Okay, it's official: I really hate Mastodon's post-length limit. No other social network software has it. Why do we? ...except for being more like Twitspace, which doesn't really seem like a laudable goal tee-bee-queue-aitch.

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thanks @kity <3

does glitch allow removing the limit entirely, or do you always have to set one?

@woozle this was the simplest way without digging into the code

@kity right, i meant does the configuration support "no limit" (e.g. by setting it to zero, or (preferably) a separate boolean) -- it sounds like the answer is probably no

@woozle doesn't Glitch have an option to make the post length limit go away if you have a subject/CW?

(I know mainline doesn't, I also don't think Eugen's opinions on it are valid)

@woozle come to pleroma, we have a far higher default character limit :)

@sylveon Pleroma lacks the CW feature, I believe? Or have they fixed that?

(I've also heard that the culture around it tends to be a bit toxic, but that's something which can be dealt with.)

@woozle pleroma allows you to automatically hide posts with subject lines, this gives the same function.

there are definitely some mean people on Pleroma. but given that Gab uses a fork of Mastodon...
@woozle @sylveon You can choose whether to fold, and adding your own "subject" ("CW") is supported in main posts and comments alike.

The naming and the default being no fold probably influences instance culture and how people use the feature.

@woozle Its always been a bad decision, and its gone in most of the Mastodon forks like glitch or blobcatstodon.

Its a edict from above, basically envisioning Mastodon as "its like twitter, but without nazis!" and not something that could develop into its own thing. :blobshrug2:

@woozle It's a very opinionated thing, and clearly not everybody agrees with the opinions of the main developer here.

I fully agree with you by the way, and 500 characters is so arbitrary. It's as if the thinking was that Twitter is a perfect kind of interactions, just that the posts are ever so slightly too short.

The easiest solution is to move to Glitch which is a fork of Mastodon which changes this, as well as adds some really useful features such as markup. Since it's a Mastodon fork, it's compatible which means that migration is rather simple.

@loke We migrated to Glitch last year -- and yes, it's definitely an improvement. I also upped our limit to 1000.

I'm just really questioning why there's a need for a limit at all, on any instance. (Yet to be determined: does Glitch allow removing the limit altogether, or do you have to set it to some arbitrarily high limit? I'm sure ash has told me, but I don't remember.)

@woozle I think you can set it to a very high number. On this server it's 2500. I think @mdallastella may be able to tell me you if there's a limit as he's the one who manages the server.

@woozle @loke Depends if one wants a longread or a microblog instance.

I can understand Mastodon limiting the size to create a certain atmosphere. The UI is not really geared toward long reads, so it takes sense to point the community in the microblog direction. For long reads probably a low-distraction UI like writefreely is more suitable.

@clacke @woozle That is true. But This instance was limited to 500 characters for a long time, and there were plenty of times where that just wasn't enough. I think right now, I often exceed 500 chars on a regular basis, often reaching slightly above.

It's just much less stressful to have to constantly think of the character count all the time.


tusky (android client) now says i have char limit of 123456

i think (writing) limits helpful

editing can be beneficial (both for readers and writers)

my experience is that many have exalted notions of self-importance which trump other concerns, including clear communication and concern for the reader and their time

also, there are other venues for longer texts.

short (sharp) texts have value too

@js0000 ash upped the limit whilst I was asleep ;-)

The thing about people making posts that are too long: they're easy to skip over, especially with the feature that auto-hides everything below the first line or so by default. ...and the character limit doesn't stop people from tootstorming (nor would anyone want this); it just makes longer-form posts harder to do overall proofing-before-posting, and also can result in tangled conversations where different people are responding to different toots in the thread.

...and, yeah, while we're at it, Masto really needs a "preview" feature, especially with the formatting options GlitchSoc provides.

What venues would you recommend for longer-form posts? I set up a Hubzilla instance, but it goes largely unused. (The people I interact with there tend, overwhelmingly, to be on Diaspora -- which doesn't even support text-formatting, as far s I can tell; I don't see the appeal.) There's also Friendica, which I haven't tried in a long time because my instance got stuck during an upgrade and I haven't had time to sort it out.

@woozle @js0000 I just wanted to add that with a no-character-limit, there is nothing to prevent someone from making short posts if that's what they want to do... but with a character-limit, you can't choose to write a long one if that's what you want to do. It just seems more flexible all around.

It's like bringing a jacket when you're not sure what the weather will be doing... you can always take off a jacket if you end up too warm... but if you get cold, you can't put on a jacket you don't have.


longer form writing:
books, essays, blogs, zines
(i prefer to read longer things on paper ...)

i think the screen is better for shorter things (matching our "hurry up" culture)

i think you and i may be quite different in terms of our opinions on the efficacy of written words; nonetheless, (apparently) has room for both of us.

why can't more human (cultural) activities be like this?


@js0000 I meant software for social interaction. Back on G+ there were a lot of people who wrote some really excellent long-form posts, often leading to very interesting discussions, and I miss that.

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