11 votes

Go ahead and scroll to the bottom of this page for me.

Here is the page.

http://qz.com/126527/warren-buffett-were-having-a-hard-time-...

And scroll, and scroll, and scroll. And then scroll some more. It never ends!

That's the new thing in websites these days. It is called "the endless scroll." Have you seen it on other sites? You see it on facebook.

Looking at a site like that, the DP starts to feel a little like my clunky 2000 Nissan Sentra. Just on the cusp of electronic key entry. But mine still has a key - that kind of sticks. It is an old car. A little rusty. But dependable! Boy is that car dependable.

That website that I linked above, is like almost from a different species on another planet. Even the name. Just a two letter domain! qz.com. sleek.

But while you're over there, scrolling, look at the placement of ads on that site. Huge. Scrolling past you like billboards on a highway.

At first I see a bunch of giant ads for Boeing. Big -- HUGE -- animated ads for Boeing. These are not standard sized ads. They are custom.

Then after each giant ad is a giant picture, that is the lead for the next story on the ever scrolling page.

Then, after some miles of scrolling, the latest territory boasts big SIEMENS ads. Railway - Locomotive ads. And then there's a BIG ARTICLE about Siemens, and I'm halfway into it before I wake up and scroll backwards some notches to find, indeed

SPONSOR CONTENT

at the beginning.

Now they're on to serving me up CITI ads.

Notice the extreme minimalism in design. Minimalist the extreme. Like Google, this sites and others like seem to have taken a very important part out. The heart.

So there it is friends. The future sneaking in on us.

Someday, maybe guys like me won't be able to put up websites like this. Maybe one day they'll all look like that.

This is, a kind of golden age of the internet. I cherish what we have here, guys, (and gals).

And now, a word from our sponsor!



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It takes away the sense of closure you get

by reaching the end of the page.

Michael, it is all about the database

Even the database of the DP could be transferred by someone good at it into a PHP language program that kicks ass out of the box. Php is designed to use as few resources as possible for normal operations such as page changes and etc. PHP is a low server load language.

Thing is you would want to back it up into more than one location and servers before attempting to make the database exchange. You would want have the "receiving" site ready for the exchange and have two database sources backed up in case you have to go back to default with the drupal. This can be done and bring this site up to modern standards that will make it so much easier to deal with.

Your database can be loaded into MySQL, if it is not already there. If it is then it is not that hard to find a very good out of the box php script to control the MySQL database. PHP is the future language of scripts going forward my friend. Just food for thought Sir.

I have unlimited server hosting and storage if you ever decide you need a place to "park" a database temporarily during the transition. Just let me know. This is something that the DP has needed for a long time. You just can't get parts for an Edsel anymore.

P.S. A "Receiving" site and script would be no more than about 35 to 50 megs. But the DP database is huge! lol.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

You're right that PHP is an

You're right that PHP is an important language for the web. But it's not a "low server load" language by default. It also depends on how a script is programmed and also how PHP is configured on the server.

A bad programmer could easily mess up and create a script that wreaks havoc on a server with relatively little usage.

Regarding the DP's database, I would not be surprised if the size exceeded 2GB.

...

Garan's picture

Isn't the DailyPaul a Drupal/Php site?

That was my impression.

Also, don't get married to any one technology.
Other new (or simply ignored) technologies can make today's latest and greatest look like a slow and cludgey mess.

Php is probably better than most, yet I now look towards node.js, v8 engine, and the power of 'functional programming'.

Maybe someday, people will accept and use the power of logic programming languages. Maybe the world isn't ready yet. Time will tell.

The Daily Paul is using Drupal

Drupal is a CMS, or Content Management System, that utilizes both PHP and MySQL.

Also, in response to ATruepatriot, the "automatic post load" is done via JavaScript, not PHP. And I believe that Michael doesn't like the idea of using it.

I'm a web designer and I hate the automatic scroll. Trust me, it doesn't motivate me to look at more content; it just makes me want to leave the website.

---EDIT---

One thing I've noticed about websites that deliver their content like this is usually they don't have comment systems. My guess is that the comments would be lost in the shuffle. I think that's a bad idea. If you're reading news, you want to be able to share your opinion on it and see others.

Mostly, the only websites I

Mostly, the only websites I have seen where you have to scroll down a long way are the ones that are most likely to be scams or snake oil. Hmm, now that I think of it, I dont think I have ever seen a legitamate website where you had to scroll down super far unless its an aggregate news type site.
With that said, I never liked scrolling tons because it ends up taking more computer resources the further you go.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

Garan's picture

There is (almost) always a counter-example.

The first time I encountered infinite scrolling was when I was too interested to notice. It was funny when I finally found-out there was no end.

Here is a link: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/circular/interesting/

However, on other sites, not so much enjoyment.

Nothing too special

You can probably get infinite scroll here at the DP if you want it, by just activating a module. I mean, what you linked is just an article site, with infinite scroll, and a really minimalist layout. I could probably reproduce something very similar in under a day.

But that said, I've been doing websites for 12 years, and their keep being better ones. But the bottom line is content is always king. And that's why I'm always at the DP, even though I'm passionate for modern web design, and this site is looking dated. Because content is infinitely more important in the end.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Content is king - I hear you

Some of the sites with the best content have pretty crappy design.

ZeroHedge and Craigslist are two that come to mind off the top of my head.

He's the man.

And don't forget

drudge, which makes zh and craigslist look ultra-modern.

I think the infinite scroll, and the pseudo-magazine style, and a lot of the responsive stuff, are gimmicks that impress other designers more than they add real value. If it doesn't enhance the user experience then what's going to make it have any lasting value? I don't want to have to scroll-scroll-scroll, and more often than not it's done in a way that breaks search engine links or makes it unusable on mobile devices or other annoyances.

Have you ever gone house hunting, and you walk into a house and you instantly know the decade it was built because some of the features were just fads that must have impressed other designers at the time?

Infinite scroll is the turquoise bathtub of web design.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Yeah - no kidding!

drudge, which makes zh and craigslist look ultra-modern.

It really is about the content.

Have you ever gone house hunting, and you walk into a house and you instantly know the decade it was built because some of the features were just fads that must have impressed other designers at the time?

Totally. Even cars, especially with the headlight shape & placement.

Speaking of which, have you ever noticed how 'mean' cars look these days. Very aggressive looking.

Infinite scroll is the turquoise bathtub of web design.

Hilarious. Thanks for the comment.

He's the man.
Michael Nystrom's picture

Comments on the endless scroll

Thanks guys for the insights below.

Anyone else? Do you see how the internet is changing, right before your very eyes?

Anyone else here remember GeoSites? That was cool, once upon a time.

He's the man.

Internet Archaeologists Find Ruins Of 'Friendster' Civilization

Oh - and while we're on the topic - why not lengthen out the 'Current Recent Topics' section to 25 or 30? On the downside it would push some ads down, but on the plus-side it would push the 'books' section down which only you and I look at anyway...


http://youtu.be/7mFJdOsjJ0k

Defeat the panda-industrial complex

I am dusk icon. anagram me.

Thought of another interesting thing.

Besides being one of the few with two columns sir, I noticed it is the only two column layout on the net I have seen with the links column being on the right instead of on the left as standard. Northstar and I have tried to emulate this a few times but it was too much work,lol.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Michael Nystrom's picture

What were you using?

I mean, what software platform?

There should be plenty of ready-made themes out there with this kind of a format, for wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. Then it just takes a little tweaking.

He's the man.

We tried many different scripts Michael

Northstar and I have tried many different scripts and programing languages over the last 3 years working together. We did find a lot that could by adapted for two column, but even then it was a whole lot of recoding to make the Right column the link column and the left to contain the body content like the DP. They are just always formatted the other way around as a standard.

We did however find just one very very bare-boned script that was set up that way. But it turned out we would have to do a lot of coding to even make a decent site out of it. Just wasn't worth the work. So many scripts are now very full featured right out of the box. So we realized the DP was indeed unique in this aspect.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

We're all into something

Easy to see what it is for Michael. Me, I just read the articles, the rest is just a distraction, or bandwidth hog, usually both.

"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here" (Shakespeare)
RP 2012~ Intellectual Revolution.

What I found unique about the DP

What I found unique about the DP when I first came here was the two column layout. All others are based on the three column layout. Still to this day it is very hard to find two column formats.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Cyril's picture

Yeah, I'm no big fan either

Yeah, I'm no big fan either of this "endless scroll" thing, to say the least.

But with or without it, and no matter what the skin may be otherwise, the most annoying websites for me to use are those that ignore Tim BL's "Cool URIs don't change" :

http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI.html

... an ignorance which, I have been glad to note from the first day I noticed it, isn't the case of the Daily Paul.

:)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Hmm, may I ask why you're not

Hmm, may I ask why you're not a fan? It seems like a nice feature to me. Why load another page when you could just scroll?

Cyril's picture

I'm no fan precisely because there is not always a URI/URL

I'm no fan precisely because there is not always a URI/URL for the pieces of content thus dynamically loaded. That's the poor design choice I was alluding to (and this has otherwise little to do with the skinning, be it more or less nice looking in layout/theme or not).

Also, in some content contexts, I find this type of "navigation" confusing, as I may like to know (or have clues) about how the content of some topic has been delimited at a specific point in time, by the maintainers of the website.

E.g., an endless scroll about articles or news or etc on precious metals in general is not of great help, and can be tedious to go thru, if I can't filter the stream, say, about silver only, for this or that time period, from this or that author, etc.

I suppose the endless scroll does make sense for things like a stream of tweets about a specific hashtag from latest to oldest, why not, but it's a typical example of a rather coarse-grained (and predefined) selection of content : only two dimensions (hashtag + time) and two criteria (hashtag + inverse chronological order).

Richer/more structured content often requires a finer-grained content selection and browsing facilities than just a endless scroll over just a couple dimensions of largely mashed up content.

All that being said, I reckon I'm rather biased and certainly not a very representative end user : I really don't care much about what is called today "user experience" - I'm no picky at all re: interaction (human vs. machine). But I pay much more attention to how the content is organized (at the ontological level/the topic maps), and how it is accessible/can later be referenced or reused (for its metadata or etc).

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Ah, yeah I see what you mean.

Ah, yeah I see what you mean. In the case of Facebook the pages are so dynamic and constantly changing that there's hardly a URL for anything, I kind of agree that this is annoying.

But for an article site like what Michael linked, they are full article pages that should always have a dedicated URL.

Endless scroll doesn't really prevent any of the other design improvements you're talking about, it can still be filterable and such.

Cyril's picture

Just as with everything, endless scroll is no silver bullet

Yes, it's just as with everything, an endless scroll alone is no silver bullet. But if coupled with other UI controls, sure it may make sense and be actually useful, depending on the type of content.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius