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The Icon Bar: Site Comments: Slight issues - fix please!
 
  Slight issues - fix please!
  (13:42 19/3/2001)
  senduran (13:46 19/3/2001)
  alpha (16:38 19/3/2001)
    senduran (08:55 20/3/2001)
      Gulli (10:43 20/3/2001)
        senduran (17:23 20/3/2001)
          Gulli (10:06 21/3/2001)
      alpha (14:58 15/6/2002)
        senduran (17:28 20/3/2001)
          alpha (21:57 20/3/2001)
            senduran (09:24 21/3/2001)
              alpha (14:58 15/6/2002)
                senduran (08:56 22/3/2001)
                  rich (11:28 22/3/2001)
                    alpha (13:32 22/3/2001)
                    senduran (13:34 22/3/2001)
                      senduran (14:58 15/6/2002)
                        alpha (14:58 15/6/2002)
 
senduran Message #5716, posted at 13:42, 19/3/2001
Unregistered user Some issues related to viewing the thread you just posted to:

If it's a multi-page thread you get sent to the first page instead of the last which has your post on it: the purpose of the 'go to thread' link that appears after you've posted is, presumably, so you can give your post a quick check. So it should send you to the last page in a thread.

Viewing the thread you just posted to doesn't update whatever system determins if there are unread posts in a thread. So even though you've just read your recent post, going back to the main forum page gives you the closed envelope symbol and your name as last post.

Slight issues, but annoying none-the-less. Any chance of a fix?

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senduran Message #5717, posted at 13:46, 19/3/2001, in reply to message #5716
Unregistered user Oh, turns out the latter problem is a general one: the unread status is updated on the fly as you use the site, while the read status is only updated after you leave the site completely and return.

Can they both be updated immediately?

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alpha Message #5718, posted at 16:38, 19/3/2001, in reply to message #5716
Unregistered user
If it's a multi-page thread you get sent to the first page instead of the last which has your post on it: the purpose of the 'go to thread' link that appears after you've posted is, presumably, so you can give your post a quick check. So it should send you to the last page in a thread.

Rich requested this feature when I introduced the multi-page threads. It's quite trivial to do so I'll make sure it appears in the next version.

Viewing the thread you just posted to doesn't update whatever system determins if there are unread posts in a thread. So even though you've just read your recent post, going back to the main forum page gives you the closed envelope symbol and your name as last post.

This is delibrate. If you took 10 minutes to read/reply to a thread, then returned to the index, if the read/unread envelopes were reset you wouldn't know about any messages that had been posted while you were reading.

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senduran Message #5719, posted at 08:55, 20/3/2001, in reply to message #5718
Unregistered user Hmmm, can't it actually track what posts each user has actually read? From your description the system seems to work on a thread basis, telling you if a thread has been updated (ie. not specifically if a new post has been added).

Why not timestamp each update to a thread and tag each user with the timestamp they last loaded.
So if you create a post in thread 'bob' at 00:00:01, and view it at 00:00:02 for ten minutes the system tags "user: bob00:00:01" to your info.
If someone else creates a post in thread 'bob' at 00:00:03 the system tags the thread "thread: bob00:00:03". So you then return to the main forum page at 00:10:02 and it will detect that the thread has a new post in it since you last visited.

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Gulli Message #5720, posted at 10:43, 20/3/2001, in reply to message #5719
Unregistered user
Hmmm, can't it actually track what posts each user has actually read? From your description the system seems to work on a thread basis, telling you if a thread has been updated (ie. not specifically if a new post has been added).

Why not timestamp each update to a thread and tag each user with the timestamp they last loaded.
So if you create a post in thread 'bob' at 00:00:01, and view it at 00:00:02 for ten minutes the system tags "user: bob00:00:01" to your info.
If someone else creates a post in thread 'bob' at 00:00:03 the system tags the thread "thread: bob00:00:03". So you then return to the main forum page at 00:10:02 and it will detect that the thread has a new post in it since you last visited.

If I'm understanging this correctly I'm not so sure this would be a good idea for a forum. Maybe it's ok. for forums like Iconbar and Acorn Arcade that don't have much traffic but once you've got a forum that has a few hundred messages a day in many threads you'll never be able to read all of them and probably not interested to anyway. If you were required to enter all threads to update your last read timestamp you'd end up with hundreds and hundreds of unread threads that you were in no way interested in and would very soon give up on using that forum.

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senduran Message #5722, posted at 17:23, 20/3/2001, in reply to message #5720
Unregistered user
If you were required to enter all threads to update your last read timestamp you'd end up with hundreds and hundreds of unread threads that you were in no way interested in and would very soon give up on using that forum.

Wah? The purpose of an unread/read indicator is to tell you if you've read posts in a thread or not. It doesn't matter what size the forum is. All I'm asking for is that the indicator be accurate.

[Edited by senduran at 09:25, 21/3/2001]

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senduran Message #5723, posted at 17:28, 20/3/2001, in reply to message #5721
Unregistered user
The read/unread envelopes are calculated by comparing the 'last post' timestamp to the cookie, so if you post a reply to the 'bob' thread at 00:00:01 and then someone else posts a reply, when you return to the forum index the unread message will be displayed.

Yes, that sounds good.


The problem you talked about in the original post is that if you post a reply to a thread and then return to the forum index, the unread envelope is displayed. Unfortunately I can't see an easy way to get around this problem without having to store the dates of 10 or so last posts to a forum, so that when the unread/read envelopes are calculated, if the last post was by you then the system looks at the previous last post.

No, _my_ problem is with posting to a thread AND THEN VIEWING the thread immediately after.
My proposed system, and the system as you describe it, should result in a 'read' status on that thread when you subsequently visit the main forum page (unless, of course, someone else posted while you were reading the thread).

Why doesn't it?

[Edited by senduran at 17:28, 20/3/2001]

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alpha Message #5724, posted at 21:57, 20/3/2001, in reply to message #5723
Unregistered user
_my_ problem is with posting to a thread AND THEN VIEWING the thread immediately after.
My proposed system, and the system as you describe it, should result in a 'read' status on that thread when you subsequently visit the main forum page

I've just realised we may be talking about different things: By 'main forum page' do you mean viewforum.php3 or index.php3 ? I'm assuming you mean index.php3.

(unless, of course, someone else posted while you were reading the thread).

Why doesn't it?

Because when you go to the main forum index from any other forum page, you're going to index.php3?serve=cached, which doesn't update the cookie timestamp.

Otherwise, if you came to the forums, viewed the general forum, then went back to the index; the cookie timestamp would be updated and all the other forums would appear as read unless a message had been posted to them in the time that it took you to read the General forum.

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senduran Message #5725, posted at 09:24, 21/3/2001, in reply to message #5724
Unregistered user Well I've no idea how to access viewforum.php3, so I guess we're talking about index.php3.

Right, so why do other forum pages send you to the cached page? That's certainly the issue at hand. Why are you caching a page that people will always want to see the latest version of?

And very importanly, fyi, what you say about going back to the index is NOT TRUE. At least with IE, going back to the index or any other page on the site, then clicking the 'Forums' link (IE tells me it's a link to 'index.php3') will load in index.php3?serve=cached. You have to leave the site completely and _then_ return to get plain index.php3.

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Gulli Message #5726, posted at 10:06, 21/3/2001, in reply to message #5722
Unregistered user
If you were required to enter all threads to update your last read timestamp you'd end up with hundreds and hundreds of unread threads that you were in no way interested in and would very soon give up on using that forum.

Wah? The purpose of an unread/read indicator is to tell you if you've read posts in a thread or not. It doesn't matter what size the forum is. All I'm asking for is that the indicator be accurate.\[\/quote\]

But IconBar is currently using the 'new posts since last visit' indicator which is in most cases a better option but I do understand your point of view.

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senduran Message #5728, posted at 08:56, 22/3/2001, in reply to message #5727
Unregistered user Right... so the problem is that the cookie timestamp is too simplistic. My suggestion was for a user timestamp for each thread. That would solve the problem, yes?
Then I again, I _finally_ see the point of doing it your way, and I also understand Gullis comments. Your way does exactly what it says on the tin: tells you if there are any new messages since you last visited the site. That way if you don't read a thread at all, it doesn't stay constantly as 'unread' if no new posts get added.
Fair enough. I was suggesting a more general 'oy! there's an unread message in this thread!'. It's a personal preference thing, so I guess there isn't anything for you to 'fix'.

The index page being cached? By what? The users browser? And the solution is to send the user to a cached page? Ok, you're totally loosing me on this one. Regardless, I'd have thought that the index page was constructed on the fly with php, so all that gets cached is the basic outline of the page. Is that not the case?

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rich Message #5729, posted at 11:28, 22/3/2001, in reply to message #5728
Unregistered user
Right... so the problem is that the cookie timestamp is too simplistic. My suggestion was for a user timestamp for each thread. That would solve the problem, yes?

Yes, unless you had an enourmouse number of threads - cookie data is finite.
You can't do a more complex system than Tim's currently using without storing the flags data for each thread in an index file for each user; and having spent time on tech support for ArgoNet, and seeing how many times the email reader(s) supported there screw up the index file, I don't think that idea's a starter.


