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Please tell us what features you'd like in news.ycombinator
262 points by pg on Feb 21, 2007 | hide | past | favorite | 1590 comments

Please change page titles from "Hacker News | $TITLE" to "$TITLE | Hacker News". Right now, my tab bar shows a pile of orange [Y] icons that all say "Hacker Ne...", which makes them impossible to distinguish. The [Y] icon already tells me the tab points to Hacker News, so an excerpt of the title would help more than the site name.

+vote for this idea, same problem here

+1 this idea as well

Showing subdomains on all google domains would be nice.

There are lots of submissions from sites.google.com that seem much more clickable because they end with (google.com). Similarly I'd be more likely to click a link from code.google.com.

Please remove up-vote buttons from the main page for unvisited links. An absence of these buttons could enforce a vote-after-read policy.

Titles are easily abused therefore It is not a good idea to vote based only on title without reading comments and/or a linked page.

It could diminish a number of bait-like sensational titles too.

It would also be good to cap the number of upvotes at 50 or so. Now that submissions are getting 100-200 upvotes they are on the front page for days.

I don't have a problem with such active discussions being on front page for days... Since, for my part, I can't necessarily make it here daily.

Basically I'm repeating my idea from below, but what about moving the most successful stories to the new page? Couldn't that attract attention to it?

I'd love to see it on Reddit too. Not very difficult to implement with socialhistory.js (http://azarask.in/blog/post/socialhistoryjs/)

When you upvote a comment, if you have authored any parent comment in the the thread, your nick should be listed in the comment metadata ("Upvoted by commenters: tqbf, RiderOfGiraffes").

Upvotes/downvotes send conversational signals that incite responses, whether those responses have intrinsic value or not. So do critiques. Seeing the name of someone who just critiqued your comment in a list of your upvoters might neutralize some pointless flame wars.

To an extent, we already have this feature informally, because "I upvoted you, but..." has become an idiom on HN. I think it'd work better if it was automatic though, and it might incentivize "feel-good" upvotes.

Let me follow people. I just learned about Bret Taylor's account. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1440154

I'd love to click "follow" next to that comment. Then I want my view on hacker news to be heavily weighted by the mods from the people I follow (you could make it a mod on the normal ranking, like a reordering of the top stories). A friend comment view would be even more useful - like the thread view for any user, but collected among friends. A synopsis view of the comments without the full thread and only the first 200 chars of the comment would be easy to digest.

Generally I think the solution to making HN not suck is to let me ignore completely the parts that suck.

Second the motion as well as upvote.

I edit posts extensively before submitting, so I frequently see "Unknown or expired link."

This error is a minor tax on carefully worded, carefully considered posts. I've lost posts following this error due to back button/refresh mishaps. I could post, then edit, but then people are voting and replying to content that is changing.

PG recently suggested that just going back recovers the composed comment. However, here's a reasonable sequence of events which, in Firefox, causes unrecoverable loss of a submitted reply:

(1) open the 'reply' link in a new tab

(2) compose the reply

(3) submit, getting the 'unknown of expired link' error

(4) go back -- you still have your comment, but...

(5) hit reload, figuring that will refresh your reply form's fnid validity -- after all, this works when commenting at an article's top level

(6) get the "unknown or expired link" error now on the reload, with no place to go further "back" to, and "forward" just leading to the same error. Your comment is unrecoverably lost.

I'm now in the habit of a textarea "select-all, copy" before ever hitting a submit button at News.YC. Thus, I can reclick a path from a fnid-less URL to a new reply box if necessary. But that's a pretty user-hostile workaround to expect of people.

This is now fixed: comment forms now last for 30 minutes.

Also a nice (although minor) feature would be to add a link back to news.yc when the expired link error occurs. It's not that important but it would be nice not to have to delete the url parameters in order to get back (or find the bookmark again)

What was changed recently in this department ? I know the timeout was increased, but I used to be able to work around the "expired link" message by going back to the "Add Comment" form and refreshing the page. Now this also yields "expired link" and destroys the post text in the process ! I just lost good 30+ minutes of typing, and I ain't going to re-type it, so it is everyone loss .. :)

Please do something about this, it was a minor annoyance before, but now it turned into a pretty major headache.

Also, the 'Preview' button would be very nice to have. I know there's a delay setting, but that's not it. I want an ability to privately preview what I've wrote, before posting anything.

I second this.


It's embarrassing to make the claim, but I think I have a solution worth trying regarding the display of scores.

1) Revert to showing scores for top level comments. This will allow people to know whether the top-of-page responses are well-liked by the community, and how fast this approval drops off as one scans down the page. It will also privilege top level comments, subtly discouraging people from pinning their answer to the current top-of-page comment when it's not really a reply.

2) Keep hiding scores for replies (as it is now). This seems to be increasing civility, and discouraging quick quips. It might even make sense to discount the points internally, giving yet more emphasis to the top level. This emphasis is important because the top level dictates the overall position on the page (things move as blocks). Hiding the response points will also encourage people to vote up threads as a whole, which helps with the case of useful questions which lead to good answers.

3) Now that top-level is emphasized, add a 'fold' to the page. But instead of basing it on number of comments, cut off at a negative point level. As they currently do, downvoted items will migrate toward the bottom, becoming fainter as they go negative. But rather than eventually displaying a fixed negative number (-4), just put it below the fold and only visible with a 'show all' link. This will discourage trolling and piling on, as once a comment is below the fold it's unlikely to attract many additional viewers. And it will encourage others to 'clean up the page' if they feel their vote will have a clear consequence. Starting to fade at 0 and folding at -4 seems like a good start, but one could also fold earlier or even bring new unvoted comments in mid-fade.

I think this hybridized approach would be easy to try and has advantages over both individual systems. Thanks!

Please replace grayarrow.gif with Unicode character ▲ to make the upvote triangle look crisp on high-resolution displays.

I've noticed that sometimes the domain name shown in parens next to the link is kind of useless. Take, for example, http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=449670. "tumblr.com" is not useful in this case, but "titocosta.tumblr.com" would be more helpful--"oh, it's someone's personal blog named Tito Costa." Interestingly, it looks like sometimes you already do show more than just "domain.com", as in http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=449221.

That's been bugging me too, primarily with google.com.

To prevent wasted space you could ignore certain prefixes (www), or you could have a whitelist for hosts to show the prefix for (tumblr.com, google.com, etc).

I noticed a several people suggesting features in other threads, so I'm starting one explicitly for that. I know there's a lot that needs improving; the site is pretty bare-bones at this stage. So propose whatever new features you think we need, and vote for the ones that you want most.

This is more a content issue but to really build the community is have more fully fledged profiles - with location, bio - make it one or two lines max and a website or blog link. If we are what we think/read then it would be a great starting point in finding cofounders or people who are on the same wavelength. I would also agree on seeing the latest comments - and maybe highlighting posts which you've commented on/ or submitted showing if there were new comments that you haven't read. So show "7 comments | 3 new" so it would be easy to come back to your home page and see how the discussion has evolved.

Yes! That's something I don't like about reddit - I spend my time giving them free content, and I don't even get a link back to my own web site:-/

More important, I think, than displaying the number of new comments is making it possible to /find/ them. The reordering of comments is usually a great thing, but in a relatively involved discussion, it can become quite a chore to find that new comment.

I'm not sure what the best way to implement it would be, from either an algorithmic or HCI standpoint, but it certainly would be nice if you could come up with a way to make new comments stand out in threads. (Preferably with new defined by when the user last viewed the page, rather than being a static global definition.)

Ok, we have profiles: click on your name and put whatever you want in the "about" field.

nice one! Really like the incremental site updates

I find myself marking up comments of the same 2 or 3 users more often than others. They don't have ultra-high karma or anything- they just are interested in the same articles and discussions I am. It would be nice to learn more about them.

I'd love to be able to see the names of people who have repeatedly upvoted your comments. It'd be a great way of finding people who share the same kind of mindset, enhancing HN as a 'people discovery tool'.

It would also work for 'if you think this person is clever, you might like to read things posted by these others'.

I've noticed that HN users are often thoughtful enough to write short summaries of linked articles in the comments section. For instance

Summary: Wired.com graph shows that while the web continues to grow (in terms of bandwidth consumption), it is not growing as fast as other internet services such as P2P and video and consequently has a lower overall % of traffic than several years ago.

So my suggestion is, add a new HN section called 'Summary' which finds all these comments (which will be recognizable by the 'Summary:' text at the start of the comment) and lists them in one place for quick reading.

Obviously the more people that do it, and know to use the same 'Summary:' convention, the better it will work. Bad summaries will be handled naturally by the downvoting in the original threads.


We NEED search, unless you don't want to have a page that serves as reference for people, but only to make them consume articles.

Please, give us some way to be able to check past entries.

http://searchyc.com works pretty well; as does searching Google with [site:news.ycombinator.com YOUR_QUERY].

I think it could be interesting to see the "karma-change tally" (don't know how to call it) on stories, people and comments.

The rationale is that to me, there's quite a difference between a comment that has 1 karma because there was no upvotes/downvotes and one that has 1 karma because there was 20 upvotes and 20 downvotes.

So, we could have something like:

5-3=2 points by username

A greasemonkey script could probably do this, it was done for reddit: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/31002

Truncated URLs may be longer than the original URL if they were just left alone.

The URL truncator will append three periods (not a &helip; character) to the end of a URL. In some cases (say for a URL of 62 characters), the last character will be removed and replaced with three periods. This increases the total size of the URL text to 64 characters.

The algorithm appears to be

    def truncate(word, postfix = '...')
      if ((word + postfix).length > 64)
        word = word[0, 64 - postfix.length] + postfix
There doesn't seem to be a need to add the postfix length to the check. This should suffice:

    def truncate(word, postfix = '…')
      if (word.length > 64)
        word = word[0, 64 - postfix.length] + postfix

Edit: Here is an example:



Add a footer to the comments page.

Justification : When I page down and hit the end of a page of comments, there is no visual cue in the page telling me that I'm at the bottom. Since I think I've gone down a full page, I lose track of where I was reading; which is annoying.

I would like to be able to read HN on mobile devices more easily. I commited some code on github that achieves that:


It only adds a viewport meta tag and some styling which applies to small screens only by using a media query.

Please use it! Afterwards the site will look like this on the iphone: http://minus.com/lGBmQmM4CrdHE

Sidenote: Why can I commit directly to the github repository? I thought that by clicking edit, I would create a fork and work on that and create a pull request later. Strange. Or is this some kind of open-to-all repository?

Every time someone asks for a search function here, someone answers with http://searchyc.com. This is a perfectly valid answer, but you should rather ask yourselves, why are people constantly asking for that? Because you don't have a "search" link in the HN header, e.g. right next to "new". It'd be fine if it'd just point to searchyc.com.

Please, if it wouldn't be much work, change the mechanism for coloring down voted comments to be via the stylesheet instead of via font tags with color attributes?

Also, there is an oddity in the way comments are organized. They go like this:

   font tag that sets the comment color
     "first paragraph text NOT in a p tag"
     p tag
        "second paragraph text"
     p tag
        "third paragraph text"
     p tag
       font tag that sets the comment color
         "final paragraph text"
(Not using actual tags to avoid any quoting problems, and closing tags omitted). This leads to amusing results--for instance if you use a user stylesheet to try to set comment colors, by coloring all the paragraphs under the comment span, it only actually colors the middle paragraphs. The first and last paragraph of each comment are not affected.

If there is no specific reason for this odd layout, fixing it would make the site a little more friendly for those who want to tweak it with user stylesheets. (I'm tweaking the font size, to make it easier to read on my aging eyes).

Down-voting is awkward. Some feel it should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances, others that it's essential for every day curation of the site. Frequently, the person being downvoted does not know what they did wrong. But if all downvoters were to explain their reasons, far too much attention and page space would be spent on poor comments.

Proposal: The downvote arrow takes you to a "confirm" page with a "reason" text box. If you want to downvote you are encouraged (required?) to enter a reason before confirming your vote. This page also shows otherwise hidden comments by other people explaining their downvote.

Advantage: Allows downvoters to explain to the commenter why their comment is being downvoted without cluttering up the main discussion page. Ideally produces a better and more functional community.

Credit: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4208938

> HN should put a little entrepreneur badge next to your name for having shipped a product. That would motivate some people.


To encourage HN users to ship code, allow them to display an icon next to their user name once they have shipped their project. This would work on the honor system. To make the implementation simple, users can self-manage the icon. Perhaps a "ship" icon could be displayed that linked to the product if applicable.

This will help create a culture of "shipping" through a shame/pride/credibility/game achievement effect, as well as help users keep the HN addiction in check.

Note that not everyone on HN is an entrepreneur. As a programmer, I don’t want to feel shamed for not having shipped a product when that isn’t even one of my goals in the first place. If there were such an icon, one of the states would have to be “don’t care” or “unspecified”. I think that should be the default initial state for everybody, but the problem then is whether people will be honest enough to change their icon from “unspecified” to “not shipped” on purpose.

Make it possible to lose karma by submitting garbage stories, either via downmods or (IMHO the better option) by making submitting a story "cost" a certain number of points of karma (which of course will be regained if the story gets voted up).

Recently I've seen two trends, both of which significantly diminish the value of Hacker News:

1. Some users are flooding Hacker News with submissions (in one case I counted 18 submissions in one day), and even though most of their submissions aren't being voted up, enough submissions are to make them accumulate lots of karma (which I assume is why this is happening).

2. The same stories are being posted many times by different users. I'm sure this is partly the result of #1 -- with the floods of submissions users might not realize that a story was submitted before -- but the fact that there's no "penalty" for useless submissions probably contributes as well.

I like the idea of submitting "costing" karma, but maybe you get a couple freebies a day. Maybe an escalating cost schedule so it penalizes people who submit their 15th story as opposed to their 5th.

Re #2, I always thought there was a unique url filter on submissions, but I've seen a couple repeats recently.

I think there's a unique URL filter on submissions; but not a unique story filter on submissions (which would be a rather difficult AI problem).

Even with different URLs, there's really no need for 10 different stories about the MacBook Air to be posted here -- it would be much better to have one Hacker News item and have URLs to other articles posted in comments.

marking a comment up or down should use ajax- especially so browser history is preserved (pressing the back-button to get to the front page). I assume comments can be marked into the negative range for those hopefully rare occasions where it's needed? [please don't test it on me!]. Other than that I love the minimalism.

What about a separate feature requests page for those that already have been accepted and implemented like this one? And maybe another for formal rejections.

I think it can get confusing reading suggestions for features that have been implemented since the request was made for less obvious features than ajax voting. And they're not particularly relevant anymore. Of course I wouldn't simply delete them so a separate page would be a good compromise.

>marking a comment up or down should use ajax

Without ajax I'm sometimes discouraged from voting at all, because it's difficult to find my location after a refresh, especially on long pages.

It doesn't even really have to be AJAX. You could solve the problem just by setting up an #anchor so that when the screen reloads after voting, it just the user back to where they left off.

I would like to second, third, or fourth this. Having the page jump around when I vote on something really makes me not want to use the site.

Normally I hate "me too" posts, but I feel this feature is important enough that I wouldn't want you to think other people didn't agree. Thanks.

if you have firefox and greasemonkey, this script might be what you're looking for: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/8951

that doesn't solve the problem that I (and I assume others) habitually press the back button when I'm done perusing comments in order to get to the main page. At this point when I press the back button it goes to a slightly older version of the comments page- and various other oddities.

I run into this problem all the time--not good for diminishing by reload-addiction! It would be nice if pages included some js to rewrite history[1] via dom, so that we could always see the freshest versions of pages.

[1] It pains me to advocate breaking the "show me exactly what I was just seeing" semantics of the back button, but I think in this case the user clearly conceives the back button as "show me the abstract resource I was just seeing."

I'm just going to point out that this really makes me only vote on topics I really care about. It doesn't really bother me.

I agree with this suggestion, but for another reason. There have been a few times when I'm writing a reply and I stop to think for a moment. Occasionally, during this pause, I will glance up and notice that I haven't voted the article up yet. Unfortunately, when I do vote the article up, everything I have written up to that point gets cleared. I have tried pressing the back button, but it tends to take me back to where I was before I started writing my comment.

I understand that this is an error on my part, but that doesn't alter how frustrating it can be.

Please make it more clear that the e-mail field in your HN profile isn't publicly visible. Many people ( http://searchyc.com/comments/e-mail+in+my+profile ) leave comments like, "contact me using the e-mail in my profile", not realizing no one else can see that info.

Even better would be a "make public?" checkbox next to it.

The ability for each user to create their own personalized domain blacklist.

E.g., if someone doesn't like techcrunch.com, they can add it to their blacklist, and they will no longer see techcrunch.com stories.

There's maybe a dozen sites (TC isn't one of them) which regularly appear on HN, and which I'd be happy not to see. But I know others don't feel this way about those sites. This seems like a relatively easy way of improving everyone's experience.

Upvote/downvote arrows are too close togheter to comfortably use on phones, especially that the actions are not possible to reverse. Some UI idea is needed here imo. I like what Reddit is Fun app does: you need to touch the post and then upvote/downvote appear below it next to each other. Unfortunately that wouldn't be natural for desktop/mouse users. As it is now, downvote rights which just appeared on my account make it that I can no longer upvote anything on mobile, risk of accidently hitting the wrong arrow is just too big.

Could HN have an opt-in to save your outbound link click history?

I've lost count of the number of times when I've unexpectedly wanted to revisit an article from days/weeks/months ago and have utterly failed to find the site by search/browser history (I visit from mulitple machines), etc. I really don't want to have yet another service to sign in to for saving interesting links - and even if I did - they're not always things that I think I wanted to save at the time.

What I'd like to see is:

- opt in to have links pass through a intermediate step so the outbound step is saved in my profile on HN - include the URL and the HN piece (comments, etc)

Seems very simple to do, and would make it so much easier to refer friends back to what I've read without having to rely on my poor memory or rigorous bookmarking.

The feature you want already exists. If you look in your profile, you'll see at the bottom a link called "Saved Stories". It's a list of every submission you have up-voted.

The suggestion was made


to have the title for the site be user-configurable. That could be helpful for people who don't want to display a title of "Hacker News" on a work computer.

My friendly suggestion is that if we must change the name of the site, which I like just fine, it would be helpful to call it "Helpful News," so that all of us who are habituated to calling the site HN could continue doing that without confusion.

Hacker News is great name! Maybe instead of adding such feature to webapp code Firefox extension / Greasemonkey script would be sufficient?

I'd suggest hiding upvotes count in /newest page.

After submitting a bunch of links, some of them making a front page, I noticed that there is a fairly strong effect of social proof.

People check /newest, see that some post already has 1 or 2 upvotes, check it instead of some without any upvotes (someone upvoted, might be good!). The upvoted one gets even more upvotes (because more people are reading it), and it's on the homepage.

A bunch of my submissions made the homepage and from what I've noticed, the threshold is about 7-10 upvotes in the first hour. So can we fairly say that a dozen of people decide what's on the homepage? Maybe.

While the sample size is really really small, 8 of 9 links I submitted and got more than 4 upvotes, made the front page. But I guess with a greater sample size, the general assumption would still hold true.

The obvious disadvantage of hiding score is that it's harder to tell what is worth attention (especially during peak hours when there is a new submission every minute), but maybe it would help to bring more good content to the front page (as opposed to content that a dozen of people thought is good).

I was wondering if you'd consider adding an opt-in setting that would make users' votes visible to others, both for comments and for submissions. I'm interested in it for a few reasons:

1) I'd like to see what people I respect are voting for, in the hopes of finding things I otherwise would have missed.

2) I'd like to someday make a recommendations system that would work for HN, and starting now to create a corpus of permission-cleared votes would help if I ever get to it.

3) I think it might have a positive effect on social dynamics. While there is in theory greater potential for retaliatory downvotes, I hope that instead people would act more considerately if they felt that others could review their behaviour. I don't see any way to test this other than by trying it out.

I think this option would best be a simple checkbox on each user's settings page: "Make my votes visible to others". The votes would then be visible from a link on that page for others to view. Ideally, it would also be possible to view these from an item-centric viewpoint, accessible from the 'link' page.

If the idea were to catch on, I'd eventually like to see an 'Open' list, parallel to 'Classic', whereby one could view the entire site as it would appear if ordered only by users with their votes set to be visible.


[Originally here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1878591]

I was working on something like this for a while. May be I'll dust it off and release it :)

I just noticed the comments link is grey, whether or not you already visited it. Lately, I start by looking at the comments thread in case there's an upvoted comment saying the article is a waste of time, in that case I don't even bother clicking through to the actual article. But since I only followed the comments link, I can't tell later on if I had checked the comments and then decided to skip the article.

So the feature request is obviously: Make the comments link black and then grey, just like article links. But seriously, an even better feature would be if we could mark an article as "Not interested" so that it permanently falls down from our own main page. And to avoid that our main page gets filled with lower-ranked articles as a consequence of deprecating articles, maybe the page should just become emptier and emptier instead.

Text-wrapping, or text scroll-boxes, for overflowing code.

Example of broken HN page here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=279251 because of overflowing code here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=279640

I think all this needs is overflow:auto and a max-width. I've been solving this problem with a Greasemonkey script.

I believe this is fixed in Firefox 2 but for some reason the fix doesn't work in FF3.

I'd like to see nicknames anonymized on submissions and comments until you vote them up or down. This would make votes count more on the merit of what they are saying than who is saying them.

How about allowing the poster to mark their submission as anonymous (perhaps you forfeit any up vote credits this gets).

You need a meta outlet. Deleting threads about moderation won't wash: a site won't allow itself to be secretly moderated, especially in ways it doesn't agree with. Every single online community learns this; every one benefits from the meta outlet they create.

Yeah. Just add a 'meta' list to the lists page (http://news.ycombinator.com/lists). It won't be hard, and it won't take up much space. I'll even help build the feature.

To encourage more people to visit the 'New' page and upvote stories, give users one point per day for visiting it.

Can you change the color of the text for the Job posts plz?

I hate going down the line of stories on the main page and get confused by a job posting for a YC company. It kinda feels a bit deceptive to not have it stand out - given that it is completely different.

If not a MAJOR color change to the entire title, have something subtle (that is a different color) that acts as a visual cue to tell us it is not a 'regular' HN story.


Suggestion: this thread should have the comments sorted differently than normal with a heavy biased towards newer comments (e.g., everything posted in the last year is sorted separately and placed ahead of everything else or comments are simply sorted by their date). The thread is a bit of a mess right now; the proposed change would make it easier to navigate and provide exposure to newer feature suggestions, which I assume are more relevant because the suggestions older than X that aren't implemented have either been reviewed and rejected or placed on a shortlist somewhere.

As already requested in the following thread:


I would love to see a tab for people submitting their products, i.e. a show HN tab ...

I would really like https encrypted login, so people can't see my password when I log in to the site. Is this feasible?

I'm not sure what the solution is, but it can be difficult to vote on a touchscreen.

Perhaps a mobile stylesheet where the vote arrows are to the left and right of the screen would suit, though I'm unsure of the aesthetics would be suitable. The current design is pretty attractive.

Totally agree. the voting needs to be a bigger click target when I'm on the iPhone/iPad

Bold OP's name in comment thread.

When reading comments, I often find myself scrolling back up to check OP's name to see if the comments I'm reading are first hand.

It's a simple one that would drastically improve readability IMO.

I'd like to see the source code, or at least a part of it, to see what Arc looks like in action.

Comment ranking seems to be according to freshness and quality of the top-level comment, but a good comment responding to a crappy top-level comment sinks with it. I find that sometimes good discussions are deep on the page with their +0 to +2 initial comments, which makes it less likely that I will discover them.

I suggest that you use the freshness and quality of the whole comment subtree (normalized by the number of comments in the subtree, eg mean) to get those gems higher. Something like the square of points (negatives counting as zeroes) would raise the effect of good comments and lower the effect of bad comments and low-point side discussions.

User vote/comment RSS feeds in order to allow integration with friendfeed.com.

This is really cool. I'm subscribed to pg's feed now via FF. It would also be cool if I could post my upvotes to FF as well.

Thanks. I'm working on that but News.Yc is designed in a way that your votes on comments are anonymous. Your votes on submissions are also anonymous to other users but you have to be logged in to see them.

The way I envision it happening is you would have to go thru clickpass on ycfeed.com.

Comments on 'Ask HN' (self) submissions that are directed to your question now show up on your reply feed.

Please, when visiting already-submitted-stories via the bookmarklet, DON'T consider that an upvote. I'm just using it to find the comment thread.

I should note that this is the way the reddit bookmarklet works... they're the ones who have set my expectations/habits.

You could also make a like/dislike bookmarklet the way reddit does...

If other people agree with this, please upvote joshwa's suggestion. If you want to keep things the way they are, upvote this reply.

I would like the ability to see the homepage from a specific date - a "time machine" feature where you can enter a date and it shows you the home page from that date. TechMeme has this feature and I use it regularly (archives box, right column, bottom).

A HN Rising Star list

A list of HN members with average karma scores over 6{arbitrarily selected} sorted by dates they joined with the earlier you join being the high up on the list you will be.

Also, a minimum time of a 100 days{arbitrarily selected} on HN before you can appear on the list.

Hopefully, it will motivate new members to contribute quality content given the possibility of early recognition.

Please delay the disappearance of the upvote arrow until the upvote has been received and acknowledged by the HN server. The up-arrow could stay as-is until the upvote has finished sending, or could be dimmed.


When one upvotes a comment or submission, the up-arrow disappears right away, but there is a bit of network lag before the upvote is actually sent to the server. On some networks, this lag can be significant. Lag on my network has caused me to sometimes upvote an item, close the window immediately, come back later, and then realize that the upvote wasn’t counted. This is more of a problem for submissions, where not only does the submitter not get credit, but the submission also fails to get added to my Saved Links page.

The only way to check whether an upvote has been received is to refresh the page, but that also has the effect of canceling any upvotes-in-progress that have not finished, and requires one to remember which item you upvoted.

My current workaround, after I upvote something, is to leave the tab open, view other pages for a while, and close the tab when I come back to it later. However, this has the disadvantage of me having to remember, when I return to a tab, whether I left it open because there was still something to read on it or simply because I was waiting for an upvote to finish.

I would like to see a convenient way to see my upvoted comments (in order of most recently received upvotes). The motivation is this: after seeing that my karma has gone up, I'm curious which of my comments was deemed interesting. Currently, I have to scroll down the threads page until I notice one that looks higher than I remember. This is so clearly inefficient and error-prone that I think a software solution is necessary.

This is not completely motivated by narcissism :). I feel that by noting which of my comments are appreciated, I can see which aspects of my writing styles and my thinking are found to be interesting by others.

list the subdomain for posts on plus.google.com

Currently confusing with just google.com

Add a page to http://news.ycombinator.com/lists that lists the sources/domains of submissions sorted by most-submitted (or highest voted among all submissions from that domain).

When we mouse-over a username, please display karma|member-since.

This worked for me:

  (attribute a          title          opstring)    
  (def byline (i)
    (pr " by ")
    (let u i!by
     (tag (a href (user-url u)
             title (string "karma: " (karma u) 
                           " | created: " (text-age:user-age u)))
          (pr u)))
    (pr " " (text-age:item-age i) " "))
I didn't really look into the performance cost of calling uvar for every byline; that's probably not ideal.

Next to the email area in user profiles, add a checkbox for display/don't display email in profile.

If the user enables this option, their email address is shown as an image (or otherwise spam proofed) in their profile to other logged in users.

Many users aren't aware that the email field isn't public because it is visible when they view their own profile page while logged in. While your suggested solution is better, it might be an easier and quicker fix to simply add a note next to the email field indicating that the email address is only visible to the administrators. Then, if a user wanted to make his email address available to readers, he would think to pop it into the "about" field (perhaps with some obfuscation).

Please consider enhanced duplicate detection as outlined and discussed here:


Simply compare the "title" field of the referenced page. If it matches, perhaps compare the domain name, ignoring any "www". Or perhaps not bother. The number of occasions the title matches when the page is different should be sufficiently small.

On a related note: somebody else suggested the ability to merge duplicates.

Yeah, trying to prevent duplicates is an impossible battle.

Please provide more tools to help users moderate their own comments. In particular, I think the following features are sorely needed:

1. The ability to delete your own comments indefinitely, instead of having a window of only a few hours within which to delete your own comments.

2. The ability to flag your own comments for moderation.

I suppose one possible reason for not allowing comment deletion after a certain amount of time is that it forces people to really only make high-quality comments, otherwise they'll be downvoted and they won't be able to do anything about it after a few hours.

But if you're trying to improve the quality of Hacker News threads with high-quality comments, then I argue that it's counter-productive to force low-quality comments to remain by not allowing users to self-delete them after `X` hours.

Both Reddit and Stack Overflow allow users to delete their own comments indefinitely. Heck, Stack Overflow even encourages you to delete your own comments, if they don't contribute useful information to a post.

I think a nice comprimise would be to allow each user a certain number of deletions relative to the karma they've earned. i.e. for every 100 upvotes, you're allowed to delete any post of yours indefinitely/permanently.

The reason for the ratio of votes to how many you can delete, is because its likely that HN karma per user correlates with the quantity of posts per user. With that in mind, someone who has made many more posts may have a need to delete more posts in the future.

This would balance the needs of the community to not have holes in its conversations, but also allow individuals to strike a particular comment from the record.

It would be very handy to have a flag link right on the noobstories (and maybe even on the 'new') page instead of having to first click 'discuss', then 'flag'.

HN can be quite slow sometimes and that extra click could save a lot of time, especially if the 'flag' call could be made an ajax call, that way keeping the noobstories page clean would be simply a number of clicks on spam stories.

This thread seems quite dead, if there could be some kind of response that this suggestion is useful or that it won't be happening then that would be appreciated.

can it be made more difficult to accidentally flag or downvote? i find myself fat-fingering those buttons a lot on the ipad and it doesn't seem very fair to the submitters.

an optional zoom level would probably solve my problems, on the desktop my browser remembers to always keep HN zoomed in a few steps, but on the iPad it's tiny.

The other option would be to allow an undo of your vote/downvote, perhaps only within 5 minutes or so, to prevent abuse.

In the spirit of accountability and openness, please add a "history" link next to headlines or posts which have been edited. Version control is a good idea for source code, so why not for discourse?

Or maybe make viewing it optional? I really appreciate the cleanness of the pages under the current system.

I don't think it would be much clutter if it only shows for edited posts. It would probably also cause an overall reduction in the number of edits.

Counterpoint: if we had a "history" link, we'd just be encouraged to talk about what appeared on it, and that kind of navel-gazing discussion is something we're trying to avoid, right?

You should have to enter an explanation when you downmod something. Then the recipients won't be left confused, and it will enforce responsible use of the privilege. I feel this is a better solution to the abuse problem than only allowing downmods for 24 hours.

Yes! Seconded.

Alternatively, cap downvoting at 1 karma, so that comments can't go below that threshold.

(Repeating from my previous post): Letting karma go below 1 adds bias to the comment for future readers, but that bias doesn't reflect how they might feel.

I think comments are where the action is. Three simple things that get most of the bang of markdown IMO: Working permalinks for comments, paragraph dividers and clickable links.

There should be a page which lists the submissions that have recently been commented on. Otherwise, it's essentially meaningless to make thoughtful comments on old threads. Having a *hide* option would be welcome too.

there is a prototype of this at news.ycombinator.com/active

That works well. A listing of the most active is better than a listing of recently commented on. What's the threshold for most active?

For the time being, I'd settle for just converting newlines to br's. Adding hyperlinks before there's solid infrastructure for dealing with spam would be a mistake. I'll be surprised if more than few days go by before spam shows up, even without hyperlinks.

Spam actually showed up the first day. Fortunately we already had good tools for dealing with it.

What type of spam do you get and how do you handle it?

done; we now have all three of these

It appears "people" are submitting the same link but with a different value after a hash (#) at the end of the url and the system doesn't recognize it's already been submitted. I've seen half a dozen "How I lost my $50,000 twitter username" submissions to thenextweb.com in the last 12 hours.

Can we improve how this functions to prevent so many duplicates?

Perhaps a ban on links to thenextweb.com??? I see before all these submissions one (that gained traction with HN comments) was to medium.com https://medium.com/p/24eb09e026dd







Not logging users out when we restart the server. (If you find yourself suddenly logged out, that's why. Sorry, will fix.)

(he finished this)


we've all got more ideas than time, and it's a shame to let them languish in our individual imaginations. so how about creating a public clearinghouse for ideas where they're a) subject to reddit-esque competition, and b) "open source" -- available for anyone to pursue.

it'd be a meme pool.

I support this suggestion. I have a bunch of problems I'd like people to solve that might potentially make a great startup for someone.

You might want to try http://www.cambrianhouse.com/ as a place to throw ideas around.

This is a totally awesome idea IMHO.

hey, look at that... line breaks! =)

please let me undo my votes! I'm reading on an iphone now, and it's really easy to hit the down button instead of up, or vice versa.

Putting more space between the up and down could help -- for example putting the down vote on the other side of the total or even further right.

yeah i accidently click on the down button all the time on my windows phone too; just did it today again...

I would say that's more of an iPhone problem. I like the design as it is right now.

Would love to see the "inbox" feature of reddit, so I can see when one of my comments has been replied to.

Or simply an email or RSS notification... you wanted to spark the discussion, right? So give me a way of knowing if I've sparked anything!

Also, it'd be nice to see on the list pages something along the lines of "N comments (most recent M |minutes|hours|days ago)"

I just wanted to emphasize how important this is to building a dialog (and a community!). I don't want people replying to my comments, so right now I basically have to bookmark each thread that I've commented on and remember to come back and check.

Yay! Witness the new "threads" feature! Thanks, PG!

Collapsible Comment threads. (as described in http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1864844)

The detection of duplicate URLs could be improved, for example removing trailing # like in

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1329998 http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1329090

A simple api would be nice.

An api to a user's comments or submitted threads would be handy. The output could simply be an RSS feed to make it serve two purposes, but JSON output would be especially nice.

A visual cue that indicates when a follow-up comment on a post is from the post's author.

For example, when someone on Hacker News links to a post by Mark Pilgrim, I'd like to be able to scan the comments to see if Mark has contributed to the comment thread.

Make the comment "link" text just be the date of comment submission. (e.g. "15 days ago")

This is now common practice on sites like Facebook and Twitter. The pipe+"link" is unnecessary clutter. It's also more clear, since "link" is the ambiguous verb/noun.

Bug report: In order to include a < or > sign in your post, you have to write &lt; or &gt;. This is fine (although a bit cumbersome), but when you later want to edit the comment, instead of placing &lt; in the text box, < shows up instead, so that every time you want to edit the comment, you have to change every < to &lt;. (The same thing occurs with >, too.)

I'm thinking this problem would be easy to fix, but I'm also curious: why can't we just write e.g. < and have it be converted to &lt; at post-time? Of course, it would still need to be converted back at edit time, but I think it would make posting code or html snippets much simpler.

Ironically, I just edited this post for about the 3rd time.

search for posts! give us search!

I second a search feature, which would be particularly helpful for some of the interesting "Ask YC" posts.

I third it. I can't code, but I'd be happy to help design a search -- my contribution to the community.

the easiest way to set this up would be to use some third-party service, like one of google's custom search engine things.

My avg score hasn't changed in about 2 months, it's exactly at 2.17 and has always been. I'm curious, because I read how this score is calculated and it's supposedly the average of the person's last comments - only in my case it can't be. Other people don't seem to have this "problem", does that mean my account is flagged somehow? Or is it in truth the average of only the first comments when an account is fresh and then stays the same forever?

Update: by virtue of what is probably a time correlation-causation fallacy, I can now report that posting here helped and the issue seems to have gone away.

A parallel view of HN, using the same source, but with a much longer time constant.

HN1: 1-day timeconstant

HN7: 7-day timeconstant

HN30: 30-day timeconstant

HN365: 1 year timeconstant

HN is interesting on multiple scales, and things of intellectual value, especially things that take more than 20 minutes to ponder, are getting lost to the cruelty of exponential suppression.

Thanks for HN. It's useful, fun, and addictive.

this would be really interesting

Warn and suggest to strip in page anchors from URLs.

Every so often, people post good links with an anchor in the URL, just because they didn't notice it. It is almost never the case that it's done intentionally, so it would be nice if HN spotted the anchor and warned the user, suggesting to strip it from the URL.

Please look at the authentication system password recovery when all I can remember about an account is the email address. Thank you. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3963671

"Unknown or expired link."

