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Mindat toolbar

Posted by Harold Moritz (2)  
Harold Moritz (2) July 11, 2011 05:42PM
As of today I am getting a mindat toolbar popping up on the bottom of my screen. I realize that many folks may find this useful, but I have no use for it and actually find it very distracting and annoying, especially when it keeps reappearing after I close it. I can't find a way in Windows or Firefox to make it permanently go away. Can anyone enlighten me or is there a way in mindat I can opt out? I could find nothing on mindat that mentioned that this toolbar would appear or any forum on the topic.
Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 11, 2011 06:37PM
The mindat toolbar will become an important part of mindat - functions will be available on it that are not available elsewhere, so you cannot and should not hide it.

I know change is sometimes frustrating and things like this can take some time to get used to, but it is important to keep the toolbar or you will be missing out on future functions that are going to be important.

For example, the search boxes at the bottom of the page will eventually disappear to be replaced with the search option on the toolbar.

Very soon you will be able to customize the toolbar to change what is shown and remove items that are of no use to you personally.

David Von Bargen July 11, 2011 06:46PM
"Very soon you will be able to customize the toolbar to change what is shown and remove items that are of no use to you personally. "

Looking forward to that. It would be helpful to have the search entry boxes on the toolbar rather than generating a popup box. Links to particular pages would also be handy to have on the toolbar.
Harold Moritz (2) July 11, 2011 07:17PM
I do appreciate the changes, but can we have a toolbar we can open or close ourselves as needed? A constant pop-up is very distracting especially when I'm focused on adding photos and text.
Timothy Blackwood July 11, 2011 08:15PM
I heartily agree with the distracting nature of a pop-up that constantly comes up after closing it. The idea for a tool bar that can be opened and closed as needed is a good one. Perhaps a simple "Tool Bar" link could be added at the top of each page allowing the user to call it up, use a feature, then close it when finished. Just a thought. :)

Best wishes,
Tim Blackwood
Cohasset, MN, USA
David Bernstein July 11, 2011 08:30PM
Yes, it is extremely irritating to have the toolbar pop up in the middle of something you are reading. With every page view I am deleting the toolbar. I'm glad you and David like it but a big thumbs down from me, not that that goes a long way. Perhaps if we contribute more money, users
can have the option of permanently turn it off?
Fred & Linda Elsnau July 11, 2011 08:37PM
I, too, find it an imposition on my screen view. I use a laptop with a screen that is much wider than it is tall and the toolbar reduces my viewing area even more. Since you want it to be "up" all of the time, perhaps an option that lets me reduce it to a shorter length when I'm not using it, or the ability to move it to a vertical position on the side (where I often have blank space anyway) would be possible.

andy givens July 11, 2011 08:37PM
toolbar is downrite annoying yes. i agree..... i think duct tape will fix it though.... >:D<
Peter Andresen July 11, 2011 08:45PM
Pop ups, where? I got the new toolbar at the bottom, where it stay put, and doesen't bother me... could look betther tho...

But I've already tested it to use a picture from the mindat conference with a coment, and that worked well. :)
George Creighton July 11, 2011 09:00PM

Useing asus lappy win7

Only the top ( blue ) part of the toolbar is visible on all zoom levels at bottom of the screen!

Tried deleting but only to find when changing pages pops up again ( very annoying )

Regards george
David Bernstein July 11, 2011 09:01PM
The toolbar is showing up in the middle of pictures I'm viewing. And what's more, locality information is being reduced to print size that I can barely see with a magnifying glass.

I now see that the problems I'm having are limited to browsing wth my IPad. The toolbar stays at the bottom on our large computer. I still hate it. I'm spending more time deleting the thing then I am trying to upload pictures and/or information to the database.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2011 09:25PM by David Bernstein.
Lyla J. Tracy July 11, 2011 09:17PM
It is annoying and I don't see that it offers anything of interest to me. If we have made the choice to click it off, it should stay off.
Luís Martins July 11, 2011 09:20PM
Nice feature, the toolbar. Only one thing: is it possible to have the option to put the toolbar on the top of the page, instead of bottom??
andy givens July 11, 2011 09:22PM
hmmm yes, maybe that would make it more apealing to the eye, and not as distracting
good thoughts!
Johan Kjellman July 11, 2011 09:23PM
Jolyon Ralph Wrote:
> you cannot and
> should not hide it.

why then not embed it if it's that important?
the annoying thing is to be given an option to close it and then it just pops up again when you change page?

