Pray Tell Improvements

Thanks to the hard work of the Pray Tell tech support team, led by Brian Eisenschenk and Ryan Gapinski at Liturgical Press, we now have a couple of improvements to our comments.

First, future comments will NOT be threaded.  They will all appear in a single line. So if you respond to someone’s comment, your response will appear at the bottom of the list instead of appearing just after it.  Be aware of that fact when responding to people.

Second, users now have the ability to flag comments. Flagged comments go to the blog moderator for further review.

Thanks to all who contribute to the robust discussions here at Pray Tell!

ca

27 comments

  1. Thank you Brian, Ryan, and the tech team for incorporating automatic hyperlinks into the reply function. Now I don’t have to do this manually anymore. Excellent!

  2. This is a great improvement. Thanks everyone.

    It has been very difficult to keep track of new comments/. Now we will have all the new comments at the end. Also it has been very difficult to keep track of comments that are made in response to one’s own comment. The tagging of the new comments at the end will help this problem.

  3. This is a great improvement!
    Now, one doesn’t have to search through the whole comments to find the most recent one. A further improvement would be eliminating the time limit on editing one’s comments.

    1. @M. Jackson Osborn – comment #3:
      Actually, I think it’s good that have the editing time limit on comments. I’ve known cases of people going back to edit their comments in order to make their respondents look stupid. I think there is value in keeping an accurate record of what people have posted. A few minutes of editing time should be sufficient to take care of typos.

  4. M. Jackson Osborn : This is a great improvement!Now, one doesn’t have to search through the whole comments to find the most recent one. A further improvement would be eliminating the time limit on editing one’s comments.

    And, I have just noticed that the quote function works but that the reply function does not. Is there a malfunction? It seems to me that ‘reply’ would be sufficient. Why do we need two functions when one of them doesn’t work?

    1. It’s working on mine (I use Chrome for my browser, FWIW). And I do appreciate editing time, because the font size is so small in the inputing field that I can only evaluate things after I post them.

  5. I compose anything other than a short reply in a word processor and paste it into the comment box — this has saved a lot of trouble.

    To Paul’s point, I have tested the new PTB in Chrome, Safari and Firefox and none of these problems have appeared. I don’t have Explorer on this Mac.

    The end of threaded comments is a BIG step forward. Thank you, Brian and Ryan!

  6. Yes, the end of threaded comments is a BIG step forward.

    I am using Safari on a 27″ iMac and still have the problem I mentioned. I will send a screen shot to Brian.

  7. I too am using the latest version of Firefox, and I cannot see these boxes either. But if all the comments are now supposed to be displayed in chronological order, then there’s be no point to a Reply box. Simply enter your comment in the box at the bottom, and copy and paste in order to quote.

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #16: From what I can see, using the Reply box creates a link back to the original post you’re replying too. I think this would be helpful in discussions that are quite extensive so that people reading the comments don’t get confused about which comments reply to which specific posts.

  8. I have noticed that when I now add a single link to a comment it goes to moderation. Perhaps that is necessary but it also discourages giving citations.

  9. I am sure that at least one link was allowed under the old regime; two seemed to trip the moderation system. Now, one link throws a comment into moderation.

    Can this be changed please? Perhaps even to three links?

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #21:

      I sympathize Jonathan, given that I often link. Two links should be allowed now that automatic reply links have been put in place. More than that is a spam risk. I trust that Fr. Ruff, the blog team, and the tech team have to weigh the benefits and perils of multi-linking. This is especially true for people like me who shorten urls. It’d take a lot of time to verify that links aren’t spam or offensive.

      1. Two links should be allowed now that automatic reply links have been put in place. More than that is a spam risk.

        I’m not sure that allowing links generally is worse than allowing more than 2 links (though they might be able to tell us from their moderation queue.) The links are already given a “nofollow” attribute, which comments useless for the kind of pagerank manipulation spam that is often popular. OTOH, it kind of breaks the relational algorithims that make the web work today… so maybe moderating all posts with more than the “reply” link, but removing the “nofollow” attribute would be better.

        (But the reply function isn’t even working for me at all today.)

        This is especially true for people like me who shorten urls.

        A back-end way to handle that is to discourage/not not allow link-shortening. This is done by the popular group blog Metafilter.com, for example, on the thinking that there’s little reason to shorten links when they’re coded into the html (and it deprives readers of the ability to mouseover the link and see where it goes.)

      2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #23:

        Sam: A back-end way to handle that is to discourage/not not allow link-shortening. This is done by the popular group blog Metafilter.com, for example, on the thinking that there’s little reason to shorten links when they’re coded into the html (and it deprives readers of the ability to mouseover the link and see where it goes.)

        I didn’t think of url shortening that way, but it makes sense. The only thing is that links often break if they’re too long and not shortened/redirected. Also, it’s hard to put in more than two or three full links when there’s a 2000 character limit. This is especially true if one is linking back to a comment on another thread within the same blog. Individual blog comment urls can be hideously long.

        I don’t really have a say in this anyway. Still, I would hope that the editors would allow some shortening, especially if the url won’t work otherwise. I’ll make the effort to use full links from now on, for my part.

      3. Also, it’s hard to put in more than two or three full links when there’s a 2000 character limit.

        That’s a very good point, I didn’t think about the character limit.

  10. Perhaps one of the ways to solve this problem is to put a link or links in a separate comment like as if it were a footnote, of course that “footnote” comment can be referred back to its original. That way the comment itself gets immediately into the stream, and does not get cluttered up with links, yet at the same time the link(s) are provided (after moderation) to people who need them.

    While I like Jordan’s practice of burying the links for the sake of a better looking comment, I too like to know where I am headed before I press a link.

    Also sometimes one has to give directions when the link lands on a website that does not allow a direct link to certain things such as a map or graph. Again that is footnote like information that should not disturb the reader who does not need it.

    Of course this is a strategy that does not need any intervention of the management to do; I am thinking of trying it awhile even if the one link is allowed again to see how it works.

    We might even use conventions with the original comment like *, **, *** to indicate the first three links in the “footnote” comment, or perhaps *, *2, *3, etc for four of more links.

  11. Surely there must be a way to allow multiple links without opening the door to spam. A semi-demi scholarly discussion like Pray Tell needs to be able to refer to documents, links to videos and the like. Under the current system, each footnote would be a separate comment!

    Could we use a “captcha” to screen out spambots?

    I suppose the other option is simply to spell out the link in plain text without the HTML to turn it into a link — or something like

    www.abcde.com/xyz123

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *