Welcome to TOD 3.0!

The Oil Drum has just been migrated to Drupal, an open source content management platform. By design, the new site looks very similar to the old site. We will be bringing new features online in the near future, but for now we want to avoid changing too many things at once.

All of the old content and user accounts have been transferred over, but the user passwords have not. To obtain reset your password, please follow this link or click the "Request new password" link on the upper right hand side of the page.

Email support at theoildrum dot com if you have any problems.

[UPDATE 12/25/06 1:13a EDT] There seems to be a glitch with the ordering of comments. Top-level comments left on the new site appear at the top of the thread, whereas the older top-level comments left on the old site appear below. Sorry about that.

[UPDATE 12/25/06 11:43a EDT] Now there are links in the user profiles that go to a list of a user's comments in addition to a list of stories with the user's comments.

Is there no longer any way to see your own comments and if there are replies to them?

What about links to old stories and comments; are they irretrievably broken now?

For the time being, you can see a list of stories you've commented on by clicking on the "My account" link on the right. Right now there's no way to see if individual comments have been replied to without going back to the thread.

All links to old stories and comments should work. If you find something that doesn't, let me know.

All links to old stories and comments should work. If you find something that doesn't, let me know.

I learned that they didn't work when I hit "refresh" on a recent comment and was told "Page not found".

Right now there's no way to see if individual comments have been replied to without going back to the thread.

You just killed extended discussions on this site.  No, I'm not overstating for drama; I can't wade through hundred-plus comment pages looking for responses to myself, and I doubt many others will either.

That better be on the to-do list, or TOD's value is going to be largely lost.

Can you give me the address of the broken link? In order to fix the problem, I need specific information. Just saying "it doesn't work" doesn't help me that much.

Since the link no longer works (and it's no longer available through my user profile) I can't be exactly sure, but it would have been something like this:


The format for the links to individual replies has changed, if it's even valid any more.  The current system appears only to allow links to anchors within the full comments, not individual comments (and their replies).  This takes a lot more bandwidth and time to load.

On top of that, the link to reply to a comment no longer bears any resemblance to the URL for the post.

I'm quite serious about the comments being essential in the user profile.  If I can't tell the difference between a reply to me and some on-going chatter that I don't care about, I'm very unlikely to reload a huge page just to check.  This means that extended discussion threads in comments ARE A THING OF THE PAST until you fix this.

Also, the ability to edit comments creates the potential for all kinds of mischief.  I suggest turning it off.

Many people have asked for the ability to fix typos in comments they've already posted. Of course "mischief" may ensue if people remove, from their own comments, sections that got criticized later. Besides, no more joking about freudian slips? Not sure what's the best approach. Perhaps one should at least be allowed to append text to ones own existing comment.

What, no more "auto-formatting"? I loved that feature! Who wants to type HTML tags?

Also, after hitting "post" it reloads the whole story, that's very very slow if there are lots of comments and one has a slow connection. The old way, giving a small "thank you for contributing" confirmation page, was much better. I then went back to, and refreshed, the story page later when I wanted to, rather than right away.

Another issue with the new TOD is that a long page doesn't all load at once, it breaks after a certain length and there's a "next" link on the bottom. I think that would make it harder to check on all new comments in a long discussion, since they would be scattered among the sub-pages, and one would need to load them all, manually. I'd rather see it as one big page. If that's not possible or acceptable, can a "user preferences" thingy be set up so that users can choose how long to make a page before breaking it?

The ability to edit a comment should disappear once the comment is replied to. If anyone notices a deviation from this behavior, please let me know.

Very soon we'll be adding a WYSIWYG text editor that blows auto-format away.

Related (I think) to vtpeaknik concern :
Also, after hitting "post" it reloads the whole story, that's very very slow if there are lots of comments and one has a slow connection.

I noticed the disappearance of the "Parent" button which allowed an easy access to the primary source but also conveniently sliced out a thread sub-tree.
That would be very nice to reinstate something like that and not only for the sake of slow connections.
Alas, I expect this to be quite a non trivial change in the underlying cogs and wheels.

The ability to edit a comment should disappear once the comment is replied to

Well... that's a bit better but still there is the case that someone is typing an reply and the author of the orginal post modifies it *while* the reply is being typed in (happened with me today).

Personally - I used to like the edit post idea before, because of my non-native English, but frankly in it's current version it can make things worse than before.

OK, EP, your points are well taken. I'll address the comment issue as soon as I can. But please take note of how much of the site hasn't changed. Any changes you do see are most likely a reflection of an oversight on my part and not the result of a conscious decision by the TOD leadership. It took TOD 2.0 about a year to get where it was, so you can't expect everything in TOD 3.0 to work perfectly on the first day.

Feedback from everyone is encouraged, but I remind people that I am a volunteer who does this in my ever-shrinking spare time. I'm not making excuses--you should expect nothing but the best--but the tone you use will have a big effect on how quickly I get around to addressing your particular pet peeve with the new site.

Don't think that I don't appreciate the work (it's amazing how little hassle there is, which shows how much brainpower goes into making it that way) but some features just aren't optional any more.  It may have made sense to postpone the migration until that could be done.

I commend Super G for all the hard work. I'm sure the glitches will get worked out, but it is amazing for the first day. Congratulations and thanks.

You just killed extended discussions on this site. No, I'm not overstating for drama; I can't wade through hundred-plus comment pages looking for responses to myself, and I doubt many others will either.

Ditto that. The ability to see a list of my comments, and to jump immediately to that portion of the thread rooted at one of them, was very useful. I recall small but very educational discussions held over several days, which are probably not possible if I must remember where/when such a discussion is happening. Hopefully this is a capability that can be recovered under the new system.

Using the find function of the browser is easy in a given drumbeat, but if you're a prolific poster and have ten posts you're expecting to sprout comments, in five different threads, the utility of reloading five different pages and then reading downward from each rapidly diminishes. It's about seeing whether people have replied at a glance, rather than finding your own posts.

As I've noted before, the population and the volume of news items in Drumbeat (topical articles aren't so bad) are larger than can be accommodated comfortably in a restricted-blog setting. Checking the page that was removed is the only way we've been able to cope with long discussions.

I'd like to see a Drumbeat in a different form: a lone forum where Leanan posts news items individually that are stickied for 1 day, and are visible with a short description. Other people can make non-stickied posts. The rest of the forum self-orders based on date of last post, and below the top level, the posts are nested like they are now. So long major discussions can be had without fragmenting into two weeks of Drumbeats, people can post original content as they wish, people can reply to individual news items in an organized fashion, and readability is highly improved for those without much time on their hands.

You just killed extended discussions on this site. No, I'm not overstating for drama; I can't wade through hundred-plus comment pages looking for responses to myself, and I doubt many others will either.

Just go to the thread you're interested in, and search the page for your username. Of course the old way was better, but until its working again, just adapt to the new circumstances. A lot of this site is actually about coping with (very large) changes in the way things work, so starting with a small-scale change like this may be good practise.

You just killed extended discussions on this site.

That better be on the to-do list...

I think you could have put this a little better, EP. However you regard your comment, I was somewhat stunned when I read it and clearly Super G took offence. Site migration is not for the faint-hearted, and inevitably there will always be issues that take time to sort out. To be so to aggressive towards someone who's given his unpaid time to implement this over the Christmas holiday period shows a surprising lack of tact, especially from someone who's listed as a TOD contributor.

Just an observation, but I'm willing to bet you're piqued by it. Well, now you know how Super G feels.

I calls 'em as I sees 'em.  I'm neither exaggerating nor pulling punches, and I'm not alone.

This is a problem which could have been foreseen by examining the web server logs.  Lots of hits had to have been to user profiles, especially users' own profiles.  Lots of hits had to have been to comment sub-trees.  Nobody in the position to know asked what readers were using this for, and what would happen if it went away.

Nobody mentioned that it would go missing.  Users would have spoken up before the fact.

Now that we have this critical functionality discarded in the migration, Super G is hearing about it.  Well, his technical work is incredibly good, no doubt about that.  But this bespeaks a management failure, and if we're not supposed to tell management when something is wrong, we might as well give up on TOD.

Listen. This is a big site with a lot of functionality. I didn't expect to get everything right on the first try, which is why I did the upgrade on the lowest traffic day of the year. If you keep the comments constructive and lay off the melodrama, you might just get your precious feature by the end of the day.

Merry Christmas, Super G!

Thanks for all your hard work!

If you can manage this by the end of the day, you're freakin' awesome.

