Well, lets looks at a specific example, the recent emails from Let’s Encrypt, and the last Summary I have from Meta.
Let]s Encrypt is a forum I am not overly engaged in, nor will I ever be, but I’d like to use them one day, and I’d love if they supported S/MIME certificates, so I’d like to keep up with what’s going on without visiting the site. So the last summary, after scrolling down a couple inches past the headers and title, I get this:
I can see the five most popular posts, if none of them interest me I can hit a key and file the message away. If I’m keen, I can do a page down and get:
Either way, from looking at the message, two keystrokes later I’m done - and happily not engaged with the web site!
Compare that to the Discourse Meta summary I got on Nov 24 using the new format. I get one or two topics per page, so I have to scan the page, page down, scan the page, page down, scan the page. Then I get to Popular Posts and the writing is tine, and the title is obscurely placed at the bottom so I can’t even quickly see what it’s about. And I still only get a couple entries per page.
Note that visual scanning is much easier when the display remains static - as soon as you are paging down, the topic titles, no matter how big, are moving vertically up and down and so are much harder to scan.
So for my use, instead of ~ 5 seconds to see if there is anything new of interest, it’s probably closer to 30+ to get a similar level of update. I monitor several other Discourse sites, so wastage is multiplied N times.
To me, that counts as a pretty big negative step to what was previously a useful feature.
I completely understand, this new facility may serve others way better, it may serve the Discourse folks way better. But for me, it does not.