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Updating user profiles, SSL encryption, and easier technical support

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We’ve been busy behind-the-scenes at Mondoweiss and have some technology updates for you. In addition, our users notified us over the last few days about a problem with the user profiles we are now addressing.

Updated Aug 6: 100 Recent Comments page link fixes

We’ve rolled out a new version of the 100 Recent Comments page. The links will now take you directly to the comment on the post. There is an issue with the comment formatting on this page that we hope to update soon.

New user profile system

Active members of our commenting community noticed this week that the user profile pages listing one’s recent comments were no longer loading. We identified the problem, however it required us to deactivate this feature. We have rolled out a new, updated user profile system, that lists the recent comments and will allow us to add some more functionality in the future. Thank to everyone for your patience over the last day or two while we got this running!

With the new user profile system in place, you can access and update your account here. Edit your profile by clicking on the settings gear on your user profile page. Clicking on any user’s name in the comments section will take you to their profile where you will see a history of their comments, clickable to the original article.

The 100 most recent comments across the site can still be accessed here.

End-to-end encryption for greater security

In July we rolled out full SSL encryption on the site. You may have noticed the URL now loads under HTTPS. Old links to our site should redirect without trouble.

New technical support channel

If you have any issues with your account on our website, your subscription to our newsletters – or if you find a technical problem – we have a new support system. Visit our contact page and select technical support to submit a service ticket. If you need some action taken in regard to our privacy policy, select the privacy request option. You can also email [email protected] directly to open a ticket.

Dave Reed

Dave Reed is the Community Engagement Manager at Mondoweiss. He's been involved in the Palestine Solidarity Movement since visiting Occupied Palestine in 2004 and 2008.

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76 Responses

  1. echinococcus on August 4, 2018, 1:15 pm

    Thank you, Dave. Must’ve been hell for you.

  2. annie on August 4, 2018, 4:51 pm

    thanks dave, i really appreciate all the work you’ve been doing. as a non techy person i don’t really understand but will try to get the hang of it.

  3. eljay on August 4, 2018, 5:20 pm

    … Thank to everyone for your patience over the last day or two while we got this running! …

    My thanks and appreciation to you – and to everyone involved with the site, from Phil on down – for making Mondoweiss possible.

  4. Sibiriak on August 4, 2018, 8:31 pm

    Dave, will we be able to search within users’ comments as before?

    • davemreed on August 4, 2018, 9:10 pm

      We know the search feature is lacking and we are looking into some replacement options that will deliver better results. We’ll look at options for searching within the comments database.

      • RoHa on August 4, 2018, 11:12 pm

        I looked at the archive. No notice of replies to my comments. Is that to come at the same time as you add search box?

      • davemreed on August 5, 2018, 1:03 pm

        Do you mean that you are looking for notices of replies to your comments on your user profile where all of your comments are displayed? I’m just trying to understand what you’re looking for. If you would prefer, send an email to [email protected] and we can continue this in a support ticket.

      • RoHa on August 5, 2018, 9:58 am

        O.K. I’ve discovered that the bell thingy tells me when someone replies to my comments. It would still be nice to be able to go direct to a comment from the 100 recent.

      • echinococcus on August 5, 2018, 1:25 pm

        Dave,

        Many readers interested in the discussions look at the last 100 message list when they’re done reading the posts. To see the interesting messages in context, though, they have to swim upriver to author profile, then click the same message there to get to the original message setting.

      • RoHa on August 5, 2018, 7:26 pm

        I go to the 100 before I read the posts. Then swim upriver to user profile.

        And now the user profiles are less useful. All they give is the opening line of a few posts, instead of the whole thing, so I can’t always easily see if it’s the one I’m looking for.

        I use my own archive as a resource. I frequently think “I’ve argued that point before”, and then track it down in my profile. Again, just giving the opening line is not helpful. In the old system, if the comment has the note “4 replies”, then I know there might be counter arguments to check. Will the new system have that?

        This new setup looks very pretty, but so far it seems user unfriendly.

      • Hostage on August 7, 2018, 3:36 pm

        Roha: This new setup looks very pretty, but so far it seems user unfriendly.

        That’s a guarded understatement. I hope Dave hasn’t run up against a financial or technical brick wall.

        Everyone here is replying to Dave, because he’s got the only “reply” button. That’s how most conversations are carried on. We used to be able to opt-in to email notifications that would advise us whenever a new comment had been posted. Looking at Dave’s profile for hints about replies from you or the others here – or looking in the Last 100 comments – was a workaround for the loss of that functionality. The loss of a key word search function for user comments only makes it more difficult to carry on conversations and provide links or copies of useful information on a particular subject.

      • annie on August 7, 2018, 4:19 pm

        i don’t know how i would access all the amazing knowledge you’ve passed on here hostage, without the search function on your archives. it makes no sense, what is a person to do?

      • davemreed on August 7, 2018, 6:00 pm

        @Hostage

        No financial wall (though donations are always appreciated!), and no technical wall either exactly.

        We hope to add an email notification to comments back in soon, but there are technical issues we have to take into account. This site has a good deal of customization and we have to test potential tools to make sure they don’t cause a problem with another tool elsewhere on the site. The comments system is perhaps the most complicated piece of the site, so it takes more work to make changes. Unfortunately the tool that provided email notification is no longer available. We’re working to find a solution that will work properly.

        Our goal is to have a robust commenting system that provides easy notification of replies, including by email, and that can be followed via individual user profiles and the recent comments page.

      • Sibiriak on August 15, 2018, 12:36 pm

        davemreed [August 4, 2018]: We know the search feature is lacking and we are looking into some replacement options that will deliver better results. We’ll look at options for searching within the comments database.
        ——————————————————–

        Can we expect a “replacement option” any time soon?

        The comments section is basically worthless without a search function. Huge loss.

      • davemreed on August 15, 2018, 12:51 pm

        I’m afraid we don’t have an ETA on it right now. There are some other items that we have to deal with first. Until then, Google is the way to go.

      • Sibiriak on August 15, 2018, 12:54 pm

        davemreed: I’m afraid we don’t have an ETA on it right now…
        ——————————-

        But it will get done eventually?

      • davemreed on August 15, 2018, 1:00 pm

        Yep! The search issue isn’t just about the comments. We need a better search tool across the entire site. It’s a priority item, but it’s in line behind several other higher priority items.

      • Mooser on August 15, 2018, 12:54 pm

        A master-list of all the user-names in the comment archives would be helpful.

      • davemreed on August 15, 2018, 1:01 pm

        We may roll out a directory in the near future.

      • annie on August 15, 2018, 1:08 pm

        thanks dave! looking forward to it.

      • Keith on August 15, 2018, 5:32 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “The comments section is basically worthless without a search function.”

        Even with a search function it may be useless. These little truncated “teaser” half sentences are not helpful. It still isn’t clear to me why an excellent system of profile comments was replaced by an inferior system. Unless, of course, the intent is to go all out social media. We seem to be trending in that direction in any event.

      • davemreed on August 16, 2018, 10:17 am

        The reason is pretty simple: software failure. The tool that ran the old system no longer worked, and it happened abruptly. The new system isn’t perfect, but it can be expanded upon.

      • davemreed on August 16, 2018, 11:11 am

        Quick update: I believe we’ve corrected the truncation on the comments tab of the user profile. It needs some better styling and we’ll work on that soon. Still tracking down the issue with the “load more comments” button.

      • eljay on August 16, 2018, 11:24 am

        || davemreed: Quick update: I believe we’ve corrected the truncation on the comments tab of the user profile. … ||

        Keep up the good work!  :-)

      • Keith on August 16, 2018, 11:29 am

        DAVEMREED- “Quick update: I believe we’ve corrected the truncation on the comments tab of the user profile. It needs some better styling and we’ll work on that soon.”

        Thanks, Dave. Apparently this new system was something Mondo was de facto forced into due to old system failure. Sorry if my previous comments seemed a little harsh. I had thought that this was strictly voluntary. As for “styling,” I hope that includes correcting italicized quotes appearing in the archives as caps. Ugh!

    • Keith on August 5, 2018, 7:42 pm

      SIBIRIAK- “Dave, will we be able to search within users’ comments as before?”

      The loss of the comment search function is a serious problem. When it was available, I used it frequently to search my old comments for author quotes I had used in the past and wished to use again via copy and paste. Also, for exchanges I may have had with other commenters. The comments section is a major strength of Mondoweiss and loss of the search function is a significant loss to the website.

      • RoHa on August 5, 2018, 9:06 pm

        Poor Dave must be feeling a bit harassed, but that’s what happens when you start changing something that a bunch of grumpy old gits have got used to.

      • eljay on August 5, 2018, 9:35 pm

        || RoHa: Poor Dave must be feeling a bit harassed, but that’s what happens when you start changing something that a bunch of grumpy old gits have got used to. ||

        Thank gawd, the new software didn’t randomly insert comma’s into people’s posts, or otherwise mess with there grammer! ;-)

      • RoHa on August 5, 2018, 10:54 pm

        He’d be in real trouble if that happened.

  5. Talkback on August 6, 2018, 4:55 am

    Keep up the good work Dave and take your time! :)

  6. annie on August 6, 2018, 10:43 am

    i agree with keith about the importance of search function in the archives. i really hope it comes back. i see a bar at the top but i’m not able to write in it. maybe i am doing something wrong. how do you find information in someones archives?

    • oldgeezer on August 15, 2018, 1:21 pm

      If I might I’d like to say I really enjoy the positive changes and improvements to the site. The notification function is fantastic as I never opted for email notifications and still wouldn’t. Without it following up on discussions was time consuming and therefore frequently not done.

      I clicked on Annie’s profile to see what ppl were commenting about there and I noticed she is at large. Has Interpol been notified? ☺

      • gamal on August 15, 2018, 2:36 pm

        “I really enjoy the positive changes and improvements to the site”

        what no nostalgia for the good old days? well to quote the great poet

        “And in conclusion I will venture to say,
        That accidents will happen by night and by day;
        And I will say without any fear,
        Because to me it appears quite clear,
        That the stronger we our houses do build,
        The less chance we have of being killed”

        William Topaz Mcgonagall

        so build away davemreed who knew software could leave a bruise.

      • oldgeezer on August 15, 2018, 8:13 pm

        @gamal

        “what no nostalgia for the good old days? ”

        What? Well they do say that old people are resistant to change. No further comment!

        “so build away davemreed who knew software could leave a bruise.”

        Be careful! Next thing you know catalan will be using that as proof that BDS is violent. ;)

      • RoHa on August 15, 2018, 9:44 pm

        Good old McGonagall!

        Few poets have matched his reputation.

  7. Mooser on August 15, 2018, 8:21 pm

    The old system archived the comments in full, in two places. Once with the article the comments are attached to, and again in the Commenter’s archive. That’s a lot of space.

  8. oldgeezer on August 15, 2018, 9:04 pm

    @Mooser

    No need to duplicate the data. It’s just two different index pointers to a comment in a single database. I’m sure there are others. Text really doesn’t take up much space anyway. Unless you know the old one was indeed stored twice in a grossly inefficient manner.

  9. Peter in SF on August 24, 2018, 3:34 am

    I am here because I was just looking at my user profile, and noticed that it no longer gives the dates of my comments, and it shows only my last 10 comments. Same issue with other user profiles I’ve looked at. Dave referred to “your user profile where all of your comments are displayed“, but not all of our comments are displayed on our user profiles.
    Also, in the comments in user profiles, italicized text is displayed much bigger than regular text.

    • davemreed on August 24, 2018, 10:30 am

      Hi Peter, we’re aware of these issues. Hope to have them addressed soon.

      • Mooser on August 24, 2018, 1:35 pm

        If it’s any comfort, the website Talking Points Memo just rolled out a new format and commenting system, and they are having the same sorts of teething problems.

      • James North on August 24, 2018, 2:18 pm

        Mooser: Does your sock-puppet “Steve Grover” also chime in over at TPM? What do you have him say over there?

      • Mooser on August 24, 2018, 3:06 pm

        “Mooser: Does your sock-puppet “Steve Grover” also chime in over at TPM?”

        Heck, no! TPM does not tolerate sock-puppeting.

  10. Mooser on October 18, 2018, 8:15 pm

    I’ve noticed an improvement. When I press “Load More Comments” in a comment archive, the page loads more comments! Some kind of search function for comments should be along soon, if I haven’t missed it already

    • RoHa on October 18, 2018, 11:17 pm

      Yes! That works.

      Now the questions are:

      (a) Will there ever be a search function?
      (b) Will it give access to the pre-update archives?
      (c) Will anyone ever atone for the loss of the old, pre-first-update, archives?

      • Mooser on October 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

        That’s a good questions. I know it was finally loading, don’t know how far back it goes. Lemme go try, as my rig loads very fast. (Opens “RoHa” archive and clicks “load more” 20 times) Okay it keeps loading and it looks like it’ll keep on going.

      • annie on October 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

        i’m not understanding how to access old comments without the search function. i fought this fight to get our archives back a few years ago, so we got them back but now lost the way to access them. very sad if our history is inaccessible.

      • Mooser on October 19, 2018, 2:38 pm

        “i’m not understanding how to access old comments without the search function”

        It’s not easy. Maybe the search function is next.

      • RoHa on October 19, 2018, 6:27 pm

        ” Opens “RoHa” archive …”

        You have good taste.

  11. Mooser on October 20, 2018, 5:35 pm

    “You have good taste.”

    As tasteful as your archive is, all greenery-yallery like Grosvenor Gallery, I was not able to see how far back it went.

  12. RoHa on November 5, 2018, 12:20 am

    That damned bell thingy is just a nuisance.

    It is better to get replies noted on the comment in the archive, they way it used to be done. No matter how old the comment was, I could check whether or not there were any replies.

  13. Keith on March 20, 2019, 4:56 pm

    I don’t know what is going on, but since the URL for comments awaiting moderation has been expanded, I have trouble logging out and some of my approved comments don’t appear when logged in. I am having to play an elaborate game to read and make approved comments.

    • davemreed on March 21, 2019, 12:29 pm

      Hi Keith, I’m not sure I understand what this comment is describing. Please send a Technical Support email to me here and I’ll try to figure out what you’re seeing.

      http://mondoweiss.net/contact/

      • annie on March 21, 2019, 12:52 pm

        hi dave. will there ever be a search function added to our commenter archives like we used to have? is there anyway to access someones comment from the past aside from just going to their archives and scrolling?

      • davemreed on March 21, 2019, 1:35 pm

        At some point, yes. We are looking into a few options regarding search enhancements. Unfortunately there isn’t an easy and cost effective option at the moment.

      • annie on March 21, 2019, 1:45 pm

        thanks dave. it seemed so easy before i guess i didn’t realize how lucky we were. i miss being able to access the wealth of information in hostage’s comments. or things i researched, posted and argued before are just gone to me. i don’t really understand the value of having archives if we can’t access them without scrolling and reading each comment. you can’t even ‘go to page 10’ or go to a year. they are good for things we said last week but not last year.

        also, i notice entire comment sections have been wiped clean for everything past a certain number of years. sad.

      • davemreed on March 21, 2019, 3:20 pm

        I’m not sure I follow this exactly. We know there is an issue with the user profiles not easily displaying comment archives. We are hoping to improve these and fix that in the medium term future.

        i notice entire comment sections have been wiped clean for everything past a certain number of years.

        To my knowledge there has been no bulk removal of comment archives. Please email me directly if you have found posts with missing comments that were previously approved by the moderators.

        While it’s not an ideal solution, using Google search with the right phrases and selectors can be really useful. adding “site:mondoweiss.net” after a search term will limit the search to only our site. Adding a user’s name may help further narrow the results there.

      • annie on March 21, 2019, 3:49 pm

        dave just go to our archive page: http://mondoweiss.net/archives/
        randomly pick a month from 2011: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/08/
        go to the top article: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/08/here-she-comes-to-save-the-brand/

        no comments. all the comments are missing from our old articles.

        lets try 2010: http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/
        random article: http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/makovsky-obama-will-give-it-up-for-israel-for-a-two-month-freeze-extension/

        no comments. this article had around 489 comments, gone
        http://mondoweiss.net/2010/05/the-trap/

      • annie on March 21, 2019, 4:02 pm

        I’m not sure I follow this exactly. We know there is an issue with the user profiles not easily displaying comment archives.

