Certainly I'm not the only one who would find this pony useful December 5, 2013 10:02 AM   Subscribe

I would like to have something like (SLNYT) automatically inserted after SLNYT embedded links the way the the indicator is inserted for Youtube links. Sometimes posters do this themselves, often they don't. I realize that there is a preview window, but it would be nice to have something a little more conspicuous right next to the link. I only have access to a few NYT articles per month, and I want to use them as judiciously as possible. What do others think? Thanks for considering this!
posted by Daddy-O to Feature Requests at 10:02 AM (84 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

SLYT is automatically inserted?
posted by griphus at 10:05 AM on December 5, 2013


(Also you can generally get around the NYT limit by opening a Private Browsing/Incognito window and loading the article in there.)
posted by griphus at 10:06 AM on December 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


SLYT is automatically inserted?

Nope.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:15 AM on December 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


You can also hover your mouse over the link if you want to know where it goes. That's how I handle this problem.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:15 AM on December 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


If you have the option "YouTube & Vimeo video inline?" checked in your site preferences, you'll get a little arrow after a YouTube or Vimeo link that lets you play the linked video here at MetaFilter instead of going to the site. So the feature isn't intended to highlight links to a particular site—that just ends up happening as part of having the inline video player.

We're not likely to start highlighting links to particular domains. I bet you could whip up something in Greasemonkey to highlight a particular domain. Otherwise, yeah, browsers should have tools to identify where links are headed before you click.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:20 AM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I agree posters should do this. It's just one of those basic courtesy things like noting an attachment is .pdf

But I think the mods have enough to do without adding on this chore.
posted by bearwife at 10:30 AM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Obvs the SL part wouldn't work well as an automatic script insertion, and the NYT part may be convienant, but once down that path then any site that limits article #s will get their proponates of THIS TOO NEEDS SPECIAL ATTENTION, so convienant yeah, but it opens the door for lots of future work and/or bitching.
posted by edgeways at 10:31 AM on December 5, 2013


I think that leaving it as a thing that can be greasemonkeyed/userscripted/your scripted add-on extensioned of choice is good enough for this preference. I don't see why pb et al would have to add this specially.
posted by kalessin at 10:58 AM on December 5, 2013


Otherwise, yeah, browsers should have tools to identify where links are headed before you click.

They should. But it's not always so easy on mobile. My current Android phone allows me to hold down a link to see a little bit of it before I go there. I'm not sure if that's a feature on all Android browsers. (Actually, it's possible that's a Firefox and not an Android feature now that I think of it.) But my older blackberry didn't offer that ability at all.

Just offering this as a data point. Don't feel strongly about this pony request one way or another.
posted by zarq at 10:59 AM on December 5, 2013


Also, is greasemonkey available on mobile yet? Last time I looked (over a year ago) it wasn't.
posted by zarq at 11:00 AM on December 5, 2013


No, there aren't any Greasemonkey options for phones that I'm aware of. It could probably be done with a bookmarklet, but you'd need to click that with every page viewed so it'd be pretty annoying.

But again, that's a limitation of mobile devices not a limitation of MetaFilter. I don't think this is something that MetaFilter needs to make available to everyone on every platform.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:04 AM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ditto, yeah. It is a bummer that for a segment of the mobile readerbase it's sort of a pain to find out where a link is going, but that's not something that rises to the level of us adding automated cruft to posts to try and treat the place where edge-case meets edge-case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:08 AM on December 5, 2013


I'd rather have "SLxx" automatically deleted when there's more than one link in the post!
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 11:10 AM on December 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure if it's kosher to post direct links here, but a cursory Google search will turn up a half dozen other ways around the NYT paywall besides the simple incognito/private browser window method mentioned by griphus, for those who are unable/unwilling to pay for a subscription.

Also last I checked if you get to a NYT article by following a link from a search engine or FB or Twitter it doesn't count against your limit. (This is intentional to allow viral spread of NYT links.)
posted by Wretch729 at 11:13 AM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I DEMAND CRUFT
posted by Hoopo at 11:21 AM on December 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Does anyone know if Chrome's Incognito mode still lets you browse as much of the NYT as you want? I know they fortified their paywall but I don't read it enough lately to know if that trick still works. That feature is available on mobile and desktop versions.

