A Note from WRM
Upgrades at Our Site
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  • Anthony

    This new site looks better, but it seems a bit more complicated.

    • Anthony, anything in particular?

      • Anthony

        First of all, thanks for the taking the time to ask.

        I can’t scroll down through all of the “mead in depth essays,” as I used to be able to do with ease on the old site.

        • Oh, you most certainly can read all the long-form WRM posts in one place!
          http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/

          There’s a special section under “Columnists” for Walter, Frank Fukuyama, Peter Berger, and Adam Garfinkle, each with his own dedicated feed. I’m sorry we didn’t highlight this more in the introductory note.

          We’ve tried very hard to preserve the old VM experience in the new skin. And if we can at all bring back something you miss without breaking anything profound, we’ll be more than happy to do so.

          • Anthony

            Very good! Thanks for pointing this out! Just remember that I wasn’t able to find this on my own.

          • Very much noted.

          • Andrew Allison

            How about dispensing with the photos on the index page so that more than one essay is accessible without scrolling?

        • Anthony

          Sorry to disabuse Anthony but WRM’s original posts (circa 2010) created the meme.

      • Corlyss

        I liked having the stories (headlines for want of a better term) listed on the home page all in a sequence. I don’t like having to hunt about for text pointing to the next story.

  • Anthony

    This new site looks better, but it seems a bit more complicated.

    • Anthony, anything in particular?

      • Anthony

        First of all, thanks for the taking the time to ask.

        I can’t scroll down through all of the “mead in depth essays,” as I used to be able to do with ease on the old site. This is too bad since some of the older essays are real gems, and I like to send them to friends of mine when I feel that they add something to our conversations. For what it’s worth, I think the 2011-2012 time period was a sort of golden age for this blog. The professor’s first big essays on a “post blue” America were written then, and they are an essential first step for any new reader who is trying to understand his perspective on domestic policy.

        • Oh, you most certainly can read all the long-form WRM posts in one place!
          http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/

          There’s a special section under “Columnists” for Walter, Frank Fukuyama, Peter Berger, and Adam Garfinkle, each with his own dedicated feed. I’m sorry we didn’t highlight this more in the introductory note.

          We’ve tried very hard to preserve the old VM experience in the new skin. And if we can at all bring back something you miss without breaking anything profound, we’ll be more than happy to do so.

          • Anthony

            Very good! Thanks for pointing this out! Just remember that I wasn’t able to find this on my own.

          • Very much noted.

          • Andrew Allison

            How about dispensing with the photos on the index page so that more than one essay is accessible without scrolling?

        • Anthony

          Sorry to disabuse Anthony but WRM’s original posts (circa 2010) created the meme.

      • Corlyss

        I liked having the stories (headlines for want of a better term) listed on the home page all in a sequence. I don’t like having to hunt about for text pointing to the next story.

  • slovokia

    One thing I don’t like about the new site is that it is no longer possible for me to dynamically adjust the size of web pages and their text on an IPAD. For older reader the new font size is simply too small and there appears to be no way to make it bigger.

    • Slovokia, noted. Thanks for your feedback, we will do something about this.

    • Andrew Allison

      On my PC the actual text of this article uses only 50% of the width of my screen which is a frustrating waste of space.

      • Pasted from my correspondence with Mr. Allison:

        Generally, we tried to preserve the word-count per line at around 12-16, which is a good typesetting guideline. Especially for the longer essays, which ultimately are our bread-and-butter, it’s very tiring to read lines that are up to 30 words long. This is part of the reason that newspapers have columns rather than running articles all across the broadsheet.

        On the old site, we also tried to keep the same words per line guidance. However, since we’d run out of stuff to put in the sidebar, you’d end up with a snake of tiny text running up the side of the page with a ton of whitespace on the side. This would get tedious to read, and our number-one requested change was to address readability of longer pieces.

        So… that’s our rationale for it. It’s not perfect—and more importantly, it’s not done. We’re still iterating and playing with things. We really appreciate your feedback and will take it into account.

        • Corlyss

          Nice to meet one of the Men Behind the Curtain. Howdy!

    • Kevin

      It is also more difficult (using an iPad) to open articles in tabs. From the legacy version (which prefer as I like to read the short articles in one space rather than constantly opening new pages) you can not go directly to the comments. The comment writing interface us also pretty buggy and non-user friendly – though Discus has always struggled on iPads – just writing this comment took about five tries as the Discus editor constantly crashes when writing.

      • I hear you on Disqus. The only thing worse than Disqus is… no Disqus at all! I understand they’re actively developing a mobile-friendlier interface.

        Re: comments links on the individual posts, we plan to bring that back. There was a bug on the old site where the count wouldn’t properly sync with the Disqus server for some reason, and we’d have differing comment counts on the front page and on the article page itself. I wanted to take another crack at squashing that one before I gave up in despair.

    • Corlyss

      I guess I’ll get used to the site changes, but unless I control/- to reduce the font size, it’s like ALL CAPS screaming in my face. I still do most of my work on a desk top, but even that doesn’t help. That pic of whoever that guy is staring at me in the Ukraine post startled me almost out of my seat – like opening the draperies and finding some old guy starring at you thru your window.

  • slovokia

    One thing I don’t like about the new site is that it is no longer possible for me to dynamically adjust the size of web pages and their text on an IPAD. For older reader the new font size is simply too small and there appears to be no way to make it bigger. On my IPAD the actual text of this article uses only 50% of the width of my screen which is a frustrating waste of space – if this page allowed resizing like most other pages I could make the text bigger without losing any of it.

