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Show HN: Deck for Reddit – A Reddit client optimized for desktop (rdddeck.com)
150 points by snwfog 8 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 132 comments





Its amazing how far backwards reddit went. In browser on desktop it's incredibly slow, even just clicking the comment box to write takes a few seconds and lags out for no reason. No doubt they're employing an uber amount of user tracking and all manner of inefficient code.

It's really inexplicable. Old Reddit was fine, not great, just fine. The new Reddit UI is hideously bad. It was terrible when it launched, it was terrible months later, and it's still terrible now.

I'm honestly at a loss. Is this some galaxy brain "let's make the web experience terrible to force people to native apps" strategy?


  Is this some galaxy brain "let's make the web experience terrible to force people to native apps" strategy? 
Yes. If you browse it on your phone they even make more annoying by displaying footbar "launch on our native app"

For all the shit that the desktop web experience gets, the mobile web experience on reddit is a 1000 times worse. It sometimes blocks you from viewing certain (cough NSFW cough) subreddits unless you use the app, umm what??

Even worse that most communities, even safe for work ones like gaming communities are locked being using the app. I can't access any of my favored subreddits on mobile without visiting the old site.

The good thing is that refusing to download the app has cleared me of my reddit addiction


Use a third party app. They use api access and universally offer a better experience, without content blocking.

Which app do you recommend? I tried Apollo, Narwhal and Comet and didn't think any were as good as the native Reddit app.

Heh, they are probably assuming people would be more ashamed to complain if the block is NSFW only.

Not only that, they also have some A/B testing in place which makes email id mandatory if you signup via mobile browser; of-course email id is not needed for mobile app.

I also found that the mobile dials home quite regularly when in background.


I think Reddit could throw away all of the new stuff and be better off.

Everything they’ve done after maybe 2010 could just be thrown away.

An enormous waste of programmer effort and time for something that is a lot worse than what they started with.


The developers and designers had to justify getting paid, and they do that by producing features and a new "user experience". And if it's slow and rough, even better, job security for the foreseeable future until you fix the stuff.

Throw in the second-system effect they fell for in my humble opinion, and you got your explanation of what's going on.

Next up: Rinse and repeat.


I mean, we're talking about a website frontend that was what, 10 years old? At this point all frontend code was probably legacy and noone in the company knew how to maintain it properly, so they started over.

They could have spent the time they used to produce the current mess to learn about the old code and improve on it, or document it and then use it as a starting point for their new stuff and then improve on it.

10 years isn't necessarily bad either. Just look at HN. Functional with minimum of JS, 2.0kB transferred to load this reply page, tho it will not win any fancy design awards anytime soon. But all in all, great user experience. If you wanted to inline the reply form into the comments pages, that can be done easily in under 1KB of unminified js.

Loading the reddit frontpage (not signed in, adblocker): 21.8MB transferred (11.7 without media and fonts), 501 requests (183), 20+ seconds to load, 11667 ms of scripting. What the actual fuck.

old.reddit.com: 2.7MB transferred (2.1MB), 100 requests (24), <2seconds to load, <300ms of scripting.


That's what happened to del.icio.us after it was bought by Yahoo. Kind of ridiculous that web code ages out that badly, but I guess in startup world as long as it lasts till the IPO or acquishutdown that's all that matters.

Better off for the user but no doubt worse off for corporate profits. The redesign seems to be clearly better at inserting adverts and tracking the user. They also seem to be making a big effort to remove 3rd party links. These days most reddit posts are links to reddit hosted content or are news articles where no one reads the article.

> Everything they’ve done after maybe 2010 could just be thrown away

Honestly I'm pretty sure this could be said for the entirety of the web and we'd be better off.


> An enormous waste of programmer effort and time

You've just described a whole lot of programming work.


> Is this some galaxy brain "let's make the web experience terrible to force people to native apps" strategy?

It is exactly that. Apps are proprietary, so they can be closed, filled with ads or spyware (name one app that doesn't ask for access rights to everything), and branded. Even the groceries store down the street would likely force you to use their own crappy app - so you would have their logo on your home screen - rather than a generic browser that won't tell anyone you buy from them.


Was fine? It still is old.reddit.com. You can set your profile to use it by default. Just don't accidentally click the "Get New Reddit" link in the top left else you have to edit your settings again.

It sometimes logs you out and resets to the New Reddit. These extensions (Old Reddit redirect) are life savers:

Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/old-reddit-redirec...

Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/old-reddit-re...


Thanks for that. I don't browse reddit as a rule, but I occasionally land there when applying google-fu to a problem so this removes some tedium from my life.

It's fine until they discontinue old.reddit.com at some point in the near future.

Somewhat happened a few days ago. Reddit in the browser (ie. M.reddit.com) got a redesign which has screwed loads of stuff up (can't even see usernames of those who have submitted posts on /hot) which makes everything cartoonish, moved the "share" buttons to where voting used to be, and is overall just a bit crappy - without mentioning some of the bugs they have such as a giant white bar on every page.

It sucks because I love reddit, but it will be EOL for the people who made it what it is in about 3-5 years


By then hopefully reddit alternatives like Lemmy[1] become viable

1 - https://github.com/LemmyNet/lemmy


That seems like the exact same design as new reddit.

Similar UI, but really different UX.

Yeah, I didn't think the Lemmy project would go very far when I first saw it. But the implementation is very impressive (performance seems comparable to HN), and the self-hosted model seems like it could be quite amenable to communities staying in control.

How do you make such a thing distributed? Seems to be using a database. If you host on one domain, how does it send the changes to other nodes?

Yep not looking forward to this day.

They must have usage stats.

I think they are well aware that a lot of older users (some likely heavy _content_contributors_) will simple walk away if they do this.

You can't sell ads if you don't have original content that drives traffic to your pages.... old.reddit.com as well as '.compact' are the price to pay to prevent a digg type exodus.


The use-by-default setting never seems to stick for me. But so far it’s still been possible to substitute old in the URL.

Yeah, they forcefully unset it every few days.

One of the more insulting parts of their UX.

I bet forcefully unsetting it bumps their usage metrics for the new site though.


Mine never unsets, unless i accidentally click that damn button. I often mistake it for the reddit homepage link.

I set a custom uBlock filter to be rid of it.

It has never unset for me.

I've created a Firefox extension that allows you to change Reddit subdomains easily (without having to type). Unfortunately because of covid, the queue for approval can days or weeks right now.

I just feel deeply grateful to the person who has made the decision to keep the old UI available and to Tom Watson - the author of the "Old Reddit Redirect" Firefox extension.

Reddit does offer the option to "use old Reddit" if you're signed in. I only learned about this recently, maybe it's common knowledge.

I often browse Reddit with Safari and there haven't been very many extensions available for it. Certainly none to do something simple like this, since it would have to be made available through the app store.

PS: Apple has announced that FireFox and Chrome extensions can be made available for Safari in Big Sur, although it seems like they have to go through a convoluted process and probably pay $99/year for the privilege.


Part of it is definitely that, and it's worked. I finally did install the Reddit app on my phone which makes me much more valuable to advertisers. It's user-hostile, but there's a business method to the madness.

There are alternative clients that lack some features but are very lightweight, open source and don't have ads.

RedReader and Slide come to mind.

Edit: that was on Android, I guess there are alternatives for iOS too, even if less likely to be open source.


If you are on iOS I can highly recommend using the Apollo app instead of the official app. It is better in basically every way.

So true. Loads very slow as well compared to the old version. I still use old.reddit.com when on desktop and Slide app for Reddit on my phone.

Mobile app is even worse.

It really is. If it wasn't for Sync I'd have left Reddit altogether.

Definitely have a feeling its days are numbered, they'll eventually start disabling bits of their API.


Then I'll eventually stop using reddit.

It really is. Doesn't matter which browser you use, how beefy your computer is, OS, etc., the new redesign is super slow. It speeds up a bit when you run an adblocker, but even then just going through about 15 posts and things start to stutter and chug. It's helping me stay off reddit though as a side-effect, which is one of my goals lately.

You can still use https://old.reddit.com. The UX is still bad, but at least it is fairly quick. Annoyingly it is common to get linked back to the new UI but still way better than using it full time.

And on mobile, just add .compact to the end of the URL. Like https://reddit.com/r/programming.compact

Neat. This appears to be the same as https://i.reddit.com/r/programming

Old reddit is all I will use, the new reddit may as well not exist. It funny how a good idea over time can turn into absolute trash if you try hard enough. I find it amazing how you can run a decent sized company and not see how horrific your UI/UX is.

I'm glad about the new reddit design, it helped me stop using the website.

The most obnoxious change for me is removing the "context link (basically what "parent" does on HN). As far as I can tell, the new reddit has no such function.

The new reddit is blazingly fast for an SPA, too. It has a <10 second time to interactive, after all. Front end development followed Google and Facebook right into the abyss.

