Sunday, June 7, 2009

Slashdot in Opera

I'm a longtime Opera user that still refuses (and hopefully always will) to switch to Firefox. I just don't see any need for it. I'm sort of proud of it and regularly advertise it without trying to be too nagging. I believe in freedom of choice so use what you want, be it Safari or IE or lynx.

But one thing that has always been bugging me is the browsing experience of Slashdot in Opera. There is just one word for it: abysmal. I don't understand how a site can honestly proclaim to have "News for nerds" without paying respect to a few standards regarding the layout and design of the site. Right now the main page doesn't validate with 84 errors. Now I dont't think that validation is everything (although I'm a fan of it). But I think that every site owner should check that his site looks and feels good in every major browser. And even that is only partly necessary because in today's software world with all its reusing of components many browsers share the same layout engine (Gecko, KHTML/WebKit, Trident, Presto, …).
Anyway… the design of Slashdot is quite broken. The "new" discussion system D2 doesn't really work. I really like it because it enables you to fold in and out comments on the fly without having to reload an entire page which is much faster. But after opening and closing a comment certain elements of the page disappear. At least it used to be the case. Right now it doesn't work at all. Clicking the headline of a comment opens a new page with the comment in question.
A few days ago I had the error that headlines of all comments were white on white background. Every time I wanted to see the titles or scores I had to highlight it which was very annoying. It also seemed to be limited to certain categories of the site but I didn't look for it and thank god this issue seems to be fixed anyway.
But now something new appeared: Weird graphics appear in the corners of many comments (see screenshot below).

These strange elements seem to be part of this bigger graphics file. Although the file name suggests something about controls, in Opera these annoying things serve no purpose. I noticed that Chrome has these as well but not IE6 (I have no newer version at hand).
The tag system also doesn't work. Upon hovering the keywords there used to appear some "things" (category highlighters or something, I never knew what they were supposed to be/do) but right now nothing happens anymore. Then again I never used the tags so I don't really care about this issue.

I really don't see why the site gets online like that. Especially a site for nerds. Of course the right course of action would be to file a few bug reports. The reason I didn't do it in the past is that these bugs are just obvious. The don't require long steps to reproduce. You just open the site and they slam you in the face.

From the comments of Opera related news one can easily see that there are quite a few Opera users on Slashdot. Also Opera is quite nice (see video) to Slashdot. Why can't Slashdot be nice to Opera?

Update: It got worse.

Update 2: It seems to be over. Could've been for a couple of days already but I didn't have much time to read Slashdot lately.

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