I would like to nominate for Meta-institutionalization the very nifty little arrows (like this ↩
) that Martijn
put at the end of the blockquotes (of other comments) in this comment.
posted by beagle to Feature Requests at 3:01 PM (46 comments total)
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Problem being addressed: Right now, lots of comment quotes are posted without attribution, because anchorlinks are kind of a hassle. Without them, you need to scroll up and down the thread or Command-F to find out who said that and what the context was. And where attribution anchorlinks are used, there are multiple styles people employ. Those little arrows as built-in functionality would make anchorlinks to quoted comments happen consistently, uniformly, unobtrusively and elegantly.
Two ways to do it:
1. (Basic) Add an "insert anchorlink" option at the bottom of the edit window, which would place that curvy arrow where your cursor is and lets you enter a link to any comment in the thread.
(Problem: doesn't make it automatic and not everybody would use it.)
2. (Cooler and much preferred) Whenever you quote, in a comment, a portion of any other previous comment in the same thread, (a) those words are automatically italicized and (b) the curvy arrow anchorlink, to the first instance of their use, is automatically appended to the end of the quote.
(Problem: Requires a non-trivial dynamic text search function, I guess, on every single comment posting. So perhaps a compromise between 1 and 2 is: an anchorlink function button that automatically finds the first instance of the text you're quoting from upthread, italicizes and creates the link. If you want to quote a second instance, you'd have to edit the thing yourself.)