I like the idea of the Similar questions feature and I've found one suggestion five suggestions helpful so far(!), but there are two three things that interrupt my flow when I am writing a question post.

  1. Suddenly and unexpectedly the UI dramatically changes my small laptop screen, throwing my work area (where I am busy composing) down to the bottom and putting a big box of stuff right where both my eyes and my cursor are.

  2. This is made worse by putting the site of typing (blinking cursor) at the absolute bottom because my cursor finds itself involuntarily hovering over a link, which generates the expanded page at the bottom which completely eclipses the line I am currently writing.

  3. One time the sudden rearrangement of content on my screen placed a link directly under where I was clicking my curser while attempting to edit. This had the undesired result of sending me off to a new tab and a post I didn't want to see.

I write a lot of questions (>3,300), and most of them are involved and require some amount of concentration, so these regular interruptions of thought happen to me several times a day.

Is there some kind of tweak that can make this sudden, unexpected screen shift and eclipse a little less sudden and dramatic, and avoid the obscuration of the line I'm typing on?

The feature itself is important, I'm only asking about an adjustment to improve the user experience.

MacBook Air/macOS/Chrome Incognito (slow GIF):

Enter image description here

The question itself.


New Style (network wide now):

enter image description here

Question: Do Mars rovers protect optical windows during dust storms? Do they “avert their eyes” or do they just “grin and bear it”?

Old Style

Following this answer (which I had hoped explained the problem but now I see it doesn't) I have discovered that the Similar questions appear without anything being typed into the title bar. The unexpected appearance pushing the active line being typed to the absolute bottom of my screen is real.

Enter image description here enter image description here

The questions themselves 1, 2. Click for full size.

update 2: Happened again on a totally different WiFi location that was performing well (no speed issues) (left) and again with an excellent connection (right). The active line is not eclipsed by the expanded url because I'd only written ~4 lines when the screen-shifting event happened, not enough lines to put the active line quite at the bottom this time.

enter image description hereenter image description here

Happens on other (graduated) sites as well:

enter image description here

  • 1
    I've meant to write a Meta about how I dislike this new design for a while, thanks for writing one! – Stormblessed Aug 3 '19 at 5:19
  • @Stormblessed I never said anything about disliking the design; in fact, take a moment to re-read the first sentence! "I like the idea of the Similar questions feature and I've found one suggestion helpful so far..." – uhoh Aug 4 '19 at 0:15
  • I mean the new, weird design. – Stormblessed Aug 4 '19 at 0:48

I just ran Chrome from my MacBook Air, running MacOS. I joined the space stack and simply copied the first two paragraphs from your first linked question:

Ars Technica's Rocket Report: China discovers grid fins, NASA acknowledges Starship program says:

China experiments with grid fins. The launch of a Long March 2C from Xichang last week included a first use of grid fins by China, SpaceNews reports.

Results are no suggested similar questions:

enter image description here

Adding another two paragraphs didn't trigger the search either. The only way for me to get to the suggested similar questions was to enter at least 15 characters into the title bar. Removing the title after the suggestions were loaded didn't remove the suggestions.

First idea that came to my mind (which appears not to be the entire case).

The similar questions are based, and rendered on the title you enter. If you are on a slow connection the return of the search query and building of the list might take a long(er) time and therefore you already start writing your post body.

For me, on fiber optic connection, the similar questions are loaded upon completion, or pausing in writing, of the title.

| improve this answer | |
  • okay it happened again and this time for sure I had not typed anything into the title bar yet. I was hoping that this was the explanation, but its not. For me at least the Similar questions do suddenly and unexpectedly appear while only typing in the body, and do suddenly slam the active line to the absolute bottom of my browser's window. I've added another screen-shot to the question. – uhoh Aug 2 '19 at 22:21
  • 3
    SE's got a bunch of fun bugs that only turn up on truly atrocious connections – Journeyman Geek Aug 3 '19 at 4:47
  • @JourneymanGeek but this isn't one of them; the last two instances happened with a perfectly good connection. I've deleted my earlier comment as it seems the problem happens with a good connection and nothing typed into the title line. However this one may be related to connection issues. – uhoh Aug 3 '19 at 6:47
  • @uhoh please see my edit. Unable to reproduce. – Luuklag Aug 3 '19 at 8:09
  • Thanks for checking, my platform, OS and browser were included in the question, I just open the browser, type my desired url xxx.stackexchange.com and log in with username and password. I don't know if what I get is the "responsive" or "unresponsive" flavor, I just take what SE gives me. – uhoh Aug 3 '19 at 8:12
  • 1
    Since the question clearly states a combination of device, OS and browser different than your screenshot, I don't think your non-observance is particularly relevant. I've noted another occurrence today on yet another WiFi connection that was performing well. I think that we now have to retire this proposed explanation. The problem is not related to a slow WiFi connection – uhoh Aug 4 '19 at 0:04
  • @uhoh Ah, OK. I thought it was an accidental removal since the edit summary didn't state it and it was just below the replaced image. – Sonic the Masked Werehog Aug 4 '19 at 3:42
  • @SonictheAnonymousWizHog ya, while the SE UI lets you edit several times within 5? minutes and treats it as a single edit, it captures the first thing you wrote in the summary and doesn't allow you to modify/update it as needed. – uhoh Aug 4 '19 at 3:46
  • 1
    @uhoh Yeah, it's a weird quirk, but there is a workaround: if you make another edit while modifying your edit summary, the modified summary will be saved; if you only modify the summary while not changing anything else, it won't be saved. – Sonic the Masked Werehog Aug 4 '19 at 4:21
  • @uhoh still unable to reproduce using Chrome on a macbook running macOs. – Luuklag Aug 5 '19 at 7:29
  • @Luuklag okay, thanks for the data point! – uhoh Aug 5 '19 at 9:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .