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Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

Future planning: what user preferences would be useful?

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I am starting to think about user preferences. This won't happen for a while, but I'd like to gather input so we can start thinking about a functional design.

Currently a user has a single account across our network. When you edit your description or your display name or your blog link, those changes apply on all communities where you have a presence. Similarly, when you link a Stack Exchange account (on communities that support data import), what you're really linking is your SE network account -- you only need to link it once.

User profiles have a very small preferences section now -- there's one preference, to turn keyboard shortcuts on or off, which I believe is a global preference. We've had a request for a per-community preference for a default license -- you might ask why per-community, but it makes sense to me that if you are hobbyist photographer but a professional writer, you might want different settings on those two communities.

The possibility of per-category preferences has also been raised, again with licenses.

We need to understand the potential use cases before we design something. Knowing whether there are 3 or 30 things, for instance, or knowing whether preferences are mostly global with a few exceptions or mostly local or all over the place, makes a difference.

My question to y'all is: what kinds of things should be settable as user preferences, and with what scoping (global, community, category)? Some suggestions I've heard (please feel free to develop these in answers) include:

  • default license -- per community, maybe per category

  • whether your votes are public or private by default (assuming we implement optional public votes; we don't have this now) -- per community

  • enable keyboard shortcuts - global?

  • just to acknowledge it before deferring it: dark mode :-) (yeah maybe someday, not now, presumably global)

What else should we be considering?

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+10
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status-completed Favorite tags It's an idea I was thinking about since a while ago, but wouldn't it be nice if use …

9mo ago

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Sort posts in one's own profile by score or age The profile main page includes a selection of posts (currently top 15 …

10mo ago

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whether your votes are public or private by default I would probably use that, but it also shouldn't be a big deal to …

12mo ago

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status-completed Enable/Disable Autosave Self-explanatory, let users choose whether they want to turn the autosavi …

9mo ago

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status-partially-completed: can now set per community (but not per category). Allow users to select their own default …

9mo ago

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status-completed Be able to not have default licenses This is related to being able to pick a default per category …

9mo ago

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Enable/disable display of Hot Notable Network Questions. [If we ever have the Notable Network Questions at all.]

10mo ago

+3
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Use a monospace font in the editor (enable/disable) For those like me who want to use a proportional font when writin …

12mo ago

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Some way to track the votes you are receiving. Some kind of "reputation timeline" that explains which posts were voted u …

9mo ago

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Assuming the favourite tags per community feature gets implemented, then how about some manner of social media-like "fee …

12mo ago

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With respect to licence types per category: the Photography & Video site default is CC BY-SA 4.0, but the Contests/Criti …

12mo ago

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Choosing the language of the interface. In my experience in non English sites from SE, not having a user interface in …

9mo ago

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Currently, the user profile has these fields: - Avatar - Username - Profile description - Website URL - Twitter a …

9mo ago

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I would enjoy having a network profile, where I could see all the posts and comments I have posted over time.

9mo ago

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A succinct list of posts, the time they were posted and its current score, as well as the last time they were active. (a …

9mo ago

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Show/Disable last seen time This is a pretty standard preference for those sites that do have "last seen" tracking, f …

12mo ago

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It would be great to have a way to define where the preview is showed: above, below, or next to the text editor

9mo ago

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Title before body in post editor There has been much discussion about the fact that the title is put after the body o …

10mo ago

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status-declined I would like a way to disable Markdown by default in posts I write. The HTML formatting is richer, …

9mo ago

1 comment thread

General comments (3 comments)

19 answers

You are accessing this answer with a direct link, so it's being shown above all other answers regardless of its score. You can return to the normal view.

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Sort posts in one's own profile by score or age

The profile main page includes a selection of posts (currently top 15 by score), which highlights contributions by that user.

It would be nice if it was possible to select whether to show, say, the top 15 by score or the most recent 15 posts. The latter choice would highlight recent contributions, at the expense of long-lived posts where the latter are likely to have received more votes simply by virtue of having been around longer.

I imagine that this would apply to the user's own profile only, not to how other users' profiles appear to the user who changes the setting. (This would allow precomputing and caching the list, requiring updating only after posts by that user are voted on or added, respectively.)

This could hopefully be at least per community; I suspect that more fine-grained than that would increase the complexity a fair bit but provide little value, but people may want to make different trade-offs between different communities. (For example, it doesn't seem unreasonable to want to highlight recent posts on Code Golf but highly voted posts on Software Development.)

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status-completed

Favorite tags

It's an idea I was thinking about since a while ago, but wouldn't it be nice if users could choose 'favorite' tags, and they would be highlighted in some way on the feed? (maybe with a different background).

For example, on Software Q&A, I would favorite JavaScript and Node.js, since those are the technologies that I work the most in. On Languages Q&A, I would favorite Japanese and Chinese, the languages I'm learning.

