Repeated quoting of long lists considered annoying November 21, 2013 3:38 PM   Subscribe

I've been enjoying the list of jokes riffing on 'Hung like a museum's prize painting' in the Lulu thread. However, as a screen reader user, I'd like to request that, in the future, users wanting to participate in such a joke don't copy and paste the whole list in their post just to add one more at the end. It makes the thread unreadable to have to try and skip over long, repeated lists to get to new content. Thanks!
posted by Space Coyote to Etiquette/Policy at 3:38 PM (53 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

*cough* threaded comments could solve this *cough*
posted by Jacqueline at 3:41 PM on November 21, 2013


(Oh I just noticed the mod note in the tread. If this is redundant please go ahead and close.)
posted by Space Coyote at 3:41 PM on November 21, 2013


Yeah, I left a note in the thread and people seem to have knocked it off. I'd also like to use this space to talk about flagging. We see the flags all individually and check them out individually. We have to clear them from the queue individually. So, going and grudgeflagging ten things in a thread, especially if you know there is a mod who is actively participating in that thread, is just taking up our time and not helping us solve any site problems. Once you've flagged a few things--especially if they are all of a type--rest assured we are paying attention. I'm aware that not everyone knows this and that's fine. I am stating it here so that more people know how we do our job and how they can flag most effectively.

Threaded comments are a non-option here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:42 PM on November 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


*cough* threaded comments could solve this *cough*

never
posted by Drinky Die at 3:53 PM on November 21, 2013 [35 favorites]


Space Coyote, thank you for the reminder about accessibility! I was thinking the c/p was easy to scroll past, but I hadn't even considered screen readers... I feel pretty ashamed that I needed to be told :( I really appreciate your raising my awareness, & I'm going to try to remember this lesson.
posted by Westringia F. at 3:53 PM on November 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


never

Pistols. At. Dawn.
posted by Evilspork at 3:53 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Drinky Die, if you need a second, I'll second you here
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:54 PM on November 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


*cough* threaded comments could solve this *cough*

Heresy! ;)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:01 PM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


threa…

what

(curls up in ball in corner)
posted by Namlit at 4:01 PM on November 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


It was 95% of the contents of the thread for a while. I'm glad I have one of those mouse wheels where you can disengage the clicker and spin it freely.
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:03 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh I totally didn't even consider screen-readers either. Will be more mindful in the future!

I threw the thread into the Extended Riffing Sessions wiki page, by the way.
posted by griphus at 4:03 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apologies for contributing to screen-reader destroying thread content!

It was good fun though. A veritable snowball of a joke.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:11 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: you can disengage the clicker and spin it freely.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:17 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Compiling of all the dick jokes into one list considered awesome, while we're on the subject. I'd do it, but phone.
posted by clavicle at 4:20 PM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


i can't believe it - people cascading in metafilter - and i missed it!

meow
posted by pyramid termite at 4:28 PM on November 21, 2013


clavicle: "Compiling of all the dick jokes into one list considered awesome"

Done
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:55 PM on November 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


Another screen reader etiquette thing that somebody brought up a while back but which I can't seem to locate again: apparently they tend to group objects in a way that turns hanging bits of punctuation after a link into awkward orphaned things, so I longer do links like this. I now do them this way instead.
posted by contraption at 5:00 PM on November 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Hairy Lobster plz post that in-thread. Especially now that I brought up Actual Issues again and already regret it.
posted by griphus at 5:00 PM on November 21, 2013


Done
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:06 PM on November 21, 2013


That aspect of the thread >>>>>>>> All other aspects of the thread.

Understand why people wanted them to stop but I wanted them to keep going to drown out the emotions.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:07 PM on November 21, 2013


Basically the same justification for Karaoke.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:08 PM on November 21, 2013


never

OVER HIS COLD, DEAD, DRINKY!
posted by mannequito at 5:37 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


FUN METAFILTER FACTS #20:

Since some time in the second decade of Metafilter a select subset of users, known to themselves as "MAfites" for "Metafilter Advanced" and to the 37 official modulators of Metafilter as the "MAfia", have enjoyed a secret parallel Metafilter which has, among other features, threaded comments, @reply annotations, and Antifavorites (some users use them for antibookmarking).

The core of MA is a complex Greasemonkey script which inserts & extracts steganographic annotations from MAfite posts to mark up and thread their own & others' comments. The encodings began with simple systems involving spelling errors and spacing differences and have grown more and more subtle, eventually encompassing the semantic content of comments themselves, in effect becoming self-sustaining.

Many perceived biases of the modulators are rumored to be part of their efforts to fight semantic contagion and prevent new members from joining MA.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:17 PM on November 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


turns hanging bits of punctuation after a link into awkward orphaned things

Wow, never knew that. I always have gone to some trouble to not include punctuation in my links, but I won't do so anymore. Space Coyote (and others who use screen readers), I'd love to know if there are other simple things I could do to make your reading experience better.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:25 PM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno, I thought it was funny.

I mean, my contributions were off in some backwater side-channel by design, but I didn't have a problem with other people making a huge conga line of jokes. In fact I like the way the dramatic tension builds as my eyes scan down longer and longer blocks of italicized wiener/museum jokes until I finally get to the new material.

I am a little sad the Joke Wave crested and crashed, since the thread's on-topic conversation seems to have been hashed out pretty early on and then just reheated a couple of times.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:01 PM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do visitor logs reveal a lot of users of screen-readers here?

I am genuinely curious: assistive technology interests me as a nerdy person, but I have had very little firsthand experience of it (either as a user or as the guy behind the servers).
posted by wenestvedt at 8:03 PM on November 21, 2013


Jacqueline: *cough* threaded comments could solve this *cough*

This village - it needs saving! What shall we do? I've got an idea! How about we burn it to the ground? That'll solve the problem!
posted by koeselitz at 8:43 PM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


wenestvedt: " I mean, my contributions were off in some backwater side-channel by design, but I didn't have a problem with other people making a huge conga line of jokes. In fact I like the way the dramatic tension builds as my eyes scan down longer and longer blocks of italicized wiener/museum jokes until I finally get to the new material."

Are you using a screen reader or some other form of assistance? From your phrasing "my eyes scan down", it doesn't sound like it. In which case, the fact that it wasn't a problem for you is irrelevant to the question of "does this kind of thing cause problems for people who are using assistive technology?"
posted by Lexica at 9:05 PM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sometimes when I'm making a comment about the thread in general, I like to quote the entire thread to that point.

Is that so wrong?
posted by mazola at 9:20 PM on November 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


(and others who use screen readers), I'd love to know if there are other simple things I could do to make your reading experience better.

Paragraphs. Oh, god, paragraphs. Trying to read a whole screen without paragraph breaks hurts my head.

And one or two smalltext reductions is ok, but anything more than that gets pretty annoying to read.
posted by Weeping_angel at 9:23 PM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


If someone who uses a screen reader will confirm that stranded punctuation thing, I'll be glad to change my style.

And Weeping_angel, can you clarify what you're saying about paragraph breaks? I tend to keep my paragraphs small on MeFi. Like I've done here with, what I think, are two paragraphs. I'm not clear if you want more paragraph breaks, or less. And I'm not sure if the way I've broken this comment into two paragraphs fits what you need.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:37 PM on November 21, 2013


Could someone post a picture of what the stranded punctuation thing looks like? I ask as someone who thinks including the punctuation mark within a link goes against god and natural law but is willing to accomodate. I'm just curious what it looks like at your end.
posted by mediareport at 5:22 AM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Could someone post a picture of what the stranded punctuation thing looks like?

Wouldn't it have to be a sound file if we're talking about screen readers? (Or do I not understand what a screen reader is?)
posted by Jahaza at 7:08 AM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not on a screen reader. I still find it annoying.

This isn't Reddit. I can't resort the comments. So it's safe to assume I've read what's before yours.

Quoting to reply to specific stuff is fine though.
posted by theichibun at 7:41 AM on November 22, 2013


Jahaza, looks like I'm misunderstanding; I thought this was another request from mobile device users with small screens (which would make sense for the long repeated list thing). I misunderstood this comment as well, and mistakenly thought it was about mobile device screens.

But yeah, now that I've had coffee and understand better, it would be interesting to hear what it's like for text-to-speech users. It's not clear.
posted by mediareport at 7:56 AM on November 22, 2013


Re: the stranded punctuation thing: in VoiceOver on iOS it calls out links as links in a lightly different voice. So you would hear "click this link [link] to continue." If there's a period after the link it will say "period" by itself. On the list of web practices that mess up screen readers this is down near the very bottom of things to not worry about. Also, since i have some vision, I also prefer the look of periods not being part of the link. Announcing the period is more a VoiceOver bug than bad practice by web writers.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:33 AM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


But while I'm here, the thing that makes MetaFilter a little dodgy to read is the stuff at the bottom of each comment. MetaFilter, being text-based, uses punctuation to offset different links. These all get read out loud, so between each comment a voiceover user is treated to:

"Posted by Space Coyote at nine thirty-three Am on November twenty-second. Left-bracket plus [link add to favourites] right bracket left bracket exclamation point [link flag this post].

More modern web sites that use graphics are ironically a little easier to navigate with VoiceOver since all that gets read out is the title text of link icons.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:36 AM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lexica: In which case, the fact that it wasn't a problem for you is irrelevant to the question of "does this kind of thing cause problems for people who are using assistive technology?"

No, it's entirely relevant because I don't know, and I want to undertsand the problem better. Or were you implying that no one should have to know that a fellow MeFite uses assistive tech -- like, we can't even talk about it? Because that has got to be wrong, otherwise how else do the rest of us learn??
posted by wenestvedt at 9:44 AM on November 22, 2013


"Posted by Space Coyote at nine thirty-three Am on November twenty-second. Left-bracket plus [link add to favourites] right bracket left bracket exclamation point [link flag this post]."

...Which reminds me a lot of doing tech support over the phone, and asking the other person to read me all the menus -- which I would usually scan visually -- until I hear an option that sounds useful. Ugh.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:46 AM on November 22, 2013


I can't resort the comments. So it's safe to assume I've read what's before yours.

Yep, this. A mefi thread happens in order, there's not really any sort of gain to snowballing quotation like that here even if it might have utility in other contexts.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:15 AM on November 22, 2013


I found the original comment that convinced me to start including punctuation in links. I don't know how prevalent various screenreaders are these days (like does iOS have 95% market share or are many people using other options?) and exactly how they differ in this regard, but I think the aesthetic difference is small enough that I'd rather err on the side of making the internet actually easier to read for some small subset of people over having my commas be more pleasingly colored.

(Could there be a checkbox in the preferences for a screenreader-friendly version of the site? It'd be easy enough to make a script that strips the brackets for desktop users but mobile would have to be handled server-side, I think.)
posted by contraption at 10:54 AM on November 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


wenestvedt: Or were you implying that no one should have to know that a fellow MeFite uses assistive tech -- like, we can't even talk about it? Because that has got to be wrong, otherwise how else do the rest of us learn??

No, I was implying that when somebody posts "this is causing a problem for me", responding with either "I thought it was fun" or "I have no problem with it" isn't helpful.

Questions to find out more about something are useful. Stating that the thing is not a problem or isn't something that one has encountered is generally not useful.
posted by Lexica at 12:05 PM on November 22, 2013


It's a pretty Riff-worthy week.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:28 PM on November 22, 2013


Jacqueline: "*cough* threaded comments could solve this *cough*"

HaHaaaHa HahaaahAAaa.
posted by Mitheral at 2:05 PM on November 22, 2013


I saw the conversation we were about to have like a long, familiar tunnel, and I turned around and walked away, done with riffing forever.
posted by bongo_x at 7:18 PM on November 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Needled by threaded comments demands!
posted by Abiezer at 1:37 AM on November 23, 2013


It's not like this is a thing that happens all the time, and the compounding of the jokes was part of what made it hilarious to me. Once in a while a comment stream here will take a weird turn, and as long as it's not a thing that happens more than once in a blue moon, I say roll with it & let the kids have a little fun.

We will fight the threaded comments on the beaches, & cetera. We shall never surrender.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:36 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

We will fight the threaded comments on the beaches, & cetera. We shall never surrender.
Comments like this make the whole thread even more fun for me, because I can never remember who's on which side of any of this stuff, except to the extent that the guy who owns the site has decreed "no threading."

So now I get to spend part of Sunday afternoon trying to figure out who gets to be Hitler and who gets to be George VI, given that I don't know the opinion of the person who made the comment and am actually kind of ambivalent on the threaded comments thing these days.

I will not attempt to determine this poster's opinion on the threaded comments thing based on a careful analysis of his 2,348 previous MetaTalk comments.

It has taken nearly twenty years for me to go from "threaded comments = death" to "eh" on the issue, personally.
posted by SMPA at 10:58 AM on November 24, 2013


(Note: that's "I don't know for sure the opinion of [...]" - my assumption is that Devil's Rancher is against them based on the phrasing he chose. The ambiguity is just too much fun to be stopped with mere informed guesses!)
posted by SMPA at 11:00 AM on November 24, 2013


I've hated threaded comments since I first tried to read Slashdot umpty-jillion years ago & gave up in utter frustration after maybe 5 visits to the site.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:36 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I am Either Churchill or Charles de Gaulle, but most definitely not Patton or MacArthur.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:39 PM on November 24, 2013


Yes, please don't turn Mefi into Tumblr.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:56 AM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Weeping_angel: " And one or two smalltext reductions is ok, but anything more than that gets pretty annoying to read."

I just realized that this hadn't registered with me when I read it earlier. How is smalltext rendered via screenreaders or similar things? When I'm writing I tend to use it to indicate that something is a less-relevant side comment, or possibly joke, but if it's causing problems for people who use adaptive technology, I want to find some other way of doing that.

Which prompts the thought: does jokey pseudo-HTML cause problems? For example, </sarcasm> or </self-obsessed>?
posted by Lexica at 6:05 PM on November 27, 2013


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