Heck, if you can manage it in a week I'll be pretty happy.  I just don't want anyone to underestimate just what it means for TOD's usability.

I just went through the new comments links (that was quick!), and noticed that the critical part people have been crying for is missing:  a count of replies to the comment.

I hope that's coming.  If you're in a position to play Santa Claus, here's a wish-list:

  • Comment link which brings up a sub-tree, not all the comments for the story (same as 2.0).
  • Count of replies to the comment (same as 2.0).
  • A flag of some kind which indicates new replies since the thread was last viewed (new feature).

Some other things about the new user comments page:

  • The story author and story timestamp look to be a lot less useful than the legacy stuff - story title and link might be enough.
  • If you're going to construct comment subjects from the first few words of a comment (there is no explicit subject field) it might be worthwhile to use a smaller font size to save space for the other info - what other people have said to us is probably more worthy of screen space than what we said, which we ought to remember.
  • Would be great if the my-comments section was a link off the sidebar again, too.

And about comments themselves:

  • Making a comment shouldn't reload the whole page after posting.  If you've opened the reply link in a new tab or window, this marks a whole lot of possibly-unseen comments as "old".  If you make 3 comments in a thread, you would have to read the new-flagged comments in 3 separate pages... not fun.

I've got the feeling that things are going to be okay.  Whew!  What a relief.

We staff members were the beta-testers, so I guess you can blame us if some bugs slipped through.

I did notice the "order of comments" thing, and posted it to the beta site, in the thread in which I noticed it, but I guess I should have posted it to the thread SuperG set up for beta-testing discussion.

The no "your comments" thing is something that you don't really notice when you're playing with a dummy board and not actually having a real discussion. And I confess, I almost never used that function anyway.

I always thought the "your comments" thing was one of the finer aspects of the TOD

I use "your comments" at dKos, but rarely used it at TOD. The number of articles posted at dKos is just so overwhelming (and the search engine so inadequate) that it was often the only way to even find a thread you were interested in. TOD is still small enough that I prefer to read the entire thread, not just the replies to my own posts. Just my preference; I realize YMMV.

In my case, this will be crippling for long threads.  FireFox has the mis-feature of running the rendering engine at a high enough priority that it freezes out the UI, including the mouse.  If I have some huge page rendering, I can literally not move the mouse (except in huge, infrequent jerks) until it's done.  Getting FF to switch tabs so I can read something else can take 10-20 seconds.  Loading only sub-trees is the way around this.  Was.

Going to my usual entry page at TOD and being told "Page not found"... that wasn't pleasant.

My favorite browser (under Windows) is Opera, lightweight, starts fast, supports tabs, etc. On Linux I use lynx, it is superfast :)

You beat me to it! Merry xmas TOD 3.0!


Wow, that's amazing! It looks almost exactly like it did before. I tried a few things (including the *new* 'edit-your-own-post' feature - cool) and everything worked perfectly. Thanks again for your great work, Super G! Have a wonderful Christmas and new year!

Every time I come and go, even with the passowrd saved, I have to log in. That's a PITA. It might just be me. Who knows?

do you allow cookies from this site? I think Drupal uses a persistant cookie for login tracking...

I know there will be a number of unhappy campers @TOD 3.0 but I know you guys are up to your elbows in your efforts to get things going smoothly so I shall hold back my comments for a few days to see what transpires.

In the meantime let me give you my best for all your hard work and remember this is a team effort and we shall prevail to end with a better TOD.

Have a Merry Holiday Season to all. The coming year is an unkown quantity. So be prepared.

Even well-intentioned pap like the following I try to keep to an absolute minimum... I like to think of myself as the "if it doesn't contribute significantly to the discussion I ain't gonna post" type of TODer. Having said that...

Thank you for the update--we all appreciate the time folks put in.

Happy Holidays, secular and non, and I'm sure a fascinating New Year for all to come. (Huh? It's not a Drum Beat? damn!)

Happy Christmas everyone

Ditto!... and a Happy New Year!

SuperG, your behind-the-scenes work is much appreciated, too!

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

A small but annoying quirk on Linux/KDE Opera 8.5 browser :
The Blogadd/Blogroll column stands in the middle of the page for the main page as well as the account page, hopefully not for the stories pages nor this one comment page.
Likely a CSS difference in the page templates, bad CSS or bad browser?

