We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata changes…

As of this Thursday, Samizdata will temporarily stop updating and on Friday, it will go off-line completely for… a while.

We wil be back at some point over the weekend with the New Improved Version.

41 comments to Samizdata changes…

  • David Crawford

    So, are we “on a break”? I mean we can, um, you know, see other blogs while we’re “on a break”? You know, you’re not going to, like, you know, get all mad and stuff, right? Just to be clear, We Are On A Break, correct?

  • Alisa

    Relax David, you are going to have a baby together in season 9, I think.

  • Does this mean we get to date other blogs?

    CountingCats is looking very sexy today….

  • RAB

    The cheque is in the post John, and the lubricant is in the drawer. Come up and see us sometime. 🙂

  • Dom

    No more white on blue then, right?

  • M. Thompson

    Well, you fellows have had a nice long run with this. Looking forward to the return.

  • Westerlyman

    I like white on blue.

  • Rich Rostrom

    I hope this update is not too radical. For various stupid reasons I’m stuck with Firefox 2.0. It works fine with Samizdata, but at an increasing number of sites I can’t post comments, or even read comments.

    I hope Samizdata does not become another such.

  • llamas

    You had better not be changing anything but the towels in the washroom. If you significantly-alter any part of the blog, I for one shall be Quite Displeased.

    Resist the urge to change for the sake of change. Esepcially the white-on-blue. Just leave it be. It’s almost-perfect as it is.



  • WordPress, WordPress, WordPress…!

  • Alisa

    Llamas: I understood from an earlier comment here somewhere that the new design will also include a new and more intelligent smitebot, thus possibly eliminating the main incentive for your poetic creativity. If a new theme is what it will take to keep that going, I’m all for it. Just off the top of my head now: A White-and-Blue Blues? Or a possible variation on Blue Velvet?

  • The changes to spam management will probably not be right off the bat… indeed I expect things to go horribly wrong a few times on that score.

  • So, are we “on a break”? I mean we can, um, you know, see other blogs while we’re “on a break”?

    No. Absolutely not. We are watching you.

  • Andrew Duffin

    I hope this isn’t going to another example of Hutber’s law.

    And please, in the name of all that’s holy, don’t implement sodding Disqus. Just don’t. OK?

    See you all on the other side…

  • llamas

    To the tune of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’

    I’ve heard there was a secret word
    That Perry played, and it pleased the crowd
    But was it only ever blogging to you?
    It raised the bar
    The thought, the tone
    The tiny baby plan outgrown
    Of thinking readers writing Samizdata!

    Samizdata, Samizdata
    Samizdata, Samizdata

    Perry, I ‘ve been here before
    I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
    I used to live alone before I knew you.
    I’ve seen your white text on the screen
    The dark blue background in my dreams
    But now you’re up and changing Samizdata!


    Across the years you’ve let us know
    What’s really going on below
    You wouldn’t change it all, now would you?
    And all those readers, far and wide
    Who turn all other blogs aside
    And come here only for their Samizdata!


    From Denver, there is Sunfish wise
    There’s Pearce, Alisa, other eyes
    From all around the world, they come to view you
    There’s RAB, and Micklethwait
    And down in Texas, Kim du Toit
    All for the same and simple Samizdata!


    It doesn’t matter what I think
    And even if I raise a stink
    And if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
    But please don’t change it very much
    The sight, the sense, the tone, the touch
    There’s really nothing wrong with Samizdata!


    I’ll even bear the smitebot’s curse
    Who really cares, it could be worse
    I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
    I promise not to cuss no more
    But please don’t change, we all implore
    Please leave us all our simple Samizdata!




  • llamas

    (With apologies to W.C. Handy)

    I hate to see that evening sun go down
    Oh, I hate to see that evening sun go down,
    Because then Samizdata ain’t gonna be around
    I won’t feel tomorrow, like I feel today
    Oh, I won’t feel tomorrow, like I feel today,
    Because Samizdata, will be gone away.

    Samizdata, with its bright blue screen,
    Surely the best blog, that I’ve ever seen,
    If it wasn’t for white text, make you stop and stare
    That blog I love, wouldn’t be nowhere
    I got the Samizdata Blues, just as blue as I can be
    Because the man who runs the blog, got a heart like a rock in the sea,
    Else he wouldn’t be takin’, my Samizdata from me.

    (Suggested accompaniment may be heard here:




  • Alisa

    What Laird said.

  • Mose Jefferson

    The color blue lowers blood pressure.

    I think the same applies to the Gadsden Flag and both the Sig and All-Seeing-Eye logos at the top of Samizdata.

    It’s science. Don’t ask me to explain.

  • Julie near Chicago

    What Alisa said.

    What Laird said.

    What llamas said.

    What Julie whined about–ever since this cockamamie topic came up.

    But Perry, who in this context is the God-King
    (And I do Believe, for certain values of God anyway)
    Stopped my mature, adult comments on proposed changes
    Some months ago
    With His most holy Assurances
    That nought would be changed but under the hood
    Including the tranny
    And yes, Laird, the points. A proper Classic still has a distributor cap with points.

    The Points of Samizdata are all in white,
    Upon a background of serene and soothing darkish blue
    Which only points up their importance.

    And so it shall remain.

    Or you’ll jolly well hear about from me!!!

  • Julie near Chicago

    PS. llamas,

    When the muse is upon you I must say the results are pretty awesome! :>)

  • Julie near Chicago

    Dear Perry,

    “Serene and DARKISH blue.” The darker blue here hits just the right note.

    Not that anyone asked for my opinion. *g*

    If you actually see this–cheers, you’re doing fine and I know you needed to.


  • admin

    The darker-blue here is taken from the sidebar of the old blog. The improvements should be subtle…

  • If possible, change the default avatar to something darker in colour.

  • admin

    Good idea – it ought to be customisable somehow. We’ll play with it if it turns out to be under our control.

  • Laird

    This will take a little getting used to, but it should be fine.

  • Midwesterner

    Darn. I just this morning realized that due to sloppy bookmarking on my part I have lost the vast majority of my Samizdata bookmarks. Probably irretrievably. Regrettably, I’ve tended to bookmark the discussion threads rather than the articles. For example I would have bookmarked this article at the time I finished reading the thread or a particularly good comment and it would have stored [http://www.samizdata.net/mt/93uhdy736.cgi?entry_id=15364} instead of [http://www.samizdata.net/2012/12/samizdata-chang/#comments] Pure stupid on my part.

    At least once during Samizdata’s history, the “93uhdy736” was changed and the worst I’ve had to do with really old bookmarks is update that part of the URL. But now, that won’t work any more.

    Darn. Other than that I like the improvements a lot. For example, I might remember a particular contributor wrote an interesting article a couple weeks ago but finding it without a bookmark requires remembering enough detail to search it. Now I can just click that author and go back a couple of weeks.

    Is there going to be a “Preview” button? When I’ve put embedded links in comments in the past, I like to test them before posting the comment. Also, for some odd reason, it seems easier to spot typos and phrasing clarity problems on the preview screen. Maybe that’s just me.

    The “recent comments” section is really nice too. That will probably change the way I browse the blog. And the new structure of the pages/urls will make my bad bookmarking habits benign.

    So now the fun part starts. It’s a little like getting a new car and playing with all the gadgets. Shiny. I hope I don’t dent the fenders.

  • admin

    I just spotted and fixed the “?entry_id=15364” mechanism – remapped the URL, so they should all work again.

  • admin

    As for “Preview”, I think not, but once we’re a bit more stable we’re planning on an extension that would permit editing of comments after-the-fact even for non-logged-in users. Or, alternatively, regular readers could register for a permanent username. Again I’d like to see the dust settle a bit before we get into that, else I’ll be buried in explanation…

  • Midwesterner

    Sweet! My day just got a whole lot better. That was breathtakingly fast. I already tested it and it works perfectly! And on the “Preview”, that’s a luxury, whatever works out is fine. The bookmarks thing had me panicking.

  • admin

    I’m good. 🙂

  • Midwesterner

    Yes. I’ll second that notion. I’m also learning the threaded conversation thing. On really long comment threads where I’ve encountered it (typically big name newspapers,etc), I’ve gotten really frustrated. But I think Samizdata is ideally suited for that format as we seldom exceed 100 comments per thread, yet often have two or more conversations overlapping in the thread. Often the discussions get tangled up in each other. I think the changes may expand and energize the discussions. This is going to be fun. I hope to have a least a couple of articles up some time in the not terribly distant future. I’ll see how it goes.

  • Midwesterner

    And I just botched the threaded discussion thing. Well, I guess this is a good thread to practice on.

  • admin

    While you’re at it, try accessing Samizdata on your phone. And/or using a WordPress app for those with a login.

  • RAB

    Oh shucks llamas I made it into your lyric, I’m well chuffed. And like everybody else said…Wow!

    Well I’ll get used to the new look soon enough I guess, not that radical a graphic make-over really, but the icing on the cake is… Good good Spambot, Goodbye! (sung to the tune of…)

  • Julie near Chicago

    Let’s see…grades so far.

    .White on TWO blues, both with good but not excessive contrast, the duality providing a bit of rest for the eyes.

    Grade: A+++

    .Retention of overall simple look: Excellent. (Except I miss The Dissident Frogman’s delicious propeller-beanie. Anybody who trashes Ernesto is a friend of mine.)

    Grade: A+++-

    Addition of “Latest Comments” Feature: A+++-

    .Loss of categories of Resting vs. Active Contributors: Rats.

    Grade: C.

    .Avatars: Ridiculous wherever you find them. Bummer.

    Grade: F.

    .Threading: Don’t like threading, but opinion subject to revision upon further experience with usage.

    Provisional grade: D+

    .Lack of Preview: DO SOMETHING! Preview is greatly helpful in proofreading. Anyone who ever proofread anything knows that while it’s hard to catch all errors ever, seeing galley-proofs helps greatly. PLEASE RESTORE!

    Grade: F-

    .Addition of monthly archives: Very good.

    Grade: A

    .Search: Holding off on grade. I complained (just once) about Search, but the system of presenting the whole list of titles only, and of restricting searches to “Original Postings only, Comments only, or both” was very good. once you got used to it.

    Grade: Pending further exploration. –If the whole list of title results, however lengthy, could be restored, that would net you an A.

    .Loss of SmiteKats–“photos3” page removed: Totally unacceptable. If it’s not too much trouble–could you please restore? Consider it part of the documentary history of Samizdata, if that helps. Remember, the

    more intelligent

    among us had the page bookmarked….

    Update: The Wayback Machine still has the page, thank the Great Frog. I shall copy, paste, and save at once. But it still won’t be the same, as even NeoOffice doesn’t handle the backgrounds correctly. Anyway, for any other SmiteKat Freaks, here goes:


    Grade: F——-…

    .HTML tags: Assuming they work, and it looks as if they do,

    Grade: A

    .Next entry vs. previous entry the opposite of the old, and more commonly used, directions (Right Arrow now takes you to Previous Entry, counter-intuitive). Very strange.

    Grade: C, but not life-threatening

    .REALLY very strange: Browser “Back” button doesn’t seem to work right, at least with Firefox. It seems as though Ff may have gotten lost in the string of addresses. Haven’t tried Safari yet. Not ready to blame this on Samizdata.

    Overall grade, subject to all the mistakes I always make and don’t catch–although I DO try, honest!: A+.

    Special Cheers for retaining the overall look, AND for adding the “Latest Comments” feature.

    Major jeers for possible loss of long, complete list of search results. (Ideally, a fix for this would include the original posting date for each title.) –And, for adding those stupid distracting avatars, which are also disproportionately large AND add an unnecessary step to copy-paste when saving postings. (Either copying around them, or deleting them from the copy–chiefly because they’re distracting and unnecessary.)

    Overall Grade for the New Samizdata: A.

    Special Grade for obvious hard (and on the whole successful) work to please all comers: A+++ and very much appreciated. And we all hope you are pleased too.

    Good job, EXCELLENT job, Perry. Thank you. :>))))

  • Julie near Chicago

    PS. I promised at least one mistake (or oversight). Here it is:

    If I’m only allowed two Jeers, then kindly enter loss of Preview as Major, MAJOR Jeer and bump the avatar complaint.

    Thanks! :>)

  • admin

    Are these the cats you’re looking for?


    Check the category menu on the right.

  • admin

    …also, I think I’m seeing dates on search results, but now below the text rather than above? And I am seeing posting extracts, rather than “title only” as described? Still not the full posting, but…

    Am in total agreement about Preview and will test some possibilities over the weekend.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Indeed, that is they! :>) Would never have occurred to me to look there. Live and learn (hopefully). Thanks! :>))

  • admin

    It’s understandable. The previous Samizdata as you knew it was actually six blogs confusingly cohabiting in the same website, along with another semi-separate blog (“White Rose”) elsewhere ; Photos 1/2/3, Glossary and MemeHacks were all actually separate blogs to the main-one.

    As per the archive page, those have all been rolled into categories of a single WordPress instance now.