaps 550) to feel comfortable down voting even when they want to.

May be, they could just limit the downvotes per user, to just 10 per day or something like that, so that nobody can abuse it.

On a different note, not related to your comment, a feature request (and saying it here itself, just to have a single comment on this page):

1) I have always wanted to have some basic information about HN users, as I hover over their handles. As of now, I need to click that link into a new tab to see that. It could be a useful feature to have, @dang & @scott, while you are at it.

2) Have a separate humor upvote. Often some comments (e.g. [1]) make you LOL. But you can't do anything other than upvoting them, as reddit style 'LOL' comments are not allowed. I think, we can do with encouraging some humor here, if it can be managed.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12076046

Edit: Added feature req no. 2


I'm thinking of signing up, I've been wanting to play the game, but don't really like walking around so this gives me the best of both worlds. I still get the excitement of the gameplay without so much unnecessary exercise.


Are you talking about Pokemon Go? You seem to have posted on the wrong thread. :-)


Ha, yeah, that's what I get for being distracted by the "New features!" banner :) Too late to delete my post now.


One thing that I find annoying is that when you get down-voted you have no idea why ... If your post is opinionated you can figure out it's a silent "I disagree", yet, without any reasoning. So you learn nothing.


Great stuff! The only feature I need now is 'open links in a new window' option. Yes, I know that you can do Ctrl+click or click with the mouse wheel to achieve the same, but that is not the same!


A quick suggestion, can u move the logout link away from just below the refresh buttons on mobile devices. I've hit that logout buttons more times than I care to when trying to refresh a page.


There should be a feature to highlight posts that don't get featured on Home Page despite of being good. May be something like Moderators' Choice or Posts of the Week?


Enough already. Turn off the banner after it has been dismissed once.


1. Awesome. Hm, it's kinda close to edit/delete button in your own ones. Might be a good idea to separate them a little.

2. Nice.

3. Kinda convoluted, but neat.

4. Kinda pointless. Would be less so if the unhide was accessible with less friction.

5. Neat.

Hi Scott!


I've actually written an userscript not too long ago to hide downvote arrows, to prevent accidental downvotes.. Seems that's not too necessary now that they're undoable.


Can collapse only collapse the replies and not collapse the comment?



Welcome Scott.


Would undoing votes be (as) necessary if the UI didn't lend itself to mis-voting? Especially on a touch device, the two buttons are a real challenge to deal with.


Is the hide feature known to work in incognito mode?

I do not see hide link with any of the stories on the front page. However it is visible once I open up the story. Intentional?


Would you consider adding custom color settings for the background and font colors? You offer color settings for the top bar, why not for the rest of the site?


Option to hide viewed articles. I had a plugin that did it but as I view from different browsers would be good to not have to download that plugin every time.


I created a "best of Hacker News" page based on feature 5:

https://linkedbbapp.appspot.com

Thoughts?


Nice work, I was wondering where that favourite link came from. For a brief moment I thought you had accidentally made upvoted stories and comments public.


Why not trigger the collapsing feature by tapping the post? I myself, intuitively, thought this is the case until I noticed the tiny minus button :)


One feature request: Notification of comment replies.


This has really been my main complaint of HN. Nearly impossible to have a conversation if I don't notice a reply until I randomly decide to click the number beside my username.


You can do this here, it's a solved problem!

http://www.hnreplies.com


A new replies counter next to threads would be very nice to have.


Very useful updates. Especially glad to see #2 and #3, as those have been features where I've naturally run into their absence when using HN


>You can collapse comments in threads

Oh thank you so much for this.


Great stuff! Minor bug with the threads collapsing and browser's Back/Forward buttons. Thanks for all the hard work Dang and Scott.


Awesome work, lots of long for asked for features and a new moderator! Sorry ahead of time when my mouth(keyboard) gets ahead of my brain.


Why am I this happy about a very tiny change to HN.


Should I be able to see the unvote link on older votes or is it only available for a limited time or only on stuff voted on from now on?



Feature request: Cache favorites so they never 404


We do plan to make sure the Internet Archive has every story that gets posted to HN. They made an API for this and at some point (hopefully soon!) we'll start calling it. So that will help some.

Archiving pages as they were when they were submitted is one of those harder-than-they-seem problems. We spent some time working on it and decided it wasn't worth the investment it was clearly going to demand.


BUG! I get a strange response whenever I hide the bottom-most item in the page.

Appears gone now; it reproduced consistently just a few minutes ago.


great to know you two are back together! i think i checked skysheet.com a couple months ago to see if you finally launched. ;)


Hacker News, adding features that people have been requesting for years? Is it April 1st already?

Nah, I kid ;) This all looks great, thanks!


Re: 5

> We don't have this data before 2014-11-11.

Aww bummer. Would have been cool to see what was the new shiny over time. Still a cool feature!


Isn't it possible to simulate it? Just make a few wrong assumptions, like that the sorting algorithm hadn't changed and that the hand assigned penalties were applied all the time, and ...

(Alternative: sort by points instead of by time.)


The Hackernews server, slowly turning into the Reddit server 0.2 (minus Reddit's famous performance problems) :)


favorites will save me a ton of karma, so I no longer have to post as breadcrumbs to a great idea. thanks for that.


Still, the most urgently needed feature is missing: telling me which comments I haven't seen, yet. It's a constant nuisance in longer threads. Really, this is much more vital than just about every feature you've introduced over the last months.


> Really, this is much more vital than just about every feature you've introduced over the last months

That is a highly disputable claim, given the overall user feedback we've seen.

Such things always remind me of Jerry Weinberg's fable about how he couldn't sleep because a dripping faucet was driving him crazy. He gets up to fix it in the middle of the night, finally gets back to bed, and... now he can't sleep because hears a gate creaking. Moral: when you fix your #1 problem, your #2 problem becomes your #1 problem.


This is definitely on the list.



FYI there's a chrome extension for that though not updated in a while and I didn't use it personally

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hn-unread-comments...

https://github.com/janhancic/hn-unread-comments


You read my mind. I'd love to see this feature, too.


If the [-] means I have downvoted a comment, it seems that I have downvoted everyone everywhere. Sorry about that.


The [-] is the button for collapsing the subthread rooted at the comment it is shown on.


Collapsible comments... thank you so much.


Everything is good, just hope to add one more big feature, that is a mobile app, something like what Reddit has.


Could you please hide comments at depth > 2 by default? Comments on popular posts tend to be deeply nested.


Welcome Scott!


New features? The Apocalypse is near!


THANKS FOR THE COLLAPSES!!! :')


Nice work. A suggestion: add keyboard shortcuts to help navigate and collapse comments.


Thanks so much for the 'skip this flamewar button' aka the collapse button.


It would be good to be able to hide non-submissions like job postings and whatnot.


Looks like there is an unvouch for vouched comments too, or was that there before?


Please do user testing on the existing features before adding more features.


Still no ability to comment via the API? Apps are still scraping to do this.


Thank you!


It is funny to see how similar comments on this post to that of youtube


It would be great that hidden posts are also not show in /best


> You can collapse comments in threads.

Thank god we're finally having this.


Yay! Been waiting for collapsible comments for ever! Thanks!


Thank you for your work and implementation on this :)


thank you so much


dang, this is excellent. thank you so much :)


Having a Reddit-style inbox for responses to comments is urgently overdue. Most new users would never think to click on "threads" to find replies.


This still doesn't address new users, but you can use a third-party service like hnreplies.com.


That a third party service exists hints that this is a core feature long overdue.


Welcome aboard!


Finally our prayers have been answered.


Thanks for the update this awesome!


Collapsible comments, I love that.


[Expand|Collapse] all comments.


1 - FINALLY!!!!! 2,4 - COOL


Well done, Hacker News.


Feels like april 1st!


Great Job!


I was clicking hide, hide, hide for the stories near the bottom of the front-page until I got this back: https://news.ycombinator.com/snip-story?onop=news&id=1206078...

    ["      <tr class='athing' id='12065699'>\n      <td align=\"right\" valign=\"top\" class=\"title\"><span class=\"rank\">1.</span></td>      <td valign=\"top\" class=\"votelinks\"><center><a id='up_12065699' onclick='return vote(this, \"up\")' href='vote?id=12065699&amp;how=up&amp;auth=099c6eb692711a8f986d31bf0f7d86021ded1115&amp;goto=snip-story%3Fonop%3Dnews%26id%3D12060787'><div class='votearrow' title='upvote'></div></a></center></td><td class=\"title\"><a href=\"https://coding.net/u/jinzw/p/mathEditor/git\" class=\"storylink\">A WYSIWYG math editor</a><span class=\"sitebit comhead\"> (<a href=\"from?site=coding.net\"><span class=\"sitestr\">coding.net</span></a>)</span></td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"2\"></td><td class=\"subtext\">\n        <span class=\"score\" id=\"score_12065699\">63 points</span> by <a href=\"user?id=tvvocold\" class=\"hnuser\">tvvocold</a> <span class=\"age\"><a href=\"item?id=12065699\">1 day ago</a></span> <span id=\"unv_12065699\"></span> | <a href=\"flag?id=12065699&amp;auth=099c6eb692711a8f986d31bf0f7d86021ded1115&amp;goto=snip-story%3Fonop%3Dnews%26id%3D12060787\">flag</a> | <a href=\"hide?id=12065699&amp;goto=snip-story%3Fonop%3Dnews%26id%3D12060787\" onclick=\"return hidestory(12065699)\">hide</a> | <a href=\"item?id=12065699\">21 comments</a>              </td></tr>\n  ",null]
What happened? (refreshing the page makes it work again)

