My top two features that I wish the forum had are:
1) A checkmark against each of the topics I've posted in so I can quickly refer back to them when there is an update,
2) Automatically jump to the last unread post when I reopen a topic so I don't have to keep scrolling down to find where the new posts start.
January 27th, 2006 5:19pm
"1) A checkmark against each of the topics I've posted in so I can quickly refer back to them when there is an update"
Definately. Maybe something as simple as another color, though. Don't want to clutter the main listing with tons of icons.
Both of the suggestions are good but also require storage of tracking information in a cookie. I've done this before for my other forums, it's pretty easy but it makes for a big cookie. Probably it can only remember the last 100 or that you've looked it.
Almost H. Anonymous
January 27th, 2006 5:24pm
(1) Is good, (2) seems like bloat.
Personally I'd like links to the (other) JOS forums on the left, just like in the old ?off. I mean, we're all JOS readers anyway, so why not a convenient link to the other forums?
January 27th, 2006 5:25pm
Yes, I imagined doing it only for the currently visible threads, which is something like 70 at the moment.
January 27th, 2006 5:28pm
Too bad you can't access history because you could just compare history to the thread.
Idea: Stick two links on every post.
One, a direct link to that post so you can copy/paste it if you want to directly link to that post.
Two, the thread URL at the time that post was made, I.e. This post would be http://crazyontap.com/topic.php?TopicId=254&Posts=4
THAT way, you can check to find the last purple post and know that's the last one you read.
January 27th, 2006 8:18pm
I'm not sure #2 would scale that well. It'd require the cookie keep the last post index for every thread it knew about, and that would get huge over time.
Or maybe work off the timestamp -- you last did something at 3pm on Monday, so everytime you go into a thread it jumps you to the first post made after that time.
January 27th, 2006 8:31pm
January 27th, 2006 8:34pm
What's the practical limit on the size of a cookie? As I see it, the cookie needs to track the topic index (a small integer) for each of the visible topics (say up to 100), and for each topic index the post count (another small integer) the last time that topic was visited. So that is up to 100 pairs of small integers, say 800 bytes. Is that so bad?
January 27th, 2006 8:38pm
Yeah, that's probably OK too, but if there's a period of heavy posting there may be some DB contention on generating the next ID. But then, maybe I'm over-engineering it. :-)
January 27th, 2006 8:39pm
What generating the next ID? It's just a loop since it always increases by one.
January 27th, 2006 8:40pm
Ian - he's talking about a global posting index, so no matter which thread you go into, it can compare the value in the cookie against the list in the thread.
One question for plugh, though, and that's how that value gets into the cookie in the first place. You can't store it on returning to the main form, as then you'd only be able to visit one thread before it got reset.
Maybe store two values in the cookie -- last visits high post number, and the current high post number. You'd swap them when you first arrive from another domain.
January 27th, 2006 8:42pm
You moron, I'm not talking about a cookie.
Look. Joel* had this "brilliant" idea to change the URl with each post so the link turns purple when you read it.
I'm just taking the next "logical" step and sticking that link in each post.
Each post would have the link of the thread at the time it was created so you can see it turn purple too.
* actually, I think it was Michael, everyone knows he's the real brains of that outfit.
January 27th, 2006 8:44pm