Coding day in and out on LessWrong 2.0
Mod note: Replaced the link to the image with the actual image, since I assigned substantial probability to that being your intention, but our editor image handling being too confusing and you giving up. But feel free to revert it if it was intentional.
Ah, yeah. I agree that the popovers could use a lot of work on mobile. I was thinking you were referring to something else. In this case I agree with you and am reasonably annoyed at how we handle this myself.
I agree with this hypothetically, but I actually think this matters a lot in practice. Browsers are actually just quite slow at doing a lot of things. As a concrete example, the Facebook web-app (which I use since I don't want Facebook installed on my phone) is many times slower than their native app, with scrolling often being visibly sluggish, and clicking on buttons having a visible delay.
And overriden click behaviors
Given that native mobile apps are often written in C, objective-C or C++, just on a simple language level you should expect something like 3-10x speedup from the switch from an interpreted language to a compiled language (sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the application). In general interpreted languages continue to be substantially slower (and though interpreted languages have been getting faster due to smarter execution environments and lots of fancy tricks, so have compiled languages, due to improvements in compilers).
This seems roughly right to me. We've tried reasonably hard (though we could definitely do better) to make the mobile version of the site work well enough to use it on phones, which I do think is important, but I don't feel like on the margin making a native app version is that valuable. In the long run I do hope that we can make LessWrong into a proper progressive web-app, which would allow users to read articles offline, access the site through their home-screen and generally treat it like an app (though performance wise it would be worse, since progressive web-apps run on Javasript and native apps get to be written in much faster languages).
There is also one additional consideration, which is that I am worried about making LessWrong the kind of thing that is primarily a phone app. I think by their nature phones are much worse for longform content, both reading and creating it, and I think a LessWrong that was predominantly used by people on their phones would be forced to have much shorter content, and correspondingly be a lot more like the rest of the internet in it's pressure to be short and snappy and as a result of that fail to be able to grapple with problems in any real depth. I would never write a full LessWrong post on my phone, and even notice that the comments that I write on my phone or Ipad tend to be lower quality, with fewer links to external resources, and less thought put into the formatting or content. It's also much harder to present a lot of information on a small phone screen, making certain types of intellectual labor quite difficult (as an example, if we were developing our tagging system primarily for a phone-driven audience, I think it would have to be quite a lot simple and lose a lot of functionality, or require a lot more design effort put into it, which then corresponds to us building fewer other things).
I do think it's likely that if things go well, we will eventually have an app, but these tradeoffs are why it hasn't been a priority till now, and probably won't be for a while longer.
Seems plausible to me, though I am not sure whether I would say probable. If you could do something like backprop through the human mind, then I think I can imagine outcomes similar to this:
Yeah, ok. I do think personalization is blocked on Algolia, and I didn't really think about this as a potential solution to this (but it totally is). So yeah, maybe slighting Algolia was the right call.
I am pretty confused what any of this has to do with Algolia. The primary problem to me appears to be that we don't actually have a large fraction of the tags categorized in the tag hierarchy displayed on the All Tags page. We could show you a copy of the tag page table, but that would omit a lot of new tags, and also probably not be dense enough. We could develop some custom UI for that menu to group them, but that's mostly a bunch of work (and doesn't have super much to do with Algolia).
The site search will probably always have somewhat different constraints than normal database operations (in particular if we want to stay within the autocomplete paradigm), so I don't think anything about this would get easier if we switch away from Algolia (things like this are actually a domain where Algolia is pretty great).
Out of curiosity, what was it that convinced you this isn't an infohazard-like risk?
Some mixture of: