By on February 1, 2012

Some of you may have noticed that it is no longer possible to add HTML code to comments. If you ask now “What is HTML code?” then nothing is lost for you. If, on hearing this, you are inclined to write “<strong>WTF!</strong>” then don’t do it. It is futile. We locked-out HTML.

Why? Two reasons. One, as you may have noticed, some people added huge pictures and sometimes videos to comments, causing the site to load slower than it already does. Second, it’s  safer for everybody. Sure, we could have written code that separates “bad” from “good” HTML. I decided that’s discrimination.

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26 Comments on “Housekeeping: Sorry, No More <>#%&&$&& HTML...”

  • avatar

    Is there a way to add the capability to post a link inside of posts, BBCode [URL] tags for example?

  • avatar

    It’s your call, but this will make it very difficult to clearly direct-quote text from within a blog post or post links when someone demands proof or facts about our arguments.

  • avatar

    I was struck by the comment “Second, it’s safer for everybody.” I don`t know HTML code so I am ignorant, but how does removing it make things safer?

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      A link can be used to steer someone to a phishing site, or a malformed graphic or video clip can be used to gain access to an unwary user’s computer. While those aren’t direct consequences of disabling HTML, I can see them being important by products of the change.

      And the wider-than-requested embedded video windows were annoying, as they screwed up text formatting for that post.

  • avatar


    I can understand the video issues – only a Toolbox embeds a video. But the lack of text formatting will grind my gears. Italicized quotes are nice for clarity.

  • avatar

    Ernest Hemingway didn’t use HTML and people still seemed to like his work.

  • avatar

    If you’re taking away editing functions from us in the name of speed, at least take away some of those redundant side bar links that can also be navigated through menus at the top of the webpage. Those just mesh in with adverts and other graphic laden links that really never update.

  • avatar

    Seems like the ads embedded in the article pictures cause a lot of slow loading.

    It makes browsing on an iPad difficult. Especially when composing a comment. Sometimes the page reloads in the middle of everything.

  • avatar

    I need to explain a little more:

    We had this nice WYSWYG editor, written in Java. I didn’t work on the iPhone. People wanted to comment from their iPhones. So we tossed it for a straight editor that allowed anything. Sadly, it was abused and was – at least in my opinion – a security hole.
    A new editor that works everywhere takes time. So for the time being, no markup. Sorry.

    Use strong words instead of boldface. Boldface lies perhaps. Lean your head to the side instead of italics. AH, CAPSLOCK!

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      I enjoy seeing the look on the faces of my friends when they ask me for and I explain to them how to activate the caps lock key on my systems. Having the single-press button mapped back to its proper CTRL use, all caps are now just a ctrl-alt-shift-caps lock keypress away.

      Perhaps it was just a bad reaction to debugging assembler code when someone decided it would be a good idea to format it entirely in upper case, but I’ve never liked that key.

    • 0 avatar

      Java? You mean JavaScript, right?
      Java is to JavaScript what Car is to Carpet.

      I’d love to see a lightweight markup language (not BBCode)… Like the one Google uses in chat, eg:

      *this becomes bold*, and _this, italicized_

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar


      Thanks for the explanation. I never understand how certain users can embed video, using [IMG] function and so on. I was thinking maybe I shall start paying annual fee to post like those paid subscribers. Thanks again. Mystery solved.

  • avatar

    I do not oppose this, if for no other reason to discourage commenters from simply embedding images or videos in lieu of actually saying something.

    Over at Jalopnik, it seems like the decline in the quality of the average comment closely parallels the prevalence of comments that consist solely of embedded images (of which a good 50% are rage faces or other assorted 4chan memes).

    Part of the reason I read TTAC so much more than Jalopnik these days is the superior quality of the commentary.

    That having been said, italics are quite useful.

  • avatar

    It is wholly possible to have just BBcode for links, or something. Blame WordPress.

    Edit: I’m pretty sure I typed wordpress without capitalizing the P. And it did it for me. Let’s try that again: WordPress

    Edit2: every comment submitted is searched for “wordpress” and corrected for proper capitalization. Oh wait, not if it’s a lowercase W. How great is that?

    Please disable the swearing filter while you’re at it.

    Also, javascript not java

  • avatar

    Keeping it simple is good.

    • 0 avatar

      Ya, I can imagine it’s a PITA. Too bad we lost the basic editing. But, to a large degree its irrelevant, as I post less and less here anyway.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree with Geo…I come here less and less.

        The focus of the articles has shifted slowly to a lower brow type of article. Along with that, the comments have changed.

        More cerebral articles brought higher quality comments.

        I am sure trying to keep everyone happy, keep the lights on and provide content is difficult, but please go back a few years and look at the articles. Has the change been that profitable in ad dollars or in traffic? If so, it would be typical of America.

        I had never read sites like this until I happened upon TTAC about 3 years ago and read an article by Farago and was hooked. Please take a step back and see if you might want to make a slight change in direction.


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