Disable link preview feature?

Link previews are more often wrong than right, often showing content unrelated to the URL (not Discourse fault, I know it’s very hard to sum up the content of a web page).

Also I think it gives too much weight to the URL - a link is usually for extra info, while with this feature that link often takes 95% of the post space, which is not only unnecessary, but also illogical. What’s important is the text content on the forum, not the content on another linked website.

As an example, a link to a GitHub page includes the owner’s avatar, which is irrelevant. If you link to a release, it won’t show the text of the release, but the “about” summary of the GitHub repo, which is also not relevant. This is true of many websites actually (noticed it with Patreon articles too) - the “summary” is often related to the entire website, not to the specific page.

So since, in my opinion, this feature doesn’t work so well, I would like to disable it at admin level for the entire website. Is there currently an option for this? I couldn’t find one, but I might have missed it.

Add a space in front of the link if you do not want a onebox.

Also can you provide examples of where the onebox is “wrong”? I don’t agree with your general rationale here and I need to see specifics.

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Yes I came across this trick, but I’d rather disable it for the whole forum if possible.

One example is this one: Joplin 1.0.157 - Links of notes between notes broken - Support - Joplin Forum

I link to a GitHub release but it shows unrelated text and my unrelated avatar.

I’m not so keen on the Patreon links either: Note history feature now in Joplin - News - Joplin Forum

It’s better, but about 50% of the box doesn’t matter: the image is off-topic, and the text that matters only starts towards the bottom - “The latest versions of Joplin adds support…”. It’s probably tricky to improve this, which is why I’m fine with not having the previews at all.

If it is a global improvement to oneboxes for a popular major site that is usually preferable.

This is something to bring up with Github. They can improve this by adding the appropriate metadata on the release page.

Instead of disabling it globally, why not work with it? Consider the following options:

This is fixed in Joplin release v1.0.158

This is fixed in [Joplin release v1.0.158](https://github.com/laurent22/joplin/releases/tag/v1.0.158)

Or @codinghorror’s suggestion (below)? Much nicer than a bare link.

Release v1.0.158 · laurent22/joplin · GitHub

This is fixed in Release v1.0.158 · laurent22/joplin · GitHub


This is fixed in https://github.com/laurent22/joplin/releases/tag/v1.0.158

If you really want to disable it, you already have various settings to control the behaviour:

  • onebox domains blacklist
  • max oneboxes per post

I see that the info box for GitHub has been largely improved. Now it shows a proper icon instead of the avatar, also a good summary of the issue as well as the tags, date and other metadata.

Thanks for the great work and for continuously improving Discourse!


@david did some great work here, thanks for the feedback!

I can also recommend his theme component adding live status information:

for example: