Obligatory XKCD


If you search for the phrase “obligatory XKCD” here on the BBS you’ll find 50 results (as of this writing.) As Cory has pointed out Randall Munroe is “one of the web’s most talented storytellers” and over the last decade it seems there isn’t a topic or aspect of the human experience that he hasn’t touched upon.

I think it’s time to include an XKCD button in the post editor, right next to the emoji button. When clicked, you can either insert a comic number (i.e. 1250) or you can search by topic, date, line of dialogue, etc… In this way we can facilitate the natural evolution beyond reaction GIFs into commentary XKCDs, and we’ll also minimize the number of times the same comic is saved locally by the Discourse servers.

For the typing purists, I imagine this would work in the post itself like a pseudo-HTML tag; <xkcd = 1250>.


I like this idea, but hard-coding an XKCD repository into Discourse just smacks of favoritism. Not very egalitarian. A generalized (and fair) solution would be to implement an image repository module such that sites can create their own repositories and an aliased command for each rep (much like your example).


What about SMBC?


Oh totally. It maybe wasn’t as clear as I’d intended but my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek for most of this. I was mostly commenting on the idea that we can’t go an entire day on the BBS without someone replying “Hang on, there’s an XKCD that covers this.” That said, actually do think it would be kind of awesome if you could just refer to an XKCD strip by number and have it inserted in your post.

Sure, I’m easy. Let’s add an SMBC tag as well.


I’m still waiting for the time that this is the most appropriate xkcd:


Tuesday, November 8.


I’ll bet it’s actually a lot more than that though. I alone have invoked Munroe’s webcomic at least a dozen times over the years, and I usually just type “obligatory” or even “oblig” followed by a link to the pertinent comic. Never really occurred to me before now that someone might need more detailed search terms. Anyway, surely not the only one who does this.


as the BBS is an instance of Discourse, I suspect a module could be written, if the PTB were to be lobbied.


Oh, and I just thought of another benefit to this. By inserting XKCD strips via pseudo-code it’ll preserve the mouse-over text that gets lost whenever somebody just pastes the image URL.


Is this something Onebox / oEmbed could help to make real? That seems at least like an example of how this could work. Then there wouldn’t have to be local storage, just a script that converts that <xkcd = 1250> into a legit oEmbed url. Of course, this would require some work on Randal’s end, but seems like the kind of thing he’d be into implementing from what I can clean from his comics about elegant engineering solutions and software-software communication…


If you ask me, bbs is already entering the meta / post-modern age of xkcd references…


We should make sure XKCD works one way or the other @zogstrip whether it is custom oneboxer or not.


You can now just paste the URL on its own line for it to be oneboxed :wink:


will result in


Must… Not… Go… Into… Every… Active… Topic… To… Test… This…


For most xkcds, it works great, but unless the xkcd is at about a 3:2 ratio, the image gets squashed.

Good xkcd:

Bad xkcd:


FYI: We’ve fixed the aspect ratio issue with the xkcd onebox.