New theme planned for the blog and possible use of CDN

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This topic contains 73 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Darth 1 year, 11 months ago.

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  • #33091 Reply


    This current WordPress blog theme is quite old and it is getting harder to keep it working with each new release of WordPress. We’ve been looking for a while at alternative modern “responsive” (auto resizes for mobile devices etc.) themes but recent issues may force us to have to change at short notice. Google is already down-ranking the site in some mobile search results but that’s just one issue.

    Now don’t worry – all the posts and your valued comments will stay, nothing is going. it’s just the page layout will change. We may run some brief tests of some new themes we are experimenting with on the live site to see how they perform under our normal traffic load. So don’t worry if the site looks “weird” for a bit. Basic functionality including the ability to comment should be maintained at all times.

    If anyone has any input or happens to be a good WordPress Theme/php coder then we are open to offers of help! Similarly if you have advice or questions, please comment here.

    A related issue is that we are likely to test the blog out with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to increase our capacity. Again any queries or suggestions then please give us feedback here.

    Thanks for reading.

  • #33093 Reply


    OK, will keep looking.
    Best wishes for your testing. . . don’t worry so much about Google downrating unless you need clickbait/revenue, Google won’t let me use their search engine over TOR, just an infinite loop of “you are a robot -solve this Captcha -back to -you are a robot” I use & even resort to yandex for searches in Europe as Google accidentally or deliberately hide interesting stuff

    CDNs sometimes give https certificate fails, but as the whole CA trust model universe is anyway slightly broken, that probably won’t be a real worry?

    • #33176 Reply

      Ba’al Zevul

      Whoever put this forum up – well done! And thanks!

      YKMN – I had the Captcha endless-loop syndrome myself last week. Turned out that someone had hacked the site, placed a nasty little Javascript (connecting to a well-known Ukrainian black hat’s IP) in an authentic-looking box, and was looking for my logon password until I realised what was going on. Fortunately it was a slow Internet connection, and I noticed the activity before he’d had too many tries, as well as the fact that I was unable to register to the site. I’d had to disable NoScript to access the genuine Captcha script, of course. Word to the wise.

  • #33094 Reply


    Funny you should mention TOR. We were all set to test with Cloudflare when a fight broke out between them and TOR developers. Cloudflare served sites had suddenly started blocking TOR or giving never ending captchas. So the test was put on hold. May be resolved by now.

    Google search results due to non mobile friendly theme is one of the least of our problems with the theme to be honest and we hope to kill several birds with one (or two) stones. No real birds harmed during the course of the comment 🙂

  • #33095 Reply


    Another amusing fact is that ddos for hire websites are usually signed up with a major CDN partner such as Cloudflare themselves to prevent return attacks against them. How cosy…

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by  Darth.
  • #33202 Reply

    Phil the ex frog

    “ddos for hire websites are usually signed up with a major CDN partner”

    Ah, a good old protection racket.

  • #33223 Reply


    Re ‘new look’ – I’m finding it VERY hard on the eyes.

    I prefer good old-fashioned legibility to the latest fad in web design.

    • #33224 Reply


      Could you be a bit more specific? What bits are particularly hard to read? Happy to take any suggested changes to make it better.

      • #33227 Reply


        Thank you for asking, Darth.

        I believe the main problem is the lightweight sans-serif font (the current fad) being overwhelmed by too much transmissive white space.

        The retina is being bombarded by white pixels and is receiving very little in the way of visual ‘cues’ from the poorly designed font.

        I recommend checking out Matthew Butterick on the subject. His own fonts are masterpieces as regards on-sreen legibility.

  • #33225 Reply

    Phil the ex frog

    The new theme is a fine responsive layout. But I have to agree with Pan about it being demanding to read. The orange and light grey font colours do not contrast enough with th background colours. Small orange font (such as breadcrumbs) make my old eyes squint.

  • #33226 Reply

    Phil the ex frog

    Orange links in text are hard to read. Which is a real pain that needs remedying. Just change the orange to something bolder.

    • #33232 Reply

      Alcyone (Simple: Truth, Goodness, Beauty)

      Agree with Phil.

      Miss the aesthetics and elegance of the old site, although Craig doesn’t seem to have aged much! We are all vain!!!

    • #33326 Reply


      The light orange is horrible, AND difficult to read.

      Can you change it to dark blue, please.


  • #33233 Reply

    Ba’al Zevul

    @ Darth –

    1. Re Blair/An Apology: Yes please, and thanks for asking. “Blairmiles”?
    2. I can see where Pan’s coming from. Or rather, I can’t when my aging eyes are tired. A larger, bolder font would certainly be an improvement. Otherwise it is very clear and clean. I like it.

  • #33235 Reply


    I also agree with Pan, its hard on the eyes the contrast is harder to assert with all the white.

    But my hat off for the changes, well done and thanks, an edit button planned at any time? some people do like to provide grammatically pristine copies (not moire).

  • #33237 Reply

    Good In Parts

    Re the Al Hilli thread – the current page number seems to have changed from 61 to 203 which breaks bookmarks – selecting a saved link takes you to a different page, which does not contain the comment, rather than using the comment number to recalculate the ‘new’ page number.

    I appreciate that the number of comments per page may need to change, so is there a way to go directly to a post via the comment number?

    Pan has made the font readability points better than I could. Generally sans-serif is much better for me than ‘noisy fonts’ – but in this case the size, weight and whitespace area seem to combine to make me snowblind!

    Not a dig at you but these days web pages seem to be carrying a lot of excess baggage compared to actual content – just look at the source of this one. By inspection I would estimate a 10 to 1 ratio with all the js files included. I do appreciate that resizing for mobile devices adds somewhat to the size.

    How about keeping the home page as-is but strip out all the under-used links from the comment pages? That should halve the page size.

    I have very little understanding of WP but is there a cut down, purely HTML, theme? Again I am probably talking out of my hat but I thought I read that HTML5 was supposed to be able to do most of the fancy fades without having to resort to javascript.

    Thank you for your efforts to keep this site working and accessible.

    • #33238 Reply


      We’ve upped the font size a bit on the blog pages. Font’s themselves are easily changeable and may be tinkered with based on feedback. Colour scheme is based on Craig’s guidance.

      Sadly we can’t do much about comment links. If we’d kept 100 top level comments per page, by the time threaded replies were added the page would be ridiculously long. Displaying 100 comments/threads is also fairly cpu intensive.

      Why WordPress doesn’t have a comment permalink that doesn’t include the page number is beyond me.

  • #33239 Reply


    Another bit of feedback we’re looking for. Has anyone tried the site on a phone or a tablet and how does it look there? Can you try rotating the phone/tablet to get both portrait and landscape views?

    We’ll experiment with fonts on the test site and try out some other tweaks. Also any comment on the “sticky” page header – is that fine or should we unstick it so it scrolls off the top of the page like any other content?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 12 months ago by  Darth.
  • #33242 Reply

    Good In Parts


    “Why WordPress doesn’t have a comment permalink that doesn’t include the page number is beyond me.”

    Strangely the posts on this page do have permalinks that do not include the page number. Your post above at 16:24 has two elements in the header, firstly “REPLY” and just to the right of this #33238 which has the following code:-


    However back on the Al Hilli page the post headers only have the “REPLY” button (with a different icon). My first guess would be that this was an artefact of the upgrade but since, in my very limited understanding, the pages are dynamicly generated and the post number is known it should be possible to generate the permalink on the fly even if it were not stored.

    Please, please, unstick the page header. I have to increase the font size to read, then narrow the window to reduce the amount of whitespace. This then folds the page header and it ends up occupying a good quarter of the visible page area.


  • #33258 Reply

    Phil the ex frog

    Here’s a quick script to make this more readable. It uses CSS to reduce layout duplication and increase text/link contrast. For firefox/iceweasel users only.

    -install Greasemonkey
    -click “New User Script”, paste in the below and click “Save”:

    // ==UserScript==
    // @name CM CSS
    // @namespace http://cm.nil
    // @description Quick CSS fixes for CM blog
    // @include*
    // @version 1
    // @grant GM_addStyle
    // ==/UserScript==

    GM_addStyle(“body { color: black; !important }”);
    GM_addStyle(“a { color: #992600; !important }”);
    GM_addStyle(“a:hover { color: #cc3300; !important }”);
    GM_addStyle(“ { display: none; !important }”);
    GM_addStyle(“.featurette-divider {display: none; !important}”);
    GM_addStyle(“.navbar-wrapper .navbar {display: none; !important}”);
    GM_addStyle(“aside#text-10 {display: none; !important}”);
    GM_addStyle(“.entry-meta {font-size: 14px; !important}”);

    • #33259 Reply


      Or I could just paste it appropriately modified into the site style sheet 🙂

      Seriously we’ve had some suggested css sent in already and are open to any suggestions anyone else fancies posting.

      It’s a pity WordPress doesn’t support multiple themes/skins to be active at one time. Users could then pick the one they want. WordPress Customizer seems to be moving in that direction and has even more added stuff in upcoming WP 4.5 to allow Admins to play with alternative themes without making them live. I do wonder if an eventual goal of multiple available themes is at the back of their minds.

    • #33261 Reply


      Was going to second Good In Parts’ request to “Please, please, unstick the page header”

      Then saw Darth’s comment “Page header now unstuck.” Thank heavens for that!

      Sticky page headers are a total nightmare on widescreen monitors, especially small laptop ones – so much screen ‘real estate’ is lost. The ‘bouncing up and down’ thing that happens while scrolling is also extremely irritating; it might be more accurate to refer to them as ‘semi-sticky’ headers, because they DON’T stay completely still!

      I appreciate it must be a bit of a nightmare these days to design web pages that look good and function well on all the various devices people use now. I would venture to say that that is actually an impossible task – there are too many compromises involved, whichever way you approach it.

      My personal viewpoint is that, wherever serious exchange of information and ideas is involved, the emphasis should be on readability – in other words, please do not make things hard for people who are READERS.

      I suspect most web designers are somewhat younger than many of the end-users for whom they are designing. Young eyes can read anything, even something as atrocious and challenging as 6pt Arial. Older eyes can’t (at least, without a good magnifying glass)!

      One other fact I would like to point out is that the old typographic rule of using sans-serif fonts for computer screens (as distinct from using serif fonts for printed text) no longer really applies.

      Apart from the (in my view, very unfortunate) fashion/trend for ‘minimalist’ sans-serif fonts even, very inappropriately, for printed documents, the fact is that sans-serif fonts made text more readable on old low-definition CRT and LCD monitors – there simply wasn’t good enough screen definition to reproduce the actual serifs.

      (Serifs add important visual cues for the eye/brain system to much more easily (and hence, quickly and accurately) read text, but on low-definition monitors they can actually have a ‘muddling’ or ‘blurring’ effect).

      Modern monitors (even mobile devices, but especially ‘proper’ PC/laptop monitors) now have very good definition – plenty good enough to accurately reproduce those wonderfully helpful serifs.

      One final point concerning modern monitors (on all devices) … most of us now (soon to be all of us) are NOT looking at LCD screens, but LED-backlit screens. These are MUCH brighter than before, which is why large expanses of white space are so tiring on the eyes – it’s like having a bright light shone directly in your eyes. Actually it’s not LIKE having a bright light shone directly in your eyes, it is LITERALLY having a bright light shone directly in your eyes!

      Add to that the fact that factory-default monitor settings are ALWAYS wrong, and nobody except photographers and others concerned (professionally or otherwise) with accurate colour reproduction ‘colour-profile’ their monitors (using a hardware colorimeter such as the X-Rite i1Display Pro together with accompanying profiling software) and you have yet another battle that the poor old human eye has to fight – the ineveitable overly-bright, bluish-tinged colour cast produced by unprofiled monitors (blue being the most physically aggressive ‘tinge’ out there, as opposed to a ‘warmer’ tinge like yellow).

      Hope some of the above helps, or is of interest.

  • #33265 Reply


    Darth, I’m sorry to appear to be constantly emphasising the negative, but…

    Orange on white JUST DOESN’T WORK! (Not enough contrast for one thing, and the traditional blue hyperlinks work great and everyone is used to them.

    There’s an old saying – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  • #33267 Reply


    Apologies for the lengthy pause between my last comment and this one – my eyes needed a break…

    I have a number of computers, only one of which is a Mac. I do NOT wish to get into a Windows versus Mac debate (!) – suffice to say I prefer Windows for many reasons (personal, subjective ones, naturally).

    BUT, Mac OS X is unquestionably superior when it comes to text rendition.

    There is a great free software utility called “MacType” (installed on all my Windows machines) which does a pretty good job of correcting Windows’ deficiencies as regards text display.

    Here is a direct download link to the latest version:

    (the above is a shortened url pointing to Google Code MacType download page link)

    Save it to your PC, install it, run it. It’s pretty self-explanatory after that.

    • #33268 Reply


      P.S. MacType is for ‘better-looking’ text, NOT more accurate font reproduction.

      If you are into typography, where accuracy is paramount, you already know not to use it, right?

      (The same as you’ve made sure you’ve disabled Microsoft’s “Clear-Type” anti-aliasing feature, naturally).

  • #33269 Reply


    “Apologies for the lengthy pause between my last comment and this one – my eyes needed a break…”

    Oh God, Pan is attempting humour once again. When will he learn, one wonders…

  • #33270 Reply

    Phil the ex frog

    Pan, thanks for the font tip. The case that serif is more readable is convincing if not blinking obvious when you think about it.

    I’ve added GM_addStyle(“body { font-family: serif; !important }”); to my script above.

    Darth, However you do it you should improve the usability of the design. Such demanding contrast and type will discourage readers. This has been tested over and over. That you retain a terrible colour scheme on the whim of Craig makes me laugh. Is he the font of all wisdom?

  • #33271 Reply


    Please change the orange colour! It’s distracting and a pain to the eyes !!
    Not to mention that it reminds McDonald’s stationery!!

    • #33272 Reply


      “Is he the font of all wisdom?” – to which I’m sure you meant to add “Forgive the pun”.

      Why Craig would want to see his rather pleasing home page portrait given an orange tint is a mystery to me.

      I’m quite sure our host giveth nay a jot for vanity, but it is far from flattering.

  • #33274 Reply


    ‘Strewth, what’s happened? I go travelling for a week or so, and the site’s gone to the dogs!

    Or at least, gone – as in the case of the BBC – “Hideously White”.

    To call this “responsive” is rather a euphemism. It’s not “responsive” at all, it simply is geared to tiny little screens. Anyone using a decent sized screen (as God intended) is faced with a massive glare of overly white blank space, and tiny little lettering making up the content, occupying a puzzlingly small space.

    Would anyone like to read a newspaper or a book with such glaringly (literally) inefficient use of space, yet requiring so much effort to read tiny font? Surely a major point in communications is clarity, and making the other struggle to understand you is to be avoided. This requires so much more effort than the old layout, that time spent here is going to be less appealing. Perhaps that was the plan all along.


    FWIW, I agree entirely with Pan’s apparently well informed views on all this, particularly in regard to orange-on-white. I’m always sorry to see retrograde “upgrades”, but imposing irritatingly small text is a curious “upgrade” indeed.

    • #33279 Reply


      “This requires so much more effort than the old layout, that time spent here is going to be less appealing.”

      That was my initial reaction on first sight as well, but I’m getting used to it, and I feel confident things will improve.

      Despite the genuinely uncomfortable eye strain I have experienced this weekend on this blog, I think credit is due to Darth and his helpers for the (what must certainly be very considerable) time and energy they have spent on implementing the exciting new features (I have not yet really explored them, but I love the ‘Reply’ button feature.) I suspect they are doing it ‘more for love than money’.

      “Perhaps that was the plan all along.”

      No, Glenn, I think you’re way off base there. But thank you for your comment.

      • #33288 Reply


        From what I understand, the mods get no reward at all from the work they do here – only abuse from people who think they’re treated unfairly here (which they are not), and those who feel themselves above any criticism or moderator action.

        I’ve no doubt it’s been a lot of work to make all these changes, and feel a bit churlish in saying I don’t like it. But I have to be honest, it seems worse than the old system by some considerable way. For instance, I used to be able to sit back and read this stuff from maybe a yard away from the monitor (that’s about a meter for youngsters). Now, I have to sit forward to a foot or so from the monitor and it’s still not easy. The colour scheme was fairly pleasant, now it’s hard on the eyes.

        <i>No, Glenn, I think you’re way off base there. But thank you for your comment. </i>

        A rather tongue-in-cheek reference to some oldies (over 35) where it might be preferred that they clear out, making way for the exciting, dynamic new Millennials who (as any ful no) have all the answers, and are the only people whose opinions matter. Too subtle, sorry.

        • #33289 Reply


          It night be an anomaly but percentage of mobile phone readership of the blog has doubled in the last 2 days. I take it you don’t find zooming in slightly in the browser any help? Craig actually got me to change font sizes while he refreshed the page. This is the font size he picked. Maybe we could enlarge a bit more?

          • #33319 Reply


            Increasing the font size a good bit would definitely help, IMHO. Thanks.

        • #33302 Reply


          Oh, I wouldn’t go quite that far, other than in the strictly monetary sense.

          They enjoy what must be an illuminating bird’s eye view of human nature, warts and all. Plus, I suspect they get to dine out occasionally on the stories they are able to tell of the extaordinary quirks of human psychology they witness (and perhaps analyse). At the very least I expect they get together ‘down the pub’ once in a while and have a darned good laugh amongst themselves, at the expense of some of us (and indeed, why shouldn’t they?).

          I also cannot imagine anyone who lacks a very thick skin (like, say, that of a politician) volunteering for the job of moderator.

          All the above is pure conjecture, of course.

          I would add that they ARE (very) occasionally rewarded by well-considered messages of appreciation, and grovelling apologies from those whose consciences force them to try to atone for the misdemeanours they have commited against said mods…


          “A rather tongue-in-cheek reference to some oldies (over 35) where it might be preferred that they clear out, making way for the exciting, dynamic new Millennials who (as any ful no) have all the answers, and are the only people whose opinions matter.”

          That’s good. Now I understand you.

          “Too subtle, sorry.” – Apology accepted. Very gracious of you.

          • #33303 Reply


            Damn, this new format is tricky…

            My comment above is in response to glenn_uk, and is missing the first line (quoting Glenn):

            “From what I understand, the mods get no reward at all from the work they do here”

  • #33280 Reply


    Darth – I have noticed that some of the comments are missing the ‘Reply’ button.

    Here are two examples:

    Nick Cohen’s Hate Speech

    Dictator Bling

    A glitch, maybe?

    • #33281 Reply


      It’s because there can only be 5 levels of nested comments including the top. You can always reply to a less indented reply in the thread and make it clear who you are replying to if context requires. We could up this limit but it is not advised.

      Thanks for your earlier kind words. All the feedback here is being collected and, after a break, we’ll play around with things on the test system this week. If we can come up with some modifications that Craig likes and help readers having a problem with this site then they will be implemented.

      For those especially struggling with the font, be aware that things like noscript etc will block loading of the Google Fonts and a fallback will be used. The actual main font we use is the second most popular web font in the world but I know that doesn’t help for people who hate it 🙂

      • #33304 Reply


        Thankyou for explaining the nesting limit.

        “be aware that things like noscript etc will block loading of the Google Fonts and a fallback will be used.”

        I am familiar with NoScript, but am not currently using that particular add-on. I AM using Adblock Plus. Plus I use the MVPS hosts file as an extra layer of ad/distraction removal.

        Can you please elaborate on the “etc” in “noscript etc”, and perhaps give us a clue as to how to go about entering ‘exceptions’ in add-ons like NoScript which will allow the free passage of Google Fonts, and any other scripts/urls necessary for the proper functioning of this new format?


        “It might be an anomaly but percentage of mobile phone readership of the blog has doubled in the last 2 days.”

        Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?

        A comment like that does rather alarmingly add resonance to glenn_uk’s comment above about “clearing out the old farts” (I paraphrase, of course).


        Finally, just out of curiosity, what IS “the second most popular web font in the world”? (In fact, is there a ‘Top Ten’ list, somewhere?)

  • #33282 Reply


    I like the new theme. Can’t say I find it too white/bright. Better without the sticky menu which takes up space and the navigation options it offers aren’t useful on a blog. I agree about the orange links, blue would be better.

    The main improvement is threaded comments. I reckon it’s going to put Hababkuk out of business. Next time one of those bickering sessions breaks out, it won’t be spread over the entire thread, it’ll be confined to the comments of those who are daft enough to encourage him. It’ll be harder for him to disrupt and easier for us to scroll past.

    Just one suggestion. If we want to reply to Craig’s post (rather than replying to another comment), we have to make our way to the top of the page. Using the *Home* key still requires us to scroll back down to the comment field. A link below the lowermost comment on each page to an anchor below Craig’s post would be useful.

    • #33283 Reply


      Agree, but I like the warmer color, orange.

      I like the softness of the font also. Looking at a commuter screen is not nice anyway imo, often a harsh cold light, hard edges. Mine is a small dim screen. But i’m always after less harsh and welcome this more feminine feel as long as it lasts.

      Ps, sorry for any hassle I caused people, I know you must have big enough issues running this site. It’s frustration, nature of the material etc.

      And yes, any hounding of people by others will no doubt look clearer in the tread.

    • #33306 Reply

      Phil the ex frog

      “give us a clue as to how to go about entering ‘exceptions’ in add-ons like NoScript”

      Google has the answer of course. Well several answers. The most sensible one being – why the fuck would you install noscripts to then create exceptions to potential harmful scripts.

      A web site should function without scripting. It’s called HTML. HTML5 + CSS are unbelievably powerful these days. Scripting should only add bells and whistles.

      • #33320 Reply


        @Phil the ex frog

        “why the fuck would you install noscripts to then create exceptions to potential harmful scripts.”

        Ahem … I asked YOU (the coders) if there were any exceptions one should create in order for this forum to function as intended.

        I assumed, quite naturally IMHO, that IF you were to supply me with any such exceptions, they would NOT be “potentially harmful”!

        I thought that was the whole point of exceptions – you only create an exception when you KNOW it is NOT a harmful one.

        Sorry for not being Kevin Mitnick, or whatever you were expecting…


        BTW, I NEVER use Google. There’s simply no need to expose oneself to such invasive corporate surveillance, when there are so many other great search engines out there.

  • #33287 Reply


    For the small percentage of visitors on extreme high resolution monitors, who find the whitespace at screen edges distracting, one suggestion might be to zoom the page slightly. Ctrl/+ works on most Windows browsers as a shortcut.

    • #33305 Reply

      Phil the ex frog

      That some may like the softness of the orange is besides the point.This is a usability issue.

      Disregarding the difficulty some have with low contrast is no different that refusing to provide a ramp into a community hall. You exclude people by obstruction. This is both your loss and theirs.

      You wouldn’t exclude less able people just because the vicar and a couple of friends said they liked the stairs. You would tell the vicar he’s talking out of his arse.

      Get rid of the orange links. Make them readable for those of us with less than good eyesight.

  • #33307 Reply

    Phil the ex frog

    I meant to say:

    You would tell the vicar he’s talking out of his arise.

  • #33313 Reply


    Another great feature of this new theme is that clicking on a thread takes you directly to the last page of comments, unlike the previous one which took you to the first page whereupon you had to click through to the last. I reckon this feature is going to save me up to 10 seconds/day = 3652.5 sec/year = 61 mins/year.

    On the 18th March every year, I’m going to have an extra hour in bed in celebration of Darth Day.

  • #33314 Reply

    Ba’al Zevul

    I note that my relict but previously functional copy of Habbabreak no longer has an icon on the CW pages. It is still present in my add-ons screen as enabled, however. Habbabreak support was removed by Greasemonkey some time ago, but this may yet be an issue for Greasemonkey add-on scripts in general. In any case it forces me to view Ishmael’s posts. Any suggestions?

    • #33325 Reply


      I’ll be glad not to post on this vindictive persecuting blog again.


      • #33347 Reply


        Sometimes it’s good to take a recharge break.

  • #33315 Reply


    One disadvantage of the threaded comments is that it’s hard to keep up with new comments – they are scattered all over the thread. There are solutions out there. Here’s a WordPress plugin called ‘Comments Since Last Visit’ which uses cookies.

    Comments Since Last Visit

    I appreciate it’s much easier for us to write wish-lists than for you to fulfill them, therefore this is not a demand or even a request, just an idea.

  • #33317 Reply

    Ba’al Zevul

    Snag? Although Darth’s last post on this thread is listed as having been ~1hr and 10 mins ago, after Nodes @1156, it hasn’t yet appeared on my screen.

  • #33338 Reply

    Phil the ex frog


    Habbabreak will not function with the new theme. Welcome back to the real world.

    • #33349 Reply


      “Welcome back to the real world.”

      The trouble is reality can get really subjective, if you let it.

    • #33350 Reply

      Ba’al Zevul

      Ok. The new layout dilutes the troll a bit, I suppose. But a block/fade option would be good to reduce the tendency to reapond ad infinitum to intentionally provocative, distracting or plain moronic posters. Please consider it.

      • #33352 Reply

        Phil the ex frog

        I suspect anyone wanting to disrupt will simply ignore the threading anyway. Pretty much like the thread subject is ignored. Trolls tend to just post on the newest thread irrespective of the subject.

        • #33356 Reply


          The current setup has the latest page displayed first. The later the post, the more off-topic it’s likely to be, so any newcomer sees the most recent contributions to a discussion which has long since lost the plot.

          I hate google too, and want as little as possible to do with that monster.

          You might like this: (“Ad giant”!)

          Hand in glove: Google and the US State Dept

          Analysis: Release of more Clinton emails reveals extent of ad giant’s cosy relationship
          Hand in glove: Google and the US State Dept

          • #33357 Reply

            Ba’al Zevul

            Thanks for the link to Google nastiness. Trouble is, I find Google useful, largely because it can time-filter its results. OTOH, I am beginning to suspect that those results are tampered with, and possibly maliciously tailored to what Google would like me to see rather than what I want to see. Before I order the tinfoil, someone please tell me I’m wrong.

          • #33373 Reply


            You are not wrong!

            If you want reassurance of that fact, then read “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You” by Eli Pariser (for starters).

            “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains” by Nicholas Carr is very good, too.

          • #33389 Reply

            Phil the ex frog

            I did a quick search for these books only to find google have extended their explicit removal of results. I’m pretty sure it used to happen only on EU tlds. Now it also happens on .com.

            At the bottom of this .com page:

            “Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe.”


          • #33403 Reply

            Ba’al Zevul

            You’re right. I used to use .com for exactly that reason. It looks as if Google is effectively ignoring the request to use .com and simply relaying what the .uk version wants to give you. The results are very similar now. Wonder if spoofing your IP would help? Tor?

          • #33413 Reply


            Here’s Eli Pariser doing a live audio-visual (speech with slides) presentation of “The Filter Bubble”

            Starts at 4.00, finishes about 45.00, then some questions and answers.

  • #33348 Reply


    Let your final search on Google be “search engine”.

    It’s the start of a great adventure!

  • #33351 Reply

    Phil the ex frog

    I furiggin hate google so would be more than happy to be convinced there is a worthwhile alternative. Maybe I’m just not aware of it.

    I thought all the search engines rely on the results of the giants. E.g. Duckduckgo heavily markets it’s open source aspect but barely mentions their proprietary side (and the limited benefits of their privacy angle doesn’t impress me). It’s still an incorporated money making machine serving a slight variation of the same results. A poorer variation in my experience – so what’s the point?

    • #33414 Reply


      Something to get you started –

      hover over “enhanced by Google” and you will see this message:

      “Your searches are private here.
      When you search with StartPage, we remove ail identifying information from your query and submit it anonymously to Google ourselves.
      We get the results and return them to you in total privacy. Your IP address is never recorded, your visit is not logged and no tracking cookies are placed on your browser.”

      Read this too:

      It goes without saying that a paid-for VPN should be everyone’s SOP these days, doesn’t it? (Everyone who’s paying attention, anyway).

      There ARE other search engines as well. Smaller sometimes, but also more ethical, specialised…

      And youngsters may not be aware of the usefulness and benefits of Web Directories – they still exist too.

      But I’m not going to do ALL the work for you…

      Internet ‘research’ is your friend – Google isn’t!

  • #33390 Reply

    Phil the ex frog


    Can we also get back the allowed html tags examples that used to be under the comment entry box. i.e. for blockquote, em, bold etc

    • #33391 Reply

      Phil the ex frog

      Sorry, I should have said please. At this time in the morning it’s easy to forget you volunteer.

      • #33408 Reply


        It is supposed to be displayed. Don’t know why it is not being shown but will look into it. Hadn’t actually noticed until you mentioned it.

  • #33415 Reply


    Closing topic and reopening new one as paging settings are not being respected by bbpress for threaded forum posts. The page just gets longer for ever.

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