On the 2nd August we lost our friend Seb Patrick. Please allow us a period of radio silence as we come to terms with what's happened. Goodbye, Seb, we'll miss you.

We're raising funds in his memory to help his family in any way we can. If you're able to spare anything, it would be greatly appreciated.

So, it’s been about 8 years since we had our last big redesign and, honestly, things were starting to get a bit musty and suspicious smelling around these parts. So, we’ve gone ahead and… well, not really changed that much on the surface of things, but underneath now beats the heart of a website that is actually fully mobile responsive. With the increased activity bound to be occurring over the next few days and weeks we thought it might be a nice idea to give our community the gift of using a website that looks like it might, possibly, have been made with some sort of modern usability standards in mind.

This is very much our first draft of the new theme and we’re going to be building on this constantly from now on. A list of layout tweaks, functionality fixes, additions and general improvements are all on our collective radar but, as ever, I reluctantly extend an invitation to our BELOVED COMMUNITY to let us know what you reckon so we can put you in the Trello list called “Things some cunts said”.

133 comments on “We’ve done a spot of tidying up

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  • Reading and commenting from mobile. Already a vast improvement. Well done guys. I can actually read things without having to zoom in to lose all the menu side bars and stuff.

    This is very welcomed.

  • Oh god, this is even nicer to read on desktop. Fonts and spacing and everything are nice. Everything is so much clearer.

  • Looking swish. Just don’t lose the changing/random header at the top. 😝

    That was a worry because they’ve all been made to the old site’s exact size, but in the end we decided to say “fuck it” and just embiggen them and I think they look ok!

  • One thing I’m definitely aware of is the Forum has take some steps back in some areas because I’ve reverted back to its bone stock template files. This is to achieve such amazing things as actually letting you edit your posts and fix some other persistent technical issues, but we’ll be slowly adding quality of life stuff back there in the coming days.

  • This all looks lovely and slick and clean. Well done all.

    One minor moan is that the instant navigation to the most recent forum threads (that used to be down the sidebar on the right) is now a little less immediately accessible, requiring you to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the front page rather than being there and visible when it loads.

    But this is only a minor quibble and not a big deal, and I think there are definitely some benefits to having the cleaner and less cluttered first impression.

    (Also, it means any newcomers drawn to the site by The Promised Land aren’t going to be immediately put off by threads about whether holograms can shit and 15 pages of stupid tenuous puns.)

  • Yes, that’s something I considered and it seems like a necessary trade-off for the compact mobile view. To mitigate against this, though, one thing on our list to do is a pair of links you can always see no matter where you are on the page that will scroll you to the recent comments or replies.

  • Yes, that’s something I considered and it seems like a necessary trade-off for the compact mobile view. To mitigate against this, though, one thing on our list to do is a pair of links you can always see no matter where you are on the page that will scroll you to the recent comments or replies.

    Ah, that sounds like an excellent solution. Thanks.

  • Very sexy. And I’m not just talking about Cappsy. So much better to be able to read on the mobile now, no more zooming in. Thanks guys.

  • One bugbear of mine with the old site is that you never seemed to be able to stay logged in any longer than about a week and then found yourself automatically logged out again. Can this be extended on your end?

    Apart from that, the headers are still looking nice, the fonts are still looking nice, the layouts still looking nice… it’s just nice period.

  • One bugbear of mine with the old site is that you never seemed to be able to stay logged in any longer than about a week and then found yourself automatically logged out again.

    Interesting question. I’ll look into it as WordPress might let us fiddle with cookie expiry limits and the like.

    Can this be extended on your end?

    How dare you

  • LISTER: They’ve totally upgraded the whole ship.
    CAT: They’ve even got rid of the squeak on the seat tilt control!

  • I had to log in again just now, and I last logged in a couple of days ago, though I’d chalk that up to the site redesign perhaps? WordPress is woefully inconsistent on this front – I have the same issue with my own WP sites.

  • I really like this. The tweaks are understated and it doesn’t look like a total reinvention (which is the big problem with a lot of redesigns), but it’s nice. Maybe a teensy background colour change or line to separate the name of the poster from their comment? Just to break up the white space if there are lots of comments really.

    And maybe buttons to blockquote? I know I could just do that myself, but the thing about me is that I’m a lazy cunt.

    Anyway, feel free to tell me those suggestions on a piece of paper and shove it up my arse.

  • And maybe buttons to blockquote?

    If you hit Reply to an individual post then it automatically blockquotes everything.

  • If you hit Reply to an individual post then it automatically blockquotes everything.

    Yeah, I don’t know what I’m banging on about to be honest. I think I meant all the other stuff that used to be shown how to do with code. Photos and…stuff.