Using their mobile website on android chrome regularly crashes...

A large number of sub-reddits aren’t even available on mobile browsers, they’re aggressively trying to push you to their app.

What was your intent behind adopting the "Tweetdeck" style of UI for this presentation? Tweetdeck's intent is supposedly that you'd need to be monitoring multiple feeds efficiently (e.g. you are a social media manager with multiple accounts, or you need live-updating search queries to react to).

For Reddit though, most of the time subreddits aren't really meant to be consumed "live", or many-posts-at-once, which means that for me, this ultimately just ends up shrinking my Reddit browsing experience into a thin column surrounded by content I don't care about at the current moment, which goes against the "efficiency" that I imagine this design is intended for.

For folks who like this style of UI, what do you get out of it?


I like it because I can see multiple feeds in a single page without clicking and loading more pages.

I really hate mobile first whitespace trend of modern designs (not talking about reddit here).


You can do that with multireddits IE: https://old.reddit.com/r/AskReddit+funny+pics/

They're intermingled though. I get whiplash browsing my feed because one post will be about 3d printers, and the next one will be about my local baseball team, and then the next will be a political cartoon, etc.

This project is an interesting take because I can browse all of them simultaneously without having to context switch so much.


I'm using a very similar design[1] for a reddit-esque clone I'm working on, but I'm actually about to move away from it. The column approach makes sense at first - it seems like a great way to view multiple streams of content. The reality though seems to be that it creates more UX problems than it solves. One example is that when you have multiple frames inside a UI it destroys the page navigation. Back buttons may not do what you expect them to - does it go back to the previous view for the column you last interacted with, or does it go back to the previous url? It's very easy to simply open up another browser tab or tile a window, which gives you most of the benefits of a column UI without any of the downsides.

[1] http://files.jjcm.org/columns.mp4


Great concept, but many buttons don't have any label or tooltip, please add at least one of the two. The "hot" button is very cryptic to me. On my computer, i don't have an easy way to scroll left and right, so the layout is suboptimal. Clicking on the link once to show the comments and a second time to follow the link is not ideal. It should at least be made clear what will happen when you click. Maybe make the title black when it's just a comment toggle, and then blue when it will link to the article

I literally need reddit client which looks/modelled after HN. I like that HN has lightweight content focussed website(frontend).

https://i.reddit.com is one good frontend.


That looks horrible on desktop. Images on far right while the title on far left.

Well, i.reddit.com is for mobiles.

For desktops, use https://old.reddit.com


There are a couple of extensions that still force this url for everything. I used this one https://github.com/tom-james-watson/old-reddit-redirect

In Firefox middle click on title doesn't work (it should open link in new tab).

Yeah, annoyingly on the web you need to be very careful what click events you prevent. The best practice is to only prevent clicks with no modifiers and check that the mouse button was the one that you intend. (Also avoid handling anything but a left click anyways). Of course the "default" is to block all clicks so it is inevitable that this happens :(

It’s more accessible than Reddit is on mobile. Awesome job.

Side note: Whoever at Reddit came up with the idea to badger users on every other click to ‘open the Reddit app’ needs to be dealt with.


Interesting! But doesn't work on Firefox if you have Enhanced Tracking Protection enabled. Maybe this would work better as an extension? Similar to RES.

Feels clickbaity. The title made me expect there is a native desktop app built on a classic desktop widget toolkit. Nevertheless, I still like this one anyway - good job!

Couple of things:

- It wasn't immediately obvious to me that modifying the UI on rddeck.com (by leaving subreddits) would actually modify my subscriptions on my account. There's a place for managing your subs in something like this, but it should be a lot more clear, and I think the main focus should be on the user customizing the UI without modifying their account

- The oblong pill loading bars at the top of each column look exactly like drag handles, and I was super confused why I couldn't rearrange the columns by dragging them. I think that making them drag handles would be useful, and reimplementing the loading bar as something else would be a good change.

- Dragging to rearrange the subreddit order is painfully janky in both safari and firefox for me on macOS. It's almost unusable.

- The subreddit sort order dropdown / active sort order implementation is strange. Simply having just the current sort order + a little chevron pointing down in a button would be much more intuitive.

If this was open source, I'd definitely be willing to contribute. Cool start, and a cool idea.


I'm also building, or trying to, a client for Reddit made with React. The thing I'm not achieving is properly rendering videos hosted on Reddit.

I've come to the conclusion that it's impossible. It's totally closed from being played outside of reddit.com by using CORS. I can't in any way play the DASH or HLS files from reddit.

