Quoting September 16, 2007 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm wondering if (a) we might be able to get a baked-in quoting ability, or (b) someone could help me figure out why Plutor's quote script isn't working for me.

I'm on a Mac and am using Firefox with Greasemonkey, but Plutor's script (raw source) merely creates a new blank, untitled window. I've tried for a while to get this to work, but haven't figured out why it's malfunctioning. Does anyone have any input? I'm just wondering if anyone else has ran into this problem on their setup and debugged it for themselves already.

Someone named Jack Mottram had the same problem (according to comments on Plutor's script), but when I contacted him back in May, he remembered neither the problem nor leaving the comments.

I briefly interacted with Plutor on this. Jack's problem might've pertained to the TabBrowser Preferences plugin; I don't have that installed, but I do have Tab Mix Plus installed. I'd prefer not to disable that if possible.

There's this, but to me, it's very non-intuitive, taking a large number of steps, rather than the beauty of simply clicking "quote."

And, not to be too wanna-pony-ish, but might this be considered for a future feature?
posted by WCityMike to MetaFilter-Related at 9:17 AM (89 comments total)

And, not to be too wanna-pony-ish, but might this be considered for a future feature?

It's already in.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:37 AM on September 16, 2007


It's already in.

By this, do you mean it's already on the list for future development, or that a "[quote]" feature already exists?
posted by WCityMike at 9:43 AM on September 16, 2007


or that a "[quote]" feature already exists?

A quote feature already exists, just wrap it in I tags.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:47 AM on September 16, 2007


Not to hijack, but does anyone know whether MetaFilthy is still under active development? Using the latest version I still get errors on every page.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:53 AM on September 16, 2007


And yes, built-in quoting would be great - it's so much easier on the eye if you can see in an instant who's being quoted, especially in larger threads.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:55 AM on September 16, 2007


there's an easy way to do this that I'm thinking of. I'll post a test page here later this week that we can play with and discuss.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:04 AM on September 16, 2007


Brandon: A quote feature already exists, just wrap it in I tags.

Yeah. So, no, a quote feature doesn't already exist. Guess it wouldn't be a Meta thread without SOME snark in it.

Matt: there's an easy way to do this that I'm thinking of. I'll post a test page here later this week that we can play with and discuss.

*squeals like a little girl, jumps up and down several times*

*looks around at everyone looking at me*

Er. That will be quite enjoyable, I'm sure.
posted by WCityMike at 10:09 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Without meaning to press my luck, I have to say the most useful form of people's quoting that I've seen has taken this format:

@mathowie: there's an easy way to do this that I'm thinking of. I'll post a test page here later this week that we can play with and discuss.

Basically, the usefulness to this has been:

(a) The @ gives you an instant visual cue that this is a quote.

(b) The username being a link to the original comment.

(c) The quoted material in italics prevents any ungrammatical double-quotes within double-quotes situations, i.e. @mathowie: "Mike's response to my feature request was very "manly.""
posted by WCityMike at 10:12 AM on September 16, 2007


NO @ SYMBOL!!!!
posted by phaedon at 10:17 AM on September 16, 2007 [13 favorites]


I like divesting the comment from the user as much as possible. I think any quote system that directly references the user is a bad thing, as it quickly turns into a discussion best for e-mail. This is not an absolute obviously, but a good guideline.

At most I wouldn't mind quotations that are formatted so that the quotation marks are click-able links or the entire italicized quote is made into a link without making it look like a link (I would find less ornate text at more of a premium than having what would be a marginal increase in usability that results from big, bold, blue links).

Of course I am on the plain spreadsheet, so any deviation from the norm is quickly noticeable. I can spot quotes fairly easily and it doesn't interrupt the layout. I don't know if this is as true for the default spreadsheet.
posted by geoff. at 10:25 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


What phaedon said.
posted by sveskemus at 10:30 AM on September 16, 2007


Yeah. So, no, a quote feature doesn't already exist.

I didn't know what you meant by a quote feature and didn't know that I didn't know.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:35 AM on September 16, 2007


“NO @ SYMBOL!!!!”

