xrunner

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Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« on May 22nd, 2013, 01:04 AM »
I searched but didn't find this discussed before. I sometimes de-nest quotes manually for what I feel like is easier reading. I wonder if anyone else has ever thought that this would be a useful forum feature? It places the person's membername closer to the start of their quote for easier association, especially when there is more text.

Instead of going from the inside out -
Quote from xrunner on May 22nd, 2013, 12:48 AM
Quote from Wanchope on May 8th, 2013, 05:56 PM
Quote from Arantor on May 8th, 2013, 05:07 PM
Mostly because they set up their style in the old days, then got big in spite of ugly design, and had to keep it to avoid upsetting the existing fans.
You need to see the picture of Facebook back in 2004,...
Test test test additional comment.
You'd see this going from first to last in sequence -
Quote from Arantor on May 8th, 2013, 05:07 PM
Mostly because they set up their style in the old days, then got big in spite of ugly design, and had to keep it to avoid upsetting the existing fans.
Quote from Wanchope on May 8th, 2013, 05:56 PM
You need to see the picture of Facebook back in 2004,...
Quote from xrunner on May 22nd, 2013, 12:48 AM
Test test test additional comment.

Arantor

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #1, on May 22nd, 2013, 01:12 AM »
Well, there's already an option in SMF (and has been for some time) to strip nested quotes so you'd only have the outermost quote in the first place. I am not sure if it is buggy or not (it is disabled here but I don't remember if it was just because it's not enabled in SMF by default or because we found a reason to disable it)

I see where you're going but I'm not entirely sure I like the look of it. Would be interested to see what other comments there are.
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xrunner

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #2, on May 22nd, 2013, 01:15 AM »
Quote from Arantor on May 22nd, 2013, 01:12 AM
Well, there's already an option in SMF (and has been for some time) to strip nested quotes so you'd only have the outermost quote in the first place.
Yes I know about it, but as you know it does remove all the other quotes.
Quote
I see where you're going but I'm not entirely sure I like the look of it. Would be interested to see what other comments there are.
Fair enough, just another crazy idea of mine (but I really do this a fair amount for the readability). :)

Arantor

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #3, on May 22nd, 2013, 01:20 AM »
Removing the other quotes is sort of the point. You really don't need all the extra quotes and as far as readability goes, it seems to me to promote wall-of-text syndrome by making wall-of-quotes. The head of the quote is still a link back to the previous post so it's not like you can't easily get the original context.

xrunner

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #4, on May 22nd, 2013, 01:28 AM »
Quote from Arantor on May 22nd, 2013, 01:20 AM
Removing the other quotes is sort of the point. You really don't need all the extra quotes and as far as readability goes, it seems to me to promote wall-of-text syndrome by making wall-of-quotes. The head of the quote is still a link back to the previous post so it's not like you can't easily get the original context.
Yea, on the other forum I ran for years (WWGHA), I tried using the "strip nested quotes" option.

It was a disaster - not because it didn't work but because the members hated it. They loved their nested quotes and I gave up trying to convince them of the same logic you just outlined. After that I tried to police all the wall-quotes as lazy members would just quote away without thinking about it, repeating already-posted items completely with ridiculous amounts of text. I even used the warning system to try and stop it. It was to no avail. Fortunately my forum has better behaving members in that respect. :)

Arantor

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xrunner

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #6, on May 22nd, 2013, 01:44 AM »
Quote from Arantor on May 22nd, 2013, 01:33 AM
Perhaps if it were enabled by default on a fresh installation... hmm. Needs more thought.
Yep. It's mainly a matter of habit. It's a bad habit that I found couldn't be broken. I even wrote sticky posts about it. I would say

"Do not quote more text than is needed to make your point. All the points everyone has made are in the thread. That's what the thread is there for - to hold all the points. A quote should be short and simply to jog the memory and help people reading to understand what you are addressing, blah, blah, blah ..."

Something like that. Mainly new members would not understand how the quote button should be handled correctly. They simply thought it was there to respond to any member in the thread. But as I would scold them - no, it's only to be used to attach a short amount of specific material that you want to rebut. You MUST edit out all unneeded material down before posting! Otherwise, simply do this -

Member xyz, I have this to say about your last point ...



Johnny54

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #7, on May 22nd, 2013, 02:31 AM »
I am glad our admin was smart enough to never activate nested quotes. I hate them.
I have visited forums with nested quotes where the quote sometimes ran 20 levels deep and the largest answer was about 4 words long. Nuts, plain nuts.

On our forum there are also people that misuse the quote button as the answer button. You can keep telling them they shouldn't. but they are used to it from other places.
I have the most success by sending those people a PM telling them that in a normal (spoken) conversation they wouldn't even think about repeating everything the other people say before answering. That really makes them think and often they start using quote for the purpose it's meant.

Arantor

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #8, on May 22nd, 2013, 02:33 AM »
Quote from xrunner on May 22nd, 2013, 01:44 AM
Quote from Arantor on May 22nd, 2013, 01:33 AM
Perhaps if it were enabled by default on a fresh installation... hmm. Needs more thought.
Yep. It's mainly a matter of habit. It's a bad habit that I found couldn't be broken. I even wrote sticky posts about it. I would say

"Do not quote more text than is needed to make your point. All the points everyone has made are in the thread. That's what the thread is there for - to hold all the points. A quote should be short and simply to jog the memory and help people reading to understand what you are addressing, blah, blah, blah ..."
That's because users are, generally, idiots. It's mob mentality - one person can be smart, a genius even, but we end up having to cater to the lowest common denominator.
Quote from xrunner on May 22nd, 2013, 01:44 AM
Something like that. Mainly new members would not understand how the quote button should be handled correctly. They simply thought it was there to respond to any member in the thread. But as I would scold them - no, it's only to be used to attach a short amount of specific material that you want to rebut. You MUST edit out all unneeded material down before posting! Otherwise, simply do this -

Member xyz, I have this to say about your last point ...
Well, as I just demonstrated there is one very nifty feature that might be useful, the quote splitter. Quote the whole post, press shift-enter and it'll break the quote, ending the quote and opening a new quote tag around the cursor. Works for other tags too.
Quote from Johnny54 on May 22nd, 2013, 02:31 AM
I am glad our admin was smart enough to never activate nested quotes. I hate them.
I have visited forums with nested quotes where the quote sometimes ran 20 levels deep and the largest answer was about 4 words long. Nuts, plain nuts.
Actually, it's activated by default in SMF. You have to specifically tick a box buried in the admin panel to disable it.
Quote from Johnny54 on May 22nd, 2013, 02:31 AM
On our forum there are also people that misuse the quote button as the answer button. You can keep telling them they shouldn't. but they are used to it from other places.
Yeah, that's a problem when they mean to answer the topic as a whole and end up quoting a post they didn't really mean to. See above about lowest common denominator.
Quote from Johnny54 on May 22nd, 2013, 02:31 AM
I have the most success by sending those people a PM telling them that in a normal (spoken) conversation they wouldn't even think about repeating everything the other people say before answering. That really makes them think and often they start using quote for the purpose it's meant.
Sounds good.

xrunner

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #9, on May 22nd, 2013, 02:40 AM »
Quote from Johnny54 on May 22nd, 2013, 02:31 AM
I am glad our admin was smart enough to never activate nested quotes. I hate them.
I have visited forums with nested quotes where the quote sometimes ran 20 levels deep and the largest answer was about 4 words long. Nuts, plain nuts.
The more I think about it, as Arantor alluded to, the more I think stripping nested quotes should be the default setting upon a fresh install.

I don't think people really care, as long as they aren't "shell-shocked' by a change, silly as that sounds. In other words, if stripping nested quotes was the default, and you suddenly turned it off after the members were used to it, they'd probably be just as pissed off about it.

"WTF! Why are we now seeing all this nested mess when we click the quote button!" :wow:

If you aren't careful, as I've found, the initial settings of your forum are going to be what people get accustomed to, and any change will reap complaints. So - all you new Admins - please know what the Hell you are doing when you install and set up a new forum! :cool:

P.S. Unlike I did back in the day.

Nao

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #10, on May 22nd, 2013, 08:59 AM »
A useful suggestion, perhaps..?

Since nested quotes are an acquired taste, maybe have this as a user option, rather than a site-wide option, and disable or enable it by default, I don't really care -- having them disabled by default means that you'll never get pyramid contests (I fun them fun from time to time, even as an admin, but...), while having them enabled by default allows people to at least discover the qualities of my quote splitter... :P

(Although I still need to fix said quote splitter, as I recently noticed a minor bug with it.)

Arantor

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #11, on May 22nd, 2013, 02:11 PM »
The only problem with making it a user preference is that you have to do that at parse time, not at fetch-quote time.

Nao

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #12, on May 22nd, 2013, 04:32 PM »
I'm not talking about hiding all quotes for them, rather simply stripping off nested quotes for their own posts.

Although, well, it could be possible to strip quotes at runtime. Say, in ob_sessrewrite...

Or... Let me think about it... Replace all nested quotes with a "Show this quote" button..? At least it won't take as much size, although it'll still be a problem with the database size, but I think we have a setting around here to prevent long quotes from being saved, or something...?

Dragooon

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #13, on May 22nd, 2013, 06:55 PM »
Nested quotes preference should be to view honestly, not to quote. A little CSS for those who want to hide nested quotes can make this a lot faster rather than parsing the post.
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Arantor

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Re: Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« Reply #14, on May 22nd, 2013, 10:40 PM »
Hmm, I don't know whether it would be quicker to just hide it in CSS or to strip it on view before parsing (thus saving some tags)

I also don't know how you'd do it in CSS if it's a user preference because that means it can't really be in the CSS file at all... unless we add a class at parse time to it (which is currently not supported and would make parsing undoubtedly slower)