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Readmore revisited...

by DentArthurDent (Monk)
on Oct 30, 2003 at 15:34 UTC ( #303281=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

A while ago, there was a discussion here about enforcing readmore tags in long posts. It was basically shot down under that node as difficult to implement (though a few other reasons were mentioned). I have a different idea, that I think could be a better solution than forcing the tags in there. Read on for more.

A couple of recent nodes (here and here) lead me to do a little bit of thinking about all of this. (I actually ++'d both of those nodes. It's not about their content!) I suggest that when a new node is entered in PM Discussion, SOPW, or Meditations, the user be presented with two text fields instead of one. The first would be a short field (say 256 characters) for an abstract of the meditation or a short phrasing of the question. Then a longer text field for the remainder of the node. When looking at the node directly, the whole thing is shown. When looking at an index page, only the abstract is shown.

This would shorten the main pages, and people only have to go and get the full story for the nodes they really want to. The idea could be refined further by tweaking the abstract field such that short questions could be phrased completely within that field, but longer meditations use both.

Update: I was imagining this as being implemented such that each post is still only one node with only part of the node (the abstract) being displayed on index pages. I think that would prevent extra database access.

What do you all think of the idea? Can it be implemented?
----
May your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth with the force of a thousand caramels.

Comment on Readmore revisited...
Re: Readmore revisited...
by barrd (Vicar) on Oct 30, 2003 at 16:21 UTC
    Hi DentArthurDent,
    First off, cool nic, say "hi" to Slartibartfast for me would ya? ;)

    Getting back to the point. Sorry, but I'm really not into this idea, and here's why:

    ...The first would be a short field (say 256 characters)...
    Surely that is the job of the title of the node, with a bit of thought the general synopsis of the question, meditation etc should be clear. By 'enforcing' readmore tags around longer posts poses a few problems, say for example the post is only a few characters or sentences longer than the "imposed" max length, this will produce another node meaning another Db read (not to mention all the other reads to produce the page) leading to more strain on the server.

    The vast majority of nodes (certainly answers) would fall into this category and whilst not a PM developer even I can see that the extra strain of additional Db reads would add yet more delays to an already heavily taxed server. I could be wrong but I don't think I'm too wide of the mark.

    So whilst yes, I can see where you are coming from I don't think this is "really" something that could be comfortably implemented.

      I was imagining it as one node, if possible, where only part of it is displayed on main pages. Perhaps I should have made that more clear. That way, there aren't any extra db reads.
Re: Readmore revisited...
by phydeauxarff (Priest) on Oct 30, 2003 at 16:35 UTC
    In think the toss-up is do we want or need all the nodes to be 'auto-prettied' or do we prefer faster performance?

    I for one am not bothered too much by long posts, long winded is another issue ;-) so I don't think that the extra load on the system would bring much benefit to me to have everyone's posts nicely formatted in some way.

    I'll keep scrolling to keep the site running faster.

Re: Readmore revisited...
by pg (Canon) on Oct 30, 2003 at 16:41 UTC

    This could cause more confusion. From time to time, we saw questions that failed to clearly describe what they want. Even by presenting the entire question (wording + coding) can not clearly present a person's thought, how can you require one to clearly summarize what he needs.

    If we do this, we add more dependency on people's ability to summarize stuffs, which might not be the strength of everyone (who might be a perfect programmer).

      and quite possibly one more task for the janitors to clean up.

      Try to imagine nodes being considered for fixing content that was incorrectly 'auto-readmored'

Re: Readmore revisited...
by ehdonhon (Curate) on Oct 30, 2003 at 20:30 UTC
    A while ago, there was a discussion here about enforcing readmore tags in long posts. It was basically shot down under that node as difficult to implement (though a few other reasons were mentioned).

    The neat thing about discussions around here is that they can be shot down completely one week, and then brought up by somebody else in the next week and ++'ed to one of the Best Nodes.

    I have seen people that maintain the code here comment that it wouldn't be too hard to write something to auto-add readmore's. The harder task is agreeing how it should work.

    I ++ you for presenting your idea, even though I don't think I like it. It relies on the end user to know how to do the right thing with both of those text boxes, just like the present system relies on the end user to know how to use readmore's. Better to find a progmatic solution.

      I don't think a programatic solution would work well. What I think could work quite well and doesn't seem to be too hard to implement or to be too hard on the server would be to show something like
      Your post is kinda long. Please consider adding a <readmore> tag!
      on top of the preview page if the text is longer than X characters. That way you get a warning (or information that something like <readmore> exists), but it's up to you whether and where do you add the tag.

      Jenda
      Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
         -- Rick Osborne

      Edit by castaway - changed code-tag around the readmore to html-escaped <, >

      Edit by castaway: Closed small tag in signature

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