Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

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Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the there-would-be-this-picture-of-a-cat dept.

Announcements 2219

We've had only a few major redesigns since 1997; we think it's time for another. But we really do take to heart the comments you've made about the look and functionality of the beta site that houses Slashdot's future look. So let's all slow down. Right now, we're directing 25 percent of non-logged-in users to the beta; it's a significant number, but it's the best way for us to test drive this new design, to have you show us what pieces need to be fixed, and how. If you want to move back to Classic Slashdot, that path is available: from the Slashdot Beta page, you just need to select the "Slashdot Classic" link from the footer (or this link). We're committed to keep you informed of the plans as changes are implemented; we can't promise that every user will like every change, but we don't want anything to come as a surprise. Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready. And — okay, we've got it — it's not ready. We have work to do on four big areas: feature parity (especially for commenting); the overall UI, especially in terms of information density and headline scanning; plain old bugs; and, lastly, the need for a better framework for communicating about the How and the Why of this process. Some of you have suggested we're not listening; on the contrary, some of us are 'listening' pretty much full-time. We're keeping you informed of this process, because we're a community and we want to take everyone with us. But, yes, we're trying something new. Why? We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience. We want to give our current audience the space where they are comfortable. And we want a platform where we can experiment with different views of both comments and stories. It's not an either/or. It's going to be both. If we haven't communicated that well enough, consider this post a first step to fixing that. And in the meantime, we're not sorry to have received a flood of feedback, most of it specific, constructive and substantive. Please keep it coming. We will be adding more specific info here in the days to come.

cancel ×

2219 comments

Why? (5, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | about 6 months ago | (#46180049)

Why say anything it isn't like you are going to listen or act on our concerns.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46180085)

Cue the flood of flame . . .

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 6 months ago | (#46180169)

Hi, a couple thoughts here. First, thanks to timothy for reaching out like this - it's the result of the #fuckbeta protest, so good job to everybody. But if we have a better avenue for communicating our concerns then we can tone down the protesting I think. At least maybe not destroy the comment threads any more.

My biggest concern for the beta is it seems to destroy the tools needed for a robust commenting and conversation, including notification of new posts, easy ways to quote prior posts, easy way to link directly to comments, etc. If this is going to be reintegrated for sure (and maybe expanded?) then I'm probably cool with it.

Maybe this is a better approach? what would you need to be cool with the beta?

inb4 shill: i doubt that if you look at my posting history you could accuse me of being a shill. :ducks:

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 months ago | (#46180259)

My biggest concern is that frankly, the beta just plain sucks. It sucks in every single possible way. I get that they're saying it isn't ready, but the concern for many of us isn't just that the beta is just bloody horrible now, but that the direction its going suggests that it will never be an adequate replacement for the current "classic" Slashdot.

Re:Why? (1, Flamebait)

fatphil (181876) | about 6 months ago | (#46180349)

But apart from the data being presented, the style in which it's presented, and the user's interaction with that data, there's basically very little wrong?

All we need is a picture of Alice Hill's head on a spike as the logo, and it would be perfect.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

EL_mal0 (777947) | about 6 months ago | (#46180277)

My biggest concern for the beta is it seems to destroy the tools needed for a robust commenting and conversation, including notification of new posts, easy ways to quote prior posts, easy way to link directly to comments, etc. If this is going to be reintegrated for sure (and maybe expanded?) then I'm probably cool with it.

This shortcoming was recognized and pointed out again and again back in October when they revealed the beta. Now here we sit five months on with the same problems. That's why I have little hope that anything substantive will be done to keep the current community.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Narnie (1349029) | about 6 months ago | (#46180337)

Since there's some constructive comments here, I'd like to add my own:

NO JAVASCRIPT!!!

Sorry for shouting, but I have old PCs at home that choke on javascript. I'd rather not resort to viewing /. through noscript if I can avoid it because I understand ad revenues are import to funding /.

At least have a light version for alternative browser like lynx as many users don't have access to graphical browsers where they work.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180111)

Exactly. If they were really listening they would just stop doing what they're doing. Instead of just plowing forward pretending to listen.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

dosius (230542) | about 6 months ago | (#46180127)

If they gave a flip about what we thought about the site, it would probably look the same as it did 10 years ago. If it ain't broke, etc.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180221)

True. It seems that every 5 or so years they just feel like they need to rewrite the site rather than just enhancing and fixing the bugs and what already exists. I still laugh about how they were never able to fix the pagination bugs in the original discussion. So instead they just wrote the crappy Ajaxy shit we have now. I love the saddest part is that still better than the discussion in the beta shit.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 months ago | (#46180341)

Indeed. What they're doing to Slashdot is so symptomatic of the way web developers work, and indeed the whole modern software industry works. There's no notion of evolutionary change, of fixing bugs, adding enhancements in a controlled manner but with an eye towards familiarity and ease of use.

Why this need for a radical departure?

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about 6 months ago | (#46180329)

Really, it's simple - more Unicode support, less OMG! Ponies!!!

slashdot sucks now, as if it hasn't sucked for yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180121)

Truth.

The title says it all. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180331)

The title calls us their "Audience". This is the core of the problem. They think they are running CNN. They do not understand that we are their contributors, their community, not their audience. Their articles are day-late dollar-short shit. We are the authors of the good part of the site, they are the chalkboard.

This is an attitude change that came with Dice, Malda never looked at Slashdot that way. And regardless of the beta, if they don't change that outlook Slashdot will die.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180343)

This post indicates that our concerns have been heard. Give them a chance. Clearly discussions are taking place and some changes will be made. Whether those changes will be acceptable to the community can only be judged after we have seen them; but in view of this post it is most unfair to say that our concerns have not been heard. Why do you suppose they used the megaphone graphic?

Fuck beta! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180051)

Fuck this beta...fuck it hard with a rotten carrot.

holy shit first post again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180055)

yayyyyyy

Fuck Beta (-1, Flamebait)

PGC (880972) | about 6 months ago | (#46180057)

Dear poster, as you might have noticed: the readers are already "keeping it coming". Perhaps the readers haven't thoroughly communicated it enough: "Fuck Beta".

Re:Fuck Beta (-1, Flamebait)

fatphil (181876) | about 6 months ago | (#46180271)

But they're now saying "slow down".

I hereby promise no more than 15 flames per story, until either (a) Slashdot beta is buried, and there's an apology, an admission of incompetence, and the head of Alice Hill on a plate; or (b) Slashdot? What's that?

Fuck slashdot beta.

Slashdot BETA Sucks. (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 months ago | (#46180059)

Slashdot BETA Sucks.

Your post here is a steaming pile because you know "Timothy" that You folks have absolutely NO intention of backing away from the new un-needed and useless "design" for the sake of "design" design. "Web Designers" and marketers have a lot in common, they want to foist "pretty" shit that serves no real benefit.

Hopfully Bruce Perens will reserect his Slashdot alternative that failed when Slashdot didn't SUCK as much as it does now.

Join the boycott 10-17 February!

Trying to clone Digg version 4? (4, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | about 6 months ago | (#46180141)

Well I guess on the bright side when Digg did that, their infrastructure costs could have gone way down as they lost most of their users and layed off 37% of their staff.

Re:Slashdot BETA Sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180247)

Joined.

And that's exactly what I asked for. (5, Insightful)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 6 months ago | (#46180061)

Thank you for acknowledging us. I'd like to see a new SlashDot that's even better than the old. Please let us help you define it.

You, sir, are an... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180145)

Fucking ass kissing moron.

Re:And that's exactly what I asked for. (5, Insightful)

EL_mal0 (777947) | about 6 months ago | (#46180231)

I agree that if /. is changed, it should change for the better. My big question is why should we believe you're listening now? At the beta rollout in October you solicited comments about what to improve on the beta. The users responded with >1100 comments and lots of emails. However, many of the same problems (most notably a broken comment system) are still there. Five months and functionality that is foundational to the way people use this site is still not there.

The folks at /. might be listening, but are they going to do anything with what they hear?

Re:And that's exactly what I asked for. (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 6 months ago | (#46180245)

We'd all like that, but why start from the crap-fest that is the beta site when the classic site is already running pretty well? All that wasted effort on the beta could have been put into the classic code base and the every change could have been a genuine improvement, not a change for the worse.

Re:And that's exactly what I asked for. (4, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 6 months ago | (#46180299)

Here is a thought. Ask the users, what they want, then give it to them.
Use the Slashdot poll for something useful for a once. Put the top requested features, in a poll, and use the results to help shape your development cycle.

Those are just off the top of my head.

Okay that is better (5, Insightful)

esldude (1157749) | about 6 months ago | (#46180063)

And you can all thank me for sending my feedback in as this appeared shortly thereafter. And I am kidding of course, just a coincidence. Hopefully this isn't just lip service as so often the case in these situations. Sorry for the skepticism. But this is a good response finally by the people behind the current slashdot.

No. (5, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about 6 months ago | (#46180065)

I don't think you have understood. We don't want you to slow down. We want you to stop; reverse; appologise for being so out of touch with your user base; and promise to never do anything so stupid again.

Re:No. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180197)

.. and don't call us just "Audience"!

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

maliqua (1316471) | about 6 months ago | (#46180211)

that's pretty much it, if you do insist on redesigning slashdot, at least keep it slashdot, this change was drastic and generic. we dont need another news site thats exactly like all the other news sites, we want this site, as is if you really really want to change a font somewhere sure, go nuts tinker that css a little bit

but do not expect us to react well to turning this site into generic garbage.

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#46180317)

When they say "we can't promise that every user will like every change", I think they mean "we won't promise that a majority will like the change".

The solution is simple: can Beta as a failure. Be grown-up enough to admit that it did not work, and start again from scratch, designing with the contributors in mind. You know, the guys who provide the majority of the content people come here for - the discussions.
It takes courage to admit that you've been wrong. That would be respected. But polishing a turd is not going to win anyone's admiration, or even sympathy.

Hey theres a new beta slashdot? (5, Funny)

jobsagoodun (669748) | about 6 months ago | (#46180071)

How do I check it out? Anyone got a link, or care to comment on if its any good or not?

Re:Hey theres a new beta slashdot? (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 6 months ago | (#46180091)

I hear it's best viewed in Internet Explorer.

Re:Hey theres a new beta slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180175)

W3M for the win!

Re:Hey theres a new beta slashdot? (-1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 months ago | (#46180187)

How do I check it out? Anyone got a link, or care to comment on if its any good or not?

Worked for Dice long? When you pucker your lips, you can suck harder.

Re:Hey theres a new beta slashdot? (1)

PGC (880972) | about 6 months ago | (#46180257)

+5 funny.

Hey im game (4, Insightful)

Infestedkudzu (2557914) | about 6 months ago | (#46180073)

you give us a classic page for good option and you can do what you want.

Just be honest - it's not for *US* (5, Insightful)

drsmack1 (698392) | about 6 months ago | (#46180089)

It seems to me that the one unifying opinion of those critical of the changes is that *no changes are necessary*. So, clearly this is NOT something that is meant to benefit the users - it's more likely part of some monetization plan.

Just admit it and move on - stop blowing smoke up our asses like our opinion actually matters. Maybe it did once, but that hasn't been the case for quite a while now.

Re:Just be honest - it's not for *US* (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 6 months ago | (#46180213)

Can someone from the /. team explain what exactly is wrong with the Classic site and why it can't be fixed? I just don't see why you had to start over with a completely new design when the old one works so well. A few tweaks is all that is needed.

Patch Notes (5, Interesting)

h4x0t (1245872) | about 6 months ago | (#46180095)

Please detail what you think you are changing other than UI. We're technical people and we don't like change for the sake of change, or, even worse, aesthetics only.

Re:Patch Notes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180161)

I don't mind change for aesthetics as long as it doesn't get in the way of usability and functionality.

Re:Patch Notes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180215)

Revenue from ads. That what is changing.

why should we trust you? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180099)

Every site that has gone beta (read YAHOO) has become worse (not better). Eventually, we are forced to upgrade to a slower, crappy, bloated site with evermore javascript!!! THANKS -- BUT NOT THANKS!

Re:why should we trust you? (2)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about 6 months ago | (#46180153)

Arguably Google Betas were better and got worse when they went 1.0... which is really saying that no matter what label or lipstick you put on it, things go to tell when they get corporate.

Did you not see Wayne's World? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180105)

Did you not see Wayne's World?

MBAs do not always make things better.

Especially cult, underground things. Things that have historical, sentimental value and fly in the face of modern corporately-produced bafflegab.

Can't you guys stick to ruining Thinkgeek? Or do you have action items to ruin every brand you manage by Q2 2014?

Re: Did you not see Wayne's World? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180325)

Slashdot has no affiliation with ThinkGeek anymore - Slashdot was sold so the owners of ThinkGeek could focus all their efforts on destroying a single brand.

"isn't going away until..." (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180107)

... If classic slashdot goes away then I will stop visiting slashdot. Partly out of the way this has been handled, but partly because "beta" slashdot doesn't work properly without javascript.

If you don't support people who don't wish to have needless code execution on their machine - then I am not visiting. Simple.

Fuck Beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180113)

Keep Classic and put Beta in the footer.

Meh. (4, Insightful)

Obijon70 (2755699) | about 6 months ago | (#46180123)

No need to fix that which is not broken - new is not necessarily better. Remember "New" Coke?

Re:Meh. (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 6 months ago | (#46180283)

These days "new and improved" usually means "we found a way to increase our profits by making it worse".

Time to leave, Slashdot is dead. (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 6 months ago | (#46180125)

It's been interesting and fun since 1999, but now it's not even amusing.

Last post.

Look at Digg as your future. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180131)

Digg tried this exact same thing so they could sell better analytics. Digg died. You want tailored stories so you can get even more detailed info. So sad. You're already committed to this Death March

Is it really that difficult (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180133)

Is it really that difficult to have both forever? If someone wants classic, they can pick classic, and if they want beta, they can pick beta. Up for coin throw is what the default for AC is, but surely even that can be just a small cookie for that one theme setting.

And here is the problem (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about 6 months ago | (#46180137)

We want to give our current audience the space where they are comfortable.

This is the fundamental problem between how the corporate overlords think and how the community thinks. Until this difference is resolved you will get the continual complaints and the eventual mass exodus. We are a community. We are not an audience.

I submit stories. I read stories. I add comments. I moderate comments. I am the reason that there is ad revenue.

I am Slashdot.

OMG PONIES!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180139)

Beta Sucks!!!!

Tempest in a teapot (3, Insightful)

tylersoze (789256) | about 6 months ago | (#46180143)

Ah well it wouldn't be the internet without people bitching about what appears, to me at least, be a relatively minor website redesign (uh a bigger font and more white space basically?) of a site that's pretty much just a sequential listing of stories with links and comments anyway.

Re:Tempest in a teapot (5, Informative)

PGC (880972) | about 6 months ago | (#46180199)

You misunderstand. Slashdot is not a site about stories and/or links. It is about the comments and only about the comments. Nobody gives a sh*t about the articles themselves. Mess with the comments, then you mess with the user-base.

Re:Tempest in a teapot (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 6 months ago | (#46180327)

Exactly. The reason no-one RTFA is because it's usually shit, and they probably read it two days ago anyway. The comments are the interesting bit. Slashdot isn't a news site, it's a debate site.

"Slashdot Classic" link not available in the foote (1)

BigT (70780) | about 6 months ago | (#46180149)

I'm not seeing the link for "Slashdot Classic" in the footer. I'm in an older browser (not by choice), so I expect some things to be broken, but the "ripcord" to a working version of the site needs to be easily available.

Another problem. (1)

BigT (70780) | about 6 months ago | (#46180239)

Also, the character limit for the subject appears to be way too small.

  I do like the fact that comments preview and post without reloading the page.

Credit where credit is due (4, Insightful)

sandbagger (654585) | about 6 months ago | (#46180157)

Okay, they've said they're applying the brakes so don't attack then for doing what you want.

two small bits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180159)

1. Afaict, Slashdot Beta doesn't show posters' sigs. Sigs aren't exactly essential content, but are a good way to get some idea of what a person does outside of Slashdot. So I think they're helpful from a community perspective (same reason email has them).

2. This is more subjective, but basically Slashdot Beta looks too much like all the other blog sites. The commenting system in particular. Things like "3 minutes ago" instead of an actual timestamp. The "load more" thing. Also the moderation system seems not to be working properly (why I am seeing all these 0-score comments when not logged in?). Etc.

Re:two small bits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180305)

I've never seen a signature in the 9 years or so I've been reading and posting AC here.

Why not always keep classic as an option? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180163)

Why not always keep classic as an option?

Why change it? (2)

DevilM (191311) | about 6 months ago | (#46180171)

I don't get it. Why change it at all? Sure it could be better, but change for change sake doesn't make a lot of sense.

Re:Why change it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180315)

software engineers there need reasons to justify their jobs

In the spirit of /... (1)

freakingme (1244996) | about 6 months ago | (#46180173)

TL;DR

Premature rollout? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180183)

Long-time lurker here (since iGoogle showed up, with Slashdot addon by default).

Why roll out the news part first if the commenting system is what makes Slashdot worth visiting? Why make the facade shiny and use a pile of s**t instead of what works?

And also (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180223)

Did you hire the database guy from healthcare.gov to design Beta?

If it isn't broke don't fix it. (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | about 6 months ago | (#46180191)

If you don't keep the old Slashdot, I'm deleting my account and not coming back.
Do you understand?

Re:If it isn't broke don't fix it. (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | about 6 months ago | (#46180263)

Meh, OK so since 1997, you haven't implemented account deletion. Perhaps this is a feature to consider working on before making the look and feel of the site frou-frou.

Outlook Syncing with iPhone Keeps Phone Records (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180195)

Turns out that any number you type into your iphone ends up on Microsoft's servers or has a possibility to end up there when you use your outlook.com account with your iphone mail program. Creepy.

Comments Are The Content (4, Insightful)

mugnyte (203225) | about 6 months ago | (#46180201)

Subject is rule #1.
Don't put anything in the way of that.

"Shareable by a wider audience" is too vague. What is difficult with the current design?

Solved with one very easy decision... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180205)

...keep the classic option permanently! How fucking hard is that?
Stop trying to force shit on people!
Microsoft did the same shit taking away the start menu. Give people who don't want to change the fucking option!! It's not fucking rocket science!!!!

FUCK BETA (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180207)

I want the classic to be the _default_. A lot of the time I read from computers that are not my own and don't trust, so don't login. I don't want to search for a link hidden in the footer to make the site readable.

FUCK BETA! and FUCK TIMOTHY for not having any line breaks, guess the white space was all used up on the FUCK BETA site.

Where is the opinion survey ? (1)

axis_omega (771398) | about 6 months ago | (#46180217)

Just put a survey ans you will have some feedback... Although it will be pretty unpleasant feedback, by judging the crowd :) Good luck BTW, you guys who redesign this site will need it so much in this life and in the after one too.

Why not keep classic forever? (5, Insightful)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 6 months ago | (#46180227)

Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready. And — okay, we've got it — it's not ready.

Why are you so inflexible on the idea of keeping classic slashdot *forever*. Think of it as a protected historical landmark in the internet space. To help future generations understand where this 'blogging' thing really came from? Computers are good like that, keep classic.slashdot.org FOREVER and your audience^H^H^H CONTRIBUTORS might stop rallying against you.

Don't like Beta. (4, Insightful)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | about 6 months ago | (#46180229)

I got redirected once. Was once too often. For some reason the current process seems to think that content comes last, and fancy headers, deasign and pages mean more. They don't. The beta page wasted a ton of space, showed me less content, was less clear and more invasive. I did not like it, did not enjoy it.

Why is it somehow we have ended up with people who are making things like Slashdot beta, Microsoft Metro, the new IOS, Gnome. A bunch of people who came out of the worst design schools ever? A bad decade at the schools? We just got unlucky?

I like slashdot, and have been around for a long time. But I'm not your damn plaything. Mess with the site, content and my usage - be warned, I can go away. So can others.

Thanks I guess (2)

harvestsun (2948641) | about 6 months ago | (#46180233)

We have work to do on four big areas: feature parity (especially for commenting); the overall UI, especially in terms of information density and headline scanning; plain old bugs; and, lastly, the need for a better framework for communicating about the How and the Why of this process

Those are exactly the problems I care about. Mainly information density; I want to see the same amount of information on the screen as I did before. Or at least 75%. It's more like 25% right now. Anyway, I'm glad someone is paying attention.

It would have been nice to hear this earlier though. Maybe you do have people *listening* to the complaints, but it would be nice if someone *responded* to them, and in a human manner.

Fuck beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180237)

FUCK
BETA
GO FUCK YOURSELF BETA
no it's not a repetition, fuck you filter.

OK it's like this. Beta should always be an OptIn. Seriously how many articles have been posted on Slashdot condemning companies that force things on their users?

Your goals are diametrically opposed. (5, Insightful)

Nightbrood (6060) | about 6 months ago | (#46180243)

It is nice that you speak about what YOU want. However, in the scheme of things, what you want is diametrically opposed to the community you claim to cherish. The appeal of Slashdot is the pedantry, the technical nature of things, and the overall level of the discussion. If I want to interact with a "wider audience" I can go talk on the Disqus comments that litter CNN, CNBC, etc. Short of having Wiki articles linked to every single in depth commenter's response I don't know how you are going to make things more "accessible" to a "wider" audience.

Also, please stop with calling us your "audience." It is demeaning. If you value our contributions to the functioning of your site so little that you consider us passive players, then I hope you press forward with your train wreck of a beta so that you can see just how much the "audience" actually contributes.

Lastly, tell the MBAs and PR guys/gals to lay off the BS and have a straightforward honest conversation with us. We are far from the drooling idiots you seem to think we are.

Put the "classic" link in the "brand bar" (1)

preflex (1840068) | about 6 months ago | (#46180249)

So the people that hate it (pretty much everyone) can quickly find their way out. I really hate the floating "brand bar", from the user's perspective, it's completely useless. On my android tablet, it's slow as hell and just wastes screen space. Putting the classic link there would at least give me a reason to click it (once).

Let the user decide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180251)

If you want to have a "pretty" version of /. for the idiot masses to eat up, that's fine. We're okay with that. Call it something else, give it a different domain and just link the articles to both sites.
Keep comments separated, for obvious reasons.

Just let your current user base keep viewing the content the way we have for a long time, then we'll be happy and you can still pander to the idiot masses, just under a "cooler" domain name.

We really would like a new interface (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46180253)

You know, exactly like the old interface, but with unicode.

