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95 points by niedzielski on Aug 13, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 77 comments

I must say that this looks amazing on my phone. Spacing, font, sidebar, and lack of header are chef’s kiss. I would however potentially add a dismissible welcome text as a header to describe what I’m looking at.

Agreed, it looks beautiful on mobile.

Tho the side nav feels very small (iPhone SE2020).

Yes, I am not a fan of the idea, but the design is very good on mobile.

I don't know how to feel about this. While it seems like a great idea, looking at the front page I feel like looking at a door in a vandalized public toilet. Too much going on with barely any explanation, can't easily tell (at least at first) what is grouped with what, the sidebar (on mobile) being present at all times is a serious waste of space.

I have no idea what is going on at this site.

The info icon at top left helps.

I read it and still don’t really understand what I am seeing.

it's people talking on the internet

The about page says: “English-only, global and public forum that has nothing in common with ancient and untrustworthy social networks.”

So they filter out any non-English text?

I also wonder what they mean with “untrustworthy” and how, specifically, this is and will remain different.

> English-only, global (…)

That must be a record for quickest contradiction.

Unless by “global” they mean… no, I’m stumped.

English is the main language in countries widely spread around the world, and is widely spoken as a second language in many others.

Even people from non-English speaking countries can speak English.

Japan would like to have a word with you

Well, you may have a hard time pronouncing the words, but that has nothing to do with understanding the language or with reading and writing in it. Spelling might actually be easier if you’re not distracted by inconsistencies compared to spoken language.

Also, “global” doesn’t have to mean “relevant and accessible to every single person in the world”. It could also be the opposite of “local”, for example, and describe the kind of content you can find, rather the kind of people.

Japan is a rather stubborn outlier, but even they still make an effort to learn. There's no getting around the fact that English is the language of science and commerce such that many people choose to learn it even if it's not their mother tongue. No need to get in a huff about it.

Of course English is the language for science and commerce, but that has nothing to do with it. Because you can't tell people "you can't speak your language here".

> you can't tell people "you can't speak your language here".

Yes you can, and that has been standard practice on the Internet since forever.

Things are much better now with Unicode etc., you will still run into problems with things like directionality and non-Latin scripts all the time.

If English is the default language and if English support is always the highest priority compared to every other language, that’s effectively the same as saying “you can’t speak your language here”.

And it works the other way around too. If you build something local and support only the languages used locally, you’re effectively saying to everyone else, “you can’t use your language here”.

> > you can't tell people "you can't speak your language here".

> Yes you can, and that has been standard practice on the Internet since forever.

Visst, klart du kan säga så, men andra kan lika väl strunta i det. Och tala om för dig att du beter dig som en översittare och ett arsel. Översittar-arslen har alltid funnits, det är inget nytt.

But in which language?

Do you mean they refuse or they can't?

Why are you stumped, what does 'global' have to do with language?

I subscribe to a global streaming service of Hindi content.

Hacker News is global and English-only

> Hacker News is global and English-only

Niin sinä luulet. Liegst falsch, mon cher.

Some things in this life are supposed to be diverse but they are not really :(

Would you like 90% of the posts on this site to be in languages you don't understand?

Again it is not the point. English is not my native language and I have no problem in using it... but if I am replying to someone I know their own language and would like to use that (with just them) I shouldn't be forced not to do that.

Then privately message them. Public networks are not meant for that.

I will take this as an insult, thanks.

yeah, I don't speak any other languages fluently but I also find that sentiment disgusting and reductive. use whatever language you want, wherever you want.

What happened to “social networks are private property and can moderate content however they want”?

Hugs to you.

I am unable to grok the interface of discussions/threads/replies.. (on mobile)

Putting nav down the left hand side of a narrow mobile view seems unfortunate. Should be sticky footer nav like a mobile app with sections easily reachable by thumb.

Boring but doesn’t cramp the view.

Seems confusing on desktop, too. I suppose we are seeing the same thing. So some threads (or are they comments?) just end in an ellipsis. But there's also no way I can see the full thing...? Weird.

I'm guessing/hoping you're able to click on those comments once you make an account and login... either way though I agree it's a silly restriction.

> an user

I guess the canonical English dialect pronounces it as "ooser"? Weird choice for us Americans.

I want to try it, but if it's all manual approval, I'll never pass. I can't get a legit email address via Tor.

I am not a native English speaker, but the way I learned it is that "an" is used if applied to a word that starts with a wovel. Is it not so?


It’s to do with the sound, not the letter. “User” is typically pronounced “yoozer”, with a leading consonant sound, so it’s “a user”.

There are all kinds of cases where this reveals interesting things about how someone pronounces things.

An American will speak of “an herb” because the h is still silent there (“an ’erb”), whereas an Australian (and most other English dialects) will speak of “a herb” because it’s no longer silent.

In the KJV, 1 Kings 10:29 gets two in one verse, speaking of “an horse for an hundred and fifty”, showing that in the English of the early 1600s, you had “an ’orse” and “an ’undred” by pronunciation, whereas all major dialects now sound the h. (For reading aloud, I personally say “a horse for a hundred and fifty”, having decided that a/an are the same word just with context-dependent spelling and pronunciation, like “the” has two context-dependent pronunciations (“thuh dog” versus “thee elephant”, likewise based on the next syllable’s sound), though they’re both spelled the same way.)

If a Rust developer writes “an &str”, they’re probably pronouncing it “an ampersand str” or “an and str”, but if they write “a &str”, they might be pronouncing it “a str slice” or “a reference to a str”.

