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Acronym mouseover expansion Issue Tools
issueid=60 03-06-2009 02:01 PM
Grounded since '09
Acronym mouseover expansion
Add expansion text when mouse-overing on an acronym

the nasaspaceflight forums have a really handy feature whereby it will detect acronyms in posts from a list that the users maintain and modify the posts so that when you mouse-over one of these detected acronyms, it will show some hovertext with the full expansion of the acronym.

It would be really handy if O-F could implement a similar feature.

I think that you need to be logged in user of nsf to see this feature working, but it is really handy.
Issue Details
Issue Type Feature
Project Site Support
Status Rejected
Priority 5 - Medium
Suggested Version Unknown
Implemented Version (none)
Votes for this feature 3
Votes against this feature 0
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)

03-08-2009 08:11 PM
Tex Tex is offline
O-F Administrator
TSPenguin briefly talked about this to me in a PM. I just returned from a weekend with my girlfriend so I haven't had a chance to look yet, but I know for sure this is something beyond my personal coding experience. I'll peek around the modification site for vBulletin and see if I find anything that could work for this.

I see 2 people have voted they would like to see this feature implemented. As soon as I figure something out either way I'll post an update here.
03-09-2009 03:03 PM
Grounded since '09
I'm sure that there are some pretty good php developers on this site. You could always ask them for advice - either that or a simple javascript function that runs client-side to do the searching (as I recall that NSF turns it off quite a lot due to server overloading during high-usage)

Edit: In fact, I've just found that HTML 5 has a built-in <acronym> tag for this purpose. All that needs to be done is to write the javascript/php code to perform a lookup to populate this tag on the page loading. I can't imagine that it's that hard at all

Edit2: Just found this
03-10-2009 01:52 PM
Well, anything can be done and there are several ways to do it, the most obvious is to replace at run-time (before generating the page) the acronyms with a little JavaScript (for example) that can load with AJAX the description. The problem here is that you need to loop through the acronyms database each time you "filter" the posts (to do the replacement). Problem: resource expensive (i think you can see why).

Second: filter posts before they get into the database. There's the problem of the old posts; it can be fixed by checking all the post up to date but we're talking about what... millions? Out of question, would have been OK resources-wise but not practical.

I'd take the first option; the thing is I don't know much about vB and can't tell if we can filter the posts (talking about the function that makes the replacement) before serving them. It's probably what the plugin found by agentgonzo is doing.

agentgonzo, the JavaScript is client-side, yes, but you need to ask the server for the information, either at mouse-over or before generating the acronym tag title. AJAX (my suggestion) runs a .php file on the server that will return the description. Not a problem since it's small and can be served fast. The problem is replacing the words with the right id that can tell the AJAX what to ask.
03-10-2009 02:03 PM
Grounded since '09
I'd agree that the first option is by far the best. An additional drawback to the second option is that any time someone enters a new acronym into the database, you'll need to re-trawl all the posts. Definitely a bad idea.

If we can get it to run client-side it will help on the resources for the server. In terms of getting the acronym database from the server, this can be as simple as downloading a webpage from the server that has the acronym lookup table. I've not done much web coding at all, but AJAX is probably overkill, as you don't need the Asynchronous part (the first A) nor do you really need XML.

My idea of how it would run would be as follows:
  1. Page gets served by web server
  2. javascript loads acronym database from another web page (or if this is not possible, it can be embedded in the web page itself by the server)
  3. javascript runs over all the text for the posts and at each word, searches the acronym database it has stored to detect whether it's an acronym
  4. If it is an acronym, it applies the <acronym> tags around the text (not sure how it would do this, but I'm sure it can be done).
03-10-2009 04:18 PM
Tex Tex is offline
O-F Administrator
Well, I've looked into it and I'm afraid I have to reject this feature at this time.

First of all the hack you linked above is badly outdated for the software version we're running. On top of that the last thing we need right now is anything that's going to be more resource intensive. In fact I've recently gone through and removed a few features and made some tweaks to the site to sort of stream line it and reduce server resources.

Although this feature could be handy in some respects, it's not really necessary and to be honest the thought of anything expanding upon mouse over I don't like and I'm sure many will agree it could become quite annoying. Possibly down the road I may look into this further, but at this point I am going to reject this idea.

Sorry, but thanks for taking the time to suggest new ideas for the community!

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