Equally exciting is new dynamic updating... the old code actually transferred the full discussion and displayed/hid content as requested by your settings. Thew new code properly requests comments as needed, and when needed. This cuts page sizes dramatically for people reading with filters turned up very high. It also puts us a few stone throws away from a 'refresh' button which can just add newly posted comments in place. There's some work to be done yet, but it's made a lot of progress. I hope you like it.
We've tested everything under most of our most common browsers... if you're curious they are very roughly FF2 38%, FF1.5 19%, IE7 8%, Safari 7%, Opera 3%. Missing from our compatibility list is IE6 with 13% of our traffic. Fixing IE6 is non-trivial and we'd certainly take patches... but since the IE6 population lost a point or two last month anyway, and fixing the code is pretty substantial, we'll probably be focusing our development time on the larger and growing platforms (FF2 and IE7 obviously being the most important).
Anyway, merry-whatever-you-believe to everyone out there. I'm spending my holidays the same as always- driving from family gathering to family gathering. Roads suck but the person I like being with most is in the car too, so it doesn't matter.
If you have enabled the Discussion2 beta, you will notice a number of confusingly titled links appearing in comments. These control expansion/contraction of threads in several different ways. They are confusingly titled because we want you to try each of them and let us know which ones you like best without concerning yourself explicitly with how they work.
You can email your feedback to me (try d2 at cmdrtaco dot net) or some of you can actually post here.
I think next week will have a patch with a number of D2 changes (including some results from this experiment hopefully) so your help is really appreciated.
As web applications grow more and more featureful, I slowly find myself replacing desktop apps with web apps. This really makes a lot of navigation on the desktop a real pain in the ass. Example: Gmail. It's probably open in a tab right now. Not sure which one... occasionally we accidentallly close tabs. But if I use quicksilver to open 'gmail' it will open a NEW tab every time. Same if I use the gmail notifier.
Applications each open individually, and they know that they get focused when activated/launched whatever. But effectively firefox may (or may NOT!) actually encapsulate 2-3 different applications... spreadsheets, email, or say, the bookmarks that I use to maintain Slashdot's submissions bin.
I'm not exactly sure how to deal with this. I imagine this problem will only grow if good web applications continue to replace desktop applications.
Subj:Please don't fuck people around, thanks
Now he rambles a bit, but regardless, I don't need rudeness in my inbox, so I finally reply to this guy. He'd send me like 4 messages, so I figured I'd tell him to stop it. I simply wrote
I am not going to link you back. that is very rude.
This was like 4 hours ago. And keep in mind that the preceding message was the only one I wrote. These all came from him in rapid succession:
how about not naswering on my prevoius e-mails ?
How about FUCK DMOZ.ROG ?
But i don't know any more who is more Crude, or Rude
any way thanks for your answer
Thanks, your button has been removed.
At least i don't need to play a prostitute in order to get a link on your
And minutes later he links me one of the entries on the supporters page that his site is better than. But then the truth comes out:
If i did not wrote that subject would you answer me than ?
I apologize, i stop smoking now in 5 weeks
Ok, so that explains it. He quit smoking. That sucks. Must be rough. But then he needs to further clarify:
PLEASE IS THERE A WAY I CAN APOLOGIZE FOR THIS ?
I'm on the web since 1997
I'm 43 years old (married + 4 children)
I have stopped smoking last 5 weeks, this might have reduced my patience
This is my last e-mail and i will be not bothering you.
Now I actually kind of feel bad about all of this. I mean, not like baby punching bad, but at least an aww thats unfortunate. Until I get...
OK i understand, you hate muslims
WTF?! Muslims? When did that come into it? It's pretty clear that this guy's english is not his first language, but who am I to judge? My english is my first language and I'm barely literate. But somehow this guy has determined that I hate his religion, even tho I didn't even know what it was. But wait, that's not all:
OK i think you are a Spam filter not a human right ?
If I use "Fu*ck" word you react directly
OR are you Serbian and hate Albanians ?
and most recently:
Probaly you don't know what APOLOGIZE is.
Poor spam filter.
Mind you all of these messages were sent minutes apart- when I was out picking my car up from the shop! But it doesnt' end. While writing this journal entry I got
OK i see you hate Jews,
I'm half jewish
but i can't hep
Now wait a minute, I thought he was muslim. And I was serbian? I'm very confused as to who I hate atm. But I'll end this with his last message
Hmm in no way i can trigger any other answer ?!
