New HTML Buttons in the Modern Theme February 24, 2015 3:59 PM   Subscribe

This is no longer a test. We just added new bold, italic, and link buttons to comment forms in the modern theme.

Last week we asked for some help testing the new buttons. This week we added them to the site. Thanks again for the feedback and let us know here if you run into problems with them.

Keep in mind these new buttons are only available in the modern theme, they show up when you start typing a comment, and they're now located above the comment form at desktop widths. (They're below the comment form at mobile widths.)
posted by pb to Feature Requests at 3:59 PM (40 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I'd complain about this change, button second thought, I'll try 'em out first.

YES.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:18 PM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Testing. Oh, there they appear. Bold. Italic. Link. Nice. Is that Link icon an ad for the Fifty Shades of Grey film everyone's mocking?
posted by Wordshore at 4:22 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


button second thought

Oh, you.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:25 PM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just like clicking in and out of the box. It's like a cat and a laser. WHEE BUTTONS! Oh no where did they go, what happened to th—WHEE BUTTONS
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:28 PM on February 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Every time you click the "Link" button it should play a couple seconds of "Rumble."
posted by octobersurprise at 5:54 PM on February 24, 2015


spiffy
posted by jonmc at 6:07 PM on February 24, 2015


Every time I go to metalfilter from a public access terminal I think I've landed on a malware site. I think I am officially old because I hate the modern theme. Whenever I see it I get confused.

It does have a more professional background.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:21 PM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Even as a fan of dark mode, this is better in dark mode too.

It also makes bold/italic/link easier to click when I'm on Metafilter using my iPad, FWIW.

Good change. Thanks!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:31 PM on February 24, 2015


I like these a lot.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:32 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oooooooookkkkkkkk!

/librarian
posted by arcticseal at 7:23 PM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Slightly off topic, but how far along are the options to set custom heading/body fonts for the Modern theme?
posted by Quilford at 11:38 PM on February 24, 2015


Still no "strike" or "boxquote" buttons?
posted by octothorpe at 4:25 AM on February 25, 2015


Strike is the best thing ever! annoying and almost always used to be cutesy and too clever by half.

I would love block quoting though.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:12 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was holding out for a "flash" button.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:27 AM on February 25, 2015


Blink?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:37 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Err, yeah. Blockquote, not Boxquote.
posted by octothorpe at 6:47 AM on February 25, 2015


I would make dinner for PB if we could get the line back that tells you how many posts have been made since your last visit. And nobody I have cooked for ever turns down an invitation.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:52 AM on February 25, 2015


how far along are the options to set custom heading/body fonts for the Modern theme?

Yeah, that's one of the bigger projects on the horizon. I don't have a timeline for that, sorry.

We've had many discussions here in MetaTalk about adding more HTML buttons over the years and we've always stuck with the big three. We added three HTML character helper buttons (<, >, and /) for small screens at one point because those characters are often several touchscreen keyboards deep. But we'd like to keep things simple with bold, italic, and link only.

I appreciate the offer Mr. Yuck, but we're probably not going to add that to the modern theme. I know that was a dealbreaker for some, and that's why the classic and plain themes are there.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:14 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for changing them so they go well with dark mode! <3
posted by royalsong at 12:04 PM on February 25, 2015


I dunno where else to ask- does favoriting a post add it to your recent activity now? Because I've got that post about slushee waves in my recent activity now without having commented, but I did fave it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:51 PM on February 25, 2015


Maybe you accidentally clicked Add to Activity instead of Add to Favorites. It's a fairly new feature.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:20 PM on February 25, 2015


I did, and I like this feature very much! Thank you!
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:27 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


but we're probably not going to add that to the modern theme

Why would that be? It helps me catch up. I am sure you have your reasons.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:04 AM on February 26, 2015


Yeah, that's one of the bigger projects on the horizon. I don't have a timeline for that, sorry.

Okay. Thanks for the response!
posted by Quilford at 3:02 AM on February 26, 2015


Why would that be?

