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Reddit's redesign could kill discussion subreddits (changemyview.net)
253 points by Aoyagi on April 12, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 274 comments

Mobile phones. Again.

It's always mobile phones that ruin good websites these days.

They optimise for swipe, scroll and tap. Look, like, emoji.

They don't optimise for text. In fact they are increasingly hostile to it. The Tinderfication of online dating has been a depressing race to the bottom.

The internet was never going to be as great as we thought it was. No other technology has been. Folks thought the telegraph would end wars and that TVs would have everyone soaking up a deep education. But that's not where the money was.

But I felt it wouldn't be this shitty. At some point we're all going to look back on that moment when Jobs held up the first iPhone that could run an app and regret it.

And yet so few of the designers consider dark/black colour themes, which are not only more easier on the eyes, but also notably save the battery.

Dark themes are worse for the eyes, https://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/53264/dark-or-white-c...

Don't know about battery life. I guess if it's AMOLED, https://www.greenbot.com/article/2834583/how-much-power-does...

Maybe, but I wonder if that is true at night with the lights off. When I read in bed at night, I much prefer light on dark text. Combined with Android's night mode to tint things red, it is fantastic.

In fact, I wish the Kindle Paperwhite would come out with an inverted mode already (although I think I read there were some challenges with doing so). It can be fairly straining on my eyes to have the sidelit screen bright enough to be legible while being as dim as possible to make reading with the lights off comfortable.

Majority of reading is done in a brighter setting so many factors contribute to using dark text in white background. In the case of reading in the dark or low light settings, using a Kindle Paperwhite gets complicated since you want to make the background darker while still maintaining sufficient contrast to read the text which is always in a dark font color.

In the UX StackExchange post, it's stated that astigmatism is also a contributing factor to favor dark text on white background. I do believe that these night time settings should be toggled automatically for white text with dark background as well as accounting for blue wavelength reduction for screens with full colors.

I would like operating systems, browsers and websites to globally support a "night mode" where a dark background is used. Especially with the proliferation of mobile devices, people increasingly use technology in low-light environments. As it stands today, I have to add external stylesheets to websites to get this effect, and if I want to toggle them, I have to toggle each one manually. It's similar, but worse for Android apps because the app itself has to support themes.

I find having a significant portion of the screen white when my eyes are relatively dark-adapted uncomfortable, even when the brightness is set fairly low. I find a dark background with light text very preferable under those conditions. I do not care if there is research suggesting I should not have this preference.

From talking to others in person and online, I get the impression that my preference is very common. Android was supposed to get something resembling this, but the feature has been dropped or delayed.

>Dark themes are worse for the eyes

Well, certainly not for my eyes.

>Don't know about battery life. I guess if it's AMOLED

Yes, that's what I meant, as discussed in the thread below. I didn't realise of common LCD screens still are. I haven't had one since 2012...

Easier on the eyes surely, but I understood it that dark themes only save battery for OLED/AMOLED screens. For LCD/TN dark themes use slightly more. I am not an Electrical Engineer though.

Well yes, that's what I meant. I keep forgetting there are still mobile devices with LCD screens...

Which makes AMOLED still not old enough to enter the general consciousness of the designers. They're optimizing for the screens they (and everyone they know) are used to.

Well, there are plenty of Android devices with OLED screens, but this is what truly got me

>The iPhone X is the first iPhone to use an OLED display

Shocking, actually.

Up until very recently, OLED were great if you didn't care about color reproduction. My 2011 Nokia N9 had an OLED display. Then LCD made something of a comeback due to superior color fidelity. Currently OLEDs are getting good enough to perhaps finally replace LCDs for good, although there are some promising unorganic LED display technologies already around the corner...

Looking at older screen technologies, CRTs also use less power for dark screens.

I suspect not in a way that people care very much about compared to mobile device battery life.

No, their i.reddit.com is the best variant and its extra light-weight probably for weaker devices.

Unfortunately creating posts is broken with that one, and for some features like editing posts you have to switch the interface.

I still use it instead of the standard interface, it loads much faster especially on bad mobile connections.

It's not like reddit is particularly well optimized for phones, in the mobile site or the app. Their mobile versions are unusable and if it weren't for third party apps I'd have given up reddit entirely.

Reddit should fit nicely into a mobile first site with good desktop functionality, it's just their useless team of designers.

I'd hazard a guess that quite a significant proportion of their audience probably come through a mobile or tablet device

It's okay. You, like me, are starting to realize that our way of computing is becoming obsolete. How many kids are using keyboard and mouse vs touch screens? They grow up thinking "this is how you use a computer". To them the mouse/keyboard ruins the whole touch(mobile) experience.

One day we'll be the old men yelling at internet clouds while sitting behind an old PC or some kind of open source terminal running an open source OS and weeping for the past.

Obsolete is a bit of an exaggeration. As far as I know, almost all programming (including for mobile devices) is still done with a keyboard and a mouse, and I honestly don't see this changing anytime soon (the only way I personally can see changing this is if voice recognition combined with enough AI to make dictating instructions to a computer a reality... or if a visual programming environment actually succeeds, despite its historically lousy track record except for certain niches).

This is also as far as I know still true for a lot of other productivity-type uses of computers -- even though mobile and tablets are also used in some of this space, they often seem more auxiliary. Most of the serious professional tools for, say, business (eg spreadsheets, accounting, inventory, etc.) or even artistic uses (music, photo editing, etc.) also are primarily keyboard / mouse oriented. Tablet oriented tools definitely exist (especially in the art space), but a lot of times its not a primary use case, except perhaps in communication tools.

Mobile space is a walled garden, designed more simply for limited real estate and touch, with more difficulty to poke around (there is no real equivalent in the mobile world to open a web site, hit F12, and poke around). That's fine -- PCs / laptops haven't disappeared, and if a kid showed an interest in programming, you'd get them one. :)

Now, the original poster may have been referring to the new world of social. I did more enjoy the long form of social (eg blogs) that popped up in the 00s. Versus the current social world, dominated by only a few firms that are highly motivated to manipulate your feed, tweak your emotions, and optimize the dispersion of ads (and other low-quality tabloid junk). It's my "old man yells at cloud" pet peeve, I suppose. Not exactly a mobile device problem, though.

Development (in basically every variety) has always been a niche use of computers. It's the niche that produces all the software that everyone else uses, of course, but most people aren't going to program a computer, outside of (perhaps) some school class that'll touch on it.

Productivity's less niche, but it's becoming more and more realistic to imagine someone using a tablet with attached keyboard as their sole computing device (besides the omnipresent smart phone, I mean).

I'd say that the input method doesn't matter so much, although it's interesting to talk about how the commonly used devices are shifting. I'm more worried about native software development sliding into impossibility and content-creation becoming an afterthought.

> Obsolete is a bit of an exaggeration. As far as I know, almost all programming (including for mobile devices) is still done with a keyboard and a mouse, and I honestly don't see this changing anytime soon...

