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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.

davemreed
About 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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51 Responses

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

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

  2. annie
    annie
    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
    eljay
    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
    Sibiriak
    August 4, 2018, 8:31 pm

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

    • davemreed
      davemreed
      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
        RoHa
        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
        davemreed
        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
        RoHa
        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
        echinococcus
        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
        RoHa
        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
        Hostage
        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
        annie
        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
        davemreed
        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
        Sibiriak
        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
        davemreed
        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
        Sibiriak
        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
        davemreed
        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
        Mooser
        August 15, 2018, 12:54 pm

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

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

        We may roll out a directory in the near future.

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

        thanks dave! looking forward to it.

      • Keith
        Keith
        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
        davemreed
        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
        davemreed
        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
        eljay
        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
        Keith
        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
      Keith
      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
        RoHa
        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
        eljay
        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
        RoHa
        August 5, 2018, 10:54 pm

        He’d be in real trouble if that happened.

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

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

  6. annie
    annie
    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
      oldgeezer
      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
        gamal
        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
        oldgeezer
        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
        RoHa
        August 15, 2018, 9:44 pm

        Good old McGonagall!

        Few poets have matched his reputation.

  7. Mooser
    Mooser
    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
    oldgeezer
    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
    Peter in SF
    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
      davemreed
      August 24, 2018, 10:30 am

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

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        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
        James North
        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
        Mooser
        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
    Mooser
    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
      RoHa
      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
        Mooser
        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
        annie
        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
        Mooser
        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
        RoHa
        October 19, 2018, 6:27 pm

        ” Opens “RoHa” archive …”

        You have good taste.

  11. Mooser
    Mooser
    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
    RoHa
    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.

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