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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2010

    You may notice something a bit different about the nForum!

    I’ve created a new style for it. This is now the default style, which means that it is the one that visitors see when they first come here. It is therefore important to get people’s opinions on it, which is why I have taken the unusual step of changing everyone’s style to it (at least, I think that’s what I’ve done!). The other styles are still there, so those who’ve chosen an alternative style can change back again to whatever they used to have, but I’d be interested in why you want to change back.

    I’ve looked at this style in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and (yuk!) IE and it’s looks fine in all as far as I can see, but of course I can’t test every version of every browser. (It looks best in Firefox and Chrome because they have some nice advance CSS3 features.)

    There’s one more feature about this style: it is mildly customisable. There are certain aspects of the style of a website that no two people are going to agree on. The usual suspects for this are: font, font size, colour, and text width. So all those are customisable via the ’My Details” tab and the ’Style Tweaks’ option.

    I intend this to be the last major alteration to the nForum for a while (apart from bug fixes, of course). Hopefully, this is now a darn good place to talk about mathematics!

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorIan_Durham
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2010
    Personally, I like it. It's much clearer and crisper.
    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    I think it is fine, but I’m not too crazy about the colors. If you’re going to make the font the same as the nLab (is it?), then this implies you might want a closer link to the nLab in terms of style. If that is the case, I would much prefer the default background color to be white (like the nLab). The nLab is mostly white with colors for query boxes and various kinds of links, etc. Something similar would be good here. For example, I don’t see why the text of a comment needs to be a different color then the entire comment box. I think both could be white and then any blockquotes could be color coded by depth of the quote or something.

    I think some font sizes could use some tweaking. For example, the tabs seem too big and the “n-Forum” seems too small. I like the relative sizes at the HomePage. I think the comment font size might be a little too big too. Is it bigger than the nLab font. I think having comments be the same size as the text at the nLab would be good.

    In my opinion, the style of the nForum should be as close as possible to the style of the nLab so when someone clicks the link to “Latest Changes” from the nLab, it doesn’t seem like they’ve “left” the nLab, but merely reached an area with different functionality. The style could be used to create a more continuous environment.

    Just some thoughts! :)

    Despite the number of words, these are not complaints. Just suggestions hoping to generate some dialogue :)

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    I agree with Eric on most points; the font on the tabs is a little big and the title a little small, and the comment font size is also a little large. I also am not really fond of pastelly colors in general, and pinky-orangy-browny ones in particular; they look kind of weak and dingy to my eyes. But I like the new logo at the top left! I also support having a facelift and a good default style.

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorIan_Durham
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010
    Good God. I must be getting old (and I'm not even 40 yet). I like the larger font - it's easier to see!
    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    I like the new logo too! :)

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    Actually I had the logo before, but now it’s vanished (at least in Firefox 3.0.11 at work). It also make sfor a nice favicon. Do I detect a hint of Tolkeinistic monogrammising? :P

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    I like the new style well enough.

    My standard has reasonable fidelity to the HTML, since so many of the older styles did some terrible things, especially with <code>. (Of course, it is possible to argue that the CSS should implement things that can be written in Markdown but cannot be written in HTML, but to my knowledge nothing like is being attempted with Markdown. If it were, it ought to be done with class anyway.)

    Everything at my test thread is working, except one minor point: Harry’s first comment is rendered weirdly. There we have HTML

    <p><code>a
    a
    a
    a
    a
    a</code></p>
    

    which should be equivalent (as HTML) to

    <p><code>a a a a a a</code></p>
    

    But the style sheet makes line breaks appear, as if the HTML were

    <p><code>a<br />a<br />a<br />a<br />a<br />a</code></p>
    

    (which it is not).

    As you can see from Harry’s and my discussion, many of the old style sheets (including whatever Harry was using, but not what I was using) did this same thing. The difference is that the old style sheets also put line breaks at the beginning and end of a <code> block, which I find horrible; fortunately the new default style does not do that! Putting line breaks in the middle of a code block is tolerable but still strikes me as wrong.

    (Ultimately, the motivation for whoever started putting this into the CSS seems to be to make <code> behave like <pre>. Which is silly, right?)

