I think we didn't get cut off May 4, 2010 9:45 PM   Subscribe

There seems to be a minor cosmetic bug in the Recent Favorites list.

The Recent Favorites list truncates comments from most subsites to roughly two lines. That hasn't happened for this comment from Projects; the whole thing appears in my Recent Favorites list.
posted by flabdablet to Bugs at 9:45 PM (37 comments total)

Thank you so much for posting this link. That is an amazing thread. Has there ever before been a Projects thread with so many comments and zero votes?
posted by grouse at 10:13 PM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Found the problem and it should be fixed it up. Thanks for letting us know.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:16 PM on May 4, 2010


Hey! That's my bug! Mine! I just pointed this out a few days ago in email 'cause I didn't think it warranted a MeTa.

Err, sorry. I was just charged up after finding my first "bug" or inconsistency after so many years.
posted by loquacious at 10:29 PM on May 4, 2010


Sorry, missed it loquacious. Did you send it via the contact form?
posted by pb (staff) at 10:31 PM on May 4, 2010


Wow. I have no idea what that guy is on about, and while I'm an idiot I can gloss over just about anything. But that is just like watching someone's mind crack.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:48 PM on May 4, 2010


Nah, I just emailed the mathotexamyn hydra. It's not really that big of a deal.
posted by loquacious at 10:48 PM on May 4, 2010


that is just like watching someone's mind crack

It's an uncomfortably familiar spectacle for me, which is why I'm posting responses that I might have found useful during my own meltdown.
posted by flabdablet at 11:28 PM on May 4, 2010


The cosmetic issue is indeed fixed. Thanks, pb.

Anybody want a peanut?
posted by flabdablet at 11:29 PM on May 4, 2010


Jesus, what an astonishing thread. I hope that guy gets some professional help pretty soon.
posted by equalpants at 1:23 AM on May 5, 2010


If my experience is any guide (and I think it probably is) then he is going to resist any such suggestion on the grounds that anybody making it is simply one of Those Who Don't Understand.

It seems to me that the most useful thing his fellow forum members can do for him is to take him at face value, while encouraging him to examine his own overwhelming stroke of perceived insight with care and rigor. If he can find out for himself that feeling he's grokked something major is not a reliable indication that he has in fact done so, he may be able to climb down from his high without crashing.
posted by flabdablet at 2:34 AM on May 5, 2010


While we're here, there's a related bug in Recent Favorites where if your comment is too short to be truncated, but ends with a full stop, it will sometimes get the ellipsis after it as if it had been truncated. The result is that you get four full stops at the end, which looks weird. Not a major problem so I didn't think it warranted its own thread, but if you're looking at that page anyway...
posted by ZsigE at 3:08 AM on May 5, 2010


Seriously, though: how is that an acceptable Projects post?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:01 AM on May 5, 2010


Has there ever before been a Projects thread with so many comments and zero votes?

I don't think there is any data on the Projects sub-site in the Infodump, is there?

But that is just like watching someone's mind crack.

I hadn't clicked on the link to the comment in question, but unfortunately I knew exactly which thread it was based on this comment.
posted by FishBike at 5:25 AM on May 5, 2010


Another cosmetic bug, while we're here: in the Contact Activity sidebar, links to profile pages are relative rather than absolute, e.g. <a href="/user/292" target="_self">jessamyn&lt/a>. This means that on MetaTalk, you get a link to http://metatalk.metafilter.com/user/292, which doesn't exist.
posted by gleuschk at 6:00 AM on May 5, 2010


Nah, I just emailed the mathotexamyn hydra.

Ah, I had thought you emailed the contact form which meant pb would have been cc'ed so I didn't pass it on to him. Sorry to steal your thunder!

We mentioned that Projects thread in the podcast too. It was quite unusual.

if your comment is too short to be truncated, but ends with a full stop, it will sometimes get the ellipsis after it as if it had been truncated.

Oh man this gives me the eye twitch.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:22 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought the contact activity sidebar only showed up on www.metafilter.com anyway? gleuschk, do you have some sort of Greasemonkey thing running to make it show up on the other sub-sites?
posted by FishBike at 6:33 AM on May 5, 2010


gleuschk, do you have some sort of Greasemonkey thing running to make it show up on the other sub-sites?

