Open thread

By on June 28th, 2011 in open thread

By popular request, I’m going to try posting “Open Thread” posts periodically to give readers a place to post ongoing off-topic discussion threads. Have at it.


40 Comments and discussion on "Open thread"

  1. BGrigg says:

    But that’s not how it works!

    YOU have to say something provocative, perhaps one of your moderate comments about religion, and then we go all ‘word association’ on you, and voila! Off-topic!

    This is like forcing me to impersonate John Wayne. I do a killer John Wayne BTW, just not when someone says “Bill, do John Wayne”!

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have an agenda against the WP site, just bemoaning the loss of my little chunk of the internet. It was like a warm blanky, and I’ll miss it.

  2. Perhaps an option can exist for TTGNET subscribers? Rather than post comments, subscribers could be issued accounts for posting to a related blog list? I am not sure if this is possible with WordPress. If so, it would allow those John Wayne moments.

  3. BGrigg says:

    Multiple keys to the account sounds like a perfect recipe for disaster! 🙂

    Don’t mind me, I complained about the switch from vinyl to CD and film to digital, also.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’m not sure, either.

    I do know that there’s a fair amount of work involved in maintaining the static journal pages and forums. About five years ago, I started thinking how much easier it would be to bring up a WordPress site, but I never did anything about it. As of now, I’m a WordPress newbie, but I’m sure I’ll figure out things as I go along.

    Bill, think of it this way. Instead of a nice big blankie once a week, you get bunches of little napkins throughout the day.

  5. BGrigg says:

    Oh, I can imagine the work involved in maintaining the old site. I’m not “really” complaining. I’ll learn along with you. 😉

  6. I suspect there will be a flood people investigating WordPress features for RBT and Jerry Pournelle. I know I will look into WP and maybe plugin development.

  7. bcl says:

    I am sad to see the forums shut down. I think a lot of useful discussion occurred there that you won’t have on a blog. It is also funny that I recently dropped WordPress after using it for years, instead switching to a ReST based blogging system named Pelican that generates static files which are much easier to host (no need for databases).

    It is going to take quite a bit to get used to the changes here and over at Jerry’s site. I’m not totally sure if my resistance is only due to change or if the move to a blog style system is a step backward in readability. For one thing we are now reading things backwards, not in chronological order as we did before.

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I understand, but I hope things will work out.

    I actually thought about doing only one weekly post and then editing it all week to add to it, reply to comments and so on, but that kind of defeats the purpose of using WordPress.

    As of now, I plan to post a new Open Thread entry every Monday, which can accumulate comments all week long.

  9. Paul Edgerton says:

    Google Reader handles the RSS feed OK, but it’s read-only. If you want to add an occasional post of your own, you still have to come here to do it.

  10. BGrigg says:

    Which seems appropriate for a reader. I don’t bother with RSS for this site. I figure I almost always have something to say, so I just come here.

  11. Paul Edgerton says:

    So I guess we’ll all keep this topic open in a tab refresh obsessively.

  12. I like the weekly Open Thread as an alternative. It allows flexibilty and the ablity to comment on specific posts if desired.

    I also like the RSS feeds. I generally use Outlook and have feeds dump into specific folders and PST files. Each post defaults to ‘bottom up’ in the viewer, andI have just gotten used to that. As a consequence I think I prefer more frequent shorter posts. The long posts work in a static web page well enough, but as an RSS feed into a reader, the shorter posts allow easier bookmarking, which helps as I read through the day while working.

  13. Oh, and I like the change to WordPress in general. I know it a pain, and time consuming, but if it matters, I give it high marks.

  14. Paul Edgerton says:

    I’ve refreshed dozens of times but Slim still hasn’t appeared. 😉

  15. brad says:

    I’ll toss in a non-comment, just to get registered on the new site. Too busy and sleep-deprived to do anything more…

  16. BGrigg says:

    Is that a bug, or a feature? 🙂

  17. dkreck says:

    So I leave a page like this open. I’m down at the last comment. I hit refresh and it goes back up to the first comment. Weird. It defeats the purpose of trying to resume where you left off. Now I have to see which comment is showing last, refresh, then scroll back down. FF 5.0. Checked some other pages on various sites and refresh brings me back to the location I refresh at. I wonder if there is an add on to number comments. That would be quicker than poster/date/time.

  18. bcl says:

    You could always add the comments RSS feed to your reader…

  19. OFD says:

    Only been a little while, but I kinda like the new look, format, organization, fonts, etc. And the menu off to the right. Nice. Keep hacking at it, Bob, but so far it looks good to OFD up here in soggy northern Vermont.

    Slim? He’ll show up. I wanna know where rbmorse is at. He ain’t been around in a dog’s age.

    Wassername is in Chicago this week, so things are quiet here on the old farm. Back Saturday with a new honey-do list, no doubt, a week home, and then gone again for three weeks out West. I will have her doing various recon ops as to the alleged Reconquista, the draining aquifers, the preponderance of rightwing Catholic gun nuts, and various assorted intel.

