Feedback, Please!

Feedback — you haz it. Tell us about any parts of the new site design you’ve noticed are missing or aren’t working properly.

Leave a note in comments here for follow-up with the developer. Thanks!

Please be sure to indicate what operating system and browser you are using to access the site when you have found something not working as expected. This is really important. However, do NOT provide information beyond this generalized detail (just tell us Windows 7/Firefox or iOS/Safari, for example).

This is NOT an open thread. Please use this for feedback about the site. Thanks again!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
37 replies
  1. jerryy says:

    This line:

    “just tell us Windows 7/Firefox or iOS/Safari, for example”

    really needs to be re-written. You have mixed operating systems in with browsers. Windows and iOS are operating systems, Firefox and Safari are browsers. One could easily be using FireFox on iOS or Safari on iOS or Firefox on Android or Chrome or Opera or Safari or whatever on Windows or Linux or macOS or … or a browser on a mobile device. etc.

    p.s. The new look is nice.

  2. John Casper says:


    Rayne wrote it correctly. She intentionally “mixed” operating systems and browsers to make the very point you inaccurately accused her of missing.

    I agree it looks nice. I’m running Safari on OS X El Capitan, latest version. Any chance you could leave what operating systems and browsers you use to view emptywheel?

    • jerryy says:

      I did not accuse her of missing the point, just that what she wrote is misleading.


      I use Firefox and Safari on OS X El Capitan as well as macOS Sierra. Ditto for iOS 9 and iOS 10.

      I also use Firefox on Linux Mint — Cinnamon.

      Occasionally, I wander in using Edge or Explorer on Windows.


      If you prefer, I can scramble those as per the written request :)

      • Rayne says:

        Hey. I just needed feedback about the site. I don’t need policing on how I asked for the feedback.

        I asked OS first because it’s dictated by the device first — as in, are you on a desktop/laptop (which means Win/OS X/Linux etc.) versus mobile (which means Android/iOS in +90% of cases). And then the browser, because there’s a plethora of browsers across all platforms.

        Would you like me to take issue with the fact you forgot Opera, Dolphin, Maxthon, hundreds of other browsers?

        Putting aside your need to police my language, did you have a problem with the site? Because I really don’t care what device/operating system/browser you use otherwise.

        • jerryy says:

          If you ask for something, then give an example, should your example not match your request?

          I did not forget the other browsers, if you re-read what I wrote — I responded directly to what I was directly asked…

  3. John Casper says:

    Rayne, I haven’t seen any problems.

    Like the clean, minimalist look–a visual vacation from clutter.  Appreciate the five-minutes to edit after commenting, no need for a period to insert a space in between paragraphs. Thank you for all you do.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, John. I think the editing feature has been most popular so far. I miss the ability to use HTML in drafting my comments, but since I’ve got editor powers I can always use the backend to tweak my comments.

  4. P J Evans says:

    The “reply” button sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Likewise the formatting buttons aren’t there for replies and editing, only for the original comment.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m still trying to get a handle on why the Reply button works only some of the time; I can’t duplicate it. If you notice any other variables about this which might explain this, do let me know.

      Any chance you’re switching between PCs/laptops which might have different versions of Firefox?

  5. bmaz says:

    I have heard complaints from others about the bullet points editing function not working properly.

    My main public complaint would be that the content is not fully adjustable for screen/window size. I have to run tab windows far larger (read wider) than I normally do, or want to do, to get the content across the page with all the columns as it is intended.

    Also, would very much like it if there was an option to not participate in the “nesting” of comments. We have posts that string out over time. When comments are nested, as opposed to being chronological with a simple “this is in reply to” advisory, comments are very difficult to track and deal with.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks — are you using a PC or a mobile device when you have problems with the bullets? I’ve noticed more HTML formatting problems with Android devices than my Win PC, particularly bullets.

      I’ll pass on the feedback about content width.

      Also the nesting — that’s really annoying, already problematic in just one post. I think we should limit nesting if possible as well as offer the option to show thread versus nest.

      • bmaz says:

        This is on both MacBook laptops, one bigger than than the other, but both running El Capitan. I had this problem in Beta too, so no huge deal; but weird how some sites scale better in and out of width.

        Nesting option would be great. Jeralyn has the option at TalkLeft. If only one or other, I still like chron better than nesting by far.

        Bullet points were something couple of others noted (I think Peterr and Rosalind), but I don’t have any personal knowledge. Not sure what platforms they are using.

  6. Alana says:

    Love your site!
    Maybe I’ve missed it, but something I’ve long wished for when visiting your site is a search function – for example “EO 12333” would bring up all the postings of that topic.
    Currently if I want to search your site I go into my search engine and do an internet search of say “empty wheel EO 12333”. This is across my mobile and desktop platforms and work and personal computers running different systems.

    • Rayne says:

      I wonder if the Search feature isn’t showing up for you; I can see it in my Win7/Chrome desktop at upper right under Contact, right of Support. I put “EO 12333” in the drop down — the system offered (272) results at link: https://www.emptywheel.net/?s=EO+12333

      Any more details you can offer so I can duplicate the problem would be helpful. Thanks!



      • Alana says:

        I have an iPhone 6s and iPod mini, running the latest iOS (didn’t have the search function before I updated recently and I still don’t).

        Whether I use the safari; DuckDuckGo; or StartPage     apps to view your site, none of them show a search function.

        I just checked my desktops again (I hadn’t since the update to your site) and now I do see the search function, although honest I didn’t see it before. My desktops are all MacBooks and were just updated to run OS X El Capitan 10.11.6

  7. TomVet says:

    I’ve noticed a little quirk in my comment box. At the lower left corner, just above the “Post Comment” button there sits a single letter “p” which is an active link whose only function appears to be to highlight the last paragraph of a comment typed into the box. It has me scratching my head.

    I’m on Win 7/Firefox. The earlier problem I had viewing the page was helpfully cured by bmaz and I have had no further problems to date.

  8. bloopie2 says:

    Excellent overall, except for the hospital-wall green color scheme.  My only bug is that sometimes my attempted posts get rejected in Windows 7 Version 6.1, with Firefox.  Takes me to a “Captcha”  type screen to provi I’m not a robot, which I always fail.  Next time that happens I’ll try it in Internet Explorer.
    PS: Love your posts, keep them coming!

    • Rayne says:

      Huh. That’s odd. Have you looked at your settings in Firefox to see how it’s clearing cache/cookies/history? Only reason I can think of off the top of my head to explain why you’re not identified as a previously known human. I can’t recommend Internet Explorer, but it might work as an alternate.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  9. TomVet says:

    Hi, me again in reply to TomVet at 1:28pm.

    I just did a quick check and the little “p” appears in all comment boxes I use. Firefox, Chrome and IE 11 on Win 7, and Chrome on my Android phone.

    • Rayne says:

      Yeah, I think the last paragraph thing is a feature of the comment system since it appears regardless of the operating system or browser used.

      It’s kind of handy because it let me select a particularly terse graf before I unloaded on someone in another thread. LOL

      Thanks for checking across different OS/browsers and for the feedback.

  10. arbusto says:

    Running Win 7 Pro, SRWare Iron (Chrome without Google tracking)

    Agree with bmax on nesting comments.  Maybe allow toggle?   Would like Comments numbered in lieu of nesting to keep reply’s in context with conversation.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks much, I’ll put you down as a vote for Comments option thread-or-nested. Not certain about numbering option, but we can look into it.

  11. bloopie2 says:

    “Nested comments v. un-nested comments” is not solvable–I remember when The Guardian changed its system and the commenters went nuts. There are benefits and detriments to each system; 50% of commenters will never be satisfied. What we really need is a 3-D system that will highlight for the reader anything new that pops up, be it a reply or not, and that also maintains all the inter-comment relationships. Maybe we all can wear goggly-eyes headsets or something to make that happen?

    • Rayne says:

      It’s a general rule of thumb that not all users will be happy with changes, especially to internet technology.  The thread (or flat) versus nested comments option is most widely available across commenting systems — we’ll look into that first. It’s less likely a newest-comment-highlighted feature will be available let alone implemented; such a feature would rely on unique identification of the reader, and many users here will not want that. Ahem.

  12. Old Charlie says:

    The pale green type color you use is too low-contrast. This makes many pages difficult to read. For example, those with many embedded links. The color change from black is distracting, lessening the impact of your words.

    The outlines of the text fields are (still?) too light, making it difficult to see where they are.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for your input on contrast.. We’ll look into this further as we do have a number of readers with vision challenges.

      I don’t know what operating system or browser you’re using; if you’re on Firefox or Chrome, you might try adding an extension for night viewing like Night Mode Pro. An extension may allow you to increase contrast and change colors. (I’m using one now — black background, increased contrast, purple instead of green for the titles.)

    • Ducksoup says:

      On mine (Windows 10, Edge and Chrome) it shows in the white bar at the top. It says HOME, ABOUT, POSTS, TIMELINE COLLECTION, SUPPORT (in a box) and then the magnifying glass for SEARCH.

  13. pdaly says:

    No technical troubles noted so far using OS X El Captain/Safari 10.0.

    I agree that nested comments are hard to follow/find if returning to a thread. The previous ‘in reply to’ link worked great if a reader needed the context for a seemingly stand alone comment.

    Sometimes I have nothing to add, but would like the person to know I saw and read the comment. Wondering whether there is any plan for a “Like” feature for a post/comment? (similar to Facebook). This might also keep an active thread from receding to the background.

    Would posters want to know that they are being heard without ‘nice job’ cluttering up the comments section?

  14. JonKnowsNothing says:

    Desktop Using Win 7/IE stripped

    I have to enable JavaScript (not good) and I have allow BOT TRACKING (really not good) to make this comment. I run straight HTML – no video, no auto-downloads, no flash, no social media (no FB, Twiiter) etc. By now you all should know that simply having the FB logo is enough for all tracking to happen. The NSA loves you more than you realize or maybe you DO wish to make a direct contribution?

    1 The site has an enormous banner – ditch that please
    2 The new Solitaire Card deck layout clips nearly all the opening paragraphs of a post. This requires CLICKING the LINK (see tracking) to see what the post is about – please extend the amount of space for displaying the post
    3 The text is in HELVETICA/ARIEL – nice for advertising but really not good for reading. Consider options for other serifed fonts for the body of the post.
    4 The color scheme – well early morning puke green doesn’t really appeal much

    I really like the site and reading the in depth stuff that is here is very important but the new layout is designed for those with 122 character screens, smartphones(aka warheads on foreheads), tracking enabled all the time, every post, every click, every visit. The information is too important to have it walled behind 10 lines of “click bait” to see the next 10 lines.

    While you cannot control the backend of whatever system you are using, you might want to revisit some of the Snowden Docs and give your readers some help…

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for the feedback. Some of the items you’ve mentioned are likely to change now that we’ve had some time for all the contributors to use the site. Some will not because this is a refresh, like buying a new outfit instead of simply putting new buttons on the old.

      Stay tuned.

  15. Klynn says:

    I’ve been away for a while…again due to caregiving…

    For the past week, I have been wanting to come and lurk and catch up on reading.  I’ve been sensing an urgency to visit.  I finally have a moment to drop by and the place is all spruced up!  Looks great…Now I am off to lurk and catch up on reading!

    • Rayne says:

      Hey Klynn! Nice to see you. Hope you’re caring for yourself as much as you’re caring for others. Thanks for the feedback on the site, drop in again soon!

Comments are closed.