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1 comment thread

General comments (9 comments)
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status-completed

Enable/Disable Autosave

Self-explanatory, let users choose whether they want to turn the autosaving feature on/off.

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1 comment thread

General comments (5 comments)
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whether your votes are public or private by default

I would probably use that, but it also shouldn't be a big deal to click the appropriate button at the time of voting. Maybe this is to make the immediate voting interface less cluttered, but there still has be a means to override the default at each particular instance.

If this is implemented, it should be by community, not globally.

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1 comment thread

General comments (2 comments)
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status-partially-completed: can now set per community (but not per category).

Allow users to select their own default license per site and category, possibly per post type

I'm adding this as an answer here mainly to aid in prioritization relative to other preferences that the community would like to see.

For an in-depth discussion of that feature, please see the linked question.

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status-completed

Be able to not have default licenses

This is related to being able to pick a default per category, but what I'd actually like is the option to not have the License filled-in at all, and force me to explicitly pick it for each post. That is, each time I write something I want to be mindful about what permissions I want to give and what to reserve, and it may be different depending on what I'm writing about and how much effort was involved in making it. But sometimes I have forgotten to change the license before posting and ended up with the default. So if I could have the system force me to make an explicit choice I'd probably turn that on.

(Of course it makes perfect sense to have usage of default licenses be on by default. This is just for weirdos like me who might pick something different each time depending on what fits my fancy at the time.)

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Enable/disable display of Hot Notable Network Questions.
[If we ever have the Notable Network Questions at all.]

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0 comment threads

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Use a monospace font in the editor (enable/disable)

For those like me who want to use a proportional font when writing posts.

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1 comment thread

General comments (4 comments)
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Some way to track the votes you are receiving. Some kind of "reputation timeline" that explains which posts were voted upon over time.

It may not be used in the long run if reputation is removed entirely, but currently it is a good way to show the success of a post.

This may be specially useful in Meta, where agreement/disagreement is shown through votes.

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General comments (3 comments)
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Assuming the favourite tags per community feature gets implemented, then how about some manner of social media-like "feed"/start page?

Where all activity involving yourself pops up.A compilation of customized relevant information: new answers to your questions, votes, comments, dev/mod announcements etc. Everything involving yourself on one big, scrollable, easy to navigate page, in chronological order.

But of course without all the "John likes this", "Jane shared this" spam of social media.

Rather than the current system where one has to dig through some 5+ notifications à la SE, then open them in new windows for readability to see what they were about. And then when you are done checking notifications, you go jumping around manually between the various communities to manually check activity in tags you are interested in. Cumbersome even with a favourite tag system in place.

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General comments (2 comments)
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With respect to licence types per category: the Photography & Video site default is CC BY-SA 4.0, but the Contests/Critique category within it defaults to CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. On the other hand, Outdoors just uses the site default of CC BY-SA 4.0 for its Photo Contest category. If I had the option to set NC for all photo contest categories then I would, because if I stop to think about it I'd prefer a more restrictive licence for my photos but I don't always pay enough attention to that when posting.

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General comments (1 comment)
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Currently, the user profile has these fields:

  • Avatar
  • Username
  • Profile description
  • Website URL
  • Twitter account

When in a community, I sometimes feel like sharing some of my personality with those in the community: who am I, what I like, etc. However, what refrains me from doing it is the fact that anyone will be able to see it, no matter if they are registered in the site or not. That is, any passer-by will see the same information about me.

For this, I think on having a way to chose how public is every item in your profile: just you / just registered users / everyone.

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General comments (3 comments)
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Show/Disable last seen time

This is a pretty standard preference for those sites that do have "last seen" tracking, for those who want to opt out. If they enable it, their last seen time would be shown on their profile, if not, it wouldn't.

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General comments (5 comments)
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A succinct list of posts, the time they were posted and its current score, as well as the last time they were active. (and maybe show how many comments they have)

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General comments (3 comments)
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I would enjoy having a network profile, where I could see all the posts and comments I have posted over time.

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General comments (2 comments)
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Choosing the language of the interface.

In my experience in non English sites from SE, not having a user interface in their own language was a major obstacle for many users that would otherwise have joined and participated more often.

If we foresee a future where communities can accept posts in other languages, choosing that language for the interface would be very beneficial for the users.

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General comments (2 comments)
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It would be great to have a way to define where the preview is showed: above, below, or next to the text editor

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General comments (1 comment)
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status-declined

I would like a way to disable Markdown by default in posts I write.

The HTML formatting is richer, and it's what I use because I don't feel like having to remember yet another set of formatting syntaxes.

One big disadvantage of Markdown is that it's too easy to trigger by accident. This has tripped me up a few times already. I'd like a setting that disables Markdown so that seemingly-innocent characters don't start doing strange things to my posts.

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Title before body in post editor

There has been much discussion about the fact that the title is put after the body of the post when writing a question. I, and a number of others, find this unintuitive and annoying. At least give us a way to shut this off when we take the trouble to do so.

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