Someone set us up the bomb June 25, 2002 1:58 PM   Subscribe

Can a chronological # be assigned to each comment(s) in each thread, so, saying or not saying, is more visible. I realize not all or the full comments are being read, or more etiquettely put, not everyone has the time. Then again it may make it that much easier for that, then were back to more etiquette??
Plus it may cut down for memory when were thinking of this. As your taking up space by copy & paste, one's words. I'm sure this will not stop it.
posted by thomcatspike to Feature Requests at 1:58 PM (72 comments total)

Someone set us up the bomb.
posted by rcade at 2:29 PM on June 25, 2002 [1 favorite]


I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what you mean. Could you explain very clearly please? Thanks.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 2:40 PM on June 25, 2002


Most confusing post. ever.
posted by anathema at 2:42 PM on June 25, 2002


I'm staunchly in favor of using English syntax.
Beyond that, whatever's cool with me.
posted by me3dia at 2:46 PM on June 25, 2002


tomcatspike: Could you try explaining that again in different words? It seems none of us are able to understand your post.
posted by timeistight at 2:48 PM on June 25, 2002


According to thomcatspike's user page:

I felt using my handle at my e-mail to make it easier for those that will flame me.

What the hell is that supposed to mean?
posted by anathema at 2:49 PM on June 25, 2002


My translation of his question:

Can each comment within a thread be numbered, that way when I come back to a lengthy discussion, I will easily be able to find my place?
posted by insomnyuk at 2:54 PM on June 25, 2002


Let's try to be patient here, folks.

I'm assuming that you are a new English speaker, tomcatspike. It might be helpful to ask someone to read over your posts before you submit them until you get some more practice.
posted by timeistight at 2:55 PM on June 25, 2002


He also seems to be annoyed by the tactic of copying and pasting previous posts within a thread, and it would be easier to simply refer to the assigned number of the post.

Thom: do you realize each post already has an anchor, identified by a unique number, associated with it? Just click on the link with the time on it beside the poster's username.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:57 PM on June 25, 2002


tomcatspkie: If I understand correctly from your user page, you may have some difficutly writing. Just try to be as clear as possible when you post something. Maybe even have someone give you a hand with grammar.
posted by anathema at 2:57 PM on June 25, 2002


timeistight: didn't see the response. I agree and I was a bit harsh right out of the gate.
posted by anathema at 2:59 PM on June 25, 2002


Thom, as insomnyuk says above, each comment has an anchor link, and you don't need to quote the text of the comment to referrence it. Linking it the way I did also works.
posted by riffola at 3:00 PM on June 25, 2002


Saying that is what thomcat meant, I disagree. I really like the "inline copying" of others' comments. And I like them in italics. Here are few reasons:

1. The clicks required of you to use the link-method are just superfluous. You'd always be clicking in (which would take up "up" a thread and then using the back button to go back down. Weird.

2. When you grab the text, you grab just the germane points, preventing confusion. If you just link to the entire comment, how am I supposed to see how funny you are.

3. I think it might mess up the "flow" of threads. I'll admit that this is perhaps just a style issue. The flow of the conversation in a thread would be all messed up if you couldn't tell *which* insomnyuk comment somebody was referring to.

Imagine a book published so that instead of quoting as the author went along, he just left end-notes. And then you constantly had to flip back and forth. And, since comments can be nested in there references as well, you'd be flipping inside of the end-notes section, where you'd quickly run out of fingers to stick in the book.

I'll vote no. Unless he meant something else(?)

posted by zpousman at 3:18 PM on June 25, 2002


Once I have a clue what is being asked of me here, I'll get right to it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:28 PM on June 25, 2002 [1 favorite]


That's all it takes?
I'd like a midi of "Where Is My Mind" to play with the main page, if you would.
posted by dong_resin at 3:33 PM on June 25, 2002 [4 favorites]


If ever there was an appropriate place for pancakes...
posted by anathema at 3:41 PM on June 25, 2002


I think it obvious that the structure of this post makes it clear that english is not the posters native tongue.

I find it amusing that eight people felt the need to point out that his post was confusing.

How many languages do you speak and write fluently, this is the WORLD Wide Web folks, show a little patience.
posted by Mick at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2002


I'm not so sure... other comments by thomcatspike read pretty well. I suspect typing too fast is the problem here.
posted by Foaf at 3:53 PM on June 25, 2002


Excuse me Mick, but besides my snarky comment about pancakes it seems the general idea is that we just need some clarification. Oh, and thanks, I always wondered what that "www" stood for.
posted by anathema at 3:55 PM on June 25, 2002


I think he wants numbered posts. Slashdot used to number their posts and that made it easier for moderators to figure out who truly deserved the redundant tag. They replaced it with some wacky long string like #108928785. I have no clue why. Perhaps to fight the 'first post' guys.

Everything here is nice and linear and considering mefi keeps track of the new posts (updated every so often) we probably don't need to number the posts.

It would be handy in the really monster threads and for those without accounts. I don't think you get the (6 new) if you're not logged in.
posted by skallas at 3:59 PM on June 25, 2002


Hello, thomcatspike (sorry about misspelling your nickname earlier). Can you help us out here? Has any one guessed right? You certainly have our attention.
posted by timeistight at 4:26 PM on June 25, 2002


Basically I was trying to say, can we number each comment we make in a thread, 1,2,3... I notice in a good thread we have large numbers of comments. People want to comment to someone's commenting, and they can make a mistake commenting and turning it into a flame, because they are commenting on this person's 2nd one not realizing 50 comments before he already discussed it. Then someone has to point this out, and space is wasted.

Then I went on to say, if double posts waste space, then copying and pasting does too. So it would be easier and more visible to label each comment in a Threadso you can follow it in order. It would be more visible to know, hey here is comment 4, then 1, 2, and 3 are back here.

Yet this may be some feature that Matt does not want as it would make it much easier to argue with someone. So I pointed out why it might be bad.


Also I feel that some of the simple rules around here are not followed. Like me yesterday, opossum vs possum. I showed a misspelled word and linked it, yet it was like my full comments were not read. I didn't know we can just post and use words wrong because I do and my neighbor too.
I should have used examples, but I didn't. Why, because for a first post I didn't want to point and bitch. So I made the mistake of getting straight to the facts and by beating around the bush, I guess, I made a large confusion of it.
I used features as a route instead of etiquette.

I'm looking to solve problems I see, by not complaining.
But by adding a feature with which, may help some issues.

Now say comment 10 times fast and spell it 10 fast, and you'll say f- this, just joking.............\!!!/
posted by thomcatspike at 4:42 PM on June 25, 2002


ahh, I think I understand, sort of like an ordered list (<ol>). I actually think that's kind of a good idea.
posted by jnthnjng at 4:48 PM on June 25, 2002


Thom: do you realize each post already has an anchor, identified by a unique number, associated with it? Just click on the link with the time on it beside the poster's username.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:57 PM PST on June 25
I clicked on 2:57 and nothing appeared, went to properties, and 2314#39821, is the # your are looking for.

posted by thomcatspike at 4:48 PM on June 25, 2002


I still don't understand what problem this will solve, or how it will go about solving it exactly. Just to be clear, you're saying that instead of doing something like this:
I'm looking to solve problems I see, by not complaining.
But by adding a feature with which, may help some issues.


My response would be here to the above quoted comment.
You're saying this would be better, and people would be more likely to read all comments?
My response to comment #22 would be here to the above quoted comment.
I prefer to read arguments with quotations inline instead of jumping around the page trying to figure out what "#7" or "#45" mean.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:48 PM on June 25, 2002


If you're looking for permalinks, they're already there, and people use them sporadically here, especially on longer threads.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:49 PM on June 25, 2002


i think he's just suggesting that each post start with a number as sort of a visual shorthand for referring to a post. nothing anchor / link -related
posted by jnthnjng at 4:50 PM on June 25, 2002


Well, not all comments are read, true. Yet people do pick out the ones they want to, either time, or what ever. I try to read each one as I can. But also it helps in the etiquette of it all.
Also I was thinking so you can say, hey #4 comment sucks, but I agree that would be a throw back.

It's like reading a book out of order, if you start at chapter 5 then at chapter 8 have to go back to 3 to see what's up.
Yet you could because they would be #ed.

I feel some comments would be saved if there was a sure way you could not say you missed his first in a thread.
Matt you are looking for large #'s in a thread.
permalink?
And I cannot save the world, it was a thought.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:01 PM on June 25, 2002


Also I was thinking so you can say, hey #4 comment sucks

I would prefer that people don't make blanket statements like that, and instead quote exactly what they didn't like about the comment.

Like I have, here.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:05 PM on June 25, 2002


How about a feature that if someone had already commented in a thread, it would display


posted by mathowie at 5:05 PM PST on June 25 see also: 1, 2, 3

That might be helpful... but needed? Not really.
posted by cell divide at 5:09 PM on June 25, 2002


Also I was thinking so you can say, hey #4 comment sucks

I would prefer that people don't make blanket statements like that, and instead quote exactly what they didn't like about the comment.


Again that was my arguement for not using this system.

I'm lost on permalinks.
Is this what you mean.
Thom: do you realize each post already has an anchor, identified by a unique number, associated with it? Just click on the link with the time on it beside the poster's username.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:57 PM PST on June 25
I clicked on 2:57 and nothing appeared, went to properties, and 2314#39821, is the # your are looking for.

And yes cell divided, with just a number.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:12 PM on June 25, 2002


Hey I going home, Sorry for the confusion again. I'll read tomorrow the fate of my idea or.... I tried to get to the point, yet I'm left looking like a dog chasing his tail. I'm too technical sometimes to get creative. So this is something for me to work at. I've hated writing & reading my entire life and it shows, my loss.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:20 PM on June 25, 2002


so, thom, if you wanted to refer to a comment, you could click on the permalink, copy the address that comes up in the browser window, and link to it in the thread like this:

<a href="http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/2314#39844 >link to it</a>
posted by rebeccablood at 5:24 PM on June 25, 2002


From what I've seen, people who are used to old UBB style web boards like to refer to comments in a thread by a sequential number in a style such as: "I don't agree with #14. There should be more governmental influence in these matters."

I don't know if the tradition predates that style of forum, but I'd suggest that a much greater number of people are familiar and comfortable with a quoting style similar to Usenet, mail and BBS tradition:
"...and instead quote exactly what they didn't like ..."

I prefer having some context more than simply a number, as well. It feels more personal and focused than just saying "#39841 is completely incoherent."
The difference between the two quoting styles is dramatic to me. The former doesn't feel like a conversation in the way that the latter does.

I tend to set off my quoting with actual quote marks. Some folks have mentioned that italics are harder to read or aren't well differentiated from non-italic text in some fonts or browsers. I can't fix the readability problem but I can at least throw some punctuation in to add a visual cue in the second case. If it were up to me, I would use a proper > character, but I don't want spend a lot of time typing &gt; over and over.
posted by majick at 5:28 PM on June 25, 2002


thanks for the info rebeccablood, I've learned something new.
I'm still asking how do you know you read all the comments for one in a post without going to their profile, and looking them up. Or w/o them saying, go back and see this.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:29 PM on June 25, 2002


my brain hurts.
posted by crunchland at 5:33 PM on June 25, 2002


thom: I'm still asking how do you know you read all the comments for one in a post without going to their profile, and looking them up. Or w/o them saying, go back and see this.

well, I think you just have to go back and make sure that you have read it all as carefully as you would like.

sometimes, when I'm composing a long post, I hit preview to make sure it's okay and I find that there have been a few posts in the meantime. then sometimes I have to change what I'm saying to account for the additional information.

so, you're feeling that people don't read the threads carefully enough? or that they reply to one individual post without taking into account the other comments made by the same person?

and that numbering would enable everyone to see that I had made two posts in this thread, so that they could be sure to go back and read all of them before answering?
posted by rebeccablood at 5:36 PM on June 25, 2002


Like I have, here.

I somehow felt I was involved in some kind of complex magic trick when I read that.
posted by skallas at 5:36 PM on June 25, 2002


Matt, I think what TCP might be getting at is that it is confusing to read a long thread - especially in those mammoth conversations where 20 or 30 comments incorporating three tangents and two flame wars have elapsed since you last refreshed the page. In these cases, it often helps me to start at the bottom, find the tangent or dialog which interests me, and scroll up to see its origin. Even so, some people don't quote a comment to which they are responding, which can derail the conversation for someone who reads the thread in digest form.

Right now the quoting mechanism is essentially brute force - copy, paste, make italic. Perhaps functionality can be added to the "shortcuts" bar where quoting would be automated; maybe a tiny icon or button next to the comment which would dump its text into the comment box along with any formatting tags (italics, indent, small) that would standardize the look. It would also add a link referencing the comment. For example:

(mathowie)I prefer to read arguments with quotations inline instead of jumping around the page trying to figure out what "#7" or "#45" mean.


Maybe this would be too much of a PITA to code, but I think this would help to address what we all are dancing around but can't quite explain.. comments?
posted by PrinceValium at 5:43 PM on June 25, 2002


That could actually be pretty handy PV. The next time I comment I am going to give that a shot, with brute force of course. I think that the more involved threads could benefit from this, although I don't like the numbering idea.
posted by anathema at 6:15 PM on June 25, 2002


I like PrinceValium's idea. perhaps this could be as simple as having a "meta-html' tag that did something like 'italicize this and make it a link' -- like:

<metalink comment=http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/2314#39858>
Maybe this would be too much of a PITA to code, but I think this would help to address what we all are dancing around but can't quite explain.. comments?</metalink>

which would come out as (perhaps):

PrinceValium: Maybe this would be too much of a PITA to code, but I think this would help to address what we all are dancing around but can't quite explain.. comments?

MAYBE even with the quoted person's name: left justified and the comment justified over, as though it were two lines of a table.

THEN, you could even have the engine do a forward-looking link so that if you comment on something, and someone <metalinks> your comment, it would show up in the "posted by" line as follow-ups, so a person just coming to the thread could follow one thread along, or could read straight through and then follow the chain backwards.

I don't think the answer is to go to a threaded format, like slashdot, because that just tends to make threads more likely to diverge rather than converge, but it would be cool to have some way of tracking back and forth down ideas (and a <metalink> tag would save me some keystrokes).
posted by hob at 6:42 PM on June 25, 2002


Yes, with enough changes we can turn this into USENET.
posted by skallas at 6:58 PM on June 25, 2002


This is my favorite MetaTalk thread ever.

thomcatspike for overlord!
posted by yhbc at 7:05 PM on June 25, 2002


I agree with the contention that once a thread has already taken off, it is very difficult to get involved, as there are often several discussions taking place at once.
posted by insomnyuk at 7:11 PM on June 25, 2002


I actually like cell divide's idea.
posted by rushmc at 8:04 PM on June 25, 2002


I think Matt should change the software so that someone else reads all the threads to me, in whichever order my whim desires, while slaves fan me and feed me peeled grapes at my command.

...and a pony.
posted by crunchland at 8:46 PM on June 25, 2002


Although when people cut 'n paste the "posted by" line carelessly, it results in the broken CSS problem. Usually I'm OK with the italicised inline quotation. If I'm following a thread (and certainly if I'm commenting on it) I try to read it carefully, so I usually know or can easily find the original post from whence the post came.
posted by evanizer at 2:30 AM on June 26, 2002


whence the post came.

that should read "from whence the quote came".

Proofread, fuckwit!
posted by evanizer at 2:31 AM on June 26, 2002


now now, you know we have talked ALOT about personal insults and how they are not wanted here.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:09 AM on June 26, 2002


I agree, celldivide's idea is great:
posted by mathowie at 5:05 PM PST on June 25. See also: 1, 2, 3.

Implementation might be hard, because earlier posts would need to be updated with links every time the poster contributed to the thread. But it would certainly be a useful feature. My reading of what Mr. Spike is getting at is a more easy way to follow conversational threads; since we want to stay flat, not threaded, the ability to follow a single poster's train-of-thought might go a long way.
posted by Marquis at 7:01 AM on June 26, 2002


This seems needlessly complicated. Even if we follow celldivide's suggestion, it is still a poor way to follow conversational threads, because it would only link to a portion of the conversation. It doesn't help you find the posts which are being responded to, making up the other parts of the conversation.

If you want threads to be organized around conversations, then they need to be threaded. I think we can all agree we don't want that, so I recommend sticking with inline italicized quotes.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:10 AM on June 26, 2002


Or it could look like

posted by mathowie at 5:05 PM PST on June 26. See also: 1, 13, 41.

That would provide even more context for their posts. It would just be a good tool for reference in longer threads, even if people still used inline quotes (which are appropriate in most instances, like when you want to grab one line to respond to, rather than an entire polemic)
posted by insomnyuk at 8:14 AM on June 26, 2002


Last night I was reminded of a saying we said through high school in the 80's, "What newbie you be." Well I brain farted on this post, was my first, too.
1. Left out key words.
2. I left out the reference point for the #.
3. My laziness, made me forget that clicking on a member would take me to their profile. Thus, if I was etiquette enough, I would then follow their posts through the thread there.

Matt I hope you realized I never wanted hey, #5 said this compared to #9875645 comment,at all. And I did see this, that's why I brought it for discussion.

PrinceValium, must be wearing shiny armor. Yes there were others too, in his camp.

Thanks for letting me make a fool of myself, better post next time. Now What newbie you be............

posted by thomcatspike at 9:07 AM on June 26, 2002


Implementation might be hard, because earlier posts would need to be updated with links every time the poster contributed to the thread.

Actually, I think it'd be easy to follow if it just aggregated the citations as it went along. In other words, one's second post would cite one's first post, one's third post would cite the first two, and so on.

Although I suppose it'd simplify following a specific member's comments, I don't think it'd improve the readability of long posts. We'd still have to read the whole thread in order to get the context for the individual posts.

----------------------------------

...or more etiquettely put...
...Thus, if I was etiquette enough...
"You keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Perhaps you're thinking of eloquent, or savvy? I'm not sure.
posted by me3dia at 9:11 AM on June 26, 2002


Here is my missing example thanks to some, who did what I was trying to SOLVE.
Evanizer, My last sentence in this post, was way better said than your post. And mine was first, Doh. See you may have been half asleep looking at the time of your post, and never saw it...
posted by thomcatspike at 9:25 AM on June 26, 2002


me3dia, I hear you, now to invest in a, Thesaurus.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:29 AM on June 26, 2002


Perhaps functionality can be added to the "shortcuts" bar where quoting would be automated

I once wrote some bookmarklets for doing something similar, but they never caught on. Actually, I don't even bother using them myself these days.

They exist, though, if you want them.
posted by iceberg273 at 10:44 AM on June 26, 2002


whence the post came.

that should read "from whence the quote came".


Actually, it should read "whence the quote came".
posted by anildash at 3:41 PM on June 26, 2002


*sticks out tongue at Anil*
posted by evanizer at 4:30 PM on June 26, 2002


no, i'm serious! whence has an intrinsic "from" in it.
posted by anildash at 11:44 PM on June 26, 2002


If you don't know yet that the answer to that question is always "yes!", you don't belong in MetaTalk. Go back from whence you came. - rcade

rogers, really. You know that "whence" includes the "from", right? Go back whence you came. - anildash

I KNEW this argument looked familiar. I suppose we all have to pick our battles, anildash.

Heh.

This is a joke, BTW. No need to start a thread about how I'm picking on Anil, thanks.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:52 PM on June 26, 2002


I'm still waiting for those grapes, dammit.
posted by crunchland at 8:56 AM on June 27, 2002


An old proverb says that when the gods wish to punish man, they simply answer their prayers.

I'm guessing that Mathowie's clever enough so that I'm the only one among us hearing A MIDI of The Pixies's immortal classic "Where Is My Mind" when I click on to the main Metafilter page.

That is pretty damn funny.

Also, please, for the love of god, make it stop.
posted by dong_resin at 9:42 AM on June 27, 2002 [9 favorites]


That's absolutely fucking hilarious. :)
posted by Marquis at 9:56 AM on June 27, 2002


LOL
posted by rushmc at 10:09 AM on June 27, 2002


I bought a whence recently, but there wasn't any from anywhere in the package. Should I ask for a refund? Send it to the service depot? Or can I buy a from separately and retrofit?

The more I think about this problem, the more sure I am it could be solved by just deleting every third user in the database. Say, is my usernumber 654 divisible by
posted by dhartung at 11:02 AM on June 27, 2002


I'm guessing that Mathowie's clever enough so that I'm the only one among us hearing A MIDI of The Pixies's immortal classic "Where Is My Mind" when I click on to the main Metafilter page.

My Lord. I almost peed my pants.
posted by plemeljr at 2:29 PM on June 27, 2002


Jeez dong_resin, you request something, I do it for you, and now you want it taken back.

heh.

I've removed the check for your userID, but if anyone else wants to enjoy the magic dong has been experiencing for the past few days, just use this URL.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:46 PM on June 27, 2002 [1 favorite]


Thank you, and for the record, I did in fact pee the pants just a bit.
posted by dong_resin at 2:53 PM on June 27, 2002


tmi.
posted by crunchland at 4:28 PM on June 27, 2002


Teacher's pet!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:45 PM on June 27, 2002


fucking BlueTrain, always picking on me. Maybe I'll just go back from from whence I came.
posted by anildash at 10:15 PM on June 27, 2002


« Older Is an automated search feature possible?   |   Could it be the first known sockpuppet? (June 2002... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments