Update about Userstyles new design release

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  • edited June 2017 Firefox
    Huh, I thought they added sort by recently updated but after testing it the sidebar link only displays globally updated not for search queries (I've abandoned use of the site following the update since I can't browse as easily, hence why I didn't notice earlier).
  • It's really weird that the feature would be removed, because there are a few categories where sorting by most recently updated (or by new) are crucial. For example, Facebook updates its code routinely, so you'd want to be able to sort Facebook styles by the most recent. Another category where this would be necessary is the App Styles category.

    I haven't been able to use the website since these features were removed. The workflow I had going with the old website has been completely obliterated to the point that the website is now useless to me.
  • edited June 2017 Chrome
    image
    X_X I don't remember the top pictures looking this bad before...I mean, as people pointed out, it was blurry, but now it looks pixelated AND compressed!
    933 x 630 - 382K
  • Pabli said:
    I said the same thing a month ago. Such a simple thing to fix, but nobody in charge cares about US.o or its users anymore.
  • why are they still uploading new styles onto this wreck of a site? boycott this travesty altogether.
  • whatnot said:

    why are they still uploading new styles onto this wreck of a site? boycott this travesty altogether.

    I haven't seen a comparable alternative yet, especially regarding the "advanced style settings" and the update feature.
  • There is no good alternative currently. Creating one is not as simple as people like to pretend. There are so many variables. To start with, how much content would you need to pilfer, or "scrape" from US.o? Many licenses allow it, so legality isn't even the biggest issue. To even have a chance of competing, you'd need a comparable amount of content. Websites like US.o, with huge databases, work because they grow organically. As content slowly grows and hosting fees increase, traffic and ad revenue offset those costs. If your site is popular enough, you may even turn a profit. By all accounts, US.o is decently profitable. I doubt anyone is getting rich off US.o alone, but it pays for itself and then some.

    The biggest issue will be the complete monopoly and ubiquity of Stylish and US.o. Starting with a database large enough to compete, without the traffic and revenue, would result in the owner paying out of their own pocket. Maybe someone will get fed up enough to do that, but US.o would be nearly impossible to compete with. Most traffic comes from the extensions themselves, which have a couple million users. Users click "find more styles for this site" and are directed to US.o. Even as broken as their search is currently, that's what users do. Expecting users to manually go to a different site and search on their own is wishful thinking.

    The real shame here is that it's pretty clear that the analytics company that bought Stylish is only concerned with the ability to use the extension as spyware. They bought an extension solely based on the fact that it had a couple million users who had already opted in to the permissions required for them to use it as a data aggregating botnet. Those permissions are necessary for functionality and users agreed to them because Stylish was previously always trustworthy.

    IMO, the only reason Stylish was redesigned was introduce features that only work if you don't disable analytics. Analytics are enabled by default, meaning most users will leave them on, but to avoid a bigger backlash initially, they needed to add an opt-out. Another way to ensure users won't opt-out is to change enough code and functionality that it becomes awkward and crippled when disabled.

    As far as the site redesign, the person at SimilarWeb who was put in charge was probably sick of his colleagues making fun of how outdated it looked. Not knowing anything about the important underlying functionality, it'd be petty easy to assume that it'd be a simple cosmetic overhaul, so that's all they did. Advanced settings, advanced search (or even regular search), and widgets/lightbox preview pics were all butchered. The only one they've attempted to fix is advanced settings, which they half-assed, so they still don't work like they're supposed to.

    Somewhere along the way, they began using stretched out thumbnails as the main (and only) screenshots. To leave something so blatantly incompetent and simple to fix broken for over a month is inexplicable, but it's confirmation of how little they care about the functionality of the extension and website in general.

    As far as we know, Justin is the only actual coder working on this project. Judging by his work so far, he is not qualified to maintain the extension or website. They are both mangled and practically useless due to his fine contributions. He should be ashamed of what he's done here.

    TL;DR:

    Do yourself a favor and find an alternative to Stylish. An alternative to US.o will be much more difficult, so we're up shits-creek for the time being.
  • True words, anagrammar, true words.
    btw last time we heard something of natalie is more than five weeks ago and Justin's last post was seven weeks ago.
    In a situation like this, where support would have been urgent, I say: It's dead.
    :-(
  • edited June 2017 Firefox

    True words, anagrammar, true words.
    btw last time we heard something of natalie is more than five weeks ago and Justin's last post was seven weeks ago.

    As our Community Manager said in Febuary:
    "Our new approach will definitely be focusing more on listening and taking actions than talking and making promises we cannot keep."

    It is painfully obvious this is the way things will be now. No talk, and actions, if they happen at all, will come when they come.

    In a situation like this, where support would have been urgent, I say: It's dead.
    :-(

    No no, "dead" is much too harsh a word. To quote the Stylish description from the webstore:
    ***Getting in Touch***
    "Stylish is a breathing, living product that is updating and growing all the time.... "

    So Userstyles.org, like Stylish, should be considered a living, breathing product. With that consideration in mind, "comatose" would be a more apt description.

  • edited June 2017 Chrome
    calico女 Way to see the crimson lining around the cloud. 8-}
    I like it.
  • The search on the site, after the update, is extremely unreliable. It returns styles for other popular pages, but doesn't return a lot of styles of searched page(at least not among 1st 20-30 styles) e.g. for the site itself i.e. "userstyles" as search string
    Please fix this or rollback to earlier version
  • hippyjake said:

    calico女 Way to see the crimson lining around the cloud. 8-}
    I like it.

    Thanks hippyjake. I honestly miss the old site immensely. Having been the only active member moderator here for almost 3 years, along with having a customer service background, it just bothers me sometimes that I (and we, the members) are helpless to be able to do anything to make things better.
  • edited June 2017 Firefox

    Long piece of text

    Some notes to answer your point of view:
    • The old US.o is open-source and freely available on GitHub. So creating a fork is a matter of hosting and managing a server, no need to do everything from scratch.
    • Stylus (an open Stylish Chrome version fork) is also looking for a new site.
    • Scraping is bad not only because of legal issues, but rather about old, unmaintained content. It is definitely possible to start fresh, just like userscripts did it, also because there will soon be a growing need for working userChrome.css styles too (when FX 57 loses all but WebExtensions).
  • edited June 2017 Chrome
    @tulirebane

    The old US.o is open-source and freely available on GitHub. So creating a fork is a matter of hosting and managing a server, no need to do everything from scratch.

    I'm aware.

    Stylus (an open Stylish Chrome version fork) is also looking for a new site.

    I'm an honorary member of the Stylus team, mostly because I helped get it going, not because I play any pivotal role in its development. Pretty simple to tell which by my avatar.

    To say we're "looking for a new site" is a stretch. Somebody opened an issue, and others have thrown out some ideas. The only response from any dev was from schomery, which was basically "Not now, maybe later".

    While there's some decent ideas in that thread, there will obviously be different opinions on the best way to go about it. The bottom line is they'd all be an uphill battle.

    Scraping is bad not only because of legal issues, but rather about old, unmaintained content. It is definitely possible to start fresh, just like userscripts did it, also because there will soon be a growing need for working userChrome.css styles too (when FX 57 loses all but WebExtensions).

    A "fresh start" sounds nice, but that's the most uphill battle of all. IMO, if there's a ton of readily available content, with licenses that allow them to be distributed, it'd be kinda crazy to reinvent the wheel. That's not to say it's all great content, but styles are also incredibly subjective. It wouldn't be hard to do a better job than US.o to eliminate the terrible content, but you'd need to focus only on styles that are completely broken.

    "Just like userscripts did" isn't really an accurate assessment. userscripts.org had a monopoly in pretty much the same way as US.o, but it remained that way long after it was unofficially abandoned by the dev. It wasn't really till it went offline completely that GreasyFork and OpenUserJS sprang up to offer better options. GF has separated itself from the others a bit, but even the mirror of userscripts.org is still pretty popular.

    US.o is still up and running, and it's a behemoth. While we consider it to be a broken shell of its former self, for the vast majority of users, it's completely adequate. To pull some statistics out of my ass, I would bet that more than 90% of installs all come from the top ten most popular websites (Google, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). If those are working for the most part, US.o can probably get away with all the rest of their missteps. The new dev team has pretty much confirmed this is the only thing they care about.

