Comment display - chronological or "newest first"?

Posted 15/10/2008 - 12:12 by ng

"Newest first" (as currently) is best
83% (117 votes)
Chronological best, it's confusing otherwise
15% (21 votes)
Makes no difference to me
2% (3 votes)
Total votes: 141
Split facts/opinions

That would be feasible - are you applying for the job?

Posted by ng on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 22:31
Facts and opinions

I think it would be useful if someone summarised the situation and posted it in a place where for all newcomers can get an overview of some of the legal "facts" and actions in progress. Reference can then be made to useful/factual posts.

If some of the most useful posts ("facts") could be posted at the top of each forum that may also help.

Other than that, I agree with splitting the opinions and facts

Posted by insameboat on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 20:26
A post with pure facts will

A post with pure facts will be answered by one with pure opinion.
My guess....

Posted by occams razor on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 20:18
Split "facts" and "opinions/chat" ?

Personally I'd prefer chronological order, but the poll results so far indicate that we are not the majority.

Please remember that the site was set up in a big hurry. With more time it could have been planned better - improved forum structure, a place for everything and everything in its place. I'm doing everything I can to retrospectively fix that.

It was the relatively disorganised state of the site that lead me to volunteer my services in the first place. It's not that the original founders of the site did a bad job, quite the reverse, but they didn't have time nor sufficient knowledge of the CMS, but they did make an excellent choice with which CMS to use and got things up and running very quickly.

Partly I am restricted now by not wanting to make too many changes which might confuse or irritate existing users who are now used to the site. Changing comment display order would be an example.

All suggestions appreciated as to how to improve things. I was thinking that we should specifically split "facts" and "opinions/chat" type of postings. Somebody could go and edit all the existing content then, that would be a lot of work!

Posted by ng on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 20:16
It depends

Face it, the structure of this forum makes it very difficult for most people, including me, to follow. You may think it is one of the best packages, but evidently others do not agree.

It wouldn't matter were it not for the fact that many useful factual postings are being buried and remain largely unseen. I am sure that is the reason why no coordinated action or agreement about a proposed course of action has arisen despite many people evidently wishing to reach such an accord.

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 19:42
Firefox 3. I can offer no

Firefox 3. I can offer no explanation, except now it's working! Thanks.

Posted by occams razor on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 19:23
Partly it depends on which

Partly it depends on which "reply" link somebody uses. Replying to the correct comment, or to the original topic as appropriate is important.

It's also possible to switch of the "structured" view of comments and have a "flat" list (which in turn could be newest or oldest first). Might make it easier to follow, but then you wouldn't see comments-to-comments as currently.

We are using what is probably one of the best open source CMS on the planet, but with great power comes great responsibility :)

Posted by ng on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 19:17
The perfect site?

I'm trying to make the site perfect too :) I think it may be possible to allow some user preferences for display order, but I need to research how to do it.

Do make requests for any specific functionality needed - they may be things which are easy to do but I just haven't got round to. More menu links to commonly required pages, for example.

Posted by ng on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 19:11
It should stick between page

It should stick between page refreshes, and does for me. What browser are you using? If you're using IE I'd suggest switching to Firefox. Same goes on a Mac, Firefox three is far better than Safari for most things.

Posted by ng on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 19:09
reverse-chrono/chrono/etc

I know it's a lot to want the site to be perfect, when it's a life-saver already. But I do also think that's why points are getting buried - particularly replies attaching to the original comment. That's certainly the case for me. I can't work my way through all the threads searching for new comment before having to log off

Posted by wood on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 19:04
Fair enough, understand. The

Fair enough, understand.
The problem with your first point though, is it doesn't stick between page refreshes.
2nd works only for group discussions.
"all posts by username" (not just the thread) would be massively useful.

Posted by occams razor on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 18:54
Recent comments display

Done deliberately to try to make people think twice about adding a new topic rather than posting off-topic (new-topic) items into an existing thread.

  • Click the title of the block (any of them) to hide it. i.e. click New Forum Topics and Active Forum Topics and then you will see Recent comments more easily.

  • Try My Unread menu item (on left), also Track available in My account - different ways of seeing what's new etc.

  • I can add search able views. E.g. all comments since specified date and/or by specified user. That's some work for me (not too much) so I need to know what functionality is required. These "utility" views can then be added to the menu, etc.

  • Moving towards Groups will help I think, and getting people to use separate topics should help too. We just have too much lumped together at the moment.

Posted by ng on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 18:39
What we have now is a very weird mixture

The basic thread is in reverse-chrono, replies to comments are in chrono order! Worse still, replies also attach to the the original comment - so they could be half way thrugh the thread and there is no way of knowing if there ARE any new comments except to scroll through all the pages looking for the little New icon!

I firmly believe this why so many important points have been lost/buried, and things have not got done sooner. I could be wrong. Very confusing. :-(

Or maybe its just me.

Posted by Elpasout on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 15:36
On a slightly related note,

On a slightly related note, in the right-hand sidebar, we now have New Forum topics, then Active Forum topics, then Recent comments. I find recent comments the most useful way of keeping track of updates, but it's now so far down I have to scroll down the page each time I refresh it, in order to see them.
And closing the "active Forum topics" part doesn't "stick" between refershes. Any thoughts?

Posted by occams razor on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 13:07
Wouldn't affect "Recent comments" display

Just to be clear, I'm talknig about the reading order, the "Recent comments" display would remain newsest first.

Posted by ng on Wed, 15/10/2008 - 12:19