10 votes

Suggestion: Automatically link to video timestamps in comments in posts where the topic type is a video/song (on supported platforms)

There are three platforms that I'm aware of that are included in the Tildes SiteInfo dictionary—YouTube, Vimeo, & SoundCloud—that support linking to specific parts of a media resource via timestamps. This is useful to reference a particular portion of the video/song during discussion.

It should probably be possible to automatically apply hyperlinks to timestamps in the video (link this) when someone posts a comment with a timestamp-like string inside of it. This would make it a bit easier to share and link to specific portions of what's being shared in the main topic.

This seems like a decent value-add feature for Tildes. Whether it's a good idea to directly edit the comment string, I'm not so sure. I'd probably be in favour of implementing either a post-markdown middleware that added an icon next to the timestamp, kind of like how external links on some sites are suffixed with an icon that indicates the resource is not on the current domain.

13 comments

  1. [5]
    Keegan
    Link
    Might I suggest using @XX:XX for this? The colon cannot be used in a username so it wouldn't lead to issues with pinging users, and the @ makes perfect sense for this purpose.

    Might I suggest using @XX:XX for this? The colon cannot be used in a username so it wouldn't lead to issues with pinging users, and the @ makes perfect sense for this purpose.

    7 votes
    1. [4]
      emdash
      Link Parent
      @ prefix would be fine, but I suspect there'd be minimal clashes without the prefix that it wouldn't be an issue anyway. If it was a super big deal you could eliminate the timestamp if it was...

      @ prefix would be fine, but I suspect there'd be minimal clashes without the prefix that it wouldn't be an issue anyway. If it was a super big deal you could eliminate the timestamp if it was followed by 'AM' or 'PM'. I suspect this would be good in 99% of cases.

      My main concern with the @ prefix is it eliminates the nice UX ergonomic of natural discoverability—suddenly you need to know the feature exists to use it, whereas any random person can provide a timestamp and have it automatically linked.

      So while I don't mind the @, I think there's more cons than pros to its addition.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I think we'd need to find another way to eliminate the timestamp. I've noticed a lot of non-Anglophones here write their times using the 24-hour clock. And even people who use AM/PM times often...

        If it was a super big deal you could eliminate the timestamp if it was followed by 'AM' or 'PM'.

        I think we'd need to find another way to eliminate the timestamp. I've noticed a lot of non-Anglophones here write their times using the 24-hour clock. And even people who use AM/PM times often drop the "AM" or "PM" if they think it's obvious from the context. Have a look through this thread to see what I'm talking about.

        You talk about people needing to know this timestamp feature exists in order to use it. However, making it happen automatically unless someone adds "AM" or "PM" to their time still requires people to know about this feature - so that they can avoid using it when they don't want to. It's a negative knowledge: instead of knowing how to invoke it, they need to know how to avoid invoking it.

        Also, I think we should be wary about creating features that activate without users' knowledge. I think a feature like this should require an active trigger from a user who wants to invoke it.

        I don't know whether "@" is the right trigger, though. Maybe, in keeping with other formatting commands here, this feature could be invoked using a "<00:00>" style of command.

        3 votes
        1. emdash
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          While I get what you're saying, in my view, perfect is the enemy of good.[1] Step back and analyse the likelihood & consequence of this: What's the actual chance, in a video thread, someone posts...

          You talk about people needing to know this timestamp feature exists in order to use it. However, making it happen automatically unless someone adds "AM" or "PM" to their time still requires people to know about this feature - so that they can avoid using it when they don't want to. It's a negative knowledge: instead of knowing how to invoke it, they need to know how to avoid invoking it.

          While I get what you're saying, in my view, perfect is the enemy of good.[1]

          Step back and analyse the likelihood & consequence of this: What's the actual chance, in a video thread, someone posts a comment that is ambiguous for the implemented feature to determine if it should be a timestamp or not? 1 in 100, maybe 1 in 250? So 0.25% to 1% of timestamps may be ambiguous. Therefore low likelihood. What's the outcome if it is wrong? It's wrong. Simple! No consequences at all. Maybe down the line we could add a "remove this hyperlink" feature if it's really wrong. But there's no serious implications here at all.

