Pony req: to open thread December 7, 2013 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Pony request: Currently, j/k navigate from one post to the next. Could <enter> be bound to open the selected post?

Yes, I know there are things like vimperator and the like, but that's overkill. This seems like a trivial enhancement that would make the j/k navigation feature much more useful.
posted by dmd to Feature Requests at 11:09 AM (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Looking into this, going to need pb to answer it when he's around.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:26 AM on December 7, 2013


We wouldn't be able to use Enter because that already has a behavior in most browsers. When a link is selected via browser keyboard navigation, Enter follows that link.

We don't want to override existing browser behavior (though we do override Firefox's Ctrl-U [show page source] for the Link button shortcut when focus is in inside the comment textarea). I don't think this request rises to the level of overriding the Enter behavior because that would be a fairly common shortcut to use when you're browsing the front page. Viewing source is a much less common activity when you're in the middle of composing a comment.

The other thing that makes this difficult is that j/k doesn't select a specific post. It's merely scrolling to a particular position on the page. That might sound like subtle distinction, but it matters for accuracy. The script controlling the j/k positions aren't necessarily aware of which post you're looking at. So I think a new feature like this would require some sort of visual indication of which post the page thinks you have selected. That might be more weight than we want to add to the page just for keyboard-friendliness.

So it's not out of the realm of possibility with a different key, but it's also not a slam dunk. It's something we can discuss.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:19 PM on December 7, 2013


Maybe you could use Hyper-Meta-☞. Most browsers don't use that.
posted by aubilenon at 1:42 PM on December 7, 2013


(I should have also said j/k to indicate that I was just kidding.)
posted by aubilenon at 1:43 PM on December 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


We've already bound j/k to up and down.
posted by double block and bleed at 1:49 PM on December 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


We're already bound to j/k up and down.
posted by koeselitz at 3:48 PM on December 7, 2013


You should've said up/down to indicate you were kidding.
posted by kagredon at 6:16 PM on December 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe you could use Hyper-Meta-☞. Most browsers don't use that.

Just don't accidentally press Hyper-Meta-Greek. You would not like what that does.
posted by XMLicious at 7:22 PM on December 7, 2013


v would be my second choice of keybindings, because it sort of does what v does in feedly.
posted by dmd at 5:38 PM on December 8, 2013


So I think a new feature like this would require some sort of visual indication of which post the page thinks you have selected. That might be more weight than we want to add to the page just for keyboard-friendliness.

There is already a sort of "selected post/comment indicator" - it's the little <div id="triangle"> that appears when you navigate to a specific item within the page using a link with a fragment identifier, like this. It seems natural to also move this triangle to point to an item when you navigate to it with the keyboard.

We wouldn't be able to use Enter because that already has a behavior in most browsers.

To avoid conflicts, you could enable the "enter" key binding only after j/k navigation is used - then it wouldn't affect users doing normal stuff. You could even disable it again if any other key or mouse event is dispatched. (Or you could just use a different key like "v" as already discussed.)
posted by mbrubeck at 9:07 AM on December 9, 2013


(Just offering some hopefully constructive suggestions; I totally understand if this pony is still judged to be more trouble than it’s worth.)
posted by mbrubeck at 9:24 AM on December 9, 2013


There is already a sort of "selected post/comment indicator"...

Again, this might sound like a subtle distinction, but the triangle indicates a targeted comment. As you use j/k on thread pages, that triangle doesn't move. It isn't a selection indicator in the sense of this feature request. And it isn't used at all for posts because there's no way to target an individual post in a list of posts like the front page.

That doesn't mean we couldn't use the triangle for a different purpose in the context of posts, but it might be a bit confusing if we did.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:08 AM on December 9, 2013


Currently, j/k navigate from one post to the next.

Question: is the behavior different on the Recent Activity page? It seems to navigate from one comment to the next there.
posted by Lexica at 12:03 PM on December 9, 2013


Yes, in Recent Activity and on thread pages the keyboard shortcuts scroll between comments.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:27 PM on December 9, 2013


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