Keyboard shortcuts

Reminder! You can now jump between posts on the front door of Boing Boing by hitting J and K. It should work on most browsers. Any similar UI requests? Under consideration: L to go to the next 30 posts; and the Konami Code to trigger a unicorn invasion.


  1. Nice. I like this. I would support the addition of L (and a paired previous). How about a key for opening the full post (possibly in a new tab)?

    Unrelated, can you guys try to use the /watch&v=a1b2c3 type of link for youtube embeds? the /v/a1b2c3 type of link doesn’t seem to work. I get a bunch of empty space where the embeds should be… Firefox 3.6.3, started a couple of days after the switch to this layout.

  2. This is awesome. The next 30 posts key sounds good.
    Maybe a big red button which can be used when you’re logged in to save articles you like.

  3. how about not having to sign in everytime i want to leave a comment. most other blog/news sites i read have a persistent login (i.e. gizmodo, wired, slashdot, etc…)

    1. I know – right!? Hassle!

      Although in Chrome, after telling it to remember my password I generally just have to click “sign in” (just above the comment box) and it does it without jumping pages.

      Still is a problem in Safari (if I use Safari, a rarity these days.)

  4. This is awesome. The next 30 posts key sounds good.
    Maybe a big red button which can be used when you’re logged in to save articles you like.

  5. Very nice! My only suggestion is to reverse the keys to match the transport control standard, i.e. J for back and K for next. After you work in editing for a while, those behaviors get practically hardwired to your fingers.

    1. What he said… surely K should be forward and J should be backward?

      (CAPTCHA: future rebuilds!)

    2. These keybindings are borrowed from vi text editor common on UNIX and UNIX-like systems (it comes with Mac OS X and most Linux distributions, for example).

      You were referring to some audio or video editing software where you?

  6. not to be picky but why the banner change?

    the new headline looks like a inset ad for a non descript web page.

    its also smaller than the real ad next to it on the same banner line…

  7. This is very cool … and i guess useful (time will tell)

    I second the notion of #4 that the constant signing in is annoying …

    (Maybe I missed the announcement, but is BB Gadgets officially dead? / rolled back into the main page?)

  8. I tried it out, and while it IS nifty, I’ve set Firefox up to search for text when I start typing. So, while it is a nifty endeavour, I shall retain my setting, as it has more use in a broader space of the Internet.

    Good work, though. Ingenious.

  9. Yeah, can we go back to the original design? The current one is an improvement over the links-in-reverse-text-over-photos, but we still get link-text-over-background-text.

    BoingBoing is all about content for me. Make the content easy to read.

  10. Definately another letter to jump to the full post – and maybe then, if possible, to implement another button to go to the next full pst without having to return to the next article.

    For those times when I sit down and get engrossed with essentiall all BB’s content – comments included. All too often I earmark an article by opening it in a hidden tab – and forget about it for days, until I finally collapse all my windows-in-waiting and see it.

    Which is normally when I have no time, and am cleaning up the workspace to get things done,

    I know, I know… you didn’t ask for our life story.

  11. Ooh! I found a bug!
    If you keep pressing J at the last post, K doesn’t work until you’ve pressed it as many times as J.

  12. 1. Get this:
    2. Run it on
    3. Click on the components tab
    4. Click “Response Time(ms)” twice to sort by highest time taken first.
    5. Fix any component that that takes more than 5 seconds to load (3 components take 60 seconds to load on my computer(i think they timeout rather than complete) and i have a 2MB/sec connection)

  13. ah. this would explain why i couldn’t type ‘joke’ in the search box yesterday. some sort of exclusion zone for text fields please?

  14. That’s pretty handy. I’ve been wondering where to mention this but the last redesign killed my fave boingboing reading technique: I go at it day-by-day (like for example) and read chronologically from the bottom up. The handy navigation tools

    ( « May 24, 2010 | Main Index | Archives | May 26, 2010 » )

    that I used to use when I got to the top of a page are now only at the bottom! Add them back to the top again please, my ocd and I would be ever so grateful!

  15. The flash ad top banner overwrites the main menu at top left, at least a portion of it. Even happens in full screen. Using FF 3.5.9 on 64 bit Linux.

  16. “Reminder”? Were we told about this before? Link to the post please, I want to know what else I’ve missed.

  17. Love the new shortcuts! :) They make me happy. Mostly, though, they make me happy because Firefox’ PgUp/PgDown keys seem broken. Not sure if that’s a failing in FF or one of the add-ons I’m using, though.

    I have no idea how to get to my profile any more. The link’s nowhere to be found. Only way I can do it is make a post, then click my name.

    Fixing the new bugs might be nice. Like, occasionally, I go to a full view page and instead get a message:
    “Comment Submission Error
    Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:
    Comment text is required.
    Head back to the original entry.”

    …but I didn’t submit anything! This happens especially after submitting a post, then clicking to return to the article.

    Also, as others have commented, sometimes I can just click the login link above the comment form and it logs in all AJAXilly, but sometimes it takes me to a login page, and there seems no rhyme nor reason which it chooses to do.

    Overall, I dislike the new layout, but more because of the lack of the profile link than any aesthetic reason.

    Y’know what’d be cool, for us low-bandwidthers? Making the righthand article preview pics turnoffable. Have a “fold down” button to collapse it, and save the state as a profile preference or something.

    Alternatively, have that div (or at least the images on it) come from some unique path or subdomain, like, so they could be adblocked. For someone who reads daily, and will have already seen these posts, these huge blurbs do nothing but slow down pageloads.

  18. J and K browsing is really great! It’s funny how you can miss something you’ve never had before!

    1. Actually thinking about it a little more it would be really good if you could add the option to use D and F or some other left hand combination, right now it means moving my hand to click links on the story I’ve just brought up…

      (Oh and you’ve not got a theme for the post preview page, but I guess you’ll probably now that…)

      Keep up the awesome work!

  19. Up vote persistant login.

    Login has improved in last couple months, but I’d rather be remembered.

    Also, comment box somehow disables my built in Firefox spell checker (am on XPpro, FF3.6), and I can’t spell worth a damn.

  20. Nice one. But why have a different key for next page? Just jump to the next page if you have are at the last post of the current page. Most people read post per post, change this to:
    J pressed: If still posts on page, go to next, else go to next page
    K pressed: If on first post of page > 1, go to previous page, else go to previous post.

    Another one: Disable the keyboard shortcuts when the search box is selected. Right now you guys have broken your own search.

  21. Long live The One True Text Editor.

    (Also, another vote for persistent login, though I’m very glad that the inexplicable wait while trying to get to the login page has been fixed (I worked around that by bookmarking it, btw, so it appears the system didn’t actually need it).)

  22. If you want to make video editors your friend, J would move you back, and L would move you forward and K could be for something else.

  23. Ah, I was wondering why I’m unable to use “K” in the search box. I thought my keyboard was going goofy…

  24. Next month, Cox cable is shutting down it’s newsgroup servers, claiming web based boards + forums have made NNTP unnecessary.

    Now, it seems every web site operator wants to add keyboard navigation to their discussion forums. (slashdot, gmail, and i’m sure many others) Reinventing features that NNTP readers have had for decades. What’s more, users would of been in control of how their keyboard shortcuts work, how they can choose to self-filter (via killfiles), and how they can script their reader to help them read threads the way they want. And even the option to turn on an indented threaded display, rather than a flat chronological display.

    I think this feature is a neat addition to BB, but it’s a shame that a system that put the user in more control lost out to websites all doing it their own special way.

  25. I like it! But would like it even more if, when you reached the last post on the current page, ‘j’ took you to the first post on the next page of posts.

    I’ve been a happy mutant for years, but BB has never really worked properly off the front page. Or maybe that’s something to do with the Japan timezone.

  26. I’m in favor of the vi mode .. it’s also used in gmail – I found myself hitting ‘gi’ (go inbox) to get back to the main page from within this post, which in turn led me to leave this comment.

  27. A boingboing UI question: When you respond to someone and want to quote them, some people use a markup that shows the quoted passage in a gray box with a large quote sign.

    How is that done?

  28. P.S. – I like the J/K browsing though i still think I will scroll out of force of habit.

  29. Logins *are* already persistent. You just have to click the ‘sign in’ link for it to acknowledge it — if you’re logged in and comment, it’ll recognize you even if the form still says ‘anonymous’.

    It’s a weird shortcoming of Movable Type.

  30. I suggest also allowing “n” and “p”, which are easier to remember and make more sense for non-US-QWERTY keyboard layouts. (E.g. google reader uses these.)

  31. The j/k is really nice.

    However I have one complaint, after scrolling down to that article, when I hit j it sent me back to the top rather than to the next article. It would be nice if it new which article I was already on.

  32. Like it lots! And I prefer the “new” redesign to the old since it doesn’t minimize older posts… kudos.

    (Puzzled about the choice of an ever-changing moniker at the top, but not complaining)

  33. Add my vote to the “reverse” bunch– my fingers want to use “k” for forward and “j” for back thanks to transport standards as well.

    Add my vote to persistent logins.

    And I’d like to see j/k used in the comments section too!

  34. When I click the sign in link, it asks me to enter my username and password. I can stay logged in for a few hours, but then I’m forced to login again and re-enter my user/pass. It’s not remembering me.

    “C” shortcut to open comments on the current post, and “T” to tweet a post? Is that even possible with the Twitter API?

  35. Persistent logins and ignoring the “anonymous” – yay!

    Restored profile link – yay!

    Still getting the “Comment text is required” bug, though.

  36. 1: Fix the login function so that it works properly. Half the time I come in using my computer, it’s decided I’m not logged in, I click ‘sign in’ and it discovers there’s a cookie there and signs me in without the sign in page. If the cookie is there, don’t make me click on the ‘sign in’ link in the first place.

    2: Give us the ability to make the sign-in cookie never expire.

    3: Give us a page that explains how to do the inset graphical quotes and the like.

  37. If BB had a paywall, I’d be saying that “idspispopd” should let us pass freely through the paywall!

    No “login” link here, even when I hit refresh. Just “Unregistered”. So I’ll enter a recaptcha (“loving years”), and hit submit.

  38. This might be something wrong with how I have FireFox set up, but for me, these shortcuts prevent me from typing J and K in the little custom search box.

  39. Give us a page that explains how to do the inset graphical quotes and the like.

    Our comment system allows four html tags:
    – i for italics
    – b for bold (and if you use it for more than a couple of words, I’m stripping it out)
    – a href to mask links
    – blockquote to get the gray box with the big quotation mark

  40. But the first use of ‘J’ takes you to the second article even if you’ve scrolled 50 articles down already.

  41. Here’s what you NEED :-)

    H = previous 30
    L = next 30
    G = open current article in new tab ( or maybe just current one )

    I think I’m in love.

  42. Okay okay I don’t really want them in caps but you get the idea. Also I think having Q for quit ( close page ) would be nice when you are done. Maybe numeric mappings too. i.e. 2j = down two articles. Perhaps G should really be gf. What about ctrl-] ? Hmmm!

  43. Love the j/k shortcuts, very thoughtful. You’re making it too easy.

    Since people are using this thread to chime in about the latest layout change, here’s my two scents. As someone who reads boingboing embarassingly often, I never like the new layouts when they first appear. I always say “well I eventually got used to that last one after awhile, but I can’t possibly take THIS!”. Then sure enough after a few weeks I start liking the new layout at least as much as the previous one. So now I don’t even make judgements, I note that there’s a new layout and then patiently wait for myself to get used to it.

    I like this new layout already though, which is much faster than usual, so maybe that’s saying something, good or bad I don’t know.

    But if you ever take away the ability to add comments I’m going to jump around in an all caps tantrum.

  44. This might be slightly off topic, but I really really really like the new login page. Takes just a second to load. Compared to the old one, which usually takes about 1 or 2 minutes.

  45. About the new UI: Where did the link to login/profile go? It was really handy having that at the top right of the main page, so that you could click and see what articles you had found interesting and commented on previously. Now you have to click on an article, scroll down, and click on your name above the comment box.

    Also, after you comment, you are now directed to a grey box that has only one link on it: to go back to the article you were just reading. It seems to me that this is the least likely thing you would want to do, since you just commented on the article and so probably already read it. Why is there no link back to the Boing Boing main page?

  46. Would like to see:
    pgup – move up a page.
    pgdn – move down a page.
    home – start of page.
    end – end of page.

    To be honest, these should work on every site anyway. I think the fact that they don’t just means my FF is broken.

  47. Okay, I’m way late because I just found this, so probably this won’t do any good, but here goes anyway:

    What I really, really, really miss is the ability to go from post to post in sequence (either way) using the OLDER / NEWER (functioning like << Previous Post and Next Post >>) links that BB used to have on each post. This feature, removed in the redesign of October 2008, was critical to my enjoyment of BB. Since its removal I no longer visit here regularly, and/because I miss about 70-80% of the posts.

Comments are closed.