It may be true that you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you do.
List of recent changes/fixes to the new site:
- Replies display @commenter every time
- Amazon and PayPal links have been added to the front page
- Russian trolls (and others in spam) no longer show up in Recent Comments
- John’s twitter feed in the sidebar is cleaned up and now scrolls
- Posting / updating a comment now strips the extra line breaks left at the end of some comments
- RSS feeds now include the name of the Balloon Juice author
- Snark items are now displaying in posts as they should
Frequent Questions from the Balloon Juice Mailbag (aka Site Feedback)
I miss the blogroll. I’m a longtime reader, infrequent commenter. I start my day off here and use the blog roll to explore the other worthwhile liberal blogs. I know, I know: Why can’t you lurkers bookmark your favorites? But I’m frequently TDY or deployed, and I can only remember two website URLs: balloon-juice.com and dkos, and the Great Orange Satan got rid of their blogroll years ago. I use B-J as a home page for getting to many other great sites.
Dear You’re Not the Only One Who Said They Miss the Blogroll,
Never fear, the blogroll is closer than you think. Just take the bullet train (down arrow in the white bar up top) down to the Footer. The blogroll is right there as the middle item in the footer. We’ve got Readers and Friends of Balloon Juice; On the Lighter Side, with frequent shade from the Word of The Day, and a few other sites that will help you start your day with
a balanced breakfast a bit of perspective; followed by Non-Political Blogs, News Sites and, of course, Political Blogs.
If you are a Jackal and have a blog of your own, we can add your blog to the list, and you are welcome to nominate other blogs for inclusion on the blogroll. If you are a lurker Jackal with a blog of your own, you might just have to consider de-lurking so we can include your blog, too.
Why can’t the down arrow work like it used to? In the old site, one if the navigation arrows took me to the comment box at the bottom, which is much more useful than going all the way to the bottom. Not that I don’t love John’s Twitter feed, but I don’t need to go straight to it very often. :-)
Dear That’s Okay, What You Want is Hidden in Plain Sight,
It’s true. The down arrow is the express train to the Footer, and as we discovered in the reply just above, there is now a reason to go to the footer. And not just for our great tag line – Come for the politics, stay for the snark.
What you want is the COMMENT button, hidden in plain sight, on the other side of the white bar at the top. If you touch, press, or click COMMENT – depending on your device – it takes you right down to your favorite place, the comment box.
Thanks, WaterGirl for all your hard work on the site. I’m mostly a lurker so now you can say that the lurkers support you in email!.
Dear What a Nice Thing to Say,
Thank you for your kind words, and for making me laugh!
THAT’S ALL THE LETTERS FOR TODAY. I’LL DO THIS FOR A BIT UNTIL EVERYBODY IS UP TO SPEED.
Any news on when your putting yourself in a category under “Featuring”?
Steve in the ATL
Dear WaterGirl, Dear WaterGirl
My posts are too long
My nym’s falling out and my grammar’s all wrong
My imaginary internet friends they tell me I’ve no imaginary internet friends at all
Won’t you send me an email won’t you give me a Skype call
The balloon man is really blurry. I doubt the original clip art is around, but slightly sharper art still lurks back in 2003 on archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20030612122607/http://www.balloon-juice.com/
Maybe this could be used a source material to make a SVG of the balloon man?
@debbie: I’m partway there! I made the category Dear WaterGirl, and I could put that under Featuring for a bit so people could find the “how to” posts easily.
@Steve in the ATL: Non-valued! never!
Still randomly experiencing bounced to top of the page, refresh refresh refresh, oh there’s my comment syndrome. As of a couple of hours ago, at any rate.
Also, why oh why the You Are Here notation? Redundant clutter.
@Mag: Funny you should say that! Another commenter has offered to re-draw the artwork. I’m just waiting to have a conversation with John.
Dear Water girl,
I like the new site but I feel like it’s my duty as a jackal to complain incessantly about it. What do you recommend I focus my criticisms on?
Lost in Satisfaction
Steve in the ATL
@Baud: I suppose you are too young to have heard of John Prine
@WaterGirl: Someone apparently mistook for me for him in an earlier thread. I umbrage on behalf of both of us.
Wonderful work, Water Girl! You deserve all praise! :) May the Tunch be with you!
@Baud: Well, you could complain about things that have already been fixed, but I don’t know how fun that would be. Or you could complain about tiny little things that haven’t made it to the top of the list yet. Surely there are some of those!
I am very sad that people haven’t noticed some of the parts of the site that are my favorites. :: sniff sniff :: If you have time on your hands, you could roam the site and see if you can figure out what they are.
Trying to Be Helpful
@Steve in the ATL: or, Sigh-ighned, Bewildered.
@Omnes Omnibus: Oh, dear! Seriously, you both could have done worse. :-)
Do you have any idea where it came from? I’ve got a handful of CDs from Dover Publishing with tons of clip art
ETA: Never mind. It’s not in Dover’s catalog.
Steve in the ATL
@WaterGirl: we don’t pun* enough to be mistaken for NotMax
*yeah, I just verbed a noun. Suck on that, beeyotches!
@debbie: I’m pretty sure it was hand-drawn. We searched all over the old site and could never find the original. Maybe it will be like the doodad that hands out with the rotating tags. We couldn’t find the original, but i like the one I found even better. :-) Anyway, the offer to re-draw was a very gracious offer and I plan to talk with John about it. We’ll see what Cole has to say.
Question for everyone: is information like this helpful? I’m getting lots of the same questions, so I thought it might be, but you just never know.
@Mag: Damn! Now why didn’t I think of having 3 columns on balloon juice! :-)
I’m personally very happy the Lexicon has a permanent spot on the top bar. Now we just need a plugin that automatically links terms to their corresponding lexicon entry when somebody uses them.
I don’t even know what I want but with the Balloon Juice upgrade I get what I need.
@WaterGirl: Yeah, I might not have figured out/noticed some of this if I’d just been left to my own devices (the comment box and blogroll things in particular).
New site looks great and is a lot more reliable than the old one (I haven’t once had to re-enter my nym, for starters), so good work. I noticed a few hiccups with visual mode at first, but those seem to have vanished for the most part.
Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.
I’m currently trapped under kitten Martin https://imgur.com/tvYZUf7
I never thought I would be writing this, but…
uh, wait. That doesn’t…sound right.
I’ll try again.
@Roger Moore: Once she recovers from the new site, I think Anne Laurie even plans to think about updating the Lexicon. That will be fun.
@(((CassandraLeo))): Thanks! I think we are well on the way to solving a lot of the issues that happen after you comment. It’s a cache thing, and it takes fine-tuning to get it right. You want to take advantage of caching as much as you can, but not so much that it causes problems.
@Roger Moore: @WaterGirl: There are a lot of terms that could be added/updated. “Conservative”, for instance, should probably have this definition added:
“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:
There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” –Frank Wilhoit
I’m sure there’s dozens of terms that need to be added. The number of derogatory names for Trump alone could probably double the number of entries.
Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.
@WaterGirl: That makes sense. It’s a difficult thing to get right. Thanks again for all your hard work.
(wouldn’t normally double-post, but I’m not sure how many links I’m allowed in a single comment…)
Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.
That’s because there’s so, so much! Give us hints!
Even if it’s not among your favorites, when it’s up and running, Our Artists and Artisans will be great.
I think we could reach a double or triple TBogg in a Lexicon update post.
I have to hit the Back arrow twice to go back to the previous comment. It’s literally the worst thing evar.
Safari 11 on an older imac.
YOU ARE FUCKIN’ AWSOME!!!
@(((CassandraLeo))): You could always start making your lists now, so that whenever Anne Laurie gets started on this, you’ll be able to send her your info post haste.
You can have up to 7 links in a message, including internal links like @nyms and internal links like other websites and such.
Overall, I really like the new design.??
thanks for all your hard work??
@John Revolta: I hope that my laughing out loud at “it’s the worst thing ever” was an appropriate response. I actually have this, too, on the new site. But only sometimes. It’s on the list, but it’s nowhere near the top yet.
