Development of the Reddit Enhancement Suite extension is on maintenance mode
The Reddit Enhancement Suite add-on for Firefox and Chrome has entered maintenance mode. The popular plugin which made the platform usable, for old.reddit.com users, could come to an end if things don't change.
Why is Reddit Enhancement Suite in maintenance mode
The developers of the open source extension have made an announcement at the add-on's subreddit, where they say that several members of the core developer team are busy or have moved on to other projects. The add-on, abbreviated as RES, has been around for a decade, and is available on all major add-on repositories including Firefox AMO, the Chrome Webstore, Opera Addons, and the Microsoft Store. Despite its popularity, the project did not receive much in terms of donations, which can be somewhat demotivating for a team that is working on the development of the plugin. Currently there are just 2 developers working on RES.
It's always sad to see good software die, but it is not dead yet, RES will be in life support mode for the foreseeable future. This means the extension will not add support for changes made to the website, or to support the redesign. The good news is that the add-on's developers have said they may provide patches to fix bugs, or release new options if the source code has been merged with pull requests from other users. Essentially, it depends on the developer community, with limited support from the core developers.
Since it is an open source project, there is also the possibility of other developers forking the add-on and taking it from there. If you read the comments from the Reddit Enhancement Suite developers, they blame the platform for being closed source and not developer-friendly. The push towards the new Reddit is also a cause for concern.
New Reddit - The redesign nobody asked for
Reddit is one of my favorite sites, a friend introduced me to it when I sought some information about a decade ago. I found myself visiting it frequently to learn more things, stay up-to-date on tech and gaming news, and providing help when I could.
A few years ago, when I logged on to Reddit, something didn't look right. Enter the new Reddit design. It is a hideous monstrosity with wasted space either side of the screen, has links to promote other discussions right in the middle of the current thread, and even the subreddit sidebar is sort of in the middle of the screen. I could go on and on about how bad the design is. The interface is like Facebook's news feed, utter garbage, making navigation and searching for stuff, a real pain.
I was perplexed by the design, and immediately looked for a way to fix it, which wasn't hard to find. Other users who were annoyed by the design changes recommended using https://old.reddit.com/ in place of https://www.reddit.com/. Some users pointed out a setting that users can enable from their profile, to make old Reddit the default design. Whew, that was a relief.
It was around during that time, I came across some comments on a gaming sub, where a user had created a table, and recommended an add-on called Reddit Enhancement Suite, to sort the table. That was incredibly useful, but the plugin did more.
Some subreddits disable various elements like the upvote and downvote buttons, the subscriber count, and in rare cases, even the search bar is hidden by the admins/mods. I don't understand the logic behind such decisions. Reddit Enhancement Suite allowed me to disable a subreddit's custom design, giving me the original one, which has always been perfectly usable. This is, in my opinion, the extension's best feature.
To this day, I have not seen a website with a design that's worse than new Reddit, though the new Twitter comes a close second for me, but that's easily fixable with the GoodTwitter2 script.
I'm not sure I would continue using Reddit if they ditch the old design completely. The only alternatives would be to use third party clients that provide a different experience, similar to the old design.
Redreader, Infinity for Reddit, and Slide are great open-source Reddit client apps that you can use on your Android phone. Apollo (needs an IAP to create posts) and Slide are the only iOS apps that I have found to be of the same quality as their Android counterparts. Windows 10/11 users may want to look ReddPlanet, but according to some recent comments from the developer, the PC app is no longer being updated. On the bright side, ReddPlanet for iOS was released recently, and a version for Android is currently in closed beta.
The bigger problem is Reddit itself, when the admins decide to pull the plug on the old site and go, thou shalt suffer our new design and its atrocities, where then will we turn to?Advertisement