    For the rest of us, some of the best things US.o had going for it, was its vast catalog of less popular site styles, and a pretty damn good search function. This has been broken in the update, and at this point, no one has any faith it'll ever be acknowledged, let alone fixed.

    With all the rest of the bugs they've introduced, and features they've broken, most of us agree that an alternative is necessary. It'll likely happen eventually. The best way to implement it is debatable. Even if "the best way" truly is the best way, the odds are stacked. Traffic is driven by the extensions, and Stylish has that market cornered.

    I don't like anything about the SimilarWeb team which is now running Stylish and US.o, but for the most part, we'd all put that aside and continue using US.o if we could just get them to make a minimal effort and fix what they've broken. It's not rocket science, these are pretty simple fixes. For the most part, reports are ignored. When they're acknowledged, they either contend that it was done on purpose because "our analytics showed it wasn't important", or they ask for more details because they don't even understand what's being discussed.

    Both are just bullshit responses to make it appear that these things were done on purpose, but they are open to suggestions. The reality is that all these features and functionality were broken because they have no idea what they're doing. They had a very basic, uninformed understanding of how the extension and website actually functioned in the first place. Instead of tweaking the existing extension/website, they chose to rewrite important parts of both without even knowing what they don't know. It seems that they still don't know, and don't care.

    If schomery and tophf actually do decide to actively develop an alternative, that'd make the uphill battle slightly less of a mountain, but it'll be a David and Goliath scenario either way. Whatever the next good alternative turns out to be, if we're not actively involved, the Stylus team will try to assist and support in whatever way possible.

    The craziest thing about all this is the minimal effort that would be required to make creating an alternative not worth it. I don't like Google's policies as a company either, but I use their search because it's better. If advanced search suddenly stopped working and it began returning irrelevant results, I'd have to quit using them as well. That's why most services don't sabotage their own functionality. All US.o needs to do is acknowledge that they understand what they've broken and fix it. We'd all ignore the rest of the bullshit and use the website because it works, like Google.
  • @tulirebane
    The old US.o is open-source and freely available on GitHub. So creating a fork is a matter of hosting and managing a server, no need to do everything from scratch.
    ... minimal effort that would be required to make creating an alternative ...

    As I stated on my message on Github I seriously think about starting a new Userstyles very soon. I've already forked Userstyle.org since 2 months and if everything goes fine an nobody took over I will take over in 2-3 weeks and pay for the hosting, domain name etc.. It will be funded by the advertisements which should be enough to keep it running.

    Here's a copy of my post on Github:


    I'm thinking SERIOUSLY about starting a new Userstyle, I'm busy right now but I've already forked the old Userstyle when the new owner destroyed everything useful.

    If nothing is done soon I think in few week I could have the time to do it.

    If I do it I will pay for hosting it, buy a name etc and advertisement should be enough to pay for the fees.

    But contrarily of many here I would scrap the old site for ACTIVE styles contact the devs to have let them control their styles to update them.

    So I will follow this thread and if nobody take over I there is big chances I will takeover.

    Regards


  • Waterfox
    Go for it! And ask people here who are familiar with this stuff (unfortunately not me!), to help. I'm sure somebody will. I'm sooo sorry it's over my head and i can't be helpful but i definitely wish you good luck!
    image
  • @makondo

    There is a lot of resources for the things I don't know and peoples ready to help.

    First thing for me is to have the old websites working fine locally and after find a way to scrap the most active/maintained styles. I have no real experience in scrapping data and worst come to worst I will learn how, I had no fear of learning since I'm autodidact.

    It's hard for me to understand how they have messed this site since the only changes IMO they had to do were to change the CSS and leave mostly everything else the same.

    But they seem to have opted to make a big change of everything at the same time without testing it locally.

    Maybe they have hired low-cost/cheap devs (in Asia usually) to develop the "new" website since it's so long before any changes appears and the peoples who do the change don't seem to understand how the web site works AND what is the purpose of this website.

    :bz

  • Glad to see everyone fighting for the cause. I thought I was the only one who noticed right away that the version wasnt good. I kept thinking it was a temporary mistake. The Old options were a lot better. Its like they googleized it to make simple all the while destroying all of its cool features. Next stop the styles will suck. Some of them are not even working or being updated. They better change their tune or they can kiss this feature goodbye.
  • Next stop the styles will suck. Some of them are not even working or being updated. They better change their tune or they can kiss this feature goodbye.

    Hell I've pretty much gone the route of not even updating my styles on here anymore as the site is way to broken to really use much anymore, and the devs have all left going by the silence from any of them.

    I hope that @Mikhoul can get a older/working version of the site up and running soon enough, know once he does I'm jumping ship completely.
  • Wow. I absolutely love how you guys fixed the pages to download a style so that it NEVER FUCKING UPDATES
  • edited July 2017 Firefox

    The real shame here is that it's pretty clear that the analytics company that bought Stylish is only concerned with the ability to use the extension as spyware. They bought an extension solely based on the fact that it had a couple million users who had already opted in to the permissions required for them to use it as a data aggregating botnet.

    Is there some analysis of what the addon is tracking? And is there a known good version of the addon prior to the acquisition (either by date or version number)? First I've heard of it.
  • The Ublock author did a decent analysis here. This only applies to the Chrome extension currently. The FF version is a legacy addon which hasn't been updated much in recent years, and not at all by the new ownership.

    Once legacy addons become deprecated, they'll probably port the WebExtensions version of Stylish-for-Chrome over to FF. Maybe not though. Nothing they do surprises me anymore. Maybe there will just be no Stylish for FF. Porting it would take a basic understanding of development they haven't demonstrated they are capable of thus-far. Also not sure how Mozilla handles the privacy aspect. If they don't let them enable it sneakily by default, SimilarWeb may decide it's not worth the effort. "Not worth the effort" seems to be their motto, plus FF has a fraction of the users.

    The legacy Stylish for FF should remain fine until it doesn't work anymore. That could be a long time if you stick with an ESR, or a fork that's not going along with the major purge FF has planned. If you want to try something that'll continue to work past v57, try Stylus. There's an export for the legacy Stylish here, although I've never used it personally, but I hear it's working decently now. Stylus is a WebExtension, so it won't style the UI or internal pages, but you can always use it alongside the legacy Stylish or another UI styler while they still work.
  • edited July 2017 Firefox

    The Ublock author did a decent analysis here. This only applies to the Chrome extension currently. The FF version is a legacy addon which hasn't been updated much in recent years, and not at all by the new ownership.

    This is unbelievable. Thankfully FF is my main browser and I only use Chromium for the occasional web page but I'll be pointing this out in the future to other users. Seems there's an opt out buried in small text in the options page at least but most users won't be aware of either what it collects or that it's even there to begin with.

    I also won't be updating past FF v57 which drops XUL support until I see how WE pans out.
  • Install Style Button still doesn't work

  • Demetrio said:

    Install Style Button still doesn't work

    The current devs (tbh might as well not even call them devs because they don't know shit) don't care, there are tons of things broken and not being fixed. You'll have better luck on waiting for someone to create a new site for userstyles.
  • Thank you devs for ruining Userstyles.org
  • Waterfox
    One of my Userstyles - Flickr Widescreen - ALLinONE TOTAL (GM Adapt) - show an alert for "This style is missing a screenshot. Please read tips for posting screenshots."

    But it was here and i re-upload a new one , but i show always the alert....

    Ps:
    The New Design always missing the others screenshots...
  • Next stop the styles will suck. Some of them are not even working or being updated. They better change their tune or they can kiss this feature goodbye.

    Hell I've pretty much gone the route of not even updating my styles on here anymore as the site is way to broken to really use much anymore, and the devs have all left going by the silence from any of them.

    I hope that @Mikhoul can get a older/working version of the site up and running soon enough, know once he does I'm jumping ship completely.
    Luckily since I dont use the internet much all my styles mostly work. Or half work. I dont know know what happened. Did firefox fuck itself in the ass by updating so much all the while ruining all the awesome addons and destroying its dedicated users. For a long time i only used firefox 2.0 and was very happy with that. I was only forced to used these stupid updates because of security updates and many websites discontinuing support for older versions. Pretty soon. I wont even use the internet. lol. Stick to reading books.
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