Recent Activity Comment Length Po[...] January 29, 2015 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes comments in recent activity get truncated with a "[...]" when they run too long. Could we allow MeFites to customize this aggressiveness? For instance, I've currently got a thread at the top of Recent Activity that contains a number of comments such as this one (9,414 characters over five paragraphs) and this one (11,121 characters over six paragraphs). These walls of text make it difficult to navigate. If I could choose the point at which comments are truncated (say, two paragraphs or 1,000 characters, whichever comes second) I -and maybe others?- would be a happy camper. Is this a cool and reasonable idea?
posted by Going To Maine to Feature Requests at 8:04 AM (78 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

We'll give this some thought. Can you describe the difficulty navigating a little bit more? Is it difficult to tell where one comment begins and another ends? I'm just wondering if there's something beyond comment length causing problems.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:14 AM on January 29, 2015


Is this on mobile or desktop or both? I could imagine on mobile the current cut-off length would mean a lot of scrolling.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:15 AM on January 29, 2015


I don't know about reasonable, but it certainly is a cool idea.
posted by 724A at 8:28 AM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can you describe the difficulty navigating a little bit more? Is it difficult to tell where one comment begins and another ends? I'm just wondering if there's something beyond comment length causing problems.

Telling where things end was something of a problem in this case. I think my complaint is also tied into how these comments are both not "new" comments in the thread. When they were new, I was less miffed about having to get past them. However, the newest comment (activity is desultory at this point), is a one-liner linking to a related news article. So my experience was to have this wall of text re-emerge from the rear of my threads and then need to scroll past a number of long comments to find the small final note.

Is this on mobile or desktop or both? I could imagine on mobile the current cut-off length would mean a lot of scrolling.

This is on a laptop with a track pad. Testing on my phone now, I'd say there's definitely a lot of scrolling, but the narrower screen increases the impact of the white space between the comments, and that that makes it easier for me to handle.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:29 AM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like this. A shorter cutoff that makes me switch to the thread also means I'll see additional new comments right away. His point about old threads is also good.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:46 AM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]




Huh. This has annoyed me and I didn't even realise it before this thread... I mostly view the site on my phone and usually go to Recent Activity first, so I agree scrolling past long comments I've already read to get to new ones can be a little tiresome. As well as shortening the length of comments in RA (I'd vote for just one paragraph maybe), would it be possible to limit the number of new comments from 10 to 5 or is that baby/bathwater territory?
posted by billiebee at 8:55 AM on January 29, 2015


Add me to the list of people who'd do a dance if this became available.
posted by meese at 9:13 AM on January 29, 2015


Yeah, I am for shorter, and realize some might not be, so this sounds like a great idea. Even in browser it's too much text for that view (for how I use it).
posted by cjorgensen at 9:14 AM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the extra info, Going to Maine. Comments currently cut off at 4,000 characters. We're more open to changing that to a lower number than making an individual user preference for it.

The reason we have a cutoff at all is because Recent Activity is designed to be a place where you get updates, not necessarily consume content. So as people shift to smaller screens I think it makes sense to scale back the excerpts you see in Recent Activity.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:54 AM on January 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah! To clarify my original reports (since they included spaces, I think?)

9,414 characters -> 2,322 characters
11,121 characters -> 3,557 characters
posted by Going To Maine at 9:59 AM on January 29, 2015


I kind of want more information about how many characters are left to view. I've opened up a thread before, to find out that I was missing only a word or two.

Another thing I'd like would be to optionally be able to expand the comment inline, kind of like how we can show new comments. Better than opening up the entire topic just to view one comment. With fast moving threads I usually just open up the thread, but for slower threads doing that seems like a waste of bandwidth just because someone decided to write a long comment.
posted by Green With You at 10:24 AM on January 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


We're more open to changing that to a lower number than making an individual user preference for it.

Personally I'd much prefer customizable to a blanket reduction. I often catch up on threads in the Recent Activity tab, and I more often find it annoying that I can't read a whole comment there than find it annoying to scroll past a long one. Is making it customizable inherently difficult to program, or otherwise wasteful of computing resources? Because it seems like different people use the tab in different ways, and a customizable setting would help make everyone happy.
posted by yoink at 10:27 AM on January 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'll just add that Green With You's suggestion also seems ideal; have a short cut-off as default, but enable people to open longer comments without navigating away from the Recent Comments page.
posted by yoink at 10:28 AM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is making it customizable inherently difficult to program, or otherwise wasteful of computing resources?

It's not that it's difficult to program, it's that we're very hesitant to add more preferences to the preferences page. We have always viewed piling preference upon preference as hostile to users. We'd rather make difficult choices that will work for many users.

We'll think about expanding comments inline. That seems like a good compromise.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:38 AM on January 29, 2015 [14 favorites]


I kind of want more information about how many characters are left to view. I've opened up a thread before, to find out that I was missing only a word or two.

This! The times when I've currently seen truncation that most stick in my mind are those where the comment ran just up to the limit, which is quite vexing. There might be other times where this wasn't the case, but these are the ones that stick in my head.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:47 AM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think my complaint is also tied into how these comments are both not "new" comments in the thread. When they were new, I was less miffed about having to get past them.

I can see that. One of the things I like about recent activity is that I can see comments posted in long-dormant threads I was interested in. I like when I find out that someone posted a new comment in a thread that I had previously followed for the first time in a week (2 weeks, 3 months in AskMe, etc.). But I don't need to scroll through the nine much older comments that preceded it when that happens, and try to find where the "new" stuff really begins, regardless of whether those older comments are long or short.

Maybe instead of "last 10 comments" it could be "last 10 comments or comments posted within the last week, whichever is less?"
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:59 AM on January 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but: as a desktop user, I'd actually like RA to contain the full text of comments with no truncation.

pb: Recent Activity is designed to be a place where you get updates, not necessarily consume content.

I appreciate that ideal. But in practice: for slow-moving and/or old threads RA often is the way I consume new content: check RA, read new comments, favorite, done. No need to load the post's page unless I want to comment on it; or unless GAH THAT INTERESTING LONG COMMENT GOT TRUNCATED and now I have to click, load, and re-read to re-orient myself back into its train of thought.

(But despite my all-caps above this really is a minor nit.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:24 AM on January 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


This! The times when I've currently seen truncation that most stick in my mind are those where the comment ran just up to the limit, which is quite vexing.

No matter where you set it, I think, most of the ones you see will be just over the limit.
posted by empath at 11:38 AM on January 29, 2015


GAH THAT INTERESTING LONG COMMENT GOT TRUNCATED

One fix for this would be to add an anchor at the truncation point in the actual comment so that clicking on the ellipsis or "more" would load the page right at that line, which clicking on the time of the comment would load the page at the first line of the comment as normal. This would involve extra programming to insert the anchors on the post page where necessary, though.
posted by rhizome at 11:53 AM on January 29, 2015


So as people shift to smaller screens I think it makes sense to scale back the excerpts you see in Recent Activity.

No no please no. On mobile is when I most want to consume all the threads in recent activity without having to navigate away. It's frustrating to get to the end of a long comment and see it's been truncated because now I will never read the rest of it and I just wasted my time by starting to read it in the first place. Maybe we could just discourage mega comments?

If I could choose, I would want no truncation and more comments. On desktop, too, truncation is pointless because there's lots of space and scrolling is pretty easy.

Finally I'm not sure how giving users options is seen as hostile and trying to make decisions for them is not, especially when the decisions are made with no ux process.
posted by bleep at 12:05 PM on January 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


And now I see I just repeated almost of all of what We had a deal, Kyle said.
posted by bleep at 12:07 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd prefer all of the comments in RA as well; being able to expand within the page would also be fine.
posted by jeather at 12:09 PM on January 29, 2015


We'll think about expanding comments inline.

This would be great.
posted by audi alteram partem at 12:21 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


We'll think about expanding comments inline.
This would be cool! I very occasionally get mildly annoyed by having to jump to the thread to read the rest of a comment to find it's only a word or two. 'Occasionally' and 'mildly annoyed' = not all that important, but would be nice.
posted by dg at 12:23 PM on January 29, 2015


Recent Activity is designed to be a place where you get updates, not necessarily consume content.

Yeah, I get the intention. But RA as it exists today is in a limbo between updates and consumption, and it's not doing a great job of either. There's just enough content in RA for it to be an attractive place for consumption (as We had a deal, Kyle explained). But, it also has enough drawbacks to make the consumption non-optimal.

For me, the sweet spot where RA works best is when a post has between 5 and 10 new comments. More than 10, and I have to load the whole thread and find where I left off (this is made harder because the "N new comments" link isn't shown on the RA page). Fewer than about 5 new comments, and I have to scroll past too many old comments to find the new stuff.

Right now, RA answers the question "what are the last things to happen in the thread," which is only loosely correlated to the question I really want answered: "what's happened since I last read this thread." If RA was better at addressing the second question — if we didn't have to skip past comments we've already read — then that could ease the tension we're seeing in this thread between "skipping old comments is cumbersome" and "show me everything."

So I think shorter excerpts with inline expansion would definitely be a useful, short-term improvement. But I also think that it's worth doing a longer-term rethinking of how RA delivers updates (even though I'm sure there would be plenty of technical challenges in the implementation).
posted by Banknote of the year at 12:49 PM on January 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would be very sad if the truncation got MORE aggressive. I understand the idea for use of recent but that doesn't mean that's how I use it.
posted by phearlez at 12:50 PM on January 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


On mobile is when I most want to consume all the threads in recent activity without having to navigate away.

I would agree with this sentiment, too, actually: on mobile, scrolling is easy, and clicking and typing are hard.

On desktop, too, truncation is pointless because there's lots of space and scrolling is pretty easy.

Here I'd disagree, I think. On Desktop, I can just open up a dedicated tab for the thread because the odds are that I want to comment. And, well, see my reason for posting this MeTa.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:50 PM on January 29, 2015


Maybe instead of "last 10 comments" it could be "last 10 comments or comments posted within the last week, whichever is less?"

I think changing the algorithm is going to be a losing approach. This is one of those issues where I really like RA the way it is (the truncation's occasionally a problem, but so rarely that I don't think it requires a fix) but I can see people wanting mobile/desktop options to be different.

I'm not sure how giving users options is seen as hostile and trying to make decisions for them is not

I feel like this is a taste thing. Having a hugely cluttered preferences page is a pain in the ass from an admin perspective (as is supporting people's granularly different user experiences) but as a user I've really loved getting to choose to turn favorites on or off and change font sizes and a bunch of other things. It may be time to revisit and regroup the preferences page into being less unwieldy. While I totally understand not wanting it just to become a catchall for things people don't agree on, it's a really great way to satisfy folks in situations where there are two strong competing factions (titles!).

How many views does the RA page get compared to the other pages? I know for me it's my bookmark for MeFi now that I don't go in through the admin page.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:56 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe we could just discourage mega comments?

Noooooooooooooo! I would like to register the strongest possible disagreement with this suggestion!

I love the idea of being able to expand comments inline, though.
posted by dialetheia at 1:02 PM on January 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is one of those epic pet peeves I have with the site design, only because every time I have ever clicked to see the rest of the comment there was only one more sentence. Every single time.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:02 PM on January 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I more often find it annoying that I can't read a whole comment there than find it annoying to scroll past a long one.

Me too for what it's worth. Expanding inline does seem like it would offer the best of both worlds though.
posted by shelleycat at 1:05 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would agree with this sentiment, too, actually: on mobile, scrolling is easy, and clicking and typing are hard.

I agree that scrolling is easy and clicking and typing are hard on mobile. But on mobile I want to navigate as little as possible because my cellular data goes in and out on the subway.
posted by bleep at 1:12 PM on January 29, 2015


Also on mobile I don't know how to read.
posted by bleep at 1:13 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


RA as it exists today is in a limbo between updates and consumption, and it's not doing a great job of either.

To me it's a pretty good compromise between these two. I agree that the option to expand truncated comments in RA might be a nice addition, though.

Right now, RA [...] is only loosely correlated to the question I really want answered: "what's happened since I last read this thread."

My solution for this is to just keep a tab open for threads where I think there'll be more than 10 additional comments, and I'll want to really catch up on the whole discussion. (For extra certainty, you can click on the timestamp of the last comment you read -- then the tab will add a little yellow arrow at the last comment you read so you can get back to it if you lose your place after loading new comments.) The inline "n new comments" function lets me have a sense of how much new stuff there is before I even load the new stuff.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:13 PM on January 29, 2015


because every time I have ever clicked to see the rest of the comment there was only one more sentence. Every single time.

Having a click-to-expand feature would make your frustration go down immensely though, right? I agree it's awkward to navigate to another page just to catch another few words that end a sentence.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:25 PM on January 29, 2015


Click to expand would definitely fix that issue, but really the pony I want most is a RA that shows me the comments from when I left off reading and the ability to subscribe to threads to show there without commenting. I know that's a thing that has been brought up before though and isn't likely on the table, so don't get me wrong, click to expand would be very welcome too.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:30 PM on January 29, 2015


A as it exists today is in a limbo between updates and consumption, and it's not doing a great job of either.
To me it's a pretty good compromise between these two. I agree that the option to expand truncated comments in RA might be a nice addition, though.

I agree that it's a pretty good compromise, in that it's a very useful way of keeping in touch with threads that are tapering off (and for that one Music thread that I commented in five years ago that pops up in RA just before Christmas every year, like a long-lost friend). It's not so effective for fast-moving threads, but having a separate tab open for those threads is a better solution in many ways - that is less functional on mobile than desktop, of course, but so are many, many other things (not just on MeFi). In-line 'click-to-expand' for long comments would be useful and, for me, would solve probably 80% of the annoyance issues. If that were available, I'd actually prefer that the cut-off be made shorter than it currently is.

I'd also like to be able to 'just watch' threads in RA, but that has been discussed before and it seems pretty clear that's off the table.
posted by dg at 1:32 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mobile is also missing the remove-from-recent-activity button, which would be handy in cases like this.
posted by smackfu at 1:33 PM on January 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


the ability to subscribe to threads to show there without commenting

Oh goodness yes this so much this.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:34 PM on January 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


a RA that shows me the comments from when I left off reading

Yeah that one is a huge engineering project. Basically we'd need a database table that tracked every user and every thread they looked at and the last scroll position/visible comment from the last timestamp of their visit, and it might get out of sync since you might not leave MeFi and counts could get off. It's a pretty huge project that would be daunting. I know there used to be greasemonkey scripts that saved last read position, which might work in absence of this.

the ability to subscribe to threads to show there without commenting

pb built this a few months ago for us to test, and it works pretty good. It's shown on thread pages, on the post, next to add to favorites, there's a separate add to recent activity that tracks it in the same way. It's something we haven't touched in a bit, but could be cleaned up and made ready for everyone to use (currently there's a clunky blank page that says "ok, added to RA" that will need to be ajaxified).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:49 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


a RA that shows me the comments from when I left off reading

Yeah that one is a huge engineering project. Basically we'd need a database table that tracked every user and every thread they looked at and the last scroll position/visible comment from the last timestamp of their visit, and it might get out of sync since you might not leave MeFi and counts could get off. It's a pretty huge project that would be daunting. I know there used to be greasemonkey scripts that saved last read position, which might work in absence of this.


Could we add an icon that people can click on to bookmark where they last read / where they want to start reading from? Might not play well with RA but could be useful within threads.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:55 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Could we add an icon that people can click on to bookmark where they last read / where they want to start reading from? Might not play well with RA but could be useful within threads.

That kind of functionality seems better for things like client-side scripts like greasemonkey.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:56 PM on January 29, 2015


But my Kindle books sync across platforms and devices, why can't MetaFilter? This is why we need a MetaFilter app! {/hamburger}
posted by filthy light thief at 1:58 PM on January 29, 2015


I regularly use 3-4 different devices to access the site, one mobile. Scripts aren't really a solution there.

I'm not sure why you would have to track stuff like scroll position, last comment loaded is all you need. It doesn't need to track where I left off if I gave up on the thread halfway in. I just want it to show stuff added since the last time I looked at it. Even so, I do understand it would be a huge project.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:00 PM on January 29, 2015


Mobile is also missing the remove-from-recent-activity button, which would be handy in cases like this.

I just added a link at the bottom of RA in mobile called "Manage Posts in Recent Activity". This will take you to a page that lists all of the posts in Recent Activity by title with a "remove" link after each. Click that and you'll remove the thread from Recent Activity.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:05 PM on January 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


pb built [the ability to subscribe to threads ... without commenting] a few months ago for us to test, and it works pretty good. It's shown on thread pages, on the post, next to add to favorites, there's a separate add to recent activity that tracks it in the same way. It's something we haven't touched in a bit, but could be cleaned up and made ready for everyone to use (currently there's a clunky blank page that says "ok, added to RA" that will need to be ajaxified).

So I'm curious about the rationale behind making this new feature, when there's already the Recent Activity on my Favourite Posts page? Functionally, that seems to do the same thing as subscribing without commenting. Is the idea just to make the functionality more visible/discoverable? Or maybe there's a distinction I'm not getting.

I'm not against the change, just wondering about the motivation.
posted by Banknote of the year at 2:23 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not against the change, just wondering about the motivation.

We've heard consistently that people frequently add things to favorites that they don't want to follow in Recent Activity. And switching to that tab is less convenient than having everything in one spot.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:29 PM on January 29, 2015


Would it be possible for Mefi to track the last comment you explicitly loaded in a thread (i.e., by clicking on the URL), and have Recent Activity display from that comment or the last ten comments, whichever is less? That way I could keep up with threads just by reading them in Recent Activity and clicking on the timestamp of the last comment to load it in the background.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:32 PM on January 29, 2015


This won't help on mobile, but for desktop/laptop users (like Going To Maine), note that instead of scrolling past the long comment you can hit the . key on your keyboard to jump directly to the next one. (The J key does it, too.)
posted by nobody at 2:33 PM on January 29, 2015


I had no idea you could go to recent activity on your favorite posts. None. Wow.
posted by Michele in California at 3:51 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just added a link at the bottom of RA in mobile called "Manage Posts in Recent Activity". This will take you to a page that lists all of the posts in Recent Activity by title with a "remove" link after each.

Hurray, now is the time.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:58 PM on January 29, 2015


uh its set to get the whole preamble to the treaty of westphalia in there i dunno why you want people to have uincorrect views on nation states
posted by klangklangston at 4:07 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


mathowie: "pb built this a few months ago for us to test"

I would ride the hell out of this pony.
posted by Mitheral at 4:34 PM on January 29, 2015


My only beef with the cutoff (other than the fact that it exists at all) is that is seems like nine times out of ten, I click through from the truncated comment to the full one only to find, like, three more words.

Is there some way to make it so it cuts off after so many characters unless there's only a few more to go? (If >1100 then cut to 1000, that sort if thing.)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:39 PM on January 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ibid.
posted by clavdivs at 4:42 PM on January 29, 2015


I'm just very impressed at how many people click through to read truncated comments.
posted by bleep at 4:55 PM on January 29, 2015


We have always viewed piling preference upon preference as hostile to users.

Pick a Theme: modern, classic, plain, hostile
posted by homunculus at 4:57 PM on January 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


ok, maybe my comment about preferences being hostile wasn't so great. I think my point is that if we added a preference every time there's a disagreement over something in MetaTalk, we'd need to provide a map to navigate the various preference pages we'd need. I think that's hostile to users. Every preference also makes things a little more difficult to maintain and explain.

We're obviously not completely against adding preferences. And we have some doozies in there that make things difficult. We also feel like those preferences on the preference page rise to the level of overcoming those challenges. Not every disagreement is going to rise to that level and our default position is avoiding a new preference.
posted by pb (staff) at 5:29 PM on January 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm torn on this. On mobile, I generally click over to a new tab to read those long comments, so on the one hand, I'd like comments to show mostly on Recent Activity. On the other hand, the long scroll for those comments I've already read sucks.
posted by immlass at 5:47 PM on January 29, 2015


I pretty much live in recent activity.

I like the user-definable amt. of truncation idea, esp. if it were cookie based like the theme. I'd probably be happy with more truncation on the phone but would prefer none at all on the iPad/desktop. Clicking through to a thread to see One. More. Word. is crazy annoying.

In absence of adding a preference, Matt's click-to-expand seems eminently reasonable.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:49 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pick a Theme: modern, classic, plain, hostile

Down here in the deep south, you get kind of inured to the hostile white theme.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:51 PM on January 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think my point is that if we added a preference every time there's a disagreement over something in MetaTalk, we'd need to provide a map to navigate the various preference pages we'd need.

For example: "BBEdit has so many preferences that Bare Bones Software actually included a full-featured search function within the preferences window."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:04 PM on January 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


My only beef with the cutoff (other than the fact that it exists at all) is that is seems like nine times out of ten, I click through from the truncated comment to the full one only to find, like, three more words.


I know I already said it, but yes this. I call it the "Ivan Fyodorovich Phenomenon." It's some sort of natural law.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:19 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there some way to make it so it cuts off after so many characters unless there's only a few more to go? (If >1100 then cut to 1000, that sort if thing.)
I will add my vote for this, but add a rider that the existing cut-off be reduced by 50%.
posted by dg at 7:52 PM on January 29, 2015


Drinky Die: "I call it the "Ivan Fyodorovich Phenomenon.""

That's three extra *pages*.

I kid, Ivan.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:21 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not crazy about any idea that adds more link real-estate to the page. I already accidentally fat-finger click something more than I want to when I'm trying to scroll.

But then, I'd be happy if RA just had the 'posted by' line with the date/time and made me click through to see the actual comment. So what do I know?
posted by ctmf at 8:22 PM on January 29, 2015


And does anyone else have a problem with iOS mistaking a scroll gesture for a text selection, and then refusing to allow any way to deselect the text? Just me? Goddamn that's maddening. Maybe I'm just bad at scrolling.
posted by ctmf at 8:26 PM on January 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


No, ctmf it's not just you. It's worse in the modern theme than classic, and it happens to me all the time. It's a lot worse since iOS 8 - it's difficult for me to select a line of text intentionally too - always wants to snap to the entire paragraph, then I have trouble moving the cursor around in the comment window, or scrolling the comment window. I'd say it's more Apple than MetaFilter because I occasionally have trouble on other sites, but it seems worse here.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:38 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


And does anyone else have a problem with iOS mistaking a scroll gesture for a text selection, and then refusing to allow any way to deselect the text? Just me? Goddamn that's maddening. Maybe I'm just bad at scrolling.

Selecting text works about 50 percent of the time on my iphone, and fails disagreeably on my ipad. It grabs the entire paragraph and any attempt to change that results in the page endlessly scrolling downwards until I close the browser and restart it. This is the only site with that issue that I have encountered.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:06 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh yes, iOS breaks metafilter, still, for me. Copy/paste basically does not work or involves so much guesswork and editing after the paste that it ain't worth it to quote a previous comment for context. Also, there is a huge offset between where a link or button appears on the screen (let's say the "link" button at the bottom of the comment input box) and where you have to touch the screen to activate it -- like half an inch lower than where the text is on the screen. (This is much worse on my phone, iPhone 5, iOS8).

Also meant to mention for a while: on my iPad (air), running iOS 8 in current version, mobile safari, the Mefi modern theme does not give me the "Skip >|" link I get at the top of the page on my iPhone (same iOS version) to jump to the bottom and the latest comment and comment box. I always have to manually scroll to the bottom of the page and on a long thread, it can be super frustrating.

All this got worse with the Modern theme and iOS8.

On the bright side it's helped break my addiction to metafilter, since properly commenting on the site involves breaking out the laptop and who does that anymore?
posted by spitbull at 5:35 AM on January 30, 2015


Oh and like Dip Flash, especially on the iPad (Air, running iOS8, mobile safari), any attempt to adjust text selection after it initially selects entire paragraphs or even multiple paragraphs seemingly by default also causes the page to start automatically scrolling, which often requires the page to be reloaded, which costs any text input already in the comment box.

So yes, that's annoying. Unless the idea is to make it hard to comment from iOS devices.
posted by spitbull at 5:41 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


And maybe it's just me, but as much as I like the look of the Modern theme, the old mobile stylesheet was far more functional on mobile devices.
posted by spitbull at 5:42 AM on January 30, 2015


Aww, hell, sorry to pepper the thread, but while I am at it, I think there should be an option in the mobile view to have very long comments appear truncated (with a "show more" link) on mobile devices. I was reading some thread yesterday where I ran across a comment that must have been 5000 words long. It took forever to scroll past it. I think there should be a user-settable option to have the first 1000 characters of any comment load, and then a show more link. Save bandwidth, save scrolling, save me having to read walls of text on a 4" screen.
posted by spitbull at 5:45 AM on January 30, 2015


Yeah, your addition to Metafilter is *clearly* broken....
posted by Chrysostom at 6:33 AM on January 30, 2015


If it ain't broke, break it.
posted by y2karl at 8:08 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


the old mobile stylesheet was far more functional on mobile devices.

I still use it. You can still use it.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:46 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cool, I had no idea it was still there.
posted by spitbull at 10:26 AM on January 30, 2015


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