    Princess will be back from Italy in late July or early August and then the two of them will likely be joining MIL up in northern New Brunswick for the month of August, leaving OFD here alone with the critters and the crops. I anticipate wild parties and wilder women, the likes of which that cranky old bugger down in North Carolina has never seen and never will.

  20. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Hah. Dream on. I’ve partied with women who have their own Wikipedia entries. Although never, alas, with Emma Thompson. I am hoping that one day one of my clones hooks up with one of Emily Van Camp’s clones.

    Further deponent sayeth not.

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I do note that, despite the concerns about comment threads petering out, we’re now close to 100 comments in the day since I brought this site up. That compares to an average of maybe 25 comments per day on the old forums.

  22. Alan says:

    Still adjusting…I guess what I miss most is the forums taking you to exactly where you left off…

  23. Miles_Teg says:

    “Although never, alas, with Emma Thompson. I am hoping that one day one of my clones hooks up with one of Emily Van Camp’s clones.”

    Emma? That old slag? If you get *really* lucky one of your clones could hook up with Sandra Bullock. But I doubt that your clones would ever be *that* lucky.

  24. OFD says:

    Hey Greg. Guess what. Sandra has been in this town before. Several times. Her sister runs a cafe/bakery thing here.

    I did not tell her about you.

  25. Miles_Teg says:

    Is that OFD? The avatar obscures whoever’s name it is. I’m assuming it is OFD because I once read that the lovely Sandra’s sister had some sort of shop in the NE.

  26. dkreck says:

    Regarding my earlier complaint that I couldn’t refresh the page and have it stay in the same location; mystery solved.

    When you click the title ‘Open Thread’ the url of the page is

    but if you click the link at the bottom of the post for the comments you get this url

    which contains an anchor link to comments. If that is refreshed it always goes back to the anchor which is above the first comment.

    So if I open the Open Thread in a separate tab at the first of the week I can just refresh it to see updates. so I think that might work. On the forums I often left it open in a tab and just refreshed so this will be about the same. Unlike the forums, if I close the tab I’ll just have to find where I left off.

  27. Roy Harvey says:

    Since these comments support some HTML tags, others may find a little add-on for Firefox, BBCodeXtra, to be useful. At its simplest, I can highlight a bit of text I am typing, right-click it, and choose from a list of HTML attributes to apply to it. I use it on another site and it makes life much easier for me.

    I also notice that there is no Preview button. Is there an option to turn that on?

  28. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Uh, not that I know of, but there’s a lot I don’t know about WP right now. I’ll see if I can find a preview button option.

    I’m a little bit gunshy. I turned on the threaded comments option very briefly, but using that means one has to read the entire comments thread every time to find new comments. So I went back to flat comments.

  29. BGrigg says:

    Leave the threaded comments off, thank you very much! The flat comments are a bit disjointed, like chatting online with too many people, but they aren’t as convoluted to deal with as threaded comments are!

    The loss of quoting a reply and previewing can be accommodated. Roy’s suggestion of bbcodeXtra is a step in the right direction for simple editing, and time will teach us all how best to use the new system.

  30. Jim Cooley says:

    “The loss of quoting a reply and previewing can be accommodated. ”

    Let us hope. I’d still like to find a way to land on the last comment I read, too.

  31. dkreck says:

    I sure RBT has plenty to keep him busy. Here is a WP plugin for unread comments.

    I’m however happy with the solution I posted above.

  32. dkreck says:

    And I hate when a make an error and can’t edit the post. Domn! Better proof reading from now on.

  33. BGrigg says:

    That which doesn’t kill us, will make us better writers!

  34. Miles_Teg says:

    I’m trying to read old feedback posts from the legacy page but getting either “No topics were found. This is either because there are no topics in this forum, or the topics are older than the current age cut-off.” or “You do not have permission to view this topic”

    I can read the old Daynotes Journal. (I’m looking for the eBook you recommended a few months ago by the author who was teetering on the edge.)

  35. Dave Browning says:

    Greg, the book I believe you are looking for is House of Skin by Kiana Davenport.

  36. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Oops. Sorry. I got a little carried away with resetting permissions. It should work properly now.

  37. Jim Cooley says:

    “I sure RBT has plenty to keep him busy. Here is a WP plugin for unread comments.

    That would do it….

    Another suggestion: have a link to the current Open Thread at the top of the page, or next to each day’s entry.

  38. Alan says:

    Any way to (easily?) search the content of comments as you were able to do with the message boards?

  39. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I can search them from my admin control panel, but I don’t think there’s any way for regular users to do that. Perhaps there’s a plug-in or something that does that. I’m sure someone will tell me. Until then, I guess Google is the best bet.

  40. CowboySlim says:

    Was somebody looking for me?

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