Skip to main content

Dear kos:

If Daily Kos is anything like most other major websites these days -- and in this respect, at least, I'm hoping that it's not -- you're in the process of redesigning the site to be more "tablet-friendly." What I'm discovering lately, as I give up in frustration on various other sites, is that "tablet-friendly" can also be taken to mean "desktop-/laptop-hostile."

A couple of days ago, Facebook broke Facebook. It redesigned the News Feed to be "tablet-friendly," which is to say, suddenly pictures are huge, typefaces are huge, only two or three status updates fit on a single screen, and you have to scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll to read just the last few hours of updates. It's a pain in the ass and murder on my eyes, which are wearing themselves out searching frantically for the words wedged into the cracks between the giant pictures. Facebook has made a lot of obnoxious changes in the past, many of which made me want to quit using the site in protest. This one isn't going to make me quit using Facebook in protest -- it's going to make me quit using it simply because I can no longer stand to use it for more than about 45 seconds at a time.

The new Facebook News Feed: because you don't have the attention span for more than one story at a time.
Meanwhile, some few months ago, Kinja/Gawker changed its page layout and commenting system to include a strange new comment-threading system that I still don't fully understand and to include tablety elements like a rotating link spotlight in the upper left corner. Recently, to deal with an unrelated problem, I had to clear my cache and cookies; ever since then, I can't log in using my Burner key. (I use Burner instead of Facebook, Google, etc., for the sake of privacy.) When I try, using the login lightbox, I get a "Login successful" message -- and then I'm still not logged in. What's more, suddenly the rotating link spotlight becomes a rotating headline spotlight that includes no links. It's been two weeks since I got a message from the help desk, which doesn't seem to care.

It's not as though I'm using a pile of antiquated junk: I'm running the latest version of Firefox in the second-latest version of Windows, on a laptop that I obtained new seven months ago. (Unless any technology less bleeding-edge than a tablet is considered antiquated junk now, which would disappoint me but not surprise me.)

These are just symptoms of a greater problem in the culture of the Internet industry, which seems to forget that a computer (or a tablet or a smartphone) is, first and foremost, a tool. It's not a toy, it's not a television, and it's not a magic lamp. It's a device that people use to do things -- which is why we're called "users." And the applications that programmers design for this tool are like attachments for this tool, or tools in their own right. People learn to use them, then get used to how they work and how they feel. This is no less true when the purpose is superficially trivial -- recreation or socialization -- than when it's serious information-gathering or business productivity.

If you were a machinist, a woodworker, a surgeon or a chef, and you had your own tools and were used to how these tools functioned and felt, and one day the manufacturer of those tools stole into your workplace and replaced all of them with new ones that looked, felt and functioned differently -- and told you, moreover, that you could never have the old ones back -- you'd be outraged, wouldn't you? And rightly so: This would be an unacceptable and unconscionable disruption of your work. Yet the companies that produce online applications do this all the time, some as often as every six months. And we all know from ample experience that once an application changes, however disruptive the change, it never, ever goes back to the way it was.

So I'm asking you (and every other Kossack who works in this industry) before you make whatever changes you're contemplating: Think of all your users, not just the early adopters. Consider that desktop and laptop owners use their information tools very differently from how tablet and smartphone owners use theirs -- horizontality vs. verticality being a critically important one, but also only one of many. Remember that much of the whiz-bang code that underlies the tablet experience doesn't work in the software and operating systems that many of us desktop and laptop users are still running. And remember also that while many users, perhaps even a majority of users, are visually oriented and respond primarily to pictures, more than a handful of us are verbally oriented and respond primarily to words, and when we can't find the words, or when the words are dominated and crowded out by giant pictures, we lose the ability to find the information we're looking for on the page, and we get frustrated and leave.

Thank you.

Originally posted to Geenius at Wrok on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by Cranky Users.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (238+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CroneWit, weck, JoeEngineer, jamess, PJEvans, ontheleftcoast, Naniboujou, Miss Blue, Mogolori, mslat27, claude, BoiseBlue, slksfca, buckstop, DRo, zerelda, Sylv, NearlyNormal, hbk, 1066hastings, schumann, Railfan, quill, AshesAllFallDown, Pirogue, raboof, emmasnacker, pvasileff, Bluefin, northerntier, Lily O Lady, klompendanser, PhilJD, superfly, onionjim, Lost and Found, skralyx, chrississippi, JamieG from Md, journeyman, Mr Robert, badscience, Walker22, hester, jwinIL14, The Geogre, fiercefilms, Wendy Slammo, Sal Bovoso, Marihilda, akeitz, HedwigKos, triv33, NoMoreLies, Raggedy Ann, mollyd, houyhnhnm, JeffW, Wee Mama, Cofcos, Linda1961, Terre, Blue Bronc, rat racer, Brown Thrasher, here4tehbeer, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, cotterperson, ozsea1, No one gets out alive, elfling, Liberal Thinking, lostinamerica, Chaddiwicker, DeadHead, Richard Villiers, Tunk, begone, peacestpete, vivian darkbloom, Catskill Julie, Got a Grip, sydneyluv, psnyder, mapamp, where4art, Teiresias70, wasatch, miscanthus, mkor7, jazzmaniac, Kalil, IL clb, Doctor Who, Observerinvancouver, cpresley, jlmbrnprof, thanatokephaloides, Deward Hastings, lineatus, rbird, soarbird, Lying eyes, slowbutsure, Sun Tzu, chicating, bsmechanic, markthshark, high uintas, EdSF, TracieLynn, Catesby, Bernie68, BlueMississippi, dagolfnut, tapestry, asterkitty, IndieGuy, Audri, Oaktown Girl, beth meacham, PsychoSavannah, BlackSheep1, jan4insight, science nerd, kevinpdx, MadEye, Simplify, seefleur, mattc129, Kevskos, nuclear winter solstice, peachcreek, CA Nana, banjolele, eagleray, belinda ridgewood, flowerfarmer, turdraker, Hellstrom, sele, Smoh, broths, RenMin, jasan, Knucklehead, Senor Unoball, FiredUpInCA, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, howabout, Via Chicago, chuckvw, Kentucky Kid, Matt Z, lorikay4, dadadata, I give in to sin, SeaTurtle, lunachickie, oslyn7, TrueBlueMajority, blueoasis, Ekaterin, dmhlt 66, kaliope, Diana in NoVa, radical simplicity, CaliSista, Crabby Abbey, lu3, revsue, Dave in Northridge, Shockwave, Radiowalla, 42, dsb, Cassandra Waites, Jollie Ollie Orange, BleacherBum153, marleycat, tle, DavidMS, Proud Mom and Grandma, koosah, Thunder, cville townie, j7915, GreyHawk, MJ via Chicago, MNGlasnant, carpunder, gloriana, wintergreen8694, Mr Teem, poison kitchen, northcountry21st, bob in ny, Pluto, flitedocnm, chimene, Alfred E Newman, out of left field, rogerdaddy, Joe Bob, skrekk, riverlover, pgm 01, Bluesee, ladybug53, Pandora, sawgrass727, Tinfoil Hat, davidincleveland, Jaimas, rmonroe, SpamNunn, HeartlandLiberal, hazzcon, Stripe, hooper, sandblaster, Robynhood too, kharma, MKinTN, hlsmlane, marathon, boran2, annan, hubcap, HiKa, bewild, RAST, splashy, milkbone, papercut, Larsstephens, side pocket, phenry

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:57:15 AM PDT

  •  we don't all (109+ / 0-)

    want to buy new hardware every year, when the old stuff works just fine. A hella lot of us can't afford to buy new hardware.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:12:25 AM PDT

  •  Agree, thanks (22+ / 0-)

    General comment on all this (not DKos):

    General trendline with stuff these days seem to be a combination of dumbing-down and taking more responsibility out of the user's hands: "You did't really mean what you entered, doout of the user's hands  you? We know better that you what you must have meant, so we'll go with that." The resulting atmosphere suffocating and stultifying.

    That said, I have to go out and acquire (I guess) a tablet next week. Can no longer keep up with my job absent some kind of mobile device.

  •  Bravo (26+ / 0-)

    Several sites I'm on are now a pain in the ass to deal with, after going "mobile-friendly".  

    I totally agree with every point you've made - tipped and recced.

    Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine -8.00,-5.79

    by Miss Blue on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:20:10 AM PDT

  •  The problem is percentages indicate (13+ / 0-)

    Tablet/mobile format is going to supersede pc use. If it hasn't already. I've been limited to that format for nearly a year now and my ability to not only use this site, but also doing the reciprocal work of republishing posts, has been severely curtailed. Something I'm sure Kos feels in his wallet as people are not able to have as many stories, not only mine, hit their lists.

    It is a conundrum. And again why we need standardization of programming languages. The free market broke this by making communication a patentable commodity.

    For a similar analogy on the growth of new technology in a captitalist format needing standardization look at the Railroads in this country. Ironically that time period was called the guilded age.

  •  I have an iPad mini and I hate tablet design (12+ / 0-)

    I always click back onto the desktop format.

    the woman who is easily irritated

    by chicago minx on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:25:44 AM PDT

  •  The existing Daily Kos format (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29

    simply does not work in a mobile environment for anything other than passive reading. The reality of the tech world has always been rapid change. You either keep up with it or you become extinct.

    Every time that Daily Kos has gone through a software conversion there has been a string of diaries like this claiming that any kind of change at all means doom. It hasn't yet. People adapt while they are grumbling.

    There are still people around here who think that the entire site should be geared to limitations of a dialup connection. The desktop PC is on its way to technology oblivion.

  •  because of course we all can just (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, PsychoSavannah, Bluefin, Emmy

    run out and BUY something new.

    Face it.  Marcos lives in one of the richest villages in one of the richest metro areas in the world.  What insight could he possibly have of the realities of existence for most people struggling to get by?

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:34:32 AM PDT

  •  Responsive design (19+ / 0-)

    Stop me if you know this: There's a concept in web design called "Responsive design" that looks at the information your device sends to the web server, including screen size, and formats the web page accordingly. Many sites these days are using responsive design to work out whether the end user is viewing a web page on a tablet, phone or PC monitor and format the page appropriately. For example, with responsive design Daily Kos might look the way it does now on a PC monitor, but viewed on a phone it might just show the summaries of the front page articles on the landing page and have buttons to access the rec list/recent diaries sidebar.

    If Kos is redesigning the site and has a good web team, they'll use responsive design to make the site look good no matter what you're viewing it on. If not, eventually he'll have to hire a good web team to fix it.

    So this West Virginian walks into a bar and says, "Fix me a Green River."

    by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:39:28 AM PDT

    •  What you're talking about is exactly what's needed (11+ / 0-)

      With the ability to tell the difference between a desktop or laptop on the one hand and a tablet or smartphone on the other, to force a tablet style on all users is simply lazy design. The right movement is from desktop/laptop-only to desktop/laptop plus tablet/smartphone, not to tablet/smartphone-only to the detriment of desktop/laptop.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:43:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, forcing one style is silly (6+ / 0-)

        as anyone who has ever tried to view a desktop-only page on a phone can attest. In the grand scheme of things, responsive design is a little more work because you have to do the layout for several different formats and write the CSS (and possibly Javascript) code to render the layout for each template you want to display. DK has several different templates (front page, article, search form, etc.) so each page will have to be given the responsive treatment, but once that work is done Kos will end up with happier viewers, which results in more page views, which results in better advertising rates, which results in more money for Kos. So it's worth the effort.

        So this West Virginian walks into a bar and says, "Fix me a Green River."

        by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:06:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It comes down to a business investment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides

          decision about who you think your market is.

          •  In another context (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1

            that's called "redlining." Just saying.

            "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

            by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:46:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh no it is not. (0+ / 0-)

              The grocery store decides whether or not it wants to carry some specialty product that only a couple of its customers ever buy. All businesses have to define their markets.

              Government regulations such as those that define redlining are based only on constitutionally prohibited discrimination. I really doubt that SCOTUS is likely to find that PC users qualify as a protected class.  

          •  Daily Kos's market (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sandblaster
            It comes down to a business investment decision about who you think your market is.
            Methinks the responses to this diary (and the diary itself) show clearly that the market, in the case of Daily Kos, is "all of the above".

            So the real business decision is: code for wide-range support now, while in the principal development phase (little to no additional cost as the product is in R&D anyway) or re-code to recapture lost market segments after the discovery is made that loyal users have been lost due to the change (massively more expensive).

            Genius at Wrok is applying good business sense and good intelligence by wisely suggesting wide-range support of some kind now. It's in everybody's best interests, including the business interests of Daily Kos.

            My email provider (frii.com) didn't do this with its supposed email "upgrade", and they're still paying for it and still losing customers because of it.

            We don't want that happening to Daily Kos.

            "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

            by thanatokephaloides on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:06:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  As long as the ability exists to override it. (5+ / 0-)

      Lots of websites solve the "how to handle small screens" problem by simply removing important features from the mobile versions of their content so it's literally not sent to the browser if it thinks your browser is on a mobile device.  That's not acceptable.

      Also, idiotically, youtube has a category for "block this content from mobile phones".  Why?  Because some content makers want to tie their content's viewability to vertical control of the device used to view it.

      The ability to format the content depending on the browser is a very commonly misused technology that is actually applied to control whether or not you even GET the content, not just what it looks like when you get it.

      •  Depends on the content (9+ / 0-)

        For instance, if I were designing the mobile layout for Daily Kos I would leave the pictures off for phones–anything below, say, 801px wide. Maybe I'd do it for tablets too. The reason for this makes sense: There are a lot of people like me who do not have unlimited data plans, who want to see the content and don't really need to see that same carnival-clowns graphic again that keeps coming up on the front page. Especially if it costs them money. However, I would have a button that says "Load this picture" because the comics pages are kind of pointless without actually being able to see the comic, or there may be a chart or graphic that illustrates the story.

        Bad web design happens. It happens a lot. It's really easy to make a bad web design if you're lazy (and sometimes if you're not). Like Sturgeon said, 94% of everything is crap, and that includes web design. The people who really want to be seen do what they can to get into that six percent that isn't crap. Hopefully Kos is smart enough to do that.

        So this West Virginian walks into a bar and says, "Fix me a Green River."

        by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:58:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  responsive design (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catwho
      If Kos is redesigning the site and has a good web team, they'll use responsive design to make the site look good no matter what you're viewing it on. If not, eventually he'll have to hire a good web team to fix it.
      That's the most important reason Genius at Wrok wrote this diary.

      If such non-bug features as responsive design are to be incorporated in DK 5.0, the time to suggest them is now. (If it isn't already too late.)

      "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

      by thanatokephaloides on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:55:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How come it's so often screwed up? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      I know that's the new paradigm supposedly, but I see site after site say they are adopting "responsive design", and what I end up with on my PC with Chrome/Firefox is this:

      -- Images that are all scaled up to 24" wide (even if their native resolution is smaller than 1900x1200).

      -- Headlines in three-inch high type

      -- Body text in a two-inch wide center column with a foot of blank white space on either side, non-reflowable.

      Worse yet is the "grid" design.  Where instead of a list of say, 30 or 40 stories (or items on an ecommerce site), I get only 10 or 12 square boxes, each a couple of inches on a side -- i.e., exactly the same content as on an iPad, just blown up to 3x the size on my monitor.  

      What's responsiive about that?  Does anyone get it right?

      •  Because it's not easy (0+ / 0-)

        It's still new - the technology behind it, HTML 5, has only been the standard for a few years.    The frameworks and developer tools for it are just now catching up.  (I use Coffee Cup software out of Atlanta for most of my web designing goodies.)

        There are so many different screen sizes and form factors that getting a website to behave properly and nicely for every single one of them is fiendishly difficult.

        The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

        by catwho on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:23:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Keep it simple (0+ / 0-)

          Of course, HTML 1.0 text would automatically reflow to fit the window size, and would respond to browser settings for font size -- i.e., very easy to read on whatever screen size / text size the user wanted.

          •  That's great for a static website, of course (0+ / 0-)

            I was actually thinking that the Geocities home pages of yore would handle multiple screen sizes with no problem.

            But when you start including dynamic content - Javascript, database calls, multi-media, integrated APIs to YouTube and Facebook, etc...  then raw baby HTML and CSS can no longer handle it.

            The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

            by catwho on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:53:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's a feature? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Geenius at Wrok

              I'd be more sympathetic if I thought calls to Facebook, 'dynamic content' (i.e., advertising), and the typical multi-media doodads were plusses....

              Seriously, I know there is lots of interesting and useful stuff that can't be done in that original html paradigm, but there are days I'd give up plenty of new features if only sites would give me clean, flexible text to read.

  •  Whatever is in the works, it does need to be (3+ / 0-)

    tablet/phone friendly and PC friendly.

    The reality is that many people are switching to tablets. When my laptop crashed I switched to a tablet. Yes, typing isn't as easy, but I rarely interact online anymore anyway, and I still have an all-in-one desktop that runs just fine.

    I transfer all of my files to storage devices a few times a year to keep the PC running, and use the PC when I really need to write. (Mea culpa, I usually have my work laptop with me on the weekends so I use that often, too.)

    The one thing I don't want to see is a tablet version similar to the current mobile version of DK. It's useless for active users- essentially a read-only site.

    In other words, a balance is going to have to be made as more and more users upgrade technologies. Tablets are somewhat regressive, but they're also a lot easier to lug around than a laptop.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:44:54 AM PDT

    •  I have a pc and a smartphone. (3+ / 0-)

      Have the feeling I will probably not ever bother with a tablet. The smartphone - Galaxy S4 - is primarily for times when we're away. Our part of rural Vt has very limited cell reception. But when i was away last week, the smartphone was fine for emails, news, etc. Read-only on DK was a bit frustrating, but no big deal. Did a fair amount of reading on this site and a few others on something that would have seemed tiny to me a couple of years ago. I agree, however that the constant updating, changing and rendering obsolete of devices, programs, software, etc. does speak to a need for at least some degree of standardization. It reminds me of hearing years ago about the Saudi car repair solution of just leaving the car by the side of the road and getting a new one. Bad idea on a lot of fronts. I can't vouch for the veracity of that, of course,  but it does seem as though we are going through millions of devices and that toxic e-waste is ending up in landfills or being shipped to poorer areas to be pored over by small children,  collecting the tiny, sellable bits for a pittance. So setting up a site that can be used in various modes on one device seems like a good idea.

  •  what kos said in his recent ama. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    Seems a regular and an enhanced mobile site.

    There are no rules, only the illusion of rules.

    by Drewid on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:33:02 AM PDT

  •  Agree about the FB thang. (8+ / 0-)

    I went there yesterday after not for a week or so. I couldn't stay very long.
    Also, noaa weather site is or was collecting comments on new design for weather pages. It sucks. They want to go from diagonal day division to vertical. Type is much smaller, pictures bigger, and about twice as many icons. Hell, if somebody cant figure out from a sun icon it's forecast to be sunny, they need to step outside to see if the great ball of fire is showing. If they can't figure out that a black background means it's the night forecast, pity them, but don't screw up what is now easy to use for those who can't read or figure out simple icons.
    I hope the GOS remains usable for those of us who don't carry the internet around with us.

    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:58:54 AM PDT

  •  We own two PCs and a laptop. We do not (14+ / 0-)

    have smart phones because we can't afford them. We do not have any e-readers or tablets because we can't afford to buy the latest technology as it comes out.

    Not all that long ago Puddytat upgraded from her tower PC to an all-in-one. I don't see her running out to buy the latest tablet.

    As our society becomes more and more economically polarized, the haves become more removed from the have-nots. As a member of the have-nots, I imagine myself standing on the dock as technology sails away on a sea of money.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:13:27 AM PDT

    •  And the issue of politics (8+ / 0-)

      For some of us, it's a matter of money and politics.

      Someone upthread mentioned being old enough to be in the PC revolution. I'm that old. My first PC was a "PC Jr." in 1984. For me, any OS that moves to "don't worry your pretty little head" is taking power from the people, and any corporation that regularly spies on users through GPS is evil. Theoretically, if I saved up, I could move to a touch screen instead of a laptop. If I saved for longer, I could have a smartphone.

      I wouldn't.

      Unfortunately, I can barely handle friendly Linux distributions, so I'll stand on the doc with XP as it goes unprotected and then make it dual-boot to Ubuntu or Mint so I don't have to wipe out all my data in the name of DRM.

      Then again, I remember using Lynx as my browser, so how bad can it get?

      "man, proud man,/ Drest in a little brief authority,. . . Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,/ Would all themselves laugh mortal." -- Shakespeare, Measure for Measure II ii, 117-23

      by The Geogre on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:03:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  PC revolution (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Geogre
        For some of us, it's a matter of money and politics.

        Someone upthread mentioned being old enough to be in the PC revolution. I'm that old. My first PC was a "PC Jr." in 1984.

        I resemble that remark. My first computing device was a Commodore VIC-20 in 1982.
        For me, any OS that moves to "don't worry your pretty little head" is taking power from the people, and any corporation that regularly spies on users through GPS is evil. Theoretically, if I saved up, I could move to a touch screen instead of a laptop. If I saved for longer, I could have a smartphone.

        I wouldn't.

        Heard that!
        Unfortunately, I can barely handle friendly Linux distributions, so I'll stand on the doc with XP as it goes unprotected and then make it dual-boot to Ubuntu or Mint so I don't have to wipe out all my data in the name of DRM.

        Then again, I remember using Lynx as my browser, so how bad can it get?

        I respectfully suggest 2 things:

        (1) Make local backups of all your data now and keep them current.

        (2) Prepare to make a full migration to your chosen Linux distro.

        XP isn't going to last forever, as you pointed out above. And if DRM becomes as bad as these folks think it's going to be, migration to free and open source (FOSS) software will be mandatory for any social or political activist.

        (As you yourself pointed out.)

        The Free Software Foundation's view on modern WinDoze.

        "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

        by thanatokephaloides on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:27:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

          I was a Team OS/2 guy -- just a user/booster, but that experience allowed me to see the dirty tricks the "normal" operating system pulled, from polluted Java to hunter-killer "check DOS version" code to crash OS/2, and I worked temp jobs that allowed me to transcribe telephone conferences from boardrooms of 1% telecomms in the 1990's as they planned to move everyone in America onto an "a la carte" pay model.

          However, I suspect that the same people who read on telephone screens also believe that privacy is no big deal.

          Oh, and I found out that Lynx is still being maintained.

          "man, proud man,/ Drest in a little brief authority,. . . Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,/ Would all themselves laugh mortal." -- Shakespeare, Measure for Measure II ii, 117-23

          by The Geogre on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:39:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  sailing away on seas of money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Puddytat
      We own two PCs and a laptop. We do not have smart phones because we can't afford them. We do not have any e-readers or tablets because we can't afford to buy the latest technology as it comes out.

      Not all that long ago Puddytat upgraded from her tower PC to an all-in-one. I don't see her running out to buy the latest tablet.

      As our society becomes more and more economically polarized, the haves become more removed from the have-nots. As a member of the have-nots, I imagine myself standing on the dock as technology sails away on a sea of money.

      Yes, I just blockquoted your whole comment. In my humble opinion, it's that important.

      Also, I resemble these remarks, painfully so.

      When I last had a real, grownup job, I spent two weeks' wages on the latest-and-greatest gaming PC I could afford. This was about six years ago.

      I have a friend who turns me on to her obsolete hardware. (And stuff she gets from her brother, too.) One recent load included a PC with the exact same processor and motherboard as the one I dropped two whole paychecks on. Now to be considered junk.  :-(

      Or, as northerntier said above:

      it does seem as though we are going through millions of devices and that toxic e-waste is ending up in landfills or being shipped to poorer areas to be pored over by small children,  collecting the tiny, sellable bits for a pittance. So setting up a site that can be used in various modes on one device seems like a good idea.
      Damn right. The "workable electronics in the landfill" thing is an ancient pet peeve of mine.

      Note: If you're running Windows on your older machinery and the version of Windows you run is exiting support (XP or anything earlier) you might want to consider a Linux migration. Check out the links I embedded in this comment .

      "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

      by thanatokephaloides on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:39:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Once they replaced the damnable thing (0+ / 0-)

      (took 3 hard drive replacements, 2 motherboard replacements, and 2 complete software reloads - after nearly 9 months Dell sent me a new one) - the replacement has been a peach.

      It's not only money, but being non tech saavy that keeps people away from the latest stuff.  My own tech guy just moved to Florida leaving me techless unless I can find another Milwaukee area guru willing to come here when I need stuff done.

      PCs are fine for most of us (the cruddy Windows 8.1 I will not buy) and workable.  

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:13:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Its annoying (5+ / 0-)

    when all these software upgrades keep popping up, claiming a "better browsing experience" and so forth, but the crap just gets worse and slower.

    Firefox has released v.28 which I put on today and it does seem to work better.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:30:26 AM PDT

    •  I've already been using v28.0 (4+ / 0-)

      All the problems I've described, I've experienced in this version of Firefox.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:14:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You Firefox guys think you have problems (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides, ebohlman

        Opera *destroyed* a browser that had features the rest of the market didn't. Now diehards like me are still on version 12.

        < / getoffmylawn >

        The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

        by raboof on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:48:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Have you tried replacing Firefox with (0+ / 0-)

        Waterfox instead?  Unless you are using plugins (not addons but actual plugins) other than Flash, Java, and Silverlight there is no reason to keep using Firefox on 64 bit Windows.  And yes, Waterfox will work with all your Firefox addons and even use your existing Firefox profile so you won't lose anything.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:35:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Never heard of Waterfox. (0+ / 0-)

          Tell me more.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:38:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Waterfox is just an unofficial version of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeadHead

            Firefox compiled as 64 bit (so it can use more than 2GB of RAM) with maximum possible optimizations.  That means it can be quite a bit faster because it can take advantage of the extra CPU registers and newer CPU instructions on modern 64 bit processors.  Even on my old Pentium D system with only 2.5GB of RAM I get quite a bit more FPS in jsnes (a NES emulator written in pure javascript/html5 and thus a pretty good benchmark).

            What's Waterfox all about?

            Waterfox is a high performance browser based on the Mozilla platform. Waterfox is specifically for 64-bit systems, with one thing in mind: speed.

            From their own website:

            Features:

                Compiled in Intel's C++ Compiler
                Intel's Math Library
                Streaming SIMD Extensions 3
                Advanced Vector Extensions
                Jemalloc
                Profile-Guided Optimisation
                /O3 Switch
                100% Extension Compatibility
                64-bit Plugin Support
                Future Proof!

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:51:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Well keep in mind that Firefox will always (0+ / 0-)

      have some issues because it has to be Pentium compatible.  You might want to try Waterfox if you haven't already.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:36:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's less about GUI format & more about 3G v. 4G (3+ / 0-)

    loading speeds are not very good in 3G for smart phones

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:33:47 AM PDT

    •  G, why is this taking so loooong? :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli
      it's less about GUI format & more about 3G v. 4G; loading speeds are not very good in 3G for smart phones
      I know. In my locality we're still waiting for 4G in most neighborhoods.

      "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

      by thanatokephaloides on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:42:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  HEAR! HEAR! (19+ / 0-)

    If I knew how to buy you a virtual beer, I would.

    Among the other things that drive this long-time Internet/Web user right up the wall:

    * Designers that engineer the web site so that it is virtually unusable unless you submit to their font selection, their font size selection, and, more and more, their font color selection. The graphic artist that spawned the latest fad of making an article's text to be 50% gray -- and the others that think it's cute -- should be hauled out into a filthy alley and neutered with a dull spoon.

    * Stop using fixed dimensions. If you use a modern browser that allows you to enlarge/reduce font sizes it shouldn't cause text to be hidden behind graphics that are fixed in size. Web browsers are not the printed page; you can't specify things in absolute pixel sizes without making the web page fragile and unreadable by most of your viewers. A special mention of those web pages that include huge margins on the left and right side of the page but that wind up truncating the text in the middle section. Even when using my browser full-screen on a 24" monitor. (Didn't anyone look at the pages before releasing them to public view?)

    * Designers who create web pages that require you to view them full-screen. Our computer displays are using multiple windows nowadays. As soon as I encounter a web site that requires that I scroll horizontally as well as vertically, I'm gone. Hope you're not counting on subsequent page hits to support yourself. Related annoyance: "Best viewed using a window size of 1024x768 (or some other size)" This was old back in the '90s yet you still encounter sites that require a minimum browser window size even of they don't explicitly state it on the home page.

    * Web sites that don't preallocate space for graphics on web pages. The text loads first and then jumps around all over the place while the images dribble in and the user's browser has to re-render the page. Related annoyance: Actually pre-allocating the space but forcing the browser to download a much, much larger image to be scaled locally. Specifying an image to be 300x400 and then causing every user's browser to download the image in full DSLR resolution is downright rude and -- in these days of ISP data limits -- potentially expensive.

    * Insane use of JavaScript/Ajax menus that obscure other parts of the page when you move your mouse anywhere near them. This seems to be a problem of poor choices in the scripting language and the stylesheet. Thank goodness my browser allows me to bypass the stylesheet or there would be some sites that would be almost completely unnavigable.

    * Gratuitous use of video (or sound) that runs automatically before you can see anything else. Also, web pages that make you go through 3-4 links to get the the meat of the article. Some sites that make the user go through that aren't even hosting ads; they just have a lot of pretty pictures they needed to work in somehow.

    If DKos decides to go mobile it'll be a sad day. I find it so refreshing to visit friends' simple web sites that don't go overboard with all the geegaws that "professional" web designers feel they need to use.

  •  Tablets are hard on aging shoulders and elbows. (3+ / 0-)

    L know.Nothing like typing on a full-size keyboard. Length and depth of diaries and comments would go down.

    "...stories of past courage can define that ingredient..... But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul." JFK Profiles in Courage "

    by ontario on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:12:20 AM PDT

  •  MSNBC and NBC News (7+ / 0-)

    Both changed to the "new" format that has one or two blobs on a page.  I no longer bother with MSNBC as it is a waste of time to see there are only eight articles to read.  It used to be many articles.  So no more reason to view.  

    NBC News did the same thing.  I stopped visiting, only dropping in for a weekly curiosity viewing.  Surprise, they are changing it back a little bit.  More stories and links.  I suppose there was a question of why site hits cratered after changing to the "new" format.

    •  Same here. Removed the bookmarks. (4+ / 0-)

      MSNBC used to be my homepage. Then, when they and NBC News split, the news site was my home page.

      Then one day I started up Firefox and saw a totally unnavigable mess. Great big pictures. Hardly any text. No easy way to scan for stories.

      I wrote 'em a feedback letter stating their site was no longer readable, in my opinion, for desktop users. And that they'd lost me as a regular visitor.

      "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

      by Technowitch on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:11:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fixing Facebook's Broken Timeline (3+ / 0-)

    On the gear icon I picked "Report a Problem". Then I picked "General Feedback" from the menu. For Product I picked "Timeline (Profile)". Then I filled this into the "Your feedback" field:

    How do I make the pictures in the timeline smaller by default, so that I can read the timeline?
    Perhaps if a billion people or so do this, Facebook will give you a setting to correct this problem.
  •  I Thought We Were Called "Users" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, thanatokephaloides, JeffW, jts327

    because we're addicted to their stuff. But that's another entire diary.

  •  Just a couple of thoughts from tech... (14+ / 0-)

    It's our intent to keep two separate versions of the site available - the mobile and the main - and to always allow users to choose which version they want regardless of what kind of device they use.

    If you want to see the mobile version: http://m.dailykos.com/

    Currently, the mobile version is just a stub, with read-only functionality. We're finishing development of iterations on that to allow commenting and recommending.

    Tablets default to the full version and phones default to the mobile.

    Because this is an iterative process, right now the mobile doesn't have versions of all site pages or all the navigation you need.

    We expect the mobile version will always be a simplified edition that will make it easy to do things that most people do most of the time, and that the full version will always have more features.

    We think having these two versions is the best way to go both for our development and for your experience - so that you can choose for yourself that you want more features and will deal with them being tiny or that you want fewer features and less clutter.

    The mobile version has certain advantages - it's faster and lighter, and it's made to take advantage of newer browsers that need less code to produce smart and responsive behavior, so I often recommend it to people on desktops if they are having trouble with certain features.

    I wrote a long article for our knowledge base a while back, based on a long comment, :-), about strategies to work with older computers and slow connections. I live in a rural area myself, and most of my neighbors do not have broadband nor the latest hardware. I try to make sure everything we do is developed with that in mind, that even if we can't always make everyone happy, that at least we know where the issues are.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:49:48 AM PDT

    •  Ugh, totally meant to include the link (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, JeffW

      http://helpdesk.dailykos.com/...

      for the helpdesk article.

      Preview is my friend. Preview is my friend.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:51:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a good place to say (3+ / 0-)

      that I have found Ms. elfling to be immensely helpful in dealing with these sorts of issues. Opening a help thread on a question gets prompt attention.

    •  Speaking as a front-end dev, really wish you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      wouldn't go down the "M-Dot" route and go full responsive.

      •  Why is that? (4+ / 0-)

        Honestly, we have two reasons. One, development wise, it keeps the code tidier to have separate files for the two cases.

        Two, people work differently and have different needs on the mobile devices. The screens on a phone are tiny and for most people, they just want to read. Cluttering the screen with extra options isn't beneficial to them.

        On the other hand, assuming that you NEVER want that extra stuff if you're on a phone is pretty frustrating too. We do have people - heaven help us all - who manage to compose and post whole diaries from a phone, and use every feature we have. I've done so occasionally myself. I don't recommend it! It is slow and frustrating. But, if there is a need, it can be done.

        Finally, we have some users who are on desktops but are on mobile connections or in other low bandwidth situations. Being able to send them to an m. version should they so prefer is beneficial to them. We also discovered, accidentally, that some people use it to make more print-friendly pages.

        A normal user doesn't have to actively choose: we'll guess if they're on a phone they want mobile, and if they're not that they want the whole featureset. But, if they want to override, who are we to say no?

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:08:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  override (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, jts327
          A normal user doesn't have to actively choose: we'll guess if they're on a phone they want mobile, and if they're not that they want the whole featureset. But, if they want to override, who are we to say no?
          Now there's my kind elfling!

          You just made TechnoSaint in my eyes at least. Weaqr your halo with pride!

          :-)

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:49:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  But purely responsive design with media queries (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catwho

          does just that. If you're a device with a small viewport, then hide or show specific optimized elements. No sense in maintaining a different code base when media queries would handle it. Yes, there are middle layer implications like deciding how much Javascript to deliver, but there are ways of handling that even with a purely responsive site.

          Or maybe you have to make the hard decision to not allow certain features on phones. Subtracting is indeed a difficult decision to make and should be made with data in hand. There isn't necessarily a wrong way to approach mobile design, but my line of thinking is use media queries and feature detection. If you're on a Retina screen, use -webkit-device-pixel-ratio and serve an @2x or SVG graphic. Stuff like that.

          •  None of that tells me though (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Geenius at Wrok

            that I have a user who really wants to just sit and read pleasantly, or that I have a power user who desperately wants to put a diary up in the middle of a rally in the park.

            It's not a big deal for us to let people override the most likely choice.

            Some of that may be specific to the way that we know that people use our application, where we have thousands of power users and hundreds of thousands of casual users.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:33:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The important thing is that you think about (0+ / 0-)

              that last point and design accordingly. I get the sense that most site designers don't think past ZOMG TABLET!

              "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

              by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:19:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  It's All About Me (2+ / 0-)

    No, I'm serious. It's all about me. If you want me to come to your website (and you do, because that's how you get profits), then you need to please me. So, you (site author) better heed Geenius at Wrok.

    The minimum politeness for a site is to offer the new interface as an option and let the user pick it as a profile option. Then, record it and give them what they want. I supposed if you got down to 0.0001% of your audience and you still had (in Facebook's case, a bunch of) people left who didn't want to change, you might politely ask them to leave. Servers aren't free. But, to willy and nilly slam everyone into some other service without so much as a by-your-leave seems like an unsmart business decision.

    Perhaps Zuckerberg, et al., should spend more time visiting Daily Kos and less time visiting the White House. Just for enlightenment.

  •  Thank you, Genius, THANK YOU! (4+ / 0-)

    I am not getting rid of my older laptop because it works perfectly! It's plenty fast enough and I'm using less than 50% of its capacity.

    I am not even going to "upgrade" my browser to one that uses twice the resources because Kos or DISH demand that I do. I'm not interested in participating in domain snobbery or planned obsolescence to make web designers happy.

    I have a tool I am comfortable with. I'll happily participate here as long as I'm able to without a lot of hassle, and will simply wander off to another community place when I can tell by user hassle that I'm no longer really wanted.

    IF you want us here, the website should be easy to use, not a "hey look at me and how hip I am" ego exercize for people who sit around all day and think up ways to change things that already work.

    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:09:24 PM PDT

    •  Sorry, Thank you GEEnius. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

      by Catskill Julie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:54:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry for the bad news, but don't get upset when (0+ / 0-)

      your favorite sites leave you in the dust.

      I'm a front-end web developer, so I'm always educating myself on not only the latest trends, but older browser support.

      For example, Internet Explorer 7 is an awful browser, but so many websites are forced to support it because of users on older equipment. I'd much rather take my limited time to code up something using the latest and greatest that might benefit 95% of our users instead of hacking away at an IE7 fix that affects only 5% of our users.

      Because of our demographics, I would posit there are still a decent amount of users here who are on IE7 and 8. So supporting those browsers is a business decision Kos is going to have to make. But a lot of huge sites like YouTube and Gmail gave up on those old browsers a long time ago, and I fully support those decisions.

      •  Sorry for the bad news, but don't get upset (3+ / 0-)

        when I don't need to visit sites that don't want me anymore.

        (No, I don't use IE7 or 8.  I'm speaking in general terms.)

        As a user, I need my email and a couple other sites that I interact with friends with.  I want to be able to see YouTube videos.  I'd like to be able to keep using DailyKos, but I could not justify having to buy a new computer or device to do so.  

        And when I hit a link to a site I've never used before and it doesn't want to play nice with my laptop, then I don't go there.  It does not spoil my day, or even my ten seconds.

        Maybe some websites don't need or want me to view their sites.  Fair enough.  But web developers need to know that there is a hard limit to the amount of bullshit cranky old users like me are willing to put up with to see 99% of websites, because we just don't give a fuck if we can't see them.

        There's also a political issue here.  If the internet becomes less accessible for people who can't afford to upgrade their computers/devices every year or two, let alone the people who do not want to, then that is demographic discrimination that goes beyond what we already have in terms of lack of broadband access.  Decisions to support or not support access for low-income users are not value-neutral.

        © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

        by cai on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:21:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree! (too late to rec) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geenius at Wrok
          There's also a political issue here.  If the internet becomes less accessible for people who can't afford to upgrade their computers/devices every year or two, let alone the people who do not want to, then that is demographic discrimination that goes beyond what we already have in terms of lack of broadband access.  Decisions to support or not support access for low-income users are not value-neutral.

          Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

          by Catskill Julie on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:06:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  When Google stops supporting a browser (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides, mattc129

        we usually do too.

        We no longer support IE 7 and IE 8 is in the last gasp.

        However, hardware-wise, a machine that can run IE 7 can usually run Firefox, at least in terms of "it will run well on the OS." I am shocked that there are still people out there who work at places large enough to have an IT department and yet that department won't let them run a modern browser.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:34:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Though to be fair, Firefox is not really (0+ / 0-)

          a modern browser as it is held back by having to be Pentium 1 compatible.  Waterfox is much better if you have a modern system unless you are still relying on old 32 bit plugins.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:40:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  P.S. -- Let's not forget that many low-income (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides, JeffW

        people get internet access at the library, community center, senior center, etc., where they have no control over the hardware, software, OS, etc.  They can't upgrade browsers or install plug-ins, even if they want to.

        The librarians et al. may be able to upgrade software to a point, but libraries do not have the money to upgrade their hardware or non-free software on regular basis.  In some places, libraries can't even afford to stay open, even while use and need for their services has skyrocketed since the global financial crisis.  

        For commercial websites, it may be that they don't particularly care if they get low-income users -- those aren't the people who buy anything from their advertisers anyway.  But for political websites of any stripe that even purport to serve the interests of the 47%, keeping access for those with fewer financial resources should be a priority.

        © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

        by cai on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:38:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Too true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          side pocket
          The librarians et al. may be able to upgrade software to a point, but libraries do not have the money to upgrade their hardware or non-free software on regular basis.  In some places, libraries can't even afford to stay open, even while use and need for their services has skyrocketed since the global financial crisis.  

          Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

          by Catskill Julie on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:09:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  As far as browsers go (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      The most modern browser you can run is worth the trouble. The old browsers, like IE 6 and 7, forced us to send a lot more code to them, which meant that people on slow connections had to wait much longer and people with slow computers had to have their computers parse and interpret and run all that code.

      The newer browsers standardize much more and allow us to send much simpler instructions that they already know how to run. This means that it's less likely that there will be bugs and it makes it much much faster for the end user, whether the issue is local CPU/memory or a spotty 3G connection or satellite internet or even dial-up.

      We can also do things like load the part of the page you want to look at first and then load the other parts of the page while you are reading, without it being obvious to you that is happening.

      Firefox is the browser that is usually most accommodating in terms of matching current internet standards and older hardware. The Internet Explorers are the worst.

      But, I'm totally with you in the way that industry obsoletes perfectly good hardware. A ten year old computer should have plenty of power to browse the web, if people didn't waste memory and cycles on transparent menus and other pretty but honestly superfluous bits.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:43:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is one exception to that, sites that (0+ / 0-)

        are still using self modifying Javascript code may run slower on newer browsers due to the use of dynamic recompilation to translate the Javascript into native x86/x86-64/arm code.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:43:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, spot on... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, thanatokephaloides

    I've been very annoyed by the 'touch-friendly' changes to many websites I (used to) frequent.  These changes invariably come at the expense of the traditional user experience.  Having a 'mobile version' of the website makes sense.  Discarding your traditional website does not.  So far, Daily Kos is doing well in this regard, as are the 'blogspot' blogs I read.  AmericaBlog's new (as of about a year ago, I guess) format is kind of terrible, though.

  •  If it ain't broke don't fix it. For a variety of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    reasons I'd abandoned my computer for an iPad.  Then I did something stupid and erased some stuff so I couldn't log in to DKos on the iPad.  Fortunately, my computer was not infected and I can rec and comment to my heart's content.  I can't bear the idea that I'd be limited only to my iPad and that I'd have to figure what I did so I can fix it.

    The computer is so much more versatile.  I know how to open new tabs on the computer so I can find materials to support comments.  I also know how to copy stuff on the computer for ditto.  And I don't have to be tyrannized by the goddam autocorrect that can't believe I know what I want to say and how to spell it.  

    But the absolute worst thing is how easy it is to be bounced out of what you're reading and into an ad or an article you were looking at a week ago.  Not to mention the selective sensitivity.  Simply lightly brushing against an ad brings it up but at times when I want to read a diary I almost have to pound on the keys to bring it up.  What's with that, anyway?  

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:43:48 PM PDT

  •  Tipped, recced, AND hotlisted. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, Matt Z, elfling, Geenius at Wrok
    Facebook has made a lot of obnoxious changes in the past,
    snark:

    The worst one of these changes, at least in my own humble opinion, was the obnoxious change it made in February of 2004.

