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The Hive – The (Subtle) Changes At S&L

As you may or may not have noticed, we have initiated some minor changes here at S&L over the last few days.

Foremost among these changes is the new comment threading (nesting), as well as the (hopefully) improved comment editing.

We have also added the ability to use personalized “avatars.” Avatars are the small icons or pictures which appear next to each poster’s name in the comments threads.

You can upload your own avatar at Gravatar.com. It’s surprisingly easy – and free.

Just be sure to use the same email address that you use here, and the avatar will appear here automatically. (Your registered email address shows up in your profile when you log in.)

We would like to hear whether you think these are actually improvements, or if you preferred things the way they were. Any other constructive suggestions you may have are also most welcome.

Of course, as usual, this thread is open to other topics as well.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, December 20th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

86 Responses to “The Hive – The (Subtle) Changes At S&L”

  1. Steve says:

    Another new feature you may have noticed is the poll at the bottom of the right hand sidebar.

    This will probably be used sparingly, and to mostly to query the members about S&L matters, such as the current poll: should we allow more trolls dissenting views?

    [Note: this poll is now closed.]

  2. GuppyNblue says:

    I thinks it’s great. The only good thing I can say about lib blogs is their look and feel – content nothing. Give them a run SG.
    Let’s see if my avatar took.

    • Steve says:

      “The only good thing I can say about lib blogs is their look and feel…”

      That’s all that Soros money.

      Actually, the only leftwing site that I can even abide the look of is Zsa Zsa Huffington’s. And that was largely designed by a conservative — Andrew Breitbart — Matt Drudge’s right hand man.

  3. GuppyNblue says:

    “That’s all that Soros money.”
    lol – it’s funny cause it’s true. Well if I win the lotto you can expect a big donation.

  4. my boy rules says:

    …always read, rarely comment… but geez, I HAVE to try out my new avatar!

  5. bill says:

    Great improvements.

  6. rocketman says:

    SG – You have outdone yourself. Great improvement.

  7. wardmama4 says:

    I am so glad that I am not the only one struggling to do (what I know is) a simple little computer task! Help

    • sheehanjihad says:

      There is some quirk that prevents the avatar from taking…anyone know what it is? Wardmama, if you find out, tell me, will ya?

    • GuppyNblue says:

      If you’re trying to embed your image from a website, I did see one quirk when I did it. When I pasted the URL (web address) it was displaying it twice – back to back. Confirm that the URL is exactly the same as the web site before hitting submit.

  8. proreason says:

    Good changes SG. One of several reasons I like S&L is because of the usability. The changes just make it even better. My only complaint is speed, but getting faster is probably too expensive.

    • Steve says:

      “My only complaint is speed, but getting faster is probably too expensive.”

      Believe it or not, we already pay (what seems to me to be) a small fortune for our internet hosting service. (When we started we only paid $6 a month.)

      The site loading delays are mostly due to all the photos and especially YouTubes. The site will only load as fast as those links will allow.

      Of course the other bells and whistles, such as comment editing, also contribute to whatever drag there is.

      For the record, the site loads fairly fast for me, and for my host server. But I will turn on the caching system to see if that helps.

      The problem with caching, however, is that it can complicate things — like editing comments and even avatars. Since changes sometimes won’t show up immediately when you reload the page.

    • GuppyNblue says:

      When I edit while using my PC everything is fine but when I’m using my Mac I just see the scrolling horizontal barber bar forever. I think I just need an update. What is the software you use for this (flashplayer maybe)?

    • Steve says:

      “when I’m using my Mac I just see the scrolling horizontal barber bar forever. I think I just need an update. What is the software you use for this (flashplayer maybe)?”

      That feature uses something called ajax. It should be Mac compatible.

      I’ve just tweaked it a little. Let me know if that helped.

      If not, the editing program itself is not quite up to date with the rest of our software here. However, it should be updated quite soon, and hopefully that will resolve any problems.

    • proreason says:

      The site loads fast enough for me.

      The speed issue is when the site pulls in the Comments. Sometimes, that can take up to a minute, whereas on other sites, the posts seem to be pulled in immediately..

    • Steve says:

      PR, are you talking about how long it takes for the thread with comments to load? Or are you saying it takes a while for any comment you post to show up?

      FWIW, it does seem to take up to 40 seconds for any new comment I make to finally show up.

    • proreason says:

      “PR, are you talking about how long it takes for the thread with comments to load? Or are you saying it takes a while for any comment you post to show up?”

      While my comment is being uploaded to your site, it takes about a minute, and I can’t do anything else on your site while it is working on it. Once it’s uploaded, it is immediately viewable.

      Yours is the only site where I see that happen, so I think there is something unique about how your server takes input from the user.

    • GuppyNblue says:

      I just switched my browser from Safari to Firefox and that took care of my problem editing on the Mac :)

    • Steve says:

      “While my comment is being uploaded to your site, it takes about a minute, and I can’t do anything else on your site while it is working on it. Once it’s uploaded, it is immediately viewable.”

      Yes. I believe that is the trade-off for having threaded comments, and probably also having the ability to edit them as well.

      Which is one of the reasons why I wanted to solicit everyone’s feelings about whether these new features are worth the problems.

      This posting delay will probably improve with future updates to the programs involved. But we could just go back to our old ways and commenting would then be a little faster.

    • proreason says:

      I like the threaded comments more than I dislike the delay.

  9. Gila Monster says:

    Nice changes, I like it.

    If it’s any consolation SJ, I struggled with the avatar-thingy for a bit too. ;o)

  10. Liberals Demise says:

    Cool changes there SG….but Im stupid when it comes to puters and the amasing things that can be done. My daughter had to walk me through the simplicities of the gravatar thingy.

  11. 1republicanscientist says:

    SG, this IS change we can believe in.

  12. proreason says:

    All other actions are fast enough. The only slow thing is uploading the comment.

  13. Liberals Demise says:

    How come my avatar is fuzzy? Ive changed it many times. How do I clear it and repost it? I’ve checked the help thing but to no avail!

  14. JohnMG says:

    Like the reply feature–it makes following along a lot easier.

  15. GuppyNblue says:

    Just wanted to note another nice thing about the new thread format. In the past I didn’t want to edit if someone had already posted after me. It would trump their more recent comment in the Buzz and I thought that wasn’t really fair to do.

  16. BigOil says:

    Good stuff SG. Thanks for giving us a toy to play with – like an early Christmas present.

  17. Zilla says:

    Just checking.

  18. Kilmeny says:

    Very nice, SG. I likey.

  19. JohnMG says:

    Can anyone tell me why the “click to edit” remains on every one of my posts just below the date and time stamp?

  20. joeblough says:


    The technology behind the site gives you a short time (I forget how long) to go back and edit your comment after it’s submitted.

    After that, the next time the page loads it comes up without the “click to edit” link.

  21. DEZ says:

    “Compared to my 500 terawatt yttrium gallium arsenide charged particle beam blasting wand? ”

    A tater stick!

  22. cjokry says:

    I love this site now even more than before. It looks nicer and still has that wholesome, truthy flavor that I’ve become addicted to. Keep up the good work.

  23. dulcimergrl says:

    I’m liking the changes, especially the ‘reply’ feature. Now let’s see if my avatar works…

    …Yep, I see it! (it’s a ceramic figurine of a frog playing a hammered dulcimer)

  24. Steve says:

    And hopefully everyone will remember to check out the poll at the bottom of the sidebar and vote.

    You don’t need to show any form of ID. Just like in most of America.

  25. proreason says:

    with a nod to Artboy, whose pen I’m not fit to carry…
    “The Night Before Christmas”

    “Oh Bamy” she cooed, “my mouth is dry again. Could you do me a big fave and get me another glass of wawa”.

    “Holy Allah” he thought to himself. “I’m 26 days, 7 hours and 13 minutes from being the Leader of the Free World, and I’ve got to get this insatiable witch mouth wash for the fifth time tonight. Does it never end”? And besides, the Dom Perignon that was supposed to last for 12 days was already running out and it was only Christmas Eve.

    But he knew better than to resist, and swung his legs up high to generate enough momentum to flip himself out of the chasm created by his lean and her massive body, and struggled to the washroom again. At least the nightlight blinking “Your Majesty, Your Majesty” soothed his mood and he poured the Dom Perignon without spilling a drop on the pearl inlaid mantle.

    Besides, he mused, tomorrow was the day his immaculate daughters would see their present. Oh sure, he had told the press that he and Michelle never give presents to the little darlings, but hey, he had just been elected President of the F**king World, so who could begrudge him a tiny extravagance.

    Fortunately, the now useless worm Rezko was safely in thumb-screws in the slammer, so the half acre next door to the White House West was available to build a Fairy Castle to die for. His brow furrowed in his studied “deep thinker” look as he remembered how hard it had been to make decisions about what the castle would hold. But in an inspired burst of brilliance, he had delegated that task to the witch Pelosi. If anybody knows how to ladle on the extravagance, that one does. And besides, he recalled, her “body servants” from San Francisco have the decorating genes fit for the daughters of an emperor.

    As the golden elixir glittered in the diamond crystal glass, Obama lit up a Pall Mall, extra strength, for a quick smoke. For a second he panicked as he pulled the first drag deep into his lungs…remembering his promise not to smoke in the White House. But the concern faded as he recalled how he had carefully dropped the “g” from the word smoking when he made the pledge to his adoring media. Obviously, as everybody knows, “smokin” is not a word….so of course, not “smokin” has no meaning. When the drag reached the 30 second mark, he relaxed and let the soothing smoke flow up through his nasal passages and out his nose and ears. Nothin like a good smoke he thought to himself.

    Then he padded back to bed carrying the golden elixer as ordered by the domineering woman, and looked forward to a few hours of uninterrupted sleep after servicing her for the third time that night.

    And then it happened! RIIINNNNNG, RINNGG, RIIINNGGGGG. Sure enough, he glanced at his gold encased Big Ben replica clock, and it was exactly 3 a.m. A pit formed in his stomach under the rock hard abs. Depression, jobless masses, destruction of the auto industry….these were all things he had looked forward to for years…..but the “3 a.m. call”, like the Hildabeast had said…all those years in a dorm room hadn’t prepared him for this.

    Jitterly, he picked up the phone to hear the now familiar voice of his favorite Secret Service Servant. Oh sure, there had been a little resistance from one or two or fifty of the whitebread agents, but after a few water-boarding sessions, most had come into line. And those who had not were now patrolling the barbed wire perimeter in Gitmo.

    His worst fears were realized as the husky voice barked “Your Majesty, she’s on her way to your room. Only 45 seconds to cover”.

    The pit rose to his rock hard abs before he got control of himself. As if from the heavens, Obamy realized exactly what had to be done. With authority fit for his station, he splashed the Dom Perignon in his lover’s face and barked out the words they both had dreaded would one day have to be said…..”Oprah, get out of f**king bed and into the closet. Michelle is on her way to the room.”

    To be continued…

    • Liberals Demise says:

      (Giddy with excitement) Oh man……..the “Black Widow” is gonna spin a web, bite both of them, have obamy as an entree and snack on Oprah till the New Year!!
      Someone call the “Bullpen” and tell Joe to warm-up!!

    • proreason says:

      Thks LD. It’s amazing that the MSM comics can’t find anything funny about Obamy. With the cast of characters around the guy. He’s a laff riot.

    • Steve says:

      Please don’t post non news items in the “Selected News” thread.

  26. DW says:

    That reply feature will be a God send in the selected news threads.

    Steve, would be it be much of a job to bring back the “buzz” feature -where we could bring up the most recent comments on all the threads. I don’t know about anyone else, but I found that a particularly useful feature and have really missed it the last few days.

  27. GuppyNblue says:

    Wow! You’ve been busy today SG. Busy as…..a bee?
    Awhile back I had to build web enabled databases (just simple HTML, FileMaker Pro and no aesthetics) and it was one frustrating chore for me. Hats off to you.

  28. spiffyw says:

    Cool ,Then we can change by going back to gravatar.com I had to resize and crop and made this edit to see if smaller one works now , and it does .

  29. Liberals Demise says:

    Hey….If you see a dog relieving hisself on a obamy sign…..please let me know. All I see on my page is a blur of yesterdays bad posting avatar.

  30. sheehanjihad says:

    If this helps….when you find your comment is taking an inordinate amount of time to load, all you need do is click on a different post. For some reason, if you click on a separate thread, the comment you are loading pops up immediately. That trick will allow SG to not have to tweak things very much, and it speeds everything up. I do hope that helps……it works pretty good.

  31. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    Hey SG,

    Great job on upgrading the site. Glad to see that the threading software appears to finally be up to snuff. That will prove to be a major improvement IMO and greatly facilitate troll control.

  32. AmericanIPA says:

    Nice additions to the site. I like it.

  33. Helena says:

    I too think all of the changes to the site are to the good. Great work, SG!

  34. jimwilson says:

    A VERY GOOD friend of mine has created a Facebook fan page of Sweetness & Light.

    If you are on Facebook, please join the group!

    SG has not sanctioned this — yet. I’ll gladly have it shut down if he wants, but for now it’s unofficial and a good way to get folks on Facebook to find their way here.

    Feedback welcome on the Facebook area about the Facebook site.

    Here is the link http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=106197070623#/group.php?gid=106197070623

  35. sheehanjihad says:

    Check your sign in profile email address and make sure it’s the one that you are using at gravatar….dont forget to crop the image you wish to use, do the “preview” thing, and see if that works.

  36. sheehanjihad says:

    dont forget to use that same email address for your confirmation email dealy from gravatar. You poor unwashed masses…….

  37. sheehanjihad says:

    Yeah, I posted those pics on “Popular Plasma’s” website. You have to do the crop thing now, move it so it centers, and de magnifies.

  38. Nimblicity says:

    (Testing avatar…)

    My 2 cents:
    Scrub the trash-talking morons (57%) and the button-pushers aka trolls (39%).
    Bring on the sane, coherent (4%?) debaters with alternative viewpoints. If they fight fair, let’em fight.

    Okay, avatar’s a no-go.

  39. sheehanjihad says:

    Yo Kil….it isnt computer ignorance, it’s just getting used to the computer not understanding what you need it to! You arent getting old, hell, I distinctly remember people asking me if I voted for Lincoln……

  40. JohnMG says:

    Hey! I’ve got tiny snowflakes on my monitor screen. Anybody else?

  41. The Redneck says:

    And mine doesn’t seem to want to work. I’ll have to worry about it at a more appropriate time….

  42. The Redneck says:

    And it seems my Avatar doesn’t want to work. Strange.

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