    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    I must be missing some basics. For instance I have no idea what logo you are all talking about! :-)

    Another thing: when I click on the Settings-Tab here, I get a page that gives me a paragraph “About settings” but not a single link to change any settings at all. That’s with Firefox.

    So I tried it with IE now, but IE does not open the forum page at all anymore: it keeps asking me where to “save the file”!

    What’s going on here?

    • CommentRowNumber10.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    Quick response:

    1. The size of the font in the comments is customisable. I figured that there wouldn’t be one size that worked for everyone, so those who prefer different size for comments can change that.

    2. Ditto with font colour and background colour for the comments. More radical colour changes would need a new stylesheet as there are lots of things that would need adjusting to get a uniform colour scheme (it’s all very well saying “replace all blues with greens” but CSS doesn’t have a way to say “I want the background to be the default colour mixed with 50% black”, every colour has to be specified exactly). This would be easy to do, but obviously I’m not going to do it for every conceivable colour combination. If someone has a colour scheme that they would like me to implement, just ask. I prefer subtler colours for the default as I think that it draws ones eyes to the main content, namely the text. The point of the colouring is to gently separate the comments from each other and the rest of the junk on the page.

    3. Ditto again with the font family. The font used on the nLab is Verdana. Anyone who prefers that font can change their preferred font to that using the customisation.

    4. Relative font sizes is more relevant. As are the code block issues. I’ll look into those.

    5. Regarding the logo, I don’t know if it’s Tolkienesque or not! (I grew up a few doors down from one place that he lived) I think that one can argue that calligraphy predates Tolkien, but whether or not my own interest in calligraphy is influenced by Tolkien is something that I can’t decide. If the icon finds favour, there’s an nlab version as well (note that the favicon for the nlab is currently the nCafe one!).

    6. Urs, you are looking in the wrong place. You should be looking in the “My Details” section, not the “Settings” section. I’m not sure what’s going on with IE there since when I look at the nForum in IE then it’s fine, but then I have MathPlayer installed so I can’t tell if that’s allowing more stuff than IE alone does.

    • CommentRowNumber11.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    Code style fixed: inline code does not respect line breaks. Block code (which gets wrapped in pre tags by Markdown) does. That seems a sensible way to do it. If you’re putting in the tags by hand, to get linebreaks respected, wrap the code block in pre tags.

    • CommentRowNumber12.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    You should be looking in the “My Details” section, not the “Settings” section.

    Okay, I found that now. Never looked there before.

    It looks to me like these two tabs deserve to be merged to a single one.

    • CommentRowNumber13.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    The “Settings” tab is only visible to those who can do something with the global configuration of the nForum. In your case, you can add new categories so you can see it. Most users of the nForum can’t do that so they don’t see that tab.

    • CommentRowNumber14.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010
    • (edited May 28th 2010)

    I see. Okay, I guess that makes sense. It’s only that when I was wanting to set the style, I was looking around at Settings and thought it had nothing to do with “My details”. But okay, I get it now. :-)

    • CommentRowNumber15.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010
    • (edited May 28th 2010)

    By the way, that IE-behaviour is very strange. I am not using IE usually, so I don’t know if it used to be that way. But when I direct it at the forum currently, it tells me that it doesn’t know what to do with files of type “.no”. :-)

    Of course, continuing in this vein of humour it then directs me to a Microsoft webpage that claims it is trying too figure out what files ending on “.no” might be. That of course returns with the message that Microsoft has no clue about that.

    I am still giggling.

    • CommentRowNumber16.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    Maybe Microsoft has decided that in its dispute with the European Union that they would disable support for Norway?

    (Don’t they realise that Norway isn’t part of the EU?)

    That is so bizarre. I have no idea what’s causing that.

    • CommentRowNumber17.
    • CommentAuthorTim_van_Beek
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    It works for me with IE 8.0 (but I cannot post using the IE, after hitting the “Add your comments” button it changes to the inactive “wait” button and then nothing happens.)

    A little consolation: Software projects with a web GUI usually explicitly state which versions of which browsers they will support (“support” meaning that they ensure that these browser will render the pages according to a style guide), because it is impossible to guarantee that all versions of all browsers currently used will work.

    • CommentRowNumber18.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    I can open the “rForum” with my IE, by the way.

    Anyway, never mind, I am not using it anyway. I just tried it to see if it would display any links in the “Settings”-tab that Firefox did not….

    • CommentRowNumber19.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    It works for me with IE 8.0 (but I cannot post using the IE, after hitting the “Add your comments” button it changes to the inactive “wait” button and then nothing happens.)

    Oh no!

    Harry found that when using Opera and I fixed it for Opera. Maybe the fix for Opera broke it for IE - it’s to do with a javascript test. Opera was doing it case-sensitive (despite the fact that one side of the test can only be lowercase). Maybe IE is doing it case-sensitively as well, but the other way around! That actually makes a bit of sense: what’s being tested is a (X)HTML tag. When viewed as XHTML, it is lowercase. When viewed as HTML (as IE basically does) it may well be uppercase. I guess that the solution is to force it to lowercase in all instances. I’ll look into that.

    Regarding the strange behaviour of IE, can I make a guess that Tim has mathplayer installed but that Urs does not?

    • CommentRowNumber20.
    • CommentAuthorTim_van_Beek
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    Yes, I have mathplayer installed.

    • CommentRowNumber21.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    The mathplayer/not-mathplayer changes how IE handles XHTML documents. I’ll see if I can disable mathplayer on my IE to see if I can test it.

    On the comment submission, I’ve changed the crucial comparison to case insensitive. Successful posting of this comment will show that I haven’t broken anything for Firefox; I’ll test with other browsers when I get a minute (if no-one tests it before me).

    • CommentRowNumber22.
    • CommentAuthorTim_van_Beek
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010
    • (edited May 28th 2010)

    If you can see this it works. Edit: I mean posting with IE with mathplayer, I did not disable it.

    • CommentRowNumber23.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    Let’s try this in Opera (since my usual Operatic tester isn’t around).

    • CommentRowNumber24.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    And now in Chrome.

    • CommentRowNumber25.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    Right, this is from IE. MathPlayer is installed, but I don’t know how to disable it (and can’t uninstall it).

    • CommentRowNumber26.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010
    • (edited May 28th 2010)

    Andrew, I check later if installing MathPlayer makes the bug go away.

    • CommentRowNumber27.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    Andrew Re #10, points taken. I do think the relative font sizes in the header could use adjusting (the title “nForum” versus the tabs). Also the text in the “Enter your comments” box is a lot smaller than the comment font size, which looks odd to me.

    I also like the similar nLab logo; could we try it out there? We could even consider replacing the blobby instiki logo to make the nLab look a little more distinctive (as opposed to all those other instiki sites out there…).

    • CommentRowNumber28.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    Out of curiosity, Andrew, what sort of CSS makes a certain inline element (in this case <code> respect line breaks)? How does that work (and why would anybody want to it)?

    • CommentRowNumber29.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010
    • (edited May 29th 2010)

    What do the little arrows (‘\nwArr’ and ‘\seArr’) in the upper left-hand corner of some of the links to threads on the main page mean?

    • CommentRowNumber30.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2010

    @Mike: The difference in sizes between the comments and the textarea is a hang over from the style that I adapted. I’m happy to adjust that. I’ll take your comment on the logo as a vote for, any votes against? I could put it on doriath to start with so people can see how it looks (actually, I should check that it’s possible to change it for one lab and not for the others).

    @Toby: The CSS is in the white-space property, the details are here. ’pre-wrap’ is the one that does it. (This can be set on any element, I believe). It’s useful for being able to cut-and-paste some code into a webpage and have it display just as it was, possibly with line-wrap so that we don’t get overlong scroll bars or pages.

    The icons were originally intended as a marker to draw the eye to the different entries, namely to break the list up visually. Then I got the idea that changing the icon can be used to indicate when there are new comments or not (it points to the discussion if there are new comments there). It’s a gimmick, I’ll freely admit. Take a look at the “Notices” page for another one! (To warn you, the visual effect there is meant to make it look like things pinned up on a notice board, the icons are the drawing pins.)