Exactly this. It's "a user". For the same reason it would be "an honest mistake" and not "a honest mistake".

> showing that in the English of the early 1600s, you had “an ’orse” and “an ’undred” by pronunciation, whereas all major dialects now sound the h.

I don't know what I'd call (or you're calling) 'major dialects' (just RP & GenAm?) but quite large geographic chunks of England would say "an 'orse for a 'undred", in the early 2000s.

(And 'a undred' is not a typo. I don't know why that's different, but 'an undred' just sounds wrong to me.)

I thought it was down to a few rather small regions left in the UK (and fading), but I’m not expert in their accents. I could well be wrong, and my word choice was injudicious.

I should also note that Indian English is also a bit patchy, their leading aitches are regularly silent due to it not being a common construct in their own languages; but they’re also less precise about a/an in general too.

Oh it's certainly fading. And I suppose I should have qualified that I meant the 'traditionally associated dialect & accent' of large geographic chunks - which isn't to say that the majority of the population there actually speaks it. But the accent of the guys propping up the bar of the locals' pub across large geographic chunks, I think. I'm no expert either.

As an American, I’m fascinated by your precise description of accents. We have plenty of our own, but we don’t categorize them that precisely. For example, I can usually distinguish between West Texas and North Carolina, but I probably couldn’t explain the difference.

I think they can be just as readily, not that I mean to tell you your own interests of course but if one is interested in accents/linguistics/usage etc. then the patterns are perhaps more noticeable.

I'm British, so I'm not that familiar with many American accents, certainly not your examples, but off the top of my head you do find elongated vowels, t->d, ay->i (short), rhotic r, nasalisation, 'vocal fry', 'baby voice', and ending every sentence or half sentence with rising intonation like it's a question?

But (because English is never simple) you also get people who will intentionally follow the rule based on a pronunciation they don't use, because "it's the rule".


>whereas all major dialects now sound the h

Yorkshire doesn't pronounce the aitches.

Yes, but it's based on the word's pronunciation starting with a vowel sound, not the word's spelling starting with a vowel letter. In the word "user", the 'u' is normally pronounced as 'yu', which starts with a consonant; therefore the correct phrase is "a user", not "an user". Contrary to ReactiveJelly's speculation, this is true in both American and British dialects. Perhaps there is some other dialect where it isn't.

Interestingly enough, also y is a vowel in many languages. This is not a surprising mistake to make if you are not a native speaker.

Must be French.

I figured it was somehow in jest— but had no basis for that feeling..

"that has nothing in common with ancient and untrustworthy social networks."

It has a lot in common... human beings talking over a distance. > No empathy, and a lot of reduction and generalization.

Seems like 4chan x Twitter

I do appreciate the return to the message board, thread-based format. But let's be real there's nothing new under the sun

The design looks great, however I only see the replies, but not the main thread?

Everything is out of context.

Personally I think HN needs a bit of a modern design. But it doesn't really affect me because i use Glider, an awesome android client.

the navigation might benifit from the css scrollbar-gutter: stable. it's kind of distracting how the content jumps a bit left and right when you navigate between for example about and news, because the scrollbar appears.

Learned a new thing, thanks. What about overflow: overlay? It can also solve the problem by being on top of layout and not part of it. Browsers still support it, although it is deprecated (never understood why).

It could. Right now, they've got about the same amount of support, so it wouldn't even matter much. (Though the caniuse stat is kind of misleading, since you wouldn't see the scrollbar on mobile anyways, and a large part of the non-support is coming from Safari on iOs)

Wanted to try it, but when I try to complete my profile my emoji is apparently invalid, and my city as well. It's just a regular city, though.

I'm happy to see people exploring further now that we know a bit more about the effects of initial social networks, particularly their downsides from both personal and network level. We've barely made it off the beachhead IMO.

The same w/blogs which pretty much stopped evolving after Tumbler & Medium.

Good observations. Also I do think that many people still try to make blogs better. It just no one achieved success yet. But I remember seeing many products over the years reading.supply was cool. Microblog was cool. Maybe few others. They were/are cool, but a bit obscure

I'm curious what was the approach to get enough users to actually use this, also noticed there's dark mode, but I don't see a setting for it. Guessing it's for registered users?

tangent: Why are there still a lot of sites not doing dark mode first. Discord did a great job of this.

It seems to be using the system setting, since on my phone it opened to dark mode by default.

This is blazing fast! If only other larger social media sites could be as responsive...

It’s a bit confusing at first but I have to say I actually love the design. It’s a text heavy site and it works super well. Good luck to the creators

Is there a blog post that delves deeper into the motivations for some of the restrictions and technical decisions?

Looks pretty cool. Most impressive part is how you built the user base. Open to sharing?

Is this like a global threaded #general slack channel?

How do you fold-up conversations like on Reddit ?

What is this and is there a version of it that doesn't try to assault my eyes?

Maybe they love your eyes <3 :)

Actually I thought it looks good.

English only? The fuck?

I suppose it's so the dev/mod can read what's written. Otherwise there could be tons of bad stuff that he might be liable for, and not be able to read to remove.

> English-only

> an user

I think this will be overrun by self help finance gurus, in short order. By the looks of it is has already started.

Was able to find a couple of threads about Tim Ferris and crypto trading, so yeah, you're right.

More modern approach: https://biztoc.com/curated

BizToc has made me feel more confident in my web design skills and a better man overall

what's more modern about this?

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