(Previous posts: [1], [2], [3], [4])

GreaterWrong.com has just added several new features and UI enhancements:

Modern Less Wrong theme

There is now a new theme (bringing the total to nine themes to choose from), called “Less”. (This theme is inspired by the design of the new, i.e. current, Less Wrong site.)

Here’s how it looks on a desktop:

[Screenshot of “Less” theme on a desktop]

And on a phone:

Screenshot of “Less” theme on a smartphone

(See the About page for how to switch themes.)

Mobile theme tweaker

The theme tweaker feature (which lets you do things like invert colors—instantly creating a “dark mode” version of any theme—as well as adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue) is now available on mobile devices.

Open the theme selector (gear button in the lower-left of the screen), and then tap this button:

Button that opens the theme tweaker

And you’ll see the theme tweaker screen:

Theme tweaker UI on a smartphone

(See the About page for more on the theme tweaker.)

Strong vote display

Strong upvotes and downvotes now display properly on GreaterWrong, in all themes.

Strong vote styling in the various themes

(Themes, starting from top left and going across by row: default, grey, ultramodern, zero, brutalist, rts, classic, less.)

Alignment Forum view

Click the “AF” icon next to any Alignment Forum post, and you’ll be taken to a listing of all the Alignment Forum posts.

Alignment Forum post icon

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21 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 5:34 AM

Hmm. I don’t see how to comment or switch themes on mobile. How do I do that?

How to switch themes: gear button, lower-left-hand corner of the screen:

Image alt-text

How to comment: um, same way as on desktop? :) (Are you logged in?)

hrm. I do not see the gear on mobile. (iPhone)

Whoa, that definitely sounds like a bug. Do you see the other floating widget (the page-nav menu, in the lower-right-hand corner—it looks like a compass)?

And, what device and version of iOS are you on?

Do not see the other widget. IPhone 6s. iOS 11.4.1. Safari (not sure how to check version)

Wow! That’s pretty weird. I’ll look into it ASAP!

Thanks for the fast response - I have the same issue (using an iPhone SE iOS) - and for all the great work you've been doing on GreaterWrong.

You’re quite welcome! And thank you for the kind words. :)

Update: It turns out that (as of a recent update) GW has some serious problems in Safari (on all platforms—and since all iOS browsers are, in fact, Safari, this means that the bug extends to all browsers on all iOS devices).

We’re working on a fix, and will have one out ASAP!

Update: This should now be fixed; iOS (and desktop Safari) users should once again be able to use GW with no problems.

The italic variant of the font used for body text in the "Less" theme -- I think it's Source Serif Pro -- has a very strange behaviour for me, at the moment, on my laptop running Windows 10. Here is a screengrab at 170% size in Firefox. Look at the serifs and at lowercase "t" and "f"! (And, I guess, everywhere where two strokes somehow run into or across one another.)

If I crank the zoom up one notch more to 200% then the weirdness goes away. In Chrome, it's weird up to 150% size but normal from 175% up. (My laptop has a "4k" screen, with Windows' global scaling set to 200%.)

This seems like it must be a text-rendering bug, but I've never seen it happen before; I guess something in the Source Serif Pro font is triggering it.


I don’t have a Windows 10 machine, so I can’t replicate this at the moment (I have never seen this bug on Mac/Linux, though it’s possible it occurs in some setup I’ve missed testing). That said, yes, it’s almost certainly something in Source Serif Pro.

Details for font geeks or the curious:

Source Serif Pro is a free, open source font from Adobe. At the time I added this font to my font server, the italic version was not yet part of the official release, as it was still being worked on; I built the font from source (using the tools Adobe provides at the linked repository). Since then, as Adobe has pushed updates, I’ve pulled the new source and rebuilt the font files a couple of times.

There do seem to have been some commits to the codebase since my last update, so it’s possible that this rendering bug has been solved. I will update the font server and post a follow-up comment if the update fixes things.

Update: I’ve updated Source Serif Pro to the latest version, but (I am told) the bug remains. I regret to suggest that, if you experience this glitch, and it seriously bothers you, you may want to use a different theme until Adobe releases a fix.

It doesn't seriously bother me, because I use plain ol' Less Wrong rather than GW :-). But when a new update drops I like to see how GW is getting on.

Cool! I have to say, I’m even more grateful for the comments / bug reports, in that case—regularly taking the time to try out, and give useful feedback on, a site you don’t yourself use, is pretty rare. Thank you!!

(We of course appreciate feedback from anyone—whether they use GW or not. It’s just extra-impressive when coming from someone who has no, so to speak, vested interest in the site working well!)

Thanks for all of your work, especially adding the AI Alignment Forum view.

I quite like both the classic theme (which I saw awhile ago, but just had the affordance to comment on now), as well as the new Less theme.

Also thanks again to the greaterwrong folk for adding the alignment filter. We had some AlignmentForum users who preferred greaterwrong.

Some random things that bug me slightly on greaterwrong (although I don't use it that often)

I still find the strong-upvote mechanic on GreaterWrong fairly confusing (I think it still requires doubleclicking, which is not an action I normally associated with the web).

Aesthetic preference – the various "glowing" buttons (in particular voting, possibly other places) feel sort of weird and distracting to me. With the new Less theme, I think they're the last major thing that feels off about the styling to me.

I still find the strong-upvote mechanic on GreaterWrong fairly confusing (I think it still requires doubleclicking, which is not an action I normally associated with the web).

It does require double-clicking, yes. It’s interesting to hear that you don’t associate that with the web… I do wonder how many people have similar intuitions. (Part of the reason I did it that was was that it was straightforward to implement (especially with fairly robust browser support). The other part was that I found it intuitive to do it like that.)

Do you—and this is somewhat of a long shot question that I don’t expect you to have an answer for off the top of your hand, but—do you by chance have some examples handy of websites (popular or otherwise) that implement interactions beyond single-click? I’d be curious to know how prevalent are various approaches. (I mean, to be clear, interactions with buttons and button-like elements; gestures are, of course, a whole other story.)

Don't personally have any examples offhand that use anything other than click and hover (with hover on its way out due to mobile), which is presumably why it felt unintuitive. :P

FWIW, the mobile-LW implementation of strong upvoting is "click once for upvote, click again for strong upvote, click again to remove all upvotes".

I think maybe part of the issue on greaterwrong right now is that it looks like it takes a second before updating the client, so the feedback isn't as clear. (that + having a tooltip would probably also clarify everything that needed clarifying)

I quite like both the classic theme (which I saw awhile ago, but just had the affordance to comment on now), as well as the new Less theme.