The Askventure of Link May 12, 2007 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Why no 'link' button in AskMeFi?
posted by conch soup to Feature Requests at 10:28 AM (53 comments total)

I thought of this because in a recent question I wanted to link to an example of what I was asking about, and noticed there was no link button. I know I could have written in the link, but a button would be nice. I guess the only downside I see is if linking were already a problem in AskMefi, and this would get abused, but it doesn't seem to be. Is the reason for this discussed somewhere else that I've missed.
posted by conch soup at 10:29 AM on May 12, 2007


Question mark?
posted by conch soup at 10:29 AM on May 12, 2007


There's this thread, that has a shrug and a workaround from Jessamyn, and some general (though not unanimous) support for the idea of discouraging markup on the front page of AskMe.

Short answer: it is kind of a mystery, unless the speculation that it's omitted intentionally to raise the bar for linking a bit is true. Only Matt knows!

The omission of the bold and italic buttons, regardless, is a good thing—we usually zap any such tags added manually to the front bit as soon as we see 'em. Helpful hint: putting your question in BOLD ITALIC CAPS is not good.

Also: bonus grousing!
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:54 AM on May 12, 2007


BUT I NEED TO NAME MY CAT NOW. IT IS URGENT.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:02 AM on May 12, 2007 [6 favorites]


In the rare cases that someone needs to add a link and doesn't know how and just puts a URL in, someone will usually use the HTML flag and we'll hyperlink it ourselves.

There's a divide between the "you should know the basic tools if you're trying to use the web" argument (if you don't know how to make a hyperlink, google or the faq can fix that for you in no time flat) and the "you need to make things as easy as possible for users to use your tools" approach. I tend to, personally, lean towards the former approach, but I also agree that it seems somewhat silly to have the functionality available for commenting but not for posting.

I do agree with cortex that having AskMe questions not be word salads of bold and italics is probably pretty excellent, I've seen a lot of abuse of the double and triple nested <small> tags lately and I already wish there was a filter to stop people from doing that other than just social pressure.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:06 AM on May 12, 2007


The only benefit I can see is that sometimes people just paste a big URL in and it breaks the page format.
posted by smackfu at 11:54 AM on May 12, 2007


jessamyn: I've seen a lot of abuse of the double and triple nested <small> tags lately

There's a user end workaround for this peeve. In FireFox I go
Tools -> Options... -> Content and then in the Fonts & Colors area -> Advanced.
There's an option there to set the minimum font size. Once you do that, no matter how many <small>s are laid to nest you never get below your preferred font size.
posted by carsonb at 12:08 PM on May 12, 2007


Clearly Matt is a tremendous slouch.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:30 PM on May 12, 2007


BUT I NEED TO NAME MY CAT NOW. IT IS URGENT.
posted by EndsOfInvention


I hear ya! Every time I need to name my cat, I want to link to pictures of the cat. I have submitted at least 30 "name my cat" requests, and I think the reason I still just call her Kitty, is that none of the answers are any good, since it's too difficult to link to a photo of her fluffy fatness.

So, making linking easy would SAVE noise, because I could get better cat name suggestions, and I would thus stop having to ask again every week.

By the way, any name suggestions for a fat, old, lazy, grumpy, selfish cat are welcome.
posted by The Deej at 12:57 PM on May 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


"By the way, any name suggestions for a fat, old, lazy, grumpy, selfish cat are welcome."

Jessamyn?

j/k
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:19 PM on May 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn?

Awesome! And good use of the single <small> tag. Way to set an example.

fucker.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:38 PM on May 12, 2007 [6 favorites]


Awesome! How do you spell that?
posted by The Deej at 1:39 PM on May 12, 2007


:P
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:48 PM on May 12, 2007


Is that pronounced "colon capital p" or "period with another period on top capital p"?
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:01 PM on May 12, 2007


Oh, cortex, you poor deluded soul.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:02 PM on May 12, 2007


I really wish people that just paste plain URLs into their question because they don't know how to link would take the 30 seconds and look at the FAQ.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:05 PM on May 12, 2007


Cortex, it's pronounced "PTHTHTHTHTH!" Like in Garfield.

P.S. I need a definition for "prat".
posted by davy at 2:07 PM on May 12, 2007


If someone is really desperate and doesn't want to take the time to learn the code, they can just open another post in a new tab, and use the comment box to make their link.
posted by necessitas at 2:08 PM on May 12, 2007


I've seen a lot of abuse of the double and triple nested small tags lately

Also, far too many uses of the letter "e" are appearing on the Blue. Like the image tag, it's a clear sign this functionality must be removed.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:16 PM on May 12, 2007


I use the link button in Metachat for all my link-making needs. Shh, don't tell.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:38 PM on May 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe I can make any links in the Blue and Green go to a new topic I will start in the Gray, and then link from the Gray to the picture of the big fat kitty. Oh wait, she is called jessamyn now.
How do you pronounce that?
posted by The Deej at 3:22 PM on May 12, 2007


it puts the urls on its skin comments.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:33 PM on May 12, 2007


Major user-hostility afoot. Come on, people. The desire to learn html tags isn't a categorical imperative.
posted by Firas at 3:55 PM on May 12, 2007


