Alas Bugs Have Been Driven Out Into The Cold Where They Suffer, Shivering, Uncared For And Soon To Be Forgotten

Hey, so “Alas” is back up, and many bugs that have plagued “Alas” (most notably, the inability to edit comments) have been defeated. (For now).

Suggestions? Comments? Are people okay with the new setup of the comments sidebar (quoting the first few words of new comments), or do you prefer the old style?

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64 Responses to Alas Bugs Have Been Driven Out Into The Cold Where They Suffer, Shivering, Uncared For And Soon To Be Forgotten

  1. 1
    Charles S says:

    I prefer the old style for the comments sidebar. The new style requires a lot more scrolling and makes clicking on the link a little more of chore, and the snippet of text doesn’t really add much value that I can see.

    Also, is the background and text color intended to be teal?

  2. 2
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Charles S says:
    January 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I prefer the old style for the comments sidebar. The new style requires a lot more scrolling and makes clicking on the link a little more of chore, and the snippet of text doesn’t really add much value that I can see.

    Also, is the background and text color intended to be teal?

    I agree. Though I am sort of OK with the teal.

    EDITED AS A TEST TO ADD:
    …besides, you don’t need the comment summary. We all know what everyone will say anyway ;)

  3. 3
    Jake Squid says:

    Teal? I get a darker, less green blue than teal.

    I do agree about old style comments sidebars.

  4. 4
    williamdouglas says:

    If you notice any bugs or issues, please mention them as soon as possible so they can be looked into.

    Also, currently comments are now disabled on posts older than 30 days. I know that there were a few active topics, but the vast majority are long since forgotten and get huge amounts of comment spam — 1000s per day sometimes — which puts excess strain on the server if they flood in at a similar time.

  5. 5
    Ampersand says:

    The new background color isn’t necessarily permanent. I thought it might be nice for now, though, as a way of people being able to tell at a glance that they’ve switched to the “new” Alas.

  6. 6
    Ampersand says:

    Okay, I experimented with using tiny print for the comment excepts, but that just made things look even more cluttered. So I got rid of the comment excerpts altogether… Wait, what if the comment excerpts appear as rollover text?

  7. 7
    Charles S says:

    I wasn’t quite happy with calling the green-blue “teal”, but couldn’t think of the right name for it. It is too green and dark for “turquoise”, too blue for “emerald”. Possibly cerulean, but cerulean is a weird color word, since it covers a huge color range.

  8. 8
    Ruchama says:

    It’s Pacific Blue, in Crayola colors, I think.

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:

    If anyone wants to suggest a different base color to try, feel free – just give me a color code for the color you want.

  10. 10
    Marcus the Confused says:

    I like the new background color.

    It’s neato.

    ETA: I like the edit button too.

  11. 11
    Daran says:

    I like the colour scheme too. It’s attractive, easy on the eye, and provides good contrast.

    Showing comment excerpts did make for a cluttered sidebar. Rollover excerpts is a good compromise. The important thing is that the widget is there. Showing which threads are active is very important for a discussion blog, and it’s one of the features of Alas I was keen to copy when I created FC.

  12. 12
    JutGory says:

    I liked the orange color scheme.
    The new one is probably fine; it will just take a while to get used to.
    Having said that, I think the new color does clash with the orange banner at the top.
    -Jut

  13. 13
    RonF says:

    I like the new color as well. Glad to see the changes!

    And edit works, too! Yay!

  14. 14
    Ampersand says:

    Orange? It looked orange to you? Huh.

  15. 15
    JutGory says:

    The old background (and color scheme) had basically the same color as the banner does, right?

    What color is the banner? Orange? Pumpkin? Tangerine?
    I better stop. I am getting hungry.

    -Jut

  16. 16
    RonF says:

    If those bugs are outside here in the Chicago area they’re going to be frozen solid in seconds. It’s hit -16 F here as I was driving in to work (-27 C for those of you using a more rational temperature scale).

    Edit – I note that the font color for the date/time of a comment matches the background for others’ comments, but is orange for the ones I have written – even those that have aged to the point that I can no longer edit it.

  17. 17
    Harlequin says:

    The visited links are orange, which is why the comments you’ve written are that color.

    Weirdly, I don’t mind the pale-orange background for the text–that seems to suit the blue page background–but the orange visited links are distracting, as are the orange shadows on the figures separating post & comment section.

  18. 18
    Sebastian says:

    I like the new color a lot, although, of course, I am far too manly to know its name. And the banner should definitely stay the old color, for continuity.

    — Testing the edit function —

    By the way, the color’s name is ‘Orient’, but the border looks lighter because it’s using a pattern as opposed to a solid color. I may not know color names, but I can read code.

  19. 19
    Ruchama says:

    Did none of you have those huge boxes of Crayolas? That’s Burnt Sienna.

  20. 20
    Sebastian says:

    You are talking about the banner color.

    It falls between Grenadier and Rock Spray (closer to Rock Spray) Burnt Sienna is significantly lighter, and with a blue component, which the banner practically lacks.

    Ruchama, your childhood memories are playing tricks on you.

  21. 21
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    What happened to the little monsters peeping out of the space between occasional comments? I loved those.

    Also, the “confirm you are not a spammer” box is on a different line from “confirm you are not a spammer.”

  22. 22
    Ampersand says:

    Death to the comment posted just to test something!

  23. 23
    RonF says:

    “I like the new color a lot, although, of course, I am far too manly to know its name. ”

    According to the guy’s color spectrum, it’s dark blue-green.

    Guy’s color spectrum:

    Take the 8 color Crayola box you got in kindergarden. Those are your basic colors. If a color lies between two of them in the spectrum, combine those two with a hyphen (e.g., “blue-green”). Then add “dark” or “light” or “bright” as a modifier, and there you have it. “Brown” is not in fact a color found in the electromagnetic spectrum, but the crayon is in the box so it’s officially a guy’s color.

    Exceptions:

    “Vomit” or “puke” can be used as a color modifier under special circumstances (e.g., “goat vomit green”).
    “Kelly” is used to describe the “green” associated with St. Patrick’s Day (in Chicago, the color of both the Chicago River and the Queen of St. Patrick’s Day’s dress) or when watching Notre Dame football and they break out the green uniforms.
    “Fire engine” can be used in place of “extremely bright” when describing reds.
    “Safety” is used to describe certain vivid shades of yellow or orange worn when either on the job or hunting.
    “Cammo” is more properly descriptive of a pattern rather than a color, but everyone knows what you mean.
    “O.D.” is a shade of green associated with military (or B.S.A.) uniforms.
    “Piss” is a yellow.
    “Ginger” refers to a red-head’s hair (e.g., the Queen of St. Patrick’s Day’s hair if they are doing it right – a few years ago they picked a brunette and it was a controversy).

    There is no such color as “beige”. It’s “light brown”.
    “Pastel” is a term no true guy understands.

    Any color that cannot be so described is ignored.

  24. 24
    Jake Squid says:

    I’m not a fan of change and, therefore, not a fan of the new blue (It is blue. I can detect no green at all. Of course, my van is green and I can detect no blue at all even though others can and the paint color is “spruce metallic blue.” No mention of green there at all. Even though the van is green. GREEN.)

    As with all other humans, I loathe and fear change. Why do you want to instill fear? That’s just cruel.

    Now I’m blue. (No green to be seen, just blue.)

    I’m happy with everything else at Alas. Especially the edit function. The function that others have kindly demonstrated is working wonderfully.

  25. 25
    Harlequin says:

    Aha, am I breaking out the xkcd color survey results again?

    (Remembering always that we all have different monitors with slightly different color curves.)

  26. 26
    Ampersand says:

    This is a test. You can safely ignore it.

  27. 27
    Ampersand says:

    This is another test. If you ignore it, there’s a risk that it will feed your dog dried pigs ears, which would please your dog very much but possibly annoy you when you accidentally step on the slimy bit that’s left when your dog is done in your bare feet. Ew!

  28. 28
    Ampersand says:

    This is a fourth test message. There was a third test, too, but it’s too cunning to be seen.

  29. 29
    RonF says:

    Looking over the xkcd results, I forgot about salmon and teal. Those count as real guy colors because they are both something you eat.

    Quick non-scientific survey questions:

    Have you ever eaten an animal that you yourself have killed? Have you ever eaten an animal that someone you know has killed?
    Has that ever not been a fish?

  30. 30
    Ruchama says:

    No to all of those questions.

    I went fishing with my dad once, when I was about nine. It was the first time either of us had ever been fishing. It was not a successful outing. I was the only one willing to touch the worms. I’m not sure what either of us would have done if we’d actually managed to catch anything.

  31. 31
    Jake Squid says:

    I will answer Ron’s questions with the following:

    No.
    Yes.
    Yes.

    Two and three (and not three) will certainly never happen again.

  32. 32
    Grace Annam says:

    Yes, yes, and yes.

    Deer, elk, rabbit, bear, moose, pig, turkey, lobster, mussels, trout, perch, salmon, probably other fish, rattlesnake.

    Ruchama and Jake: you have never boiled a lobster at home, or had someone cook one for you?

    Grace

  33. 33
    Ruchama says:

    Never boiled a lobster at home. When I was a kid, I tried a few bites of lobster of my mother’s plate once or twice, but never ordered it myself at a restaurant. I ate steamers a few times as a kid — I guess that counts.

  34. 34
    Myca says:

    Oh, yeah, lobster. Also oysters and abalone.

    So yes, yes, yes.

  35. 35
    Jake Squid says:

    Nope. Never boiled – or even tasted – lobster. I was never a fan of seafood and my family knew nothing of shellfish (having had kosher ancestors). I was once present when my friends boiled some lobsters. That eliminated any tiny shred of desire that I might have harbored to do that myself.

    But I’ve always had an inclination towards vegetarianism. I haven’t eaten anything capable of locomotion for over 20 years and I haven’t purposely killed anything capable of locomotion for nearly that long.

  36. 36
    Harlequin says:

    Yes, yes, and yes; clams killed by me, and deer killed by a father’s friend. But, given that I’ve made that clam dish twice, that’s a total of 3 times in my life eating something killed by me or somebody I know.

    The tests posts above reminded me of a story. The seniors at my high school usually pulled a large-scale prank sometime during the senior year. One such prank discussed by my classmates was to get 3 pigs (…this was Iowa, if suburban Iowa) and let them loose in the school labelled 1, 2, and 4.

  37. 37
    JutGory says:

    Jake Squid @35: “I was never a fan of seafood.”

    Your name suddenly seems inappropriate.

    -Jut

    [So, the buttons for text-editing are gone? No more simple box-quoting? Alas!]

  38. 38
    Jake Squid says:

    Why would squid be fans of seafood? They are seafood. They may very well have a great distaste for seafood but be limited in their options. Until we get the squid translator, we’ll never know for sure.

    [So, the buttons for text-editing are gone? No more simple box-quoting? Alas!]

    That was simple block quoting using the buttons. This is the bold button. This is the italics button.

    This is the link button

  39. 39
    JutGory says:

    That is odd. I see no buttons for text-editing.
    Maybe it is my browser, but they aren’t there anymore.
    -Jut

  40. 40
    Jake Squid says:

    I’m using firefox, Jut.

  41. 41
    Sebastian says:

    Yes to all of Ron’s questions.

    Going to fishing trips with clients from the aftermarket automotive industry was a common occurrence when I started my business. I always saw it as a waste of fuel, and now I wish I’d seen it more as a waste of marine life, but you do not refuse something like this when you’re invited by a client.

    I also have Eastern European friends, and I have visited them in the Balkans. Feeding guests well is a huge thing there, and we got a lot of the meat from their parents’ yards and flocks. Seeing a pig slaughtered in the traditional way is quite disturbing, but not enough to put me off pork.

  42. 42
    JutGory says:

    Jake Squid, do they make firefox for the Commodore 64?
    If not, I may be in trouble.
    -Jut

  43. 43
    Jake Squid says:

    Is your 64 telepathic or are you a fantastic programmer?

  44. 44
    Ben Lehman says:

    Yes, yes, yes.

    I’ve never killed a non-aquatic, non-insect animal personally and then eaten it. But have had a chicken killed in front of me at my direction.

    yrs–
    –Ben

  45. 45
    nm says:

    I like the new setup. I like all the website colors, but not so much together with each other.

    I have eaten both venison and lamb that was killed by people I know. One was a hunter, the other a small farmer.

    ETA: also, chickens. I have eaten lots of chickens killed by people I know. I will admit that I didn’t know the chickens before I cooked them, though. (And I like having the edit function back.)

  46. 46
    RonF says:

    I suppose I should answer my own questions:

    1. Yes. Fish often enough. Nothing better than a fish straight out of the lake. A chicken as part of a BSA activity when I was 15. Killed it, slaughtered it, quartered it up and ate it. Otherwise fish only, but that’s due to a lack of opportunity to go hunting, not an active disinclination. And being born 20 miles from Boston, clams and lobster of course. Make sure you stick the lobster into the pot head first. Do it tail first and they flap their tail and you get a cup of boiling water on you.
    2. Sure. Venison and elk by a friend, squirrel by my brother. Venison is kind of lean, you need to cook it with liquid (water/wine) or make it into sausage with some added fat. The squirrel when I was 9 and my brother was 13. Mom and Dad had bought him a .22 single-shot bolt-action rifle, which we took out into the woods behind the house. A few squirrels met their maker that summer/fall. Shot them out of the trees, skinned them, sauteed them a bit and threw them into a stew. The tails decorated the car’s radio antenna until they fell off.
    3. Yes, see above.

  47. 47
    Ampersand says:

    To answer Ron’s questions: No, no and no.

    There was a period when I was a kid where I enjoyed fishing. But I didn’t eat fish at the time (or much now) – just caught and released.

    The closest I ever came was some mutton stew which featured sheep from my friend’s farm. But I don’t think my friend personally killed her sheep, and I don’t know the person she paid to do it.

  48. 48
    Ampersand says:

    nm:

    I have eaten both venison and lamb that was killed by people I know. One was a hunter, the other a small farmer.

    The lamb was a small farmer? Wow.

    Cool that the venison hunted, though – about time deer got in on that end of the sport.

  49. 49
    nm says:

    Yeah, but it was the chicken who had the really interesting story….

  50. 50
    Ampersand says:

    Jut, what browser and operating system are you using?

    Is there anyone else who can’t see the buttons above the comment field for link, blockquote, bold and italic? (And if so, what browser and operating system are you using?)

  51. 51
    Grace Annam says:

    RonF:

    Make sure you stick the lobster into the pot head first. Do it tail first and they flap their tail and you get a cup of boiling water on you.

    Considering that there’s a more humane way, that seems a little more just, somehow.

    I’ve never done it myself, but I’ve been told: take a large steak knife and insert it point-first at a particular point back of the head, whack it home, and you’ve severed the neural tissue. Then you can boil the now-dead lobster.

    My wife says that her father used to hypnotize them, by stroking them over that same neural cluster. As she describes it, they would gradually go droopy and limp, and then they could be posed. He would place them front-down, balanced on the points of their carapaces, and the claws would gradually sink down to the tabletop (tap) and the tail would open until the carapace hinging stopped it.

    And then he would plunk them in the boiling water.

    Getting back up the thread, a few years back, over the course of about three months, I came across three freshly-killed deer which had committed suicide on cars (including one on my car, which totalled it). I took them home and butchered them, and we had fruitarian venison until it ran out. We served it to guests on several occasions, including a couple of vegetarians who were happy to eat it when we explained that there had been no killing, just death by misadventure and making use of the results.

    I have killed a formidable number of animals and not eaten them, but that’s what you do when you’re an officer in rabies country. It sucks to have an incurable disease which makes you a threat to everyone around you. My out-breath on the trigger press is always, “Sorry, buddy”, and I always give them a moment of respect before I finish up.

    Jake, I have great respect for vegetarianism as an ethical choice. I have tried to go in that direction myself, but have met with limited success for reasons I won’t elaborate on here.

    Harlequin, I love that prank.

    Grace

  52. 52
    JutGory says:

    Amp: “Jut, what browser and operating system are you using?”

    Good questions. It is probably the browser. Explorer (6?). (Don’t ask me why I have not upgraded. My boss is a cheap bastard!)
    System is Windows NT (?).
    -Jut

  53. 53
    RonF says:

    “I’ve never done it myself, but I’ve been told: take a large steak knife and insert it point-first at a particular point back of the head, whack it home, and you’ve severed the neural tissue. Then you can boil the now-dead lobster.”

    I’ve tried that, but I apparently don’t know what the right spot is and it’s damn hard getting the knife through the carapace. If I can figure that out I’d be glad to adopt the practice.

    “My out-breath on the trigger press is always, “Sorry, buddy”, and I always give them a moment of respect before I finish up.”

    You should always have respect for what you kill to eat. I’ve never killed anything that wasn’t either injured beyond healing or that I didn’t intend to eat.

    I had to put Jordan, the last dog I owned, to sleep. If you ever find yourself in a similar position and plan to do what I did, which was to hold her as she slips away, find out what the cost is and write the check first. It turns out it’s very hard to write a check when you’re crying and your hands are shaking.

    Jutgory: IE 6 and Windows NT? How are you even finding software that will run on that? What version of Office are you running?

  54. 54
    JutGory says:

    RonF: “Jutgory: IE 6 and Windows NT? How are you even finding software that will run on that? What version of Office are you running?”

    Crap! IE 8. Office 2007. XP Professional.

    -Jut

  55. 55
    Jake Squid says:

    I have tried to go in that direction myself, but have met with limited success for reasons I won’t elaborate on here.

    Although I was always ethically inclined to become a vegetarian, it was a lot harder 20+ years ago for someone who didn’t really cook. (There’s a lot more easy vegetarian options now.) But, 20 years ago, I had the additional incentive of having terrible digestive problems. That spurred me to give it a go and stay with it. As it turns out, vegetarianism greatly reduced those problems. So I get to both feel better and stay in line with my values.

    Changing habits, any habit, is hard stuff.

  56. 56
    RonF says:

    Ah. XP Pro is a lot more viable. Although it’s still end of life (as is Office 2007). Don’t count on any new software your business may want to buy running on your PCs. And yes, IE 8 is as high as you can go. Which will get interesting if you have to use someone else’s Java or .NET based app that is expecting to see IE 9 or above. Your boss is going to have to bite the bullet at some point – like, if you should ever buy new PCs.

  57. 57
    JutGory says:

    RonF,
    Thanks. Yeah, my boss is one extreme asshole. And, I can say extreme because I am at my home computer. And, I can say asshole because he is me and there is no damn way he is firing my insubordinate

    ass!

    And, so, yes, of course, in our true Marxist fashion, all of my employees have better computers than I do, but, “from each according to their abilities, yada, yada, yada….”

    -Jut

  58. 58
    Harlequin says:

    Blue and orange squid thing!

    Actually a quick question. Upthread Amp said:

    Orange? It looked orange to you? Huh.

    So…all these years, when this blog was All Orange All The Time, what color did you think it was? :D

    ETA: And has your comments section always replaced smileys with graphics? That one looks like it wants to eat me.

  59. 59
    Ampersand says:

    Blue and orange squid thing!

    Thank you for noticing! :-D

    So…all these years, when this blog was All Orange All The Time, what color did you think it was? :D

    #b23d03. To me, it looks sort of like fire-engine red. There’s also some orange in there, I admit, but to my eye it remains firmly in the “red” category. (Have I mentioned I hate the color orange?)

    And has your comments section always replaced smileys with graphics? That one looks like it wants to eat me.

    Oh, dear! Fixed.

  60. 60
    Harlequin says:

    Ah, I get more like e41604 as a fire-engine red. (Admittedly, that’s also lighter than the color you linked.)

  61. 61
    dragon_snap says:

    I agree that the header is way more orange than red (though it’s a ‘lighter brown’ orange rather than a ‘red plus yellow’ orange).

    And I second (or more?) missing the folks peeking* out between comments! (* hopefully that’s the correct spelling)

    Also, I don’t know if this is feasible at all but I would love a “return to top” button at the bottom of the comments (or the very bottom of the page), especially for when I view this site on my phone (which, sadly, does not have a scroll wheel built in, nor a scroll bar on the browser).

    Thanks again, Amp, for hosting and running and posting and commenting and moderating on this wonderful and wonderfully smart corner of the internet <3 (It's my favourite after Autostraddle, which is nominated for a GLAAD award this year!)

  62. 62
    Testy McTest says:

    This is a test. If you pass the test, then you will be automatically processed, and there is no need for you to take any further voluntary action. If you fail the test, you will also be automatically processed, and there will be no need for you to take any further breathing. The test begins now.

  63. 63
    Number Six says:

    I am not a man! I am a free number!

    (Possibly even a free radical).

  64. 64
    Ampersand says:

    If these test comments increase exponentially, eventually the entire universe will be made of nothing but test comments.

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