Livejournal to do away with subject line in comments
igrick, dude in charge of lj design, has posted the following today:
New LJ. Step one: comments.
Folks, as the first step of a major design change me and Tyoma (lj user tema) were talking about we've rolled out the new comments system onto the beta-testing servers. I wanted to say "rolled out the new design" but it's really is a completely new system, not a simple design change. It's only available to beta-users for now (you can become one by joining the lj_ru_beta community and enabling beta-mode here) and to journals that have default commenting design enabled (like mine does).
Better see once than read this text a hundred times, but I'm going to talk about my impressions and major changes anyway.
- new comments can be added without page reload;
- comments could be posted by pressing ctrl+enter shortcut - this is genius;
- comments no longer have Subject field and this is non-negotiable;
- mass comment actions are made simpler: you only need to select one comment and you'll see the actions panel (we'll add more options later);
- marking new comments option - the juiciest part for people who get many of them. It's very simple: adds "new" mark to comments that were added since you've last visited the page. I've got a new habit because of it: I open the comments page, mark the first comment, select "mark all" and "collapse all" and then scroll down looking for new comments which I then expand and reply to. That means that all new comments get replies in one go without page being refreshed. Then I refresh the page and repeat the process. It's much more useful for me than email because I get a lot of comments.
- Because of the new method of selecting userpics I've started using them more.
- It's much easier to add a link, a picture or a video into a comment (we'll add selecting/adding to and from the ScrapBook).
- All actions are now animated and that looks much nicer.
And many other nice things. Anyway, if you're interested - try out the beta-mode, discuss, criticize, suggest.
So I'm definitely not thrilled with this. The whole removal of subject lines will totally mess up kink/comment memes/comms. I kind of foresee a mass migration to Dreamwidth.
Going through the comments people don't seem happy. In one reply igrick says that less than 1% of commenters use the subject line, the person resorts by asking for backing for that statistic and what about the communities that rely heavily on the use of subjects, and then igrick says I already gave you the statistic... Also is seems like this will affect ALL PREVIOUS COMMENTS not just new ones. Taking a moment to consider email notifications, if you're following a post with a lot of comments that would have previously been separated by subject, there will now be no way to differentiate them in emails because of the lack of a subject line.
It seems like the site is being pushed to be like facebook. If I wanted to use facebook I'd be there... seeing as this isn't facebook I don't want it to work like it. Comments also say that with this system the page loads slower than refreshing upon the addition of a comment (as if LJ wasn't slow enough already). The addition of animations and transitions will not make this browser friendly and will significantly hinder people with slower computers... As someone that normally has dozens of LJ tabs open at a time and a browser that uses too much memory as it is, this does not seem like a good thing.
Oh look and we have some English comments popping up that show how much igrick doesn't care:
Commenter: It is absolutely unacceptable to remove subject lines. You can say goodbye to fandom if you implement that.
igrick: Is it just a copy-past from some other place, or your thoughts?
Commenter: Why are subject lines being removed? Please explain.
igrick: Just because of 99% of comments have no subject and displayed as "no subject" in threads. It is not make sense to have a subject for comment.
Do the 99% that don't use subjects really care? Does it offend them in some way? Does it inconvenience them to see it? So the 1% don't matter? The hundreds of communities that have hundreds of thousands of posts where subject lines are immensely important don't matter? Yes, this is most likely to effect fandom communities, but if a mass exodus of fandom communities happens, the individuals are likely to follow. If this is implemented (without the option to opt out) it will not be a good thing for LJ's fannish userbase.
Can we please stop fixing stuff that's not broken?
ETA: So it seems since shit has hit the proverbial fan on igrick's journal, he added: "By the way — for the moment, and nearest half a year or even a year, we talking only about S1 commenting page. Journal, where comments are in design of journal, still will have subject lines both in commenting form and threads." Then someone asks "Does it mean that after that 'half a year or even a year' the same changes will come to journal designs as well?" and he replies "I can't tell definitely now, but probably yes. As well as probably now. It depends on many things, especially on how S2, as system to design journal, will be developed." So this won't affect the majority in the near future but still...
Also if you're going to post on his journal, he can't see subjects.