We got some local color happening. June 19, 2013 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Is this a bug or by design? Gray frame around the most recent comment on recent activity. Instead of the usual gray box. This is what it looks like in Unprofessional Mode.
posted by zarq to Bugs at 2:46 PM (97 comments total)

It's a feature!

See also.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:48 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


DON'T LISTEN TO THEM, IT'S A TRAP, WE'RE ALL DOOMED IF WE DON'T GET OUT OF H
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:49 PM on June 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


Yep, MoonOrb has it. Made this change minutes ago.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:49 PM on June 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks, MoonOrb. And thank you, pb.

pb, is there any chance the box in professional mode could be slightly darker? It (obviously) doesn't jump out the way it used to, but it's not immediately obvious.
posted by zarq at 2:51 PM on June 19, 2013


possible bug: I'm remaining just as interesting as ever IRL but all my comments inside the grey frame just keep getting shittier and shittier
posted by Greg Nog at 2:52 PM on June 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


We're going to run with this for a while, listen to feedback, and then take a look at whether more changes are needed.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:52 PM on June 19, 2013


It's a bit weak, TBH. I suppose I'll get used to it.
posted by Artw at 2:52 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Greg are you running the latest install? Try jogging your arms they should make a distinct crackling noise on the upswing.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:53 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


OK. Thank you, pb.
posted by zarq at 2:57 PM on June 19, 2013


Could we please electrify the border? I'm afraid the neighbor's cats may wander in and poop in my comments.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:58 PM on June 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


I was just coming here to ask about this, neat. Was hoping for BananaDance.gifs or swaying palm trees, but this is pretty cool, too.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:14 PM on June 19, 2013


I've been using the "Metafilter (green, blue, gray): better contrast" stylish script for a long time. When I turned off all of my metafilter-related scripts for the mega alphabet thread, I couldn't believe how difficult it was to read the text with the default backgrounds. The lack of contrast was jarring.

Would it be possible to tweak the stylesheet to replicate the better contrast that script provides? Maybe make that the default stylesheet with an option to use the old stylesheet (or the ugly white one) in user preferences for Those Who Hate Change?

That script is the only thing I use Stylish for. It would be nice to dump an unnecessary extension.

It would make the site look a lot better, too.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:16 PM on June 19, 2013


I'm on my phone and just noticed this. Two thumbs up, for the mobile version at least.
posted by ambrosia at 3:24 PM on June 19, 2013


Times like this I feel like making the Loud Howard voice and saying THIS MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE.
posted by phunniemee at 3:29 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's an example of what the difference in contrast would be.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:29 PM on June 19, 2013


Wait this is the universe with the light outlined boxes not the fully lit boxes? I-Oh crap.

Uh, you guys are still eating soy right? Um ..I'd recommend ...stopping that.
posted by The Whelk at 3:31 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Huh. I preferred the solid box, myself, but it's a minor thing, so shrug.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:37 PM on June 19, 2013


I saw your initial response on the other thread:
I think the difference between the two spaces works because the goals of the two spaces are very different. Ask thread pages are a public space where the goal is to highlight the best answers for everyone. Recent Activity is a private space unique to the viewer where the goal is to highlight their contributions in the context of new activity.
That made a lot of sense to me then and still does. I don't like this change very much.
posted by grouse at 3:40 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like most changes to websites I use often, it'll jar me at first and will seem natural in a month.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:45 PM on June 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


The more I use it, the less I like it. I use the professional stylesheet because the default is not at all good for my colorblind eyes. Too low contrast.

On the professional stylesheet, the framed box seems way too light. Again, low contrast and difficult to see.

I realize that asking for a change based on my unique vision issue is silly and presumptuous. But if it turns out down the road that other people are having the same issue I'd like to put in a vote for "darker box, please."
posted by zarq at 3:51 PM on June 19, 2013


THIS IS TERRIBLE

because it is new

i suppose i'll acclimate
posted by klangklangston at 3:52 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also use Professional White flavor, and my first impression is that the box should be as dark as the "posted by" text. (I think right now it's the same color as the AskMe OP highlight, right?)

Otherwise I like it.
posted by muddgirl at 3:56 PM on June 19, 2013


Darker frame, I mean. I'm okay with the frame instead of a filled box.
posted by zarq at 3:57 PM on June 19, 2013


If you need a darker border color right away and have Stylish installed, you could use this rule:

.mycomments {border-color:#999 !important;}

That makes it a dark gray, but you could replace 999 with 000 (or something in between) to make it darker or black.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:04 PM on June 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like it, and I'm glad you were willing to try to implement the change, though I didn't comment in the other thread. I am one of those users that despite knowing the difference in functionality often have had a moment of thinking I had a Best Answer when scrolling my Recent Activity. Professional White user. I don't have a problem with the contrast level myself, but would not oppose zarq's and muddgirl's suggestion; I suppose it would serve as a further disambiguation from the at-this-time-same-colored bar marking the original poster responding in-thread, though they are probably already sufficiently distinct, with the indent of the one and the full boxitude of the other ….
posted by solotoro at 4:14 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can stylish be run on mobile (Android)?
posted by zarq at 5:06 PM on June 19, 2013


I like it, thanks
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:14 PM on June 19, 2013


Generally mobile browser don't have add-ons like Stylish, no.
posted by pb (staff) at 5:15 PM on June 19, 2013


Ah. Ok. Will only be somewhat helpful then. Thx.
posted by zarq at 5:21 PM on June 19, 2013


Got my junk in a box!
posted by octobersurprise at 5:26 PM on June 19, 2013


Looks like Stylish is available for Firefox on Androids. Haven't tried it out yet.
posted by pb (staff) at 5:34 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Um...people need to read MetaTalk more...because this New-MetaTalk-Contact-Form-Agreement applies here as well.
posted by travelwithcats at 5:38 PM on June 19, 2013


I like it a lot. And I normally am made uncomfortable by change.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:39 PM on June 19, 2013


Would it be possible to tweak the stylesheet to replicate the better contrast that script provides?...It would make the site look a lot better, too.

We're going to have to disagree on that. I certainly don't think it should become a default appearance.
posted by jacalata at 5:49 PM on June 19, 2013


Am I the only one seeing the second line of links on the left header, where the RA link is, stuck on the end of the first line in Firefox? It's like this at default size, professional white, Firefox, on MeTa and Ask; it's all left-justified if I shrink the font down to smaller than default, go to MeFi, switch to default style, or view in IE at any size.
posted by darksasami at 6:03 PM on June 19, 2013


OK, it seems to be related to my font size preferences, which doesn't make sense to me, as 1) I never saw this behavior before today and 2) it's all stuff in the page header, not in the body or byline or title.
posted by darksasami at 6:13 PM on June 19, 2013


Looks great. Less confusing.
posted by bongo_x at 6:32 PM on June 19, 2013


darksasami, everything is checking out ok in Firefox, plain theme here at various font sizes and text zoom levels. Are you running any MeFi user styles or Greasemonkey scripts?
posted by pb (staff) at 6:35 PM on June 19, 2013


AAAAAAH. SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT. OH GOD SOMETHING CHANGED YOU'RE TOTALLY MESSING WITH ME, HERE, THERE IS A DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE.

*twitch*

I'll be okay eventually - probably by tomorrow morning - but man this is weird right now.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:59 PM on June 19, 2013


The grey box line diminishes the contrast on the white stylesheet. It's a step backward and makes the reading recent activity harder to read.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:12 PM on June 19, 2013


I still wish for the return of the 1 April 2008 prank, where the background color changed subtly over time.
posted by not_on_display at 7:25 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you need a darker border color right away and have Stylish installed, you could use this rule:

.mycomments {border-color:#999 !important;}


Thanks for the tip, was able to put a lightly colored grey box behind the comment. Cool, those who want the change can have it and those who don't won't have to see it.

But now, when viewing Recent Activity on an iDevice, I'm stuck with seeing the damn gray border. So now I have two different ways of viewing the same information, one of which I did not ask, do not want and yet am forced to deal with. Not a huge deal, but...yeah.

