Nice post from Michael Tsai — ideas for archive browsing

Michael Tsai of C-Command Software (SpamSieve!) posted a nice comment about our site redesign.

But (and this is an excuse to see what I can do in Discourse with bringing specific people into the conversation), Michael (who seems to have ended up with two users here: @mjt and @mjtsai), I’m curious what thoughts you have about better ways of making the archives more browsable. Do you have any examples for sites that do this well?

Keep in mind that we have about 16,500 articles all told, over 28 years, so it’s a lot to browse.

And I’ll ask Eli about the excessive tags — that’s a level that I no longer generally concern myself, since modern Web development is way beyond basic HTML and CSS.

Perhaps this :slight_smile:

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I think I have them consolidated now under @mjtsai, although neither the main site nor Discourse seems to have an option to delete an account, so the other is just dormant. Anyway, the reason I mention this here is that I’ve long had different accounts for different purposes, but that’s no longer necessary with the new system. I can now have a single login with separate e-mail addresses for the main site and Discourse. It looks like this will let me keep e-mails for the weekly issues and billing separate from the flood of e-mails from Discourse’s Mailing List Mode. Pretty cool.

Yeah, I don’t claim this is ideal, but some of the ideas I like:

  • You can jump to a particular time period without having to click through a long series of “Older” links to previous pages.
  • The archive pages themselves are permalinks. Right now, the contents of, say, Weekly Issues Archive - Page 2 of 113 - TidBITS will change to show different issues as new ones come out and push the older ones farther back. So links into the archives will break, and clicking a link from a search engine may not take you to the right content.
  • Just titles, no first few sentences. Maybe this is just personal preference, but I find that the extra text gets in the way. I would rather skim through a more compact list of headlines and open background tabs for the ones that look interesting.
  • Minimal pagination. TidBITS has a lot more articles than I do, so there would probably need to be some pagination, but I think it could show at least 10x more per page than the current design, especially if just showing titles. It’s just much easier to find things with fewer pages, both because there’s less clicking/waiting and because you can do a Find within the page.

:point_up: +1 to all of them.

I agree - it looks like a workable system. It’s a low priority and likely out of scope for our current development cycle, but I’ve added it to our list of future enhancements.

I don’t there’s any way for users to delete accounts, but I can easily and have removed the mjtsaiold account.

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