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RELEASE COMING!

Changes are afoot.

We've got some changes coming soon! Our August 10 release includes some updates to the site that we hope will make navigation and browsing easier. For a peek at what’s coming down the pike, check out the annotated pages here: http://www.chow.com/release_announcement

Some things you’ll notice right away: the CHOW and Chowhound parts of the site are given more distinct identities, though CHOW content will still appear in the right column of Chowhound (because we know you love those jalapeno poppers images ...). The drop-down menu to navigate through the boards is going away, and instead you’ll navigate around the site via a module that sits at the top of each page. And you can quickly save your favorite boards to the module so it’ll take fewer clicks to get where you normally go.

Search is changing too. The search box that sits at the top of every page on Chowhound will be specific to discussions and restaurants. When you refine, it’ll immediately refresh without having to click Search again. “Best match” will be the default result; it means that it will return the most relevant and most recent results.

On the CHOW side, the home page is going to look rather dramatically different. We really scaled it back. And the rather useless distinction between stories and blogs will be a thing of the past.

We’ve done all of this with you in mind, and the goal of easing navigation. You’ll tell us what you think when it goes live on August 10. For now, take a look at the annotated pages: http://www.chow.com/release_announcement

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  1. Oh Dear, :-( We'll survive. Maintaining content over how it looks and how stupid easy it is to find, willl maintain the real CH. :-)

    1. >> For a peek at what’s coming down the pike, check out the annotated pages here

      Chowhounders in the suburban counties surrounding New York City (as well as in places like Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, and the NC Triangle) should be excited by this description of the drop-down feature: "The drop-down menu wasn't everyone's friend. We listened, and replaced it with a more user-friendly option that is visible on the page at all times AND WILL ALLOW US TO ADD MORE BOARDS." (CAPS added for emphasis.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: nsxtasy

        That's great. As it was, I couldn't see everything on the menu on my MacBook, not to mention the problem with stories not appearing when I was reading a thread in Chowhound.

        1. re: rworange

          Hi rworange - the Hot Posts Link will be accessible in your profile, it will be the second link right next to My Posts.

          1. re: lainiecosgrove

            "...you’ll navigate around the site via a module that sits at the top of each page. And you can quickly save your favorite boards to the module so it’ll take fewer clicks to get where you normally go."

            Will the default display when I click "Hot Posts" show the new posts in only my favorite boards instead of in all boards? That would be a major feature.

            1. re: meatme

              We aren't revising any of the Hot Posts functionality in this release. Thus, It should work as its always worked in the past even though you access it from your profile now. However we will be improving/optimizing the Hot Posts experience in the next couple cycles of releases.

              1. re: CHOW HQ

                That is REALLY great to hear that a revision of hot posts is in the works ... well, I hope the planned revisions are better.

                The reason I pretty much stopped using it was because it times out.

                I read one or two pages, go back to work and then when I come back and I try to go to page 3, I get the no more hot posts message.

                The old way I could go to meetings or even come back days later and in addition to the new stuff at top, none of the old unread stuff at the end was lost.

                Since there is an option to mark topics of read, it is frustrating when the software does that for some reason after a certain amount of time has elapsed.

                Since this is in the works, I'm going to mention one other thing that would be great ... moving the next page from the left to the right. Most of the action buttons and links are on the right hand side and this makes it awkward being on the other side of the page.

                Displaying the original post date wouldn't hurt.

                I liked hotposts when I discovered the site in 2002. I probably would not have visited the site as often without that feature. When it was changed, I started reading the site less and less until I'm pretty much down to reading my home board, General topics and Site Talk when problems arise. Occasionally a new topic at the bottom of the page catches my eye. I just learn a lot less on Chowhound these days

                1. re: rworange

                  That is great to hear rworange, it is our feeling as well! The feature is very useful in theory, but in practice it's almost unusable. Pretty sure that you have figured out ways to work around its limitations but it will be great when we can get it working to its full potential. Thanks for the feedback - keep it coming!

        2. As long as you're making wholesale changes, how about some improvements to Search that make it as functional as the 'old' search engine.

          - Search within cuisine type (recipes)
          - Search for words ONLY WITHIN title
          - Single click on ALL pages to get Advanced Search dialog
          - Better use ot tags in Advanced Search e.g. find tag1 AND tag2

          If mouse-over drop-down menus are being killed, that IMO is a good thing. Too many web *cough* 'designers' *cough* overuse this annoying feature that requires you to 'drive the mouse cursor' AROUND the drop-down spots to get to the link of interest.

          9 Replies
          1. re: DiveFan

            >> - Search for words ONLY WITHIN title

            You can already do that. Just do a search and specify that you want to sort the search results by Relevance. Those with the search text in the title will appear at the top of the list.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              It doesn't work that well and seems like it wasn't thouroughly tested before implementing.

              I'm not sure if it has to do with the overall problems with search in general or just that feature.

              I'm really sorry I don't have a specific example but I haven't used it for a while after about a half dozen less than helpful search results. What ended it for me was when Google turned up the search with the word in the title and Chow didn't.

              At that point I just wrote it off and moved on.

              1. re: rworange

                I would love to see a feature for search that LOCKED OUT all other results EXCEPT for words in the title of the OP.

                1. re: Servorg

                  I don't understand why. Who cares whether or not there are other search results underneath the ones you're looking for, as long as those appear at the top of the list?

                  1. re: nsxtasy

                    I don't think there's any guarantee they will turn up at the top of the list without any "Search in" option. In my experience the relevance+date often brings up something with the search word in it a few times and I have to scroll down through pages to find what I actually want to find.

                    1. re: queencru

                      Are you sure? Searching by relevance, I've always had any topics with the search text in the title turn up first, before all other search results. And I've never any with the search text in the title get buried pages below.

                      1. re: nsxtasy

                        Yes, I'm sure. I did a search for "Release" on this board to see if this topic came up at the top. It did, but other topics about prior releases were much farther down the page or on the second page. This board has much fewer posts to go through than others, so I imagine it's worse on the other boards.

                        1. re: queencru

                          >> Yes, I'm sure. I did a search for "Release" on this board to see if this topic came up at the top. It did, but other topics about prior releases were much farther down the page or on the second page.

                          That did NOT happen to me. Unless you're getting different search results from mine (which I doubt), maybe you're confusing what we're talking about (search results appearing in the TITLE ONLY). So let's look at those search results.

                          When I do a search for the text "release" on this forum (Site Talk) and I specify "sort by Relevance", all the topics with the word "release" in the title are at the top of the search results. There are four such topics if searching over the past 5 years, three such topics if searching over the past year. They look like this:

                          RELEASE COMING!
                          Release Today April 21st!
                          Release Tomorrow March 17th at 1 PM PST

                          and, on a 5-year search,

                          Release Announcement: Advanced Search, New Video Player, Mobile Redirect

                          There are NO other topics with the word "release" in the title. NONE. None lower down on the first page, none on the second page. Yes, there are other results with the word "release" in the body of the topic for pages of search results after that, but not in the title.

                          And that's what we're talking about - getting search results with the text IN THE TITLE. When searching with a sort by relevance, those search results appear at the top. Yes, there are more results after that, but none of them have the search text in the title, because all of those results sorted to the top.

                          If you are getting other search results besides these four topics, other topics with the word "release" in the title, please give an example. Otherwise I suspect perhaps you just misunderstood that we were talking about the text appearing in the TITLE.

                          1. re: nsxtasy

                            I've always found that searching by a term in the title has been quite effective.

          2. Happy to see these improvements!

            Any hope of making Chowhound more accessible and usable from mobile devices anytime soon? The current mobile access capabilities are beyond primitive.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Amen to that. Since I have an Iphone and can use the real site somewhat effectively. I would like it if I could make using the real site stick and not revert back the the mobile site after say 3 uses.

            2. Loooking forward to seeing the release! Is the release going to implement linking functionality for International boards? Here's hoping!

              1 Reply
              1. re: jen kalb

                A second on that. Or hopes it is in the works.I am alwys sad when restaurant after restaurant that I report about in Gatuemala isn't able to have a restaurant record link.

              2. Being able to save favorite boards to a module will be fantastic, I'm excited about that change.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JasmineG

                  I'm excited any time I have the opportunity to use the word "module".

                  One of my biggest pet peeves has been the terrible default search settings (It seems a bit absurd that "irrelevant, but new!" is the default search criteria). This is particularly annoying when I'm accessing CH from my mobile phone, which forces me to do the following:

                  1) Though I have my home CH page bookmarked in my mobile browser, I still need to click through the crippled and mostly useless mobile interface ("Go to Chow.com website"), securing the cookie that tells the site I don't want the mobile site, then

                  2) click "back" button to go back to my bookmarked home city page. Then...

                  3) Click through the "search" button with an empty search field, so that the "advanced options" will appear. And finally...

                  4) change the default "newest first" to "relevance" and enter my search critera, and search.

                  Quick and easy, no? Ridiculous!

                  The new search function seems streamlined, as if they stripped away the options... I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we return to the more sane world where "relevant and new" is the default search criteria.

                  Mr Taster

                2. Thank you for your proactive communication on the new release. I really appreciate that.

                  ~TDQ

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Same here! Can't wait for the customizable board menu - that's going to be extremely handy.

                    1. re: kpzoo

                      Hope to see a Chow app soon. Also, I may be missing it, but is there any way to give feedback on the recipes - like a star rating or something? I'm guessing the recipes on here are much more interesting/tasty than the ones I typically use on allrecipes.com BUT I don't use chow.com recipes because I don't see any quick way to reference how the recipe turned out for others (there are comments but those are not a "quick" way to check quality).

                      Thanks!

                      1. re: hungryinaz

                        @hungryinaz

                        Recipe Ratings will be going out soon in our next release. Our next release will include many improvements to our recipe experience, stay tuned, our aim is to get that phase rolled out in early fall.

                  2. Please add the option of private messaging to posters. And in inbox, and related messaging utilities. It's ridiculous that I can't PM people on here as I can on every other web forum.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: John Manzo

                      I love that, actually. It keeps food talk to the boards, and discourages people from forming cliques or asking specific users for info from which the wider populace can't benefit. At least on the SF board, we sometimes get users who address a question to specific people (e.g. "Chow4Eva, Frankenfood and Baconater, can you three respond to this question?) which feels contrary to the purpose of the endeavor--an info sharing board for which the only requirement is that you like food a whole lot. Sites like Yelp that have a PM option set out to create a kind of cliquish user hierarchy as part of their business model (i.e. "elite" status, which we don't have here).

                      People who don't mind being contacted often include an email address or blog link in their profile, so there are ways of tracking people down IRL if you want to go that route.

                      1. re: pane

                        >>> discourages people from forming cliques

                        No, it encourages cliques. I've been on boards with pm systems where people get together and gang up on other posters and the moderaters. It is really ugly. That has happened on every forum I've participted on that has a pm system.

                        The topic has been brought up a number of times and I'm sure someone will provide those links and reasons why this is a bad idea for Chowound ... one of the reasons being it keeps food talk OFF the boards as people just pm each other instead of posting.

                        The unwritten etiquette of the boards are if someone asks for you directly, you don't respond to them. No poster should be singled out as any better than another. I really can't remember a post where someone asked a specific poster for info where that poster responded.

                        1. re: rworange

                          rwo, I think you and pane are saying the same thing, that having a pm system encourages cliques and not having one discourages them.

                          I have come to know a handful of posters behind the scenes that I've met through chowdowns, etc., and I have occasionally emailed with posters using the email address in their profile (for those who choose to include one) and I value those friendships. But, for the most part, I prefer to keep the conversation food-focused and on the boards. I don't really need a pm system. Email is fine.

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            It always reminds me of passing notes in class during my high school years.

                          2. re: rworange

                            Some posters are better than others. Welcome to the real world.

                            1. re: fussycouple

                              The comment is not directed at whether or not people form cliques.

                              The comment was aimed at the assumption that a pm system would discourage cliques. It does not. It enables them.

                      2. I just previewed the new site, and I like how it looks - less cluttered, more focused. We'll see if the functionality is enhanced as well, but from a first look, I like it. Thanks!

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: lisavf

                          Graphically speaking, I find the alternating light and dark screens within a thread to be distracting. I can tell a new post w/o a value change, thanks.

                          Any reason for the new font/size? Really, it's less easy on the eyes to read. I find myself opening my eyes wider to make sense of it. I much prefer the condensed, smaller font as appears in the O.P. for each thread.

                          Other than looks and readabilty, haven't had a chance to use search yet, get the 'Oops' warning. Hope information will be more retrievable and usable.

                          1. re: toodie jane

                            I'm with toodie jane. I feel like my eyes are crossing when I am reading the screen. The background is too white/bright or something. And, the text size and spacing makes it difficult to read.

                            1. re: beetlebug

                              Also, with the new release, couldn't the powers that be fix the whole new posts under sticky topics v. the date thing?

                              1. re: beetlebug

                                On the plus side - the mobile version is a huge improvement.

                                1. re: beetlebug

                                  so the change was made to accomodate mobile unit users?

                                  1. re: toodie jane

                                    No clue. I usually read CH on my laptop. But, I read somewhere that with the new release, they made the mobile read better. so, I had to check it out and find some sort of silver/copper lining in the new version.

                                    I do think this is CNet's MO though for a new release. Not a lot of thought, a lot of bugs and not enough testing with maybe a minor improvement somewhere. This is the 4th release (?) or so since the re-launch in 2006 and everytime it's been a disaster.

                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                      I'm going to defend this release a little

                                      The release prior to this one really got me angry. Like a lot of posters in this thread I said some nasty things about the staff and didn't focus on identifying the bugs clearly. I was just tired of dealing with bad releases.

                                      However ... and it may be my imagination .. Since January 2010 the minor releases have been better.

                                      With this release, Chow did a good job of announcing the changes. They did a warning post that like all releases there might be specific problems. Be patient and they will be fixed if they are bugs and if they are enhancements they will be considered for future releases.

                                      They have been good about responding to the problems in this release.

                                      All in all, it hasn't been as horrible in the past. There are some fixable formatting problems that they have said are being worked on.

                                      Pretty much there are a few naviation issues that need to be addressed ... specifically making it easier to get to the Chowhound boards from your profile page.

