Replit's new Social Features update

Oh boy, it’s rant time again :slight_smile:

Quick context: Replit has announced many new changes to social features on Replit. You can read the full blog post here.

Now for what’s changing:

Couldn’t expect this to happen, but it ended up happening. Comments are being removed.

Now don’t get me wrong, this can be a good thing to happen in many occasions, especially with the masses of spam some Repls get.

However, this feels like an extremely stupid idea. And for a couple of reasons.

1. How will updates work?

As most people know, you can click the update button to create updates for your Repl, basically re-publishing it.

This is a cool feature, as it basically acted as a changelog for your Repls. Wanna know where they appeared? The comment feed. That being removed means either there’d be a new section where updates would appear, or updates being fully removed. And honestly, I don’t feel like that’d be a good idea.

2. What about feedback on a Repl?

Oh, but Ask exists, doesn’t it?

Yeah, it does exist, however if I have to remember to keep going onto Ask to see any new feedback on my Repl, it’s gonna be quite annoying. It’s nice to have everything centralised and in one place, which is also why so many OG users were annoyed that Replit Talk was removed and Replit Ask came into existence instead.

Trust me, even if many of Replit’s later long-time users are ones who come after 2024, people will still be annoyed at this. I, myself, have barely any recollection of Replit Talk and yet I’m a bit annoyed of its removal.


Being a moderator and all, I do know how annoying comments can be, especially with abuse and all, but I feel like this is too far. Replit needs to calm down with their additions and removals of features, and also listen to their community.

Even if there are many issues that occur internally that force the team to do these sorts of things, they should at least hear their community out before pushing out a breaking change such as this one.

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I agree, time for another debate!

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Are all repls affected by the running from cover page or just web ones?

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Updates will still work. You’ll still be able to replicate this “changelog”-esque behavior.

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We may reintroduce some form of comments in the future. It likely will be tied to some form of actual collaboration, though.

(imagine replit-native PRs or some other async collaborative system)

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I have no problem with people being direct to Ask for feedback but people shouldnt be forced. Comments shouldnt be removed. Plus I’m only just first hearing about this and depending on how many people come here for feedback we may need to increase moderator resorses. Now im just getting off track though.


Time to break down the blog post bit by bit with my thoughts.

In 2024, we’re excited to introduce improvements to our social features on Replit, all centered around making it easier to share and explore code.

What improvements to social features? The only improvment is greatly reducing the mod work us site mods have. And its not worth it IMHO.

Based on the screenshot later in the post I do like the new fork/run button and there being alink to the deployment. I do think that the deployment type shouldnt be public unless the repl owner switches a switch to say if the type should be public.

We learned from our top creators that a cover page’s primary value is sharing code and giving other developers something to fork.

When I visit a coverpage most of the time I just run it to see the output and what it does. I rarely ever fork repls. Could this be a setting per for users to change how this looks?

Additionally, we recognized that viewing applications in an iframe is a suboptimal experience. Often, missing Secrets prevented the program from running as intended. The best way to view someone’s work is to visit the production deployment directly.

With this in mind, we’re reimagining cover pages to focus primarily on code consumption. This shift marks a move away from running and viewing program outputs. Instead, we’re making these pages a hub for exploring and understanding code.

For many things I agree. The thing is this will increase friction when moderating (I will go into more detail privately if wanted). I do sometimes want to see code but most of the time I dont.


Whats happening with existing comments? Just being deleted? Or will the still be viewable?


This is something I would love but I always forget to make the feature request…

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I can sort of let comments being gone slide (but still it is the main way to get feedback to improve your Repl), as Ask is still here and a change log would then be uncluttered (or they could’ve just added a page for a change log separate from the comments). But running Repls, I want to view them unlike with GitHub where you just share files and you can’t view the output, and the part about viewing a deployed version implies that all Repl’s will need to be deployed for people to view it easy. Also the cover page just showing code defeats the purpose of thumbnails a tad bit, if I want to view the code I will click the view code button. It seems Replit is going the course of how GitHub does things, which is not necessarily bad but the things Replit is changing wont be good for selling (a lot of people will leave because Replit is promised as being able to share your creations despite economic background, now your making it payed, at least let us share it with others and not just the code). Replit is known for showing people your cool things really easily. Also making things easily viewable with just deployments isn’t good for many people, since many are minors with zero credit card/money. Forking projects for all doesn’t seem the best since all of my space will be taken up and I don’t feel like deleting all the Repl’s I view. I know I have a strong opinion like I did for hosting changes and I may come to accept and/or agree with Replit’s reasoning, but excluding comments (as they are a lot of clutter), removing running Repl’s easily and cover page thumbnails probably needed more thought, at the very least I hope there is a setting for it, but I do very dislike needing deployments for easy running as that forces everyone to pay (as websites didn’t affect most this will affect everyone), many don’t have forms of payment, me included we wouldn’t be able to do this and may have to leave Replit in search of something better to share our cool things with others. I hope Replit sees this and puts some more consideration into what they are removing and changing.

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I think that you shouldn’t do this, there’s still time to change (right?)!

literally says this in about page on replit

We focus on inspiring creativity and generating value for creators through community

but replit, what community will there be now? soon you won’t even be able to say anything about what you saw. no positive comments, no negative comments, nothing (also it might be an out of context quote but still applies here)

also a big part of replit was being able to comment on repls and stuff; now that’s literally gone. how is it a social feature if one of the biggest ways to be social is being removed

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what?

no actually what?

you literally can’t share your creations for free anymore???

I’ve been defending Replit’s changes like hosting but this… this has no excuse

my responses to people on the hosting topic were like “may I just remind everyone that you can still share your creations for free, like console and output Repls”

you can’t do it anymore!

well, you can, by having them fork the Repl
but that requires a replit account

this is just…
unbelievable

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So its basically scuffed Github now

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We learned from our top creators that a cover page’s primary value is sharing code and giving other developers something to fork. Additionally, we recognized that viewing applications in an iframe is a suboptimal experience. Often, missing Secrets prevented the program from running as intended. The best way to view someone’s work is to visit the production deployment directly.

:frowning:
RIP all the functional console and non-website repls

I thought one of replit’s nice niches was being able to run programs online? Now they are transitioning to a more code-centered platform.

(In the blog, it looks like forking the repl, to run or edit it, is made much easier at least.)

With this in mind, we’re reimagining cover pages to focus primarily on code consumption. This shift marks a move away from running and viewing program outputs. Instead, we’re making these pages a hub for exploring and understanding code.

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What’s even the point of “Community” now then? :joy:

Seriously though, Replit needs to stop letting us down.

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Honestly these changes mean I’m running out of reasons to use Replit.

I make content on Replit (not quality content, but content-), focusing on making games I can share with the community. The focus of what I share is not the actual source code but the output/game. I don’t really want people forking my work, and I don’t want to have to deploy everything I share. These changes seem useless as it is the opposite of what I use Replit’s Community for.

Having my stuff forked and getting code copied can be irritating, which is why I’ve already been looking for alternative places to share my projects (e.g. Itch.io) without having the source code public/easily-accessible. And, if I do ever want to share code, Github already exists.

If/when these changes come into effect, the only thing I can imagine myself using Replit for is advertising external links to my stuff, which is somewhat questionable. Replit Ask would be the proper place to showcase my work and receive feedback once the comments on cover pages are removed, but it’d be annoying not having everything in one place.

As a free user, I already wasn’t very keen on the hosting changes, but I hadn’t considered leaving yet. These ‘improvements’ may change my mind…

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:skull:
What? Then what’s the point of featuring your repl when nobody can run it? It’s literally useless at this point. Who wants to look at code? The creators of the repl obviously want people to run the repl and have fun, certainly not look at boring code 24/7. And it’s certainly not cool when someone forks your repl, steal the code and make a project, add the code in and publish it to a brand new community. It’s not their work, everyone is praising the guy who forked the repl even though they didn’t write a single line of code for it. Not fair for the original creators here at replit.

:skull: Looks like I will be leaving replit soon. I’m already planning to leave. After the limited storage update, I was absolutely devastated. And now this :skull: I will be leaving replit sooner thats all I’m going to say.

The whole reason most of us ( including me ) came here. We all need feedback, we can’t just test a 10000 line block of code to find errors alone. We need suggestions on how to make the game better. Without these comments our games would die very easily. We would quickly run out of ideas and nobody would give suggestions ( they would want to but it’s impossible after the update ).

Basically yeah. Only for viewing, can’t see any actual output when running the code.

well, goodbye to all my repls. They are basically useless now. I don’t do anything with them anyway I’ll just keep them for fun.

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According to the blog…

quotes

We learned from our top creators that a cover page’s primary value is sharing code and giving other developers something to fork.

The best way to view someone’s work is to visit the production deployment directly.

This shift marks a move away from running and viewing program outputs. Instead, we’re making these pages a hub for exploring and understanding code.

To run Repls, you can visit the deployed version of the application or fork the Repl and run it from your workspace.

Our goal is to make your development and sharing processes more efficient, straightforward, and focused on what matters: the code.

I really think that replit is reducing or removing some of its best selling points, the community and online, easily runnable programs.
Another code viewing platform is not really what I need.

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replit, why are you trying to become another github? when people want to share repls, they don’t want to share code, they want to share their creations.

WHY are you asking people who don’t use the community feature (“toP cREaToRs”) about whether or not you should keep the community feature? who even are these “tOp cReAtOrS”? from what I’ve seen, not a soul was told/asked about these changes!

next year we’ll have github, "repl"hub, and… oh, uh… "corn"hub

in my opinion, code does matter the most. if writing code isn’t enjoyable, then what’s the point of using replit?

but here’s where we disagree: code isn’t the only thing that matters. replit, you were so much more than just a place to code. it was your other features that made you shine, really stand out. you were a place for anyone, of any age, of any skill level, to learn about programming and show off what they learned.

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I kind of saw this happening … forcing people to deploy instead of running the code.
Of course, it is always possible to fork and run the code. But it is not the same.

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In 2024, we’re excited to introduce improvements to our social features on Replit, all centered around making it easier to share and explore code.

How are you introducing ‘improvements to our social features’ by completely removing them? And how is sharing code easier when the only way to find it is by finding it on the community tab or having someone see it in their following. And if you were a new user, how would you do either of those things? And how do top creators exist if there is no-one to see or let you know how much

The only reason I and most people who use replit actually create repls and use the site is the fact that we can praise each other and be inspired to make our own creations. Why are you removing this when there was nothing wrong or expensive about it anyway?

There is no reason that this change should be made and it WILL kill the community because nobody can even talk to each other. The whole reason we use replit instead of github is the fact that there is a community, and other than the IDE, there is nothing special about replit.

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hahahahahaha wait you need to fork Repls to run them now
and cycles are being removed from tipping in exchange of USD
and comments are being removed
this sounds familiar

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Are we gonna get our money back for cycles? Yeah they basically just reverted all of their good changes in place with bad ones. (Although I suppose they’re gonna make bounties better because you don’t have to earn any money to get it redeemed, which would be very useful to abuse combined with another bug lmao)

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