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Please tell us what features you'd like in news.ycombinator
262 points by pg 3657 days ago | hide | past | web | 1586 comments | favorite

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.

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.

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/)

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.

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

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!

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'.

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:



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'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.

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.

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?

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

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


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].

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.

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).

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.

> 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 :)

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.

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?

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.


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 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).

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

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.

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

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

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.

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).

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







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.

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

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.

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 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.

list the subdomain for posts on plus.google.com

Currently confusing with just google.com

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.

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.

"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!

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

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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

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?

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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! =)

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.


I do not know what I should flag. Should I flag things that have terrible titles?

"10 articles every programmer should read" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7743952

Or should I flag the obvious (but rare) off topic spam that makes it through the filters?

I believe HN users want to reduce mod-work, and that they would be happy with slightly increased friction on flagging.

[flag - should not be on HN]

[flag - HN Worthy but terrible title]

[flag - train wreck comments]

I believe this would increase flagging. I suspect it would make modding easier but I don't know and maybe I'm talking nonsense.


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. :-)

Use `min-resolution: 2ddpx` media query for high-resolution graphics rather than/in addition to `-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2`, to allow non-webkit browsers to display high-resolution graphics.

I have tested this fiddle and found it to work in both Chrome and Firefox: http://jsfiddle.net/LRaJj/


Alternatively, and perhaps even better, use unicode ▲ as up arrow instead of gif, as suggested earlier: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4238956

Another alternative, which doesn't need media queries, svg: http://jsfiddle.net/pJt4N/1/

SVG for the arrow:

    <svg xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2000/svg' viewbox='0 0 10 10' width='10' height='10'><path d='M0.5,10L5,1,9.5,10' fill='#999'></svg>
As a data-URI:


Please could you put a linebreak in that very long string, or put four spaces in front of it?

Thank you!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

It would be nice if there was a 'log' or 'about' page for each submission to show editorial changes and other administrative data. Often it would be easier to make sense of earlier comments if the full history of moderator changes was accessible.

If desired, this page could also be used as an out-of-channel means for the moderator to tell the submitter why the changes were made, or why the submission was killed. It could also serve as a page linking to discussion of earlier (or substantially similar) submissions.

Could we please get username.github.io subdomain support on HN? Unlike the old github.com, these are all user content so it makes sense to distinguish them just like for wordpress.com.

From: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5669707

When someone important to the community dies, a thin black bar is added to the top of HN as a mark of respect. (As I type this (4th July 2013) it is present as a mark of respect to Doug Engelbart.)

This invariably confuses new users.

I suggest the thin black bar be the height of a line of text, and it contain the text “R.I.P. Doug Engelbart”. This text could link to an official announcement of the death, or to a HN page discussing such a link. The text should probably be a light shade of grey.

Alternatively, without expanding the thin black bar, the text could appear in the orange header bar, and be coloured black. In this case it should probably be centred between the “submit” link on the left and the username / “login” link on the right.

"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.

Could we please have a link to go straight to the parent topic? It's annoying to have to keep clicking "parent" when the page is at a child reply.

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?

Mark completed features as dead

Re: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7593249 (software to formalize user better-URL recommendations)

An idea along those lines: every item (submission/comment) should have a separate set of children that are 'meta/correction/derailing'. (That is, there's 'reply' and 'reply-meta'.)

Users would have to choose (or earn?) 'showmeta'. (So, no clutter for those who don't want to see that level. But perhaps even people without 'showmeta' see the meta subthreads on their own authored items, and a count of unseen metas-in-reply-to-them.)

Minor editorial nits like typos/headline-improvements/URL-improvements ought to be raised in 'meta' replies... and normal replies can be moved to 'meta' if appropriate, even beyond the normal edit-grace-period - especially if their point become obsolete by parent/admin editorial action.

Perhaps meta-items even have a one-tick way for the parent/admin to acknowledge they've been seen, mark as agreed, or mark as addressed.

All in the spririt of subtle-behind-the-scenes work to keep the "foreground" that most see on-point and high-quality.

I agree with your ideas in spirit but the implementation would be complicated. Could you think about how to distill this down to the simplest, least invasive thing we could possibly try first?

(Better to continue this conversation at hn@ycombinator.com.)

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...

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

We have this now.


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

Fixed (long ago).

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 "

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.

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.

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

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

Hi, it's not so much a feature request than a bug report (sorry if it's not the right place). Since a few days ago the comments link in the RSS feed is wrong, it contains extra spaces. Example:


As a result clicking in a link in a RSS reader will fail to open the page in a web browser.

The story link is fine thought.

This is while using the feed: http://news.ycombinator.com/rss

I can't pin down the exact date when it started, less than a week ago for sure, possibly this WE?

Sorry for the spam, it seems client specific (RSSOwl). I tried another client and it was fine, then looked at the RSS flux and it also looks fine.

I've been fooled by the fact that I only had the issue with HN but none of my many other feeds. My best guess is that you're using the HTML entity "&#x2F;" instead of the straight character "/" for URLs. Somehow RSSOwl handles this fine in <link> elements, but not in <comments>.

I'll submit the issue to RSSOwl.

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.

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.

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.

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.

On the login form could you use just one HTML form on the page rather than two.

Presently LastPass and other password managaers will submit the last form found on the page (the create account one).

Which means users with password managers are constantly hitting the account creation page and then have to go back and attempt to click the login button before the second form is submitted (again).

- 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.

Reiterating a past request because I can't reply to it.

Please can we get sub domains for google domains displayed. Especially now that we have google plus, I'd like to know what the actual service a link is coming from is. Google code is especially confusing. There are lots of project announcements at I initially assume come from google but are just hosted on google code.

Just requested pretty much the same thing for google-plus (as I didn't see your earlier request) ... so ... +1

The 'unknown or expired link' embarrassment (that's different from both bug and feature) continues to eat my carefully thought out posts, even to this day. This of course, makes me furious at you, personally.

Whatever the timeout is these days, it is simply not enough. Not for editing posts on a phone on a bus, which should be a core use case in 2014.

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 bookmark a lot of links that I read on HN. Can there be a button next to links with which I can bookmark them on the HN server on my account itself and later revisit them chronologically or categorically. Maybe also specifically 'search' these personally bookmarked links while coming back to read them.

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.

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.

Show only the first and second level comments for faster browsing, like:

    - this is cool
      - seconded
        + view 120 more uninteresting comments
    - not so cool
    - my point of view gets lost
This way we don't have to scroll a hundred subcomments to get to the next comment in line.

I noticed that some blogs create a post, submit the link on HN, then add a link at the end of the post toward their submission on HN for comments.

Something great (and simple) would be to create an API for that. The first useful feature would be to get a listing of comments for a given post. The second one (a little more complex) would be to allow HN user to comment via the API. A simple listing for the moment would be great.

This way there could be a similar plugin to Disqus for instance but for HN. It could help some post get interesting comments.


Sounds pretty cool. I wish there was a general API for HN to see so we can plot interesting data it collects in relation to topics/time/users.

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.

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.

Implicit upvoting awarded to comments based on the length of "discussion" that they produce.

I've been surprised sometimes how an entire thread will form under a comment of mine, and in the end there will be 2 or 3 sub-comments voted at 20 while mine stays at 1. Shouldn't I, in those cases, receive some votes for starting such a discussion?

Skipping over the fact that you can only guess at one other people's comments are voted to... no, you shouldn't get votes for that.

If your comment was actually well written, or useful, or whatever people decide deserves upvotes, then you'll get them for it. If it wasn't a good comment but it happened to start a discussion, credit goes to people having an interesting discussion.

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.

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

People create throwaway accounts all the time. Allow people a limited number of posts per day to anonymize their screen name. I think you'll get much more candor on some topics. And with this you can better sort comments and stories since HN will still have access to karma and other signals. And perhaps on an anon post, we could see an anonymized version of their karma (what range their karma is in, say 0-49, 50-399, 400-999, 1000+). This might allow us to take someone's anon comment more seriously.

I do not know why I joined the contest seo, when I was a novice who do not understand SEO it is really about being a contest I follow and this was the theme. and these are some urls that are following the SEO contest "cari uang lewat ekiosku.com" http://tehsirsakdepok.blogspot.com/2013/06/cari-uang-lewat-e... http://tehsirsakdepok.blogspot.com/2013/07/citra-indah-dan-c... beg explanation of the seniors about good SEO and true http://masihakudisini.blogspot.com/2013/06/cari-uang-lewat-e... http://masihakudisini.blogspot.com/2013/07/perumahan-citra-i... beg explanation of the seniors about good SEO and true

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.

Have some marking on the text box on the submission page to give a clue about where the 80 character limit is.

Or just chop titles at 80 chars.

I would find it easier to trim down characters and make replacements if I had a guide. Without the guide it is tempting to remove whole words and sometimes that becomes misleading or link baity.

At present, the only way to access all of my "saved stories" is to send in a scraper to keep walking the 'more' link until it no longer exists. With the "unknown or expired link" timer, one would have to repeatedly hit the site quickly to get all of the saved stories. Similar is true for a user's comments and submissions. Needless to say, HN already has enough trouble with bots/scrapers, so it would be rather unfriendly to add to the load.

Is it possible to provide a 'download all' link for a user to get their own comments, submissions, and saved stories?

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?

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.

Bare bones API-like stuff could go a long way. Add a url parameter to the submit page that prefills the url field and anyone can create a bookmarklet for submitting. Add a status page that takes a url and returns whether or not it is in the system, its current rating and the id to pass in for modding and someone's on their way to a low rent firefox extension.

Looking at the all the positive responses to the Hacker News post "Are you a UK- based hacker..." posted by "dood", it seems readers of this site might well appreciate a forum area on the site for networking other YC readers or YC seed companies. There is a huge amount of goodwill amongst YC readers and this may be better accessed through a new part of the YC site rather than "Hacker news", eg perhaps you can build something in to allow readers to describe their skills/ideas and the type of YC readers they are either hoping to contact or happy to help etc.Just a thought.

Please include subdomains in the domain section next to article titles. (blogs.nytimes.com) has a much more accurate connotation than (nytimes.com) for posts from blogs.nytimes.com.

Show scores next to comments again...

There is some evidence here that hiding it to avoid egotism isn't worth the loss of function: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2430542

See, respondents to the comment had to manually create a child comment "+ 1 for this idea!" to get their message out. That's not efficient, organized, or quantifiable.

I also wonder how much having no comment scores even contributes to eliminating egotism and hive-mind behavior.

Could a profile option be added to toggle on/off the availability of the downvote button? I browse HN on my phone a lot and am always a little paranoid that I'll hit the downvote arrow rather than the up-vote arrow due to the inaccuracy of touches v.s. a mouse pointer.

I've been zooming in a ton before upvoting (which works fine) but it would be nice to avoid that.

If a text based submission gets above some threshold (points, user history, replies, ...), parse the links in the submission. If the submission gets any flags, then stop parsing the links.

Also, rendering text normally (black) rather than grayed-out when a text based submission gets above some threshold would be beneficial.

Sure, parsing links on text based submissions will allow manipulative people to put their comment in a privileged position, but the current implementation detracts from discussion. For example, it's typical to see a follow-up reply for the sole purpose of having clickable links, but due to reply ranking, one usually finds the reply too late. Another issue is mobile devices where a copy-and-paste of a plain text URL is painful.

Obviously, I don't know the stats necessary to grasp whether or not you're fighting with flag-bots or even users who flag too aggressively, but I know you have code running to deal with these two issues (you publicly mentioned how the weighting works eons ago). Since you have the capacity to roughly determine good flagging from bad, a single good flag should be enough to reverse the decision to parse links. This should be enough stop the "privileged positioning" problem.

As for combating the "link harvesting/spamming" side of problem, I think the most you could do is mark the parsed links as "nofollow" in the text based submissions (as usual). It's not a perfect solution, but it's still better than nothing, and it's equivalent to how you handle link based submissions.

BUG: Periods get sliced off the end of links. For example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartoon_Network,_LP_v._CSC_Hold....

I have a submission link to HN on a Website. I'd really like a way to show two pieces of information in that link:

1. whether or not the page has already been submitted to HN

2. how many comments, if any, have been made in HN discussion about the page

My preference would be for a way to add that information to the page dynamically when the page is first loaded, on the server side, so that no client-side scripting (i.e. JavaScript) is necessary. If for some reason it is decided that it must be done with JavaScript, though -- well, I guess beggars can't be choosers, as they say.

As far as I'm aware, no reasonable way of doing this exists right now (short of something complex like automatically searching HN and screen-scraping). I'd really appreciate an API for this kind of thing being added to HN (and reasonably well-documented) so that I can make use of it on a site written in Ruby (not Rails, mind you).

Please consider making it possible to change your username.

More stats on the leaders page please. Karma breakdown by submissions and comments. Number of submissions and comments. Mean, mode, median? A means of entering a username and seeing the table +/- 15 around it.

I'd also love to see the stats. As ralph mentioned elsewhere, having an API for accessing the entirety of the stats would be great. But something else like a weekly dumping of the posts table from your db would be great too.

I second this submission. I'd like to know the mean/mode/median of (karam/# submissions) for example.

There should be an app or something where we list 1) problems, and 2) startup ideas. We also vote on them. * There's value in discovering good startup ideas via the wisdom of the crowd.

* There's value in just seeing a list of ideas to help with brainstorming.

I think that this will lead to more startups being started, which is a good thing. It'll help people who don't start one because they don't have an idea. And it'll lead to some pretty good ones being started because the wisdom of the crowd will produce some good ideas.

Whether or not this succeeds depends on the community of users. HN has the perfect community for this. Thus, I propose that an "ideas section" be added to HN where you could add and vote on problems and startup ideas.

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.)

AJAX-based upvoting: I click on the up arrow for a comment, and the page totally refreshes, and I'm at the top of the page. Then I have to scroll back down and find where I left off. Annoying.

Link to the news.ycom page in the RSS feed, rather than the external link, or in addition to the external link: If I want to comment on the external site, or read what other people have made, I have to go to the main news.ycom page and find the comment thread. This wastes maybe 30 seconds of my time, which can be important when I'm still formulating what I want to say and don't need the distraction.

Regarding links to the comments in the RSS feed, it would also be nice to preview the comments in the rss reader as well.

I have a mockup of a feature that might improve voting on articles:


Basically, new links open up in an frame, with a slim Hacker News bar at the top. The idea would be that as you're reading an article/finished reading an article, you'll be more likely to vote if the button is right there, rather than if you have to go back to HN and search for the post.

I'd appreciate the page title including the caption for the news story you're viewing. When I've got a bunch of tabs open, it would be nice to know which story is on which tab beyond "Y Combinator Startup News."


I would like it if HN could be divided into separate sub-topics, or have each submission tagged with a few topical tags, like "web development", "javascript", "compilers", "linux", "graphics", etc. For bonus points, allow HN to be customized for each user so that they can subscribe to their favorite topics, which then populate the front-page and /best page.

I find that keeping up with news on HN is essential to me learning new things and becoming more skilled in my field. However, HN caters to a wide variety of interests, and it is time-consuming to have to sift through a bunch of posts on topics that I'm not really interested in.

I'd like a modification to the "get back to work" message.

I would enjoy if it rotated a bit through different creative reminders.


"have you exercised 150 minutes this week?" (low activity has been purported to kill as many people as smoking, and a bet a lot of we computer users are in that demographic.

"Any hobbies interesting you at the moment? Why not work on them for a bit?"

"Get back to work!"

"Go get out of your comfort zone"

And maybe some inspirational quotes.


Thanks for thinking about it!

I know my HN experience is very, very short, but I have a proposition.

It's true you can write anything you want in your profile's "About" section, but is there a possibility to have a little pop-up window that appears when you hover over someone's username? It only shows you their workplace and education because, as far as I've seen, HN isn't attractive to hackers only, there all sorts of people who use this platform and it would be nice to know what is their background, for example, when commenting. It could bring more quality and dynamics to discussions because then you'll know what you can ask others and what are their expertise. I don't want it to become similar to a facebook profile, but the two previously mentioned information lines are far more important than others such as age, location, etc.

There is a chance that this will turn our screen into a popcorn bowl but I think it can be managed by having a little delay or something else.

Informational noise reduction.

HN covers lots of subjects (IT, scientific news, business news, social and lots of other stuff) while not providing any tools to sort out what one doesn't need/interested in.

During 2 days I've received ~1k news. For me there were 12 useful. I've skimmed through a 20-screen long list to find those 12 and didn't even try to look through all others because there is just too much of informational noise. So please add some categories or tags to news.

Thank you.

Interesting experiment to improve comments: only show a comment field or reply button on threads if the user clicked the story.

Display new posts on the front page of users with high karma.

Put random new posts that don't have any votes on the front page of those who meet a high karma threshold. Currently a single vote in the new queue is a gigantic step towards hitting the front page and being noticed. When that one vote matters so much and there's so much luck involved in getting it before even newer posts come in, it's no wonder people are creating voting rings. I think this could hugely reduce the luck factor in quality posts getting noticed.

