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July 31, 2006 9:27 PM   Subscribe

I can mark my own MetaTalk comments as my favorites. Please do not faciliate such narcissism. Oh, and since I only can make one MetaTalk peost every four days, [additional callout inside]
posted by orthogonality to Bugs at 9:27 PM (67 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Is it not sufficient for others to see that you marked your own comments as favorites and think you're probably a jerk?
posted by JMOZ at 9:31 PM on July 31, 2006


Additonally: pctures in threads are great. But image tags without width and height attributes force browsers to wait until the image is fetched before they're able can lay out the page. As teh thread is read by more and more people, often the site serving the image often slows down or even dies, causing images to take forever to load. This, in turn, causes useful scripts on the page (like some FF extensions and Greasmonkey scripts) to have to wait as well.

So, if you're going to add an image of an elephant pissing or cat-maidens or something, that's delightful, really I do mean delightful, but add width and height attributes to your image tag. Or even better, maybe Matt could make that automatic.
posted by orthogonality at 9:32 PM on July 31, 2006


JMOZ writes "Is it not sufficient for others to see that you marked your own comments as favorites and think you're probably a jerk?"

I marked it accidently, then had to go to the bother of un-marking it.
posted by orthogonality at 9:33 PM on July 31, 2006


I just copied the code from the image upstream. Automatic would be good.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:34 PM on July 31, 2006


I think the point of "favorites" is to permit people to easily locate things they want to find again. It isn't necessarily an indication of quality, and someone may well want to be able to find something of their own again.

At least one person has marked one of my posts as "favorite" because he intends to throw it in my teeth eventually. It certainly didn't justify being called "favorite" for any other reason.

Perhaps it was a poor choice to call it "favorite". "Bookmark" is probably a more accurate way of describing how it's being used.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:44 PM on July 31, 2006


At least one person has marked one of my posts as "favorite" because he intends to throw it in my teeth eventually. It certainly didn't justify being called "favorite" for any other reason.

You too, eh?
posted by keswick at 9:55 PM on July 31, 2006


Steven C. Den Beste writes "At least one person has marked one of my posts as 'favorite' because he intends to throw it in my teeth eventually. It certainly didn't justify being called 'favorite' for any other reason."

Yes, probably. But me, I really mean them as favorites. I want people to see what they've said that I've enjoyed enough to want to see again. Life's too short to mark stuff just for cannon fodder in a flame-war. (Besides, I have an offline database for that.)
posted by orthogonality at 9:59 PM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


At least one person has marked one of my posts as "favorite" because he intends to throw it in my teeth eventually.

heh. I love the "at least."
posted by gsteff at 10:02 PM on July 31, 2006


But if we stamp out narcissism on MetaFilter, what will be left?
posted by Eideteker at 10:04 PM on July 31, 2006


Urinating elephants?
posted by Stauf at 10:18 PM on July 31, 2006


pctures in threads are great. But image tags without width and height attributes force browsers to wait until the image is fetched before they're able can lay out the page. As teh thread is read by more and more people, often the site serving the image often slows down or even dies, causing images to take forever to load.

You might want to consider Opera. It renders as it downloads, so you don't have to worry about waiting for the chicken cock to load.
posted by bigmusic at 10:20 PM on July 31, 2006


bigmusic writes "It renders as it downloads, so you don't have to worry about waiting for the chicken cock to load."

Yes, but it needs to know what area to reserve for the image. If it doesn't know that until the image us downloaded, a delay downloading the image means even Opera has to re-deaw once the image finally downloads. One script I use advances me automatically to the first un-read comment in a thread -- if the browser can't figure out the height of images, it can't jump to the the first un-read comment if that comment is after any image of unknown height.
posted by orthogonality at 10:36 PM on July 31, 2006


If Matt can auto-insert these fields in any sane manner, great—but good luck getting any useful quorum on folks providing width and height on their lonesomes. Image posting and careful considering don't really go hand in hand most of the time.
posted by cortex at 10:36 PM on July 31, 2006


This seems unlikely. Instead, have a beer.


posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:41 PM on July 31, 2006



posted by Hat Maui at 10:43 PM on July 31, 2006


If the images were stored on Matt's server he could easily acquire the dimensions either on the fly or cache them in the database. But posted images are stored elsewhere and Matt's server never sees them. He would have to write back-end code to fetch and inspect the image when the move was posted -- which introduces a very unwelcome complexity, likely delay and a point of failure unless he deserializes it from the database write in some way.

