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Snooth User: dmcker

New funkiness in link postings on Snooth

Posted by dmcker, Jul 29, 2010.

The text editor on the Snooth Forum went through an upgrade several montsh ago, and a number of new features were enabled (bold, italic, underline, linkages from simple text words to URLs, photo linkages, and bulleted lists). Unfortunately that change also meant that it no longer was possible to cut and paste header URLs from external webpages and have them be active within the Snooth posting. The textedit upgrade took effect only within the Forum, and did not extend to the Article comments.

I've just noticed a more recent change. URLs appearing within bodies of text within both the Forum and Article comment postings have suddenly been drastically truncated. They now look like this:
http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/ch...
http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/sn...
http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/sa...
http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/sa...

Before, some of the lengthier URLs took up space, and even extruded beyond the posting box borders, which was a bit hinky. But at least you could look at the URLs in their entirety and know what kind of content the link connected to.

Now, the reader doesn't have a clue. What exactly was the rationale for this change, and why did someonethink it was an improvement? If there's no drastic necessity for it, any way to switch back? You're really cutting down on reader convenience and clarity of info display.

Replies

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Reply by ChipDWood, Jul 29, 2010.

I noticed this too and was a bit disappointed in not being able to view several suggestions for articles from other users.

Not everyone uses tiny URL- but is that something we're going to have to consider with this change?

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Reply by Kyle Graynor, Jul 29, 2010.

When you move your mouse over the URLs, the full destination is displayed in the bottom left corner of the screen. I agree that out of context, this change is a little drastic (maybe they could extend it a little), but when in line with other text, I find this to be an improvement. You can still see where the URL goes, and it takes up less space on the screen, especially if the link is very long.

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 29, 2010.

What browser are you using, KGraynor? Nothing appears when I roll over the URLs on this thread--bottom left or anywhere. I'm using Firefox 3.6.8 on a Mac. The new scheme is in no way an improvement--quite the contrary.

And good luck, Chip, on getting everyone in the world to use "tiny URL"s!  ;-(

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Reply by Kyle Graynor, Jul 29, 2010.

I agree that tinyurls are a bit unnecessary and don't give enough information under any circumstances. I have tested the URL mouse over using IE, Firefox, and Google Chrome, but all on a PC. When you mouse over a link in Firefox, the link shows up where "Done" normally appears in the bottom left, right above the start menu (or, I would assume, the menu hub for macs)

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 29, 2010.

KGraynor, I sympathize with you in your Windows misery. ;-)

No go anywhere on the Mac screen. So is Snooth now a Windows-only, Chrome-centric environment? Another of the drawbacks of the textedit upgrade was that spellcheck was lost for most browsers, except for maybe Chrome....

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jul 29, 2010.

Hey DM - KGraynor is talking about the browser "Status bar" -- this is a hugely useful feature and usually worth toggling on.

In Firefox, you're looking for the View menu > Status Bar. Toggle that on and you should see the full destination of any link you hover over.

To this discussion, any link with anchor text also has the result of hiding the destination while being extremely useful for user experience. The status bar helps the user know where they're going.

Snooth is a cross-browser, cross-platform website. We spend time testing in all of the environments we see significant user traffic from.

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 29, 2010.

Mark, I had figured that out and enabled it, but this still is not the easiest and clearest for any 'average' user. Sometimes I think Snooth's implementation of certain functions is jumping ahead too inconsistently. Plenty of times a plain cup of coffee is better than a Mocha Frappucino. To change analogies, it gets back to a 'needs' vs. 'seeds' discussion...

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jul 29, 2010.

Hmm... Let's fall back on the example of anchor text -- the experience you're describing is common enough to be widely understood and widely supported. It's one of the basics of the browsing experience and has been for a long time.

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 29, 2010.

I wasn't talking about anchor text (clickable hyperlinks tagged to specific words of text), and I have no quibbles with that at all.Far from it, and you'll see I use that function frequently in my posts.

I was talking about several other things, including how it's still good to be able to cut and paste a URL from a page header and have it go automatically active, such as used to be the case in the Forum and still is in the Articles. Why isn't it possible to have both? Many, many posters to the forum are putting up inactive links that have to then be cut and pasted to a new tab. Even GregDP does so.

Also, I don't see the advantage to chopping the URLs pasted into a link so short they display nothing of intelligent value. Not everyone will have the status bar active, or maybe even know what it is. Why have to look down to the small print in the corner when formerly the info was right in front of the viewer's eyes in a post's box?

Etc. There are others, but I'll stick to the current discussion. By removing these conveniences through some technology-driven 'upgrade' you are degrading the user experience to some extent by lessening convenience and ease of information access, and not doing the reader any service.

 

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Reply by GregT, Jul 29, 2010.

It's a good question - not being a programmer I'm curious as to what the value is in truncating a link? 

Is there actually some programming value in terms of speed, memory, overall performance, etc., or was it for looks or what? 

But I absolutely HATE the fact that when I paste something, Snooth decides to add the link below, which I ALWAYS delete.  If that becomes impossible to delete, I'll simply never paste anything.  You guys have a nice little site - why keep mucking it up?

Example below.  It's a bug, not a feature.

Read more: http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/new-funkiness-in-link-postings-on-snooth/#ixzz0v7MmHBx8

 

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Reply by ArezzoBob, Jul 29, 2010.

Hello,

I really consider all of this none of my business, but I can't help myself from commenting that a miles long url doesn't add anything to my browhing experience. If I want to know where a link (url or anchor text) leads, glancing in the lower left corner of the browser is not such a chore... 

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Reply by outthere, Jul 29, 2010.

Interestingly enough GregT's link floats outside the lines on my Mac running Firefox as seen in the picture below:

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Reply by Kyle Graynor, Jul 30, 2010.

When you copy text from Snooth and paste it, a link is added so you can automatically attribute content to Snooth. However, if you would like to disable this feature, you can visit the FAQ page, which explains it, or simply click here to disable it. If you want to re-enable it, click here.

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Reply by GregT, Jul 30, 2010.

Completely hilarious but when I click the link, I see this:

Tynt Insight has been turned off in this browser.
You may close this window.

It's in some 60 point font or something but the thing is, there is no way to close the window.  It just hangs out on the computer.

And folks, I'm not ragging on Snooth.  I like the site. Really.  Otherwise I wouldn't be here. But sometimes the "improvements" aren't.

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 30, 2010.

"I like the site. Really.  Otherwise I wouldn't be here. But sometimes the "improvements" aren't."

Greg, as often the case, has hit the nail on the head, and gotten across a couple of things I tried to say, or meant but didn't.

First of all, we wouldn't be here if we didn't care. Secondly, we may have a different perspective than you, Mark or KGraynor, that carries as much validity. Just because something is cool to do in an IT/technical (or graphics/visual) sense doesn't mean it's always the best choice, especially if you end up killing some other useful functionality while doing so. I'd think you'd want to make things the easiest possible for non-savvy users, and not require they know to turn on whatever options in their OS or browser, and send their eyeballs all over the screen. I mean, really, why is it that Apple and others are now kicking MS's butt? Requirements for esoteric and long-accumulated knowhow in operating unnecessarily (on the UI, anyway) complicated systems and apps is not the way forward. Not that I'm meaning to start a discussion on that, where there are many, many other factors in how history is moving on.

And how 'cool' is CellarTracker/WineSearcher to look at? Then why is it kicking butt?


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