I can load the mp4 fallback, but guess what? It's a video without audio. You can get the audio, but it's not documented anywhere (found on stackoverflow, I think). But of course, playing two files at once and syncing them is bound to break, specially on slow networks.

For a website dedicated to sharing stuff from all around the web (reddit didn't even have image hosting until a few years ago), it is really a dick move that you can't share stuff from reddit elsewhere.

It's a shame. Reddit is merely a shell of what it used to be, sadly.

Edit: You seem to have the same problem with video :(


> For a website dedicated to sharing stuff from all around the we

Reddit has moved away from being a sharing website to being a social network. This started years ago, but they have consistently move in the direction of siloing users. Strongly encourage users to upload images and videos directly to reddit; Reddit media cannot be hot-linked and always shows you the reddit thread; new features are only available in the official site and apps; certain media won't play properly on third party apps; website experience degraded by constantly pushing users to their app, where they can better control and track them.


You may want to try to track down u/iamthatis, he wrote the Apollo app for iOS and has been able to get reddit video/galleries/etc working natively. He regularly rants against the api not being well supported, maybe he can share how he got around it?

A native app and a web app are completely different. Native apps don't need to respect CORS (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/CORS).

So it's not impossible to get around CORS, but it will be expensive if you are dealing with video. One option is to load the videos through a proxy server to ignore the CORS headers.

Really lame though. Reddit needs an embed thing like YouTube, but I have feeling they want people on Reddit, which is why links to Reddit media take you to the comment section.


Would some sort of slightly ridiculous iframe fallback work? That is, just embed reddit's entire video play page?

Embedding the "video play" page will embed the entire page. I don't even know if it would work but it would cripple my webapp which is supposed to be fast, not like reddit's crappy interface.

I mean, if I have to deal with that anyways, then I'll just use reddit's own interface.

I still use it daily and I have a small reddit icon which will open the relevant reddit.com post on a new tab and I can see it then.

It just shouldn't be like this, but "oh, well..."


Is this opensource? If not, have you considered opensourcing it? This is pretty cool

As I scanned this headline (and before I got to the end), I assumed you had in fact designed a tool that would help you design a real deck that was safe to post on Reddit. Posting pictures of your homemade backyard deck build is one of the more brave things you can do on the site as it will generally get destroyed in the comments with everything you did wrong and how it's going to sink into the swamp, after catching on fire.

Nice idea! The "About" link doesn't seem to go anywhere at the moment. What's your privacy policy?

This looks excellent, I will be trying it out later today.

Reddit's redesign was an absolute catastrophy. Its sluggish and the mobile popups that direct users to app or Web is downright intrusive.

I use baconreader premium on mobile to keep my sanity.

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with baconreader app / team.


Does anyone remember .qwk and QWK readers from the BBS days?

I want that. Let me download the messages, sift through them how I want to and reply.

Oops - I forgot. Communication isn't the goal of forums these days; monetization is :(


On Android I use Infinity for Reddit, it's really lightweight, especially when compared to Reddit's own mess

Looks really cool, too bad reddit itself sucks ass and I stopped using reddit since the heavy censorship began.

This is great. Can you add /r/all?

Definitely needs /r/all, then I can see the overview, then have my specific subreddits next to it.

Great work. Good way to not have to see distracting posts with bot driven upvotes.

What technology stack did you use in the front end?


Shoutout to rtv (reddit terminal viewer)

I didn't know about it, and now I do I discover that it's not maintained. Do you have a recommended alternative?

I believe TUIR is the de facto spiritual successor.

https://gitlab.com/ajak/tuir



Yeesh, Reddit is not that good, huh.

Cool. Would be nice if it was PWA and could be "installed."

Try https://github.com/jiahaog/nativefier, it's not perfect but it works.

Just a heads up, nothing happens when you click about

[flagged]


Not sure why you are downvoted. But some subs like politics and worldnews are just pure propaganda and bots driven at this point.

>are just pure propaganda and bots driven at this point

I'm curious, what's your criteria for propaganda? Is it just content/viewpoints that you don't like? Likewise, for bots. Can link to some examples of bot-like behavior that's happening on reddit? Preferably provide hard evidence of some kind, like the ones done for this story: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/27/technology/so...


Any suggestions on feeds for politics and worldnews?

In my experience, no subreddit on reddit is (or can remain) an unbiased neutral source of information about politics.

Either subscribe to a bunch of them, one for each world view, or just classify reddit as a flawed news source and move on to something better.


Out of curiousity, where on Earth can you find "an unbiased neutral source of information about politics"?

It's definitely not news media. I don't think it exists. :)

I hadn't been on reddit in years, but just went on from this post. I'd say it feels like "Youtube Comments, the app".

To be fair the level of discourse here is quite low as well. Just look at my comment history!

Nobody, literally nobody:

natchy: "Youtube Comments, the app"


... "literally nobody says nothing"?

I don't understand.


It's a terribly overused YouTube/Twitter meme.

I don't think this is true.

Reddit worked hard to keep alt-right viewpoints on the site, but subs like r/the_donald were so nasty that they had no choice. They also banned liberal subs at the same time.

Let's not act like Reddit is banning subs that discuss trickle down economics or debate the merits of a smaller government.


They never ban all sorts of nastiest porn subreddits. I am not sure how r/the_donald could be nastier.
bra-ket 8 days ago [flagged]

it's full of radical left propaganda even on non-political subs like /r/pics and whatnot
reflectiv 8 days ago [flagged]

"radical left propaganda"

what like wanting health care and a clean environment for everyone?


No, like the violent suppression of any thought that doesn't fit the narrative. Mutually exclusive ideologies never end well.
bra-ket 8 days ago [flagged]

no, like anti-police, pro-riots bullshit
gruez 8 days ago [flagged]

Funny how not wanting people to get summarily executed by the police is considered "radical left".
bra-ket 8 days ago [flagged]

Encouraging violence on a forum intended for cat pictures seems pretty radical to me

i'm all for revolution, my best friend is actually a bolshevik, just don't use non-political medium to push some agenda


>the encouragement of violence

Can you link to some examples? If anything my experience is opposite. I saw a highly upvoted post on /r/all denouncing someone who was pro "white genocide".

> on a forum intended for cat pictures seems pretty radical to me

Is reddit "intended" for cat pictures? It might be the reason that you joined, or the content that you liked, but the default subs[1] cover a wide range of topics, not just cat pictures and memes.

[1] https://old.reddit.com/r/ListOfSubreddits/wiki/defaults

pjc50 7 days ago [flagged]

> i'm all for revolution, my best friend is actually a bolshevik, just don't use non-political medium to push some agenda

eyeroll.gif

Not only do I not believe that, I'm sure the Bolsheviks had some words about attempting to separate the world into separate "political" and "apolitical" arenas.


I don't see anti police...I see police critique when it is lacking.

I also don't see pro-riot anywhere...have any references for any of this? I am on reddit all the time...


Link to some examples of "radical left propaganda"?

Just subscribe to /r/news and read top comments

subreddit rules for /r/news:

>Your post will be removed if it:

>[...]

>is an opinion/analysis or advocacy piece.

>The title must be the actual title or the lead.

Can you explain how links to articles from major news outlets, with titles unchanged can be "radical left propaganda"? Just for posterity I took a picture of the current submissions on /r/news: https://i.imgur.com/rsTm7Rj.png. Can you point out where the "radical left propaganda" are?


That's easy. Many major news outlets are filled with radical left propaganda. Like the guardian, CNN, BBC and loads more.

[flagged]


gab and voat lmao

The last few times I’ve been to reddit /r/all was just full of news about Donald Trump. As someone that doesn’t really get current American politics I’m just so confused at how people don’t get tired of it. Like I get it, fill the front page for a few days in 2016... but its like every day... all the time... I just want cute pictures of cats... can’t we just have 1 happy place.

Why not make an account and subscribe to whatever you find interesting? Then just avoid /r/all

I suppose I could, seeing the community via /r/all doesn’t really make me want to get invested though. Maybe I’m missing out on some gems but I’ve got plenty of things to keep my attention as it is.

> Maybe I’m missing out on some gems

Trust me, you're not


I live in America and trust me we are pretty fucking tired of it too.

The thing is, politics in the US is basically just another reality TV show. This has never been more evident than when we elected a reality tv "star" to the highest office in the land.

It's been like that since 2016. People are thoroughly sick of it but those people are downvoted into the hundreds and don't get a voice.

[Edited to clarify]

You can subscribe/unsubscribe from subs on the main page when logged in. If you want to block subs from appearing on r/all, you can with Reddit Gold or an extension.


>You can subscribe/unsubscribe from subs, as you know! You need Reddit Gold for it, but it's possible.

What? In this a recent thing or something for new accounts? I can subscribe/unsubscribe just fine.




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