Here's a preview of what I'm imagining: https://i.imgur.com/ZNQTn7q.png

We're working on revising the new queue to reduce the amount of randomness in what gets noticed. It's definitely a problem.

Are resubmissions allowed (or even encouraged) yet? For example, Mt. Gox posted an update 3 days ago, but it only got one upvote (mine was the second, and came three days late). It contained, among other things, news that the company had been turned over to someone else (a Provisional Administrator): https://www.mtgox.com/img/pdf/20140416_002_announce_en.pdf

I would say that's newsworthy and worth resubmitting once, but by the current rules I'd risk being banned.

One problem with allowing people to resubmit is that they'll probably resubmit too much. It will also push non-resubmitted stories out of the new queue faster. The first might be able to be solved by encouraging the community to be responsible; the second by increasing the number of items displayed on the /newest page from 30 to 120.

There is another way to solve new queue randomness: create a page where submissions come entirely from HN members that each user may select. For example, I'd be interested in tptacek's submissions, along with tokenadult, cperciva, yours, etc, so submissions from those members are what my page would show. Each user would be able to select their own list of users that they're interested in. But this might be a bad idea because it will make voting ring detection a lot harder.

Another idea is to create a page showing submissions from members that you yourself select. I'd be happy with that, but that's a bad idea because it would divide the community. Pg's short experiment with highlighting users with high average karma proved that this is a horrible situation.

How it works now is how it's worked for a long time. If a story hasn't had a significant discussion on HN, and it's genuinely interesting by HN standards, it's ok for people to repost it. That's why the duplicate detector is so porous. We want to give the best stories multiple cracks at the bat.

If a story has had a significant discussion within about a year, though, we'll kill reposts as dupes. Ditto if the story is off-topic.

The standards are more stringent about people reposting content that they're trying to promote. Deleting and reposting is particularly bad.

I know some people want precise rules, but we're not likely to go there. We want to encourage prudence, not gaming. But we will eventually expand the guidelines and the FAQ to explain more of this stuff. In the meantime, it's best to email hn@ycombinator.com.

As for your feature suggestions, my instinct is against relying on solutions that fragment the community. It's part of HN's DNA to have one community, one front page, one set of posts. The temptation is strong to let it burst at the seams, because there's so much. But I think we're better off finding ways to enhance quality within that constraint, rather than breaking it.

That's great news, any info on this queue update or is it a secret? :)

Well, I don't want to announce it here, but a couple tidbits are that we got the idea from HN users and that Trevor is working on it.

If it's true that the toxic comments problem has stabilized (fingers crossed, no jinx), the thing we're going to work hard on next is story quality.

Too late to edit, but I should probably make it clear that I personally don't approve of or use voting rings.

A separate "Show HN" area/link at the top. As it turns out many people would love this separate area, allowing more organization with "Show HN" posts no longer showing up in the "Ask HN" section.

The ability to hide a story, to make it possible for me to just show what i haven't read before.

Please allow users to change their votes (as reddit does). "I downvoted you by mistake" is a very common comment.

I noticed two types of HN posts:

1.- A Hacker News for _______ (finance[1], bitcoin[2], architecture[3], etc)

2.- Filter Hacker News (exclude ___[4], by tags[5], etc)

Food for thought.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6844565

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6867232

[3] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6860611

[4] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6866403

[5] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2563739 (expired link)

Allow the //uri scheme. Right now you can use https://example.com and http://example.com, but //example.com is not allowed.

Edit: To clarify: I mean for the URL field at the submissions screen. It's probably not a good idea to implement this in comments because in many languages the double-slash indicates a comment.

Two feature requests, one question, one comment.

I am aware that occasionally there are great items that don't get a few upvotes quickly, and then get lost in the flurry of other submissions. Submitting something at a popular time is a lottery, and I think many useful items get lost, or go unnoticed.

I'd like to see an alternate ranking system based on votes, replies and page views. Let R be the current score as determined by votes, C be the accumulated votes on the comments, and V be the number of views of the page. Then let the ranking score be something like (R+C)/V. The idea is that pages without views will stay close to the top, encouraging them to be viewed and hence ranked. Pages that elicit no upvotes will then drop quickly, but at least they've been seen.

There probably needs to be a time component in there as well so that items slowly "fade" with time.

I can expand and refine this for anyone interested in seeing waht happens, but I can't produce a mock-up because I don't have access to the "page views" statistic.

Second thing, and much less of a priority, I'd like is the ability to retrieve a single item with its threading information, but not its threading content. My interests aren't entirely aligned with the majority, so I'd like to retrieve every item and then read them in thread for myself. Currently if I pull a given item I get all its sub-comments as well, which I then have to unpick. It's tedious, and I haven't bothered yet, but I can do it. It would be more value to me if I could just pull the text and ID of the parent.

Question: I'm interested to see if this comment gets read. This thread is now 2 1/2 years old. How many people read it, and what path to they take to do so?

Finally, the comment. Thank you for HN. I think it's a fantastic resource, and I look forward to contributing to it for some time to come. I hope I add value.

Blank url posts are sometimes hard to follow because the order of the comments is not chronological -- hence, It's hard to find the first comment, the actual question.

It might be nice to have a chronological sort, or maybe, for just blank url posts, to have the first comment always appear first.

Maybe self-ref posts could submit a text description that always stays at the top?

It would facilitate more convenient discussion if you had the option of getting notifications that someone has replied to your submission or comment. Along those lines, it would be cool to be able to "subscribe" to a thread and receive notifications whenever someone posts a reply to anyone.

The notifications can be on the site itself, like a little box in the corner that shows the number of unread notifications, Facebook/StackOverflow/Google+ style. And/or set up notifications as emails (though personally, I already get tons of spam in my inbox, I'd rather just have on-site notifications).

I built a small chrome extension that provides this functionality. Next to your name, the extension adds a mail icon that lights up whenever someone replies to one of your messages. It then takes you to a 'cleaned up' threads page that only shows new messages. Doesn't work for submissions though. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/notifications-for-...

I know this is an early version and things are still a bit rough, but just for the record: 1) The number beside my user name (top of the page) is a bit confusing. At first I thought maybe it meant I had some sort of message waiting to be read, or perhaps that I'd made one comment, which didn't make sense because I'd just created the account. Perhaps a label before the number would clear things up: (karma: 1). 2) I didn't realize at first that the arrows were used for voting. The main page (http://news.ycombinator.com/) had only "up" arrows. I figured they were used to collapse/expand additional content, so I ended up inadvertently trying to vote for several arbitrary items (I hadn't created an account yet, so the votes didn't count - I don't think). Once I saw the "up" and "down" arrows together I got their purpose. Perhaps, instead of removing one (or both) of the arrows you could simply display a ghosted one? Or perhaps replace the arrows with thumb up/down icons? 3) "7 points by pg 1 hour ago | 7 comments" reads like you (pg) added 7 points an hour ago. Is this meant instead: "7 points | by pg | 1 hour ago | 7 comments"? New feature: Why not combine the scoring with Flickr like tags. Instead of just being limited to increasing/decreasing an items karma, give me the

4) Tell me there's a character limit, and what that limit is :) New feature: Why not combine the scoring with Flickr like tags. Instead of just being limited to increasing/decreasing an items karma, give me the option of increasing/decreasing tags, and the ability to add a new tags of my own which others could then vote on. This would probably be a good feature for Reddit as well. They could do away with the handful of subreddits they have and use this tagging scheme instead.

I think this is a great idea. It would let things like slashdot's "funny" and "insightful" happen organically. I've been toying with doing something similar for a political blog for a while.

Have you seen slashdot lately? They've got some sort of freeform tagging feature and it ain't working so hot.

Here's one: get newlines working. Either allow <br /> elements or translate the newline before applying the comment. It'll make the comments a lot more readable. I know it can be abused, but I don't think that's really a worry in this forum. You can always turn it back off later, right?

Nitpick. I noticed this is working now when you type two newlines, but when it's just one newline it translates into a space. I'm probably the only one who cares though...

Oh! I always thought it was a deliberate filter against lists of items taking too much vertical space.

I don't know why I'm not allowed to vote up or down, but I do see both arrows.

If someone's not allowed to vote, how about a little courtesy of not wasting their time on voting?

Can we please have a blockquote markup? And improve the code block markup so that the line width is wider and doesn't require horizontal scrolling?

  This is a code markup example.  The problem I'm seeing is that, lacking a clear blockquote text citing markup, it's also used for citing text.  Which, in the case of long lines, leads to the example I'm trying to replicate here:  a single line of long, horizontally scrolling text.
  Just sayin'.

Bug report:

http://imgur.com/jAg1J.png from http://news.ycombinator.com/x?fnid=n8uYJzau87

In the image, there are two identical items called "The Top Idea in Your Mind".

Add a link/flag to help bringing erroneously hell-banned users back. At the very least, if automatically hell-banning people, kill their comments, but allow replying to them.

Case in point - https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=slmt - nothing from what he said justifies a hellban.

Simple usability suggestion -- add an orange footer line to comments pages. There is no visual indicator that I'm at the bottom of a page; I frequently find myself pressing page-down in futility.

Is it possible to stop new accounts from submitting new stories, maybe at least until they are 24h old? It seems that amount of spam on new is increasing and each of spammers is a newly created account.

Comments from people asking for or offering mirrors of inaccessible articles are very frequent. Old articles disappear from the web, leaving discussions that lack context. HN should offer a link to a cached version in the header of the item page.

While it would be easiest to use an external service and just add the link, I think HN should consider creating its own archive of all submitted articles. The articles, links, commentary, and voting data could one day be a great corpus for future scholars (and current-day CS researchers).

Leave the upvote and downvote arrows accessible when a vote has been cast. Nothing more frustrating than checking HN on mobile, then executing the opposite of your intended vote action by accident.

Also good for those mea culpa moments when one realises a comment has been misunderstood.

Another social news aggregator (the one frequented by crustaceans and disenfranchised Hacker News users) implemented a "story merge" feature yesterday. It is a really nice feature.


This feature would significantly reduce noise around major events, and likely prevent second order noise as people try to piggy back on with tangential analysis, derivative stories, or redundant commentary.

A thought on "pending comments". Use this mechanism as a way to community-moderate [dead] posts. This may reduce or eliminate the need for a permanent hellban on individuals. For instance, someone who posted something that got them banned a year back, but has consistently posted good quality posts since, could have their posts un-deaded by individuals with sufficiently high karma, bringing them back into the conversation. If a sufficient number of their posts are resuscitated, then remove the auto-dead from their future posts (or queue them for review by moderators).

Low-hanging fruit:

The byline of this thread currently reads "2041 days ago", and it's really hard to make sense of that, since dividing by 365 usually takes more than a split-second.

Thus for submissions and comments older than X days, change the byline from "X days ago" to "Month DD, YYYY".

Both 100 and 365 would be okay values for X.

EDIT: Alternatively, extend the current pattern of "minutes ago", "hours ago", "days ago" to "months ago" and "years ago".

Show the subdomains of stackexchange.com . The site is getting bigger and the different subdomains have very different topics.

I'd love an iOS home screen icon.

Since iOS allowed saving web pages as icons on the home screen, I've had a link to Hacker News on the first page of apps on my iPhone. iOS looks for an image in a specific location and will use that as the icon for the bookmark. If it can't find one, it'll take a screenshot of the home page.

Since updating to iOS 6, my home screen bookmark icon for Hacker News has started changing to the icons for websites that HN links to. For example, my icon currently is a purple 'Slate' logo after reading a story at Slate.com. The only way to change this is to recreate the bookmark until this happens again.

It'd be great if we could get a HN icon that iOS would use instead of failing to the default and now changing often.

Implementing this is as easy as placing specifically named and sized images in the root directory of the domain.

Specific naming and sizes can be found here: http://gigaom.com/apple/how-to-create-ios-device-home-screen...

This is probably a dupe, but still .. it's a widely accepted notation outside of this site that enclosing the word in * implies 'bold' decoration, in / - 'italic' and in _ - 'underscore'. Seeing that here * italicizes the word strikes me as odd.

I realize that bold and underscore decorations go against clean appearance of the site, but it'd be nice to add standard slash notation for italic.

I'd like to have a setting on the users page to ignore all non-link submissions. I enjoy more of the news / discussion aspect of news.yc than the emerging message board aspect.

Or shunt them to a separate silo, like Metafilter does with Ask Metafilter and MetaTalk.

I'd like to see an "announcements/feedback" section where people can tell this community about their projects and get comments back, i.e. similar to what happens (less formally) at Joel Spolsky's "Business of Software" forum.

I would second this.

In my mind, however, what would be more useful for us budding founders is a place where we can share our ideas and projects in their early embarrassing states. It would be nice the be able to get feedback right at the beginning when I have only the the vaguest idea, and then to be guided by feedback as the project develops and matures. I would not be comfortable to share my pre-pre alpha project on reddit. And people would not be interested.

I believe that the search-space is too great that we should ever worry about other people stealing our precious idea. Starting from one point, different people would diverge and develop in different ways.

I don't know. But I would really welcome more openness. I think when an idea is interesting, and new, people would rather cooperate, and help along. Competition only happens (I hope) when people are chasing after the roughly same fad.

Why not submit a blog post the normal way? Is this a separate kind of post?

Well, people tend to dislike it if you submit your own blog posts (you're biased, too wordy, trumpeting your own horn, etc.). So this would be a place to hold virtual design reviews: ask people to look and provide objective feedback; the comments thread would function as the Q&A part between the hacker and the community of reviewers.

wouldn't it be simpler to just decide that it's ok to submit your own posts? some people have done that already and it seems fine to me: they're among the best links here.

Probably they dislike the content and not the posting itself.

People often complain about mods changing the titles of stories.

The changes are as far as I can tell, always good.

It might alleviate some complaints if comments added before a title change, have the original title when the comment was made attached to the comment in some way.

It would be awesome if HN kept track of new comments on a post. While I can tell which articles I've read on HN because of the a:visited color, I can't tell which comments I've read.

As a solution, I'm imagining updating a timestamp each time I view an article I voted up (to limit the scope of this feature). Then, when I re-visit the comments for that article, any comments with timestamps more recent than my recorded one are emphasized in some way.

Would an implicit +2 for every unique user that posts a comment in the thread be a good idea? Or maybe number of characters in comments / 10, where only those comments posted by people with Karma of >10 are counted? Or maybe there should be a longetivity modifier, where a topic that was heavily voted up and discussed at length should stay for, say, twice as long as a topic that was just voted heavily up?

Or there could be a 'Top Discussions' side by side with 'Top' so there's a different filter for people looking for news (which you want to be recent and not obscured by long running threads) and people looking for discussions (which I'd argue will be more valuable if the popular ones are kept around for a while).

Open for abuse, most definitely, but if the purpose of this site is to build community, I think those topics that get discussed should be more easily accessed. Ideally people would appreciate some valuable discussion and upvote the thread, but this thread here is a perfect example of one that should probably stick around for a while, but has nearly 3x as many comments as upvotes.

Just throwing ideas out - tell me if I'm crazy.

I'd like to see a list (RSS feed?) of my comments that have been replied to so that discussion can continue.

Is this still looked at?

It would be cool if resubmitted stories had links to the previous versions – it's always nice to see the old comments, as well.

Request: RSS feed to return "Access-Control-Allow-Origin" HTTP header set to * to enable all sources, for both GET and OPTIONS requests.

Details: To read HN more conveniently both on desktops and on iPad I would like to have fewer headings per page, have them in larger font etc, I am writing my own, magazine like (or Flipboard like) HTML viewer. I don't want the data from HN to travel via my server, fetching it directly from the browser.

However fetching RSS from the client side, at least on Chrome, and going forward on any modern browser, would require obtaining permission from the Cross Domain site. Currently RSS returns none. Chrome reports error, will not allow JavaScript code to process. For the development purposes I fake it via proxy (Fiddler2) but once coded it would either require RSS returning the right header, or me channeling this request via my server (Google App Engine)

Since the point of having RSS is to publish it to other services, I presume you would not object to such use of your data. If you do, please let me know and I'll stop.

I plant to make HTML/JS/CSS open sourced once it is done.

Contact: Michael Kariv michael_kariv@yahoo.com

We'd like to see a geographic search so that founders can meet other founders based on where they live. http://news.ycombinator.com/comments?id=445

"Add comment" page does not use the custom color.

Also, having the Y icon match the custom color would be great.

Also, the "submit" page has no custom color.

Please implement a "collapse" button on all 1st-level comments. In big conversations I want to skip to the next comment when I am not interested. I don't want to scroll slowly down the page to find it.

See: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4982388

http://news.ycombinator.com/openid_merge is coming back as Unknown. This is apparently the point where one would presumably link an OpenID to an existing HN username.

It should be possible to comment on posts in this thread indefinitely. I can currently only comment on some of the posts in this thread, but I could contribute to others.