Yes. Absolutely not. No. A millions times now. A few people like it. A whole bunch of people don't. It's stupid. The symbol has nothing to do with quoting someone. Whoever came up with this use should be shot.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:36 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: NO @ SYMBOL!!!!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:38 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm one of the ones who like it, but not having followed whatever earlier discussions took place, I had no idea it was reviled. I would imagine that the different color of the hyperlink would be enough of a visual cue.
posted by WCityMike at 10:41 AM on September 16, 2007


The reason I don't like @ denoting a quote (aside from the aesthetic displeasure) is that you're not quoting AT somebody, you're just quoting somebody. It is more appropriately used to direct a comment at one particular user, eg
@WCityMike: @ is a bad component of a decent idea.
Even so, it's superfluous and offensive to the eyes in that context.
posted by carsonb at 10:54 AM on September 16, 2007


Geez not only does the @ look stupid that is not how places that use the @ convention utilize it.
posted by Mitheral at 11:19 AM on September 16, 2007


Everyone hates the @ symbol, but aren't we forgetting that we already have a symbol built into english punctuation for handling quotes?

"mathowie": there's an easy way to do this that I'm thinking of. I'll post a test page here later this week that we can play with and discuss.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:23 AM on September 16, 2007


Or

mathowie: "there's an easy way to do this that I'm thinking of. I'll post a test page here later this week that we can play with and discuss."

Or, you know, just

mathowie: there's an easy way to do this that I'm thinking of. I'll post a test page here later this week that we can play with and discuss.
posted by carsonb at 11:36 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


carsonb, yup.
posted by WCityMike at 11:49 AM on September 16, 2007


feels like phpbb to me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:53 AM on September 16, 2007


The people who are quoting just using italics and no username in this thread seems to be understood just fine.
posted by smackfu at 11:54 AM on September 16, 2007


The people who are quoting just using italics and no username in this thread seems to be understood just fine.

Amen. Though, as more fancy-dancy quoting goes, I find the minimalism of this least disturbing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:27 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


The people who are quoting just using italics and no username in this thread seems to be understood just fine.

If someone quotes you in a several-hundred-comments-long post, it's easy to completely miss the comment unless you pour over the thread with a fine tooth comb. Including the name of the person you are quoting would make it easier for people to respond to quotes, because you could do a search for your name in the thread.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:56 PM on September 16, 2007


I like the style that one of the greasemonkey scripts used, where it would place a link around the colon, so like

WCityMike: blah blah blah @-sign heresy

It can be handy to have the link to the original comment if a thread gets diffuse, but I don't like the looks of using the whole name (or quote) as the link. I think the italics are plenty most of the time, though.
posted by whir at 12:59 PM on September 16, 2007


If someone quotes you in a several-hundred-comments-long post, it's easy to completely miss the comment unless you pour over the thread with a fine tooth comb.

I agree, if by pore over with a fine tooth comb you mean "read."
posted by carsonb at 1:00 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Zing! Not everyone enjoys reading megathreads, and by read I mean "read every word of every post so as not to miss part of a discussion you were having with someone else".
posted by 23skidoo at 1:04 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


+========================================================================+¦ On Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 11:54 AM PST smackfu wrote: ¦         ¦+--------------------------------------------------------------+         ¦¦                                                                        ¦¦ The people who are quoting just using italics and no username in this  ¦¦ thread seems to be understood just fine.                               ¦¦                                                                        ¦+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Me too.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:08 PM on September 16, 2007 [5 favorites]


I lean curmudgeonly on this, 23skidoo, but I hear you.

To give you the more moderate portrait of the "just read the damn threads" view, though: reading every word isn't necessary. Glancing at the beginning of every comment for a username or a recognized quote works pretty well for skimming, and is a lot faster than a thorough readthrough. So it's kind of the sense that people don't even want to put in that much effort that makes us pro-read, anti-quote-markup folks wince a little, even if we recognize that it comes down to a difference of biases/preferences.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:12 PM on September 16, 2007


BTW to fix the new blank tab thing with Plutor's script you probably just need to add a ";return false" at then end of the javascript: url.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2007


I don't like the @ notation either.

--Todd Lokken

On Sunday September 16 WCityMike Wrote:
>Quoting September 16, 2007 12:17 PM   Subscribe
>I'm wondering if (a) we
>might be able to get a baked-in quoting ability, or (b) someone could
>help me figure out why Plutor's quote script isn't working for me.
>
>I'm on a Mac and am using Firefox with Greasemonkey, but Plutor's script
>(raw source) merely creates a new blank, untitled window. I've tried for
>a while to get this to work, but haven't figured out why it's
>malfunctioning. Does anyone have any input? I'm just wondering if anyone
>else has ran into this problem on their setup and debugged it for
>themselves already.
>
>Someone named Jack Mottram had the same problem (according to comments
>on Plutor's script), but when I contacted him back in May, he remembered
>neither the problem nor leaving the comments.
>
>I briefly interacted with Plutor on this. Jack's problem might've
>pertained to the TabBrowser Preferences plugin; I don't have that
>installed, but I do have Tab Mix Plus installed. I'd prefer not to
>disable that if possible.
>
>There's this, but to me, it's very non-intuitive, taking a large number
>of steps, rather than the beauty of simply clicking "quote."
>
>And, not to be too wanna-pony-ish, but might this be considered for a
>future feature? posted by WCityMike to MetaFilter-related at 12:17 PM
>(29 comments total) [add to favorites] [!]
>
>And, not to be too wanna-pony-ish, but might this be considered for a
>future feature?
posted by nowonmai at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2007 [5 favorites]


There's even something to be said for not identifying the source of the quote t many instances (although I see no great harm in some format like the scripts generate). It helps the focus remain on discussing ideas not personalities.
posted by Abiezer at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here's a version that uses onclick instead of href and shouldn't open a blank tab.

BTW you can also avoid this by not having "open links in new windows" in your profile which is probably why it doesn't happen for everybody.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:32 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hmm, guess that doesn't quite always work. Just disable the open links in new windows. I'm mildly shocked anybody actually uses that, what with the middle mouse button being right there.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:37 PM on September 16, 2007


GREAT TASTE! LESS FILLING!
posted by Kwine at 1:39 PM on September 16, 2007


╔═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗
║The people who are quoting just using italics and no ║
║ username in this thread seems to be understood just fine. ║
╟─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────╢
posted by smackfu at 1:54 PM on September 16 [+] [!]
╚═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝

Definitely, Although I do try to include some information about username if I quote multiple in some huge-ass thread.
posted by delmoi at 2:08 PM on September 16, 2007


DAMNIT! Preview ate my  s
posted by delmoi at 2:09 PM on September 16, 2007


It's wont to do that, delmoi.

FWIW, I'll cast my vote for a handy "quote " button that links to the quoted post through the username, and then the quote in italics. No @, no ".

It would save a lot of <> typing that I find tedious, and would make conversations generally easier to follow.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:34 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't like the @ notation either.

--Todd Lokken

On Sunday September 16 WCityMike Wrote:


%$*&($* top poster!! *
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:05 PM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


My excessively cryptic point above is that anything that makes iteasy for lazy people to quote excessively will lead to excessive quoting and the end of the world as we know it. If quoting becomes as easy as a click of a button, then people will be encouraged to (a) quote excessively, leading the thread to be full of redundant repetitions of people's comments and (b) respond to individual comments before reading down to the bottom of the thread, leading most likely to further redundancy, knee-jerkery, and demands for comment pages to be threaded like livejournal.
posted by nowonmai at 3:12 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


If I may suggest, for the 'e-z-quote' feature: either make including the username optional, or make sure the username-with-link-to-original-comment is in smaller type as on the "posted by"...

Just for those times when the username is longer than the comment.

It's Raining Florence Henderson: Those get deleted.

game warden to the events rhino: What if Hitler had never been born?

Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America: No, it's actually not important at all.

East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: This has nothing to do with me.

Or, for Super Shiny Unicorn Pony Power, you could set up 'shortnames' for the users with long names (I'd set "goodnewsfortheinsane's" 20-characters as the maximum limit where it is NOT mandatory, although we already are familiar with "gnifti".) With apoligies to IRFH, gwtter, MPDSEA and EMRJKC94.
posted by wendell at 3:14 PM on September 16, 2007


oops, I meant "gnfti", not "gnifti". Not nifti.
posted by wendell at 3:17 PM on September 16, 2007


Rhomboid, I'm actually more of a tab person myself — but in such cases, it just gets opened in a blank tab. Unfortunately, though, your script merely opens a new instance of the same page in a new tab.
posted by WCityMike at 3:23 PM on September 16, 2007


Window/tab is irrelevant, I'm talking about the option in your metafilter profile.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:35 PM on September 16, 2007


I agree that we don't really need a quote button at the bottom of the box. We already have link and I which make quoting pretty easy. And it lets people decide how to quote and what name to use if any and all that. So, instead of trying to automate the process taking into account all the various decisions a real person would make while doing it, we could just continue to let people quote the way they already do using the already fairly automated tools.
posted by mosessis at 4:04 PM on September 16, 2007


Good point!


My excessively cryptic point above is that anything that makes iteasy for lazy people to quote excessively will lead to excessive quoting and the end of the world as we know it. If quoting becomes as easy as a click of a button, then people will be encouraged to (a) quote excessively, leading the thread to be full of redundant repetitions of people's comments and (b) respond to individual comments before reading down to the bottom of the thread, leading most likely to further redundancy, knee-jerkery, and demands for comment pages to be threaded like livejournal.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:17 PM on September 16, 2007


goodnewsfortheinsane writes "Not to hijack, but does anyone know whether MetaFilthy is still under active development? Using the latest version I still get errors on every page."

Metafilthy still works (I just quoted you with it), if you uncheck the "comment tracking" feature: Firefox|Tools|Add-ons|Metafilthy Options|Comment Tracking|Indicate last read comment in each thread.

And, please, no "@". That's just ugly.
posted by orthogonality at 4:33 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rhomboid: Window/tab is irrelevant, I'm talking about the option in your metafilter profile.

Oh, good grief. I can't believe I've been trying to get this to work for so long and it was such a simple fix. THANK YOU.
posted by WCityMike at 4:45 PM on September 16, 2007


Too bad comment tracking needs to be disabled, it was half of what made it great.
posted by Mitheral at 4:46 PM on September 16, 2007


My excessively cryptic point above is that anything that makes iteasy for lazy people to quote excessively will lead to excessive quoting and the end of the world as we know it. If quoting becomes as easy as a click of a button, then people will be encouraged to (a) quote excessively, leading the thread to be full of redundant repetitions of people's comments and (b) respond to individual comments before reading down to the bottom of the thread, leading most likely to further redundancy, knee-jerkery, and demands for comment pages to be threaded like livejournal.

Precisely right. A quote 'feature' would be unnecessary, possibly destructive, and may hasten the end of the species by encouraging the just plain lazy. Pay attention to what people say and you will be just fine.

Also NO @!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:08 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Listen to nowonmai.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:44 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


What stavros said.
posted by dg at 5:45 PM on September 16, 2007


Listen to nowonmai.

See, this is the kind of "quoting" that I don't care for. You have to follow the link to figure out what they're on about.
posted by smackfu at 5:57 PM on September 16, 2007


See, this is the kind of "quoting" that I don't care for.

You mean the kind of quoting that isn't actually a quote at all?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:16 PM on September 16, 2007


Summary: quote.
posted by flabdablet at 6:53 PM on September 16, 2007


Yeah, I agree; can the planned auto-quote tool.
posted by yhbc at 6:56 PM on September 16, 2007


You mean the kind of quoting that isn't actually a quote at all?

That's why I put quotes around quoting. Quote quoted quotely quoting. """""""""""
posted by smackfu at 6:58 PM on September 16, 2007


And I quote: "nevermore."
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:01 PM on September 16, 2007


eponysterical!
posted by dg at 7:02 PM on September 16, 2007


Rhomboid: "Here's a version that uses onclick instead of href and shouldn't open a blank tab."

I should probably upload that to userscripts. And a thousand thanks for tracking down the cause. Quoting was (I think) my first Greasemonkey script, and it included a number of things I had never done before and never really want to do ever again (XPath, I spit at ye). It's also got other problems. For instance, it slows down page loads enormously if you have pages over 150 comments or so. And it adds misshapen [quote] links to the recent activity pages. I've been meaning to rewrite it for a while, and maybe this kind of public ridicule is exactly what I need to get it done.
posted by Plutor at 7:23 PM on September 16, 2007


(By the way, for what it's worth, I have no problem with people using Plutor's Greasemonkey script or others if they want to automate their quoting. Getting things like that running assumes a certain technical facility already, filtering out the merely lazy. I just agree with others that it's not such a good feature for baking-in to the site.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:29 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


@Plutor (tee-hee): If I may suggest an aesthetic improvement while you are hacking about, I have changed the [Quote] in your script to ["], as it looks better alongside the [+] and [!].
posted by Rock Steady at 7:54 PM on September 16, 2007


What about putting the username and link after the quote?

My excessively cryptic point above is that anything that makes iteasy for lazy people to quote excessively will lead to excessive quoting and the end of the world as we know it. If quoting becomes as easy as a click of a button, then people will be encouraged to (a) quote excessively, leading the thread to be full of redundant repetitions of people's comments and (b) respond to individual comments before reading down to the bottom of the thread, leading most likely to further redundancy, knee-jerkery, and demands for comment pages to be threaded like livejournal.
-- nowonmai

That way it looks like a real quote that would appear in something like a scholarly journal or something (well, to be pedantic, I guess the margins of the quote would be larger). And the username doesn't get in the way. And there's no weird/inappropriate @ symbol.
posted by philomathoholic at 8:56 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

That way it looks like a real quote that would appear in something like a scholarly journal or something (well, to be pedantic, I guess the margins of the quote would be larger). And the username doesn't get in the way. And there's no weird/inappropriate @ symbol.
philomatholholic, 14906 MetaTalk 453802 (Sept. 16, 2007).

I'm not sure scholarly is the way to go here.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:38 PM on September 16, 2007


Plutor: And a thousand thanks for tracking down the cause.

Just to clarify, though, the problem wasn't the onclick thing, but was the "open links in new windows" setting. In fact, the version I've got working on my system at the moment is the one currently on Userscripts, not Rhomboid's.
posted by WCityMike at 10:04 PM on September 16, 2007


I've rewritten Mefiquote from scratch. Mefiquote 2.0 has a lot of new stuff:

* After reading through this thread, I realized people want their own stupid quote formats. The quote format and button text are now fully configurable. Once you install the userscript, visit your preferences page to edit them
* Much faster on big threads than 1.0
* No more erroneous quote buttons on Recent History pages
* No more quote buttons on closed threads
* Finally plays nicely with "open links in new windows" preference (a thousand more thanks to Rhomboid for figuring it out)
* You can quote the original post again
posted by Plutor at 8:38 AM on September 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Plutor, very cool. Noticing a bug, though: when quoting a post, there appears to be a newline and then a tab inserted between the <i> and the text of the post.
posted by WCityMike at 8:55 AM on September 17, 2007


WCityMike: "Plutor, very cool. Noticing a bug, though: when quoting a post, there appears to be a newline and then a tab inserted between the <i> and the text of the post."

Fixed. Also it's removing the More Inside markup better, now.
posted by Plutor at 9:06 AM on September 17, 2007


Great work, Plutor.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:21 AM on September 17, 2007


Thanks very much Plutor.
Just a (insignificant really) small interaction with Mefi Navagator: It pulls up for eg:
'WCityMikeposter' and 'mathowieadmin' but then again, maybe that's a feature.
posted by peacay at 9:54 AM on September 17, 2007


I think attribution is important- I sometimes respond to multiple people in a single comment.

Back-linking to the original comment, though, seems wasteful. Why am I gonna click on an anchor to (a) take me away from where I was so I can (b) read the same thing? I do think there needs to be some visual indication of the username, though, so I nominate the <blink> tag.
posted by mkultra at 10:43 AM on September 17, 2007


mkultra: "Back-linking to the original comment, though, seems wasteful."

Good point. We only have so many links available to us, and we very well might be running out! We've passed Peak Anchor!
posted by Plutor at 10:52 AM on September 17, 2007


Plutor: "I've rewritten Mefiquote from scratch. Mefiquote 2.0 has a lot of new stuff:

Good stuff. One feature that would make this perfect would be that if the user has highlighted text, use that as the quoted content instead of the whole comment.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:42 AM on September 17, 2007


I thought about that. But as soon as you click the quote button, the highlight is gone. Poop. I could probably use some fancy onhighlight events and such, but it seems like it's more trouble than it's worth.
posted by Plutor at 12:03 PM on September 17, 2007


Oh, you're fucking kidding me. Big boxes around quoted text, now?

I take back what I said before about not minding this shit. That sucks.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:17 PM on September 17, 2007



OMG CHICHEN ITZA


posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:04 PM on September 17, 2007


I can't believe the obvious "stavrosthewonderchichen" joke is only coming to me now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:06 PM on September 17, 2007


I fail at this stuff, because when I click on "Install this script" (from the User Script page), all I get is the code displayed - nothing seems to install or anything. What completely obvious thing am I missing? Apart from geek cred, of course.
posted by dg at 3:10 PM on September 17, 2007


Ya, if I get a vote, then I vote against boxes. It's way too much for the minimalistic thing we got going here (like all text and stuff).
posted by philomathoholic at 3:10 PM on September 17, 2007


Hell, I bet my right hand against boxes. That shit don't fly. Neat to learn about a new (and soon to be auto-stripped!) tag, though, so thanks, Rhomboid!
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:30 PM on September 17, 2007


dg: You've installed greasemonkey, right?

cortex: heh.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:44 PM on September 17, 2007


Rhomboid: "dg: You've installed greasemonkey, right?
"
Of course. Well, now I have.

*smacks self upside head*
posted by dg at 4:03 PM on September 17, 2007


“I just agree with others that it's not such a good feature for baking-in to the site.”

I disagree. I agree with the concerns about abuse, but it seems to me that the problem could be dealt with through social pressure. After all, we have no problem discouraging signatures and other very common conventions that appear elsewhere.

I quote quite a bit, and by hand. I'd love an automatic quote feature. But not whole comments. Selected text on the page with attribution would be great, though probably too difficult. Just surrounding highlighted text with the appropriate symbol would still save me some unnecessary keystrokes.

And I stopped using greasemonkey because I noticed slowdowns when pages used it (which is the point).
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:41 PM on September 17, 2007


After all, we have no problem discouraging signatures and other very common conventions that appear elsewhere.

To be fair, though, we flat out do not provide the functionality for signatures, which I think is a huge part of why they don't get abused. Social pressure is a powerful tool, but consider the difference between "don't sign your posts" and "don't link to youtube"—one is asking people not to do something that they already have to sort of go out of their way to do, that really nobody does, and that is really easily reducible to a clear "don't do this, here's why" directive; the other is asking them not to do something that is a natural part of the site functionality, that lots of people do, and that is hard to pin down in clear terms as a transgression.

It's an imperfect analogy in a lot of ways, but the reason I put it like that is that a baked-in auto full-quote feature (being the main variant that concerns [terrifies?] me, here) would make commonplace full-quoting of comments a lot more like that youtube situation than like the post-signing situation. It makes a lot more sense to me to either build in the harder-to-do-but-better ideas—opt-in quoting where you have to take a little bother at least in deciding what to quote; finding the sweet spot between making responsible commentors' quoting life a bit nicer without encouraging noisy, lazy behavior from folks less accustomed with the style of the site—or to just not build it in at all.

So when stavros mentions filtering out the lazy, I agree with him entirely, and I'm daring to speculate that the above captures some of where he's coming from—though I think I may have drifted lately a bit less hardliner about any in-built quoting functionality at all.

Also, please imagine some lazy jackass quoting this entire comment, or yours to which I'm replying. And then some lazy jackass quoting all of THAT. And then wonder why I get hives just thinking about it. Heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:57 PM on September 17, 2007


So when stavros mentions filtering out the lazy, I agree with him entirely, and I'm daring to speculate that the above captures some of where he's coming from

Aye, matey.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:41 AM on September 18, 2007


After all, we have no problem discouraging signatures and other very common conventions that appear elsewhere.

To be fair, though, we flat out do not provide the functionality for signatures, which I think is a huge part of why they don't get abused. Social pressure is a powerful tool, but consider the difference between "don't sign your posts" and "don't link to youtube"—one is asking people not to do something that they already have to sort of go out of their way to do, that really nobody does, and that is really easily reducible to a clear "don't do this, here's why" directive; the other is asking them not to do something that is a natural part of the site functionality, that lots of people do, and that is hard to pin down in clear terms as a transgression.

It's an imperfect analogy in a lot of ways, but the reason I put it like that is that a baked-in auto full-quote feature (being the main variant that concerns [terrifies?] me, here) would make commonplace full-quoting of comments a lot more like that youtube situation than like the post-signing situation. It makes a lot more sense to me to either build in the harder-to-do-but-better ideas—opt-in quoting where you have to take a little bother at least in deciding what to quote; finding the sweet spot between making responsible commentors' quoting life a bit nicer without encouraging noisy, lazy behavior from folks less accustomed with the style of the site—or to just not build it in at all.

So when stavros mentions filtering out the lazy, I agree with him entirely, and I'm daring to speculate that the above captures some of where he's coming from—though I think I may have drifted lately a bit less hardliner about any in-built quoting functionality at all.

Also, please imagine some lazy jackass quoting this entire comment, or yours to which I'm replying. And then some lazy jackass quoting all of THAT. And then wonder why I get hives just thinking about it. Heh.
(cortex)

Someone else was going to do it if I didn't.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:34 AM on September 18, 2007


@Rock Steady: After all, we have no problem discouraging signatures and other very common conventions that appear elsewhere.

To be fair, though, we flat out do not provide the functionality for signatures, which I think is a huge part of why they don't get abused. Social pressure is a powerful tool, but consider the difference between "don't sign your posts" and "don't link to youtube"—one is asking people not to do something that they already have to sort of go out of their way to do, that really nobody does, and that is really easily reducible to a clear "don't do this, here's why" directive; the other is asking them not to do something that is a natural part of the site functionality, that lots of people do, and that is hard to pin down in clear terms as a transgression.

It's an imperfect analogy in a lot of ways, but the reason I put it like that is that a baked-in auto full-quote feature (being the main variant that concerns [terrifies?] me, here) would make commonplace full-quoting of comments a lot more like that youtube situation than like the post-signing situation. It makes a lot more sense to me to either build in the harder-to-do-but-better ideas—opt-in quoting where you have to take a little bother at least in deciding what to quote; finding the sweet spot between making responsible commentors' quoting life a bit nicer without encouraging noisy, lazy behavior from folks less accustomed with the style of the site—or to just not build it in at all.

So when stavros mentions filtering out the lazy, I agree with him entirely, and I'm daring to speculate that the above captures some of where he's coming from—though I think I may have drifted lately a bit less hardliner about any in-built quoting functionality at all.

Also, please imagine some lazy jackass quoting this entire comment, or yours to which I'm replying. And then some lazy jackass quoting all of THAT. And then wonder why I get hives just thinking about it. Heh.
(cortex)

Someone else was going to do it if I didn't.


Well, completing the concept for you (re: "quoting all of THAT").
posted by WCityMike at 7:24 AM on September 18, 2007


Yeah, but if anybody does that very often, they'll be called out for a beating in Meta. We're still self-policing here, right?

As for the quoting thing, I don't mind having it built in, but I think Plutor's excellent script is fine for now (then again, not everyone uses Firefox). It would be really cool to be able to select just part of the text and have that show up in the quotation, though.
posted by whir at 1:32 PM on September 18, 2007


if anybody does that very often, they'll be called out for a beating in Meta. We're still self-policing here, right?

True, and yet certain forms of behavior don't really get called out (bad HTML, not linking links, bad formatting, small text derail asides and barbs in AskMe) and certain forms do (signing your posts, too much blinking) so I'm not sure you can rely on self-policing to teach people how to use HTML, maybe just how to use MetaFilter.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:08 PM on September 18, 2007


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