Gutterballs July 14, 2011 4:26 PM   Subscribe

We periodically have problems with remote ad servers hanging up page loading on MetaFilter and we'd like to tweak the homepage layouts to make this impact much less of a problem. However, I'm not sure how it will impact the greasemonkey script deleted post type features because the code will change a bit on the home page.

Here is the test page:

All we've done is turn the sidebar into a column that is the full height of the page, and we've put the sidebar content following the main posts in the page. In this scenario, if the The Deck ad server is down, the entire left side (mefi posts) content will load instantly, then the sidebar will take some more time to load, but you'll be able to use the site. Currently, if the ad server slows down you get the entire front page occupied by an ad that is waiting to load.

THIS INTRODUCES A SMALL RIGHT SIDE GUTTER BELOW THE SIDEBAR, yes, but it's a pretty minor change with a large benefit of being able to read posts ok.

What is important for us to know before we deploy: If you write greasemonkey scripts or have browser extensions that work on the front page of, make sure your stuff can work (we added one more CSS div with an inline style (that will become part of the stylesheet with a real name).

We have tested the layout in many browsers (you can see the screenshots here) and it seems to work (we'll get rid of the scrollbar on Win/IE if it went live), but mostly I want to issue a warning to everyone scraping the page and make sure everyone's cool with a minor layout change.
posted by mathowie (staff) to Bugs at 4:26 PM (44 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

As long as I don't end up in the gutter again I'm ok with this.
posted by fuq at 4:51 PM on July 14, 2011

You invented this bug so that you could make a post called 'Gutterballs.'
posted by shakespeherian at 4:55 PM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

Ah, that was buggin' me this afternoon. I'm curious, though, why isn't the trigger for the loading of The Deck an onLoad or some variant? Is it a contractual deal?
posted by adipocere at 5:12 PM on July 14, 2011


That's fine -- I don't think anybody reads the posts down there anyway.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:14 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is this why the Deck 'hide' button seems to be broken on Ask and Meta (but not Mefi)? (Win7, chrome and IE, if it matters)
posted by pompomtom at 5:20 PM on July 14, 2011

Yup, broken on Firefox as well. (And the deletedthread greasemonkey script doesn't work.)
posted by Melismata at 5:25 PM on July 14, 2011

...and fixed.
posted by pompomtom at 5:35 PM on July 14, 2011

FF5, Win7. The deletedthread script is not working.
posted by vidur at 5:36 PM on July 14, 2011

If you load this test page, you should see the deck ad.

We can't do anything crazy with the loading of it since it's already a weird document.write thing so there's no way to delay/offset it's loading.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:38 PM on July 14, 2011

Yeah, the deleted post script is broken for chrome. Mefi Scroll Tag and Post Differentiator still work though.
posted by crunchland at 5:53 PM on July 14, 2011

Deck "hide" not working for me (Mac, OS 10.6.8, Safari).
posted by Aquaman at 5:56 PM on July 14, 2011

I'll repeat that the Deck Ad will always show on the test page.

I guess I'm hoping the deleted scripts author (plutor? someone else?) can fix it up before it goes live.

Mostly I'm just making sure people don't flip out if a new gutter margin shows up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:01 PM on July 14, 2011

You people saying that the deleted posts script is broken -- are you basing it off it not loading on the testpage? Because you shouldn't expect it to; look at the default URLs that it's enabled for:
// @include http://*
// @include http://**
// @include http://**
// @include http://*
// @exclude
// @exclude*
None of these match against, so the script isn't trying to be run. If you add that URL in the properties the script works fine on the test page.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:04 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Awesome, thanks Rhomboid, so sounds like it'd work if we released this soon.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:08 PM on July 14, 2011

Also the phantom horizontal scrollbar goes away if you change the main content div from "margin-right: 143px" to 147px. I'm not sure if that's the same issue with my ancient browser as with IE6, though.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:21 PM on July 14, 2011

Earlier today I was having page load issues, but the issues were caused by slow responses from and Is that a separate bug?
posted by slater at 6:32 PM on July 14, 2011

I'm marking this post a zero. I'm sorry, mathowie, but that was over the line.
posted by Eideteker at 6:35 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dammit! It was a beer frame too!
posted by Roger Dodger at 6:45 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I cannot accept a gutter. Leaving for
posted by yerfatma at 6:52 PM on July 14, 2011

If the deleted threads script breaks and plutor's not around, I'll take a look at it tomorrow afternoon.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 6:53 PM on July 14, 2011

This still doesn't render for shit on my Mosaic 0.73 on 16-bit windows.
posted by birdherder at 7:26 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

"Wednesday, mathowie, is Cat-Scan, the MeFi anniversary. That means that I don't work, I don't get in a car, I don't fucking ride in a car, I don't handle money, I don't turn on the oven, and I sure as shit don't fucking update greasemonkey scripts!"
posted by Eideteker at 7:34 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

mathowie: "mostly I want to issue a warning to everyone scraping the page and make sure everyone's cool with a minor layout change. "

Why wasn't I consulted?
posted by Chrysostom at 7:39 PM on July 14, 2011

I may plant a nice flower bed in that border. Perhaps a rockery.
posted by arcticseal at 7:42 PM on July 14, 2011

How often does this problem come up? I have never seen this and I spend too much time here.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:57 PM on July 14, 2011

I've been getting page load issues for the past four hours: no CSS, extremely slow loading.
posted by bwg at 8:12 PM on July 14, 2011

"Deleted threads, dude."
posted by Eideteker at 8:53 PM on July 14, 2011

Should I complain if I can't see the gutter?
posted by deborah at 9:02 PM on July 14, 2011

Scroll down past the end of the sidebar. On the test page, post text doesn't extend under the sidebar as it does in the current version. Once you see it, you should be outraged.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 9:20 PM on July 14, 2011

Can't comment on how the gutter affects scripts, as I don't use 'em, but it's got a great view of the stars.
posted by Abiezer at 9:54 PM on July 14, 2011

I like the gutter. It's where I keep my mind.
posted by maxwelton at 10:24 PM on July 14, 2011

I don't know if it made a difference, but after switching my DNS to Google's servers, a few refreshes finally brought MeFi full back online for me.

Might be a coincidence but I'm glad it's working again.
posted by bwg at 11:17 PM on July 14, 2011

Layout looks ok on Opera for Linux, in case you were worried about all three of us.
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:55 AM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

This just takes away all of the joy of anticipation in waiting for the home page to load.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:24 AM on July 15, 2011

posted by Plutor at 5:56 AM on July 15, 2011

We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the star next to jessamyn's username.
posted by Zozo at 7:36 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just popping back in to confirm that the deleted thread script works just fine.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:03 AM on July 15, 2011

This does not actually solve the problem of too-wide line lengths on MetaFilter (i.e., the problem that lines are as nearly as wide as your window, which in typical cases means most of the width of your monitor). Even with what you’re calling a gutter, lines are too wide.
posted by joeclark at 10:21 AM on July 15, 2011


Good. It's better that way.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:42 PM on July 15, 2011

I prefer layouts that fluidly adjust the width of the lines rather than keeping all the text smooshed in a tiny little part of the middle of my screen. I can read it fine on my 24" monitor, same as I can read it on the 10" screen of my netbook. Mefi works a-okay.
posted by IndigoRain at 5:22 PM on July 15, 2011

Amusingly (and oddly, because I thought you guys had fixed it), the page load hang while waiting for the ad server has never happened to me until just now, on the Metatalk home.

Not complaining -- just an FYI.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:50 AM on July 18, 2011

We'll be making this live in the site this evening. Let us know if you notice anything weird.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:09 PM on July 19, 2011

The "hide" link is now not working for me, on either FF 3.6.19 or Safari 5.0.5 on OSX 10.6.8.
posted by asterix at 9:20 PM on July 19, 2011

Thanks asterix, should be working now.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:01 PM on July 19, 2011

« Older Is there a metaaskmeta section?   |   Does our askme's number one go-to answer actually... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments