[aur-dev] Stop limiting the height of AUR comments?

Nicholas Sielicki nicholas.sielicki at gmail.com
Thu Mar 9 23:58:18 UTC 2017

On Sun, 2016-03-06 at 22:09 +0000, Eric Engestrom wrote:
> Hi all,
> Every now and then, someone will post a huge dump (log, error messages,
> etc.) to the AUR comments. Besides being usually useless, those comments
> force everyone to scroll for a while before getting to the next comment.
> What do you guys think about adding something like this to limit the
> vertical space taken by such comments?
> > #news div p {
> >   max-height: 10em;
> >   overflow: auto;
> > }
> If the idea is approved, I can send a proper patch ;]

About one year ago this change was proposed and committed to limit the height
of comments on AUR pages.  (If you're looking for it in your inbox, this post
took place on the aur-general list, not on aur-dev.)

I'm posting because I find this behavior more annoying than helpful.

Take a look at the following AUR page as an example:

The biggest issue that I have is that if a comment is truncated in height,
there's no way to expand the comment such that the whole comment is visible. At
least for me, seeing only a small portion of the comment at a time makes it
much harder to fully grok, particularly when it comes to things like logs,
error messages, patches, etc.

Beyond that, try loading that AUR page on your phone, or try navigating the
comments with one of the browser plugins for vim-bindings. On my phone, it's
not obvious at first glance that the truncated comments are individually
scrollable.  I believe that multiple vertical scrollbars on a page is not a
great experience in any browser.

lfleischer suggested (on the thread quoted above) that one potiential solution
could be a link towards the bottom of long comments that ties into javascript,
where one could click to expand it. I think that's a much better solution--
provided that the full contents of the comment would still be accessibile in a
browser without javascript. eg: page is served with fully visible comments,
long comments are hidden by javascript after it loads.

Personally, I think the best solution would be to just revert the change
entirely. I disagree with the notion that long comments are "usually useless".
I think that more often than not, the opposite is actually true-- longer
comments typically are the ones that contain fixes/patches for broken AUR
pkgbuilds. Not to mention, comments on aurweb are already paginated after 10
comments-- that alone keeps the page (relatively) short.

I think trying to minimize scrolling is a misguided effort, especially when it
can come at the expense of making useful content harder to read.

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