  • Here’s a thought, how about a dark mode for the site or at least an option for a less bright palette. The user can select which, say between Bright White and Ocean Grey? Or Military Grey if you prefer, your choice.

  • There is currently an experiment I’m running to see if the sessions now last longer. We’ll see!

    I definitely want to beef up the tagging stuff to help with formatting and images. Also a function so it only blockquotes the text you’ve highlighted before clicking reply.

    As a recent dark mode convert I like the idea of having that option, but as a developer it sounds like a pain in the cock. I’ll definitely put it on the list, though, along with everything else people have been highlighting.

    Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. I’m really glad people like the approach we took.

  • Ah, excellent! I’ve been coping with using desktop view on mobile for so long now, I hadn’t considered that such a future was possible.

  • Just a heads up, the numbers next to recent comments/forum posts don’t seem to be turning red/reverting to black when they should, and the threads might not be going to the top when they’re the latest to receive a comment (possibly – it’s confused by the previous point). Unless it’s just me. It all looks very nice, though.

  • A couple of days ago I had all the threads turn red (and look unread) like you’re describing, but logging out and logging back in again fixed it for me and it works fine now. Don’t know if it’s to do with the redesign or just a coincidence.

  • I’ve got the same issue as Ben. And unread posts indicated in the Recent Forum Posts bit at the bottom of the page aren’t indicated in the forum itself.

  • but logging out and logging back in again fixed it for me and it works fine now.

    Ah, yes, that’s the obvious thing to do. What kind of idiot would go through them all to get them ‘read’ manually?

    I’m another vote for dark mode if we’re being awkward and demanding.

  • Why are forum posts letting me edit them?

    Everything else seems fine.

    Wait… you can’t edit other people’s right?

  • Wait… you can’t edit other people’s right?

    Oh gosh no, just mine. The extra second edit button with the functionality of the original was a nice touch though. ;)

  • Wait We can edit?

    Not these but you can edit forum posts where you will be given the choice of pressing edit again or submit.

    It’s like a Doctor Who.

  • Unless I’m being thick from only having slept for 4hours, there’s no “Jump to Bottom” button in the forums.

  • Unless I’m being thick from only having slept for 4hours, there’s no “Jump to Bottom” button in the forums.

    I noticed this too. I think it’s specifically to dissuade us from using the Idea For An Episode thread.

  • Sorry, the forum is currently bone stock. It’ll get all the bells and whistles soon.

  • Yep – there can be two threads that have red numbers next to them, with another with a black number sandwiched between them, and I’ll have read none of them. One of them just hasn’t turned red, and therefore doesn’t take me to the bottom of the page, for some reason.

  • There was… a mishap with the tracking data we use to power those notifications (it accidentally got deleted and let’s just leave at that and not point any fingers). New threads and posts will work as normal, older ones will start behaving normally once you’ve visited it once because I’ve had to put in a temporary measure to stop everything highlighting in red.

  • This is not the time for small-minded, petty recrimination. The time for that is when we get back to Earth and Cappsy is court-martialled.

  • I’ve just had to log in again, but hopefully it won’t ask me to do it again on Monday and I can stay logged in for longer this time.

  • I was just about to ask about the logging in situation. The chance will only take effect to logins after I made the change the other day. My original session is still active, which looks promising.

  • It might all be fine now – I logged out and back in again just to see if that would help anything. If I was going to be a pain and suggest further improvements, I’d ask if it would be possible to make clicking on the “recent replies” for a thread with multiple pages actually take you to the latest page – as it is it just takes you to the top of page 1.

  • If I was going to be a pain and suggest further improvements, I’d ask if it would be possible to make clicking on the “recent replies” for a thread with multiple pages actually take you to the latest page – as it is it just takes you to the top of page 1.

    This is a longstanding issue which is more complicated than it sounds, but it’s on our bug fix list so it’ll get sorted soon, I promise!

  • I’ve been switching back and forth between mobile and desktop, and on desktop I tend to stay logged in for a long time, but on mobile I have to log back in every time I return. Just to add to the information gathering.

  • I’ve been switching back and forth between mobile and desktop, and on desktop I tend to stay logged in for a long time, but on mobile I have to log back in every time I return. Just to add to the information gathering.

    That’s interesting, I have no such issues on my Android. What phone / browser are you using?

  • I’m on Chrome on Android, too. 8.1 if we’re getting version-specific, Wileyfox Swift 2X if we’re getting phone model-specific.

  • I’ve only just noticed the backgrounds of the Twitter/Facebook etc links. Don’t know if they’re new or if they’ve been like that for ages, but that’s a great design feature for something that a lot of people won’t even pay attention to.

