Right now only link-only messages can get oneboxed into 300×300px images. If you add any text before or after an image link, it's not oneboxed. The main site markdown:

![fascinating optics phenomenon](http://i.stack.imgur.com/asdfasd.png) also doesn't work. But it most definitely should, because right now any starred image onebox appears as http://i.stack.imgur.com/asdfasd.png and not fascinating optics phenomenon. In chat, the description text would appear below the image.

Alternatively, image link is on the first line, followed by a new line (Shift+Enter) and the rest should be the description text. Of course, new lines are removed when seen in starred list, but in chat, the image can have a nice description that is not limited to desktop users (on hover).


I do not believe this is worth doing.

Basically the benefit in the chat area would be to have the link text be a title to the one box. However, titles require hovering which is only going to work for users with a mouse who actually hover directly on the image while viewing it.

The benefit of the star area would be that instead of seeing https://forgifs.com/gallery/d/210797-2/Ninja-kitten-backflips.gif you would see the nicer kitten backflip. Most of the time though, you can infer what the link is going to be by seeing it.

The disadvantage would be that the parser would now have to take ![]() into account for oneboxing, and also that people already expect to be able to use ![]() in part of their regular comment. As a result, this would introduce one more layer of confusion to users who would assume that a multi line comment could include both the linked image and some text.

Further, images are really not starred that often as opposed to messages. While it does happen, it is not as common. Any work on this edge case would detract from other features in chat which could be implemented.

I think this feature is in the nice to have pile, and not necessarily the need to have pile.

Spoiler: there is a kitten that does a backflip below.

  • 1
    I edited my request to add visible text description to account for the possible lack of mouse. Also, you should come to different chat rooms, where images are commonly starred. This is particularly a case for Anime.SE main room. I'm sure Arqade would also agree it's somewhat useful. Feb 18 '15 at 6:11
  • ...what about accessibility? I have no idea if chat is screen reader friendly to begin with, but if it is, it'd certainly be nice if images could have alt text.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 20 '15 at 7:02

A similar feature is a part of our magical Starred Image script. The image is not oneboxable because of the extra text in the message, but in the starred list it shows up as that text that links to the image. I don't know how to extract only it from the code if you don't want the rest of it, but it shouldn't be too hard.

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