Everything You Need to Know about the TidBITS 2018 Infrastructure

Well, after composing a message to Lauri, I thought I’d check the site one more time. This time I was able to actually edit my profile to indicate my gmail account as my official email address. So, I’m set there, but I think that Discourse is still using the old AOL address (because of the avatar pic being associated with that account from the ‘old’ days). So, I may have to go through another cycle here.

RE: “…with the TidBITS Talk category here on Discourse”
Are you saying that there won’t be a daily summary any more, and I will have either do an RSS feed or to log in here to follow threads in TidBITS Talk? A lot of the TidBITS Talk discussions don’t relate to articles, so I’m not sure whether I’d bother logging in to read comments about articles, which I haven’t received in years. Will there be something from the weekly mailing that would link to relevant discussions in TidBITS Talk so that I can selectively view threads of interest? From what I see in the article, the TidBITS Talk issue seems to be a work in process.

Glad you got it sorted. I somewhat decoupled WordPress and Discourse so people could have different information in both places, so yes, you probably do have to set your email address here too. Just click your avatar in the upper right corner and then click the gear icon.

There certainly won’t be a Mailman-style digest. However, Discourse has a lot of notification settings and can send email as well, so you could get email notification of new topics and then follow them. I’m really not certain of all the possibilities right now — I’ve had many, many more important details to focus on with the main site. But I’m going to start a thread in the #site-feedback category to see if we can work it out together.

@aliamm, in particular, you can click on a category and then select to receive a notification for any new threads that are created in that category:


You then need to look at your notification settings (gear icon under your avatar, top right) to see how you are notified (for instance, I just get a little blue circle on my avatar, but I think you can set it to email you).

It appears the email list is being handled by the Wordpress info right now, and not the discourse info, is that right? At least when I went into my profile via www.tidbits.com > Email > Login it shows my wordpress email.

I am guessing there is a phantom Wordpress user with my list email address, but I haven’t gotten that far.

Yes, as far as TidBITS email (such as issues, or articles for members) goes, as opposed to Discourse notifications, WordPress is the truth for that address.

So far, I have been completely unable to comment directly on the article page. Even this comment had no input field on the main article page. And I am completely stumped on how to make a comment on articles marked “No Comments.” Unless there is already a comment and I can find it in the Discourse forum, I cannot comment. I know I can use Discourse because I’ve used it on other sites.

If there are no comments, there is a link at the bottom of the page that says something like “Start a discussion” which is a link to discourse.

There is always a discourse topic for every article, so you can certainly find them at talk.tidbits.com

Because Discourse has an extremely capable editor that can’t be embedded on non-Discourse pages, you have to click through to this site to add a comment.

There’s a bug that prevented me from making Discourse topics for the last couple of articles. Eli will undoubtedly fix it this morning (it happened late on Friday) and I’ll get the links made for those last few articles right away. Every article since the transition should have a Discourse link. Older articles won’t, though we can always open them up again if need be.

Thanks, Adam. I figured it was probably a bug since this only happened on one of the most recent articles. And of course these bugs pop up on late Friday when everyone wants some time off.

Just to clarify, I was clicking on the “No Comments” link at the top of the page and it took me nowhere. That seemed odd, the other articles with existing comments all worked fine.

Ah! Yeah, I think that was related to the fact that the link hadn’t yet been created. Clicking No Comments when there aren’t any should take you to the bottom of the article where you can click through to Discourse to make one (and it does on those articles now).

I was able to successfully comment now, so that was definitely it.

BTW I use another site with Discourse, it puts the first 3 comments at the bottom of the page with the link to go to the Discourse page. You might check out Talkingpointsmemo.com and look at their story pages to see how they do it. It’s an excellent political reporting site too.

Anyway, having migrated a few sites (like my own, and my clients) I am stunned just to think about the work of moving so many years of content to a new system. Great job overall (and of course these little glitches are so minor compared to that).

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Thanks! The Discourse plug-in for WordPress lets you set the maximum visible comments, so they must have chosen a fairly small number. I set ours for 50 comments, so if people just want to read the full discussion but not reply, they can stay on the main site in most cases.

Thanks for the kind words and the understanding! I feel like I have bees in my head, with so many little details to track.

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I like the new site!
It looks great in Tbird and even better on the web; Well done!
The mention of Eudora brought a smile to my face; Eudora, like BBEdit, was always on the desktop! (and yes BBEdit still is!)

Just to add another (probably minor) issue that occurred to me today on reading Juggling TidBITS Infrastructure Issues: Presumably if you switch away from SendGrid (whether now or in 20 years), the links in existing email issues will stop working. There’s probably no way around this, and it probably doesn’t matter (lots of links die anyway), but as I archive every email issue of TidBITS, it makes me just a bit sad. :cry:

+1 From Sydney, Australia.

I like it.

It got spam flagged the first time. Saw some of the weirdness in the e-mail of the weekly column in iOS Mail but looked fine in Apple Mail.

Oh! You’re probably right, and I hadn’t thought of that until now either. The other downside of the link tracking is that it makes previewing the links impossible. Again, minor, but annoying.

My feeling right now is that I want to leave link tracking on for another couple of weeks so I can get an impression of how people interact with the articles and issues, but then it makes sense to turn it off for these two reasons.

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Maybe it becomes something you turn on for a couple of weeks two times a year, or something like that? I can completely understand wanting to have insight into how people use the email issues. Shame there isn’t a more elegant way to get this.

@aliamm Can you test again in these browsers? We made some changes, but it’s hard to test since we don’t have all the same apps.

My apologies. I am not sure what Webbit hole I fell in, when I went back the format was beautiful. I’m impressed. Congratulations to your web designer!