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Use Tilde To Signify Link

  [vote for,

It’s tedious and superfluous to have to say “See link” or words to that effect when an annotation is placed and a link is also placed. They appear in disconnected places, and there’s no apparent relationship at all between why there’s a particular link up here and what may be being said down there.

As a shorthand for “see link” or equivalent, may I suggest the tilde character ~ be used to signify the presence of a link from that person related to that annotation. Which link is still going to be a bit of a mystery, but the fact that there is a link at all is indicated, without having to embarrassingly type out the words “see link” or something so primitive.

If it catches on here on the hb, let’s see where else it migrates to out there!

Ian Tindale, Jan 20 2016


       But the tilde character already has a defined meaning - it means 'approximately'
hippo, Jan 20 2016

FlyingToaster, Jan 20 2016

       Only when it is surrounded by context. Out on its own it won’t. I was wondering if it should be in square brackets or something like that, but that may interfere with markup or bbcode elsewhere.
Ian Tindale, Jan 20 2016

       Most websites allow you to embed links in the middle of your text, so I don't think this is necessary on other sites.
notexactly, Jan 20 2016

       My PhD was on how best to represent links in text
hippo, Jan 21 2016

       I don’t want to type out a bolted-on passage of text like “see link” or “see the link I’ve just posted, all the way up there” or suchlike. It’s ridiculous. If a link is posted, it should be sufficient to leave it like that and not even mention it, it should be apparent that there’s a link, and it is relevant to something said down there. But it’s not. If I refrain from mentioning the link, it gets missed, so I have to mention it, which is kind of extra to what I’m saying in the annotation. So, I thought I’d accommodate a simple symbol as a kind of ‘tag’, which is still a lot of extra work, but doesn’t pollute the actual written message quite so much with other similar things (i.e. words) that aren’t the message.   

       Tilde is wiggly, and therefore seems like something that isn’t part of the straight line of consumption.
Ian Tindale, Jan 21 2016

       There is a unicode 'link' symbol. Not that the halfbakery supports unicode.   

       If tilde already has a meaning, how about using the section symbol? You could refer to the third link posted as §3. Only problem is unless you're on an azerty keyboard the only way to type it is alt+0167 which is probably more effort than 'see link'.
mitxela, Jan 21 2016

       Excellent idea. The § symbol has its own key - to the left of number 1 on the number row. Or, it is also option-6.   

       The main objection is not having to type it all out (that’s the second from main objection). The main thing is a semantic one. I didn’t at any point in time intend to publish a message that amounts to “see the link I’ve just posted just before, which is somewhere over there”. All of that sort of thing, or the short- form version of “see link” is not the message, and shouldn’t really be in the message. Therefore I’m compromising by slipping in a non-message / non-meaningful (in that context) symbol.
Ian Tindale, Jan 21 2016

       [Ian], it wouldn't be rendered but now you've told us all you may as well do it anyway because we'll know what you mean.
nineteenthly, Jan 21 2016

       Maybe something in kanji.
FlyingToaster, Jan 21 2016

Ian Tindale, Jan 21 2016

       Ian speak. Got it. ~
blissmiss, Jan 21 2016

       It is pronounced chao1 lian2 in Mandarin, meaning hyperlink.
Ian Tindale, Jan 21 2016

       //If I refrain from mentioning the link, it gets missed//

I have the same general feeling, Ian, & often add an anno about a link. But is it, in fact, the case? Do we have any evidence to substantiate this assertion? Or is it just our own insecurity causing us to shout louder because we think that we haven't been noticed when, actually, we have been noticed and it's just that nobody has mentioned it?
DrBob, Jan 21 2016

       Sorry, what were you saying?
Ian Tindale, Jan 21 2016

       / My PhD was on how best to represent links in text /   

       And the winner was... blue font?
bungston, Jan 21 2016

       Yes, but what *shade* of blue?
hippo, Jan 22 2016

calum, Jan 22 2016

       Hooloovoo. The hyperintelligent shade, of course.
RayfordSteele, Jan 22 2016

       There's this strangely satisfying compromise between raw and formatted text called "Markdown". I've started writing almost all/any source documentation I have to write in it and using tools to pipe to html, pdf, word documents or whatever. Markdown uses the convention [a link] (http://www.alink.com) to establish links, and is quite readable either in raw, or after being marked-up.   

       I'm pro the design choice of enabling markdown in most websites as it provides helpful typesetting functionality without going over the top.
zen_tom, Jan 26 2016

       I use Asciidoc all the time these days, but markdown is related (they’re both lightweight markup languages, but markdown is watered-down in relation to asciidoc, and unlike asciidoc markdown comes in too many different versions). Nevertheless, the way that both asciidoc and markdown present links is not the way I’d have thought up, and consequently I keep forgetting the exact way round it is. The idea of lightweight markup languages is that the original text should be readable (and indeed editable) as the textual message that it is, and the markup should not prevent the message from being clear. Contrast this with xml, where all you see is pointy brackets and duplications of element names all over the place, the content is secondary, buried, much more difficult to read compared to the unmarked-up raw content. Lightweight markup languages should try and resemble unmarked-up raw content as far as possible. Where they fall down on this is in complex out-of-flow things like images and links – the way of expressing those isn’t how you’d type it naturally, it’s more complex (html embeds it in a specialised container - markdown and asciidoc have fallen into the same solution).   