You can also long-press any link on Android or iOS to see where you're going. I tend to do that on principle.
posted by planetesimal at 11:24 AM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are you sure clicking NYTimes links from MeFi count against your limit? I always assumed that any outside link doesn't count.
posted by pwally at 11:37 AM on December 5, 2013


I don't think this is something that MetaFilter needs to make available to everyone on every platform.

Oh, neither do I. Just thought it worth noting that some of us do surf on mobile platforms and can't take advantage of greasemonkey.
posted by zarq at 11:46 AM on December 5, 2013


On Chrome on iOS 7 if you tap-hold on a link, a pop-up menu shows up with the link's URL and an option to copy the link or to open the URL in a new tab.

Same thing with Safari on iOS 7.

Not sure how it goes with other browsers on other mobile phones, but that's a data point that ya all perhaps should be aware of.
posted by kalessin at 11:56 AM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


It even happens in the LastPass app's built-in browser, so I have a feeling it might be standard to the iOS API to some extent.
posted by kalessin at 11:57 AM on December 5, 2013


As a metapony, this is one of those metas that could be solved if users had a way to store a chunk of CSS in our prefs that would be included when we browsed the site. In this case it would look like this:
a[href*="nytimes.com"]:after {
content: " (NYT)";
}
And then I would have said, "hey, Daddy-O, just go to your Preferences page and paste this into the CSS box, and you'll be all set."

I know there are concerns about tech support, and about security if users were persuaded to paste in malicious content. Those seem manageable to me if it was worth it (you could establish more or less the same relationship that you have to supporting greasemonkey, for example), so I wanted to point out that it'd help with this kind of thing. Other recent examples are the order-of-nav-bar-links thing, or the dyslexic-fonts thing, or the titles thing. You get an intermediate option between "tell people to deal with it" and "find a fix that works for everyone."
posted by jhc at 12:50 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


"where edge-case meets edge-case."

I wouldn't call it an edge-case. There are other communities/websites out there (e.g.: Reddit or Hacker News) where the domain-information is displayed and it proves very useful considering that you are dealing with a lot of domains as it's the case here on MeFi. Being able to decide if you want to visit a certain website based on the domain could have numerous benefits (besides the NYT limitation).

As stated above there are a lot of ways to get your browser to do it for you but considering that one might not use the same browser all the time or is not able to adjust its settings (at work for example) offering this option seems more than reasonable. You can perhape even use the same regexp used for YouTube and Vimeo so it wouldn't increase the load to render a page.

Not that it should be a default but a togglable preference would be a welcome enhancement.
posted by KMB at 12:53 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks to everyone for their input, and thanks to PB, Cortex, and the other mods for everything they do.

To address a few things above:

I should have mentioned that I am always using a Mac or PC, never a phone.

Are you sure clicking NYTimes links from MeFi count against your limit? I always assumed that any outside link doesn't count. I'm pretty sure it does. I rarely go to NYT unless it's via Metafilter or FB, and I sometimes hit my limit.

SLYT is automatically inserted? I never said that. I was referring to the a triangle icon I see next to YT links in posts. I didn't realize this is only since I have "YouTube & Vimeo video inline?" checked under Preferences.

You can also hover your mouse over the link if you want to know where it goes. That's what I meant by "preview window" in my post.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:57 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am only mildly exercised, after all these years, by [SLYT] faketagging, but it still rouses me to a keenly-felt level of pointless fury when I see SL-anygoddamnedthingelse. Even more so, I must admit, when it's meant to be a bit twee and amusing.

But I admit I am probably a rage-outlier in this matter, as in many others.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:13 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are other communities/websites out there ... where the domain-information is displayed

This is my preferred solution. It gives more information to the reader and potentially provides more security too---that's a major reason it was implemented on /. many moons ago.
posted by bonehead at 1:49 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


No thank you.
posted by Justinian at 1:54 PM on December 5, 2013


this is one of those metas that could be solved if users had a way to store a chunk of CSS in our prefs that would be included when we browsed the site.

Oh man this would be so cool.

Also, would result in my ponifying the SHIT outta this site.
posted by 7segment at 2:11 PM on December 5, 2013


If you have the option "YouTube & Vimeo video inline?" checked in your site preferences, you'll get a little arrow after a YouTube or Vimeo link that lets you play the linked video here at MetaFilter instead of going to the site.

That's almost as good as automatically embedding a SLYT warning for those of us on mobile, where mouseover is not really an option, and I appreciate you mentioning it.