The index page being cached? By what? The users browser? And the solution is to send the user to a cached page? Ok, you're totally loosing me on this one. Regardless, I'd have thought that the index page was constructed on the fly with php, so all that gets cached is the basic outline of the page. Is that not the case?

The index page you first go to sets a cookie for the time of your visit; you don't want this done again until the program is ready to update that time stamp. So, when you just want to go back to a list of items you're sent to a version being called "cached" to avoid resetting the cookie. It doesn't really matter what's doing the caching, just the effect - the browser may or may not cache, but the PHP-generated page knows what to do with the request.

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alpha Message #5730, posted at 13:32, 22/3/2001, in reply to message #5729
Unregistered user
Right... so the problem is that the cookie timestamp is too simplistic. My suggestion was for a user timestamp for each thread.

Yes, unless you had an enourmouse number of threads - cookie data is finite.

Yup, and when you start getting 1,000 threads... 10,000 threads... it'll start getting a bit ridiculous.

The index page being cached? By what? The users browser? And the solution is to send the user to a cached page? Ok, you're totally loosing me on this one. Regardless, I'd have thought that the index page was constructed on the fly with php

It is generated on the fly. All the 'cached' parameter does it tell the PHP script not to alter the 'last visit' timestamp/cookie for reasons already mentioned.

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senduran Message #5731, posted at 13:34, 22/3/2001, in reply to message #5729
Unregistered user Ah, all is finally understood. Thank you, and thanx to whoever implemented the new 'go to thread you just posted to' method, works like a dream.
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alpha Message #5721, posted at 14:58, 15/6/2002, in reply to message #5719
Unregistered user
From your description the system seems to work on a thread basis, telling you if a thread has been updated (ie. not specifically if a new post has been added).

Isn't it the same thing? smile

Why not timestamp each update to a thread and tag each user with the timestamp they last loaded.
So if you create a post in thread 'bob' at 00:00:01, and view it at 00:00:02 for ten minutes the system tags "user: bob00:00:01" to your info.
If someone else creates a post in thread 'bob' at 00:00:03 the system tags the thread "thread: bob00:00:03". So you then return to the main forum page at 00:10:02 and it will detect that the thread has a new post in it since you last visited.

I'm not completely clear what you're suggesting, but it sounds like the system that's already in place.

Basically, when you visit index.php3 (without the ?serve=cached bit on the end), a timestamp is written to your file, and a cookie is sent containing the previous timestamp that was in the file.

Each thread has a 'last post' timestamp, which is updated everytime someone posts a new reply.

The read/unread envelopes are calculated by comparing the 'last post' timestamp to the cookie, so if you post a reply to the 'bob' thread at 00:00:01 and then someone else posts a reply, when you return to the forum index the unread message will be displayed.

The problem you talked about in the original post is that if you post a reply to a thread and then return to the forum index, the unread envelope is displayed. Unfortunately I can't see an easy way to get around this problem without having to store the dates of 10 or so last posts to a forum, so that when the unread/read envelopes are calculated, if the last post was by you then the system looks at the previous last post.

I'm not sure if that made any sense...

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alpha Message #5727, posted at 14:58, 15/6/2002, in reply to message #5725
Unregistered user
Well I've no idea how to access viewforum.php3

viewforum.php3 is the page you go to when you click on one of the links from index.php3, e.g.
the Site comments forum.

so why do other forum pages send you to the cached page?

I've already explained that smile: Otherwise, if you came to the forums, viewed the general forum, then went back to the index; the cookie timestamp would be updated and all the other forums would appear as read unless a message had been posted to them in the time that it took you to read the General forum.

And very importanly, fyi, what you say about going back to the index is NOT TRUE. At least with IE, going back to the index or any other page on the site, then clicking the 'Forums' link (IE tells me it's a link to 'index.php3') will load in index.php3?serve=cached.

Yes, that's because when you go to index.php3 whilst logged in, the timestamp will be written to your file, the cookie will be sent; and then you are redirected to index.php3?serve=cached. That's a nasty (but necessary) hack included to get around the problem of the index page being cached.

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senduran Message #5732, posted at 14:58, 15/6/2002, in reply to message #5731
Unregistered user Hehe, except in this one case wink
Situation: reading a thread one post away from the multi-page boundary (where threads get split into multi pages). Post to thread expecting my post to be at bottom of thread page.
Got sent to the bottom of the thread page by the 'go to thread you just posted to' thing. But someone else has posted before me, and my actual post was on a new second page of the thread.

So in this situation it sent me to the wrong page.

Not quite dream like then, but pretty close smile

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alpha Message #5733, posted at 14:58, 15/6/2002, in reply to message #5732
Unregistered user Duly noted smile. I'll try and remember to fix that for the next version.
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The Icon Bar: Site Comments: Slight issues - fix please!