Onebox works for linked PDF's but not uploaded PDF's, is that correct?

(James) #1


As per title, im not sure if this is by design or not? Screenshot below is for the same PDF, one linked, one uploaded. The linked PDF is onebox’d the uploaded one is not.

I would of hoped the uploaded PDF would also be onebox’d allowing me to view the PDF in the browser.

Any advice appreciated.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

This is correct, one is a local download, the other is a remote link, so it produces a onebox.

(Christoph) #3

I’ve always wondered why the oneboxing of PDFs is limited to remote sites. Ironically, if I upload the pdf to someone else’s discourse forum, the pdf will be oneboxed. Just not when I upload it to my own site…

(Jeff Atwood) #4

One is a local download of known provenance, the other is a remote file from an unknown source.

(Christoph) #5

Right. And what’s the problem with oneboxing a local download of known provenance? Or what am I misunderstanding?

(Jeff Atwood) #6

They should look different, as they are different.

(Christoph) #7

Okay, good point. But with that in mind, the current behaviour makes even less sense, at least if you elaborate that principle:

They should look different, as they are different. Something remote and unknown should look remote and unknown and something local and known should look local and known.

With only remote pdfs being oneboxed, it’s exactly the other way around…

(James) #8

Wouldn’t it make more sense from an end user point of view for local PDF’s to also be onebox’d ?

I don’t see any way of me being able to view the uploaded PDF without first having to download it, whereas the remote linked PDF is readable by simply clicking on the link which is much more convenient.


(Robert McIntosh) #9

I don’t really think so.

The point of offering onebox of remote links is to give the reader more information about what they are about to click on so they are informed and can trust it.

With local documents, you can assume more trust and you have the ability to explain and format the message around this - the download link just being the final element.

There is nothing in this PDF onebox that you are not already getting in the standard link information, other than where it is hosted - which is necessary for an external link, but not for a local one, is there?

(Christoph) #10

Okay, I see. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I saw the onebox more like a promotion: look at this awesome link, you gotta click on it and look at the whole thing. Even without much information, the onebox definitely is attention seeking.

I was going to say: but the metadata. But then I remembered that reading of meta data was removed shortly after it was introduced. So I guess you’re right and it all boils town to the attention economy (and possibly inconsistent UX).


Another way to look at it is to compare it to images. If you only displayed a link to uploaded images, forcing people to click and download them before viewing, but embedded remote images, that would be pretty similar to the current pdf functionality.

Not saying that local PDFs should be oneboxed per se, but shouldn’t local PDFs at least have as much usability/functionality as remote ones? Two specific things have been mentioned that aren’t possible: the attention grabbing and the viewing it in browser.

(James) #12

This also is true for posts that are linked internally. If I post a link to another topic on this site it gets onebox’d as below.

This is also ‘local’ content is it not? And its a feature I like.

Back to my original question, is there a way for me to view a local pdf without having to download it first? On the remote link, I just click on it then read the PDF which is really nice. With local PDF’s, I have to click it which downloads it, then click on the downloaded file to open it to view it, and then go back and delete the PDF in my file system. Ideally I just want to click on it to read it, like I can with remote PDF’s.