Issues, Bugs, and Requested Features

by Eliezer Yudkowsky1 min read26th Feb 2009674 comments


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[Edit: IssuesBugs, and Requested Features should be tracked at Google Code, not here -- matt, 2010-04-23


Less Wrong is still under construction.  Please post any bugs or issues with Less Wrong to this thread.  Try to keep each comment thread a clean discussion of each bug or issue.

Requested features... sure, go ahead, but bear in mind we may not be able to implement for a while.

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Currently, lots of discussions just end without the last commenter or readers knowing why.

So, feature idea: add a way for the author of the parent of a comment to set an "agreement status" with the following options by clicking a button:

  • I don't understand this yet. Still trying.
  • I don't understand this. I give up.
  • I agree.
  • I disagree, and will write up the reasons later.
  • I disagree, but don't want to bother writing out why.
  • I need to think about this more.
  • I already addressed this before.
  • [other options if needed]
8Vladimir_Nesov12yA norm for finishing any conversation with such status would be more flexible. This'd take at least a good top-level post, official endorsement of the policy, and some reminders for the participants of conversations that follow this template. Also, without the norm, software option won't be useful.
4Wei_Dai12yYes I agree we need a norm. But we also need the software feature so that we aren't littered with agreement status comments everywhere, and also to make it easier to follow the norm, which would make it more likely to be adopted as a norm.
2byrnema12yActually, what I've done sometimes is I add the status to the end of my already posted comment. That way I'm not adding any 'comment noise' but if anyone reads the post in the future they can see what the outcome/latest state was. I do that occasionally but sometimes feel a little self-important while doing so. (Along the lines of "who cares what I finally think?") But I rationalize that it would be helpful for someone following the thread, in the near or far future. I think it would generally be a good norm to have.
5CannibalSmith11yJust badger the person who fails to respond to a what seems to you an important comment. I hereby give everyone explicit permission to do so to me.
2wedrifid11yIt is a good idea, and one that would work best if it was a norm. Badgering without such a norm can come across as insecure and play right into the hands of the one using the 'rhetorical inattention' gambit. Fortunately, a concise 'badger' including or consisting of a link to the parent would remove the need to explain or justify oneself and so avoid this difficulty.
2wedrifid9yI'm now wondering which specific rhetorical usage wedrifid!2009 was referring to. There are all sorts of meanings depending on the context and quite a few could be considered rhetorical. I think "a" would be more appropriate than "the" here.
4CannibalSmith11yIn any case, you cannot force anyone to respond. Thus, in my opinion, the best response to ignorance is to summarize the debate British Parliamentary style [] and be done with it.
4wedrifid11yThe main one: I don't like your attitude, this is signalling crap not discussion. Stick it.
3SilasBarta11y"I disagree, and am open to disagreement-arbitration on this particular issue (but not necessarily others)." I've felt that way on issues on this board before, but didn't continue responding because there were too many comments to reply too. (I'm thinking in particular of the "no one likes the taste of alcohol" thesis that I advanced.)
3wedrifid11yI find this makes me less likely to write up reasons later. It makes it work.
2Unknowns11yI think a common one is "I'm tired of this discussion and don't want to think about it any more."
2thomblake12yI don't like this idea, so far. I don't see any good way of adding this to the UI nicely, and for most such conversations my response would be "I walked away from the computer for a week and so didn't check any such box"
4Wei_Dai12yWhat about adding a drop-down list box to the right of "Vote up | Vote down" etc? Or below that line? The selected message can be displayed in the same space for others to see. I guess this feature wouldn't be useful for a user who comments on a few threads and then leaves for a week. But there are also extended discussions between regulars here that end without anyone except the author of the parent of the last comment knowing why.

Feature Request

In the recent past, some LW members have mentioned that karma was part of their motivation to post and comment.

This led to a change in the karma system to re-align incentives: 10 points for post upvotes, 1 for comment upvotes.

Here's another change that could motivate people who seek karma to contribute more to LW:

Instead of just showing the top 10 contributor in the column on the right, we could show more than 10. Even better if we can have a link to a top 100 or full list, like the leaders page on Hacker News.

If this simple change can encourage more people to contribute to LW, it seems like it's worth it. A small improvement in participation can lead to significant gains over time.

Seconded - I'd not only like to see a 'full list' of contributors, but vital statistics would be cool too - how many comments, how many posts, average post karma, average comment karma, how many upvotes/downvotes made, how many upvotes/downvotes received, etc.

Feature request: profile pages, at minimum an empty box where the user can put text and links.

3Paul Crowley11yThis is issue 108 [].
4Kevin11yThanks. Can we get a link to [] on this original post?

I'd like a way to display all of a user's posts and comments on a single HTML page, so I can find things easily. I've written a PHP script to mechanically "press" the "next" button repeatedly and collate all of the pages into one, and I've found it very useful. I would make the URL public and let everyone use it, but unless I add some kind of caching, it might put a lot of stress on my my server and Less Wrong's if many people use it at the same time on some prolific contributor (e.g., Eliezer).

So my questions are:

  1. Is there much demand for this feature from others?
  2. Is there hope to have it implemented on Less Wrong directly?

If the answer to 1 is yes, but 2 is no, then I'll code the caching and make the URL public.

ETA: In case anyone wonders why I didn't submit a patch to the Less Wrong codebase, it's because I can't understand how it works. Is there some documentation for potential developers?

1Wei_Dai11yI wrote earlier: There doesn't seem to be a huge demand for this (or not many people are paying attention to this thread), so if anyone wants to know the URL for this, just send me a private message, and I'll give it to you.

This might be slightly off-topic, but there isn't another place to post it right now...

The design here is awesome, especially compared to Reddit (or OB). Whoever designed the basic layout/look deserves major Kudos. The kind with chocolate chips. It's clean, usable, and (on my browser/display) not a pixel out of place.

We'll see how the entire site evolves in terms of usability.

Is there a way to make strike-through text? I'd like to be able to make revisions like this one without deleting the record of what I originally said.

2wmoore12yThere is no way to do this at the moment. I've raised a feature request for it. #123 []

Before people can submit their own posts, it would be good to have it spelled out what's considered on-topic.

I'm against this; signatures are the same information over and over. However, better user pages (particularly those linking to a social site, or an LW Frappr) would be nice.

I can find no way to link to my home page (or provide any other information on who I am) from my visible user profile.

6thomblake12ySeconded. Even a generic box people can look at where I can write [] []twitter: @thomblake would be good
1wmoore12yI've raised an issue [] to track this feature request.

It would be nice to have jsMath installed (a Javascript renderer for TeX math -- you just drop it in your page and it shows TeX math prettily). Yeah, you can read and write math in pure HTML, but... :-)

5Marcello12ySeconded. However, as an interim solution, we can do things like this: the Golden ratio is (1+root(5))/2 [\varphi=\frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}].
7wmoore12yThat looks like a reasonable workaround. With Markdown [] you can embed images so your image above can be embedded directly: I've also added a feature request [] for jsMath.
3Marcello12yAh, I didn't know you could embed images because it wasn't in the help. Would it be a good idea to put a link to a Markdown tutorial at the bottom of the table that pops up when I click the help link?
4wmoore12yYes, I've added an task to include a link to more thorough Markdown documentation.
1CannibalSmith11y![](\varphi=\frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2} [\varphi=\frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}])

It would be wonderful if those pressed for time could have a link where they could see the top-scoring comments of the last day/week/etc.

Four thoughts:

  1. Show the number of comments on posts from the front page.

  2. Add a favicon. I usually have at least 20 tabs open in Firefox at once, and favicons are invaluable navigation aids.

  3. I like the tree view because it allows direct comment, but a flat view would be helpful to catch new posts.

  4. Display the full text of a post in the RSS feed. I'm glad the feed shows the number of comments though.

3badger12yOne last suggestion: would it be possible to set personal time zones?
1wmoore12yGood request. Reddit gets around this by only showing times like '21 mins ago' or '8 days ago'. We've made it show times and dates which are timezone dependent. Raised as issue 107 [].

This site has a lot of features, but I don't see anything that explains how they're used. A general help page and/or FAQ seems necessary. Example:

What's Karma, what does the number represent, and what makes it change?

5MichaelHoward12yTill then, as the code's forked from the Reddit base, here's their help [] which tells you have the default system works. It says you get Karma by writing submissions which pander to the whims of the majori^H^H^H^H^Hare popular, and it's used to upgrade your post-Singularity consciousness. Hope this helps :)

Is there a way to systematically notice new comments as they appear? Ideally I'd like to receive them as individual e-mails with subject being equal to post title, for gmail threading magic to facilitate efficient skimming.

As it is, tree view makes it difficult to keep track of the conversation as it unfolds, it's even worse than on OB where there was no native way to subscribe (I use backtype for that purpose, a still buggy comment scanner). Maybe the simplest step for now is to allow flat view for discussion.

4wmoore12yA full comment page (with feed) is now available via the Comments [] tab.
1Vladimir_Nesov12yThanks! Could you add anchors to the links from there? The "Parent" link on the comments in the Comments tab seems to be the most useful one. Also, an additional pair of "Prev | Next" links at the top of the Comments pages would be convenient. It should be "In response to a (the?) comment". The Edit and Reply actions don't work.
1Eliezer Yudkowsky12yYou just linked to moreor. It appears at the main site here [], but there's no "Comments" tab visible as yet.
1wmoore12yOops jumped the gun on my announcements, they should all be live now. Fixed the link too.
4thomblake12yAgreed - I didn't see what you were talking about at first, but now I've noticed that once I've already read several posts, it's hard to find new comments on threads I've already read. Since some situations call for following comments in real-time (when possible), a flat view, or some other solution, would be awesome.
2matt12yWe'll add individual post feeds [] including all comments very soon, but it sounds like many of you don't use feed readers [], so need something on-site. If you use do use a feed reader the following seems like a good model: * find a post you want to follow * click the feed icon, and add it to your reader * follow it in your reader (which is sensible enough to only show you the new stuff) If you don't use a feed reader, a flattened reverse chronological comment view is the best idea I have.
1Eliezer Yudkowsky12yThere's got to be an open-source feed-reader gidget out there somewhere. So just develop the feed as pure RSS, and then link to a page that reads the feed and shows the standard gidget's view of the feed?

If you visit your user page then click Hidden in the top bar it will list posts you've hidden.

A way to see the number of comments a particular post has would be useful

1wmoore12yThis has now been implemented.

Meh. It's worth worrying about after we start having a spam problem. nofollow is just bad citizenship in this case - Lw has a lot of google juice and links in comments tend to be soaked in semantical goodness.

8pjeby11yYep. And even then, the simple solution is to only nofollow comments with negative karma. (There should be enough people reading the /comments feed to catch spam going to old posts, I would think.)
2thomblake11yBrilliant - I wonder if anyone does that sort of thing (I'd guess not, since there aren't a lot of places with this sort of comment moderation)
5Kevin11yOn Hacker News all comments are nofollow but submissions above a certain point threshold are follow. Same on Reddit.
2Kevin11yThat would work.

I don't like the AddThis button (because it pops up when I accidentally mouse over it). I searched for a few minutes on the AddThis site and elsewhere, but couldn't find a way to turn it off.

2thomblake12yWell if you use firefox, there are a bunch of extensions that would let you get rid of it. But I agree that it's annoying, badly implemented, and shouldn't be there.

Four-digit karma is not readily legible in the little green circle.

1Vladimir_Nesov12y[currently the parent comment is at -1 points] Interesting: does the downvoter see a statement of status in this true observation, and so feels offended []?
1Alicorn12yIt was probably just a drive-by. I get those on a pretty regular basis.

Is there a good reason for drafts to show in the What's New list and on the sidebar (maybe it's just an artifact in current software)? It's deeply confusing, I've just had an article lying as a draft for three hours, while thinking that I've already published it. Currently, the only way to find out whether the article is published is to check if it's absent from the draft list, or to log out.

An alternative solution is to add some kind of designation near the articles that are still drafts, like a word DRAFT in big red letters.

In the original Reddit codebase, you could tell when someone replied to your comment, because they'd highlight an "envelope" icon. I can't see of a way to check for replies in the LW site.

The site should implement a kill-filter - a method of hiding all comments, messages, and posts from specific users.

5Paul Crowley11yI think I prefer things as-is. We pretty much all tend to find the same users problematic, and they don't tend to stick around - either they leave or they're chucked out. I think it's better if we're all seeing the same site.
3Douglas_Knight12ySuch user-specific effects might be better done externally, as with greasemonkey. For very simple things, you could use yahoo pipes. Here [] is a filter that removes lojban, from the feed of new comments. rss [] It would be nice if the feed were more structured. I had to match the title, rather than the author of the comment.

There are no "next" and "previous" buttons like there were on Overcoming Bias, which especially breaks context on some older posts. Altogether there should be some easy way to navigate / browse through old posts on Lw.

3Document11yI second this notwithstanding VN's post. Also, I think I'd have gotten further the first time I encountered the sequences if there'd been First/Previous/Next in Sequence buttons. (edit) Beware Trivial Inconveniences [] seems possibly relevant. (edit 2) This post [] backs me up on Next buttons.
3Vladimir_Nesov12yIn the meantime, there's the all posts [] list on the wiki.
1thomblake12yThat indeed seems like a good resource for now.

Bug: comments deleted by a moderator behave differently than comments deleted by the user.

The comments deleted in this thread are still visible on the user pages (mjgeddes and outlawpoet); when the user deletes comments, they vanish from the user page, or at least they used to. Leaving them on the user page is probably not the desired behavior, at least for the second deletion.

1Douglas_Knight12ythis post [] claims to have 1 more comment than it displays. I wonder if this is a deleted comment effect as well. Not a big deal, but worth recording for anyone who wants to debug deletion.

Have an option when viewing all recent comments on the site to display the parent along with each comment, because many comments can't be understood out of context, and it's a pain to click on "Parent" for each such comment.

Automatic reply-notification would be nice in the long run. If there was a page where we could automatically see any new replies to our old comments, or if commenters/posters could choose to be notified about replies, then people might more often bother to reply to old threads, and conversations could be more on-going.

5AnnaSalamon12yIt turns out there is such a page, it was just hard to find. If anyone else wants to see replies to your comments (though not your posts), from most recent replies to oldest, just go to your inbox []. This can be accessed by following links instead of by knowing the url to type in, but the route is complicated enough that perhaps it should be shortened in the long run. (The only current route I know: 1. Go into my "account preferences"; 2. Click on the "friends" tab; 3. Click "Send message", as though I were going to compose a message; and then 4. Click on "inbox".)
1[anonymous]12yNice one!
1wmoore12yThis is something that is marked for investigation #118 []

It would be handy to see in your user's page which comments of yours had been replied to without having to check each one individually.

7Vladimir_Nesov12yYes, and this seems to be a general issue of how comments are represented in the discussion (tree view) vs. how comments are tracked by various means (individually, without any context). The difference in presentations leads to difficulty in understanding the same comment when it's written and presented in different modes. For example, if the discussion itself proceeds in linear view, people refer to comments to which they reply, or cite them, which makes reading comments linearly simpler. It'll be simpler to read such comments in e.g. a feed reader. On the other hand, when the discussion happens in tree view, comments are written without mentioning their context, and as a results comments streamed into a feed reader individually become incomprehensible. We need some kind of linear view that cites its context. I suggest (an option for) including comment's parent in all kinds of local or linear views for comments, including feeds. Specifically for the problem pointed out by Michael, maybe there should be some kind of "subscription" capability, through which you form a set of comments, replies to which get aggregated into a separate feed (or discussion-like stream, like any of the many views that present the content of the site).

Reddit's up-arrow/down-arrow system with the selected arrow highlighted is much more intuitive and easier to see at a glance than a "vote up" and "vote down" with the selected link in bold. It also makes sense to have the point count next to the vote buttons. I spent my first few seconds on this site wondering why there was only a "vote down" button before I realized the minus sign next to the point count had nothing to do with voting.

I agree with the people saying show the number of comments on the front page.

The site needs an icon, even if it's crude and temporary, say "LW" like on Yudkowsky's and Bostrom's sites.

The "karma" concept results in unpopular or somewhat uneducated comments being removed from discussion, which I do not consider desirable.

This isn't really true. Long conversations routinely spring from downvoted comments. Karma helps ensure high quality comments and helps me know when I'm on the right track and when I'm being stupid. It absolutely helps with discussion and I doubt the place would be the same without it.

We're disagreeing mostly on the "personally confirm" point, I believe - I don't believe that that's true in all cases.

I don't think it's unreasonable for wmoore to have assumed that Eliezer had taken care of the moral analysis of this case. (I wouldn't disagree with you if you were suggesting that Eliezer should have checked with us.) Wmoore doesn't obviously know how this group is structured, or what kinds of things we would expect to be consulted about; most online groups are structured in a way that relies much more on the low cost of leaving ... (read more)

The Top Contributors list hasn't been sorted by karma since the karma system was changed to give 10 karma per vote for top level posts. For awhile they were obviously out of order; now, the top 10 list is internally sorted, but does not accurately represent the top 10 users by karma (I have more karma than 3 of them). Perhaps it's sorting by number of upvotes instead of amount of karma?

Is there a convenient way to access old incoming personal messages? My inbox is obviously fully of replies to threaded comments and I can access old ones by search if I remember details. I can also access sent personal messages with the next tab over. But is there any way to get to an old pm without clicking 'previous' enough times to bring me back to April? If not, this would be a welcome addition.

Is there a page for "how to use this website" somewhere that I've missed? For the most part, it is intuitive. But I got a bit worried when I clicked "Report" on some spam and it asked me "Are you sure?". No I'm not sure - I'm just guessing what "Report" means and what it does...

I'd also be interested in knowing how Karma works, who (if anyone) is notified about my comments, what Voting does, etc... Just a general overview of how the website works. And if this information isn't all in one place already maybe it should be.

1Mitchell_Porter12yFor my part, I think I accidentally clicked on Report the other day, while expanding a lot of comments for Context. But I don't remember any dialogue so I can hope that it didn't go through. The reddit FAQ [] may answer a few questions.
3Ramana Kumar12yUpdate: the welcome post [] has a small explanation of voting and karma. sends the user's password in the clear (as reported by ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 8.

Please consider warning people that is so.

The siege began. Two bots, registered on 2 and 4th June respectively, just posted their spam messages. Furthermore, the messages hack the wiki markup. It may be a while for all the bots to run out, and new ones continue registering as we speak. You should really install that captcha.

ETA: 5 triggered bots so far.

3Vladimir_Nesov12ySpam became a rather serious issue now. Just look at the block log [] : today I had to block 16 spam bot accounts, and delete their spam. I don't even have tools for easily doing that, so each account takes a number of clicks with a delay. Good thing they are only spamming on their own user pages...

I'd like more context.

Since there are anchors, is there any cost to replacing context=1 with context=3 ?

Alternatively, context for the parent button (or even the permalink button) could be controlled from the preferences page, at the cost of UI proliferation. This might make more sense for people who want context on the recent comments page, which is a feature that would have cost to people who don't want it. (hmm...I guess greasemonkey could make parent=context=3)

Incidentally, the combination of deleted comments and context is buggy. If you go here where ... (read more)

Spam bots are preparing a siege for the wiki, several of them register every day (although there were no attempts to edit the pages yet). Maybe a captcha extension on registration could fix this?

There is no visible difference between an unpublished draft and a published article. I am not the only one who has written an article and wondered why it seems to have drawn absolutely no response, then remembered there is this feature of not publishing immediately. I then hunted around for something to click called "Publish". In fact you have to click "Edit", even if the text already says exactly what it should, and publish from the edit page.

Proposal. When viewing multiple articles on a page, each article (down to its summary break) i... (read more)

Requested feature: a 'user list', possibly sorted by karma - just like 'top contributors', but listing everybody. Preferably on its own page somewhere.

Highlight comments made since I last viewed a post, or hide old ones.

It would be desirable to be able to tell which comments/posts I'd already voted on once I've done so.

3wmoore12yThe Vote up or Vote down link on comments should be bold after you vote. When you vote on an article the + or - in a circle becomes filled in to indicate your vote. Is this not happening, if so what browser are you using?
4Annoyance12yYou're right, that is happening - I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed out the effect. Maybe most people would notice, and I'm oblivious, but I'd recommend making the difference a bit less subtle.
1[anonymous]12yYou can also just click twice. It's a toggle.

Comment karma!

3RobinHanson12ySomewhere there needs to be formulas explaining exactly how you compute the sorting for the LW top tabs, and for the various numbers sitting next to posts and comments, all in terms of the various voting actions that are done. I'm really quite confused about it all.
3AnnaSalamon12yI have mixed feelings about karma; even without karma, I was finding myself a bit too interested in seeing how many points my comments got. But perhaps other people are better at ignoring gold stars than I am, or perhaps the effects of people attending to others' responses are net-positive.
4[anonymous]12yI share your weakness for gold stars, however, I'm finding thus far that it has a positive impact on my posting. Thinking before I speak is useful, particular since it means more thinking, more effort to consider other's knowledge and less chance of getting sidetracked on pointless nitpicking.
2Scott Alexander12yI am definitely no better than Anna at ignoring gold stars. I think the situation might be improved if the "top contributors" box wasn't there on the right margin looking temptingly like a scoreboard.
1steven046112yWith comment karma we should definitely stop trying to use upvotes and downvotes for opinion polls.
2Eliezer Yudkowsky12yYeah, we need "agree" "disagree".
1Eliezer Yudkowsky12yAgreed, we need this and soon.
2wmoore12yWhat exactly do you mean by this. In other words how would it be used? The codebase has the concept of comment karma already. However when presented in the UI, 'Karma' is the sum of comment karma and submission karma.
3Eliezer Yudkowsky12yRight now, karma only seems to be including submission karma, no comment karma. E.g. this user [] with many upvoted comments and karma 1.
2MichaelHoward12yComment Karma does affect the "Top Contributors" ranking, though - I did a self-deprication experiment. And strangely enough I fell off the list shortly after you wrote the above link :-) What's jimrandomh's dark secret?
3Kevin12yAn unpublished draft that was upvoted?

It would be nice to have some definition of what the "friends" feature is supposed to mean. Is it like facebook "friend" or like twitter "follow" or... any number of other possible interpretations? Is it supposed to be reciprocal, or are these just people whose posts you want to read more of / that you like?

3MichaelHoward12yApparently [] it's just for people whose submissions you want to follow, so their usernames will appear highlighted & you can read just their submissions here [].

The design of this site is rendered fairly poorly in browsers that are configured to enforce a minimum font-size above a certain bound. Specifically:

  • green circles aren't scaled to fit the digits shown on top of them
  • the Karma Score value is overlaid on the text "Karma Score"
  • part of the text box for entering comments is pushed under the right sidebar
  • the untoggled states of the Vote {Up, Down} indicators aren't displayed quite correctly

Steps to reproduce with Firefox 3.0.6 (I haven't tested other versions, but this is likely to also work with... (read more)

3matt12yOn comment previews: You can edit your comments after you've posted them, so this is probably something nice-to-have rather than urgent.

The comment listing has a drop down 'Sort By' at the top of the listing. If you change this to 'Old' it will sort the comments in reverse chronological order. As far as I'm aware the setting is stored and will be applied when you view comment listings in the future.

On what basis will free people vote on an idea they disagree with but that is explained well? A hilarious but unrelated pun? A brilliant comment on a post that has nothing to do with it? A valid point by a well known troll?

7Eliezer Yudkowsky12yI can immediately answer that the valid point by the troll should be voted up, and it seems that the disagreed-with idea that is explained well should at least not be voted down.

It seems like the only criterion for the rating of comment/post be the degree to which it contributes to healthy discussion (well-explained, on-topic, not completely stupid). However, there is an strong tendency for people to vote comments based on whether they disagree with them or not, which is very bad for healthy discussion. It discourages new ideas and drives away visitors with differing opinions when they see a page full of highly rated comments for a particular viewpoint (cf. reddit).

The feature I would recommend most for this website is a dual voting feature: one vote up/down for the quality of the post/comment, and one for whether you agree or disagree with it. This would allow quality, disagreeable comments to float to the top while allowing everyone to satisfy their urge to express their opinion. It also would force people to make a cognitive distinction between the two categories.

Even people like me who try to base their ratings independent of their agreement with the comment are biased in their assessment of the quality. It would be very healthy to read a comment you agree with and would normally upvote (because your quality standards have been biased downward) only to see that a large fraction of the community finds the argument poor.

Incidentally, you might allow voting for humor or on-topic-ness so that people can (say) still be funny every once in a while without directly contributing to the current discussion per se.

(Sorry that was so long. It was something I had been thinking about for awhile.)

6Vladimir_Nesov12yI disagree, because I see these factors as necessarily closely connected, in any person's mind. I rate not quality of prose, but quality of communicated idea, as it comes through. If I think that the idea is silly, I rate it down. If the argument moves me, communicating a piece of knowledge that I at least give a chance of changing my understanding of something, then the message was valuable. It doesn't matter whether the context was to imply a conclusion I agree or disagree with, it only matters whether the idea contributes something to my understanding.
4Eliezer Yudkowsky12yThis makes... quite a lot of sense, actually. And of course the posts would be sorted by quality votes, not agreement votes.
3steven046112yIf agreement votes aren't going to be used, why not do away with them altogether and just use the current system to vote based on quality only? True comments are higher quality than false comments so agreement should factor into quality judgments anyway.
6Benya12yI like Jess's proposal because I think it has a better chance of working in practice. Most of us, I think, do want to express agreement / disagreement, and I think separating it out into a separate vote would work better with real humans' cognitive systems than relying on people following an explicit instruction to ignore one of their motivations. [Yes, I would like to see a study testing this assumption somehow, but in the meantime, that's the prediction my subjective probability is going into...] Besides, I would find the agree/disagree info interesting. And I think it probably reduces "me too" posts. And the info presumably could be used for the "most controversial" page. (edited: s/separate out their motivations/ignore one of their motivations/)
1Demosthenes12yI think other people have said it, but Slashdot has one of the best commenting structures around. Different values for different categories (funny, insightful etc....), anonymous posting, reputation, very clear thread structure. All sorts of fun stuff
5Nick_Hay12yBecause quality and truth are separate judgments in practice, and forcing them to be conflated into a single scale is losing information. To the extent that truth is positively correlated with quality this will fall out automatically: highly truthy posts will tend to have high quality. Low quality and high truth are not opposites.
3steven046112yI agree it's losing information, but that's something you have to weigh against the inconvenience of multiple dimensions. To the extent that truth is positively correlated with quality you're just making people click twice, and I suspect clicks are a limited resource. As I see it the voting system is there to put comments in a convenient order and remove the really bad ones from sight, not to provide opinion poll information.
5Jess_Riedel12yThat's exactly the point: voting is supposed to put comments in order according to quality, so that you can read the worthwhile comments in a reasonable time. My claim is that the current voting system will not do this well at all and that a dual voting system will be better. (That second bit is just a guess). The opinion poll information is just a nice side effect.
3steven046112yOK, so according to you and Benja the point is to have the agree/disagree buttons there mainly as a lightning rod to prevent agreement from affecting quality votes. That's a good point, but I wonder if it's worth it and if there are better ways to accomplish the same thing. I also wonder if there should be a button labeled "malevolent cantaloupe" so the unserious people will click on that instead of voting.
6AnnaSalamon12yA second question about the semantics of voting: should I be up-voting all good posts regardless of score, and down-voting all bad posts regardless of score, or should I be voting to correct points-numbers that are misaligned with post quality?
1AnnaSalamon12yUpon reflection, I'd say we should be voting to correct points-numbers that are misaligned with post quality. Otherwise, if people continue to up-vote more posts than they down-vote, comments will accumulate more and more points the older they get, and a setting like "show me all posts above 3" won't be meaningful across threads or comment-ages. Added: The "odd social dynamics" point is good. I'll follow Eliezer and thomblake here.
5Eliezer Yudkowsky12yI would actually say that voting to correct post-quality would lead to some odd social dynamics. I'll vote up if something is negative for no reason, but otherwise I'll vote my opinion, not corrections - unless something seems really out of line. I'd rather have the sum of people's individual components then see everyone trying to correct everyone else's voting.
4thomblake12yAgreed - I've been using voting the same way: if (score < 0 && myPreferredScore >=0) vote up else vote my conscience Edit: had to camelCase the name above due to odd behavior of underscores. I should learn MarkDown.

italics is done with asterisks (*). See the help link on the bottom right of the comment text area.

Is the recent comments page broken right now or is that just me?

Edit: Working again!

2NancyLebovitz11yIt's been broken for me, too. The problem may be associated with comments from a time period-- recent comment is working for me now, but I can't page back.
4thomblake11yFor reference, it's usually the fault of one particular comment - when this happens, finding any page with that comment will break the site. "Recent comments" works again when that comment falls off the first page.
2Alicorn11yNot just you. It happens periodically.

This post imported from OB has Japanese characters where they shouldn't be (encoding problem).

Downvoted for unkindness - no one likes to be involved in a comparison where Nazis are the baseline.

"Programming exactly to specs" is part of the job, but seeing to it that the specs have desirable outcomes when implemented also is, so I partly agree - I think you could do a better job of evangelizing here.

You might want to check out the User Manifesto, a work in progress.

Some changes to karma have been deployed today. Posts will now show scores less than zero, previously scores below zero were shown as zero. Votes on posts are now worth 10 points up or down to the contributor. Also the threshold to be able to post is now 50, up from 20.

5Vladimir_Nesov11yIt's unclear -- do you mean that the number of points received for posts gets multiplied by 10, both for positive and negative votes? This factor seems too dramatic. I'd go for 2 or 3, no more. One also has to take into account that posts get more votes than comments simply because more people rate them, so the effect of a post is already greater than that of a comment. Also should (have) been discussed in one of the open/meta threads in advance of deployment.
3wmoore11yYes an up vote on a post is worth 10 karma points to the contributor, a down vote -10 points. With regard to discussion, I just implemented what I was instructed to do.

This post imported from Overcoming Bias misses some spaces around formatting, possibly an importing bug.

It would be useful to have an RSS feed showing all descendants of all comments and top-level postings made by the logged-in user. It would help in avoiding accidentally ignoring a comment in a conversation I'm actively participating in.

Alternatively, or also, highlighting in some way all such comments in the other RSS feeds and web pages.

as noted here, we need some sort of spoiler capability in comments. if this is already available in standard Markdown, I missed it. It would be cool if it worked like those on the XKCD forums.

I find the right-alignment of the "continue reading>" link makes it extremely easy to miss. My eye is scanning left to right, so once I don't see something below the last line on the left I typically go to the next post. (Once I happened to notice it, I was able to keep a lookout for it, but if it was left aligned and maybe down a line, I suspect it would be a lot easier to see.)

New features and bug fixes seem to be added without any sort of announcement. It seems like there should be something to indicate when the site is changed.

I want to be able to click on one of the Recent Comments and see the entire comment list, not just the "thread" that contains the recent comment.

2thomblake12yI would probably not like this to simply replace the current functionality.

I'd've thought so too a priori, but Hacker News tried something like this, and people started worrying that e.g. commenting on old posts would drag their average down.

2Vladimir_Nesov12yI guess a really good karma system would need a better theoretical foundation, and tweaking outside of that is a very inefficient activity. Possibly one of these is already described in the academic literature. Maybe one of the qualified members of our community could contribute the effort towards finding one or research it from the start.
2AnnaSalamon12yWhat if we had a score for the average of a person's best 20%? There'd still be a bit of penalty for commenting on an old thread, or posting something unpopular, but it'd be smaller.
2Vladimir_Nesov12yCreating a complex system of rewards is a standard management problem, leading to unhealthy amount of attention turned towards gaming the system. In this tradeoff, a simple inaccurate system may be better than a supposedly more accurate, but complex and theoretically unsound one.

Indented numbered lists don't wrap properly. For example,

1. This is a numbered list item. In the text box, it was 4 spaces, followed by "1.", followed by the rest of the text. If this line is longer than your browser window is wide, it won't wrap properly.
2wmoore12yIndentation implies preformatted text. The 1. should be at the start of the line. 1. This is a numbered list item. In the text box, it wasn't 4 spaces, followed by "1.", followed by the rest of the text. If this line is longer than your browser window is wide, it will wrap. If you want to nest lists, then you need to indent the second list item. 1. First level 1. This is a numbered list item. In the text box, it was 3 spaces, followed by "1.", followed by the rest of the text. If this line is longer than your browser window is wide, it will wrap. Full Markdown documentation is available on Daring Fireball []

I am having some trouble posting an article.

I first tried posting it to Drafts For Yvain to see what it would look like, and it showed up with karma 1 on the main site (but I could only see it when logged in). Although it looked good, I didn't see any obvious way to change it from draft to official post.

So I deleted the draft, went back to the editor, and posted the article to Less Wrong. But it redirected me to a version of the article with [deleted] next to the title, and it doesn't show up on the main site.

Also, I saved my draft, but don't see any way to load the saved file. There's nothing in the tab that says "saved" on the right of the top menu.

3Scott Alexander12yI've since posted the article, but I'd still like an explanation of drafts and saving.
2glenn12yThink of 'drafts for username' as a private site where you can post articles - i.e. a 'holding area' - until you think they are ready to be viewed in Less Wrong. An article can only exist in one 'area' at a time, either drafts or lesswrong. If you delete an article, it will remain deleted regardless of which site you post it to. (I'm unsure if you can undelete an articles, but its status would remain deleted if you moved it). Also, when you are logged in, you should be able to edit posts via their 'edit' link on the bottom right hand side of the article. If you've ever used reddit, think of it as a private subreddit (as that's what it is).

4 digit karma total should be common soon enough, several users are past 100 after mere days.

Minor problem, but at this rate the green circles are in trouble.

There's a bug that shows users as having millions of karma, the excess numbers just spill over the side.

I am sure this had been said, but I would really like a full-post RSS feed. I don't want to come to the actual site every time I want to read a post; I just want to be able to read it on my RSS reader.

4wmoore12yFull content in the RSS feed has been implemented now.

In my preferences, I've marked the checkbox for making my votes public. However, I'm not sure where I can see the votes I or anyone else has made. Is this simply not implemented yet, or hidden somewhere?

1[anonymous]12yThis thing is confusing!
1glenn12yThey should show up in the liked [] and disliked [] pages of your user profile []. If they don't, then there is a bug! (The 'tabs' will show up if the user, like yourself, has the option selected).
1Kaj_Sotala12yIt only says "There doesn't seem to be anything here" to me. (Thanks, though - I hadn't even noticed those tabs before. The tab bar could be made more obvious, it kind of fades into the layout now.)

Can't you just go by Doug S. here then?

Also, the longer I stare at it, the more trouble I have remembering that the map is not the territory.

Seriously, it's a really clever image. Kudos to whoever thought it up.

1MichaelHoward12yIs it of anywhere in particular? I can't find the places on google.
1MichaelHoward12yAh, they changed the image. It's now of this place [,-122.468848&sspn=0.017634,0.04549&g=%22park+blvd%22+%22san+francisco%22&ie=UTF8&ll=37.711173,-122.392523&spn=0.008827,0.022745&z=16]

Please consider using a "fluid-width" theme.

2thomblake12yI shall disagree, with equivalent explanation.
4timtyler12yIt could be worse - but on my 26-inch monitor - most fixed-width sides do not look great - I find.

Drafts shouldn't be counted as contributions in the sidebar widget.

1wmoore12yThis is a known issue to fix. Issue 29 [].
2Vladimir_Nesov12yAlso, drafts show both in the "drafts" and the "submitted" lists.
1Vladimir_Nesov12yThey currently don't add to Karma, they are just counted on the right.

Google Custom Search leads to instead of this site.

When I go to my userpage and click on the title of this post (above one of my comments on this post), it links to

But that page 404's...

1wmoore12yI've applied a fix for this today. The links should now be valid.
1wmoore12yNoted this in Issue 104 [].

You have italics :-)

There's a "help" link right below the comments box to the right -- LW uses Markdown, apparently.

3matt12y… and I can't see any reason we shouldn't support basic HTML either, so we'll make Z_M's first comment (above) do what he meant (italics == italics == italics ).

A map of where we are, automatically generated with the Google Maps API from the data in the Location field of the user profiles.

I'm actually swestrup. I can't login. Less wrong has no method of complaining if you aren't logged in, so I had to create a new account.

Less Wrong keeps complaining my password is bad, but I couldn't reset my password because:

a) I had switched mail providers an my email address on record was no longer any good. Again, I couldn't do anything about this without logging in.

b) I managed to temporarily get my old mail address working again, only to find that Less Wrong's password reset feature is also broken.

The third footnote of this post has been hacked. (Garbage text has been inserted.)

Can you fix it? I am actually really curious what was there originally...

3mattnewport11y1. Select the 'hacked' text. 2. Copy to clipboard. 3. Click on the adjacent link to []. 4. Paste 'hacked' text into box. 5. Click cypher. 6. Enlightenment!
2AdeleneDawner11yWelcome to LW! Have a point, for attempting to be useful.

Testing double indent

Single indent

No indent

Maybe there should be a sandbox?

2Vladimir_Nesov11yUse your own old comments, then revert.

Why does a page pop up when I click on any user's name... But mine doesn't (have a page that pops up when I click on my user name)?

Edit: I see that Vladimir has already pointed this out, Thank you, Vlad.

There is a problem with plugin on the Wiki: see this page for example. The error message is:

Failed to parse (Missing texvc executable; please see math/README to configure.)

There are lots of weird things about deleted posts, but showing the author as "[deleted]" is definitely a bug.

I reached that belief from this post and it matches what Yvain says

"Recent Comments" is currently broken, though I must confess I enjoy the error messages.

As I mentioned elsewhere: recent karma changes to posts and comments.

Also, a 'preview' feature for comments would be nice.

2Alicorn12ySeconded. It's a little frustrating when my karma creeps up or down and I have to guess what's getting the approval/disapproval.
4Alicorn12yAnd: Sometimes it doesn't creep! I just had a gigantic upswing of karma and an equally dramatic downswing in the space of a few hours (on the order of fifty points in each direction). It doesn't seem to be my latest comments that are getting adjusted, and I would just love to know what is generating such strong opinions.

Terminology. Try to be consistent. "Liked" and "Vote Up": pick one and stick with it. IMHO

1thomblake12yFor those who don't get this one right away, if you check your user page, you see links to 'liked' and 'disliked' as categories of posts that you voted up or down. Since this doesn't seem to quite match the semantics of voting, the names of the categories on the user pages should be changed.

PhilGoetz is not on the "Top Contributors" list, despite having more karma than many on that list (Goetz has 646, while five others listed have 615, 536, 513, 504, 495).

I don't know if this is due to a bug or to some feature I don't know about.

2wmoore12yWe've deployed a fix for the Top Contributors that should see all 10 users listed. Although it may not be immediately visible due to client and server side caching. You may need to give it up to an hour before it shows up.
1MBlume12yawesome, thanks =)
1PhilGoetz12yI disappeared because I banned my "anti-rationality quotes" post. Today I found out how to unban it and then hide it; but my name didn't reappear on the list. ciphergoth is still missing, and 1 other person. Thanks for noticing. :)

A "Reply" button is present in the list of comments on (other) users' pages, but doesn't work.

On the global "Comments" page, it's not possible to edit your comments, even though it's possible to write replies (and later edit them).

"Bookmark" widget is annoying: mouse over it causes the pop-up list of bookmark services to appear, which sometimes doesn't want to go away.

Comments vs. Upvoting.

I've been wondering if the number of comments that a post (or comment) gets should have an effect on a karma score. I say this because there are some 1-point comments that have many replies attached to them. Clearly folks thought the comment had some value, or they wouldn't have replied to it. Maybe we need have each comment count as a vote, with the commenter having to explicitly choose +,-,or neutral in order to post?

1Vladimir_Nesov12yJust a grab for attention? That would be annoying for the users, bad interface design decision.
1thomblake12yWhat did you mean here? In what way would it be annoying? How is it bad interface design?
2Vladimir_Nesov12yI mean that if the options are the same as they are currently, +1, 0 and -1, then the only difference that requiring to vote when commenting introduces is mandating a "click" on one of the voting options. Since you can always choose "0", the same as ignoring the voting, there is no functional difference, only requirement for the additional "click". This may bring the requirement to think about voting to user's attention, but this is a one more mandatory click in the course of using the interface, inability for the users to avoid the click, loss of control. Users hate losing control.
3thomblake12yI would not say that it is a priori a bad thing to complicate a user interface in order to guide users to a particular sort of behavior. Note the effects of defaults and compare Cass Sunstein's 'Nudge'. Nonetheless, I completely agree with you that this is a bad design decision.
1Vladimir_Nesov12yThis only applies to the optional features, where you need to discourage the users from doing something usually bad, so that they'll only resort to that if they know that they do need to use the dangerous feature. In our case, the discussed feature wasn't optional.
1thomblake12yI agree. I think it's terrible whenever I see a comment that has sparked a large discussion but has a low (or even negative!) score. Either people are feeding the trolls, or folks are not upvoting a comment that clearly did its job. EDIT: I disagree about needing to click another button in order to comment - voting is separate from commenting.

Downmodding bobdole caused an integer underflow in his karma, wrapping it around to 2^32-1. With any luck, though, with karma that high he'll achieve nirvana and go away.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'unjustified' here. If you mean I didn't provide a justification, you're incorrect - I specified two good reasons. I could list more, but I didn't think it was necessary.

Of course, that can't be what you meant, since 'it is considered to be a good thing by many people' isn't a reason to think that I didn't provide a justification.

However, that means that you believe 'it is considered to be a good thing by many people' is sufficient reason to think that 'saying that it "can't be a good thing" is unjustified'. Are y... (read more)

I'm pretty sure 'upvote' is not supposed to mean 'agree', and 'downvote' is not supposed to mean 'disagree'. Note the discussion earlier about possibly adding these options for voting. High-quality comments that you disagree with (or don't) should be upvoted, and low-quality comments that you agree with (or don't) should be downvoted.

Either way, a technical discussion about the quality of the comment is probably off-topic, and so not warranted. If someone says "shmoo" as a comment, I want to be able to just click "Vote down" and not have to write an explanation.

3Eliezer Yudkowsky12yI interpret an upvote as "I want to see more comments / posts like this" and a downvote as saying the opposite. It really does seem like a separate agree/disagree button would be a good idea, but there are other LW improvements with higher priorities.
1JulianMorrison12yAh, I see why I was getting the downvotes, it was cryptic for a bit. I meant "agree with the reasoning". (And if you read it that way my comment probably makes more sense.) Sloppy of me. Oops. My excuse is that to me "agree" and "agree with the logic" seem almost identical. If I'm disagreeing, it's because I think the person has made a mistake somewhere. "Your reasoning is valid and I don't agree" would mean.. what?
2thomblake12ySince we're not constraining ourselves to something like symbolic logic here, we should only be looking at good arguments on all sides that are not easily refuted. There should be good arguments that lead to interesting discussion involving conflicting arguments that are also good. For bonus points, there can be references or links to additional material, or the comment can even be well-written. If the comment inspires a response at all, you should probably upvote it. If you want to respond and downvote it, you should probably either reconsider downvoting it, or consider that the comment was merely a troll, in which case you should downvote it and not respond.

Can we get a date next to each post title in the recent posts page?

Karma earned from comments is not removed when the comment is deleted. This is salient for those of us who frequently post comments, reread them, hate them, delete them, post something different, and so on three or four times before getting them right. Also, if someone wants to game the system they can post spam comments, delete them a second later, and repeat until they have the karma they want.

1Vladimir_Nesov12yThis should go away when the free self-vote point is disabled.

On the bottom of the main page, the 'Next' link leads to older posts, and the 'Prev' link leads to newer posts. While this functionality is found on other similar sites, I think it should be rethought as it may be unnecessarily confusing. Perhaps 'Older' and 'Newer'?

1thomblake12yThe 'Issues, Bugs, and Requested Features' page appears to be missing - i can see it when looking at this particular comment (parent) but both the link at the bottom and any other links to the post I find don't work.
1wmoore12yYes this was a bug that occurred when the thread reached 200 comments, which is the default cut off. I've just deployed a fix for it.
1[anonymous]12ythanks, that was fucked up.

Sorting by Popular or Controversial isn't working for me for either posts or comments. Is anyone else having this problem? New and Old sort fine.

1[anonymous]12yNot working for me either.
1wmoore12yI think the algorithm for these sorts needs to be tuned. They are set for Reddit which I believe sees more activity in a shorter amount of time. The rate of falloff for 'popularity' needs to be reduced.

Most features of Markdown are supported, except inline HTML. According to the official spec line breaks are made as follows (which I tested and it works on Less Wrong)

When you do want to insert a
break tag using Markdown, you end a line with two or more spaces, then type return.

Perhaps we should include a link to more extensive formatting info in the help table.

The editor helpfully relativizes LessWrong URLs (even if I enter it as an absolute URL) and then the relativized URL, though it works from the front page, fails from the sub-page itself. It is not possible to not relativize it!

I.e., try clicking the "Followup to" from within the article (not the front page).

1wmoore12yThis behaviour is something that we can configure in the editor. I've raised an issue for it [].
1wmoore12yEliezer. We've changed the editor configuration to not generate relative paths. It will still generate ones relative to the site root though, which is desired behaviour. E.g. If you paste a link to [] it will save it as /lw/5/issues_bugs_and_requested_features/78 [/lw/5/issues_bugs_and_requested_features/78] which will work no matter where you are on the site.

I'd prefer a clear explanation of intended semantics of voting, linked to on "About" page, and posted one of these days on the front page to get anyone's attention and users' suggestions.

2AnnaSalamon12yIt might also be good to stick a reminder of what up-voting is intended to mean right next to the up-vote and down-vote buttons. Or to change the names: instead of "vote up" and "vote down", perhaps something like "high-quality discussion" and "low-quality discussion".
2thomblake12yNot sure about that - those labels at least would look ugly. Maybe a title attribute on the "vote up" and "vote down" would be sufficient.
6Nick_Hay12yHow about buttons "High quality", "Low quality", "Accurate", "Inaccurate". We're increasing options here, but there's probably a nice way to design the interface to reduce the cognitive load. Using the word "vote" seems broken here more generally -- we aren't implementing some democratic process, we're aggregating judgments (read: collecting evidence) across a population.
3AnnaSalamon12yI completely agree about the word "vote". "High quality" / "Low quality" has good brevity, but for myself I'm still tempted to blend in agreement/disagreement with my ratings when I picture those words -- to regard comments I disagree with as "low quality". If we could have the question "Does this add to or subtract from the conversation?" surrounded by up/down arrows (or by "adds" / "subtracts"), I imagine myself voting better.
5AnnaSalamon12yFor example, I just up-voted James Andrix's [] and Kurige's [] comments about their religious beliefs. I up-voted the comments because they're good data, I'm glad the commenters shared it, and it looks like stuff more eyes should look at within the thread. But I hesitated, because "up-voting" gives the appearance of agreement. Rating Kurige's comment "high quality" feels a bit similar, like calling it "high quality reasoning". But clicking up-arrow next to the question "Does this add to the conversation?" would feel obvious, to me in this case.

This thread has no inherent way of noting when a bug is fixed in an official manner. Shouldn't there be some utility for bug reports/feature requests in place somewhere? This seems like an obvious thing to do for a Beta.

