I've tweaked the way subdomains work on MetaFilter. January 9, 2006 3:01 PM   Subscribe

As I hinted at last week, I've tweaked the way subdomains work on MetaFilter. So if you really want to follow IraqFilter, ArtFilter, AppleFilter, GoogleFilter or even BatshitinsaneFilter, now you can.
posted by mathowie (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 3:01 PM (87 comments total)

Cool!
posted by Evstar at 3:02 PM on January 9, 2006




When you're on one of the tag-subdomains, the "MetaFilter" link in the upper right of the navbar works as expected, but should the logo and the "Home" link on the left go to www.metafilter.com (instead of tag.metafilter.com) as well?
posted by stopgap at 3:10 PM on January 9, 2006


lol robot johnny
posted by xmutex at 3:10 PM on January 9, 2006


Great! I had no idea the batshitinsane tag was so popular--or did you tag those posts that way?

Can we also set our preferences to not display everything except IraqFilter?
posted by LarryC at 3:11 PM on January 9, 2006


Matt, there's a little bit of a code bug that breaks header links.

When you visit, say, BushFilter, every link in the header (such as the Metafilter logo) and below of the variety http://www.metafilter.com/* is replaced instead with http://bush.metafilter.com/*
posted by Rothko at 3:13 PM on January 9, 2006


Actually, it seems to affect all of the header links, except the four in the top-right corner.
posted by Rothko at 3:18 PM on January 9, 2006


BTW: metafilter.com still returns a 302 status code instead of 301.
posted by Sharcho at 3:23 PM on January 9, 2006


Corrected link for the above: ArtFilter
Oh, and thanks, Matt!
posted by rob511 at 3:29 PM on January 9, 2006


Huh, it never would have occurred to me to use wildcard DNS for this instead of, you know, the URL path. Cool feature though!
posted by Nelson at 3:35 PM on January 9, 2006


Woot, ComicsFilter!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:39 PM on January 9, 2006


So what happens if a post is tagged 'Metatalk'?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:40 PM on January 9, 2006


Cool.
posted by killdevil at 3:42 PM on January 9, 2006


Well Nelson, it's not simply just a tags page, it's more of a filtered view of metafilter for that tag, so all the other features are present like sorting, new links/comments, etc.

Posts tagged with metatalk or ask will die an invisible death unfortunately.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:42 PM on January 9, 2006


There's a sidebar containing tags when you read a post. Maybe you could update that sidebar to point to the the appropriate subdomain? I would find such a feature awesome.
posted by boo_radley at 3:46 PM on January 9, 2006


(oh, and this is already awesome all on its own, Matt)
posted by boo_radley at 3:47 PM on January 9, 2006


or, hah, yes, having http://not_foo.metafilter.com for blacklisting things.
posted by boo_radley at 3:48 PM on January 9, 2006


Brilliant idea. I like it!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:53 PM on January 9, 2006


hey, that's nifty!
posted by scarabic at 3:56 PM on January 9, 2006


Neat-o. It's great to see the posts sorted by date with the date-headers present. You get a much better sense of history now.
posted by nobody at 3:57 PM on January 9, 2006


Wicked cool.
posted by smackfu at 4:06 PM on January 9, 2006


Hey, awesome.
posted by duende at 4:17 PM on January 9, 2006


That's frickin' sweet.
posted by furiousthought at 4:26 PM on January 9, 2006


perhaps you could hard-code tag_ask and tag_metatalk for posts tagged with those tags.

Also, what about ask? Are we going to see sex.ask.metafilter.com, for example.
posted by delmoi at 4:27 PM on January 9, 2006


Also, matt you should not let people do this with the "NSFW" tag. If people at paypal go here it could result in you getting blocked from their system.
posted by delmoi at 4:28 PM on January 9, 2006


Awesome. And yes, please, let us exclude things. I would pay money for not_iraq.not_bush.metafilter.com.
posted by kindall at 4:38 PM on January 9, 2006


Awesome.

