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Improvements to Comments

I've been doing some coding to improve discussion on the blog, and there's been a bunch of discussion recently in the Open Discussion post linked on the sidebar. Also recently, there was lots of discussion on these posts: Critical Preferences, the Nassim Nicholas Taleb Sucks, Open Letter to Charles Tew, Thoughts on Charles Tew.

Join the discussion! Get updates using the Recent Comments link on the sidebar, the Comments RSS Feed, or a webpage change notification tool. You can also get an automatic refresh extension for your browser.

Comments are easier than Fallible Ideas discussion emails. You don't need to use quotes or email software. You don't need worry about formatting. Just talk. Ask some questions or share your ideas!

New Comment Features

  • You can post an image using markdown syntax, like this: ![](image url)
  • Images won't go wider than the comment area and have a height limit of 500 pixels. Don't worry about your images being too big, they will scale down (without stretching) to fit.
  • Click an image to expand to full resolution (in case some text is too small).
  • Image URLs must be direct links to images, not something else like a link to a gallery page where you can view the image. A good indication the link will work is seeing the image filename and extension (like .png, .jpg or .gif)
  • Animated GIFs work.
  • Every comment has a "reply" link at the bottom which sets up a reply that will link back to that comment.
  • Every comment has a "quote" link which sets up a reply with the whole comment quoted, like when you hit reply to an email.
  • When you copy/paste multiple paragraphs from a comment, there are now two line breaks (one blank line) between paragraphs.
  • Bonus old feature: you can make text link to something using markdown: [text](url)

Image Posting Tips

  • Mac and Windows: Use Puush to take screenshots. It automatically uploads them and puts the URL on your clipboard, ready to paste.
  • On Mac, go to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Text and create a text expansion for markdown image syntax. It will sync to your iPhone too (or set it up in iOS at Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Text Replacement). Mine is: mimg -> ![]()
  • On iPhone, upload screenshots or photos with the imgur app. Then long press to view in Safari. Then in the image gallery, long press the image and choose Copy. You can paste that into comments to get a URL (use it along with the text expansion).
  • The imgur URL will be a lower quality thumbnail. To fix that, edit out the "_d" at the end of the filename. Or bookmark my script to edit imgur URLs and add markdown syntax around them. You just paste the imgur URL into comments then use the bookmark. Script link (drag to bookmarks on a computer). If you're curious how the script works, I explained it. And here's the script code so you can copy/paste it to a bookmark on mobile:

  • On Mac, I made an AppleScript that pastes a URL from the clipboard and puts markdown syntax around it. I put it in Automator, put the workflow in ~/Library/Services, and added a hotkey in the Keyboard preferences. Screenshot for how to set this up. Here's the script:
tell application "System Events"
    delay 0.25 -- you need time to let go of your hotkeys
    keystroke "\!\[]("
    keystroke "v" using {command down}
    delay 0.1 -- pasting isn't instant
    keystroke ")"
end tell

PS I put out a new video yesterday, Thoughts on Tolerance and Hostility ($12). If you want to be notified about every new product, and other things I'm up to, sign up for my newsletter in the left side bar.


Bookmark this script and use it to increase the quote level of your comment by one. Use it after pasting in a few paragraphs from an article. (BTW you can test the scripts before bookmarking them. Just write test text in the comments below this post, then click a script link from this post to activate it.)

javascript:document.getElementById('comment_argle').value=document.getElementById('comment_argle').value.replace(/(^|\n)(.*\S)/g,'$1> $2');

And if you want to upload your images to your own server, check out this email with info and an automatic script for doing it. It's like puush but with your own web server. As a bonus, the script can add the width and height to the filename which allows high resolution "retina" images to show up as the correct size (by default they show up as double size).

Elliot Temple on July 17, 2018

Comments (2)

I loveee you

Anonymous at 8:16 AM on July 18, 2018 | #10289 | reply | quote

Updated the post with a couple more tips.

FYI the max image dimensions are 500 pixels tall, 833 pixels wide. Larger images are automatically scaled down (proportionally) so don't worry about it.

curi at 1:20 PM on July 19, 2018 | #10327 | reply | quote

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)