Is there any call for a "quote" tag? January 24, 2005 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Is there any call for a "quote" tag? I think threads would look spiffy(er) if the style of quoted text were consistent. For instance:
johnnyEloquent: "Don't bet against yourself, you risk winning."

Hope this isn't a doublepost
posted by Popular Ethics to Feature Requests at 9:16 AM (36 comments total)

>>Is there any call for a "quote" tag? I think threads would look spiffy(er) if the style of quoted text were consistent. For instance:
johnnyEloquent: "Don't bet against yourself, you risk winning."

posted by naxosaxur at 9:26 AM on January 24, 2005


I am so, so, so wanting this pony. Dunno how it would work, though, without a "quote" button next to each post, which would be a lot of pony raising.

But for now, I'll take your de facto as my rule of thumb:
Small On / Italics On / Bold On / Name / Colon / Bold Off / Quote marks / Quoted section / Quote marks / Italics Off / Small Off
posted by Bugbread at 9:26 AM on January 24, 2005


One could always use the <q> tag, but I think different browsers render it differently: some add quotes, some don't. This is a quotation -- some of you will see quotes around that, some of you won't. If you don't, you can't tell that that's a quote without some CSS foolery. So you might be tempted to add them manually: "this is a quote" -- which makes for double double quotation marks in some browsers. (I'm speaking from experience: I tried this in some of my earliest posts here.) Messy.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:28 AM on January 24, 2005


A little more. Personally, I don't think we need another hard-and-fast rule (read: yet another damn reason to snark at people for getting it wrong), though we do seem to want them around here. It's a pretty loose place that values common sense rather than fixed rules: so long as it's clear that you're quoting, and who you're quoting, and so long as your formatting isn't demonstrably stupid -- hey, let's tag quotes with the <marquee> tag! -- I think you're fine. I don't think we'd ever get everyone to adhere strictly to the same format.

As for some suggestions . . .

Italics have become an informal standard: formats like
Is there any call for a "quote" tag?
or
Popular Ethics: Is there any call for a "quote" tag?
are frequently used.

But using quotation marks --
Popular Ethics asks, "Is there any call for a 'quote' tag?"
-- or, for longer quotes, using the <blockquote> tag (note the line breaks inserted by the system: don't make line breaks before or after this tag), is perfectly sensible too.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:41 AM on January 24, 2005


Beautiful, naxosaxur.
posted by trharlan at 9:41 AM on January 24, 2005


tharlan: "Beautiful, naxosaxur."
I missed something.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:45 AM on January 24, 2005


mcwetboy: "Personally, I don't think we need another hard-and-fast rule"
Sure, that's why I'm proposing mefi take care of the styling. Just define a <mefiquote> tag for the html-elite, and stick a quote button next to B,I,link for the rest of us.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:49 AM on January 24, 2005


<mefiquote author="mcwetboy"> rather.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:51 AM on January 24, 2005


Why? So threads would "look spiffy(er)?" I suspect with that as your only justification, you're going to have a hard time convincing Matt to grant your request.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:55 AM on January 24, 2005


Just define a <mefiquote> tag for the html-elite

The html-elite know that you can't simply define a new HTML tag.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:55 AM on January 24, 2005


Of course you can define it, now we just have to talk to the W3 group to implement it.

Who's gonna call them?
posted by sebas at 10:13 AM on January 24, 2005


I'd prefer to keep it free form as it is now.

The problem with a quote button is people use it too freely and without trimming, just visit any of those horrid vBulletin sites for examples.

The problem with special tags is you have to try and remember those tags and also remember which tags work where. Matt has, rightly IMHO, decided to go with a subset of standard HTML. Too bad he was forced to limit the marquee tag.
posted by Mitheral at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2005


I wouldn't invent a new non-standard HTML tag for this. That's just messy. If anything, I would switch over to vBulletin tags, which are at least semi-standardized and fairly common.

But OTOH, I do just fine with italics.
posted by smackfu at 10:38 AM on January 24, 2005


Metatalk: yet another damn reason to snark at people for getting it wrong.
posted by Cyrano at 10:39 AM on January 24, 2005


If there was a "reply" link at the end of every comment byline, you could click on it and metafilter would quote the whole text of the message, which you could edit to your liking.

The advantage of this, beyond "spiffiness" of design, would be that you would could be informed (on the front page or something) if anybody had replied to your comments. That's something I've pined for for years.

Just don't make the threads nested or anything.
posted by Hildago at 10:51 AM on January 24, 2005


The idea in principle is good, in practice it usually sucks. (As mentioned by Mitheral) Many people don't select the portion they want to quote, so you end up with endless repetitions of entire post, it's harder to read and wastes space.

As it stands currently, most people demark the quote sections with italics or somesuch, so although it's not consistent, it still works.
posted by raedyn at 10:59 AM on January 24, 2005


I don't think we need a quote tag, but I do like the who replied to me idea...just always figured it'd be a lot of work.
posted by nile_red at 11:25 AM on January 24, 2005


Hildago: "If there was a "reply" link at the end of every comment byline, you could click on it and metafilter would quote the whole text of the message, which you could edit to your liking."
Oooh, I like that!
Consistent quoting goes beyond "spiffyness". It makes for quicker reading of threads, as your eye can quickly filter out old content. This would offset the increase in quoting, which I grant is likely.
posted by Popular Ethics at 11:42 AM on January 24, 2005


Italicizing the quote has always worked for me. Is it really that difficult to parse?
posted by me3dia at 11:52 AM on January 24, 2005


Metatalk: yet another damn reason to snark at people for getting it wrong.

Metatalk: I saw the joke flying, but it was too far over my head.
posted by sebas at 11:59 AM on January 24, 2005


Since you are often addressing more than one person with a reply, the proper tool here is a checkbox.
posted by kindall at 1:05 PM on January 24, 2005


I shall quote in whatever manner I see fit. What's more, if some sort of regulatory system was put in place I would ignore it post haste and flaunt my stance.

You can quote me on that if you'd like.
posted by The God Complex at 2:44 PM on January 24, 2005


Whoa, whoa, I dunno when this whole "rules" and "regulatory system" bugaboo came up, but from what I understand, this is a feature request. Calm down, folks.
posted by Bugbread at 2:48 PM on January 24, 2005


He asked for 'consistent' forms of quotation because such uniformity would, apparently, be 'spiffy(er)'. That can wear the guise of a feature, but its wording suggests otherwise.

If that's not what's being asked for--the text certainly suggests that it is, however--then what is it, exactly, that is wanted? Just a little click box below the posting window where you can click "quote" and it comes up with some acceptable form? I don't see the purpose of this, honestly.
posted by The God Complex at 2:55 PM on January 24, 2005


I can not, in text, adequately express the voracity of my aggreement with Mitheral and raedyn. A quote button would be bad.
posted by cortex at 3:03 PM on January 24, 2005


The God Complex: "...its wording suggests otherwise"

Huh? He asks if there's any demand for a tag. It's filed under feature requests. He follows up with Sure, that's why I'm proposing mefi take care of the styling. Just define a tag for the html-elite, and stick a quote button next to B,I,link for the rest of us.. How could you not see it as a feature request?

The God Complex: "I don't see the purpose of this, honestly."

Well, like most ponies (as opposed to bug fixes), it's about convenience / aesthetics, not need, but:

Just quoting you involved typing <small>, typing your name, adding a colon and quotes, copy-pasting your comment, typing </small>, selecting the whole text, clicking "I", then selecting part of the text (your name) and clicking "B". Not impossible to do, but wouldn't it be neat if there was just a button to do that? That's why it's a feature request, not a demand or rules/etiquette discussion.

I think some folks are so used to seeing the grey be a greivance area that it's hard to remember standard feature requests are also part of the grey.

But, after consideration, I agree to some degree with Mitheral and raedyn: the potential for dramatic misuse is just too bad.

What would be nice is a button that automatically inserts <small><em><strong>NAME:</strong> "QUOTE"</em></small> into the reply box, so you just have to copy and paste the poster's name and the part you want to quote. By making those parts manual, the likelihood of misuse will drop dramatically, but it will still be much easier than typing it all in by hand.
posted by Bugbread at 3:13 PM on January 24, 2005


I think threads would look spiffy(er) if the style of quoted text were consistent.

That quote still pretty much proves you wrong. The original intent of this thread, which I disagree with, is that threads would somehow look better if everyone used the same quotes. I disagree. I like the variety of quoting styles and think it adds a unique personal flair.

Anyway, my entire point was that I will continue to quote however I'd like, even if some acceptable form was agreed upon. As I said, if people just want some little link at the bottom of the window to do it for them, by all means go buck wild. It doesn't bother me any. I just disagree with the premise that it would make the site "spiffy(er)".
posted by The God Complex at 3:18 PM on January 24, 2005


The God Complex: "I disagree...Anyway, my entire point was that I will continue to quote however I'd like, even if some acceptable form was agreed upon."

That's fine. And your point is taken. I just don't think anyone was ever really disagreeing with your point. Or, rather, maybe folks were disagreeing, but there was no implication that restrictions would be put in place. Just a pony, which you could use or ignore at your own discretion.
posted by Bugbread at 3:29 PM on January 24, 2005


I use <q> and <blockquote> all the time. I usually add <i> inside the <q> tags, but I wouldn't have to if <q> was defined to be italic in the style sheet. I'd really like a "reply to this comment" feature.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:32 PM on January 24, 2005


I think a reply button would be bad -- we'd see long chunks of text or entire comments quoted, when 80% of the time, people reply to one sentence, assertion, or idea.
posted by Vidiot at 8:33 PM on January 24, 2005


Mitheral, raedyn -

Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you referring to the forums where there is a "QUOTE" button next to each post, and this can be clicked to take you to the comments section - with the entire post quoted?

Coz what Popular Ethics proposes is entirely different. Namely a "quote button next to B, I ,link".

The lazy "without trimming" problems you refer to won't occur under this method.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:00 AM on January 25, 2005


Add Vidiot to the top of my last post.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:02 AM on January 25, 2005


I don't like it when people bold and italicize and add quotes when quoting someone. Seems a bit like overkill to me, and automating the process seems totally unnecessary.

Italics always seem to have worked fine for smaller passages, or <blockquote>s (although it still kicks up that extra line feed afterwards) for longer ones.

But that's just me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:21 AM on January 25, 2005


uncanny hengeman: how do you propose this quote button would acquire content? Would you just glance in the direction of that comment or portion thereof which you'd like quoted, squint a little, and click the button?

Anyway, I'm still firmly in feh territory. The ugliness, the overuse, and even the bloody homogeneity of a Standard Format strike me as awful burdens which far overshadow any benefit.
posted by cortex at 6:28 AM on January 25, 2005


Well this thread is buried without any resolution, but I've seen good arguments on either side.

I don't think I've made my case effectively. For all those posters who fear the "bloody homogeneity of a Standard Format", I ask: would you rather Matt allow ANY html tags, or worse, custom signatures? No, because the restricted style makes the site both more attractive, and more useful.

Standardized quoting compensates somewhat for not having threaded discussions (which I'm not advocating). Readers who discover an interesting line of conversation can quickly skim the page looking for relevant quotes. (I often do this looking for replies to my own posts). Conversely, readers uninterested in those little arguments can skim past any post with a quote to quickly find posts that contribute new information. Here again, a standard style makes for a more useful site.

As for implementation, how about this: A button next to B I link which pops up a form with two fields. The first for author, the second to copy paste the quoted text. This would keep the barrier high enough to prevent quoting whole comments, but would promote consistent styling.
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:21 AM on January 25, 2005


Like others, I fail to see what's wrong with the current de facto standard, which is simply to italicize what you're quoting. (All that crap about typing in [small] tags is utterly unnecessary.) Another useless pony request.
posted by languagehat at 8:16 AM on January 25, 2005


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