It's a very squirrelly bit of thing to do in real time on a live server, because among other things you'd have to have it be able to render both with and without that information available, assuming you decouple the "post the comment to the database activity" from the "fetch and cache the remote image information" activity. Personally I wouldn't write it without a compelling business case.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:44 PM on July 31, 2006


At least one person has marked one of my posts as "favorite" because they want to propose to me.
posted by SassHat at 10:45 PM on July 31, 2006 [4 favorites]


George_Spiggott writes "He would have to write back-end code to fetch and inspect the image when the move was posted -- which introduces a very unwelcome complexity, likely delay and a point of failure unless he deserializes it from the database write in some way. "

Yes, you're right -- though there's the obvious effective kludge.
posted by orthogonality at 10:50 PM on July 31, 2006


Additonally: pctures in threads are great.

This is, with very few exceptions, incorrect.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:31 AM on August 1, 2006


Yes, you're right -- though there's the obvious effective kludge.

Perhaps it's not obvious to me, what kludge?
posted by knave at 1:11 AM on August 1, 2006


refuse to accept images in comments without specified dimensions?
posted by NinjaTadpole at 2:38 AM on August 1, 2006


f Matt can auto-insert these fields in any sane manner, ...
Would it be possible to check whether height and width attributes have been included (and perhaps check that they are not ridiculously huge at the same time) and, if they are not there, add the attributes at 0 and 0? I have no idea what I am talking about, but it sounds like a good idea all the same.
posted by dg at 3:12 AM on August 1, 2006


That's odd - NinjaTadpole's insightful comment was not there when I posted mine, but the timestamp is 40 minutes earlier. Unless I blacked out.
posted by dg at 3:13 AM on August 1, 2006


Actually, a slightly less Stalin-esque way of dealing with undimensioned images would be to add in a small height, eg:
height="20"
to the image tag and surround it with a link to the full-size image to create a thumbnail.

so:
<a href="http://[path to image]" target="_blank"><img src="http://[path to image]" height="20"><a>

This will give you three things: Unfortunately that will also mean that the tiny flashing bullet points (etc.) become larger than life.

For what it's worth, even I think this is a nasty kludge.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 4:13 AM on August 1, 2006


Yeah, I always have problems posting images without height and width attributes to Stalin's blog. What a dick that guy is.
posted by Plutor at 4:47 AM on August 1, 2006


...I only can make one MetaTalk peost every four days

Feudalism's a royal pain, ain't it?
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:57 AM on August 1, 2006


Perhaps it's not obvious to me, what kludge?

Make all pictures the same size regardless of the source material. Just like Amazon links are modified, you could force all img tags to have a defined height/width and it wouldn't leave the browser wondering what the actual image size is.

Another option is to format each one as a thumbnail and make it a link to the original source. If anyone wants to see the full picture you'll have to go to the source site. You kind of shirt the hot-linking issue by providing access to the source material, and you might lessen the abuse on the img tag.
posted by purephase at 5:35 AM on August 1, 2006


How about instead of setting the size to some standard size, just replace all img tags to a-href tags to the image. No resizing issues. No annoying images. If readers want to see the image, they click the link. Everyone is happy.

The only non-lamentable loss would be the occasional huge dot or image designed to look like text. A small price to pay.
posted by crunchland at 6:12 AM on August 1, 2006


At least one person has marked all my images as "favorite" because they intend to harass me about including height and width tags.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:38 AM on August 1, 2006


often the site serving the image often slows down or even dies, causing images to take forever to load. This, in turn, causes useful scripts on the page (like some FF extensions and Greasmonkey scripts) to have to wait as well.

I don't see how including img dimensions in the tag will free resources on the image's server.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:18 AM on August 1, 2006


Are both width and height required to get over this issue? It's too much diddling around to get them to the right ratio, so on the rare occasion that I post an image, I typically include one of these attributes. I expect I probably adjust the width attribute, but if it is more helpful I could switch to height - would this do what you need, ortho, or does the browser require both?

I don't think auto-forcing blanket attributes on all uses of the img tag would work very well, since the ratios of the images used are not even close to consistent.
posted by raedyn at 7:35 AM on August 1, 2006


I don't see how including img dimensions in the tag will free resources on the image's server. - If I Had An Anus

It won't. But it would mean that loading the MeFi page in your browser could continue without being hung up waiting for an over-taxed image server. (butyouknewthat,soI'llshutupnow)
posted by raedyn at 7:37 AM on August 1, 2006


But, uh, wha? Call me crazy—I'm pretty sure I've seen a page render while images on that page weren't a-loadin' properly. Are people using single-threaded browsers, or something?
posted by cortex at 7:40 AM on August 1, 2006


It's a bookmarking freature, not a voting feature.
posted by scarabic at 7:44 AM on August 1, 2006


If we do end up requiring size attributes, can we discuss requiring an alt attribute as well?

In addition to being a required attribute in modern html, 'alt' could also be useful in ways specific to MetaFilter. For example, when I mark an image as a favorite it shows up as simply "..." on the "favorites marked my IIHAA" page. I suppose I understand why Matt chose to do this, but the value of the alt attribute (or perhaps the image's file name) would be much more informative.

(Though, overall, I'm in favor of keeping things as freeform as possible.)
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:53 AM on August 1, 2006


raedyn writes "I expect I probably adjust the width attribute, but if it is more helpful I could switch to height - would this do what you need, ortho, or does the browser require both?"

Because of the way MetaFilter lays out iamges (text doesn't wrap around images, so the image is effectively as wide as the page) just adding height would suffice to allow the browser to do the layout. And as you suggest, adding just one of the attributes means that the image height:width ratio is preserved. Thanks, man.
posted by orthogonality at 7:57 AM on August 1, 2006


It's a bookmarking freature, not a voting feature.

If that were truly the case, the threads themselves would have no public mention of how many people voted a particular comment or post as a favorite. The only record of the bookmark would appear on each poster's user page only.

It's not just a bookmark. The way it's setup, it never was.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:58 AM on August 1, 2006


It's OK, I'll just stand over here talking to myself.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 8:09 AM on August 1, 2006


Welcome to MetaFilter.
posted by keswick at 8:09 AM on August 1, 2006


Call me crazy—I'm pretty sure I've seen a page render while images on that page weren't a-loadin' properly. -
cortex

What I've experienced, and I think this is orthogonality's concern:

Yes, the page renders. But where each image will eventually load there is a little placeholder. Once the image loads the height of that placeholder changes to match the height of the image. This is typically taller than the placeholder and causes the thread to jump erratically each time a new image is finally served. The scrolling gets longer in fits and starts. For me, this just means that it's challenging to read at the bottom of the thread because the comments will skip down my screen randomly until every image is loaded. Apparently it causes other problems for certain external scripts. If img tags had height attributes, the 'placeholder' would be the correct height, and therefore loading the image would not change the length of the thread.

I'm all for making the site useful for as broad a userbase as possible, so I will personally chose to change how I post images (when I do) in order to reduce this problem. That said, I do not favour forcing a blanket solution on everyone. I like MeFi free form, and it scales well to individual users abilities and knowledge. As I see it, this is another 'self-policing' type of thing. Now that it's been brought to my attention I can easily switch to accomodate other users.
posted by raedyn at 8:15 AM on August 1, 2006


NinjaTadpole writes "It's OK, I'll just stand over here talking to myself."

Sorry. Yes, your suggested kludge was right; I didn't comment because you knew that.
posted by orthogonality at 8:16 AM on August 1, 2006


Well, it's a bookmark AND a popularity contest.

So just subtract one vote and be happy.

See how easy that was?

As to photos I have no comment except to say I don't WANT to be exposed to peeing elephants. ;-)
posted by konolia at 8:50 AM on August 1, 2006


Yes, the page renders. But where each image will eventually load there is a little placeholder. Once the image loads the height of that placeholder changes to match the height of the image.

Yeah, I'm aware of that, and I understand that complaint (even if I think the proposed solutions vary between unworkable and annoying—I hate the look of a browser-scaled image, images may make (even) less sense when scaled down; users are not going to universally start tagging their images with proper dimensions; server-side image analysis is insane).

I was questioning/objecting-to the notion of images blocking rendering outright.
posted by cortex at 9:02 AM on August 1, 2006


I do know that if a thread is loaded with images, when you click on a link to a particular comment, odds are, you won't end up on that comment due to the page resizing due to all the unsized images.
posted by crunchland at 9:05 AM on August 1, 2006


Is munging img tags to refer to (say) a coral cache bad (cache) etiquette? That would reduce a) load on image hosts and b) load times for clients.

Otherwise, force a 20px height on img tags with no height of their own. Anyone who wants their pic to look right just specifies it themselves, and lazy posters get thumbnails. I'd leave linking to full-size as an option for (unlazy) posters.
posted by Skorgu at 9:10 AM on August 1, 2006


Coral cache is great at the one thing it was designed for : looking at sites that are apt to go down due to too many eyeballs, but it will never, ever win an award for fast load-times.
posted by crunchland at 9:35 AM on August 1, 2006


"Bookmark" is probably a more accurate way of describing how it's being used.

Not according to what I've seen. It should be used as a bookmark, but that's not how most people are using it. Most people are using it as a cheap IAWTP (I Agree With This Post). It's being used as moderation, basically. And it sucks.
posted by cribcage at 11:46 AM on August 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


People may be trying to use it as moderation, but they're going to be mighty disappointed when the realize that nothing happens. Go crazy, kids, fave the shit out of a comment!

It's not moderation. It's favoriting. The layout and content of threads is wholly unaffected.

As for what people should or should not use it for, I don't agree with the implication that there are clearcut rules. Matt has said more than once that it's essentially a freeform feature, and people will use it however they like. "Bookmark" does seem like a better term in that it is more general, but we'll survive.
posted by cortex at 12:08 PM on August 1, 2006

Actually, a slightly less Stalin-esque way of dealing with undimensioned images would be to add in a small height, eg:
You know who else used pictures in threads?

Hitler, that's who.
posted by scrump at 2:20 PM on August 1, 2006


And here's the reality of this situation, as evidenced by the lack of comment from Matt : he thinks both of these issues are trivial, aren't worth commenting on, let alone the bother to programmatically change anything, and therefore, we're all just spitting in the wind.

To quote Nelson, "Ha, ha!"
posted by crunchland at 2:29 PM on August 1, 2006



posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:35 PM on August 1, 2006


I too will start adding height and width attributes to my images.
posted by odinsdream at 3:11 PM on August 1, 2006


monu_bosatsu, I love you.

(Now do a couple more. Please.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:17 PM on August 1, 2006


monju. As in "jew".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:17 PM on August 1, 2006


Alas, gnfti, I cannot take credit. Check here for many more.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:49 PM on August 1, 2006


Shit, I know, I loved that thread, but I thought you took one and animated it. Upon reflection, I was at work when I saw that, so maybe animated GIFs don't work at my place of work?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:13 PM on August 1, 2006


Better ask Matt to include some example html on the comment page since I doubt many around even know what an attibute is.
posted by mischief at 4:14 PM on August 1, 2006


Not to rerail or anything, but I just accidentally marked one of my own comments as a favorite while trying to see who else marked the comment (I'm not narcissistic; I'm just an attention whore.)

I do feel like a bit of a dork for doing it, though. orthogonality probably has a point.
posted by Cyrano at 4:57 PM on August 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


<span length="64">I am going to start adding length attributes to all my comments.</span>
posted by Eideteker at 12:10 AM on August 2, 2006


oops.
posted by Eideteker at 12:10 AM on August 2, 2006


raedyn : "Now that it's been brought to my attention I can easily switch to accomodate other users."

Ditto. Regardless of how this issue turns out, whether kludges are kludged, or the like, putting size attributes on images is something I hadn't thought of doing, and now I will.
posted by Bugbread at 5:14 AM on August 2, 2006


... he thinks both of these issues are trivial, aren't worth commenting on, let alone the bother to programmatically change anything ...
He could be right.
posted by dg at 5:25 AM on August 2, 2006


yay ... two diff conversations in one thread
<img src="203958961.gif" width="66" height="61" alt="yay ... two diff conversations in one thread" />
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:30 AM on August 2, 2006


since I doubt many around even know what an attribute is.

It's a thing which, if you say it like Mushmouth in the Cosby Kids, sounds like "Abba Tribute".

HTH.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:56 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


cortex writes "If Matt can auto-insert these fields in any sane manner, great—but good luck getting any useful quorum on folks providing width and height on their lonesomes. Image posting and careful considering don't really go hand in hand most of the time."

Matt could query the image server when the comment is posted and assign the height and width from the image returned. If the user then changes the image size too bad for them that the browser resize looks like crap.

crunchland writes "How about instead of setting the size to some standard size, just replace all img tags to a-href tags to the image. No resizing issues. No annoying images. If readers want to see the image, they click the link. Everyone is happy."

This breaks images (rather than text) as links to other pages.


posted by Mitheral at 10:28 AM on August 8, 2006


Matt could query the image server when the comment is posted and assign the height and width from the image returned. If the user then changes the image size too bad for them that the browser resize looks like crap.

Agreed. Someone brought up the question of lag from the image server at this point in the process, though—what sort of uglynasties could be introduced by unpredictable slow- or non-response? That seems like something that needs hammering out to make this worthwhile.
posted by cortex at 11:20 AM on August 8, 2006


Shit. I just did it again.
posted by Cyrano at 4:56 PM on August 8, 2006


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