3Benya12yIt doesn't track the bugs/requests in this thread, at this point, but here's the official issues list [] (as linked from About Less Wrong []). Edit: Many points from this thread have made it there now (thanks to wmoore).

The register page should explain what is a valid username.

If I enter an invalid username, it should tell me what is invalid about it (instead of only displaying "Invalid user name", making me guess).

For a checklist for usability issues, I recommend a book: Defensive Design for the Web: How to Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points by 37Signals. (Each recommendation made in the book is pretty obvious; the purpose of having a checklist is to remember to do all of them :).

1wmoore12yThere's plenty to improve about the registration page. I've logged an issue [] for this particular suggestion.

Make it easier to see comment threads. It is hard to tell which comments belong to what thread.

1wmoore12yThey do get a bit tricky when nested deeply. I've added an issue [] to track your request.

The site is unusable on mobile browsers. I know that web standards and accessibility were not major concerns for the site's developers, but Lw being viewable on my phone would be a major benefit.

This made me realize that if someone is having a problem posting-- not just a problem with their account, but a general inability to post-- there's no way for them to tell you.

At the moment I can't find a post that I'm sure I voted on that doesn't have one button bolded, so I might just be confused.

4Document11yUpdate: no, I'm still experiencing cases where I vote, press control+F5 and find the vote gone. It might be related to the fact that vote buttons still bold and unbold even when I'm not online.
2thomblake11yYes, when you click the vote link, Javascript bolds/unbolds it immediately, while sending a request to the server. If there's a problem with your connection, it will appear as though you've voted but when you go back the link will not be bold, since your vote will not have been received. If you don't have enough karma to downvote, the response from the server will trigger a callback which cancels the bold and informs you of your inability to downvote, assuming you have a good connection and you're still on the page.

I had a red envelope, but when I clicked on it there were no new messages. Does that just mean someone sent one or posted one and then deleted it?

Also, is there an email notification system? I didn't see one in Preferences.

Following up on a comment by byrnema:

It would be nice if we could transplant threads to where they are appropriate, with just a link to and from the old location where they were inspired.

We already can - I've just done that.

You might object that the process to do so is cumbersome. I quite agree. On the other hand, the Law of Unintended Consequences applies whenever you think "I wish...". It is always wise, when considering a new software feature, to think of the potential downsides.

I can think of at least one: to some, moving a thread could t... (read more)

1Paul Crowley11yYou need to make the reference point in both directions, I think - in other words, to follow up that comment with a pointer here.

This post imported from Overcoming Bias is marked "deleted" and doesn't have author's name.

This post imported from Overcoming Bias has an encoding problem in a link to Loeb's theorem post.

The post Interpersonal Entanglement imported from Overcoming Bias has formatting issues, e.g. italized text has no spaces around it.

(Original report, by kpreid.)

You neglect the flipside, which is that upvoting promotes insightful, witty, or otherwise worthwhile comments to prominence.

Is the programmer always obligated to personally confirm that all potentially-affected parties have had an opportunity to comment on the intended result? That seems like a much higher standard than just checking to make sure the spec will do what the customer intends it to do.

The comments page is badly broken at the moment.

MatthewB doesn't have a user page ("The page you requested does not exist"); example comment of his: here.

Copying quoted text probably shouldn't produce text with extra spaces in front. (see here and the comments) This behavior depends on the browser, but it is probably possible for the html to make it uniformly good.

Works for me. But something I have noticed is that now and then a page from LW will be slightly corrupted in one of the links, and I see a fragment of raw HTML. Clicking on such links can go wrong. Reloading usually gets a clean page.

Just tried "edit" on this comment -- no problem.

"Edit" on postings also works.

Any chance a feature could be added so that an account's display name can be changed (without changing the account name, email, etc.)?

If you try to write a comment with a numbered list, like so:

  1. zero
  2. one
  3. two

Then the points are silently renumbered to "1. 2. 3.", which will mess you up if you refer to the points by number - "point 0", "point 1".

2Douglas_Knight12ymarkdown [] is standard. Use backslashes \ if you want different behavior. but the help screen should have a link to daringfireball.

If account deleting means deleting all comments, it shouldn't be allowed, as it breaks conversation history (unless maybe if the account belonged to a spam bot, so an admin can more easily delete everything it did).

Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be any point in deleting an account.

Not so. Lookit: parenthesis) You have to escape the close parenthesis in the URL with a backslash, \) like so.

Did green for non-followed links just get added?

Maybe I'm color-blind, but the gray/green distinction seems too subtle for me.

If it's a standard effect that people under-estimate how much they'll learn to use subtle colors, then of course ignore me. My guess is that I'll learn to tell, but it will cost attention and I won't be able to scan or unconsciously check, the way I do on other sites. The permalinks are not so difficult because they have nearby links for comparison, but links in the main text are difficult for me, despite their larger size.

(it works fine on the yellow background, just not white or gray)

Sometimes browsing of old comments on the comment feed fails. This is an example link that doesn't work now.

Post tags should be visible on the main page, rather than only on the article's page.

1RobinZ12yOh, so completely seconded. Put 'em right under the title where we can see them!

"Parent" links in comments get confused when the context is on. See, for example this link: clicking on "Parent" on the first thomblake's comment leads nowhere.

There are some problems with fonts in the post 2-Place and 1-Place Words moved from Overcoming Bias (see the infinity symbols in the first quotation block).

I'd like the recent posts to show the number of comments, just like the front page does.

I'd like the non-post pages that show comments, like the new comments page and user pages, to show the number of children for each comment.

There is now a new wiki.

All the content from the wikia wiki has been migrated to the new wiki.

However the users can't be exported and hence weren't migrated. You may create an account at the new wiki with the same username as the wikia wiki and then you will have the same user page and all your contributions will match on your username.

For those that have been looking carefully you will have noticed the link to the new wiki next to the about link in the nav bar.

Enjoy :)

1dariusp12yFor those that have been keeping an eye on the new wiki you may have noticed a couple of things change recently. First anonymous editing has been disabled, so you have to login to the wiki in order to contribute. Second the URLs are in wikipedia style format, so articles can be accessed like [] instead of [] (the second form still works of course)

Indeed - another thing for the nonexistent FAQ.

As for the URL, it uses (inline) javascript and doesn't actually care about the href - a really stupid design decision, since it bounces you around (sends you back to /) if you have javascript off. But then, much of the site is kindof broken in that case.

How about a basic Users' Guide, and include a link to it right in the top links bar?

It got worse. Today I see only 7 people in the list, missing more of those who were there before.

Unfortunately article submission requires Firefox 1.5 or newer. I was able to reproduce the problem you described in 1.0.7. However I was able to successfully submit an article using This is due to the javascript based WYSIWYG editor TinyMCE being required, which would explain why Lynx didn't work either.

I have raised an issue to either make it work or make the behaviour more friendly.

On the Recent Posts page, there is an option to sort by new or sort by rising. If you selected "sort by rising", it does not display any posts

1wmoore12yWe need to run a periodic process on the server to make rising work. I've raised an issue [] to address this.

I think early Slashdot was an obvious case where comment voting was useful. If you don't have time to read all the comments, it's useful to have the option to only read the best ones.

An easy way to see when your comments have been replied to, and to read those replies, would be great. Reddit has this feature. Right now I'm unaware of any way to do this on LW besides checking each of the individual parent posts.

6pjeby12y [] The feature we really need is the little red/grey envelope link to appear on every page.

I can't see this post on either the recent posts or what's new lists anymore.

3Eliezer Yudkowsky12yIt's 9/11 truthism. I removed it. There needs to be some way to indicate this on the post itself, I suppose.
3gjm12yIt wasn't clear to me whether the post itself was 9/11 truthism rather than merely using 9/11 truthism as an example. After all, the title was "Seeing patterns where they don't exist" or something of the kind. I did think it would have been considerably improved (and looked less like preaching) by having a link to the lengthy Litany of 9/11 Conspiracy Evidence rather than incorporating the whole thing in the post. ... Though "And" has stated elsewhere that s/he believes 9/11 was an inside job, so it looks like you were right.
3MichaelHoward12yWell... it's down the memory hole, but it exists []. And it will accept comments if anyone feels like a spot of debunking.
1[anonymous]12ySo, you think it would be okay to make a post about it as long as I was on the right side of the argument?
4gjm12yI wasn't commenting on whether it was OK to make a post about it, but on Eliezer's description of it as "9/11 truthism". Sorry if that wasn't clear. For what it's worth, I think the question "how should one evaluate a big messy pile of ambiguous alleged evidence for something?" is a reasonable one, and any number of Things Widely Considered Irrational might make interesting test cases -- "9/11 truthism", ghosts, healing miracles, whatever. But: 1. Your post clearly gave Eliezer (and also me, for what it's worth, though I was more inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt) the impression that it was preaching masquerading as a useful case study. I think the most reliable way to avoid giving that impression is to take steps to make what you write not useful as preaching. (For instance: disclaimers along the lines of "This is the opinion of a tiny minority only, and I happen to be one of them. Discount as you see fit.") 1. There are some topics (of which this may be one; I don't know, but maybe Eliezer does) whose discussion consistently generates more heat than light. It might be entirely reasonable to do away with posts on such topics unless they have very strong counterbalancing virtues.
2[anonymous]12yIs 9/11 truthism a specifically banned topic, or is it just too crazy or too offensive? Are all conspiracy-related topics banned? Can I, for instance, talk about the assassination of JFK?
1Eliezer Yudkowsky12yAs a general rule, all of your pet hobbyhorses are banned. Got any other questions?
2Paul Crowley12yIs there a way for admins to take ownership of posts, so you could replace the text with a notice saying what was there and why it was removed?
2matt12yAdmins can edit posts without taking ownership. For anything but an egregious wrong, adding a takedown notice should be preferred to deleting the post.
1matt12yAdmins can edit any post. is currently reported as having a karma of 2^32 + 437

1jimrandomh12yThis happens whenever someone's karma goes negative.
1thomblake12yThat is very odd as Annoyance has had relatively high karma since he started posting.
2Eliezer Yudkowsky12yAnnoyance makes a lot of comments, we haven't yet fixed the bug where every comment automatically adds karma, and LW users seem reluctant to downvote. In any case Annoyance's karma shows as 375 to me.
4Document11yBased on my score, it looks like it's been fixed now, but based on JerryL's score [] it looks like people still have the karma gained while the bug was in place. (I'm posting this because it took me a while to figure out what was going on.)

Drafts seem to show up on the recent posts list, when they aren't finished work yet.

I get "Error encountered" in place of my user page. Other people's seem fine. It was OK yesterday.

2dclayh12yI am now getting this error also. Only my own user page, only when I'm logged in.
2MichaelHoward12yThis is now fixed. I'll leave the comment in case it happens to others. - Error happened again, then gone again a few hours later. Happened both at home and work, happens for a while, no apparent link between occurrences, logging out doesn't fix it. - Now happening all the time. Still not fixed by logging out. I can see dclayh's page (mentioned above). This is potentially very serious if it keeps spreading. For affected users, you can still see replies to your comments here [], and possibly still []/submitted/, /liked/, /disliked/, /hidden/ and /drafts/. Can now access my user page after 3 days broken, but can't get to page 2 of my comments. So it looks like it's breaking trying to display some type of comment on user the page, and fixed when said comment dropped to page 2. Maybe a certain combination or nesting of editing flags confuses it? Broken again, but can access all pages that don't list my comments. The only comments I made/edited since it worked are this one, this one [], this one [] and this one [], but clearing the comments out doesn't fix it. 1st page of comments accessible again, and all 4 of the above comments are on that page. Go figure. Broke again, no comments made since last worked.... ...Working again, again no comments made.
1wmoore12yWe deployed a fix yesterday that addresses this problem. The bug was influenced by the caching that is employed, which is why it happens sometimes but not others.
1MichaelHoward12yI can confirm this is fixed for all pages of mine that were broken. Thank you :)
1gwern12yI've been seeing that error while logged-in periodically as well. But I can't seem to reproduce it reliably, so I haven't reported it.