    • CommentRowNumber31.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2010
    • (edited May 29th 2010)

    Thanks, Andrew. Now I see how this gives more options that pre and normal. So that does make sense, and I see why the original designers (who put a line break before and after the <code> block in addition to using pre-wrap) wanted something like that, although it still seems wrong to put it on <code> by default. It looks like pre-wrap is also on <pre>, which does make sense to me, especially since it appears only (together with <code>) from the initial four spaces in Markdown.

    I almost guessed the meaning of the arrows, but there were also several items without them. Now I see that those are threads that I’ve read none of at all. So that makes sense too, thanks.

    • CommentRowNumber32.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2010
    • (edited May 29th 2010)

    I like the icons that David called ‘Tolkeinistic monogrammising’. Only I don’t like the vertical bar at the right end (which is not in the favicon). It makes me think of a cursor, and I keep expecting it to blink.

    • CommentRowNumber33.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2010

    Ditto. I originally thought it was a rendering glitch on my work machine or something, but on inspection of the big svg version, it’s clearly intentional.

    • CommentRowNumber34.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2010

    The style is nice, just the change of the URL icon is inconvenient. It is a black graph which does not stare in eyes like the previous green icon. I have usually about 30 tabs open in my browser when working on nlab out of which about 2-3 are from nForum. I go back and forth between the tabs with arxiv (for referencing), mathscinet, google, several nlab pages, nForum and maybe some more pages. One often forgets if some of the tabs or windows has been closed from a work from few minutes ago. So it is very nice to have URL icons on the tab bars staring into you; and more distinct the colors are the better.

    • CommentRowNumber35.
    • CommentAuthorIan_Durham
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2010
    By the way, I'm using Opera now too so if Harry's not around, I can test things. I also use Flock and Safari.
    • CommentRowNumber36.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2010

    How portable is CSS? For example, if I like the CSS on some page, can I apply it to a different site, or is CSS site specific? In particular, I’d be interested in duplicating nLab’s CSS for the nForum with the same font and colors. If not for the default, then for my own style. Is that possible? How much work is involved?

    • CommentRowNumber37.
    • CommentAuthorFinnLawler
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2010

    Re logo: I can see the new favicon, but I don’t see (and don’t think I’ve ever seen) a logo in the top left, and there’s no SVG in the source (Firefox/Iceweasel 3.0.6 on Debian etch).

    Slight quibble about font sizes: I find the comment number, username etc. in the header too small relative to the comment body, so that when I set a smaller font size the ’36. Eric 18 hours ago’ bit is almost unreadably small.

    Otherwise, thumbs up!

    • CommentRowNumber38.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2010

    How portable is CSS?

    That depends. If the CSS changes things globally (say, everything is in this font, or all <em> text is in red, etc), then that should be portable; the only danger that I can think of is adverse interactions with some other CSS already on the new page. But CSS often changes things in a more focussed way; the HTML for an element like <em> can specify a class (<em class="foo">) and then the CSS will apply only to elements with that class. (If there is no element, you make your own, with <span> or <div>.) This is not very portable, because the other site is not likely to use the same class names; even if it does, they may not mean the same thing. (You can also apply CSS even more precisely using id instead of class, but this is used only for unique exceptions, not something that you would ever expect to port.)

    The CSS in the nLab is usually applied in the global way, so it should be pretty portable.

    • CommentRowNumber39.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2010

    Interesting. Thanks. So if I want to give it a try, i.e. if I want to try to apply nLab’s CSS to the nForum, what should I do? I never played with CSS. I imagine there are plenty of references, so a link would suffice, if it exists.

    • CommentRowNumber40.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2010
    • (edited May 30th 2010)

    In general, to apply the CSS for one page to another, you need something like the Stylish add-on to Firefox. However, in the Forum, you have the option (when logged in) to specify any style sheet.

    So go to “My Details” (up top) then (from the list that will appear on the left-hand side) pick “Change Stylesheet”. Towards the bottom, you’ll find “Custom style url”, where you can put in the URL to any style sheet on the WWW.

    To find the URL that you want, go to the page with your desired style sheet and look at the page source (Ctrl-U in Firefox and many other browsers). Search in the page for “css” to find the stylesheets that it uses. In this case, there are two: http://ncatlab.org/stylesheets/instiki.css and http://ncatlab.org/stylesheets/syntax.css. If you look at them, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to figure out that the former is the one that you want. (If you keep searching through the page source, you’ll find additional CSS that goes directly into the HTML of every page on the Lab. This you cannot use on the Forum, at least not in the Forum’s user-friendly way. But you probably won’t need it.)

    Having just tried this, it doesn’t look very good. There’s too much that the Forum depends on for styling that the nLab’s style sheet just doesn’t deal with. So you’ll probably have to create your own CSS page instead. You can copy the CSS for Andrew’s n-Forum style from http://www.math.ntnu.no/~stacey/Vanilla/nForum/themes/nforum/styles/nforum/vanilla.css, then add some of the CSS from the Lab’s style file at http://ncatlab.org/stylesheets/instiki.css to create a new CSS file. Then upload that somewhere on the WWW and put the URL in your n-Forum preferences. But this takes more work, as it requires that you know what the various lines in the style sheet mean, so that you know which ones you want. I am no expert at that, although usually I can guess by looking at them. Good luck!

    • CommentRowNumber41.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Regarding relative font sizes: I agree, and will adjust a little.

    Regarding portability of CSS: the key point here is that any CSS that is mildly complicated needs hooks to hang on. “Mildly complicated” here means that one wants different styles on the same type of thing in different places in the same document. Thus when moving CSS from one site to another, one needs to change the hooks that the CSS applies to. So CSS is portable on the micro scale, in that if you see something you like on another site, it’s quite likely that something similar will be achievable here. However, it isn’t portable on the macro scale in that you can’t just pick up a stylesheet from somewhere else and put it here because I’ve chosen different names for the hooks. The best option is the one that Toby outlines: take the standard stylesheet here and tweak it a little to match that of the nLab. When designing the stylesheet here, I found the firebug firefox extension absolutely invaluable as it allows you to inspect the CSS for a particular element and see exactly what it is that makes it look how it does (something that can be quite hard to figure out when looking at an actual stylesheet). Chrome, IE, and Opera have similar tools built-in. I find that CSS itself is fairly intuitive. What can get complicated is figuring out which rules apply when (that’s the “Cascading” bit in CSS). That’s where Firebug and its clones help.

    Regarding the icon (I’ve just learnt that this is a cipher): firstly, Finn doesn’t see it in the main page because he’s using Firefox <3.6. Mea culpa, I didn’t spot that firefox only implemented the CSS3 multiple-background property in 3.6 and so didn’t put in place the work-around that is there for sub-standard browsers (IE and Opera, in this case!). Secondly, I’m quite happy to change the design; I figured it would help to have something to focus the discussion on. The vertical line is there to add a “framing” to the figure, it looked a little unbalanced with out, I felt. However, adding a background would achieve the same effect, and would also go someway to making it stand out more, as Zoran requested. To that end, I’ve made a little sandbox for you all to play with. You can change the colours of the letters, remove the vertical stroke, and play around with the background a little, and change the size to see how it looks at different scales. It’s all done via javascript and I’m quite new to javascript, so it may not work on all browsers. If someone comes up with a combination of colours and backgrounds that they like, please let me/us know! The link is:

    http://www.math.ntnu.no/~stacey/icons.xhtml

    You may want to start by adjusting the size of the icons to fit on the screen as the default is quite large!

    Looking at the code for instiki, it seems that the logo is the same throughout the installation (so would be the same for all the personal webs). It is possible, via CSS, to swap it for something else. I’m mildly in favour of having our own icon across the installation since even the personal webs are meant to be part of the nLab-proper, but I can see that some might not want to have a logo “imposed from above”. Not that I’m assuming that we’ve decided to adopt these, or any other, logos; just that this is something to bear in mind when thinking about changing the design.