How about a flagging option, like "flag this as spam". Lately, /newest is being used more and more to flog whatever site (currently web design in newcastle upon tyne, of all things)

Ok, we have this now.

HNSearch currently searches only for comments and link titles.Please add the ability to search through the content, carried by the articles(may be by duplicating the content in the links to search-base?).

As Hacker News holds a superior quality content on many topics that I(..anyone curious to learn) am interested in, it would be great if I can search through these articles than spending hours altogether on Google, where everything gets dumped at.

I would like to see the subdomain for entries. For example, github.com is used for official blog posts (blog.github.com), blogs from random users (username.github.com), project websites, and project repos (github.com). Having the subdomain displayed would make the distinction easier to make.

Add an 'Ignore' link on a user's profile, and then hide or otherwise diminish that user's contributions.

Seriously, it is becoming taxing to read through the comments when on certain topics (global warming, for one) some users show a complete lack of civility.

I would rather just be able to say "this person is rude and unpleasant, never show me their comments again".

Make the up and down arrows slightly further apart, or make the up arrow bigger. I still worry that I might accidentally down-vote someone, which is made worse by the fact that the arrow disappears once it's done (and is thus not undoable).

RSS is nice, but spammy. There should be a way to subscribe to an "N-point feed" that only includes stories above a certain threshold.

I second the idea that the RSS needs a way to be more filtered to the quality articles.

Also, having something more than just a title and link in the RSS feed would be nice, but I suppose that you don't really have summaries anywhere yet anyway.

Perhaps you could include the points in the title of the RSS feed entry? Google Reader seems to allow RSS feeds to update already sent articles, I dunno if other RSS readers support that well though.

Please relocate "delete" in new submission.

I just submitted a question. Under the entry in new is this text:

  	1 point by dded 0 minutes ago | discuss | edit | delete
This puts "delete" where "discuss" usually is. I intended to click on "discuss" to see what my entry looked like, but clicked "delete" instead. Luckily there was a confirmation dialog. Could the text be made to look like this:

  	1 point by dded 0 minutes ago | delete | edit | discuss

If I access the RSS feed as https://news.ycombinator.com/rss , the "Comments" links in the RSS feed should point to the stories on https://news.ycombinator.com/ , not http://news.ycombinator.com .

A way to export the list of articles in 'Saved Stories', either by way of an export function or an RSS feed (public/private) of the page.

After many years of enjoying Hacker News I now have a long list of great articles that I have liked, upvoted and in a sense 'bookmarked'. Right now, even though we can view these articles on the website, we can't download the list in any useful fashion or format.

Actually, adding RSS feeds to other pages like "best", "new" and the new function "over?points=" would be very useful as well...

It'd be nice to have an explicit "save" link for stories and comments. I know that every story I upvote gets saved (and can be retrieved via my profile), but I'd like to be able to save things I find interesting w/o giving it an upvote/endorsement (and for users who aren't aware of upvotes getting saved in this way).

Comment Notifications. Many times I'll forget to check my past comments and only a few days later will see people have replied to it. By the time I reply to it I'm afraid the value is significantly diminished.

Use http://hnnotify.com/. It works pretty well, except when you submit a popular link and get fifty e-mails.

There should be a cap on the maximum number of points that can be earned per submission. Karma scoring will never be perfect, but the current reward for being the first to submit a popular story is excessive. Being the first to click submit on an obviously popular story can earn more points in a day than a patient user who spends years writing thoughtful expert answers in low-traffic threads.

Collapse comment trees.

. . . as an option, but not by default.

Please adopt contrasting colors for header anchors when using custom topcolors. (See problems with #000 and #fff, below)



rss feed for the "best" section would be nice.

I noticed about a week or two ago, the HN RSS feed at http://news.ycombinator.com/rss suddenly started responding with a 301 redirect to http://news.ycombinator.com/ when the HTTP "Host" header in the request is not capitalized. Node.js sends all request headers in lower case, so this situation makes it impossible to access the HN RSS feed for those of us using Node as part of an RSS client (without very kooky workarounds).

RFC 2616 states that HTTP headers are case-insensitive; yet HN's RSS service responds happily to "Host:" and badly to "host:". Would be very grateful if this this problem could be corrected in the HN RSS service.

Could we add a domain name that each post refers to. That way we could tell blog posts, from PG essays, from e-zine articles.


I think that a feature that would allow for more rational discussion would be good.

Like, you declare claims, say how they depend on each other, and participants could say which claims they agree with, and which they don't. Within each claim, there'd be a thread where you discuss it.

I think that this would seriously improve the quality of discussion.


Undo for voting, see reddit implementation.

Not needed.

It is. When you make a mistake, you should be able to fix it, and there is no reason to prevent this.

agreed - I periodically make mistakes like this, specifically like 5 seconds ago

though if the reddit model is frowned upon; why not a one time undo instead?

A character counter for the title input box when submitting links since you're limited to less than 80 chars.

It would be great if we could strip URLs of anchors (or rather just see them as the same URL, no need to strip) to prevent people from submitting the same article multiple times, e.g. http://example.com/article would be the same as http://example.com/article#anchor

Email notifications when someone posts a response to one of your comments. Having to poll and scan the threads link is annoying.


Didn't get any responses to test it yet, but they promise exactly that.

Cool! Thanks!

[HN Notify] lisper replied to you

Okay, so it works :)

You're welcome!

When submitting a link, sometimes I want to add a text in addition to the title. Usually I just add a comment in the discuss/comments section, but it'd be nice to have a field for that specifically.

This works especially well if you're submitting a link and want to add a remark about why it might be relevant for others to check out.

Adding a comment doesn't work because it can easily drift down the page. There needs to be a way to supply an initial comment with a URL that remains tied to it at the top of the page. It doesn't need to be votable.

As I use news.yc more I think this is more and more vital. Not only so the OP's comment stays with the URL, but that comment also needs to go into the RSS feed, otherwise I just get a load of one line titles which give little clue as to whether I want to read it or not. I end up wasting time on crap.

I wish there were an easy way to see things I'm not supposed to see:

1) I'd like to be able to actually see the URLs of "dead" submissions; sometimes they're awesome and have been autokilled due to sites being blacklisted, which I don't support

2) I'd prefer if "showdead" weren't so hard to read. It's just the wrong color on Chrome to be readable when deselected AND even worse when selected. I'm fine with it being hard to read when deselected, though.

3) Maybe allow people with karma > certain amount to turn off the low contrast color, too. I realize I can do this in the browser but it's a pain on mobile browsers. I like high-contrast.

I've heard many people give this wonderful piece of advice:

"Ignore your user's requests. They'll ask for every feature under the sun apart from the one that they really need. You'll spend all your time adding new features rather than making your site genuinely usefull"

Unfortunatly I cant find any citations. If only quotationsbook.com was ready!

Dan thats probably jason fried of 37signals

This is utterly nonsense. I'm even a basecamp subscriber (used in small side projects). Many have requested GANTT charts be added to basecamp, but jason et al. don't use them in their pm process so they refuse to ever add them no matter how many people request them. I know several companies that have been unable to use it due to this lack of a feature. It's not that we like GANTT charts, but there is a BIG difference in project management between a small design shop (ie 37 signals, most yc type companies, etc.) and a large regulated proprietary engineering company (like my current employer).

Aye, sounds like chapter five from Getting Real possibly, "Start with No":http://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch05_Start_With_No.php

A best comments for a particular user page. Say I am looking at the profile of a retired user. I open the old great user's profile, I click on comments and I only see a list sorted by newest-first. I am looking at some of the old greats, but I have no effective way to look at the comments that made them great. Please allow sorting by karma or an alternative page for best-of comments for that user.

The duplicate submission detector appears to be malfunctioning. For example, please see the following:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1772650 http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2218455

Sorry, I realize this is not a feature request, per se, but I didn't know where/how to submit bug reports.

Hacker news digests

In its current intended use, a reader has to poll the HN site for interesting topics. This is frustrating because it's not very efficient, unless you had advertisements on the site... This is a pull type of access to information.

The feature I would like is an information push option. It would be the possibility to subscribe to a digest with a point threshold I would specify. I would for instance specify a threshold of 100 so that every day I get a mail containing HN titles with urls of posts that passed 100 points.

A more Simple and efficient variant, from HN perspective, would be to provide an alternate display to new, like new50, new100 that is like new but shows only posts with more than 50 points or 100 points in the order it reached that threshold. This would be a way to get the best of HN without the unpleasant feeling I could miss any of them if I don't check the front page frequently enough.

Make it new+ new++ and new+++ with hidden point threshold values that you may adjust to get dayly, weekly or monthly ~40 best ranked posts holding on a page.

I sure wish I could get a front page with 300 articles instead of 30. Yes, I can use bigrss if I want the awkward interface and restricted data about each article that RSS readers provide. And, yes, I can just click the "more" button...wait...again...wait...oh the heck with it. Even if I go through all that and actually read an article on page 3, the more button will die while I'm reading and return its "too bad for you" timeout message if I try to get to page 4.

What I want is a very long front page that I can use to explore the past few days' articles without the annoying not worth the trouble to read beyond the front page current interface.

A link to "top" (full thread) alongside "link," "parent," and "flat" on comments. It's really annoying to click through generations of "parents" from random individual comments.

Edit: I just realized SearchYC has this feature. An advantage over feeds and Google.

Instead of a blanket filter for political (and other) terms, why not create a way to check if certain terms already exist on the front page and only apply penalties to posts that include these terms if the topic is already being discussed on the front page. This way when big political news happens you can still talk about it without it taking over the front page.

Please, please, please eliminate the ability to post duplicate links.

It's already a feature. Problem is with companies that have multiple URL's for the same page, like NYT.com

yes and no. www.yahoo.com and yahoo.com still isn't treated as a dupe even though both URLs point to the same page (it's only a consistent 4 character difference), and I don't know how the same URL was able to be re-submitted without it becoming a dupe:



I'll probably start submitting links twice from now on

How about not permanently hellbanning new users? Or at least allowing us to upvote their [dead] posts to get them back over whatever threshold bans them?

Latest one that I've seen is this guy: http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=dailyllama , but I see lots of cases all the time, such as this one: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3755037 (who wasn't very happy about being hellbanned).

None of these people are trolls -- one of their posts must have been downvoted early on, and they've tripped some sort of automatic mechanism. Perhaps you shouldn't hellban people like this unless one (or more?) of their posts has been explicitly flagged (rather than just downvoted)?

I'd like to see an official "HN Marketplace". Whether that means building a new service (doubtful) or simply having pg endorse an existing site (http://www.hntrade.com, perhaps) is an open question. If pg felt comfortable endorsing, and linking to, an existing site, I think it would be a win for everybody.

Why is this a good idea? Because more than a few of us would probably be good trading partners for various things.. domain names, services, and $DEITY knows what else. But with no official market, people are left to just spam HN with their "domain for sale" and "service trade opportunity" things. And I expect more than a few people have domains, startups, whatever, for sale, but don't post because they don't want to be seen as spamming the site.

Edit: Disclaimer - I have no affiliation with, or commercial interest/stake in, hntrades.com. I just mentioned them because it's the only HN Marketplace site I'm familiar with.

I believe I mentioned this in the other thread, but I'd like to see my comment after submitting it instead of it just jumping to the top of the page.

An ajax implementation for the comment voting would be nice too. This was mentioned along with some other great ideas, but it's something I'd personally love to see.

I frequently see users who don't realize that the email field on their profile page is not visible (e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6593160) and that they have to put it in the "about" section. There should be a text warning next to the email field saying that it will not be visible to other users (or a checkbox to make it visible).

This site seems restful, but the more link doesnt act so. My typical use case on n.yc: rt click-open new tab on interesting posts on the main page, read through each new tab, then return to n.yc, and click on more to get to the next page (i visit irregularly, there're more'n one page of posts on some days). its probably half an hour or so when i return to click that more link, and its gone by then. irritating.

none of the other news sites have this problem. you're a news site, not an application; act like one.let me flip my page without have to buy the paper all over again.

ps: i see someone has raised the same concern wrt posting, but my use case is even simpler and just shouldnt happen.

When all commenting is closed on a submission, all of the 'reply' links are replaced with '----'.

It would be better to use '(closed)'.

When your anti-flamewar code kicks in to slow down posting by preventing replies, the 'reply' link is also replaced with '----'.

It would be better to use '(paused)' or '(wait)' or best of all, something more informative to describe what is going on. Simply not being able to reply to a post and the 'reply' link showing as '----' fails to instruct the user of the reason, so you're wasting a valuable opportunity to teach them something.

You could even replace the 'reply' link with a link to something else (instructions, guidelines, faq, ...) as well has have more descriptive text for the temporary anchor.

It would be much easier to create services publishing news from ycombinator feed if there was a way to easily get current news scores.

The only way to do it now is to get the front page and to xpath your way down to the score html element. For that I would have to know stories identifiers. Sadly, RSS stopped publishing those recently - it now contains them as a part of href attributes for links leading to comments. Not to say I had to rely on HTML page layout.

Things would be much easier if RSS contained a score for each news item.

A 'headline needs attention' flag-like button. It shouldn't imply a penalty, like a normal 'flag', just an indication the headline may need tuning. (Some headlines bury the lede, as with <https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7562859>.)

You should be able to vote down bad stories. I thought this wouldn't be needed but we're starting to get off-topic submissions, so we need to be able to bury them.

Maybe the rules could even be tweaked to keep good stories with a minority viewpoint from being buried. At the very least, maybe have down votes count as only 1/2 a vote. (So there would have to be greater than 2:1 of people against a story to bring it down below 0 points)

Comments are a really interesting part of news.ycombinator for many, but it is still difficult to find the most interesting threads. The top-level comments page has degraded given that the traffic has grown considerably, so the result is many 1-upvote comments.

I am proposing to change the comments page linked at the top-level menu to a ranking scheme similar to the one that ranks threads in a submission's comments page, but favouring recently posted 1-vote comments less.

Comments are more interesting than submissions in many cases. Such a page would support bottom-up (comment to submission) navigation on the site better. I know there are some features for bottom-up navigation like the on: feature on the comments page, but isn't very useful unless the comments are good. This would allow me to explore articles I would have never found to be interesting looking at the main page but when framed in the right context with an excellent comment would be very interesting.

The usage statistics of the top-level threads and comments links could support or reject a rethinking of the functionality that those pages provide.

I would like to access all my comments. I use this site like delicious to store interesting links that I find, and share them with others.

Suggestion: Keep scoring duplicate submissions as +1 votes, but also add them to the user's publicly visible "submissions" list.

I'd love it if submitted links always appeared on the my "submission" list. Currently, they only appear if the link is a new submission, with submissions of existing links being treated as an upvote and added to "saved stories".

This is a reasonable default for the scoring purposes, but caught me today when I was looking back for a story I was sure I'd submitted some time ago. Because I went through the process of submitting it, I thought I would be able to find it by scanning my "submissions". No such luck.

In the absence of a personalized recommendation system, I also find it useful to look at what else my favorite posters have submitted. Since "saved stories" are not visible to others, whereas "submissions" are, this is lost information.

[dead] is currently used for both comments and new submissions. I often see [dead] comments that are perfectly worthwhile, but new submissions that are [dead] are completely useless. The link is removed, and they clutter up the new page.

If there were two different categories of [dead] - comments and submissions - we could show dead on one but not the other.

I can't reply to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5689212 so I'm posting this as a separate comment. A real quote tag implementation would make entire subdiscussions on quoting syntax moot, like this one: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6483366.

Please consider adding item excerpts/descriptions to your Hacker News feed. I love the feed and am subscribed to it, but without excerpts or descriptions for items it is not as easy to skim.

Flesh out "flag" feature:

I don't think adding downvoting to submissions will mean HN==reddit, but a solution for those that think so: have "flag" display the number of times something has been flagged and have this negatively affect page rank similar to downvoting.


-Adds the positive aspects of downvoting as mentioned below: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1366325

-Avoids downvoting submissions for mere disagreeance. Since the functionality is called "flag", rather than displayed as the complement to the upvoting action, it is explicitly only for objectable submissions and not because you simply disagree with something.

-Allows site to maintain status quo if moderators are busy/away. The site is self moderating.

-Allows better tools for moderators to solve problems quicker, for example they could filter submissions based on the ratio of flags to upvotes to see where their limited attention is needed.

-I don't think downvoting submissions with a karma prerequisite would be a major problem giving how well the comments system has worked. Set the karma requirement for flagging to same as comment downvoting could work.

-If you're still concerned about flag abuse of this new flag system, "flag (#)" would require the flagger to select a reason from a drop down-box of a limited lists of reasons that you decide are valid for flagging. This informs users of your desired direction for the community within an interface mechanic.

I think this is win win, it addresses the problem by simply expanding a current feature, but you probably have some ideas have your own in this area.

Flag Reason Field:

When a submission gets flagged, a "reason" string is entered by the flagger. This could be done via javascript event binded to the flag link, or by redirecting to a "flag" page that gets the id of the submission being flagged. The flagger then either types a short string, or selects from a limited set of reason from a dropdown box. The reason string is then displayed at the top of a submissions's comment page when the flag is approved as [dead].

The reason string could be added in the title, appended to the byline, as an autosubmitted comment, or as a new heading... whatever is easiest to implement.

Ex. if submission X is [dead] and a user has "show dead" enabled, when they click on submission X it will now say "spam", "duplicate", "inflammatory", "automatic" etc.

This would prevent issues like: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1801727 A post was most likely harmlessly flagged and [dead]ened for being a duplicate of one by a cofounder, but a user who saw it interpreted it as persecution.

Leaderboard that also breaks down karma from posts and karma from comments.

Specifically, I'd love to see whose comments are the most upvoted, without having their total karma and average karma skewed by getting to the front page.

It's not uncommon for a front page article to get 100+ points, but it's rare for a comment to get 100+ points.

Add an option to not show job listings on the front page.

People who are not looking for a job are just not interested

Merge duplicate submissions and their votes for URL that are "the same", and display only one submission: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7903800

Blogspot is a common problem for example, trailing slash, etc.

BUG: I apologize if this is already posted somewhere here, or if I have failed to find where the bug submissions should go. There is a bug when submitting a post containing text (no URL). The form you are presenting when there is an error with submission converts multiple newlines to <p> tags, which are escaped on the next submission. To a naive user, it would appear that the substitution of those tags would be "courtesy" formatting, not invalid formatting that will be escaped and show up in the resultant post.

To reproduce: 1) Set title to "Ask HN: Attempting to confirm a bug... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaa"

Set text to: "here is text

Enter pressed twice, I have not inserted any html tags

If this doesn't error and instead posts it, I apologize."

Click submit. Observe text in the box "text" has changed to: "here is text<p>Enter pressed twice, I have not inserted any html tags<p>If this doesn't error and instead posts it, I apologize."

We may turn some HN submits into article-friendly places, and only thoughtful articles are welcome from the replies. We can have a small homepage on HN to attach our small articles about interesting news. Maybe the submitter can choose which mode to use. It is like SubReddit but still has difference.

This is not so a much of a feature request, I would simply like it if the background color could be white, or a shade of white. I have been reading a lot of news here over the past few days and I get the feeling my eyes have been hurting due to the text and background color combination. Could be just me.

Liferea (linux feed reader - http://liferea.sourceforge.net/) is unable to parse your RSS feed. I posted a bug report (https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&atid=581684...) and they started to take care of it. Apparently, it's something with new line characters.

I've used Liferea for 3 years and AFAIR I didn't have any similar problems.

Reddit's feed is fine (in case you share the code - I'm not from around here...).

Allow users to subscribe to other HN users' synopses, such that I would only see my favorite commenter's synopsis. Simply place it to the right of the link, taking up all that space that is not being used yet; put the synopsis in a more transparent color than the other text- like the <0 down-modded comments.

We ( as synopsis authors ) would invent shortcuts for rating and summarizing the content that would fit to the right or be truncated. And when a user clicks on comments, the full synopsis is always at the top of the comments.

And maybe the descriptors that different users would implement ( like their own tags/ratings for the content ) would become unique to that user, eventually, and have contextual meaning to that author. Each synopsis author would have their own tags that they could reuse. Only people who subscribed to that author could see their synopsis so authors' silly or cryptic or worthless synopsis descriptors would not clutter HN readers' experience unless they subscribed to a particular s-author ( synopsis author ).

So each user could have a customized right-hand HN site by subscribing to other synopsis authors and each synopsis author would have their own ways ( tags, most likely to start ) for communicating concise summaries/likes/dislikes of the content posted on HN.

This is the thread that started this suggestion:


I wanted to move this thread here, since it is more appropriate.

This has been suggested previously, but I would like to add my vote as well. HN could enhance its readability by introducing a method of visually identifying new comments in a thread. It is often very difficult to spot new comments in an ongoing discussion even with comment re-ordering.

I've got thousands of saved pages, and I was trying to find one I saved a year or two ago. It's a disaster. Having to page dozens of times, trying to physically spot the text.

Sure would be nice to have a single page with everything saved right there. Then I could just search the one web page for what I'm looking for. I could also put these in a spreadsheet or database for future reference.

Provide a reply indicator similar to Reddit's red envelope. Make it a #part link to the most recent new reply on my threads page.

Instead of:

    upvote.onclick=func(){ hideButton(); doRequest(); }
Please do:

    upvote.onclick=func(){ doRequest().onsuccess(func(){ hideButton(); } }
Upvotes, or downvotes for that matter, don't always go through, but this is in no way made visible. Especially when pressing the back button, the browser might load a cache with expired links. Or when using a mobile connection, the connection often drops and you never know when it's safe to navigate away from the page.

RSS feed that sorts by age, not popularity. The current RSS feed is all sorts of chatty, showing me a ton of repeats. Its annoyance factor is about to eclipse its usefulness for me.

If what I'm looking for already exists, I can't find it.

I've never been able to handle the RSS feed. The best things I've found is http://hystry.com/newsyc/follow/

I just had an idea: is it possible to move the voting arrow(s) down to the end of the post, e.g. next to the "reply" link? From a user UI flow standpoint, it would be nice to be able to read a long post and then think, "After reading through such an insightful post, that deserves an up-vote" and not have to break the-flow-of-scrolling-down to do so.

Now, the current position of the voting arrow is nice demarcation of the beginning of a post, and it also serves to indicate the nesting depth of a comment. Something serving that purpose is still useful. But maybe this more conveniently-located voting option can be implemented with an onhover so that it's visible at the end of only the post that the mouse is hovering on (a few other sites have comment boards like this).

It has been pointed out several times that new items submitted to HN have increasingly less chance of being picked up because of how fast the new items page scrolls items out of sight. This problem will be growing as HN gets more users. Maybe the approach of showing the list of new items in the "new" page is not necessarily the best one [anymore]?

An alternative approach would be to display a random subset of new articles from the past n minutes on each display of the new items page. This is particularly true for times when several articles are submitted per minute, which will only become increasingly common.

That way each submission would get more time (from a smaller audience) to be picked up and more quality items would be upvoted.

tl;dr: I'd very much like a "noprocrast front-page only" or "comment threads ignore noprocrast" checkbox.

I have a huge noprocrast.

Having to /logout just to check out a story or its comments that I got linked from somewhere else (and that I know I really want to check, specifically) is really annoying.

To me, this is a completely different use-case than browsing stories on the front-page. Browsing of the front-page is a significant threat to my productivity, hence the huge noprocrast. Browsing of stories I have a direct link to is not a significant threat to my productivity.

Hence, the suggestion above.

Better support for w3m

Currently hacker news answers w3m's post request with this error message:

  Post request without Content-Length.
This prevents w3m users to login into Hacker News.

This issue has also been reported on the arc forum: http://www.arclanguage.org/item?id=4419

HN has an incredibly high number of good commenters but with the exception of people I know in real life or a couple of high profile cross-referenced commenters like patio11 I don't feel like I build up a mental profile of anyone else.

I'd like to read people's comments in the context of their previous comments. Other readers may be much better at this than me but I find it hard to index what people are saying against just a handle.

It would be great to see some more clues to people's identities appearing next to their names - not necessarily a photo but perhaps a snippet of who who they are / what they do (their about section perhaps). It doesn't have to be there all the time, onmouseover would be great but it would be nice to easily get that reference.

Add Classifications:

With the speed that articles drop from the system, and the probable increase in discussions that may have already happened, it sure would be nice if articles could be classified (i.e.: Funding, Infrastructure, Programming, Startups, etc etc), so that users could hit on the class their interested in to see what was discussed in the past. The startup bar could get an added heading like "categories" that would then let the user select. You could allow user based classification at the article and comment level to feed the categories. Maybe you could let the leaders add new categories (preferably a hierarchical structure)

So my user doesn't exist according to http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=alexcr

However, I also get That username is taken. Please choose another when I try to register the same username. Have I been banned? If so, would you like to start indicating that in the interface somewhere?

For example: "You cannot login because this account was banned" or "The user account you tried to lookup no longer exists because it was banned" ?

Account: alexcr

1. Change the color of the "comment" link please (or use a button). At first, I wondered why all those messages had the word "comment" in them :) And then I tried to respond to this message and searched for the "comment" button and I was enlightened! 2. Document before writing new features :) I'm really curious to know what the "showdead" option is (I don't want to try it because the name is so scary). 3. A URL (or free text) field in the profile. 4. Keep it simple. I think it's nearly perfect as it is (the sign-in form is great). 5. We want to see Arc and the source code of this app :)

Showdead (and related "new deletion feature") clarification from pg fyi:

Most relevant excerpt (MRE): "You can still see dead stuff if you set showdead to yes."

The rest of the comment for context: Your comment is still alive


even though the post you commented on was deleted.

I just added deletion. When something is deleted, it really goes away. This is different from marking something as dead. You can still see dead stuff if you set showdead to yes.

Deletion is for submitters who change their mind; marking stuff as dead is for editors to do to spams and offtopic submissions.

What's interesting is that I can only delete this, most recent comment/post. (Older threads and comments I have made I am no longer able to delete.) This is an FYI.

I wonder what the exact time-window is, because I am also unable to delete previous posts (since pg made this mini-announcement).

I wonder when/if it's going to be possible to delete your YC account (and all related information).

Digg promised this feature at "The Future of Web Apps" but it has yet to materialize (on Digg), I believe.

Does anyone know what the situation at reddit is wrt control of "your own personal information"? :)

I really am curious as to when the Web will evolve policies and products that adequately address this concern/"feature request."

Not a feature, but a bug. Trying to merge my Facebook account and my Hacker News account results in "Unknown" during the merge, which never completes.

Same here, with OpenID.

What is the fix for merging OpenID with Hacker News account?

Please allow account deletion. All activity could remain on the site with username changed to 'deleted' or 'anon'. Alternatively allow users to change their username.

There are lots of links like this one on HN:

<a href="...">Facebook is using a trick to make people use faceb...</a>

Changing it to include the complete, uncropped post title would be a nice addition:

<a href="..." title="Facebook is using a trick to make people use facebook">Facebook is using a trick to make people use faceb...</a>

Then you could see the complete post name on hovering the link.

The RSS feed must supply at least one day length of Hacker News. I live in middle east and maybe because of the time difference, I can not get the RSS feed of the night before, into my FeedReader and to see those missed news I have to visit http://news.ycombinator.com just to browse those news that I have missed in my FeedReader.

So the coverage of RSS Feed must be longer than currently it is. Preferably it must be at least one day (24 hours) long.

Thanks a lot.

Name of post-killing moderator. Instead of just [dead] have [killed by flags] if post is auto-killed due to users flagging. or [killed by _username_] if killed by a user.

Fine if this is even just for high-karma users; but there has been some complaints about moderators going too far, and this would add some accountability.

When HN generates a "Unknown or expired link" it would be nice to have a "Click here to return to homepage" link.

Actually, my feature request is "don't show that incredibly aggravating page at all" or "increase by 60 minutes the time it takes for things to expire".

I see no particularly good reason for the site to give up on me just because I took awhile to read articles before clicking "More" at the bottom of a page. From my perspective the page was still open in a browser window so it should have remained functional.

Trying to login with emacs-w3m, I get the error message: "Post request without Content-Length."

Sniffing the POST request that emacs/w3m sends:

Content-length: 38

I get the feeling news.ycombinator expects the more common form "Content-Length" (capitalized l), but according to the HTTP 1.1 spec: "Field names are case-insensitive." (see http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2616#section-4.2)

So my request is to fix that to adhere to the HTTP spec, thus allowing us poor emacs-w3m users to login as well.

I often find it difficult to tell which posts are new when I load the main HN front page, and I end up spending significant time and mental effort re-parsing the same headlines. This problem is compounded by the fact that my session often expires before I finish reading page 2 or 3 and try to go to the next page, making me reload the front page again and work my way back, by which point I have to scan all the headlines again so I don't miss any stories.

It would be nice if either story headlines I haven't been shown yet could be highlighted, or ones that have recently moved onto that results page could be highlighted, so I can tell at a glance which stories I might not have seen yet.

Start this trend, please: TWO sets of arrows. The first set indicates: Yes, I agree, or No, I don't agree. The second set is only ONE arrow, pointing down. This means, "This comment is spam/offensive/offtopic."

So the second set, the down arrow, could really just be something like an exclamation mark?


Voting quota on hn 1 point by chrischen 55 minutes ago | 2 comments | edit | delete I was wondering if it would be a good idea to try up/down voting quotas per day or something like that on hacker news. So right now, assuming there isn't some transparent quota in place, someone more keen towards voting(maybe because he or she has more time) has higher influence on the ratings overall.

Instituting a quota can make votes more valuable and meaningful, and standardized in terms of value to each person.

So for example if I voted on ten comments one day because I'm more liberal in voting, and someone else only gives 3 votes, I end up having more influence because of my lower standards for an upvote.

A quota of 3 upvotes Per day means those 3 votes will be rationed by everyone for the top 3.

Obviously the problem would be to find the right quota and determining how to let comments posted at the end of the day get a share of votes.

This is not to make it so that people who read more get less influence, but so that people who tend to read less comments per vote do not become overrepresented.

This is more of an enhancement idea.

So let me know what you think. And if I have any holes in my reasoning.

a reddit-style toolbar (ie. so you can easily comment/vote after reading).

Is there a way to do this already?

EDIT I just read that some use the bookmarklet for this: apparently, when you submit a site that has already been submitted, it takes you to the comments on it. Actually, that method is more general, because it also works for article you found in non-hackernews ways. Thus, the hackernews comments become annotations of the article.

However, the bookmarklet requires that you submit the article. This is bad because (1) it's an extra click (2) it will submit the article, in the case where it has not been submitted already. I guess that second point is not so bad, but it would be nice to have a goto annotation bookmarklet, which went directly to the comments. I hereby request this as a feature.

This requires an operator like:

that does a lookup to find the URL's id, and builds the following with it:

  http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=[URL's id]
(i.e. the code that is already present in the submitlink operator. It just needs to be exposed as an operator in its own right).

And an annotation bookmarklet like:

shamelessly editing Phil Kast's bookmarklet

The fact the standard bookmarklet takes you to the discussion for an already submitted article when you click "submit" is not at all obvious from the interface. There should really be some way to find out whether an article has already been submitted without any more than one or two clicks and without having to submit it yourself in the process.

What if I just want to see if it's on news.ycombinator to read any relevant discussion, but don't want to submit it myself?

There's so many different HN pages (ie news.ycombinator.com/noobs, news.ycombinator/ask etc.) that it would be helpful if there was one page that listed all of them. It does't need to be nice, or accessible itself, but it would help make it so users don't have to try and remember each one or remember where links to the different pages are located.

I have an idea to discourage deletion and resubmission. Apply a -1 penalty to the deletion of a story. It's small enough to not penalize too much honest mistakes, and it's a signal that deletions are bad. (If the user still continues to delete and resubmit, use the current method.)

Security Issue (Availability)

Disable the use of "pre" tags or enforce maximum line lengths for "pre" sections on comment threads. Long "pre" lines widen the entire page width so you have to keep scrolling right and left to read. In addition to accidental problems, you might also run into problems with trolls.


It looks like this item is a duplicate of a previous one


The other post gives a nice example of where the problem actually occurs. Note that contrary to what the other item says, the issue isn't actually "code" tags per se, but "pre" tags.

It has been mentioned a few times below, but I'd love to see search implemented. It'd be useful for knowing what has been submitted, as well as make the wealth of information already on news.yc more accessible.

I'd like to see an option to view all articles I've upmodded, downmodded, or commented on. It makes a great place to go back to if I want to find something I said or read a while back and can't quite put my finger on it.

It would be very nice if you could wrap the post time in a <time> element. I've been toying with the idea of writing a userscript for HN, and it'd be much nicer if I didn't have to parse the post times by hand. Not to mention that right now it's impossible to know the exact time of older comments when they might all say "300 days ago". You could also add a feature to the site itself that would show the exact time and date of a post when you hover over the post time.

How about some visual indicator (a line - ex, white/the same color as the background; or pumpkin) on the left (under the arrow), so the eye can see the nesting/tree structure more easily in really long conversations. Might be a CSS-only tweak.

( For a visual example, see: http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2010/09/msg01682.html )

A "launch" tab at the top, where we can publicly launch projects without having them compete with popular articles.

The same way the "ask" tab works. It would help make sure the community easily sees every new project.

I see interesting projects fall off new really quickly pretty often. Launching projects is such an integral part of the community, it makes sense to make the site work better for it.

Base it on "HN Launch" in title or something?

The way i always browse HN, is by clicking comments, and than the article, so that after finishing reading the article i can go back and view the comments.

it would be great if there was a link that would go to comments, and comments had a little script that would forward automatically to the story based on originating url, and some query string param.. it would just need to differentiate the page loads that happen after browser back button was hit (possibly originating url would be different)

it would also be great to turn this thing on for all links in settings page, but a separate link next to each story wold also work..

Memorizing clicked links independent of browser's history.

I often read HN at work. The page interface is very simple but the bright color of visited links makes it easy to navigate and spot new top stories.

The problem occurs when I go back home and check if any interesting news were added. I have to navigate through a long list of links and the only way of knowing if anything new popped up is to read all the titles again.

It would be helpful if HN could memorize visited articles and change the link color accordingly regardless of the browser history.

Google searches qualified with site:news.ycombinator.com often turn up the permalink pages for individual comments rather than the original post itself. Could you set rel="canonical" on comment permalink pages to point back to the original post?

Add a points filter to the new stories page. This would allow people to find potentially interesting stories (say, with 5 points) that haven't made it to the front page yet.

After reading an interesting discussion's comments, I'll often close the window, do something else, and return to the discussion to read the new comments.

However, it is annoying to re-read the same comments I've already read. Sometimes I'll refresh a discussion 5+ times to see the new comments, and it's harder and harder to find where the new comments are located. I suggest that comments posted < 30 minutes before be marked somehow as "new", either through CSS or some visible indicator.

I am having a problem where a story has hundreds of comments. I click 'more' once to go to the second page but by the time I've reached the bottom the 'more' link takes me to an expired page and the only way to reach the page I wanted is to go back to the first page, reload it and then click 'more' on each page quickly until I get to the comment page I wanted to be on.

Is this fixable?

Can we split the ^ button into an upvote and save button? The stories I want to save and upvote are not necessarily the same, and if I want to use ^ to save stories, there's a disincentive to upvote them.

Please extend the submission form timeout. Would it crash the server if it was at least a few hours? Half a day, 12 hours?

I often leave HN tabs open, then start writing a sketch of a comment, then continue later, and notice the link has of course expired. This means going back, reloading the page, and re-pasting the comment. Irritating but bearable.

However, this doesn't work if my noprocrast period gets switched on while I'm reading other articles. I know noprocrast allows submissions, but it needs me to submit with the old link. And the link never gets too old.

I bump into "Unknown or expired link" almost every day.

Bug: The title of pages gets double html-encoded when viewing a single comment. Does not occur when viewing a thread like this one.

Example: single quote (') displays as &#x27; in the title bar, or &amp;#x27 in the HTML data.

Example case: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5838757

Inclusion of every new post or exclusion of every post from a particular website at user's discretion. Regexp based? Just to prevent the site from effectively becoming an RSS reader.

[deleted] comments currently follow childless siblings without an intervening line break, making for very confusing threads (it seems as if the [deleted]'s children are children of the preceding childless sibling).

I'd like to see profiles display the owners' url/blog. It would give a great insight into the mind of the poster.

I guess this is more of a bug report than a feature request, but it's related to several feature requests involving subdomains, so I figured I might as well post it here:

I noticed that the Kenyan TLD uses a similar approach to that of the UK where there is a controlled secondary domain (.co.ke) under which all commercial sites are kept. This is not visible on the front page. I noticed this on this item: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3460033

Expected outcome: show one level more for the Kenyan .*.ke domain space.

I would like a "favorites" or "saved links" page. The front page changes rapidly enough that if you don't bookmark pages that you want, a few hours later they can be hard to find if you don't remember the exact title to use with search.

I can't remember if this is in effect or not, but stories starting with "show hn" (case insensitive) should get a ranking boost. That would help more user created content get on the front page, which is a good thing IMO.

markdown enabled comments.

#And a preview button couldn't hurt.

I would love markdown, when I rewrote my blog software I switched everything to use markdown. The worst part is that YC news does accept much of the markdown syntax... but then does different things with it. Humbug.

a small subset of markdown would be enough, namely blockquotes...

I would like to be able to put quotes (blockquotes) on comments.

Open source Hacker News. I think the community can get together and talk about new features (maybe on GitHub pull-requests and/or on HN itself, or maybe a Discourse forum instance), and get those features implemented quickly.

Can't a link click open in a new tab??? since there are lots of external URLs, whenever i click the link, it takes me out of HN... and i am still trying to select the ones i want to read... so everytime i select one, i have to do right click and open in new tab...

P.S: May be i am a new guy here...and there are other methods there which i dont know

In addition to a "flag" link on submissions, add a "spam" link so that we can start differentiating flags for inappropriate content and outright spam. I would imagine the algorithm could trust spam flags by users a little more since it's almost universally understood when a submission is spam versus just controversial.

I just saw another rehash on the front page (which I don't mind much at current) which drew the inevitable responses:

Old member: This has been on here n times!

New member: But hey, as a new member, I appreciate it!


A way for new members in particular to see the "Catching Up With Hacker News" classic content they appreciate (on their front page, by default) seems like it could help mainstream them into the community.

I like to scan HN during dead time. By the time I get to the bottom of the page and click the 'More' link I run into the 'Unknown or expired link' error.

Can you just put the page number in the URL? Or redirect to the front page after 5 seconds?


Move the search box to the top of the home page. Maybe in the header or just below. Alternatively, add a "search" link to the header that takes visitors to https://www.hnsearch.com/search#request/all&q=

Resource lists for Hackers. This would fit nicely next to "submit" above.

Over the last few days, I've looked for music/white noise that people listen to while coding, and this kind of discussion pops up now and again. It pisses off people who've commented on the older discussion, and possibly disenfranchises newer readers who see all the negativity on the repeat thread.

Net result: it's difficult to get a nice, complete list.

What's needed is a list of books/music/white noise sources/software tools/hardware/useful websites divided by topic/[insert stereotypical geeky obsession here] that people can upvote and comment their favourite.

My suggestion would be to scrape the past discussions on these topics and let the readers sort out the jumbled data, as a start. Crowdsourcing one of the brainiest audiences on the web, bound to work out.

Bonus for Paul Graham's wallet: more book sales.

Please make discussion post text easier to read. Whenever I view one of these posts, the submission's body text is in a light grey font that's annoyingly difficult to read compared to comment text (which is black). It's almost as difficult to read as comments which have been severely downvoted, which signals that the submission itself is not worth reading.

Location: It would be nice to divide posts based on locations. We have lot of posts from SF Bay area, NYC, other metros, UK, Germany, India etc...and it's all jumbled up.

Specially for jobs or networking purpose it would be really helpful to search posts by location.

Make http://news.ycombinator.com/newslogin redirect to https://news.ycombinator.com/newslogin. Not to be overly facetious, but there's some irony to having an unsecured login form on a site called "Hacker News". :p

On a related note... any chance we can get confirmation on passwords being hashed/salted?

Please add an option to switch the "comments" link and the title link.

(Many people read the commentary on HN before actually reading the linked article)

Highly related, can you make the "visited" link be a different color for the comments link on the main page? I often peruse the comments without clicking on the link, and that isn't reflected in the comments color.

What would be especially nice is if the "visited" state of the links followed my account around from computer to computer. Once that's in place, a little "x" next to each article that I can click to hide it would be magical.

Unread replies to your comments. Like how the message thing on reddit is red when you have unread comments. It's too annoying to click "threads" on the navbar, and look through old threads to see if there were any new comments.

I'd love to follow the news in my RSS feed reader. But the 30+ per hour makes it impossible. I'd love a Top News RSS feed with 30-40 items per day. Filtering can be vote count, throttling, etc.

It would be nice if HN had follow feature similar to twitter where you can see what your favorite author\commentator just posted. With notification feature, HN would lets us know when someone replies to one of our comments then HN would be so user friendly.

I think it would be interesting to have a page that detailed a list of which websites were supplying the stories that have been currently submitted to HN. Like a top 100 base URLs of stories that made it to HN.

So I can keep track of the most popular news sources for the demographic of HN readers. & Keep up on these same sources myself.

I notice the new 'avg' column on the leader board. Can you add a breakdown into submission scores and comment scores?

Only recent comment scores are inputs into the average

Whatever logic it is that makes stories enter free-fall from the #1 slot, to page 10, in the course of 15 minutes...

I seem to see this frequently. It is jarring 100% if the time. I can see a rational for it maybe 10% of the time.

One media query and one stylesheet for mobile browsing/commenting. I'm happy to do it in an evening for you. Relevant post: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2152372

Please create a variant of 'dead' that indicates to the submitter that the story has been killed. Killing stories without informing the submitter is for spammers and trolls, not people who have demonstrated some value in the past. It seems excessive to treat meta posts just like spammers. It is inhuman to deny feedback to loyal regular users. To kill a story without feedback is to suggest the submitter is beyond help, not worth engaging with.

Render text between asterisks as emphasized only if there is no space between the asterisk and the contained text, and only for pairs of asterisks. If there is any space, or for unmatched asterisks, assume the author really meant to place a star there. This is to prevent things like the following


where the author meant to use the asterisk as a multiplication symbol.

In the spirit of brainstorming:

  o Suggest users who upvote similar items.
  o Highlight items that have been upvoted by
    other users who upvote things that I upvote.
I'd love to write something like this, but would need the data. What are the impediments to publishing or sharing upvote data?

Set a background color on textareas and inputs. You set a dark text color but not a background and it makes the site unusable for people with dark-coloured themes: your dark text is rendered atop my black background.

A place for people to share information about web hosting vendors would be very useful. For many hackers, this is the only fiscal expense on route to a first version.

Can you please add an item's publish date (<pubDate>) to the RSS feed? It's seriously low-hanging fruit. Just whatever the date in the DB says is fine - there must be a 'created' timestamp in there somewhere. Format it as RFC822 timestamp:

def _format_date(dt): """convert a datetime into an RFC 822 formatted date Input date must be in GMT. """

    #   Sat, 07 Sep 2002 00:00:01 GMT

    return "%s, %02d %s %04d %02d:%02d:%02d GMT" % (
            ["Mon", "Tue", "Wed", "Thu", "Fri", "Sat", "Sun"][dt.weekday()],
            ["Jan", "Feb", "Mar", "Apr", "May", "Jun",
             "Jul", "Aug", "Sep", "Oct", "Nov", "Dec"][dt.month-1],
            dt.year, dt.hour, dt.minute, dt.second)

If you detect an antagonistic or uncivil comment or commenter (an exercise to the reader), add an interstitial that displays the "In Comments" section of the guidelines with the editable comment before they are finally allowed to submit the comment.

Besides replying, it would be nice to be able to send you a thank you note to users who accept them. Acknowledgements do not add to discussions, but humans are social, you know.

Please add a title tag to the https://news.ycombinator.com/newslogin page. Password managers like KeePassX and KeePass use window titles to select user names and passwords for the auto-fill feature.

Differentiate whether something was killed by flags or mods, instead of saying 'Dead'

It would cut down on the need for comments like this: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1815316

Some people love to provide grammar / spelling / etc fixes.

These comments are usually useful and helpful, but not interesting.

HN has "Showdead". Could HN have "ShowMinor", with a user selectable "this is a minor post" checkbox?

"I enjoyed this post! Here's a few things I spotted: you use your instead of you're, and you use it's instead of its" [X]MINOR

I use the keyboard almost exclusively and it's annoying to have to tab through everything just to get through the article list. It would be nice if I could push the arrow keys to navigate the article list (similar to google search). Thanks

Hi, First off - really like your website. I check it out every day, several times a day! Love it. One enhancement request - would it be possible for you to have the links open in another window ... what i mean is ...target="_blank"? Many thanks Gerard L devsda0@gmail.com

Possibility of marking a story as "not interested".

Marking a story as "not interested" means it will never appear on your pages anymore. It doesn't count as a downvote.

I tend to keep up with hacker news but I'm getting tired of eyeballing the titles of all the old articles I already decided I didn't want to check out + the old ones I already checked out and know I won't want to check out again just to find the new ones.

Could a tick box be implemented beside each title on the main page as I don't alway have time to read the full article linked at a particular time, and if its a couple of days before I get a chance to do so it is difficult to find the article again. Then put an option for the user when they come back to the page to have it display the articles they previously ticked.

I think that it'd be really cool to have email notifications when someone replies to our post/comment.

One feature that I think will make a difference visually is to hide the items you've saved so everything on the new or home page will only show items that I haven't read before. I think it creates a better flow for screening through the topics. So a reader doesn't need to stop for a microsecond to skip over a saved item.

To help people manage the time they spend on HN (given its slightly addictive nature), what about a rolling series of front-page view counts beside your username. Like it would show you how many times you'd clicked on the front page today, and to the left it would have the counts for the prior days (going back 5 days say). Users can strive to keep that down to a reasonable level.

It's a little anoying not to be able to read HN offline. I mean, I use my Smartphone to download several RSS feeds. All of them includes a short summary of the news so I can read them quickly. Unfortunatelly, HW DOES NOT include such summary so I have to go online to and, even then, what I see is not the new, but the comments.

Please, please, please, include summary in RSS.

1) no way to tell which are new posts - I cant believe it didnt occur to you to color old or unread posts differently! Idea - change the color of every post title as it ages, from Yellow to black. (or light gray to black). 2) poorly organized. I had to reply individually because I wasnt sure they would see it. See here http://news.ycombinator.com/comments?id=1890 3) what is showdead? 4) there seems to be a clamor of links to articles.

Man, I know there was an uproar when all PDFs were sent to scribd... but having a feed reader link randomly link to a PDF is really obnoxious. For some reason, those links in google reader decide to embed acrobat, rather than opening in sumatraPDF like all my other PDFs.

Can the headline at least warn you? Or link to the comments, and include a PDF link in the body?

Text formatting bug, bold / _italic_ stuff.


I totally fubared the formatting in that post. The first problem is the asterisk in "fXckwits" (replaced with an 'X' here). I thought the formatting rules were that text surrounded by asterisks would be bolded, _if_ the asterisks were surrounded by whitespace. Parsing bug?

I tried to fix in one edit, apparently my edit timeout window's expired, so the post stands as is slightly borked.

Oh. Re-read the rules. First star doesn't require whitespace around it.

I guess I can't be f*cked anymore ;-)


    <font color=”red”>green text</font>
Is not allowed as title and will show up as "green text", which is a completely different title, without warning. Is there a reason for not allowing this?

sort: I want to be able to sort by date, by mod points, by poster and of course if search is added, sort on my search result:

Views: count the number of time an news item was viewed and also allow me to to sort on this number

views can complement mod points, if an item is viewed like 1000 times and got 55 mod points and another was viewed 55 times and got 55 mod points, well, this is a nice indicator

Sometimes the article isn't that great but the comment threads are amazing. I don't want to up vote the article but I do want people to read the threads. It would be nice to be able to up vote just the comments of a link.

Allowing people to delete their comments when there are replies is annoying since it removes the context.

I think instead of deleting the post it should just remove the username and make upvotes/downvotes not impact the poster's karma. Or maybe just make the post sink to the bottom of the page and not allow voting on it.

I think it is nice that we get submissions from older articles that are a few years old every once and awhile. They're healthy reminders of popular articles of days gone by. At the same time, there seems to be a lot of recycling of older posts going on lately in attempts to grab karma. I feel like this is a too-cheap way to gain these points-- instead of sharing new useful information with colleagues, the system can be gamed by sharing too much of yesterday's useful information.

Flagging something as [old] would be useful -- perhaps some of the folks who've been here for awhile can opt to ignore them a la a browsing interface like /classic/ while still having the option of getting to these useful artifacts if we want.

What happens to old posts? I would like a way to browse the archive.

Also, threads you comment on should show up in your profile so you can keep track of ongoing conversations.

Second the thread archive. I heard there was a secret YC video posted in an old thread but can't find it anywhere! :(

There's now a "best ever" page: http://news.ycombinator.com/best

I think an archive of all previous entries would be really helpful.

I'm having issues with cookies, I have to keep logging everytime I visit, this does not happen on reddit, anyone have an idea or experience similar behaviour?

I prefer higher-contrast sites. I've restyled HN swapping the border and body background colors, and with slightly larger fonts. CSS and screenshot on stylebot.me:


Originally at http://news.ycombinator.com/comments?id=19920

Paul, might you modify the submissions page to have some guidelines?

Point people to the Feature Requests thread as they clearly don't notice the link at the bottom of the page. Remind them that this is Startup News so it would be good if the posting was applicable. Tell them where to find Slashdot if that's what they want. And explain that they are not the only ones with RSS feeds so they don't need to just copy links from there to here.

Personally, I think news quality has degraded since karma came along. Some people are clearly keen to move up the leader board and starting a new thread is one way to do that. How about not rewarding karma for a thread's score? It can still be voted up by others to show it's interesting but karma must be earned by quality comments on the thread. Either that, or let us down vote threads to penalise non-applicable threads.