  • They’ve always been the same, just displayed too low-res to make out previously!

  • I’m on Chrome on Android, too. 8.1 if we’re getting version-specific, Wileyfox Swift 2X if we’re getting phone model-specific.

    Incognito mode being left on, perhaps?

  • Ha, well it isn’t worth fixing if it only affects me. ;-)

    Just to clarify further, the logout only occurs if I actually close Chrome (or if I leave it idle for long enough that it closes by itself). Refreshing, closing and re-opening tabs is not a problem.

    Also I do use Firefox for my desktop web browsing so I guess it could be a browser thing rather than a platform thing. I haven’t done any multi-browser testing, and am now an embarrassment to the software testing community.

  • Incognito mode being left on, perhaps?

    Ah, sorry, bad timing.

    I don’t use Incognito mode generally. If my family and friends snoop on my mobile browsing history and discover my sick G&T habit, so be it.

  • Has the site always been called “Ganymede & Titan”? Shouldn’t it be “Ganymede to Titan”?

  • They’ve always been the same, just displayed too low-res to make out previously!

    Whatever, they still look nice.

  • There’s been a bit of a rush of updates in the last couple of days. See if you can spot them all!

    This is how you’re supposed to do release notes, right?

  • I’ve noticed that the contributor’s name, date and time of publication have moved to the top line of articles. And the Dwarfcast player is up there, all accessable, like. Some fonts have changed, but (and this is me being all arsey and annoying and horrible) there’s still not a link to recent replies on Forum posts.

    BUT it’s all looking pretty and nicely polished, honest. Good job, chaps, keep it up. This site might just last., it’s got a lot of potential.

    *reads back* Christ, I sound horrible, don’t I? Sorry.

  • I’ll do those links, si, I promise. It’s just the last time I messed with the bbpress template files editing was broken for a decade, so I’m taking the time to do it properly.

  • *reads back* Christ, I sound horrible, don’t I? Sorry.

    I mean, you could’ve always edited it with the NEW COMMENT EDITING FEATURE.

  • *reads back* Christ, I sound horrible, don’t I? Sorry.

    I mean, you could’ve always edited it with the NEW COMMENT EDITING FEATURE.

    I know. That *was* the edit.

  • Just posting this to test the edit feature. I’ll let you know if I’m successful by adding the world “dildo” to the end of this post.

    Dildo.

  • I’ll do those links, si, I promise. It’s just the last time I messed with the bbpress template files editing was broken for a decade, so I’m taking the time to do it properly.

    *cough*

  • Both work for me. Also, I had no idea such a feature existed. Is it new?

    I see “idea for an episode” now actually takes you to the latest page, rather than the top of page one. So congrats on that, it really bothered me to the point that I’ve lived my life as if that thread doesn’t exist for the past few months.

  • I see “idea for an episode” now actually takes you to the latest page, rather than the top of page one. So congrats on that, it really bothered me to the point that I’ve lived my life as if that thread doesn’t exist for the past few months.

    Possibly for the best.

  • I stopped checking that thread once it went to page 2. I can’t help feeling my life has improved because of it.

    You mean I’m not alone?

  • You folks have been missing out on the creme de la creme of forum content. The “Idea for an episode” thread is the contemporary art experiment that this country sorely needs but the set-in-their-ways pencil pushers at the Tate refuse to recognise.

  • You folks have been missing out on the creme de la creme of forum content. The “Idea for an episode” thread is the contemporary art experiment that this country sorely needs but the set-in-their-ways pencil pushers at the Tate refuse to recognise.

    You guys are lucky Ian held me back from changing the number of posts per page, thus ruining some of the page based jokes. You’re safe… for now

  • You guys are lucky Ian held me back from changing the number of posts per page, thus ruining some of the page based jokes. You’re safe… for now

    You’re a good man, Cappsy. Don’t let ’em tell you otherwise.

  • Not sure if this is intentional but all the text for posts in the non-frontpage forum threads is now on the right half of the display, with the poster’s identity and date/time on the top left and a big block of empty white space underneath that on the left alongside the text. (I’m on mobile.)

    Discussion under the frontpage items still looks normal.

  • You guys are lucky Ian held me back from changing the number of posts per page, thus ruining some of the page based jokes. You’re safe… for now

    You know how there were multiple occasions during the cold war when the world was inches away from mutually assured destruction, but the public were blissfully unaware?

  • Not sure if this is intentional but all the text for posts in the non-frontpage forum threads is now on the right half of the display, with the poster’s identity and date/time on the top left and a big block of empty white space underneath that on the left alongside the text. (I’m on mobile.)

    Discussion under the frontpage items still looks normal.

    Hmm, I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Are you able to screenshot what you’re seeing?

  • Hmm, I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Are you able to screenshot what you’re seeing?

    Yes, It’s as though it’s the same as the desktop version – ie the ‘white space’ is basically the ‘margin’ underneath the user’s name & picture.

  • There’s been a server upgrade this morning and the new version of PHP had more complaints about our shitty code than I expected, so if anyone runs into any errors while using the site let us know and we’ll get it sorted.

  • Frankly, I’m disappointed more people haven’t chipped in with the “I see you’ve redecorated” gag. I was really hoping it would get into Young Ones territory, where someone would eventually ask “Has anyone quoted that Doctor Who line yet?” to which I’d reply “Yes, ‘X’ has.” Then everyone would fall about laughing, complimenting me on my dazzling wordplay, sharp wit and phenomenal pop culture knowledge. But, alas, it wasn’t to be. I hope you’re satisfied, you utter utter utter utter utter utter bastards.

    PS. Yeah, the new layout looks all right.

  • Well, it’s easy once someone’s shown you how it’s done, isn’t it?

    This is an outrage. I’m a comedy genius, y’hear? I worked out a way to combine Doctor Who and The Young Ones in one thread… Surely that’s worth some love?

    ISN’T IT???

    Honestly, you young people with your On the Buses videos… You think you know it all.

  • I should be glad this comment thread lasted as long as it did, to be honest

  • Like I said, utter utter utter utter utter utter bastards.

    I should be glad this comment thread lasted as long as it did, to be honest

    Pfffh. That’s defeatist talk.

  • Scroll to bottom still doesn’t work in the forum when you’re logged out, though.

    ok FINE

  • If there’s an opportunity to be entirely indulgent and decadent, it would be nice to see a site logo/favicon in favourites and bookmark spaces within web browser. At the moment in Safari and Firefox you just get a generic G as there isn’t anything being served up to fill that space.

  • Our favicon is a white G on the black background, using the same font as the header. You don’t see that?

  • I see that on smaller bookmarked lists, but not on large favourites icons.

    Safari example here https://imgur.com/a/8gCIlKt
    Same goes for iOS.

    I guess I do see it on Firefox and Chrome, just always took that G to be a placeholder like in the Safari tab.

  • Interesting, looks like we need to supply a bigger icon for Safari to use it on the big lists.

    THANKS, STEVE JOBS

  • Okay, here’s something to do when you’re otherwise twiddling yer thumbs. Is there any way you could get links to automatically open in new tabs? As opposed to the long, laborious task of our having to click on ‘open link in new tab’?

  • Okay, here’s something to do when you’re otherwise twiddling yer thumbs. Is there any way you could get links to automatically open in new tabs? As opposed to the long, laborious task of our having to click on ‘open link in new tab’?

    You have accidentally wandered into a web developer HOT TOPIC. Please slowly back away, for your own safety.

    In all seriousness, we do have actual policy about this only just codified since the DwarfCast show notes started. Basically: if a link is external we’ll try to set it to open in a new tab. If it’s internal, we won’t. We might forget about these rules at random intervals. No refunds.

  • Okay, here’s something to do when you’re otherwise twiddling yer thumbs. Is there any way you could get links to automatically open in new tabs? As opposed to the long, laborious task of our having to click on ‘open link in new tab’?

    Control-click, dude. Or click with your middle mouse button.
    Command-click if you’re on Mac I think, but if that doesn’t work, well, suffering over a lack of basic functionality is par for the course of using a Mac

  • Mac (safari) has 4 built in options

    Command click = open link in new tab
    Command shift click = opens link in new tab and makes it active
    Command option click = opens link in a new window
    Command option shift click = opens link in a new window and makes it active.

    Or if you’re using a track pad you can force press down a couple of levels on a link to get a preview window and open it separately from there.

    Of course what Is wants is to not have to click anything extra at all and let the website do all the heavy lifting.

    Presumably any other browser you might use will have options for how to handle new links so it’s worth Si looking there to manage his own settings.

  • I agree that generally internal links should not open in new tabs but external ones should. You can probably download a browser extension to automatically new-tab everything

  • Ok, a new batch of Favicons have been setup that should cover larger icons, now.

  • Oooh, loving the use of the ITV themed logo. Nicely done :) Same applies to the tab icons too.

  • I don’t know why I said ITV themed … it’s clearly the old BBC logo. I’m a right plank!

  • If 1990s TV idents had had sick drum beats played over them I’d have them all memorised from watching them on repeat having download them from Kazaar

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