The recent change to the sidebar was, I understand, supposed to widen the sidebar without affecting the main content area of the page, meaning it might send some stuff off the right margin for smaller windows. However, I'm seeing some quirky results here. I happened to have some not-yet-refreshed tabs to compare.

I had a Chrome tab that was wide enough to not present a horizontal scrollbar at the original size. At the new page size it has a scrollbar, and the content area looks narrower. Here are the two screenshots lined up to show the difference:

Chrome, before and after

That's not a huge difference, and presumably I'll get used to it, but it was large enough to "look wrong" and visibly jump on that first refresh. I noticed this on another machine earlier but had just refreshed my only SE tab, so I couldn't confirm.

However, the story is a little different in the Firefox window I had open, which is narrower than that Chrome window. It was never wide enough to show the full sidebar (which is fine). Here's the original Firefox tab, and here it is after a refresh. Here's the comparison:

Firefox, before and after

That's a much smaller difference, within the margin of error for manually lining these things up. It appears, from some temporary resizing, that this is a browser difference and not a window-size difference, but I'm not sure.

The difference in Chrome isn't huge; it's a little disconcerting but it's also new and presumably I'll get used to it. However, it appears to be a variance from the intended outcome, so I'm filing this bug report.

(Mac OS 10.6, Firefox 43.0.4, Chrome 47.0.2526.106.)

  • In the first image, the content isn't smaller, it's simply shifted to the left (notice the padding on the left). We absolutely did not make the content area smaller. – Bret Copeland Jan 13 '16 at 3:19
  • @BretCopeland oh, I didn't notice that. Thanks. I guess my eye is drawn to the center of the page and I didn't notice the changes on the left margin. – Monica Cellio Jan 13 '16 at 3:22
  • Is that OS X 10.6 or so? – nicael Jan 13 '16 at 8:44
  • @nicael yes. See the last line of the question. – Monica Cellio Jan 13 '16 at 15:26
  • Oy, nice. Such a veteran OS :) – nicael Jan 13 '16 at 15:27

Bret Copeland pointed out in a comment (thanks!) that the content shifted left but didn't shrink:

margin change highlighted

I guess the difference I saw between Chrome and Firefox is really a difference between "wide enough" and "not wide enough". Chrome pre-change was wide enough; Firefox never was and Chrome isn't post-change. So only pre-change Chrome had the extra padding to begin with.

(More precisely, I sized that Chrome window to be wide enough to get the handy moderator post widget that lives out in the left margin and disappears is the window isn't at least 1070px wide. There is now a userscript to make that functionality available in narrower windows, so I no longer need to keep one browser wider than I'd otherwise use just for moderation.)

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