                                      Many companies these days work on the 80-20 rule .. if 80 percent of the software is ready ... the other 20 per cent gets fixed after the fact. It is just IT reality. As an IT manager I personally don't like that policy, but there are certain benefits to it.

                                      So, IMO, this was one of the better installations and the staff has been more responsive these days.

                                      I do wish they would get users involved in the design phase of a project. They could avoid these outcries. Showing what will be coming in a few days is too late to do anything about it.

                                      Too often the design is Chow-centric. It doesn't focus on how users on the Chowhound side of the site access it.

                                      Also, enough hounds are willing to beta test and that should be done. I think it was the last release or the one before that they did do some beta testing.

                                      Yes, some things got fixed, but the overall impression I was left with was that we were a pain in the ass and more trouble to deal with than it was worth. Very strong opinions about the problems in Beta Test were ignored. As a result, those same problems caused an outcry by the community when the software was released.

                                      So this realease was better, but it seems like some things could be improved. Anyway, calling people names isn't going to help fix the problems I'm not talking to you specifically, but the general tone ... and title ... of this and other threads.

                                      I know I'm usually not as reponsive to abrasive users as to people who state the problem and trust that I will be working to resolve it.

                                      1. re: rworange

                                        >Very strong opinions about the problems in Beta Test were ignored. As a result, those same problems caused an outcry by the community when the software was released.

                                        Agreed. That was my experience too as a beta tester for a previous release. And many problems flagged by me and other users still haven't been fixed.

                            2. re: toodie jane

                              Yep! The older version was more compact as well, and made better use of pixels. There's a lot of useless white space in this new version.

                              Like the tabs and navigation stuff at the top. Was wondering if the saved boards can be listed across columns rather than row by row, again to save space.

                              1. re: limster

                                Yes, this is really awful on the eyes with the background.

                                The font size is horrid. I use a 125% zoom and the font is now the size of the old board at 100%. I know this for a fact as I still have a page open on my browser prior to the change.

                                THe font size on the OP is drastically different from the replies.

                                Even at 100% on the new site, while the type is too small the collapsed boxes are too large and takes a lot of scrolling. It just looks bad.

                                When I go to 125% so I can read the site all the tabs are overwritten.

                                Why do you folks keep changing the type and colors? This was a major problem in past releases. Why return to what didn't work and had lots of complaints?

                          2. Thank you to everyone for this really useful feedback on Tuesday's release. We are so thrilled to hear that you're excited about a few of the new features! But here's the requisite cover-your-ass statement: it's a huge release, and we might have some hiccups after launching. (So yes, perhaps a little downtime, perhaps some janky interactions, perhaps some funny-looking design stuff.)

                            The release should be live by midday Pacific time. And then you should be able to get right back into the site and start getting used to the new features. Please, please do let us know if you see problems. Feedback is always welcome; if it's a bug we will get it into the queue to fix, and if it's a request for change or enhancement, we will refer to it when mapping out future releases.

                            A few people have mentioned the mobile site. This release includes an iPhone/Android version of the site that fixes a lot of the problems the current mobile site has, and allows users to reply to threads and post new threads from their phone. It's not an app (that's in the works, of course), but you'll be able to visit the site on your iPhone or Android and it'll automatically detect the mobile version. There are a few things we're still working on; in the next week or so you'll be able to: upload photos to a review; upload photos to a restaurant page; use the swipe motion to scroll through photo galleries. We haven’t enabled video on this version, yet; we're expecting to have that done in the fall.

                            I'll be checking in constantly and will try to be as responsive as possible.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: CHOW HQ

                              Thanks for all the feedback. It looks like all of the changes are positive developments. I hope you and users will both give each other a little slack when the inevitable hiccups occur.

                              1. re: CHOW HQ

                                What about us Opera Mobile smartphone users that are convinced this Apple/Android thing will never catch on? Will the mobile site be detected for us as well?

                                Mr Taster

                              2. To the powers that be,

                                There are Two Southwest (I'm guessing one should be Southeast) boards. You may want to double check your coding before you go live with a site ;-) Just a heads up.

                                1. To those in charge --
                                  Major problem with the "saved boards" graphic. I've saved 10 boards. Instead of making multiple columns, your new scheme lists them straight down -- in other words, they now overlap all the headers at the top of whatever page I am on. In addition, the "edit" of the saved choices is pretty lame. Really? I can only add or delete. How about letting me choose which order they appear in?

                                  I'm finding the new graphics rather annoying. A lot of empty space wasted at the left of the page, for instance.

                                  4 Replies
                                    1. re: LNG212

                                      Listing all the saved boards in a single stack was the first thing that struck me too - very inefficient and negates the value of showing only selected boards, they still take up an inordinate amount of screen space

                                      I don't see any empty space at the left, though that might be a question of screen resolution and window sizing. I use a high res (1920 x 1080) on a 27" monitor so I size the browser window to about half my screen width. If I let it go to full screen there are vast amounts of empty space on both sides - but that's true of almost all web sites.

                                      1. re: BobB

                                        One other problem. Let's say you have saved some boards. If you click on "EDIT BOARDS", it gives you check boxes to delete any of them you want - but it doesn't have any way to return to the view where each of your saved boards is a link, so suddenly you don't have the functionality of the saved boards any more. How can I get it back?

                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                          Clicking 'cancel' or reloading the page should both work.

                                    2. Where does the board listing go when on either MY CHOW page or someone else's profile page? I was just looking at someone else's profile and wanted to get back to a board. There was no board listing and it took going through the "take me to chowhound" button to navigate there. Huh?

                                      1. someone at CHOW thought an insultingly large font against white-white background would be easy for wealthy aging baby-boomers to read? can we get an atari joystick for navigation and scrolling, while we're at it?

                                        just kidding, mostly, but sk does not dig. another vote for tightening up and less wasted space. long threads are nightmarish in this format and folks will just avoid them.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                          sk, a quick help for the font size - hold down the CTRL key, and using your mousie's roller button, roll back one click. That should resize the font for you.

                                          HOWEVER.....I've just notice that when you're replying, the font size is even SMALLER than what you have set, so that doesn't help those of us who wear eyeglasses (me!). WTF????? Why can you just pick ONE size font and make it all the same throughout the entire site?

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            That's true - when typing a reply the font size is X, and when you then post your reply it (and all the other replies) are X + 2. And the names on closed posts, and navigational text like Report|Reply at the bottom right of a post are X - 2 or X -3. Except for navigational text like "Back to the Top|Reply to original post" at the bottom of the entire string, which appears to be X + 1.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              thanks for the tip L.W! i actually am using a laptop w no mousie, but it is a good trick, and the control + or - trick is a good one for those of us who are operating sans mousie. . . i am too much of a luddite & need to be reminded.

                                              but like you said, when you think you've re-sized the font to something comfortable and try to reply, you're squinting at a smaller size font again, and your words are lost like a flyspeck in a sea of meringue. . .

                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                lost like a flyspeck in a sea of meringue. . .
                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                Very interesting food reference, sk. ;-)

                                          2. An unpleasant shock and an optic nightmare. It's ugly, hard on the eyes (too much white, FAR too little contrast), and reminds me of generic food labels with a splash of red. It wasn't broken--why did you "fix" it? Please change it back.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                              Yes very very unpleasant and harsh. It never fails to amaze me how these web site operators can make changes that they think are good without the slightest notion of what it looks like to the average person.

                                            2. I just wanted to comment on the Chow front page. I only go to Chow occasionally but I figured I'd check it out with the new release. Some thoughts --
                                              --I like the front page. It seems less cluttered and rather attractive.
                                              --I like the major "stories" things running across the top.
                                              --BUT I would prefer that if I click on the thing running across the top, say Table Manners, that it would take me to the listing of Table Manners posts, not just that particular current Table Manners post. (Am I being clear here?)
                                              --I still like the recipes page.
                                              --I would prefer some way to get the chowhound board menu rather than having to click "go to chowhound" and then pick a board (too many steps).

                                              Anyway, I thought I'd say something nice about the new Chow main page. :)

                                              1. Can My Chow please be easier to find and farther down on the screen? It is a tiny space, and it's way up at the top of the screen, so I have to scroll all the way up to get to it. Can't it be next to "Take me to Chow" etc. where it was before, or failing that, a designated place in the saved boards drop down?

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: JasmineG

                                                  Remember that you can get to MyChow by clicking on your own name in a thread or your name where it appears on the message board index as the most recent poster or originator of a topic. You can also use the "Back to the Top" button navigate up.

                                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                    I use the Back To the Top button, Melanie, and then have to scroll half a mile to the right and scroll further up then look somewhere in the vast whiteness to eventually squint to find, in Very Light Pink lettering, my name.

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      Yeah, I've clicked on the wrong spot already twice this morning because the place to click for My Chow is SO tiny.

                                                2. Please make this easier to follow. The appearance is horrid. I AM LOST WITH THIS. awful awful awful awful awful awful

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Glendale is hungry

                                                    Don't hold back--tell 'em what's REALLY on your mind! :)
                                                    It really IS hideous, isn't it?

                                                  2. Hi Everyone -

                                                    Thank you so much for all of the feedback since launch, we really appreciate hearing the good and the bad and we are working really hard to fix bugs.

                                                    On a quick note, the things that will be included today in another release will be -

                                                    1. Fixes to make the font size smaller, thus saving some of the vertical space on posts.
                                                    2. Minimize the padding around posts, again to minimize vertical space.
                                                    3. Put the darker grey background back, to help with bleeding eyes.

                                                    There will be more fixes coming in the next few days and the coming weeks. Thanks again for all of the feedback! The Chow Team

                                                    34 Replies
                                                            1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                              very cool. those seem to be everybody's biggest gripes. can't wait to check in later and have everything look all pretty :)

                                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                                We like pretty. :-) But it must also be usable.

                                                                Pretty usable. Yup. That's it. :-)

                                                              2. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                Tail is wagging furiously and tongue hanging out panting. Good job. I know we complain a lot but thank you for listening! I like "my saved boards" that have already been fixed!

                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                  Ditto. It's nice to feel heard & appreciated as the obsesso hounds we are.

                                                                2. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                  Acknowledgment and response are always appreciated! :)

                                                                  1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                    3. Put the darker grey background back, to help with bleeding eyes.
                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                    I'm home, and this is now in place - MUCH, MUCH better - thank you!

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      Not on my profile page it's not. :(

                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                        True. I'm only seeing it in actual threads. But the profile pages need to be updated as well. Hopefully overnight.

                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        YES, so much better! The dark grey background, the regular size font, and the less amount of whitespace are all very appreciated.

                                                                        1. re: JasmineG

                                                                          But I do agree with MacGuffin - we need the darker grey borders at our MyChow/profile pages as well.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            I agree with me, too, Linda, and we're still waiting. My profile page is the one I keep loaded and now all I want to do is avoid it. OUCH.

                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                              Profile page contrast! THANK YOU! :)

                                                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                Interesting - I don't have the darker grey borders at my Profile page yet. ::::Sigh::::

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  Try:

                                                                                  - refreshing your profile page (F5 or control-R (PC) or command-R or "refresh" in your browser menu)
                                                                                  - logging out & in again

                                                                                  Good luck!

                                                                                  1. re: kpzoo

                                                                                    Nope. I just recently had to do the auto-log-in that CH has you do every couple of weeks, but just logged off and back on. Still all white.

                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                      Oh, yecch. I feel your pain, believe me. :(

                                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                        What browser are you using, MacGuffin? I'm always on Firefox (currently version 3.6.9).

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                          Also Firefox (for Mac). But I just updated last night to 3.6.10 and rebooted an hour or so ago; I think the contrast appeared a few days ago, certainly before I got around to posting an acknowledgment.

                                                                                          I'd like to add that it would be nice to be able to search from one's profile page.

                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                        One more tip if neither of those worked:

                                                                                        Try clearing your browser cache. Sounds like your browser is not pulling in the latest stylesheet, which changed the background colour from white to grey.

                                                                                        I'm also on Firefox 3.6.9, so it's definitely odd.

                                                                                        If clearing the cache doesn't work:

                                                                                        Could you try a different browser just for kicks? (Chrome, Safari, IE)
                                                                                        Try turning off any Firefox add-ons (extensions) and see what happens. Maybe something is interfering.

                                                                                        1. re: kpzoo

                                                                                          Still all white background in IE (8.0.6) and will try clearing cache. Nope, that didn't work. Grrrr...

                                                                                          The ONLY add-on for Firefox I have is the AdBlocker...I've just disabled it and will restart Firefox. Let's see if THIS works. Nope - the LindaWhit profile page is still all white. :::Sigh:::

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            That's so, so strange. (I also have AdBlock Plus.)

                                                                                            If *two different* browsers are still showing white on your profile page, that's really a mystery, as it now seems like it's not something browser-specific, but I can't think what it might be. Sorry I wasn't able to help, if I think of anything else I'll let you know. Maybe someone else has another idea.

                                                                                            1. re: kpzoo

                                                                                              Maybe someone else has another idea.
                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                              Banging on the side of the tower? That always brought in the reception on the TV when I was growing up. ;-)

                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                              Could it be a zoom issue, as in spacing.
                                                                                              The shortcut used to zoom in a browser -
                                                                                              'Ctrl' + '='.
                                                                                              It makes everything bigger, but if it is white space you don't want, on certain browsers there is an option to change the background color. Have you tried that?

                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                ::::::Ding, ding, ding!!!!::::::: HillJ, you're my hero/ine! :-)

                                                                                                When I read what you wrote, I remembered that earlier this week, when I began to write the Top Chef Finale #2 episode, the new typing box for the thread I had started showed the font at teeny-tiny little font size (like 7 pt!) and the only way I could see what I was writing was to write a little bit and then save the post. Then I went into Edit Post, where it was an ugly Courier font, but at least at a size that was readable as I added to the OP. THAT issue seems to have been fixed in the last day or so, but I had probably enlarged the entire view at that time and I never returned to the original view.

                                                                                                Huzzah!! for HillJ! I see you're in NJ - it figures a fellow New Jerseyan would figure it out for me. :::vbg:::

                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  fuggedaboutit (smirk)
                                                                                                  glad it helped you.

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                    Mazel tov! Welcome back to a Chowhound without eyestrain!

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                      Hilarious. Glad you sorted this out! Guess I was just a bit too far north of NJ to be of help here. ;-P

                                                                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                      OMG that is great!!!

                                                                                                      jfood's MIL has been asking how to do this on her Mini for months. now she can

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                        I hold CTRL and scroll my mouse wheel up and down.

                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                          I was happy to help LindaWhit out. Plenty of shortcuts for basic things but figuring out her dilemma was something of a guess. I'm sure LW will return the favor one day :)

                                                                                2. I'm just back from a vacation and trying to navigate the new design. Perhaps it will get easier as I get used to it, but so far this reminds me on New Coke

                                                                                  1. Viewing the site on my BlackBerry is even more cumbersome and annoyying than it used to be. !!!

                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                      eww - havent tried this. I RELY on my Blackberry when I am on the road here and abroad. Chowhound useablility has always been a problem -worse is bad news.

                                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                        Unless there's some new magic handshake, all I can get now is board names, no content!

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          Have you tried viewing in Opera Mini? When I had my BB Opera was the only way to make chowhound usable.

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              On your BB browser go to http://www.opera.com/mobile/download/... and follow the instructions. Opera mini is a web browser designed for smartphones. It will make your browsing experience on the BB much better in most cases.

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  You're welcome. I hope it works out for you. The BB is a great communications device but it's a mediocre web experience.

                                                                                                2. re: bookhound

                                                                                                  praobably cant do this since my BB is a piece of corporate property.
                                                                                                  there are still a lot of us out there that cant download apps - for good reason.

                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                          I did see someone from the CH Team say in another thread (I think in response to jfood) that Blackberry redesign was in the works for end of year?

                                                                                        3. I thought the distinction between stories and blogs was pretty useful. One took you to well-written and researched long-form feature stories and columns and projects, and for the daily news, factoids, videos, cool products, etc, you had the blog.

                                                                                          I miss the distinction. The lack of distinction makes Chow a bit harder to navigate.

                                                                                          1. So...CHOW HQ. What are the chances that our profile pages are going to be re-released to something less blinding?

                                                                                            1. I thought Sticky Topics were permanent or semi-permanent locked "alerts" for various purposes. Why are ongoing threads or new posts dropping into the Sticky Topics section?

                                                                                              24 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                This has been a constant problem. I don't know why they couldn't fix it with this latest release.

                                                                                                1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                  My understanding (based on things posted on Site Talk over time) is that that is a problem related to certain browsers (or maybe browser/system combos). I have never personally experienced it.

                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                    Weird because on 3 different computers at home over the years, and 3 or more at work, Explorer and Firefox, new posts have ALWAYS appeared in Sticky Topics on my screen.

                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                      Yeah, I'm pretty sure what people are referring to is a server-side bug. The strip with today's date that in theory separates Sticky Posts from today's posts is not in the right place. See screenshot.

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      1. re: kpzoo

                                                                                                        Yep, and what I'm saying is that that is the way the boards are formatted on my computers when I go on the site. Sticky topics include Chowhound directives (posting etiquette and so forth) AND all new posts. The new posts filter down to the day's posting after a period of time. I always thought this was so that the moderators could review them before allowing them to be posted to the day.
                                                                                                        For example: on the Home Cooking board right now, Sticky Topics runs all the way down to "Community Supported Fish Share recipe ideas" which is the first post under the 8/17 bar.

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          Well, on two different computers in my house (one Mac/Firefox, one PC- Vista/IE), right now the sticky topics on Home Cooking include Guidelines for Posting Recipes, Home Cooking Digest, and two COTM threads. That's it - only topics that actually have the little lock symbol next to them. Below, the date line and new topics. I have seen periodic mentions of the problem for several years, and as I said, I have never seen it when I've used the site. So it doesn't appear universally.

                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                            It doesn't bother me particularly, it's just odd, no? I would post a screen shot if I knew how to do it. ;-)

                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              I would post a screen shot if I knew how to do it. ;-)
                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                              Use your PRTSCN button to take the shot and save it to your Clipboard, then paste it into a new Paint file. Save it, and upload it. :-)

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Print screen button on this keyboard does nothing (except make the arrow cursor disappear for as long as it's pressed), is there another way?

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  It does nothing that you can see, but during that moment that the cursor disappears it takes a screen shot and saves it to the Clipboard. To make the screen shot postable you need to open it in a graphics program and then save it as a JPG, JPEG or GIF file.

                                                                                                                  You can verify that Print Screen is working by simply opening a new Word file and selecting Paste - by default it will paste what's in the Clipboard.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        *Blushing, thank you teachers*
                                                                                                                        I work on a laptop and a monitor so that's why there are 2 screens shown, didn't want to post my desktop pic of Liam (although it's very cute) and shortcut icons (which are somewhat confidential) so put up Word.

                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          This is for you, buttertart. :-)

                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    What BobB said. It doesn't seem like it's doing anything, but it saves the picture to your clipboard. As long as you don't do anything else (i.e., copy something over what's there) you can then go to Edit/Paste in Paint and the screen shot will show up there.

                                                                                                          2. re: kpzoo

                                                                                                            Yep that's how I see the Boards regardless of what computer/browser I use. Here's Prairie Provinces looking the way it should(and this is the first time it has looked this way in recent memory)

                                                                                                            btw Edmonton RROTM (restaurant review of the month) is a sticky topic...so it's where it's supposed to be. Home cooking on the other hand has a dozen plus topics under the stickied heading then today's date at the bottom of the screen.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                              I find this slightly annoying on IE but in the scheme of annoyances with the CH interfaces it falls to the botton of the list!

                                                                                                          3. re: buttertart

                                                                                                            It's a time zone related thing, mainly, which is why some people will never see it (since they're in the same time zone as the servers).

                                                                                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                              Aha! Thanks for solving that mystery!

                                                                                                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                  Thanks for the explanation. However, when CNet first took over CH, this function did work properly. At some point, it stopped working and it's never been fixed.

                                                                                                            2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                              I have been using the same system/browser since joining CH and never noticed a change in the way posts appear under Sticky Topics until this latest release. I asked about it because I wondered if unlocked posts appearing under ST had a significance in some other community-useful way. My experience has been that ST posts were always locked, informational topics.

                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                I've had the same experience. This is the only time I've been seeing the sticky posts up top, and it seems to vary from day to day. The first few days I saw them, and then one or two days it was just the informational topics. Now it's back to the latest 4-5 posts up in the Sticky Topics again. I use Firefox on both a Mac and PC.

                                                                                                          4. In for a penny, in for a pound: it's also pretty irritating to click on a topic link, only to be confronted with CHOOSE A BOARD/SHOW SAVED BOARDS. Used to be, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth (last week), that the first thing we saw was the topic, which I now have to scroll down to see. If I wanted to CHOOSE A BOARD/SHOW SAVED LINKS, it would be a tad counterintuitive to hit a topic link in order to do so.

                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                              Just a wild guess here, Mac, but perhaps you are not aware that you can collapse the display of CHOOSE A BOARD/SHOW SAVED BOARDS? There are two ways it can be viewed: either as little tabs that don't take up much space, so you can see the topic right below those little tabs, or as the full display showing lots of boards or your choices of boards. You can switch between those views by scrolling over to the right of where it says CHOOSE A BOARD/SHOW SAVED BOARDS and you'll see the word VIEW alongside two boxes. When you click on the left box, it uses the tab display so it doesn't take up much space, and when you click on the right box, it uses the full display showing lots of boards or your choice of boards. It remembers what you have chosen so that all subsequent displays show up that way, until you change it.

                                                                                                              1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                                                Actually, it doesn't matter what button/tab you use to open/close the Saved Boards. They work both ways. Click one and the list will collapse. Click it again, it'll open. Having two buttons/tabs is redundant.

                                                                                                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                                                  Oh, that's great--thank you so much! I didn't notice the view option before because the alternate was never activated. It looks much better. Now, if they'd just fix tweak our profile pages...

                                                                                                                  1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                                                    Yes, but it is a real pita. A week later and I'm still having major problems navigating. I surf a lot and I can't think of one site that does this.

                                                                                                                    Here's my drill.

                                                                                                                    1. Use a bookmark to get to My Chow and check for new posts.
                                                                                                                    2. If none, check out SF board by clicking on one of my My Chow posts. Hopefully there is one on the first page of My Chow or I have to scroll to a page to find it.
                                                                                                                    3. Read posts
                                                                                                                    4. Decide to read another board or post on one
                                                                                                                    5. Hit saved boards.
                                                                                                                    6. Get to board. scroll, scroll scroll till I get view icons and can collapse this section
                                                                                                                    7. Scroll, scroll scroll back to the left so I can look through the board
                                                                                                                    8. Repeat for every board I want to use.

                                                                                                                    pita

                                                                                                                    If the collapse/expand icons were to the left or less screen real estate was used for the saved boards it might help somewhat.

                                                                                                                    This feature has promise, but frankly right now it would just be easier to bookmark the boards rather than saving them ... which then makes this feature pointless.

                                                                                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                      I just happen to be doing something in micrososft with a colapse / expand feature called more details, fewer details. Even if they just had that little up/ down arrow it is intuitive on what it is supposed to do. And even though it is a small window, it is to the left where most people look first. See photo

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                        There's also the standard +/- options to expand/collapse. I think I'd be much happier with a side nav a la gmail where I could expand/collapse each of the options on the side instead of taking up tons of room at the top. Even switching the "edit boards" button to a small blue link or something like "post my reply" that doesn't have an inch of white space around it would be an improvement. The main issue with Saved Posts is that even with the new configuration, 90% of my Saved Boards box is white space.