Boing Boing... FOREVER

Fire up your Javascript engines: we've just added infinite scrolling to Boing Boing. Now when you scroll to the bottom of any index page more posts will automatically load in so you can continue your absorption of our nearly 80,000 Wonderful Things. This, combined with some additional changes we've been working on in the background, should also bring you a faster loading, snappier Boing Boing.

Now go out there and scroll to your heart's content.

Creative Commons licensed image courtesy of the awesome Hyperbole and a Half

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  1.  I’d love to know if this feature affects bandwidth usage for the site after a month or so.

      1. Good question.
        – Some percentage of the people who reach the bottom of the page would have clicked through to see older stories (presumably less bandwidth-consuming now than before, as the page header stuff doesn’t need to reload)
        – Some percentage would have clicked through to read the last story, or stopped,  having reached a story they had already seen (presumably more bandwidth-consuming now than before, as the page auto-loads stuff they didn’t actually want to read)

        So, depending on how that’s split, bandwidth consumption could go either way.

    1.  A couple of days ago the main page took about 30 seconds to load completely on my broadband that tests at about 22Mbps. Now it only takes about 10 seconds.

      Awesome!

  2. HA HA!  Looking for the “Only In India” link, caught the fact before it was posted here!

  3. This being Boing Boing, it would be nice to see Moebius Loop scrolling.  You know, scroll all the way down twice to get back to the beginning.

  4. I went looking to see if there is a way to just see all the posts from a single day, as when slashdot implemented a similar scheme there was a lot of grumbling because it broke certain ways to browse the site. There is a way here, if you click archive. Having infinite scrolling works quite well for the way that I read BB though, so I’m happy to see this feature – assuming it doesn’t go by pages internally and possibly omits posts.

    However if you do go to the archive, if you scroll to the bottom of a single day’s posts it informs you that you’ve accomplished the incredible and that there are no more posts. I assume this message is meant for those intrepid few who scroll through all 80,000 or so posts on the front page.

    1. “I assume this message is meant for those intrepid few who scroll through all 80,000 or so posts on the front page.”

      No, it’s very useful. Thanks.

      I always have mixed feelings about this feature when it’s rolled out on a new site. If I haven’t visited in a few days and I want to jump to the bottom and catch up in order, finding the “bottom” tends to be a trick (a problem on Slashdot). If I’m looking for something in particular that I know should be there —  a word in the last article you know you read, a particular friend in a Facebook friend’s list  — cntl+F may yield a false negative because the rest of the information is helpfully waiting for you to scroll down and request it.

      It sort of reminds me of the first time I realized that common links like “sign in”, “locations”, and “contact us” were all starting to be hidden in CSS menus, even though those were the only things I ever wanted/cntl+F’ed for on a page. I kind of miss the good old days of requesting a page, getting a page, seeing everything at once, and being done with it. But I recognize that I’m in the minority there.

      /nostalgia

  5. Even better, Boing Boing implemented infinite scrolling without also putting a bunch of important links at the bottom of the page, where we can’t click them. Many sites with infinite scrolling don’t seem to realize this simple fact. Nice work.

    1. I find it both hilarious and frustrating when that happens, playing the javascript dance trying to click a link that keeps jumping away from you, racing against the rendering speed of your DOM.

    1. Remember the good old days?  After going back three pages or so, one reached some weird, unnavigable archive… depository… thingy.

  6. I think it will reduce it, because the initial load is smaller than the old front page. Most visitors don’t scroll to the bottom.

    We will lose a lot of “page 2″ traffic immediately, but hopefully the usability improvement will make up for it in readership.

  7. Whatever you did, thanks for fixing the mobile CSS. The layout on my Galaxy Nexus was totally munged. Now it’s gold.

  8. Before this update, if I took my time getting to the bottom of the page, and new stories were introduced in the mean time, when I clicked Next, I would see some duplicate stories.

    That annoyance is still here with infinite scrolling, only it’s less obvious what the cause is.

    To test: scroll half way down the page, go to lunch, then scroll down to load more stories.  You’ll see duplicates.

    I think the way Slashdot does it is, if you scroll to the bottom and there are new stories, it will update the stories at the top first and wait for you to scroll to the bottom again.  Of course, I can’t read the new stories unless I scroll back to the top, but that doesn’t bother me as much as seeing duplcates…

    1. ha, this happened to me exactly on the “Infinite scroll” post. I read “Infinite scroll”, then 4 articles that I’d just seen, and then “Infinite scroll” again… I thought this was some kind of horrible joke and it would keep looping forever :-)

  9. Just so long as important links aren’t lost/unclickable at the bottom of the page.  Once I was tableting, got served the mobile version of some site, (the front page, not the content I was trying to view,) and the auto-scroll made it basically impossible to get to the real version.  

    I suppose I could have tried disabling javascript and hoping their normal button wasn’t scripted, but it really wasn’t worth my time.

  10. It doesn’t seem to play well with the j/k=up/down feature (momma don’t take my j/k away).

        1.   came here for this.  I used J successfully until Maggie’s smartgrid post, then it sent me back to the masthead.  annoying.  I thought it was a bug with the ad below her post goofing it up, but then i saw this.  macOSX 10.5.8/firefox latest.

  11. Entire site loading much, much faster for me with less javascript processing overhead it seems.  Fantastic job, Dean!

  12. so completely weird, i wondered aloud about this just this morning. one more reason to lovelovelove boingboing!

  13. This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because,

    This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because,

    This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because,

    This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because,

    This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because,

    This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because,

    This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because,

    This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because,

    This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because,

    This is the blog that never ends,

    It just goes on and on my friends,

    Some people started reading it without knowing what it was

    And they’ll continue reading it forever just because

    [TO BE CONTINUED…]

  14. Am I the only one who hates infinite-scrolling with a passion?

    Basically, it breaks your scroll bar or even if there is no scroll bar, your position on the site. It’s an ugly, abrupt jump. If I just want to scroll down to the “bottom” and then go up to find the first post that’s new, I can’t really do that anymore without risking a load I probably don’t need.

    I’d rather activate it manually by clicking “next page”.

    1. I hate infinite scrolling on Tumblr blogs that are mostly little posts with pictures.  It jerks the page around and makes me lose my place.  On BB, where the posts are longer and you’re actually reading, it doesn’t seem to have the same effect.

    2. I think infinite scroll works well on mobile, but otherwise is a poisonous UX anti-pattern.

      Now I lose my spot if I reload the page.

      If ajax loading fails for some reason, such as a network timeout, I’m probably just screwed and have to reload and then scroll down a half dozen times to get back to where I was… there’s no direct link anymore.

      And what if there’s an article I want to find, and I can’t quite remember what it was, but I know I saw it a few days ago.  No longer can I skip ahead quickly several pages.  I have to scroll and wait for things to load.  And before I could simply go up and change page 2 to be page 5 in the URL to skip ahead several pages at once.

      I really don’t like it.  And I certainly don’t understand why infinite scroll isn’t implemented in conjunction with the HTML5 history API (or with the history.js shim) so that page URLs are maintained to fix the majority of the above listed problems.

      Sorry to be so negative, but bad UX is a pet peeve.

      tl;dr I love boingboing. Please integrate page URLs via history.js into your infinite scroll implementation for maximum win.  Or just go back to regular pagination.

  15. So this is it. Good-bye Productivity. We had some good times… I will miss you. I will cry for you.

  16. Uh oh. I used to cut myself off after a couple of pages’ worth of posts. Now I’m locked in an infinite stream of awesome, and will never get any work done ever. Thanks.

    1. I’m not a fan either; infinite scrolling feels to me like some sort of pushy, commercially-driven appropriation of control from the user.

      Please give us an option.

        1.  From my perspective, nothing. 
          Running scripts can break things. 
          Not running them can mean that something doesn’t work for you, nor against you, until you make it. 
          I whitelist every trusted domain that gives me a functionality I desire, but I feel no compunction for not running scripts that don’t benefit me. 

  17. When I “J” to the bottom it goes back to the top of the site, where it stops I can wheel back to that spot on the site, ’til it gets to the bottom and J and K are not workin a-gaiiin.

  18.  As noted by others, there seems to be an interesting glitch of duplicate articles showing up.  Presumably due to the aforementioned action of scrolling down partially and sitting idle for awhile.

    Nice though.

  19. Awesome news, and at least SIXTY TWO TIMES more awesome when accompanied by Hyperbole and a Half artwork!!!

  20. You have one the same very annoying “features” of others “upgrading” which is if I have gotten to “page 3″ then click on something read it and go back you put me on page 1 and I have to scroll through and wait while the content I already loaded previously is reloaded…  I sadly find so many of these javascript “enhancements” are just annoying. 

    Reading the comments you all do at least seem to be trying to fix some of the annoyances added.

    1. “things” can be really “annoying”. I agree.

      Might I suggest you open links into new tabs? Also, maybe some proofreading would help your suggestions gain traction?

  21. So glad that ..oing.net/page/n/ still works! That’s the way to catch up on some days of missed bB on a tablet that doesn’t have enough RAM! Thanks for all you do, boingers!

  22. Thank you very much for this. I’d given up on reading BoingBoing because the page seemed to freeze Chrome for 20s or so. Glad to see the site is faster now!

  23. If you click out to read a linked article then hit back, it doesn’t go back to the same depth in the page as the article you clicked out from, it goes to  the top of the page and you have to scroll down to where you were. Inconvenient, and if it’s been a day or two and you’re starting at the oldest unread, it can take a long time to get back there.

    And if you’re going to do this (endless going down) then you might as well implement the corollary (endless going up): when you get to the top, pull down to get anything new that’s shown up in the meantime, like on iOS (“Pull to refresh”).

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