There is a way to send people messages, but there doesn't seem to be any way to read your own messages, or find out whether you have any.

3pjeby12y []
2thomblake12yBig problems with this: 1. there's no visual separation between comments 2. there's no separate listing for private messages versus comments, so they get lost in the mess.
1PhilGoetz12yIs there a way to see just messages, not comment responses?
1Paul Crowley12yThanks! Where is that linked from?
2pjeby12yIt isn't -- I figured it out by looking at the URL for the same feature on
1Paul Crowley12yTime to file a bug... update: []

Not sure if this is already fixable, but I tried to post a link to the wikipedia page in this comment, and the sofware reads the close bracket in the url as closing the bracket around the url (if you know what I mean...) is there a way around this? Or are there too few urls containing close-parentheses for it to be worth bothering about?

Edit: - looks like the same thing happened again!

1Vladimir_Nesov12y [] You can use %29 ASCII code for the closing bracket instead of the bracket itself.\) [\]) You can also escape special symbols with a backslash \, so you may replace the ) with \). This is also useful for preventing the markup from, for example *italicizing* the words enclosed in * (source code: \\italicizing\*).
1thomblake12yThat doesn't seem to work. EDIT: Ah, I see - the links deliberately have the encoded bits spelled out in them. I had thought it was unintentional.
1Vladimir_Nesov12yThen you are doing something wrong, try again. Ask specific questions/describe what you are doing. I explained as well as looks necessary.

There probably should be a place for open discussion, displayed prominently maybe beside the ABOUT link, where people can post comments like this one without going off-topic.

Okay - It's impossible to FIND this thread unless someone else has posted to it recently, or you have a link saved to it somewhere. There's no way to find old threads once they fall off the "New" page.

7Vladimir_Nesov12yWhich reminds of one possible new feature: on forums, the whole thread is usually brought to the top when someone adds a comment. I think it'd be an improvement if, say, instead of the useless "Controversial" list, we'd have a list of articles sorted by the time of last comment.
2Vladimir_Golovin12yA thousand times yes. This will keep the discussion in the older threads alive. I was going to suggest this myself. It would be even better if there was a way to quickly find out where in the thread the discussion is going on at the moment, and which comments are new.
2Vladimir_Nesov12yOne possible solution is to use flat view, like in the Comments stream, but localized to an article, with the links to a threaded view, linked to from the list of articles. Also, this list of articles should probably show title only, without summary parts of the text.
2thomblake12yThere's a link on the bottom of every page that says "Report Issues" that leads to this thread.
1MichaelHoward12yClicking on the title 'Recent Posts:' in the right-hand tab takes you to a full list [] of them.

When the site crashes it says things like "looks like today isn't your day" or "it's okay to cry".

One of these phrases links you to the reddit blog, another links to the reddit store, leftovers I guess.

The formatting "Help" list appearing on click under comment edit boxes should also contain a link to a more detailed description of formatting. For example, in this comment I wanted to insert line breaks without creating the new paragraphs, and the way to do that is quite non-obvious: you need to end the previous line with two spaces, and then start a new line. I found this rule here, in an article linked to from a post about the reddit formatting syntax.

2MichaelHoward12yI agree! A good starting point help page is here []. For example, the rule you found is findable from this page, (via "what is markdown?" > Syntax > Paragraphs and Line Breaks).

Both comments and posts with below the threshold rating should still (have an option to) show wherever the good-reputation notes show, just in the collapsed state and with a low-reputation warning.

If I remember correctly, the down-voted comments currently still show in the comment thread, but in collapsed state (there are either too few of those so I didn't see them lately, or it's incorrect and they do completely disappear), while the downvoted articles don't show anywhere. It's confusing finding a comment in the "Comments" stream on an article that you can't find being mentioned anywhere.

Downvoted atricles don't show in the "What's new" list, but they show in the "Recent Posts" list.

When individuals have negative karma scores their karma reads out as some ludicrously high number like 4394, spilling out of the karma circle.

The post rating stays hidden for a while after a new post is submitted, in a circle beside the author's name, which looks like a good idea. But the rating is still visible in the sidebar listing the recent posts. I think it should disappear there as well while it's hidden in the rendering of the post itself.

A specification of desired tag and sequence behavior for a future version of Less Wrong (don't expect this tomorrow):

Tags should be applicable by any user to their posts. Clicking on a tag should, by default, show the matching posts latest-first, but the switch to read oldest-first should be prominent.

When viewing the posts matching a tag, the URL from the index page to each post should contain the tag query, such as /post/?tag=self_deception. It is preferable to use a query rather than a cookie or any other such methods, because it is desirable to be ab... (read more)

[-][anonymous]12y 2

Karma earned from comments is not removed when the comment is deleted. This is salient for those of us who frequently post comments, reread them, hate them, delete them, post something different, and so on three or four times before getting them right. Also, if someone wants to game the system they can post spam comments, delete them a second later, and repeat until they have the karma they want.

[-][anonymous]12y 2

A 'last edited' wouldn't hurt. In fact, it seems more important than the original posting.

2glenn12yThere is only a certain window of time (a few minutes, from memory) during which edits can be made, reducing the need for the extra complexity [] of implementing it.
1glenn12yThen again, maybe not. Hmm. Official word?
2CronoDAS12yI second this request.
1anonym12yI third this request, especially since there seems to be no time limit on edits (I can still edit a comment made on Feb. 27th, more than one month ago).

If they're relevant and useful comments, then they should be rewarded by getting upmodded.

Of course, if you want to post something controversial, you can always just register a separate account for that purpose. It's a bit more of a hassle than having a dedicated 'anonymous' account, but accomplishes the same purpose. (And if it turns out your controversial post became really popular, you having control of the account means you can verifiably reveal your identity, which you couldn't do if you'd posted it via an anonymous account.)

[-][anonymous]12y 2

Headings seem to be having formatting issues. I'll see if I can reproduce them here.

1[anonymous]12y###Heading 1 #heading 2 Paragraph of text
1wmoore12yI've raised an issue to fix this #120 []
2wmoore12yThis problem has been fixed and Issue #120 resolved.
1[anonymous]12yThis looks fine how it is. However "Heading 1" is a h3 tag while "Heading 2" is a h1. Could someone have a look at at least the h1 so that I don't have to get 'creative' when I'm attempting to format?
1[anonymous]12y#Heading 1 ##Heading 2 ###Heading 3 ####Heading 4
1[anonymous]12yThe main problem seems to be that h2 doesn't put a line break.

Thanks everyone!

Several days after I posted a suggestion that we rename the scoring system from "Karma", I was feeling kind of bad that my post had earned me nothing but downvotes.

Imagine my delight when I came to Less Wrong today and found my Karma Score to be 4,294,967,293. You guys are the best!

1wmoore12yI've raised an issue for this and fixed your account #121 []
1thomblake12yWhile this may be obvious, I feel that I should point out that there may be an overflow error in tracking Karma using an unsigned int.
1wmoore12yYes it seems like it but I'm not sure why its happening. Python doesn't have an unsigned data type. I suspect its the cache causing it as reloading the user's account from database corrects it.
1Vladimir_Nesov12yI currently see his score as 4 billion again, and the same goes for Marshall []. At the same time, "top contributors" doesn't put users with underflown karma on top, so it must be a problem with representation.
5John_Maxwell12yNo, I'm sure the Top Contributors sidebar just leaves off anyone with karma higher than Eliezer's.
1thomblake12ySee? This is why we need a 'funny' button. Slashdot really had the right system all along.
1[anonymous]12yThat's why I'm not on there.

When I edit my comment, comments replying to that comment hide from the page (they don't get deleted, they reappear after I complete the edit).

It could be more conveniently presented by having a checkbox under a comment editing form, "post anonymously".

This is probably too much of a hassle to implement. It would mean that you'd have to have a separate class of account (with this one instance for now) where the password may not be changed, past posts may not be edited or deleted, preferences are restricted, the account cannot be deleted, etc. If it were a normal account, trolls would render it unusable immediately.

An alternative is to just allow commenting without being logged in or anonymously while logged in, but I assume they have specific reasons for setting things up the way they did.

It would be nice... (read more)

This is an example of why we need a "disagree" button separate from a "low quality" button.

2[anonymous]12yI like the idea. I don't like the thought of being hesitant to comment with a contrasting point because it is likely to be downvoted in retaliation. I'd also like to be able to separate my voting responses such that I reserve downvoting for poor arguments or unpleasantries while I have another option for cases which are 'stupid' but at least well presented.
2Vladimir_Nesov12yWhy do we need "disagree" as a button? Buttons filter content, and so should rate for attention, you upvote what you want other people to read and downvote what you don't want them to read. In this case, for example, the case of disagreement should result in a reply comment and upvoting of original comment.
3Benya12yBecause if the person who modded you up had written a "me too" post instead and the three people who modded gspence down had all written "me not" posts, we would have four essentially content-free posts clobbering up the thread. Yes, maybe you can make a point that people should either make a new point or not speak at all, because just stating an opinion may be likely to be biased. But (a) I don't think it's going to work -- saying that what happened to gspence's comment isn't what should happen doesn't change the fact that it did happen with the current model; and (b), well, I'd like to state my "me too"/"me not"! :-) Yes, if not stating opinions really does significantly debias, that would outweigh that concern, but I'm pretty skeptical about that actually happening, so the expected utility from the agree/disagree buttons wins out for me.
2Vladimir_Nesov12y"Me too" is vacuous if it doesn't add to original comment, while "I disagree" is supposed to contribute the explanation of why. The second "I disagree" which doesn't add anything may support the first disagreeing comment in addition to the original comment.
2thomblake12yI had been against 'agree/disagree' buttons but this discussion has convinced me. It is pretty obvious that 'vote up/vote down' is being used as 'agree/disagree' under the current model, and adding buttons for that as well as an explanation of how to use them ("Never vote up / down a comment on the basis of agreeing or disagreeing") should fix that problem.

I wouldn't do such a thing - I'm looking forward far too much to seeing Caledonian downmodded into oblivion on any site with voting.

1thomblake12ySee? That's what I thought. c.f. this OB comment []

If karma is the sum of individual post scores, does that reward quantity too much relative to quality?

7steven046112yNot counting the free first point for every comment toward karma would be an improvement, I think.
2MBlume12yEvery comment/post you make is an opportunity for the community to subtract karma from you if they feel you are wasting their time.
1Vladimir_Nesov12yBut there is a clear bias towards not voting if the comment is neutral, as opposed to when it's really good or obviously bad. The cost of wasting anyone's time is subtle and not obvious in any single comment, hurting only in volume. We shouldn't create any incentive for additional waste of breath to fill the comment stream.

Links on user pages and on "Recent Comments" lead to individual comments, without any context in which the comment is made. At least the whole thread should be shown, starting from the top-level comment, otherwise comments that reply to other comments fail to make any sense. For example click here.

2Eliezer Yudkowsky12yI don't know about showing the whole thread, but showing just the immediate parent would be an improvement. Or rather, clicking a comment should just jump to that comment in the thread. But if we have a page of recent comments a la Hacker News [], then showing the immediate parent of each parented comment would make that recent comments page pretty effective as an overview of current discussion on LW, I think.
1wmoore12yComments that are in reply to another comment have a parent link that you can click to get some context. A comment at the top level is assumed to be in the context of the post, which is shown. However you aren't the first one to suggest that the whole thread be shown as the default view for a comment permalink. It will be considered.
2Eliezer Yudkowsky12yBetter than showing the whole thread would be showing the whole post with all threads, but automatically jumping to the comment's location in the list of all threads.
1Vladimir_Nesov12yOK. A little bug with "parent" link: it doesn't have bookmark part if parent comment is not presently on the current page. For example, if I open this page [], the Parent link leads to this page [], without focusing on specific comment. However, when I click on the same Parent link of the child comment on the Parent page, the link is now this one [], with bookmark to the parent comment.
1wmoore12yAhh the anchor is missing. I'll note it as a bug. #116 []

Hi Eliezer, I had fun at the 2008 summit and the following OB afterdinner. The one issue I had that seems shared with Reddit is that there are no guidelines for password entry on sign-up. I put in a one-character password and it just said "invalid".

