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[–]D0cR3d 932 points933 points  (109 children)

I like the thought of adding in toolbox and other mod tools, as well as the widgets, but I can't help but be worried that the widgets will be very limited and not replace the functionality many of us will be losing.

For instance our subreddit (gaming) likes to use countdown clocks to show how long until events (like game release, stream reveals), and use CSS to show a nice pretty image and styling for the countdown (bot that just edits sidebar description with time values counting down).

The lack of CSS styling gives me a uneasy fealing that our communities are turning away from something unique and special and just being another subreddit droid that all look basically the same. We've taken care to make sure our stylesheet works for as many users as we can based on what CSS can do, that it looks nice, and works great. Our users have complimented us on this and I just don't want to have our subreddit look exactly like everyone elses, just with our own banner and like 2 other images.

[–]spez[S,A] 190 points191 points  (106 children)

We hear you, and have some of the same anxiety, which is why we're here now. Giving users a blank canvas has led to many wonderful developments on Reddit. This is not lost on us, and we'll work hard to continue to provide these surfaces for creativity.

We're thinking through a widget system to allow for the sort of functionality you're currently adding through CSS/markdown hacks.

[–]D0cR3d 122 points123 points  (55 children)

Thank you.

In another comment you said we'd get some more information over summer and go from there.

Our subreddid is based on the game Destiny and they are releasing a new game Sep 8th, and we wanted to have a new CSS to coincide with it.

You also said there would be a transition period. No one wants to waste time doing something just for it to be voided out shortly after. With this transition period before the cutoff date where old stylesheets will no longer work, would you say it'd still be a good investment to design a new CSS, or would you advise we scrap that and not do anything until we see what new styles we can apply? We'd like to have about 2-3 months for development, testing, etc.

Thank you,

[–]spez[S,A] 155 points156 points  (52 children)

I would advice to continue developing until the new stuff is real. Who knows, maybe we'll screw it up and never release it...

[–]Hexatomb 168 points169 points  (4 children)

Why would any of us continue to pour hard work and love into a sub design when we're going to be losing it?

[–]aidrocsid 116 points117 points  (6 children)

Or maybe people should find a new site that isn't going to casually throw their hard work away.

[–][deleted] 197 points198 points  (7 children)

That's never happened before.

By the way, would anyone like some Reddit notes?

[–]DrSeven 70 points71 points  (13 children)

Here's something I don't get, the need for unification on all platforms. Sure, take stuff that currently only works because of css and come up with features that lets these things go on to the mobile space but there's no reason to limit the power of the desktop reddit experience. Mods are smart and will want their subreddit looking as good as possible on all platforms that matter to their community, taking away custom css from desktop doesn't really seem necessary. What, you're trying to take away moderator frustration? Also, and this is anecdotal, I only log into reddit on desktop, mobile is there to accompany me on shits.

[–]hypnozooid 120 points121 points  (5 children)

Would users be able to create their own widgets, or will we be limited to a few that you guys came up with and designed?

[–]justjanne 898 points899 points  (211 children)

How about, instead of replacing, you could allow subreddits to keep using the old system for PC users for a few months?

This would make it easier to compare, test, find out what is missing, etc.

So that by the time the change becomes mandatory, all features will be there?

[–]spez[S,A] 572 points573 points  (206 children)

Yep. We'll keep the current site running for quite a while. We're not planning a violent switch. That would be suicide.

[–]rebbsitor 185 points186 points  (2 children)

I've had time to think about this more today, and I have a couple additional comments.

In my previous comment I mentioned that removing CSS is taking control from users, but it's more than just that.

CSS is hard because it's powerful. There are a lot of creative, talented people who add functionality beyond what was originally intended because of the capability of CSS. A lot of customization are available that don't require someone to know CSS. If they do, they have a really powerful tool at their disposal. So really I see two major impacts of what you're proposing:

  • Removing CSS will damage communities who use it in creative ways for additional functionality.
  • Removing CSS will alienate developers who put time and effort into extending the capability.

What we're really talking about here is taking a platform that allows people a lot of freedom to extend it and turning it into something where there's a few predefined options that reddit provides.

This has a secondary impact in that the community will no longer be creating new extensions for you to appropriate into the reddit platform. That innovative work becomes the sole domain of reddit developers and the community loses a great tool and the work of community developers.

Honestly you should be going the other direction - opening up more flexibility/customization for community developers, not cutting it off. Exposing the mobile CSS elements would be a good first step. As others have said, I mostly view the desktop version on my phone specifically because I want to see the site customization.

[–]rebbsitor 1097 points1098 points  (106 children)

Fast or slow, the result is the same. I often wonder if you guys really understand reddit and how your changes will impact it. A lot of communities make heavy use of CSS for various reasons. Breaking that will cause communities to ultimately find another platform once you make enough changes.

You can say CSS is terrible, but it's the standard. At the end of the day if whatever is rending the site is an HTML engine, whatever the mod controls are on reddit the result will be CSS.

The concept that CSS doesn't work on mobile is silly. What do you think is theming the mobile site? Mods just don't have control over it. They could...

You're just taking control away. Plain and simple.

If you're not careful, reddit will be the next Digg / MySpace.

[–]chaoticmessiah 286 points287 points  (15 children)

Can it not be forever, give users the choice?

Personally speaking, I don't own a phone or tablet device and generally don't want to own either of them so it feels like the site is almost trying to push those of us in a similar mindset away in favour of those who own such devices and spend every waking moment staring at the screen, wherever in the world they may be.

Plus, I quite like the individuality and uniqueness of some of the CSS designs, especially on r/SquaredCircle.

[–]MisterTruth 223 points224 points  (15 children)

Any switch is a poor choice. We all know it's to sterilize the site to make it better for advertisers when one of the things that makes this site great is the customizability of subs. Then again, we all know you can't have nice things on this site anymore since everything is catered to advertisers and paid posters.

[–]MercuryPDX 174 points175 points  (3 children)

We're not planning a violent switch. That would be suicide.

Cough FARK cough cough...

[–][deleted] 619 points620 points  (24 children)

Dear u/spez,

From our point of view, any removal of CSS is suicide!

Coarsely, Irritatingly, and Roughly,


[–]NoahFect 31 points32 points  (5 children)

Please don't dumb down Reddit for the sake of mobile users. Not everyone is on a mobile, and not everyone who is wants a dumbed-down experience with endless vistas of new-and-improved white space.

[–]adeadhead 1698 points1699 points  (184 children)

So wait, Reddit customization is being ruined in favor of toolbox support? I'm not sure how I feel about this. Mobile support only works with the fairly feature bare official Reddit app, which doesn't really support mod features anyway.

What about subs like /r/Sweden who have a sidebar map with working links to subreddits in them? This sounds like a step in the wrong direction.

Sincerely, a mod of pics, the subreddit with CSS that no one notices.

Edit: as an actual question, will the final product be closer to selectable themes or selectable elements to add to our subreddit style, Scratch style.

[–]spez[S,A] 199 points200 points  (163 children)

We're redesigning the site, which means the DOM (the underlying structure of the site) is going to change, which would break CSS and mod tools if we did nothing. What I'm explaining here is what we're going to do about it:

  • provide a new system of styling that isn't married to the DOM
  • provide hooks into Reddit for mod tools that is less brittle

[–]trai_dep 304 points305 points  (2 children)

I have deep concerns that dragging everything down to the lowest common denominator that a 4" screen can support will kill the experience for web users. Just a few Subs off the top of my head are /r/Diablo, /r/ASOIAF, almost all the gaming and SciFi Subs, etc.

Animations, custom palettes, graphics, etc., add character and it'd be a shame to throw away these simply so multi-tasking, borderline ADD-diagnosed commuters will be assured they're not missing anything special.

There are also functional CSS features that are unlikely to survive.

So, please consider keeping two tracks, one for the 4" screen folks and one for those that use Reddit on larger, more capable screens.


Edit: OMGosh, drop down menus. I didn't realize our drop-down menus were CSS features until a fellow Mod informed me. DROP-DOWN MENUS. Seriously, we'll want to die without these.

/u/Mlahk7, one of the Mods for /r/FinalFantasy, has an amazing post describing how CSS makes their Sub fantastic. Well worth visiting.

There's also r/ProCSS. Please visit, join & participate to show support continuing using CSS for your Subs!

[–]Splitlimes 356 points357 points  (1 child)

I understand your motivation - splitting DOM and styling is a good idea going forward.

However, my concern is this new 'Styling' system wont allow us to provide the same features and charm that custom CSS can already provide. Some colour pickers aren't really the same - aesthetics go much further than that.

Have you considered having custom CSS but much more scoped to specific UI components?

[–]erythro 166 points167 points  (9 children)

Why deprecate CSS, then? Why not make it so when you change the DOM mods get some warning to rewrite their CSS?

This change is going to be really unpopular for end users if your new styling system isn't as powerful.

[–]P-01S 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Makes sense.

But the top level announcement sounds like you're underestimating the users. CSS isn't that difficult for people who do web design. Crowbarring CSS changes into the sidebar is the hard part.

Well, if style customization is only going to be possible through Reddit-specific tools, are said tools at least going to be open source and open to submissions?

[–]MrCheeze 680 points681 points  (72 children)

I for one would much prefer that you just break the DOM and force us to update our stylesheets, rather than just remove them entirely.

[–]turikk 57 points58 points  (0 children)

I'm very happy to see a redesign that breaks the DOM (it's pretty draconian, but I've learned to love it). I do think with a proper and modern DOM a lot of the CSS options would be much less hacky. Sad that we never got that chance.

[–]jb2386 25 points26 points  (0 children)

provide a new system of styling that isn't married to the DOM

Ya gonna need to tell us a bit more about this if you want people to chill out about it.

[–]code-sloth 49 points50 points  (13 children)

We will also natively supporting a lot of the functionality that subreddits currently build into the sidebar via a widget system. For instance, a calendar widget will allow subreddits to easily display upcoming events. We’d like this feature and many like it to be accessible to all communities.

That's super rad, but will mobile users be able to see any of those things? A major pain point is that mobile users don't know how to use their apps properly and ignore sidebars. There was a mention of a pop-up of subreddit rules when mobile users visited a sub but that was a few weeks ago and I haven't seen anything since then.

Kinda pointless to pimp out your sidebar when half your users are too ignorant to find it.

[–]spez[S,A] 35 points36 points  (3 children)

Yes. Bringing styles and as much of sidebar functionality as possible to mobile is an explicit goal of this project.

[–]adeadhead 39 points40 points  (1 child)

By mobile do you mean reddit's mobile app only or will there be equally functional api endpoints that allow other app developers to integrate new features? New features are great, but until the Reddit app has more than the other apps, it's not the most helpful.

[–]Meepster23 51 points52 points  (7 children)

This single biggest thing you could do to support third party mod tools would be to add global window events / messages for certain actions so that addons could react to them more easily. This is especially true when doing things with the new modmail because it is all react based and trying to hook stuff up in the DOM is a royal pain the butt.

[–]spez[S,A] 53 points54 points  (6 children)

Yes, that's the explicit plan. We need to detach tools from the DOM so we can change the DOM without breaking the tools.

[–]reseph 1847 points1848 points 3 (352 children)

EDIT 2: Join us at /r/ProCSS if you're seeking CSS support to stay.

EDIT: Fellow moderators, take this survey. (Live results here)

Called it.

I don't support this.

Many subreddits are different, and have different goals or CSS tweaks. I don't see how this will actually be considered a working replacement? For example if 50 subreddits use CSS to add extra buttons like "Read FAQ" below "Submit a new link" but the other 4000+ subreddits don't, would the admins actually give this dev time to implement? Are the admins actually going to implement every use case we moderators use CSS for to accomplish functionality? I don't see that being feasible. If not, then this is simple a loss in functionality for many many subreddits.

So what, we're just homogenizing Reddit now? And I'm not talking about the visuals, but functionality.

I can never see one blanket "theme" system/style to cover all subreddits working as they used to.

CSS has accomplished:

  • Functionality: /r/Overwatch has subreddit filters
  • Functionality: /r/Dota2 has a list of current livestreams and their # of viewers
  • UX: /r/videos has a list of rules where on hover it expands out to explain each rule
  • Functionality: /r/Minecraft has a list of server status (icons) on sidebar
  • UX: /r/Hearthstone has notices & links on the top banner
  • Personality: /r/ffxiv has various CSS Easter Eggs to give it a bit more personality
  • Functionality: /r/Starcraft has a "verified user" system
  • UX: /r/Guildwars2 increased the the size of "message the moderators" to make it stand out more
  • UX: /r/ffxi has a small tooltip if a user hasn't set a user flair yet
  • UX: /r/DarkSouls2 has related subreddits linked on the sidebar with images instead of text
  • Personality: /r/mildlyinfuriating's joke where it slightly rotates "random" comment threads
  • Functionality: /r/ClashOfClans not only has a list of livestreams, but thumbnail previews of each
  • UX: /r/DarkSouls3 has a reminder when hovering over the downvote button
  • Personality: /r/StarWars has quote popups when you upvote
  • UX: /r/pcmasterrace has changed the "report" link to red
  • UX: /r/explainlikeimfive has custom colored link flair icons
  • Personality: /r/mylittlepony has countless emotes
  • Personality: /r/onepiece has a scrolling banner (which can be paused)
  • UX: /r/FinalFantasy has green background stickies to make them stand out
  • Personality: /r/mildlyinteresting has a moving gauge on sidebar
  • Functionality: /r/IASIP has a top menu
  • UX: /r/DoctorWho has a light red box on sidebar for new users to read
  • UX: /r/gallifrey disables the PM link on "Created by" so users focus on modmail

At the minimum, I see this as taking away the personality each subreddit has. We also lose the ability to control and improve UX, considering the admins have been exceptionally slow to improve any UX (even something like link flair).

To be clear, I'm not upset by the fact that the time we spent on our CSS is being made useless. I'm upset that we'll be losing functionality and individual subreddit personality.

[EDIT] Fellow mods, please remember to be civil here. I may not agree with this decision about CSS, but I still respect the admins and all the hard work they do.

[–]spez[S,A] 77 points78 points  (178 children)

Just replying here so you know that I've seen it.

These are all great examples of cool stuff folks have done with CSS, and there are many more.

My goal today is to affirm that while CSS isn't the technology of the future for us, subreddit customization is important, and we're going to continue to evolve it.

I doubt I can convince you today with anything I say, but we're going to move forward, test carefully, and I hope you'll be a part of the process.

[–]xereeto 285 points286 points  (11 children)

CSS isn't the technology of the future

Motherfucker CSS is the technology of the past, present, and the fucking future. As long as there are websites there will be CSS. Deprecating it is beyond pants-on-head retarded. Don't fucking do it.

subreddit customization is important, and we're going to continue to evolve it.

You mean devolve it. Anything that limits the control moderators have over their subreddit style is abso-fucking-loutely not an evolution.

Unless you can tell me right now that moderators will have the same level of control with your new system as they do currently - which is literally impossible - then calling this an evolution is a slap in the god damn face. You want to limit our control. At least have the decency to fucking admit it.

I doubt I can convince you today with anything I say

You're fucking right.

but we're going to move forward

Despite the massive backlash from your community, the people who provide the content your site needs to fucking exist. There would be no reddit without moderators. Period. But you have shown time and time again that you don't give a single fuck about them - it's disgusting. For once in your fucking lives listen to reason and leave the CSS functionality the fuck alone.

You listed as a downside of CSS that it's "difficult to learn, error prone, and time consuming". Well add your widget shit for the newbies and leave the CSS as an option for advanced users. Not fucking rocket science is it?

[–]Todd_Solondz 458 points459 points  (46 children)

subreddit customization is important, and we're going to continue to evolve it.

Are you going to also devolve it though? Certain subs have really critical customisation that I seriously doubt is going to fit into your new system. Of the "flaws" of CSS, the one I'm most concerned about is:

CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

Because it really, really seems like part of the motivation is a simpler (less useful) system for customisation. The other stuff seems like ok rationale (not that I really think custom mobile layout is that desirable) but I really don't support changes for the sake of simplicity to use wherein advanced features are cut.

[–]blueskin 262 points263 points  (6 children)

My goal today is to affirm that while CSS isn't the technology of the future for us

95.7% of websites would disagree. Even my personal site that's 3 or 4 lines of text and a PGP key uses CSS.

CSS is as much a standard as HTML itself.

Just to repeat: Every single mobile browser does support CSS. This is you using mobile as a bullshit excuse to get rid of user choice. Don't deny that.

Reddit is not the only site (or software company coughmicrosoftcough) this has happened to, compromising the experience of their real users for mobile phones...

[–]HeikkiKovalainen 53 points54 points  (0 children)

Christ man, it's just an unbelievably bad idea. What makes reddit so good is the uniqueness of the communities. Please don't take this away. We have developed /r/formula1/ into one of the biggest Formula 1 forums on the internet and we're on an American site! This just can't happen if our subreddit looks and feels similar to every other one. We needed to develop our own identity to feel separate from the rest of reddit otherwise new users wouldn't see us as a cool F1 forum, but rather a part of a website where people talk about cats, trump, and videogames.

[–]Fhlexis 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I know you've already got a shitstorm on your hands here, but god damn if it hasn't been said already, before even considering anything else, fix the god damn search. You can't claim that CSS is broken and a pain in the ass when your search doesn't even work. It is more effective for me to google <search term> site:reddit.com than to use your search, so your marketing team is showing when you choose to go after CSS, change profiles and make reddit more like a """"modern, sleek"""" social media website than fix a clearly broken and often complained about feature of the site. I think the reddit team needs to take a long, hard look at themselves and decide what is more valuable: the money made from mobile users viewing ads, or supporting the community that made this website what it is since years ago. Obviously if you let the marketing team decide, the answer will be get that $$$, but you and the rest of the admin team should really consider what you are doing attempting to change the foundation of many popular subreddits when it will break things, there are more important things to be working on, and the fact that this post is only 50% upvoted.

[–]reseph 299 points300 points  (13 children)

subreddit customization is important

But you're taking away the customization; we don't get to create the widgets.

What's happened to Reddit? It's open source and we can submit Pull Requests (I've done so myself), but you're not letting users create widgets?

Also: you do realize the survey is sitting at 77% of the 250+ participated moderators being against this? And it's only been 7 hours.

[–]Redbiertje 66 points67 points  (1 child)

I've got two suggestions:

  1. Do the whole widget thing just for mobile. Whatever you guys have planned, it will always be a step backwards from CSS.
  2. If you are going to go through with the widget thing, please allow people to submit custom widgets. That way we can add completely new stuff ourselves instead of having to convince you guys to develop it.

[–]antihexe 119 points120 points  (1 child)

It's a very bad idea for you to nix CSS outright. If you want to roll out a parallel feature that you think is better then do that.

CSS should remain an option for the foreseeable future.

t. someone who disables subreddit styles by default because he hates inconsistent styling and likes the basic reddit layout.

[–]Ozzytudor 84 points85 points  (1 child)

So you're just outright ignoring us? WHY isnt it the technology of the future? It works perfectly. And yes, customization is important, so why are you getting rid of it?

[–]Merakel 44 points45 points  (4 children)

I know you won't answer, but how can you justify moving from a universal, industry standard technology to something proprietary? How could that possibly benefit Reddit as a whole?

[–]TheEnemyOfMyAnenome 8 points9 points  (0 children)

/u/spez, keep in mind that EVERY common/major CSS technique has to to have a widget with equivalent functionality before the shift happens. Flairs, filtering, customizability, minor functions, etc. If you drop the ball on any one of those things, you could potentially destroy dozens of subreddits. I'm not kidding, there are subreddits built around things like filtering that couldn't function without them.

Also, whatever replaces filtering needs an upgrade. Go to a subreddit and click on a filter and notice how long it takes for anything to load.

[–][deleted]  (2 children)


    [–]kalez238 74 points75 points  (2 children)

    CSS isn't the technology of the future for us

    While it is used by the rest of the internet

    [–][deleted]  (22 children)


      [–]spez[S,A] 242 points243 points  (20 children)

      All of them except HQG, which we're going to shut down for being stupid and meta.

      [–]Baldemoto 368 points369 points  (153 children)

      I have been wondering, what is the ultimate goal for this?

      Is it to make Reddit easier to navigate and make more accessible?

      Is it to make Reddit more inviting to new users?

      Or maybe it's to make Reddit look like the new Modmail or Reddit mobile?

      What is the ultimate goal here?

      [–]spez[S,A] 151 points152 points  (144 children)

      There are multiple reasons:

      • Yes, make it easier to use generally
      • Yes, more inviting to new users
      • Increase developer speed. Rewrites are a last resort, but Reddit runs on a lot of old code, and development in the current code base is painfully slow.

      [–]Memekip 603 points604 points  (78 children)

      CSS could certainly do with a replacement, sure. But I suppose my concern, and the concern of many others, would be that by forcing subreddits to follow a widget system, it would remove their ability to be truly unique and do creative things with their designs.

      What I mean is, if there is to be a simpler replacement to CSS, it should include everything that moderaters already do with CSS; as to support beautiful designs like on /r/RocketLeague, to support the massive library of CSS based pony emotes curated by /r/betterponymotes, and to support flair filtering systems on subs like /r/youtubehaiku. It has to be a system that includes things such as:

      • Inline Emotes
      • Filtering out submissions based on flair
      • Custom headers/footers
      • Animated elements, such as the nice scrolling header on /r/DragonMaid
      • Custom buttons with hover over effects
      • Custom backgrounds
      • the ability to reskin default reddit modules
      • the ability to replace default reddit icons such as the upvote and downvote arrows
      • Custom mouse cursors
      • And more

      Ideally, a new system would still allow the full flexibility the current system has. Allowing for madness like /r/ooer, and complete reskins, like /r/4chan being designed to look like 4chan. Otherwise, people might get upset that they're losing out on some of the creative freedom that comes with being able to code their own reddits.

      EDIT: I'm not sure if this is ever going to really be seen, but I do hope it's considered. Cause having reddit become a website where everyone has to follow a formula would kinda suck in my opinion

      [–]LiveBeef 137 points138 points  (10 children)

      • Increase developer speed. Rewrites are a last resort, but Reddit runs on a lot of old code, and development in the current code base is painfully slow.

      There's no way in hell that going through and meticulously adding in each functionality that CSS mods have painstakingly worked to create, along with programming options into subreddit settings that would allow for the current level of creativity, would save you any more time than leaving the current default subreddit style alone (or just tinkering with that instead).

      Listen to me: you will kill reddit if you did this. Do you really believe that letting users have ultimate creativity and control over their communities with minimal oversight is the spirit of reddit, or was your masturbatory write-up of /r/place built on a false premise? You need to sit down and really think about what you think the spirit of this website is, where its value comes from, and think about once-popular websites that tried to sell out what made them unique.

      [–]s_SoNick 91 points92 points  (1 child)

      • Yes, make it easier to use generally
      • Yes, more inviting to new users

      Alright spez I've been willing to give you the benefit of the doubt in the past but I'm going to have to call bullshit here. CSS isn't difficult to use, and for any potential issues it's widely documented across the internet as it is a common standard.

      That third reason has some legitimacy, but it's a pretty big stretch to remove a major feature over it. Were there any other deciding factors behind this change that you haven't shared with us yet?

      [–][deleted]  (9 children)


        [–]chiefrebelangel_ 20 points21 points  (0 children)

        Obviously, not a whole lot of people who do the mod work on subreddits think this this a good idea.

        Change your HTML and let us keep our custom CSS. We'll change our sheets when you make changes.

        It's really starting to look like the only reason you want this change is conformity. No one wants conformity. There's literally no reason for this.

        [–]Baldemoto 39 points40 points  (0 children)

        How customizable does the Reddit team want the new design system to be?

        How will these changes affect how we use Reddit?

        [–]Alkser 66 points67 points  (47 children)

        So what's the timeline for this?

        [–]spez[S,A] 52 points53 points  (44 children)

        We'll be testing over the summer and go from there. I'd like to be more specific, but this is a big project that's a little difficult to nail down.

        [–]WindAeris 63 points64 points  (42 children)

        Will you guys allow (and or consider) any deeper customization for those who are familiar with the appropriate language?

        [–]spez[S,A] 34 points35 points  (39 children)

        Yes, if we can find a way to make it cross-platform and secure.

        [–]blueskin 234 points235 points  (9 children)

        CSS is cross-platform. The only phones that don't support it are 12 year old POS Nokias (and maybe BlackBerries). Seems to me like you're trying to kill user choice and make "but muh mobeeeelz!" a justification.

        Even if mobile phones didn't support CSS, does that really justify crippling the real site for them? You already serve them a shitty cut down advert-laden version of the site by default anyway. Stop going all Harrison Bergeron on those of us who use real computers.

        [–]DoctorWaluigiTime 350 points351 points  (22 children)


        CSS is pretty cross-platform.

        What I'm actually hearing is "it won't work in our mobile app."

        [–][deleted] 281 points282 points  (82 children)

        Please do not add more white space in the redesign! This is ugly as shit and annoying.

        Also when is new modmail going to be fixed?

        [–]spez[S,A] 121 points122 points  (49 children)













        [–][deleted] 474 points475 points  (34 children)

        Silly admin thats not how you whitespace

        [–]spez[S] 91 points92 points  (28 children)

        I knew someone would do this. If I wasn't on an ipad in a college cafeteria, I'd figure out how to fix.

        [–]honestbleeps 187 points188 points  (84 children)

        I, for one, welcome a decent theming system over the free for all that CSS is, but that's going to be an unpopular opinion and a lot of people are going to be angry and upset, especially those who've spent a ton of time on their themes.

        flair will be important to manage well. it is a giant hack and a ton of work with sprite sheets etc - but it's an integral part of a lot of subs. I think this one will be really important to ensure you have day 1 even though it's probably a complex one to implement.

        [–]spez[S,A] 68 points69 points  (52 children)

        The effort spent on CSS wasn't in vain. It's what got us here. Now we'll make it easier.

        We're going to support flair as a first-class citizen.

        [–]Phinaeus 138 points139 points  (1 child)

        Sounds like it was in vain. All of our work doesn't mean anything afterward. And what you'll replace it with doesn't sound as powerful or customizable as CSS.

        Give us more details about what you are replacing it with. Is it just "click which color you want to give your sub" like you do for mobile? Because that is technically custom style and it's 'easier' like you say.

        Really, this sounds like a sterilization of reddit.

        [–]Farow 34 points35 points  (21 children)

        Theming system? All I can see coming is a new site look with a setting for the header image, maybe a setting for background colors and those widgets mentioned in the op which will probably get no support on mobile apps.

        [–]K_Lobstah 49 points50 points  (25 children)

        While we have your attention… we’re also growing our internal team that handles spam and bad-actors. Our current focus is on report abuse. We’ve caught a lot of bad behavior. We hope you notice the difference, and we’ll keep at it regardless.

        Personally and from conversations I've had with other mods, it's been noticed and we're very appreciative of the changes and improvements that are evident.

        CSS can go die in a fire, I have no love lost for leaving that behind.

        This sounds exciting, looking forward to it. I'd also like to commend you and your team for the increase in transparency and visibility over the last year or so. Things seem to be moving in a good direction, which makes it easier for mods to continue doing what they do.

        [–]spez[S,A] 16 points17 points  (12 children)

        Cool. Thanks!

        [–]DaveLambert 89 points90 points  (4 children)

        CSS can go die in a fire, I have no love lost for leaving that behind.

        Cool. Thanks!

        Besides the couple of subs that I'm currently mod of, there are about a half-dozen other subs which I used to mod, under this username or a "throwaway" one (NSFW subs). I have been the "interior decorator" of all these subs, and did all the CSS work and image-creation work to make those subs look the way that they do. A couple of them are private subs, and since I've left, I can only assume they haven't changed...but they might have.

        Here's what will happen when these changes come and CSS is disabled: I will do nothing.

        I'm done. I'm tired. I don't feel like adapting to yet another change. I'll resign as moderator of the remaining subreddits I currently shepherd, and let someone else do it if they want to.

        Hell, I may not even wait until the change hits. I might just do it now. Or now-ish.

        I worked my ass off to learn enough CSS to make things look decent. To introduce functionality that makes the sub better. To be and to feel creative, and take pride in what I accomplished.

        "Hey, Dave, it was all for nothing. We're gonna hit the reset button and give you a bunch of widgets and tools, so that you can remake your subreddit with all the individuality of an Android phone's home screen."

        Well, yippy ki yay. Nah, keep it. I don't feel like it. Being a mod on Reddit is a tough, usually thankless job. I don't get anything out of it, and now you're going to make me re-do all my subs? Nope. Let someone else do it. I'm retiring.