Can we make this a user preference, please?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 PM on June 19, 2013


I don't really use the highlighting to pick out my comments, but I will say that on the white stylesheet it's so pale that it's neither here nor there, kind of like what BB mentions. At least for now I find myself squinting and thinking "Is something there or not?". I'd vote for upping the contrast, if you're going to have anything calling it out.

If this was the same color you were using when the entire background was changed, maybe there's some quantity like (degree of contrast) ✕ (area) that's decreased.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:31 PM on June 19, 2013


I ACTUALLY REALLY LIKE THIS

but I did also just have two glasses of wine at a meetup, so
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:32 PM on June 19, 2013


So now I have two different ways of viewing the same information

This balanced approach brought to you by a hologram of Wolf Blitzer.
posted by arcticseal at 7:34 PM on June 19, 2013


pb, I don't have any MeFi add-ons or scripts, but I can replicate the behavior on my home computer with stylish, greasemonkey, adblock, and ghostery disabled (all the add-ons that are common to home and work), by changing the Body Size preference from 10 to 8, with all other settings at default.

The browser window also has to be greater in width than the size of both header rows put together, or the second row snaps back into place.
posted by darksasami at 8:00 PM on June 19, 2013


So far this is looking okay by me and I live in Recent Activity.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:05 PM on June 19, 2013


Thanks mods! I really like this.
posted by capricorn at 8:06 PM on June 19, 2013


Um...people need to read MetaTalk more...because this New-MetaTalk-Contact-Form-Agreement applies here as well.

Yeah, I read the post and deliberately decided to go this route. *shrug* C'est la vie.
posted by zarq at 8:42 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not a huge fan, but also it's not killing me. I liked the contrast of the earlier version, but maybe it's just what I'm used to.
posted by codacorolla at 8:45 PM on June 19, 2013


Huh.

I saw it, panicked, took a screencap to email pb and then decided to check in here, just in case.

Figured.
posted by infini at 8:45 PM on June 19, 2013


I don't really use the highlighting to pick out my comments, but I will say that on the white stylesheet it's so pale that it's neither here nor there, kind of like what BB mentions. At least for now I find myself squinting and thinking "Is something there or not?

People's visual accuity varies, of course, but (and I say this without snark) you may want to check your monitor calibration. On every device I use (and again, I know eyes do vary), it is quite clearly differentiated using the white stylesheet.

I know find myself wondering if people can't see half of the subtle greyscale stuff I'm doing in my latest redesign of my primary blog thing. Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:48 PM on June 19, 2013


I see zarq is still not reading his MeMail. Hmph. I'll have to find someone else to stalk .. erm .. annoy ..um.. correspond with.
posted by deborah at 8:54 PM on June 19, 2013


Thanks for the extra info, darksasami. I found the problem and it should be looking better when you have a smaller body font size set.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:05 PM on June 19, 2013


Looks good, thanks! Was it a new change that caused it, or have I just been oblivious all along?

The Recent Activity change looks great too, btw.
posted by darksasami at 9:22 PM on June 19, 2013


jessamyn: So far this is looking okay by me and I live in Recent Activity.

When I'm here, I also live on the Recent Activity page. It's not looking okay to me. Additional contrast would be appreciated.

stav: People's visual accuity varies, of course, but (and I say this without snark) you may want to check your monitor calibration. On every device I use (and again, I know eyes do vary), it is quite clearly differentiated using the white stylesheet.

Interesting. Because of my aforementioned colorblindness, every screen I use has the brightness turned way up, including on my phone so that the colors are more vivid, and I can discern text when it's against a similar shade background. This generally increases contrast between dark colors. But it can also makes light colors against light backgrounds slightly harder to pick out.

--

pb, I watched the video tutorial for Stylish. None of the user templates available for the plugin will give me the user experience I had on Metafilter this morning using the plain white background. Should I be creating my own? Is there a tutorial written in lay English available that explains how to do that without screwing things up? I'm not a programmer.

Again, I'm just one user and sincerely don't expect special treatment. But I'm sure you can understand my frustration that a visual cue which has worked perfectly well for years now simply doesn't anymore. We can't revert back, so the only solution is to install and program a plugin to every device we use to access the site, which I'm guessing is probably not going to be possible in all cases.
posted by zarq at 9:22 PM on June 19, 2013


I understand your frustration, zarq. And I'm sorry you're frustrated with this change. The visual cue worked well for you, but we heard from many people that the visual cue was very confusing for them. So we made the decision to get rid of that confusion and make the site more consistant. We knew there were trade-offs with this change, and that not everyone would be happy with it. But we had a contingent of people who weren't happy with the status quo.

These are the decisions that we have to wrestle with, and after deliberating we felt in this case that the pain and frustration of change was worthwhile because it would be better for the community as a whole. Again, I'm sorry that you're not happy with the change.

As far as Stylish goes, the basic process is this: create a new user style, set it to run on MetaFilter.com, and paste in the line of code that I mentioned. Save it, and it should update things for you. Sorry, I don't have a link handy to a tutorial.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:34 PM on June 19, 2013


If a site change is proposed that you think you might not like, you should loudly and immediately oppose it. Even if the staff seem to initially be opposed to the idea. Because if they get the impression that users are clamoring for something to be changed it is going to be incredibly difficult to get them to change it back.

This happened with favorites. It happened with titles on the front pages. And now it's happening here. For perspective I think this is less of a big deal than the other things, although I can see why it is a big deal to some people, like zarq. But more it is a lesson about decision-making dynamics here that I keep forgetting.
posted by grouse at 9:58 PM on June 19, 2013


I should be embarrassed how pleased I am to have a best answer less than 8 hours after this change was implemented, but I am not at all.

(It looks great.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:15 PM on June 19, 2013


I like it! Hooray!
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:20 PM on June 19, 2013


Was it a new change that caused it, or have I just been oblivious all along?

No, it wasn't anything new. We just hadn't tested a lower body font size like that, and hadn't heard any reports of problems.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:24 PM on June 19, 2013


zarq, I wrote up my experience getting Stylish working for removing titles on the front page. Maybe it would be of some use to you?
posted by benito.strauss at 10:46 PM on June 19, 2013


stav - No worries. I'm using my laptop's screen, which I already know is highly sensitive to small changes in viewing angle. I'm sure it's poorly calibrated as well. It's not worth making changes if it's just me; I was just providing an extra data point.

zarq - I've been hacking around with Stylish a bit recently, so if I can help I'd be glad to. Though I only read Mefi on FireFox on my laptop, not on any other browsers/devices.

pb - If zarq is going to bother to install Stylish, is
.mycomments {border-color:#999 !important;}
the best he can do? Can you post the previous CSS rule, which I'm guessing styled "background-color" instead of "border-color"? Thanks.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:02 PM on June 19, 2013


I'm liking it. Maybe a tad more contrast? But the idea of a light border and/or a dark background is great.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:09 AM on June 20, 2013


This reminds of a conversation I had with a person who grew up outside America, that complained about the way America writes dates, calling it illogical. He's used to writing dates like so: DAY-MONTH-YEAR (1 December 2014), whereas in America the format is MONTH-DAY-YEAR (December 1, 2014).

Evidently, the American difference drives some foreigners nuts because of its "illogical" flow. That sort of how this change feels. Yeah, the coloring of user comments in Recent Activity didn't make total logical sense, but it wasn't a big deal to some, while it was to others.

But now a change has been suggested and trial run of said change been implemented. When you complain, the response from on high is to install an extension and fix the code yourself, which won't fix the problem on every device and then the gentle shrugging of shoulders from those who implemented the change as they say (paraphrasing here) "but many people wanted this, so lets try it ok and we'll just sort of ignore what you're saying and leave you in quandary, kthankbye"

It's always awesome when the interface of the individual gets changed because someone else or the group demands it. You guys working for Adobe now?

Again, I'm just one user and sincerely don't expect special treatment. But I'm sure you can understand my frustration that a visual cue which has worked perfectly well for years now simply doesn't anymore.

Here, come sit by me and practice the annoying art of letting go.


Can you post the previous CSS rule, which I'm guessing styled "background-color" instead of "border-color"?

Here's the rule I used, which probably isn't the exact one from before.
.mycomments {background: #ddd !important; border-color:#ddd !important;}
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:33 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


But now a change has been suggested and trial run of said change been implemented.

For a brief moment there, I rejoiced, thinking that y'all are finally going to start writing dates in the correct format. But no.

:-<
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:50 AM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is garish and confusing. Why not just use the best answer tick next to things that are best answers, since we already know what that means and since it's actually kind of intuitive, and leave the rest as it was. All this extra arbitrary colouring is, ug, I have no idea what's going on with my threads now. This site was always designed to have less crap, why add a whole bunch more?

Personally I had no problem with the previous settings. But a tiny handful of people did, made a lot of noise in metatalk about it, and now my recent activity setting has a lot of arbitrary extra colourings added in making it noisy and confusing for no extra benefit. This isn't how interface design for large websites is supposed to work.
posted by shelleycat at 2:36 AM on June 20, 2013


What I dislike about this the most is that you've added even more lines and blocks and whatever which had no previous meaning, so I have to guess what it all means. When you already had site conventions that worked but just weren't widely applied (i.e. the best answer tick icon). Instead of extending the things that you had you just added more, and the things you added were larger and ever more intrusive. It's not a good trend.

I can't get rid of them everywhere given I use a bunch of computers and two different phones and so I guess I won't be using recent activity as widely.
posted by shelleycat at 2:41 AM on June 20, 2013


Evidently, the American difference drives some foreigners nuts because of its "illogical" flow.

The only logical way is year-month-day, or you'll never get your files to sort in chronological order.
posted by solotoro at 3:32 AM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's always awesome when the interface of the individual gets changed because someone else or the group demands it.

I think this is a compromise we make when we choose to participate in a semi-public group space. We get to learn from each other and enjoy the benefits of a wide array of people coming together to discuss things. Part of that bargain is that those other people can advocate for change. MetaFilter is not dedicated to being completely static. Part of what we do is listen to feedback and make what we feel are appropriate changes to the space everyone shares. We offer advice about changing things with Stylish not to fix things—but to help people who want to go the DIY route if something is really bothering them.

When you already had site conventions that worked but just weren't widely applied...

That's exactly what this change is about. Since Ask MetaFilter began, a comment with a different background color has meant one thing: this comment was marked a Best Answer. Now we are applying that meaning more widely by making that the one meaning of a comment with a different background color everywhere. Since Ask MetaFilter is the primary place people have interactions, they have been trained for years to see a comment with a different background color and recognize it as a Best Answer. Having two different meanings instead of one is less intuitive than having a single convention.

We added one new method of highlighting comments. A complete border around a comment now signifies that a comment is your own. It does add more lines to the page, but that allows us to keep some highlighting for your own comments in RA while using a single meaning for a comment with a different background color.
posted by pb (staff) at 5:04 AM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


stavrosthewonderchicken: "I know find myself wondering if people can't see half of the subtle greyscale stuff I'm doing in my latest redesign of my primary blog thing. Ah well."

I don't know who decided that light gray text on a white background was a good idea. I think I first noticed it on gmail. Since then the plague of unreadable text has spread to many websites that want to show off how Web 2.0 they are.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:34 AM on June 20, 2013


When I was young and had perfect vision, I used to laugh at my dad holding things at the very limit of his reach to see them clearly. Now that I'm older and wear bifocals myself, it's not as funny. I think that our users have a median age far above 23. As each of us gets older, more and more of us are going to have trouble with a web site that has shitty contrast or otherwise depends on perfect vision.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:42 AM on June 20, 2013


So far this is looking okay by me and I live in Recent Activity.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:05 PM on June 19 [+] [!]


This is good, Grasshopper. You're on the right path. Better than living in the Past, but enlightenment will occur in the Now.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:50 AM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am not color blind, but I have friends who are #999;
posted by terrapin at 7:19 AM on June 20, 2013


"but many people wanted this, so lets try it ok and we'll just sort of ignore what you're saying and leave you in quandary, kthankbye"

It's always awesome when the interface of the individual gets changed because someone else or the group demands it. You guys working for Adobe now?


Well the tough part about making or not making any change is that at some level in a site with thousands of users you do have to "ignore" what some users are saying. That is, we heard you. We know you don't like it. We're trying to work with folks like you and zarq (and shellycat if she wants) to find a different way for you to return the old look to the same stuff if it's that troubling to you. That's us listening.

However, there's a difference between "We'll sort of ignore what you're saying" and "This is a thing other people wanted and on balance we think it's going to be better for more people even though it may be bad for a few." Sometimes things don't go your way. I didn't like titles particularly and I work here. Part of working with a big group of people is being willing to accept that listening to and understanding their complaints and frustrations is part of the job. Any design change is going to be resoundly hated by some group of people just because it's a change. Other people will dislike it because their design aesthetic is different from the way we did a a thing. There is literally no way to please everyone, we go for fairly unobtrusive changes most of the time. It's sort of a joke in the web world at how old fashioned this site looks and that's partly because changing things here is difficult.

At some level I know you know this, I'm not sure why you think making jabs at us as if we were some monolithic corporate entity is at all appropriate. We're all in this together.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:20 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that. I am a person who gets really fussy about cosmetic changes sometimes and so I empathize right to the bone with the "this is different and I preferred the previous way" feeling some folks are having here. But the alternative to "the interface of the individual gets changed because someone else or the group demands it" is "never change". Or, I suppose, "never change except with literally unanimous consensus" which is the same thing dressed up in drag. It sucks to be on the don't-like-it end of a change, but it's gonna happen now and then.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:54 AM on June 20, 2013


Have we discussed recently whether it would make sense to add a feature for per-user CSS? Just a text box in my edit-profile page where I can add CSS that gets included after the regular site CSS, whenever I'm logged in in any browser.

If that existed, the instructions for zarq would become: (1) click here to edit your profile; (2) paste in this CSS; (3) click save; (4) live happily ever after, in whatever browser or device you use.

The identical instructions would have applied back when someone requested a dyslexic-friendly font option, and back when people wanted an option to hide titles, and so on. There could be a page in the wiki with cut-n-paste recipes to add to your CSS box. While it would add some tech & support overhead, it might on balance help to keep things simple by avoiding custom code for worthy edge cases. And maybe it just reduces friction to make basically any aesthetic objection easily fixable without much technical skill?

I assume this has been talked to death at some point and doesn't exist for good reasons. I couldn't immediately find a previous discussion about it. But has the calculus changed now that so many of us are reading on multiple devices, and devices that don't support Stylish?
posted by jhc at 8:00 AM on June 20, 2013


pb: "I understand your frustration, zarq. And I'm sorry you're frustrated with this change. The visual cue worked well for you, but we heard from many people that the visual cue was very confusing for them. So we made the decision to get rid of that confusion and make the site more consistant. We knew there were trade-offs with this change, and that not everyone would be happy with it. But we had a contingent of people who weren't happy with the status quo.

These are the decisions that we have to wrestle with, and after deliberating we felt in this case that the pain and frustration of change was worthwhile because it would be better for the community as a whole. Again, I'm sorry that you're not happy with the change.

As far as Stylish goes, the basic process is this: create a new user style, set it to run on MetaFilter.com, and paste in the line of code that I mentioned. Save it, and it should update things for you. Sorry, I don't have a link handy to a tutorial.
"

Thank you, pb. It's okay. I'll do that with Stylish and see if it fixes things. (And thank you, benito.strauss, if I can't get it running I'll be sure to call for help!)

Just to reiterate, I actually have no problem with the style. The frame is just as good as the shaded box, as far as I'm concerned. My issue is simply with the lightness of the gray. So if down the road after getting feedback from other folks you're able/willing to darken the frame, it would actually solve any difficulty I'm having.
posted by zarq at 8:07 AM on June 20, 2013


The only logical way is year-month-day, or you'll never get your files to sort in chronological order.

