She's got rainbows and scrolling. December 22, 2010 6:03 PM   Subscribe

My little phoney: A larger text field for answering/commenting on the mobile site?

I hope it doesn't seem too insignificant! I use the mobile site a lot. More often than not, the comment/answer field is smaller than my comment, and scrolling is all kinds of wacky on my phone (iPhone). It often takes twice or three times longer to post something after checking it over for errors and/or adding links, due to needing to deal with the scrolling and weird bugginess if it. Maybe it would be nice if it was the same width but longer? Or maybe it extends with the length of the comment? The latter seems much more complicated, but I know nothing about these things. That said, if this is a huge thing to change code-wise for a fairly minor inconvenience, I understand. And if I'm the only one with issue, feel free to school me or call me out. Thanks!
posted by two lights above the sea to Feature Requests at 6:03 PM (28 comments total)

I would like a pony.

A real pony.
posted by killdevil at 6:13 PM on December 22, 2010


Maybe you should ask santa!
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:16 PM on December 22, 2010


I don't like ponies, they are large and smelly and poop everywhere. Terrible roommates.

But a roll of duct tape? None of those problems and you've got an excellent wing man for bar hopping.
posted by nomadicink at 6:31 PM on December 22, 2010


To date, it seems the mods have tried to keep the mobile stylesheet a browsing and occasional commenting experience. That said, I'd also like this pony very much. I would feed it well.
posted by moviehawk at 6:33 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Each time I make a MetaTalk post I feel like a dog who keeps eating bees. When will I learn my lesson? Thankfully, I am cute and have sad eyes. Pity me, pity me!
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:42 PM on December 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


Ooooh, a pony I like! I'll feed it every day, I promise!

The tiny text box has annoyed me many, many times. Often I have an answer all typed up, realized a mistake in the preview, and couldnt make my iPhone get back to the top of the post because the text box was too small. I usually end up saying screw it and just not posting at all, because it's too frustrating to fix and my OCD won't let me knowingly post something with mistakes (it happens enough as it is by accident!)

The commenting iPhone text box is just too tiny. Looking at it now, it only holds 7 lines of about 35-40 characters each.
posted by cgg at 6:45 PM on December 22, 2010


like a dog who keeps eating bees.

This made me spit out some food I was eating. So, thanks.
posted by killdevil at 7:13 PM on December 22, 2010


My dog ate an ant today, then he looked up at me for guidance. "I don't know what we do now either, dog," was all I could reply. He's fine now, by the way. Upside down and dreaming. My dog I mean. I'm sure the ant has drowned.

I haven't had trouble with the answer box, but I use a Blackberry (and never make mistakes).
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:29 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is just to say
I have eaten
the bees
that were argh
argh argh
ow jesus

and which
you were ow ow
ow
ow ow

argh argh
they were delicious
so argh
and argh ow
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:38 PM on December 22, 2010 [26 favorites]


When we launched the mobile version the comment form was big—bigger than the width of the viewing area. That made it extremely difficult to scroll around to see a comment because not only did you have scroll within the textarea, you had to scroll around the viewport to see the entire textarea.

So through great wailing and gnashing of teeth, we made the textarea the exact size of the viewport when you're typing in it. The size even changes depending on whether you're in portrait or landscape. (Here's where a previous conversation about textarea sized started before we made the change.)

So I know it feels like it'd be an improvement to have a bigger textarea, but I think you're bumping up against a limitation of the phone rather than the site. The iPhone screen is very limiting, so we're working with a small space. And I think the current size is the least awful size to work with.

If you find a site that does this well let us know. Maybe someone out there has hit on a good solution to this problem.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:11 PM on December 22, 2010


pb, I understand your point, but I feel you may be misunderstanding mine: I like the WIDTH, but I'd like to change the LENGTH. Does that change anything for you, or no?
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:27 PM on December 22, 2010


No, because anything longer means you're scrolling the viewport up and down to see the entire textarea. You'd end up with more scrolling than you do now.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:33 PM on December 22, 2010


I like the WIDTH, but I'd like to change the LENGTH

That's what she said?
posted by birdherder at 8:38 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


For me, the comment box is roughly 66% of the screen size both horizontally and vertically. It's a Blackberry, though. I see a blank line, the (HTML help) line, the box, a blank line, the hug line, a blank line, and the post/preview buttons, all at once. This comment fills the box.
posted by SMPA at 9:34 PM on December 22, 2010


When I look at MeFi on my iPhone, I see dead people. Or is that just my own reflection in the screen? Maybe I need to get out in the sun more.
posted by dg at 10:18 PM on December 22, 2010


I use my professional white iphone.
posted by milestogo at 12:01 AM on December 23, 2010


No, because anything longer means you're scrolling the viewport up and down to see the entire textarea. You'd end up with more scrolling than you do now.

I think the problem is that if the comment is large than the textarea, then on an iPhone it is hard/impossible(?) to scroll up and move the cursor to the start of the comment, for example (the part that is not displayed in the textarea):

More often than not, the comment/answer field is smaller than my comment, and scrolling is all kinds of wacky on my phone (iPhone).
...
Often I have an answer all typed up, realized a mistake in the preview, and couldnt make my iPhone get back to the top of the post because the text box was too small.

So their proposed solution would replace scrolling within the textarea (buggy/difficult) with regular page scrolling (works fine).

For what it's worth, I have no trouble with this on my HTC Desire with its optical trackpad for controlling the cursor :)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:32 AM on December 23, 2010


I think the problem is that if the comment is large than the textarea, then on an iPhone it is hard/impossible(?) to scroll up and move the cursor to the start of the comment, for example (the part that is not displayed in the textarea):
As far as I can see, there is no way to scroll up to the start of a comment once the comment is longer than the text area.
posted by dg at 3:45 AM on December 23, 2010


dg, try a two-finger scroll.
posted by pb (staff) at 5:21 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


try a two-finger scroll

Well, you learn something new every day. Thanks pb!
posted by ClarissaWAM at 6:05 AM on December 23, 2010


pb: dg, try a two-finger scroll.


I read all the comments to mention it, and pb posts it 2 comments before the end!

But, yeah, two fingers. :)
posted by 47triple2 at 9:41 AM on December 23, 2010


OK, thanks, pb! I'll have to try that next time.
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:49 AM on December 23, 2010


Wait, how does a two finger scroll work? I'm peeved by the same problem!
posted by Omnomnom at 12:19 PM on December 23, 2010


dg, try a two-finger scroll.
Holy shit! I didn't know about that. Awesome!
posted by dg at 12:46 PM on December 23, 2010


Omnomnom, just use two fingers side-by-side to scroll within the text area in the same way you would use one finger to scroll normally. It's like some kind of black magic or something.
posted by dg at 1:49 PM on December 23, 2010


Holy shit indeed. I have to edit shit on my phone sometimes. This is a goddam revelation.

PB WHAT OTHER SECRETS ARE YOU HIDING
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:53 PM on December 23, 2010


Two fingers scroll just like one on my jailbroken 3.1.2 3g Iphone.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 2:18 PM on December 23, 2010


wow, I guess I should start a two-finger scroll awareness campaign. Yeah, pretty much anywhere I think I should be able to scroll but can't I try two fingers. Google Reader on the iPad was completely useless until I figured out you could scroll the left pane that way.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:35 PM on December 23, 2010


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