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Suggestion: Long discussions

The Blond Gecko
5:22:52 PM
Hi Mike,

Noticed that some of the discussions on the board are getting quite long - a great sign of the board's growing publicity. However, just wondering how hard it would be to break the longer posts up into multiple pages, to aid those who have a slow connection or those who (like me) are on a limited internet quota through work and shouldn't really be here anyway!



1:31:09 PM
I'm with Tristan on this one - if your software allows it! What are you guys using anyway?


4:49:21 PM
The forum and indeed all the site's database stuff I've handcoded in VB script inside Active Server pages to an SQL Sever backend. Yep, I'll do paging of messages when I get some spare time. Thanks!

Updated 2/Apr/2003: Just added paging of messages. 20 messages per page. Let me know if there are any issues.
8:42:08 PM
Mike, any chance on multiple page forums to open on the most current page first when selecting the topic?

1:32:41 PM
I assume you mean multiple page topics, like some of the rebolting ones that are now on 6 pages of replies per topic? Yeah, but the problem with starting at the last page in a topic, is that people who haven't read any of the replies yet might get confused. I think google groups does it that way, though, opens on the last page. And I always find myself hitting the "first post" button to start at the start instead.

What I've tried to do instead is to make it quick to get to the most recent replies, via the "new posts" link that appears in green, (assuming you're logged on), which also tells you how many posts in the topic are new since you last logged in. This link will take you to the last page, as will the VCR buttons, and numbered page links.

I guess I could add an option to the user profile. Something like "Open topics on last page first" (y/n), kind of thing? And thus put the decision in the hands of the more advanced users.
10:07:01 PM
I think your current method is fine. If it's a long forum, I'll read the first page, shoot to the end to see if it's still got momentum and then go from there.
One of the things I find is that forums can radically change direction, so if I hit the end posts first I might have no idea how they started.
To me it works fine. If the "Open topics on last page first" option isn't difficult then that may please some people but I know that this is a voluntary service and we shouldn't place unreasonable demands on you.
9:10:40 AM
Yes Mike, multiple page topics is what I meant. I always log on to keep track of new replies and am abreast of the thread of most of them (working in IT lets me check any posts regularly) Just found selecting the new post link is slower to respond with the request than selecting the VCR buttons.
10:16:44 PM
Here's a dichotomy :

Martin works in IT so he can check posts regularly

I work in IT but for time and policy reasons I can't check Chockstone during work hours.

I am afraid that I can't compare the response time to Chockstone to my VCR because I don't have one! I've never unwrapped the remote to my CD player (15 years old).

Just so you all don't think I'm an absolute dinosaur, one of the guys who works for me has programmed his PDA to remote control everything in his house that is programmable. The only thing that doesn't work for is his car-keys. It might reassure you to know that your car is safe for the moment.

5:12:18 PM
yeh u can buy these devices from dick smith that u plug into ur wall outlet and can remote control everything that has power from lights to computer, to probly almost flushin the dunny hehe.. I might wait for the thought process remote tho, can't be too far off ;-)

10:27:02 AM
As an addition to that feature it would be nice to be able to jump straight to any page of a thread rather than go into the thread then jump to the second or third page if its a long one.

11:17:04 AM
Alex, you can already jump to a specific page within a topic. Just use the links entitled by the page numbers, for example, pick any long topic (with more than 20 replies) and to the right of the VCR buttons (found at the top and bottom of every large topic) you'll see Messages: 1 to 20, 21 to 40, 41 to 60, 61 to 80 and so on. Hit the appropriate link for the appropriate page. :-)

The other thing to be aware of is that the forums are threaded (same as google, and for example). Replies are not presented chronologically, instead replies appear under each other, nested as it were (ie recursively). You can reply to any post within a topic. (Think of it like a tree structure, with infinite branches). Thus it is possible that a "new post" might not appear on the last page in the topic. If someone replies to a reply, posted early in the topic, said new reply will also appear early in the topic. To get a clearer picture, press the "View Thread" button. But the upshot of it is, that always going to the last page first will not, neccessarily, give you the most recent post to the topic.

11:56:09 AM
Mike, how hard would it be to have a link back to the particular forum you are currently browsing on each thread's page? No much of an issue right now, but this might become an issue when some of the threads grow really big - imagine you have read through 6, 8 even 10+ pages of replies and there are other threads in that forum you still want to read - currently you can either hit your back button a bunch of times or you have to exit back to the main list of forums and go back in again. Fast bandwidth won't have a problem with this but the <56k people might - just a thought. Cheers.

12:00:14 PM
Rupert, if I understand you correctly, this link already exists. Press the "Topics" button, found at the top right of the page.

1:42:02 PM
Ah that would be the obvious "topics' button at the top of the page. Duh! Thanks.

8:47:57 PM
I don't think I made the feature request totally clear. What I'm after is the ability to jump to a specific page of a thread from the thread list page. Ie you are looking at the list of threads and you see a new post has been made in a thread which already had 20+ posts so you don't want to have to load the first page of the thread to then be able to jump to the next page(s). so an option to see threads like this would be nice:

> Bolt technolgy and ethics 1 2 3 4 5

where you can click on the title or the '1' to get to the first page, or click on the other numbers to jump to that specific page.

11:07:12 AM
Alex, I've added a little ">|" link to the right of multi-page topic headings. Pressing this will take you to the last page of the topic, and if that page contains posts that are new since you last logged in, it will jump to the first of those. However remember that the last page does not necessarily contain the last reply, due to the threaded nature of the posts. If I get some more time, I'll try and make it jump to the last reply, regardless of which page it's on. But for the time being, it should suffice.

2:13:19 PM
Ah thanks, yes thats a step in the right direction though..

There are 17 messages in this topic.


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