        i’m sorry you’re not following, it’s very simple. there is no search function on the commenter archive pages. ie, if i want to read about ’67 war and remember a great conversation we had here and go to talknic’s or shingo or hosages archive page i can’t place “’67” in a search function on talknic, shingo or hosage’s archive page to find the conversation. we’ve had experts here sharing history for ages, and those conversations are largely inaccessible except using google which is a very inefficient way to search for specific comments. each person’s archive page used to have a search function, they do not anymore. however, when i look at the page there is a long black bar at the top, but i can’t type into it, it’s a tease bar — it only appears like i might be able to type in it.

        so just to make it very clear, if i typed in MLK into my own archives page, it used to bring up every single time i had mentioned MLK in a comment (and comments i’ve made not mentioning him would not be there). this is relevant because the ‘MLK is a zionist’ argument gets hauled out routinely, every year around MLK day. if i recalled an old conversation where eljay or marnie really nailed it i could go to their archive pages, type in MLK, and i could find those comments and conversations (in the past, i can’t now).

        i really don’t understand what’s not to understand. for years and years we each had a search function on our commenter archive pages, now we don’t.

      • Keith on March 21, 2019, 4:06 pm

        Hi Dave, The problem seems to have cleared up. It briefly occurred when I noticed an extended URL for submissions awaiting moderation. Currently, no action required. Thanks, Keith

      • RoHa on March 21, 2019, 7:43 pm

        “i notice entire comment sections have been wiped clean for everything past a certain number of years. sad.”

        A huge chunk was lost during an earlier balls up upgrade.

        Some of Mooser’s best jokes, and some of my most uplifiting prose, were eliminated then, and yet no-one was hanged for it.

      • Mooser on March 22, 2019, 2:26 pm

        “Some of Mooser’s best jokes…eliminated”

        No worries, they will all be recycled. Unlike my early posts when I was just positive that America, and/or American Jews, were going to jerk Israel’s reins, and bring Israel to some kind of moderation. Like there was some kind of leverage, moral, legal or financial.

  14. Mooser on March 20, 2019, 6:18 pm

    “I don’t know what is going on…”

    Updating seemed to be slow or stalled this morning (3/20), but it caught up after a while.

    • davemreed on March 21, 2019, 12:30 pm

      A site software update may have been occurring around that time. Everything seems to be running pretty well now.

      • Mooser on March 21, 2019, 3:42 pm

        “…running pretty well now.”

        The steady ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa of a well-oiled server means the crisis is past.

      • RoHa on March 21, 2019, 7:34 pm

        “ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa”

        The soundtrack to my daydreams.

  15. Bumblebye on March 21, 2019, 7:09 pm

    I tried logging in via an ipad at the weekend but was prevented by a “securi(dot)net” messsge claiming a “brute force bot”.
    Any idea what that means or how i overcome it? It did refer to site administrators.

    • RoHa on March 22, 2019, 12:29 am

      Same with my ipad for some weeks now.

    • davemreed on March 22, 2019, 9:19 am

      Hi Bumblebye – We have a pretty high level of security on the site right now. We’re re-evaluating whether or not we can/should lower it a bit. This block was likely caused by the IP address you were trying to connect from being flagged in the system, which is a third party service, as a potential brute force attack. There’s not a whole lot we can do about that right now.

      This even occasionally happens to staff when we try to login or execute actions in the backend. So we’re thinking about whether we should lower the threshold for this stuff.

      Sorry for the hassle! I’m glad to see you could log in eventually.

      • Bumblebye on March 22, 2019, 12:57 pm

        Oh, i haven’t been able to login on the ipad – just continue using tablets or phone! At least i have those options.

      • Talkback on March 22, 2019, 3:38 pm

        davemreed: “So we’re thinking about whether we should lower the threshold for this stuff.”

        Comfortability is a major mistake when it comes to security, no?

      • davemreed on March 23, 2019, 12:39 pm

        We have plenty of security tools on the site.

      • RoHa on March 23, 2019, 10:29 pm

        Is that a threat?

      • oldgeezer on March 23, 2019, 11:42 pm

        @RoHa

        A threat only to those who would try to get away with using a semicolon when a colon is required. Not to be anal aboout it. That’s the rules. Period.

      • Mooser on March 24, 2019, 12:51 pm

        “We have plenty of security tools on the site.”

        That’s good. If conditions allow, a dog or cat helps a lot, too. You can get a special permit which allows you to bring the security animal almost anywhere.

  16. Talkback on March 23, 2019, 3:27 pm

    I think that you should keep it this way. :)

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