Spoiler tags and things that aren't spoilers

This is an issue that has been in the back of my mind for awhile, but having just started into a new game with an epic storyline, the conundrum has presented itself anew as I browse the game's thread in G&T:

As you know, we use spoiler tags for a lot of things around here. Collapsing images that would otherwise break the H-scroll, condensing extra detail in a post, or to add amusing pacing to banter (and who doesn't love a spoilered <3). But a problem comes up in any thread where actual spoilers may exist:

It's often very difficult to tell from context whether a spoiler tag contains a real spoiler or if it's safe to read.

Might the admins entertain the possibility of adding a [hide] version of the tag or something like it? Would the community appreciate it? Am I just OCD? Obviously, its use wouldn't catch on overnight, but gradually as more people began using it for images and the like, it would make spoiler-laden threads a lot easier to read for people who haven't yet played through / seen / read the story in question.

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Posts

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    We had "real spoilers" for a while, on top of "spoilers", and it really just led to confusion anyway.

    The fact of the matter is, there's no way to make thousands of users all follow the usage of multiple spoiler forms, so it really comes down to treading carefully in threads on shows/games/movies you are interested in but don't want to know too much about.

    It's not a perfect system, but if you're that concerned about ruining part of said movie/game/show/etc, it's usually best to avoid said threads, or at least much past the OP. I've perused such threads pretty successfully over the years, and find that once something is released, I stop checking spoilers all together, or I stop visiting the thread entirely until I can catch up. Sure, it's nice to get that last bit of feedback, but especially on older topics, each of us has to show some responsibility for our own information/lack thereof.

    Forar on
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  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2009
    If another tag were added, I wouldn't call it realspoiler like the last time, which I think contributed to the annoyance factor. I would just call it [collapse] and show the words Collapse and Expand on the click button to expand it.

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
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  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I like how it works on another forum I visit. The spoiler tag accepts an argument like the quote tag does for user names so you can put a description of what's hidden by the tag which is output as "Spoiler: <text>". You can put H-scroll raep in the description or a specific episode number/whatever to make real spoilers more noticeable, and it's easier to avoid unmarked spoilers by users who don't add a description.

    I think that would be a better solution.

    Barrakketh on
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  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2009
    I think there was a technical reason why that couldn't happen here though.

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I think you can do that here:

    E: Apparently not.

    Willeth on
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  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Basically I think every change alpha makes has to be patched manually into the board whenever VB updates. So totally doable, but also totally a pain in the ass and prone to bugs.

    Smasher on
  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I think there was a technical reason why that couldn't happen here though.

    Other than the person in charge not wanting to do that (I can't remember if Ramius was the forum guy last time it was suggested), but I can't think of a technical reason why it isn't possible. It's already possible with other tags, and it would theoretically not be much more work than allowing spoilers to accept an argument and putting the text into the button element's innerText property (between the start and end tags).
    Smasher wrote: »
    Basically I think every change alpha makes has to be patched manually into the board whenever VB updates. So totally doable, but also totally a pain in the ass and prone to bugs.

    I don't believe that spoilers are a standard part of VB so that would need to be done anyway.

    EDIT: Looking through VB's documentation makes implementing it seem trivial. A new spoiler tag would need to be created that's almost identical to the one we have now with "Use {option}" set to true. Then the parts that say "show spoiler" and "hide spoiler" would need to be changed to "show spoiler: {option}" and "hide spoiler: {option}", though the latter could be omitted since you don't really need a description of the spoiler if you've already opened it.

    Barrakketh on
    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    honestly, the way I look at it, is if you don't want to be spoiled on something, and you aren't sure if what is contained in the spoiler tag is a spoiler or not, don't look.

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  • The Reverend Dr GalactusThe Reverend Dr Galactus Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If another tag were added, I wouldn't call it realspoiler like the last time, which I think contributed to the annoyance factor. I would just call it [collapse] and show the words Collapse and Expand on the click button to expand it.

    From a usability perspective, that makes vastly more sense. I don't think I was around for the [realspoiler] trial, but the problem with that is one of blurred meaning -- you still don't know if the plain old
    tags are real spoilers or not, and so the whole purpose of adding a second tag is defeated because you still can't click anything if you haven't seen the ending.

    Conversely, while [collapse] still wouldn't mean you can click
    tags indescriminately, it would give you a new class that you could click indescriminately, something that [realspoiler] never did.

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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2009
    realspoilers worked fine because there was a zero-tolerance policy for putting fake spoilers behind them.

    They just never came back because they were on phpBB

    FyreWulff on
  • The Reverend Dr GalactusThe Reverend Dr Galactus Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    That works fine for false positives, but unless you go back and change every single instance of the original spoiler tag, there's still no real advantage to having the second tag because anything inside the original tag could still be a real spoiler. Basically your two tags become "might be a realspoiler" and "definitely a realspoiler," so if you were avoiding spoilers in the first place, there's really no effective difference to you.

    A collapse tag, however, avoids false negatives. And as Forar wisely mentions above, you're already treading carefully in spoiler-filled threads, so if you miss a non-spoiler that was in a spoiler tag (false positive), it's more or less to be expected, while getting a false negative (thinking there wouldn't be a spoiler and finding there was one) is considerably less desirable. This way, the tags do become effectively different for someone avoiding spoilers: they are now "might be a spoiler" and "definitley not a spoiler."

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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2009
    I think you're overthinking this.

    Every single spoiler tag from phpBB got broken in the transition to vBB. There's still threads on this forum with broken spoilers from then. Only active threads got their spoilers fixed by posters.

    If realspoilers are re-implemented, joke use of realspoiler tag would be grounds for infraction. It really is that cut and dry.

    edit: and it's common sense to stay the hell out of a thread discussing a movie or game if you don't want to get spoiled anyway.

    FyreWulff on
  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited April 2009
    You're all over thinking this because I've already said we're not changing the spoiler system.

    Tube on
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