LW 2.0 Open Beta Live
post by Vaniver
The LW 2.0 Open Beta is now live; this means you can create an account, start reading and posting, and tell us what you think.
1) In case you're just tuning in, I took up the mantle of revitalizing LW through improving its codebase some time ago, and only made small amounts of progress until Oliver Habryka joined the project and put full-time engineering effort into it. He deserves the credit for the new design, and you can read about his strategic approach here.
2) If you want to use your current LW account on LW2.0, we didn't import the old passwords, and so you'll have to use the reset password functionality. If your LW account isn't tied to a current email, send a PM to habryka on lesswrong and he'll update the user account details on lesserwrong. He's also working on improving the site and sleeping and things like that, so don't expect an immediate response.
3) During the open beta there will be a green message in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. This is called Intercom, and is how you can tell us about issues with the site and ask other questions.
4) The open beta will end with a vote of users with over a thousand karma on whether we should switch the lesswrong.com URL to point to the new code and database. If this succeeds, all the activity from the open beta and the live site will be merged together. If the vote fails, we expect to archive LW until another team comes along to revive it. We currently don't have a date set, but this will be announced a week in advance.
Comments sorted by top scores.
comment by Zvi ·
2017-09-21T11:55:45.585Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Congrats on going live. I hope to have time this weekend to experiment with the site and attempt porting over at least some of my Blog's more LW-aligned content. Hopefully I can coordinate that with people who have been more involved. I have high hopes!
I do worry about 4. Since there's no reasonable expectation for another attempt if this one fails, at least not soon, it will be very difficult to vote no given that means the site will be fully archived. I worry in turn that this is a Copenhagen problem: I would have been not concerned if users had not been given a vote, whereas now that we DO have a vote, I'm worried it feels a little rigged.
comment by tut ·
2017-09-21T16:24:08.166Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I do not have the patience to read anything on that site. Or alternatively, my computer is too old and my screen too low res. But I am not sufficiently committed to LW to buy new hardware just to maybe be able to see it. Is there any possibility that the old site might remain up, maybe as some kind of accessibility thing for people who can't use the new one?
Replies from: rhollerith_dot_com, Dustin
↑ comment by rhollerith_dot_com ·
2017-09-25T01:23:22.885Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I can corroborate that the scrolling is painful on sufficiently old hardware (and two of the not-home not-work places I most like to hang out in these days have hardware that is sufficiently old).
Scrolling for example is painful near the bottom (in the comments) of the recent article on the Cambrian explosion on a Core 2 Duo running Windows Vista, in Chrome. In particular, it takes whole seconds for the text to appear. (Till then the view port is blank / white.)
But even when I'm using reasonably fast hardware, my reaction to any signs that the text on a web page is not being produced "the old fashioned way" (and the new site certainly has such signs) is to ask myself if I really need to continue using the site.
Even a site's use of a font I don't recognize I provokes that reaction in me.
Why? Well, it is a sign that I will run into further irritants. Some actions will work slightly differently from the way I am used to with the result that I have to stop concentrating on the reason I came onto the web site to figure out scrolling or searching in the page or making sure the right pane on the screen has "keyboard focus" or how to change the size of the text. Or I will have to figure out how to undo the effects of some action I took accidentally.
If you're reading this and cannot relate, then maybe that is because I have cataracts, so a large text size is more important to me than it is to you. Or maybe it is because I have a 57-year-old brain and some chronic health issues so that it is harder for me to retain what is in my working memory when things jump around on a page in ways that my brain cannot predict.
Or maybe it is because I prefer the kinesthetic sensory modality which makes me care more about subtleties in the computer's response to various "attempted manipulations" (e.g., attempting to scroll or to use the pointing device to select an extent of text) of the web page.
The new LW site is not doing anything that many many other web sites are not also doing, so this is a comment about modern web sites more than it is a comment about the new version of LW.
I realize that this comment is rough on the creators of the next version of LW since it is negative feedback, but not actionable negative feedback (since they've already implemented a particular design). I considered refraining from publishing it, but went ahead because writing this comment, then observing how many points it ends up with is by far the easiest way for me to find out how many LWers share my frustrations (and knowing that is even more useful to me than knowing how many in the general population of internet users share my frustrations). I won't make a habit of complaining about it.
Replies from: tanagrabeast
↑ comment by tanagrabeast ·
2017-09-26T05:52:57.437Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Even a site's use of a font I don't recognize I provokes that reaction in me.
Speaking of font difficulty, the new font doesn't render well on my desktop (Windows 10, Chrome, default font/size, 1680x1050). It comes out looking poorly aliased, or maybe just not fully black. I compare to another serif-heavy site like nytimes and the latter just seems so much darker and crisper, even at similar sizes.
On my older MacBook Air the LW font is not as ugly, though it still seems less than fully black.
↑ comment by Dustin ·
2017-09-21T16:39:01.405Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
What, specifically, is the problem you're having that requires patience? It's not using any notably weird/esoteric/advanced technology...
Replies from: tut, IlyaShpitser, Raemon, elharo
↑ comment by tut ·
2017-09-21T17:37:31.562Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I don't know. What it looks like on my end is that scrolling takes time. It is as though my browser has to do some shit to figure out what the text is, instead of just displaying it like on a normal page.
So I read a line, hit down arrow, nothing happens, I start reading the next line etc. After a while the page starts jumping around like it's doing all the down arrows at irregular intervals. Ok, that's annoying, so I stop hitting down arrow and instead read the 1-2 paragraphs that are on the top of the screen, then hit page down. Nothing happens, hit page down again etc. So I scroll back up to where I was, hitting page up once at a time and waiting for the page to scroll like it's twenty years ago and I just downloaded a large picture. Then I read the part of the text that I can see, hit page down again, sit and wait until it reacts, notice that I don't understand what I'm reading, notice that that's because I skipped a paragraph because it was behind the hoverboard, hit page up to find where I was and then try to scroll down part of a screen using the scrollbar. Nothing happens. I wait a while. The text starts to jump around again, because getting no feedback I scrolled a long way. Then I gave up.
I don't remember what the article was about, I didn't actually get to the meat of it. On most sites I would have given up and forgotten it ever existed after the first time that page down didn't work instantly.
Replies from: Elo
↑ comment by Elo ·
2017-09-21T17:51:13.837Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
What os, browser and add-ons are you using?
Replies from: tut
↑ comment by tut ·
2017-09-21T18:28:28.942Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Firefox 55.0.2 32 bit, on Linux Mint KDE. No relevant add ons (adblock thing, EFF badger thing, greasemonkey but not with any scripts that should load for this page, pop up blocker thing).
↑ comment by Raemon ·
2017-09-21T19:23:25.889Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
We'll be doing a lot of work to optimize the site experience. (Right now, I don't have the sort of issues you describe, but it does take an unacceptably long time to load the comments on a page, for example). I expect some of that to help with these sorts of issues.
It wouldn't be practical to have the old and new sites running in parallel (they don't communicate with each other easily, they'd basically be two separate sites and part of the whole point is that this current site has too many underlying issues to make it practical to maintain), but if it's still having issues running on older hardware we may figure out some kind of "accessibility mode" that renders less complicated stuff, possibly with fewer features)
(I expect the people currently working on it to not get to that sort of thing for awhile because there's a long list of things that need doing fairly urgently, but it's worth noting that it's open sourced, so anyone who has time to fix an issue that's bugging them is welcome to do so)
↑ comment by elharo ·
2017-11-23T02:56:37.781Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
comment by Elo ·
2017-09-21T18:22:25.647Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
As a heads up - my email was in spam.
Replies from: John_Maxwell_IV
↑ comment by John_Maxwell (John_Maxwell_IV) ·
2017-09-28T03:22:53.191Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
If this happens, be sure to mark "not spam" so your email provider (Gmail/Yahoo/etc.) will count that as a point of positive reputation for the lesserwrong.com domain.
(For the team behind lesserwrong, it might be wise to send emails from lesswrong.com for the time being, since lesswrong.com presumably already has a good domain reputation. Feel free to talk to me if you have more questions, I used to work in email marketing.)
comment by Dustin ·
2017-09-21T14:26:17.053Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I'm a little confused about how to use my current LW account over there.
If I click "forgot my password" I never get an email, even though I have an email address tied to my LW account.
ETA: nothing in my span folder when I search for "lesser"
Replies from: blob, kgalias
↑ comment by blob ·
2017-09-22T06:26:24.449Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I have the same problem with a gmail account. I've tried several times, checked spam, searched. I assume google didn't accept the email.
EDIT: One of them arrived now.
comment by David Althaus (wallowinmaya) ·
2017-10-01T11:24:17.407Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
The open beta will end with a vote of users with over a thousand karma on whether we should switch the lesswrong.com URL to point to the new code and database
How will you alert these users? (I'm asking because I have over 1000 karma but I don't know where I should vote.)
Replies from: Vaniver
↑ comment by Vaniver ·
2017-10-05T17:55:43.071Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Our current plan is to send an email with a vote link to everyone over the threshold; we're going to decide when to have the vote later in the open beta period.
comment by korin43 ·
2017-09-21T13:32:26.211Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
For anyone else who finds intercom the most annoying feature in existence, you can add an Adblock / UBlock rule to block: ###intercom-container
Although it will still screw with the page title.
Replies from: korin43
comment by Tripitaka ·
2017-10-02T22:14:54.091Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Reading experience is rather abyssimal. Having just text-on-borderless-white is bad, the font could use some work, any structures for the eye to catch on etc.
comment by Ixiel ·
2017-11-09T10:22:51.441Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
It seems to not be sending me the reset e-mail. I requested twice last night, separated by five minutes. I'll PM Hab, just in case the system forgot my e-mail address, but still a problem if so that there is no message to that effect.
ETA: Multiple messages sent with no reply. Shall I assume this project is no longer going forward?
comment by gjm ·
2017-09-22T12:06:40.145Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Do you want comments on the Lesser Wrong experience only via Intercom, or here as well?
[EDITED to add:] I see there's a "first impressions" thread over on Lesser Wrong, so I've ended up using that in preference to either of the other options.
Replies from: Benito
↑ comment by Ben Pace (Benito) ·
2017-09-23T05:38:14.772Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Intercom is most useful for bugs, because we can quickly back-and-forth with you about the specifics of your operating system/browser and other stuff. If it's a feature request / some general feedback either works; maybe slightly err on posting in the 'impressions' thread for common knowledge.