Excessive filter reminders

I love the category filter option it lets me filter out and not even have to look at topics that make my dick wilt. Having the filter option at the top of the list of stories is a great positioning. Kudos for that.

Example of the useful reminder:

What I don’t get is why I’m being reminded about filters while I’m reading a story, or when I scroll down the page of a list of stories. This just takes up screen real estate, and gives me something else to click “close” on. I recommend removing it - unless the intent is to nag people to read things they have already decided they don’t have interest in.

Example of the excessive reminder:


The reminder should only appear once per session (visit to the site).

The reason I added it was that I got repeated complaints about missing stories, because people forgot that they have a tag block filter active… :pensive:

The neon orange doesn’t seem to be obvious enough, especially if you see it all the time and get used to it because of that.

I am getting the active filter reminder repeatedly in a single visit whether I’m logged in or not. It’s very hard to dismiss, and not only interrupts my reading but - ironically - even pops up when I’m editing the filter.

I also noted that login cookies must be expiring super fast as I’ve been locked out of stories while reading them and har to relogin to continue reading. All on top of several more active filter warnjngs.


Hi Morph,

what kind of message do you mean?

There’s a message about the “safe-mode”, that should only appear if you’re not logged on.

And then there’s a message if you have an active category or tag filter.

But those don’t block any editing of the filter, as they are just slide ins at the bottom which shouldn’t block anything. To dismiss them, just touch the x on the right edge.

Make sure that you don’t have any category or tag filter if you want to get rid of this message alltogether. Let me know if you’re having problems with the handling of those filters.

Oh, and I forgot: The login cookies are not the problem. They have a expiring date of one year.

Unfortunately, there’s a long standing problem with Chromes preloading algorithm, that basically invalidates the automated relogon. This has been communicated many times to the developers (of the module springsecurity we’re using), but they insist that it’s not their problem.

So either disable prefetch or you simply have to logon a lot more times than intended. Sorry for that.

I’m aware of both message types. The x dismiss on the right of each band often doesn’t respond.

The active tag reminder sometimes appears mid way across my screen, overlaying where I am editing the tags.

As I said, I get this reminder far more than once per site visit. It’s negating a very useful feature. The filters work beautifully, but it’s like the site is punishing me for using the feature. (I’m sure there’s a meta story in there somewhere.)

I’m using Firefox, not Chrome.

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Ok, I’ll look into that. You’re on a desktop, not a mobile phone then?

Ok, I’ve downloaded Firefox for my android phone to try to reproduce your problem.

In general, FF seems to be more fickle with hitting ANY button. It seems to be harder to toggle check buttons or hit the x close button. But it’s working.

The pop up will continue to appear until to dismiss it once with the x-button. Switching to another page by clicking any link will just temporarily remove it.

The popup does only cover the full screen tag list dialog, do you mean that?

Have you seen that there’s a button on that pop-up to disable all filters all at once (and thereby also the message itself)?

I’ll see if I can increase the hit area of that x button to make it easier to dismiss the message.

Also, I’d like to ask you to give me more info about the device you’re using, so I can reproduce this more accurately.

You can also upload screenshot to show how it’s looking on your device if there’s anything amiss.

As a first fix, I’ve just increased the hit box for the dismiss buttons of those reminders. Is it better now to dismiss them?

Hi Martin. Thanks for looking into this. I have a Galaxy S8+. The new hit area does make it easier to dismiss but it still pops up in every story. I know I can dismiss all the filters but that’s simply saying don’t use the feature…

Note the tag filter is always sticky independently of the non-sticky login state.

The tag pop-up sometimes sits midway down the screen. Maybe the calculated screen height is getting screwed up after I’ve played whack-a-mole with both popups.

That’s very strange, I can’t reproduce that, even with FireFox on Android.

What settings are you using for cookies in Firefox? The site only requires that same-site cookies are enabled.

Has anybody else seen this kind of problem?

Anyway, I’ve just put some time to investigate the problem with auto-logon. It should be more stable now.

I can’t speak for anyone else but I know in my case it pops up every time I visit the site and it’s kind of a nuisance. I only use FF and probably more importantly when I’m browsing any adult sites, I’m using privacy mode that dumps all my cookies and history and so on whenever I close the window, though it does retain my login and auto logs me in every visit. Obviously that’s my choice and having all these things pop each visit (the age warning, the cookie warning, and filter notification) could potentially be resolved by leaving them, but still, it’s kind of annoying.

Could the dismissing of the filter notification be tied to user accounts so we don’t see them again regardless of browser or device or the cookies they keep?

Or, honestly, I wouldn’t mind it all that much if it wasn’t floating and overlaying the body content, specifically the bottom navigation bar when you scroll to the end. Couldn’t the filter notification just pop up under the header instead of scrolling with the page? I get why the cookie one does, because every site does that now, but the filter one doesn’t seem like it needs to scroll with the page. Alternatively, you could ditch the notification all together and just add text at the top of each page near the filter drop box saying “Can’t find a certain story? Try disabling filters.” or something to that effect.

