Reddit Enhancement Suite extension development is in maintenance mode
The Reddit Enhancement Suite add-on for Firefox and Chrome has entered maintenance mode. The popular plugin that made the platform usable, for old.reddit.com users, could end if things don’t change.
Why is Reddit Enhancement Suite in maintenance mode
The developers of the open-source extension made an announcement on the add-on’s subreddit, where they say several members of the core development 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 hasn’t received many donations, which can be somewhat demotivating for a team working on developing the plugin. Currently only 2 developers are working on RES.
It’s always sad to see good software die, but it’s not dead yet, RES will be in survival mode for the foreseeable future. This means that the extension will not add support for website changes or to support redesign. The good news is that the developers of the add-on have stated that they may provide patches to fix bugs or release new options if the source code has been merged with pull requests from other users. This is mostly up to the developer community, with limited support from core developers.
Since it is an open source project, it is also possible that other developers will forge the add-on and take it from there. If you read Reddit Enhancement Suite developer reviews, they blame the platform for being closed source and not developer friendly. The push to the new Reddit is also cause for concern.
New Reddit – The revamp no one asked for
Reddit is one of my favorite sites, a friend introduced me to it when I was looking for information about ten years ago. I found myself visiting it frequently to learn more, stay up to date with tech and gaming news, and provide help when I could.
A few years ago when I logged onto Reddit, something was wrong. Enter the new Reddit design. It’s a hideous monstrosity with wasted space on either side of the screen, has links to promote other threads right in the middle of the current thread, and even the subreddit sidebar is kind of in the middle of it. ‘screen. I could go on and on about how bad the design is. The interface is like Facebook’s newsfeed, total rubbish, making browsing and finding things a real pain.
I was puzzled by the design and immediately looked for a way to fix it, which wasn’t hard to find. Other users who were annoyed with the design changes recommended using https://old.reddit.com/ instead 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. Wow, that was a relief.
It was around this time that I came across comments on a subgame, where a user had created a board and recommended an add-on called Reddit Enhancement Suite, to sort the board. It was incredibly useful, but the plugin did more.
Some subreddits disable various things like upvote and downvote buttons, subscriber counts, and in rare cases even the search bar is hidden from 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 was still perfectly usable. This is, in my opinion, the best feature of the extension.
To date, I haven’t seen a website with a worse design than the new Reddit, although the new Twitter is following me closely, but this is easily fixed with the GoodTwitter2 script.
I’m not sure I would continue to use Reddit if they dropped the old design altogether. 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 (requires an IAP to create messages) and Slide are the only iOS apps I’ve found to match their Android counterparts. Windows 10/11 users might want to check out ReddPlanet, but according to some recent developer feedback, the PC app is no longer updated. On the bright side, ReddPlanet for iOS was released recently, and a version for Android is currently in closed beta.
The biggest problem is Reddit itself, when the admins decide to unplug the old site and leave, you will suffer our new design and its atrocities, who will we turn to then?