       The reason I suggested this idea is that with the halfbakery in its present turn-of-the-century design, and with the old desktop and laptop computer being things of the past (many people don’t even own one, instead only using their tablets or big phones for everything internet related) the split between separating out all the links to a pile of them in the top left of the page under the idea is ridiculous – it doesn’t work as a design now. If one were to take this thinking further, why not separate out all the dates presented by each user name, under each annotation, and pile those up together under the links, so that you get an increasing list of dates that annotations were made on, spatially disconnected from the annotation or username. In fact, just have a separate list of usernames featured in the annotations too, all piled up in the top left under the idea, the pile of links, and the pile of dates that activity occurred on. That way you’d keep the usernames and dates out of the flow of annotations and put them all away neat and tidily.   

       Also, for your own ideas each annotation has a [delete] link. Don’t have those scattered around embedded after each annotation, instead have a dissociated pile of [delete] links up there in the top left, after the separate pile of usernames, and the separate pile of annotation dates, and the separate pile of contributed links, and of course the idea body itself.   

       In fact, the idea body itself is fairly superfluous – the title alone usually does the job for me, and is quicker to read. Get rid of the idea body, to make room for all those separated out piles of stuff in the top left.   

       That way, the stuff in the top left can be made just the stuff at the top. There won’t need to be this complex nesting of boxes to create a ‘left’ and a ‘right’ (which itself is divided into a ‘left’ and a ‘right’). All you’d have is a single-width galley, which would make the text a lot more readable. Then because the annotations keep growing downward and the links and dates and usernames all sit up the top making it necessary to swipe down too much, each time something new might have happened, swop around the top and the bottom, so that the annotations come first, but still in temporal order of older to the top and newer to the bottom (ie newer is nearer you, older is farther away from you) and beneath all that is the pile of links, the pile of dates, the pile of usernames, and last of all, the idea (which changes the least, and therefore shouldn’t penalise the user by requiring swiping down and down and down and down and down each time, as they’ve already read it once).
Ian Tindale, Jan 02 2018

       [Ian] Have you considered you are unique and need a script for your particular needs.
wjt, Jan 02 2018

       No, I’m not. People don’t use computers these days. Most people use an iPad, or some android equivalent, and when they’re out, they use a phone. Always. It is very rare for people to use an actual computer like a laptop, and rarer for people to use a desktop. The exceptions to this are when a person creates something (graphics, animation, music, programming, etc) – for which many will still revert to a computer to do it. I’m told that gamers still use computers, but gaming is a waste of time, so those people don’t count at all. However, most people simply consume rather than create, and those people have largely moved over to tablets at home and phones out and about, for everything.
Ian Tindale, Jan 02 2018

       Gaming is obviously a much bigger time-waster than halfbaking...
RayfordSteele, Jan 02 2018

       The people who only consume and do not create are not the audience of this website.
notexactly, Feb 03 2018

       I’m among a minority who uses their iOS devices to create (in my case, electronic music, and also to a lesser quantity, graphics). Some people even try to program using iOS, but I find this too difficult to bother. Many of us who use synthesisers and audio production apps on our iPads and phones are extremely aware that although they are allegedly a ‘pro’ platform (my iPad is an iPad Pro – the big one, from a few years ago) it simply isn’t treated as ‘pro’ enough. It’d be nice to be a professional designer, developer, artist or musician and use nothing but an iPad or iPhone (more helpfully, perhaps several) and never resort to a desktop or laptop ‘computer’ at all.   

       I’m almost there, but I still fire up the Mac Mini (one of them) now and then to do something or other. I don’t spend a lot of time on it, though, almost all of the time in front of a screen is in front of an iPad (and more recently my first ever iPhone (goodbye Android, with your 0.1% penetration of the latest Android version, and most people running an out of date who knows what version of Android which will never ever be updated again because the device is more than 18 months old and the manufacturer has lost interest in you)).   

       The mobile-first offline-first approach is a response to the reality that most people transact, consume and even (if they can) create on a mobile platform. This means no relying on a mouse or trackpad, no relying on scroll bars, no relying on contextual menus, tooltips, no hover state, and assuming everything is controlled primarily with touch. That’s the reality, now.   

       Of course, if the halfbakery were to take a novel never- before-to-be-happened-hitherto approach, how about keeping a JavaScript lookout for a UA event corresponding with tipping the phone or tablet back (the top or far edge being tipped temporarily to be lower than the near or bottom edge as it is held) – then the whole page could ‘fall’ back to the top (although this might be captured by the OS UI layer first to flip the screen temporarily upside down instead – that’d have to be firtled around with first to see how it can still work).
Ian Tindale, Feb 03 2018


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