Peter Andresen July 11, 2011 09:37PM
Remember Jolyon is doing this as a side project beside checking in partisipants to the conference and partying - it will for sure be better when the conference and vodka ends! :)-D
David Bernstein July 11, 2011 09:49PM
Which is all the reason to have rolled it out once the conference ended.
Justin Zzyzx July 11, 2011 09:51PM
I, for one, welcome our new toolbar overlord.

J/K'ing, these things drive me batty and there is nothing on there that I couldn't find easily before, but kudos again, to giving Faceyspace, Twatter and whatever that "in" thing is. I don't know, I've never been "in" with the cool toolbars.

Why even have a close button? How long does anyone stay on one page?
Eh, might as well just get used to it.

I fear change.
Rock Currier July 11, 2011 09:53PM
I find it irritating as well. Its like the damn television where they take up more and more space at the bottom of the image to push various crap in your face that you really don't want to see. Pretty soon half the screen will be taken up with advertising crap. Certainly I think the links to Facebook and twitter are invasive. I got a request about a month ago from face book saying that Alfredo Petrov was requesting that I be a friend of his. I never agree to these requests, but in this case because Alfredo is such a good friend I said OK and was then shunted off to a screen where they were signing me up for Facebook which I reluctantly began to fill out until they started to ask for information that I really felt I didn't want out there on a public forum like Facebook and canceled the process. I then asked Alfredo about it and he said he had not made any such request and that Facebook had gone into his contacts list and sent out a friendship request to all the people on the list without asking him about it. He called it pernicious and I was forced to agree. Call me a grumpy old guy but that's the way I feel. No wonder the simplicity of Google is so refreshing to work with. A very minimum of stuff thrown in your face.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
George Creighton July 11, 2011 10:00PM
David Bernstein Wrote:
> Which is all the reason to have rolled it out once
> the conference ended.

Well said David (tu)

Case of bad timing (td)

Regards george
Peter Andresen July 11, 2011 10:02PM
Just wait until the Google+ have grown into a new social medium monster, Rock...

Perhaps you'll get questions to make friends after a search... Imagine the friends you can get searching for talliban, pyro and other funny stuff! X(

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2011 10:07PM by Peter Andresen.
Ibrahim Jameel July 11, 2011 10:11PM
I particularly dislike the fact that even though I close it, it opens up again when I navigate to a new page. I understand why it might be useful, but whats wrong with allowing users to close it?
Harold Moritz (2) July 11, 2011 10:22PM
I do believe that Jolyon is intending well and hope he is trying to upgrade the site to make it more useful and I do appreciate that. His professional background gives him access to the latest tools. But from a user perspective, most upgrades just make me relearn how to do the same thing I did before but just in a different way, and so just reduce productivity as I go through the ultimately unnecessary and sometimes frustrating learning curve (where's Yoda?). I like changes that fix problems or increase productivity/efficiency, but I dont see what's broken with the mindat site as it is that this toolbar is currently necessary, perhaps that could have been explained first in a forum on changes. But I know for certain that I have negative interest in linking to Facebook etc., these are internet spy agencies making money mining and selling your private data and intrusively reaching out for ever more, so I dont need those links. I'm praying that they will not to become an important part of mindat, dont know why they need to be on the screen all the time.
David Bernstein July 11, 2011 10:25PM
Justin, probably for the first time you made me laugh. I appreciate the Kent Brockman (Simpsons) reference. If your verbiage was just coincidental, cancel my sort of/kind of compliment.
Justin Zzyzx July 11, 2011 10:41PM
David, you just crossed an item off my bucket list.

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
Peter Szarka July 11, 2011 11:49PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2014 08:04PM by Peter Szarka.
Eric Graff July 12, 2011 12:30AM
The pop-up toolbar is distracting, annoying and not appreciated. Thumbs down.
Paul Brandes July 12, 2011 12:38AM
I actually don't mind the toolbar; I believe it could prove a very powerful and useful tool for Mindat. My only wish is that it was at the top of the page instead of the bottom, where I agree it is very distracting.
Reiner Mielke July 12, 2011 12:43AM
I really like the search Mindat button. I no longer have to scroll through a page to get to it.
John Stolz July 12, 2011 01:18AM
Interesting--running Windows 7/IE9. I have no such toolbar; however, here's a screenshot of when I scroll to the bottom of this page...

open | download - Clipboard01.jpg (82.5 KB)
Fred E. Davis July 12, 2011 01:21AM
I'm guessing that the text in the message window is supposed to be readable? Looks like an "oops" to me...

Of the six buttons currently showing on the toolbar, I only see two that could be useful. The javascript:void(0); at the far right is yet to be implemented?
open | download - MDTBtc.jpg (13.8 KB)
Debbie Woolf July 12, 2011 01:21AM
You don't have to scroll, use the home & end buttons on the keyboard.

Reiner Mielke July 12, 2011 01:36AM
Keyboard? Two buttons! How quaint.
Scott Sadlocha July 12, 2011 01:43AM
I am getting the same thing John is at home, using Chrome on WinXP. However, at work using the same combo, the bar showed up correctly at the bottom, and I really didn't mind it too much, though I agree with the others and would like to see it on top.
Maggie Wilson July 12, 2011 01:49AM
using Chrome on Windows XP same as Scott - But for a while earlier today, I had the same display as you are getting now, John.

It's not interfering with reading or viewing, so that's a good thing - I'm getting used to it where it displays on the bottom.

Chris Stefano July 12, 2011 02:56AM
I really hate to be negative about anything on Mindat, but I must agree the others here, I find these toolbar thingys really annoying wherever I see them. Perhaps they are the wave of the future, but I think they are just dumb- as was said before, why can't features that are important be encoded directly into the webpage? If a person is so lazy they can't be bothered to scroll to the bottom of a page, they are probably too lazy to make enough money to buy a computer and pay for internet access :)
Jeff Weissman July 12, 2011 03:05AM
Well. lets wait and see what Jolyon has up his sleeve before rejecting this feature. The view gallery option on photo pages is handy - could use some tweaking to change rate of display or allow for user input to advance to next image or return to previous image.
David Bernstein July 12, 2011 03:41AM
As I said before, this feature makes browsing on my IPad annoying. The toolbar shows up right in the middle of a page. Just marvelous seeing a toolbar running right through the center of text or a photo.

As it stands now, and regardless of what Jolyon pulls out of his hat, this feature will limit my use of the site. I have deleted the task bar close to sixty times this evening.. I'm not pleased. But time and progress marches on. Enjoy it.
Mickey Marks July 12, 2011 04:13AM
Comcast wants me to show their toolbar. Google wants me to show their toolbar. Norton AV wants me to show their toolbar. Yahoo wants me to show their toobar. Mindat is imposing their toolbar. Pretty soon, if we acceded to all of those requests, all we would have on our screens would be toolbars. Mindat's should be optional like all the rest. My screen doesn't show any of them (except Mindat's, and that not by choice).
John Stolz July 12, 2011 06:36AM
Update: Now it looks like a toolbar.
So end result is it reduces screen real estate by 1/4" or so, but let's see what happens...
Matt Neuzil July 12, 2011 06:36AM
I use firefox and it shows up at the bottom. I don;t have probs with it i love it. and since its customizeable I think i'll like it more. i gotta play around with it tomorrow onmy day off >:D<

A buena hambre no hay pan duro
Harald Schillhammer July 12, 2011 06:50AM
Oddly enough, it took me two days to recognize the tool bar anyway :), maybe because I have ample space on my monitor. Have not yet tested its functions, though.


Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 12, 2011 07:19AM
Well, this is being rolled out at the conference for the very good reason that it's being launched at the conference!

For those of you who are not attending the conference, I'll explain everything once I'm back!

George Eric Stanley Curtis July 12, 2011 07:38AM
Over engineered. That is my name for it.
Mindat was great as it was, if it aint broke, why fix it?

I like to have control over my own computer, and I would ask, politely, for this bar to be made user-optional.

Eric :(

United Kingdom, Cornwall
Branko Rieck July 12, 2011 11:32AM
To sum the thread up so far we can say: the new toolbar does not sit well with many users. To be honest: I don’t like it either.

The reasons for not liking it are more in the direction of its content and not in the fact that it is always there, but also in its “usability”.

The content I dislike are the so-called “social networks”. Maybe I am too old for this kind of crap, but I consider them to be data collection endpoints where unsuspecting people are seduced to enter personal data which in turn is exploited by some mega-companies for monetary gain.
I concede that in the times we are living in it is probably a matter of survival to be represented in those antisocial networks (at least in the long-term view if you want to attract young people). I just hope that this does not further the negative side-effects of these networks. Blatant disregard for copyright is just one of them. Just to give you an example read,106,223124,223160#msg-223160 and you will see what I mean (I have allowed Mindat to use this photo, but I have definitively not given permission to use it on Facebook). The problem here is that people who have fallen into the Facebook-Twitter-LinkedIn-Google-trap in most cases don’t even consider such minor issues like intellectual property. I have not stopped posting photos on Mindat, but I am sure there will be a lot of people who will, seeing that their work is pilfered.
In addition to these problems there is also the matter of additional bandwidth. We are forced to download additional (unwanted) content with every page we load. No problem if you have all the time in the world, and an unlimited data-plan, but what about those that do not want to wait for things they don’t want in the first place, and also have to pay for it? And the Facebook-plugin even continues to send request after request while you are reading unsuspectingly, adding “just” 2 kilobytes per request to your bill and that every 10 seconds or so.

But I retract: we will probably have to live with that crap.

There are hundreds of studies (some of the available freely on the internet) that pinpoint the “hotspots” where users are most comfortable to look at on web-pages. The bottom of the page is definitively not where important UI features are supposed to go.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not opposed to change! To the contrary, I welcome it if it is an improvement! Many people opposed the changes introduced with Microsoft Office 2007 and its Ribbon interface (for those who know it), but as of today I freely admit that I do not want to go back to the old UI, because the ribbon is so much more practical.
I see many of the design principles of the Office ribbon interface in the new Mindat toolbar, and that is good so! But why not go the whole way and combine the toolbar and the menu bar at the top of the page?
I have taken the liberty to create a “quick and dirty” mockup of such a new, ribbon-like menu bar (see attachment). A whole bunch of “quick access” features could be implemented that really would make working with Mindat so much easier. Just think of the example that hovering over the “Message Board” field would open a drop-down that allows you to select a category or group within the forum, and you can go immediately to where you want with one click of the mouse. The invention of Microsoft called XMLHttpRequest even would allow those fora to me marked, where new entries are available.

…just my two cents.

open | download - mockup.jpg (37.4 KB)
Pierre Rondelez July 12, 2011 12:01PM
Well said Branko,
I agree 100%

Paul De Bondt July 12, 2011 01:35PM
Hi all,

It seems that I am not the only one who finds this new toolbar nearly useless. The boring thing is that it pop's-up.
Let's go thru it:

The little house is the, already present, Mindat icon on the upper left hand side to refresh the page.
The handlens is the search tool who is already present at the botom of the homepage.
The Updated mineral entry can be interesting when you are a systhematic collector or professional mineralogist, otherwise ....
The Minfind logo is already present among the dealer banners.
The F is the shortcut to Facebook. I am ( and I hope not the only one ) NOT a fan of the Zuckerberg experience and will NEVER join.
Like Branko said, I have nothing to hide but dont want my whole pedigree pread out of the internet. I will consider joining when I will become a movie star or succesfull pop star. I don't know how I would react seeing one of my images on Facebook. I only upload to Mindat. Many other sites asked me for, but I refused.
The T is the link to twitter. Again a site to join.
The In is the same. Like these, there are 13 in a dozen.
The + is like I said above, 13 in a dozen.
The +1 is the same, sign in in +1
The last is again a Facebook shortcut who says : I like it. What to do if you don't ? It's easier to ask a question where the answer can only be positive so you can ignore the others.
I am probably old fashion but these things are useless to me.

Jolyon, I like enormously what you do and Mindat is my daily tool. I uploaded more than 750 pics. That means that I like to work, with you and all the other contributors, on the improvement and expansion of Mindat and I will go on uploading data.
Awhile ago, you asked us to tell you what we would see as an improvement for Mindat.
Maybe I didn' read all the answers but I can't recall that the contributors asked for a pop-up banner like this. If they did, sorry for this phrase. What with the other idea's ? It looks like we received what we didn't ask for and that ( for the moment ) nothing much is happening with the rest.

Considering this, I would like, just like Eric, to ask you politely to make this banner more user friendly and not as a pop-up on every refresh of the page or as a little icon we can access easily, when we want.
I hope you dont mind my remarks.
Thank you.

Take care and best regards.

Steve Federico July 12, 2011 02:10PM
there's something fishy in Denmark.
Maggie Wilson July 12, 2011 02:17PM
Devil's advocate here: this is Jolyon's business - his bread and butter - social media is the current trend - for better or worse, it is going to be part of our daily online experience whether we "like" it or not. (Pun not intended). (Or maybe it was! :) )

It's all about clicks and site visits.

I can appreciate the hardship those of you are experiencing as far as computer browsers not supporting the toolbar. My own gripe about this roll-out and others is that it was not announced - the membership was not alerted - I think we, the daily users and contributors deserve some notice. If I read between the lines, it sounds like even the managers were not aware.

Also, while I appreciate the Jolyon's preference to save this announcement for the conference, I'm not so sure that I appreciate launching a new element and then not being available to attend to the glitches that crop up.

Volker Betz July 12, 2011 04:49PM

I am not enthusiastic about another toolbar popping up with facebook and twitter etc.

Fred E. Davis July 12, 2011 05:28PM
So is this text window going to get a scroll bar or something?

open | download - MDTBhuh.jpg (30.3 KB)
Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 12, 2011 06:11PM
Fred - the layout bug is fixed now (at least in Firefox, I haven't tested it in Internet Explorer yet).

You will be able to remove all the facebook/twitter/etc options from the toolbar when I have the configuration added. So please be a little patient for that - I think that will be ready within 2 weeks.

And in reply to Paul

> The little house is the, already present, Mindat icon on the upper left hand side to refresh the page.

So many people have complained that they don't know how to get back to the home page when they are logged in - they don't realise the mindat logo can link them back. So this is for them, not you.

> The handlens is the search tool who is already present at the botom of the homepage.

It will be removed from the bottom of all pages. The search button will then become more powerful, with more options.

I will also add an option to stick the toolbar to the physical bottom of the web page rather than the bottom of your web view - although this means you have to scroll the page to get to search options, etc, I think some of you would prefer this - and it may be necessary for devices such as the iPad.


And you also haven't noticed that the toolbar changes on certain pages.

> What with the other idea's? It looks like we received what we didn't ask for and that ( for the moment ) nothing much is happening with the rest.

Lots of new things are happening and becoming available. But I have to tell people at the conference about this first.

On Thursday evening I will discuss everything here.

Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 12, 2011 06:17PM
The toolbar was tested on the following systems:

Internet Explorer 8, Windows XP *
Internet Explorer 9, Windows 7
Mozilla Firefox 4, Windows 7
Mozilla Firefox 4, Mac OS X 10.6
Mozilla Firefox 4, Ubuntu Linux
Google Chrome 12, Windows 7

It was not tested on older browsers than this (eg IE7) because there is no good reason to continue to use these browsers - you should upgrade.

Some features are not available on Internet Explorer 8, so if you use Windows XP you really should switch to either Firefox 4 or Chrome, IE8 will cease to be supported by soon

Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 12, 2011 06:23PM
> Also, while I appreciate the Jolyon's preference to save this announcement for the conference,
> I'm not so sure that I appreciate launching a new element and then not being available to
> attend to the glitches that crop up.

I just fixed the glitch :)
Maggie Wilson July 12, 2011 06:46PM
Jolyon Ralph Wrote:
> > Also, while I appreciate the Jolyon's preference
> to save this announcement for the conference,
> > I'm not so sure that I appreciate launching a
> new element and then not being available to
> > attend to the glitches that crop up.
> I just fixed the glitch :)

so I see! Thanks, you multi-tasker, you! Have a on me! :)-D
Paul Brandes July 12, 2011 07:37PM
Although I did find this rather interesting and amusing earlier:

What, Java beats toolbar?? B)
open | download - Mindat.jpg (149.9 KB)
Timothy Blackwood July 12, 2011 09:18PM
Will the new Mindat features work under the latest version of Firefox? I see that there is a new version 5.0.1 available for download at Link to latest version of Firefox. Is it okay to have two different browsers on the same machine and use either, depending on one's browsing preferences?

Best wishes,
Tim Blackwood
Cohasset, MN, USA
David Von Bargen July 12, 2011 10:05PM
"Is it okay to have two different browsers on the same machine and use either, depending on one's browsing preferences? "

I have 5 different browsers on my computer. It gets a bit tricky if you want to run different versions of the same browser.
Timothy Blackwood July 12, 2011 11:39PM
Hi David,

Thanks for the info. I've heard that it's a bad idea to run multiple anti-virus programs on the same computer, but didn't know if the same rule applied to other types of software (i.e. web browsers). Learn something new everyday. Now I just have to download it and set it up. Shouldn't be too difficult, should it? I'm not really all that computer saavy.

Best wishes,
Cohasset, MN, USA
Harjo Neutkens July 12, 2011 11:39PM
Tim, I use Firefox 5 and the toolbar works fine.
Timothy Blackwood July 12, 2011 11:43PM
Hello Harjo,

Thank you for the additional information. :) From what I've read, Firefox sounds like a good program. I just hope it's easy to download, install, and configure.

Best wishes,
Tim Blackwood
Cohasset, MN, USA
Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 13, 2011 12:53AM
Firefox 5 is more of a marketing upgrade than a serious change to firefox so I am sure everything wolil work fine in it
Scott L. Ritchie July 13, 2011 01:41AM
Hi Jolyon,

Firefox 5 user here, and the mindat toolbar works just fine and looks pretty slick... it doesnt bother me one bit or byte!

Timothy Blackwood July 13, 2011 02:10AM
Thanks Jolyon. :) I was just curious, as I tend to be suspicious of software upgrades. But Firefox does look really good. Just have to download it and figure out how to configure it.

Best wishes,
Tim Blackwood
Cohasset, MN, USA
Timothy Blackwood July 13, 2011 02:11AM
Thanks Jolyon. :) I was just curious, as I tend to be suspicious of software upgrades. But Firefox does look really good. Just have to download it and figure out how to configure it.

Best wishes,
Tim Blackwood
Cohasset, MN, USA
Joachim Esche July 13, 2011 09:30AM

I fully agree with Branko and Paul.
The left part of the toolbar is redundant and the right part is waste.

Chris Mavris July 14, 2011 12:55AM
As creator and admin of two Mindat groups, on Facebook (where we have collected nearly 700 people...) and LinkedIn, I will obviously defend the social network buttons.
They lead directly to the sites and they are really helpful.

Frankly speaking, I find pretty much trendy to criticize the social networks just because...well, you tell me.
I use Facebook to stay in touch with my friends worldwide, share informations, experiences, quick free texting...and I do not feel an idiot in doing that.
After all, almost 700 million people should be idiots. Additionally, you should consider the fact that the two companies are in the stock market as well, which means that they have a certain degree of popularity.

Thanks to those social network I was able to attract A LOT of people to:
-2 Sainte Marie aux Mines edition (Mindat party hosted by Spirifer)
-1 Munich Mineralien Tage (Mindat party)

Also, I was able to get to know a lot of great mineral collectors, which I afterwards met in person (at main mineral shows, field, the actual Mindat conference, or simply a beer). Some of them are real friends, some others just 'contacts'.

A new way the world works? An open mentality? Simply a kiddish thought, even if I am 28? Maybe...
Personally, I do not care. Prejudice against something that is only superficially tested (if it was ever tested, by the way) is simply pointless.

The results achieved with the Facebook and LinkedIn groups are outstanding, basically, because we are able to connect also young people to this passion which many times does not feature a sufficient renewal. And for me this is a serious target I had in mind when I created the groups. As far as I could experience in this conference, it is possible to achieve such a target!

There is a bunch of things I would like to skip in my life. The advertisement at the bottom of this page, per instance. Or some crazy drivers on the highway. But I know it is not possible, therefore I do not complain (up to a certain extent) and I accept it.

People are reluctant to changes BY THE BOOK: usually, the first answer is "NO"; then it might change...
I cannot talk about the other features of the bar until I experience them myself after J's seminar. But I will defend the buttons leading to the social networks.

Like it or not, the world works in a certain way... and if you stay behind there is no second place or silver we better catch up and make up our minds.

Greets from a fantastic conference, maybe the best I have ever attended!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2011 07:15AM by Chris Mavris.
Branko Rieck July 14, 2011 09:12AM
Hi Chris,

I believe that you are right and wrong at the same time.

You are right insofar as the times we are living in have changed and the so-called “Social Networks” have become an important part of some (mainly younger) people. If Mindat wants to stay relevant the site probably has to embrace this new trend, especially if it wants to attract new and young members.
Some comments in this thread have indicated that they do not want to have these so-called “Social Networks” at all, something that I did not claim and if you look at the mockup of a new ribbon-like menu bar,6,file=32040,filename=mockup.jpg you will see that I have included these. However I understand these sentiments, and I’ll give you some reasons for such dislike further down. But let’s face it: the so-called “Social networks” are here to stay.

Chris, you have chosen to join Facebook and LinkedIn, and I commend you for the work you are doing there. I think we all should join in in saying “Thank you!” for working for Mindat with such a passion and with such great success as you’ve indicated. But it was a matter of your personal choice to join these so-called “Social networks”. While you decided to take the plunge there are many (me included) who do not want to have anything to do with these trendy new web applications.

It is my main concern with the new toolbar that the personal choice has been taken from us. It is not the screen real estate that is occupied by the buttons which is a waste for me, but may well be used by others. But have you looked at the network activity generated by this new “features”? I have included a copy of a network capture generated by this very page (,6,229866,230169,page=2). As you can see there is network activity going on infinitely after the initial page load. Actually there is even more going on than captured by this recording, but some scripts are blocked by the tracking protection of IE9 (Google plusone, Google pageads) and because of that the resulting network traffic never occurs.
I have noted that the interval in which this additional network traffic occurs has been lengthened since yesterday (Thank you Jolyon!), but it is still there. I have already mentioned the monetary cost that this may cause, especially if you are on a mobile network, in my earlier post. This is simply a bad idea.

But let us also have a look at what this network traffic does in respect to privacy. I go to almost exclusively from two different computers: one at home and one at work. So basically I connect with two different IP addresses: (work) and (home). I have also included a WHOIS lookup for these two addresses. The information that can be gained from this is:
My real name, the town, district and street I am living in, the company I work for including the full address. I have not once in my life visited Facebook, but with the new setup on Mindat I am forced to “volunteer” this information to Facebook. Fortunately my employer does not allow access to Facebook and blocks all connections on the proxy server (that is why I get a 403 response code in the attached network capture), so I am not in danger here, and I am blocking Facebook and the other so-called “Social Networks” on the router level at home.

But what about all the other people that don’t have this privacy protection either because they don’t know about the issue and/or do not have the knowledge to implement protecting measures? So I urgently request that there is a means to turn off this reoccurring network traffic for the monetary reasons and the privacy reasons stated. I want to have my privacy options back and not have the choices taken out of my hands.

Chris, where you are definitely wrong is your assessment “almost 700 million people should be idiots”. I believe that the vast majority of the Facebook users simply are not aware of the privacy issues involved. That is why they have joined Facebook. Were they aware, I believe that a large percentage would have never joined.

open | download - Network capture.png (124.6 KB)
open | download - WHOIS lookup.pdf (6.1 KB)
Rock Currier July 14, 2011 09:42AM
Certainly there is some truth in what you say. I know of at least one mineral dealer who used to troll for customers here on Mindat and when the going got too hot for him here found a new happy hunting ground on Facebook to be more congenial to him than Mindat. So certainly Face book and also Twitter I imagine, seem to provide content that many find congenial. I find it difficult to understand the attraction, but I am an old stick in the mud and also can not understand a lot of the new wildly successful TV programs like "The Real Housewives of xxxxx" and Ghost hunters. My loss I guess. Good luck in your efforts.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2011 09:43AM by Rock Currier.
Malcolm Southwood July 14, 2011 11:41AM

Thanks for explaining what's happening here. I'm something of an IT peasant I'm afraid, but I followed most of what you said (I think!).

I'm with you on this one. A few months ago I had a Facebook generated email inviting me to be a friend of someone or other, and suggesting a list of other people who I might also like to contact via Facebook. That list included a range of people from among my old school friends, university pals, mineral folk, and business contacts. The only way this list could possibly have been compiled was by some sort of monitoring of my email traffic - and that's disturbing.

So I'm with you! I want nothing to do with these social networks as I am in no doubt that they do threaten my privacy. My kids use them, and as a result I have banned the kids from the computer that I use for my own affairs.

Jolyon - I hate to be unsupportive - but I too feel very uncomfortable with linking this great site to these social networks. Looking around the various mineral societies that I've been associated with, a high proportion of members are of a vintage that makes me think many will share this concern, though I've no idea whether Mindat's member population is of a similar demographic.

Bottom line - I would strongly prefer that Mindat stays clear of these networking sites.

Uwe Kolitsch July 14, 2011 11:44AM
My personal opinion is similar to that of Branko.

"... but with the new setup on Mindat I am forced to “volunteer” this information to Facebook."

How exactly? Only if one clicks on the Facebook button?
David Bernstein July 14, 2011 12:35PM
I honestly don't have the energy to write one of my brilliant narratives. I'm an active Facebook user and my objections to this feature have nothing to do with this.

I'll exercise lessons learned from Brevity 101. Everyday I wake up and hope that this feature will be gone from the middle of my page views. If it stayed out of site and out of mind, you wouldn't be reading anything from me.
Dan Fountain July 14, 2011 01:12PM
David Bernstein Wrote:
> ...out of site and out of mind...

Good one!
Sigurd Stordal July 14, 2011 02:36PM
Want to remove it (just because you don't like it, and don't want the full mindat experience), then why not just add it to your popup blocker.
I myself like it and was glad to see it appear, but adding this: to your popup blocker should probably work. Don't know but you might just try it out if you feel for it. :)-D
Jean-Yves Lamoureux July 14, 2011 03:37PM
Hi all,

Is this only an illusion or a wrong perception, but... it seems the addition of the toolbar has slowed the download of pages and photos from Mindat. Am I alone to imagine this, or ?

Concerning the controversial Social Networks issue, I do have a Facebook account, through which I share family pictures and thoughts with family and a few friends, real friends. People that I have known for years, and that I trust.

And, I have not yet felt the need to open a minerals-oriented Facebook account for my collector friends. These I talk to over the phone or in person, or send an email with my field trip or specimen pictures, if truly worth sharing.

The privacy aspect, as quoted in a previous post, should effectively not be neglected. Posting on your FB account (or having a "friend" share this info with the community), that your wife and you are going to attend a three-day conference in Europe, after having posted pictures of your recently-found, highly valuable minerals, ain't a good idea ! Some of your FB "friends" might not be so friendly after all, and plan a visit to your premises while on your trip... Let's put it this way : would you post a sign in front of your house saying "Absent from Aug. 11th till Aug. 20th" ?

Computer-knowledgeable people will program their FB settings so that their information be shared with friends only, not with "friends of friends" or the public. And, accepting someone as a friend has to be the fruit of a certain reflection. A regular and interesting contributor of Mindat might look like a good candidate, but you don't know the person. Point. In real life (non-virtual), do you really feel an urge to be the friend of all the members of your local mineralogy club ? Some may seem very interesting, but a first eye contact will ring a "no-no" bell ! Some caution is always advisable.
Lyla J. Tracy July 14, 2011 05:05PM
Jolyon, I know this site is your baby, but we all contribute to its body of work and ultimately a percentage of its success.

My feelings are that we should have a personal choice in the tool bar matter, not whether we like or use the Social Networks. I know they are here to stay, and that they are wildly successful throughout the world...just not my cup-of-tea.

This reminds me of when I was a kid staring at a spoonful of cod liver oil....and Mom saying "take it, it is good for you."


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2011 05:12PM by Lyla J. Tracy.
Herman Du Plessis July 14, 2011 05:13PM
i find this toolbar frustrating if i want to view mindat on my phone and there i dont have the option to close it as i dont have a mouse pointer. and it obstructs the pictures i want to view.
im using a blackberry curve

my 2 cents
Jeff Weissman July 14, 2011 05:28PM
Same obstruction problem, toolbar on top of images, on my HTC Android phone, works OK on IE8 and IE9
Branko Rieck July 14, 2011 06:00PM
@ Uwe

“How exactly? Only if one clicks on the Facebook button?”

No, and this is the problem I am having with this new setup.

As you can see in the network capture I posted,6,file=32067,filename=Network_capture.png the page (any page on Mindat that has the new toolbar) loads the Facebook plugin and this alone gives Facebook the information of my IP address. A WhoIs lookup of this IP address reveals the information I posted here:,6,file=32068,filename=WHOIS_lookup.pdf which contains my real name, the town, district and street I am living in, the company I work for including its full street address. I have nothing more to do than to load a Mindat page to reveal all this information to Facebook.

Facebook can potentially do quite a lot of things with this information:
- As Mindat is not the only culprit of adding this Facebook plugin to its page they can potentially track you over literally millions of sites, getting to know your interests. (They don’t need the WhoIs lookup for that!)
- They can potentially track your movement from IP-address to IP-address thus creating a profile.
- They can potentially link the information gained from your IP address with other information already available on Facebook.
- They can potentially sell all the wealth of information to some third party or make this information available through APIs (like they have already done in the past!).

I am not saying that Facebook does all these things, but they potentially CAN do it. Do I trust Facebook? No! Do I want to have all this information in the hands of Facebook? No!

Thank god I am knowledgeable enough to prevent all the goodness that comes from these sites, but what can those do that are not? Maybe hoping that there will be a possibility to turn it off in the future.

@ Sigurd

Adding the subdirectory to your popup blocker will only get you an uglier toolbar, but will not change its behavior.

@ Jean-Yves

The new toolbar loads additional code into your browser. This takes time. Also the new toolbars adds a lot of new requests to the server, so the server is busier than it was before. I am not sure if that makes for slower loading of the pages in a perceptible way, but definitely does so as can be measured with advanced tooling (e.g.: Firebug, Developer Toolbar).

In regards to the Facebook account settings you are right to make sure to only share what you want to share and with whom you share. But the problem is that with the new setup you already share information with Facebook, even if you never had an account and never visited the site.

Branko Rieck July 14, 2011 06:51PM
In an earlier post I wrote:

“Just to give you an example read,106,223124,223160#msg-223160 and you will see what I mean (I have allowed Mindat to use this photo, but I have definitively not given permission to use it on Facebook).”

I have just received a PM from Darren, telling me that he never copied the picture to upload it on Facebook, but that he rather put a link to the respective Mindat page.

I misunderstood the wording of Darren’s post and believed he had copied the photo. I apologize for implying any wrongdoing and would like to ask all readers to disregard what I wrote (it is too late now to edit this sentence out of my initial posting).

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