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Ads obscure/overlay forum comments Answered

I'm having increasing incidents where the right hand side of comment text is covered over by the right-hand-side Advertisements. Usually this happens when there are lots of indented replies, where it is sort-of understandable, but in this example it is happening on a top-level comment:


It is particularly annoying that if I make my browser window widerl nothing moves to the new window margins. Surely the left part of the Instructables banner should be all the way at the left of the window, and the ads should be all the way on the right?

I see this with both Firefox 3.0.4 and Safari 3.1.2 on Mac OSX 10.5.5 (although in Safari, the ads are "transparent.")



9 years ago

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9 years ago

Are you seeing that comment text other than the long URL is obscured? On all the OS/browser combos I've tested, the text other than the long URL is wrapped appropriately. On IE/Win, even the URL is wrapped, which is the right way to handle this. For various reasons, including ad placement, allowing our page layout to stretch with the browser window width change is quite complex. We probably won't be changing it any time soon.

I'm using Firefox on my iBook; as I implied below, there are some topic threads where the depth is excessive.

For example, https://www.instructables.com/community/Whats-Wrong-With-Evolution/: scroll down to the Kiteman/CICrow exchange, and look for Kiteman's Oct 31 postings. You'll see that everything below that creeps over into the ad/featured space. I've run into similar behaviour on some highly populated Orangeboards.

What seems to happen is eventually the amount of indention matches the width of the left-side region, at which points the comments push into the ad/featured right-hand region, while the overall page's width increases (i.e., you get a horizontal scroll bar).

Regarding your comment about stretching, I see what happens. If I make my browser narrower than your chosen dimension, then the whole comments section is butted up against the left edge of my window, and I get a scroll bar. When I make my window wider than your chosen dimension, everything on the page (including the contents of the top banner!) becomes centered with empty margin on either side. Grumble :-(

For the particular example you provide, "treg" included a stupidly long eBay URL. The WikiFormatting code I'bles uses will not break a long string (i.e., characters without any white space), so it falls out of the comment "region". I fully agree that the way the right-hand column "overlays" indented comments is annoying, and reflects some missing structure of the CSS used by I'bles. A simple HTML table would deal with this trivially.

I've been thinking about this, and I realize that there's an underlying structural problem which is insoluble. Applying a fixed indention to show the depth of a thread is intrinsically divergent. No matter what size "window" the user has (whether physical or constrained by internals like the strip of ads/features/groups), it is always possible for a thread to grow such that it exceeds that window. The way the I'bles HTML generator is written now, successive comments get narrower and narrower until they hit roughly a dozen characters (?). At that point, they are resized to the original width, but exceed the user's window, leading (with most graphical browsers) to a horizontal scrollbar. The bug reported in this forum topic, is that the right-hand edge at which the comments are bounded is not consistent with the left hand edge of the ads/featured/groups column. That results in the overlap/obscuration reported. Even if that bug is fixed, the underlying difficulty remains. Perhaps the algorithm needs some lookahead, so that the indention can be adjusted based on the maximum depth of the thread. Maybe the presentation needs some way to "collapse"/"expand" threads. In any event, even if the overlayed columns problem is fixed, there's still a significant feature modification needed.

I don't mind getting a scrollbar once the comments get TOO indented (heh. By that time I've usually given up on the thread anyway...) But NOT getting a scrollbar before the right edge of comments is obscured is a bug. Likewise, not using the left and rightmost margins of a window seems bug-like, in this day of widescreen monitors. You might format for attractive "page-like" format when the extra width isn't necessary, but...


9 years ago

I'll pass the bug along. Thanks for the heads up on this.