Better statistics may help show some light. http://news.ycombinator.com/comments?id=18085

Couple of suggestions on urls

* clean urls (because they are cool) ~ http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI

- ie: '/comments/363' instead of '/comments?id=363'

- '/user/bootload' instead of '/user?id=bootload'

* ability to view posts by date

- ie: '/2007/mar/12' or '/2007/03/12' (eg if I use YYYYMMDD format)

* inline urls such as 'http://foo.com/bar' interpreted as links

- ie: http://foo.com/bar becomes a clickable url

* long urls are automatically converted to tinyurls

- noticed twitter doing this automatically now

Hacker News should be available over IPv6 - it's pretty easy to set up (but looking at Softlayer's blog it looks like you may have to pay a couple of dollars a month for a subnet allocation, which is usually free. That information could be outdated though).

It's a small price to pay to be future proof though.

Please ignore case when comparing submissions, as well as trailing slashes.

A dupe made it through today with identical URLs; but a special character was URL encoded using 2 different capitalizations:


  (There is an "E" that was capitalized in the first submission.) 
I tested this by submitting the story a third time, and capitalizing a "T" that wasn't capitalized in either submission and it made it through the dupe check.

Please add an option for showing original submission titles.

When titles are changed by mods, it frequently neuters them. From "Today my company came out of stealth mode" becomes "Ex-Facebooker closes $1.4M financing round." Clearly not a change for the better. Please keep a copy of the original title and add an account-wide toggle to switch between moderated and original versions.

Separate ask.yc from news posts. The questions often generate good discussions, but die too quickly because they get pushed off too quickly.

Since I don't see a "feedback" button, I guess this is the place. It might have been submitted before, though.

The domain-parser has a little glitch; in an item like http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3460033 it says "co.ke", which I guess is just the sort-of TLD Kenyan websites use. Instead, I think "mocality.co.ke" is the desired result here.

Can we have a rss feed from search ? Something like https://www.hnsearch.com/search#request/all&q=hacker&... . If this feature exist, I can't find it.

Comment URLS don't support the https protocol. https://DoesNotWork.com vs http://DoesWork.com


Hey pg et al., could you embed the post date and time as a timestamp in the HTML source? (Perhaps using data attributes?) It would be great for HN parsers/readers. Personally, I'd like to scrape a few comments and cache them in a feed. As of right now I have to use the cheap heuristic of parsing "X days ago", and I assume this could be +/- 23 hours in error.


Why does this happen? http://i.imgur.com/d4Occ.png

There's a story in the RSS, it's not in the front page, and I can't search for it.

When someone posts a tweet, it shows "(twitter.com)". It would be more informative to show the twitter "(@username)" or "(twitter.com @twitterusername)".

I notice that a few others have complained about what is likely the same issue in regard to form submissions.

I generally have hacker news open in the background throughout the day. If I leave it for a while I inevitably get "Unknown or expired link" when next clicking on the "more" link at the bottom.

For example, (I assume this link will give the same result for everyone) http://news.ycombinator.com/x?fnid=x4ipaJEME2

Why do the links expire? I'm sure there's a good back end reason but as a user it seems weird that the site dies if you ignore it for any length of time. Its like a Tamagotchi.

In the news feed, there are topics for 'Ask HN' and 'Show HN', but one thing I really enjoy are the books or other sorts of list-based suggestions people provide. It would be really nice to have a more explicit way to pick these out, like a 'List HN' type of comment as opposed to sorting through all the 'Ask HN' links for a good booklist.

I'd like to see an RSS feed that points first to the ycombinator comments, and second to the original targeted link.

From a comment thread, it is of course simple to get to the original link, but not the other way around.

With an inverse RSS feed, it will be much easier in Google Reader to share both the comment thread and the original link with Google+, or any of the services that support Google Reader Send To.

If i can see all the people who are online and discuss with them( basically chatting ) about my ideas, my opinions about a particular post would be a great feature.

1) I would be curious to see an experiment concerning the karma system, a downvote would cost you (2 karma) an upvote too (1 karma). You gain 1 karma per day if you visited the site, this means as you get to know the community and its codes more and more you get more control.

I think it could increase the value of the karma system, I am seeing a lot of downvotes that I can't explain or that I find unfair. I am also seeing excessive points on some comments.

2) Not related : if you browse someone's comments you may encounter truncated posts titles :

12 points by pg 1 hour ago | link | parent | on: Announcement: YC alumni will help us read applicat...

It would be nice to include the full title in the "title" attribute of those links.

That instantly limits you to 1 vote per day unless you yourself get upvoted.

I assume that was your intention ?

This in turn will give the few people that are very active lots of voting power.

The karma here is not so much 'quality' (though that is a component) as much as it is an odometer.

Not exactly, you would have some capital to start. If you start with 50 points you get 50 upvotes or 25 downvotes, plus it evolves every day from your visits and the upvotes you received.

The main point is to force people to be more cautious with their upvotes and downvotes. My theory is that if you have to pay from your reputation (your karma), you'll mainly upvote/downvote what you're really convinced about.

I would like to see a "collapse" button to hide a comment's children, like on Reddit. With the new ranking algorithm, I do a lot more scrolling than I used to (good thing in terms of giving everyone's comments more visibility, but [-] would be handy)

Some comment threads are getting very long. Collapse children would help keep these from hiding other worthy top level comments.

It's probably been suggested a million times but a ctrl+f couldn't find it so I'll it.

Infinite scrolling on the main page. I'm not sure much more needs to be said.

It would be awesome, if the RSS feed would return CORS[1] headers. That way pure client-side JavaScript apps can retrieve it without the need of a proxy. All that is needed for this is a single static response header: "Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *"

[1]: http://www.w3.org/TR/cors/

A hacker/non-hacker toggle for each submission and a system for letting the community decide what is truly hacker-ish. It is the only way to prevent Hacker News from becoming Reddit with no sub-Reddts.

I'm upvoting for good intent, but what is and what isn't hacker-ish is decided at least partially through up and down votes already. Hacker/non-hacker are very ambiguous terms and will mean something different from one submitter to another. The submission guidelines are clear whether people choose to follow them or not, and whether people vote and flag in accordance. It isn't about the inadequacy of the current ranking framework. The community is changing, and with that, the ranking of topics. I think you're trying to solve a very difficult problem here that a toggle and an additional ranking scheme may be too simplistic and add too much complexity to the submission process.

A way to view comments to a submission by the time they were posted, preferably as some kind of toggled option at the top of the page. One use case is clearly in this thread, where finding new feature requests can be very difficult. Another is just keeping up on the comments to my submissions; once a submissions comment thread gets substantially long, it can be difficult to keep up on reading the new comments.

I think the ideal way to reorder would be to consider a comment's post time to be that of its most recent child. This means that when someone replies to a thread, the entire thread will now be the first on the page, with each sublevel ordered in the same manner. Of course, I knew reply to the submission itself would show up at the very top.

This functionality could be extended to the threads page (which relates to a suggestion I made a little while ago) and even to the Startup News page itself, so that we could see which submission has been commented on most recently (because as a parent, its child would have the most recent reply).

Just one, small, simple thing... why don't you consider changing the highlight color of the texts/words in yor website to orange? The regular blue its just regular (one thing that YCombinator isnt) and the orange would really add to your website structure (everything is delimited in the textbox size) and its and the company's logo color.

Please make usernames case-insensitive on login. My iPhone auto cases my username as AlanH upon which event I get a "Bad Login" message. I believe most users expect usernames to be case insensitive.

I was wondering if something like this would be likeable by users. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6005252 <<<< A wiki/resource list.

Inline replies and comment folding.

I know there are several browser extensions for these features, but as native functionality it would increase the UX for everyone, not just those that know of the extensions and are fortunate enough to have them enabled all the time.

I would love a Hide feature that adds a "(-)" in the same place the name and comment links are.

Sometimes, I read a comment that is either stupid, irrelevant or annoying in some fashion, and while they don't warrant a downvote, I want to rid my future reading experience on the thread from it. A Hide feature that remembers the decision like a flag or vote would fix that.

The Hide count for a comment could also be used as an extra variable to tweak HN's algorithms - such as where comments are displayed in a thread.

For polls, please auto-include "Number of respondents" at the bottom of the poll.

This is not perfect, since users have the option to pick multiple poll choices, but it helps to know how large the sample pool is in a measurement.

bookmarklet! I would submit more links if there was a bookmarklet that submitted the page I was on.

EDIT: I should have said this is a submit article bookmarklet. I'm working on trying a like/dislike.

I've just made a realy quick and dirty bookmarklet. It's only tested in firefox 2 and it's not quite how I would like it to work but it's a start. I'll hopefully update it later to work better.

Just add the following URL as a bookmark:

javascript:(function(){var d=document;var b=d.body;var c=b.insertBefore(d.createElement('center'),b.firstChild); var dv=c.appendChild(d.createElement('iframe'));dv.id='ifrm'; dv.height='30%';dv.width='100%';dv.src='http://news.ycombinator.com/submit'; d.getElementById('ifrm').scrollIntoView(); })();

Let me know if it works.

Which brings up another feature request: tweak the CSS so that really long text in a comment (without any spaces) doesn't cause the whole page to expand beyond 1024 pixels.

This problem is firefox specific. For whatever reason, IE does The Right Thing. Actually, the whole site just looks better in IE, so maybe this should be a request for better Firefox support :)

The main functionality I would want out of a submit bookmarklet is prepopulating the url field so I don't have to copy and paste it. Showing the submit page in context of the page I am on does not help as much.

Then I would suggest that a new feature be the ability to pass url parameters to the submit form that prepopulate the url and/or title fields.

As it stands, there's no real way to do it in a bookmarklet. Firefox's XSS security policies won't allow it.

Prepopulation is what I wanted too. If someone could update the submit page so that it accepts something like ?url=site.com&title=foobar in the url it would be great.

At least now its easy to drag and drop from the page the url and title. Any one know a way to get prepopulation to work?

As I said before, I don't think it can work (in Firefox) without a change in the code. Firefox's default security settings won't let you modify the content of html from another domain (I don't think...)

done (by you, in fact)

Perhaps not really a feature, but: yesterday I submitted http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1173147 It sank pretty quickly due to a lack of upvotes. However, despite its low position, it did accumulate 9 upvotes over the last day, which I guess are due to seperate submissions of the same story. From this, I propose the algorithm that decides what appears on the frontpage can use tweaking to weigh submissions heavier than upvotes (perhaps it does?). If this story was truly submitted 10 times, perhaps it deserves a higher position?

I think this has been discussed before, but as you propose it, weighting submitting higher than voting is too subject to abuse. I also regularly submit things instead of upvoting them. Commonly I'll click on a story, then use the bookmarklet to submit it after reading so I don't have to go back and upvote it.

Change/Add the/an RSS so that there is a feed with new items first, perhaps with an optional parameter for a minimum point count before it appears on the feed?

I guess hackers shouldn't fat-finger or forget their passwords once creating an account, but I'm pretty sure some user named 'dowski' did just that. Maybe he's not a real hacker, but he'd like to login again. So I'd like to request a reset password feature or something.

An option of submitting a "better URL" would be nice. This is in the context of the blogspam, i.e. when the original submission links to a page that merely rehashes the content of another page.

One option is to allow users suggest alternative url and then have the submission URL automatically changed to a suggested one once latter was submitted N times. Perhaps add a "url" option next to the "flag", make it open a page with an existing URL in the text input field and let the user change and submit it.

I know this is being done by hand by mods at the moment, and I am suggesting automating this process.

An option for having submissions of selected users to float to my front page even with a score of 1 (and perhaps staying there longer than under normal circumstances).

Call it "tracking" or "following the user" if you will.

Alternative: highlight all posts by followed users, similar to how fark.com does it. I can quickly scan the page to see the people I'm interested in, and still easily see the context for their discussions.

I would like to be able to delete an account

Simple url filtering:

I know that we have to be careful how much we tax the servers for HN, but I thought of a simplistic and low-processing overhead for allowing users to block certain domains.

1) Allow us to input a list of domains we don't want to see links to.

Ex: csmonitor.com, godaddy.com, codinghorror.com etc.

2) Modify the item listings on the various listing pages to include a class that is the url's domain.

Ex: So if the link's url is http://x.com/asdfasdf the link listing would be class 'x.com'

3) Implement a basic css command generated on page load that adds our domains listed in part 1 and adds a 'display: none;' for them.

4) Win!

Obviously it's imperfect, you'll get less than the max items on a page, and users will notice numbers missing for the hidden links.

I would personally like news to come to my mail box. That would ease my process to read the news as I'm checking my mail. A little like what techi.com did.

Hello PG, when you reply to a comment, can you put the focus onto the text box? that way you can start typing without having to click into the text box first? It would take about 2-3 lines of javascript to make this happen.

Delete Accounts Easily

pg once lamented "comments that are (a) mean and/or (b) dumb that (c) get massively upvoted."

There have always been mean/dumb comments on HN, but in the past they were routinely downvoted to -4 and then ignored. The problem is that now, people have begun upvoting them, and there are more upvoters than downvoters. Thus, the reason this is a problem is a change in voting patterns, due to a shift in community makeup and expectations.

Partial solution: when a mean/dumb comment is killed by flags or moderators, send an automated warning to anyone who upvoted it and apply a token karma penalty. Increase in severity for repeat offenders -- from a larger karma penalty to no longer counting their votes to a hellban. This educates those who simply don't understand that mean/dumb comments don't belong here, and removes those who continue to intentionally violate guidelines.

More spacing or different location for the flag link (as far away as possible from commonly used links like submission title or comments).

Every now and then I hit the flag link by accident when I click on the comments. As I'm mostly reading on my phone click means actually touch on the tiny links...

Do you have a way of tracking new comments on this thread?

It would be interesting if you have special tools that let you "follow" stories or even people. If I had to choose, I'd rather see the recent comments from a few select people than the front page.

Concerning better objectivity in voting, I'd like to see two separate counters for up and down votes, rather than the aggregated sum which conceals the actual number of votes and is sort of nontransparent since not all members are allowed to down-vote.

I'm not asking for a personalized vote list though, everything should still be anonymous.

Further, what about an integrated keyword search and a simple duplicate check before a submission is posted? That would greatly improve things, at least those news-related.

Bug: not all comments by pg is shown

Thanks for answering my question, I noticed your comment http://news.ycombinator.com/comments?id=9074 did not show in pg's comments page http://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=pg

I assumed that comments displayed on the page are sorted by time

I would like the ability to follow users.

I would like the votes, comments, and user submissions of the users I'm following to help curate a personalised version of the front page that is of specific interest to me.

Doing this would mean that, when I found people that I thought were intelligent, the front page and threads I was looking at would not reflect the general user bases opinion, but the opinion of the members of the user base that I hold with highest respect.

The "Hacker News |" part at the beginning of the page titles is redundant; please remove it. 99% of the time, the Y-combinator icon is enough to identify the tab as belonging to Hacker News.

On a tabbed browser, a sequence of HN tabs looks like this:

(Y) Hacker News | Aa... (Y) Hacker News | Bb... (Y) Hacker News | Zz...

Where (Y) is the Y-combinator icon. So, I can see which tabs are HN, but I can't see what they are about (save for the 1st 1 or 2 letters of the title of the discussion, and a little browser-provided ellipsis).

If the "Hacker News |" was removed from the beginning of the title, I would still see that the tabs were HN, because of the YC icon. And I would also be able to see the first 15 or so characters of the title of the discussion, which would help the navigation.

What if it was shortened to just "HN" or "News.YC"?

As far as I can see, there are two tar pits that Digg and now Reddit are stuck in:

1. A lack of focus and quality in the content. 2. No troll guards.

1. Lack of focus and quality In my experience, users frequent a site because it has quality content and they leave when the quality of the content declines. Digg and more recently Reddit, are experiencing a loss of focus and quality and as a result are losing their initial users. Digg’s quality is so bad it is now pointless to read and much to my chagrin, Reddit seems to be following suit. Reddit seems to be drowning in a rising tide of noobs. Apparently, there aren’t enough old users around to down-vote the crap posted by the noobal hoard. From a quick read of comments, it seems many long-time users are angry and feel disenfranchised. It’s because of this that those users whose content made Digg and Reddit popular in the first place are now leaving those sites and taking their great ideas with them.

2. No troll guards: Nothing poisons an online community quicker than a few nasty trolls. Another one of the reasons that I’m pulling away from Reddit is because it is getting mean. Both the links that are posted and the article forums are being destroyed by trolls stomping around unchecked. I hope Reddit can fix this problem. If not, I’m going to stop spending my time there.

The impression that I get, Paul, is that your goal is to make this YC News a start-up news site and a community of potential founders; not simply another social news site. The only way that I can see to maintain quality content and to filter out the trolls is to institute some form of moderation. Straight democracy leads to anarchy; that’s why I think a news site needs to be a republic. I don’t think, by any stretch of the imagination, that Slashdot is perfect, but they do have a system where moderators are selected from heavy and moderate users on a rotating basis. The system filters out new and spam accounts and gives preference to high karma users. It seems to keep the trolls in check. It also encourages people to take more ownership and to participate in the community.

