Guidance on the correct use of AskMe's [more inside] field February 18, 2005 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Uhm, everyone using [more inside] in Ask MetaFilter sort of defeats the purpose if it and looks, err, bad, does it not? Is there anything to do about it?
posted by xmutex to Bugs at 10:41 AM (32 comments total)

"Damned if you do, damned if you don't"...indeed.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:46 AM on February 18, 2005


Yesterday we could mouse-over the [+] to see the full text of the question. Can you bring this feature back, Matt? xmutex is right; half the questions on AskMe have more inside, and it is tedious clicking on each of them to read the full text.
posted by TheIrreverend at 10:53 AM on February 18, 2005


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
posted by quonsar at 10:56 AM on February 18, 2005


I think mathowie has been tweaking with the verbiage on the "ask a question" page so that it's a little clearer for newer folks what does and does not necessitate "more inside." I'd know more, but I can't see the posting page because I asked a question yesterday.
posted by jessamyn at 10:57 AM on February 18, 2005


q: You ok?
posted by xmutex at 11:01 AM on February 18, 2005


I wish people would at least put something resembling a question in their main post. Sometimes they just trail off at some random point.

And this post is crazy.
posted by smackfu at 11:01 AM on February 18, 2005


At the moment, the question-posting page says,

Your question: ___________________
This will show up on the front page, so try to ask your entire question while keeping it to a paragraph or so (if you must go on longer, use the optional extended area)

Extended explanation: (optional) _______________
This will be the "more inside" area where you explain additional details about the question if necessary. If you use this space, don't write "more inside" to the question area, it will automatically be added for you.
posted by gleuschk at 11:10 AM on February 18, 2005


The first rule of interface design: people don't read things.
posted by smackfu at 11:13 AM on February 18, 2005


I thought the first rule is "No matter what you do, people will screw it up".
posted by Bugbread at 11:24 AM on February 18, 2005


[moron inside]
posted by wendell at 11:26 AM on February 18, 2005


The first rule of interface design: people don't read things.

Oooh! What if the extended explanation textarea is hidden at first? But as soon as the user types "more inside" in the primary textarea, the extended textarea appears, with the label WRITE THE MORE INSIDE HERE DOOFUS.

Now that's good UI design.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:28 AM on February 18, 2005


We can't have nice things, can we?
posted by puke & cry at 11:31 AM on February 18, 2005


I need to make the extend post area a hidden div that is only shown when clicking on a link that they really, really want to put more inside. Pretty simple js/css dhtml, right? Anyone care to code up a simple show/hide version of this for me?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:32 AM on February 18, 2005


sort of defeats the purpose if it and looks, err, bad, does it not?

I don't think so. How does it defeat the purpose? I thought the pupose was to make each question a little shorter on the main page and a little longer on the question page. It does that, making the main page easier to read, and allowing people to go into detail about their questions without having to rush to put in the first comment. It also standardizes the [+], [MI], [more],[more inside] conventions that people have been using, and formalizes the data storage of the headline/brief form/long form of the question. That's all functioning great as far as I can see.

Every post having [more] might automatically seem like "overuse," but what is overuse? Why is the feature diminished if it's on every post?
posted by scarabic at 11:40 AM on February 18, 2005


Actually, I think everyone with a longish question, which is the majority, are supposed to used more inside. It doesn't defeat the purpose at all, it's a good thing.
posted by abcde at 11:45 AM on February 18, 2005


mathowie: Check your matt at haughey dot com address for some javascript/HTML.
posted by xmutex at 11:46 AM on February 18, 2005


And this post is crazy.

I am extremely tempted to just answer it with "I don't know."
posted by Robot Johnny at 11:47 AM on February 18, 2005


I would use this bit of JavaScript:

function toggle(id) {
  document.getElementById(id).style.display =
  (document.getElementById(id).style.display == "inline") ?
  "none" : "inline";
}


with something like this for the [more inside] box:


<a href="javascript:toggle('more_inside');">Add an extended explanation</a>
<div id="more_inside" display="none">
  <textarea></textarea>
</div>

posted by stopgap at 11:51 AM on February 18, 2005



<div id="extendedwrap">
   <textarea cols=62 rows=4 wrap="virtual" name="extended" style="display: none; background:#999;" onfocus="this.style.background='#ddd';" onblur="this.style.background='#ccc';">
   </textarea>
</div>
<span id="wantextended">
   <a href="#" onclick="document.getElementById('extendedwrap').style.display = 'block'; document.getElementById('wantextended').style.display = 'none'; return false;">Want more inside?</a>
</span>


On preview: aw, hell, stopgap's is cleaner. But mine's quicker and dirtier!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:53 AM on February 18, 2005


Here's some toggle javascript:
toggle.js

Which can be used like so:
href="javascript:toggle('div1', 'div2')"

...where div1 and div2 are IDs of two DIV elements. One will be hidden, the other will be displayed.
posted by odinsdream at 11:54 AM on February 18, 2005


weird, in IE/win, the textarea defaults to showing, even though it has a style of display:none on xmutex/stopgap's scripts
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:00 PM on February 18, 2005


mathowie: Give the textarea an id and then (in my function) just do document.getElementById(id_of_textarea).style.display = none and the same thing, but display=block on the display condition of the else.

So:

function changeMI()
{
var mi = document.getElementById('moreInside');
var texta = document.getElementById('id_of_textarea');

if (mi.style.display == 'none')
{
mi.style.display = 'block';
texta.style.display = 'block';
}
else
{
mi.style.display = 'none';
texta.style.display = 'none';
}
}
posted by xmutex at 12:06 PM on February 18, 2005


Although, testing it w/o the textarea being set (the default javascript function I sent), works fine on my IE6.
posted by xmutex at 12:07 PM on February 18, 2005


oh, xmutex, the problem was your script says display="none" in the div, which should have been in a style attribute.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:38 PM on February 18, 2005


I wrote this:
<div id="moreInside" style="display: none;">
..
</div>

You mean it should be something different? Just curious.
posted by xmutex at 12:42 PM on February 18, 2005


oh, I copied stopgap's html above, which is where the error is.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:45 PM on February 18, 2005


As long as we are talking about [more inside]... I just wanted to say I'll miss all the cute ways people came up for saying it. I'm not bitching, just lamenting.

I do wish however that there are some sort of visual distinction between the main text and the extended text. For example, MoFi indents theirs to the same level as the comments. It just helps me quickly find the extended information when I've already read the intro.
posted by sbutler at 12:51 PM on February 18, 2005


whoops, my bad.
posted by stopgap at 12:53 PM on February 18, 2005


all the cute ways people came up for saying it

True, but it went on as long as it needed to. We weren't going to get another 1,000 good ones in a second year of attempts.
posted by scarabic at 5:59 PM on February 18, 2005


I always liked [+]. Simple, small, intuitively obvious, and language-neutral.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:02 AM on February 19, 2005


Being that [mi] [MI] [+] [more inside] [more inside] [more] [c'mon in] seems to be the rule, in the interest of simplicity, I propose that [nmi] or [-] be used alternatively, only in the exception.
posted by airguitar at 1:09 PM on February 19, 2005


I like [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 3:25 PM on February 19, 2005


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