What about AZERTY users?
I'm from Belgium. Belgium is one of the two countries in the world, along with France, that uses AZERTY. The big problem with an AZERTY keyboard is that there is no tilde key. So, in orde to use the key or tag a sub (ex. ~fantasy, like you'd do /r/fantasy), AZERTY users have to manually copy the tilde every single time they want to use it. Usually this isn't that big of a problem, but when the tilde is such a key feature on a website, I think it does become a bit of a problem.
For reference, France has a population of 67M, while Belgium has around 11M.
We were considering adding a “macro” type drop down to the comment box (similar to reddit enhancement suite, if you’re familiar with that) that would include ~ and a bunch of the other more commonly used markdown characters and templates as well (e.g. , (), '', etc). We were primarily concerned with them being hard to use on mobile keyboards but with your pointing out the difficulty on AZERTY as well, we should definitely consider adding them to even desktop, IMO.
Thanks for the feedback and I will bump this up the chain and add the issue to gitlab when I get the chance.
One other thing we had talked about was the possibility of an "alternate" character that's easier to type (both for keyboard layouts like AZERTY as well as mobile users) that could just be converted to a tilde when the person is obviously using it with a group name.
So for example, maybe if someone types
&fantasywe just convert it to
~fantasy. I'm not sure what the best character for this would be, but this might be another potential option for helping with this.
Combination of characters maybe, like /t/ (to differentiate from /r/) or something similar maybe?
I think the
/t/idea could be a good way to handle this. It's familiar and isn't likely to be used in another context where nothing precedes it.
not sure if it is important, but https://notabug.io/ presently uses t/ for its subcategories, e.g. https://notabug.io/t/notabug
/t/isn't exactly convenient on mobile either though, which hurts one of the main intentions for having an alternate format like this.
True... maybe I am just so used to typing /r/ so much, even on mobile, that it doesn't bother me... but I can see how it could be a PITA.
That's fair. Perhaps a Perl/PHP -like syntax using
$? I'm sure there's some reasonable alternative available.
Yeah and we could even potentially use that for the alternative namespace idea as well... e.g. ~games.leagueoflegends = ~LOL and/or /t/LOL
I don't know how everything would be structured under the hood, but I imagine it would be trivial to perform the replacement on the fly, where all
/t/LOLget converted to
~LOL, and then all
~LOLare appropriately rendered to resolve to
~games.leagueoflegends. Just adds a second stage, really.
My issue with the alternative namespace idea is that ~games.leagueoflegends = ~LOL could be confusing to new users whereas with ~games.leagueoflegends = /t/LOL (but forwarding ~games.leagueoflegends still) there would at least be a clear distinction, which is why I suggested 'or'. Alternative namespace is something we have talked about but not really formalized our thinking about yet, since it's potentially a ways away before we have to consider it, so I am just spitballing in general here. :P
&feels like it makes sense for a 'collapsed' link.
Could work for both issues:
&LOLstays as it is but works as a shorthand link,
&gamesgets switched over automatically.
Gotcha, I guess I misunderstood the intent there :)
#like IRC channels?
But that's an h1 in markdown 🤔
#- even outside the header usage you'd also end up with an accidental group link whenever someone's actually talking about an IRC channel or a twitter hashtag.
The header usage isn't a problem, since the actual syntax is
# headerwith a space.
#This won't work, so long as md is implemented to the commonmark standard.
If the hashtag character isn't replaced, and if it only linkifies when the group exists, I think we could turn it lining up with twitter hashtags (and IRC channels) into a strength. It shows that there is an equivalent discussion here. The context will already make it clear if they're talking about a twitter hashtag, and as with any formatting it could be escapable.
This can also be combined with the need for short-hand links, so
#firefoxcould stay and direct to
~comp.foss.firefoxor whatever, and
#gamescould simply be replaced with
That said, this doesn't improve the branding that
&used in this way, as a shortcut as well as an alternate character, makes logical sense and would further the brand a bit, I think. I'm picturing:
Also: @username and /u/username already cause this mixup ;)
That's fair. I had this idea once that
#[would initiate a type ahead search for users/channels (or groups in this case) and
]would auto link that with markdown.
Using hashtags for anything on a site is also problematic because they are a reserved character in the URI (URL) spec, being used for HTML anchors. So anything you want to refer to with them cannot also have their own separate permalink, E.g. #tagname can't be tildes.net/#tagname since browsers will assume you're looking for a #tagname anchor on the tildes.net/index.html.
You can use % encoding to get around that so tildes.net/%23tagname would work (since %23 = % encoded #) but that is super ugly and why we went with ~ in the first place as the group delimiter... since it's one of the few non-reserved URI characters. :P
Ah, good to know!
Thanks for the quick reply! I'm familiar with RES and agree that a RES-like dropdown box would be a perfect solution.
There IS a tilde on French AZERTY keyboards. It is located on « é 2 » key and accessible with AltGr, and I can guarantee it has been there for at least 30 years.
You are alone on that one, Belgium! :-D
From scrolling through Wikipedia, it looks like you can type tilde by pressing [Alt Gr] + [=]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AZERTY#Tilde
I saw that too but it's not working for me. I'm not entirely sure why.
Might need the
Num Lockkey or equivalent? I seem to recall that coming into play, at least for QWERTY keyboards.
It might depend on OS and keyboard configuration.
This post also mentions
space, though I'm not sure if that's only for French ones.
I suppose if we had formatting toolbar on the comments box like for bold and whatnot, we could add a
~button. That'd probably cover most use cases.
You'd still run into problems if you're the type of person who types URLs into the address bar by hand, but then, in most cases there ought to be a ~ already in the current URL or your browser's autocomplete.