Removing following

We’ve removed the “Following” feature. User profiles no longer show a “Follow” / “Unfollow” button, and you can no longer see a feed of recently edited notebooks from people you follow.

Until February 19, you can export lists of whom you followed, and who followed you, from Settings as either JSON or OPML. (Team workspaces couldn’t follow others, but they could be followed, so their settings pages let you export just followers.)

The OPML file can be imported into an RSS reader so you can continue following recently edited notebooks by those users. (We recently added a sort parameter to RSS feeds: sort=edited or sort=published.)

This is the last feature removal currently planned in our recent series of removals (including profile hovercards, tags, the add cell bar, the Insights sidebar pane, some homepage sections, and some out-of-date onboarding and marketing materials). It can be painful to remove features, but we found we had added too much noise to the core coding experience, and had added incomplete features we weren’t supporting well, and we had to reduce our surface area in order to focus.

I’ve been leading a lot of this, so you can blame me lol, and I am reading all feedback. I personally owe a lot to the Observable community, going back to when Jacob Rus somehow tracked down an abacus notebook I’d published and then (since there was no comment feature yet) found my email address somewhere and sent the most incredible email on various oft-misunderstood aspects of the history of the abacus. I know this feature removal may make it harder, for now, for some of y’all to keep up with each other’s work… but I promise it’s in the service of a better tool! Happy to chat more if people have questions.


The thought of deleting all that code is thrilling.

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Lotta this lately… I feel so light… fast… free…


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