A New Day, A New Dot

Hello everyone! I would like to welcome you to the new and improved KDE Dot News. As I am sure many of you know, although the old KDE Dot News has served the KDE community very well, it was beginning to show its age. Because of that a number of people including myself took it upon ourselves to modernise the Dot.

The new Dot also has a number of exciting new features including:

  • A comment moderation system similar to Slashdot
  • The ability to translate stories (and interface elements) into multiple languages
  • It streamlines story submission and the editing process
  • A sexy new look

As part of this, it is now going to be required to get an account to comment. While we were somewhat hesitant to do this we feel that having an account will help encourage a greater dialogue among users on the Dot. Since signing up to get an account can be a pain, you can already login if you have an OpenID. If not I encourage you to sign up for an account now.

Importantly, the new Dot is being based on the open source content management system Drupal. This will make continued maintenance of the Dot easier and will also allow us to roll out cool features at a faster pace. Additionally, every story and comment that has ever been written on the Dot has been imported into Drupal.

I would like to thank Philip Tyrer and Nuno Pinheiro for the awesome new design for the Dot. I would also like Daniel Molkentin for helping export the stories from the old Dot and Dirk Mueller for taking the time to troubleshoot server issues. Many thanks go to OSUOUL who hosted our server very reliably for many years. Lastly, thanks to everyone in the KDE community for their support throughout the entire design and implementation process.

We hope everyone enjoys the Dot as much as we enjoyed remaking it.

- Kyle Cunningham


I just noticed that the "Lines and paragraphs break automatically" feature doesn't work as it should. Say, I'm making a paragraph break here [...]

[...] and start again two lines below that, but my comment doesn't break. Any idea what may be causing that? Just trying out with <p>...

Blah. Yup, that works. It doesn't say that I'm allowed to use <p>, though. There's a mismatch in input formats and input format help somehow.

Congrats to migrating to Drupal and for creating one of the best free desktop environments!

I agree with the statement Also, have you considered writing up a case study for the drupal.org front page?

It would be nice to see a wrap up of the dot.kde.org case study website in drupal.org.

Firstly, congratulations to the new site!

However, there are a few things that should be changed: I hate having to register in order to be able to post comments, and I find ist absolutely unneccessary. Why not let non-registered users post while they have to solve some captcha, and keep registering as option if you don't want to solve the captcha everytime?

There are also a few rendering issues on Firefox 3, and PLEASE, can you at least provide an alternative css file that enables us to view the dot in full width? The fixed layout is really annoying on my 22" widescreen.

"The fixed layout is really annoying on my 22" widescreen. "

I don't really understand this argument. Why not make the browser-window smaller? Especially if you have a large screen, you could run several windows side-by-side.

I can understand your frustration if you have a huge screen and you run your apps maximized, but surely no-one does that these days?

Maybe it was too complex for you to understand?

OK, here you go: FIXED LAYOUT SUCKS! The content has to adapt to the resolution of the browser window, not vice versa.

by ralesk

There’s also a rule about line lengths for text. It’s unwise to make areas with lots of text too wide.

A great solution would be to have an alternative version with bigger text and site graphics (zoom just doesn’t do it any justice).

The news.kde.org URL doesn't send you to this site anymore. Can you fix it?

The way the comments are displayed is really confusing. Some are indented and some are not, you can't tell what's a reply to what, and the newer messages are on top o_O

The cosmetic issues in the comments seem to have been fixed since I posted that message. Thanks!

The default font is really small though, and even if you use the Enlarge Font button in Konq (which really helps) the column stays pretty narrow.

Good job, I like the new look!

Great looking new site.

Well done to all those involved.

First of all, great work! Although I liked the old Dot, the new and improved site is much appreciated.

However, there is one thing that bugs me: expanding comments (clicking on comments with score < 0) makes Firefox freeze for a couple of seconds. Anyone else who has this problem?

Maybe it's an indication that I should update my browser, still running Firefox

Also, an "Add new comment" link at the bottom would be nice.

I also have a problem with Firefox freezing for a few seconds, although I am using 3.0.5, and I get the following message:

A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete.

Script: http://dot.kde.org/sites/default/files/js/c4b6ac7b4beaf295f91f75dfe16490...


Also a couple of other things:
- I agree that horizontal space could be used more effectively; I have a 15 inch non-widescreen monitor and even on that there is a lot of space on the sides.
- The old Dot used to link to more articles from PlanetKDE on the side, I can't remember exactly how many but definitely more than five (which is how many are currently shown). I know this is a minor issue because I could just go to PlanetKDE to see older posts but I really like just seeing the headings on the side, it makes it much easier to decide what to read after a quick glance. Eight to ten seems like a good number to me...
- Where it says "More information about formatting options" when you go to comment there is a link, but it doesn't tell you which HTML elements you can use (if any). That's why I just used plain text in this comment with a few feeble attempts at formatting (eg. I could use list elements or blockquote elements if they are available...) EDIT: I've since discovered that you have to put in a br tag to get a line break, just pressing enter doesn't work... and the "b" (bold) tag works (sorry, I know its deprecated but creating a full tag with style attributes takes a lot more typing).
- Dunno if it's been fixed now, but the first time I visited the new Dot (Firefox 3.0.5) the CSS stylesheet wasn't loaded (although now I have visited a few other pages including the front page again and that's working fine. Still, it's not a good look if that happens to someone visiting the Dot for the first time).

But having said all that, I really like the look of the new Dot and agree that there is a need for comment moderation of some form. Congratulations to everyone involved, and seeing this is the "point zero" release it can only get better!

Thank you!

Great news, thanks!

Erm, why waste half of the screen? So much white and all those boxes on the right side...uhhh. I don't like it much, sorry. :\

its more like 75% on my widescreen (which I think is common nowadays).

I'll add my vote to this. I don't understand why the dot jumps on the bandwagon of having fixed-width layouts. It makes things really bad on mobile devices (which tend to have loads of pixels per character and thus only a couple of words per line now).

Can we please have a layout that is not optimized for beauty primarily?
I think people tend to be very capable of resizing their browser windows if they don't want really wide text. Has worked for me for the last 15 years ;)

looking nice! it was also a nice experience, that for once, my openid account was accepted (most sites don't accept myopenid.com)

for the full width lovers: maybe add an alternative stylesheet or a button like there is on websvn? although imho, it doesn't make much sense to have full width here..

last but not least: drupal ftw! :)

edit: line breaks don't work

Hey I've been waiting impatiently for the new dot and now I need to say that is cool!

Ps: if it is possible to hide comments, why not its replies too?

Great, great, great! Now the site really matches a modern KDE4 desktop :)

by Jess

Looks great, and it's only going to get better from here. Awesome job Kyle!

kudos to all of you. It's really good.

I like the new look, but when looking at a specific article I can't seem to find the good ol' "previous story"/"next story" links anymore. Would appreciate it if you could put them back in.

It is simply cool!

by SP

So so

I completely agree with many other posters: fixed with layout sucks! I'm perfectly capable of resizing my browser window myself, should I feel the need to.

Also, what's with the line spacing? Every line looks like a new paragraph and it completely ruins the flow. Setting the line spacing property is completely unnecessary. Why not force the font size too while you're at it?

Unfortunately the OpenID login doesn't work, it fails with

warning: fread() [function.fread]: SSL: fatal protocol error in /srv/www/dot/includes/common.inc on line 501.

Please fix.

The Dot was way overdue for a facelift, and it looks good. The comment threads could perhaps be a bit wider since now they are a narrow strip in the middle of the screen. I love that I can use OpenID.

The new dot looks great. I was pleasantly surprised when I came here to read the release announcement for KDE 4.2

I understand how much time it can take to put together a really nice looking dynamic website. Thanks for all your hard work.

I had to double-check the URL when I saw this brilliant new layout. Simply beautiful! It's consistent with the KDE 4.2 style, and yet still unique. An excellent job!

Congrats for the new dot, it looks great. As a suggestion, it would be great to be able to post comments with ajax so that I don't need to load 4 pages (posting, previewing, saving, getting back to the article).

I appreciate the much work you put in porting the site and I don't post this pack of request with expecting that they should all be done soon. Just ideas for improvements.

I think the following options would be useful (some of which I saw on other Drupal based sites):
- Mark new comments
- Set the number of comments on a page
- Set that I don't want to hide comments with low scores. I would even make this default: unpopular comments may still hold truth.
- Alternative variable-width stylesheet like on planetkde.org. Making both options available would stop the debate about which is the better.
- Tracker where I can see whether there are new comments in the topics to which I have posted a comment.
- Save button without preview. For simple text-only comments it is unneccesary and annoying to have to see Preview first, especially that the comment can be edited later if something is wrong.
- Permalink at the comments (that will jump to that comment)

By the way, it seems to me that jump to comment (e.g. after posting it) does not (always) work.

Sorry if I'm lame and just couldn't find these settings.

Looks brilliant guys, congrats and thanks for all the hard work. Shiny shiny :-)

To the whingers, Drupal supports a whole lot of user configurable options such as choosing your own theme, so it is entirely possible that a variable width version of the theme could be made available for you to choose in your profile. I have little doubt one will be done when the guys have the time, but it is a brand new site and they have limited time.

BUT how about asking for it nicely??? Kiddies, yelling FIXED WIDTH SUX YOU LOSERS won't get you what you want in a grown-ups world, you'll just get ignored.

And as for requiring log-in to comment, the hope is it will reduce the level of immature bashing going on around here, but from this response it appears we may have been optimistic in that.

You don't know how long I have been waiting and expecting this to happen.

Thanks Web Developers/Artists, it looks great and well needed addition to the KDE Website.

Nice looking site, but when I make a comment, my line breaks are forgotten. The word "Also" in the next line is prefixed with 2 CR's.

Also, there are almost no formatting options.

No, sorry, not everyone enjoys the Dot as much as you enjoyed remaking it (at least assuming you didn't actually hate remaking it). The layout is rather broken for me. Where is one supposed to send bugreports about the Dot?

I have a widescreen laptop, and would rather not have 75% of the screen wasted (fixed width layout). If it weren't for that, it would be truely perfect; good job.

I like the new look a lot, although I’d totally love a wider-bigger version for easier reading. I think we’ve grown out of the 800px wide era a while ago.

I hope you’ll bring back the “department” tags, I always enjoyed reading them behind the poster’s name.

Do I need to say more?

However I don't believe we shouldn't let anonymous users express themselves - sometimes they share very deep thoughts and have no time to register. And with /. like system of commenting annoying comments can be easily buried in Hell.

So, let anonymous users in but oblige them to answer a CAPTCHA (or your old puzzle).

Konqueror 3.5.10


Log in user OpenID lacks any image.

Search button text doesn't fit in.

51 comments | 51 new comments (instead of "Comment this").

Right boxes lack modern glossy/shiny style ;)

Comments page should be redesigned to occupy 100% of page with (right column isn't needed at all at the comments page - and that space is not used right now).

Please, decreases spacing between articles and page elements.

Articles paragraph padding should be set to "justify".

A lot of people here complain about the fixed layout. Why don't you use the "elastic" (NOT fluid) layout instead?




I would actually love to read comments that are not praising KDE as well, by default if possible.

The old dot had the feature to display up to 1000 comments on one page. This was quite useful, e.g. if you are searching for a post or looking for posts that cover a specific topic.

This is excellent work and this from a hard grader. :-)

I love the edit feature. I always screw up my posts and find the mistake later. Now I don't have to look like a complete idiot. :-)

One thing, the comments do not go all the way to the right edge of my screen. Is this a function of the screen resolution (mine is 1024 wide)? Or, does it need to be adjusted. IAC, comments are only using about 2/3rds of the space available on my screen.

Good to have you back ^^
I love your new look and feel.

The new dot looks amazing great work guys.

Thought you might want to correct this, given that you were thanking them in this post: