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TOV Forums > Website Announcements & Feedback > > Re: software choices

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mct
Profile for mct
How do I jump to new posts?    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-27-2002 18:28
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Every other forum I've registered for has a way to begin reading a thread at the first new (to me) post, and keeps track of what I've read.

Am I missing something here? Is there some way to start reading a thread at the first new post? [I'm takling about doing so from 'simple view' since the full thread view is pretty much useless.]

JeffX
Profile for JeffX
software choices    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-29-2002 09:05
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Thanks for your comments.

I agree that this is something that should be added to the feature set. Right now I'm not sure if the software system that we're using will easily allow us to do this. I think we've already looked into this and it will require some fairly significant code modifications. Gilbert can speak better to this.

Many people have questioned why we didn't go with one of the more popular forum software packages, and the main answer is because from the outset we were looking to build a complete website - not just a large forum with pretty graphics. Most of the other honda "websites" out there are simply homepages for a vBulletin or similar forum package and offer little to nothing else. These are great pieces of forum software, if you're looking for a "flat" forum format. But they don't really give you many tools for building a more complete website, and that's obvious when you visit these other sites.

I personally despise the flat format because it encourages topics to veer way off course, and the software systems reward people for post-whoring (we could actually keep track of all that stuff and display it on our system, but we consciously chose not to implement those "features"). Any time I look at these flat threads I find that about 95% of the stuff I have to read through isn't worth reading. With a threaded model you can pick and choose the forks of a conversation which you wish to read or participate. I realize that many people prefer the "flat" model, so we offer a provision for that, while maintaining my preferred threading. It's not perfect, but I think it works well enough.

Anyhow, we sort of took the "long way" to achieve a more complete website, and along the way we had to make some compromises (including the feature you've requested), but I think we can make these things happen over time.

Thanks

mct wrote:
Every other forum I've registered for has a way to begin reading a thread at the first new (to me) post, and keeps track of what I've read.

Am I missing something here? Is there some way to start reading a thread at the first new post? [I'm takling about doing so from 'simple view' since the full thread view is pretty much useless.]



gilbert
Profile for gilbert
Re: software choices    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-29-2002 19:28
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mct - Actually, if you visit any of the vbulletin (UBB et. al.) they do a half assed job of tracking which threads/messages you've already seen. I could mimic that behavior fairly easily, but it doesn't do much good since it doesn't automatically flag a message as being read after you read it.

Here's a test. Go to a vbulletin site, read a new thread, refresh the index page, and it still shows that you haven't read those threads. Another test is to visit a vbulletin site, but don't read any new messages. Then wait a few hours and come back to the site. If the threads are no longer active, they will not show up as being unread.

So in fact, none of those sites actually implement what you are asking for. My best guess is that they have a time based heuristic that checks the last time that you visited the site (set in a session cookie). They then display messages that are new since that time. They DON'T tell you what you've read and what you haven't.

I have thought about implementing a smart "new/unread thread tracker". It's doable, but you're going to have cookies with lots of thread info stored in it (one line for each thread that you've read since you started visiting the site). We could try to store that info in the database, but again, that takes a lot of space. It's a compromise and will require some more thought on my part...

Regarding speed issues (related to the email you sent to Jeff), I know how to make the site respond much more quickly, but I just need to find the time to do it. You may see that improvement around Thanksgiving or mid-December...

Gilbert


 
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