I guess this is the closest thing to triggering any answer I can think of.
Over the last few months, the office has become home to a variety of creatures. It started when samzenpus brought in a turtle. He found this poor creature stuck in road tar. He saved the thing from certain death, cleaned the tar off him and dropped him in an aquarium. Soon after Hemos brought in an old tank to put in some salt water fish. Not to be outdone I finally fulfilled a childhood fantasy by getting a pet Ball Python that i have named Col. Tubesnake.
He's doing well. He's been eating his mice like a good little snake. This morning he didn't seem interested in the mouse tho, which i understand. I've been giving him frozen feeder mice from the pet shop which don't seem to do much for his hunter instincts. This time I warmed the thing on my coffee cup heater thingee and got it a lot warmer then before and tossed it in the tank. He struck almost before the mouse hit the ground. Snakes kick ass. The question is who will be the first to get a scorpion or tarantula.
Random popular culture notes: Aaron Sorkin's new Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip premiered earlier this week and has a lot of potential. Good cast, and of course since Sorkin is basically my jesus, I really hope the show comes together. Tonight is the premiere of The Office. Not much else on network TV worth watching this season, which I guess leaves me time to farm for herbs and raid in warcraft and wish the expansion would come out.
The way D2 was rolled out for testing was that we actually had two discussion systems in place for awhile. One was a University of Michigan Research project written by nate. We used that as a rough framework to build our system. Subscribers got our system. Odd numbered users got our system, even got ours. Nate's system was given to a few hundred users, while ours was given to an ever growing number of readers that we rolled out over the course of a couple months. This is how we roll out many functions that aren't ready for prime time. Giving everythign to everyone all at once has performance issues for us. A slower rollout makes sure that we can work the kinks out before we give it ultimately to anonymous users.
If you use the handheld/low bandwidth options, the floaty control widget can cause problems. We know. It's on the list, but since only a tiny percentage of users are using those modes, it's not a top priority. The fix is relatively simple: the floaty needs a toggle from top to side. The code has a widget for a top floaty, but it's an older version. Basically I want to make the side floaty work properly (drag & drop instead of clickable for example) then redesign it to work up top and add the toggle. But that problem is easy to solve.
A VERY key point that a few users got is that this doesn't solve the problem that the old system has in favoring older threads. There is no good solution to this, short of randomizing top level comments. The REAL solution is to rework the scoring system to re-value threads with more granularity then -1..5. That of course is the plan.
As for one-click moderation, this is a baby step for us. The new moderation system is vastly different then the old one... and in-place moderation was critical to make it work.
A number of readers commented on the highest comments first not existing in this system... thats true, but you can fake it reasonably well. By setting the threshold fairly high, and hiding a good number of comments you can easily filter to score:4 or score:5 comments. Admittedly that doesn't give you 5s then 4s then 3s, but for mature discussions there are already dozens of comments. The new moderation will aim to address this problem in more detail, but I think a high enough threshold is BETTER then simply sorting by score becaause it's possible for you to navigate up or down without a page load when you do find a comment that you think might be worthy of further research.
Anyway the feedback on D2 is mostly favorable. I'm disappointed that the bulk of the discussion yesterday focused on the fact that we've chosen to beta test on the single browser used by most of our readers and worry about compatibility later. It meant I got less real feedback then I might like. But I think that's always the case- if there is one glaring issue, readers can't see past it to talk about the hundred other issues that are honestly more helpful...
What's interesting to me is figuring out how users can navigate this datastructure intelligently. What does it MEAN to expand a thread. To collapse a thread? Do I need siblings? Do I need expand-all? I don't want 35 buttons... where is the line between needless clutter and the necessary UI? Interesting problems to solve. Fun stuff. What's tough is that some readers want everything and the kitchen sink, but most users will find 3-4 buttons sufficient (and others will think 2 is intimidating). We have to balance minimalism, functionality, and hardware limitations. I find it enjoyable.
Got nice and sick last week. Very unpleasant. Especially around Day 2 when the tivo had (for the first time in years) that very awesome No Recordings message. Live TV is hell.
Just a few minor notes from the front: We are almost ready to start deploying the beta discussion system to readers besides our subscribers. Tim has been working on an improved control widget which hopefully will make a lot more sense then the terrible UI we kludged together to get things started. We're going to start buy giving access to the system from a random sampling of users. There are bugs in various browsers that will need to be worked out, and the UI will need to be refined, but I think everyone will be happy with how it works. It's definitely becoming very clear where the performance problems in different browsers are. It's a pain.
BackSlash continues to be an interesting experiment meeting with totally unsurprising commentary from readers. Many are angry and missing the points. Others are appreciating it for what it is. But just to raise a few points about it, Backslash currently exists as an experiment to merge automated moderation with traditional "Editing". This serves 2 purposes: one is to create "Original" content for readers unwilling to read public forums. These people are MOST of you. They don't want to read any forum. The end. But there are great things in the forums. So if we can bridge this gap, we can make Slashdot Forums useful to the majority of readers who don't want to wade through them. The second point is that this gives us another data point for training/revising/improving the moderation system. Random data points of good comments from a few trusted sources. We have a lot of Score:5 comments and a lot of Score:1 comments that are quite good too. The new moderation system will give us a lot more flexibility in selecting moderators, and controling the influence that they wield within the system. I'm hoping that the Backslash stories will give us a good data point for seeding that system.
We have one other project that cropped up recently that i'm hoping to deploy this week. It might be fun. It might be stupid. But it's a fun experiment. You'll have a strong opinion either way when you hear it.
Also we'll be hiring another editor before the end of the summer. If you are interested, send me a resume and 10-12 example Slashdot stories that you've written from scratch based on links you've found.
Now that the redesign contest is over, we've mostly finished up the implementation. A number of obnoxious issues turned up (they always do!) but they've mostly been dealt with. I think we might be crashing a beta version of opera, and a few less used browsers have some compatibility problems, as well a few menus and lesser seen widgets are skinned yet with older versions of the site design. Mostly that just is showing us places that weren't properly DIVd and CLASSd when we moved to CSS.
But the dust is settling so we can start working on our next project which I'm excited to say actually has the approval to hire an engineer. So if you are an experienced programmer with the fancy web20 ajax mojo on his resume, send it my way. This person will be working on the new discussion system, on dynamic user preferences, and some surprises that we've been working on for awhile now that doesn't really have user interfaces yet. I guess send me the usual stuff- location, salary requirements, experience, resume etc. I've got a few names already. Relocation isn't required, but being in michigan wouldn't hurt for occasional meetings.
One of the best things about D2 is that it dramatically cuts the need to load new pages. You can expand/contract threads dynamically. The problem with this is that we have a serious information overload. So we need a new user interface to accomodate this. Currently we have a simple drop down menu of thresholds. The new version has at least 2 seperate thresholds ('Visible' and 'Abbreviated'). So figuring out an intuitive and compatible way to view that information is an interesting challange. As always, I'm open to ideas so feel free to shoot emails my way. The current version simply has More/Less and Better/Worse buttons. This is a nasty kludge that won't cut it in the future.
In less interesting news, my alliance guild dropped nef for the second time last sunday. It's a really fun fight. I finally saw the Wallace & Gromit movie and really loved it. I still haven't seen the season finale of The Sopranos. X-Men was popcorn fluff, but I was at least entertained. And re-heated sweet & sour chicken from the local chinese take-out place does not taste nearly as good as it did last night.
Now go about your day.
I share now for you 3 "finalists". One of these is a definite favorite (I won't say which one) but with tweaking, I think any of these could be the next Slashdot. That is, unless someone rolls in with something perfect. I believe you have seen all of these before, but I include them now just for discussion purposes. Wes has been poking and prodding at the HTML/CSS under the hood so we can judge on that as well. None of these substantially alter the HTML under the hood, so implementation is relatively simple. We'd have to make variants for the sections, and resolve some layout issues in some of the parts of the site, but thats not to tough. It's possible that we could deploy the winning design next week.
Michael's entry continues to just feel unfinished to me. The curve and shadow effect that he's scooped out of the menu and title looks simply fantastic. I'm not precisely sure what a horizontal ad would look like, and I feel that the titlebars of the articles would look better if they were green. The slashboxes are a little simple for my tastes. In my browser at least, some of the fonts are unreadably small. I think that as it stands, this design simply feels incomplete to me, which is a bummer since it starts out so strongly. It has possibly the most attractive header/menu bar, but the article/slashboxes need work. In fact, of the 3 finalists I post today, I think this one is the least complete. It lacks a number of elements that are critical- login boxes, the message space etc. The abbreviated articles have no punch, and the slashboxes need delineation. This design gets strong response from almost everyone I show it to... but it lacks a number of puzzle pieces. But damn if it doesn't look good.
So there they are, my 3 favorites at 11am. The contest officially closes at the end of the day today. Everyone is welcome to revise their entries, or submit something new, but please understand that my repsonses will be minimal unless your design is something I like as much as the three above. For you folks in the comments, I'd love to see your comments on the actual HTML/CSS above. They each require slightly different amounts of effort for us to actually implement (and as Wes noted, some of them improve upon our HTML anyway, so it would be worth it). Remember this is not a democracy- I'm making the decision here. But I really am reading all the comments and taking everyone's feedback into consideration.
Good luck to everyone who is entering.
Today's entries are largely repeats. Most (all?) of them have been posted in my journal before. Some have been revised. Some have not. I'm not planning on posting any more mockup links to jpgs. These are essentially "Finalists". The contest still is not "Closed"- We plan to take entries at least through tomorrow. Revisions to any design are welcome. If you have been exchanging emails with me, try to reply to your old emails with updates to I can keep threads together. There have been 200+ entries, and I can't keep all ya'll straight.
Michael Johnson's design has gone through a few variations, but I keep coming back to this one. I think this one needs work yet to win. I'd prefer green article titles. I want to see what he will do with that upper right hand corner. I think his left hand menu could use some fanciness. The slashbox fonts are to small for my tastes. His 'Read More' space could stand out. Abbreviated text font size is really small (and doesn't stick out well). But I think that with a few hours of work, we could make this work.
Matt Walker's entry is another sharp one. I think his logo metallic shading affect is to much- it needs to be much more subtle. Also I can't tell if he wants his background to be dark grey or dark green- there's floating green edge on the logo that doesn't work. But his menu choices are solid. His slashboxes stick out and have a lot of pop. His articles look nice.
Nate Ziarek's design features a very attractive left hand menu, and interesting slashboxes. The menu is HUGE here, and he doesn't use the upper right hand corner- but if you move the preferences up there and make the left menu a little narrower, this is an excellent entry.
Han's entry is the only one to feature a blinking curser
Ian MacLeod's design has a LOT going for it, and one crippling bad thing: the main problem is his choice to use a light green background. It just doesn't work for me. It just feels soft. I'm not sure how I feel about the floating left column topic icons either, but I share this entry because I think his 'Rea More' graphic is great. The fading in on the left, and the curve on the right... it's a simple cool design. The drop down menus look nice for his menus. Most/All of the necessary navigational elements are here and well done. I'd like to see this with a white background in the main space instead. But it's very elegant. A great entry.
Alek Bendiken's submission is another great one. His slashboxes look cool. His header is spacious and efficient. Th gentle gradiant on the titlebars looks great. I don't care for the line between is quoted text and unquoted text- I think the line should go, and he should put a vertical line to the left of the quote and/or more space. I think the article footer is a bit bland. Unlike many entries, he paid attention to his footer. I might switch the curves from left to right... I might not. It's subtle but wonderful. This design doesn't have tags, system messages, or abbreviated articles, but it's a really great entry.
Peter Lada's entry is back once again. The issues I have with this design now are really minor. I think he uses his triangular arrow things inconsistently: I think a triangle really visiaully says 'click to expand' which works on the left hand menu- except he uses down arrows on every menu item. He has right arrow on department lines and abbreviated articles, but there's no expansion in there. I'd want to work out some minor details, but this is a great design that really looks like 'Slashdot'.
As I said before, the contest is not closed, but we are now beginning to judge on compatibility, and implementation details. Eg, how much HTML did each design change. How much 'Work' would it take us to deploy, and how well does each design work on various browsers. I'd appreciate feedback on these points especially from anyone willing to post comments here. We want our winner to look good, be compatible, and accessible, as well as lightweight.
So keep 'em coming. This is the home stretch... I want to pick a winner soon!
My inbox has exploded, so I apologize to many contest entries who didn't get much of a critique. I'm being a little more conservative with my time, trying to focus more on entries that are much closer to winning than those that.. well, aren't.
The contest is supposed to close next week, so please get those entries in and wrapped up ASAP. Everyone is welcome to continue to revise and retry until the end, but starting on monday, myself and Wes Moran (OSTG's CSS/HTML/Design nut) will be going through a short list of best entries, and really shaking them for browser compatibility and implementation concerns. What this means is that if you send us your design on tuesday, it will get less time to be tested, and compatibility is a big deal.
So here is another block of designs.
Liz Hall's design is a mockup, and at this stage in the game, thats beginning to cut it close. But she does different stuff with the header that I think is fun. Navigationally this design is lacking a lot of stuff, and like a number of designs, she places the topic icons into squares, which I suspect will look strange with some of the taller or wider icons in the list.
Rob Goodlatte's design is one of the most successful designs that changes the least. He fixes problems. He cleans up some layout issues. And creates a site that looks simply like a better Slashdot. Well done.
William Swanson's entry has a number of twists that look quite nice. The problem here is that by putting the menu on the right, I'm not sure where I could put an ad there, without shoving the menu down off the right column. I like his layout of the articles, although I think his headers, using that soft green, look a little less like Slashdot than I would prefer...
Andy Peatling's design is a bit softer than I am looking for, but I still love the headers of the menu on the left. There's definitely a bit of a space problem on the right- by moving services and vendors over there AND the login box, if I put an ad over there, it's gonna be shoved way down. But that article header looks great. The curve on the left echod on the right, the gradiant, the icons for the tagging, even the indented quotes do it for me. I think I'm sold on that now- so many entries have done it and made it look good.
Ryan Ramchandar's design definitely tries mixing up the menu on the right, but I see no slashboxes, nad I'm not sure how ads would work in this layout. But his clean, minimal header and nice article layout work really well. Like a few other designs, this one feels a bit soft to me. The headlines could stand out more. But it's well done.
Derek Chin's entry is a mockup with a really nice header. The rest of this design needs some work (I'd prefer white on green headers for articles, the menus look a little dull, the boxes a little generic) but it could work.
Tom Nichols's design is VERY green. Probably a bit much for my tastes, and I'm not sure about the red as a matching color. But I give this mad props for looking really good. I'm not sure if it is what I want on Slashdot, but it's a very cool page.
Shane Churchman's design I think I have shared before, but he's continued to improve. His header is solidly layed out, his menu is efficient and useful. His layouts on articles all look great. This is a strong entry for the simply refreshing slashdot look class of entries.
The last design for today is from Chris Morrell. It's a bit louder than a lot of the others. He opts for a 2 column menu on the left. I think his searchbox and slashbox column work really well. I don't much care for his article headers. All in all this is a really good entr, and definitely looks quite different from what we have today. I think the uniqueness of this design comes down to his choice to split the header, and let the center column climb right to the top of the page. I think this is a great idea, and could totally work- getting readers to content faster is always better, and moving the center column up a hundred pixels can't hurt.
Ok, thats it for today. I'll probably do more this weekend depending on how the incoming entries look. Remember that next week monday & tuesday we're planning on judging the compatibility portion of the contest, so I suspect it might be to late to try to submit a jpg mockup at this point. But you're welcome to keep entering/revising/retrying untl the end.
After a few days in california, and Hemos's little birthday email bomb, I'm struggling to get my redesign entries back in order. I once again have another 20-30 designs that are probably worth sharing but given how busy I am, I'm probably not going to be able to share them all. But I'll do what I can, so I apologize if some of these entries don't get as much commentary as they might deserve.
Matt Walker's design has been transformed into CSS since we last saw it. His header is nice. His menu and slashboxes are strong. His layout decisions are sensible. I think his article footers could be better integrated into his articles- I can't tell at a glance if the 'read more' is an entity by itself, or attached to the article above it. I think his abbreviated articles could stand out a bit more. But all in all I like his entry a lot.
ukasz Topa's design has a really nice header/logo thing going on. His choice to put the search on the left is nice. I think his article layout is simple and very clean, and the 'read more' link looks great. I'd like to see a bit more emphasis on the titles of the articles. I'm not sure I care for the tabs inside the slashboxes & menu headers. And as I've said on many entries, we could lose the topic icons on the top of hte page and use that space for a login form, or a user menu or something. But this is another excellent design that has a real shot.
Marko Mrdjenovic's design
has been updated. It is still a great example of a clean, elegent design. I
still don't care for the
John Pennypacker's design is another one that chooses orange as a secondary color. Since we also have a lot of black-as-background here, this whole entry becomes high contrast and a bit harder to read then I Would like. I do think that his article footer looks cool (and the header). That subtle diagonal fading pattern looks great.
Jeremy deserves mad props for the completeness of his design. He's really gone out of his way to show what different things might look like. I like his article layout, as well his economical header. His expanding menu for user preferences in the header is a really great idea. I think his abbreviated articles are hard to read, and I think his choices of greens make the whole thing look a bit candy-like if thats a good way to describe it. Less earthy, more neon. I don't like that so much. But thats minor.
's design is interesting to me primarily because he chose to put all the menu stuff on the left. I think that this design is pretty good given that. I think that most of the time putting everything on one side creates overload. I really do like his header tho. The login box, the search box.... it works quite nicely.
Nuno Filipe's design
is mostly fairly typical, but I think that header design is really sharply
done. There is a bit of an issue I think with his menu up top- it looks a
bit unfinished. I don't think the pop-up tabs add much (they don't hurt either)
but on my screen I have a lot of space to the right- I'm cool with white space,
but for some reason that looks to me like something didn't get loaded
Isidro Chavez's design is only a mockup image, but I felt the article footer looked really nice. Same with how he floated the topic image on the left. I'm not exactly sure if that trick will work with all the icons that aren't properly anti-aliased. Also, the light grey behind the topic icons on the top might not work with a lot of our icons.
ben heise's entry is another mockup, but a really interesting one. Very curvy. Very cool. It's hard to judge this fairly given how incomplete it is, but it's a cool start. I think the top topic icons aren't necessary, but I think he could make this one work quite well.
Jason Porritt's entry is another clean, simple, elegent design. His abbreviated articles work nicely. His article layouts are clean. His header is smart. His menu is cool. The only thing that doesn't work as well as I think it should is that his right hand slashbox menu headers see a bit brighter to me. than the rest of the design. But this is one of the strongest entries I've seen.
Michael Jonhson's design has been updated. We last saw a mockup, and he's come a long ways. In my eyes, this design is in the absolute top tier of submissions. His left hand menu is elegent. His right hand slashboxes have a slightly small font, but whatever. His header is fantastic. I think his article headers could benefit from a little more green- I'd like to see a visual top & bottom to them. Like a green titlebar with white text, perhaps still using that cutout look still. I'd also love to see what he does with the upper right hand space. But in terms of raw "Look", I love this one. There are only a handful of other entries that I think are this strong.
Lastly I'm sharing Peter Lada's update. His design is one of the most complete and best we've seen. With each revision, his design has got a little stronger.
I have several more entriesin my inbox left to scour through, but since they are mixed in with like 1200 happy birthday emails, it might take me awhile to get them all out. The contest will hopefully be wrapping up by the middle of next week. The game is still wide open- entries will be accepted until the winner is announced, so feel free to keep trying until then.
This stack of entries gets me caught up through sunday morning. There are a number of solid entries in this batch. As always- these entries are here to show you guys what I'm looking for in a potential winner. I will be having limited net access until thursday, so I doubt I'll put another entry up here until then. The contest runs until May 17, and you are all welcome to continue to revise/resubmit until then. A comment I made earlier that I'll make again: so far no entry that has abandoned the Coliseo font has worked for me. Likewise, I don't care for the visual abbreviation '/.'. If you choose to use it, do so sparingly. Note that it doesn't appear in the existing design at all. And because several of you are missing this- the topic icons in the upper right hand corner are expendable. Dump them at will. Successful alternatives for that space have included login forms, and the user menu, as well as the search form. Also, the advertisement up top must stand alone. Don't put a logo to the left or right of it.
The contest is still wide open- there are a half a dozen entries that I think stand above the rest, but every day I see another entry that reminds me that this thing could go to anyone. I hope you're enjoying this as much as I am. The creativity and energy that some of these designs are showing is really making this fun for me.
MCM's design is a real mixed bag. One thing that he tries is to bring the sectional color schemes to the main page. I've often toyed with this idea, but never could make it work, and I suspect from his design, you'll see why. It's a lot of colors to work with. He's doing wierd layout things- multiple columns of articles, expanding/contracting articles. I like the economical header, although it doesn't scale horiziontally all that well. All in all, I think this design is most interesting simply as a pure 'What if'. I appreciate that this one is really thinking far outside the box. I'm pretty sure it won't work for slashdot.
Morgan Davis's 'Shiny' Design is another clean, simple entry. He changes very little in terms of layout, except the search box/topic icon stuff that most of the better entries seem to share. Once again, a compact header gets us to the meat of the page faster. I don't care for his slogan space- that grey box kind of sticks out... however we have a number of system messages ('you have mod points' 'or 'have you meta moderated lately') that could be placed in that space. A LOT of designs fail to account for those messages... I think that bears repeating- we have a spot for system messges that a lot of designs don't incorporate. The article headers are cool, but the page doesn't scale very well. if I shrink my browser much, I get the wretched horizontal scrollbars. But this is a deserving entry.
Khoury Brazil's design is a reasonable entry, but I share it here because of the interesting handling of the right side slashboxes. By making the menus 2 columns, this design (i think) successfully integrates slashboxes & navigational elements into a single column. I'm not sure how well it would work for users who have a halfdozen or more slashboxes... I also think that the header is a little dull.
Kira's revised design goes a little gradient nutty but it looks pretty solid. I really like the shadow between articles and slashboxes. Not sure that the reflection on the article titles works. But it's a nice design. The logo really pops in this one.
Hallvar Helleseth has another design that is currently a very rough mockup missing a lot of bits but it's quite stylish so I share it. I love how the logo and slashboxes jut up into the black space atop the pge. I'm not sure where he's going with the overall design, but that one element is just cool. He looks like he's going to try something unusual in the right hand column. I wonder if he can make it work visually and functionally. This article layout is boring, but given hoow nice the header looks, hopefully he'll give it some good lovin' too.
Adam Marsh's entry is back
and this time in a CSS form. I think his slashboxes are a bit heavy- I think the diagonal
mark on the right works, but on the left doesn't. I don't cre for the neon-teal color
he is using a lot in this design either. I mostly like his article layout, but I think
putting the topic icons in a 'box' is a mistake given the wide range of aspect ratios
these icons fit. Maintaining this look would make a wide or tall icon unreadably small.
His footer doesn't appear at the bottom of my page, and I don't see what abbreviated
articles or system emssages would look like. I miss my old Slashdot Font. And (this
should tell you how anal I can be about certain things) in the upper left hand corner
he has a
David Steele's design goes a different route. His design is a bit blockier. A bit more spacious. He relies on good color decisions more than fancy graphical foo for his to work. I miss my old font. I think his whole header needs to be tightened up- a dedicated line for search for example is unnecessary. I think that as a user scrolls down they will visually lose the green. Also we have a number of navigational issues since a lot of menu items are missing. But this design really hasa a lot going for it.
Olav's design is clean and simple.
I don't think seperating the advertisement out on the right is a good idea tho. I do
like how he uses strong colors in different slashboxes to seperate things out. I think
his article layouts are clean, but a little generic. His menu suffers from some of the
issues I've discussed on other entries already. But for a clean/flat/simple design
this is a nice. He proves you don't need gradients to look good
Oliver's continued design plans now come to us in CSS form. I think the header is nice, but simple. The search box doesn't line up quite right in there. His article layout is clean, but that floating topic box doesn't do it for me. His quote text in the footer is huuuge. I'd like to see his article headers more clearly reflect the visual style of his page header (white on green, some shading or curves or something) but beyond that, for a design that essentially mimics Slashdot's layout of today, this is excellent.
melissa's design is another clean one on white.
I like her subtle work on the slashbox area. I think her tag layout doesn't fit well
with the rest of her article layout As usual, I don't much care for the subtle
Lukasz Lukasiewicz's design starts off
on the wrong foot by giving me the design in blue. But the design he gives me is really
nice. I really love his article footer. Clean. Minimal. Elegant. Likewise his left hand
menu highlights sections really well. The footer also returns the colors used at the top
and lays out the footer extremely well. He overuses the
An interesting note: the designs continue to fall into 2 major classes: the ones that refresh the existing design, and the ones that break the border and try something new. Almost without fail, the thing that seperates them is the choice to keep the black border and upper left hand curve that surrounds every slashdot page. I don't think either of these elements are essential at this point. I think the Coliseo font is however necessary. I don't think I've seen a design yet without the font that worked for me.
Good luck to everyone who is still reading...
lets get it started!
Wes Hunt's design is a
mixed bag. I think his slashboxes are a bit weak- that carved out/sunken in
effect can be used really effectively, but his doesn't work because it's on all
4 directions. I think his header is to dark to work with the body. I think
the layout of the articles is quite solid. I don't care for the color choices or
Peter Lada's design continues to be one of my favorites. I think his article header needs some work yet, that faded yellow just doesn't work for me either, but his efficient header now more strongly echos Slashdot of today. I think ultimately by changing the colors of the article headers to be white on green instead of grey on green, and perhaps avoid that lighter green and use grey instead and the color scheme works. He has some expanding/contracting mojo in the menu that goes a good distance towards saving space over there. Me like.
Matt Walker's design is a mixed bag. I think the gradiants o nthe articles doesn't really look that right, and that his article headers are a bit uninteresting. But I think his menu choices are excellent. I think a few menus could be collapsed dynamically. I think his header could be tightened up a bit- it's roomy, but the focus of Slashdot is the articles, so the faster we get there, the better. The boxes on the left and right are the same design for the most part. That might work for this design. It might work against. But since this is a static image and not a complete implementation, it's hard to predict.
I linked one of Jason's designs, but I figured I'd show you a few more of his entries. His first entry and second entry try a few different variations. The latter mor strongly echos Slashdot and I think works quite well. The 2 column menu thing is nifty. The gradiants on the articles adn comments look pretty nice.
Jens Wilk's design needs a lot of work to seriously consider, but I think his article layout is interesting, and his highly compact header is worth considering. The B&W icons up top don't really work for me. As I've said before, that space is dead in the current design... no real reason to keep it. his design includes tags, but they aren't very well integrated into the article layouts either.
Dave Snyder's Design's design is a mixed one too. The header looks choppyy- the logo sticks up on the left and the menu on the right with a whole in the middle. Just doesn't flow right to me. I don't care for the '/.' iconography there either. I feel that
John Reilly's Design continues to refine an entry that works pretty well. He fixed the problem with the ad up top so it will fit. His slashboxes look nice. His articles are almost totally unchanged from today- I think he could possibly work to improve that. I think the squares on the menu on the left are visually a bit heavy, His positioning of the quote won't work on any page with comments, although it looks nice here. The footer menu is wrapped into 2 rows for no good reason. I think his design is one of the better ones in the 'Stay very close to Current Slashdot' class of entries.
Johnathan Hok's Design is still just a PNG. I think his left hand menu is a bit busy, but the rest of the design works quite well. I wonder if it might be to white as it stands. Withought a strong secondary color it just feels soft to me. He chooses to keep the top icons as-is for better or worse. But I think overall this is an elegent design. It will be funy to see it become more than a mockup.
Ben Heise's Design's design is just like a slightly tackier version of Slashdot today. But his article layout is really good. I don't think the search box makes sense in that space, but everything else in there works really well. Outside that tho, the stipled lines, the constant use of '/.' in menu headers, the loss of the coliseo font... that stuff just won't work for me.
Khoi Le's Design is just another mockup so it's hard to comment on fully, but there are some cool ideas. I think his slashbox column could look really cool with that curve in the header. His articles are simple and very nice. The topic icon issue i've covered many times is unaddressed here, and I'm concerned that the green menu on the left might weigh down the page a bit, but I think it could all work depending on how he chooses to handle the slashboxes. Another great start that I'd love to see thought through more as it becomes CSS.
Ben Kittrell's design deserves mention for simply presenting the most action hero of any design so far submitted.
So that's it for now. I'm caught up now. Depending on how many more entries I get in the next 24 hours or so, I may do another batch of entries on saturday or so, but I'm in california for a few days after that so I doubt I'll be able to post more before next friday... and at that point I'm hoping to post something to the Slashdot mainpage. As always, feel free to update any designs you have entered, or submit fresh ideas.
At this point there are perhaps a half dozen entries that I think could win with very little additional work, but I still think the contest is wide open. It's been really fun going through everyone's entries. Keep it up.
Even bytes get lonely for a little bit.