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I'll get used to it but it seems to take up more space without being easier to navigate. Is this a result of the Yahoo groups debacle? I've seen the similar format changes on other fora. I think the changes may have been forced by circumstance. Be interesting to hear if my theory is operative.
This is what I get at work when I make changes to apps, programs, pages, etc. "I like the old one better", "This one doesn't work as good", "Why did you ruin my life?", "I can't stop crying". It's just that the new version takes a little while to get used to. It will become old hat in no time.
I also prefer the old desktop format - I would switch to that on mobile as well. It was much more information dense, whereas the white space use in this format seems much more geared towards aesthetics rather than effective information organization. It's the difference between a narrow-and-deep (a navigation path which typically involves lots of clicks while keeping elements sparse) vs a broad-and-shallow (lots of elements, but not a lot of navigation to get to content) philosophy.