    • CommentRowNumber42.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Font sizes tweaked, and Finn (and other Firefox <3.6 users) should now see the logo in the top left. Comments, please.

    • CommentRowNumber43.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Can’t see the logo in Firefox 3.5.9 (but no big deal)

    • CommentRowNumber44.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Thank you, Andrew, I like the current suggestion of logo with background given on your link, but concerns of those not seeing it is very important of course.

    • CommentRowNumber45.
    • CommentAuthorFinnLawler
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    I still can’t see a logo either, though I can certainly live without it.

    Thanks for the font tweaks. I’d still like the smaller ones (especially ’Source’, ’Permalink’, etc.) to be maybe a pixel or two bigger, but let’s see what everyone else thinks.

    • CommentRowNumber46.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Yeah, it is looking better, but “Edit Source Permalink Add to notices” is pretty tiny and oculd be a notch bigger.

    Also “Start a new discussion” and “Post something on the notice board” is disproportionately big and could probably be a notch smaller.

    PS: I’m on Firefox 3.6 now.

    • CommentRowNumber47.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    “Comment actions” font is now the same as the other bits (missed that one!). Rather than shrink the “start a new discussion” text, I’ve put it in normal weight rather than bold. I think that those (particularly the “start a new discussion”) need to be easy to find, but not distracting.

    Anyone who still can’t see the logo in the top left, please go to:

    http://www.math.ntnu.no/~stacey/browser.php

    and send me (either post it here, or via email) what it says.

    I can’t test every single version of every single browser, so if you have access to an old version of a browser, try seeing if you can see the logo with that as well.

    Note that there is a difference between the logo in the top left of the page and the favicon. The favicon should be visible on almost all browsers (anyone still use lynx?). The logo in the top left uses a bit of CSS3 to be done best, and there’s a fall-back for browsers that haven’t implemented that yet using CSS2.1. So I just need to figure out which browsers can and which can’t, and I thought I had it figured, but clearly don’t!

    • CommentRowNumber48.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    I like the new font sizes. I would suggest that maybe the “Start a new discussion” and “Post something on the notice board” would look better if they were centered in their background color boxes? Right now they look to me kind of as though the font size was larger than expected and caused them to wrap undesiredly.

    I notice that the “Preview” watermark in a comment preview now only appears on the darker background, but not on the lighter box which actually contains the text of the comment. I think it would be better if it were visible there too.

    • CommentRowNumber49.
    • CommentAuthorFinnLawler
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    I don’t know why, but I still see the comment actions as smaller than the rest of the header – just to make sure, I checked using the gimp, and indeed the ’r’ in ’1 hour ago’ is 5 pixels high but the one in ’Source’ is 4.

    I still can’t see the logo. The browser id string is

    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.0.19) Gecko/2010033100 Iceweasel/3.0.6 (Debian-3.0.6-3)

    I don’t mean to whinge – I can certainly use the forum fine the way it is, but I thought you’d appreciate bug reports.

    • CommentRowNumber50.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    I can’t see the logo on my home machine: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-GB; rv:1.9.0.19) Gecko/2010040118 Ubuntu/8.10 (intrepid) Firefox/3.0.19

    (When I saw it before, that was Firefox 3.6 on Windows 7 at work.)

    • CommentRowNumber51.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    I almost guessed the meaning of the arrows, but there were also several items without them. Now I see that those are threads that I’ve read none of at all. So that makes sense too, thanks.

    It looks like you changed this. Now, if I haven’t read a thread at all, it gets the same arrow as the threads which I have started but haven’t finished. I liked it better before (when comlpetely unread threads had no arrow at all); it was handy to see at a glance whether it was a discussion that I’d started on or not. (No big deal; it’s not like such a feature existed before the arrows.)

    • CommentRowNumber52.
    • CommentAuthorFinnLawler
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Hmm. Now I do see the font changes, but still don’t see the logo.

    • CommentRowNumber53.
    • CommentAuthorFinnLawler
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Ooo! Now I see it, except centred along with the nForum title.

    • CommentRowNumber54.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Re arrows: OK, I like this!

    I also see the logo like Finn does.

    • CommentRowNumber55.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Okay, I’m through for tonight.

