I wanted to follow up on the CSS and redesign post from a few weeks back and provide some more information as well as clarify some questions that have emerged.
Based on your feedback, we will allow you to continue to use CSS on top of the new structured styles. This will be the last part of the customization tool we build as we want to make sure the structured options we are offering are rock solid. Also, please keep in mind that if you do choose to use the advanced option, we will no longer be treading as carefully as we have done in the past about breaking styles applied through CSS1.
To give you a sense of our approach, we’re starting with a handful of highly-customized communities (e.g. r/overwatch and r/gameofthrones) and seeing how close we can get to their existing appearance using the new system. Logos, images, colors, spoilers, menus, flairs (all kinds), and lots more will be supported. I know you’d like to see a list of everything, but we think the best approach will be to show instead of tell, which we’re racing to as quickly as possible.
The widget system I mentioned in the last post isn’t directly related. Many communities have added complex functionality over the years (calendars, scoreboards, etc). A widget system will elevate these features to first-class status on Reddit, with the aim of making them both more powerful and reuseable. Yes, we’re evaluating how we would accept user-created widgets. We intend for widgets to be able to be updated via the API, so you’ll still be able to create dynamically updating content in your subreddit sidebar.
This change, and the redesign in general, is going to happen slowly. We will will not be abruptly cutting everyone over to the new site at once. We know it won’t be perfect at first (unlike the current site), and plan to include plenty of time to solicit feedback and make iterations. Sharing our plans for subreddit customization this far advance with you is part of this process.
We’ll start with a small alpha group and create a subreddit to solicit feedback. As we continue to add features, we’ll expand the testing group to an opt-in beta. If you’d like to participate in the alpha please add a reply to this comment. Please note, signing up does not guarantee a spot in the alpha. We want to be able to be responsive to the alpha testers, and keeping the initial group small has proved to be effective in the past.
I’d like thank everyone who has provided feedback on this topic. There have been some very constructive threads. I’d also like to take a moment to appreciate how civil the feedback has been. This is a topic many of you feel passionate about. Thank you for keeping things constructive.
1 No snark allowed.