deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
deborah ([personal profile] deborah) wrote in [site community profile] dw_suggestions2018-12-04 09:28 am

@ syntax as a synonym for user name=

Title:
@ syntax as a synonym for user name=

Area:
Entries

Summary:
In an entry, if someone types "@[string]" (more specifically, something like "(^|\s)@[legal characters in usernames]*\b), check to see if that's a username at posting time. If so, translate it internally to <user name="> syntax.

Description:
This would allow users to choose the now-common shorthand of '@username' to indicate users on the local system. This would be taking a design pattern that has become mainstream over the last several years, which users are used due from Tumblr, Slack, Twitter, etc. I'm not suggesting auto complete; there are too many more important pending changes to the post system. I'm also not suggesting a variant for the other-sites functionality of the user element; no @username@twitter, or something. Just a very straightforward replacement. But this would be a nice shorthand that users have become accustomed to.

Poll #20845 @ syntax as a synonym for user name=
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 97


This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
42 (43.3%)

Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
37 (38.1%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
11 (11.3%)

(I have no opinion)
6 (6.2%)

(Other: please comment)
1 (1.0%)

mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)

[staff profile] mark 2018-12-07 03:29 pm (UTC)(link)
We already do this in the Markdown format but there has historically been pushback against doing it everywhere else. I'm all for it though and think we should do it.

We even had a shorthand for doing other site stuff, like linking to a Twitter account by doing: @foo.twitter -- since a period isn't a valid username character here.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

[personal profile] matgb 2018-12-07 03:39 pm (UTC)(link)
@foo.twitter

Oh, I LIKE that a lot. In the past I was vaguely opposed because I didn't see the point, but I spend so much time on other sites that do it I try to do it here now

On Mastodon it's @user@instance.tld which I still find clunky but it does at least work

delight: (Default)

[personal profile] delight 2018-12-07 03:54 pm (UTC)(link)
This is also my with changes!
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)

[personal profile] jenett 2018-12-07 03:59 pm (UTC)(link)
I also like this alternative.
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)

[personal profile] watersword 2018-12-07 04:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Nth-ing the syntax suggestion as a "with changes".
jjhunter: A sheep with shaded glasses and a straw hat lies on its side; overhead floats the pun 'on the lamb' (as in baby sheep). (on the lamb)

[personal profile] jjhunter 2018-12-07 05:23 pm (UTC)(link)
...I was just about to comment to suggest also shorthand for usernames at other sites - yes please to implementing that! (Though now I’m curious if that are any DW usernames with ‘.’ in the middle...)

I assume using the html syntax would still remain an option?
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)

[personal profile] musyc 2018-12-07 05:37 pm (UTC)(link)
+1 to your shorthand, my with changes vote. I prefer the user=foo site=ticky method, but I think the @foo should be available for people to use.
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)

[staff profile] mark 2018-12-07 06:05 pm (UTC)(link)
The data structure typically used to do autocomplete (a trie) is very space and time efficient! We could autocomplete all usernames on Dreamwidth pretty easily...well, fairly easily anyway. I think the load would be reasonable.
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)

[personal profile] pauamma 2018-12-08 04:41 am (UTC)(link)
Currently, it's (I think) hard to impossible to enumerate DW usernames. I'm not sure offhand whether, how, and to what extent autocomplete would make it easier, but some thought should be given to privacy matters, if only so we don't see a flood of attempts to email dreamwidth.org addresses.
the_shoshanna: "I believe in Dreamwidth" colored pencils (Dreamwidth pencils)

[personal profile] the_shoshanna 2018-12-07 10:04 pm (UTC)(link)
This is my "with changes" vote, with a note that I don't actually care all that much what specific syntax is used, so long as it's straightforward and reasonably easy to type.
syderia: DreamSheep with Eiffel Tower (DreamWidth)

[personal profile] syderia 2018-12-07 10:40 pm (UTC)(link)
This is my "with changes"
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2018-12-10 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
This is my with-changes.
illariy: a woman opens a colourful letter (letter)

[personal profile] illariy 2019-02-18 09:46 am (UTC)(link)
I voted "with changes" and this is the exact change I mean. Excellent solution.
fandomonymous: Gray @ on black background (Default)

[personal profile] fandomonymous 2018-12-07 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm fine with [staff profile] mark's suggestion, but I prefer the Mastodon convention @foo@site.tld since it looks so close to email and is already in use elsewhere. Maybe the .tld piece won't be necessary for common domains or have shortcuts available (@foo@ij, @foo@ao3)?
montuos: cartoon portrait of myself (Default)

[personal profile] montuos 2018-12-09 03:04 am (UTC)(link)
+1; I'm becoming familiar with this format from diaspora*.

