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RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:13 am UTC
by sparr
On the comic pages, the alt text of the image is the strip's title, and the title text is the alternate punchline (the 'tooltip' or 'hover text'). Ignoring the odd terminology conflict there, I wanted to point out a problem. The RSS feed uses the title text for both attributes. That is, <img alt=foo title=bar src=whatever /> on the web site becomes <img alt=bar title=bar src=whatever /> in the RSS feed.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:18 am UTC
by davean
sparr wrote:On the comic pages, the alt text of the image is the strip's title, and the title text is the alternate punchline (the 'tooltip' or 'hover text'). Ignoring the odd terminology conflict there, I wanted to point out a problem. The RSS feed uses the title text for both attributes. That is, <img alt=foo title=bar src=whatever /> on the web site becomes <img alt=bar title=bar src=whatever /> in the RSS feed.


Ok, so?

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:12 pm UTC
by sparr
So... the RSS feed doesn't accurately reflect the contents of the main page. My guess, a typo or copy/paste error in the RSS-generating script. It came up in a discussion of alt-vs-title text elsewhere, so I thought I would report it so that the RSS feed could be fixed.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:05 pm UTC
by davean
sparr wrote:So... the RSS feed doesn't accurately reflect the contents of the main page. My guess, a typo or copy/paste error in the RSS-generating script. It came up in a discussion of alt-vs-title text elsewhere, so I thought I would report it so that the RSS feed could be fixed.


Nothing there to be fixed. It does reflect the content of the main page, it isn't identical, it is tailored to the clients that consume it.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:49 am UTC
by torbengb
Nothing there to be fixed.
I humbly object. On the website, the "alternate punchline" can only be found in the ALT text. Here is what I would wish for:

1) The TITLE text disappears too quickly. To read the longer texts, I have to mouse over several times. While the TITLE display timeout is obviously browser-specific, it would be great to have the alternate punchline in plain text underneath the image.

2) On mobile RSS readers, the TITLE text does not appear at all. Specifically, I use iPhone Safari and the Google Reader mobile website. Again, it would be great to have the alternate punchline in plain text underneath the image.

You'd win both issues with just one change. Is there a reason against this?

Many thanks,
Torben

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:49 pm UTC
by The Mighty Thesaurus
My guess is that davean just doesn't care about you.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:06 pm UTC
by davean
torbengb wrote:
Nothing there to be fixed.
I humbly object. On the website, the "alternate punchline" can only be found in the ALT text. Here is what I would wish for:

1) The TITLE text disappears too quickly. To read the longer texts, I have to mouse over several times. While the TITLE display timeout is obviously browser-specific, it would be great to have the alternate punchline in plain text underneath the image.

2) On mobile RSS readers, the TITLE text does not appear at all. Specifically, I use iPhone Safari and the Google Reader mobile website. Again, it would be great to have the alternate punchline in plain text underneath the image.

You'd win both issues with just one change. Is there a reason against this?

Many thanks,
Torben


Yes, it damages the pacing to have the extra text immediately visible.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:54 pm UTC
by Jebobek
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:My guess is that davean just doesn't care about you.
Maybe there are people other than torben that use something where the hover-over does not work?

davean wrote:Yes, it damages the pacing to have the extra text immediately visible.
What about a spoiler tag/button right below the comic, where when you click on it you get the alt text? You also can get this text doing the hover-over, only it would not vanish after a bit. The pacing should remain the same and it could be tailored for those with simple browsers.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:31 pm UTC
by davean
Jebobek wrote:
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:My guess is that davean just doesn't care about you.
Maybe there are people other than torben that use something where the hover-over does not work?


There are.

Jebobek wrote:What about a spoiler tag/button right below the comic, where when you click on it you get the alt text? You also can get this text doing the hover-over, only it would not vanish after a bit. The pacing should remain the same and it could be tailored for those with simple browsers.


There are a few possible ways. Only one really decent, but most places that can't hover the navigation interface is too limited to allow solutions that really work.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:20 am UTC
by torbengb
davean wrote:
torbengb wrote:it would be great to have the alternate punchline in plain text underneath the image. Is there a reason against this?

Yes, it damages the pacing to have the extra text immediately visible.

I see your point. Personally, I often read the TITLE before the strip because I find it funnier that way, but others may not.

Suggestion: How about adding the TITLE as plaintext only in the RSS feed? That would save the pacing in the regular browser but still allow less capable (mobile) RSS readers to display the full value of Randall's work.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:16 am UTC
by spookypeanut
+1. I read xkcd in a mobile RSS reader, and every month or so I have to remember to go to the website and backtrack to read all the alt-texts.
There's been discussion about it on the uservoice site for the RSS reader I use:
http://newsrob.uservoice.com/forums/356 ... ?ref=title

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:29 pm UTC
by prock
+1

Adding the alt-text to the RSS feed is something I've been longing for. Please please please.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:23 am UTC
by X max
I just registered to throw in a couple of pence to this argument. 

As a google reader on iPhone user also, it has irked me somewhat that I miss out on what many may see as half the comic, or at least an integral part of the joke. 

Unfortunately the problem is bigger than just that the rss feed has no way to pull the title text up, because if we view the full post on xkcd.com in our mobile safari, we still can't access it. Even if you are unwilling to do something about the rss feed, might you consider a mobile browser specific theme/layout to let us in on the whole joke without forcing us to resort to breaking out the laptop/desktop?

I expect the ideal solution in either case, as mentioned in a previous post, would be the 'spoiler' type scenario, whereby after the comic is a button to click to reveal the title text. Given how decent mobile browsers are these days, you could even display the text in a floating div over the comic, in a home-made tooltip bubble, if it helps the effect you are aiming for. This could even be added to the current xkcd page layout without the need for a whole new theme.

In any case I hope something gets done, as I usually forget to revisit xkcd to reread the comic after it hits my reader. 

Max

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:29 am UTC
by PhoenixEnigma
X max wrote:Unfortunately the problem is bigger than just that the rss feed has no way to pull the title text up, because if we view the full post on xkcd.com in our mobile safari, we still can't access it. Even if you are unwilling to do something about the rss feed, might you consider a mobile browser specific theme/layout to let us in on the whole joke without forcing us to resort to breaking out the laptop/desktop?

It already exists :)

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:30 am UTC
by X max
PhoenixEnigma wrote:It already exists :)

Ah how interesting, I wonder why that isn't the default site for mobile devices (or somewhat more obvious that it exists).

Well at least there is a way to get the alt text then, good good! Still can't see why this can't be a feature on the main site or rss feed though, would be as if not more useful on those.

Cheers :)

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:14 pm UTC
by joshz
X max wrote:Ah how interesting, I wonder why that isn't the default site for mobile devices (or somewhat more obvious that it exists).
This would be a nice feature to have, though there are already multiple iPhone (and probably Android) apps that will download/display xkcds and alt text. My preferred one is this one.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:24 am UTC
by davean
Its not the default because just because you are on a mobile browser doesn't mean you didn't request what you actually want. Its really annoying to be directed where you don't want to go.

What we should have is a mobile enabled Atom feed.

Re: RSS feed, alt text, title text

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:35 pm UTC
by Jere
Hi guys,
I posted an custom RSS feed which takes you to the m.xkcd.com site in this thread:

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=59761