In case it's not clear, I'm talking about the stupid, 105px tall black bar that asks you to "Join Coderwall" when you start to scroll
Unfortunately, having a massive black bar overhead gave me a feeling of claustrophobia. Made the reading intensely uncomfortable.
If there are enough people like me that get tired of seeing this particular piece of visual spam it gets added to the list of elements that are blocked for all Adblock Plus users.
The lesson site designers and developers really need to start learning is STOP DOING THIS. Put a link in your nav, or at the top of the page.
Turning hover on for everything is annoying. Crap popping up on your page when I use the scrollbars is annoying. I really don't care how clever you think it is. It's just damned annoying.
Generally speaking I find arguments about usability from someone who can't present their own blog a little dubious.
if you're trying to stifle those that would make contributions to this community then keep doing what you are doing.
Edit: I can type good
One of the seldom talked about problems with floating headers/footers is that they break page up/down. Hitting space bar now takes you slightly too far to keep reading uninterrupted.
Point is, it doesn't matter.
Yes, could HN be totally revamped? Sure, there are thousands of capable engineers in the community that could and have done it. Should it be? Meh.
Honestly, it just works. Its pretty stable. I read HN as much from my phone as a laptop. I've tried the various alternate UIs and iOS apps, but I always just come back to the site.
I'm probably not the only old-timer that feels this way, but there are plenty of alternative UIs for those that want them, and indeed they use them.
HN is a great lesson in the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" methodology of engineering. 2000+ year old Roman aqueducts are still used in some places in Europe. If somethings doing the job it was designed for, you don't have to upgrade the concrete just because you have newer cement.
Honestly, it's a pain. My personal experience is vastly different. I have a 40min (one-way minimum) commute to work and I use that time where I can't create things to read news, so that I can spend time working at work and doing stuff at home. HN is simply an excruciating pain on a touch device. I regularly hit flag by mistake. I regulary miss the upvote arrow. I regularly downvote instead of upvote. It's just text and on my laptop I can see the content render like in those "Chrome is Fast" slow motion videos, except it's in real time (Chrome says 1+ second). Proxy apps simply don't cut it: they're either read only or have access to my credentials, and generally they appear to reach 90% of their development, and leave the remaining 90% undone.
> We go through this every now and then.
I'd take that as a clue that something's amiss.
> "don't fix it if it ain't broke"
But it is broken. It regularly times out on me, whether I load the site or I try to post a comment. I know it times out on me on votes, because I vote and then I come back later, and the vote arrow is there again. I don't know why, if that's because I'm across an ocean or whatever, but I have the feeling that ~3K characters of human text should not inflate by an order of magnitude with markup. I feel a code smell every time I browse here, the kind of which that could have an impact at scale. I'm not saying I know how to fix it, I'm not bragging I could do better, but hell yes is there something wrong. The only reason I put up with it is that the voting system is smart, and the content and community are great.
Now I will click 'reply', and as always I will take great care of copying the content of my reply, just in case.
No thread collapsing.
Screen readers don't work well here.
Renders poorly on mobile devices.
So in my opinion, it's not worth the change.
This is what a screen reader emulator tells me the front page of HN sounds like:
"Page has one hundred thirty links Hacker News dash Internet Explorer Table with one column and ninety-eight rows Table with three columns and one row Link Graphic slash yeighteen .gifLink Hacker NewsLink new vertical bar Link comments vertical bar Link ask vertical bar Link jobs vertical bar Link submitLink login Table end Table with three columns and ninety-two rows"
Of course, anyone actually using HN with a real screen reader will probably only get the links list from their reader, knowing how useless the supporting markup is (aside from the table layout, HN doesn't use meaningful heading tags).
There are many more reasons not to use tables for layout, but accessibility should be enough of a reason alone to stay away from layout tables.
Can you illustrate what you mean?
<strong>India outsourcing back to USA</strong>
<div class="stats"> ... </div>
And from almost five years ago: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=50159
Bigger nitpick: I'd rather have a fix for functionality than for loading some extra data. The "next" page problem still occurs, and it would be nice to know when someone responds to a comment.
It also doesn't address the 'mostly want other people to be aware of it' part though.
I've assumed email address for now, let's see if I'm right!
1. Sign up for an account at http://notifo.com
2. Download one or more of their client applications here: http://notifo.com/mobile_apps and enter your details
3. Enter your notifo username in the box on your HN profile page.
I think the reason this facility exists here on HN is because Notifo is a Y Combinator company.
unfortunately, given that i have a Windows Phone and they only seem to have completed an iPhone app, this doesn’t cut it for me personally (and i’m assuming for many others on Android as well). also, it seems they’ve closed down, so no hopes for further support coming anytime soon, if ever: http://blog.notifo.com/notifo
and i get that it was a YC Company and hence it probably made sense to feature them there (as it really could have added value to the site if widely adopted) but, as it’s gone, i really think the optimal solution would be to replace it with something like HN Notify which is platform agnostic (just need an email).
Indeed, something like HN notify would seem to be the go for me now also.
Thanks for the info, sad to hear the company has gone under.
Are you talking about the "link expired" error that pops up when you want to go to the next page?
▲ - U+25B2 BLACK UP-POINTING TRIANGLE
▼ - U+25BC BLACK DOWN-POINTING TRIANGLE
Is that strictly true? My thinking is that you may be able to express something in less notation, but the browser may have to calculate more to render it (such additional reflows or CSS lookups). Just saying. Reality is that it probably will be faster.
But I like the point that table-less designs do save on bandwidth and maintainability.
So you're advocating making the site genuinely unusable for me.
His updated version of Hacker News isn't really that complex or incompatible with older browsers.
It would be nice to see if the HN alternative worked.
Now when I get some time a little later I can have a look at the source and see what's going on.
1) It is hard to tell what has changed recently (new comments, votes, changes in ranking)
2) The information is kind of crammed together and not lined up.
3) I hit refresh every few minutes
Am not a a designer, so had my son who has an eye for it help out on styling: http://hn4d.com/
Your site: http://imgur.com/ZYObO
Without the font-weight rule: http://imgur.com/qfEaz
As a general rule, just be as concise as possible. `.nav ul.actions li a` could be turned into `.actions a` as long as it's alright for the .action anchor tags not in the .nav element to have the same style. But if you use .actions elsewhere and want the .actions list to look different in .nav, that's fine.
If you made the same point but removed the "should feel bad" bit, the point would be even better.
Show the latest startups they're incubating, the best advice from their investors, that would be the best place to follow up on what's going on over there.
One last thing, add a little red envelope to the header and you win my upvote.
Maybe an unordered list would work even better.
The point is, tables are good for what they are made for: tabular data.
We don't have to cheat anymore, CSS and HTML have had moved forward a lot.
Changing HN wouldn't be too much work and would help keep it with the times.
* Comments are allowed to get too wide for easy reading.
* OP text color is too uncontrasted from the background.
Other than that, I don't see a reason why it needs a revamp.
IIRC this was intentional - the low contrast was meant to make people keep their message to the point instead of posting screeds of text in "self posts". If you want to say something meaningful you should host it off-site, if you want to discuss something with the community you should follow up in the comment thread.
I don't have strong feelings either way, though I do tend to select the text for better contrast when it gets long.
Had the author attacked the threaded comment page (which might actually benefit from using nested lists) rather than the tabular submissions page, I might be less confused.
As it stands though, I find I'm confronted with the least convincing attack on tables I've seen in a while (and I tend to put myself in the "CSS over tables" camp normally).
That's interesting that you claim it is more verbose. The author measured the before-and-after and came up with these numbers:
> Since he (and so many others) are all about the numbers, how's this for a number:
> Original HN website: 26087 characters long.
> My rewrite: 3587 characters long.
> That is some massive savings. This will not only be lighter down the wire, but the browser will render it faster because it has less to do.
Where is your evidence that the table layout is clear and concise, and where is your evidence that using CSS makes it more verbose? It looks exactly opposite to me.
The infinite reasons for not doing this:
1) PG has much more important things to do.
2) It would break every other hack ever done based on HN.
3) Recurs back to 1.
This is what I see when I visit that page in FF14 on Kubuntu - http://imgur.com/DTf8t.
The links, eg to the updated HN, are plain text without JS enabled. Had me wondering for several minutes a) how the designer of the page could possibly be criticising someone elses design and b) how everyone else was managing to see the new HN design (yes if I'd bothered to read it I'd have seen the link text but I was scanning for a link to view the work).