Any chance of resurrecting this favorites pony request? September 15, 2016 11:10 AM   Subscribe

After a long day of reading the site on mobile while waiting for stuff, the request here to add a "Favorite this post" link to the "Who favorited this post" page (the one that comes up when you click the link with the number of people who favorited the post) made a lot of sense to me.

I found myself wanting exactly this today, because I keep accidentally hitting the link to view who favorited the post, rather than the +. When I searched for prior discussion, I only found the linked post, written by someone with the same issue. I agree that changing the + area would not be ideal. But I don't feel like this second option brought up in the previous pony request was adequately discussed, so I figured I'd bring it up.

What I'm imagining would be a little more nuanced than the original request. Could it perhaps be a text link that lives on the "who favorited this post" page, above the link to go back to the original post? Maybe it could have phrasing options that would allow you to alternately "Favorite this post" or "Unfavorite this post" from there (the way + and - do within the post itself or on the landing page for each section of the site).

Let me know if this doesn't make sense to anyone. Otherwise, would anyone else like to see this pony run free on the site? If so, are there any technical or UX barriers to adding it, and would it be something the mods would consider testing? Thanks for reading and considering this! I think it would be a real benefit for mobile users.
posted by limeonaire to Feature Requests at 11:10 AM (42 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Yeah, I took another look at that previous thread and checked in with frimble, and I think we can go ahead and do this. I share pb's feeling that it'd be nice to have it be a moot issue by not having those misclicks come up in the first place, but since we haven't found that magical Unicorn Of Mooting it seems reasonable to go ahead and make this tweak to the "x users marked this as a favorite:" page that the fave counts link through to.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:12 AM on September 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


Many thanks from a large-fingered mefite.
posted by zarq at 11:19 AM on September 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


Jesus zarq we get it you have enormous fingers stop bragging
posted by beerperson at 11:21 AM on September 15, 2016 [26 favorites]


Can we please not make everything about Trump?
posted by Etrigan at 11:25 AM on September 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Good news. pb actually added this two years ago. However, it wasn't visible unless your browser was detected as a mobile browser or you'd manually set the mobile browser cookie, something that is relevant in the classic metafilter theme, but not in the modern one.

I made the very slight change to make it visible all the time rather than in that case, so you should now see an [Add to favorites] link at the top of the list of people who have favourited the post or comment.
posted by frimble (staff) at 11:59 AM on September 15, 2016 [39 favorites]


Jeez, frimble. "Oh, hey, I did this in under an hour" falls right in your lap, and you're giving pb the credit for doing it in negative-two-years?
posted by Etrigan at 12:04 PM on September 15, 2016 [50 favorites]


frimble is just humble.
posted by Pendragon at 12:07 PM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


And what other hidden treasures did pb leave in the mines...as I'm convinced there is no mining going on but the making diamond ponies and cat scanned tourmaline. pb was crafting this, on limited display and Frimble brought it up, polished ready to use.

Alchemistical code wizards!
posted by clavdivs at 12:11 PM on September 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


If I made that claim, I'd know that I hadn't done the hard bits, and the git log would know that I hadn't done them, and the log would sit in silent judgement of me. And being judged by inanimate objects is the worst, because they just sit there impassively as you plead your case and make excuses.
posted by frimble (staff) at 12:12 PM on September 15, 2016 [48 favorites]


In the process we managed to establish that Safari was being a dick about my iPhone cookies, so it's been a real emotional rollercoaster.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:12 PM on September 15, 2016 [21 favorites]


But we also learned that Cortex remembers his Metafilter password, so potential bullet dodged there.
posted by frimble (staff) at 12:15 PM on September 15, 2016 [25 favorites]


they just sit there impassively as you plead your case and make excuses.

I am imagining the Unicorn Of Mooting sitting in the corner, glaring at you.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:18 PM on September 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


We all remember cortex's password. It's ********.
posted by Etrigan at 12:31 PM on September 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


And being judged by inanimate objects is the worst, because they just sit there impassively as you plead your case and make excuses.

See also treadmill.
posted by Kabanos at 12:40 PM on September 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Note that that's my old password; I added three more asterisks a while back to make it harder to brute-force.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:43 PM on September 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


We all remember cortex's password. It's ********.

Wow! Mine is hunter2 as well -- there's no way that this is just a coincidence.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:53 PM on September 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


I added three more asterisks a while back to make it harder to brute-force.

To the front, or the back?
posted by Etrigan at 12:56 PM on September 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


Obviously to the—oof, you almost got me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:57 PM on September 15, 2016 [17 favorites]


But we also learned that Cortex remembers his Metafilter password, so potential bullet dodged there.

Which will come in handy if any of the mods accidentally ban themselves.
posted by zarq at 1:33 PM on September 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


cortex since it's just us friends sitting around, what would you say was the name of your first pet?
posted by beerperson at 1:53 PM on September 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


that's a funny story, he was a guinea pig and I gave him my mother's maiden name
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:57 PM on September 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


haha oh hilarious, i assume this was in the same town where you met your spouse
posted by beerperson at 2:01 PM on September 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


I still want to put backspaces in my password.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:05 PM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Some system I supported (VM or PROFS maybe) allowed backspaces in passwords; it was pretty much a horror story.
posted by Mitheral at 2:13 PM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


it'd be nice to have it be a moot issue by not having those misclicks come up in the first place, but since we haven't found that magical Unicorn Of Mooting

In the preferences, setting "Comment favorite style" to "Hide Favorites" completely prevents these misclicks. Plus you get to pretend you don't care what other people think!
posted by aubilenon at 2:41 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


We all remember cortex's password. It's ********.

Well, not exactly. We got the hint

potential bullet dodged there

which means his password is obviously ••••••••
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:46 PM on September 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Jeez, frimble. "Oh, hey, I did this in under an hour" falls right in your lap, and you're giving pb the credit for doing it in negative-two-years?

It has been previously established that pb was a time traveler. I am pretty sure cortex failed to include that requirement when he advertised for a replacement.
posted by Michele in California at 2:51 PM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wow, excellent! Thanks, frimble, cortex, and (belatedly) pb! I was in back-to-back meetings this afternoon and didn't see the discussion and immediate amazing results until just now.

As is the custom in GitHub at work to express approval of a pull request in code review: 🐴

I horse the implementation of this pony. Thanks for letting it run free!

🐴 🐴 🐴 🐴 🐴 🐴
posted by limeonaire at 3:24 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Whatever happened to swipe to favorite? Is there any chance that makes it to official feature status?
posted by Rock Steady at 7:10 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good news. pb actually added this two years ago. However, it wasn't visible unless your browser was detected as a mobile browser or you'd manually set the mobile browser cookie, something that is relevant in the classic metafilter theme, but not in the modern one.

Oh thank goodness. I was sitting there wondering 'We do already have this, right? Guys?' Hazards of mostly reading Mefi on mobile.
posted by librarylis at 7:20 PM on September 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've been browsing this site on mobile since my computer died and I was really excited about this feature being added. Guess I never noticed it...
posted by teponaztli at 9:39 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


A random question not related to this thread, but, frimble, how large is metafilter, server side, anyway? Excluding databases of course, but the part that keeps everything running? How many lines of code, how many megabytes of code? If it's not a secret. I ask because mefi has always felt lean in the best sense of the word, but is there actually a gargantuan machinery beneath it keeping up the appearances?
posted by Pyrogenesis at 5:07 AM on September 16, 2016


Just one child kept in misery. Welcome to OmelaFilter.
posted by Etrigan at 6:10 AM on September 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


All subsites together are about 50 Mb on disk and approximately 60 000 lines of code. That's total files (calculated by using du -h and then excluding directories that aren't part of the site itself, but rather contain metainformation, like .git/) and total lines in ColdFusion source files, because I can't be bothered trying to find a tool to calculate significant lines for ColdFusion and went with the lazy:
find . -name '*.cfm' -o -name '*.mefi' | xargs wc -l
Whether that's a lot or not is hard to say. There's definitely places where you can be pretty sure that a given file isn't used anymore, but not completely sure without doing time-consuming digging, so both numbers are higher than the answer to "how large is MetaFilter?"

Maybe more relevant to your question would be how much code it takes to render a thread, which comes in at about 3000 lines or 185 kB, where maybe a quarter of that is either rendering choices specific to the classic or modern themes or adding in changes specific to one particular thread, for whatever the reason.

That all said, the database shouldn't be overlooked: the rendering flow of most pages on MetaFilter is: set things up, run a stored procedure on the database server, format the results. So, there's about 200 stored procedures doing a lot of work despite being ultimately a few megabytes of SQL. So for a totally different complexity measure, I spend about half of my time dealing with ColdFusion, about half dealing with SQL, and the remaining bit with Javascript.
posted by frimble (staff) at 7:14 AM on September 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Of course, because those numbers are handwavey and fudged, the glib-but-still-equally-accurate answer to the question, "How large is MetaFilter?" would be "20 MB, same as in town."
posted by frimble (staff) at 7:17 AM on September 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


Of course, because those numbers are handwavey and fudged, the glib-but-still-equally-accurate answer to the question, "How large is MetaFilter?" would be "20 MB, same as in town."

Making that joke is how you got the job, isn't it?

I once had a crack at answering the question "How large is MetaFilter?" and my math was a little different than yours.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:28 AM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Somebody should update/redo the Metafilter Contribution Index.
posted by languagehat at 8:38 AM on September 16, 2016


I was only trying to answer the question for the MetaFilter which can be named, even if that is not the eternal MetaFilter.
posted by frimble (staff) at 8:38 AM on September 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


50mb sounds... well, it's (unfortunately) not like mefi is a coal-fuelled mechanical arachnid/bulldozer that will demolish all you know and love, but that's still a lot of code.

Also damn you for linking to that thread. :(
posted by Pyrogenesis at 8:57 AM on September 16, 2016


One thing the site has is a lot of duplication from subsite to subsite; MeFi grew very organically and for a bunch of years was essentially Matt just muddling his way through solo, and then later pb inheriting that tradition. So for significant chunks of the codebase, the total footprint represents in part the footprint of similar pieces repeated 5-10 times across subsite-specific variations on the same basic functionality.

Which isn't great in its own right, obviously, in terms of code cleanliness and reuse, etc., but, again, organic tiny-shop project that's 17 years old. pb spent a fair amount of effort refactoring that stuff over the years where he was able and it was practical, so it's gotten a bit more space/code efficient on average even as new subsites have grown the overall footprint. But the various subsites are also not identical in their functionality, and have to grapple with a database that is itself similarly a bit wonky from subsite to subsite thanks to that organic meandering growth, so really streamlining all the various subsite-specific variations of a given chunk of functionality into a monolithic approach with exception cases and a smaller footprint is trickier than one would like to hope.

We also maintain assets for both the Classic and Modern themes, and the Modern theme is a generated rather than hand-crafted set of files so there's some extra footprint I think from config and intermediary stuff (a bunch of SaaS and grunt stuff, etc).

And (not saying this is what anybody's saying, just on the general subject because it makes me think about it) I've had the "what if you just rewrote MeFi from scratch in not-CF" conversation a few times with folks, and it's one of those things where the appeal is so there—modern toolset and libraries; building the thing we know we already want, in the shape we want it, from the ground up according to a design doc instead of a weird London Bridge shantytown; aim for reuse and eliminating redundancy and cruft—but the practical difference between getting a solid skeleton of Basic MetaFilter Functionality up and running and getting the full detailed nooks-and-crannies fleet of little features and usage details and look and feel replicated is a huge, huge one and I feel like it's easy to imagine the workload of the former instead of the workload for the latter, even when I daydream about it a little while knowing better.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:09 AM on September 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


according to a design doc instead of a weird London Bridge shantytown

ColdFusion site over two decades = China Miéville novel? ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:16 AM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait, is it possible to favorite the favorites list but not the post or comment, because sometimes I just need a list of who's up against the wall first when the revolution comes and that would be handy.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:00 PM on September 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


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