How many programmers and developers are there vs consumers? The traditional keyboard and mouse interface is dying in consumer space. Sure it will live on in business and content creation, but the majority of development going forward is pushing people onto mobile reinforcing it as the standard for interfacing to a computer.

I think there are quite a bit more consumers than is obvious at first glance. I am currently surrounded by a hundred or so non-technical people typing away at their work computers. Not sure if those will be replaced by touch interfaces anytime soon.

When a new interface comes on the scene, and assuming that people won't add more hours to their computer time, it can't help but cannibalize time spent on other interfaces. Halfway through that process it's really easy to project that line until it is 100% of all interface usage anywhere.

But here in 2018, we really ought to all have a pretty clear idea of why touch screens are in no danger of displacing mice and keyboards 100%. It's pretty obviously not going to happen, and not particularly mysterious why.

In other news, phone-based gaming is also obviously not going to kill dedicated consoles anytime soon.

In other, other news, see also why touch screens need not fear being entirely replaced by voice-based computer usage. In much the same way that touch screens didn't, can't, and won't completely replace other higher-bandwidth ways of interacting with computers, voice has those same problems w.r.t. touchscreens even more so. You can get a nice boost on the bandwidth in the computer input direction, but you get annihilated on the bandwidth coming back out compared to a screen. There is no other computer IO mechanism that so thoroughly lacks bandwidth back to the human as a voice interface, short of a plain flashing light on a physical console. (Which, actually, if the human knows Morse code or something, could damn near keep up with the voice interface on the bandwidth front. That's how bad voice interfaces are on the output bandwidth.)

As long as they don't totally lock computing down with Trusted Platform Modules and walled gardens and touch-only input, as long as we can still write Turing-complete code, we'll be the old men and women still being much faster and better at traversing the Internet clouds than the regular population.

We'll be the last guerillas in the long-lost War on General Purpose Computing.

TPM isn’t about locking down machines - they’re about enabling the user (who is always in control) to establish a trust chain for software on the machine - and to serve as a secure store for cryptographic secrets so they become inaccessible from the rest of the system.

You can have lock-out without the TPM anyway - like the pre-Fingerprint reader iPhones.

TPM technically isn't about locking users out, but will be (is) used this way - between enterprise customers and MAFIAA's desire for DRM, it's pretty much a given. It's a tool in the War on General Purpose Computing. Alone not enough to win it, and sure, theoretically useful for both sides, but for the enemies of general purpose computing it's an important cog in their war machine.

QubesOS uses this tool to give users and device owners (not vendors) control, e.g. Anti Evil Maid.

Two reasons why Reddit isn't "digg-ing" their own grave right now:

1. This change is much smaller and less destructive than digg's big change (although the long term effects can be just as destructive).

2. When Digg's redesign caused an exodus, Reddit was extremely well known as "that ugly digg clone" and "this digg link was on Reddit yesterday". Reddit doesn't have a well known established "number two" the way digg did. Raddleme is a leftist fringe site, voat is a racist fringe site, HN is a technology fringe site. Discord servers rely on Reddit for discoverability and member vetting. When this has been discussed before, I've never seen a viable candidate mentioned. Since the only people who can leave are people who only use fringe topics, Reddit won't be able to loose critical mass and then the fringers will have to come back.

On the other hand, these changes appear to be a step into the Twitter/Instagram/facebook market. I'm curious if Reddit will be ready in time to take advantage of this upcoming Facebook exodus, also if there will even be an exodus.

You've painted a picture in my mind of Reddit as this massive blob connecting Discord, so-called "fringe communities", etc.

It actually makes me appreciate Reddit a bit more -- it can be garbage, but it's also a bit of a centralized meeting place for so many smaller communities. Even if the bulk of those smaller communities doesn't take place on Reddit itself, they still flow through Reddit.

Reddit is like the central bazaar of discoverability. The community you end up in might not live on Reddit, but in all likelihood, you discovered it through Reddit.

So despite how terrible the big communities can be (which is not a Reddit-exclusive problem), I'm still glad it exists. Maybe an alternative is needed, but at the very least, I respect how Reddit has mostly retained this unique ability over the years.

I dislike trying to talk about "The Reddit Community" for the same reason I'd dislike trying to talk about "The New York City Community" or "The Tokyo Community": You don't have a million-member community. You can talk about Dunbar's Number, you can talk about the simple fact nobody goes out and meets a million people even if they're all on the same website/within a half-mile radius of their home, but the result is the same.

It's possible to talk about "The Average Redditor" or "The Average New Yorker" or "The Average Tokyo Resident", because statistics isn't about community, but the whole reason Reddit has survived at the size it is is precisely because subreddits allow different people to have vastly different views of "what's on Reddit" based on subscription/unsubscription. This allows The_Donald and EnoughTrumpSpam and dozens of other communities which would fight like cats in a sack were they ever mixed to share the same service.

So Reddit isn't a community. It's a pre-made hosted platform to build a community meeting point that you can largely (or completely, via invitation-only private subreddits) insulate from all the other communities on the same platform.

But these community members aren't insulated entirely, ever. A new account is always provided the same front page experience, due to default subscriptions, and most Redditors only add subreddits to that front page, never removing any. Even if they curate to an extreme level, the Popular feed is always the same for everyone. You need to manually override that feed with RES filters to eliminate content.

So I think it's valid to refer to "The Reddit Community", with some caution, because there is a familiarity with some of the same content, and an ability to relate in certain modes of thinking. The same way as "The Tokyo Community" generally familiar with Shibuya crossing, the local weather patterns, and behavioral expectations.

There's significant standard deviation, but also a commonality that enables a stronger connection to other members of the platform / city.

I visit a few subreddits regularly, but I literally never visit the frontpage intentionally. I'll bet this is true of a fair number of reddit users.

Defaults have been gone for a while. Doesn’t affect older users but going forward every users front page will be more different.

I literally just made an account today and it subscribed me to a bunch of defaults.

I prefer to call it the "United Communities of Reddit".

Right! I've always appreciated that through one login, I got the equivalent of basically endless forums. Sure, I do miss the "tight-knit" nature of the forums of the late 90's, but reddit still gives value.

I have to use Forums for a few hobbies and after switching to reddit years ago it feels so different. I'm clearly not getting my "NEED INSTANT COMMUNICATION!" dopamine injection from forums like I am with reddit.

I don’t know. Back in the day, I occasionally spammed the F5 key eagerly awaiting new replies in forums.

I think you’re right about the Facebook transition, especially with the design shifting to one more closely matching Facebook.

The dark horse, in my opinion, is spectrum.chat. It is fast, beautiful and being iterated on daily. It is also open source and open to feedback. The real time chat combines the best of discord and slack and the design is a step up from both of those and it.

It might not be a direct replacement to Reddit, but I think it could steal some traffic as it develops. Plus it is driven by a revenue model based on subscribers, not ads, sidestepping the current FB public relations issues.