    • Slovokia, noted. Thanks for your feedback, we will do something about this.

    • Andrew Allison

      On my PC the actual text of this article uses only 50% of the width of my screen which is a frustrating waste of space.

      • Pasted from my correspondence with Mr. Allison:

        Generally, we tried to preserve the word-count per line at around 12-16, which is a good typesetting guideline. Especially for the longer essays, which ultimately are our bread-and-butter, it’s very tiring to read lines that are up to 30 words long. This is part of the reason that newspapers have columns rather than running articles all across the broadsheet.

        On the old site, we also tried to keep the same words per line guidance. However, since we’d run out of stuff to put in the sidebar, you’d end up with a snake of tiny text running up the side of the page with a ton of whitespace on the side. This would get tedious to read, and our number-one requested change was to address readability of longer pieces.

        So… that’s our rationale for it. It’s not perfect—and more importantly, it’s not done. We’re still iterating and playing with things. We really appreciate your feedback and will take it into account.

        • Corlyss

          Nice to meet one of the Men Behind the Curtain. Howdy!

    • Kevin

      Agreed. It is also more difficult (using an iPad) to open articles in tabs. From the legacy version (which prefer as I like to read the short articles in one space rather than constantly opening new pages) you can not go directly to the comments. The comment writing interface us also pretty buggy and non-user friendly – though Discus has always struggled on iPads – just writing this comment took about five tries as the Discus editor constantly crashes when writing.

      Going to links from the original post (such as the commentary article on the Iran nuke deal) requires leaving your website instead of opening it in a new tab. (I suspect thus works ok on a PC, but I almost always read this site from an iPad.)

      • I hear you on Disqus. The only thing worse than Disqus is… no Disqus at all! I understand they’re actively developing a mobile-friendlier interface.

        Re: comments links on the individual posts, we plan to bring that back. There was a bug on the old site where the count wouldn’t properly sync with the Disqus server for some reason, and we’d have differing comment counts on the front page and on the article page itself. I wanted to take another crack at squashing that one before I gave up in despair.

    • Corlyss

      I guess I’ll get used to the site changes, but unless I control/- to reduce the font size, it’s like ALL CAPS screaming in my face. I still do most of my work on a desk top, but even that doesn’t help. That pic of whoever that guy is staring at me in the Ukraine post startled me almost out of my seat – like opening the draperies and finding some old guy starring at you thru your window.

  • Anthony

    I e-mailed this same message this morning: upgrades are current, accessible, manipulatable, and in line with readership and audience accessing media digitally. Commendations.

  • Anthony

    I e-mailed this same message this morning (when comment section was unavailable): new format upgrades are current, accessible, manipulatable, and in line with comparable magazine readership and audience accessing media digitally. Commendations.

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    The conversion wiped out my comment.

    • They should all be back in time. Disqus is syncing.

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    The conversion wiped out my comment.

    • They should all be back in time. Disqus is syncing.

  • qet

    Congratulations. Like most other such efforts by websites, you fixed something that wasn’t broken. Like the rest this is really only an exercise in Internet aesthetics. I just hope you didn’t pay too much for the redecorating (well, unless you were trying to create jobs, in which case I salute you). I await proof that the art class project will somehow mysteriously work an improvement in the content, which I didn’t think needed improvement (well, other than in specific areas like the unreasoning faith in technology as elixir). Carry on.

    • Believe us when we tell you that this needed to happen, and that the aesthetics are not the starting point. We did work hard on the facelift, but the rationale for the redesign is in the infrastructure of our site: We were running on two separate content management systems and our overworked staff was basically putting out two publications at the same time.

      And since you ask, the web work was 99% done in-house. No animals were harmed in the retooling of this website, but no jobs were created either. OK, maybe some part-time work was created: We contracted out for one tiny bit of added functionality. Overall, we thought keeping it in-house was the right move, as it will allow us to improve the design rapidly as we need to.

  • QET

    Congratulations. Like most other such efforts by websites, you fixed something that wasn’t broken. Like the rest this is really only an exercise in Internet aesthetics. I just hope you didn’t pay too much for the redecorating (well, unless you were trying to create jobs, in which case I salute you). I await proof that the art class project will somehow mysteriously work an improvement in the content, which I didn’t think needed improvement (well, other than in specific areas like the unreasoning faith in technology as elixir). Carry on.

    • Believe us when we tell you that this needed to happen, and that the aesthetics are not the starting point. We did work hard on the facelift, but the rationale for the redesign is in the infrastructure of our site: We were running on two separate content management systems and our overworked staff was basically putting out two publications at the same time.

      And since you ask, the web work was 99% done in-house. No animals were harmed in the retooling of this website, but no jobs were created either. OK, maybe some part-time work was created: We contracted out for one tiny bit of added functionality. Overall, we thought keeping it in-house was the right move, as it will allow us to improve the design rapidly as we need to.

  • B-Sabre

    One tiny nitpick – at the bottom of each article is a link to the next older article, usually titled “Next, Read This.” The problem is that this only enables one direction for reading. If I want to read the next higher article (as displayed) I have to click back to the index page. How about enabling me to go “backwards” OR “forwards” at the end of the article?

  • B-Sabre

    One tiny nitpick – at the bottom of each article is a link to the next older article, usually titled “Next, Read This.” The problem is that this only enables one direction for reading. If I want to read the next higher article (as displayed) I have to click back to the index page. How about enabling me to go “backwards” OR “forwards” at the end of the article?

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