    ;->

    Yet the companies that produce online applications do this all the time, some as often as every six months. And we all know from ample experience that once an application changes, however disruptive the change, it never, ever goes back to the way it was.
    If I but had the required cash money, I'd hire the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to sing this two sentences of yours to the President of Front Range Internet, Inc. (frii.com)

    At maximum possible volume.
    At 3:00 AM local time.

    If you were a machinist, a woodworker, a surgeon or a chef, and you had your own tools and were used to how these tools functioned and felt, and one day the manufacturer of those tools stole into your workplace and replaced all of them with new ones that looked, felt and functioned differently -- and told you, moreover, that you could never have the old ones back -- you'd be outraged, wouldn't you?
    FRII's email system was first-rate and world-class when I signed up for it 15 years ago. Last year, they ripped out their entire email system and replaced it with one that is complete and total JUNK. I wrote several pleading emails asking to have the old system restored; but I kept getting reassuring responses that once the migration was perfected, I'd find it superior.

    To this second, I don't.

    Anyway, I've tipped, recced, and hotlisted this diary. Thank you for posting it!

    "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

    by thanatokephaloides on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:59:43 PM PDT

  •  So many web sites these days (6+ / 0-)

    seem to be designed by and for geeky hipsters who live in the Bay area going on their 11th triple espresso who truly believe that they'll never turn 40.

    I.e. overgrown kids who still live in a virtual world. I could do with a lot less "HEY LOOK AT THIS ISN'T IT WAY COOL!!!" (and btw, it's not) and a lot more sensible design that isn't meant to jolt, excite and amaze.

    Not saying that this site is that or going that way, but I still find conventional design rules to be the best ones. E.g. only a few typefaces and font sizes per site, good flow, sound use of white space, consistency, logic, etc.

    One of many reasons I can't stand FB. Its design makes no sense to me.

    Oh, and please, none of those idiotic "10 Celebrities You'd Never Recognize Today" and "Brittney and Justin Back Together?" inserts.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:02:27 PM PDT

    •  I don't think we have your second example now (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, kovie

      Britney and Justin aren't cool anymore.

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:52:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Check out Medium, a new publishing platform (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      Sample article here: https://medium.com/...

      I'm interested in your thoughts because this is a company whose produce was designed by "geeky hipsters who live in the Bay area" but employs a lot of the design choices you claim to like: a true typographical hierarchy, lots of white space, consistency.

      Let me know what you think. My goal is to show you that there are companies out there whose employees may be young but are trying to offer good design to us all.

      •  Ah, but you left out the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides

        "going on their 11th triple espresso who truly believe that they'll never turn 40" part, which is key. People often (but not always) mature past 40 (and cut back on the caffeine) and start doing some work with more depth and, well, maturity. Youthful brilliance (or its simulation) is often overrated.

        As for this site, I'll let you know when I've looked at it.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:01:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I was trying to be fair and not succumb to (0+ / 0-)

          your obvious use of a prejorative against tech workers.

          •  Of which I've been one (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thanatokephaloides, ebohlman

            But having lived through the dotcom boom/bust and many "This will change EVERYTHING!" cycles, I've come to be jaded about the intersection of hip and technology. There are many technologies that are cool, but not necessarily in the shallow way that they're made out to be, and many that are not, and just calling something cool doesn't make it so.

            I mean, they're freaking things, not lifestyle choices.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:24:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Took me a literal minute (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides

        to figure out that homepage scrolled.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:49:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I like some things about it, like its simplicity (0+ / 0-)

        But the masthead is way too big, there's too much whitespace, the fonts could be a bit smaller, and I'd prefer more paging and less scrolling.

        To be honest, I can't think of any web sites whose design I truly like (this one actually comes close, come to think of it, meaning DKos). I think it's a medium that's nearly impossible to design interfaces for that look good and work well on all the platforms that have to be supported. And there's much crappy code behind those semi-pretty pages. I can't believe that people are still using tables instead of CSS and stylesheets. Wasn't HTML5 supposed to fix all that?

        Personally, I think that all pages should fit themselves to a given screen's dimensions and that the only scrolling should be within page elements, but the page itself never scrolls in either axis. But that's really hard to implement in a way that would work across multiple device, OS and browser platforms.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:20:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Curious to hear your opinions on scrolling (0+ / 0-)

          Not snark. I'm of the group that thinks people will scroll since we've been conditioned to for many years now, but that's not the case with all users. I truly don't know what to attribute scrolling behavior to: is it generational, by type of devices used, by reasons for using the Internet? I'm serious. The scroll bar has been a graphical element for 15+ years now, yet there is still this mysterious aversion to scrolling. I'm trying to find out why.

          •  It's just annoying to do (0+ / 0-)

            and doesn't feel natural. At least, it didn't before touch screens, when you had to move the pointer to a narrow scroll bar, click on it, them move the pointer, making sure to keep it aligned within the bar. Sure, there are ways of making this easier, like scroll wheels and locking the pointer in the bar, but they're still cumbersome and annoying. Touch screens then came alone and made scrolling easier and more natural. In fact I don't mind scrolling on a tablet, and actually prefer it, and find scroll bar-based scrolling on them to be even more annoying.

            So, I think it's about the device. On anything that's not touch-based, it's quite annoying, and on anything touch-based, it's natural, and superior to paging. Think about it and how a touch-based interface is substantially different from a pointer-based one. Too bad it's so hard to design for multiple interfaces.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:20:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Think of scrolling as turning the page. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ebohlman

            How often do you want to have to turn the page when you're reading a book, a magazine, a newspaper, etc.? Every six or seven paragraphs feels about right to me. Every few lines? That's out of control.

            "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

            by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:21:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, what a concept! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, Geenius at Wrok, ebohlman
      Not saying that this site is that or going that way, but I still find conventional design rules to be the best ones. E.g. only a few typefaces and font sizes per site, good flow, sound use of white space, consistency, logic, etc.
      And no mandatory use of sound or video.

      Treat the user's computing resources as if they are finite.

      Wow, what a concept!!

      :-)

      "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

      by thanatokephaloides on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:57:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hell, treat their mental and emotional resources (3+ / 0-)

        as finite! There's only so much "COOL!" a person can absorb. It seems like everyone's trying to outdo each other with the latest bright shiny object feature that just wear a user's brain and devices down.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:13:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In particular, too many "COOL" designs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie

          consist of lots of separate visual elements all simultaneously competing for the user's attention: "Hey, look at me!!!" "No, don't look at him, look at me instead!!!!!" All this does is increase the effort required to use the page. It's much like the way most music nowadays is so heavily compressed [1] that it's tiring to listen to for any length of time.

          It's as if designers are more concerned about what their page looks when viewed at a distance than when actually used [2].

          [1] Justin Bieber's second album was objectively louder than either the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks or AC/DC's Back in Black. [3]

          [2] Some designers actually argue that most people come to Web pages based on seeing screenshots of them, and therefore the main criterion for Web design is that the screenshot looks as impressive as possible. Something about carts and horses comes to mind.

          [3] This overcompression is likely the reason why a lot of people find old vinyl records sound better than digital re-issues. It has nothing to do with "chopping the music into little pieces"; it has everything to do with the fact that the medium limitations of vinyl prevented mastering engineers from compressing everything to maximum loudness (on vinyl, the louder a passage is the more physical space it takes up on the disk since loudness corresponds to wider grooves).

          Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

          by ebohlman on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:40:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's a lot of implicit irony in all this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ebohlman

            It's sort of like they're saying "Hey, I'm being obnoxious but I KNOW I'm being obnoxious which is what makes it ironically cool!".

            Um, no, it just makes it stupid, just like you, immature faux cool nerd moron.

            Not you, them. We have a culture that celebrates being stupid, in a "cool" way.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:56:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Strikes me tablets are going out of style (0+ / 0-)

    in favor of, on the one hand, more powerful smart phones and on the other, more powerful notebooks.  I wouldn't design around tablet technology. If anything, toward smart phones.

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:27:33 PM PDT

  •  words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abbotkinney
    And remember also that while many users, perhaps even a majority of users, are visually oriented and respond primarily to pictures, more than a handful of us are verbally oriented and respond primarily to words, and when we can't find the words, or when the words are dominated and crowded out by giant pictures, we lose the ability to find the information we're looking for on the page, and we get frustrated and leave.
    Welcome to Windows World.   :-(

    When the graphical user interface became the operating system rather than a shell application one could invoke and devoke as needed, the stage was set for your above complaint.

    Like yourself, I prefer dealing with words when computing. I was pissed when Microsoft ceased all DOS development and released Windows 95, wherein the GUI environment is the OS kernel, while all terminal use is a shell on top of that. (Yuck!)

    It's why I'm a UNIXlike (BSD/Linux/GNU) user today.

    Suggestion on your end: You might want to investigate some of the more sophisticated Linux variants, like Ubuntu or Debian. These OS offer things which will be helpful here, such as:

    Choice of interface options, from simple terminal through several highly developed GUI options;

    Full support for aging hardware types;

    and, of course, the fact that these (like nearly all Linuxim) are free to obtain, install, maintain, and even upgrade.

    Most support for individual (non-enterprise) users is community-based, which means the answers are as close as your friendly neighborhood IXQUICK or Google. (And, again, free.)

    Now, I don't recommend you simply trashing Windows and replacing it with Linux as long as your Windows is doing its job. But sometime in the next 5 years, you can count on Microsoft reducing and then finally yanking support for your Windows version and your hardware. Then you'll either have to buy a new computer (again!) or migrate to BSD or Linux. (I recommend the latter unhesitatingly.)

    Note: Some of my fellow commenters on this diary have spoken quite well of the Android OS. Android is essentially Linux for mobiles. If you need Android's advantages in a desktop or a laptop, I say look to the Debian Linux family (of which Ubuntu is the most famous member right now).

    Speaking of community support: should you want or need to make the said migration, or even want to just take a look at Linux, kindly please drop me a kosmail.

    "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

    by thanatokephaloides on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:31:26 PM PDT

  •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, thanatokephaloides

    This sums up my experience very well. Glad I'm not alone! It seems like every time developers get 'clever' things get harder to use.

  •  Applauding Thank you! (4+ / 0-)

    I've accessed dkos once from a phone and will never do it again.  

    I despise the trends in computing....everything hidden, can't see what you're doing (or what someone's doing to you).

    I still do some freelance work and find Windows 8 unuseable in a productive way.  It sucks ass so bad, I go back to my old XP machine to get something done.

    Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

    by PsychoSavannah on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:40:14 PM PDT

  •  Web developer speaking here, the good news is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geenius at Wrok

    if the Kos tech team did it right, they likely made versions that are look great based on the device you are currently using. This technique is called responsive web design which has evolved into a buzz term, but it accurately describes the approach.

    Using code, designers and developers can now tailor a website custom to the device you are currently using. On the whole, tablets and phones do and should require some layout modifications to offer the best experience.

    But because Facebook is such a large site with many different modules, they might not have opted for the fully responsive approach and took a tablet-focused approach based on visitor data. I haven't been upgraded yet so I can't look at their code myself.

    My point is having a tailored experience based on device is valuable, just that it takes a lot more work to make that experience excellent across all devices.

  •  Sad to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    Computers are no longer considered "tools", they are now "content consumption devices".  This trend started a while ago but tablets have accelerated the transmogrification.  

    Worst aspects of this shift, IMO:

    The Cloud:  Put all your documents on some corporate server for "safe" keeping.  Yes, there are a few advantages and The Cloud makes sense for some documents if a user has unlimited broadband access.

    Subscription software:  WTF?  

    Store Fronts disguised as Operating Systems:  Typical of most tablets.  Buying "content" is effortless.  Moving the files you already own onto the device ranges from difficult to impossible.  It's only a matter of time before this design philosophy contaminates desktop operating systems.  

    Case study:  iTunes versus iBooks.  iTunes stores music files transparently.  Navigate to the iTunes library and all your music files are right there, for you're easy access.  Transfer them to any other file manager or device you like.  

    iBooks:  Navigate to the iBooks library.  Oh wait, it's freakin' buried in the hidden user library folder.  No big deal once you find it, right?  Wrong.  The books are disbursed among a mess of cryptically named files.  It's almost like Apple owns the books, not the user.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:52:00 PM PDT

  •  DKos works just fine on my tablet... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    Don't get me started on how safari incrementally renders the front page.

    Responsive design is great. Apps OTOH become expensive boat anchors that need to be dragged along behind the developers...

  •  I use a PC desktop, an iPad, and iPhone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon

    And adjust, learn and accept my mistakes - each has its own faults. But life goes on.

  •  I still can't figure out what tablets are for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, JeffW

    Other than games and maybe to use as a TV remote.

    I use a laptop or PC at home because the screen is way better and typing is so much easier. My Android phone works just fine when I'm mobile.

    So yeah, I agree.

  •  Older readers - eyesight (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, thanatokephaloides, JeffW

    Here's one issue:  I prefer using my desktop and monitor in part because as a 44 year old, my near field vision is starting to worsen.  I.e., I'll soon need reading glasses  / bifocals, like most people do by age 50 at the latest.

    It is far easier for me to read a 24" wide screen two or three feet from my face, than a 9" screen one foot away.  

    Yes, I'll get those bifocals soon and yes, I an use a small screen held close when I need to, but if I'm in the office or at home, where I have large screens readily available, why should I?  

  •  I HATE being forced into "mobile mode" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorikay4, thanatokephaloides

    I bought a tablet with a crystal-clear 10.1" screen. Its screen is better than the current iPad's. I browse websites in "desktop mode", Daily Kois included, and greatly prefer it. Too many websites have no intent of letting me see anything other than what they've optimized for a phone. This tablet is more like a touchscreen netbook than a phone, but because I run Android KitKat, I'm not permitted to see the desktop site, no matter how good it would look on my tablet.

    Please, DK folks, let me see the full desktop version of DK on my tablet rather than something that's optimized for a phone.

    •  Well you could always install Firefox (0+ / 0-)

      with the Phony addon then set it to Desktop Firefox.  I also have the mobile image blocker firefox addon installed along with the restore exit button one.  Works fine.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:31:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I learned to type on an old Royal upright back in (3+ / 0-)

    the 60's.

    I am a small woman with little fingers, but it took a long time before I could get used to the smaller keyboard on my desktop computer. Now I have this laptop, and I cannot go smaller.

    My laptop seized up for awhile and I tried to come to this site on my son's phone.

    Total frustration.

    My fingers and my eyes just cannot go any smaller.

    Please don't change, Kos.

  •  I use the "full site" version of DK on my phone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, thanatokephaloides

    And am occasionally annoyed (but it's really not that bad) when it automatically goes to the mobile version.  I do this mostly for download speed.  You take a big hit loading the full site but then you can just scroll, as opposed to constantly going back and forth for each diary.  It does have the annoying habit of wanting to reload the whole page sometimes after I open a diary in a separate tab to read the full entry or to comment, and lately it seems more manic about that.  I'd really rather control this myself (I'm guessing it's probably a timeout value till the page is considered stale?)  I used to be able to load the front page before getting on a plane: now as soon as bring up the browser after the connection is lost the page clears.  But maybe this is the fault of the recent iOS version.
    On iOS, double clicking some text in a column zooms in to display just that column, after which the text size is about the same as the mobile DK site.  Maybe I'm change-adverse, but I just like the context I get from the full site, and I suppose the familiarity.
    As far as I'm concerned, I'd far prefer that DK focus its resources on other areas (how about an infrastructure to facilitate crowdsource-education of voters on down-ballot candidates and election issues.)
    We're all different, but just thought this was a good opportunity to provide some usage comments.

    •  There is a cookie that you can set (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, Seitanist

      to keep the full site, and it should stay set until you change your mind and reset it. If you're having to constantly correct it, it means iOS is flushing the cookie 'to protect your privacy.'

      Latest version of iOS changed a lot of how the browser worked by default, so taking a look at your settings may improve your experience.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:53:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Totally tipped and rec'd, Geenius (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, koosah

    How I agree!  I loathe the new look of Facebook. Have decided to stay off that site more and more.

    I love my iPad because I have Kindle on it. But for serious work, like writing, man--I have to have a desktop. I'm running Windows 7 Professional on it, Shockwave and Adobe Flash Plugin crash three times a day, taking MS Word with it, and I have to reboot several times a day, but it's still better than my nasty little Toshiba laptop running Windows 8.

    Gave that to the desktop publisher who's formatting my books. So far she doesn't hate it as much as I did.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:20:33 PM PDT

  •  I cannot like this diary enough (4+ / 0-)

    I develop websites for a atmospheric scientists in the fed. govt. And we are being pressed to go responsive, which I think is a terrible idea for applications like what we provide, for viewing large complex images, lots of form controls, lots of text, things that are wide no matter what.

    "Mobile / Tablet First" design imperatives produce dumbed-down, less productive, less knowledge worker friendly web interfaces. It's maddening when interfaces that one actually uses to DO WORK become less friendly to work just because they have been redesigned for devices that aren't intended for really doing work, but for merely the consumption of (entertainment oriented) content. This is an important diary.

  •  Meh, this is sort of wrong (0+ / 0-)

    Most modern UI designs and themes are "responsive."  Something called a "user agent" tells the server what you're using and the server dishes up the appropriate CSS for mobile phone, tablet, or PC, and your particular browser.  dKos' mobile site is already like this -- as I well know because I can't stand its design and sometimes have to hit the "view full site" on my phone to get back to old familiar Great Orange Satan territory.  It is really trivial to make modern websites adapt to their reading environment.

    That said the current dKos design is a disaster, and the subject of amusement among lefty web developers I know.  It could so stand to be simplified and streamlined and have a more visual and less textual design, a development that is being pushed by the widespread use of tablets.  But most of this development is happening around ebooks and digital magazine formats, trying to emulate the old reading experience of a glossy magazine.  dKos has never been that.

    As to calling reading dKos, on any device, either "work" or "computing," I LOL'd!

    •  Wow. All of this . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman
      That said the current dKos design is a disaster, and the subject of amusement among lefty web developers I know.  It could so stand to be simplified and streamlined and have a more visual and less textual design, a development that is being pushed by the widespread use of tablets.
      . . . is the 180-degree opposite of what I want and need.

      "More visual and less textual" is what cripples a site's usability for me. "Simplified and streamlined" is what makes it impossible for me to take in lots of information at a glance, which is what I prefer.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:49:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh god, spare me from "mobile" design. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorikay4

    When using my iPad, sites regularly throw me to their mobile versions.  From what I've been able to determine, it is impossible to make the browser identify the iPad as a laptop by default. I frequently have to hunt down the "desktop" selection. Then there are those sites that cripple the expansion function; you can't enlarge the screen to deal with teeny type. USAToday is like that, which is why I don't even try to go there anymore.

    I use the iPad a lot, including right now.  But I want the full experience, not some reduced page that thinks I only have 5 MB to download each month.

    And while I'm griping; no, I don't want that app. I want to use my browser.  It's like someone decided that everyone should have a separate browser for every site on the internet.  Sure, no problem.  I'll just track down the app somewhere on the 14,000 apps I loaded onto my tablet.  Or I could use that bookmark.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:31:11 PM PDT

  •  Responsive design is great, but a lot of designers (0+ / 0-)

    are still trying to come to terms with it and get a good grasp on it.

    For the layfolks, it's largely achieved using something called a media query in your website's style sheet. It basically says, "if the site is being viewed on this device/this screen size, (don't) show X". You give elements of the site certain attributes that only apply based typically on the device or screen size.

    Really, what I'd like to see a site do (and I hope I get a chance to develop a site like this one day) is something that using options to enable what you see depending on if you're in mobile/tablet/desktop/extended desktop mode.
    Like I hate the mobile version of this site because I like to read the stories themselves, rather than just the headlines. I'd like an options panel that lets me customize what I see. So if I want to see full text with the story, give me an options panel that lets me enable that. Or give me the option to make the images thumbnail sized on the tablet version.

    One of the big problems with responsive websites is that we still have the problem of "what content do we show or not show?" The answer is to pick a default mode and let people tweak it to their liking. If someone is cool with doing a lot of scrolling, let them. If someone else just wants to see headlines and pictures, let them.
    A lot of folks in this very thread are kind of bagging on it because they have crappy experiences with it. It would be a big leap forward in web design if the inevitable redesign of this site included responsive options. I've never seen a site that does that yet, so it seems like it's a fairly revolutionary idea still at this point.

    My style is impetuous.
    My defense is impregnable.
    YOU'RE NOT ALEXANDER!

    by samfish on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:54:14 PM PDT

    •  The problem (0+ / 0-)

      The difficulty in many many implementations of so called responsive design is that very often, a lot of complexity and content is just discarded because figuring out what to show to which users in which way is so difficult, and everyone is so cheap and pressed for time, they just simplify brutally and say the hell with anyone who likes detail and specificity and a lot of text and visible explicit page controls.

      so of course 'responsive' design can work for many things. But every page with a lot of text and detail isn't de facto terrible just because it's a pain for mobile users. And wooing mobile users and making life easier for designers and redesigners isn't a good reason to discard controls and complexity that have evolved over time, for the ease of use of desktop users.

      Example: all the useful and easy to scan links and headings that used to sit on the left edge of the NYTimes page, which are now behind 'the hamburger'. Why can't I choose to expand that list permanently and always see it? Oh, that's right, I'm not on a mobile device, so screw me. !!!!!!

  •  Fun talky, fun starnews, fun selfies, fun flashmob (0+ / 0-)

    -- about the only things younger and iPod users really care about, oh yes and lots of ads promoting the newest cool things to buy!
    Companies go where the money goes, not the brains. Choosing between functional and profitable results is a very easy choice for them.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:52:27 PM PDT

  •  As I suggested once before, there should be an app (0+ / 0-)

    for daily kos. That would be a great step forward functionality that sites would probably seek to duplicate.

    It could be awesomely simple. You could read, post, link to other apps, include various forms of media. Blogging to the next level, beyond micro (like twitter) but not quite the engineering project that is the desktop web experience. The mobile site is pretty good, but just needs more functionality in the form of an app. You even include giving to causes and candidates efficiently wrapped into your android (and it will be android, face it).

    Weve got to reach out to a younger audience to have greater impact. My kids pc's still run windows xp because they use it like a typewriter for school only. Everything else is app. In fact, they get mad when apps  are just a cover for websites. Thats bad design, im told.

    For us old fogies who like things the way theyve always been and hate change, the desktop web site in all its 1990s glory should remain. Like retail store buying of software is still around for those who like 1980s computing. But we should be aware that many of us have children who werent even born until after Y2K. My youngest nephew thinks all CDs are games for PlayStation. Because you download music with your app, not go to the store and buy it!!! (Jesus uncle youre old)

  •  My 10 year old powerbook... (0+ / 0-)

    ...running the TenFourFox browser (firefox derivative) thanks you.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:16:36 AM PDT

claude, Joe Bob, Sylv, Alfred E Newman, raboof, Mogolori, jazzmaniac, Radiowalla, hester, Liberal Thinking, bob in ny, freedom fried, Pandora, Emerson, Shockwave, cotterperson, 1066hastings, ThatTallGuy, mslat27, akeitz, phenry, Pompatus, elfling, hubcap, niemann, Doctor Who, BlackSheep1, whenwego, KMc, chuckvw, lorikay4, larryrant, Miss Blue, MadEye, revsue, kharma, psnyder, annan, emmasnacker, rflowers, hazzcon, papercut, riverlover, Diana in NoVa, Kalil, zerelda, side pocket, Kitsap River, Deward Hastings, Black Max, Emmy, boran2, sawgrass727, davidincleveland, Bluesee, sandblaster, NoMoreLies, sometv, Lying eyes, chimene, Technowitch, schumann, YucatanMan, Sun Tzu, GreyHawk, kaliope, Tunk, laviolet, Pluto, turdraker, peacestpete, Ekaterin, littlewren, Blue Bronc, bently, CJnyc, kovie, Knucklehead, poco, Yellow Canary, seefleur, Audri, Naniboujou, blueoasis, triv33, hlsmlane, vivian darkbloom, onionjim, Mikesco, SingerInTheChoir, BlueMississippi, IL clb, CA Nana, chicating, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, BB10, Stripe, Bernie68, markthshark, ZenTrainer, cpresley, pgm 01, out of left field, hooper, gloriana, EdSF, beth meacham, Via Chicago, Cofcos, HeartlandLiberal, Matt Z, Dave in Northridge, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Kentucky Kid, SeaTurtle, carpunder, journeyman, cville townie, rmonroe, jwinIL14, MKinTN, CroneWit, rogerdaddy, also mom of 5, JeffW, flowerfarmer, kimoconnor, Sixty Something, Senor Unoball, SMWalt, dadadata, smrichmond, Cassandra Waites, dagolfnut, SpamNunn, mattc129, Keninoakland, JamieG from Md, dmhlt 66, sydneyluv, Fiddlegirl, RenMin, rbird, I give in to sin, mkor7, CaliSista, lu3, Essephreak, Wendy Slammo, Larsstephens, Railfan, Christy1947, flitedocnm, Observerinvancouver, Proud Mom and Grandma, klompendanser, Crabby Abbey, Lost and Found, Jaimas, fiercefilms, Bluefin, Sal Bovoso, ozsea1, matercarol, HiKa, asterkitty, Teiresias70, miscanthus, marleycat, abbotkinney, wintergreen8694, PhilJD, JoeEngineer, Marihilda, Vatexia, DRo, quill, MNGlasnant, Catskill Julie, DeadHead, IndieGuy, Mr Robert, mapamp, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, lunachickie, Brown Thrasher, ItsaMathJoke, wasatch, Robynhood too, The Geogre, poison kitchen, nuclear winter solstice, Lily O Lady, koosah, Linda1961, broths, weck, mettle fatigue, HedwigKos, silentlurker, Hellstrom, Jollie Ollie Orange, howabout, northerntier, Smoh, oslyn7, northcountry21st, eagleray, slapDem, thanatokephaloides, kathy in ga, hbk, cjtjc, rarely comments, kfunk937

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site