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[Suggestion] Alternate Representation of BBCodes

Discussion in 'XenForo Suggestions' started by Shadab, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Shadab

    Shadab Well-Known Member

    The Idea:

    Typically BBCodes have only one representation (or view, if you'd like to call it that). Like img, media=youtube and attach bbcodes are replaced by the appropriate embedded image, youtube video and attachment respectively; when viewed in a discussion normally.

    What we need is an alternate representation of such rich bbcodes when they are displayed in locations other than the original post: like in a quoted post, global news feed, the Posting & Recent Activity tabs in our own profile, search results, and in the advanced thread preview. So...
    • An image would be represented by a plain link to the image.
      e.g.: View Image or http://foo.com/bar.png

    • A youtube video be represented by a link to the actual youtube video page.
      e.g.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HtCquBppTc

    • An attachment be replaced by a link to the attachment. (already implemented for quoted posts)
      e.g.: View Attachment <attachment_id>
    Important: This would be extended to our custom bbcodes. So a spoiler tag, for example, would have an alternate representation of just the plaintext: *spoiler* in all the secondary locations mentioned above.


    Storing the secondary view just like how the (current) primary view is stored. And slightly changing the API of the BBCode parser to include an optional argument for returning the secondary view. Here's what I've got in mind (& all the source code is just hypothetical :p):
    $content $parser->parseBbcode($rawContent$fooBarXF_BBCode::ALTERNATE_VIEW);

    Threads which got me thinking:
    Andrej, DeltaHF, bambua and 12 others like this.
  2. Mythotical

    Mythotical Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm, interesting. I would have to agree with this.
  3. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Reading your suggestion I decided to post a test posting:

    As you can see it already works a bit that way, partly. I mean, if I understand your request correctly.

    You can see that I quoted my first posting in that thread in the second posting and:
    1. The image shown in full again (as in the first posting)
    2. The video is shown embedded again (as in the first posting)
    3. The attachment (image) is presented as you've requested: a link to the attachment.
    I absolutely always hate it with a passion when I go to webforums (mostly vBulletin powered ones... which I hope will change really soon) and see people quoting posts with images/videos in it and then the images/videos are shown in full again in all those postings! What is the bl**dy point?! :mad: I know... people are commenting on the content inside a posting and thus those contents should be represented in the quote yes. But do I really want to see 12 instances of the same image or movie popping up all over the thread?!! Come on... I am only interested in the textual comments that people are posting! I already saw the movie or image the first time and do not want or need to see it 12 times more :confused::eek:!

    There is even a convenient link back to the quoted posting at the top of every quote! So if I want to remember which image or movie people are quoting/commenting on... I just have to press that link! I never got it... why do all these forum products show images/movie again and again and again...?!! If someone can come up with 1 single good reason, then please enlighten me. If not... then I sure hope XF can handle this much better.

    So, I fully agree with your suggestion, if this is what you mean.
  4. Shadab

    Shadab Well-Known Member

    Yes, you understood it correctly. (in the context of quoting a post containing rich bbcodes) :)

    Displaying the multimedia content again in a quoted post makes no sense, usually. And it can be real annoying when somebody posts multiple full-size images & youtube videos, and the post gets quoted verbatim a dozen times in the same thread.

    I really like the approach of not displaying the attachment inline in any post other than the original one. (which is most probably the side-effect of a technical limitation).

    This approach should be applied to other rich bbcodes as well, which makes it useful not only for quoted posts, but also in the post snippets displayed in the global news feed, search results, thread preview tool-tips, etc.
  5. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    Think I understand?

    We have altered our forum software so quoted pictures show up as a link (we have many thousands), something like that only taken a bit further?
  6. Shadab

    Shadab Well-Known Member


    I'll create some mockups later on, to make the suggestion a bit easier to understand.
  7. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    This is now also happening on XF's forums itself. See for a little example http://xenforo.com/community/threads/xenforo-destroyed-by-vbulletin.3167/page-11#post-53512 and further down in that threadpage for subsequent postings quoting the same images over and over again... :mad::eek:. Why?! Give me one good reason why all forumsoftware works like this? Just one good reason!

    The more content-rich (meaning: all kinds of media) internet webforums become, the more I foresee this become a serious problem for the readability of our forum threads. In fact, it already is a problem and seeing how easy it is in XenForo to post one's media inside postings... well... a solution is definately needed.
  8. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    We hacked our vb3.8 code to show quoted images as links instead of images. Works well for us.


    edit: I already typed that, sorry!
  9. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    I think XF should be more clever then other packages and built this in by default.

    Can somebody give me just 1 good reason/argument WHY forum software needs to display the images/movies over and over again the moment a post is quoted? What is the thinking behind this, because it seems to serve no purpose whatsoever, apart from destroying the readability of a thread big time.
  10. Sador

    Sador Well-Known Member

    I suggested this as well. On my old forum I have an addon which makes images / youtube videos and so on turn into a link rather than show it over and over again each time it gets quoted. I would really like to see this, either as an addon, or even better, core feature.
  11. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Hopefully one day we don't have to manually delete image/movie tags anymore from text blocks we quote (like here). I still have not heard ;) 1 single argument why those images/movie have to be re-embedded in every single quote. It is really one of the top most annoying things on media-rich web forums in my opinion and I could never understand why it works like this on all forum products. Even on XenForo.
  12. Espen Espelund

    Espen Espelund Active Member

    Signed. This is a major annoyance in our image and media threads

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