The Numinati January 29, 2008 8:30 AM   Subscribe

Seeing this response by the original poster made me recall this little pony request. The poor little thing has been left outside in the rain for a fortnight.

Numinous could be near self-immolation at this point. I think the pony is a good idea. ...Please don't make us use the greasey monkey, mods. The special cause singalongs come next, and nobody wants that.
posted by cashman to Feature Requests at 8:30 AM (56 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Wow, I have no idea why no one replied in that thread. I feel like it's been asked and answered before with "use greasemonkey" as has been made clear. While I totally understand that people don't necessarily have access to Firefox, I do have to mention that the "I don't want to learn special scripts" objection is a little inaccurate interms of greasemonkey's ease of use. A better objection, however, is that not everyone is using it and so someone who wants that feature to exist could use greasemonkey themselves but really everyone else would have to be using it as well for the OPs replies to be highlighted as I think is being asked for here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:43 AM on January 29, 2008


Wow, I have no idea why no one replied in that thread.

I think everybody thought everybody else was going to answer. Reverse mod-rush.

Also, imagining that this feature might quell use of that thrice-bedamned @ notation tempts me toward throwing in for implementation, but in the cold rational lull after that daydream I realize that we'd actually just end up with highlighted @ notation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:52 AM on January 29, 2008


Speaking on behalf of the traveling contingent of Metafilter, even when the internet cafe has Firefox (which is becoming a lot more common, thankfully) I usually don't have the option of installing Grease Monkey scripts.

However, given the low turnout in the last thread about this I'm having a hard time arguing that there is a widespread need for this pony. To me it seems like a smack-the-forehead duh-that-should-have-been-day-one feature, but it's pretty clear how much of the minority I'm in in thinking that.
posted by tkolar at 8:59 AM on January 29, 2008


just end up with highlighted @ notation.

Wouldn't it be easier to just auto-ban anyone who used it? I'll bet we could get a lot of people to vote for *that* pony.
posted by tkolar at 9:01 AM on January 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


@cortex - I don't understand what's so bad about it.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:05 AM on January 29, 2008


BAN HIM! BAN HIM!
posted by tkolar at 9:09 AM on January 29, 2008


Cut that out you @hole.
posted by dersins at 9:10 AM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Using @ is dumb because "People don't talk 'at' each other, they talk to each other. People yell at each other."
posted by grouse at 9:10 AM on January 29, 2008


Also, remember, people who talk at people instead of to people are 2@s.
posted by grouse at 9:12 AM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've suggested before that the OP's answers should just be shifted to the left like the question is, but apparently it's much easier for everyone to switch browsers, install a plugin, and install a plugin for that plugin.
posted by cillit bang at 9:12 AM on January 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


athole? huh?
posted by Eekacat at 9:16 AM on January 29, 2008


Atoll. No man is an island, but some are lagoon-circumscribing coral reefs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:17 AM on January 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


Numinous could be near self-immolation at this point.

Aw, don't worry about numinous. The pony-martyr route entitles one to being surrounded by 72 of the prettiest, lil'est ponies in paradise.

Wouldn't it be easier to just auto-ban anyone who used it?

A bit harsh. I have fantasies of a training pony that will cause the @er's computer to emit a loud gameshow wrong-answer "BWWAAA" noise and auto-direct them to goatse whenever the @ string is typed.
posted by CKmtl at 9:18 AM on January 29, 2008


I also understood "use greasemonkey" to be a standard and adequate response to a feature request which might be too minor to implement or may only satisfy a narrow interest.

I think what people are saying - at least what I am agreeing with - is that this is broadly useful enough that it should be a feature of the site.
posted by vacapinta at 9:20 AM on January 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


2grouse - Is this really any better?
posted by chrismear at 9:25 AM on January 29, 2008


2chrismear: not really.

To chrismear: this is much better.
posted by grouse at 9:28 AM on January 29, 2008


grouse: check this out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:30 AM on January 29, 2008


Atoll. No man is an island, but some are lagoon-circumscribing coral reefs.

Careful. Circumscrision is one of those topics MetaFilter doesn't do well. (And circumscrision via coral reef? Ouch!)
posted by languagehat at 9:36 AM on January 29, 2008


+1 for cillit bang's suggestion.
posted by Skorgu at 10:09 AM on January 29, 2008


+1 for cillit bang's suggestion.

Don't get me started on people who bring that Slashdot stuff to Metafilter. @ing is too good for them.
posted by tkolar at 10:21 AM on January 29, 2008


I think cillit bang's suggestion would lead to the "threaded" look, which is something I think (I think?) they're is trying to avoid. I liked my underline idea, but I'm probably not seeing how bad of a suggestion it is or something.

I figure they must be worried about people posting replies in their thread just to see their own little highlighted glory. I don't know. Maybe it's just a pain to implement.
posted by cashman at 10:22 AM on January 29, 2008


Don't get me started on people who bring that Slashdot stuff to Metafilter.

gb2gbs
posted by Mikey-San at 10:46 AM on January 29, 2008


satisfy a narrow interest

That's the bit I don't get. Why is having the asker's follow-ups more visible viewed as something only a few people are weird enough to be interested in?
posted by cillit bang at 10:59 AM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, remember, people who talk at people instead of to people are 2@s.

Oooh, sexist, I'm telling mom.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:13 AM on January 29, 2008


Of course, there have been mixed messages about that thrice-bedamned @ notation.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:17 AM on January 29, 2008


To be fair, Wolfdog, there was probably already a swearing workout going on in that thread. So the addition of that was probably just like adding a pushup or two.

But speaking of mixed messages...i get a sense that Cortex kind of likes it, but wonders, and Jessamyn sees the merit in the argument. So...... is this just going to go two more weeks without a no, back to the glue factory or "sure, hop aboard ye olde pony"?
posted by cashman at 11:22 AM on January 29, 2008


I think we mention greasemonkey or firefox extensions because this feature is a major part of extensions like Mondo Meta.

I personally don't want to do best-answer type highlighting because it would lead to too much confusion with the existing functionality. It's a pretty high profile feature for best answers and I wouldn't want it competing with that (and sometimes the things an original poster say aren't always that important).

I would rather see a more subtle approach. Probably just adding a small bit of text to the posted by line that says "[original poster]" or "[original question asker]" without the in-your-face UI that a giant highlighted block would create.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:47 AM on January 29, 2008


Thanks for commenting! Now that all three of you replied, I feel that we have safely averted Numinousesseses untimely demise.
posted by cashman at 12:15 PM on January 29, 2008


Just want to register an enthusiastic vote for some mechanism that distinguishes OP comments, whether it be highlighting or Matt's thought of adding "[original poster]" to the "posted by" line. To me Greasemonkey seems more appropriate for implementing individual user preferences that don't necessarily contribute to the overall goals of the site.

If this feature successfully decreased the likelihood of users wasting time posting answers that have been rendered irrelevant by an OP's follow-up, it seems like it would increase the overall usefulness of AskMe as a resource by limiting thread clutter and "wrong" answers. Since these effects would benefit the whole community, it seems like they should be maximized by making "posted by the OP" a sitewide feature.

Also, and I think this is a fairly common problem, Firefox runs at a snail's pace on my Macs.
posted by lalex at 12:25 PM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't get me started on people who bring that Slashdot stuff to Metafilter. @ing is too good for them.

lame, no digg.
posted by Skorgu at 12:36 PM on January 29, 2008


For what it's worth (I know, not much), Twitter has functionality built around addressing people with @.
posted by danb at 12:43 PM on January 29, 2008


mathowie: "I would rather see a more subtle approach. Probably just adding a small bit of text to the posted by line that says "[original poster]" or "[original question asker]" without the in-your-face UI that a giant highlighted block would create."

That's how matthewr's Mefi Navigator script does it. Is this subtle yet highlighted enough?
posted by team lowkey at 12:45 PM on January 29, 2008


"For what it's worth (I know, not much), Twitter has functionality built around addressing people with @."

Wouldn't that make it Tw@tter?
posted by tkolar at 12:48 PM on January 29, 2008


i'd love a subtle highlight or some kind of indicator for those of us stuck with internet explorer at work. i get crapped on enough with it is with this browser- pretty please can i have a pony?
posted by kidsleepy at 12:58 PM on January 29, 2008


How about autogenerating links to the comments below the more-inside section. So that the ask.me post would look roughly like this:

---------------

Title of question?

I have a question?

I have some pertinent information to add so that my question is more clear.

[3:45 AM Kattullus comment]
[5:27 AM Kattullus comment]


---------------

As to quoting, I'm a big fan of the username: pertinent bit method. The one that irks me is when people bold usernames.
posted by Kattullus at 12:59 PM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


In case I didn't make myself clear, the links would be to the follow-up comments of the poster of the AskMe question, not just to my own contributions.
posted by Kattullus at 1:01 PM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Leeches: Monkey, Widget, Flango!
posted by blue_beetle at 1:12 PM on January 29, 2008


Links in the OP sound good. Moving it to the left also sounds good. I would like this pony, please.
posted by anaelith at 1:37 PM on January 29, 2008


Imagine my surprise when my pony was resuscitated! I thought that it had either been put out to pasture, of had been put down due to a bum leg. Thanks, cashman!

Jessamyn, I agree with your last stated reason. Not everyone who uses Mefi is able to access the features made available via Greasemonkey. I thnk that distinguishing OP's replies would help everyone on the site recognize when the OP has added additional information that may help to clarify the OP's position, or restate the question in such a way that it elicits the proper response.

I will clarify that I originally suggested the highlighting (as opposed to some distinguishing addition in the name-line) as it would allow respondents to recognize immediately that the OP was posting again, instead of requiring that they scroll down to the name-line to see who is responding before reading the actual content of the response. (Ugh, I apologize for that sentence. It is a structural nightmare!)

If Matt is really opposed to the idea, I'd gladly welcome his suggested compromise, with the caveat that we could somehow differentiate the OP's reply visually (versus textually) by changing the color of the OP's name as it appears on their specific posts. Here's an analog mock-up of what I'm envisioning.*

*Apologies to those Mefites whose names I used!
posted by numinous at 2:01 PM on January 29, 2008 [18 favorites]


Feature discussion aside, that's the most charming thing I've seen all day, numinous.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:09 PM on January 29, 2008


Here's an analog mock-up of what I'm envisioning.*

I so just tried to flag delmoi's SNARK in that thread...
posted by dersins at 2:30 PM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now if someone can make a greasemonkey script that makes AskMe look like numinous' mock-up, I might just start using greasemonkey again.
posted by Kattullus at 2:48 PM on January 29, 2008


Another vote for anything you're willing to give us on this. I'm behind the most onerous of firewalls at work (I'm lucky I can even get to AskMeFi at all -- I can't get to numinous's mockup), and we MUST use IE6, of all things. Foxes and Monkeys are now, and will forever be, completely out of the question. So in any given thread, I get to CTRL-F my way through every. freaking. mention. of the OP's name to find any followups they might have posted with additional info so that I can post a well-informed answer. I consider it my punishment for being a diligent MeFite. Ow.

Just another data point to counter the perceived lack of interest on this.
posted by somanyamys at 3:17 PM on January 29, 2008


I like the "poster" highlight on that screenshot. It's low on the annoying scale but looks somewhat useful and would be a pretty simple change to make. Lemme think about it and maybe add it by the end of this week (also, omg I love the analog mockup).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:23 PM on January 29, 2008


With all the stat dumping recently, do we have numbers on Firefox vs. Every Other Browser? If 99% of users don't use Firefox, Greasemonkey stops being a good idea, and rapidly becomes insulting.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:36 PM on January 29, 2008


There's no browser info in the Infodump stuff, but last Matt mentioned it I think FF was somewhere in the 40-50% range.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:40 PM on January 29, 2008


HOORAY! I like that screenshot, too, mathowie, but could we make the "poster" highlight a different color altogether? Doing so would grab one's attention more readily, as it wouldn't get lost amidst all the yellow that already exists as links on the page.

Thanks, cashman, for resurrecting my request. I'm ecstatic that I've finally found a way to manipulate technology using nontechnological means. Hooray for the almighty pen!

A martyr no longer!
posted by numinous at 3:45 PM on January 29, 2008


If 99% of users don't use Firefox, Greasemonkey stops being a good idea, and rapidly becomes insulting.

While I agree with this point generally, I think it's already pretty easy to tell from threads about FF and Greasemonkey scripts in MeTa that this is nowhere near the case. On the other other hand, since all the mods use FF as their main axe [except, iirc, cortex at work] we'd have to somehow remove our stats from the record because I'm sure we hit the site more than even the superfans.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:54 PM on January 29, 2008


I'd be impressed if even our considerable daily treading of the site is even a drop in the bucket, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:03 PM on January 29, 2008


With all the stat dumping recently, do we have numbers on Firefox vs. Every Other Browser? If 99% of users don't use Firefox, Greasemonkey stops being a good idea, and rapidly becomes insulting.

According to Google Analytics, Firefox is almost 50% of total browsers that ever hit the site (including the 90% of traffic that is non-members). IE on Windows accounts for about 40% and has been falling.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:22 PM on January 29, 2008


I have no real opinion on the main topic here, but I think in the future I will print out new posts, compose my reply on lined paper, and then scan it in and link to it. numinous's interpretation of the site just seems so much more human.

I kind of miss paper.
posted by blacklite at 5:56 PM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


numinous, I think I'm in love.

Also, I am (for whatever reason) rather wary of installing random add-ins and suchwhat. Minimalist but functional for me! So I, for one, would welcome our new pony ov- think this feature is an excellent idea.
posted by Phire at 1:34 AM on January 30, 2008


⇒cortex: "grouse: check this out."

html entities ftw
posted by Plutor at 5:05 AM on January 30, 2008


Won't someone think of the Opera?

I fully support some sort of implementation of this idea, not being FireFoxy, myself.
posted by odi.et.amo at 6:40 AM on January 30, 2008


I try to think about Opera as little as possible, myself.
posted by Plutor at 11:33 AM on January 30, 2008


...Late to the party but always happy to dance.

I would totally love for some aspect of this feature to be implemented. Where I work, Firefox is verboten, because it is open source and thus: a security risk. (I know... don't try applying logic here, because that's not the world I work in). So a greasemonkey script is out. But delineating replies by the OP would help focus not only what's already been answered but what the OP finds helpful.

Highlighting would be nice, or some form of the "poster" box thing. Although I'd like it to be at the top, rather than the bottom of one of the followups. But as my grandmother used to say: "beggars can't be choosers" and I will be TOTALLY happy with any iteration of said pony.
posted by indiebass at 12:17 PM on January 30, 2008


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