Go to previous post:
And now, from David Brooks, the Order of Stakhanov

Go to Electrolite's front page.

Go to next post:
And the horse you rode in on

Our Admirable Sponsors

April 7, 2002

Boring technical notes from all over I’ve changed a couple of things about the comment sections.

First, it’s no longer necessary to fill in an email address in order to post, so those of you who are convinced that offshore porn spammers harvest email addresses from the comment sections of obscure blogs can stop making up non-functional email addresses. (I do still dislike anonymous posting, and reserve the right to take a particularly dim view of anonymous posts that make snarky remarks about the non-anonymous. So far I’ve deleted exactly one post for that kind of thing. I reserve the right to be capricious, arbitrary, and generally powermad.)

Second, the poster’s name and the timestamp now precede the post, rather than following it. This just seems sensible—you shouldn’t have to scroll down before you find out who you’re reading. [03:47 PM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Boring technical notes from all over:

Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 04:54 PM:

Apropos of nothing: Make Teresa post more. I know about the bloody Antarctic ice shelf thing already. Tell her to listen to Pound and make it new, doggone it.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 05:04 PM:

I'm sorry; forcing the Teresa unit to post more frequently is not a technical service we are able to provide at this time.aaYou're welcome to try yourself... :-)

Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 10:37 PM:

Actually, I dislike leading with the name. It looks clever on first glance, but it breaks a very long standing convention of correpondence -- you sign your messages afterwards. Never mind email, or USENET, or most every other posting mechanism on the net.aa(And I dislike breaking standing conventions, unless there's really compelling reasons, you're asking every user to rework their habits.)aaMHO, of course.

Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 10:40 PM:

Let me rephrase that. I really, completly, utterly *hate* leading with the name. I just tried to read that 11 post gabfest one post down, and my brain was injured wonder why the hell Mary Kay sounded like you.aaMHO, of course. But, GAAH. I'd rather have Trump building towers in Chicago.

Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 11:21 PM:

I think that if the name and the post weren't separated by a blank line, it might be easier to tell which went with what.aaAlso, it appears that if you enter both a web page and an e-mail, it only shows the web page; if this is intended, a little note somewhere in the comment box would be nice, so as to prevent those of us without cookies enabled from absent-mindedly typing in our e-mail addresses again, and again... (personally, I'd like to see both used if a person chooses to supply them).

Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 11:24 PM:

Oh yes: might the comment font be, well, bigger?

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2002, 08:47 AM:

I like the names at the top thing, and I like not having to put in my e-mail address. I'm sure people can find me if they need me.aaI think that Teresa should post more, but, then again, I think that Steven should write more articles for _Plokta_ and see how far I get there. aaI think you were rather hard on the Queen Mum, and hope that when I'm old, people are kinder to me for mistakes I made sixty years earlier. And personally, I'd much rather commemorate a woman who conducted her long life with steely determination than a sweet old lady. aaDigression: We turned up in Lincolnshire on Saturday morning, and my mother said "I really think I should have come down to London this weekend. For the Queue, you know." It got worse from there. aaDigression 2: My favourite quote of the day, from the Guardian's report on the funeral arrangements: "Andy Trotter, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said: 'The British are particularly good at queueing. The determined people nearly always come with the right gear'." aaAnd finally, I occasionally consider whether I would enjoy life more if I worked twice as hard for twice as many hours per week and took half as many holidays. We are regularly told that this is the American Way, after all. You can probably guess the conclusion I reach, and I don't personally find it shocking that the people who do these things get bigger houses and more stuff.

Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2002, 09:20 AM:

Whether the name is at the top or at the bottom, it should be more closely associated visually with the post that the byline belongs to than with the one that it doesn't belong to. You could do this by varying the amount of whitespace, or by adding something like a rule or color change.

Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2002, 09:25 AM:

Hmm... just looked at this in MSIE/Mac and realized that in a browser with proper CSS support, there *is* much less whitespace under the name than above it. But the association still seems insufficiently strong to me. aaMaybe the name and date should be on one line, with a colon following...aaMatt McIrvin, April 8, 2002 09:20 AM:aThat would make it quite clear who wrote the post, since it is a format that looks like it belongs at the beginning rather than at the end.

Gary Farber ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2002, 11:55 PM:

Puzzling over a couple of comments here, I note that I was always taught that every single form of written correspondence begins with one's own name and address at the top, as well as that of the addressee. Maybe this suddenly went out of form in the last decade or two, I dunno. aaIn any case, I thoroughly agree that of course one should know who one is reading without having to scroll to the end to find out. Having to scroll back and forth always annoys me.