And now I can get some sleep.
posted by cortex at 4:47 PM on January 9, 2006


I can't seem to find any posts about quonsar though...for some reason.
posted by graventy at 4:53 PM on January 9, 2006


http://bukkake.metafilter.com/, we hardly knew ye.
posted by fire&wings at 4:53 PM on January 9, 2006


and what about sites tagged www?
posted by delmoi at 4:53 PM on January 9, 2006


Because I am good at breaking thing -- this page doesn't have a stylesheet (in Safari):

http://bush+iraq.metafilter.com/

OTOH, I don't even think you can have pluses in domain names, so who knows what it's doing.
posted by smackfu at 4:57 PM on January 9, 2006


Good call todbot, and great feature Matt. Anding and oring these new domains would be cool, sure, but it's really just a meaningful url-shortener. A boolean language for navigating tags would be good even without the subdomains. But what would be a more useful feature (perhaps in conjunction with this) is RSS feeds for the tag listings.
posted by Plutor at 5:05 PM on January 9, 2006


I mean RSS feeds for the list of posts for a tag. I want to be able to put comics.metafilter.com in my feed reader.
posted by Plutor at 5:06 PM on January 9, 2006


Man why didn't anyone think of this before? How cool.

Smackfu - even mousing-over that link in Opera gives me an Illegal URL error. How about:

http://bush.iraq.metafilter.com/

Instead?
posted by Jimbob at 5:08 PM on January 9, 2006


I don't even think you can have pluses in domain names, so who knows what it's doing.

Yeah, you can't put plus signs in subdomains so it's not really a bug, it's part of the HTTP spec.

I mean RSS feeds for the list of posts for a tag. I want to be able to put comics.metafilter.com in my feed reader.

Yeah, I'll do RSS feeds for tags, definitely. And todbot guessed right.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:09 PM on January 9, 2006


Yeah, Jimbob, I could do that. Lemme fix that tonight.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:10 PM on January 9, 2006


Yeah, I'll do RSS feeds for tags, definitely.

Sweet. I was kicking around the idea of requesting that today. Thanks matt!
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:25 PM on January 9, 2006


Nifty, but useless without a formal taxonomy for the most common types of post.

Otherwise we end up relying on the tags actually being accurate, and we all know full well that that ain't gonna happen.

The post submission page should list the top-ten classes of tag under the tag entry box, in hopes that we can get a high degree of consistency.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:29 PM on January 9, 2006


RSS feeds for tags?! Wonderful. Thank you.
posted by ?! at 5:44 PM on January 9, 2006


thank you matt, looks cool
posted by edgeways at 6:08 PM on January 9, 2006


neat. thanks, Matt.
posted by crunchland at 6:10 PM on January 9, 2006


One of the better DNS hacks EVAR. Nicely done.
posted by eriko at 6:12 PM on January 9, 2006


although, what happens if someone uses the tag "ask" or "metatalk?"
posted by crunchland at 6:13 PM on January 9, 2006


crunchland: "although, what happens if someone uses the tag "ask" or "metatalk?""

Asked and answered.
posted by Plutor at 6:18 PM on January 9, 2006


could you use this to do the bush+iraq.metafilter.com thing?
posted by andrew cooke at 6:26 PM on January 9, 2006


Heh. You don't actually expect me to read all this crap, do you, Plutor?
posted by crunchland at 6:30 PM on January 9, 2006


Man. I just logged in from work and suddenly there appeared at my office door these two incredibly hot hookers carrying enormous sacks of the purest Colombian blow.

Thanks, Matt!
posted by loquacious at 7:44 PM on January 9, 2006


(this is going to reek havoc with all the weird wildcard domain names Google has got its hands on)
posted by Jimbob at 7:45 PM on January 9, 2006


this is going to reek havoc with all the weird wildcard domain names Google has got its hands on

Not necessarily. All the subpages still work, so quonsar.ate.my.baby.metafilter.com/mefi/45235 still works, it's just the front page that is different.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:48 PM on January 9, 2006


I think the redirect is now a 301
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:59 PM on January 9, 2006


Wow, Matt, this is great - something I didn't know I wanted but absolutely love now that it's here. Thanks!

fff: The post submission page should list the top-ten classes of tag under the tag entry box, in hopes that we can get a high degree of consistency.

Strong second. Matt, I can't think of a better way to help keep the taxonomy in shape than giving folks a short list of top 10 tags and a link to the top 150 page* just below the tag entry box on posting pages.

*I'd also like to re-iterate, since we no longer have the "all tags" page, that listing "all tags with greater than 20 uses" would probably be more useful to the taxonomy than using an arbitrary number like a top 150.
posted by mediareport at 8:06 PM on January 9, 2006


What does "top ten classes of tag" mean? Ten most used tags? I guess the "class" part threw me.

