Should the 800 character limit in the public comment box on the profile pages too small? [closed]

+7 votes
800 charectors seem like a lot, but when that includes the blank spaces between words, chr breaks, and punctuation it runs out quickly. {esp with long winded individuals}

I realize server space is a premium, but would increasing that limit by 200 characters be possible and reasonable?
closed with the note: Found closed, opened to re-tag, closed again
in The Tree House by John Beardsley G2G6 Mach 3 (38.0k points)
closed by Keith Hathaway
John, what type of long commentary are you trying to post?

I was asked a question about how two individuals were related, and the names involved in the connection. It didn't involve "a long commentary", just a list of names.

Since I put the question up I've been schooled on a couple of items that I, and undoubtedly more than a few others, was unaware of. For instance I am now aware you can use html code in private messages . . . which is good, and will be better once I learn more about html codes {I knew nothing about it when I joined the WikiTree but I'm slowly picking some it up as I go along}.

I also was unaware of the "trick" Ellen describes in her answer below.

{shrug}  And lastly I was unaware that this simple question would be so negatively recieved.

John, I don't see the responses as demonstrating "so negatively received" -- simply different opinions.

3 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
I've discovered that the 800-character limit doesn't apply when you go back and edit a comment.

Thus, after you create an 800-character comment, you can go back and add to it.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by John Beardsley
I'll select this a the best answer because it suggests a work-around that works as an answer. The other two answers just state opposition to what I'd suggested and jumped to false conclusions about the reason I was asking the question.

Its all good though, I learned new things via the comments that I'll be able to use going forward.
One thing I wanted to point out about this is that the first time you leave the comment it will generate the message that gets sent to the PM(s)' email.  If you edit it, they will only be aware of that if they come and look at the comment on their profile.
Thanks Eowyn, good tip to remember! So if you use this method it would be a good idea to send an accompanying private message.
+6 votes
Hi John! Think the limit is ok (keep it short)! In case you need more space it's preferable you use the option to mail the profile manager.
by Hans Jørgen Kølle G2G6 Mach 4 (46.9k points)
The problem with using the "send private message" feature is that the messages arrive in a tortuously unformatted string of text, a situation which grows exponentially worse the more information the author attempts to convey. This paragraph for example, with it's lengthy run-on sentences would arrive to the recipient in an almost unreadable mass that could, dependent on the reader's susceptibility to the malady, trigger eye strain, or possibly, again dependent on susceptibility of the recipient, migraines which, I'm sure you would agree, is not an aggreeable outcome. I agree with the maxim to keep it short, however my belief is that keeping the private messages short is much more applicable given the nature of the beast.
The comment box provides at least some semi-format abilities. I see a lot of profile pages where the commenter splits their notes into two boxes, which ends up taking more space than increasing the character count by 200 would entail.
Just simply adding the ability to break apart paragraphs with a blank line has made these last two comments much easier to read, would you not agree?  cool
Hi! To add a blank line when sending private messages you have to press »enter« twice ending a paragraph.
The problem is of course, all too often the profile managers are non-responsive. In my experience about 50% of the time, you're messaging a black hole-- either an absentee camped out on hundreds of flimsy/flawed profiles, or a once-keen colleague who's ability to contribute was crushed by Pre-1500. Half the time, sending a bunch of thorough, specific, source-cited details to a non-responsive profile manager yields a one line response saying "sorry I can't help" or "this isn't my fault" or "I've orphaned the profile." Of course some of the time, the system works the way we'd all like it to, and that's great. But in my experience that's the exception to the rule, and the more common effect of doing somebody else's work for them, is they keep not doing it themselves. Conversely, leaving the truth on a public comment on "their" profile has many benefits:

Firstly, and most important, it makes the truth available to the READERS of this site, who are more important than we mere members. (We are after all, all of us doing this for the readers, right, for posterity?)

Secondly, it makes the truth available to the universe of other stakeholders who visit the profile page, and/or interact with the current profile manager.

Third, it creates a constructive, transparent paper trail for relevant projects and working groups which might nominate a new member to co-manage a de facto abandoned or otherwise-problematic profile that's going unfixed for months or years.

Last, it avoids the one-to-many problem where multiple site members simultaneously private/direct message the profile manager with hints, suggestions or complaints about the same profile. The same gremlin. Better for that to be done on the profile page, where multiple helpers/complainants can all benefit from one public comment; than to have all of their redundant communication cohering into a perceived negative experience for the profile manager. In my opinion. YMMV.
Don't forget, Isaac, that this question originated in 2015 and was closed back then.

Respectfully, who cares? Our colleagues still today (and in future) will have the same question. What conceivable downside is there to the procession of ideas and community thru spacetime? :-)

+1 vote
I also don't support the idea of allowing longer comments on the profile page. Comments should be comments, not long treatises.

what can be incorporated into the bio should be done so.

If you need more space for commentary, use g2g and post a short comment alerting the profile managers to the g2g post.

My $.02
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (781k points)

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