There are lots of things that are annoying about slashdot, but almost none of them are found in the interface. None of them really need changing, except the lack of unicode support. Instead of wasting time trying to change the way slashdot looks when it looks just fine (It's not fancy, but it's clean compared to most of the web and it doesn't waste horrible amounts of space) you should spend the time on unicode. It's not sexy, but it is important.

My God it's bright (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#46180255)

what is with all these bright white layouts nowadays? I can see it's all the rage, but why?

The Real Travesty (2, Offtopic)

darien.train (1752510) | about 6 months ago | (#46180261)

The real travesty has been the constant hijacking of threads with redesign whine. If I had hit the mod point lottery in the past few days the off-topic button would have broken. As someone who gave testing the new design some effort (in a helpful community member beta-test sort of way) I noticed right-away the ability to switch to classic (which they didn't have to do).

I seem to have had this now misguided impression that there was a healthy professional element of the community here who would give constructive feedback but all I've seen is a mob of angry comment children. I hope you all leave when it switches over so we can build anew without you.

Looks okay (1)

ikhider (2837593) | about 6 months ago | (#46180269)

Beta overall is slick, but comments section does not scale well on mobile. I was scrolling through comments on a pretty wide screen phone and the scale of all the connected responses felt awkward. I liked to see larger images on story postings.

Listening? Not too sure. (5, Insightful)

ugen (93902) | about 6 months ago | (#46180275)

In the words of Homer Simpson - "Just because I don't care doesn't mean that I don't understand".

I think the recent slashdot poll was directly tied to the redesign. Slashdot audience is getting older, the crowd is now mid-to later in their careers. I can see that - I've been a consistent reader since 1997.

So, Dice decides it is time to rejuvenate the website. I suspect that the objective is to pare down the number of crusty old coots, who block ads and otherwise freeload, and get the "hip, young" crowd that now hangs on Reddit and what not. It sounds like someone with experience in marketing had a hand in this.

The problem as I see it is that Slashdot is more of a Saab of web/news industry. You have a specific image, and a dedicated customer base. Historically, attempts at rebranding and reinventing oneself, in particular for a company with that kind of background, are generally not successful. This is particularly so when a rebranding is done in such an obvious, hamfisted way.

Dice was never a particularly web-savvy company. I've been using them as long as I've been a slashdot reader. Dice (no offense) is a poorly designed concentrator for all the spammy recruiters out there. It's a bit of a cesspool, but it serves its purpose. However, given their history and performance - it is highly unlikely they have sufficient web/social/marketing expertise to turn this site around.

Slashdot hasn't been as exciting as in the past for a while now. What it needed is fresh ideas, better ways to get involved in duscussion, *more* interactivity and possibly ability to connect among its users (I don't suggest it become a facebook, but it's has a long way to go in improving social side). Slashdot will not, in my view, benefit from gaudy pictures, "web 3.0" design and general dumbing down. You will not get the "hip crowd" and you will lose your current user base. Look at Saab for guidance.

Slashdot is dead! (1)

toygeek (473120) | about 6 months ago | (#46180281)

Long live slashdot!

You're not listening. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180287)

Windows 8 was a UI flop. It doesn't work

Making Slashdot look like Windows 8 is also a flop. It doesn't work. Flat tiles with no contrast and poor organization is not a good idea.

sux (5, Insightful)

tjanke (813633) | about 6 months ago | (#46180289)

The new design adds useless eye candy, makes it harder to skim through the posts to find the ones that interest me. Slashdot works really, really well as-is. Please, please, please, leave well enough alone.

Comment filter (5, Insightful)

javaguy (67183) | about 6 months ago | (#46180309)

I tried the beta this morning. There was no obvious way to show only the comments rated 4* and above. There are ways of seeing funny or insightful posts, but you don't get to control how many.

The new design seems less space efficient. More clicks are required to read stories (including this one).

No plans to change in the near future.

Nice to hear they hear us (3, Insightful)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 6 months ago | (#46180311)

It's nice to finally hear that they hear us, folks. Although this hasn't been handled very well, it sounds like they're trying to improve. So, let's think positive and give 'em another chance. Further cynicism isn't helpful at this point and can only lead to the demise of something that we've enjoyed for a long time. Please don't do that to yourselves.

Thank You For Listening (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 6 months ago | (#46180319)

Thank you for listening, and for taking our passion for this site and its battle-tested interface to heart. I look forward to seeing how serious you are about providing -- at least as an option -- the kind of lean, dense, static UI that made Slashdot work so well for so long.

NNTP over Slashdot! (2)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 6 months ago | (#46180323)

This is kind of a non-committal response. Slashdot is by far the most popular of Dice's 'holdings' but what about the future? There is still no clear position for the people who do not use Javascript, for example.

Let's just all move back to Usenet, like we were accustomed to in the old days. There will never be a redesign, it is decentralized, allows one to ignore any poster, it is non-commercial, and it can not be censored.

Look up Eternal September, after Comcast screwed me over by removing news I have started using their *FREE* service. No binaries but that's OK - Bittorrent has whatever you want anyway.

NNTP FOREVER KNICKERS!

Two comments (4, Insightful)

boristhespider (1678416) | about 6 months ago | (#46180333)

I think I've got reasonable karma on here and the very few who recognise my login probably think I don't post total drivel *all* of the time, so I'd like to put in my two bob's worth. I don't like the beta as it is at the minute. The front page looks fine to me: lots of white space, but I can live with white space and it's no different from other websites, although I could very much do without the constant targetted videos from advertiers; but it's the comments pages that are distinctly compromised compared to the present setup. It's far harder to close an entire thread; it's far harder to close sections and leave others open and see quickly which comments have been added since the last refresh; far less content is onscreen at one time; and the comments screen is far too narrow, which compounds the previous issues. I'm sure that with more reflection I could think of other issues with the comments, but those are probably my greatest complaints.

Over the last few days the comments pages have been increasingly dominated by childish anti-beta messages. I understand these are probably born out of frustration and irritation (even anger on some parts), but they've made the website far less usable than if the beta had been rolled out without argument. This is the flipside of it: no redesign is worth fucking up a website over, and certainly doesn't justify the sheer amount of petulant whining the boards have been filled with.

And that said, over the last couple of days, when I've had mod points I've tended to use them to at least reverse the modding down of people protesting the new beta, since there seem to be no other avenues for people who genuinely care about how the comments sections of slashdot are presented. I have no issue with a redesign, but diminishing the usability of a service is a pretty hamfisted way of increasing its profitability.

Good ol' corporate speak (5, Insightful)

Thanosius (3519547) | about 6 months ago | (#46180335)

I've heard all this shit before - that the guys in charge are listening to your efforts, that your concerns are being taken under advisement and that the end result will something everyone will appreciate. What people here especially hate most of all is fucking corporate speak they've heard a thousand times before and despite from the bottom of their hearts. It's patronizing to the audience who know exactly how things will play out. They always follow the same formula

People complained loudly to Microsoft regarding the all-caps of Visual Studio 2012/13 and Office 2013 during their pre-releases. What happened? They remained there, shouting back at the user in the finals. People complained to Microsoft regarding the lack of contrast between the various elements of the Office 2013 GUI as well as the default eye-melting white theme. What happened? Some very minor tweaks and the same eye-melting theme with minimal contract. They threw in a couple of darker themes which do add more contrast, but also make the software far more drab and miserable looking compared to say Office 2010, which in my mind is a thing of beauty.

Companies don't care. They don't give a shit unless there's a real threat to their bottom line. I'm honestly surprised though that the powers that be aren't scrambling to push out the news that they're throwing away the beta as a failed experiment before more people sign off permanently and move to greener pastures.

This one is easy to mitigate (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46180345)

Publish a log where it is easy for one to see what flaw does a new change amend, that way we can discuss the issues separately and you can better explain your reasoning.

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