Elapsed microseconds since the dawn of Unix!
posted by Artw at 8:14 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I agree that the frame could stand to be just a shade higher contrast for both professional and default background color schemes. Otherwise, I think that this change is fine. I am holding out hope that maybe there does not need to be GIANT BACKLASH GRAR on principle over every single minor tweak to the appearance of the site, because that's getting disheartening.
posted by desuetude at 8:53 AM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have we discussed recently whether it would make sense to add a feature for per-user CSS

I don't remember discussing it recently, no. Matt has run experiments in the past where people could add their own styles. There was an experiment with allowing user-defined styles for profile pages. In each of those cases security vulnerabilities were eventually found that made the feature unusable. CSS has been a good cross site scripting attack vector.

As an official site feature it's something we'd need to be very hands-on about supporting. So we'd be helping people get their CSS working. We do that to some extent already in threads like these, but as an official site feature we'd spending much more time explaining/teaching CSS.

We feel like we're already making decisions for the site that work for the majority of members in a way that we can support. We're not opposed to people remixing things as they need to, but we're not ready to officially support it.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:24 AM on June 20, 2013


There was an experiment with allowing user-defined styles for profile pages. In each of those cases security vulnerabilities were eventually found that made the feature unusable. CSS has been a good cross site scripting attack vector.

Sorry if I'm confused, but that doesn't apply to the feature I'm describing, right? The attack vector comes in if I can affect how other users see the site. The only attacks on the feature I'm describing would involve tricking users into copying and pasting malicious code, which doesn't seem any easier than the existing social engineering attacks.

I definitely hear you on the extra-tech-support side, though. I would see it coming with an "Advanced: Use at your own risk" label, but if you still see it causing a lot of extra work I believe you.
posted by jhc at 11:24 AM on June 20, 2013


Yeah, it's not quite the same thing when the code is only injected for a specific user. I still think there's a "copy and paste this code!" danger. We'd have to sanitize the CSS. It's not impossible, but I do think it'd be quite a bit more support time.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:27 AM on June 20, 2013


Wow, per-user CSS that is delivered to every platform the user is on is a brilliant idea, and I would never, ever, ever want to be in the least bit responsible for supporting it, or, God forbid, having to worry about the security risks of using it.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:15 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Like most changes to websites I use often, it'll jar me at first and will seem natural in a month.

Agreed.

I still hate the new Flickr update though.
posted by maryr at 6:29 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Per user media queries could be an interesting thing.
posted by Artw at 6:48 PM on June 20, 2013


We used to be able to add custom CSS, way back when. Wayyy back when, so far back that I'm suddenly uncertain if I'm remembering correctly. Maybe it was only on our profile pages?

It would be a bear to implement securely, I know, but dear god it would be a fun thing if we could add our own, on-server, custom CSS mods, and be able to share our designs (or, even better, just chunks of it, like modules, for different parts of the site) with each other. A thousand flowers, blooming.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:55 PM on June 20, 2013


One word: MySpace.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:04 PM on June 20, 2013


Oh, I don't mean that anyone but us could see our customizations. They'd be for ourselves only, but you know, maybe with a screenshot and sharing mechanism of some kind to show them off on our profile pages or whatever, so that people could use them if they wanted.

I'm not seriously suggesting this. But it would be fun.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:08 PM on June 20, 2013


That's the idea behind userstyles.org. They even have a MetaFilter section.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:49 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh. I don't think I've ever seen the gallery thing with screenshots and stuff before. But I never really bothered to mess with Stylish until fairly recently.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:18 PM on June 20, 2013


The change was jarring, but already getting used to it. Would like to see the frame a smidgen darker please. I'm on professional white background.
posted by arcticseal at 8:08 AM on June 21, 2013


Okay, it took me two days, but now it's all normal to me again.

OH THANK GOD.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:36 PM on June 21, 2013


I still hate the new Flickr update though.

yeah, what I said comes with a Yahoo Exception, they are the Nincompoops At The Internet
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:57 PM on June 21, 2013


The reason this is sad: I'm newish and I answered an AskMe thing and then I looked at my activity later and thought the new box meant that my random unexciting answer had been chosen as the Special Most Helpful Answer In The Box or whatever. And no. Unsurprisingly, it was not.

I hope everybody -- all of you people no longer reading this thread at all -- is feeling very VERY sad for me right now.

The end.
posted by gerstle at 6:02 PM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hugs, we've all been there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:21 PM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


So sad.
posted by maryr at 6:32 PM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


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