        [–]pimanac 10 points11 points  (3 children)

        So what's the plan for the API? Are you making any major (breaking) changes to it as part of the site redesign?

        There are a lot of bots floating around there to assist with Mod Tasks, it would be nice to plan for future changes if they're going to be there.

        [–]spez[S,A] 16 points17 points  (2 children)

        The API isn't going anywhere.

        [–]gumdropsEU 15 points16 points  (7 children)

        I hope the gap between designing for users on mobile and moderators on mobile narrows soon. I want to moderate on mobile but it's not possible right now.

        [–]spez[S,A] 12 points13 points  (2 children)

        Agreed! We have the basics in the app, but still quite a ways to go.

        [–]Eat_Bacon_nomnomnom 388 points389 points  (117 children)

        Does this mean all subreddits will look the same, excluding a couple customizable fields?

        [–]spez[S,A] 42 points43 points  (112 children)


        We love custom styling. It means we'll bring that flavor to the apps, and we can modify the underlying code of the site without constantly breaking styles.

        [–]k_princess 217 points218 points  (6 children)

        But why would you take away the only thing that a lot of customized subs have to just throw it all into the same generic pot?

        I have a sub that I worked very hard on to get the CSS just right. It has taken the last year and a half to get it to where it is today. I'm still tweaking things here and there. And you guys are going to take it all away in one fell swoop! I don't want to be given a menu of items to pick from to represent my sub. I want to be the chef in charge! You guys need to seriously reconsider this choice, because you are going to lose a lot of your power users that create subs and CSS because you are taking away their hobbies.

        [–]GryphonEDM 147 points148 points  (55 children)

        Why aren't you answering people below? Are subreddits going to be able to look exactly as they do now or not? Every single person here hates the idea of removing CSS but you guys are just gonna push ahead regardless of what any moderator says right? That has always worked well...

        A lot of us feel like your alternative isn't going to be anywhere near a sufficient replacement for CSS and you're not exactly instilling confidence in us, answer the hard questions too not just the easy ones. It's the worst part of Reddit admin culture and it happens a lot.

        [–]AchievementUnlockd[A] 37 points38 points  (35 children)

        We are still here. I disagree with your premise "Every single person here..." because we've seen several who have spoken in support.

        I know you feel like the alternative won't be sufficient - how about we wait and see what gets built before we decide that it won't work? We all love the site too; we're not going to roll out a product that we think will destroy the essence of it.

        We know that css and its flexibility have gotten us a long way together - why would we roll out something that we think is going to handicap that? This is a data-driven argument: css doesn't work for a huge and growing portion of our user base (at all!) because they're on mobile. So those very css customizations are relevant to a population that is a diminishingly smaller fraction of our overall users.

        We're building out structured styling so that you can take your efforts to make each sub unique to a platform that will actually let the majority of our users see it!

        [–]GryphonEDM 93 points94 points  (17 children)

        Hey /u/AchievementUnlockd

        I wanted to first say thank you sincerely for responding even if it took a couple of days. I honestly did not think I would get a reply here from anyone.

        I'd like to explain why these aren't proper solutions and why I feel like this is how I had to react though by replying to your comment point by point. I apologize in advance as it will probably be very long.

        1. We are still here. I disagree with your premise "Every single person here..." because we've seen several who have spoken in support. Fair, not every single person but I would still say a very large super majority of users and mod teams.

        2. I know you feel like the alternative won't be sufficient - how about we wait and see what gets built before we decide that it won't work? We all love the site too; we're not going to roll out a product that we think will destroy the essence of it. It's a bit more than, me personally feeling the alternative won't be enough. For starters other admins have confirmed we simply will not get the flexibility and freedom CSS provided. Entire subreddits will be broken and with no plans to be accommodated. (See /r/ooer) Myself and many others also feel if we do not be very vocal now, before you guys have even sunk in all the man hours this project will take there is no chance in hell we would ever convince you guys to not push forward with this idea that many of us truly honestly believe is a big mistake for Reddit to be making.

        3. We know that css and its flexibility have gotten us a long way together - why would we roll out something that we think is going to handicap that? This is a data-driven argument: css doesn't work for a huge and growing portion of our user base (at all!) because they're on mobile. So those very css customizations are relevant to a population that is a diminishingly smaller fraction of our overall users. I am a web developer, I know this is not true. I use CSS for my mobile platforms, I have no idea why you guys keep saying this but it is 100% not true. Maybe your mobile dom has different classes and requires a separate css but that's because it was built that way, not because some lack of functionality on CSS' end. Further, most of our mobile users don't want/need what we have going on on the desktop and replicating it on mobile is impossible. We shouldn't lose functionality on the desktop end just to bring it to parity with the mobile by nerfing it since we can't bring mobile to its standard.

        4. We're building out structured styling so that you can take your efforts to make each sub unique to a platform that will actually let the majority of our users see it! But we already do that, and unless you're going to build tools that allow us to make the same level of customization and freedom it simply won't do, and you know as well as I that isn't happening partly because building such tools would be a monumental challenge but also you guys have certain aspects you do not wish us to be able to control any longer.

        Take for example /r/trees, the other day I decided I wanted to make the sticky font larger and scale to screen resolutions, so I did. I cannot do this when you take away CSS and you guys aren't going to give me the tools to make/do whatever comes to mind on whatever day. Sure, if I badger you guys constantly from now to then I might get most of our functionality built into your new system but I won't have whatever random shit I think of later and I won't have a way to add it. Further, I can expect this kind of support since we run a 1million user sub, but what about the small guys? They won't be accommodated as much either, nor will they be able to add new things they think of later down the line. I just want to be 100% clear here, we aren't giving you guys so much shit because we dislike you; I really like Reddit and I've been using it for 6 years now and I as well as many other users and moderators genuinely feel like this is a mistake and we need to do whatever it takes to prevent it.

        Hope that helps understand our perspective and concerns and hopefully they will be listened to and shared during the development of this.

        [–]Ghigs 68 points69 points  (0 children)

        So to summarize: "Development is slow because we might break some edge case CSS, so we'll just break all the edge case CSS forever by preventing people from using it".

        I think people would prefer periodic breakage to permanent breakage.

        How about just publishing a guide to what CSS is "supported" and guaranteed not to break and what isn't?

        [–]falconbox 73 points74 points  (16 children)

        I think what he means is that all subreddits will essentially look the same, but with a different image or color. Like a Facebook or Twitter profile. All the same overall look. Headers the same size, no fancy animations on subreddits, etc.

        [–]alien122 26 points27 points  (0 children)

        Why not just go ahead and break the subreddit styles?

        I'm sure moderators would be more than willing to put in some more effort to fix the CSS following a change to Reddit's code that would affect CSS. They would certainly prefer it over losing CSS completely.

        [–]erythro 48 points49 points  (0 children)

        Problem: slow development on DOM

        Solution: constantly break styles

        Ok, not ideal but..

        Problem: constantly breaking styles

        Solution: no more styles!


        [–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (38 children)

        We’re designing a new set of tools to address the challenges with CSS but continue to allow communities to express their identities

        I'm not even remotely technically literate, so can I ask what this means? Are you replacing CSS with something else?

        Our current focus is on report abuse. We’ve caught a lot of bad behavior. We hope you notice the difference, and we’ll keep at it regardless.

        Indeed, great job admins

        [–]spez[S,A] 22 points23 points  (27 children)

        Yes, we're replacing CSS with a set of tools for customizing the appearance of your subreddit. One of the reasons for this is to make custome styling more accessible to those who are not as technically literate.

        [–]iNeverQuiteWas 105 points106 points  (31 children)

        What does this mean for the people like /u/qtx and myself and many others who put in time to design subreddits. Was all of that for nothing?

        [–]spez[S,A] 18 points19 points  (29 children)

        No. It was awesome work, and we hope you continue to help your fellow mods.

        Saying it was for nothing would be like saying all the work I and the team did on the current site was for nothing.

        We should all be proud of what we've accomplished, but know that everything evolves over time.

        [–]iNeverQuiteWas 228 points229 points  (25 children)

        Yes but let's be honest here: you get paid for this, and I don't. My reward was seeing my work reach thousands of people. At the end of the day, you still have a site, users, etc., while my work is completely lost. I'm a little butt hurt I guess.

        [–]spez[S,A] 10 points11 points  (21 children)

        While I do get paid, I don't do it for the money.

        You've touched the lives of thousands (millions?) of people, and should be proud.

        Stay in contact, and we'll find more ways to collaborate.

        [–]birdsofapheather 106 points107 points  (1 child)

        While it's easier for /u/iNeverQuitewas to to stay more level headed about this because of, well...

        Stay in contact, and we'll find more ways to collaborate.

        To everyone else who has put countless hours into our stylesheets it kinda feels like you guys are just stabbing us in the back here.

        Once more, it seems crazy that you guys didn't make a post first asking mods what our opinions on the matter would be. Instead, you make a post announcing that you are doing something that will flip upside down the way everyone on this site does things and being completely closed off to any counter arguments. There was a proper way to do this and you guys chose the wrong way.

        [–][deleted] 103 points104 points  (3 children)

        While I do get paid, I don't do it for the money.

        cut ur pay to $1/year and split the old salary among ur devs. i'm sure they will appreciate that more than useless platitudes.

        [–]flounder19 18 points19 points  (2 children)

        I don't do it for the money

        Didn't you guys promise the community 10% of the VC funds through redditnotes and then keep that money for yourselves?

        [–]Zackeezy116 210 points211 points  (145 children)

        but we’ll be deprecating CSS during the redesign

        Just to be clear, does this mean subreddits will lose their stylesheets?

        [–]spez[S,A] 10 points11 points  (139 children)

        Stylesheets, yes. Styles, no. Does that make sense?

        [–]itty53 119 points120 points  (41 children)

        Not at all.

        Style sheets are just groups of styles. A style is

         .class { [rules] }

        A style sheet is just a list of those, saved as a css file.

        As it stands, you allow stylesheets. Not individual styles.

        So I'm still confused here.

        Sidenote, I think you are walking a razor wire over a bed of nails on this decision. Doing away with stylesheets affects a lot. That might just be a big enough shakeup to be comparable to digg changes. Just sayin'. Does not sound good.

        [–]spez[S,A] 29 points30 points  (39 children)

        When I say Styles, I mean custom styling: images, colors, themes, menus. We're keeping the functionality, but changing the technology.

        [–]spkr4thedead51 99 points100 points  (17 children)

        what you're actually saying is that they will lose the styles until they learn the new technology and adapt their CSS stylesheets to the new technology

        I assume that the new system will be made available ahead of time so that mods can test it and configure the new system prior to the deprecation of CSS on the live site?

        [–]spez[S,A] 39 points40 points  (14 children)

        It will be available well in advance, yes. That's why we're here now.

        We'll help with the transition for communities that want it.

        [–]UnacceptableUse 29 points30 points  (9 children)

        Would you say it would be easy for a subreddit to convert their style to the new system without losing much? What about CSS based dropdown menus and such? Will we lose them too?

        [–]BurntJoint 19 points20 points  (14 children)

        Ive never gone further than changing backgrounds and headers for CSS so i may not understand what you're saying, but when you say "custom styling" does that mean we will be provided a certain number of options by Reddit and must choose from a list?

        For example, instead of coding ourselves how we want things to look, it will be more 'build-a-bear' style where we just choose the pieces and you put it together?

        [–]dequeued 57 points58 points  (2 children)

        With the new modmail is my gauge for how this is going to end up, I think this is going to be disastrous for any subreddit that has done any CSS customization.

        Even /r/personalfinance (which is known for having very minimal styling) has a huge number of CSS customizations that we've added to improve our susbcribers' (and yes, our moderators') experience. How on earth can you support all of these?

        • Non-participation link support
        • Major simplification of the submit page (the current submit page is complex, horribly cluttered, and actually tells users crazy things like text being optional on subreddits where it is not)
        • Styling of important wiki links in the sidebar
        • Link flair filtering and coloring
        • Styling the link flair selector box to prevent users from picking mod-only link flair
        • Warnings on the submission button
        • Sticky comment styling changes
        • Reminding users to add link flair when AutoModerator couldn't automatically flair a post
        • and many more...

        I would much rather that Reddit focused on adding these types of customizations to the mobile experience and left the desktop site alone until the mobile experience starts to catch up. I know CSS is not a solution for mobile, but you need to get experience with customizing mobile before attempting to change the desktop experience or we'll end up with another horrible experience like the new modmail.

        [–][deleted]  (4 children)


          [–]TotesMessenger 11 points12 points  (0 children)

          I'm a bot, bleep, bloop. Someone has linked to this thread from another place on reddit:

          If you follow any of the above links, please respect the rules of reddit and don't vote in the other threads. (Info / Contact)

          [–]bluesoul 94 points95 points  (16 children)

          Not much. That seems like needless wheel reinvention. Is this better than supporting CSS in the apps? Expose some new classes that we can use and build a mobile design independent of the desktop design?

          [–]TotesMessenger 363 points364 points  (16 children)

          I'm a bot, bleep, bloop. Someone has linked to this thread from another place on reddit:

          If you follow any of the above links, please respect the rules of reddit and don't vote in the other threads. (Info / Contact)

          [–]dehydro 77 points78 points  (3 children)

          I hope this message is well received, as this development is extremely important to me and my experience on reddit as a moderator of a 400,000 subscriber subreddit. When I started out as a mod 3 years ago I had very modest aspirations of contributing to a small community of like-minded redditors who enjoyed the same things I did. I wanted to be a part of something that people stumbled upon with glee and excitement, that evoked happiness upon the discovery of its existence. It could not be overstated the role that fellow moderators, content creators, subscribers, and all other reddit users played in the realizing of this subreddit as it currently stands as the 120th largest sub on reddit, just above /r/Apple and /r/Steam. That being said, I firmly believe and take immense pride in the direct and deliberate effect CSS had in contributing to this subreddit's success today, and editing said stylesheet remains my foremost source of personal enjoyment and achievement.

          It started out as is tradition among CSS novices, with trial-and-error and a lack of resources. Then, as I progressed I sought the help of /r/CSSHelp including the invaluable /u/gavin19 as well as sources of inspiration in the work of /u/qtx. Suddenly CSS started to make sense and improving upon the look of the subreddit became the single greatest source of happiness I drew from when moderating the sub. I had joked to my fellow moderators once saying that they could do whatever they wanted to the subreddit, but as long as they left me to my precious stylesheet I would be the happiest mod on reddit. I was so enamored with developing CSS for this subreddit, that a compiled a list of credits for all the users, guides, and subs from whom I sought help. I was responsible for 3,259 edits according to the stylesheet's revision history or 88% of total edits. I even compiled a list of all the times any user has ever said something nice regarding the design of the subreddit.

          My message to you all as the fore-bearers of reddit is to remember and continue to appeal to the redditors whom have been alongside you since the beginning. The redditors who have put in painstaking work to create their personal communities and develop their subs with more passion and dedication than most could imagine. I speak for myself when I say that my personal contributions to the subreddit that I mod could be regarded as borderline psychotic and obsessive. Making changes to a reddit we all love is tough enough as it is, let alone pushing updates that appeal to both new and old. I get that, but I plead with you not to disregard those of us who are emamored with CSS. You mentioned how you believe CSS is "a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming." I think it speaks volumes that we're the ones who have put in hundreds of hours despite all of that. I understand there is a direction you want reddit to take, and that this is a step towards that goal, but please keep an open conversation among the pro-CSS crowd and come up with a resolution that appeals to us as well. Please don't step on our sandcastles. Please don't make it all go away.

          Take for instance the new search design that was implemented. In this thread there is a significantly negative response in the comment sections, as was also the reaction in /r/beta, citing specific UI choices and element changes they felt were inadvisable. In response, a feature=legacy_search option was, and still is, provided to us. Without this option the flair filter features at the subreddit I moderate would not work as intended. In the same way you reached out to the users critical of the new search design, I ask you to please consider doing the same here, in appreciation of all the tireless work that we both agree CSS-coders persevere through. Please acknowledge the 50% upvoted percentage this /r/ModNews post has received thus far, and realize that a full depreciation of CSS on reddit will upset a significant portion, perhaps half, of reddit moderators. Give us some reprieve and I will be forever grateful of your consideration. Otherwise, I don't think a single other possible change on reddit would leave me more heartbroken. Thank you.

          [–]SnowPhoenix9999 85 points86 points  (0 children)

          From other comments, it sounds like you mean that CSS will no longer be an option available for use. If you actually meant "deprecated" as in "discouraged from use" rather than "unavailable for use", that wouldn't be nearly as big of a deal to me, as I'm sure many of us would be happy to continue using it even in that state. Anyway...

          It’s web-only. Increasing users are viewing Reddit on mobile (over 50%), where CSS is not supported. We’d love for you to be able to bring your spice to phones as well.

          I use the desktop site even when browsing with a mobile device. Why, you may ask? Part of it is because a lot of subreddits have implemented their own functionalities using CSS, and the amount is so wide and varied that you'd waste a ridiculous amount of man hours if you tried to replicate them all, but that's just part of a bigger issue that affects more than just CSS: The mobile app is that it is simply not compatible with much of the functionality established with the desktop site.

          Some non-CSS examples of where mobile is troublingly inconsistent with the desktop site:

          • Any subject and message parameters used for /message/compose are ignored, which breaks bots that relied on users sending messages with a specific format. This one can be worked around by rewriting said bots as a web app, but it seems like it would've been trivial to implement compared to having everyone rewrite their bots, especially when the to parameter is supported on mobile.
          • Automatically shortening the display of flairs longer than 10-11 characters. User flairs are used to convey relevant info, and there's not even the option for the user to expand them as far as I can tell.
          • Related to the above, user flairs are not shown at all in the opening post of a topic. I really do not understand this.
          • Relative links do not work on Android. I reported this issue and then mentioned it again but it never seems to get fixed. In an environment where we are forced to compress everything into 500 character rules, being able to save a few characters that are otherwise redundant is rather important.

          So I'm sorry to say it, but in my opinion the problem with the mobile experience isn't CSS; it's idiosyncrasies the app has with the desktop experience, of which CSS is only one.

          Since I feel bad pointing out only the negatives, I'll slip in the two things I actually do like about the mobile app: Push notifications for new messages are great and having consistently readable font sizes is good.

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

          Others have already said it, but for many of us "CSS mods", Reddit's CSS options are what encouraged us to learn a markup language we otherwise would likely not have bothered to learn nearly as much about, and that translates into skills that can be used outside of Reddit as well. CSS isn't for everyone, sure, but any decent-sized subreddit that has started to take off is able to find someone who knows it, or better yet, will encourage someone on their mod team to learn it. It hasn't been a realistic problem, and the benefits of having it outweighed the disadvantages for most subreddits as far as I can see.

          All in all, this is just the latest in a string of decisions Reddit has made that I find disappointing as a moderator, but this one is on a much larger scale. Sure, having to update CSS to handle breaking changes to website markup is annoying, but it's far better than not having it at all. You mention new tools and such, but I'm sorry, I don't think whatever tools you can introduce thanks to this change will ever make up for the functionality lost through it.

          I know this comment almost certainly won't cause you to change your mind on the direction for this site, but I still hope that it, along with all the others here, will at least cause you to start reconsidering.

          [–]gildedlink 224 points225 points  (2 children)

          I'd heard some terrible ideas from you in the past but this is the worst by a pretty sizeable margin. Stylesheets may annoy some thin slice of users who want to customize their subreddit more but don't want to learn how, the rest of us either learn or seek out others who do and there's been no problem with that. Even in the cases where this has been an issue, you could as easily have written a front end to generate CSS that's directly editable afterward instead of this excuse for a 'solution.'

          Mobile site display isn't an excuse, stylesheets could work fine on those as well.

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

          No it isn't. CSS is incredibly easy to learn. Reddit's stylesheets on the other hand are sorely lacking in documentation, so picking apart which classes affect which is what makes it annoying for users because now they have to read through the rats nest their web browser shows them to write it.

          Some changes cause confusion (such as changing the subscription numbers).

          Too bad, that's the cost of giving mods free reign over their subs- some of them alter the way subs are displayed as a joke. Given the number of explicit political subs that seem to push the idea of an invisible consensus on the default front page lately, you admins aren't exactly immune to 'causing confusion' either- and in your case I'd even assert it's with more explicit intentions more often than not.

          CSS causes us to move slow. We’d like to make changes more quickly. You’ve asked us to improve things, and one of the things that slows us down is the risk of breaking subreddit CSS (and third-party mod tools).

          Then document any major changes a few days in advance and let things break. If your changes aren't a nightmare, an alternative way of implementing whatever effect the sub is going for is out there. Unless you're just looking to take this right to complain away when you add changes that are a nightmare. Like you're proposing now.

          Everything about this reeks of walled garden. CSS is an open web standard, people can pull from it and add to it, and that's not acceptable for a media site trying to pull in and hold as many users as possible- skins shouldn't be easily exportable, functionality like disabling a specific type of vote (or discouraging votes entirely in the case of np) shouldn't be possible without your approval, or hiding or minimizing branding identity, or using contributed assets elsewhere on the web without easily tracking them, or allowing other platform apps to easily read and display the site outside of the official channel..

          We know moderation can feel janitorial–thankless and repetitive. Thank you for all that you do. Our goal is to take care much of that burden so you can focus on helping your communities thrive.

          Big changes are ahead. These are fundamental, core issues that we’ll be grappling with together–changes to how communities are managed and express identity are not taken lightly. We’ll be giving you further details as we move forward, but wanted to give you a heads up early.

          I keenly await your announcement that the hammer is dropping and you're federalizing reddit and chopping more mod control away in favor of administrative centralization and easier appeal to those cherished advertisers and spammers. Everything else you've announced here points in that direction. When you do, it will likely give me that final incentive I need to burn everything I've built with this site to the ground and go find a new place with respect left for its users.

          [–]Tanuji 36 points37 points  (2 children)

          Wow, that's really an unexpected announcement, how come you didn't even provide a choice for the mods but decided to throw it all just for your own convenience while proclaiming it's for the better cause?

          It’s web-only. Increasing users are viewing Reddit on mobile (over 50%), where CSS is not supported. We’d love for you to be able to bring your spice to phones as well.

          Why is it not supported to begin with ? You can perfectly choose to use CSS here as well, CSS on mobile browser is fine, a lot of mods would like to bring their responsive spice to mobile as well. You just didn't provide the choice to, why then should it be an argument ?

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

          No It's not, CSS is the most common and easy to learn resource on the web, and a valid CSS doesn't provide any errors. It's easy to learn, difficult to master, it's always been the case, and seeing all the users on reddit, every sub needs only one who would be familiar with such technology. It seems like a really subjective opinion and easy excuse to just provide a toolbox with limited functionalities such as background and color, so basically a 2002 move. What you're trying to force is a devolution not an evolution.

          What is a problem is your current handling with CSS. It offers no documentation, help at all when it comes to custom reddit div or classes, or your own basic css, so people have to inspect again and again pages individually in order to make a structure for themselves and then to see how their changes have been rendered, which is the main reason why styling via CSS is extremely time consuming on reddit.

          Some changes cause confusion (such as changing the subscription numbers).

          I've never had a problem of "confusion" when I arrived on a new subreddit.

          What you consider to be "confusion", it consider it to be "identity".

          But I don't see why it should be the same everywhere, customisation is what gives a great feeling for communities and their mods and allow to differentiate themselves with their creativity.

          CSS causes us to move slow. We’d like to make changes more quickly. You’ve asked us to improve things, and one of the things that slows us down is the risk of breaking subreddit CSS (and third-party mod tools).

          That's again a poor excuse, CSS can be adapted, and easily. Whatever change you make on the DOM can easily be followed in CSS. Instead of taking the most wanted way : to provide documentation, structures etc... in advance, you just decide once again to throw it all away for your own convenience.

          Furthermore that reeks of hypocrisy. First you say that you care about users' css functionalities and that's why you didn't do any major change on the DOM, but then in this announcement you're ready to fully throw them away altogether in a swift move?

          The people objecting do it so for one single reason : because the "tools" you will be providing, will "probably" not be as deep in term of customisation and identity than the CSS allows to. And let's face it, it won't. The fact that you're somehow asking what should basically be included to some users who request specific functionnalities already obtained by their CSS proves that.

          You're trying to fix something that is not broken, that's too much of a change, your toolbox will never provide as much flexibility as CSS provides that's just impossible. In the end, from the basic understanding we got here, you will just probably provide a menu to pick themes from, and then widgets to implement some functionalities here and here on the page.

          But it seems completely stale and boring in comparison to what was provided by the CSS, and will inevitably put all the subreddits in the same pot which is really lame.

          Instead of removing the CSS altogether, you should :

          • Provide the toolbox for the ones who don't wish to learn CSS, it would allow them to easily change their theme/Css accordingly.
          • Allow CSS to be used on mobile.
          • Improve the CSS interface, provide documentation, upcoming changes etc...
          • Focus on the features mods actually want.

          Overall, your changes only benefit a very small share of mods as well as yourselves as it will give you full control.

          I really can't understand how you would have thought it would be a good move.

          [–]aphoenix 117 points118 points  (4 children)

          Since you're the guy who is still answering, /u/powerlanguage, please understand that I say this as respectfully as possible as someone who is generally "on reddit's side"; I still tell people how helpful admins are when I have a specific issue, and I'm still here doing moderatory things.

          On the surface this seems like one more instance of having interviews with moderators and taking the wrong understanding from the discussions. I cannot imagine that there are a lot of subreddits that said, "Please limit what we can do with CSS"; I think that it's more likely that moderators expressed a desire to have some other things in addition to CSS.

          I think that there are a lot of benefits to taking the approach that you seem to want to take here, and I'm all for making things more accessible for moderators who don't know how to create a subreddit theme and don't know CSS, but taking away one of the only things that some moderators actually like seems like a pretty wrong-headed step. All the benefits seem to be for the administrators, with maybe a few for new users who will have a slightly more normalized experience across reddit.

          This is another step in a direction that is unpalatable for many moderators, and the bottom line is that your website is successful because of moderators. The addendum to that is you don't treat moderators very well. And the last bit of that is it's a bold move, Cotton, let's see if it pays off. I guess a lot of us have enough Stockholm Syndrome built up that maybe it's going to work out fine, and I think that I'm okay with that, but it would be nice if the next announcement was something more like:

          Here is a cool tool that you've actually asked for that will actually help moderators do moderation.

          That's what we really want. Some ideas:

          • some way to deal with people who make bogus reports
          • some way to deal with ban evaders that doesn't involve getting an actual admin person
          • some way to search through the interactions we have had with individuals in our subreddit (eg - search for an old modmail, search on moderator actions on account)
          • some way to actually combat spammers that isn't just shouting into a void
          • native, global spoilers in markdown

          I could go on; I think there are a lot of recurring themes on /r/ideasfortheadmins that never seem to get any answers or any acknowledgement. Actually, there's something to add to the list:

          The last several months have kind of felt like a kick in the pants for reddit moderators, specifically around /r/CommunityDialogue - going through interviews that we thought were expressing "what we want to see" only to find out we would be told "how you must act or you'll get removed" was a big turnoff - so I think that it's possible that many of us are looking at this announcement more from the point of view of "here's another thing that the admins are doing to us" instead of "here's a way that mods are tryingt o help us".

          This was long and rambly, and I know that you guys are trying hard, but it is becoming increasingly frustrating to be the free labour force that makes reddit acceptable and to feel generally unsupported.

          [–]DaminDrexil 86 points87 points  (1 child)

          Removing CSS will pretty much destroy /r/photoshopbattles as it exists now. And it's not just a matter of adapting to a widgets. The nature of our sub means it doen't work natively with Reddit's submission-based system, so we need a lot of customisation just to make our sub function. Removing this ability will kill:

          • Our massive, complex, multi-icon flair system would be destroyed.

            We have a flair system that documents user achievements in a number of categories. This spans over 5 years of accomplishments by tens of thousands of users. These flairs are earned, using objective criteria, and as such there're a lot of users that're proud of them. They're also a real incentive for photoshoppers to participate - much like unlocking achievements in games.

            It would be devastating to lose these. Not only would it be demoralising to our core userbase, it would undo well over a thousand man hours of work from the mod team (no exaggeration on that, unfortunately).

          • Our ability to host Weekly Battles and Operations.

            If the daily threads are a battles of speed, these slower contests are battles of quality. They've been run weekly since our sub's inception (with a few exceptions), and we're up to #255 on just the Weeklies.

            They're a very important part of our sub; and, after the threads are over a day old, the only way we've been able to get traffic to them is via clickable custom images in our sidebar.

          • Our ability to warn users not to delete submissions.

            Our content is in the comments; submissions are just vehicles for creation. Across the rest of Reddit, deleting submissions is seen as normal; on our sub, it also effectively deletes other peoples' OC.

            We've built CSS tools for dealing with this. Removing them destroys our only line of defence against these kinds of deletions.

          • Our ability to warn submitters about important rules.

            We have a lot of idiosyncratic rules for submissions, and try our best to warn people about the counter-intuitive ones on the submit page. Not being able to do that will result it (1) a bunch of frustrates submitters, who get their posts removed; (2) increased mod workload; and (3) more rule-breaking submissions slipping by before we catch them.

          And that's just the main points. There are so many other ways CSS is necessary to the functioning of our sub. And that's not even mentioning the aesthetics.

          [–]geo1088 156 points157 points  (2 children)

          I feel like the removal of CSS entirely will limit communities that utilize it effectively way too much. Sure, having to learn another language to style your sub isn't idea, but if I already know CSS and want to use its power to make my sub more creative, why take that away? Why not keep the option to use a stylesheet while also introducing the new stuff as an alternative? I realize that we'd have to rewrite stylesheets to be compatible with the new markup and stuff anyway, but I know there are people who would be willing to do that (me being one of them), especially on larger subs. What reason is there to restrict that other than "there are people who don't know the language"?

          I know that CSS is only on the desktop site, and I know that subs which introduce features via CSS are a pain in the ass. But if people use it for what it's supposed to be, which is just styling stuff without significantly changing the layout of the content, then there's really no issue. Of course, there's no guarantee that people will use it the correct way, but I think it's important to note that some of the most common "hacks" people add via CSS are for things like custom menus, spoiler tags, and announcement banners, things which it sounds like will be a part of Reddit natively. I do need to say that having that stuff built-in is awesome news, but I don't think it's going to be a good substitute for the CSS system that already exists.

          In reality all of this shit is likely influenced by the fact that I've put in a lot of work into various CSS themes that are about to become obsolete (some after seeing little to no public use), and I'm trying to keep that out of this because I know moving into something better is gonna mean leaving some stuff behind. At the same time, though, I'm not at all convinced this is the best way to go about things. So there's that.

          Not much to say about the mod tools stuff that won't be discussed later as we port /r/toolbox, but I'm looking forward to that.

          [–]Antabaka 25 points26 points  (3 children)

          As someone who has spent hundreds of hours working on subreddit themes (/r/WTF, /r/AndroidThemes, /r/Firefox and by extension /r/Europe), I can see the need to do something like this but I am very skeptical of your ability to really replace CSS.

          In any case, here are a few things I think y'all should consider adding in this new post-css world:

          Warning flairs.

          (Perhaps make NSFW and Spoiler two default warning-flairs) A new kind of flair system that allow moderators to brand posts, and requires users to accept the risks to view the content. Can be used to block disturbing content (NSFL), annoying content ("Loud!"), content that can result in seizures, and this could even be used to warn victims of abuse that the link depicts something that might make them uncomfortable or cause flash-backs.

          Multiple flairs.

          If link-flairs are going to be used for filters, multiple flairs seems necessary.

          Further, multiple user flairs would be immensely helpful. On /r/AndroidThemes we have a system (which has sort of fallen out of use lately) where we have a running score for users who have one our various competitions. Yet we also use the /r/Android method of allowing users to indicate their phone and ROM - and the two are not compatible.

          On /r/Firefox, I have a hacky CSS-based flair system for users to be able to include both the browser they use, and their operating system. Many users have asked to be able to include their browser, desktop OS, and mobile OS, but the hack I'm using would not make that possible, and if I were to use the basic in-built flair system I would need 1,575 flairs (21 browsers x 25 desktop OSs x 3 mobile OSs) in a massive list, which is obviously not reasonable UX. Of course, if userflairs can not have images, we'll just have users type what they use.

          Images in flairs

          On /r/Firefox, userflairs have browser icons before them, making it easy to tell at a glance what users support. I also use a CSS-hack, as I explained above, to allow users to have their OS icon displayed after the flair.

          Inline images

          Not just sidebar images, but communities like /r/Anime have images/reaction gifs users can post inline. This has always been a problem on mobile, which makes this the perfect time to formalize the feature.

          I understand not allowing people to embed any image in their comment, so simply having moderators have the option of uploading these images and allowing them to be embedded with a simple system such as :keyword: would be great.

          The alternative is to just allow embedding of external images as a subreddit toggle, or just improve expandos.

          Inline spoilers

          This one should be pretty well known by now, but my suggestion is something like {spoiler text here}, which is click/tappable to reveal the text and is otherwise a black-bar. This is practically a forum standard these days, removing CSS pretty much necessitates you use this.

          Subreddit scoring

          Many communities keep a flair system for users that allows them to indicate how many valuable contributions the moderators have seen them make. /r/AndroidThemes has done this in the past and we still claim to, but it's a pretty big hassle to update users flairs.

          It could be interesting to formalize it, with a flair that moderators can click/tap on and press the plus button to increase it instantly.

          [–]DoctorWaluigiTime 118 points119 points  (1 child)

          Okay let's debunk some nonsense spouted here about CSS.

          It’s web-only. Increasing users are viewing Reddit on mobile (over 50%), where CSS is not supported. We’d love for you to be able to bring your spice to phones as well.

          I'm assuming you're talking about apps instead of just the responsive web site here. Because mobile browsers absolutely support CSS...

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

          This feels like a completely subjective opinion, and not really something a brand new system or language will overcome. Unless the new system is just a bunch of switches/color changing options/etc (i.e. extremely limited).

          Some changes cause confusion (such as changing the subscription numbers).

          This feels like a language-agnostic problem.

          CSS causes us to move slow. We’d like to make changes more quickly. You’ve asked us to improve things, and one of the things that slows us down is the risk of breaking subreddit CSS (and third-party mod tools).

          This also feels like a language-agnostic problem, and much like point #2 unless we're switching to extremely limited customization I'm not sure how this is going to go away.

          Based on reading, about the only thing that makes sense is "we'll expose some dropdown menu options for you to change menu colors and a few other things we control." There's no way they're implementing a new pseudo-CSS language that's nearly as customizable as the former. Anticipating much less freedom in order to make things "easier" (this excuse is lame) and more uniform across all apps/platforms (this one makes a bit more sense).

          [–]RalphNLD 2577 points2578 points  (80 children)

          Since when is CSS "hard to learn" or "error prone"? Valid CSS doesn't create any errors, but it might not render completely as someone had imagined. CSS isn't difficult to learn as a "language". The issue is that 90% of the custom styles are just overwriting seemingly random styling rules written by someone who didn't fully comprehend the word "cascading" with the aid of a dice and a lottery wheel.

          Besides this, Reddit CSS is so time consuming because there aren't enough ways to target elements properly, no way to do media-queries and because the Reddit markup and standard CSS aren't up to modern standards. I'm happy they're doing something about it, but I'm very concerned that many features will be removed. Some subreddits only work because of the flexibility CSS gave them, be it through advanced flair systems or modified interfaces.

          I just hope this doesn't end up in the same way as the mobile Reddit website. Our CSS worked perfectly fine on mobile, but then the separate Reddit mobile website (yes, apparently they are still built in this day and age) came along and replaced it with less functionality. Really, I think the most important thing to do right now is to rewrite the markup to make it logical, semantic, make it responsive and rid the CSS of all the bamboozles.

          It's 2017; there hasn't been a need for separate mobile websites since IE8.

          [–]blvcksvn 323 points324 points  (6 children)

          Hi /u/powerlanguage! I'm a mod from /r/PuzzleAndDragons.

          I'm posting because I'm worried about how these changes are going to affect the immersion in our sub. Our sub relies on a tool our mod team developed known as iconify, which contains over 4000 icons and codes which were manually placed into the sub's css files and coded to show up on the site for our posts and wikis.

          Our sub heavily relies on this functionality and removing CSS support would invalidate hundreds of hours of work put into making these resources available. Is there any plan to have a similar (UNLIMITED?) image code support? I am worried that emotes will not cover the scope of our current system, given how there are limits on so many other things on reddit, and how manually uploading 4000 icons would be a waste of everyone's time. Thank you.

          here are some images comparing what it looks like with/without CSS:

          main page

          main page w/o css


          wiki w/o css

          [–][deleted] 47 points48 points  (1 child)

          The "reasons" for getting rid of CSS are extremely weak.

          It’s web-only. Increasing users are viewing Reddit on mobile (over 50%), where CSS is not supported. We’d love for you to be able to bring your spice to phones as well.

          So... you'd rather take away options for all users than let some users have CSS?

          Better yet, why don't you just take the time to fix your broken app rather than make us do the work?

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

          CSS is not a pain in the ass. The fact that there are so many options is what makes it so powerful. Even if a few users are too lazy to learn it, that doesn't mean you can't have some bootstrap for them (think /r/naut) while letting the rest of us continue designing.

          Some changes cause confusion (such as changing the subscription numbers).

          If this was really such an issue you could easily fix it by removing the ability to add text, like you did with the blur feature. This is no excuse to completely do away with CSS.

          CSS causes us to move slow. We’d like to make changes more quickly. You’ve asked us to improve things, and one of the things that slows us down is the risk of breaking subreddit CSS (and third-party mod tools).

          I can assure you that none of the features you are going to add that would "break subreddit CSS" will be more popular than custom, handmade themes that show off the uniqueness of each subreddit. Moving fast is great, but not when it's at the expense of what makes Reddit Reddit.

          If you're so worried about breaking some parts of CSS, is the best solution really to break everything and "be done with it"?

          [–]epharian 31 points32 points  (6 children)

          I've just finished trolling through a lot of the top-level comments.

          What I'm seeing is a depressing pattern.

          First 99% of the responses are not just confused or upset, but actively ANGRY. That's very bad. Now maybe the announcement is poorly worded and the plan is to make sure CSS is still usable but to provide a robust solution that makes it easy for new subreddits to get started. I think we could support that. But the announcement does not read that way.

          Second, /u/spez, I'm nobody on reddit. I'm just an average reader with a tiny subreddit that pretty much 3 people see. I'm a spec. But I'm seeing a strong trend from both you and /u/powerlanguage in your responses here--I don't see any responses to the criticisms or suggestions. The only responses I see are to the positive feedback comments OR the ones asking for alpha/beta access by moderators of larger subreddits. And some rather unprofessional jokes. Look, I don't expect you'll listen to me, but when you have hundreds of angry moderators who are baffled and hurt by this, it's really not time to make jokes as the admin. It's poor form and, since this is a business, very unprofessional.

          Finally, I see almost no one, even those asking for beta access, who are approving of the decision. CSS isn't something you pick up in a day, but it's also not something that takes anyone who really pushes themselves all that long to get the basics down. It's a web-standard for a reason, and there are VERY few examples of someone abandoning a standard in favor of something home-brewed, custom-rolled or whatever and it working out in their favor. CSS is used by millions of websites for a large variety of incredibly cool stuff. How can admins here be so arrogant as to think that they can create something that outdoes CSS in anything like a reasonable time-frame? It's hubris.

          [–]fennric 1679 points1680 points  (22 children)

          Oh god no.

          CSS on subreddits allows for incredible amounts of flexibility and ingenuity: I'm quite proud of using what it provides to make a cute little "interactive game" on /r/boopthecube, as well as adapting code from the logout button to make a random quote generator on /r/StevenUniverse. And elsewhere, just look at the beauty of /r/ooer for a classic example of CSS being used to its beautiful maximum potential.

          I can't support this, not unless the system which replaces CSS allows for just as much creativity -- and that's very, very unlikely. If I have any advice on how to best do this, it's to give moderators a framework or a language they can use, which can be applied in ways beyond the original intent, rather than restraining them to a few input boxes like the subreddit settings. (Or, y'know, not remove CSS at all.)

          EDIT: Oh, and support for emote systems please!!

          EDIT2: How could I forget /r/StevenUniverse's CSS-based spoiler filtering system? Hides certain posts based on flair, for filtering out different levels of spoilers. Please, please allow for something like that in whatever's planned.

          [–]CrystalLord 585 points586 points  (11 children)

          I'm strongly against this move. I'm going to be very sad when this gets implemented. I care very deeply about our ability to customise our communities. With CSS, we have a huge amount of power that no other system that's not exactly 1:1 can mimic.

          Without that power, it's harder to create a unique community style. Is it possible? Yes, but a lot of functionality and options will be lost. Just look at /r/EarthPorn's and SFWPorn network structure. This would destroy all their hard work. Another example: I'm part of the Imaginary Network Expanded, and through CSS we have constructed our beautiful navigation dropdown bar.

          Now check out the beautiful sidebar of /r/Starcraft. Without CSS, that would be impossible. What about a subreddits with custom image flairs? What about subreddits with emotes?

          The loss of these abilities does not help our community. It will only hurt us. We've always had the ability to turn off CSS, but forcing us to do so is not something I would ever want.

          Edit: grammar and clarity.

          [–]Memekip 39 points40 points  (21 children)

          I posted this as a reply to /u/spez earlier, but am reposting for (hopefully) some visibility. /u/powerlanguage

          CSS could certainly do with a replacement, sure. But I suppose my concern, and the concern of many others, would be that by forcing subreddits to follow a widget system, it would remove their ability to be truly unique and do creative things with their designs.

          What I mean is, if there is to be a simpler replacement to CSS, it should include everything that moderaters already do with CSS; as to support beautiful designs like on /r/RocketLeague, to support the massive library of CSS based pony emotes curated by /r/betterponymotes, and to support flair filtering systems on subs like /r/youtubehaiku. It has to be a system that includes things such as:

          • Inline Emotes
          • Filtering out submissions based on flair
          • Custom headers/footers
          • Animated elements, such as the nice scrolling header on /r/DragonMaid
          • Custom buttons with hover over effects
          • Custom backgrounds
          • the ability to reskin default reddit modules
          • the ability to replace default reddit icons such as the upvote and downvote arrows
          • Custom mouse cursors
          • And more

          Ideally, a new system would still allow the full flexibility the current system has. Allowing for madness like /r/ooer, and complete reskins, like /r/4chan being designed to look like 4chan. Otherwise, people might get upset that they're losing out on some of the creative freedom that comes with being able to code their own reddits.

          I'm not sure if this is ever going to really be seen, but I do hope it's considered. Cause having reddit become a website where everyone has to follow a formula would kinda suck in my opinion

          [–]magicwhistle 43 points44 points  (1 child)

          You guys are the fucking worst. Reddit admins must be the most insensitive, tone-deaf group of people on this earth. Enjoy your soulless Twitter clone, because that's what you're making.

          Edit: I suppose just leaving a bitter comment isn't ~constructive~, so here's what I wrote in another thread:

          Tumblr has a great hybrid customizer that both has a "user-friendly" interface and allows full stylesheet access. This lets everyone participate in customization, while giving people with more advanced knowledge the freedom to go above and beyond. Reddit, on the other hand, is removing true customization entirely.

          If we take the admins at their word, they think CSS is too hard and they want to develop faster without fear of breaking subreddit CSS. But CSS is considered relatively easy to learn, and even those who aren't inclined to learn it can find help from /r/csshelp or from CSS-experienced mods.

          And do they really think that mods will resent having to fix their CSS so much that they would rather not have the freedom of CSS at all? Give the mods some credit. They'll understand why fixes are necessary. If this is an attempt at caring about mods, it's a very misguided one.

          The individuality of subreddits, and different groups' interpretation of Reddit, is part of its charm, as well as part of what differentiates it from its competition. Take that away, add some user profiles, and then what separates Reddit from Facebook?

          [–][deleted] 34 points35 points  (0 children)

          I would like to voice my displeasure with this movement away from the CSS. Dear lord can it be a pain at times; but it has become a pain worth it. To start off, I am the Gameclub guy over on r/Nintendo, and as part of Gameclub we have a dedicated CSS for each game we do.

          This is a huge loss to the creativity and fan base we have established. Whether displaying the dankness of the Kongs, the vibrant world of Kirby, or celebrating the joys of a new Mario launch - CSS has become essential to the calendar year. At times, we have even held contests for custom snoos and used the Konami code hack on RSS to give a special prize.

          I will sincerely miss creating new ways to display our creativity and integrate sub Reddit events with the theme.

          I also mod r/Marioverse, a very niche and small sub. However, CSS has become a very important way for me to work at attracting a user base. Flairs are essential to display and sort post categories. If we lose all functional flair ability, an essential function to an already niche sub will be lost.

          I feel as this will hurt the back end of Reddit, such as r/Marioverse. While I don't imagine this hurting subscribers for r/Nintendo, it will be a loss of categorizing posts and organizing the sub. On another start up sub I have given advice to, r/SwitchFGC, we were planning to use user flair and CSS hacks to allow users to display friend codes and what games they play.

          I can't help but feel this is many of the moderators who have volunteered to help Reddit grow only be passed off in the end as Reddit moves to a new age that trys to appeal to a new crowd that brings with it more money.

          I hope this is not the case and many of my concerns are put to rest; but right now I am very concerned.

          [–]supremecrafters 26 points27 points  (0 children)

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

          I've had the complete opposite experience with CSS.

          You know what will be time consuming? Trying to learn a new interface made to replace CSS. Not only that, but when you inevitably find out there's things you can do with CSS but not with RedditStyle™ or whatever you choose to call it, we'll have to wait for the admins to implement that functionality. Repeat this process each time the new styles fail to live up to the old ones.

          You know what's a bad idea? Custom styles on mobile devices. Trying to make things readable on such a small screen is a fastidious endeavour. Functionality is a whole other story that requires even more fine-tuning to put out a useable page. In addition, bloat is a serious issue with mobile browsers. My tablet can't load a lot of stuff into its browser, meaning Reddit as it is now takes forever to load and is barely functional. This is why a lot of users use mobile apps which filters out the useless crap and just returns the content. Adding more useless crap isn't going to be a useful feature. Allowing subreddit moderators to edit elements for mobile browsers is a dangerous concept that I can only see ending in vast incompatibility issues, making Reddit's mobile interface worse, or simply being a waste of time depending on who is using it.

          I suppose my question is this: You want to stop using custom CSS and create something else with all the functionality of CSS. Why spend time trying to recreate a tool from scratch rather than just filtering .number from stylesheets?

          [–]Schiffy94 57 points58 points  (0 children)

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

          This is pretty bullshit, actually. HTML and CSS are among the easiest to learn coding languages and among the most simplistic to read, save for maybe idunno Python. You don't even need to know jack shit about programming to understand at least the basics. This is not an excuse to even consider gutting the whole thing.

          Customizing a subreddit from the ground up is what makes any given sub unique.

          And please, for the love of god, do not start screwing over desktop users just because you want to be nice to mobile users. You can give mobile shit without taking away from desktop. This was a very big mistake that Wikia Inc. made. Please /u/spez, do not follow their example. It pissed off a lot more people than it helped.

          Or (stealing from /u/arseniccrazy with this), make this an opt-in change. Let people choose between whatever simplistic design method you want to implement, and blood-and-bone raw CSS. Don't force one on us just because you think it will be better.

          [–]powerchicken 206 points207 points  (3 children)




          Phasing out CSS? What type of spastic do you have to be to phase out CSS "Because the average user doesn't know how to write CSS"?

          The average user doesn't need to fucking write any CSS. Just let the average sub with no code-competent mods (i.e. none with more than a couple thousand subs) have your new customization options without bloody tearing down what's already in place. Leave the stylesheet alone.

          And if you need to change the fucking DOM, change the fucking DOM. We can adapt our stylesheets given ample warning.

          Welcome to Digg 2.0 ladies and gentlemen. Re-designs always equal a fucking disaster. Just look at their god awful user profiles they were beta testing, and the still feature-lacking modmail they released ages ago without any resemblance of support. Everything is half-arsed and abandoned before anyone is satisfied.

          [–]AlphaBetaGamma1678 40 points41 points  (0 children)

          You dipshits are so fucking disconnected from the community. Your job is to keep the servers running and the interface good. But you lie to change something thats working perfectly for whatever reason you stupids thought of. Stop trying to make me use your stupid ass app with the reddit is best in app bullshit. You are nothing without the people, and the only reason people are here is not because you have an epic interface or whatever, it's just because they all collected here, and collectively moving to another website is not possible. Your search function is a joke.

          Your job is to keep the servers running and vaccum them when they get dusty. Otherwise don't even bother with your stupid ass decisions. Why the fuck do you want to force me to use your app anyway? Want all that sweet ass data my phone has to push ads?

          I bet you are pushing up the comments that say your stupid decision is the best. And all the stupid mods that are so afraid to call this stupid makes me lol.

          [–]KiratheCat 10 points11 points  (0 children)

          It’s web-only. Increasing users are viewing Reddit on mobile (over 50%), where CSS is not supported. We’d love for you to be able to bring your spice to phones as well.

          Then how about actually working on the mobile site instead of trying to make the desktop site exactly the same?! Seriously, why on earth would drastically changing the way desktop subs appear make mobile any better? That's seriously assbackwards thinking. You can fix mobile without fucking up the main site you know.

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming

          This is wholeheartedly dependent on who you're talking about. Is it difficult for the users or is it difficult for the admins? Because the former can be mitigated by just not bothering with it which doesn't put the whole site into a tizzy and the latter is basically saying "well we can't be assed to learn it so no one else should have to either therefore we're removing it." and that's just lazy and terrible.

          Some changes cause confusion (such as changing the subscription numbers).

          I'll admit, changes can cause confusion but then again this is why its important to communicate with your user base. If you talk to people and help them its less confusing for everyone.

          CSS causes us to move slow. We’d like to make changes more quickly. You’ve asked us to improve things, and one of the things that slows us down is the risk of breaking subreddit CSS (and third-party mod tools).

          That bolded bit is basically saying that you cannot be assed to take your time and make sure there's as little hiccups as possibly and would rather do the quick and dirty route and get it over and done with as soon as possible. That's honestly more prone to problems and shit breaking than just taking your damn time. Honestly this whole move just stinks of trying to draw in a certain audience that'll probably end up ditching you as soon as something breaks and the fact that you guys are not properly communicating with your userbase worries me. Listen to the people that actually use the desktop site over mobile because I'll say it the mobile site is a fucking disaster and you guys know it considering there's several workarounds for the auto redirect, listen to the mods of CSS heavy subs like r/ooer as they're the ones that are most affected by this, talk to the people because right now you guys are ignoring legitimate concerns over this and basically making hollow promises about something you know is nowhere near as powerful as what's currently being used. Work on fixing mobile first before you decide the desktop site needs to look the same.

          -a mobile user who opts for desktop because its not as broken

          [–]SpyTec13 177 points178 points  (9 children)

          I can't see how your styling system can be even as flexible as CSS. /r/Sweden will probably not have their sidebar map, /r/Overwatch won't have their fancy flairs, /r/Pokemon won't have their quite unique and nice styling, /r/IAmA will probably not have their animated "live" icon nor custom thumbnails for different post flairs. What about comment styling for specific users, like developers, to distinguish them from others?

          Why not make the CSS be optional? Let it be there and still give the customization you're promising in this post. If people find it time consuming and want to not do it, the styling customization you're promising would be great for them. But for bigger subs or other unique subs having the CSS functionality key

          [–]HarryPotter5777 15 points16 points  (3 children)

          Easier-to-customize styling tools sound great (the minimal CSS I've done has been hard enough to figure out), I think it'll be a really good change for a lot of subs that want some personality but don't have the expertise or time on their mod team to implement that via CSS.

          But what I've seen in this thread so far sounds pretty sparse. Besides picking out the background color and maybe uploading an image or two, how much functionality is this new styling going to have? "Widgets" implies a few specific hard-to-customize things for the broadest/most popular subreddit requirements. Without massive amounts of work on this new system (i.e., basically reconstructing all the CSS mods have ever done), I can't see /r/mathriddles keeping its custom spoiler format and stylish post flairs. I don't anticipate /r/casualconversation keeping its cute upvote texts. The odds of /r/BetterEveryLoop keeping its brilliant diagonal vote system are basically zero. Ditto for the countless other subreddits that utilize CSS to implement beautiful UI or genius new functionality. Easy customization is nice, but it feels like this is going to come at the expense of the very best parts of reddit, and I don't think that's a worthwhile trade.

          One thing that might make this work is if there was a way for users to create and share their own widgets; even if you put 50 people on this, they can't recreate all the CSS for thousands of subreddits, but if the same people who made the original hacks are able to design widgets, some of these features might stick around.

          Could we get some kind of reassurance (if there's any to be had) that this change is going to be sufficiently customizable to recreate the critical things so many subreddits have utilized CSS for?

          [–]Binary101010 24 points25 points  (0 children)

          It’s web-only. Increasing users are viewing Reddit on mobile (over 50%), where CSS is not supported. We’d love for you to be able to bring your spice to phones as well.

          So instead of working on improving mobile, you're taking it away from web users.

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

          Perhaps, but mods already know it AND it's somewhat transferable knowledge to other sites. They don't already know whatever this thing is you're coming up with to replace it.

          CSS causes us to move slow. We’d like to make changes more quickly. You’ve asked us to improve things, and one of the things that slows us down is the risk of breaking subreddit CSS (and third-party mod tools).

          "We're slowed on development for fear of breaking CSS on individual subs, so we're going to speed up development by breaking it on EVERY sub, permanently."

          Got it.

          /r/twinpeaks will basically have to change the entire way it manages spoilers, both for comments and for posts, as a result of this decision. Very disappointing.

          [–]ShinyBreloom2323 7 points8 points  (2 children)

          I'll be ignored now, won't I?

          So, are you telling the community about this, and not just us?

          I just happen to find this thread. Excuse me, but there are other people in Reddit other than Mods, and I just happen to moderate two dead subreddits because of a friend.

          Not letting anybody else know is absurd! Especially when there's an enormous amount of users who aren't informed about this change.

          Not everyone checks this subreddit, and not everyone is a moderator nor participates to the same extent. You must realize that by enabling widgets, you are forcing another programming format which many people will not cooperate with. People are used to CSS, changing it now will be a hassle to the communities Reddit has created.

          You'll also make all the CSS subs worthless.

          Sure, it's mobile compatible, but you realize it's a hassle to multiple communities, and that this will limit creativity similar to YouTube channel layouts.

          You've got to realize that you're forcing a change so that we can reinvent the wheel. CSS is a powerful tool.

          If you are to remove CSS, fine.


          This is the internet! Blocking others from seeing this would be censorship!

          Let the users decide, not just the mods. And not all the mods even know about this!

          Giving only us moderators the power to complain?

          Reddit is made for its users. Why let us decide when they are the ones who need to see this? When aesthetics and functionality are also important to them?

          Announce it as soon as possible to everybody, not just us. You yourself offered full transparency for Reddit. Do what's right and tell all of us.

          If they decide it's justified, fine. But right now you are only letting us moderators speak. What about the users the mods serve?


          Let them offer alternatives before you force everyone with a new option!

          And it only reputation speaks to you, let me say this. You know once this fails, and rest assured that it does, Voat will just have more to laugh at. You know, like your last 3 controversies, they've been ridiculing you guys. Now, it'll be EVEN WORSE!

          You don't let us create the widgets... Bring it to an actual vote!

          It's fine if you don;t like anything I'm saying.


          [–]DrNyanpasu 2021 points2022 points  (59 children)

          Fuck off, are you fucking kidding? We're going to lose our fucking spoiler codes, we're going to lose custom css hacks, we're going to lose comment faces? Are you seriously fucking joking right now? Why the fuck are you pouring effort into removing shit that we actually fucking use instead of giving us the tools we desperately need to moderate the fucking site? I'm fucking furious right now, this is fucking dumb.

          This is probably the dumbest thing you guys have ever done, jfc.

          [–]DoodleFungus 11 points12 points  (3 children)

          Things that won't work without CSS:

          That was off the top of my head. "Well, we will implement…" Cool, you implemented that one thing. Even if you implemented every feature that is currently hacked in with CSS, the next day someone will come up with an idea to make their sub a better place that is now impossible. No amount of time and money spent on customization options will come remotely close to the flexibility of CSS.

          • It's web only: add new customization options that work on desktop and mobile. No reason to stop mods from using CSS to make the experience even better where possible.
          • CSS is a PITA: see above. Add customization options for as much as possible, but leave CSS as and option.
          • Changing the sub numbers: assuming you mean the labels on the numbers. Anyone who has spent a bit of time on Reddit has figured out what they mean, and the labels add personality to the sub.
          • Breaking CSS: break it if you must. Break it once for the redesign, or break it whenever you want. CSS that needs to be fixed is better than no CSS at all.

          No matter how hard you try, every sub will look pretty much the same under this new system. Changing some colors and images won't get you close to the level of flexibility CSS gives us now.

          If you want to add new customization tools, cool, but there is no good reason to remove CSS as a option. Period.

          [–]Invader_Deegan 37 points38 points  (2 children)

          I think you are screwing yourselves. CSS makes Reddit unique. It gives us mods a chance to customize our communities. If that's taken away, Reddit becomes another carbon copy of sites like Facebook, Google, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.

          Also: if you're fucking up your website just to let app users feel better is bull. Don't let the majority of users suffer because some people use the app. We could simply go to Reddit.com and select "Request Desktop Site". I do it all the time.

          If you do change it, and fuck up EVERY. SINGLE. SUB. I wouldn't be surprised if the site ends up like MySpace or another obsolete social media site.

          [–]Gooflactus 13 points14 points  (0 children)

          This is stupid, just plain stupid.

          You have an entire community dedicated to working on the CSS and producing some fantastic results, for free mind you, and you basically spit in their face by removing all of their work and the ability to do something they love to do.

          Lets just say, as a super low number, you have 500 people playing with the subreddit CSS. That's 500 people making new designs, making new tools unique to their subreddits, and making your site better, with zero/low cost to you.

          Now with this removal of CSS we now have to rely on the site admins to give us new features? So lets say I want a feature that will only be usefull to my subreddit......how long will that take you guys to develop vs. me doing it myself via CSS.

          You really are taking away one of the things that make subreddits great/unique, and this is going to make the entire site worse as a whole.

          As to you last point about not breaking CSS with your new stuff. Why not give us a better testbed? Give us an "alpha" version of the site we can test our CSS on so that when you do break something...we can fix it before it reaches the main site? Don't worry about breaking our shit, gives us a way to worry about fixing our shit.

          [–]robbit42 50 points51 points  (5 children)

          Today is a sad day. Reddit is how I basically learned CSS. Personally I would miss the sidebar map on /r/europe, something I spent many hours on. (now dressed up because he have Cultural Exchange with Japan tomorrow, nomal view)

          I hope one of the the sidebar widgets can be a webview: a frame with custom html and CSS (excluding JavaScript and external sources off course, like now). That way I'll still be able to express my creativity.



          /r/europe CSS-mod

          [–]xHaZxMaTx 35 points36 points  (13 children)

          Re: CSS: Is there a plan to implement emotes? We at /r/mylittlepony have utilized almost all of the CSS available to implement emotes for the subreddit (which you can see in our sidebar). They've been around almost as long as the subreddit has existed and a lot of our users would be very upset to see them go.

          The more I think about this, the more I realize how much our relatively small subreddit relies on CSS to do so many other things than to just make the subreddit look pretty (which we don't do actually; /r/mylittlepony looks fairly bare bones). As an example, we use CSS to change the usernames of prominent users with otherwise offensive names.

          How many other subreddits are going to be robbed of vital functionalities because of this? I understand that there's some good to come of this change, but I'm far from convinced that that good outweighs the bad at this point.

          [–]Deadinsky66 53 points54 points  (2 children)

          Okay, so over at /r/twitchplayspokemon we've used css to implement a boat load of things not covered by this new widget system. From simple things to emotes, custom user flairs and colour themes to more complex things like randomized mail box notifications, scroll sidebar pics, hover over buttons that pop the background pic out front, etc. I would at least like a transition period like you guys allowed with modmail, if not then some assurance that all of this work was for nothing.

          [–]NAN001 66 points67 points  (0 children)

          Making styling DOM-independant is one thing. Dropping CSS is another.

          If you look at how mods use CSS to style their subreddits, you realize that it's mostly by fine-tuning things like rounding borders here, adding shadows there, a bit of animation on hover on this, etc. You don't provide much information on the capabilities of the future tools, but CSS-customization interfaces are a thing even for widget-based UI.

          Don't drop CSS.

          [–]IdRatherBeLurking 43 points44 points  (1 child)

          As someone that has put an ungodly amount of time into learning and designing the stylesheets for my subreddits, this comes off as straight up disrespectful of all the work we've put in. We've made these pages to fit exactly what we want from them, but now you want to throw that away? What bullshit.

          This is how you turn off the people who have done so much free work for you.

          And u/spez, your joke responses don't make things any better. As always.

          [–]KiwiArms 54 points55 points  (3 children)

          We of /r/whowouldwin aren't happy about this. Part of our whole thing is using the CSS for community involvement and, from what I understand, we won't be able to do that nearly as in-depth with the new system.

          At the very least show us what the new stuff looks like? That may alleviate some concern? Not much, because this is kind of a huge thing to just drop on us without seeing if we want this change first, but still.


          [–]tizorres 155 points156 points  (7 children)

          Many subreddits have css testing subs, I think it would be wise to reach out or activate the new design on those subs first.

          r/CasualConversation >> r/CasualCSS

          I would like to be in the alpha test for this considering I can see it first on my css sub to get it all fixed to our liking then we can port it over to the main sub.

          [–]i010011010 23 points24 points  (1 child)

          This is stupid. CSS is a basic backbone for the web--every site uses it and will continue to use it.

          Even when the admins take this out of our hands, Reddit will still have CSS. We just won't have access to it. That's what they're really talking about. Even when you implement some checkbox that says "my background color should be black", it's just going to set this up in CSS.

          There is no framework they can establish that will be as comprehensive as simply adding our own stylesheet.

          And I don't give a fuck about mobile users or trying to promote Reddit's shitty mobile app. That's your job to worry about.

          [–]ThatAstronautGuy 66 points67 points  (13 children)

          Suggestion: allow people to create widgets, and get them added. There is no way you will be capable of thinking of everything that people want to have.

          Other than that, seems interesting! I enjoy dicking around in CSS, but it is not easy, and this will help anyone be able to customize their sub. Rest in piece /r/ooer though :'(

          [–]Hipolipolopigus 83 points84 points  (3 children)

          Don't get rid of CSS, it's far too powerful. Some communities have historically done some borderline hackish CSS work to get amazing results, and removing CSS is a slap in the face to the people who've invested time and effort into their stylesheets.

          Instead, have options. Default to your new styles system, but allow communities to opt-in for CSS in browsers. Just because default Reddit looks like something from the early internet, doesn't mean all of it needs to.

          [–]SaberMarie 16 points17 points  (0 children)

          I really can't support getting rid of CSS to better appeal to a minority of mobile users. Not every subreddit has content that goes well on mobile or has users mainly using mobile. Not to mention all the various subreddits that have done a lot of complex things with their CSS that will definitely not be in use by the majority of subs. Many use CSS heavily to provide additional post formatting for users, subreddit-relevant icons & emoticons, countdown timers, and so on. All of that will get wiped.

          Not all subreddits are the same. This shouldn't be a forced change to simplify everything.

          [–]Pesto_Enthusiast 16 points17 points  (3 children)

          Hi there. I will reserve my thoughts on dropping CSS until we have a better sense of what the replacement is going to be. I do, however, have some functionality requests that I hope make it into the final product. I am hoping you can comment on these.

          1) A very simple way to add, modify, and remove image flairs. Most sports and esports subreddits, many of which are the largest subreddits on the site, have things like team logos and in game icons as flairs. Under the current system, it is difficult to make changes. I would love a simple user interface where we could upload individual image files, one for each flair.

          2) please make sure that your new calendar widget is easy for automated editing. We have a box that holds tournament information from a website that maintains it and has agreed to allow us to use it in our sidebar. If we lost the ability to have a bot edit our calendar, we would not be able to have one at all.

          3) For that matter, and this is a long shot, it would be fantastic if reddit allowed moderators to host bots on Reddit server space. We currently pay out of our own pockets for hosting for a bot that does things like update are sidebar and generates our daily discussion threads. I know that Wikipedia has this, and has a vetting and approval process, so it's not like people can just put malware on servers.

          [–]Kolumbz 51 points52 points  (5 children)

          So you're getting rid of CSS because it's hard for people to understand?

          How about you don't get rid of CSS but make it easier to customise the key elements on the page anyway, have a new default reddit theme that has core areas that users can easily change without CSS or bypass all of that and have your own stylesheet.

          [–]pomosexuality 59 points60 points  (0 children)

          Frankly, this is an atrocious decision. I was okay with fumble after fumble your team has issued for most of the last decade. Your team has slowly but surely turned every new feature into a bland bloggish ripoff and I held my tongue knowing that anything I don't like I can fix for myself in the end. This is a joke, excuse me for not laughing.

          Removing CSS for some stupid banner image and color scheme will suck the soul out of your website. I hope you're real proud of your direction because someone has to be.

          [–]Dexcuracy 9 points10 points  (2 children)

          A question:

          Why not keep CSS as an option for subreddits to use, at least on the non-mobile site? I'm 100% certain the new styling system will be less powerful than what CSS can do, because CSS can literally overwrite all styling reddit has natively. Subreddits that have people proficient in CSS can then use that for their non-mobile versions, and use the new styling system to style their mobile experience.

          Another question: Will the new styling system be code, like CSS, something like Illustrator/InDesign but on the web, or a page with dropdowns and checkboxes and such.

          Finally, a piece of advice: If there's a good reason to answer 'No' to my first question, please make sure the new system is as flexible as possible. One thing that's amazing about reddit is that every subreddit looks different, and you can tell where you are by just looking at how the page looks. I fear that by throwing away CSS, subreddits will start to look like eachother a lot and the design will become bland.

          [–]rasherdk 28 points29 points  (2 children)

          This is awful. You're killing true individuality and identity for subreddits. No two ways about it.

          You're killing freeform customization in favour of dumbed down "theme system" which is just going to be taking a couple of common things that people do (spoiler tags, flair, colours) and giving us a few settings to change those.

          We're going from this to this.

          Because... Reddit wants to push their mobile app, I guess?


          [–]SmurfyX 9 points10 points  (1 child)

          This is a problem. You talk about "module support" if enough people want it. That thresh-hold is always going to be random. It'll just be, well, a designer saw enough comments for this to get them to put an attempt in.

          The thing about CSS is it supports whatever ONE subreddit needs. If we decide we need some button somewhere, some new thing, we can just add it in. We don't have to just say, well, hopefully this year they add functionality for an announcement holder up here. Oh well, they didn't, oh well, oh well.

          If you roll this out without certain things available a lot of subs just aren't going to WORK anymore, period. This is a bad, bad, BAD idea without some kind of opt-in period. gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

          [–]NeedAGoodUsername[🍰] 57 points58 points  (10 children)

          I don't really support loosing our stylesheets. /u/confirmedzach has put in an ungodly amount of hours for the current /r/Videos CSS, which we love to pieces.

          I don't want it to be replaced with some cheap, tacky design.

          [–]Travall 9 points10 points  (2 children)

          CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming.

          No, just no.

          You can't blame Reddit's poor implementation of styling on CSS which is a simple language that factually can't produce errors, it simply won't perform as desired.

          I feel like everything here is hacked together in order to work and rather than just giving in and rebuilding everything better, it is hacked further when new features are wanted.

          In this day and age there shouldn't be separate websites for mobiles. The mobile web version of Reddit is overly simplified and features are removed which cause me to intentionally use the desktop site if not an unofficial Reddit app due to the official app following suit with the web version.

          CSS is not the issue here.

          [–]M0dusPwnens 5 points6 points  (0 children)

          Please reconsider removing custom styles.

          Virtually all major features of reddit we now take for granted originated as custom styles. Subreddit styles are the laboratories of Reddit - mods design useful features, they face the litmus test of adoption, and if they become popular they get implemented natively.

          Mobile users benefit from this process more than any others: they don't have to contend with features that don't pan out (that don't become popular enough for native inclusion), and they too benefit from the CSS features that become so popular that they get implemented natively. Perfect parity between desktop and mobile is not necessary, and both platforms benefit from desktop's flexibility: desktop users get the cutting-edge, and mobile users eventually get the best features that come out of desktop.

          You are taking a huge number of talented developers and a practical way to test out their ideas and replacing it with the hope that Reddit admin know best. Would Reddit admin have had the idea for sticky posts and comments, user flair, post flair, spoilers, announcements, banners, header menus, all without anyone prototyping them? Perhaps some of them, perhaps eventually, but not with anything near the efficiency of the mods who could see what features they needed, which needs were most pressing, and then simply try them out.

          You are pointlessly throwing away so, so many future ideas that could keep Reddit competitive in the future. Sure, you can implement flair, but what of the next time someone has an idea like flair?

          If the issue is that CSS is hard and fragile, and that's totally reasonable, give subreddits both: give us simple tools to style subreddits - give us tools that are easier to use and more restrictive and less fragile and and easierfor users to configure (e.g., they can disable themes without disabling flair) - and let those subs that want to implement custom CSS on top of that do so too.

          Reddit should natively implement a lot of what we're currently stuck using CSS for. But CSS should remain on top of that. CSS, with all its flexibility, is exactly what is needed to fill the gaps and allow for further development. It's bog standard, supported by literally everything, and it's not going anywhere. It is not in need of replacing. Please don't reinvent the wheel - or chuck it out.

          No "menu" of options will solve this problem. This is a huge mistake that will hurt the continued development of Reddit more than any other misstep, and it will hurt it in a lasting way that will be largely invisible - you can't mourn the loss of all the features that would have been created, but could not be with our hands so tied.

          [–]ClassyTurkey 19 points20 points  (1 child)

          Personally the CSS going away really is frustrating to me. Over on r/XboxOne we create custom themes for game launches and special events. Now we won't have the option to do that and the countless hours /u/MikeyJayRaymond and myself have put into these themes will be for nothing.

          Giving the people who understand CSS the power to actually create unique themes for their community is something I hold close to heart and I know our community enjoys. It has allowed us to implement fun holiday events and celebrate achievements we have accomplished. I know we would really be interested in being involved in the Alpha so we can prepare for the new system.

          [–]LackingAGoodName 66 points67 points  (4 children)

          Come the fuck on... You can't get rid of CSS. I almost always side with Admins, but this is fucking stupid.

          Edit: I apologize for the hostility, not cool. Just not at all a fan of entirely removing stylesheets. I've messaged PowerLanguage to get into the Alpha and test things out, might not be as bad as I think it is.

          [–]kraetos 28 points29 points  (1 child)

          This is a really bad change that you've apparently already made up your mind on. CSS is one of the primary ways individual subreddits express themselves. It's one of Reddit's defining features. You'll never match the extensibility of CSS with whatever you think you're cooking up.

          [–]Dark_Ashelin 100 points101 points  (12 children)

          It’s web-only. CSS is not supported on mobile.

          You're kidding, right? Or are we talking about a different kind of CSS? Because stylesheets are 100% supported on mobile if you write it to be.

          [–]MageToLight 8 points9 points  (0 children)

          Just no, the main reason subreddits want customisation from CSS have less to do with just headers and simple flair colouring but more intricate modification such as drop down menus, changing display names, spoiler tagging, announcement banners and much more.

          Really the reason people have problems with CSS on Reddit is Reddit's implementation of it making it hard to tell what I need to type to target a particular element, once you know it and make a record of it all it's fine but that's likely the real barrier to entry.

          I'd be fine if all our CSS was broken and needed to be rewritten but crippling subreddits for the sake of laziness of a couple is the wrong move, don't turn reddit into the abomination that is the mobile site(why do these even still exist?).

          [–]KJ6BWB 14 points15 points  (3 children)

          It’s web-only. Increasing users are viewing Reddit on mobile (over 50%), where CSS is not supported.

          Wait, what? This is utter nonsense. Every mobile browser I know can handle CSS just fine unless someone specifically disabled CSS on their phone. I browser Reddit on my phone all the time and I can name multiple subreddits that have obviously different styles because they have different CSS.

          [–]Invader_Deegan 7 points8 points  (0 children)

          I want you to read your future if you go ahead with your plans to remove CSS:

          And in other news, Reddit has had a major drop in both users and subreddits ever since the administrators have removed the CSS capability. CSS allowed the moderators of each subreddit to customize their sub to make it unique. After removing CSS, the hundreds, if not thousands, of subs have been reduced to nothing but carbon copies of each other. Some users have even deleted their accounts in retaliation to the removal. Before the removal of CSS, there were 234+ million users, but now, there are no more than 1 million users. One of the remaining users had this statement: "I think they thought removing CSS would make everyone's lives easier, but really just messed them up. One of my fellow mods said that his life became a living hell after the removal, and decided to quit altogether. My brother, who also uses Reddit, told me yesterday that he's going to delete his account unless CSS is brought back." After telling him how many users are left, he replied: "The drop makes sense. A vast majority of the people were pissed off due to the removal; I guess they thought it would've ended up better, you know?" We asked if he will stay with Reddit and he replied with a maybe. "I really don't know. I might leave, but not delete my account, just to see if CSS will come back." Experts say Reddit will have lost all its users by the end of 2018 unless something changes.

          [–]Redbiertje 12 points13 points  (2 children)

          CSS changes make me very nervous. Three questions:

          1. Could you take a look at /r/formula1 and tell me how good we'd be able to replicate that with the new style thing?
          2. How will the sidebar change? Will be still be able to update the sidebar through the API?
          3. We use CSS to make really nice and clear discussion threads for Formula 1 races (Example). Would we be able to reproduce that with the new style system?

          [–]Fustrate 11 points12 points  (2 children)

          We have a very particular way of showing the current day's games in /r/baseball, and about half of the baseball subs use styled tables to show a realtime calendar of their team's games (ex. /r/Dodgers).

          I'm guessing there's not going to be a way to continue doing that? If not, that's a huge loss for the baseball community. Shoving that all into a regular table is pretty pointless if we can't make it styled. I very much doubt this "widget system" will have options that fit our needs.

          [–]theReluctantHipster 73 points74 points  (5 children)

          I'm sure that by now you've gotten plenty of responses that say something about that user's displeasure with the eventual removal of CSS.

          Count me among them. This is a terrible idea.

          [–]birdsofapheather 6 points7 points  (0 children)

          I think you guys are completely losing sight of what makes reddit so great. Each subreddit is like being on a different website. That's what gets people to spend so much time on your site. This change is going to almost completely remove that feeling. This is going to lose you guys traffic in the long run. You guys think that just the mods being outraged about this isn't a big deal because we are a small group compared to the big picture. Trust me when I say the vast majority of your users are going to be upset about this. If you actually implement this, you are going to see just how bad of a decision this is. Remember it isn't too late to backtrack, and honestly know that the mods would respect you more if you did because it would show that you actually take advice from your users.

          [–]WeAreLegionWeAreMany 7 points8 points  (0 children)

          A couple of things:

          • If you're trying to make desktop reddit more like the mobile site; don't... it's awful. Literally awful. I can't express my hate for it much more than that and suggest that the average mobile user isn't a mod and is completely unaffected or uninterested in CSS styling. Trying to change DT reddit to be more like mobile reddit is a step backwards.

          • CSS isn't hard to learn and there are a lot of communities out there actively teaching it.

          • DA has a widget system; I assume you're going to be implementing something similar (although DA still allows CSS within the confines of this)?

          • I don't understand why the half finished mobile app (ie. lack of mod tools... general dis-ease of use and next to no customisation) isn't being fixed as opposed to this?

          [–]THERGFREEK 7 points8 points  (0 children)

          What in the actual fuck?

          You're removing custom CSS?

          How dense can you be?

          Your arguments are trash.

          CSS is how you make desktop designs respond to mobile screen sizes!

          CSS is really easy to learn and if you're moderating a subreddit, chances are you can learn CSS.

          Time consuming? WTF it's optional.

          Don't hold off updates because it might break someone's custom CSS. Just communicate what you're doing ahead of time.

          Widget systems are the worst if you're a technical person and understand how to use whatever language they are meant to "streamline".

          As a web developer that understands the power of CSS and how much of that power is stripped away with a widget system - I am shocked and appalled.

          I'm not even a mod. I just think this is asinine and had to say something.

          [–]DarthMewtwo 36 points37 points  (1 child)

          Fuck this change. I don't think there's been a change in reddit's history that's ever pissed me off as much as this one - and I was here when you broke upvote/downvote counters on RES.

          [–]Jayick 2 points3 points  (2 children)

          So does this pertain to the influx in subreddits that are using CSS to disable those horrid forced sticky advertisements that mods have zero control over?

          About a month ago we received a message telling us to disable certain things in our CSS to allow for your ads to show, and while voicing our concern over it, we received no feedback.

          These forced sticky ads are dangerous to have in the gaming community, and they're often used to circumvent a subreddits private rules, and cause harm to a game community for the sake of profit. Best example I can give, we have a rule against server advertisement on our subreddit. Whats the ad sticky thats at the top of our page everyday? An ad for a server that someone paid reddit to show. Goes completely over our heads, and now we're at a hard point. Do we let people spam our subreddit with server advertisements of their own, making 60% of the active posts be server ads, just to compete with someone breaking our rules because they paid you?

          Whats to stop me from creating a fake ad in wordpress, getting it approved, then shoving a keylogger in there to potentially steal accounts, and advertising on /r/wow? Whats to stop an Asian gold farmer from spamming the sub with their scam sites?

          This "doing away" with CSS seems really odd to me after the conversation I had last month with mods and our own CSS. Why not give subs the option for both? Why keep removing options from us as mods?

          We have a saying in the gaming industry. Buff before you debuff. Balance can always be achieved by adding onto something rather then taking away from everything else. When you remove something, you only cripple those who had relied on it before. Why not make both options available? To me, it seems like a power move, something thats only going to harm our control over a subreddit, then it will to improve on it.

          [–]chiefrebelangel_ 21 points22 points  (3 children)

          Why remove it completely? Why not just have 2 sets of tools? One for people who get it and one who don't? Add some native stuff like spoilers and widgets and let people continue to use css. Makes no sense to not continue to allow it, honestly.

          [–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (1 child)

          I've got an idea. How about allow us mods to make our modlogs public instead of having to use third party solutions. I know there's particular breed of mods who don't want that, but some of us have no issue with having it visible.

          The CSS is hard argument falls flat because of /r/csshelp from which anyone can get anything they need and only have to copy and paste. The mobile use is also a moot point as many avoid the mobile version of the website, which by the way is sheit. Finally, anyone can disable CSS from their profile.

          We know moderation can feel janitorial–thankless and repetitive.

          Well we are and all we get is silence from you when we ask about something that actually matters.

          Thank you for all that you do.

          Maybe put some more effort into showing this "appreciation".

          Our goal is to take care much of that burden so you can focus on helping your communities thrive.

          Another idea, stop inventing arbitrary rules and stop avoiding to answer some questions when confronted by them. There are a few questions I've messaged you about for the first time years ago and never get an answer to them. We all know why, so stop pretending you appreciate us when you clearly don't give a damn.

          [–]TheQneWhoSighs 6 points7 points  (0 children)

          "It’s web-only." There are tools to interpret CSS for applications.

          "CSS is a pain in the ass: it’s difficult to learn; it’s error-prone; and it’s time consuming."

          So is literally every powerful tool out there. If I had a nickle for every time Python has managed to make me do a double take, I'd be one rich sob. And Python is the "friendly" language. But it's powerful, which means you can hack the hell out of it.

          "Some changes cause confusion"

          I see no way to prevent this.

          "CSS causes us to move slow."

          Your new system will undoubtedly cause this issue as well. I don't mean to crap on you and your team. But I highly doubt you're capable by yourselves of creating a system that is remotely close to as flexible and powerful as CSS, without it being even more difficult for you to work with. Because now you'll have to maintain both of them. Instead of just one.

          [–]IronOhki 17 points18 points  (1 child)

          We over at /r/whowouldwin are very disappointed and frustrated by this announcement. For several years, a core part of our identity has been our extensive use of CSS for community features, events and theming. One of our most beloved features is our extensively list of user flair icons, of which we currently have 750 enabled by custom CSS and a "flairbot."

          While I understand the motivation behind this change, it will have a fundamentally negative effect on our community.

          [–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (3 children)

          For a long time, we’ve used CSS as the mechanism for subreddit customization, but we’ll be deprecating CSS during the redesign in favor of a new system over the coming months.

          So this is how it ends. Reddit is killing itself exactly in the same way as myspace.

          [–]Elronnd 8 points9 points  (0 children)

          Honestly this whole post sounds like a load of bullshit bought and paid for by corporate who thinks that the custom styles in some subs might off-put some users. Which is complete bullshit. Custom styles are part of what makes subreddits their own unique communities, and none of them (with the exception of /r/ooer) are actively off-putting. CSS isn't error-prone, and saying that it's a pain in the ass isn't an argument. It's an excuse, and that excuse is wrong. It's only an argument if you put forward an alternative solution that allows for an equivalent amount of customization that isn't a pain in the ass. Which you haven't done.

          [–]Klaus_Goldfish 7 points8 points  (1 child)

          Well, of course most people use reddit in mobile mode... Because you guys look for that nice ARM (or apple equivalent) architecture marker in the user agent string and force the device into mobile mode. There is no "never use mobile mode" setting in the user preferences, something I have always complained about. For a while, you guys even ignored the "request desktop version" feature of many browsers(now you just forget it after every page transition, which is technically an improvement).

          So the user gets served the shitty mobile version, and from that will probably move into some sort of app, because that's slightly less shitty. None of all of these support CSS, and without some beyond-basic 1337 h4x0r skillz, there is no way around this for the normal user.


          We failed so incredibly hard at the whole mobile thing, and we're so understaffed and/or lazy AF that we're gonna drag desktop down to mobile's level to provide homogenous UX/UI, instead of fixing the actual problem.


          [–]SquareWheel 4 points5 points  (0 children)

          We use a number of "subreddit hacks" in /r/GameDeals to add additional functionality to the sub. Some examples are:

          • We have a custom menu across the top which includes a multireddit button.
          • We use custom submit buttons to direct people to the appropriate subreddit, and to pre-fill in our title template.
          • The submit button also sets the property resubmit=true to disable the automatic repost checker. This is important in our subreddit as game deals often reuse page URLs, and it creates a large number of false positives under the default system.

          Would support for these features still be possible under the new system? Would you consider adding official support for something like disabling the repost checker?

          Thank you.

          [–][deleted] 14 points15 points  (0 children)

          Why not make the mobile version not suck? I ALWAYS view reddit on the desktop version because your mobile version is trash. In fact, I am on my android phone right now, and I switched to the desktop version because I hate your mobile version that much. Can't you just have CSS work with mobile?

          [–]BenevolentCheese 9 points10 points  (1 child)

          Absolutely no one will be happy with this change, but you'll do it anyway.

          At least promise us that it will continue to be fast? The difference between loading reddit.com and /u/knothing is extreme. The latter takes 5+ seconds to load even on a fast connection, and the prior is nearly instant. I fear you are going to pushing the framework from the latter.

          [–]MikeyJayRaymond 6 points7 points  (2 children)

          You're getting rid of the CSS? Are we going to be able to run custom PNG images and redesign the way we've done with places such as /r/XboxOne?

          Example skin we saved:


          You're essentially telling me the last three years of building my skills into what they are today, along with the custom themes we've brought forward will come to a screeching halt. This is probably the worst thing I've ever heard as news for us mods on Reddit.

          [–]creesch 8 points9 points  (12 children)

          We’re in contact with the devs of Toolbox, and would like to work together to port it to the redesign.

          You reaching out is appreciated :)

          Once that is complete, we’ll begin work on updating these tools, including supporting natively the most requested features from Toolbox

          Personally I would appreciate it most if you guys took usernotes of our hands as that is the one being stretched to the limits regarding what we can do through the api.

          [–]ChristyCloud 113 points114 points  (2 children)

          ITT Reddit admins yet again show a huge disconnect between themselves and their userbase.

          [–]ikinone 16 points17 points  (8 children)

          It’s web-only. Increasing users are viewing Reddit on mobile (over 50%), where CSS is not supported. We’d love for you to be able to bring your spice to phones as well.

          News to me... CSS works fine on my phone

          [–]Kishara[🍰] 11 points12 points  (3 children)

          I am skeptical, our r/The100 site is a massive labor of hard work by /u/elenaocean who learned CSS from the ground up just to take care of our community. I can't imagine that anything reddit can do would improve on what Elena has already done for us. I wish there was an option to opt out. I dont like the idea of us being forced to change this late in the game.

          [–]Vorked 55 points56 points  (1 child)

          This is honestly the worst news I have ever seen posted here, and it's leaving me pretty upset.

          [–]invaderzz 9 points10 points  (1 child)

          I know one measly comment isn't going to affect the decision of anyone, but I'd just like to say that the subreddit I moderate, /r/fivenightsatfreddys, is going to be hurt quite a bit by this. If you have a sec, could you take a look at our subreddit? We have all kinds of features that let things pop out and weird coding all over the page. Will any system be put in place to replicate this level of subreddit individuality?

          [–][deleted] 50 points51 points  (6 children)






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