Threading Comments on Patently-O

Typepad (the blog host) has new software for threading comments. I like the idea because it allows for better direct arguments and may make it easier to follow a line of reasoning. At times, the comments turn into a back-and-forth between two or three readers that goes wildly off topic. The threads could allow that comment chain to continue while non-parties could just skip over it. The new software also allows more of an “identity.” You can create a user ID and picture – and then never again be forced to read numbers and letters in fuzzy images. Anonymous comments will still be available. The software also gives the commenter a few minutes to edit comments before they become ‘permanent.’

Test it out here ( and let me know if we should make the switch.

149 thoughts on “Threading Comments on Patently-O

  1. 39

    MUCH BETTER. Eliminates all of the redundant “he said” -he replied extranneous verbage. While I would prefer “real names” I understand how that might cramp the style of some. I’d still prefer fake names to these idiotic nom de plumes currently widely used on this site…..

  2. 38

    12 posts of the same old CRP that the same old posters posted with the old system.Bugs in the system prevent my iPhone from accessing DIsqus account, and the interactive nature of Disqus is blocked by the firm’s firewall.C’est La Vie

  3. 37

    Cool – you can sort the messages by newest or by best, plus you can easily find responses to your comments. This is much better than the old system. Keep it, Dennis!

  4. 36

    And so Dennis if a third party seeks to learn the identity of an anonymous poster who protects the anonymity? You or Disqus?

      1. 36.1.1

        yep, Dennis would more aggressively and intelligently seek to protect anonymity than would Disqus


          Perhaps. Certainly I would expect him to seek a protective order, but I would expect Disqus to do so as well. But under what legal theory could he refuse to respond to the subpoena?


            Under the legal theory that a mere provider of a forum has more protection than a person exercising editorial control to shape what remains on a forum.A provider such as Disqus is quite removed from such editorial control and would much more immune to such a court request.


              I don’t think so. We’re not talking about liability for defamation or for copyright infringement. And they are not “requests,” by the way.


                They are request s – with legal force.You do know that you have options to answering a subpoena right? You may not like the consequences, but make no mistake that it is a request.As to ‘what we are talking about’ you were not particular and you simply asked for a legal theory – I gave you one. (and 6’s behavior might be an example of something that falls to defamation – and a court request from Prof. Crouch is easily seen as a possibility)

                1. I still think you’re wrong. Being a mere conduit rather than a publisher might protect Dennis from liability for defamatory comments by an anonymous poster, but I don’t think either status gives him any justification to resist a 3rd-party subpoena from a defamation case against the poster. If you have any legal authority to the contrary, I would enjoy reading it.

                2. You are allowed to think I am wrong all you want.It does not affect that fact that I am not wrong.I have answered your question. Any further requests from you may be answered pending your delivery of answers to my questions dating back to the smarmy attack on me.Leopold, where are my answers?

                3. The Supreme Court has held that anonymity in speech is an element of free speech that extends from the publishing of the Federalist Papers. For a third-party subpoena (assuming I’m not sued), the courts already have a balancing test to consider whether force the third-party to comply with a subpoena. However, when the information sought to be discovered is an otherwise anonymous identity, then the courts will go through another layer of consideration to see if the needs of the case outweigh the first-amendment principles. That said, courts regularly do issue court orders requiring that service providers turn over identifying information — most frequently in copyright and defamation cases.

                4. Thanks, Dennis. What intrigued me was the suggestion that your exercise of editorial control made you more vulnerable to a court ordered disclosure of identifying information than if your site was nothing more than a bulletin board. With your comment and my admittedly limited knowledge of first amendment law, it seems to me the opposite is more likely – i.e., the more you look like a journalist, the stronger your own first amendments (as distinct from those of the anonymous commenter). Do I have that wrong?

                5. So, there is a difference here between my own liability (or that of Patently-O) and my duty to comply with a subpoena as a non-party. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) does a very good job of protecting me from any liability based upon my publication of comments provided by others. Thus, my desire here for a more civil set of comments is not driven any idea that it will prevent me from being liable for something. On the subpoena question, some states have “shield laws” that protect reporters from turning over their sources. To my knowledge, those have not been applied to this context (blogger turning over identity of commentators), but I have not followed those cases closely. Part of the analysis that a court goes through is whether the commentator had an expectation of privacy. And, I believe that my statements made earlier help to solidify that expectation of privacy and thus make it less likely that a court would violate that expectation.

                6. Look at prong three of the CDA section 230 analysis.That is where editorial control that amounts to your active involvement (when your involvement shapes the message on the boards) makes your position weaker.

                7. “That is where editorial control that amounts to your active involvement (when your involvement shapes the message on the boards) makes your position weaker.””See for example 521 F.3d 1157.”To the extent that you are arguing that deleting messages (and in so doing thus “shaping the message) is problematic with respect to CDA Section 230 immunity, it appears that your citation actually says the opposite:Section 230 was prompted by a state court case holding Prodigy responsible fora libelous message posted on one of its financial message boards. See StrattonOakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Servs. Co., 1995 WL 323710 (N.Y.Sup.Ct. May 24, 1995) (unpublished). The court there found that Prodigy had become a “publisher” under state law because it voluntarily deleted some messages from its message boards “on the basis of offensiveness and ‘bad taste,’ ” and was therefore legally responsible for the content of defamatory messages that it failed to delete. Id. at *4. The Stratton Oakmont court reasoned that Prodigy’s decision to perform some voluntary self-policing made it akin to a newspaper publisher, and thus responsible for messages on its bulletin board that defamed third parties. … Under the reasoning of Stratton Oakmont, online service providers that voluntarily filter some messages become liable for all messages transmitted, whereas providers that bury their heads in the sand and ignore problematic posts altogether escape liability.Prodigy claimed that the “sheer volume” of message board postings it received -at the time, over 60,000 a day- made manual review of every message impossible; thus, if it were forced to choose between taking responsibility for all messages and deleting no messages at all, it would have to choose the latter course. Stratton Oakmont, 1995 WL 323710 at *3. In passing section 230, Congress sought to spare interactive computer services this grim choice by allowing them to perform some editing on user-generated contentwithout thereby becoming liable for all defamatory or otherwise unlawful messages that they didn’t edit or delete. In other words, Congress sought to immunize the removal of user-generated content, not the creation of content: “[S]ection [230] provides ‘Good Samaritan’ protections from civil liability for providers … of an interactive computer service for actions to restrict…access to objectionable online material. One of the specific purposes of this section is to overrule Stratton-Oakmont [sic] v. Prodigy and any other similar decisions which have treated such providers … as publishers orspeakers of content that is not their own because they have restricted access to objectionable material.” H.R.Rep. No. 104-458 (1996) (Conf.Rep.), as reprinted in 1996 U.S.C.C.A.N. 10 (emphasis added).Indeed, the section is titled “Protection for ‘good samaritan’ blocking and screening of offensive material”

    1. 36.2

      I’ve said this before. the software keeps hold of any information that you provide it (email / username) as well as the IP address of the computer/router you are using. Disqus does this with the new software; Typepad did it with the old software. These companies likely give that information to the NSA any law enforcement agency that asks. My operating procedure is to keep this information secret unless forced by court order to turn it over. I have received one third-party subpoena requesting IP addresses of folks commenting on the blog but I refused to comply with the subpoena and the parties in that case did not pursue a court order.

  5. 35

    There are two primary categories of commenters on this website ever since there was an uptick of popular interest In re Bilski in the software industry: 1) practitioners of intellectual property as a legal craft and 2) anti-software-patent activists. I would encourage finding some way of demarcating those 2 groups and segregating them away from each other.

    1. 35.2

      “1) practitioners of intellectual property as a legal craft and 2) anti-software-patent activists.”Hmm… Are those mutually exclusive groups?

      1. 35.2.1

        Are those mutually exclusive groups?C’mon, LB. Every “real” patent attorney fully supports the patenting of software.


          Yet another example of a comment that does not advance dialogue remaining after another TRUTHFUL comment merely pointing this out is expunged.So let’s try this: “real” patent attorneys that understand the art field of software fully support the patenting of software because they know that software is a manufacture and a machine component.SO the answer to the question in an intellectually honest manner is YES, practitioners of intellectual property – that can honestly venture a worthwhile opinion – and the anti-software-patent activists are indeed mutually exclusive groups.


            “real” patent attorneys that understand the art field of software fully support the patenting of software because they know that software is a manufacture and a machine component.So a “real” patent attorney is one that agrees with you. This is an argumentative fallacy, and a well-known one (see, e.g., the “No True Scotsman” response).practitioners of intellectual property – that can honestly venture a worthwhile opinion – and the anti-software-patent activists are indeed mutually exclusive groups.In other words, all anti-software-patent activists are incapable of “honestly venturing a worthwhile opinion.” That’s just an ad hoc insult.Is your comment an example of the “better blogging” you are always crowing about? I hope not.

  6. 34

    This system seems to automatically give my real name and picture. Not a problem for me, but some people might have problems trying to be anonymous.

    1. 34.1

      You appear to already have been a disqus member and must have your computer set to remember you.

  7. 33

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  8. 32

    What John said. We could really improve the signal-to-noise ratio if people had to sign either their real name, or a pseudonym from Patently-O they get after identifying themselves to the site. The latter option is something some attorneys/agents might need to avoid problems with clients/firms who have conflicting views on a given subject or case. I think there are lots of visitors to the site who would enjoy civil discussion and debate, but they are put off by the food fights.

    1. 32.2

      I very much want to keep the option of anonymous posting. Otherwise, few patent attorneys and examiners will be able to post without fear of retribution from their superiors or clients.

      1. 32.2.2

        At least not until they are deposed and have to reveal what they have posted on patently-o. And realistically very few people really need to remain anonymous because their boss doesn’t like their views on Myriad. The real issue is civility. Anonymous people do not need to be civil and public people rarely resort to incivility. Perhaps you can address this issue.

    2. 32.3

      Prof. Crouch maintains a database of identifications – that won’t stop the vacuous and mischaracterizing posts.


            Maybe you should invent that anon. You’ve got the function in mind, surely it is enabled.


              And your function/enablement comment is exactly the type of comment that should not be made.Way to go, first to bust the rationale for the new format.


                Why on earth not? That was a legitimate suggestion. Go, invent it, patent it, and be a happy inventor. What’s the matter? Don’t think it’ll be valuable? Don’t think you have possession? Don’t think it is enabled? Because if you need a co-inventor I can help out.

                1. Your post was not legitimate 6, as any legitimate post would have been absent the smarmy function/enablement comment.


                Please explain 6 how mischaracterizing facts, mischaracterizing law, mischaracterizing what others post, strawmanning and accusing others of tactics that you yourself do lead to your version of “better blogging.”Or this too, part of your ‘character’ that you self-annihilated?


              There was no “personal attack.” Everything I said about Leopold and MaxDrei is absolutely true.That you attempt to spin this as an attack is more of the same old Malcolm.Having the ability to NOT be accountable for your posts is not helpful to establishing a dialogue. In fact, it breeds a more virulent form of monologue.


                Anon, Personal attacks can include true information. On this site, I would prefer no personal attacks, even when true.

                1. “Personal attacks can include true information”A ‘personal attack’ based on and merely recalling what YOU ALLOW on this site cannot be deemed a personal attack – unless you are willing to excise the initial offensive material.I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to be limited to the facts left on these boards.I don’t see the removal of the originally offensive material happening. Tests with plainly offensive expletives simply show otherwise.


                Everything I said about Leopold and MaxDrei is absolutely true.I, for one, don’t believe that the things you said about them are “absolutely true.” They seem to be more like opinions that you hold about them, based on disagreements or grudges that you have had in the past. In any event, your comments were certainly “personal attacks” and hardly seem warranted by any comment either individual made in this thread.


              notorious: famous or well known, typically for some bad quality or deed.That’s exactly the meaning of your extremely one-sided commentary, of your ability to chastise one person while saying absolutely nothing about even more flagrant (and more consistently flagrant) behavior by another.Or are you implying that I don’t know the meaning of a different word?

    3. 32.5

      That’s some serious crock there Malcolm, replete with your typical accuse-others-of-that-which-you-do.Your example of ‘racism’ is a poor example – you used the word and defended 6’s use of the word. I merely pointed out factual matters. You need to own your actions.As to being capable of reason, you are the one that needs to show that, as to the points made in relation to business methods and software. In fact, you show continued dissembling in both areas. You have volunteered admissions against your interests and yet continue to spin and advocate even in the face of these admissions.There is no reasoning that ever will be convincing to such a person, so your point 1) is a fallacy.

    1. 31.1

      D – What’s the problem? And, are you saying you don’t like my bike or don’t like the commenting program?

      1. 31.1.1

        I don’t like the new program. My past experience with it at other website has shown that it tends to be a little slow and buggy. I also don’t like the idea of using a single username for so many different message boards.

  9. 30

    Good for you, riding your bike to work! I worked for my dad in his bicycle shop as a teenager, so I know how to put those things together, like any good patent attorney should!

    1. 28.1

      Would be happier if actual conversations would be enjoined.But software won’t force people to acknowledge actual points made, nor keep others from mere soapboxing.Those are the real improvements that are necessary.


            My message is clear 6 – by contrasting monologue and dialogue you can easily see that I meant ‘joined in’ the conversation.


                Are you seriously saying that you are having difficulty understanding the difference between competing monologues and a true dialogue?

                1. I understand the difference between a monologue and a dialogue. But, I don’t understand the problem with a monologue. If folks want to make their point and be done then that is fine.

                2. Not when their point involves mischaracterizations of facts, mischaracterizations of law, and mischaracterizations of what others post.Respectfully – no, that is not fine. And respectfully, if that were fine, then why attempt any changes with the software?Especially when editorial control makes making counterpoints not possible.

                3. And not when it it the same people parading the same CRP.A 1ie repeated often enough can become ‘truth.’ Misinformation and distortions – knowingly made – should not be countenanced.

                4. Anon – You know that I am sympathetic to many of the substantive points that you make. However, I hope that you will reconsider your style of commenting on this blog. In addition to the personal attacks, the problem is that your comments often making you look crazy and paranoid in a way that has caused most folks to stop listening and that does not actually facilitate rational discussion.

                5. LOL – reminds of a certain quip: You are not paranoid if they really are out to get you.As to alleged personal attacks, let’s see the more egregious posters (Malcolm in particular) change their style of commenting first. As I have made more than abundantly clear, I am perfectly willing to change – but when certain posters do not change (recall the ‘dead prisoners dilemma string of notes from the last time you attempted to clean up the boards – I refrained from a certain style, but others refused), well, I reserve the option of taking the avenue of ‘self-help’ and fighting fire with fire.Sorry Prof. Crouch, I will continue to post in the manner that is evidently deemed acceptable by the level of posting by antagonists of the patent system.

                6. Anon – The fact that some folks get away with speeding is not an excuse that I accept. The reason that your comments more likely to be moderated is because (over the past several months) a large portion of them have included elements that go against my norms for a civil and productive discussion.

                7. With all due respect Prof., your answer is complete B$.I provided twelve makers showing you twelve instances since your new software implementation, where the same old CRP from the same people persists – mischaracterizations all – and you are telling me the markers I placed are pulled because the markers go against your “norms for a civil and productive discussion,” while the CRP that remains behind somehow passes your ‘norms?’That’s like ticketing someone for going 21 in a school zone and turning a blind eye to the car racing by at 50.You seem to readily accept that.I guess too that<ul>””Maybe Tr0 llb0y will go f*k himself again.” Or”your tr0lling axxh0lery”</ul> happens NOT to go against your norms for a civil and productive discussion.And you wonder why your site is overrun with CRP?

                8. Over your hissy fit yet?Or is pointing out the fallacy and unevenness of your ‘norms for a civil and productive discussion’ still considered ‘uncivil?’

                9. the ‘dead prisoners dilemma string of notes from the last time you attempted to clean up the boardsI still have no idea what that “dead prisoners dilemna” business was all about. Nor do I want to know.

                10. I would add that sympathy to the substantive points I make is (while welcome) not at all the issue that I am pushing for with the whole ‘intellectual honesty’ line of reasoning.Clearly (or at least it should be clear), there are posters here only too willing to mischaracterize in order to push an agenda. Knowingly, purposefully, willingly perverting facts, law and what others post.Is it crazy to point this out? Is it crazy to remove the dozen markers I placed highlighting such behavior?Sorry Prof. if my decision to point out such things ‘disturbs’ people – but people should be more disturbed by the initiating behavior. That behavior is perpetrated NOT by random chance or a multitude of different posters (Malcolm’s duplicitous QQ about svckpuppets and then engaging in that very behavior), but by a select number of posters with a very clear agenda.We both know the accuracy of what I say, don’t we?


          A dialogue takes give and take.Soapboxing is a monologue.The perfect example is MaxDrei, who attempted a Crybaby’s Veto by complaining that I was ‘picking on him’ (I wasn’t – I was making on point critical observations) – all the while he knew full well that he never wanted to have a dialogue and discuss the points that I was raising.The software that you are employing here is interesting, and like I said – I’m guardedly optimistic.But I am also a realist, and human nature will not be controlled by this software change.


            Soapboxing is a monologue. The perfect example is MaxDreiI think MD is a reasonable commenter. We disagree about stuff often enough, but I’ve found him perfectly willing to engage and explain where he’s coming from.


              So when a post is completely factual and accurate, it awaits ‘moderation”…Curious then, how that post is being singled out.

      1. 28.1.2

        software won’t force people to acknowledge actual points madeWhat “actual points” have you made that you feel have not been “acknowledged”?


          Once the comments from past threads come back, you can go through them.I have only already stated the points nigh countless times.But for your benefit, here are two simple ones:1) Business methods are within the Useful Arts, applying scientific methods.2) Software is a manufacture and a machine component.


            Anon – these are fine points, but I don’t understand your demands to have them “acknowledged”.


              The ‘demand’ to have them acknowledged is based in intellectual honesty.A valid point needs to be accepted and not ignored. When someone purposefully chooses to ignore a valid point and recycle views ad nauseum that are self-contradicting, there is no accountability for intellectual honesty and ‘anything goes.’If you want an ‘anything goes’ policy, why the software change?


                1) Business methods are within the Useful Arts, applying scientific methods. 2) Software is a manufacture and a machine component.In the context of patents (the only context that matters on this blog, really), those “points” are just someone’s legal (presumably) conclusions which reasonable people can freely disagree with and, in fact, do disagree with. Your expression of those “points” has certainly been acknowledged and responses were provided, with explanations as to why those “points” might not be “accepted” as the final word.

  10. 27

    How about making people actually identify themselves? I’m tired of hearing people call other people idiots. It chills the discussion.

    1. 27.3

      As a target of some small part of the sometimes childish name calling, I would like to say: Please don’t make this change to protect me. I am not so thin skinned as to be troubled by it. If it bothers some, I would suggest they just stop reading posts by the offenders. This change wont stop the childishness anyway. You know, the ranking can be used by the children to bury mature/informative posts too…

  11. 26

    It does seem to a little bit at least, and idk if that’s bad or good. Ultimately you want good comments on top, but in a 200 comment thread how on earth will you find the posts your looking for? Perhaps the whole comment thread gets moved up by upvoting.

    1. 26.1

      Methinks there might ensue a “war” between factions, where one faction votes for their posts and downgrades the posts of their opponents, and vis-a-versa.

      1. 26.1.1

        Precisely my concern as well Ned, but only time will tell as to whether or not the “intellectually honest” crowd will play such a game to try to censor substantive remarks. I can speak, I think, for the faction I am often associated with, and say that we will decline to use such a power to such an end. Unlike their side, we encourage the “other side” to be heard. Of course the temptation already proved too great for Eugene on his site. Can his buddies restrain themselves here? Frankly I doubt it, they really feel (and indeed they’re probably correct) that their own financial interests may well be at stake in these little discussions broadcast for the world, and that is a powerful motivator. But who knows, maybe they’ll prove me totally wrong.


            I wish man, the office told us to not make reference to being an examiner in our online commenting. Specifically in our monikers iirc. Indeed I was rather insulted, and found the whole policy likely to be directed squarely at me though that’s probably just a bit of ego mania. I’m sure there are lots of other well known examiner posters. Or not. I don’t know, Justanexaminer comes to mind. I’ll come up with something shortly though.


          My view is one of guarded optimism.The goal is noble, but pretty software will not make any conversation actually happen when one side merely wants to soapbox and refuses to acknowledge valid points made.The actual problem with poor blogging techniques and moving to a real dialogue will not be met with this change.


          6,Do you equate “trying to censor” with efforts to have people acknowledge valid points made?I am curious as to what you think of the poor blogging technique of CRP-run away-CRP again (that you yourself are guilty of – promises of ladders of abstraction discussion, for example).Funny that, Leopold tried that same ‘characterization’ of ‘trying to censor’ – it didn’t work for him either.

    1. 24.2

      If the comment/’blog software reorders comments as it sees fit, then it should have features to allow the reader to override to sort as the human-being reader sees fit, such as “Put all branches in all threads in strictly ascending (or strictly descending) chronological order.” and “Find my comments/replies.” lest the reader get lost in chaotic rolling boil of lack of focus. Software is to be our servant, not our master.

  12. 23

    As long as the old comments are coming back it seems alright with me. Though I’m let down “6” is not a valid name.

    1. 22.2

      I suppose when that happens the Recent Comments and the Comment Count in the Main Blog views will reflect actual use…

    2. 22.3

      The ‘floating timestamps’ is also rather weak – as the threads can become multifaceted, the ability to zoom into a particular time had been more beneficial then the ‘relative timing’ that this system presents.

      1. 22.3.1

        Complaining about the “vacuousness” of MM’s posts in 30 different ways does not make the threads “multifaceted.” Just so you know.


          I guess I need to attempt some particularity, pointing out exactly why Leopold’s response immediately above is a post worth noting as not helpful for dialogues.Let’s start with the fact that he mischaracterizes my post as merely “complaining.” He quite misses the point that the ability to provide a clear point to a comment is helpful (especially when certain posters are lax in what they say).He then misrepresents what the term multifaceted means. Since threads have multiple topics and multiple discussions – about MANY things by MANY people, his attempt to denigrate my post by trying to identify the benefit solely to me is not helpful.

      1. 21.1.1

        Might need to flag it before it is hidden. But I just down voted and now your downvotes show as red, perhaps a few more hide you.


          Downvotes do not list the participants, as are listed in the upvotes.That might be something worth changing – if one notes that lots of the votes are ‘mystery votes,’ a sense of ballot box stuffing would be evident

    1. 21.2

      I think this “feature” is silly. I’ve seen it for years, of course, all over the Internet, but I’ve never used it and I’m not going to start now.

  13. 20

    What would be really nice would be to have the option of having them all displayed in order in which they were posted on a per user basis. That way, people like myself could roll old school. Also, take away this blasted 50 comments displayed per page nonsense!

  14. 19

    Navigation tools need to be updated in so far as not only with the loss of visibility due to high traffic threads, but now, with nested comments, the location of new comments within a thread can appear anywhere along the thread.

    Take the voluminous Bilski thread (at around 290 comments). If Malcolm were to actually answer the challenge of fully explaining his position regarding the Printed Matter Doctrine, but did so on page 3 of the comments, as opposed to the previous listing at the end of the string on page 6, the scroll down, next, scroll down next scroll down mechanism may not be sufficient.

    Of course, this particular hypothetical situation will not arise (due to the fact that Malcolm has NO answer), and perhaps Malcom will take yet another step away from the keyboard and give us all another 4 months free from his ridiculous (and discredited)Cookbook (non)Patentability arguments.

  15. 18

    If you do implement it, you should file an app for a METHOD OF THREADING COMMENTS ON AN IP BLOG, if for no other reason than to enrage Mooney.