And I too would love to have autocomplete for it, as long as those who need it off can turn it off. Ditto mention notifications.
solarbird: (Lecturing)

[personal profile] solarbird 2018-12-07 06:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Would it be interesting to also do this in tags, with it triggering an inbox notification of the tagged user when done?
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)

+1 with changes

[personal profile] runpunkrun 2018-12-07 06:46 pm (UTC)(link)
How about receiving a notification (through email or inbox) that you've been mentioned/tagged? That's also something people are used to from Twitter/Tumblr/etc.
alisanne: (Default)

Re: +1 with changes

[personal profile] alisanne 2018-12-07 07:55 pm (UTC)(link)
+1
I agree with this. It would be nice to be able to know when you're mentioned in someone's post.
green_knight: (Hydra)

Re: +1 with changes

[personal profile] green_knight 2018-12-08 07:09 pm (UTC)(link)
That's nice when it's the occasional mention (basically, a pingback). It could also be weaponised - how do you protect people from being flooded with unwanted mentions? Particularly of the kind that isn't actionable in itself, just part of a larger harassment effort?

Finally, 'untag people from this conversation, please' is a thing, too.

So I think this needs to be thought through, and possible misuse taken into account, because if you build an internet feature, someone will use it to stalk/harass.

runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)

Re: +1 with changes

[personal profile] runpunkrun 2018-12-08 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I absolutely agree that if Dreamwidth adds this feature it should be opt-in.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

Re: +1 with changes

[staff profile] denise 2018-12-08 09:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, the biggest part of designing a new feature like this is always "how do we make this hardened against common abuse vectors". The standard advice I give to people wanting to learn about hardening your site against being used for abuse and harassment is "if you can't immediately think of five ways a new feature will be used for harassment (and how to prevent that) you need to learn more about online harassment before you try to design features"...
momijizukamori: Grey tabby cat with paws on keyboard and mouse. The text reads 'code cat is on the job', lolcats-style (CODE CAT)

[personal profile] momijizukamori 2018-12-10 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
My very initial thought is 'restrict mentions to people you subscribe to and/or grand access to' (and there is probably a debate to be had about what combo is correct), because then if someone is being obnoxious about it and won't stop you can revoke whatever filter gets decided on.

I do think mentions/pings is probably a different discussion from this change, though!
kore: (Default)

Re: +1 with changes

[personal profile] kore 2019-01-10 06:24 pm (UTC)(link)
As someone who had experience with e-stalkers for years and years, I vote against this. If it's adopted it should be opt-in only.

We don't need to carry over a lot of stuff from Twitter/Tumblr. One thing I am very grateful for re Dreamwidth is the site's commitment to privacy.
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)

[personal profile] ursamajor 2018-12-07 07:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I like the general shape of the changes to this feature as suggested by [staff profile] mark, though I think I'm leaning mildly more towards the mastodon-style implementation [personal profile] matgb mentioned of @user@instance.tld, mostly because my sense is that more places let you have "." in usernames than "@". (Instagram, for example, definitely permits periods in proper usernames; I would be concerned about how to properly link to some usernames there using the proposed shorthand.)
Edited (LOL, I even typed @matgb instead of user name=matgb, fixing :D) 2018-12-07 19:18 (UTC)
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)

[staff profile] mark 2018-12-08 02:05 am (UTC)(link)
The periods-in-other-sites-usernames is a great point. I suppose I could get used to @zorkian@twitter as a thing.
arethinn: glowing green spiral (Default)

[personal profile] arethinn 2018-12-07 09:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I like the idea, but I think some solution does need to be figured out for the off-site references, otherwise you have a split syntax situation rather than one form working for all cases.
sporky_rat: XKCD's Internet Map showing Dreamwidth, with a Dreamwidth D Spiral. Text:  'This is my home'. (Default)

[personal profile] sporky_rat 2018-12-08 12:41 am (UTC)(link)
I like @username@place, honestly.
vicki_rae: (Default)

[personal profile] vicki_rae 2018-12-08 03:07 am (UTC)(link)
I like this. I'm fine with any of the changes other have suggested.
Edited 2018-12-08 03:07 (UTC)
sharpiefan: (Thirteen-Gun Salute)

[personal profile] sharpiefan 2018-12-08 03:18 am (UTC)(link)
@username@place would be cool, rather than the HTML - or even as well as the HTML version. I still type lj user= rather than username= and I've been here longer than I was ever on LJ; some habits die hard so an addition rather than a replacement format would probably be best, for those of use who are used to DW as-is, with the additional for those who are coming to DW from Tumblr or wherever.
elendraug: (Dragon Age - mage freedom)

[personal profile] elendraug 2018-12-08 03:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Haha, I'm still typing "lj user=" out of force of habit, too.
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)

Nitpick

[personal profile] pauamma 2018-12-08 04:44 am (UTC)(link)
In (^|\s)@[legal characters in usernames]*\b, I think you mean "+" instead of "*".
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (ligerdragon)

[personal profile] tephra 2018-12-08 04:49 am (UTC)(link)
I think the @user@site syntax would be fine. It would be really nice if @user (which would of course be a DW user) also generated a notification. People would have to have a setting to turn off being notified that they've been @ mentioned (aka pinged, aka "ear burned").
papersarkany: Glowing Captain Marvel (Default)

[personal profile] papersarkany 2018-12-08 07:46 am (UTC)(link)
I like the @user@place style, but will take whatever variation works in the code.
zeborah: On the shoulders of giants: zebra on a giraffe (science)

[personal profile] zeborah 2018-12-09 01:06 am (UTC)(link)
This is more of a question than a comment :-) but would such a change be retrospective? Ie would it be implemented on the display side, so that an old entry containing @example (referring to a Twitter user because at the time the author knew the @ was non-functional) would now be displayed with a link to the Dreamwidth account? Or would it be implemented on the posting side, so old entries are unaffected but any new entries with that syntax would get the link inserted upon hitting "post"?

That aside, I like something along the @example for Dreamwidth and @example@external for external sites.
jesse_the_k: Human in professorial suit but with head of Golden Retriever, labeled "Woof" (doctor dog to you)

An excellent point re: retrospection

[personal profile] jesse_the_k 2018-12-12 07:33 pm (UTC)(link)
...because I've seen lots of casual use of "@username" to mean "utterances from 'username' anywhere else online."

I'm chiming in with @username@site.tld.

I want this shortcut to recognize common sites to the same degree that DW *now* recognizes <user name=foo site=bar> for "twitter", "tumblr", "lj" and so forth.

Because the TLD space has opened up to "social" "shop" and "sofa", DW should default to requiring it. DW can offer the shortcuts as a nifty thing on top.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2019-01-10 06:29 pm (UTC)(link)
@example@external for external sites

But there's basically a version of that already, with something like the example [livejournal.com profile] news. https://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse?faqid=87
fyreharper: (Default)

[personal profile] fyreharper 2018-12-10 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I don’t have a strong opinion about implementing this vs not, but if we’re also going to generate notifications-of-mention, there absolutely must be a way to turn that off, including preemptively (which I expect to be a much more complicated user-design process than just implementing this change would be).
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2019-01-10 06:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Seconded.
jducoeur: (Default)

[personal profile] jducoeur 2018-12-14 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm broadly in favor, but with an edge-case caveat. I use Markdown almost exclusively these days, and use the @name convention there. But the one time I *cannot* use Markdown is because of this feature: when I'm linking to a Medium URL (which often has an @ *in the URL*), this causes the link to break.

So there needs to be some sort of way to escape out of this -- to signal, "no, this @ isn't trying to link to a user".
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)

[personal profile] elf 2019-03-27 07:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Would it work if it only parsed the names if it were [space]@name? In that case, an @ in the middle of a phrase - like an email address - wouldn't auto-link to an account name.

I like the convenience of @name@place; it'd especially be useful for the wave of Tumblr refugees.
jducoeur: (Default)

[personal profile] jducoeur 2019-03-27 08:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Would it work if it only parsed the names if it were [space]@name? In that case, an @ in the middle of a phrase - like an email address - wouldn't auto-link to an account name.

I think that would deal with my problem case (@ in the middle of a URL), yes.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2019-01-10 06:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Dreamwidth already has the username tag to link to other sites: https://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse?faqid=87 It supports a lot of different forms. I disagree that @username has become a general convention. It's strongly associated with Twitter accounts, and with "@-ing" a user on Tumblr, which means they get notified of mentions whether they want to or not. If I see "@" I'm going to think Twitter.

This also seems like a back door to "let's have notifications of @ mentions," which I am personally really really not for.
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

[personal profile] silveradept 2019-01-23 06:12 am (UTC)(link)
I am fine with @ staying in Markdown-land rather than becoming a site-wide convention, or with it jumping in to general site-wide use.

If @ becomes more widely acceptable, or even becomes more used in the Markdown department, I'm leaning toward an implementation that allows for a user name and a domain that goes with it, because I'm trying to think of how it might be possible, for example, to gather the right user masthead for a Mastodon or other federated instance to indicate that it's Mastodon-as a service and also generate a correct link to the right user on that instance, since MAstodon doesn't have a central server idea like Twitter, tumblr, or Dreamwidth. If it's technically feasible to pull off this particular bit of wizardry, then @ syntax seems to have a possibility for doing all the things I would expect it to be used for.

don't do other sites, and don't convert pasted or past instances

[personal profile] kindnesstheorist 2019-02-17 05:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't like any of the other-site syntax options, because every option I can think of is ambiguous. Some sites allow dots/periods/at signs/anything in their usernames, to which the only correct solution is escaping, which ime end users hate. I think it should be just Dreamwidth; the other sites can have their specialized escaping and formatting done by the rich editor.

Things that are pasted in should not have their ats converted, which fixes most links. (Users who both link to Medium/etc and have to retype their URLs by hand can go to settings for a fix; that is an unusual use case.) Posts made in the past should not automatically be converted. No notification should be made to the user who was linked to, regardless of whether the user sending and/or the user receiving expresses consent; the comments system works fine for public conversations.
Edited (added title) 2019-02-17 17:51 (UTC)