I'm currently displaying every tag you've used below the posting form, if any javascript masters want to help make those useful, it'd be great if someone could send me the code to make each tag a clickable link that appends the tag list with the link you clicked (like delicious), that'd be great.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:11 PM on January 9, 2006


You could just rip off the delicious. Viva la javascript.
posted by smackfu at 8:30 PM on January 9, 2006


thanks to my friend jason levine, we now have clickable tag adding working on the post page.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:44 PM on January 9, 2006


Cool bananas.

Nifty, but useless without a formal taxonomy for the most common types of post.

I disagree, for emergent-order reasons I've blathered on about before.

I was going to suggest, but didn't, but will now, though: I think posts to the Blue should require some tags to be entered (or chosen) before posting. A link to a paragraph or two on the concept, on or offsite, would help educate those who need it, and after the first time, they're good to go, presumably.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:05 PM on January 9, 2006


http://batshitinsane.metafilter.com/... finally, a web site tailored to my needs.
posted by clevershark at 9:17 PM on January 9, 2006


Neat.
posted by sjvilla79 at 9:18 PM on January 9, 2006


What does "top ten classes of tag" mean?

I think fff just meant that the top 10 or so tags are general enough to serve as "classes" of posts.

I'm currently displaying every tag you've used below the posting form

Yeah, I just saw that, but how does that help, say, a new poster keep the taxonomy useful? Wouldn't it be better to just show us the top 10 (or 50, or 150) tags used *by others* in that space?
posted by mediareport at 9:35 PM on January 9, 2006


showing your tags is done for consistency, so if you used something in the past, you can easily find it again. I'll put the 150 popular list on there as well.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:56 PM on January 9, 2006


This is a really cool feature.

It would be great to clean up the tags that are actually used though. There are some hard questions, like how to separate Iraq from the Iraq Wars. There are some easy ones too, however, like adding appropriate tags to old posts on relatively clearly defined topics, and making the tag choices consistent.

For example, the issue of depleted uranium use in weapons is of some interest to me, so when a post came along that featured that topic I spent some time and pulled together previous threads on the subject of depleted uranium.

It would be great if there was a way for that work to be incorporated into the tag system. I guess I could have created a MeTa post like this:
Today we had a post on depleted uranium. Here are all the previous threads on the subject that I could find. If you know of a mefi thread on the subject that should be included in this list please add a link to it here.
Some other interested party might notice that I only searched for FPPs and there might be an appropriate AskMe question, or I might have missed a post, these could be referenced in the comments. We might also debate the appropriate reference tag for the topic. At some appropriate time an admin* could add the appropriate tag to the posts mentioned.

That might be too much noise in MeTa, but we could have another site for the specific issue - tags.metafilter.com, or something. A dedicated site has the benefit that maintaining discipline would be much easier and threads could be kept open longer - AskMe is a great example of both.

For the record, I'm not a taxonomy enthusiast, but I do value the benefits of a good system. Also, I like keyword, the idea and the name, tag is way too web 2.0 for me. I am happy enough to look past that small draw back if there is something useful about them though.

* Yes, I know 'an admin' means mathowie or jessamyn, and I know that I am suggesting more work for them. So, it might be impractical for the time being, but it is a worthwhile topic to pursue anyway, right?
posted by Chuckles at 10:14 PM on January 9, 2006


Appropriate, appropriate appropriate - ARGH! sorry about that
posted by Chuckles at 10:21 PM on January 9, 2006




Really, really nice.

Did I mention "really"? And "nice"?
posted by taz at 1:31 AM on January 10, 2006


And todbot guessed right. *blush*

I only thought of it because we did it at GoTo.com for the tags^Wkeywords to our bidded listings. But that was back in '98. before sponsored search was cool and googly. :)

Another URL hack I really liked that we did at Yahoo Research Labs was "yaqs.com/{insert search phrase here}" typed into your URL location bar does the requested search.

e.g. type in "yaqs.com/how many quonsars in a quonset?"

(no results, but still, it does the search. and I've been saving the quonset joke for ages)
posted by todbot at 1:47 AM on January 10, 2006


This is a great pony! But it makes the old music.metafilter.com disappear. Matt, any plans to revive it one day? I'd love to see a place where we can share music and get feedback. I was disappointed that Projects doesn't accept comments.

Also, any chance of extending the tag subdomains to work with AskMeFi?
posted by fuzz at 3:05 AM on January 10, 2006


mediareport: "*I'd also like to re-iterate, since we no longer have the "all tags" page, that listing "all tags with greater than 20 uses" would probably be more useful to the taxonomy than using an arbitrary number like a top 150."

How is this not replacing one abitrary number with another? How does a tag somehow become deserving on its twentieth birthday use? Instead, I'd like to propose some sort of ratio. Any tag used on more than one-hundredth of the tagged posts. Yes, I'm replacing two arbitrary numbers with a third, but mine is both flexible and scales better.

On the other hand, we'll start getting "how does a tag end up on the tags page" MeTa threads instead of "what defines a 'new comment'?".
posted by Plutor at 4:35 AM on January 10, 2006


How does a tag somehow become deserving on its twentieth birthday use?

It becomes deserving on its 38th birthday now; that just seemed a little high. It leaves off a lot of tags for subjects that are popular but not super-popular. Lowering it to 20 (or whatever) uses would help systematize the taxonomy beyond the current, rather early, point at which many of us start going off in our own little tag directions.
posted by mediareport at 6:59 AM on January 10, 2006


This is sweet.

::bookmarks http://starwars.metafilter.com::
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:00 AM on January 10, 2006



damn

posted by PenguinBukkake at 8:02 AM on January 10, 2006


Actualy, I think this is kind of stupid. It totaly overloads the useful purpose of subdomains, and dosn't acomplish anything that http://metafilter.com/tagname would. So what's the point?

Now, adding new subsites to metafilter will break whatever tag page we get. (like music.metafilter.com) or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 8:14 AM on January 10, 2006


Newsfilter.metafilter.com takes on a new literal meaning for those who wanted it all these years.
posted by Rothko at 8:29 AM on January 10, 2006


WRT tagging, I mean we need some way of guiding users when they're making tag selections.

It would be stupid to have the "same topic" covered by different tags that mean the same thing: "bush" "bushfilter" "government" "usgov" "assholes" "gop" etc. could all apply to stories about the latest US Administrative scandal. Which tag is used depends entirely on the user who makes the post, and several of those tags seem equally likely to be used.

This unstructured tagging makes it impossible to ensure that all similar stories are grouped together. Someone who's looking at "bush.metafilter.com" is going to miss the Bush story that's been tagged "asshole.metafilter.com".

This is why we need some simple taxonomic advice: a set of tags that broadly define a "class" of story.

Off the top of my head, we should have:

Science Religion Politics CurrentEvents Arts Tech War Funny

Basically, a small set of tags that accurately but broadly categorize some 80+% of the posts made to MeFi. This is the only way that "subdomain tagging" can be truly useful. Without this basic structure, the entire thing becomes a near-complete crapshoot.

No one is forced to use the broad-category tags, but there should be some significant social pressure to do so.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 AM on January 10, 2006


I think it's a cool feature that will work best if it goes 'undocumented' - i.e., some people may find it useful but I wouldn't advocate it as *the* way to browse tags. It's folksonomy, not taxonomy. However I disagree with fff on the proposed "official" taxonomy; we're not Fark, many posts belong in several or none of these categories, and we wouldn't want to water down the community.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:08 AM on January 10, 2006


Now it would be really cool if one could do tag negation, e.g. "Show me all posts without 'newsfilter'". Perhaps:

-newsfilter.metafilter.com

maybe something like:
if( $tag =~ /^-/" ) { whereclause .= "tag != $tag" }
if you sprechen perl.

pony?
posted by todbot at 11:40 AM on January 10, 2006


I've been saving the quonset joke for ages

during most of 2002/2003 i was 'quonset_the_hut' on #mefi IRC.
posted by quonsar at 1:10 PM on January 10, 2006


No one is forced to use the broad-category tags, but there should be some significant social pressure to do so.

oh great. something else people will moan about.

let's just get something straight. the whole fricking point of tags is that they are flexible, emergent, probabilistic. they are not chosen by five fresh fish and his little bunch of chums in the tag police. they don't give guarantees that every particular set is complete. instead they are adaptive. they are - to coin an example that seems popular here - free market capitalism instead of planned economies.

or, as someone once said, freedom is messy.

i know that for some of us, that's upsetting. people doing their own thing instead of following little rules. not using the tag values fff would like. listening to loud music. whatever.

but, you know, the world won't end.

so take your social pressure and stick it somewhere else, please.


however.... negation would be very nice, as would multiple values. negation, particulary, goes a long way to meet what people have been asking for for a long time.


delmoi has a point, but only partially. metatalk and ask do break things, but the problem isn't that one approach is wrong, but rather that there are two different approaches using the same namespace. hence the conflict.

you could equally well get rid of the grey and the green and let people tag with "ask" and "meta" if they wanted to. at th emoment tags and the traditional site divisions are two (conflicting) ways of doing the same job. either one alone would be ok.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:17 PM on January 10, 2006


The "art.metafilter.com" trick will be absolfuckinglutely useless if your post about the Warhol Foundation's generous allowance for remixing his work isn't tagged with at least the word "art." (And you should probably include "copyright.")

Tagging is only useful if you use the tags that people could be reasonably expected to search for. In all other cases it is just wanking.

I am not saying that you should be forced to abide by some arbitrary set of rules, but that it would be some goddamn smart if all y'all were to follow some clear guidelines for tagging.

In fact, it's pretty damn useless already, what with some people tagging their artsyfartsy post as "art" and others as "arts" and yet others as "artists" and "artistic" and "painting."

More and more I have to conclude that tagging is just masturbation. Spunk out a random stream of craptacular tags, especially "witty" ones, and to hell with actual usability.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:22 PM on January 10, 2006


Pretty damned cool.

As far as art/arts/artists etc. goes, is it not too hard to set up synonyms or associations, as some other tagging systems are starting to play with?

For example on art.metafilter.com you would get the options to 'include synonyms - arts/artists' from a given list. Though how you get the list is another question.
posted by MetaMonkey at 3:05 PM on January 10, 2006


Actualy, I think this is kind of stupid. It totaly overloads the useful purpose of subdomains, and dosn't acomplish anything that http://metafilter.com/tagname would. So what's the point?
posted by delmoi at 8:14 AM PST on January 10


Seconded. This is not what subdomains are meant for, and it's very limited. Most people would like a customized front page but domain names place too many limits -- can't exclude (not), can't combine (and), can't unify (or), doesn't support unicode, can't add additional filters (user/date/etc., can't highlight stories, can't tweak the layout, can't use it for AskMe/MetaTalk/Projects and there's no way to add these features in a clean way later.

I think a better way to implement it would be something like news.google.com .
posted by Sharcho at 3:15 PM on January 10, 2006


thank you.
posted by jann at 6:17 PM on January 10, 2006


*purr*
posted by deborah at 9:01 PM on January 10, 2006


Thanks Matt, this rules.

todbot: Perhaps: -newsfilter.metafilter.com

I like the way this looks too, but the DNS RFC's specify that domains need to begin with [A-Za-z0-9]. (IIRC)

stavros: I think posts to the Blue should require some tags to be entered (or chosen) before posting. A link to a paragraph or two on the concept, on or offsite, would help educate those who need it [...]

I agree, maybe the mefi wiki page on 'tags' would be a good place to start? (It doesn't exist yet, and I'm not volunteering to create it - I'm volunteering you-all.) Seems like the wiki would be a good place for it right now since the tag system is still somewhat in flux.

Also thought I'd link in this brief discussion on user-added tags, since a system like this would maybe address some of the art.mefi issues above.
posted by whir at 9:52 PM on January 10, 2006


The "art.metafilter.com" trick will be absolfuckinglutely useless if your post about the Warhol Foundation's generous allowance for remixing his work isn't tagged with at least the word "art." (And you should probably include "copyright.")

You're kinda missing the point. The point is not to find every possible art-related post. If you are looking for posts about art, because you like reading about art, reading posts tagged "art" works great. It'll definitely find stuff you will be interested in reading.
posted by kindall at 11:05 PM on January 10, 2006


Metafilter: You're kinda missing the point.

Shoot me now.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:19 AM on January 11, 2006


Metafilter: Shoot me now.

Oh fuck, my eyeballs are bleeding.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:20 AM on January 11, 2006


Metafilter:
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:21 AM on January 11, 2006


todbot: Perhaps: -newsfilter.metafilter.com

I like the way this looks too, but the DNS RFC's specify that domains need to begin with [A-Za-z0-9]. (IIRC)

Yeah but DNS servers and their clients are notoriously bad at being restrictive with such things. For instance. I set up a domain of mine such that:
{some.dotted.search.terms}.jook.com
end up doing a search on Yahoo Search.

And for me at least: http://quonsar.ate.my.baby.jook.com/
and: http://quonsar.ate.my.-baby.jook.com/
both work.

Or even: http://-naked.-hot.coeds.jook.com/
posted by todbot at 9:54 PM on January 11, 2006


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