Experiment on Meta: horizontal loading slider

It’s not about loving a white screen or not Sam, it’s about the sense of speed.

I’ve actually always thought that the speed (and feel) of Discourse was one of its most impressive features and I know that even those who were quite against Ruby were impressed with what you had done with Discourse.

I also think that sense of speed is more important now than ever, because we are continually competing with huge sites like Twitter and Discord, and I think even a slight feel of sluggishness may have an impact - even if it is subconscious.


It’s great that there will be a component for the old transition mode, but my worry is it might add an overhead which leads to a slowdown (even it it is small) thus negating the benefits of the old way/spinner - if this won’t be the case then I’ll be happy with that… but I still think this move is going to be bad for all the other Discourse sites out there.

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I completely agree about the perception of speed.

If the spinner were to stay on screen for ages then that would indicate a problem (though the spinner would not be the problem) and perhaps be less informative than a slider.

Sliders indicate underlying slowness. They remind me of those old Windows progress bars (estimated time remaining: 6 days 23 hours). When I notice them I think there must be a problem with speed and they’re there to reduce my impatience. This one always seems to pause slightly at about 80% which makes me think something has gone wrong, every time.

If the forum is fast then the slider is not a good idea.

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The more I use Meta, the more I think I prefer the old spinner. The slider just isn’t noticeable enough, so it makes the website feel unresponsive.

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Way cool, I love it.

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We might make it optional behind a boolean in site settings. I strongly prefer it, as does most of the Discourse team, so it’s going in as the new default one way or another… but it is a lot of work to get right due to, uh, complications.

So it won’t be in this release for sure, don’t worry about that.

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Also, just to be clear, I use other websites with the slider and generally find it to be fine. I’m not sure what’s different about Discourse that makes me not like it here. The only thing I can think of is that I use the dark theme on Discourse, but those other websites only have light themes. Out of curiosity, does most of the Discourse team use light theme or dark theme? Maybe there’s some correlation there.

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Many use dark theme for sure.

Another thing to take into consideration is just habits, you have been browsing discourse for a long time with a spinner. I have had kinda the same feeling the first days.

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That could definitely be a factor. I’m also spending much more time on another community that still uses the spinner, so maybe that’s making it harder to adjust to the slider here.

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Disappear Paramount Network GIF by Yellowstone

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For now, yes.

We’ve disabled it here on Meta while we finalise the 2.7 stable release. After that, we’ll get back to testing it here on Meta, and we aim to add it to core before the 2.8 stable release.

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I’ve noticed something possibly related to this feature. Even though the slider is currently disabled, if you open a topic from Categories - Discourse Meta it doesn’t show the spinner.

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I just tried it using the link from your post. I saw the spinner for less than 1 second before the page loaded. I also tried clicking on the categories link from the hamburger menu - same result… spinner for less than a second before the page loaded.

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I didn’t see a spinner when opening a topic from the categories page, too.

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I see the slider instead of spinner when clicking topic links from there too (iPhone app). Maybe they’re testing it out again. Was it going to be slider followed by spinner for slow connections?

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Hi Jonathan,
I believe you see the DiscourseHub slider because this is a browser load.

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I don’t know what you mean, unfortunately. The slider shows when clicking topic links from Categories. From New, Latest etc it’s the spinner.

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DiscourseHub app has an own slider which activate when a full browser request load and that is not the same with this loading slider tc.

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Thanks for the reports! Looks like this is a core bug, rather than a loading slider thing. We’ll get it fixed up ASAP

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The category link issue should be fixed by FIX: Remove auto-route from topic-link by martin-brennan · Pull Request #12999 · discourse/discourse · GitHub

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When Discourse Slider is installed, I encountered a bug where if a subcategory list is shown above topics in a parent category, the list persists even after clicking into the subcategory.

I followed this to reproduce on my end

  • Choose a category with subcategories
  • In Settings, check Show subcategory list above topics in this category (I personally chose the boxes view in case that makes a difference)
  • Go to /categories
  • Click on parent category
  • Click on subcategory

View in parent category

View in advocacy subcategory

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