So far EVERY SINGLE PERSON has a Mac and uses Safari. But mine is a brand-new mac (yes, it happens to me, too) running the latest OS, so it’s not about old vs. new hardware. The developers have 2-3 MacBook pros and they can’t reproduce it here. If you tell me you have a MacBook Pro, then EVERY person with the problem has not just a mac, but a MacBook Pro. Let me know?
@rikyrah: Thank you, rikyrah!
There have been only 3 nominations for rotating tags so far. I thought for sure that people would jump on that. Jackals are hard to predict!
BTW, when it comes to accessibility, still no tooltips on hover showing for the commenting doo-dads when Text is chosen, except for the Close Tags button, which alone does display a tooltip. All tooltips displaying on hover when in Visual.
Win 10, Firefox.
@Roger Moore: Triple TBogg? I don’t believe that’s ever been done!
@Mag: Pretty startling to read John’s posts from 2003. Yikes!
@WaterGirl: You (and all involved) done good. Taken a great thing and made it better.
@NotMax: We have separated what we call the “Snark” items from the list of categories.
Categories are subject-matter things like Politics, Climate Change, etc. All the things you find under View by Topic. They are searchable by search engines.
Snark is stuff like “Show me on the doll where rahm touched you, or Jump! You Fuckers, or Go Fuck Yourself.
On a post, categories are listed first in alphabetical order; then snark items are listed in alpha order.
Right after the rollout, the Snark wasn’t show up under “This post is in…”.
@The Golux: Thank you!
When I was writing the little bios that show up on each person’s author page under View by Author, I would click on the last page for that author and then I would find their very first post at the bottom of that page.
It was so fun to read everybody’s first post. Many of them were classics! You could see exactly what that person was going to be like as a front-pager.
A modest suggestion. Those little squares with arrows inside near the top of the page. Could they be darker? I know, elegant variation, yadda yadda, but the extra tenth of a second that it takes to find them just irks me.
Otherwise, I’ve done links, I’ve done block quotes, I’ve done replies, I’ve done italics, and it all seems to work. So, pleased and grateful I am.
Grand to see content on the Authors page.
I have this problem too (having to hit the back arrow twice). I have a newer (2018) MacBook Air, using Mohave. So, not just MacBook Pros.
ETA: only on Safari. Firefox works great!
@WaterGirl: Nah, it’s ten year old iMac.
ETA: Although it works okay in Firefox. I don’t know why I still use Safari for most stuff.
Old habytes die hard I guess.
ETAA: In Firefox I have to refresh to see my edit though. Oh, when will my troubles end?
ty Chip for writing that so I wouldn’t have to….
my second attempt would have tried to incorporate that old Letters From The Editors shtick that National Lampoon used….
@Steve in the ATL: Did you really make that up? It’s quite good!
@scribbler: That’s good to know, thanks. So all mac laptops at this point, but not limited to MacBook Pro.
Here’s a related request: could we have Author pages for our retired front-pagers? I know there are plenty we would rather forget, but if remembering them is the price of preserving the writings of Soonergrunt and Angry Black Lady, it’s a price worth paying.
I would like that too – I loved reading both of those front pagers!
Yeah, we contemplated having a few of the previous front pagers in the Authors list, but soon realized that you can’t pick these 5 without insulting the other 10. (or whatever the numbers are)
The cool thing about Featuring is that we can put anything we want in there, and I have thought about having previous authors in there from time to time. Except for John, what’s in Featuring will rotate every month or so.
So we can have ABL in there at some point if we want to (I expect we would ask her permission) and Soonergrunt at some point, without insulting all the others. They just won’t have been Featured yet! :-)
Does that come close to getting you what you want?
@WaterGirl: For my part, I think that’s an elegant solution.
Thanks for all you do (and have done) for the new site!