Why should all these things be centralized, though? Before Reddit, there were disparate forums with different rules and structures - Reddit organized and unified them, but is now applying changes that make forums non-viable as a reddit use-case.

Because it's a lot easier to find them. To me, Reddit is the modern day Usenet...

Usenet was (largely) uncensored, that is a huge difference.

I wish Hubski would take off more. The design is purpose-built for respectful, intelligent discussion.

If you don't mind me asking, why do you think Hubski has failed so far? You'd think its innovation really would make it a likely candidate for passing the network effect threshold.

I think part of it is the personal nature of the discussion. It is full of intelligent, successful people who tend to think for themselves and do lots of interesting things outside of the internet. It can be intimidating and can make one worry they might be judged for commenting. Especially because some of the big names around there can be a bit touchy if you say something they don't like.

I think another reason is because Hubski sucks and is full of spammers when you're not logged in. You need to log in to get the full benefit and curation.

What is hubski's innovation? Using tags to organize more prolifically?

From reading Reddit threads about the redesign: pretty much everyone hates it, especially Reddit’s most passionate users, who have been very articulate, consistent, and aligned about exactly what they don’t like, and Reddit just keeps brushing them off and dismissing their point of view.

Maybe the purpose of the redesign is something like monetization? Or maybe they are just out of touch and by the time they really understood the community’s point of view, the decisions had been made, so the Reddit employees tasked with handling the community response can’t really say or do much.

Of course it's about monetization. There's a difference between how Reddit-the-company (and its investors) view the site, and how its users do.

It's like with cafés - visitors likes them quiet, and would very much enjoy having an electrical outlet near the table (to charge up phone) and even free Wi-Fi. But cafés aren't in business of making peoples' life better and more enjoyable, they're in business of selling coffee - so they'll actively remove electrical outlets, remove their Wi-Fi and make the place noiser, to increase turnover.

Genuinely interested to know where in the world the cafes are like that.

I’m in the Midwest. All of them do something to discourage staying all day. Most don’t have many seats with access to electrical. WiFi is restricted to a couple hours per session and not any faster than it needs to be. Most of them are echoey on purpose. It’s been several years since one tried to make bringing a computer at all difficult, though. I credit this to the re-emergence of Dunkin Donuts in our area, reducing the gain from competing for customers without much time for coffee.

Maybe not in the suburbs but it's definitely the case in SF. Try Sightglass in Soma for instance. Loud, no internet, no outlets at all.

Or Coffee Bar in Potrero. They have no laptop sections and possibly the slowest internet speed I've ever seen.

They don't make the experience tortuous but it's not the most pleasant experience either.

Statistically, cafes don't do that.

I remember the Slashdot redesign and the Fark redesign too, and now this one. The general pattern is the site owners’ unwavering certainty that the redesign is great and everyone is wrong, in the face of vocal criticism from users. Remember “You’ll get over it”?

EDIT: I’d love to see actual measured metrics published showing a particular design change actually making sense. Is the new one faster for any particular task? Does it generate more signups? More revenue? Not saying these guys didn’t measure this, but publishing the results would be fascinating.

Is there an example of a site who rolled out a big redesign and then actually reversed course based on end user feedback?

One of the few aggressive, rapid turnabouts I've ever seen in the Internet space, was Netflix & Reid Hoffman absorbing the immense negative reaction about Qwikster and deciding to do the right thing and listen to their customers. Had they persisted and ignored the feedback, there would plausibly be no Netflix as we know it today (probably stomped by competitors given a big opening and or acquired).

The Netflix stock chart tells the tale nicely: https://i.imgur.com/sZ9FjeP.jpg

I don't get it. What exactly is changing? From the screenshots from the reddit post about it, it looks.... like reddit. There's posts and the posts have upvote/downvote buttons, and there's a link to the comments that shows how many there are. Am I missing something? The OP article doesn't actually have any screenshots of changes, and I made it several paragraphs into the article still not understanding what is changing.

You should be able to interact with the redesign directly at https://new.reddit.com. The main complaints I've seen leveled at the redesign are: user profiles becoming more like Facebook profiles, the new chat functionality missing core features, and the newly created "best" ranking becoming the default.

"Best" has been the default comment ranking for years. I'm not surprised that it eventually worked its way into the front page posts.

How it differs from "Hot" though is not clear to me. Maybe they try harder to show you fresh posts.

A while ago they made subs that a large number of people had blocked show up on the front page less. The change came about because certain small vocal communities would boost content to the front page that the rest of reddit hated.

My main complaint is that I still don't see any way to do subscripts or mathematical expressions. Some subreddits recommend browser extensions that allow embedding some kind of TeX variant and render it, but that only helps if you use one of the browsers that has one of those extensions.

Best is the new default on the old UI too.

Not sure why, but that link just brings me to the normal homepage (as it's looked for years).

Strange, yeah if I open it in an incognito window I'm shown the old reddit homepage. Maybe it only works for signed-in users?

This confused me as well. See Izkata below your comment with a wired link to screenshots.

But I see the old reddit as well.

I wonder if you have to be logged in for that link to work? I'm at work right now and I never log in to reddit from here.


I'm logged in and still getting redirected to the original.

I just get regular reddit when I click that, did they turn it off?

Not sure what reddit post you're referring to, but the images on Wired make it look like Facebook, not Reddit: https://www.wired.com/story/reddit-redesign/

The reddit post I meant was this announcement from 10 or so days ago: https://www.reddit.com/r/announcements/comments/891stx/start...

Thanks for the Wired link. That actually shows it. Yeah, I agree it looks quite facebook-like.

Sadly, the reddit website has become a travesty - especially on mobile. A huge "DOWNLOAD THE REDDIT APP" banner obscures literally 30% of the page. There is a teeny-tiny "view on mobille site" link in small, low-contrast text that can be used to dismiss the annoying banner. Due to its size and user-hostile design, the Reddit banner is even worse than most news sites that try to push their newsletter/app/subscription with similarly annoying banners.

I dropped the mobile app because it was occupying over 200MB of space, and my inadequately equipped iPhone ran out of space. I switched to the mobile site, but now avoid that as well due to the constant, in-your-face app promotion. Every website with a mobile app these days: "I get it, you have an app, I don't want the app, stop telling me to download it."

Edit: Thanks for the helpful replies - however staying completely off Reddit is probably better for my overall wellbeing. Reddit is no longer a "happy place" for me, the racists, trolls, shills, and bigots have ruined it for me. To top it off, I was recently banned by admins (not mods) for "attempting to evade a subbreddit ban" which was a result of my using a VPN - no thanks.

It actually has a switch to turn nagging about app off. It's 'ask to open in app' in menu. No banners or popups about the app since I've flipped it.

Which not useful if you prefer to lurk rather than login or use incognito/firefox focus to browse.

This is why I never saw the setting to disable the app prompt. Reddit tracks every single action on their site (no duh) and I don't feel like being monitored when I'm on the toilet looking for LULZ

For the record, I'm sure they track you just as much even if you've never created an account.

I smiled when writing that, expecting this very response ;) - I'll just stay away completely as per my parent comment edit.

The kicker is that Reddit's "activity feed" in the right hand sidebar is what revealed, or reminded me of this behavior. Without it, I probably would have continued to ignore the obvious / bury my head in the sand. Thanks Reddit!

If you're on iOS, use Apollo instead: https://apolloapp.io/

Hands down the best Reddit app for iOS.

Neither this nor the alternatives in the replies to you mention anything about moderator tools.

Even the official reddit mobile app only finally got things like viewing mod queue, and approve/remove/spam, very recently. Which means until recently using the actual site on my phone was the only way I could use reddit.

This may seem like a niche request, but it holds back the ability of moderators to use reddit mobile apps, and in turn prevents that class of "power users" from being able to recommend an app to friends.

(and even the site itself isn't great; on desktop I use multiple browser extensions to add functionality reddit itself should be providing)

Readder does have mod tools but I'm not sure how in depth or good they are since I've never used them.

I actually vastly prefer Readder over Apollo. Check it out: http://readder.co/

100% agree with that. Switched from the official app over to Apollo a few months ago and haven't looked back since.

The gesture-based functionality and the media viewer alone make it way better than the offical app.

Does it show ads?

Nope, well except the standard Reddit posts that are obviously ads...

No ads. It's monetized via in-app upgrade to Apollo Pro.

On Android, use the "Reddit if fun" application - classic Reddit, fit for mobile: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.andrewshu....

Yeah but I don't want to use another app for that. I already have app for browsing Reddit - it's called web browser and I'd like to keep using it rather than downloading yet another app that does basically the same.

I get your point, but "Reddit is Fun" is really good. It's the opposite of the stupid mobile apps which are inferior to the website proper.

I might even prefer it to the desktop site (not to speak of the mobile site).

Seconding Reddit is Fun - it has a very decent UX (about the only thing I'd love to see improved is the comment box, especially around quoting stuff). It's lean, bullshit-free, actively developed and offers all the features you'd have on the website (at least all that I know of).

If I can offer a suggestion. If you have android then I'd recommend you switch your browser to firefox and follow these steps (not sure if iOS has firefox, or if it does, if these steps will work on it):

1. download uBlock origin for it (yep, same add on, works in android firefox)

2. browse to reddit, an interstitial should pop up nagging you to use the app.

3. open up the menu and select uBlock origin at the bottom, select the eye dropper tool.

4. click on the div that is dimming all the content, this should give you an option to filter it out, uBlock will give you a list of parent elements you can add to the filter instead. In this case the one you are looking for is .DualPartInterstitial. You can verify with the preview button.

This will commit this div to your personal filter list.

If you frequent sites with these types of nags, this process will let you manually dismiss them until they redesign. Ideally they would respect your preferences themselves, but they never do.

I use Stylus to much the same effect, modifying, or occasionally wholesale replacing, site CSS.

That can be used in conjunction with uMatrix to discard the site's own CSS.

Reddit on web is unfortunately unusable, at least on mobile, due to how badly it was implemented

Apps add extra features and/or provide better usability.

I personally love using Sync for Reddit. It provides a nice and fluid experience.

A web browser is an inferior tool for the job of accessing reddit API in a mobile context.

Reddit has always been app-first on mobile, web-first on desktop. This has been true since the very first reddit mobile app.

If you're okay using your very inferior solution, then please do not come in here to complain about your willfully chosen inferior experience, because the people here will only seek to help you by educating you on the basic ways to use the reddit service...

> Reddit has always been app-first on mobile

No it hasn't, they only released the official reddit app in 2016. Reddit bought alien blue in 2014 but even that was only available on iOS

I think they meant in the sense that users heavily made use of third party mobile apps, even long before the web site had a usable mobile version. Reddit has always had a dev-friendly API enabling these things.

>No it hasn't, they only released the official reddit app in 2016. Reddit bought alien blue in 2014 but even that was only available on iOS

?? Are you confusing the reddit API with the official crap reddit app? It's okay to be ignorant about reddit, but your fake correction borne out of ignorance is weird and misplaced.

Alien Blue development began when the first official iOS App Store debuted in 2010, and was released shortly there after


The reddit apps for Android came out around the same time frame.

So the reddit apps for iOS/Android came out when the app stores came out. For nearly as long as we've had smartphones, we've had reddit API and third party apps. That's the entire history of reddit mobile: API + third party apps.

Anyone with any knowledge of reddit knows that their strategy for mobile was API+third party apps for the majority of their history, and their recent first party apps are ignored and suck.

"Relay" is also amazing. I realized just today that I browse HN from mobile Firefox, but reddit from Relay, and I realized that that's because Relay is so much better than any HN mobile app. It really makes a difference.

Have you tried Materialistic[1] for HN? Apache licensed, also on F-droid[2].

[1] https://github.com/hidroh/materialistic

[2] https://f-droid.org/packages/io.github.hidroh.materialistic/

Yes, it's what I currently use, but it has some problems (comment formatting shows up weirdly, the built-in browser uses desktop mode and doesn't let me resize sites so many are illegible, etc). It's the best I've found, though.

Materialistic is nice. The only feature I miss with it would be a custom filter. If I could hide automatically stories based on keywords (like "Facebook"), that would be great.

I use both Relay for Reddit and Materialistic for HN and they're absolutely brilliant. Didn't take me that long to pay for Relay Pro.

Another excellent mobile client for Android is Slide for Reddit.

thats my personal fav.

I go with Redreader.

It may lack some niceties, but i find it gets the job done and is open source (and was originally built to cache sub-reddits).

yeah it's almost better than the desktop web version.

Huge fan of Relay

protip: append ".compact" to the URL (before the "?" query string, if any). All reddit links will also now automatically have .compact. Bookmark it.

Starter pack: https://www.reddit.com/.compact https://www.reddit.com/r/all.compact https://www.reddit.com/message/inbox/.compact

This gives the old reddit mobile experience, which is far lighter and better. But some things are broken, e.g. "submit" is broken; "parent" take you to the modern mobile version (but "conext" works); "sidebar" needs a separate page.

To any reddit admins reading: please don't take this functionality away.

You can also just change the subdomain to i.reddit.com instead of www.reddit.com to achieve the same effect.



I personally find this quicker to type.


BTW another breakage is no comment "delete" link; need to switch back for that.

Their mobile app rarely works for me. There was a bug for a few months(!) where I couldn't log in. It worked again for a month, and now the app can't connect to the server at all.

To be clear, I'm running this on a brand new iPhone X, so I've got plenty of power to run the app. The site works in my mobile browser, but the app has serious reliability problems.

If anyone at Reddit is reading this, please stop pushing the mobile app so hard. You're actively making things worse by pushing a highly unreliable app!

Also, please make it possible to sort by "Rising" on the mobile site and app (should I ever be able to connect again). On busy news days, things move fast enough that "Rising" is the only way to keep up, yet the option is mysteriously inaccessible on mobile.

Why the hell should I have to use an app to browse Reddit?

It's entirely possible to build a website that works well in the browser on my phone AND on my desktop.

This should be the top comment. The dark UX forcing an app down your throat for a website is appalling. Also is the chorus of illiterate responsers to every post like this pushing yet another 3rd party app. The website is broken if you need an app.

use the .compact version of reddit's website: append a '/.compact' to the end of a normal reddit url like www.reddit.com/r/programming/.compact , and see how fast and user friendly it is!

https://i.reddit.com works as well

Luckily taking 15 seconds to type this in the address bar and load the old version is still faster than loading any "normal" mobile Reddit page. This is what I've been doing for years.

I agree that .compact is their most mobile friendly website but I'm not sure I'd call it "user friendly".

It's difficult to edit comments, difficult to switch between subreddit's, and defaults to their main mobile format or prompts you to download their app if you click on any internal links that don't have .compact in the URL (include the default /r/$subreddit formatting).

The day they kill the .compact page is the day I stop using reddit.

Try the Apollo app if you want to use one

Seconded. I'm a hardcore fan of Apollo, it's an incredible app.

> the reddit website has become a travesty - especially on mobile. A huge "DOWNLOAD THE REDDIT APP" banner obscures literally 30% of the page.

Somewhere under preferences you can disable this bullshit forever.

The website is still a travesty though.


1. That I've found.

2. For unauthenticated sessions.

I hit Reddit via Incognito mode frequently. That goddamned nag shows up every goddamned time.

You can disable that banner in the hamburger menu when logged in.

Yes, you'd expect it to be gone after the first time you dismiss it, but you will probably still want to know that you can remove it :)

It's not just the splash that's frustrating on mobile. I dislike staring at a logo for ages just so I can eventually read one comment page.

I'm sure this is fun for people who use reddit regularly but as only an occasional visitor I would rather do without it.

They have also periodically been A/B testing a popup with only two options, login or get mobile app, when clicking on a topic -- as far as I could tell it was not possible to just pass to the comment thread. Luckily that seems to have been phased out.

I completely agree and even when you just accept all this and actually get the App, it is pretty terrible (on IOS).

As in, it stops loading posts, and stops infinite scrolling, so you have to basically kill the app, then go back into it.

I don't see how that is more useful than the website or a better experience.

Also another issue is that many links just don't work. I can't see `streamable` and many others because the page that opens has no touch detection. I have to select `...` then go to `Open in Safari` to make it work.

Reddit and YouTube are the only things stopping my IPad from gathering dust.

It's because they want your device's advertiser ID so they can associate it with your interests based on subreddits you visit. There's gold in them ad targeting data hills.

Hit https://old.reddit.com

Unfortunately intra-reddit links cause all the usual problems.

But yes, mobile behaviour is rage-inducing.

You can ask to always recieve the desktop website via the hamburger menu. Really the best option IMO.

You've got to:

1. Click though the Mobile nag overly.

2. Turn off the Mobile nag, or you'll see it again.

3. Specify "desktop" via, for the second time, the motherfucking hamburger.

That is: this is what I'm doing. Every. Goddamned. Time. It's motherfucking rage inducing. I've mentioned this more than once at Reddit.

I never download "the app" because I know the privacy and security settings of my browser will not apply there and everything on my phone will get hoovered.

Try i.reddit.com. I still use it, and I'm still annoyed to no end when the "modern" mobile website loads instead, with its ~5 second splash screen that loads less information than the former does in goddamn instant.

There's not even any content to be obscured if JS is disabled, as I tend to do on phones to minimise data usage.

I think that's now removed no? Or at least, I haven't noticed it for a while. I got hit with the Google hammer regarding a similar banner, where they threatened to stop indexing the site completely, so I assume they had a similar message. Or maybe they're large enough to be exempt. I don't know.

It's a small banner on Reddit's AMP pages. Once you click "view more comments", you're taken over to the mobile version which has the huge banner.

Shamless plug: you can see this behaviour in the two screenshots in lower left corner in this post https://grumpy.website/post/0PhBPyfR- Reddit redesigned the AMP page to include some comments, but the behaviour is essentially the same.

For logged-in users, the banner goes away (I think after the first time you click to stay on the mobile site).

I'm always logged in, but it often asks me to consider using the app. I detest it. Why are they pushing it so hard?

You have to be logged in and toggle a preference to disable the popup. But then it forgets I'm logged in and I see it again. I agree that it's extremely obnoxious and has just resulted in me never bothering to look at Reddit on a phone anymore.

Also too much animation. Material Design has accessibility problems for motion sensitivity.

I use one of the third party apps. I tried the official app but it forces you to open external links in their embedded chrome/webview. The third party simply opens them in my browser.

It's a lot worse than that; m.reddit.com hasn't displayed anything except a white blank page on Safari on iOS for over a year.

Even worse, the app loses features of the site that are super super important, like the "duplicates" tab.

And after clicking that small hard to see button, get ready for another popup if you want to watch a gif

i.reddit.com is what I was using. Super compact and pretty easy to use. But its not meant for participating only for browsing.

A day before the re-design announcement I was explaining to a friend why Digg died and why Reddit would never dare re-designing their page. Oh boy was I wrong.

You make it sound like this came out of nowhere. Reddit has been letting people beta test this for months.

And I told them it is terrible and stopped beta testing within minutes.

And you were wrong. Time to admit it.

You're right. I love it when websites run slow and hog resources to provide less functionality than they used to.

To me Digg died with the AACS censorship debacle. In hindsight, I understand Kevin Rose was trying to protect Digg from lawsuits that would effectively destroy the site, but the censorship did the same.

Digg died for me when they shifted the focus of their front-page from Technology and Headline News to more “mainstream” topics - eventually the frontoage was entirely NFL-related story links - this was a while after the AACS incident.

Purely from a user perspective I personally love the new Reddit design, I don't find it detracts much from the previous design at all. BUT I use a top-end Macbook Pro and I find the new design to be terribly slow and a performance hog, where it simply kills the UX.

Once you open up 10 tabs (how I typically browse Reddit, by shift clicking each thread I want to read) I can hear my CPU fans kicking in. I had to tune Firefox to use 6 cores instead of 4 to get any decent performance. I may just end up going back to the old design :/

I'm not sure what computers/browsers Reddit's UI/UX team has been testing on, or if they've ever tried to open multiple pages at once, but this is a pretty blatant issue.

Agreed. The design aesthetic actually works but the technical overhead in implementing is the problem. HN works so well because not only does it prioritize information density but it consumes less resources. The Reddit redesign pushes thumbnails, infinite scroll, and a useless right sidebar.

