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blades 6 - lineatus

h/t lineatus

Greetings, Cranky Users! Here at Cranky Headquarters, we're feeling pretty sad because someone we held in very high regard has left the site and he didn't make it sound like it was for a happy and exciting opportunity. If you have somehow not read his beautiful farewell diary, despite it having been republished by what looks to be every group on Daily Kos other than Wildebeests and Yaks, then I would urge you to do so. But if you have a slow machine, I would further urge you to use this permalink (comments hidden) to open it, because that puppy's got more than 1200 comments and it will lock you up good and proper. Don't even think about trying to see the list of diary recommenders while you also have comments expanded!

How about if we sniffle past the squiggle and talk about some innocuous topics of very tiny importance? And then, for you Cranky Geeks who thought I was going to write about sky meteors, there will be a link.

Our first topic is somewhat related to the 1200-comments issue. About ten days ago, UnaSpenser wrote a diary about the new method of publication for site editors, wherein their stories are initially published to their own DKos blogs and may be picked up later by the front page, so as to perhaps make their publication more timely than if they just sat unpublished in a front-page queue until there was a space for them on the front page. We've already talked about that change here, although you're welcome to read Una's interesting diary and comment further in this thread if you like. We're drilling down to a small detail brought up in that comment thread.

Collapse thread 1And that is, expanding and shrinking individual comments and subthreads. When you have comments expanded, you'll see that, immediately to the left of each comment's title, there's a gray arrowhead that points down, as shown in this picture of the comment subthread from Una's diary about this very subject. (I've drawn green arrows pointing at these gray arrowheads/ triangles.)

Collapse thread 2If you click one of these gray arrowheads, it collapses the individual comment it belongs to. The arrowhead for the collapsed comment points to the right instead of down. Here, comparing this screen cap with the one above, you can see that I've collapsed the first and third comments, so only their titles are visible. (I've drawn blue arrows beside the collapsed comments and green arrows by the comments still expanded as before.)

Collapse thread 3But let's say that, like commenter zonk, you'd like to collapse an entire subthread, whether because it's long and unwieldy, it doesn't interest you, it contains a video of Play That Funky Music, White Boy, or any other reason of your own. It's too annoying to click on every comment! So the answer, courtesy of user Villanova Rhodes, is, if you have a Windows machine, press and hold the CTRL key and then click the gray arrowhead on the highest-level comment you'd like to collapse. This collapses that comment and all the child comments under it. Here, I've CTRL-clicked the topmost comment, and now they are all collapsed, but you could start further down the thread as well. (You can let up on the CTRL key now!)

With or without the CTRL key, this toggles between expanded and shrunken, and you can do it in combination, collapsing the whole thread with CTRL and then expanding one comment at a time, as you wish. But what if you have an Apple machine?! Then, as KenBee tells us, you use the Apple key instead of CTRL. (Update: OLinda tells us below that the "Apple" key is called the "Command" key. We are ignorant of the Magic Apple Box here and cannot properly interpret the King of Metaphor when he spins his cryptic verse on this subject, so, many thanks!)

Our other topic today is embedding YouTube videos so that they start playing later than the beginning of the video. Back in this diary, we learned how to get a link to a YouTube that does that, by pausing the video where we want it to start, then right-clicking on it and selecting Copy video URL at current time. This will tack a start time on the end, so if the plain URL is example A below, and I want to start 17 seconds in, this process forms example B:


All well and good, but for some reason one day, I absolutely wanted to embed Imagine in a comment, but the video I wanted, linked above, had this strange little opening montage. It was silent except for some chirping and not all that objectionable, except it ran for 16 seconds, which is an awful lot of dead-air time for the reader to be wondering, What IS this?? Why did she post it?? So I started rummaging in YouTube's inadequate and outdated Help documents (ahem!) and figured out where to burrow that little #t=17s into the <iframe> tag. You copy the embed code from YouTube, and then insert your #t=xxs without a space at the end of the ?rel=0 if it's present, so, right before the closing quotes. (xx is the number of seconds, and yes, if it's more than 59, you have to convert the minutes into seconds!) It looks like this:

<iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And it works like this:

So! Meteors! The Perseid meteor shower occurs around this time each year, when the earth's orbit takes us through the litter carelessly dropped by comet Swift-Tuttle, and bits of it are hitting the atmosphere at 140,000 mph. The shower's peak this year, tonight, unfortunately coincides with the full moon, so even if you are not expecting clouds, you'll have to deal with the moon's light. If you like getting up before dawn, the early morning hours when the moon is about to set and the sun is not up are a good time to look. Or, if you like to write diaries at 3 in the morning, just go on out after you've saved your draft. That's my plan!

NASA would like us to know that the International Space Station will also be flying over the US and is easily viewed. The site gives a little more advice on when to watch, but basically, it's a tough year because of the moon.

So, the thread is open, my Cranky friends. Please use it to discuss your issues, ask your questions, and be kind to one another.


☀ For more stuff sort of like this, the Cranky Users group.

☀ For lots of official detail about the site and its workings, the DK4 FAQ (frequently-asked questions).  The main Daily Kos FAQ is still here.

☀ To get immediate response for technical help or urgent site problems, the contact form (be sure to select the tech support radio button). Note that THE BUG REPORT FORM HAS BEEN DECOMMISSIONED. To report a bug to the dev team now, you can use the tech support form, or you can comment in an elfling diary or send her a personal message. Congratulations to the development team for reducing the bug collection to a size where it can be drowned in the bathtub.

☀ For immediate catharsis, complain in a Cranky Users thread. These threads are regularly scanned by kos and developers, but it's not a guaranteed way to bring an issue to the attention of these folks. But sometimes you just need some sympathy from other cranky people! (And sometimes, other cranky people have advice that can help you.)

Our thanks to kos, the development team, and the Dkosopedia contributors for their vigorous efforts to deliver a site that works well and to help us know how to work it!


Originally posted to Cranky Users on Fri Aug 12, 2011 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town.

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