I've got some questions... April 15, 2010 10:16 AM   Subscribe

FeatureRequest: AskMeFi question queue?

So I'm about forty five minutes away from being able to ask a question, and it got me thinking:

I have questions I want to ask and sometimes forget/don't have to allotment to do so. I'm totally down with the seven day filter bit but is there any possibility of being able to type out our questions, have them all ready to go, and queue them in such a way that when we are able to post questions again we can just go ahead and press "post" without having to do the writeup for the question?
posted by deacon_blues to Feature Requests at 10:16 AM (58 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Yeah, that's not going to happen.
posted by 6550 at 10:17 AM on April 15, 2010


This has been discussed before and the answer is no.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:18 AM on April 15, 2010


Save into notepad! Or Google Docs online.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:19 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hadn't realized this was discussed before. My apologies!
posted by deacon_blues at 10:19 AM on April 15, 2010


From the FAQ: If you can't even remember the question you want to ask, it's probably not that important. In other words, if you forgot about it, forget about it.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:19 AM on April 15, 2010


It seems to me like the seven day filter is to discourage people from just asking any dumb question (not to say your questions are dumb) and if you have this queue I feel like it would defeat the purpose a little bit.

I'd like to see what other people have to say though.
posted by DoublePlus at 10:19 AM on April 15, 2010


If the question isn't pressing enough for you to remember that you wanted to ask it, it's probably not important enough to need auto-posting.
posted by explosion at 10:20 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is a perennial question and the answer is always gonna be no. Lots of tools (including I believe a greasemonkey script someone wrote) for managing this of your own accord, no real incentive for us to build the feature in.

No worries for asking, but, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:21 AM on April 15, 2010


Yeah, we aren't going to build this into the site for some of the reasons mentioned here, but Plutor wrote a Greasemonkey script called MeFi Notepad that does this.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:22 AM on April 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, no.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:23 AM on April 15, 2010


pb -

Thanks for the Greasemonkey link. That is pretty much exactly what I had in mind.
posted by deacon_blues at 10:24 AM on April 15, 2010


there are no stupid questions, only recently repeated ones.
posted by gman at 10:25 AM on April 15, 2010


I'll be the first to say it, gman - I'm pretty damned foolish having not checked into this a bit further before the quick question. But at least we know nothing has changed in the past 14 days!

By the way, happy tax day USA!
posted by deacon_blues at 10:27 AM on April 15, 2010


There's nothing wrong with asking, in almost all cases.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:30 AM on April 15, 2010


Awesome, I'm gonna get some favorites! Let's see if we can get it past 450...!
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:30 AM on April 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's nothing wrong with asking, in almost all cases.

shouldn't you be deleting that latest Palin post?
posted by gman at 10:32 AM on April 15, 2010


I was just looking for your post to link, Ian A.T. What a pleasure to read.
posted by ODiV at 10:40 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did word-processing applications stop existing?
posted by so_gracefully at 10:42 AM on April 15, 2010


Yeah, about an hour and twenty minutes ago. Where were you?
posted by ODiV at 10:44 AM on April 15, 2010


Since I've already used my question for the week, here is my next question:

I thought "alot" was a British spelling of "a lot." Yes? No?
posted by desjardins at 10:55 AM on April 15, 2010


I think no.
posted by maqsarian at 11:15 AM on April 15, 2010


Which is to say, I don't think it's an "accepted" British spelling. I can only find it listed anywhere as a common misspelling, and there's this (from the Wiktionary article, for whatever that's worth):
The Cambridge Guide to English Usage also compares alot to awhile. It states alot to be “still regarded as nonstandard” and notes 50 appearances in the British National Corpus, “almost entirely from three sources: e-mail, TV autocue data, and TV newscripts.” It suggests that some usages of alot in typewritten use are to be considered merely typos of the standard a lot though its appearance in handwriting and typescript is “more significant, as the shadow of things to come.”
So, yeah.
posted by maqsarian at 11:23 AM on April 15, 2010


My copy of the Garner lists "alot" as an "alternate form" but does not make any reference to British English.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:24 AM on April 15, 2010


Wasn't there a comment fable awhile back about the server continuing to churn out queued questions after the apocalypse?
posted by amyms at 11:30 AM on April 15, 2010


So what you guys are saying is "maybe?"
posted by entropicamericana at 11:32 AM on April 15, 2010


Ahh here's the comment fable by Ian A.T. (alluded to above lol)
posted by amyms at 11:35 AM on April 15, 2010 [3 favorites]






I BELIEVE MY LINK TO BE SUPERIOR TO AMYMS' SO I STAND BY MY POSTING OF IT.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:42 AM on April 15, 2010


Sometimes, when I read MeTa and see a pony request that has been cruelly spurned before, I think about how funny* it would be one day to make a MeTa post that incorporated all of them.