1wmoore12yValid point, I've raised an issue [] to make the message and requirements clearer. FWIW the requirements are simply that it be between 3 and 20 characters.
1Lojban12yThanks! I'll look up the process to perhaps raise the issues myself.

Having some sort of acknowledgment when I fail to log in properly might be nice.

1wmoore12yDo you have any more specific details? You should receive messages when passwords are incorrect, etc. If not then I will need to look into it.

I tried it again and it worked. Ensuring that the cursor wasn't active in the blanks might have been the cause.

The link and comment score thresholds in the Preferences menu give the impression that by leaving them blank, all articles and comments will be shown regardless of their score.

If left blank, the preferences can't seem to be saved, and they appear to revert to zero: nothing with a score lower than zero shows.

Why? While "Karma" doesn't translate directly to "cause and effect", it's a related concept and basically captures what we're going for. In addition, it's already a jargon term on these sorts of systems.

Are you just against it because it "sounds mystical"?

Yep, what I wrote is just based on my best guess. A usability study would be great.

The "Help" link below the Comments box looks like a hyperlink, but behaves oddly when "open in new tab" is done to it. It should maybe look like a button, or otherwise have a usability hint that it's not behaving like a hyperlink.

1wmoore12yAdded as Issue 110 [].

There appears to be something wrong with the log {in, out} functionality on and, though the exact misbehaviour is browser-dependent.

With Firefox 3.0.6 I can't log in on those URLs. Using Konqueror 3.5.9 I can log in there, but not out - except by manually deleting the relevant cookies.

I don't have any problems logging in or out on with either browser.

1wmoore12yThe .net and .org domains should redirect to .com as its the only one that will work as you have experienced. I have raised an issue [] for this and emailed our sys admin. and .net now redirect to .com.

No spaces or periods in usernames? Was that really necessary? Did Silas put you up to this?

The comment in question is 1yp8, judging by my test results.

At 37 Ways That Words Can Be Wrong, the list is split into two lists numbered 1-5 and 1-32.

Currently, when a post is deleted, the comments get deleted as well, i.e. they are not listed on the Overview page for the author. I think this shouldn't work this way, the author shouldn't have the power to erase the content contributed by other people.

I've mentioned something like this before, but I think a monthly 'Sequence Topics' thread would be a good place for new users to talk about all the background topics. It would be especially convenient to have such threads automatically and visibly linked from the Sequence pages.

(LucasSloan and inklesspen also made recent suggestions along these lines.)

Could you use a distributed revision control system directly as a discussion board?

So I pull from a whole bunch of people who I think are worth reading, but I get everyone they pull from, so you can join if anyone invites you and if everyone stops pulling from you, you are dropped. I can edit comments, but everyone gets the history.

Mercurial with the GPG extension might suffice. You wouldn't have the software enforce anything, you'd rely on the audit trail to catch people after the fact.

1wnoise11yYou could certainly do that, but having more layers of software take care of things is extremely helpful. In fact, these days there are several wikis that use DVCSs as the backing store, and support offline editing and merging.

I tried to save a draft using Opera; it zipped up on the New page rather than ending in a drafts area. It was easy to delete, but I'd sure like to save a draft and view it. Maybe Firefox will be friendlier....

5Cyan11yJust so you know, if you save a draft to "Drafts for JRMayne", it appears to you (but no one else) as if it were live. To check if the post is really live, log out -- if it's in your drafts, you won't be able to see it once you log out. It's quite annoying -- one time I thought I was initiating an Open Thread, but no one else could see it. Another time I gave myself a good scare thinking I had made an incomplete post available to everyone.

Do you think that in general, it's not appropriate for programmers to consider the wider impacts of the code they write?

It is rarely important from the moral standpoint, since most things that programmers write (or things that most programmers write) don't have knowable moral impact. On the other hand, being aware of the wider context may improve quality of the result.

You give advice that doesn't apply in the particular case, and rarely in general.

wmoore doesn't appear to be a normal LW member; the only comments I see in xyr history are about code changes, so I suspect xe's simply the person who implements the changes that Eliezer (or whoever has the relevant authority) requests. It doesn't make sense to me, if that's true, to make wmoore responsible for confirming that those changes have been run by the group.

You need to escape it to avoid its interpretation as a markup element.

2Wei_Dai12yThanks. I suggest we add a link to the full comment formatting guide from the drop-down help that appears when you click on the "Help" link at the bottom of a comment box. I think most people probably assume that the drop-down help is all that's available.

Something's wrong with encoding in the references section of this post moved from Overcoming Bias.

1Vladimir_Nesov12yMore problems with encoding: [] See umlaut in "Godel, Escher, Bach" at the beginning.

There should be a way to undelete articles, or no way to delete them: currently, deleted articles are still visible from the feed, and it's possible to comment on them, but otherwise they are in limbo: they are not on the sidebar or any other list of articles, and there is no way to restore them.

For the last several days, both overcomingbias and lesswrong wiki (but not lesswrong blog) simultaneously experience some downtime and/or extremely slow responses. The largest outage a few days ago lasted for several hours. Yet another outage started a few minutes ago.

The missing comment's have been scraped off the old OB site and should all now be present,

The new favicon doesn't really stand out well - it blends into the background of my tabs. Obviously this isn't a universal issue, but I'm just using standard themes. A white (or other color) background might fix this without sacrificing design.

[-][anonymous]12y 1

And to finally re-post from the Open Thread:

It should be possible to tag posts (especially articles, possibly comments) by language, and let users pick what languages they want to see. The interface wouldn't necessarily have to be translated; it would just be nice to have some support for multilingualism.

'Top' now defaults to 'All time', instead of 'Today'

The links from this post moved from OB to other OB posts weren't converted to LessWrong links, they still point to Overcoming Bias (which promptly redirects back here).

Some comments seem to be missing from some posts moved from Overcoming Bias. For example this one:

Here's the search result as of now, in case Google updates its index:

Overcoming Bias: The Allais Paradox Agree with Denis. It seems rather objectionable to describle such behaviour as irrational. Humans may well not trust the experimenter to present the facts ...

The comments on the old OB articles that have been imported appear to be by LW usernames that were created just for that purpose. Any chance of 'claiming' those? (my technical spider-sense says no)

1wmoore12yWe did our best to try to link up OB names with Less Wrong user names. However as there were many hundreds of names this had be done automatically. For a match to be made the name on OB and username on LW had to match, as did the email address on both sides. If you supplied an email address on OB then that will have been imported and you can claim the account by following the forgotten password process for the account. Assuming it has your email address you will be sent an email and be able to reset the password.

The picture wasn't inlined in this post moved from OB.

ETA: See also this report.

Three issues:

First, as others have mentioned, posting to drafts seems to actually post the article publicly. Is that just how it shows for the individual user, causing it to appear in "new" only for them but not for anyone else, or is that a bug with LW?

Second, I set some text as bold in a posting, it displayed as bold in the article editor... But in the actual posting... it didn't.

Third: Google Chrome (the browser I'm currently using) has a built in spellcheck that seems to work in text entry boxes, including those for entering comments on LW. But in the article editor, it seems to not operate. I'm not sure if the problem is with Chrome or LW, but I thought I'd mention this issue at least.

1dariusp12y1. New shows all categories you can see including your drafts, others can't see your drafts. See the FAQ [] 2. This is an issue specific to browsers that use WebKit, namely safari and chrome. Unfortunately we can't do anything about this, though it appears to be fixed in the latest WebKit (used by safari 4 beta) 3. I made a change such that where possible the browser spell check will be on. Firefox and safari appear to work and provide support. IE6,7,8, chrome and opera don't.

When I click on links here, the first time my browser usually gives a popup saying that I am trying to open a file of type application/octet stream and asks me what program I want to use to download the file. The second time I try the same link it works fine.

I found some threads on the Firefox help forum about it, and they say the problem is with the server. Any way you can get this fixed? Is anyone else having this problem?

Surely this is not strictly necessary, and against the principles of progressive enhancement? What about accessibility issues?

Inbox links!

Massive thanks to whoever coded in a link to my inbox just under my karma score. I haven't gotten a comment reply since this appeared, so I can't tell whether it gives notification -- would anyone care to test it?

1dariusp12yIt should work fine - I tested it heaps :)

Maybe this is a dumb question, but is there any reason I'm suddenly unable to edit my comments? I've been typing quickly tonight and have been making an annoyingly high number of typos.

Apologies to anyone I've annoyed with them btw.

I'm having problems saving a post in drafts, it keeps on losing the text. Is this just me?

I don't see how that header is at all informative. I link to the text of the comment, everything else is the context of that text, secondary info, accessed only if necessary.

The change applying retroactively doesn't seem like a bug to me. Any debate should be over whether the restriction is a good general rule or not. If people think it's a good restriction then it should apply equally to everyone. The fact that some people have already significantly exceeded their downvote limit is an interesting data point - it suggests that some users have had a much stronger influence on negative ratings than others. Depending on what people want the feature to achieve that could be seen as either supporting the rule or opposing it.

1Vladimir_Nesov12yA law is there to influence behavior. Behavior that happened before the law was known, the law that is far from being self-evident, shouldn't be punished. The intended correction of behavior is decrease in the rate of downvoting, but retroactive application of a new law transforms that correction into the total absence of downvoting, which is not at all [] what the law was intended to achieve.
2mattnewport12yIt wasn't entirely clear to me what the new rule was intended to achieve I have to admit. The fact that some people with fairly high karma had already greatly exceeded the limit was interesting to me though - it suggested a possible skewing of karma scores by certain individuals downvoting with much higher frequency than others, to an extent that surprised me. If part of the intention is to avoid some individuals having undue influence on karma scores (which some comments seemed to suggest) then applying the restriction retroactively achieves that. I wouldn't generally support retroactive laws but I don't find the law analogy very helpful here. I find it interesting that you use the word punished as well - it seems to me that the value of the karma system is as a kind of 'collective intelligence' mechanism that provides ratings valuable to the community as a whole through the aggregation of individual votes. I don't see it as a way to make the forum more enjoyable to use because of the 'reward' of up or downvoting other people's comments. Saying punish suggests that part of the reason people use the forum is to enjoy the rush of saying 'Yay' or 'Boo' to things they like/dislike. That may be true but it wasn't how I was thinking of karma.

When viewing a post with styles off, the comment headers are shown twice. Example:

badger22 April 2009 05:14:21PM 2 points [+] (0 children)
badger22 April 2009 05:14:21PM
2 points [-]

Also, you'll notice a lot of cruft at the bottom of the page, that is presumably hidden by styles.

I don't see a way to send my new article to the mods. When I'm done editing in my drafts folder, then what?

1dariusp12yWe made a recent change such that when you are creating or editing an article the "post to" selection always shows LessWrong. In the case that you don't yet have enough karma to post to LessWrong then it will be grayed out and have a message next to it explaining why. Old versions of IE unfortunately don't honor the grayed out option. In this case you can select LessWrong but submitting will inform you that you can't yet submit to the LessWrong category (of course you can always save to your drafts).
1Vladimir_Nesov12yTo publish an article, you need to have at least 20 points of Karma. Granted, this rule should be placed somewhere visible to the newcomers. It doesn't seem to be on the About [] page.

In Chrome v., any text typed into the comment box is hidden. It will momentarily appear if highlighted, but otherwise is invisible. The submit button also looks like a gray box without text.

For whatever reason, I am able to access an overview of anybody else's profile, but cannot bring up my own. I have been unable to do so for about a week. I was previously able to do so, so I don't believe it is my browser (I also cleared the cache, logged out and back in, etc.)

Any assistance would be appreciated.

very minor bug: when a comment is submitted, the currently viewed page is updated adding that comment, but the count of comments on that page is not. (Thus this error is only visible to the person submitting the comment and only ephemerally.)

I can't find an RSS feed.

2Vladimir_Nesov12yYou can find the link on the front page [] (RSS link []). The article pages [] do seem to lack the usual link on the right.

The "indent" feature on the article writer is spotty. Sometimes it works as advertised, sometimes it doesn't. For example, I indented the quote on the top of my post "How to Not Lose an Argument" , it appeared indented in the editor when I was writing it, and when I click on "edit", it continues to appear indented on the editor. But it's doesn't get indented on the post itself.

1Vladimir_Nesov12yThe HTML tag attribute disappears in the published version, even though the code is produced by the buttons in the site's editor. We have written by the button in editor, but it becomes just in the published version.

"You said yourself that someone behaving irrationally has unpredictable behavior."

No, I didn't. Someone can be irrational, yet completely predictable and consistent. Go back and re-read what I said - you haven't understood it.

"This analysis obviously assumes that there isn't a systemic bias in the mix"

We're dealing with human beings. There are ALWAYS systemic biases involved.

1thomblake12yYou're right - re-reading, I meant to say "people behaving irrationally have collectively unpredictable behavior", to which I assumed you would agree. I was extrapolating that from here: I had also argued in the past that one could construct arguments that would convince most people since they're probably irrational in predictable ways, and you disagreed.

Perhaps anonymous votes should have less weight, say 0.5 points or even 0.3 points compared to a 'personalized' vote which gives a full 1 point. This would keep the 'cost' of upvotes and downvotes equal while discouraging anonymous voting.

Threads in the user page (so I can see replies and respond).

See who voted.

Force "make my votes public" to true.

Should a downvote require an explanation?

2thomblake12yThreads in the user page seem cool. I like anonymous comment voting. I don't see any need to force 'make my votes public' Downvotes should definitely not require explanations. Anyone with time for that should be doing something more important.
2JulianMorrison12yI strongly dislike anonymous voting, because this is a different context than Reddit - a rationalist ought to be prepared to defend their judgments. Similar reason why I don't like drive-by downvotes.
4Scott Alexander12yThe principle is sound, but what about the time cost? I downvote maybe two or three comments a day, more if it's a particularly bad day. I'm not prepared to write an essay explaining exactly was wrong with each of them, especially if the original commenter wasn't prepared to take three seconds to write a halfway decent response. Also, we are not immune to status effects. If I wanted to downvote one of Eliezer's comments, I would feel really awkward having to explain to him why I was doing so and why I thought he wasn't contributing productively to the conversation. But I'd do it to some random newbie without a second thought. It's probably a bad idea to implement policies that allow higher status people to gain even more karma even more quickly. By the way, has anyone else made a link between this community's unhealthy obsession with karma and prediction markets? I recently read some articles claiming that prediction markets with fake money did just as well as ones with real money, in contrast to what most economists predicted. The economists' argument was "Who the heck cares about fake money when it's a meaningless status symbol?" And meanwhile, here we are, having long debates about possible unfair karma allocation systems...
3Nick_Tarleton12yThis sentence made me think of something completely different - both illustrate the attraction of pure meta means of truth-seeking, of being able to outperform messy object-level reasoning without having to do any of it - the "algorithmism" that Mencius Moldbug accuses Bayesianism of [] . Not that karma and prediction markets aren't good ideas, of course.
2komponisto12yI've been downvoted for no apparent reason at least twice since I registered. In both of these cases my comments were on-topic, grammatical, and contained entirely reasonable content. In such cases I think an explanation is clearly warranted. Honestly, I don't like this whole system of voting and karma. I have social anxiety and it frankly hurts my feelings to be downvoted (more so than it lifts my spirits to be upvoted). Does this mean I shouldn't participate in a forum about rationality? I would like to think otherwise. I liked OB just fine (though even there, I tended to keep my comments few and far between for fear of perceived social consequences). (Yes, I know it's ironic that just a little while ago I publicly downvoted a top-level post. But I did provide an explanation. And this was after I'd seen the author diss modern music before without saying anything. And then somebody downvoted my comment. Revenge?)
5Eliezer Yudkowsky12yWhat we actually need around these parts is more voting. Then the occasional downvotes for stupid reasons will wash out faster. Meanwhile, don't sweat it.
3Annoyance12y"Then the occasional downvotes for stupid reasons will wash out faster." The frequent downvotes for stupid reasons, however, will accumulate much more rapidly. Quality control is important. You can't make things better just by doing stuff faster than before, more than before, not least because there are usually quality tradeoffs with speed and quantity.
1Lewsome11yI agree with komponisto somewhat, even though I'm a newbie around here. I think the danger of this putatively 'democratically constructed' body of discourse sliding off the precipice into becoming a mutual admiration society or worse are sufficient that there needs to be some discipline applied to dismissive actions. Therefore, some form of reporting on why one has been 'disappeared' might be in order. In the case of being downvoted out of existence, an automatic message stating this could be sent to one's profile (attached to the draft) with minimal effort surely. Where a comment or reply has been specifically removed by an admin, surely it's common courtesy to say so, and maybe even offer a reason and by implication the right of reply where a misunderstanding has occured (yes, it happens!).
1Scott Alexander12y(embarrassment) I admit that was me. I was kind of annoyed you were downvoting a whole top-level post you admitted was pretty interesting because the writer expressed a musical preference you didn't agree with. And then you made a whole comment about how you were doing that. It just seemed needlessly confrontational. And I thought if I wrote a response saying that, I'd just be dragging the whole topic further from Phil's reasonable point about utilitarianism, and onto a debate about modern music that I honestly know nothing about. I just cancelled the vote, since it seems there's too much disagreement about what downvotes mean for me to go around enforcing my thoughts about it anyway. Sorry for any trouble that might have caused. But yes, I'm starting to agree that this whole system is getting aggravating.
2thomblake12yFor comparison, I downvote maybe 30 or more comments some days. I'm very negative. Some things just litter the comment threads. So I do have a personal interest in not requiring explanations to downvote.

Youtube video embedding currently doesn't work. I place < object >...</ object > html code in the article, but nothing gets displayed when the article is viewed in Firefox. Internet Explorer 6.0 crashes trying to display such page.

1thomblake12yThis can't be a good thing. It seems like a link would be sufficient, and I don't think we need post authors dealing with difficult-to-implement-correctly tags.
[-][anonymous]12y 1

When a post or comment is deleted, its karmic consequences persist. When combined with the automatic upvote of one's own posts, this creates an exploit to increase karma without bound.

[-][anonymous]12y 1

When a post or comment is deleted, its karmic consequences persist. When combined with the automatic upvote of one's own posts, this creates an exploit to increase karma without bound.

[-][anonymous]12y 1

When a post or comment is deleted, its karmic consequences persist. When combined with the automatic upvote of one's own posts, this creates an exploit to increase karma without bound.

[-][anonymous]12y 1

When a post or comment is deleted, its karmic consequences persist. When combined with the automatic upvote of one's own posts, this creates an exploit to increase karma without bound.

[-][anonymous]12y 1

When a post or comment is deleted, its karmic consequences persist. When combined with the automatic upvote of one's own posts, this creates an exploit to increase karma without bound.

[-][anonymous]12y 1

When a post or comment is deleted, its karmic consequences persist. When combined with the automatic upvote of one's own posts, this creates an exploit to increase karma without bound.

[-][anonymous]12y 1

When a post or comment is deleted, its karmic consequences persist. When combined with the automatic upvote of one's own posts, this creates an exploit to increase karma without bound.

[-][anonymous]12y 1

When a post or comment is deleted, its karmic consequences persist. When combined with the automatic upvote of one's own posts, this creates an exploit to increase karma without bound.

[-][anonymous]12y 1

True enough. If the 'last edited' took the place of originally posted, with the asterix

My karma appears to me as 4294967316.

1[anonymous]12yYeah, it looks like a few karmas are being displayed on the user page as (2^32)+karma. It seems to be associated with recent negative-karma contributions. My guess is the algorithm that counts your karma for your page is different from the one that counts it for the top contributors list, and that it's getting horribly confused if the running total in it's head becomes negative at any point as it counts. Oops... already spotted [].
1[anonymous]12yOops... already spotted [].
1[anonymous]12yAt any time? Fascinating.
1[anonymous]12yWe love you.

In the absence of other contact information, there should perhaps be a way to send/receive personal messages. This would allow non-public comments regarding comments/articles (to point out typographical errors or make an off-topic suggestion, for example).

3wmoore12yYou can do this. * Click on the person you want to message * In the side bar there is a 'Send Message' button, click that then type up your message Having said that. This feature was inherited from Reddit and hasn't been fully integrated into the new design so I don't think the recipient will actually be notified. They would have to know to check for new messages.
1thomblake12yYes, I noticed this feature yesterday but didn't have access to this post to note that. It should definitely have an option for notification.

Although indented (not quoted, indented) text shows up fine in the editor, it does not show in the actual article. Perhaps the "p" tag is not cleared to show the style="padding-left: 30px;" attribute - it shows up in the editor's HTML, but not in the actual article.

1wmoore12yWe filter user submitted HTML to remove potentially unsafe content. style attributes are one of the things that gets removed because in IE you can embed javascript in them. I thought that all of the markup the editor was generating was permitted but it looks like this one case where that's not true. I've raised an issue to fix it. #122 []
2Z_M_Davis12yPotentially related: my italics are showing up fine in the editor, but not in the actual post. Markdown-style asterisks aren't working either. I see italics in other people's posts--how are they doing it?
1Z_M_Davis12yOkay, now I can get the italics to work---by manually editing the HTML source, changing the editor's tags to such or such. But the editor should really be fixed---or is it just my browser? I'm running Safari 3.2.1.
1thomblake12yThere's definitely a problem with the editor - it shouldn't be spitting out anything with style attributes, since they're dropped due to an exploit in IE.

Link to the "About Less Wrong" page disappears after I log in.

2wmoore12yThere is an about link permanently in the top navigation bar now.
1MichaelHoward12yThere's another, smaller link at the bottom left of the screen. They probably decided non-newcomers wouldn't need a big about link at the top.

I sometimes get "The page you requested does not exist" when clicking on a comment title in user's overview page.

1Vladimir_Nesov12yThis issue was already reported here [].
2MichaelHoward12yOops! blush There's so many comments now I missed it. Maybe post-beta we could start new, seperate posts for bugs and requests?
1glenn12yMaybe a separate sub-reddit for bug related topics, to group them all together, or a tag.

Reddit has a slick iPhone application, which may be portable. It's based more on browsing websites, though. Something along the lines may be possible.

Design suggestion:

All the meta stuff associated with a comment, viz.

Posted by: Kaj_Sotala 02 March 2009 09:32:50AM 2 points Vote up | Vote down | Permalink | Parent | Report | Reply

takes up a lot of space and impedes readability of the discussion. Can all this stuff be made smaller and less prominent (maybe more like it is on Hacker News) and perhaps some of the links only be visible when you're in the actual comment's thread (like the "Flag" feature is on Hacker News)? (Also we don't really need to know the exact second that a post is made.)

1Vladimir_Nesov12yBy the way, what does the star mean that sometimes appears after the commenting time? On this comment (to which I reply), I see "02 March 2009 03:18:52PM*", and on the comment below I see "02 March 2009 05:57:13PM", without the star.
7Z_M_Davis12yI think it means the comment has been edited. EDIT: This is a test of said hypothesis.SECOND EDIT: The experiment supports the hypothesis.
1thomblake12yI disagree. While the vote etc buttons might be redesigned in some way, I wouldn't like it if any of this stuff was less prominent. Also, I like having complete datetime stamps.

There is a new header in development.

Hmm it should be working but I've raised an issue to investigate.

Is this still happening? I released a couple of login related updates today. If so can you let me know what browser and operating system you're using as well as the location (URL) of the page you're on when trying to login.

Adding content as well as titles to the feeds is on the to do list. I have raised an issue for it.

1wmoore12yFull article content in RSS feeds has been implemented.