Thanks so much to JaySinWA for recommending that I add the “Dark Reader” add on/plugin to Firefox, which is where I spend all my internet reading time. I was totally bummed because the new text and font and gray/white space were killing my eyes and I didn’t know how I was gonna adjust to the new look, or, worse yet, give up on my go- to reading blog. The beauty of that “Dark Reader” plugin is that it is not either/or. One can turn it off or on depending on the site one’s reading/visiting. Plus, one can change the font and the contrast, etc.
The other wonderful discovery is that I had the same issue with Quickbooks Online for the arts non-profit for which I’m in my 3rd year as Treasurer. A long time ago I tried to get help from QBOL on my readability issues. They were nice, but had no ideas for making the site more readable. So, double reasons to thank commenter JaySinWA.
Thanks so much, Jay
Gin & Tonic
@WaterGirl: You can insult Freddie or E.D. all you want, we won’t mind.
Thanks for the head’s up on the comment button. I tend to lurk more than comment so I was mostly avoiding that button…
Even a decrepit Mac Mini running Catalina is having this problem. It’s as if I was just making contact with the page when the back button is first pressed. Took me too long to realize a second press might help.
Is anyone else being sent to an earlier number when returning from a link?
Funny, nominating a rotating tag was just about the first thing I did on the new site. Guess that makes me an inverse jackal
@Gin & Tonic: hahahahaha
Yes, I had that too, on Safari.
O. Felix Culpa
I like almost everything about the site and am grateful for the design and fixes you’ve put into effect so far.
But – there had to be a but – I find the wings or arrow tabs or whatever they’re called on the sides of the screen super duper annoying. Especially the left tab, which covers parts of words sometimes. Can it be made less intrusive…or can I do something to reduce its size so it doesn’t extend into text? Thank you!
@O. Felix Culpa:
Yeah, you’re not the only one. It’s on my list, but I’m trying to resolve the “function” problems related to commenting before the “form” problems. So I haven’t sent that one to the developers yet.
O. Felix Culpa
@WaterGirl: Thank you! I’m loving this almost perfect blog.
@WaterGirl: A temporary work-around is to simply hit Ctrl-minus to reduce the text size by 10%. It works for me on my mid-2012 MBP.
(I assume it’s a corner case where the page thinks there are more horizontal pixels available than there really are.)
Doing that makes main column small enough so that the left flyout “previous” button doesn’t cover the text.
Get rid of the fly-out tabs, both of them. Move the arrows from the white bar to show vertically at the left margin of the page, where the left side fly-out tab is now. Nothing to fly out after that, so nothing will be covered and the left and right arrows do the same thing as the tabs did. One will be able to go to top, bottom, previous and next from there just as well as from the white bar. Hovering over the previous or next arrow gives the title of the post one will be brought to, so nothing lost from what the fly-outs do. Might help to darken the appearance of the arrows as well.
Thanks so much for all your work on this!
@Mag: With all of the talented commenters here, could we have someone draw a new Balloon man? Better than hoping that someone preserved that original drawing. Even copy the original drawing and have a new file that never gets lost.
By the way, I love the fact that the site now remembers my nym on every post I do.
I suggest that with potential cyrillic lettering and non-european lettering, that anyone with such a nym first have to post a reply and a full comment.
J R in WV
Another similar tool I’ve used is called Night Light, which comes on in the evening and dims things pretty elegantly. Not like Dark Reader, flipping dark background and light text, which I also like. But just gently slowly dimming the whole thing before bedtime.
It’s a Firefox addon.
@Another Scott: Absolutely! Often the response when I suggest that is something along the lines of “but I don’t want to make my window bigger” or “but I don’t want the print to be smaller”. Fair enough.
I run the site always at 85% (Cmd- on the mac) because my cheaters make the print huge on the new site unless I do that.
@dww44: Updating my response per request from WaterGirl. The Firefox Add-on has indeed been a godsend for my failing eyesight.
Testing to see if my comment posts in different fonts/text like the linked one.
Thanks again to JaySinWA. And to Watergirl for her hard work, talent, and commitment.
Somewhere upthread, I think in a reply to Mag, I mentioned that a Balloon Juice commenter has already offered to redraw the balloon man. I just haven’t had a chance to talk with John about it yet.