New Keystroke Features April 28, 2006 2:12 PM   Subscribe

New features added to the keystrokes: hit return to go into a thread, hit ; to go back to the index page. (you might have to force a reload to get the latest javascript).
posted by mathowie to Feature Requests at 2:12 PM (36 comments total)

Yeah, I know the colon is weird, but I tried to pick a character nearby that wasn't being used by firefox already and that was one of the only ones.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:13 PM on April 28, 2006

Return sends me into the subject, not the thread. So, hitting it outside this thread took me to the feature requests page.
posted by dobbs at 2:16 PM on April 28, 2006

posted by dobbs at 2:16 PM on April 28, 2006

And colon and semicolon do bupkis for me.
posted by dobbs at 2:18 PM on April 28, 2006

No semicolon (or colon) love here, either. XP IE.
posted by cortex at 2:29 PM on April 28, 2006

Re-entering the colon over and over is fun!
posted by interrobang at 2:39 PM on April 28, 2006

The return key needs a default action if you haven't pressed ',' or '.'.
Otherwise, you get this error:
Error: section[cursection] has no properties
Source File:
Line: 82

As long as you're feeling javascripty, how do you think about mapping "next thread" and "previous thread" to the right and left arrow keys? That would be heck of awesome.
posted by boo_radley at 2:39 PM on April 28, 2006

I'm suddenly very afraid for the album art.
posted by cortex at 2:39 PM on April 28, 2006

Oh, and when you get within range of the bottom of the page, there's no visual cue that shows you what thread is currently "focused".
posted by boo_radley at 2:42 PM on April 28, 2006

shift-reload to make sure you have the newest script. The older version took you to category pages instead of the thread.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:47 PM on April 28, 2006

I only tested this in firefox, but in safari the return key works, but the colon doesn't go back in safari. It works in FF though.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:48 PM on April 28, 2006

Safari, reloaded. Return works. Semicolon doesn't.
posted by cribcage at 2:53 PM on April 28, 2006

Oh, no, I'm not explaining myself well enough.
Steps to generate this error in Firefox 1.5:
  1. Load
  2. Press enter.
You'll get an error as described above, because cursection is still null, and javascript (in firefox, at least) says that (null >= 0) == true.

You can circumvent this error by changing line 82 to
if ((cursection != null) &&(cursection >= 0) && (section[cursection].permalink) && (section[cursection].permalink != null))
posted by boo_radley at 3:00 PM on April 28, 2006

(oh, and this is nice. I really do like keyboard navigation.)
posted by boo_radley at 3:05 PM on April 28, 2006

Hey, yeah, this is awesome. Thank you!
posted by Squid Voltaire at 3:06 PM on April 28, 2006

Metafilter: I know the colon is weird
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:20 PM on April 28, 2006


Okay, that's nifty and all, but for those of us that use Firefox's search function that automatically starts searching when you begin typing, how can this be disabled?
posted by odinsdream at 5:23 PM on April 28, 2006

odinsdream, use the options dialog, accessibility panel, to turn off find-as-you-type, then use "/" and "esc" to toggle find-as-you-type on the fly.
posted by TimeFactor at 6:06 PM on April 28, 2006

odinsdream, I now realize you probably wanted to disable the metafilter keyboard stuff, not Firefox's feature. Sorry. Other than disabling javascript for the site (or matt implementing something in preferences) I don't know the answer to your question.

And the new keyboard nav stuff is very cool so big ups to Matt and delfuego (I don't know if delfuego was involved with this latest addition but thanks at least for the original coding).

One minor glitch: if you've just posted a comment (so that the url ends with #comment) then ";" takes you to a CFM error page ( "Element POST is undefined in FORM.")
posted by TimeFactor at 6:13 PM on April 28, 2006

TimeFactor, thanks - I did mean that I wish to keep using the search feature, and never, ever plan to use a site's keyboard shortcuts. So, if someone knows how to disable this entirely, for all sites, that would be great too.
posted by odinsdream at 6:33 PM on April 28, 2006

I thought find-as-you-type when enabled would totally override it? In the last thread, those with find-as-you-type in effect said the keystrokes didn't do anything at all.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:52 PM on April 28, 2006

I thought find-as-you-type when enabled would totally override it?

Yup, that's what I get when I re-enable FAYT. It doesn't look like any keystrokes get forwarded to any listeners beyond FAYT. (FF1.5.0.2, Win2K)
posted by TimeFactor at 7:06 PM on April 28, 2006

how about some kind of subtle caret-ing and the ability to scroll down through threads that fall below the point where your browser stops scrolling at the bottom of the page? think: lots of one-line threads at the end.
posted by kcm at 7:40 PM on April 28, 2006

kcm, use your cursor keys?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:39 PM on April 28, 2006

I dunno, I can hit . as many times as I want and it'll only advance to the thread that is at the top of the screen when the page cannot scroll more. FF If you added the ability to . to threads past that point you'd need to indicate which one is selected, ergo the first part.
posted by kcm at 8:53 PM on April 28, 2006

Yeah, semicolon no worky here either. Great stuff with . and , and enter though.. love it.
posted by twiggy at 8:58 PM on April 28, 2006

any chance of when you press the space bar , you get all these flames emerging from the bottom of the screen and maybe an evacuation siren sounding ?

just a thought really.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:30 AM on April 29, 2006

Find As You Type doesn't always work well with keyboard shortcuts, partially due to Ffx bugs. Bloglines' "nifty" keyboard shortcuts can sometimes screw up FAYT for me, even if I precede the search string with / or '.
posted by grouse at 3:31 AM on April 29, 2006

This just rules - many thanks mathowie and delfuego.

(Now I just have to train myself to hit '/' to get find as you type...)
posted by jack_mo at 5:11 AM on April 29, 2006

Dear MetaTalk: I'm having trouble with my colon, how can I clear this up and get it working properly...?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:49 AM on April 29, 2006

Is there a way to disable this? You know, for those of us with mice and backspace keys?

I really don't see the need for this when there are more pressing issues. "We have 178 ways to navigate the page, now that we've enabled MetaClap. Of course, you still can't change your password, but that's because password security is stupid and we hate it."
posted by Eideteker at 9:18 AM on April 29, 2006

FYI, I strongly disagree with the right/left arrow suggestion. At least if there's no toggle.
posted by esch at 1:17 PM on April 29, 2006

Eideteker, I gotta love your attitude... or really, I don't. Don't assume that this -- the keyboard shortcut stuff -- takes any precious time away from the other issues you feel are so pressing to address; I'm the author of the keyboard shortcut stuff, not Matt. I have absolutely no responsibility for anything at MetaFilter at all, so my time on this doesn't take away from the things you think it does.

boo_radley, yeah, that bug was an obvious one that I was too dumb to predict. :) I'll fix it in the next iteration, which will also include a move to relying on the Javascript keyboard event that allows auto-repeating.

For those who suggest something that indicates the currently-active post (and the related fact that the posts nearest the bottom of a page don't get any love with the keyboard shortcuts), I hear you and have been trying to figure out a good way to handle this via my own site's use of the keyboard shortcut stuff. It's tough, though, since it means that you have to keep track of the currently-active post AND try to predict if someone's scrolled the screen at all using their mouse/cursor keys/whatever so that the next keypress does the right thing. I'm still thinking it through, but should be able to come up with something reasonable.
posted by delfuego at 4:05 PM on April 29, 2006

Oh, odinsdream: I've now tested it on all Firefox machines I can get my hands on, and with find-as-you-type turned on, the keyboard shortcuts don't ever get activated -- f-a-y-t overrides them every time. What behavior are you seeing?
posted by delfuego at 4:11 PM on April 29, 2006

'I'm the author of the keyboard shortcut stuff, not Matt. I have absolutely no responsibility for anything at MetaFilter at all, so my time on this doesn't take away from the things you think it does".

Dude, imagine what you can do if you try using your awesome power for good next time.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:08 PM on April 29, 2006

delfuego; the keyboard shortcuts, like the semicolon, still activate the new functions for me, even while find-as-you-type is enabled on Firefox 1.5 on OSX.

For instance, if I type a semicolon, FAYT will activate, and jump to the nearest semicolon, and immediately javascript will cause the new function to run and the page changes.

If this behaviour is atypical, as it seems from reading the last few comments, then nevermind - it must just be a bug.

still, i disagree with the idea of remapping a user's keyboard like this - especially single keys
posted by odinsdream at 10:41 AM on April 30, 2006

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