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News Comments Updates

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DaveLegg    1,000

Hi All,

 

Since the thread about discontinuing the mirroring of news comments into the forums, we've been working behind the scenes to improve the overall experience with news comments. As there were three or four threads across multiple forums regarding the changes, and issues people would like to see addressed, I thought it would make sense to create a single thread where we everyone can follow our progress as we work to improve the comments system for you.

 

I'm pleased to announce that we have just added the ability to read news comments in a 'linear' view - which is similar to how threads work on the forums. The order is purely chronological, without the parent-child comment relationships that are seen in the default view.

 

To switch to the linear view, simply use the sort options dialog at the top of the comments area, and pick one of the "linear view" options.

commentSort.png

 

We're continuing to work on other improvements behind the scenes, and will release them in the coming weeks as and when they're ready. Features already being worked on include an indicator on a comment to indicate if it is new since you last viewed the page, and improved handling of quotes in replies, including the ability to quote multiple comments easily.

 

We'll update here in this thread as and when each new feature is completed and rolled out for you to use

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DaveLegg    1,000

Good news!

 

The new comment indicator is done too! Any comment which was posted since you last viewed an article will be highlighted with a slight green tint. If it's the first time you've viewed an article (or the first time since this change was implemented) you won't see the highlighting, to avoid a huge mass of green comments. See below for how it looks on the normal theme, and on darkside.

 

Normal:

newComment.png

 

Darkside:

newCommentDarkside.png

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DaveLegg    1,000

@Yogurth you were asking about this in one of the other threads :)

 

I should add, both of these features work based on cookies, so you'll need to set your view preference on each machine you use.

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Yogurth    2,236
3 minutes ago, DaveLegg said:

@Yogurth you were asking about this in one of the other threads :)

 

I should add, both of these features work based on cookies, so you'll need to set your view preference on each machine you use.

uh nice, thx for the great feature :)

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Brandon H    3,035

I have a request/suggestion that I'm not sure will be possible but may already be in the works as well.

 

minispy.png

 

On the minispy I'd like to see it function where you click the title and it takes you to the top of the article like it does now but when you click on the "first unread post" button I'd like it to actually scroll to the first unread comment (or at least down to the comments section)

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Louisifer    748
22 minutes ago, Brandon H said:

On the minispy I'd like to see it function where you click the title and it takes you to the top of the article like it does now but when you click on the "first unread post" button I'd like it to actually scroll to the first unread comment (or at least down to the comments section)

That would make sense for front page news, all they need to do is replace "/?do=getNewComment" with "#comments" on front page entries. :) 

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zhangm    1,333
On ‎2016‎11‎27 at 10:03 AM, DaveLegg said:

Good news!

 

The new comment indicator is done too! Any comment which was posted since you last viewed an article will be highlighted with a slight green tint. If it's the first time you've viewed an article (or the first time since this change was implemented) you won't see the highlighting, to avoid a huge mass of green comments. See below for how it looks on the normal theme, and on darkside.

 

Normal:

 

Darkside:

I like it. Makes browsing for changes much easier on the news side.

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DaveLegg    1,000
13 hours ago, Brandon H said:

I have a request/suggestion that I'm not sure will be possible but may already be in the works as well.

 

minispy.png

 

On the minispy I'd like to see it function where you click the title and it takes you to the top of the article like it does now but when you click on the "first unread post" button I'd like it to actually scroll to the first unread comment (or at least down to the comments section)

Just to confirm, it's already on the list, it relies on another change being made first though, so once that's done, we'll be able to enable this

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DaveLegg    1,000

We've now added an indicator at the top of an article (next to the comment count) which will show up when there are new unread comments on the article. Clicking it will load the comments, and scroll you down to the first new comment.

New Comment Indicator.PNG

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Danielx64    603

Is it possible to load everything at once so that when you scroll to the comments you don't need to wait for then to load?

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Draconian Guppy    13,037
On 3/12/2016 at 8:43 PM, Danielx64 said:

Is it possible to load everything at once so that when you scroll to the comments you don't need to wait for then to load?

+1

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Skiver    1,959
On 04/12/2016 at 2:43 AM, Danielx64 said:

Is it possible to load everything at once so that when you scroll to the comments you don't need to wait for then to load?

 
 

I'm no developer so if I'm wrong someone please correct me, but you do realise that would make it worse?

 

If loading parts of the article/comment take too long, then loading ALL that information from the beginning means that you're going to have to wait even longer? 

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adrynalyne    12,131
Just now, Skiver said:

I'm no developer so if I'm wrong someone please correct me, but you do realise that would make it worse?

 

If loading parts of the article/comment take too long, then loading ALL that information from the beginning means that you're going to have to wait even longer? 

Not if you make it an asynchronous operation, which it currently does not appear to be.

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Skiver    1,959

Look, guys, can we keep in mind that the developers here are not full time, they have day jobs to do. I appreciate these posts are designed to be constructive and we appreciate that but the wording of most of these comments just come across very entitled. Like the developers owe you a better level of service or something, especially when what your writing is not even an issue. You can call it what you will but it's designed that way for a reason, it might not be the best choice and it may be possible to do it better but that does not mean they have to do it and they have to do it now.

 

They do their best in their free time, let's just appreciate the work they do, report issues as they come up but end this constant chasing them on problems. 

 

If you feel like you can do a better job then maybe volunteer your time to help combat these types of scenarios.

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MikeChipshop    3,458

Hadn't seen this thread before but have been following the changes on the news comments. All i can say is good work and keep it up! 

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Danielx64    603
6 minutes ago, Skiver said:

Look, guys, can we keep in mind that the developers here are not full time, they have day jobs to do. I appreciate these posts are designed to be constructive and we appreciate that but the wording of most of these comments just come across very entitled. Like the developers owe you a better level of service or something, especially when what your writing is not even an issue. You can call it what you will but it's designed that way for a reason, it might not be the best choice and it may be possible to do it better but that does not mean they have to do it and they have to do it now.

 

They do their best in their free time, let's just appreciate the work they do, report issues as they come up but end this constant chasing them on problems. 

 

If you feel like you can do a better job then maybe volunteer your time to help combat these types of scenarios.

Well I would have put my hands up and said "hey I think I can fix an issue or 2". But for obvious reasons I can't do that. Mainly due to conflict of interest (I am working on my own blog/CMS system plus I am a co author of another forum script). Also no disrespect but at times some of us feels that our feedback are not taken seriously. Example: how long did it take to get the status feature fixed? Not to say that the attitude that we got.

 

18 hours ago, Skiver said:

I'm no developer so if I'm wrong someone please correct me, but you do realise that would make it worse?

 

If loading parts of the article/comment take too long, then loading ALL that information from the beginning means that you're going to have to wait even longer? 

There also another option as well, only show say 25 comments per page and have pagination (or page numbers like what we see on the forum).

 

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Skiver    1,959
1 minute ago, Danielx64 said:

Well I would have put my hands up and said "hey I think I can fix an issue or 2". But for obvious reasons I can't do that. Mainly due to conflict of interest (I am working on my own blog/CMS system plus I am a co author of another forum script). Also no disrespect but at times some of us feels that our feedback are not taken seriously. Example: how long did it take to get the status feature fixed? Not to say that the attitude that we got.

 

There also another option as well, only show say 25 comments per page and have pagination (or page numbers like what we see on the forum).

 

 

Like I said above, I think your biggest issue here is a view of entitlement. You make it sound like this site owes you a better level of service and I'm sorry to tell you it doesn't.

 

The developers can only do what they can do, and being constantly moaned at that they aren't going fast enough is never going to make that go faster is it? Appreciate the hard work they all do in their free time and thank them when they finally get round to fixing an issue.

 

The problem is obvious, there is too much work for our developers, I don't think anyone would deny this and the best way forward is to have more volunteers or pay someone. So if you can't volunteer yourself, are you going to pay for someone? No if course you aren't, but if you aren't willing to help or pay then you need to lower your expectations. I cannot deal with complainers who offer no solution to a problem but love to make it a big deal. It's not constructive and it's not helpful to the problem so what is the point?

 

Yes, of course, it's a solution, but it's a solution to a minor problem. It's a design change which I'm sure you appreciate is not something to be taken likely and needs time to develop and test. 

 

All I'm trying to say here is that chasing a developer is not going to get your problem solved quicker so let's leave them to it.

 

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Danielx64    603
15 minutes ago, Skiver said:

All I'm trying to say here is that chasing a developer is not going to get your problem solved quicker so let's leave them to it.

That's fine but can you (and I may be reading it wrong) please not single me out? Surly i'm not the only one who haven't been happy with the place since the upgrade taken place last year.

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Skiver    1,959
Just now, Danielx64 said:

That's fine but can you (and I may be reading it wrong) please not single me out? Surly i'm not the only one who haven't been happy with the place since the upgrade taken place last year.

 

Apologies if it came across this way, I certainly didn't mean it to single you out. The topic was being discussed and I saw this as an opportunity to request that we tone it down.

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Steven P.    13,841

Hi guys, we are aware of the slow loading for comments, but let me first explain why it's even needed.

 

The hiding and loading of comments is there so that comments don't get indexed in any search engines, many sites do it, and some even require you to click on a button to load the comments, or take you to another page entirely! We can possibly look at loading the comments when an article is actually accessed by the browser, which should solve these issues. Mobile is the worst, because it takes a while to load even when you have scrolled to where the comments should be. But at the end of the day, advertisers don't like user generated content appearing in search engines (associated with news articles) and that is the reason why it is required.

 

We are discussing behind the scenes on how to make it better, so have a little patience please :)

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Danielx64    603
28 minutes ago, Steven P. said:

Hi guys, we are aware of the slow loading for comments, but let me first explain why it's even needed.

 

The hiding and loading of comments is there so that comments don't get indexed in any search engines, many sites do it, and some even require you to click on a button to load the comments, or take you to another page entirely! We can possibly look at loading the comments when an article is actually accessed by the browser, which should solve these issues. Mobile is the worst, because it takes a while to load even when you have scrolled to where the comments should be. But at the end of the day, advertisers don't like user generated content appearing in search engines (associated with news articles) and that is the reason why it is required.

 

We are discussing behind the scenes on how to make it better, so have a little patience please :)

Thank you for the heads up. Regarding the reason why it hidden in the first place (advertisers don't like user generated content), I have an answer for that however I'm not sure if it would work on your CMS (since I am building off a fork of phpBB) but I will post one way of dealing with that issue.

 

In my templates I can use a switch (S_IS_BOT) to detect if it a search engine or a real human is viewing the page. So if I do something like:

 

<-- IF NOT S_IS_BOT -->  
 Show comment stuff here
<-- ENDIF -->

I can show the user generated content to legit viewers while hiding that content from search engines.

 

Then to avoid having 50+ comments on one page we can combine the above with pagination .

 

Of course the above is only one way of dealing with both issues but I am sure that there are other ways of dealing with the loading (and keeping the advertisers happy).

Edited by Danielx64
Fixed small typo

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Danielx64    603
15 minutes ago, Skiver said:

Apologies if it came across this way, I certainly didn't mean it to single you out. The topic was being discussed and I saw this as an opportunity to request that we tone it down.

It's all good - in this world it easy to get on someone's nerves. See my reply above - I'm not sure if you will understand it but I just showed another way of dealing with 2 completely different issues with one stone :) 

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Steven P.    13,841

Yeah I am sure Dave or Marcel knows if this is possible, our CMS is custom built so we can control whatever we want.

 

Regarding the amount of comments, ours is so lightweight, it doesn't matter if there are 5 or 75 comments, it starts to get heavy when comments contain media.

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DaveLegg    1,000
36 minutes ago, Danielx64 said:

Thank you for the heads up. Regarding the reason why it hidden in the first place (advertisers don't like user generated content), I have an answer for that however I'm not sure if it would work on your CMS (since I am building off a fork of phpBB) but I will post one way of dealing with that issue.

 

In my templates I can use a switch (S_IS_BOT) to detect if it a search engine or a real human is viewing the page. So if I do something like:

 


<-- IF NOT S_IS_BOT -->  
 Show comment stuff here
<-- ENDIF -->

I can show the user generated content to legit viewers while hiding that content from search engines.

 

Then to avoid having 50+ comments on one page we can combine the above with pagination .

 

Of course the above is only one way of dealing with both issues but I am sure that there are other ways of dealing with the loading (and keeping the advertisers happy).

 

I'm not sure that's a great idea, search engines do tend to frown upon different content being delivered to their spiders compared to what users would see when viewing the page - they see it as trying to cheat the system to get better rankings, and can heavily penalise a site for doing it

34 minutes ago, Steven P. said:

Yeah I am sure Dave or Marcel knows if this is possible, our CMS is custom built so we can control whatever we want.

 

Regarding the amount of comments, ours is so lightweight, it doesn't matter if there are 5 or 75 comments, it starts to get heavy when comments contain media.

I think the slow loading in this case is something else, related to the queries we use to load the member data from the forum database - it's next on my hitlist to look into that and get it sped up.

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