I do support too the request for comment replies tracking, VERY, VERY usefull for continuing discussions.

Many, many thanks for the "quasi transparent" upgrade I do know that this is a HELL OF A JOB.



I see the same issue with Opera 9.10 (most current version) for Windows, left sidebar is hidden underneath the middle content.

Firefox, Netscape, and Explorer all seem fine however... so its a browser specific issue

The W3C validator service generates a slew of errors for the page, so really unable to speculate as to cause for this, unless there might be some budget for web development work as part of the migration project :)


Seriously though, changing the Doctype to something less strict than "XHTML 1.0 Strict" might help since it might get clients out of "quirks mode" which is generally bad for compatibility issues.

A small but annoying quirk ...
It is fixed for the main page, thanks Super G, but it still happens for the user account page whether one's own or others.

A small but annoying quirk ...
AAARGHHH! It now happens in the preview of SOME comments, NOT all previews, WTF could this be?

Gotcha! It's when there is an HTML syntax error.

The ability to see if there were replies to your own comments is essential for this site.

Whoever made this transition would better to consider rollback until issue is fixed (and I do not see the reasons for the transition mentioned anywhere, was it done for some "prettying" without regard to how site worked before?).

As an IT developer myself my motto is --- there should be serious reasons for replacing working system, or "If it ain't broke don't fix".

Those two lines don't square too well!

Whoever made this transition would better to consider rollback

As an IT developer myself

Yeah! Rollback comes for free too...

I (as a user) don't care how rollback comes (for free or not). The essential feature of the site was lost. So far this looks like not a migration but a "downgrade" for me.

I (as a user) don't care how rollback comes (for free or not).

I am sure Super G will appreciate.
If you are an "IT developer" why not giving a hand on this "essential feature"?

I deeply appreciate the efforts required for supporting this site.

Lately I visit this site daily and I'm fascinated by the high level of professionalism in comments here (in comparison with e.g. slashdot).

As I said before, I haven't seen yet the reasons for migration stated anywhere. I (as a user) was not asked if I want this migration. The old setup worked perfectly fine for me.

I'm not sure if I could help, I named myself broadly as an IT developer, but in fact I'm just a software programmer (EDA (electronic design automation) stuff), no relation to web programming.

Pages load faster. Ads in left column display now in IE 7. Nice migration. Thank you.


I have IE7, but the left bar still loads under the main content section for some reason. In Firefox, there is no problem.

BTW, Happy holidays to all!! This site is one of the 2 sites I visit most on the internet. It's invaluable to me and I want to thank all of those who put their effort and expertise to make the site what it is. Again, my greatest thanks. Greg

Best Wishes of the season.

The system didn't send me an updated password despite 4 different attempts to have it do so.

Does this still work?

In response I just created a new account. Used an email account on same domain as the prior email account and the Drupal password info arrived OK so the problem is not with the destination email sever.

This is not a complaint, SuperG. I have no problems. Thought I would add this comment in case others have had similar issue then they can then post against this comment and you can determine if this is a major problem for prior users. I suspect it is not.

All the best!

Just found the EDIT button and went back in and futzed around. Cool!

And when I post against the parent thread the EDIT button should no longer be available to me in the parent thread?

Once someone replies to a post, it can no longer be edited.

The system didn't send me an updated password despite 4 different attempts to have it do so.

My reminder was classed as spam, so I found it in the junk folder. Maybe yours got filtered too?

I can look at the editing queue and that's about all. No "create a story", no file uploads, etc.

Ditto. Can't read the stories in the editing queue - not even my own.

Minor suggestion here.

When you get to the bottom of the page it just cuts out right at the bottom of the last comment.

The old style was to have a comment box. I miss the visual clue that I'm at the bottom and the convience of the box.

Anyway, thanks for all the hard work.
For a little perspective, I too run a website. Its for my running club. However when I make a change no one comments. No one even complains. I think its because they just don't care as its not that important to them.

If you are getting negative feedback you should be flattered. People are passionate about this site.

Sorry, SuperG I imagine this is quite overwhelming for you right now to take care of all requests.

Just one suggestion to enhance the blog readability when you are able to get to - in the new version the padding of the posts (the white area distance betwwen the text and boundaries) looks larger than before. This makes the thread quite longer and so is the need to scroll down...