Stack Update!

You can finally create multiple stacks and name them appropriately. For example, you might want to have your own “dev box” stack and a “home web server” stack.

Also, we’ve added a widget to let you share with everyone what open source software you use. As an example, here’s Ohloh’s stack:

We’ve updated the stack engine and UI to make it easier to manage them. We’d love to see the stack widgets in the wild, so let us know if there’s anything we could add to make them better.

  • Excellent to see ohloh rolling out new features.

    Also explains some of the features of the XML in the API.

  • jnareb (Jakub Narębski)

    Very nice feature. Is it meant for example to have “Programming stack”, “Entertainment stack”, “Browsing stack”, “Document editing stack” or just “Home” / “Work” stacks?

    There is one bug in editing stack name when using Mozilla 1.17.2, namely that backspace does not erase characters, so when entering new name the new stack name overlays old “New Stack 1” name.

  • Hi Jakub,

    Feel free to create any stack that describes how you use open source software.

    So, yes, Programming, Entertainment, Browsing and Document editing stacks are 100% appropriate and good examples of stacks to create.

  • Nice addition,

    a few suggestions:
    1. the “I don’t use it” link sounds a bit strange? Does this mean “remove from stack”?
    2. software in my default stack does not actually appear to be stacked when I browse the project’s page: the stack marker is no more highlighted as it used to be before and if I click on the “I use this” link a pop up shows up asking me where I want to stack this. It would make much more sense IMO to mark that an item is already stacked and allow users to edit stacks on a single application basis (e.g show the same dialog when clicking an “edit” link in the stack screen)
    3. it would be nice to have some way of managing software in stacks rather than having to re-add everything to a different stack. A form with a select-all link and options like “Move selected to another stack”, “Copy selected to another stack” or “Remove selected” could do the job.
    4. all those missing icons with a question mark in my default stack preview are really ugly – why not just hide them?

    Interesting and useful addition anyway – good job!

  • Hey Dartar,

    Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

    i. & iii. Yes, “I don’t use it” means “remove from stack.” Point taken about the confusion. I struggled with this wording; the goal with the current language was consistency with the rest of the UI (“I Use This”). One option would be to make the stack UI great for people who manage their stacks quite a bit and incorporate all the suggestions you made in iii. That is, show a checkbox next to each project, and controls to delete, move or copy selected items. But that seems more complex than needed if the current UI can achieve these things quickly. Do stacking actions take a long time for you? Could we solve these issues with a clone stack feature? In the meantime, would “REMOVE FROM STACK” be clearer?

    ii. We decided to remove the stack highlighting because we weren’t sure if anyone noticed/valued it (we were wrong on at least your account – anyone else value this part of the feature?) and because it was no longer 100% clear what it would mean; could be either at least one stack or mean all your stacks. That said, Jason suggested a UI that maybe you’d prefer: a button with functionality similar to the StackIt! button would exist and when clicked provide a drop-down list of stacks. You’d just be able to pick one, and to do further editing, you’d have to find this dialog some other way, perhaps with an edit link as you suggest. It’s not obvious what to do if you’ve already stacked the project – show a Remove button or keep the Stack button around and let you add it to additional stacks. Does that design make more sense to you? Do you have a different suggestion for what we’d put on the project’s page? We’ll consider restoring the highlighting.

    iv. The question marks do look ugly on your stack. One fairly easy improvement I’ll check in soon is to sort the projects that don’t have a logo to the end of your stack. Hiding them might confuse people who’ve just added their first few projects and don’t see anything or just a portion of their projects in this view. That concern is fixable with a count of projects. I went ahead and tried that out but the result seemed to me to be as ugly as the question marks.

  • brandon_franklin (Brandon Franklin)

    I miss the highlighting. I noticed its absence immediately. One of my friends/coworkers noticed it when I was showing him the new “multi-stack” feature and immediately said “Aw, it doesn’t light up any more!” He and I lamented its absence together.

    Please bring back highlighting! It should highlight if you have the project in any one of your stacks.


  • The missing highlighting confused me at first. I simply thought I had forgotten to add a particular project to my stack. Then I clicked and I saw that it was already there.

    The wording of it (“I use this”) implies you don’t use it yet, which is incorrect if you already have it in one of your stacks.

    That said, the multi stack feature is great. I was wondering about if it was possible when I joined and the very next day it was added as a new feature! Cool stuff.

  • jason (Jason Allen)

    @Peter and @Brandon We were sad to see the highlighting go too. However, we thought it’d be confusing to have highlighting change meaning – from “Yes, I use this” to “I use this in ‘some’ of my stacks”. I assume from your feedback that you’d be fine with the latter interpretation?

  • brandon_franklin (Brandon Franklin)

    Your assumption is correct, at least in my own case. It really does decrease the usability of the “stack” functionality if I can’t at a glance see what I’ve already stacked.

    Imagine if you went to Digg and couldn’t see what you’d already dugg. You know what I mean?

  • balexand (Brian Alexander)

    Multiple stacks is a cool feature, but I miss the highlighting as well.

  • brandon_franklin (Brandon Franklin)

    So Jason, do you guys plan to reinstate this feature in some way?

  • @Brandon,

    We’d like to but first have to figure out what that means to for the action link: Do we keep the current “I USE THIS” link and if not, what does it become? Any guidance?

    We’ll probably address this sometime in the next few weeks.


  • brandon_franklin (Brandon Franklin)


    Hm. Well, I think “USE THIS?” might be better link text, for the purpose of helping people understand what the button is. Perhaps when the button is highlighted the link could say “YOU USE THIS” but otherwise everything could work just like it does now. In other words, you could still bring up the multiple stacks window and let them configure which stacks to put the project in, but if they remove it from all their stacks, the button should go back to un-highlighted and the link should return to “USE THIS?”

    Hopefully that makes sense. I’m basing it loosely on the Digg model, where the link starts as “Digg It” then becomes “Dugg!” when clicked.

  • Allowing larger icons for widgets would be swell.
    I can pump up the display size to 36 or 48 pixels myself in the javascript, but the small images look horrible stretched so far.

  • olc (olc)

    I would like to split my stack:
    – e.g.: “Web” becomes “Web developments”, “Web runtine” and “Web applications”

  • daonb (daonb)

    This is cool. too bad the embed code doesn’t work on my site.

    I’m using and it sets the clear class to { visibility:hidden; height:0; }. Too bad the generated html div stack_39810 is using this class. Can you fix or suggest a workaround?

  • Hi daonb,

    My apologies, the clear class shouldn’t be on this widget since it’s likely to be defined by 960 or some other CSS.

    So I wouldn’t break existing websites that rely on this, I added an argument to the widget that removes the class. Add &noclear=true to your widget and this will be removed.

    The sample script on the embed page does have this argument, so you should be able to copy/paste the widget onto your site.

    Please let me know if there are issues with it.

    Thanks for the bug report!

    [edit: fixed typo]

  • daonb (daonb)

    Thanks, it works (with &noclear=true, you have a type in the reply) and my home looks great.
    It would be fun if I can get a user widget with the union of all the projects used in all my stacks.

  • frankvs66bb (frankvs66bb)


  • benlaan (benlaan)

    Very cool! Any chance there is an ohloh google gadget to embed in blogs, etc?

    If not, I may have to write one myself..

  • robin (Robin Luckey)

    Hi benlaan,

    No, sadly, this widget is not available as a Google gadget. Most of our other widgets can be hosted this way, but this widget was implemented a little differently. I’ll open a ticket to request this fix.


  • Oh! great thank for widget