          So basically, we have a feature with negatives that have very low risk (likelihood x consequence). I'm not saying move fast and break things, but in this case, yeah, it's probably acceptable to move fast and break things. Summarized: it's no big deal, and we shouldn't let pragmatism be overridden idealistic indecision.

          [1]. Alternatively consider the ceramics teacher who assigns two groups to produce a quantity of pots versus a single quality pot, which group has the best outcome?

          1 vote
      2. Keegan
        Link Parent
        Hm yes that does make a lot of sense. Having multiple features per character can be confusing and overcomplicating it.

        Hm yes that does make a lot of sense. Having multiple features per character can be confusing and overcomplicating it.

  2. [2]
    Keegan
    Link
    One issue I can think of is some confusion. Say user 1 posts a video. User 2 comments with another video linked. User 3 responds to 2 with a timestamp. Does it link to user 2's video or the OP?...

    One issue I can think of is some confusion. Say user 1 posts a video. User 2 comments with another video linked. User 3 responds to 2 with a timestamp. Does it link to user 2's video or the OP? Perhaps limiting the time stamping to top-level comments would solve it.

    5 votes
    1. emdash
      Link Parent
      Good gnarly catch! I'd err on the side of selecting the video that's in closest proximity to the comment using a basic distance algorithm, or just recursing up the tree. Maybe in the future, there...

      Good gnarly catch! I'd err on the side of selecting the video that's in closest proximity to the comment using a basic distance algorithm, or just recursing up the tree. Maybe in the future, there could be some kind of user-owned selector dropdown where the user can correct (or remove) the hyperlink if the guess by the Tildes source code is incorrect. It probably isn't a showstopper.

      I just can't stress enough that features shouldn't need to be perfect before being implemented, iteration is always the key to something being great. The Tildes search is pretty bad, but it exists! The hyperlink anchors to specific comments could do with some polishing (and is actually scheduled to be improved, afaik), but it exists!

      1 vote
  3. skybrian
    Link
    In Markdown you link to something using [](). Either enclosing something in square brackets alone or leaving the part inside the round parens blank would seem like good ways to trigger a "do what...

    In Markdown you link to something using [](). Either enclosing something in square brackets alone or leaving the part inside the round parens blank would seem like good ways to trigger a "do what I mean" feature where it automagically tries to figure out a link based on context?

    To avoid ambiguity when the algorithm changes, it might be better to do this in the editor, though, so that when you save the comment, the link is entirely filled in within the Markdown. This would be sort of like autocomplete.

    5 votes
  4. [3]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    You can already do this natively in: YouTube (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPYhem4GRGY&t=1770) Vimeo (e.g. https://vimeo.com/12932690#t=60) If you want to refer someone to a particular...

    You can already do this natively in:

    If you want to refer someone to a particular part of a video, you can just paste those URLs into your comment, and anyone who clicks on them will find the video automatically starts at the relevant time.

    Are you looking for a piece of code in Tildes that automatically adds the "&t=X" or "#t=X" extensions to the URL?

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      emdash
      Link Parent
      Yep, this is what I'm trying to automate! :P Sorry if this wasn't immediately clear from my post. If I comment see how she reacts at 4:52 verbatim, in a topic that links to a video, I'm suggesting...

      If you want to refer someone to a particular part of a video, you can just paste those URLs into your comment, and anyone who clicks on them will find the video automatically starts at the relevant time.

      Yep, this is what I'm trying to automate! :P Sorry if this wasn't immediately clear from my post.

      If I comment see how she reacts at 4:52 verbatim, in a topic that links to a video, I'm suggesting Tildes should provide an automatic link to that timestamp in the video using the mechanisms you mention, as a value-add to the platform.

      4 votes
      1. weystrom
        Link Parent
        I mean, if you're already on YouTube looking for the timestamp to share, might as well just share it as a link?

        I mean, if you're already on YouTube looking for the timestamp to share, might as well just share it as a link?

        5 votes
  5. mrbig
    Link
    YouTube already generates this link for you and the feature is rarely used. Concerning a Tildes implementation including other services, cool as it is, I just don't think enough people would use...

    YouTube already generates this link for you and the feature is rarely used.

    Concerning a Tildes implementation including other services, cool as it is, I just don't think enough people would use such a thing to justify the effort.

    4 votes