Slashdot’s FAQ explains their moderation system here: http://slashdot.org/faq/com-mod.shtml#cm520

There is also a brief discussion of their anti-troll rules here: http://slashdot.org/faq/com-mod.shtml#cm2000

Thanks for setting up the site. It scratches an itch that I’ve had for a while.

When users downvote a comment, they should be required to give a reason. When someone downvotes me, I wonder why that is: Am I too arrogant? Do they just disagree? Is it because what I posted is obvious? This would also motivate people to think about downvoting more and reduce the problem with interesting comments being downvoted because people disagree with them.

Allow articles/conversations to be grouped. case in point: there were many articles essentially reporting that osama bin laden was dead. There are many articles focusing on different angles, such as the social media influence on the event, and i agree that they probably should be separate discussions. However, people post different articles reporting the same exact news from NY Times, BBC, and fox news, amongst other news outlets.

add GitHub to the list of sites that have subdomains expanded. Some people blog from theirusername.github.com, and it would be a lot more obvious that it's a blog post, not code, if you showed the subdomain.

I would like updates from Hacker News by texting the word Hacker to 90210. And then you all can send out personal messages to your fans! It would also be nice if you allowed me to be your agent to sign you up :). I just think it would be so cool to get Personal Updates from the DNA running Hacker News via 90210 :) Thank you so much for all of your support in the community! www.danielnabors.com explains it all i felt this would be an Exciting Deep Story and strong individuals like your selves would see the Vision :)

I'd like a way to differentiate the startup tips from other discussion topics. I am really interesting in participating in the community, but I don't want to have to wade through stuff I've already read in my RSS reader. Already the front page is filled with mostly stuff I've already read, which is drowning out potentially interesting discussions.

When you submit a link it would nice to have the similar link check list the last 10 most recent post from the root domain. This would allow for slightly different urls being submitted for the same articles or story.

A list of 10 similar titles would be nice also, as the submitter may not have the time so do an indepth search for a similar article or may be limited by platform.

It would be great if the links on HN automatically open in new tabs. This would clearly imply that the clicked link is on a different domain. In addition, the user won't need to remember to go back to HN page, because it would be always open in the first tab. (Similar to Google News)

I did a search and didn't see this mentioned.

In any case, a very useful feature would be a way to track your comments in the different submissions and the stories that you voted up.

There are a lot of really great stories on here and sometimes I don't have the time to finish reading some. I'd like to be able to find the stories again quickly in my recent history.

Make users more like people (to make discussions better).

Thought of this after watching a recent frontline: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/

One interesting thing that the creator of Second Life said: when discussions happen in a virtual work they are much more like real interactions. So if all HN discussions moved to 2nd life, that would help solve some of the issues with trolling, etc. This then begs the question: would other less drastic measures like avatars help?

Whenever an article has a title text that ends with a question mark, automatically add a link to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridges_Law_of_Headlines following it.

(Someone posts this on every such article anyway)

I suggest changing the way the karma works (I know : "no way") by making up/downvotes ponderated by voter's karma (I know : "ELO blabla, no way").

This way, newcomers impact on what is HN vs what was HN (regarding comments habits and what should make it to the frontpage / what should not) could be less dramatic.

I often open a new tab to read an article off the homepage. After I've read all the articles, then I'll click on "More", and receive a "Unknown or expired link." message.

It would be helpful if instead the More link simply gave me the next 31-60 ranked articles, even if they were duplicative with what I'd seen before.

Possibility to delete comments and submissions.

you can now delete a comment if it has no children by editing it blank

Now submissions and comments have a delete button, and you can delete comments even if they have children.


This comment was at -8. Its text was invisible in this thread.


No problem. However, I expected to see the text when I clicked on the link for the comment. As it is, I can't metamoderate (by upvoting, disagreeing with the -8 if it was in fact unfair) or read an Evil Comment that spawned an interesting thread.

An option to turn off (or adjust) the fading/invisibility for negatively modded comments, or a default to show text when a comment's link is clicked, would leave the current system relatively unchanged but allow determined users to read the forbidden content.

Three related feature requests for the comments section of articles:

1. Give id's to comments so we can #reference them (I looked for it but didn't find it, surprisingly).

2. Add a "parent" link to each of a comment's children, referencing the aforementioned id, so that it's much easier to locate the parent of a comment when it's offscreen because there are lots of replies. To peek at the parent we'd just have to click the link then hit the browser back button. Perhaps use some javascript to make this parent link appear only when the parent is offscreen.

3. When we post a reply use the anchor in the obvious way so we don't have to find our comment manually. Usually you want to continue reading the comments after the one you just posted.

Feature request: a way to escape an asterisk. Sometimes you do want to write a literal asterisk. (E.g. to say "a times b")

How about &#42; yielding *.

Cheers, Ralph.

This hack worked great until the recent change that stopped the evaluation of sequences of &#42; and &amp;. Again there's no way to get a literal asterisk that I know of.

I second this, I can't find any way to display an asterisk.

The ability to tell how you are logging in and request lost login information.

For example, I think I used OpenID to log in, but I might have used Google instead. I don't know which. I tried to log in from home, and I got the cryptic "Bad OpenID error". I don't know if this meant OpenID was down at the time, or that I was using the wrong provider. There was no way to request an email with my login credentials, not even to my already entered email address.

Even from my work machine, where it remembers I am logged in, I cannot tell if I have a real account or if I have used one of the many OpenID providers. So I still don't know if I'll be able to log in when I get home.

A lot of people submit "rate my startup" links. There are two ways to do this - either sumbit a link to the homepage with an appropriate title or submit a question-like post with the homepage link in the title and additional commentary in the text field. In the first case, the author must add a comment the regular way which may not be at the top/visible the whole time. In the second case, there's no direct link to the homepage, one has to copy it or type it manually. I would appreciate if HN would improve the UX with these kind of posts. I won't suggest a solution, I'm sure PG will come up with something clever if he decides to implement this.

I saw some questions some days old and even answered well are still in top list(front page). Please add a feature of "Yes, I got the answer." in hacker news questions. if the asker get what he wanted to know, he would click on it and the question will no longer be available for up-votes from other members. This will allow other questions to eventually come on front page and get noticed(and hence get answered).

Please add an 'after-dark' feature that allows those concerned with battery usage , and those with already burned retinas from years of computer to view Hacker News in a darkened theme. Please keep fonts on the new theme as high contrast as the black on white.

It would be great to have a history export feature. By the way, I must admit I sometimes upvote only to save the thread and read it later. A distinct Save feature could result in more strict upvoting...

I'm getting frequent Nginix errors posting or deleting comments at the moment, though actions appear to complete. A comment posted twice showed as "dead". I deleted the dupe and got the error again.

Including the parent comment on the "Request Features" story. Quite likely this reply as well.

The error:

An error occurred.

Sorry, the page you are looking for is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

If you are the system administrator of this resource then you should check the error log for details.

Faithfully yours, nginx.

Hello, i see that the Instapaper action disappeared. That's a pity, i used it a lot, i hope you'll bring it back soon. Thanks!

I see today that the action is back :-) Thanks!

To remove saved stories. Right now, we are able to save stories, but can't unsaved it? Most stories have a timespan and validity to it. This will be useful to keep one focus.

I would like an option to completely hide downvoted comments and the subthreads below them, slashdot-like, not merely grey them out. As HN becomes more and more popular, the number of downvoted bullshit one-liner postings and accompanying one-liner chat-like "discussions" IMO seems to grow. I dont want to see people "chat". Based on that, I also would like an option to hide/remove postings below a given number of words, again, to remove the one-liner bullshit postings.

Change the functionality so that "Unknown or expired link." would not appear any more.


<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Hacker News" href="https://news.ycombinator.com/rss ">

(warning: one space after url)

To the main page for RSS autodetecting by browser plugins/etc.


Please ban comments empty-linking to Wikipedia articles.

At the very least demand they contain, say, ten characters of contextual wording to discourage this lazy kind of argument.

When replying to a comment in a thread (the parent being a comment, as opposed to a comment like this, where the parent is the article) it would be neat to have the article link available above the reply box (as in the article-parent case).

Several times in the past week I have clicked on a thread, read the thread for comments, clicked the article link to read, clicked back, and then hit "reply" on a comment. Half way through formulating a comment I think "oh, I wonder if the article touched on $foo" and then have to either unwind the stack or open a new tab to news.yc and retrace my steps. Being able to control-click from the comment page would be ++handy.

Thanks for the site, really enjoy it.

Can we build a local community out of YC news? Currently YC is focus is the US. For the RestOfWorld, can we have a country/city page that links to a local startup website or a yahoo/google groups page?

This would to some extent help facilitating potential co-founders -- since that's a constant them on this board.

This is a bug. When I get to the older posts, around 200 or so, high-ranking posts are displayed twice, one after the other. Here is a saved hacker news page illustrating this bug, with two examples in it:


It has already been reported in: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1630931

I really appreciate the procrastination preventer, but would like one change.

It is not enough that the reader does not spend too much time reading and commenting on Hacker News. Because willpower is a depletable resource, it is also necessary that the reader does not expend too much willpower resisting the impulse to spend too much time reading and commenting. When the "get back to work" page comes up, I find that I have to expend real willpower not to click on the override link (anchor) at the bottom of the page. To balance that change, you might simultaneously put a link to the reader's user page, so if he really needs to, he can go to his user page and turn the procrastination preventer off. (A logout link on the "get back to work page'd be nice too.)

Please add an RSS feed for the "new" section as well Turns out there's a lot of interesting stuff that doesn't get upvoted and so doesn't get to my feed..

I'd like to see all pages default to a list of 100 items.

I mean it is pure text page that is gzip'ed and should barely add 1k more to make it 100 instead of 30.

If not 100, then 50 as a compromise?


It's one of the features of Slashdot that I like. The flip side of tags is that they make search a lot easier to implement.

Give users the ability to filter out posts by their source. Case in point: informationsecuritybuzz.com

We need a spam filter for crap like that.

Add "tabindex=1" to the title-link found in every /item pages. Now pressing tab on the comments page selects the link at the top, press enter to follow it.

The instapaper action disappeared again. Will it be added again eventually?

Per the http standard header responses are terminated with \r\n\r\n, however the headers on Hacker News are terminated with \n\n. See: http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec4.html

In addition to the header coloring preference, it would be nice to either have a preference to color the text ("new", "threads", "submit" etc) or, failing that, to change the text from black to white for darker header colors.

Currently, with dark colors it's occasionally difficult to read the text.

Please make the UPVOTE (and downvote?) button/s more obvious and usable. I feel like people don't up-vote things simply because they forget that they can!

Sometimes I go to "collapse" a comment or a post when actually i am up-voting it! The arrow looks like a collapse link rather than an up-vote link.

Allow resubmissions after XXX period of time.

My recent submission was "Who Can Name the Bigger Number?" This is a great article for anyone who has studied computer science, mathematics, or enjoys scientific history. It was last submitted about 180 days ago.

This article, along with other greats such as "Cargo Cult Science" etc are of interest to the community. Limiting their presence on the front page or via the RSS to a single point in time seems extra-ordinarily constricting. I would suggest that after a period of say 1 year an article is available for resubmission.

Also, perhaps some site-initiated intros to other members would help with the feeling of 'small community' that a lot of people seek.

Make urls in comments clickable, ie. automatically wrap markup around them, or let us type the markup ourselves.

I would so like to have all comment threads and sub-threads be collapsible with controls on each entry to control the collapse and expansion of what derives from it.

Add downvoting to submissions as well as comments. Problems this will alleviate:

-users will have a way express that they feel a submission is egregiously off-topic or extremely redundant rather than leaving the off-repeated comment "This is Hacker News?" or "Here is a script to hide links with the word iPad" etc.

-Will improve the quality of submissions and prevent people from karma-fishing with linkbait titles on articles of little value.

-reduce multiple copies of the same story from sitting on the front page

When flagging stories, please could we get asked for confirmation before the story is flagged? Since I started using HN on a touchscreen phone, I have found myself unable to precisely control where I click, meaning that I have accidentally flagged a lot of stories. A simple "are you sure you want to flag?" would save me from having to click unflag so often.

as usual, undo is better

1) Automatically resurface popular old articles after x days (or some other metric). This will hopefully stop reposts and tie in previous discussion.

2) Order the comments feed by "most recent active" (so Max(childDatePosted) DESC THEN BY Max(posted) DESC".

Happy to dig into the Arc if you'd like a hand.

Please fix URL autodetection not to include the Greater Than character. For an example and reference, see <http://www.blooberry.com/indexdot/html/topics/urlencoding.ht....

Please add full titles to links in the "title" attribute, especially in comment parents. Then, users can hover over the (often truncated) parent link and see the full title without clicking.

Just to be super explicit, what I am asking for is for a link instance like this:

  <a href="item?id=519555">Super last minute advice for startups applying for...</a>
to be changed sitewide to this:

  <a href="item?id=519555" title="Super last minute advice for startups applying for Y Combinator">Super last minute advice for startups applying for...</a>

In addition to 'flag' add 'meta' on comments. There is no need for a 1/3 of each thread to be complaints about the title, whether it is HN worthy, etc.

Based on an example that appears to have been removed from the front page just now, I'd like to see an easy way to flag a user who is spamming up the site as well as the current way of flagging particular submissions.

Privately expose the voting power on account profiles.

I think it would be bad for the community to know how powerful someone else's votes are, as folks would bias voting according to whether the poster had high or low voting power.

But I'm curious how much my votes influence hotness and match the oracles.

Up-voting breaks after you sign in in a different page.

The situation is this: sometimes I open a number of pages in tabs when I am not signed in, then read and vote on them all. The first time I vote I get the login page and everything works nicely, but if I later try to vote again on a different tab that doesn't know I was logged in, I get redirected to a dead page instead.

Repro: 1. When signed out, open a couple pages in tabs. 2. Sign in on one of them. 3. Try to use an up arrow in the other tab.

You should end up on a blank white page.

I'm not sure if this will even be visible, but I'd love to have the site with css/divs instead of tables/html styling. This is because I use plugings to manually edit the css to make it look prettier, but I can only go so far when all table are just <table> with no id or class.

When on list view on articles, press tab to focus on first item, then up/down to traverse, and enter to go to link (similar to Google search results)

I tried to submit a question and it came back "You're submitting too fast. Please slow down." I am not submitting too fast. I only submitted once. It's not clear to me what the issue is. Please fix this. If it's some sort of Fail Whale then make it clear that that's the issue. If it's something else, please make it clear. What I see is a puzzlement and an error on your side and that just causes me frustration.

Fix unicode. (pi) shouldn't be replaced with an 'X' and other unicode characters should work.

Please fix the bug where trying to connect my account to a Google account just leads me to a completely blank page http://news.ycombinator.com/openid_merge with the word "Unknown." (Sorry, didn't understand where to report bugs.)

When I reply to a comment, please leave my browser at the point where I replied (like everything else does) rather than moving me to the top of the comments.

I subscribe via RSS and it would be helpful if each topic had a brief description (just a few lines from the first paragraph at least). If I want to read the whole article I will then visit the specific website.

If the whole article was the description that would also be OK; so I could read everything from my RSS reader.

There should not be down voting for the comments. But number of votes should be shown and moved up so that others can see which ones liked by community and others "left behind". Removing down voting is essential if number of likes are going to be shown to eliminate any emotional response and action (=downvoting).

Show a “saved comments” link in my profile, underneath the “saved stories” link. This would show all comments that I upvoted, similar to “saved stories”.

Sometimes I read a really good comment and would like to save it to read again later, but there is no site function to do that. There is already a Saved Links page, so expecting me to bookmark every page I like can’t be a reason to not include this feature.

How about an area where we can submit startup advice and vote on it, for example: "don't use bank of america for your business banking", "do incorporate as a C corp in delaware", etc. I think the advice submitted and comment threads generated could be quite valuable.

So, the community that talks a lot about startups is a good idea, but taking community advice directly seems a little iffy. It may be that this group happens to be mostly composed of people who could successfully run a startup, but I doubt it, and if it were true, it certainly wouldn't last very long. If you take any random set of people interested in startups, it's not likely that a majority of them would vote up the right pieces of advice. I prefer the more general submit-links-and-comment model, since the links tend to be more useful data than pure advice.

Subtract 1 karma from yourself each time up-vote or down-vote is used; this effectively turns karma into "money" that can be spent on maintaining good discussion and high quality submissions.

This would make people think twice before down-voting. It would also reduce "knee-jerk" up-votes, as people would be more likely to reserve up-votes for things that truly deserve it.

It would also mean that long-time users will naturally do more of the moderation, as they have lots of points and may not be as afraid to use them.

It's not a good idea to discourage voting, generally the more voting we have the better.

This also makes karma a zero-sum game. This necessarily results in a distinct winners-and-losers scenario, which would be antagonistic to the goals of the site.

Allow a url AND descriptive text on new submissions. Otherwise, the submitter must also write a comment immediately after posting a url simply to elaborate on the url and/or why the url was posted.

Sorting poll results would increase readability. It should be done after vote (or by clicking on some button) to avoid biasing the results.

I'd like to be able to reset my password. The only option available appears to be to create a new account, or email Paul Graham.

Karma is currently (roughly) calculated as the sum of a users submission and comment votes. I would be interested in seeing an alternative implementation that takes the sum of that users aggregate votes on each comment and article, raised to x.

For example:

If x was 1.2 and I had posted 3 comments with vote scores of [1,20,-10] my karma would be round(1^1.2+20^1.2-10^1.2)=22 as opposed to roughly 11 where it would stand now. I think it would encourage comments that are very thoughtful and discourage comments that are pure flaming.

Please can I filter some people from /news and /newest? Or could I set a minimum score for any of their submitted articles to appear for me? (Thus, they submit twenty articles. One of them gets 6 upvotes, which is my limit, and thus I only see that one submission.)

I guess this is a user-side configurable hellban / killfile.

There seems to be a small bug. When pasting links, HN removes apostrophes. This is often problematic when copying-pasting links from Wikipedia.

For example, the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somebody_Elses_Problem.

It's supposed to have an apostrophe in the word "Else's", that's how it is when it's first written. But HN removes the apostrophe.

Pushover support. Notifo is basically the same thing, but Pushover supports all platforms while Notifo has been "in development" with their other platforms for the last several months.


It seems you don't know, but Notifio shut down close to a year ago, almost to the day September 8, 2011.


There are other alternatives listed in their farewell message. Since they're no longer in service the 'notifo' field in profiles on HN and the arclanguage.org form can (should?) be removed.

Personally, I hate notifications, but of course, tastes vary, and some people really do love getting an endless stream of notifications. The trouble, or course, is which service to integrate, and how triggering should be done. It's not as simple as it might seem at first glance. Worse yet, HN (actually news.arc) runs as a single thread on a single system, so the performance impact of adding notifications might make them infeasible.

There's a "more" link at the bottom of each page. It stops working after the page sits for a few minutes.

If this is fixed, I will sigh one less time each day.

I consider this a feature, not a bug. If you've gone that far into the pages it is time to get off hackernews and get back to work.

Let me see all articles that receive more than [threshold] votes.

What happened to the "More" link on saved stories? I can only see the first page.

Collapse comments which has more than 2 comments or so. I don't care about a particular comment and 50 people who replied that comment, my screen fills up. If there would be a JavaScript collapse option, that would be cool.

How about a way to see all the up votes and down votes for a comment. I would be intrigued to see if there are any comments with low points but only because they were somehow controversial. I'm not trying to be sensationalist but it might be interesting to see the most controversial comments on a kind of leader board format. Maybe themes would emerge to show big dividing lines in the way that the audience here thinks about problems.

A full-text search facility for postings would be nice.

Plesae add a feature that shows "Top ten articles" as in "Top Ten This Week" and "Top Ten This Month" and "Top Ten This Year." Heck, maybe even a "Top Ten of All Time."

LewRockwell.com does this and I really enjoy the feature. Especially if I haven't had time to take a look this week, and I'd like to see what the best submissions, discussions, etc have been lately.

There are some really good articles from years ago that new users would really enjoy (like me, since I wasn't here a few years ago but have just heard that those were the glory days). It would be cool to see those articles organized into an easy to access format like the Top Ten approach.

I'd like SSL. Especially since Y Combinator uses the same site for various internal things, it would be nice to be able to protect from passive monitoring at cafes (I use a VPN but a lot of people don't).

Splitting news.yc from the YC app, hours, etc. system might also be nice, so people can blackhole hackernews without losing YC functionality.

An unintrusive page-load timestamp would help us self-limit obsessive reloading to decrease load on the server.

Edit: Also, it would give "n minutes ago" a reference point.

Real-time updates so you can see articles moving up and down the home page without refreshing, and automatically update the vote count when you vote on an article

Gestation period for new users based on time/comments/karma:

A lot of spam/spammy submissions are submitted by new users, users that create an account just to submit these links. I guess a lot of them do it to generate google juice since google indexes the site in minutes.

In addition, the number of relevant submissions are not see on the new page thereby reducing the quality of the content on the forum.

Can you introduce a gestation period for new users -- this could be based on number of days since they created their registration or the number of comments or their karma. Once they pass this threshold, these users can submit stories.

There is already a rate limit for new accounts. Banning submission entirely would discourage legit new users.

BTW, they don't get any Google juice, because links are all nofollow unless they have a certain number of points.

I am moving all my feeds from RSS to Twitter. Is there a Twitter feed with links to all the new stories that are posted to the RSS feed? I don't see a Twitter link on the web page.


Notifications when there is an update to a thread you replied to.

Tried to use Algolia's API and IFTTT without much success.

Please disallow submissions that link to private ip addresses.

For example, the submission at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1015536 links to a page on In this case the link appears to be benign, but a link could be crafted that changed security settings on a router, or even routed the router.

It seems that links to private ip addresses on HN could be harmful and could never be legitimate.

Please add item summary abstracts (or better yet complete text) to your RSS feed. Publishing headlines only doesn't convey enough information to decide whether the article is worth clicking through to.

It would be nice if links you flagged would be removed from your view. It's sort of strange to have flagged something, come back the next day, and see an upvote arrow with the "Unflag" verb next to it.

A login box on the frontpage. When submitting a login-protected request like an upvote, I get redirected. If there was a (potentially hidden) login box somewhere on the page (connected via AJAX), then I could just hit the SecureLogin extension's button on my firefox and be logged in.

(See: I typed this, clicked "add" and was redirected to the login page. :))

It would be handy if medium.com URLs could include the author somewhere - otherwise it's a bit of a crapshoot as to the quality of what you're about to read.

Add a "hyperlink" option so that when people are discussing on a thread, they can point to other sites more easily. Will make for a cleaner and more efficient way of communicating thoughts.

i am new to the feature about y combinator but i think you should correct something. what is that? when you log out and you click the arrow on the left side point left you log in again. that shows if you log out you have not yet log out completely. At gmail when you log out no matter what arrow you use you will not log in till you decide to follow log in process such as your username and password.

It seems I just became worthy of judging bad karma .. any chance I can turn it off in my settings? Mainly because I don't want to accidentally down vote someone (this optical mouse has a habit of skipping a few pixels now and then), also I really can't see myself ever using the feature .. an eye for an eye and all that jazz.

Also, I've noticed I have stopped up voting, on my HTC desire, as it is way to easy to down vote by mistake.

Given the support and reaction of this post (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4053427) possibly a 'Show HN' tab at the top of the page might be a useful feature.

Can we get the ability to see what we've liked and where we've commented from our profiles please? I keep forgetting where I've commented and what that awsome article I liked was.

Also bug report. When I enter some characters in comments such as “ and ’ it goes a bit funny.

I'm getting error: https://news.ycombinator.com/x?fnid=AeXXkBwwjeuQUyWi8p6iWU

Unknown or expired link.

It would be nice to be able to login using openid without being asked to give away "contacts". I just tried to login using Google account and it seems to be immposible without letting them see my contacts. Anyway, why would HN need such data?

I think it would be nice to have explicit support to mark groups of duplicates as such... When a certain threshold of users agree that they're indeed duplicates, the two or more submissions could be "glued" together so that they always show up in a tight group on the page.

The different comment threads could be merged in a sensible way, possibly by reallocating threads from comment sections with few comments. Any comment sections that have no more comments or never had any would be disabled. This would avoid having an unnecessarily split discussion of the same topic between multiple comment sections.

Having the footer links found on the main page, especially "guidelines" and "library," be visible when composing a reply to a previous reply would be helpful for sharing those links when composing replies to users who don't know of those helpful resources. In general, it helps me find stuff if the footers are the same regardless of state, whether reading the main page, reading the new submissions page, posting a new submission, or posting a reply to a previous reply.

Almost every time when I go to post an "Ask HN" story, I submit and get "deadlink". If there's some kind of CSRF token that's expiring, maybe you can increase the timeout a bit? Or maybe I need to type faster in my "Ask HN" posts...

I would like to be notified when someone replies to my comments.

A first-level reply notification is what I have in mind, i.e. don't notify me if someone replies to someone who replied to me...

Maybe you might want to add a bit to the duplicate detection algorithm to remove the "www." before checking if it is a dupe. I only say this because an article was submitted by two different people with exactly the same title. The only thing that differs is the "www." prefix on the url.

The two stories:



I'd like a link to any replies people make to my comments. Like the red envelope in reddit. I sometimes make comments asking questions or simply brain-vomiting and would like to know what people's reactions are.

I'm enjoying using news.ycombinator.com, but I fear it will eventually suffer the same fate as Slashdot, Digg, Reddit, etc. The problem on the internet is a lack of scarcity. I'm beginning to think the only way to really solve the problem is through submitter fees. Without fees, I fear it will turn into a self-promoting free-for-all.

Think about the problem in terms of email spam. If email cost $0.25 to send, the spam problem would be gone. If a submission to Digg cost $10, their spam problem would mostly go away.

When everything is free, it's just one big race for the bottom. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

Think about the incentives you are creating. This fee would just get written into the contracts of viral ad companies, while enthusiastic users would be deterred by the psychological barrier of spending money to do something that feels like just saying "hey guys look at this".

Is there a separate holder for reporting bugs?

Here is the problem I am facing. I m trying to post a link to http://earlystagevc.typepad.com/earlystagevc/2007/03/web_20.html - but when I submit, it takes me to another posting for which the URL is http://earlystagevc.typepad.com. So, baasically othe system thinks that I'm trying to update the old posting or something, and it ends up not showing my post.

Try submitting this.:

URL: http://earlystagevc.typepad.com/earlystagevc/2007/03/web_20.html Title: Web 2.0 Bust?

In the case of duplicate submissions (or submissions of multiple stories reporting the same news), it would be good if high-karma users had the ability to re-direct the post to the previous HN thread. This would be better than the current situation where they get a few comments and then someone posts a link to the previous HN thread.

Add embedded chat rooms to discussion pages: http://wompt.com Or simply a "chat" link next to the "discuss" link in each entry that points to something like http://wompt.com/chat/hackernews/363

The "more" link at the bottom of each page expires.

I love this site, and I like to read more than the 1st 100 posts. But by the time I get to the 4th page, the "more" link at the bottom has expired. To continue, I have to start from the beginning and quickly click the more link fast enough so that it doesn't expire.

That's just silly.

Suggesting an idea already implemented in StackOverflow - Moderation by users with certain number of karmas.

Of late, we see lots of HNers complaining about kind of subjects being submitted and the high Noise to Signal ratio. Would it make sense to provide moderation ability to HNers with 10k+ karma and discourage such topics here?

a list of all of a user's comments on their user page would be nice


And it's great too. As soon as I can see a list of my own comments it becomes relatively easy to check recent ones for responses, and automatic notification becomes less important. It's interesting how these features interact.

I just noticed that the edit link on comments expires after a while. An alternative that helps with notification: disallow editing when a comment gets a response. That way I can scan recent comments on my user page to check for responses.

I use my saved stories profile page (upvotes) as a great link archive and read later tool.

Could also comment upvotes be saved and showed in the same way?

And as a less important sugestion, but cool reverse way of thinking, could stories and comment downvotes banish that items from my view of the HN site. Thanks!

Bug report: This is actually in the 2012 winter application form* - http://news.ycombinator.com/w2012form

Using a < silently truncates the remainder your text from the input field.

* But I couldn't find a better place to report this error.

Hi. I'm a student of UNN and here's the school's website(www.unn.edu.ng).Please, I'll like to know more about your website and how I could actually contribute. Thanks.

BUG : the RSS feed is broken here :


links to YC are like this :


must be a typo.

Display the H-index of users on the leaders board: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-index

Please add a html attribute to the submitted links so the articles displayed in HN open an actual new tab instead of going back and forth between just one page!

Echoing a lot of comments here, a following facility would be excellent. I haven't needed to follow specific people much, but I'd really like to be able to follow specific threads. Some threads interest me a lot and I'd like to keep track of the comments, but as the threads get longer it becomes a lot harder to tell which comments were recently added.

Perhaps show vertical indentation lines? (Best would be in two or three different styles). In the more popular threads with a lot of comments-on-comments, it gets rather hard to see what that comment down there was actually referring to.

Mouse-over titles to show the original when the mods have edited the title.

Inspired by this comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4580767

The hellbanning algorithm seems to be overly aggressive lately. If you showed a link on dead items (where "flag" would be on a live comment) that said "Ok?" or something similar, the users could flag items back in to existence.

I feel like there have been a lot of good comments lately that have been autokilled because of a past transgression and we're missing interesting conversation.

Delete from saved page (when one is "done" with that item), or at least strike out.

+1 I'm surprised this feature doesn't exist. I don't have many saved items yet, but I would think it could clutter up rather quickly.

1. Change the color of the "comment" link please (or use a button). At first, I wondered why all those messages had the word "comment" in them :) And then I tried to respond to this message and searched for the "comment" button and I was enlightened! 2. Document before writing new features :) I'm really curious to know what the "showdead" option is (I don't want to try it because the name is so scary). 3. A URL (or free text) field in the profile. 4. Keep it simple. I think it's nearly perfect as it is (the sign-in form is great). 5. We want to see Arc and the source code of this app :)

An RSS feed which takes me to the comment page of the submission.

Reason being that I like to use live bookmarks in Firefox, and the RSS feed which goes directly to the submitted link means if I want to read the comments left by HN users, I must go to HN's homepage to look for the article, and then click on comments.

Which is a lot of work compared to clicking on the live bookmark entry, then opening up the submitted webpage (in a new tab) from the submission's comment page.

Automatically up-vote parent comments based on the number of replies in a thread that they produce.

Sometimes, when a big discussion forms, comments deep in the thread gain 10 or more points while the original parent has just 1 or 2 points. The parent comment is usually "worthy" of the same points, but it's as if people forget to up-vote the parent. The parent should share in the karma for spawning interesting discussions.

Don't you think that would encourage reddit-style pun and joke threads?

A recent thread (currently near the top of the main page) suggests that it might be useful to have an optional hat tip field on new submitted articles. Sometimes the submitter learned about the article from another source, or another HN participant, and just wants to get out of the starting block to post the article, while also acknowledging the source of the suggestion that the article is good.

Archived posts? Just as there is a news.ycombinator.com/newest, couldn't there be a /oldest? or something along those lines. This website is just a goldmine of information, it seems like it all kinda disappears into black whole

1. Change the color of the "comment" link please (or use a button). At first, I wondered why all those messages had the word "comment" in them :) And then I tried to respond to this message and searched for the "comment" button and I was enlightened! 2. Document before writing new features :) I'm really curious to know what the "showdead" option is (I don't want to try it because the name is so scary). 3. A URL (or free text) field in the profile. 4. Keep it simple. I think it's nearly perfect as it is (the sign-in form is great). 5. We want to see Arc and the source code of this app :)

Would it be possible to have some sort of way of highlighting user comments within an item? For example, if I wanted to read all of PG's comments on this page, I could do something like:

This would give you some signification a comment was from pg; either a highlight or a box?

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.

When I search, I get: sort by: relevance | date | points and then separately "ascending | descending" -- isn't it better if the relevance | date | points are made "toggles"?

Allow a 2 sentence summary to be displayed below the headline. With cryptic headlines it easy to click on headlines without really knowing whether the story might interest you.

A bug: upvotes are swallowed when initiated while logged out.

Details: If I click up-vote while not logged in and then log in using the form that is subsequently presented, I am returned to the original page. However, every time I try this, the item has the same number of points as before I upvoted it, though it no longer has an upvote arrow next to it, so I cannot upvote it again.

Is there anyway to separate stories based on technical competency? I love Hacker News, but can't stand having to skim over 50+% of the stories because they are beyond my comprehension- to get to the 40% of stories that I can actually learn from/understand.

With new Christmas theme background title of site is unreadable. Would you please use code like this http://closure-library.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/closure/goog... for correct text color selection?

After you edit a comment, it's very difficult to figure out how to get back to the discussion. This is a problem with posting a comment or performing other actions too, but it's particularly annoying when you edit a comment.

This is now fixed: try the "parent" link.

The parent addition is helpful, but to find the origin of discussion, one would have to keep following parent links. Having a link to the main discussion would be nice.

It would be nice to know how the RSS works, and maybe have a way to select articles over a certain threshold via RSS. I use Calibre to fetch HN articles but when i see them through out the day, I can't be sure if I'll get that one later or not.

Add the ability to collapse comments without needing to install the threadify greasemonkey script. It makes comments far easier to read and browse.

The exponential delay on the "reply" link's appearance means that sometimes the link is sometimes not present on the page. I believe that this reduces the ease with which someone can scan a thread, because it changes the layout and spacing of comments later in the thread.

My suggestion is that rather than not displaying the reply link, display greyed out text in its place that reads "reply", with hover text explaining why you cannot currently click it.