LW Update 3/​14 – Community, Markdown and More

We’ve been work­ing on a lot of changes as we gear up for the fi­nal vote to mi­grate to less­wrong.com. Many of these changes are still in progress, but it seemed like a good point to stop and take stock of them.

Com­mu­nity Page

We now have a func­tion­ing com­mu­nity page. The core func­tion­al­ity is cre­at­ing groups and events, which pop­u­late a big cen­tral map, which you can filter to only show par­tic­u­lar in­for­ma­tion.


Groups are a lo­cal or­ga­niz­ing body for events. Right now you can se­lect mul­ti­ple “types” of groups to give peo­ple an idea of what to ex­pect and what ideas peo­ple will prob­a­bly be in­ter­ested in.

  • LessWrong

  • SlatestarCodex

  • Effec­tive Altruism

  • MIRIx

When you cre­ate a group, it’ll au­tocre­ate an “wel­come post”, which’ll be the first thing peo­ple see when they click on your group page. The wel­come post works like a nor­mal post but is au­topop­u­lated with sug­gested ques­tions to an­swer, and you’ll want to edit it into some­thing more use­ful.


Events can ei­ther be cre­ated from a group page (in which they’re as­so­ci­ated with a that group), or from the main com­mu­nity hub (in which they’re a freefloat­ing one-off event).

Right now, any­one can cre­ate an event from a group page (re­gard­less of whether they’re the offi­cial group or­ga­nizer). Even­tu­ally we’ll build a fleshed out per­mis­sion sys­tem for groups, right now we wanted to err on the side of mak­ing it easy for peo­ple to set up mee­tups.

In ad­di­tion to lo­ca­tion, time, etc, Events have most of the func­tion­al­ity that a post has. You can com­ment on them, up­vote/​down­vote, etc.


Right now, this is a small stub, but we in­tend to ex­pand the com­mu­nity page to provide a lot of help get­ting new mee­tups started, links to var­i­ous cor­ners of the ra­tio­nal­sphere (such as dis­cord, slack, irc, ex­pla­na­tions of how Ra­tion­al­ist Face­book and Ra­tion­al­ist Tum­blr work, etc)


Right now we have a place­holder solu­tion for ex­pos­ing mee­tups to the front­page – it’s just a small stub-sec­tion. Once more mee­tups have been cre­ated we’ll cre­ate a “near­est events” sec­tion, and even­tu­ally prob­a­bly re­work the page slightly so it’s bet­ter in­te­grated in­stead of an awk­ward ex­tra posts sec­tion.

Edi­tor Update

We’re in the pro­cess of mak­ing some changes to the ed­i­tor. We’ve pushed some up­dates that:

  • Added a new sim­ple mark­down ed­i­tor (for com­ments) that you can en­able from your ac­count set­tings. Past­ing pure mark­down doc­u­ments into it should work fine. (We don’t yet have a mark­down ed­i­tor for posts but prob­a­bly will soon­ish)

  • Re­lat­edly, we’re re­mov­ing at least some mark­down pars­ing from the Rich Text ed­i­tor. (To­day we tried re­mov­ing all mark­down, and… im­me­di­ately found it kind of in­furi­at­ing to not be able to au­to­mat­i­cally in­sert quotes, or head­ers, as well as bul­let lists. Our cur­rent plan is to re­move pars­ing of * and _ char­ac­ters for bold and ital­ics, which would re­solve pretty much all bugs that peo­ple have com­plained about so far)

  • We changed the LaTeX hotkey from typ­ing “$” to “ctrl/​com­mand 4″ (the same key as “$”), so that users who want to type dol­lar signs like a nor­mal per­son can do so more eas­ily.

  • On iOS and An­droid, to avoid weird in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the mo­bile de­vice and our rich text ed­i­tor, it au­to­mat­i­cally uses the pure mark­down ed­i­tor. (This should mean an­droid de­vices can fi­nally com­ment with­out weird mag­ick hap­pen­ing to you)

Odds and Ends

  • You can now click on the left side of a com­ment to scroll up to that com­ment’s par­ent.

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