    The logo is now done with a different bit of CSS. I finally saw sense and realised that using a fancy bit of advanced CSS that’s only supported by a few browsers was a daft idea, so now it’s done differently. I haven’t tested it in different browsers, so let me know if it’s not there (please say what browser and what version).

    I’ve centred the text in the buttons as requested (I’m shocked that you could think that it was text that had gone over the linewrap!).

    I think I’ve added two new arrows for discussions that you haven’t read. For some reason I don’t see them (as in, I don’t have any discussions that need them) when I’m logged in as myself (but I do as admin) so I can’t say for sure that they’re there!

    There’s a bizarre gap just under the tab list at the top that I’ve no idea why it’s there and so how to get rid of it. Otherwise, it’s all looking fine for me, what about the rest of you?

    • CommentRowNumber56.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    (Crossed with Toby’s: glad you like the arrows.)

    Is the logo still in the centre? For me, it’s gone over to the left now. It was in the centre for a bit, but then I moved it to the left. If it didn’t move, try reloading. If it still is in the centre I might have to bite the bullet and actually put it in using XHTML code!

    • CommentRowNumber57.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010

    Yep, still the centre. It doesn’t look too bad there, but there it is.

    • CommentRowNumber58.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2010

    I finally did the sensible thing and added a “hook” for the logo to hang on. It now looks in the right place for me in Firefox 3.6, Galeon (simulating Firefox <3.6), IE8, Chrome 5(+epsilon), Opera 9.64.

    In case anyone is still interested, it harps back to what Toby was telling Eric about CSS applying to elements. The logo is an inessential part of the page, and so by rights should be dealt with using CSS (the rationale being that if someone imposes their own style on the page, or looks at the page through some sort of text reader, the logo should not appear). So the idea was to have it appear as the background of some element. The difficulty was in finding a suitable element for it to be the background of. The most suitable is the whole header section, but that already has a background. CSS3 allows for multiple backgrounds, but that’s only supported in Firefox at least 3.6 and Chrome. I tried juggling round with the backgrounds, but in the end gave up and added an extra element for it to be the background of. I trust that the insertion of <span id="logo"></span> in the code will not lose me too many points on accessibility!

    Back on the arrows, bizarrely, the show up differently in different browsers. In IE I get the horizontal arrows where in all the other browsers I get the diagonal arrows. Not sure this is worth fixing, though.

    (NB What is more important is tracking down the behaviour of IE without MathPlayer. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have access to such a browser. Is there someone with that who is prepared to do some testing for me?)

    • CommentRowNumber59.
    • CommentAuthorFinnLawler
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2010

    Everything looks great now, Andrew. Thanks!

    • CommentRowNumber60.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2010

    Looks fine to me (on my home machine, the one with Firfox 3.0 on GNOME and Ubuntu) too.

    • CommentRowNumber61.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2019
    • (edited May 21st 2019)

    I am a bit puzzled as of the choice of italic/emphasis for cited paragraphs (footnoted paragraphs). This is an equivalent to what is indented and put in footnotesized letters in books. The new style makes them italic, that makes these texts overly emphasized and the lines are also longer. This is particularly inapt in bibliography sections as most of us in nnLab put the TITLE of the reference in italic, and if we then put some citation from the abstract into the entry, then we place it in a cited format paragraph. This makes it on equal footing with the titles making it confusing. See for example, quantum+information/25, bottom.

    • CommentRowNumber62.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2019

    @Zoran

    is this meant to be about the new nLab style? This conversation is about when the nForum got a refresh almost nine years ago. Were you looking for this thread: https://nforum.ncatlab.org/discussion/9707/some-recent-and-coming-changes-for-the-nlab/ ?

    • CommentRowNumber63.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2019

    Yes.

  1. Thank you for raising this, Zoran! I have now made an attempt to typeset quotes in a way that makes it more obvious that they are quotes. The page William Lawvere is an example of one with a few quotes. Anybody interested can just let me know suggestions for improvement (the more concrete, the better!).

    (Note that quotes have always been typeset in italic, but I have tried it now without italics).

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