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I'm writing a WPF app, and I've been pondering for a while on how to show a preview of an HTML page then when the user clicks on a glyph the display expands and shows the full HTML page.

So to cut a long story short, I was reviewing flagged posts when it jumped up and smacked me in the face - the flagged posts listed on the page are the HTML equivalent of what I want. I did a view source just to check it out, and of course the SO devs have used a sprinkle of CSS (and probably a dash of jQuery) to achieve their trickery. But even so, I still have a few questions:

  • is the text for the post summary parsed out on the fly when the page is rendered or is it parsed when the question/answer is submitted and stored in the database?
  • what is used to parse that summary text? Is it a publicly available library or some top secret SO code? (or is it done using [gasp!!] PERL??!!)
  • in the reader's esteemed opinion, what would be the most effective way to implement this interchangeable summary/full HTML view in WPF? (yes, I asked for opinions - Meta is full of opinions so I thought I would blatantly troll for some more. MOAR!!)

Wow. Have I asked a technical implementation question about SO that hasn't been asked before?

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I read your opening as "I'm writing a WTF app..." – Yannis May 24 '12 at 9:53
@Yannis I've got a genuine WTF mug sitting on my desk to remind me not to write WTF apps :) – slugster May 24 '12 at 9:57
WPF? HTML? CSS? jQuery? Perl? Pretty sure this belongs on Stack Overflow. – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 24 '12 at 14:48
I agree with BoltClock. Just because you're asking about something they do on Stack Overflow doesn't mean your question is off-topic for the main site. The primary focus is not really SO, it's programming. It's not completely unprecedented to ask this type of question on SO, either. For example, this one about MarkDownSharp and plenty of others I've seen but couldn't possibly find now. – Cody Gray May 25 '12 at 3:49
@BoltClock'saUnicorn: the first two questions are directly about how something is implemented on the site. The 3rd question could arguably go on the main site, but it would likely get closed pretty quickly because it tends towards opinion. I'll try the 3rd question on SO a bit later on, see how it goes. – slugster May 25 '12 at 6:59

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