long FPPs still happen December 5, 2001 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Vertical space at a premium, yet long FPPs still happen. How about a count on the characters in the textarea (server side probably better) and a warning like "Are you really sure all this text needs to be on the front page? Have you considered the [more inside] technique?"
posted by sylloge to Feature Requests at 2:44 PM (18 comments total)

more discussion here.
posted by moz at 2:54 PM on December 5, 2001


Weeee!

Moz, the thread linked in the other discussion is ~660 characters. The one Sylloge links to is 899. I’m all for a cut-off at 800. In Sylloge’s link the topic post would be fine (still a bit long in my little head) without the quote.

I wouldn’t mind blocking more than, say, four paragraph breaks, but damn, let's not go overboard.

posted by raaka at 3:11 PM on December 5, 2001


(What? You think I'd search the previous metatalk posts?)
posted by sylloge at 3:26 PM on December 5, 2001


I say all long FFP should simply be linked to a common metatalk thread with the FFP, "you have made a very long front page post". Or something.
posted by Neale at 3:32 PM on December 5, 2001


I'm all for no paragraph breaks and 300 words or less. The paragraph breaks look too much like a new post and there's nothing wrong with using the thread to continue you chain of thought.

posted by skallas at 3:48 PM on December 5, 2001


Since when is vertical space at a premium? I thought the page just grew longer as necessary.

Hasn't this topic been beaten into the ground several times now? Long FPPs are fine if the length makes sense, and not if it doesn't. Come up with a way to make HTML capable of making judgement calls, or drop it already.
posted by Su at 3:52 PM on December 5, 2001


I vote against paragraph breaks as well. It pretty much doubles the size of the post. IMHO a post should be summerized with a single paragraph.
posted by phatboy at 4:03 PM on December 5, 2001


> Since when is vertical space at a premium?

Since Matt said so? But seriously folks, of course the page can get longer, but if it is 800,000 pixels long, that kind of sucks. Having to spend time trying to distinguish one post from another sucks and having to scroll through three screens worth of text to find an hour old post sucks.
posted by sylloge at 4:09 PM on December 5, 2001


A three sentence version of the same post with all the links and essence intact:

[post]

Despite being filled with violence and intense fantasy imagery, The Lord of the Rings movie may not face intense scrutiny from the conservative Christians (except maybe from the ChildCare Action Project) a'la J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter, owing to Tolkien being a devout Christian. While Tolkien persuaded C.S. Lewis into Christianity, he never let Christian imagery dribble into his writings as it did into Lewis'. I wonder, would her books be as controversial if Rowling was more visibly religious?

[end post]

Don't read too much into this. I am not with MeFi Police anymore. I just have some free time.
posted by tamim at 4:14 PM on December 5, 2001


tamin is officially the editor-in-chief from here on out. That post above is a thing of beauty.

I can add some warning messages, by first disallowing the p tag altogether, and leaving the br tag allowed for very special occasions. Like I said before, almost all long posts are pointless and could have been edited, once in a blue moon they make sense, and yes vertical space is at a premium, with posts like this, most people would only see 3-4 posts per screenfull, when normally they could see 8-10.

I could do a count and point out threads like this and especially tamin's rewrite.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:32 PM on December 5, 2001


What if, after the user clicks [Post], it emails the text to tamin. He can then summarize and post to Metafilter?
posted by Shadowkeeper at 5:13 PM on December 5, 2001


Or stick it through Word's auto-summarize...

As Su said, it's really a judgment call rather than a matter of metrics. I found the post mentioned in the previous MeTa thread to be refreshing - especially since there are so many that consist of just a single sentence with a single link (Fark style). This one was a valiant effort, but it just didn't scan very well for me. Writing a front page trilogy is a stylistic tool, and rather like others mentioned on MeTa such as the use of "^H^H^H^H" and profanity, it deserves some care if it is not to overwhelm the point of a good post.
posted by dlewis at 5:40 PM on December 5, 2001


paragraph breaks look too much like a new post

whew. i'm glad i'm not the only one who gets confused like this.
posted by danOstuporStar at 6:05 AM on December 6, 2001


i'm not comfortable commenting on whether paragragh breaks are cool or crap ... but maybe each post could have a bullet or something in the left margin marking it as the beginning of a new post?
posted by danOstuporStar at 6:19 AM on December 6, 2001


I'd just like to reiterate this. It is possible for Matt to code into the FPP composing window a limitation on the number of characters it will accept before it's "full" and he could also cause linebreaks to be ignored, so there'd never be more than one paragraph for each LPP. This would force the [more] phenomenon, and keep all the posts on the front page uniform. However, it would also be really annoying. I for one don't want it, but would be willing to tolerate it if the MeFi masses concurred that it would resolve this problem. I would find it a suitable compromise, I guess you could say.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:31 AM on December 6, 2001


How about having two form fields for new posts: a short, limited-length field for the abstract that will appear on the front page, and a longer, optional "more inside" field? This would keep front page posts short and save people time if they want to add a "more inside" comment.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:49 AM on December 6, 2001


How about having two form fields

Nice idea. And have a stated character limit for the short field, and only strip tags in that one?
posted by walrus at 9:07 AM on December 6, 2001


Yep. Moveable Type's Create New Entry screen is a pretty good example of something similar (and they have a lovely gray background color). Their Excerpt field would be what appears on the front page, and the Enter Blog Entry field would be the "more inside" text..
posted by kirkaracha at 11:18 AM on December 6, 2001


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