Oh, do you mean this one mysteriously titled "Mefi Contact Activity Sidebar Everywhere"? Oops, sorry, never mind.
posted by gleuschk at 6:36 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nah, I just emailed the mathotexamyn hydra. It's not really that big of a deal.

Ah, heh. I think I saw your mail and then got distracted by the vortex that is that thread and forgot to forward it on, yeah.

Seriously, though: how is that an acceptable Projects post?

"Here is a thing I have made" is usually an okay post, even if the thing is a questionable writeup of proposed-but-hardly-substantiated solution to the greatest unsolved problem of complexity theory. Who know the thread was going to be such a marathon. It's been sort of weirdly fascinating to watch, but it hasn't gone off the rails or anything so I've basically stayed out of it.

I don't think there is any data on the Projects sub-site in the Infodump, is there?

Don't think so, no. I could look into at some point, but it's such small potatoes relatively speaking and so different in form in a lot of respects from the four subsites already in there that I'm not sure I care to write an alternate set of scripts just for it. I'd be willing to field specific queries, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:45 AM on May 5, 2010


It sounds like the scripts to create a set of Infodump files for Projects are in serious danger of being longer than the resulting files, so yeah, doesn't really seem worthwhile yet.

I'd be willing to field specific queries, though.

Well, I was going to run something like select top 20 * from postdata_projects where votes=0 order by comments desc in response to the opening comment here from grouse.

I was curious to see if lots of comments but no votes is an indicator of strangeness of some kind. But if it is, maybe drawing attention to other strange threads isn't such a good idea?
posted by FishBike at 8:16 AM on May 5, 2010


I just ran this basic query to take a look and this thread is a major outlier. After looking at the results I agree that it's best not to revisit some of the least-popular projects. Projects tend to be very personal, and I don't think much good would come from a list of things that didn't quite work here.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:09 AM on May 5, 2010


Four full stops is allowable; one for the period at the end of the sentence, and the ellipsis to indicate that there was more text following.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 AM on May 5, 2010


Four full stops is allowable; one for the period at the end of the sentence, and the ellipsis to indicate that there was more text following.

You've missed my point - the ellipsis gets appended even when the comment wasn't truncated. It doesn't happen on every short comment, which is particularly odd, just some of them. The strangest one was when I had ended my comment with an ellipsis, which meant that there were six full stops in a row. Is this really something you've never seen? Maybe I have some weird cookie issue.
posted by ZsigE at 9:24 AM on May 5, 2010


No, no. I see it ZsigE. We're using the full text including HTML to determine if a comment was truncated even though we eventually strip out the HTML. So if you have a three-word comment with 200 characters in your HTML, it'll get the ellipsis. We need to fix that up.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:35 AM on May 5, 2010


pb would you guest star in a mefi podcast to chat about the site? I think that'd be worthwhile and interesting.
posted by boo_radley at 10:48 AM on May 5, 2010


We should really do this. pb's view of the site is so totally different from the rest of the mod team. Plus, he's a wizard.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:05 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "he's a wizard."

a lyrical wizard!
posted by boo_radley at 11:15 AM on May 5, 2010


flabdablet: "It's an uncomfortably familiar spectacle for me, which is why I'm posting responses that I might have found useful during my own meltdown."

QFT. It's a certain kind of person who actually is pretty smart, but needs to protect his smartness by refusing to engage in accepted modes of argument. I've been that smart person. Sometimes, I still am.

Also: this would never have posted if Projects didn't have public comments, huh? It's kind of interesting to see people using Projects for such a different purpose than we think of Projects as being for.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:23 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


pb's view of the site is so totally different from the rest of the mod team.

It's like that guy in the Matrix when the virtual world turns into a bunch of green numbers and symbols. Except cooler.
posted by FishBike at 11:32 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


ok, did some tweaking around on that page and made a couple changes. Instead of a [more] link after every comment, the permalink to the post or comment is now the timestamp. And any comment that's truncated will have the more pronounced [...] like we use in Recent Activity. It didn't make sense to use "more" when the entire comment is right there, and in most places across the site, the timestamp is the permalink so I think this cleans things up a bit.

Except cooler.

But instead of green numbers I'm looking at ColdFusion code. I think you meant nerdier.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:53 AM on May 5, 2010


As a pretty dedicated, long term ColdFusion programmer I can tell you that ColdFusion code is not cool looking or pretty.

Unless I suppose you are using CFScript so it looks like every other language. But that's cheating.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:59 AM on May 5, 2010


That thread has me pretty shook up and I don't really have any one to talk about it with right now and the way it shook me up may be useful for other people so I am going to write about it here - I hope that is OK. It definitely feels out of place to go meta like this in the thread in question.

Hs post was the product of a manic episode. That wouldn't bother me, if it were not for the fact that I loved someone who was a cybernetician and who would go off the deep end with systems theory stuff during manic psychotic episodes, and who ended up dying as a result of some poor decisions related to this. So it brings back some memories and touches a nerve of personal loss for me (and also the regret that I should have confronted him on his poor decisions). And so now I feel like I should say to this complete stranger "you don't need peer review for this you need medication because you may not realize it but this condition is life threatening and treatable with medicine and it isn't the other people who are 'setting you off' into a more dangerous state - that is a symptom of your being off kilter and delusional". But of course nobody who has manic episodes really likes the dullness of the episodes going away or the side effects of the meds and hey usually you are not having an episode and everything is fine.

For the people who don't know - he is (mis)using real systems theory ideas but in a very sloppy, unrigorous, and shallow way. He doesn't have enough of the basics under his belt to know how incredibly wrong he is and the intensity of his own subjective feeling of epiphany makes him arrogant enough to think he doesn't need to learn the basics - so it is a self perpetuating state.

Reading his words, his delusional rationalizations and his pseudo profound mixed up ideas is really painful for me. And it feels wrong to say these things about a complete stranger but at least I can say to the people that would be tempted to gawk and laugh that this is a person acting out on mental illness and not really that funny for anyone who knows someone who has died from their mental illness.
posted by idiopath at 6:07 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


OK - I am obviously shooken up here, I overgeneralized.

The last sentence should end with "It is not really that funny for me, because of my friendship with someone who suffered from the illness that this person seems to be affected by".

I am not a doctor of any sort and obviously I am out of line to make so many presumptions. So pretend I said "probably" or "I think" before every assertion up there. Except the part about shallow and sloppy usage of cybernetics, information theory, and game theory. That I can be sure of because it is about the ideas and I know they are shoddy (regarding the economics I cannot tell complete bullshit economics from non bullshit and I don't even know enough about the field to know if it is possible to know the difference). But regarding his mental state probably I overstated some hunches as statements of fact. And I could very well be wrong about the stuff I said about mania and psychosis. I apologize, this issue brings up a bunch of emotions for me and I am not really thinking clearly right now.
posted by idiopath at 6:38 PM on May 5, 2010


From the same thread, my contact sidebar said "flabdablet had a post with many favorites in Projects," but it was only a comment.

Also, I had a few of those sorts of manic-episode ideas during graduate school. One was complete b.s., one is probably worth a paper that says "here's a pedagogically interesting way to think about two apparently unrelated things," and one I need to learn more before I can decide.

The third idea I had several long discussions about with my advisor. Eventually he tried to fend me off with a joke: two economists are walking down the sidewalk and one of them sees a hundred-dollar bill. He says, "There is a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk!" His friend says, "Impossible! Somebody else would have already picked it up." Meaning, I suppose, that there were lots of folks smarter than me who would have been in a position to have my idea a while ago, and since no one had, my idea must have some obvious flaw that neither of us could see. A week later I was walking down the street and found a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk.

posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:02 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


thanks fantabulous, should be working now.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:10 AM on May 6, 2010


It still says "post." Off to check the sidewalk, in case that's what you meant.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 3:07 PM on May 6, 2010


oh that sidebar. ok, fixed now.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:12 PM on May 6, 2010


Awesome. Plus, I found a quarter.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 3:19 PM on May 6, 2010


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