Thumbnails waste space depending on the subreddit. Infinite scroll destroys the idea of a discrete "front page" which is core to Reddit being the front page of the Internet. In addition the infinite scroll makes no sense in the comments where on Mobile you can jump between top-level parent comments whereas on Desktop it's too busy loading child comments before you can get to the next top-level parent comment. The right sidebar is persistent and serves little purpose for a power user. The left sidebar which provides core navigation for a power user is useful when persistent but loads asynchronously with the middle, main content for it to be a consistent user experience.

Top tier sites like reddit should not drop large, disruptive, releases like this.

Take Amazon for example. If they went from the design 5-7 years ago straight to the current design, there would be uproar, Stock price dip etc.

The incremental approach allows the site owner to both roll back bad ideas but also condition users into where the design is heading.

(Correction: not Conde Nast) The owner, has a plan, which is clearly not inline with the current Reddit usage, this is not the approach to get to that goal.

I am struggling to think of big drops like this working, anyone?

> I am struggling to think of big drops like this working, anyone?

Gmail has done major overhauls all in one go. So has Dropbox. Google calendars. Google earth. Apple's main site. Most newspaper's sites. Bitbucket. Facebook has had several. All of these have irritated some portion of users who decried the death of the product, yet eventually people get used to it. I think it works more often than not.

And if we went suddenly from Amazon of five years ago[1] to the Amazon of today I don't think there would be that much of an uproar. It's basically the same site, just with minor colour and layout changes.

[1]: https://web.archive.org/web/20130316112319/http://www.amazon...

"It's basically the same site, just with minor colour and layout changes."

The most dramatic change has been to "community" features. Amazon feels it is enough of a monopoly now that it now longer has to attract customers through the ability to discuss things. The discussion boards were shut down, and similarly the ability to leave a comment under someone's product review was restructured so that that feature no longer serves to let people maintain a lively conversation among themselves about the author or musician. Many listings now only show by default reviews from customers who actually brought the product; this was done to tackle the problem of shill reviewers, but it also eviscerated the community that had popped up to share their feelings on even library loans because for nearly two decades Amazon had let anyone review and discuss books and music.

The page to see your review history has been changed so that it is now an infinite scroll. While infinite scroll is a very popular design choice these days, I can’t help but wonder if Amazon also wanted to make it difficult for the reviewers with 1000+ reviews to easily move their content to another site.

I believe they are no longer owned by Condé Nast.

Correct, sort of. They are still owned by Conde Nast's parent company

Reddit is not owned or controlled by Conde Nast or Advance Publications anymore, however they are still a large shareholder.

Advance owns more than 50% of the stock. That pretty much gives them control, doesn't it?

As I recall, Conde nast no longer controls reddit

To be fair, they are only "dropping" it on a small subset of users for the time being.

I read 1%, which is a whole lot. But the previous poster's (very valid, I find) point is not to roll out a vast redesign slowly to all users, but rather small changes (possibly with testing on small groups beforehand).

As long as redditors can choose between the designs I don't see a problem. Once this choice is removed though they've veered in to Digg territory. All the power users and influencers will use the old design because they're used to it. I can see why reddit wants a redesign -- reddit is ugly but people are used to it that way and grew to like it. The redesign is for new users.

Reddit has already been down this path with Pao. If they don't like how the site is being run they will depart or revolt.

> The redesign is for new users

And I suspect bigger, more visible ads/paid content

The paid content is definitely way worse (more insidious) in the new design): it blends in far more, and equally as bad is that a lot of it seems to be just using those trash fb-esque style clickbait titles.

Reddit's not perfect, but trash-tier clickbait titles is not something I'm accustomed to seeing on there, nor do I want to.

They could have made the ads more visible without adding a million frameworks.

> As long as redditors can choose between the designs I don't see a problem.

Even if they intend to keep the old design available forever (very unlikely), it means that they now have the same number of developers supporting twice as much UI. So obviously that means they will not be able to deliver bug fixes as rapidly, etc.

Any good tl;dr on what happened between Ellen Pao and reddit? I didn't follow the story when it was playing out.

She closed some long running hatefests like fatpeoplehate and took the fall for the very controversial firing of an employee, which later turned out to be Ohanian's decision.

She basically opened the floodgates for banning subreddits Reddit doesn't like. Up until the ban of fatpeoplehate, the only subreddits that would get banned were CP related or based around doxing.

Now pretty much anything is on the table.

>Now pretty much anything is on the table.

Not really. The_Donald hasn't been banned even though Reddit doesn't like it. They have kind of hidden it though.

They shut down a huge number of firearm/alchohol/tobacco related subreddits in the last month, many of which were very mature and welcoming communities, without any warning they they were going to do this to the moderators.

Places like r/beerswap and r/pipetobaccomarket, which allowed users to swap product unavailable in their local areas.

Now the moderators of big subreddits like r/pipetobacco are organizing alternative websites for their users to go to, before the inevitably get banned without warning for not aligning with Reddit's new image.

The current events are most likely motivated by legal concerns, and have nothing to do with the decision to shut down hate subs, and happened a long time after Pao left.

I unfortunately saw this weeks ago. I did the checkbox accepting being in the Beta program.

At first, I thought something was rewriting the whole content of my browser. And then, I realized, no, this is their "redesign". On mobile, the site is unusable - as in a overlay bar blocks all clicks or anything - for at least 30 seconds. Being on a laptop wasn't much better. There, it was 10 seconds of unusuability, per loaded page.

It took me 3 minutes to navigate to turn off beta. From there, it went back to the decent site I'm used to. Well, except a button in the upper left band that states "TRY THE REDESIGN"... Uhh, no.

All good things must come to an end. There is an end to everything, to good things as well.

What browser are you on? new.reddit.com works just fine on updated Firefox... biggest annoyance is the lack of sidebars on subreddits, apparently they need to be enabled by the mods.

All I wanted to see is what the comments section now looks like. It's literally the only thing I'm there for, and preview photos never show it. (My biggest complaint with many HN app previews too)

Of course, when I try the preview myself, I'm greeted with this:


Here's an example.


I'm not seeing any significant differences there. Am I missing something obvious?

Your link is dead (on mobile at least).

imgur appears to be having server difficulties of some sort; every image page on mobile currently gives "not found".

Frustrating to discuss this on reddit as well. They always think we should watch and eait but that rarely works. Especially if they already added huge banners advertising their data collecting app and now autoplaying videos, before people complained they also autoplayed them with sound..

How can an article about a re-design not actually show or compare the two designs?


This one at least has some screenshots of the new design. It feels like a Facebook clone to me. In particular it looks like they're flattening comments to be like FB rather than the thread? model that Reddit has today.

The only significant change I've noticed re: comments are how the nested chains collapse: instead of the intuitive [+] and [-] at the parent comment, there's a line that runs alongside the chain. Click that line and it collapses.

It's not as easy to figure out on your own, but it's a significant improvement IMO.

The redesign adds a bit of lag from all the javascript and extra elements. The old plain text + expanding comments + images/gifs is much smoother and includes everything that's needed

There is certain design by committee feeling at new redesing, its like they are putting everything there chat, share, follow, fancy sidebar, options and more.

Reddit is pushing to become a news site rather than a community site.

I don't think that's an unreasonable assumption. People already view Twitter as a source of news, no reason they wouldn't accept Reddit as a news media as well.

I don't think so. Most content on the frontpage is pictures and videos, not news. They added image and video hosting relatively recently so users wouldn't leave the site while consuming media. They can't do that with news

Reddit gave me the opportunity to try the new layout, and I lasted exactly 1 minute before reverting. The log in page was broken. I could see where to sign up for a new account, but could not see area to log in for existing users.

The problem appeared to be one of resizing the old log in page correctly for the new layout. Regardless, not my issue as a stupid user to have to debug log in pages for a major website.

If this sort of basic thing is missing in the redesign, they have big problems ahead.

The question is: By mistake or by design?

There are no mistakes in it. This was planned years ago, they spent a lot of time evaluating different technologies and UI mockups. I'm interested to see if AMA with Barak Obama will be still readable, or will start consuming gigabytes of RAM.

I miss being able to collapse comments by pressing the minus-sign button.

The long bar (beneath the upvote/downvote buttons) that shows what level the current comment is at collapses comments by clicking it. Very unintuitive, and I only found it by accident.

ah, thanks... but yes, very unintuitive.

I'm not seeing that in the images I've seen so far, got a link?

That would be a huge issue if they really did that. RES will probably step in and fix that.

You have to click the vertical line next to the comment which is a ridiculous change. The minus/plus signs were intuitive, now it's a line that switches to a plus sign.

I will disagree with this. Clicking on the bar has been part of the interface for some subreddits for a while now (though not many). I find it quite nice because if you are reading a deep thread and want to collapse to the next N levels up, then you don't have to carefully scroll up while watching the vertical bar to find the top comment in order to minimize that thread. This makes it very easy to skip to the next top-level comment when a topic has lots of comments.

I think the way it works is nice, and what you described is a good use for it. It could use some better UI to make it easier to discover. It didn't occur to me to hover over or click it because I thought it was merely an indicator.

The Apollo app is what official Reddit should be like right now.

Or Reddit Sync.

Reddit has its issues (brigading, trolling, execssive politics, 12-year old level "memes" on serious discussions), but it was a site you could visit without regret, and get lost in for hours.

With the new redesign, it is Facebook - people share a link, you click the comments section, it shows you the top comments, you upvote the top comments (or the ones that agree with your view), and rinse and repeat till infinity, because you have infinite scroll. Which is not how I want the future Reddit to look like.

Yes, it is good for advertisers. Yes, it is good for the the new wave of people who will arrive from Facebook.

But it is utterly disheartening for Reddit to stray so far from what I viewed its core emphasis as - comments.

wonder what will be the next reddit .. maybe the last push before some decentralized thing that needed some userbase.

PhpBB or vBulletin reincarnations?

Actually I wouldn't mind, I miss the spirit of these boards. phpbb was hell, but it seems a lot of php things are now based on clean modules (even though a quick googling sheds doubts on the status of phpbb over symfony modules)

Definitely didn't want to give impression that it's somehow worse. A well moderated board is lightyears ahead of a subreddit or, god forbid, FB group. Even half assed categorisation and search awesome. Today's forums could have proper full text search and pimped up moderation tools, possibly with some AI helpers on top.. Just thinking about it makes me drool.

I don't know if my interests shield me from bad subreddits but most of the one I glance at are fine, at worst they're just comatose but never toxic. I like reddit quite a bit, it has that weird organic value that overcome a lot of weirdness and subpar features.

Still old boards were .. much more home like than most of the web 2.0 ever dreamed of.

Not that they're bad. There's definitely a lot of subreddits with a good charm. But they're PITA from information archive point of view. Browsing old threads is much harder than in classic BB. Thus people keep asking same question over and over again even more than in the old days :)

Hundreds-of-pages-over-a-decade historical threads don't happen on either of new platforms either :( Which is one of the lovely quirks of the old boards IMO.

oh that sure, reddit has no function here on most subreddits, but for non instantaneous chat/help it's very good.

I guess I lurk on different type of classic forums. Most of them focus on generating long-standing content on-the-spot chat is just a byproduct.

yeah, per 'site' moderation has still a massive influence over this. /r/askhistorian is very strict about answers, anything that deviates from sourced and on topic will be removed. You can read anything there and have clear concise deep answers even years after.

this is something I liked a lot about reddit, there's no micromanagement, it's very organic and free. I'm not always for senseless freedom but in this case I found it to yield interesting things.

> I don't know if my interests shield me from bad subreddits but most of the one I glance at are fine, at worst they're just comatose but never toxic.

Hmmm, then I guess that's because you don't come often on airfrance any more, for it has not been looking nice in the last months.

I get there often, I don't know if it's worse because I didn't read it until recently.

Can somebody please summarize what has changed? Maybe I don't use Reddit enough, but I just refreshed one of the subreddits that I like, and I can't find a difference. Possibly a caching issue?

Maybe this will help -


is this supposed to be the new reddit?

it's the same ol' reddit for me.

The design reminds me too much of the native iOS Reddit app; fine for mobile, but I really do not like it for desktop. It is absolutely annoying to me.

in other news how is their new profile design going? I keep adding /overview to mine and other profiles to be able to actually click on things . Why do they keep breaking functionality for no apparent reason? It's becoming a theme in many high-traffic websites (google adsense, analytics come to mind), it's as if new managers roll in and decide to piss all around their territory.

I find the new design noisy and distracting.

digg v3?

I thought it was digg v4 that was Digg's undoing. Which was taken over by...Reddit. I guess its time for some other community site to take over. Maybe those Amino apps.

Is Fark still relevant? Their Cohen raid night thread was really long.

I started using reddit in 2008. Although I doubt it was intentional reddit was a refuge from the "Best viewed with Javascript" modern web for many years. It worked just fine to browse and read with no JS enabled and was very snappy and low resource usage that way. Sure, you had to toggle JS back on to vote or post but that was easy enough.

I left just before they pushed out the redesign due their increased censorship but from what I can see now it is a random chance that a sub will work with JS disabled. Half the time the post content in a div that only is rendered visible when you turn on JS. You can read it if you view source but not in the browser's native interface.

I'm with you on the JS stuff, the redesign screams "I want to be an app!" so desperately, I'm seriously considering leaving after a good 8 years on the site as well. Everything has that Javascript-delay on it, like it takes 0.5 seconds to click anything, scroll anything, etc.

I gotta say though:

>increased censorship

That's ridiculous. They're "censoring" all kinds of bottom-of-the-barrel racist and disturbing shit which simply should not be on a mainstream website (which reddit simply is now). I don't see any idealistic reason to keep /r/fatpeoplehate. The "everything that's legal" ideal is cute for some edgy website you create out of college, but a platform of reddit's size simply gives too much room for content to fall on the wrong side of the line.

> That's ridiculous. They're "censoring" all kinds of bottom-of-the-barrel racist and disturbing shit

They've also banned people legally arranging sales of alcohol, tobacco & firearms.

Because it isn't possible for them to make sure all jurisdictional compliance is there. Do they have an FFL? Does the person they're selling to across state lines also allowed to accept?

They're just covering their asses; it's not possible for them to watch every exchange so they have to ban all of it unfortunately.

I can't get those things at CVS either but I don't find it problematic. A business doesn't owe me any category of service that I want.

The reason to keep r/fatpeoplehate is simple. You cannot run a site where you censor things that some people dislike without falling into the hole of censoring all things.

Just look at cloudflare. The CEO did it out of spite and now they'll have to censor everything. It's already being used in court against them to force it even though they don't want to.

Once you're not just a host for discussion or not just a dumb pipe your job becomes to censor everything.

Personally, I think the censorship happens in a pretty biased way. There is still a lot of very problematic content in places like /r/The_Donald that just gets let slip because there are so many users and the mods are very influential. Other political subreddits like /r/socialism however, even if they have a lot of users, will get treated much more harshly by site admins if they are ever reported.

Similar things happen with discourse on facebook and twitter, where calls for ethnic cleansing by white people are often overlooked, while angry posts by people of colour that offend white people will get deleted or get users banned. It's really no wonder that US politics has gone the way it has when there is so much McCarthyism embedded in the moderation of these public forums.

I think it's a matter of perspective. The BBC here in the UK aims for roughly equal complaints of bias from both the left and right, and reddit seems to get the same (e.g. /r/altright and /r/leftwithsharpedge both getting banned). I've seen complaints of both overzealous and permissive moderation by admins for all types of content which leads me to think they're actually reasonably balanced.


I started using it after slashdot, digg and so on descended into noise and in particular after digg's universally hated redesign. There too site owners were deaf to user complaints. Reddit seems bent on learning the same lesson.

It's 2018 and you're criticizing a site for not running well with JS disabled. You're the one actively deciding to make websites harder to use, why should they design the site for you?

Bad engineering in 2018 is still bad engineering.

JS can be used to enhance the experience, and even build things otherwise impossible in the browser, and it's totally justified. But taking the newest, shinest web application framework and turning what's a tree of regular web documents into a web application, with data unaccessible if you don't run the entirety of its JS? That's just wrong.

At the risk of snark I don't have a clear way around, your definition of "good engineering" appears to be the same one that thinks a modern toilet is no better than a hole in the ground. Nobody that pays for developer time in 2018 is going to optimize their site for people that go out of their way to willfully turn off part of the stack. It's not gonna happen. Effort for no reward.

The protocol you describe, just a bare tree of text links, already exists as Gopher. People mostly stopped using that.

I turn off a part of the stack (or rather, run it on a whitelist), because people are using wrong parts of the stack for wrong things.

If you use the right parts of the stack for the right things, the result is a lean, accessible and interoperable piece of software. That's what the Internet was designed for. Alas, few people care, and in particular, interoperability is actively being opposed.

RE the toilet example, current webdev is more like refusing to build toilets in apartments and instead building them into car seats, because it's 2018, everyone has a car and a driver's license (or, rather, everyone in the population we want to monetize).

> more like refusing to build toilets in apartments and instead building them into car seats, because it's 2018, everyone has a car and a driver's license

Or maybe even making all kinds of interactive, surprising and unhygienic features on the toilet?

Some things should be simple and just work. They should work in a predictable manner and in a way that minimises risk for the users.

> Nobody that pays for developer time in 2018 is going to optimize their site for people that go out of their way to willfully turn off part of the stack. It's not gonna happen.

FWIW it takes less developer time to make a decent website without Javascript.

Javascript also introduces risks that are non existent in static pages.

Now if theese JS sites were super snappy and worked well offline etc I'd say probably wort it.

But I guess they are often worse that a plain old web page.

- someone who has created static and dynamic webpages since late last millenium

Good engineering is robust and efficient. Requiring Javascript to display simple, static text is not good engineering.

Most websites are not just simple, static text.

I disagree, most of them are simple static sites. Gmail, Google Docs, etc. are the outliers, not the norm. Reddit is a static text site with images. Hacker News is a static text site. Blogs are static text sites (with a few embedded images or non-text objects.

Most websites should be just simple, static text.

It doesn't take a lot of genius, time, or money to set a link w/ url parameters or use a standard html form for e.g. upvoting or comment submission, and then override that with javascript for fancier UI / AJAX / avoid redirects, etc -- i.e., extra polish, rather than it being the only option and the site just becomes nonfunctional instead of degrading gracefully.

This benefits more than just one tiny group of users: it might also aid disabled users and accessibility software (not to mention the developers of that software), security nuts, people who turn js off to improve performance on low-spec machines (it's 2018 here, but more than a few countries have a four (or even three!) figure GDP/capita, so their machines aren't going to be 2018 machines. This is just off the top of my head, how many other groups might there be that would benefit?

You're thinking as a developer and not as a business. A website that works perfectly well for 99% of visitors and adds the pizazz to keep them on the site is the goal.

Complaining about decisions like these is a form of market pressure. A weak one, but still within the rules of the business game.

Will it help the businesses if they learned that plain web sites are easier to create (and update), are better for the users and needs less maintenance?

But that's not true, because they also need the fancy ways of doing things as a reaction to demand.

So now they have more code, more to test, qa is more difficult, more surface area for bugs, etc.

Adding features isn't easier to maintain.

It's 2018 and web developers are still not competent enough to build simple websites (blogs, news, reddit) without forcing visitors to use JS.

JS is the technology responsible for most of the malware infections and spyware ad-tracking. It's not like people disable it just to piss off developers, there are very good reasons to turn it off.

>JS is the technology responsible for most of the malware infections and spyware ad-tracking. It's not like people disable it just to piss off developers, there are very good reasons to turn it off.

While I agree that JS is part of the malvertising problem but this statement is blowing things to an exaggeration. Chrome, Firefox and Safari are equally responsible for the infection that occurs because of JS.

> most of the malware infections

Can you give a source for that?

I keep asking for it and never had any good response. The best I have found is that it helps show phishing. A link that said "Install me" and trigger the download of an executable when you click on it doesn't make HTML responsible for malware infections.

Running content blockers have solved this problem for me while keeping JavaScript enabled.

"JS disabled" is just the consequent, tech-y angle to not requiring JS to display every damn text box. I get JS to load things like simple menu-pop-ups or expanding an image, but it's so infused in the new reddit layout, you need it to basically display simple, static text content. It's just bloat.

Bro, do you even have flair?

Reddit started sucking the larger it got. It was decent from 2005-2010, been a shitfest since and increasingly getting worse.

The early flame wars were fun though when they first got comments working.

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