HTML tags are hard. Just like math.
posted by smackfu at 4:01 PM on May 12, 2007


I still just call her Kitty

I once lived with two cats whose names were "Kitty" and "Other Kitty", but that was before I knew about AskMe, of course.
posted by trip and a half at 4:54 PM on May 12, 2007


You can nest the small tags?
posted by Many bubbles at 5:05 PM on May 12, 2007


Ya, looks like jessamyn gave the secret away. My kitty, on the other hand, looks like the result of nested fat tags.
posted by The Deej at 5:22 PM on May 12, 2007


If you nest <small> tags enough times, it actually wraps around to <big> because of an 8-bit signed-int overflow error... See?
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:40 PM on May 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


There really should be handy buttons on the Metatalk posting form, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:47 PM on May 12, 2007


It would cool if there was button to automatically link to your custom css file too!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:17 PM on May 12, 2007


My cat's name is Kitty.
posted by misskaz at 6:24 PM on May 12, 2007


just use the link button from the blue, just like I do when posting off site, it is so convenient
posted by caddis at 6:26 PM on May 12, 2007


So I finally changed my Firefox setting so small isn't small anymore, but now everything in the header and sidebar looks weird.
posted by puke & cry at 6:27 PM on May 12, 2007


My cat's name is Kitty.
posted by misskaz


Your Kitty is cute. My Kitty... no online photos available. She is too fat to fit on the internet.
posted by The Deej at 7:07 PM on May 12, 2007


one small
two small
red small
blue small
I don't know; they all seem the same size to me. Must be my browser setting.

Is the word "small" doing that thing where if you repeat it enough, it loses all meaning, for anyone else?

posted by Many bubbles at 7:48 PM on May 12, 2007


Is the word "small" doing that thing where if you repeat it enough, it loses all meaning, for anyone else?

It wasn't until you said that.
posted by Arturus at 8:42 PM on May 12, 2007


The annoying thing is that that makes it really hard to tell if it's spelled correctly, because it doesn't look like a word....

small small small small small small small small small
posted by Many bubbles at 8:56 PM on May 12, 2007


Fonts, colors, sizes, images: Is there a tag you won't abuse with your new shiny admin status, cortex? You fiend!
posted by cgc373 at 9:12 PM on May 12, 2007


One of these days, I'm going embed the hell out of a Rod Stewart MIDI.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:33 PM on May 12, 2007


Why doesn't mefi auto-link urls like every other website on the planet?
posted by empath at 9:40 PM on May 12, 2007


Why doesn't mefi auto-link urls like every other website on the planet?
posted by empath


Works fine for me. You must have a bug.

Just kidding.

Learn something new, and it immediately gets overused.
posted by The Deej at 10:37 PM on May 12, 2007


Why doesn't mefi auto-link urls like every other website on the planet?

Because we're stubborn. Because we like to make things difficult. Because auto-urlifying a raw URL string leads to lazy-ass URL pasters, and instead of nicely, purposefully put together links we'd end up with jackass http://www.lookatthisuglylink.info/seriously/we_can_do_bettr.php stuff more often. Yech.

Personal opinion, natch.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:30 PM on May 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not small, small smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller smaller
16 smalls and no overflow here, at least not in preview.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:13 AM on May 13, 2007


ahem, cortex was just showing off his superpowers to use tags like <large> that are banned for the rest of us regular joes.

If you wanna go really small you gotta so <sub> or <sup>.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:18 AM on May 13, 2007


One of these days, I'm going embed the hell out of a Rod Stewart MIDI.

Does anybody else remember mathowie granting dong_resin's Pixie wish? Is that MIDI still around anywhere?
posted by cgc373 at 12:46 AM on May 13, 2007


Ha! Man, that was classic.

(And some further background for the "what?" crowd.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:56 AM on May 13, 2007


Oh geez, next you'll be wanting to change your password or somesuch nonesense.

MeFi - where passwords are forever.
(cue De Beers music and silhouette people exchanging rings)
posted by Afroblanco at 10:50 AM on May 13, 2007


Is this the thread where I should mention that I have a Hobbit Burglar named Jessamyn?
posted by deborah at 3:58 PM on May 13, 2007


misskaz, your Kitty looks exactly like a cross between Kitty and Other Kitty! OMG!
posted by trip and a half at 4:54 PM on May 13, 2007


Ha! Man, that was classic.
Oh yeah - remember all these for the 10-year anniversary shiindig, won't you? We'll need a giant screen so we can look as well as laugh quietly and mumble "good times, good times" into our beards as we cry just a little for the long-departed Golden Days of MeFi.
posted by dg at 8:30 PM on May 13, 2007


If you wanna go really small you gotta so < sub> or < sup>.

Awesome!

I learned a new trick today! Although I still don't know how you got the < and> to show up without spaces.
posted by Many bubbles at 12:15 AM on May 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


&lt; = <
&gt; = >
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:28 AM on May 14, 2007


Ooooo, I thought you couldn't use HTML entities here... I was clearly mistaken.

♥♦♠♣

Now I can make my ©ºmmðñt§ all shiny!
posted by Many bubbles at 5:19 PM on May 14, 2007


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