Thanks!
posted by notyou at 2:23 PM on December 5, 2013


It is a bummer that for a segment of the mobile readerbase it's sort of a pain to find out where a link is going, but that's not something that rises to the level of us adding automated cruft to posts to try and treat the place where edge-case meets edge-case.

While I dislike the request, I think this is probably going to become a more pressing issue as time goes on. As far as features that MetaFilter has that I would like to be able to "turn on or off" - still really annoyed when I can't understand an article because I have front page titles turned off - this actually is one I would consider useful and with seemingly no down-side.
posted by phaedon at 2:38 PM on December 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


On Chrome on iOS 7 if you tap-hold on a link, a pop-up menu shows up with the link's URL and an option to copy the link or to open the URL in a new tab.

In Chrome on iOS7 it even gives you the option to open in incognito mode.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:39 PM on December 5, 2013


Yeah, long press on any mobile platform that I'm familiar with (uh, which is just iOS, I guess) will show you the URL in question.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:46 PM on December 5, 2013


It works like that with every Android browser I've ever used.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:47 PM on December 5, 2013


phaedon: "his actually is one I would consider useful and with seemingly no down-side."

It would seriously muck up the flow of writing with unnecessary cruft IMO.

Really the solution is to start treating the NYT like any other paywalled site and discourage links to them; maybe even deleting posts that only have NYT links. We do that with sites like JSTOR. We shouldn't be rewarding their anti social behaviour with traffic from the front page.
posted by Mitheral at 2:53 PM on December 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


If the paywall were actually a usability issue, I could see doing that, but there are so many trivial ways around it that we'd be doing it just to disapprove of their business decisions.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:55 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


While I dislike the request, I think this is probably going to become a more pressing issue as time goes on

I don't understand why this will become a pressing issue. For now, you can mouse over any link and read your browser or long-press on mobile to see where something leads. Other sites like Slashdot, hackernews, and reddit instituted this only because pranking people with links to goatse became so popular as to require the building of the feature. I don't believe we have that problem at all currently, and I don't see any reason to add it unless something drastic happens in regards to how people behave on the site.

this actually is one I would consider useful and with seemingly no down-side

Calling out the domain on every single link on the site would basically add a ton of nerdy machine noise and break up the flow of reading words and sentences on the page. I'd say for now anyone wanting this should probably check out the various greasemonkey scripts and browser extensions to see what it looks like and if it helps you personally, but chances are pretty low that we'd add this as a site-wide feature anytime soon since I haven't seen any real need for it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:58 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


You're not wrong, Matt, and I agree with you.

That said, you can count me in as a person who is annoyed at not readily knowing where links go when using my phone - which is a problem that is not confined to Metafilter. Yes, there are workarounds, and they all suck compared to the ease of hoverover on a desktop.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:22 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe we could get some "server side" greasemonkey/stylish like thing? That would allow folks to do a bunch of stuff and it would work across devices. The file could even sit off site it wouldn't add too much extra bandwidth to serving files.
posted by Brent Parker at 3:34 PM on December 5, 2013


No, sorry, giving folks a spot to run arbitrary code under the metafilter domain is a non-starter. We experimented with custom CSS for profile pages in the past and people uncovered exploits that were too difficult to defend against.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:48 PM on December 5, 2013


But surely there's a big difference between profile page CSS, and CSS that's only shown to the user who entered it?
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 4:04 PM on December 5, 2013


Any jerk can pony up for an account and run that naughty CSS, though.
posted by planetesimal at 4:06 PM on December 5, 2013


Yeah, showing CSS only to the person who entered it does limit exposure but it's still not something we're interested in doing.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:07 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fair enough.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 4:10 PM on December 5, 2013


Calling out the domain on every single link on the site would basically add a ton of nerdy machine noise and break up the flow of reading words and sentences on the page.

Respectfully, I also said this was would be a nice "on/off" feature.

I'm not sure what you mean by "calling out" but I didn't think we were talking about "calling out" every link, just the ones to common, MSM websites that involve paywalls (or rather the usage of a "free" article) or say some kind of "disruption of experience." If you instead mean the code for this would weigh down the site, that's totally understandable, and should be rejected on that basis alone. Also, "calling out" a select number of websites with repercussions may be confused by some as sponsorship of said website.

I've never been entirely sure why people need a SLYT tag, but I assume it's because they are on a cell phone and don't want to be taken out of their current window browsing app. Or maybe they can't watch video at work. I dunno. If it is transcript purists that want that, I'm not defending 'em.
posted by phaedon at 5:04 PM on December 5, 2013


"SL" abbreviations are helpful for readers who can't count to one, or would be helpful for that, if all of the people using it knew what it stands for.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:42 PM on December 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would like no "SL anything" disclaimers posted ever again, if we're voting.
posted by empath at 6:22 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I didn't think we were talking about "calling out" every link, just the ones to common, MSM websites that involve paywalls

I thought about the original request and it seemed confusing to users. Why just call out the NYT? What other sites should we print out the domain of? Wouldn't users ask why perhaps 5% of links have the domain denoted but other links don't?

And I talk about "noise" of it since that's how I often see it at slashdot or hackernews where it seems they print out every domain in the main links. I just don't see the upside to this or any broad desire to add this. Mousing over links to figure out where they go and being occasionally surprised by where a link ends up is pretty much what MeFi has done for nearly 15 years now.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:26 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't understand the point of the SL part of these acronyms. It stands for Single Link, right? But isn't that obvious? I can tell just by looking at what's on the screen in front of me how many links are in a post.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:00 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's really a vestigial thing from a non-existant time when people labored under the impression that every post needs to have a billion links to exhaust every possible web resource on a subject. It basically serves as a mild trigger warning for people whose hackles were raised by not being fed a wall of HTML.
posted by planetesimal at 7:08 PM on December 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


But I admit I am probably a rage-outlier in this matter, as in many others.

I bet you're far from alone. I understand the reasoning but wish the SLXXX habit would die a quick and quiet death. I can count the links in the post (half the posters that tag SL evidently can't, though) and I'm quite capable of uncovering a URL on my own. It's noise and introduces lingo that's confusing to new users.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:16 PM on December 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hah!

I always thought that stood for Single Link Not You Tube.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:20 PM on December 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


SLYT is MeFi's Own cargo cult.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 10:38 PM on December 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


You FOOLS. Alerting people to the fact that a link is single is extremely useful - so other links can ask it out on a date and MAYBE they will end up together. If the Mods allowed marriage equality they could even get married and raise a new generation of links. So don't hate on single links just because you are prejudiced in favour of traditional marriage, you monsters.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:08 AM on December 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


The only links I'm disappointed to click anything fox related, including wall street journal, I don't want to give them the page views and I'm damn sure not going to read it. I personally think it'd be rather nice if pb could set something up that makes huge fires break out in their server farms or television stations or both; those would be links I would click on happily.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:39 AM on December 6, 2013


While we're at it, can we have little swastikas whenever someone links to the Daily Mail? Or it that's in questionable taste maybe an automatic [MCC] (may cause cancer)?
posted by pipeski at 3:07 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


...and on my birthday, can we have balloon modelling?
posted by pipeski at 3:08 AM on December 6, 2013


(Also you can generally get around the NYT limit by opening a Private Browsing/Incognito window and loading the article in there.)

Does that imply that right-clicking the page, selecting View Page Info, then blocking that site's cookies makes a permanent hole in its paywall?
posted by flabdablet at 4:03 AM on December 6, 2013


What's the consensus on linking to google-cached versions of paywalled articles in posts? That would always circumvent the paywall [on sites like NYT or Economist that allow google to get around the paywall] but _might_ be frowned upon?
posted by xqwzts at 4:20 AM on December 6, 2013


Also, can we ban links to Business Insider, Buzzfeed and Upworthy? I get enough of those shits on Facebook.
posted by box at 5:52 AM on December 6, 2013


pipeski: "...and on my birthday, can we have balloon modelling?"

Yes! And we can make a dz2 orbital (which is such a wonderful cosmic joke on the part of quantum mechanics!) and then cortex will have a giant balloon donut.
posted by beryllium at 6:00 AM on December 6, 2013


I WANT TO RELAX EFFORTLESSLY IN A VIBRATING RECLINER WHILE METAFILTER READS AND NAVIGATES THE ENTIRE INTERNET WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY PROVIDING FOR MY PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL WELL-BEING, LEADING A FULFILLING SOCIAL LIFE IN MY STEAD, AND ADMINISTERING AN OCCASIONAL BLOW JOB.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:54 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


OH, AND LIGHTS. ON MY DOG.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:59 AM on December 6, 2013


And also, you should win things by reading.
posted by box at 7:16 AM on December 6, 2013


Would it anger people too much (or...not enough?) if posters were gently entreated to append (NYT) in the text of posts that contained links to nytimes.com? Not every issue requires a tech-based solution. Hi, I'm a social scientist, and I am largely indifferent to the IT/CS/engineering particulars of my browsing experience.
posted by psoas at 8:01 AM on December 6, 2013


Gently entreating as in the comment you just posted in this sort of community discussion? Totally cool. Gently entreated as in by-the-site-in-the-process-of-posting, not gonna happen.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:03 AM on December 6, 2013


The last comments clearly help provide a healthy environment where one is not afraid to suggest features or support feature-suggestions. Same goes for the 15 year argument above. Perhaps this is Reddit all along and somehow the feature to show domain-names has been disabled in my account...
posted by KMB at 8:03 AM on December 6, 2013


By the community, not by the site. The New Post page is crowded enough already, really.
posted by psoas at 8:06 AM on December 6, 2013


psoas: "Would it anger people too much (or...not enough?) if posters were gently entreated to append (NYT) in the text of posts that contained links to nytimes.com? Not every issue requires a tech-based solution."

I'd like it if this didn't happen in a post's thread. Every once in a while someone gets into a snit over a specific site being linked in a post with no regard to whether the actual content behind the link is worth perusing and it's damned annoying.
posted by zarq at 8:07 AM on December 6, 2013


Agreed, and I think my record shows I am generally anti-snit. PSOAS FOR HARMONY
posted by psoas at 8:14 AM on December 6, 2013


LOL :)
posted by zarq at 8:15 AM on December 6, 2013


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: You're not wrong, Matt, and I agree with you.

That said, you can count me in as a person who is annoyed at not readily knowing where links go when using my phone - which is a problem that is not confined to Metafilter. Yes, there are workarounds, and they all suck compared to the ease of hoverover on a desktop.


I rarely click on links on my smart phone, only because I have no idea what's on the other end. I generally read comments, then try to remember what I want to follow up on with my desktop computer.

But because I realize people use their phones for browsing, I personally add notes about the source for streaming media links, and Google books links. From now on, I will also add (NYT) notes, as that is a pretty minimal distraction from the general flow of text.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:43 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


More links about comics, HP Lovecraft and science fiction please. Also any slide shows of decaying abandonnes military installations left over from the Cold War.
posted by Artw at 9:40 AM on December 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think you got your to-do list confused with the post comment page.
posted by griphus at 9:44 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


If everyone else is putting in their personal demands I'm damn well going to get mine in.
posted by Artw at 9:46 AM on December 6, 2013


In that case I'd like more posts on pugs, French bulldogs, puggles and bull terriers.
posted by griphus at 10:05 AM on December 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Those all mash up the same when you make puppy sausage.
posted by planetesimal at 10:35 AM on December 6, 2013


More links about comics, HP Lovecraft and science fiction please.

I could just mail you a copy of Neonomicon, would that work?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:50 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I DEMAND CRUFT

Best-in-show comment.
posted by arcticseal at 12:20 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm actually trying to do less comics posts these days.
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on December 6, 2013


Why?! They are great!
posted by winna at 1:14 PM on December 6, 2013


I WANT TO RELAX EFFORTLESSLY IN A VIBRATING RECLINER WHILE METAFILTER READS AND NAVIGATES THE ENTIRE INTERNET WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY PROVIDING FOR MY PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL WELL-BEING, LEADING A FULFILLING SOCIAL LIFE IN MY STEAD, AND ADMINISTERING AN OCCASIONAL BLOW JOB.

You are officially on your own.
posted by Meta Filter at 1:23 PM on December 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


I do a lot of them, and I post a lot anyway, so it feels a bit like I might be flooding, so I'm trying to make it more of a special occasion thing. Part of me wants to post a CA column every day though.
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on December 6, 2013


You do a lot of what, Artw?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:45 AM on December 7, 2013


Drugs, back in the hippy days.
posted by Artw at 7:19 AM on December 7, 2013


I'd rather have "SLxx" automatically deleted when there's more than one link in the post!

Yeah, what is up with that? There's a post like that on the front page right now. If your post contains more than one link, it is not "single link" anything.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:06 AM on December 9, 2013


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