New feature: live comment preview July 20, 2005 10:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying out live comment preview, graciously programmed by kokogiak. It should work in major browsers and fall back to the old preview pages for browsers without js support. Let me know if you find any bugs, or have any comments about it.
posted by mathowie to Feature Requests at 10:46 PM (242 comments total)

Hmm, they seem much too wide on metatalk comment pages...
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:49 PM on July 20, 2005


kokogiak is one of my personal net.gods. Also, he was quoted in a Business Week article I was reading about an hour ago about web service mashups. How cool is that?

Love the live preview. It is a bit too wide, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:53 PM on July 20, 2005


This looks kinda cool. Feels funny to not have an intermediate step before hitting post, though.
posted by obloquy at 10:55 PM on July 20, 2005


The live preview without an actual "preview" button seems kinda strange.
posted by cmonkey at 10:56 PM on July 20, 2005


I know, it's so instant now. I wonder if it might lead to increased chattiness.

Still, I think being able to skip the loading of two sloooow pages when making a comment makes up for it. There will be a decrease on server load to be sure.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:56 PM on July 20, 2005


But the live preview itself is pretty damn crafty. Mad props to the guy who put it together.
posted by cmonkey at 10:57 PM on July 20, 2005


So now it's only about as wide as the textarea you type in, though when posted it will be the full width of the browser.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:57 PM on July 20, 2005


I kind of miss the preview, it was like an "Are you sure?" button that saved me on many an occasion from posting unnecessary and occasionally unpleasant things.
posted by fenriq at 10:58 PM on July 20, 2005


Another new pony. The herd is growing nicely.
posted by caddis at 10:59 PM on July 20, 2005


Wouldn't it be better if the live preview was above the "hot" textarea? And btw, my spell check button vanished - should I start panicking already?
posted by nkyad at 11:00 PM on July 20, 2005


fenriq, that's true. I know a lot of people would write something, see it in preview, and then think twice. I think this will take some getting used to.

I've kicked around the idea of a 5 minute edit/delete window for comments, where someone could make small edits or withdraw their comment for up to five minutes after they make them, then they are set in stone.

That might be needed sooner than later after this feature is added.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:01 PM on July 20, 2005


the spellcheck button is on the toolbar (oh crap, I don't show that for safari -- lemme fix that).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:02 PM on July 20, 2005


hmm, sometimes I get a 1-2px line through the middle of it, between the preview comment div and the posted by div, depending on the window width. Odd.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:03 PM on July 20, 2005


Thinking about it more, though, I've gotta agree that this will probably make the chattiness factor skyrocket, Matt, cool as it is.

We shall see...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:04 PM on July 20, 2005


Sometimes the point of previewing is to see if there have been more relevant comments before posting: coud there be something like a "reload page" option that retains the comment in progress?
posted by obloquy at 11:05 PM on July 20, 2005


Ah, there it is - the small toolbar I've never paid much attention to before.

About the width, my preview area is more or less one-third as wide as the textarea (Windows XP, Firefox 1.0.6, MetaFilthy installed).

Well, that's progress - but I think I will miss those nice "On preview, everybody knows [insert name here] is an idiot".
posted by nkyad at 11:07 PM on July 20, 2005


Yeah, this would be the death of "on preview...blah blah blah"
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:07 PM on July 20, 2005


Ditto obloquy. But who am I kidding? I just want to see what this looks like!
(btw, seems to work nicely on Opera v8.01)
posted by coriolisdave at 11:08 PM on July 20, 2005


Huh, in firefox 1.0.4 on my XP system, the preview area is about as wide as the textarea, with no metafilthy extension running.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:09 PM on July 20, 2005


It's a neat addon to be sure but I'm not sure how I feel about it. For some reason I tend to catch a lot of errors on preview that aren't spelling related. It's like that little break between preview and posting lets me see the post with "fresh" eyes if that makes any sense.

Plus, now we don't have the ability to catch others' comments on preview.
posted by LeeJay at 11:09 PM on July 20, 2005


Whoa, it worked in Opera? That's what I was worried about.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:09 PM on July 20, 2005


Actually, I take that back. I have nae toolbar, and hitting "post" leaves the browser sitting there apparently doing nothing (while in actual fact the comment has been posted).
posted by coriolisdave at 11:10 PM on July 20, 2005


I think it's important for people to see what's been posted while they typed, but you could still have a preview button for that right? Personally, I find it distracting to see the text appearing down there while I type - could this be an option we could turn off if we like? And will light interfaces like cellphones now not get any preview options?

Having said all that, it is totally neat.
posted by freebird at 11:11 PM on July 20, 2005


on postview: sorry to get your hopes up ;)
posted by coriolisdave at 11:13 PM on July 20, 2005


Sorry, just noticed this is a MetaFilthy specific feature - the textarea is as wide as I want it to be. Mine is 4/5 of the page width wide, centralized. Next Metafilthy version will probably extend the preview area as well.
posted by nkyad at 11:15 PM on July 20, 2005


If you don't have javascript enabled, you should get the preview button like you used to.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:18 PM on July 20, 2005


I could add a preview button, but really, I think this is a user behavior kind of thing you just need to get used to.

After a few days of using this, would you really ever use the Preview button to see your post when you can already see it in the live preview area?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:19 PM on July 20, 2005


The fail over appears to flat out fail in ecto. One sees the old-style post box, but no clicky no cry.
posted by mwhybark at 11:20 PM on July 20, 2005


javascript disabled in firefox, it works. I see one button, marked Preview.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:27 PM on July 20, 2005


and js re-enabled, works again.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:27 PM on July 20, 2005


Opera + no javascript = one preview button.
Seriously, why does java not work in Opera? It's the only thing that gives me the right-royals
posted by coriolisdave at 11:32 PM on July 20, 2005


Looks and works great on Firefox under Jaguar. It is a little unnerving, though. Is there a substantial CPU or bandwidth savings?
posted by squirrel at 11:36 PM on July 20, 2005


This is great, yet kind of trippy.
Who is typing...wooooooo
posted by Quartermass at 11:37 PM on July 20, 2005


Super neat.
But I still like the preview button for seeing what others have just posted, like freebird says.
posted by librarina at 11:46 PM on July 20, 2005


I dig it. Thanks, both of you.
posted by cali at 11:52 PM on July 20, 2005


testing... 'Assiduus usus uni rei deditus et ingenium et artem sæpe vincit.'
posted by sbutler at 11:54 PM on July 20, 2005


It's nice and jazzy, but seriously, isn't it the same as having no preview?
posted by dhruva at 12:10 AM on July 21, 2005


This is really really cool. And as much as I loved typing "On Preview," I could get kind of used to this. Now I'm going to link to Quartermass's comment, just to test it, and see what that looks like in a live preview. You'll get very little out of that, dear reader, which I put in bold, just because.

Here's my Karnac the Magnificent moment: Say goodbye to "On Preview: _____" and say hello to gobs and gobs of immediate follow-up posts that say, "user x beat me to it!!!" That's a lot of noise, but I guess it's worth it.

(Even the spell check is still fast. Wow!)
posted by .kobayashi. at 12:11 AM on July 21, 2005


Terrific! As slow as the server can be sometimes, this saves frustration to be sure.
posted by kjh at 12:21 AM on July 21, 2005


Can't spellcheck in Safari anymore now that it's moved to the toolbar. But not much lost there.
After a few days of using this, would you really ever use the Preview button to see your post when you can already see it in the live preview area?
No, but I would use it to update the page before posting.

dhruva: it displays in HTML, which the comment box alone does not. Which is cool.

(%$*@&# I keep trying to delete from the wrong section! Learning curve.)
posted by obloquy at 12:30 AM on July 21, 2005


ah! I see.
posted by dhruva at 12:38 AM on July 21, 2005


Hmmm. This is cool. And HTML really does work!
posted by salmacis at 12:48 AM on July 21, 2005


I like it.
posted by taz at 12:51 AM on July 21, 2005


maybe I even ♥ it. Let's see what it does with our html entities.
posted by taz at 12:54 AM on July 21, 2005


neat!
posted by scarabic at 1:00 AM on July 21, 2005


I like this a lot.

I've kicked around the idea of a 5 minute edit/delete window for comments, where someone could make small edits or withdraw their comment for up to five minutes after they make them, then they are set in stone.

I'd love that.
posted by timeistight at 1:00 AM on July 21, 2005


Neato tool. Excellent. Thanks.

The real preview button should probably come back, even if it's redundant, so we can see what the thread is actually doing.

Though I suppose we can just adapt and learn to open the thread in a new tab or window to manually preview before posting.
posted by loquacious at 1:03 AM on July 21, 2005


I'm actually encountering a bit of an issue in Opera, where the page doesn't refresh after I post. Basically, it sits at "completed request" forever. When I go Back and then view comments again, my post is there.
posted by nightchrome at 1:08 AM on July 21, 2005


Yay! This will finally fix all those ?????? problems.

But the marquee element doesn't work with live preview.
posted by grouse at 1:25 AM on July 21, 2005


On second thought, it won't.
posted by grouse at 1:25 AM on July 21, 2005


thanks matt, and big big ups to kokogiak.
posted by Marquis at 1:29 AM on July 21, 2005


Encoding issues still? ??? shows up fine in preview, but in post.....
posted by nightchrome at 1:34 AM on July 21, 2005


And sadly, it seems the old workaround won't work now.
posted by nightchrome at 1:36 AM on July 21, 2005


Would it be possible for you to add a way to shut it off, kind of like noad, so we don't have to disable javascript solely for mefi?
posted by nightchrome at 1:43 AM on July 21, 2005


I miss the big Spell Check button. I didn't notice the little one, my first comment with the new preview box.
posted by Goofyy at 1:52 AM on July 21, 2005


Working great in opera here. Very slick, thanks!
posted by fvw at 1:59 AM on July 21, 2005


Oh Opera, I thee so, however I'm going to have to toggle your JS for MeFi every time I visit.

In general.. eh, let's see how bad the repetitions of obvious jokes get (now that we can't preview who beat us to the pun(ch)). If I begin to lose the will to live, I don't like it; otherwise, woo! gadgety!
I'd support any calls to have both the live and button-press preview.

I'm not going to have any time before next week to try and bug hunt why the process hangs in Opera, or why there's no spellcheck, but I'd really, truly appreciate it if someone else could.
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:59 AM on July 21, 2005


Well, even with manual preview, I missed out the verb in the first sentence.
Possibly a decision between "love" and "hate" which never got resolved.
posted by NinjaPirate at 2:01 AM on July 21, 2005


Apart from that "hang on post" thing, but that's not new for me (I used to rewrite the preview button to a post one in js which apparantly triggers it. I think I reported it a while back?)

Oh, and while we're at it: The username link is broken on Meta, it should point to www.metafilter.com/user.mefi/…
posted by fvw at 2:01 AM on July 21, 2005


I never had "hang on post" issues with the old system.
posted by nightchrome at 2:05 AM on July 21, 2005


Already said this in another post when I noticed it, but...

HOLY SHIT NICE AJAX, MATT!!! GOOD WORK!!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:05 AM on July 21, 2005


I think I'm going to keep using 'on preview...' just to confuse people.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:14 AM on July 21, 2005


...or the more appropriate, "on review."

As in, "On review, I meant to thank kokogiak for his great work, though Matt still gets props for making it available."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:17 AM on July 21, 2005


I just updated to the absolutely latest opera to see if it helps at all. Their support for tricksy hobbitses interactive HTML stuff has only recently become a serious effort.
posted by nightchrome at 2:18 AM on July 21, 2005


Newp, still borked. Ah well, no javascript for me for now.
posted by nightchrome at 2:18 AM on July 21, 2005


I don't know why, but I love it. thanks, Matt
posted by matteo at 2:22 AM on July 21, 2005


Using the plain-text theme on the blue (which I'm still waiting for globally, by the way, nudge nudge) renders the preview box pretty much illegible, Matt.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:35 AM on July 21, 2005


Works great for me; cool work kokogiak.
posted by Hartster at 2:48 AM on July 21, 2005


??? ?????? ??????? ?????
posted by Wolfdog at 2:59 AM on July 21, 2005


Как насчёт русских букв?
posted by Wolfdog at 3:12 AM on July 21, 2005


Thems fightin' words, wolf.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:22 AM on July 21, 2005


I just like playing with it to see what it can handle!

(<embed src="file:///c:/somemovie.mov"> instantly fired up a little Quicktime plugin! Sure, not very relevant, but such fun!)
posted by Jimbob at 3:30 AM on July 21, 2005


Very cool, if a little unnerving at first.

On preview, what stavrosthewonderchiclen said.
posted by dg at 3:33 AM on July 21, 2005


This is a big fat honkin' test. Had this been an actual comment, I have put a link in it.

Wow! Very cool.
posted by yhbc at 4:01 AM on July 21, 2005


It's a very cool feature, and seems just like magic to someone who knows jack about computers like I do.

I do think that in active threads where the comments tend to get long and involved it will be a problem not to be able to reload the page before posting to see what else has been added to the conversation.
posted by OmieWise at 4:03 AM on July 21, 2005


hey, this is really cool. and it just makes everything seem a little nippier.
posted by dodgygeezer at 4:19 AM on July 21, 2005


Cool thanks guys, but I also would like a reload button that retains my unposted text for those times.
posted by peacay at 4:32 AM on July 21, 2005


Hm..well the reload browser in FF doesn't eat the text so I guess no button next to the text box is only a minorish thing.
posted by peacay at 4:34 AM on July 21, 2005


მხედრული
posted by Wolfdog at 4:44 AM on July 21, 2005


Testing... Spiffy!
posted by mrbill at 4:51 AM on July 21, 2005


wicked cool, I love this - that kokogiak guy is so smart! thanks to you both.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:34 AM on July 21, 2005


I remember seeing a mod for MT which did this in comments, and the first concern was that it might make it easier for spammers to auto-submit. This might up the moderation load, but I guess that's what [!] is for.
posted by brownpau at 5:36 AM on July 21, 2005


Suggestion for Matt:

Put the "post" button under the live preview.

Awe shit, on live preview, already done.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:48 AM on July 21, 2005


yay for this. I love when I find a new toy unexpectedly. I'm all like "LIVE PREVIEW?!?!?! What's that? ooh, ooh!- It's a live preview!" Thanks for continuing to add cool stuff.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:49 AM on July 21, 2005


Ok, suggestion #2: User-defined width in preference settings. That goes for the comment box as well. Please show pity on those of us who must suffer at 1792x1344 resolution. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:50 AM on July 21, 2005


Thank you very much. This thing is slightly creepy, however, since it looks like my computer is playing that goddamn mimicking game with me. Spell check is cool too. Thanks!
posted by sciurus at 6:06 AM on July 21, 2005


HOLY SHIT NICE AJAX, MATT!!! GOOD WORK!!

Isn't this plain old (client-side) JavaScript?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:12 AM on July 21, 2005


I kind of miss the preview, it was like an "Are you sure?" button that saved me on many an occasion from posting unnecessary and occasionally unpleasant things.
posted by fenriq at 10:58 PM PST on July 20 [!]


Agreed.

This will take some getting used to. I mean it's very cool and will help with server load (and therefore invaluable) but I'm pretty sure the quality of posts will go down as people won't have a chance to think twice about what they are writing.
posted by sic at 6:18 AM on July 21, 2005


Live preview is sexy!
posted by JanetLand at 6:20 AM on July 21, 2005



Maybe a tiny bug.

posted by Wolfdog at 6:37 AM on July 21, 2005


Oops. To qualify my spam concern up there (no live editing just yet!), the problem I was referring to involves being able to post direct to the thread, not the live preview. But again, [!]+$5 and all.

Oh, and next up: live thread updating on post! Just add chanserv, ops, and lots more juvenile scat humor (already there) and we'll officially be Metafilter AJAX IRC.
posted by brownpau at 6:37 AM on July 21, 2005


Nice change, mathowie. Thank you. This will help users.

Is moving the spell check button at the same time as removing the preview button as good idea? I like both changes, but baby steps man. (And maybe put the toolbar above the entry box?)

Thanks again for midwifing ponies.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:47 AM on July 21, 2005


Nice addition, #1.

Although the "are you sure?" aspect of the Preview button might be missed by some, I'm not sure it's worth adding in a preview button again just for other reasons. I mean, honestly: how often do you really check the thread to see if it has changed before hitting "post"? Most of the time I used preview to see if what I had written looked good or not, whether my links were dead or not, etc.

If adding live preview allows me to do that using my own CPU rather than bogging down the server, awesome.

With respect to "are you sure?" though, more often than not I just close the thread and leave my comment un-posted if I decide it wasn't worth it. (Most people don't need to get jumped on that many times before they begin to start thinking a little more carefully before posting something.) Very rarely do I get to preview stage and then decide to kill a comment.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:50 AM on July 21, 2005


By the way, I love how you put logout link right next to the "Posting as:" label. Makes switching handles quite easy. My puppets thank you too.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:52 AM on July 21, 2005


Technically, we don't need to say goodbye to "On preview": since the preview is now always there, everything we read is on preview.

On preview, it was just a point I wanted to make.

On preview, what everyone else said.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 6:55 AM on July 21, 2005


One thing the preview button was good for, though, was seeing the close tag thingy do its thing. How is it handled now, I wonder?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:55 AM on July 21, 2005


/
^ I was going to point that out as a bug, but now it seems to be fixed.
posted by brownpau at 7:02 AM on July 21, 2005


Oh, and next up: live thread updating on post!

That was my thought, too. XMLHTTPRequest set to a timer seems like it ought to handle this kind of well, though I'm not sure what the server would do when faced with a higher volume of small requests as opposed to fewer, larger requests.

I do, though, love the tech behind this- kudos, kokogiak. But, I instantly thought the same thing as stavros. I'm not sure if a passive "you can come back within 5 minutes" feature is as good as an active "are you sure you want to post this to the whole world?" confirmation.

And it'll definitely lead to questions getting answered 10 times in a row on AskMe...
posted by mkultra at 7:05 AM on July 21, 2005


evidence of the detrimental effect of the removal of manual preview

I'm less and less sure about this, Matt. It may, of course, just make people more circumspect in what they write in the frst place, or it may ignite 1001 flame wars. Half of that thread sounds unusually shrill and, although it has something to do with the inflammatory sections of the post, it sounds very unlike MeTa.
Unless it was PP they were after.
Again.

Any ideas, or wait for it to settle in?
posted by NinjaPirate at 7:06 AM on July 21, 2005


Deftly, except for unclosed atrribute quotes which is my usual problem.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:08 AM on July 21, 2005


So what's the HTML entity solution these days? You can have my — when you pry it from my cold dead hands!
posted by kenko at 7:11 AM on July 21, 2005


Hmmm, whoah, yeah... that's odd...
posted by mkultra at 7:11 AM on July 21, 2005


Matt, there is a non-serious-but-mildly-annoying bug in the "posted by XYZ" text of the live preview:

In Metatalk or Ask Metafilter, right-clicking on the XYZ link and opening that link in, say, a new tab attempts to open the user profile with the same domain as the preview window.

For example, in this preview, my username should link to http://www.metafilter.com/user.mefi/23815, but instead it links to http://metatalk.metafilter.com/user.mefi/23815, which does not exist.
posted by Rothko at 7:12 AM on July 21, 2005


Sorry IIHAA/mkultra, I added a </a> to the beginning of mkultra's post just so the rest of the thread wasn't swallowed.
posted by jessamyn at 7:14 AM on July 21, 2005


Something's breaking there, but I can't figure out what. At least it filters out <div style=foo> properly.
posted by brownpau at 7:14 AM on July 21, 2005


To avoid the redundant comments problem, I suppose someone could put together a little piece of code (and this would have to be Ajax) which would query the server every few seconds as you were writing a comment, and notify you if there were any new comments posted since you started writing. It could even offer to display them for you.

Maybe a little line below the "Post" button, something like:
(There have been 3 new comments posted since you started typing. Display them?)
and when you clicked the link, some xmlhttprequest magic could insert the new comments into the thread without refreshing the page.

Just a thought (on preview).
posted by DrJohnEvans at 7:17 AM on July 21, 2005


IIHAA/mkultra

Damn, another puppet outed. Thanks jessamyn. Sincerely.

No puppets were harmed in the production of this falsehood.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:32 AM on July 21, 2005


Let's keep my puppet anus out of this, OK?
posted by mkultra at 7:40 AM on July 21, 2005


Yeah, this would be the death of 'on preview...blah blah blah'

Finally
posted by kirkaracha at 7:44 AM on July 21, 2005


Posting this from a form element built in the live preview box.
posted by brownpau at 7:44 AM on July 21, 2005


Seems to work fairly well from what I can see - and it's great to get all the feedback. I'm curious about the edge cases - what non-mainstream browsers kick back with what sort of errors, etc.

Funny, though I hadn't thought about the social aspects much - the "My computer is mimicking me" creepiness and the lack of an "are you sure" preview step. It will be interesting to watch. And yes, keep puppet anuses out of it please.
posted by kokogiak at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2005


you know, I just realized I meant NetNewsWire, not ecto. Sorry!
posted by mwhybark at 7:47 AM on July 21, 2005


Heh, I think this still works if I enter the thread number in the first input field, Post in the third one, and press Enter...
posted by brownpau at 7:48 AM on July 21, 2005


obloquy writes "Sometimes the point of previewing is to see if there have been more relevant comments before posting: coud there be something like a 'reload page' option that retains the comment in progress?"

This would be my concern. However FF/Metafilthy keeps the text when I reload the page _and_ my unread comments bar still shows up.


caution live frogs writes "I mean, honestly: how often do you really check the thread to see if it has changed before hitting 'post'?"

With tabbed browsing I do this all the time. I'll fire up MF, open all the comment pages I'm interested in and then read. I might add a comment 2-3 hours after I first open the page.
posted by Mitheral at 7:50 AM on July 21, 2005


Wacky. Since it has the same name attribute, the second input field here updates the Live Preview box too, and submits if you put the thread number in link_ID and the word "Post" in the "post" field. Right now the filter converts any form fields entered into to text boxes, but I think we should just filter out <form> elements altogether, just in case.
posted by brownpau at 7:51 AM on July 21, 2005


Yup, I just broke Live Preview and Posting; it's reading from the form here now. Please filter out all form and input elements.
posted by brownpau at 7:53 AM on July 21, 2005


brownpau: 1337, but you seem to have broken the live preview for the real input in Opera
mkultra: where does the hand go?
posted by NinjaPirate at 7:54 AM on July 21, 2005


Ah, it still works in Firefox, then. Must be an Opera issue, then?
posted by brownpau at 7:55 AM on July 21, 2005


Doesn't seem broken, here, brownpau...tho I agree there's no reason to allow form/input.

Hi kokogiak, you rule.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:55 AM on July 21, 2005


It's also rendered the "post" button inactive unless there's text in the inline content box you posted above.
posted by NinjaPirate at 7:56 AM on July 21, 2005


(Heh. See, if I'd been forced to go with Preview I'd have caught myself using "then" twice. This will teach me to be more careful.)
posted by brownpau at 7:56 AM on July 21, 2005


<on post>

Ah, a FF/Opera difference. It's too bad we're all to cool to use IE to see what happens there.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:57 AM on July 21, 2005


Testing non-Latin characters:
(a) Straight Unicode:
????????????

(b) HTML character entities:
&#31169;&#12398;&#21517;&#21069;&#12399;&#12473;&#12463;&#12471;&#12518;&#12391;&#12377;&#12290;

(a) looks fine in Live Preview. I'm guessing it will turn into ???? and (b) will look correct after posting.
posted by skoosh at 8:01 AM on July 21, 2005


Oh, and next up: live thread updating on post!
...
I'm less and less sure about this, Matt.

Yeah, I'm starting to have second thoughts as well. Yes, it's cool as hell. But seeing new comments on preview is a nice benefit of the old technology, and the extra few seconds of reflection have saved me from making an even bigger ass of myself than I already am.

If Matt were to enable live thread updates, the message board becomes a chat board (with archiving). That doesn't seem too cool to me.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:02 AM on July 21, 2005


Actually, both (a) & (b) looked correct on Live Preview. Neither of them looked right after, though. Hmmm...

Let's try:
(c) Hex code HTML entities:
私の名前はスクシユです?

(c) displays Japanese in Live Preview as well.
posted by skoosh at 8:03 AM on July 21, 2005


Kokogiak, fyi. I am noticing this in Safari and Firefox.
posted by Rothko at 8:05 AM on July 21, 2005


If it chases Jrun away, the social issues can be worked around.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:05 AM on July 21, 2005


Very rarely do I get to preview stage and then decide to kill a comment

Personally, I have to say I end up not posting about 40% of the comments I type, usually after hitting preview.
Then again, I had several choice things to say to the idiotic meccabilly in the London thread but found I can control myself fairly well with the new system, too.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:06 AM on July 21, 2005


Oops... I thoughtlessly tagged on a Japanese period without running it through the Character Converter first. That's not really supposed to be a question mark. I know my own name, dammit!

[this is cool]
posted by skoosh at 8:06 AM on July 21, 2005


Yep Rothko - you're getting that because the link to the Username set relative and not absolute, so it'll work on the Blue, but probably not the gray or the green. Probably an easy bug for Matt to catch.
posted by kokogiak at 8:09 AM on July 21, 2005


Conclusion:

"data:image" has been disabled.
posted by gramschmidt at 8:13 AM on July 21, 2005


I used HTML entities to do the Russian and Georgian, which worked in the preview window and posted successfully (tho' most folks won't have Georgian fonts installed to see the latter one).

Moving the mouse in the comment box gives an annoying flicker of the live preview - noticeable on my G5 at home but very bad on the G4 I'm using at the moment. Actually just the flicker after every character I type is pretty annoying. Well, that's Firefox. Safari doesn't have any flicker at all.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:14 AM on July 21, 2005


brownpau, the things you've posted existed before -- I'm not filtering out form elements and you could have always messed up a thread if you wanted.

As to the people not sure about this -- I'm going to let this run for a week before considering any changes. Give it some time and get used to it. I'm sure in a few days using it will feel like old hat.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:24 AM on July 21, 2005


this is like tits on a bull.
posted by quonsar at 8:25 AM on July 21, 2005


The links to user pages should be fixed on MetaTalk and Ask Mefi now, and I've also gone ahead and forced the preview text to white on dark blue for those using the plain text theme. If that's too jarring, I'll make it special for the plain text people and make it black text in a gray box instead of blue.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:26 AM on July 21, 2005


Matt - yeah, I guess Live Preview just made it that much easier to test out multiple cracks. Anyway, thanks; this is pretty cool.
< !-- more thing -- testing html comments -->
posted by brownpau at 8:30 AM on July 21, 2005


'Twas.
posted by gramschmidt at 8:32 AM on July 21, 2005


Quonsar: So... it turns you on?

Matt: How about a live spell check in the preview? So long as we're dreaming...

In all, neat stuff, though it is odd to not have the divide of post/preview....
posted by klangklangston at 8:41 AM on July 21, 2005


Wow, very cool. Although it's a bit of a disconnect to look at the preview while I type, when I can see the cursor blinking a couple inches north.
posted by me3dia at 8:50 AM on July 21, 2005


So... it turns you on?

no. it's essential useless window dressing, and gets in the way of more important functionality.
posted by quonsar at 8:50 AM on July 21, 2005


what about the funny line break code?
this is two lines
with no extra gap


three blank lines above in the live preview.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:51 AM on July 21, 2005


yeah, so there's a problem for <pre> formatted text - it shows up ok in the preview, but posts with extra breaks.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:52 AM on July 21, 2005


no. it's essential useless window dressing, and gets in the way of more important functionality.

The Grumpy Quonsar Foot Massage code is in beta. Give it time.
posted by Rothko at 8:52 AM on July 21, 2005


could we have the preview button too, so that posting preformatted stuff like source code can be checked?

also, it's nice to have the reload to see if anyone has commented while you were composing.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:55 AM on July 21, 2005


I think to the contrary: that given time, the cool factor will wear off and its true merits or faults will be better understood.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:56 AM on July 21, 2005


> it's nice to have the reload to see if anyone has commented while you were composing.

I agree; 'course, this can be accomplished just by hitting your browser's reload button, but then the benefit of reduced server load goes out the window if everyone does this. And the reduced server load is the only benefit I see to the new system.

If we should end up reverting to the old preview system (which I like), I wonder if you could just load 3 or 5 most recent comments to give context, instead of reloading the whole page. Ah, surely that's been proposed before.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:06 AM on July 21, 2005


this can be accomplished just by hitting your browser's reload button
In Safari, no. Comments in progress go away on browser window reload. In Firefox, though, yes.

Guess this will force me to finally switch over, especially since spellcheck is also gone now in Safari.
%$#@%&* still keep trying to edit the wrong textbox!

posted by obloquy at 9:35 AM on July 21, 2005


How about a live preview for posts as well as comments?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:48 AM on July 21, 2005


th? m?t cái máy
posted by 김치 at 9:52 AM on July 21, 2005


*grumble*
posted by 김치 at 9:53 AM on July 21, 2005


thử một cái máy
posted by 김치 at 9:56 AM on July 21, 2005


Testing. Bold
This here is a block quote.
Metafilthy test:
mrbill : "Testing... Spiffy!"

Non-ASCII test:
?????????????????
posted by Bugbread at 9:56 AM on July 21, 2005


it's essential useless window dressing, and gets in the way of more important functionality.

There are thousands of comments per day on this site, and this feature removes at least one page load (if not more on multiple previews) from every single one of those.

I'm curious what you think is more important than server load and uptime at this point? I'm sure if I had done something else you'd still be complaining.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:57 AM on July 21, 2005


I think i'd agree w/ quonsar on this one... the only time that this is useful is when you're trying to be be all cute with the HTML entities. If you're just using text like 95% of the comments, it's only displaying the same conceptual information in two seperate places.
posted by sleslie at 9:59 AM on July 21, 2005


(on preview...) !!!!!!
posted by sleslie at 10:00 AM on July 21, 2005


Aw, it looked good in preview.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:04 AM on July 21, 2005


sleslie : "the only time that this is useful is when you're trying to be be all cute with the HTML entities."

I dunno. Seeing metafilthy formatting (especially if you then hand-edit comments (for example, if you metafilthy a comment which contains a further quote by someone else)) is pretty useful, as is checking for proper block-quote formatting (i.e. remembering to take out the extra lines it puts in), and then other standard non-cute HTML, like bold, italic, etc. (unless you think bold or italics are somehow "cute").

Plus, people are often cute with HTML entities. Saying "it's only useful when you're trying to be all cute with the HTML entities" is like saying "a car is only useful when you're trying to go somewhere" or "food is only useful when you want to eat".
posted by Bugbread at 10:06 AM on July 21, 2005


Another test, this time with HTML entities:
&#26085;&#26412;&#35486;&#20837;&#21147;&#12398;&#30906;&#35469;
posted by Bugbread at 10:08 AM on July 21, 2005


Coo, it's cool. I would like a slip warning though -- just a page that says "new comments have posted since you wrote your post. You can change it or continue" and then lists only the new posts.

Should prevent the slow loading of an entire thread too, and only gives the extra server load when it's required.
posted by bonaldi at 10:09 AM on July 21, 2005


Oh, one more thing: on MeFi, it doesn't respect if you have it set to blue-on-white.
posted by bonaldi at 10:10 AM on July 21, 2005


Ah. Hexadecimal is required, it appears. Second test:
日本語入力の確
posted by Bugbread at 10:11 AM on July 21, 2005


I HATE(!) it.

I find that having the text appear in the edit box and preview area at the same time is very distracting, and I think it's less likely that people will really review their stuff now in this one step process.

I seem to be in the minority though, so carry on with your love fest.
posted by willnot at 10:17 AM on July 21, 2005


I don't get it. Must be slow. How is reviewing it below the box any different than reviewing it inside the box?

Looks neat, though.
posted by selfnoise at 10:22 AM on July 21, 2005


I ♣ seals.&#8212posted by me.
posted by kenko at 10:23 AM on July 21, 2005


selfnoise : "How is reviewing it below the box any different than reviewing it inside the box?"

If you just type pure text, it isn't.

If you use HTML to make things bold, or italicized, or if you use
blockquotes
or HTML entities like this:
メタフィルター
(or combinations thereof) it allows you to see what it will look like in the end.
posted by Bugbread at 10:30 AM on July 21, 2005


Oh, I see.
posted by selfnoise at 10:33 AM on July 21, 2005


And, nicely, it doesn't convert all your HTML entities. As such, with the old system, it was:

1) Find a site to convert special characters to HTML entities
2) Type HTML entities in Mefi
3) Copy what you've typed
4) Click "Preview"
5) If everything is OK, paste the text you copied over the now-converted preview window text
6) Click "Post"

Now it's:

1) Find a site to convert special characters to HTML entities
2) Type HTML entities in Mefi
3) If everything is OK, click "Post"
posted by Bugbread at 10:34 AM on July 21, 2005


/me tweaks quonsar's tits
posted by deborah at 10:35 AM on July 21, 2005


Ok, I'll add a preview button as an optional thing, if you still want to post the old school way.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:40 AM on July 21, 2005


Preeeeeeeetty pony, preeeeeeeeetty pony. Very, very cool, Matt.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:46 AM on July 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


Goddammit! I want my Preview button back!

On Preview: Never mind.
posted by gigawhat? at 10:47 AM on July 21, 2005


My problem with it, and this might have been voiced, is that you don't get to see what was written in the minute or so it took you to write your snark. Someone may have already more eloquently snarked your snark and now your ad hominem insult may only be redundant.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:49 AM on July 21, 2005


The more I use it the more I like it. And thanks for re-adding the preview button.

Hey, interesting, now when I hit Post it went to preview.
posted by fenriq at 10:49 AM on July 21, 2005


Thank you!