'I would like a threaded view, professional white background, AskMe queued, more-different-kinds-of-favorites that has an edit window with a little popup over my profile name that tells me how many best answers I have gotten, and a new best answer category for worst answers. And images, particularly of chickens and micturating elephants.'

for a given value of funny
posted by winna at 11:46 AM on April 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good idea, we'll get started on it this afternoon and should a prototype up and running by say, never.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:48 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


(A way to store FPPs would be really convenient right now -- I've got half a post on my laptop, but I'm at work right now. In my downtime I could finish and post it if it was stored on my profile, but now it has to wait. Saving via USB or online is possible, yes, but usually too much of a hassle.)

Anyway, I know a built-in save system is a no-go for the blue, but I was hoping pb could make two minor tweaks that would make posting a little easier:

1) Allow posts to be previewed but not posted, along with a prominent message informing the user of this. There have been a lot of times where I've liked to start working on a post before the waiting period is up, but I can't because I can't preview. Sure, Notepad can handle works-in-progress, but not being able to see the HTML in Mefi format is kind of a drag, especially for longer or more complex posts. It also makes checking for dupes harder, since you can't use the link or tag checker that runs after previewing a post.

2) Tweaking the FPP preview page so that it plays nice with Firefox's session restore system. At least twice before, I've been working on a long post when the browser crashed (and once when the whole computer crashed). This usually isn't a problem since Firefox can recover your tabs and content, but I've found that when it loads the FPP preview window it just shows an error message. I know next to nothing about how information like this is stored, but I'm hoping that there's a way to make it so that Firefox can save the text on the preview page if it happens to crash.

Because of these issues -- not being able to preview/dupe-check posts for 24 hours and losing long posts before I finish them -- I've got a considerable backlog of FPP ideas. Please hope me!
posted by Rhaomi at 11:50 AM on April 15, 2010


Saving via USB or online is possible, yes, but usually too much of a hassle.

I know the weighting of "a hassle" is a subjective thing and if it annoys you it annoys you and that is your prerogative, but slapping a half-done post in your gmail as a draft is about as non-hassle as it can get for shuffling some temporary text storage around in a portable fashion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:52 AM on April 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I BELIEVE MY LINK TO BE SUPERIOR TO AMYMS' SO I STAND BY MY POSTING OF IT.

I believe my link to be more aesthetically pleasing than Spiffy Rob's, though I give him an E for Effort!
posted by amyms at 12:15 PM on April 15, 2010


Thanks, cortex -- I'd actually done this for my last post. It's just not always easy to remember to drop a post in my inbox before heading out the door, especially when my computer is already shut down; composing everything in an online system would make remembering to do that unnecessary. But I do like the sound of that Greasemonkey script and will give it a try when I get home. It's a shame it doesn't do online syncing, though.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:45 PM on April 15, 2010


It also makes checking for dupes harder, since you can't use the link or tag checker that runs after previewing a post.

That checker is identical to the search box (if you're logged in). If you want to see if a link has been posted before, plop it into the search box on the MeFi homepage and hit enter. Usually I use just the domain (example.com) and leave off the http crap. You'll see a bunch of posts that end with a [keyword in HTML]. For the record I think it would be awesome if one could preview posts before posting eligibility is restored, but if you didn't know about the search thing it'll come in handy as long as one can't.
posted by carsonb at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2010


Better than having my learning fluctuate.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:13 PM on April 15, 2010


There's nothing wrong with asking, in almost all cases.

But that's only if you live in an ask culture, not a guess culture.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:33 PM on April 15, 2010


We're an Ask culture at MetaFilter.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:38 PM on April 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The gmail draft approach is interesting, but I wonder if MeFi Mail might not be a better data store. I tried checking MeFi Notebook for where it stores things but all I really learned is I don't know how to write greasemonkey scripts.
posted by pwnguin at 1:43 PM on April 15, 2010


You can't MeMail yourself, so that's not really going to work.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2010


You can't MeMail yourself, so that's not really going to work.

This is why my envelope is always grey :(
posted by djgh at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2010


You can't MeMail yourself, so that's not really going to work.

You could MeMail your sockpuppets. Just sayin'.
posted by owtytrof at 2:07 PM on April 15, 2010


You can't MeMail yourself, so that's not really going to work.

I demand this capability!
posted by killdevil at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2010


That's not how Ask culture works.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:59 PM on April 15, 2010


I would like an AskMe that's down to earth and deals with real-life problems, but is also swarming with magic robots.
posted by Aquaman at 3:07 PM on April 15, 2010


You can't MeMail yourself, so that's not really going to work.

Huh! Indeed you cannot. With a very small amount of trickery, you can compose a message to yourself, but when you try to send it, you get this:
MeFi Mail Error!

Couldn't send your message. Sorry, sending messages to yourself isn't allowed. If you feel this message is an error, please contact the site admins to let them know what went wrong
Someone has gone to some trouble to specifically check for this and make it not work. Now I'm curious: why? It's not obvious to me what kind of a problem it might cause. After all, I was able to add myself as a contacts, and I don't seem to have been struck by a meteor~...~..~~///'''

NO CARRIER
_

posted by FishBike at 3:43 PM on April 15, 2010


Now I'm curious: why?

It's just one of those things you code in so you can make certain assumptions anywhere you display messages. We came up with a list of rules at design time and put them in place. That rule exists because we wanted MeFi Mail to be a user to user messaging system, not a note-to-self system.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:03 PM on April 15, 2010


That rule exists because we wanted MeFi Mail to be a user to user messaging system, not a note-to-self system.

What harm to the system (or community) could a note-to-self cause?
posted by pjern at 4:38 PM on April 15, 2010


There's nothing wrong with asking, in almost all cases.

Does your wife ever talk about my penis?
Does my finger smell bad?
Can you taste my dick in those mashed potatoes?
Why are there so many Sikhs in the Tea Party?
Did you notice what I changed on your computer?
Do you always smell like this?
Why did you buy those pants?
posted by Meatbomb at 4:41 PM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


What harm to the system (or community) could a note-to-self cause?

This is really not about potential harm, it's about running a website with limited resources. We just barely want to support a messaging system as it is, but it was strongly desired by the community and seemed to be a good thing to have.

As it is, you couldn't use MeMail for "note to self" potential MeFi posts because it strips out HTML. So, just projecting a little, we'd add a "note to self" feature and then people would want richer HTML options, an ability to sort or file messages and other things more condusive to a personal notepad sort of feature and we just don't want to do that. We don't want to recreate email. You have email.

There are workarounds for the notepad option people want, many of them, that are totally fine. We're really not looking at this from a harm perspective, we're looking at it from a "is this something the community seems to badly want/need that they can't get elsewhere" perspective and the answer seems to be "no"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:52 PM on April 15, 2010


What harm to the system (or community) could a note-to-self cause?

I interpreted pb's explanation to mean that it's simpler to make a special-case check for this in one place (when sending mail) than it is to potentially make a bunch of special-case checks throughout the code to look for 'message from self' and handle it differently than 'message from someone else'. Which is a perfectly good reason to do that, I just wondered if it was something that got added later because it did break something, or what, and now I know.

And the point that MeFiMail isn't supposed to be a 'note to self' system means there's not much of an argument against preventing message-to-self, in that it's not taking away functionality that was otherwise intended to be there. Seems reasonable as well.
posted by FishBike at 5:09 PM on April 15, 2010


To get back to the OPs original question, this is actually what I use favorites for. Every time I have a question I search through the archives, find where someone else has already asked it and favorite the question. Then every Sunday night I look up my oldest favorite and post the question. It's a pain to have to remember every Sunday night so I'm working on writing a cron script to automate the whole thing.
posted by ChrisHartley at 6:08 PM on April 15, 2010


About MeMail: For example, you'd have to have a special case for "Reply", because otherwise "Reply" would send a message to yourself, which isn't supported.
posted by mendel at 6:50 PM on April 15, 2010


...it's not taking away functionality that was otherwise intended to be there.

Thanks yeah, and just to echo Jessamyn, we tried to come up with some rules for some edge cases when we were designing it--messages to self just happened to be one of them. We wanted it to stay as simple as possible and that's always been our mantra with MeFi Mail. That makes it easier to maintain and explain.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:25 PM on April 15, 2010


Flogging a dead pony?
posted by daniel striped tiger at 3:39 AM on April 16, 2010


You can't MeMail yourself, so that's not really going to work.

You can MeMail it to me, and I'll MeMail it back, and then you'll have it. Just don't forget that prior to posting you may wish to remove the comment about your mom/truckstops which I inserted.
posted by little e at 5:58 PM on April 17, 2010


... and we can call that "little e-mail"

Clearly what the site needs is a parallel mechanism to MeMail that only lets you send mail to yourself. We could call it YouMail.

Though I must say, of the three things I can think of right now that you can't do to yourself, sending MeMail is the least disappointing.
posted by FishBike at 6:19 PM on April 17, 2010


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