We went through a long design process to come up with the modern theme and we didn't find a good place for it. We felt like the overall feeling that you get from having less pieces of information on the page was worth losing the utility of that information. I know that's not a very satisfying answer when that information is helpful to how you use the site. But that's one of the reasons we worked hard to preserve the classic theme instead of replacing it. We knew that decisions like this would be very annoying but we felt like they were necessary.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:08 AM on February 26, 2015


I will report that posting a comment, for me, is still difficult in the mobile modern theme, on an iPhone 5, running ios8 and mobile safari. There is a very significant spatial gap between where you touch the screen and where the cursor goes in the comment box, off by half an inch or more, making it very hard to select text to add italics or a link with the nice new buttons. You're basically guessing. In addition, input often slows to a crawl with a noticeable lag between hitting a key and the character appearing. It's specific to Metafilter, I don't see it in other commenting systems I use.
posted by spitbull at 8:35 AM on February 26, 2015


Sorry about the trouble spitbull. We haven't ever been able to track down why that happens.

We've heard from people that upgrading to the most recent version of iOS has been helpful. But it sounds like there are still problems there. I comment on my iPhone quite a bit and I have seen the cursor do weird things. It's not consistent for me, but it is definitely an annoyance.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:44 AM on February 26, 2015


For example, testing right now, I can't get anything weird to happen with the cursor. I'm running iOS 8.1.3. But I know that phones are different and I have seen the cursor do odd things.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:49 AM on February 26, 2015


Yeah, I'm running 8.1.3

It's probably a good thing I can't comment from my phone, and I spend less and less time on the laptop anymore unless I'm actually working, so it keeps me out of trouble. I do appreciate all the hard work pb.
posted by spitbull at 9:03 AM on February 26, 2015


One thing you might try next time you need to select text while writing a comment: tap and hold. You should get the magnifying loop to appear which should help place the cursor more precisely. That takes the guesswork out of it for me anyway.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:15 AM on February 26, 2015


OK, will try that thanks! In the scheme of things it's a first world problem par excellence, so no big deal.
posted by spitbull at 9:40 AM on February 26, 2015


Loving the "add to activity" link. That's brilliant! Thank you!
posted by patheral at 11:32 AM on February 26, 2015


An annoying issue I've noticed both on desktop and iOS:

- highlight text to link
- go to click "link" button
- miss
- link button disappears
- click back inside textbox to get buttons back
- highlighting disappears
- arrgggh

I'm 99% sure in the old version any selected text got retained even if you clicked outside the textbox, which was handy because I do this ALL THE TIME, especially on mobile. It would be really, really nice to have this feature back.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:14 PM on February 27, 2015


As a hopefully helpful addendum, I notice the formatting buttons on the "new post" pages perform as expected -- the buttons there are persistent, so if you highlight text and then click outside the text box, clicking the link button will still linkify the text you selected. If the buttons for comments could do likewise instead of vanishing when the textbox loses focus, that would solve the problem!
posted by Rhaomi at 12:54 PM on February 27, 2015


I'm looking at this Rhaomi, thanks for the heads up. I see what you mean about losing selected text if you click away from the textarea. However, that happens for me even on new post pages. It wasn't introduced when we added the buttons. Losing your selection when you click out of the textarea happens everywhere—even places that don't have the new buttons yet like the new MetaTalk post page.

It's probably related to showing/hiding the top banner when you click into a form field but I'm not sure yet.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:10 PM on February 27, 2015


pb: "I see what you mean about losing selected text if you click away from the textarea. However, that happens for me even on new post pages. It wasn't introduced when we added the buttons. Losing your selection when you click out of the textarea happens everywhere—even places that don't have the new buttons yet like the new MetaTalk post page."

Are you sure? For me, highlighting text and then clicking outside the text box on new post pages makes the highlighting disappear, but clicking the link button at that point and filling in the URL (or just clicking bold/italic) will still format the text as if it were still selected. This is the same behavior as before. The only reason it fails on comments is because the buttons disappear, requiring you to click the textbox and thus undo the text selection.

(It's possible the various userscripts I have may be altering stuff on my end, but things have been working that way since before the redesign, so I don't think so. I'm on the latest Chrome for Win7, if that helps.)
posted by Rhaomi at 1:32 PM on February 27, 2015


ah ok, got it. Thanks for the extra info.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:36 PM on February 27, 2015


rebent and a couple others mentioned this problem in the previous thread and we've been discussing making the buttons static. I think we'll make that change later today. We were worried that the larger buttons would feel in the way, but I think it's worth trading that for the utility of saving selection text on misclick.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:04 PM on February 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ooh, add to activity! Neat! And the new buttons are very nice.
posted by leahwrenn at 7:35 PM on February 27, 2015


Oh I love these new buttons! ❤️
posted by heatherann at 9:59 AM on March 3, 2015


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