I am very disappointed.
Now I'm sure you'd have to see it to believe it, but you see, just today I was rereading my favorite book, HPMOR, for the fourth time, and I clicked to go on to the next chapter, and to my surprise, there was no next chapter! Which is pretty crazy, considering there was a next chapter last time. Instead it just dropped me on LessWrong (on the HPMOR page). As an enjoyer of the old HPMOR.com site I just wanted to express my frustration.
Now I'm not trying to complain about LessWrong here. I actually like LessWrong, and sometimes I read posts on here. There are many forum and social media sites, and it does seem to me that LessWrong is one of the better ones. I mean if I found out that HMPOR.com was being shut down and instead we would be forced to read it as a series of Facebook posts, I would be much more angry. But still, the best way to run a social media site, and the best way to publish an ebook cannot possibly coincide. (Or, on second thought, perhaps they might, since they're both sort of publishers, but I'm specifically annoyed about this specific merger.)
The thing is, I already knew about HMPOR being on LessWrong. But I chose to read on HPMOR.com anyway, because that is what I preferred. One annoying thing about LessWrong for this, is that if I scroll up at all (even just slightly) while reading a long post (or chapter?) the annoying banner at the top of the screen shows up, making it difficult to include the specific text on the screen which you wanted. HMPOR.com didn't have that problem. But there are many frustrations. I feel like in the past, I had the choice, and now that choice has been taken away from me.
I have, at times, been accused of not liking change. (I think it's more a feeling that changes should optional, and people shouldn't be forced into new things they don't want.) But I feel like there are many circumstances where it should be clear change is not a good idea? Like, if you make something that people specifically seek out, instead of other things they could go for, well, among things, from whoever wants it's point of view, it is one of the better ones. Perhaps even one of the best things. And then if it is changed, well, most changes of something so atypical (from any point of view) tend to be reversions to the mean. So if you like something a lot, you shouldn't want it to change, or at least should be worried about potential change.
I think this is also why sequels tend to be worse than originals. If something is a big deal and people demand a sequel, that thing was probably atypically good. So even with the same author and universe, you should expect to get a reversion to the mean. And you do.
Official note from MIRI ops: We don't know how this happened and are not sure who was previously responsible for the site, but we agree hpmor.com was A Good Thing and intend to put effort forth to get the thing back up ASAP.
Separately, if people figure out details on what happened (who was originally handling it, how to contact them, etc) please send those details my way.
Some details: https://www.reddit.com/r/HPMOR/comments/11l25kf/comment/jbgxbeh/
Thank you! For the original hosting and for putting up with our fumbling of the handoff. =)
I got a message from the people who had been hosting it. I'll let them post publicly if they want to share details, but essentially they decided this was no longer a favor they wanted to be doing.
Reasonable! I think that either the LW team or the MIRI team is already currently in contact with them and working to achieve the handoff.
The old site claimed to be "a project of" https://www.elsewhere.org, which at the bottom claims to be https://www.facebook.com/rjl20 and https://twitter.com/rjl20
Perhaps try DMing him?
Thank you very much!
So the current on-LW version has always just been there, or something?
FYI I didn't know anything about HPMOR getting taking down.
(I've asked around and other LW team members also seem to not know anything about this. We weren't responsible for hosting hpmor.com, my guess is someone just got tired of hosting/maintaining it. I haven't actually asked @habryka yet if he knows what happened or who was hosting hpmor.com, but he's not as involved with day-to-day stuff these days)
Nope, no involvement from my side.
I also went to hpmor.com yesterday, was disappointed that the old site was gone and now redirects to a relatively under-optimized LessWrong page, and complained to the LW team about this.
The hpmor.com site was just Josh's unofficial mirror, right? Is it possible that he was feeling done providing this free resource?
[EDIT: maybe it was actually a MIRI project?]
It was an unofficial mirror, which was supposed to be shifted to MIRI hosting a few years back but the handoff wasn't complete.
Update: It should be fixed now. If you see any problems with the new server, let us know (replying to this comment will work). If you're still getting a redirect to
archive.org, it should fix itself in a few hours when your ISP's DNS cache expires.
Problem: If I go to a chapter, e.g. https://hpmor.com/chapter/63 , and then I use the dropdown menu from the top to select another chapter, it takes me to e.g. https://hpmor.com/go.php?chapter=36 , which is a "Page not found" page.
Thanks for the report; that should be fixed now.
(A bunch of custom code related to syncing from fanfiction.net got dropped in the progress of migrating from a bespoke server to WP-Engine, and
go.phpgot lost in the shuffle.)
Ugh. Why does everyone need to replace nice static web pages with junk that wants to perform a couple http requests every time the window changes:
Retracted given that it turns out this wasn't a deliberate migration.
Yes! It's just that the feel of the two websites are so different. And part of it may be my imagination. But it feels like the old HPMOR site is a simple elegant wrapper around the book, while on here it is the book is dumped into a website that wasn't made for it. Like the difference between a person wearing clothes, and someone inside of a giant human shaped suit that mimicked their motions.