Well, you know, I have an issue if people are complaining that the site doesn’t remember settings properly, while they’re disabling the functionality that’s provided to save settings … :slight_smile:

Anyway, GSS exclusively uses cookies to save it’s own user settings. I’ve even removed Google Analytics recently, which used to cause the only external cookies (and it was a major thorn in my side because of that).

Also, I’ve actually already moved all essential user settings to the user profile a couple of months ago, as you’ve suggested, like the tag and category filter itself or the theme.

The confirmation of the age and the cookie warning has to be stored in cookies, though. There’s just no other way, because these warnings have to be triggered before logging in.

The warnings for active filters is not permanently saved, and this is on purpose. This warning is supposed to reappear once each time you visit the site. The reason is, that I kept getting complaints because stories were supposedly missing - people simply forgot that they have active filters. This message is the best way I could come up with. If you so want to use the filter, you only have to dismiss this one dialog once per visit.

A static message like you’ve suggested just wouldn’t work: Static text is simply not read. I’m changing the color of the filter in case it’s active, to make it very flashy, people shouldn’t be able to be overlooked this… yet still, people miss that. You simply can’t miss that warning dialog, though.

I can only recommend to make an exception for GSS and allow it to save cookies. You can check yourself to see which cookies it’s saving, to see that I’m not cheating there. And we have no ads and therefor no ad-tracking or any other tracking (other than the login-cookie itself) on the site whatsoever.

There are no essential functions affected, when turning off cookies, but it’s still a nuisance. Besides the warning messages, the green stars denoting new stories and comments will not work when disabling cookies.

I wasn’t suggesting the site wasn’t remembering settings properly, I said it’s my own fault for the way I have my browser set up that settings aren’t remembered. I was simply pointing out for those of us that use privacy browsers, or who just prefer to clear cookies with Firefox, or other such methods, it’s kind of annoying to do it every time. Not because the site is broken, but because the choice to make the filter notification an alert just feels kind of unnecessary to me.

I know, I wasn’t suggesting those are a problem. I said every other site has the alert about cookies now, meaning I know it’s the norm, and I’m aware of why those two specifically need to be asked, you didn’t do anything wrong with those. You didn’t do anything wrong with anything as far as I’m concerned.

Ultimately, who cares? It’s not like it’s that much work to close it, and after all, it’s your site, you design it however you like. I wouldn’t have even brought up but the topic was raised so here I am with my two cents. You used the word “complaint” but it’s barely that. A nitpick, maybe. There’s a couple design elements of this site I’ve got some critiques of if you want to hear them but I’m not here to argue about web design so no reason to raise a stink about it.

This is similar to the sentiment I was trying to convey as original poster.

The impact of being regularly, invasively nagged for using the service seems to me to be more annoying than the benefit of reminding the few people that apparently can’t see the bright orange reminder that they see on every search page.


First of all, no hard feelings, please. It’s just that you simply can’t win as a web designer. And some things in the industry and the media are simply bothering me a lot lately - namely the misuse of cookies and localStorage to be used to track people behind their back on one hand - and the media which uniformly spreads the believe “cookie = bad” to everyone who’s not really well informed.

This has caused the whole area of coding for the web to become a real mess.

Go ahead, of course I want to hear any complaint people have. That doesn’t mean that I’ll change it right away, I might even have a different opinion (gosh!) but I’m always listening and I certainly have reacted on many issues in the past. So please don’t hold back. I can only react on an issue if I know about it.

And that problem with Firefox which caused the initial posting in this thread was extremely valuable, as I wouldn’t have known otherwise that it’s so hard to hit the x button on that browser in it’s mobile version.

It’s only coming up once per visit to the site. Is that really THAT invasive, truly? And yes, people miss that orange reminder, unfortunately. I’m sorry about that. It was like that for many months until I learned that people only see a small fraction of the stories because they forgot that they have a category filter active.

Since more complaints are coming in about that banner, I’m considering to reduce it’s frequency. How’d you feel about once a week?

The change is life:

  • “Active filters” message will only be repeated once a week and
  • “Safe Mode” message will only reappear after 3 days.
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My recommendation would be to only display that banner upon re-authentication. When someone actually enters their password to the site. If they have to re-auth, then they’ve been inactive long enough that it seems likely a reminder might be necessary.

I still argue that the reminder is superfluous, but if you really feel you must tell people the same information twice on the same web page, then that would be the frequency.

Also, I would restrict that reminder only showing up on the lists. It should never pop up when someone is actually reading a story.

Since I’ve worked around the bug that caused the automated relogon to fail sometimes, a re-authentication should no longer be required (the cookie stays valid for a year).

And if you delete the cookies, you’d have to relogon on each visit anyway. So this wouldn’t do you any good either.

The pop-up is part of the main site frame (that also controls the menu bar) and will appear no matter where you are. Its appearance is simply delayed for 30 seconds after loading a page (if you switch to another page, the 30 second countdown starts from scratch).