On attempted post: I hit post, but it went to the manual preview page instead. Something's buggy....
posted by odinsdream at 10:51 AM on July 21, 2005


Ok, the post button is fixed now.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:55 AM on July 21, 2005


Is it supposed to go to the oldstyle preview when I hit 'post comment'? I hadn't posted anywere until after mathowie's last message so I don't know how it functioned before. It wasn't my expectation for 'post comment' to result in a preview, I nearly moved on without hitting the real post button. [test to see if it does....]
posted by safetyfork at 11:01 AM on July 21, 2005


On preview...HA! Thanks.
posted by safetyfork at 11:02 AM on July 21, 2005


Er...post view.

damn, new norms.
posted by safetyfork at 11:02 AM on July 21, 2005


Echo....
Echo....
Echo...
posted by wendell at 11:03 AM on July 21, 2005


—e01:¼Ø¦±10ï0l÷ ³aN#
posted by grateful at 11:20 AM on July 21, 2005


Love the new pony, thanks Matt!
posted by freshgroundpepper at 11:28 AM on July 21, 2005


thanks for the return of the preview.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:33 AM on July 21, 2005


&#36825;&#26159;&#26497;&#31471;&#20196;&#20154;&#25964;&#30031;&#30340;&#12290;
posted by Plutor at 11:39 AM on July 21, 2005


Damn you, Haughey!
posted by Plutor at 11:39 AM on July 21, 2005


Waaaah! This toy r0x0rz! Awesome.
posted by dabitch at 11:40 AM on July 21, 2005


??????????
posted by Plutor at 11:40 AM on July 21, 2005


Looks neat, saves server load, reintroduction of the original preview button is the icing on the cake... Cool.
posted by benzo8 at 11:49 AM on July 21, 2005


Since the main point of reintroducing the Preview button isn't so much to "preview" anymore, but more to reload the page to see if there's anything new to read since last time, maybe it should be renamed? Say, "Reload page"? This would also remind people that they're pulling down a bunch of bytes from the server when they do it.
posted by gleuschk at 11:58 AM on July 21, 2005


What.
Preview.
Test.
posted by rocketman at 11:58 AM on July 21, 2005


Looks good, and seems to work. Neat!
posted by rocketman at 11:58 AM on July 21, 2005


Oh, and hell, while I'm here: —♥&<>§Ö
posted by gleuschk at 12:00 PM on July 21, 2005


Indiebass: *hates change*

Why do things have to change? I was just getting used to the OLD way! That's it, I'm giving up the "internet".
posted by indiebass at 12:03 PM on July 21, 2005


andrew cooke writes "so there's a problem for <pre> formatted text - it shows up ok in the preview, but posts with extra breaks."

<pre> used to put blank lines when you posted or old style previewed. I'm thinking this is a problem with Matt's parser not the new preview implementation.
posted by Mitheral at 12:06 PM on July 21, 2005


ooh better! Now I could get used to this.
posted by obloquy at 12:09 PM on July 21, 2005


I hate hate hate the live preview, for the same reason I hate animated ads -- I don't want something changing on the screen distracting me from where I'm trying to focus.

Please, please consider adding a user preference to disable the Live Preview.

On the bright side, if you don't, this would be enough to finally inspire me to learn Greasemonkey scripting.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:15 PM on July 21, 2005



posted by grouse at 12:18 PM on July 21, 2005


er...what did i miss?
Ooh...lookie...someone is copying me!
posted by ramix at 12:23 PM on July 21, 2005


??????????:????,????????????????????,???????????:“???,??????!”??????:“???????????!”?????????????“?????”?????
posted by languagehat at 12:24 PM on July 21, 2005


但偶尔也有例外的用法:或表惊异,或表感服。我曾在家乡看见乡农父子一同午饭,儿子指一碗菜向他父亲说:“这不坏,妈的你尝尝看!”那父亲回答道:“我不要吃。妈的你吃去罢!”则简直已经醇化为现在时行的“我的亲爱的”的意思了。
posted by languagehat at 12:25 PM on July 21, 2005


??????? ???????? ??????????????

OK, I'm happy.
posted by languagehat at 12:29 PM on July 21, 2005


So's your old man, hat.
posted by gleuschk at 12:29 PM on July 21, 2005


Argh, no I'm not.

# แฮร์รี่ พอตเตอร์ กับศิลาอาถรรพ์
posted by languagehat at 12:30 PM on July 21, 2005


That's better.

On postview: &#xA;馬鹿野郎, gleuschk!
posted by languagehat at 12:31 PM on July 21, 2005


ばかやろう!
posted by languagehat at 12:32 PM on July 21, 2005


I hate hate hate the live preview, for the same reason I hate animated ads -- I don't want something changing on the screen distracting me from where I'm trying to focus.

You could just scroll up slightly, so that you didn't see the live preview changing text as you typed out your comment. I know that doesn't work for short pages with less than 5 comments, but then again, how many threads have that few of comments anymore?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:32 PM on July 21, 2005


All of them, until they, erm, get five comments... ;-)
posted by benzo8 at 12:36 PM on July 21, 2005


Thank you Matt!
You've done enough with the preview button to keep me sweet.
Congrats on the massive relief this will give to the server, I hope it works out as well as you were hoping.
posted by NinjaPirate at 12:40 PM on July 21, 2005


You could just scroll up slightly, so that you didn't see the live preview changing text as you typed out your comment. I know that doesn't work for short pages with less than 5 comments, but then again, how many threads have that few of comments anymore?

Lots of 'em if you're an obsessive AskMe answerer. (I tried that when I first saw the feature, but I was the first respondent and the page was too short.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:43 PM on July 21, 2005


Plutor : "&#36825;&#26159;&#26497;&#31471;&#20196;&#20154;&#25964;&#30031;&#30340;&#12290;"

I think you meant:

这是极端令人敬畏的

(Hint: Don't use decimal NCRs, use hexadecimal NCRs)

(Here's a converter that has both)
posted by Bugbread at 12:50 PM on July 21, 2005


<hmm... do these work, I wonder?>
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:00 PM on July 21, 2005


Thanks for bringing the preview button back as an option Matt!
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:56 PM on July 21, 2005


this is so cool...
posted by gyc at 3:22 PM on July 21, 2005


ersonally, I have to say I end up not posting about 40% of the comments I type, usually after hitting preview.
Me too - thanks for the preview button back - this will save me looking like even more of a tool that I would without it.
posted by dg at 3:25 PM on July 21, 2005


Du hast mein Lieblingskalkofen verkauft.

Okay, Matt, blinking German works too, I checked.
posted by gramschmidt at 3:27 PM on July 21, 2005


(I tried that when I first saw the feature, but I was the first respondent and the page was too short.)

You could always unmaximize your browser, and then scroll up.
posted by graventy at 3:34 PM on July 21, 2005


Thank god someone checked the blinking German.
posted by graventy at 3:34 PM on July 21, 2005


???????????????????????????????
posted by matteo at 3:37 PM on July 21, 2005


fuck, it worked in live preview
posted by matteo at 3:38 PM on July 21, 2005


&sect
If I type "&sect", in live preview it shows up as a section marker...
posted by kenko at 3:45 PM on July 21, 2005


But in the post it shows up as "&sect", presumably because the semicolon at the end is missing.
posted by kenko at 3:45 PM on July 21, 2005


§ß
posted by kenko at 3:46 PM on July 21, 2005


Matteo: HTML entities now have to be posted in hex, not decimal.

I use this site. Put your text in the top right box, click anywhere outside the box, and then use the code that appears in the bottom left.
posted by Bugbread at 3:50 PM on July 21, 2005


</fake html made easy>
posted by wendell at 4:41 PM on July 21, 2005


what? bold? italic?
posted by bendy at 7:52 PM on July 21, 2005


=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
So, how tough would it be to cap use of the "big" tag at, say, ten?
posted by Kwantsar at 8:30 PM on July 21, 2005


Dayhm, kenko, you tore that shit up. gram's gonna be pissed.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:19 PM on July 21, 2005


Hello Hello Hello

I hit Preview, and on preview, the live preview dissapears. Feature or Bug? I'm leaning toward bug.

Also, the text in the live preview box looks considerably better than usual text in the thread. Way more readable. May just be the nice font rendering in OS X. (On Safari 2.0)
posted by blasdelf at 9:28 PM on July 21, 2005


there's no reason for a live preview after you preview. It's a dead preview.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:29 PM on July 21, 2005


That's not a dead preview. It's just... napping.
posted by loquacious at 10:11 PM on July 21, 2005


I often hit preview, and then revise to take into account comments made since the page was loaded. Sometimes a thread will sit for hours in a tab before I get to posting a comment.
posted by blasdelf at 11:55 PM on July 21, 2005


Pining for the fjords.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:34 AM on July 22, 2005


Also, the text in the live preview box looks considerably better than usual text in the thread. Way more readable. May just be the nice font rendering in OS X. (On Safari 2.0)

I noticed the same thing. I think it might be because of the darker background color in the live preview box providing a better contrast.
posted by gyc at 2:20 AM on July 22, 2005


For the record, my comment at 8:30 and IIHAA's comment at 9:19 were in response to a now-deleted comment.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:35 AM on July 22, 2005


Zed_Lopez wrote "I hate hate hate the live preview, for the same reason I hate animated ads -- I don't want something changing on the screen distracting me from where I'm trying to focus."

Once again I am pleasantly surprised at the small side benefits of typing with two fingers while staring at the keyboard. I don't see the thing change until I look up to check my spelling.

(I've tried touch-typing with two fingers while looking at the screen, and I really am fairly good at it, after 15-odd years of two fingered typing. Go figure.)
posted by caution live frogs at 7:36 AM on July 22, 2005


I am using FF 1.0.6 on Win2k and I don't see the spell check button anywhere.
posted by terrapin at 8:49 AM on July 22, 2005


I'm using FF 1.0.4 on Win2k and I see it down there next to the "B I link" buttons
posted by Bugbread at 8:50 AM on July 22, 2005


Thank you bugbread. I was looking for the old button. The one that used to be near the preview button. As I do bold, italics and links by hand, I didn't look in the grey toolbar. Thanks for the tip.
posted by terrapin at 9:02 AM on July 22, 2005


No prob.
posted by Bugbread at 9:08 AM on July 22, 2005


Thanks for adding back the preview button. This is a cool feature.
posted by OmieWise at 10:12 AM on July 22, 2005


The constant flashing while typing is bothering me too. It's a seriously nifty idea, but for the sake of those of us with migraine triggers or easy distractability, please make Live Preview optional (or limit preview updates to onBlur). For now I'm manually re-positioning each textarea to hide the preview until done typing.

One more vote for live updating of others' comments. There've been so many times where I've hunted up a bunch of relevant links only to find on preview that someone else already posted same. Dang, it'd be sweet to know about those right away.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 1:21 PM on July 23, 2005


Wolfdog wrote about the live preview box flickering on Firefox - I can confirm that it also appears on Camino (0.8.4). Is there a good Meta* client for the Mac? Safari has no flicker, but also has no "B I Link ABC" functionality, nor the ability to easily copy a link to the clipboard - control click in Safari (1.3v312) is mostly useless.
Camino has all the latter features, but the very annoying flicker on live preview. If Firefox also has the flicker, what browser is there? - will I have to download Opera just for Meta*? (Will Opera have all the goodies and no faults?) Using OSX 10.3.9

Skoosh: Actually, wouldn't you say that the ? is appropriate? Wouldn't your name be スクーシュ?
posted by birdsquared at 7:13 PM on July 23, 2005


Update - I just tried Opera 8.0.1, Omniweb 5.1.1 and iCab 3.0beta. All are similar to Safari in that no "B I link ABC" shows up, and in there being no flicker. I didn't bother checking if control click works properly on them or not. I don't know of any other OS X browsers to try.
posted by birdsquared at 8:50 PM on July 24, 2005


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