  16. 17

    Threaded comments would be an improvement. Pictures may be unnecessary other than to more easily spot/skip the puppet show. A wider primary window is preferred. Clicking “next” once or twice at most is no big deal.

  17. 16

    This isn’t the type of site that generates burdensomely long comment threads that would need to be nested, and besides, the calibre of commenters is such that the “arguments” are (mostly) substantive and forcing readers to “skip over” them by default basically means missing out on the point of the comments.

  18. 14

    I think the threaded comments would be an improvement, despite requiring people to accept change.

  19. 13

    I like the current format, but would prefer the comment column was wider, allowing even more text/screen.

    who doesn’t have a wide screen monitor nowadays? this page takes up a tiny fraction of my available screen space, and I have to scroll furiously to get through the useless mooney trolls.

  20. 12

    It would also be nice to have a scroll bar in the recent comments section of the far right column. There are times where a comment on an older thread is made and becomes buried with heavy traffic on newer posts.

  21. 11

    Is it possible to change the comment review methodology from a scroll down – next, scroll down next, to include icons for a jump to page and jump to end?

  22. 10

    I’m with those who would wish you to stay pretty much as you are, Dennis, and also favour squeezing the width of the second and third columns of text. For this reader, this will best maintain the edge you already have, over the other patent law blogs.

  23. 9

    I agree with the others — it’s pretty easy to scoll past what you don’t want to read. Be cautious about making big changes to a system that works well.

  24. 6

    “Just leave well enough alone. Most desirably, go back to the larger page-width and eliminate the Next and Previous thingy”

    Strongly agree with this and 6’s comment.

    Don’t get sucked into the “flashier is better” trap.

    Look at Google.

  25. 5

    Idk Steve, I always find JPE’s comments section way less efficient than PO’s. I dislike the threading system because I have to click everytime I want to read the next comment. How is that more efficient? Skipping posts isn’t that hard, and if you are a post skipper most of the time then why not skip comments all together?

    I’m with Scotus above, if I could pick I would have you go back the way it was in 07′ though it would be nice to not have the captcha. Oh, and if you can get rid of the spam filter or decency filter it’d be nice too. The word “ye ah” and similar shouldn’t be banned. I ha te to say that.

  26. 4

    Keep it simple and don’t make the switch. This is not a 1000 comment type website, like news sources. Skipping over a few comments, say out of an average of 25 per topic, is not so difficult. I recommend going back to seeing all the comments on one page and paring down the right-side column to give more page width to the topics and comments. Some time ago (2-3 years ago?) we could see all comments on a single page, and that right-side column was not so wide. Now we have to do that Previous and Next thingy, which is burdensome if you are returning the next day or two later and have to fumble through a topic having 165 comments, Next, Next, Next, Next, geez, when does it end. Speaking of which, adding this proposed threading feature would also make each page longer, resulting in even MORE pages per topic, and making that Previous and Next thingy even more burdensome. The addition of the identity pic alone should suffice to be able to jump over comments that are off-topic; so threading + identity pic seems like overreaction to a problem that barely exists and rarely occurs. Just leave well enough alone. Most desirably, go back to the larger page-width and eliminate the Next and Previous thingy. If this site grows to WSJ or MSN size, then go ahead and add the threadability and identity pic, but please also consider all the other bells and whistles those sites have. The most important thing is that the scholarly content and reliability be maintained, which is why I, and I suspect many others, visit here regularly.

  27. 3

    For it’s improved efficiency and resultant increased usefulness, such a change has got my vote, Dennis…though were it me I’d skip the unnecessary, distracting, and professionalism-lowering use of photos, icons, or other “myspace/tech crunch-like” visuals.

    I see that as just junking up your otherwise great format site.

    If this new software requires the use of such, I’d stick w/your current product.

    …an’ I don’t mind the 5 seconds it take to type in a code in order to post.

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    More seriously, I like threaded comments for two reasons:

    1) You can skip the arguments

    2) You can follow the off topic posts easily, esentially giving them their own thread.

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