That is literally true. The old HPMOR site was just there to host the book as cleanly as possible. Lesswrong is a discussion forum with a lot of functionality. You can host a book on a discussion forum, but it'll never be as smooth.
The normal explanation is "measurement and monetization". It's very hard to exploit a reader's attention if you simply deliver the text. I don't want to believe that's the reason for this - more likely simply it's more expedient (cheaper) to have it on LW than it's own site.
Temporary mirror while the MIRI folks do their migration thing:
Now that the official mirror is back, hpmor.obormot.net will redirect to hpmor.com.
For what it's worth, I am re-reading HPMOR as a read-aloud to my very-into canon!HP child (with very minor bowdlerizing) and I have found the most easy/comfortable way to read it has been to download one of the EPUB files that people have put together over the years, and then read it using my e-reader app of choice.
That way, I control the way the text looks, it easily saves my place down to a very small subsection of a chapter, and it's future proof; even if all of the LW expanded universe goes away, nothing will happen to the already-downloaded EPUB .
Which is another gripe: hpmor.com prominently linked the epub/moby/pdf versions, while the trashed version makes no reference to their existence anymore.
Retracted given that it turns out this wasn't a deliberate migration.
I can see why one would want to merge websites - one fewer Wordpress instance to maintain, if nothing else. I would guess hpmor.com passed the peak in terms of pageviews years ago, and it might make less sense to keep it as a standalone website now.
I wish redirects were handled more granularly, though. https://www.hpmor.com/chapter/1 should lead to https://www.lesswrong.com/s/PtgH6ALi5CoJnPmGS/p/vNHf7dx5QZA4SLSZb and https://www.hpmor.com/chapter/2 to https://www.lesswrong.com/s/PtgH6ALi5CoJnPmGS/p/6L523aJDpjm4yWxue rather than to the top page. Cool URIs don't change.
Also, it looks like pages outside of the main content were not transferred. e.g. http://www.hpmor.com/notes/
If maintenance were the rationale (which is perfectly reasonable), they could have just dumped the static HTML and called it a day. It's not like the site changed or had any special interactive or dynamic aspects. (And such an archival scrape would likely have been substantially less effort than this special integration has been, and will be, I predict.)
The hpmor.com site was being run by a volunteer; it looks like something about it broke, and the redirect was a temporary measure so there would be something up. We didn't find out about it until after the redirect was in place. We're now in the process of migrating it to a new server (within MIRI), which will restore the reading experience on hpmor.com to the way it was.
my apartment-mate started reading hpmor today!
she actually couldn’t find it at first because the lw hosting has bad seo, ranked below some ssc post about My Immortal. she had to ask me the name of the fic.
I was surprised to see it here rather than the original site
I also do not like this. HPMOR.com was a much better HPMOR reading experience than HPMOR-on-LW is. There’s hardly any comparison. This change replaces a better experience with a worse one.
Is this a subtle way of discouraging people from reading HPMOR? (Perhaps a good idea, come to think of it…)
FWIW, I also thought HPMOR.com was a better reading experience for HPMOR than current LW is. LW is optimized for a bunch of stuff that HPMOR.com isn't optimized for. I hope we can get the old site back up.
While I'm feeling a bit miffed that I'm getting a vibe that people at mad at the LessWrong team for a thing that's, like, totally not our fault, I do wanna go on record as "I actively prefer the LessWrong version."
It scores at least as well for me on core-reading-experience. I don't have any issue reading the text. I like that the https://www.lesswrong.com/hpmor page has some pretty pictures, has a progress bar so you can see all your reading progress at once, and you can easily see the spots you haven't read yet (both in the simple bar at the top and in the table-of-contents-ish thing on the rest of the page), and
(FYI it's not fully true you need to click back to see the list of posts – if you hover over the book title at the top of a post page, you see a dropdown list of the posts in that book. It's true you don't get the entire list of posts but if you're navigating to different books I think seeing the higher-order structure is kinda useful anyway)
There are a couple areas that seem like they could be improved (it does seem reasonable to make it one-click to see the full library page, maybe if you click the book title at the top it should take you to https://www.lesswrong.com/hpmor, to the relevant anchor-title, instead of https://www.lesswrong.com/s/EBuZhwCrYuJGp7ax4.
And also obviously it's bad to not have authors notes. (Even if/when hpmor.com goes live again it's plausible we should import those too and make a final sequence that's just those)
I am not mad at the LessWrong team. The reason I framed the title as an accusation was because I figured it was likely since I was sent to your website that you were responsible in some way, or at least were aware of what was going on. I now understand I was mistaken.
As for "improvements" if/when hpmor.com comes back up, I would like to note that I am against them, for the same reasons described in the post. I don't think it's obvious at all that some change to the old site would not be bad, at least from the perspective of people who prefer the old site.
I meant the improvements for lesswrong.com's general functionality, not hpmor.com (not sure if we were on the same page about that). Like, one of lesswrong's main jobs is to be good at longform reading, and if there are ways it can be straightforwardly improved at that we should do so.
We were not on the same page. I thought you were suggesting changes to the new re-hosted version of hpmor.com. Thanks for clarifying.
Yes, exactly. LW.com is certainly better at being LW.com than HPMOR.com would be! Single-purpose tools are often better for that purpose than things designed for other purposes entirely…
This probably won’t be needed, but just in case it is—I’d be happy to host it.
I disagree that the reading experience is notably worse, let alone much worse. I don't see any mistakes that would make the LW version difficult to read. Things like font size, line length, line height, contrast, etc. all seem to follow best practices.
That said, I am bummed by the switch for nostalgic reasons, but only very slightly. I don't think I'd pay more than $10 to keep the old version.
color: #000, opacity: 0.87in CSS), which (given how text rendering works in browsers) makes it harder to read than HPMOR.com’s text (
color: #222; opacity: 1.0)
(These deficiencies are, in my experience, quite typical of such content migrations.)
P.S. I said that the change “replaces a better experience with a worse one”, which is a much more general claim than any particulars of typography. But notice that you assumed that I was talking about only the narrow typographic sort of problem! This, in my experience, is also typical. Understandable—but typical.
IMO those issues are all very minor, even when summed.
color: #000, opacity: 0.87on a
#fffbackground works out to a hex of
#212121, which has a contrast ratio of 16.10. This is well above the WCAG's minimum requirement of 7 for body text and is rated as five stars and "super" by https://coolors.co.
Is that relevant? Imagine that we were discussing the replacement of a ramp with stairs. This has a very minor effect on my experience -- is that enough to conclude the change was benign?
You absolutely did not understand what I wrote, which had not the slightest connection to any contrast ratios. Please reread.
Why would you imagine this? I have done this regularly when using HPMOR.com.
Considered by whom? Medium offers one of the worse reading rexperiences on the web.
This is not even remotely true. Such browser extensions do not (and, given the way that browsers work, cannot) work well (or, increasingly, at all). In my experience, most people who “care a lot about dark mode” in fact just do not use websites that don’t have a dark mode. (Also, dark mode is, at this point, common enough, and the implementation techniques well enough known, that users simply expect it from a well-designed website.)
This boils down to “I, personally, don’t care about this, therefore it doesn’t matter”, which does not work as a rebuttal of a claim that not having the thing in question is a worse user experience than having it.
Some technical notes on the situation:
I've never heard it put this well before, and did not properly understand this concept before reading this. Thank you.
Also, I know this is in really, really bad taste. Like, really bad taste, to bring this up right now of all times, and basically everyone who has commented so far agrees that it's reasonable to be bothered by this. I'm very surprised by this too; if I had positions on any Lesswrong-focused prediction markets, I would be reversing most of them right now after hearing about this.
But I have to say it: HPMOR has a semi-unofficial sequel and also a de-facto sequel which is also atypically good, and in fact even better the way everyone hopes sequels to be. Most people greatly regret rereading HPMOR when they could have been reading the very-well-received instead. I know it's in poor taste to recommend those right now, but historically it's just been such an extremely high-value thing to recommend to HPMOR rereaders; so I have to do it, even if right here is one of the worst possible circumstances that anyone has ever recommended HPMOR 2 in.
In what sense is "Luna Lovegood and the Chamber of Secrets" only semi-unofficial? Who are these "most people" who regret rereading HPMOR rather than reading one of these? And why is "now of all times" "one of the worst possible circumstances" for recommending alternatives to HPMOR?
Afaik the semi-official sequel to hpmor is Significant Digits, since Eliezer has endorsed that one (forgot where but I remember him saying it).
Eliezer only tepidly endorsed it, and also it's a completely different genre than HPMOR and also has a really stupid ending.
Yeah, the ending was one of the most disappointing things I've ever read, alas. But the first two parts are strong.
Do you remember what site it was on (e.g. twitter) and how strongly he endorsed it?
Significant Digits are great too if what you're after is something that feels like a sequel.
I heard that Yudkowsky endorsed it, do you know where I could find the wording of the endorsement?
His endorsement was based on its length/on the effort put into it, not on its quality. It is extremely emphatically not as good.
Disagree with the “extremely emphatically” emphasis. Yes, it's not as good, but it more satisfyingly scratched the “what happened in the end” itch, much more than the half-dozen other continuations I've read.
Dragging up some old commentary.
Originally written in response to a request for critique:
Originally written in response to a counterpoint on the above critique:
Originally written in response to authorial+fan gushing enthusiasm after Eliezer made a comment about SigDig:
Couldn't find the original source, but I found myself quoting his endorsement and it was:
https://www.reddit.com/r/HPMOR/comments/545f5a/comment/d7zsigv/ but this is not the quote I remember.
I vaguely remember it, but I don't remember where.