Citizen X (citizenx) wrote in lj_dev,
Citizen X
citizenx
lj_dev

Interest limits and how they should relax

Interests presently have a limit (according to the FAQ) of 50 characters and no more than four words. From all I can see, this number-of-words limitation is purely to prevent mistakes that come from misunderstanding how the interest list is supposed to work. Even with this limit in place and the examples given on the edit info page, some people still don't get it. (Exhibit A)

There are obviously ways around the word limit and the other checks in place.

From weblib.pl:
foreach my $int (@$new)
{
    $int = lc($int);       # FIXME: use utf8?
    $int =~ s/^i like //;  # *sigh*
    next unless $int;
    next if $int =~ / .+ .+ .+ /;  # prevent sentences
    next if $int =~ /[\<\>]/;
    my ($bl, $cl) = LJ::text_length($int);
    next if $bl > LJ::BMAX_INTEREST or $cl > LJ::CMAX_INTEREST;
    $int_new{$int} = 1 unless $old->{$int};
    delete $int_del{$int};
}


(Exhibit B, failing the same way as A)

But getting around those can make someone run up against the other limit, the one that makes sense — the character length limit. Couldn't the # move several characters to the left on that "prevent sentences" line?

In my eyes, this doesn't help in any way. Even more than that, the failure mode is spectacularly bad. There is no warning. The interest is simply skipped, silently dropped from processing. It leaves the user wondering what they've done wrong and why their new interest isn't listed.
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