"Expand all" on favorites? May 18, 2012 9:08 PM   Subscribe

Pony request: Expand all on favorites?

I did a search and didn't see anything indicating that this has come up before.

I use favorites as bookmarks and I often like to go and read through them generally or specifically look for something. Is there a way we can set it up so I can expand the comments I've marked as favorites and don't have to click into each one individually to see the whole comment? I'm thinking like the "expand all" feature similar to what gmail uses. Then I could just scroll down the whole page and read or skim as necessary without having to click a million times. This would be especially helpful as I often go to look for something I think I might have favorited, but I can't remember a search term to look for it so being able to just scroll down the page and see the entirety of each comment would be really helpful.
posted by triggerfinger to Feature Requests at 9:08 PM (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

We haven't really thought of your favorites list as a place to consume comments. It's late on a Friday night for most of team mod. This is something we'll need to think about over the weekend and then we'll probably talk about it sometime next week.

My initial hesitation is that we like to see comments in context as much as possible. And when we don't show comments in context we show an excerpt with a link to see that comment in context. The exception is Recent Activity where show up to 4,000 characters of the comment—partly because some of the surrounding comments are also there. So you have a bit of context. We also show a good number of comment excerpts on the favorites page, at least 50. So that could be pretty unwieldy fully expanded.

We provide search so you can get back to comments you've favorited, but I guess if you want to read comments you've favorited in their entirety in that view there's no great way to do it. So yeah, we can discuss this and think about making your favorites list a place to consume entire comments.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:11 PM on May 18, 2012

I like this pony. If we get to have it, can we also have a button that shows us the entirety of long comments in Recent Activity without having to click through to the thread they are in? Because that would be nice. Not necessarily a button that expands *all* the long comments, but just a button that would expand the one comment that we are reading.
posted by Scientist at 11:54 PM on May 18, 2012

Can't you export your comments somehow? Maybe someone could write a script to prettify the exported file.
posted by desjardins at 11:59 PM on May 18, 2012

Scientist, no that won't really work without retooling the way Recent Activity works now. The way it works now is that we show the full HTML, which means the break around 4,000 characters can happen in the middle of a link, or in the middle of some other HTML. So it's not a simple process to just pull in the rest of the excerpt. We'd need to parse the HTML and make sure the break isn't happening within an HTML tag, and make excerpts happen on either side of that break. And we're not currently doing HTML parsing of any kind because parsing user-generated HTML has its own challenges. In other words, it would be a big project. The majority of the time, Recent Activity should be showing you the full comment. Most comments are less than 4,000 characters. So clicking through to the occiasional longer comment shouldn't be too bad.

desjardins, you can expert your own comments, but triggerfinger wants to read comments she has favorited.
posted by pb (staff) at 6:33 AM on May 19, 2012

I'm indifferent about this. But the thought of having an easy way to read all the comments of mine that other people have favorited excites me in the most sordid way.
posted by Trurl at 7:02 AM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

OK, no biggie.
posted by Scientist at 9:25 AM on May 19, 2012

I love this pony. I use the favorites for things I don't want to forget. So searching back through the truncated list is problematic when I can't remember a key word to search for. This causes me to not favorite quite as many things as I'd like to so I won't have so many to search through.

I have never asked for a pony before, but I would really use this one.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:46 AM on May 19, 2012

Yeah, another bookmarker here and I think this would be really, really fantastic pony. What a trick!
posted by absalom at 2:47 PM on May 19, 2012

This is my favorite pony!
posted by trip and a half at 3:41 PM on May 19, 2012

I, too, would ride this pony.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:44 PM on May 19, 2012

Nthing this pony.
posted by nfg at 4:33 PM on May 19, 2012

I would not only ride this pony, but I would feed it magical sprouts and berries from the land of Wizhimawoo.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:17 PM on May 19, 2012

Good pony.
posted by safetyfork at 7:21 PM on May 19, 2012

I shall call this pony Fred and we will take wonderful walks in the meadow each morning together.
posted by saradarlin at 8:57 PM on May 19, 2012

I also endorse this pony. For bookmarkers, a lot of the favorites will be relatively standalone things.

Also, bookmarkers are more likely to want to search back through their favorited comments. And if I'm thinking "there was this great comment with a tip at the very end about making waffles" or whatever -- looking for something that doesn't appear in the short snippet -- it would be nice to be able to expand and be able to read quickly though my favorited comments rather than having to visit each thread.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:17 PM on May 19, 2012

We've discussed this a bit more and we'd like to keep things as they are. Favorites are a contentious feature on the site so the bar for changing how they work is very high. This feature doesn't quite clear the bar and we're ok with the slight friction required to view a comment in its original context if you'd like to read the entire comment. We already have tools like searching through your favorites to help with finding them again, and the excerpts on the favorites page should provide a sense of the comment if you're browsing them.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:59 AM on May 24, 2012

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