Edit: there it is again: https://news.ycombinator.com/snip-story?onop=news&id=1207486...

Steps to reproduce: https://news.ycombinator.com/hide?id=12074096&goto=news https://news.ycombinator.com/hide?id=12073011&goto=news https://news.ycombinator.com/hide?id=12074388&goto=news https://news.ycombinator.com/hide?id=12074388&goto=news (last news item on front-page)

https://news.ycombinator.com/snip-story?onop=news&id=1207438...

   ["      <tr class='athing' id='12065592'>\n      <td align=\"right\" valign=\"top\" class=\"title\"><span class=\"rank\">1.</span></td>      <td valign=\"top\" class=\"votelinks\"><center><a id='up_12065592' onclick='return vote(this, \"up\")' href='vote?id=12065592&amp;how=up&amp;auth=7b542c4f6ee7726621bada191c3874162d4475d1&amp;goto=snip-story%3Fonop%3Dnews%26id%3D12074388'><div class='votearrow' title='upvote'></div></a></center></td><td class=\"title\"><a href=\"https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-07-04/brexit-is-a-lehman-moment-for-european-banks\" class=\"storylink\">Brexit Is a Lehman Moment for European Banks</a><span class=\"sitebit comhead\"> (<a href=\"from?site=bloomberg.com\"><span class=\"sitestr\">bloomberg.com</span></a>)</span></td></tr><tr><td colspan=\"2\"></td><td class=\"subtext\">\n        <span class=\"score\" id=\"score_12065592\">200 points</span> by <a href=\"user?id=vool\" class=\"hnuser\">vool</a> <span class=\"age\"><a href=\"item?id=12065592\">1 day ago</a></span> <span id=\"unv_12065592\"></span> | <a href=\"flag?id=12065592&amp;auth=7b542c4f6ee7726621bada191c3874162d4475d1&amp;goto=snip-story%3Fonop%3Dnews%26id%3D12074388\">flag</a> | <a href=\"hide?id=12065592&amp;goto=snip-story%3Fonop%3Dnews%26id%3D12074388\" onclick=\"return hidestory(12065592)\">hide</a> | <a href=\"item?id=12065592\">146 comments</a>              </td></tr>\n  ",null]


Welcome Scott!

Three pieces of feedback generally.

1. Thank you for the comment collapse feature! And having the patience of Job generally speaking!

2. Some comments really stand out as exceptional and a +1 karma doesn't quite seem to be enough. Maybe if enough people save it into their favorites it could be promoted in some way? Dark blue text would be a nice feature. Not too intrusive but recognizable as a mark of quality.

3. While the karma system mostly works to deter trolls it is also a somewhat troubled concept. Each forum has political facets or biases even with the best of moderation efforts and there are noticeable shifts over time too. Is there a way to separate political point me-tooism and 'dueling' from forum maintenance?

I have two ideas that might help here. Obviously moderators getting involved is a good route to disaster, but maybe if one setting is a coarse filter to prevent a user having to see any politics. Another setting (toggled by discrete thread button) is to 're-black' a comment thread to see what the dissenting views were (and odd cases like your post being grayed out right now, maybe the flamewar detector got triggered by accident).


Does anyone still use Greasemonkey? I created a small little script[1] a while back. It's not nearly as sophisticated as the HN Enhancement Suite plugin, but it adds some nice features. It previously added comment collapsing, but I disabled it since it's now a permanent feature.

[1] https://bitbucket.org/robmass94/hacker-news-enhancements/src


Yeah, I use Tampermonkey on Chrome, which is essentially the same thing--not sure how big the community is, but it's not no-one. (For a long time, you could just use Greasemonkey scripts natively as extensions on Chrome, but they nixed that when they decided all extensions need to be on the Play Store, iirc.)


Thank you so much for #1. When you're scrolling a deeply nested comment thread it's hard to tell what branch you're on sometimes because all the indent levels sort of just meld together to the eye. In the past I often would open a comment on its own page just to isolate its children.


Thank you for adding these new features, like them!

A couple of things:

1. I upvoted this submission, but I don't see any unvote link anywhere (I even refreshed the page and am currently logged in). Am on Firefox 35.0.1 (if it matters).

2. Would have liked the favorites to be private and not accessible to other users (just like comments/submissions that I upvoted), but all the same, I am happy that we now have support for favorites. Just curious - was there some specific reason why you decided to go with making favorites publicly accessible to other users?


>> I upvoted this submission, but I don't see any unvote link anywhere (I even refreshed the page and am currently logged in). Am on Firefox 35.0.1 (if it matters).

I just read a comment in this thread that the unvote link lasts for an hour. I don't recollect if I actually voted an hour before I started looking for the unvote link. I didn't start looking for it immediately after I voted this up, so it's likely that an hour had passed.


We need to hide jobs too if possible.


Please see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12074067.

We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12074198 since it had nothing to do with that subthread.


How about a feature "mark all read" (on the frontpage)?


1.) I stopped reading there for a minute, because I had to wipe away the tears of joy. Seriously, thanks for this one!


Disable HN Enhancement Suite

See collapse is all the way on the right and realize unread highlights are gone

Renable HN Enhancement Suite


3 doesn't ring true - why should I care what anyone favorites?


You needn't! But we hope it will create an interesting new way to find excellent stuff on HN that one otherwise wouldn't have seen. So much content—both good and bad, of course, but much of it superb—streams through this site that no one can see it all. Not even those of us whose job it is to monitor it.

Maybe this is just my jaded moderator perspective, but it sometimes feels like more attention gets paid to the bad stuff on HN (the latest flamewar, the latest shockingly offensive something-or-other) than to the brilliant, often quietly brilliant stuff that shows up here every day. That's clearly backwards, so we need new ways to give the best posts the attention they deserve. Shared favorites lists are one effort in that area.


Ok - let's give it a go and see if it works!


These mostly seem like bad ideas:

#1 This is the only good feature listed. It helps people skim comment threads for a relevant discussion.

#2 Without this feature, people are encouraged to think before voting, and only vote when they mean it.

#3 Without this feature, people are encouraged to use HN as a transient source of news and intellectual discussion, and not twitter.

#4 Without this feature, people are encouraged to go away and do real stuff until enough time has passed that the front page is new again.

#5 Without this feature, people are encouraged to read or discuss an article based on its own merits, not just what appeals most to hivemind upvotes.


For #2, on mobile I'm constantly down-voting when I mean to up-vote, and vice-versa. (Before HN officially supported mobile, I sometimes ended up voting when I was just trying to zoom in!)

Taking a chance that people might not "think before voting" seems well worth it to remove a bunch of random noise generated by unintended clicks.


>#2 Without this feature, people are encouraged to think before voting, and only vote when they mean it.

People weren't doing that before. When they weren't voting for any pedantic or pettyreason they wanted, they were also unintentionally voting the wrong way because the arrows are just too small. Having a feature be irreversible doesn't somehow cause people to be more thoughtful about using it.

>#3 Without this feature, people are encouraged to use HN as a transient source of news and intellectual discussion, and not twitter.

People might be interested in what stories certain people find interesting. But it's just making a public version of an existing private feature (saving stories when you upvote them) so I don't think it would be that big a change in the way people have been using the site for a while now.

>#4 Without this feature, people are encouraged to go away and do real stuff until enough time has passed that the front page is new again.

Again - they weren't really doing that before. They were, however, complaining endlessly about stories they didn't want to see overwhelming the front page and comments section. Now that's a solvable problem. You don't have to see stories or comments on stories you don't want to see, and the people who want to see them don't have to deal with arguments about those stories' legitimacy.

>#5 Without this feature, people are encouraged to read or discuss an article based on its own merits, not just what appeals most to hivemind upvotes.

Maybe, although if they really want to encourage people not to act according to the hivemind (or, really, hiveminds, since there's more than one) they could do things like getting rid of visible scores, or letting users choose default sorts other than karma, or introduce more randomness into the front page (although dang said he tried that and the results weren't good.)

Or a really hard problem - how to get people to actually read the articles and not comment on the titles alone?


Tough crowd. I think all of them have their uses. The good news is you don't have to use them and how others use them is not really your problem. You're speaking about 'people' as if you speak for others, when in reality you only speak for yourself.


Just giving my feedback. Don't really care how it's used, or even if at all.




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