This is somewhat annoying. If you have a page with 5 or more interesting links and then after some minutes want to continue, it breaks the xp on ycombinator entirely. I usually leave the page. Why in any hell don't you even just link to the start (or include the header bar)?

I bet it's because of caching the query, to avoid post sliding over page indexes after time, or whatever you thought with that non-session and non-user token. But. It. Is. Somewhat annoying, to cut the ?x=whatever just to return to news.ycombinator.com.

Use a timestamp to refresh the query or go back to use old school bad page indexes, but please fix something, at least the error message. Please!

I see this problem in every social news site, and also here: it seems that over a few days, 3 or 4 posts will eventually refer to exactly the same "news". But unless the duplicate submission has the same URL, the redundancy isn't detected.

Users should be able to flag new posts as duplicates, and identify the "older" headline to use instead.

If enough users agree that a post is redundant, then it would become "merged". The oldest submission on that topic is then rewarded all vote-up karma points from all duplicates, and displays all comment threads. In addition, the duplicates either go away or are displayed side-by-side with the original in all lists, avoiding the problem where the "same" story is front-page news under one title and page 5 under another name.

Mobile / Desktop UI / markup enhancements.

The biggest problem is the voting arrows, which are far too easy to hit accidentally, and up/down votes cannot be changed.

Allowing changing of votes for a brief time (1-5 minutes) would be useful.

Improving display contrast -- setting a darker border and lighter main body area, would be vastly appreciated. Contrast isn't too bad, but can suffer under adverse lighting conditions.

A mobile-specific presentation would avoid resizing / sideways scrolling.

> Please provide a quoting markup. Existing workarounds of either prefixing with a greater-than sign

    Or indenting text to present a 
Are awkward.

* Bullets would also be useful # As would numbers. And proper line breaking.

A collapsed view of comments (available through a Chrome plug-in) is another nice-to-have.

You wrote on reddit that an RSS feed is coming. If you're prioritizing that would be my first choice.

Counterpoint to all the calls for an RSS feed: Do others find reddit's front-page feed useful? Nobody at a social news site has yet figured out how to do the RSS feed right, IMO. I find myself using my browser to read reddit a lot more than my aggregator. For example, it's hard to capture the action on a comment thread, or to create filtered feeds by user. Here's one idea: http://features.reddit.com/info/xjvr/comments If user-specific feeds are infeasible (for server bandwidth or computation reasons) it seems RSS feeds are low-priority.

I would quite like RSS feeds.

Specifically I would like an RSS feed for individual users so that if I like all the links submited by a particular user I can follow them easily.

As a stopgap measure, access http://www.ycombinator.search.xirium.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?... and then subscribe to the RSS feed.

I read reddit almost exclusively through their RSS feed. Its a critical function for any site... what site owner wouldn't want to broadcast to an Opt-In audience of passionate users?

'... Nobody at a social news site has yet figured out how to do the RSS feed right, IMO ...' How about RSS feeds for individual users comments? Who likes checking into 'roach motels'? I don't. The number of sites I've added content /., use.perl, perlmonks, reddit only a few allow you to extract *your* insight. '... RSS feeds are low-priority. ...' possibly true, but why should you have to go back to a site/page when you can just grab the data & use it as you like?

RSS was actually the first feature i looked for - so very glad to see it working. I use netvibes to scan around 50 feeds every morning and afternoon, so the availability of the feed is critical if i am to monitor what's posted. Thanks!


Half-done, at best. Just getting a title is not much use: RSS feeds are supposed to save you time, and give you all the content where you want it (ie in your reader) not just give you a bunch of links that are no different than the HN "new" page.

Or is there a third-party technology that I'm missing that will solve that flaw?

Incorporate the age of the most recent comment next to the comments link:

52 points by pg 355 days ago | 432 comments (2 hours ago)

or something like that. It's nice to know if a comment thread is still active. On the flip side, I am less likely to comment if all of the other comments are several hours old.

Please force wrapping to the width of the page.


A previous fix for FF2 had been applied after this thread:


Unfortunately, I don't think that fix ever worked in FF3 or IE7.

Also unfortunately, after some tinkering, I can't find an easy way in CSS to get the same effect in FF3 as in FF2.

The best I've achieved with a simple change is to cap the expansion with a 'max-width' on the PRE rule, like so:

  pre { max-width:60em; overflow: hidden; padding: 2px; }
(And this still is glitchy, compared to the FF2 behavior.)

I think the main difficulty is in how TABLEs expand to the size of their cells -- it's easy to fix with a DIV-based layout, in my tests. (DIV-enclosed PREs are clipped the same in FF2 and FF3; TABLE-enclosed PREs are clipped in FF2 but grow the page in FF3.)

So my long-term suggestion: drop TABLES, move to DIV-based layout. (This might be a simple change in the ARC HTML-writing code.) In the meantime, add the 'max-width' to the PRE rule to minimize the annoyance in FF3/etc.

Just because I upvote something doesn't mean I want to save it!

From an HCI standpoint this would be tricky, but it would be great to have a system for handling dupes and near-dupes by merging their comment pages. For instance, right now there are two articles about the recent demo of Metaweb/freebase. I commented on one of them, returned to the mainpage, and realized that the other (which also had no comments) was now higher ranked.

This raises a quandry as to whether I should cross-post, or just move on and hope that the discussion happens in the one I picked.

(Note, this is the harder case, of near-dupes: the two articles are different, but \begin{precog} most of the discussion will be about the product they reference.\end{precog} Hence it is semantically reasonable to merge their comment threads.)

So, as a oneliner: add a way to merge duplicate articles.

Make urls in parens link right by ignoring the final paren in the href



fixed: (http://ycombinator.com), and for that matter http://ycombinator.com.

Parsing link parens is broke in a different way - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottler_(IRC_client) chops the (IRC_client) from the link.

and http://ycombinator.com"style="font-size:30px ?


thanks for the tip, btw; let me know if you notice any other breakage

good, i guess; i was sort of having fun with that one.

I think it would be good to be notified, say by email or a separate section of HN, when someone replies to one of my submissions/comments. It would also be nice to be able to have some submissions monitored and be notified whenever someone comments on it.

I believe this would make the discussion and exchange of ideas flow much better.

I just don't have enough time in my day to scroll through pages of discussion for every discussion here at news.ycombinator every day, checking to see if anyone has replied to anything I said. It is primarily for this reason that I don't come back to news.ycombinator very often, but I'm on reddit all the time. After all, pound for pound, I actually find the topics here more interesting than those at reddit, but it's just too damned much work to stay abreast of new developments in discussion.


Meta-Feature Request: Release the interpreter and source to news.yc so that we can implement Markdown, fix the &foo; conversion to not happen on the server-side, and fix the multibyte encoding problems. :-)

This is a bug report, not a feature request, but I couldn't find an obvious place to put it. I appear to be able to upvote comments an infinite number of times: if I click the upvote button once, it disappears. But if I hit enter, the vote keeps climbing. I have some screenshots of this in action.

Unless Hacker News has an (undocumented?) feature that lets regular posters / certain karma thresholds / whatever have a large or infinite number of votes, this appears to be a bug.

I'm running Firefox 3.6.8 on OS 10.6.whatever is latest.

It's a bug, but only with the front-end, only one vote actually gets remembered.

I find myself flapping between news.ycombinator.org and news.ycombinator.com (also .net), and cookies are not shared. Picking one and redirecting the others to it would be appreciated.

For the "comments" page, how about putting each comment in context, by indenting it underneath the submission to which it belongs?

I know you've got a "parent" link there already, but it's not something people are going to click for each one (and the comment text alone is often not enough to figure out what it's in reference to).

If someone has been hell banned could users with showdead on upvote them back to life. It would cut down on the silly Hey so and so you are dead go make a new account posts.

I'd like the option to remove my downvoting abilities, as I find it hard to control my urge to downvote in disagreement rather than for lack of quality in a comment.

Most of my downvotes tend to be in disagreement, whereas if I could disable it in my profile, I'd never be tempted to click that little arrow...

On a side note, I didn't want to do an "Ask PG" thread for such a small request, but this topic seems pretty dead. Last comment from PG in this thread was 1026 days ago. If you're still reading this but just in silence, any chance you'd reply to confirm that posting here isn't a complete waste of time? (Disagreeing with and therefore ignoring feature requests is perfectly fine, but if they're not getting read, this page might as well be deleted.)

Ideally, I would always like to be able to up-vote a submission while reading it. Since most submissions are of off-site content, I don't always have the capability to do this. Instead, I have to come back to HN after reading, search the list to find the submission again, and then click the up-arrow.

It would be ideal if a link to off-site content opened up a viewport page, with the content in one iframe and various HN-related controls in another iframe. Users could opt-in (or opt-out) of this behavior.

Strip Feedburner campaign parameters (and other campaign parameters) from submitted URLs.

This doesn't have a functional impact on the website, since the link still works, but as a web analyst I have OCD about keeping data clean. If people are getting to the page from HN, then their visit shouldn't get credited to feedburner. There's also a benefit to HN in doing this: In google analytics, campaign data overwrites referrer data, which means Hacker News does not receive credit for the traffic it directs to those sites, if there's a campaign code stealing credit.

While the same applies to any sort of analytics campaign tracking query parameters, Feedburner is the only culprit I've seen on hacker news, and they generally have the Google Analytics tracking parameters, which all start with UTM.

Mark completed features as dead

A lot of the time I will go to hacker news and quickly scan article titles for something interesting. While I know the mods try to change titles to be more descriptive, some things are just ambiguous. Right now there is an article called "A Rare Disagreement" on the front page. Now that could be about anything, and I don't know if I really want to spend my time on it. Can we add a little box on the submit form for an excerpt/summary that would appear on hover? Or maybe a little down arrow that you could click to expand the summary? Limit it to 150-300 characters and it could be a great improvement to the front page.

pg, I humbly submit that it's time to make a "subreddit" of sorts for politico-technical discussions, and moderate what is submitted to it. I know this might sound distasteful, and I'm not suggesting we go down the slippery slope of becoming like reddit, but I think the events of the past week have shown that it's necessary for change.

I'm not a particularly old member here by any means, but it's become very obvious that this community is too large for the current constraints on it. Minor changes, like implementing a separate area for political discussions would act as a sort of "release valve" without sucking up precious real estate on the front page.

My reasoning is as follows: there's no stopping wave stories like the NSA scandal from being submitted to Hacker News, people are too invested in hearing about it. Besides, there's some justification for it, being that it has a technical basis despite being political.

Moreover, it would lessen the impact to the front page for polito-technical debate to have its own "arena" of sorts. I would also motion for these to have separate karma/upvote/"staying power" treatment, similar to Ask HN: threads.

There should definitely be an algorithm to group stories by tags.. so NSA(7) stories, Steve jobs(8).. kind of like how facebook groups stories ("aka 3 more friends posted about this").

This way, the top stories or homepage will have more diversity and content.

Just spent 15 minutes writing up a detailed submission. Hit submit, dead link.

Back button, copy selection, retry ... but oops, entire selection was not copied, so now the half page of text is gone for good.

Thanks for wasting my time with a years old bug. There is no reason that new story submission page needs to expire. I should be able to start typing in that textarea, walk away from my computer for a week, and then come back, finish, and submit. No state is necessary.

It could be nice to have a way to change your password.

Fixed (long ago).

Definitely search. I use reddit's search feature all the time to find old articles.

Proposed Feature

Limit the number of links submitted per account per day to 1.


Prevents spammers and karmafarmers from submitting the entire TechCrunch\Wired back-catalog at a rate of 25+ a day.

Further Analysis

Increasing the scarcity of a resource (link submission ability) will increase the value of items it is traded for (links). HNers value independent news related to code or unique analysis. HN already gets the independent submissions people want. They just die an early death on the new page due to overcrowding by links from webzines\newspapers with a profit incentive for maximum linkbaitery. This feature reduces the rate of dropoff for independent news.

Ability to read all the comments you've made - i.e. More link on user comments page.

We have this now.


Relocation of down vote icon per post


Currently the downvote icon is directly below the upvote icon. This gives a small margin for error and I have noticed a few times were people have accidently downvoted an artcle due to this. Instead of the layout we have now ( A= Upvote icon and V= downvote icon):

A Name n minutes/hours ago | link


I propose that a layout such as this:

A Name n minutes/hours ago | link V

At least to me it would make more sence from a usibility regard to avoiding misclicking and more useful for those upon smaller screen sizes as well.

Implement login via Mozilla Persona. It's really easy to implement (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/persona) and e-mail based, so it should integrate into HN very easily.

At least use HTTPS so that our passwords aren't passed in plain text across the internet. Or, like you said, implement some sort of OAuth2 login so we can log in with Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, Persona, etc.

(correction) looks like you can use HTTPS, but it is optional. It should be required on login page at least.

SEARCH..PLEASE.. (not searchyc.com)

Copy and pasted from here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=213943

I'd suggest requiring everyone who submits a story to justify its relevance via the text box, ignoring all story submissions that don't have accompanying text (the exact opposite of how it currently works). That should deter a lot of impulse submissions, requiring users to think about why a story is worth posting here. And it should cultivate voting practices that maintain a stronger eye towards community relevance, as opposed to general interest. I.e., don't upvote unless the submitter successfully argues their case.

Restricting upvoting controls to a story's dedicated comments page would also deter impulse upvoting and force users to check out the justification.

I would like to see an rss feed of individual user's comments. An rss feed of http://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=pg etc.

Please let users add a few words about themselves on their userpages. It's a useful way to learn a little more about an interesting commentator. And isn't that the main purpose of the site? Links to homepages can of course be useful too.

A similar users list. Show me all the users who like the same stories as me and comment in all the same places. I've already noticed some users who are similar to me and a nice system for making sure I don't overlook any would be great.

Now that is an interesting idea. I'll mull over ways to do it.

In order to give an incentive for fruitful conversations, it would be nice if the numbers of answers to a post, and their scores, were added to the karma of its author. Something along these lines could work:

    (sum (map (fn (score) 
                 (if (< score 1) ; don't penalize users if answers are domnmedded
                     (+ 1 (floor (log (score))))))
This would only be granted to comments with a positive karma.

It could of course be computed offline after the thread has settled.

It would for reward people who ask questions that elicit either lots of answers or an highly upvoted one.

By using a logarithm, people would not be able to cheat by upvoting every answer to their posts (someting I automatically do out of courtesy, BTW, but many people don't).


Another thing: When the comments scores were visibles, people would rarely get more than two or three downmods unless they were obnoxious. There was a rule either tacit or explicit, I don't remember, not to downmod people lower than that, and if they were, it was corrected by other members of the community.

I have the impression that the score go much lower now, and are sometimes fatal to new users, who end up hell-banned and don't get a second chance. It may be nice to display the scores when they are below one.

Every once in a while I come across a post or comment that's been deaded or a user who's been banned for no apparent reason, which usually turns out to be a mistake by an admin. When I see these I email PG, but there ought to be a more efficient way of going about this. How about a "contraflag" button for calling them to admins' attention?

- Some way to mark as read/downvote/hide. I prefer to be able to go through the "new" section and do this. - Comment history in profile. - "Best of" history. - This is a silly little thing, but make the X comments/discuss link larger. I usually go down the page and open that page for any interesting article in a new tab. - Someway to format posts so ones like this don't look silly and return to the main page thread after editing.

Definately return to the main page after editing a comment please. I think I hit 'update' 3 times before even thinking about why I hadn't switched back.

The culture of HN seems to be drifting slowly away from technical subjects and towards more "5 easy ways to make your shit smell like roses" Business-Insider-type posts. This has been going on for a long time. It's one of the biggest sources of friction in the HN community in my opinion.

I'm not saying that these posts are bad per se, but I would bet that most HN users like either one type of post or the other and not both. I would also bet that the Techcrunch-types outnumber the LtU-types, so trying to move the discussion towards more technical topics is a losing battle in the long run.

So here's what I'm suggesting:

1. Let submitters add tags to their posts along with their titles.

2. Let people whitelist the tags that show up on their homepage.

3. Using data from 2, it should be possible to cluster tags together, and make ad-hoc subreddits. I'm not entirely confident that subreddits are a good idea, but having the tag co-occurrance matrix would indicate whether it is or not.

Adding tags this way is much less drastic than diving straight in to subreddits, and it has a path to end up at subreddits in the end if that ends up making sense. And if subreddits don't make sense, it should at least make search work better.

There's no good way to refer to a HN user by username and have it be obvious who you mean.

There should be a way to write a username and have it linkified. If I write @pg it should show up as simply "pg" and be a link to http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=pg

Or something like that...

Please automatically convert very long unbroken strings into code markdown, thus putting them in a scrolable box.

See this for an example: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7837247

View it on mobile (chrome on iOS) to see how unusable that thread is now.

1. AJAX for the voting arrow(s); 2. RSS; 3. Search

search! Sometimes I want to ask a question but I feel like it's one of those things that's already been posted, but it's kind of hard to find it.

I would like the FAQ and search moved to the top navigation bar. I did not know that there was a search and FAQ for a while and only found the FAQ through google before finding the bottom navigation. The top navigation makes you think that there is only that navigation.

Also, the document formatting is a little inaccessible. The submit page should have either a link to the document formatting, or just verbatim contain the document formatting page content. This probably won't help people who have been on HN for a while, but it would definitely be useful to me.

The top navigation is also a little confusing at first; I would expect that "comments" would show only my comments. I did not have an expectation of what "threads" would show.

EDIT: Forgot to put that an explanation of some of the more strange behaviors in FAQ would be nice. For instance sometimes there is a reply button to comments and sometimes there isn't.

I would love a save feature... I someone already said this and I missed it, my bad. I check sites like this often while I have a quick minute at work, but if I notice a really good article I want to read I don't always have time. I would like to save it so at the end of each evening I could log in just to read over things I thought looked interesting. I do this in reddit all the time, and expect that I would like doing the same here.

We now have this, in the sense that you can see a list of links you've upvoted.

Add a password reminder, and also password confirmation during registration. I mistyped one of my standard passwords when registering, and as a result I was locked out of YC News until I noticed that the password was stored in the Firefox on my laptop's Windows (blech!) partition.

No doubt.. I have an account that I can't access because I don't know the password.. So.. now I'm jeremychase-2 .. sigh.

"Unknown or expired link":

I frequently get "unknown or expired link" when clicking the "more" link after browsing to the bottom of the page. It's constantly frustrating.

If another page of links was shown to me, I'd be much happier. Just show the next page instead of an error. Just give me more links.

It would be very useful if 500+ karma users could reply privately to comments. The use case here would be to be able to tell a user why their comment is not appropriate or lowers the quality of discourse.

This feature could also come with the ability for 500+ karma to make such private comments visible (to make sure this privilege isn't being abused).

For example, in the following thread I would love to tell users why their comment does not constructively contribute to the discussion, but I also know that my comments on their comments don't contribute to the OP. There are many comments on there where a downvote is sufficient, but there are also borderline comments that merit an explanation as well. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7469115

I often look to the comments of a particular user, like people I know or PG.

It would be nice when looking at a comment to immediately get the full context with the submitted story and top level comment. I find myself hitting "parent" many times, when a "root" button would be useful.

When a submission is new and has no comments, the link to the discussion page reads "discuss".

When a submission is active and has comments, the link to the discussion page reads "# comments" where the "#" is the number of comments.

After some period of time (yes, I know it's more complicated than just time), the comments on a submission are disabled. Of course, this is good, and it stops the stupid bot that always posts "This is why we can't have nice things."

The trouble is when comments are disabled, the various submission listing pages reads "comments" without the leading number. Since we're trained to expect seeing a leading number from active threads, the expectation when seeing just "comments" is that there are no comments at all. It would be better if closed submissions are marked "# closed" or better "# comments (closed)".

Although it seems you have a special exception for this "Feature Request" thread to allow submissions even though it's ancient, it still reads just "comments" without the leading number, and hence, we've got no clue how much reading we might have to do.

I'd like to build a FF add-on that overlays HN comments at the bottom of every page that's been discussed here.

I really need some sort of search API for that, otherwise the solution would be to do a fake-post of the article, just to see if anyone submitted it before, then delete it immediately if the submission succeeds.

I'd like a reference page for the markup syntax used in comments.

This has been said already on very old posts, but an API would great. General retrieving/posting/searching capabilities would be great. For authenticated users, being able to list the user's own up votes and down votes. Would make it easier to see what the user enjoyed/hated.

Search - and it needs to have the reddit feature where if you search for an URL, you get the submit page when nothing was found. That's how I submit all my links in reddit. This site doesn't have that, so I wonder if I'm wasting my time when thinking up or typing in a title for a submission - since it may already have been submitted.

Also, I need the "save link" feature.

Good site so far.

Assuming that placement on the front page is determined by points/age, allow users to set the weight of age. If I were to set the weight to .3, I would end up with the "/best" page. Users might set this based on how often they visit, via a textbox in the upper-right of the news page.

Documentation on the mark-up allowed, e.g. italic, some way to post normal ASCII characters for code snippets, which in turn require line breaks.


Do you know if this is now documented anywhere? Even on a third party site?

Testing: italic bold [link](http://benhoyt.com/) -- hmmm, can you do named links?

Strip spaces from the username on login, especially at the end. Signing in from iPhone, I got a few login errors before I realized that it wasn't a fat fingered password but a login username of "ivankirigin "

I think it'd be awesome to have a mode in news.yc where I can paste in a quote, mark it off with like a "|" and have it turn into an indented blockquote with some special styling.

As much as we copy and paste snippets from articles around here, I think it'd really help readibility of posts and encouraging debating quoted points.

'cause feature requests go here.

Add 2 more columns to the leader board:

1. date/time or "minutes ago" of last comment

2. first 40 characters of that comment...

Most of the people I like to follow are already on the leader board. It sure would be nice to know who's on-line right now and what they're talking about without having to drill down 20 times.

Possible additional benefits of this enhancement:

1. People may take an extra moment or two to examine their comment's quality if they knew it would shortly be on a "master" page for all to see.

2. An additional route for people to join a conversation they're interested in.

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