Paginating long threads August 30, 2005 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Would it be possible to move the most recent end of long, breaking story posts, like the NOLA one unfolding now into a separate thread, say the last 50 posts or so? Refreshing a long thread takes too long, and wastes bandwidth.
posted by ParisParamus to Feature Requests at 1:42 PM (36 comments total)

What do you have in mind?

Do you mean have the comments listed like

posted by ParisParamus to feature requests at 1:42 PM PST [!] comments 1-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-

Something like that?
posted by dios at 2:39 PM on August 30, 2005


I think PP just means the last 50 - you know, coz that's where the action is in "breaking news" stories and it's quicker to reload 50 comments than 250 when you need to know what's going on. Nice idea. Maybe just a link to "Last 50 Comments" somewhere within the thread.
posted by Jimbob at 2:47 PM on August 30, 2005


Yeah, best part would be that all but the last page could be served flat.
posted by Gyan at 2:48 PM on August 30, 2005


correct, Jimbob. This occurred to me as today, I am working in a law office with no broadband....
posted by ParisParamus at 2:52 PM on August 30, 2005


Perhaps the older contributions could be accessed via a link at the top of the post.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:53 PM on August 30, 2005


(inside the thread)
posted by ParisParamus at 2:54 PM on August 30, 2005


"served flat"? what's that? without any fizz?
posted by ParisParamus at 3:00 PM on August 30, 2005


Perhaps the front page should say "last 50 comments, or all 293 comments" where clicking on last 50 is the more obvious thing to do. Sounds pretty good from a bandwidth point of view.
posted by Aknaton at 3:10 PM on August 30, 2005


"served flat"? what's that? without any fizz?

Only the last page will tax the database.
posted by Gyan at 3:21 PM on August 30, 2005


(because the previous pages can be generated once and the served up as a static "flat" file)
posted by cortex at 3:35 PM on August 30, 2005


The thing I suggested would be "serving flat" and save resources because once the 1-50 page is made, it lasts forever, right? (I'm sorry, I completely don't understand technical things) I don't think the other way would be serving flat... or maybe I'm not understand it. Aknaton's way, wouldn't it have to be refreshed with each new post?

That is, if the scenario was

50 most recent posts, All posts
Every time a post is made, both lists would have to be refreshed, so it would tax more, right?
posted by dios at 3:41 PM on August 30, 2005


flat. oh I get it; since only the last 50 posts will be viewed (primarily), the bandwidth will not change, i.e., it will be flat (assuming all those posts are of the same length/content...)
posted by ParisParamus at 3:45 PM on August 30, 2005


Flat, in this sense, means a text file that has already been generated by querying the database earlier and saving the results to a plain text file, rather than one that is dynamically generated for each web visitor as they request it, then discarded.
posted by odinsdream at 3:47 PM on August 30, 2005


Might encourage newsfilter and longer threads with lots of little "chatter" comments where people are not necessarily reading everyone else's stuff.

I speculate, you decide.
posted by Mid at 3:50 PM on August 30, 2005


it already is newsfilter.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:05 PM on August 30, 2005


Pages are rubbish, since they make catching up with the thread a chore nobody does. The best solution is, as PP suggests, to have a way of loading the thread with all of the older posts skipped over, and only the last 50 or so visible.

I implemented this in a message board system I used to run, and it worked really well.
posted by cillit bang at 4:27 PM on August 30, 2005


Yes to what cillit bang said. (If such a thing is possible here, of course.)

Maybe you can provide Matt a rough-draft code example?
posted by davy at 4:36 PM on August 30, 2005


I would, except the only codes I'm decent at are New York's Civil Practice Law, th FRCP, and, perhaps, Morse Code.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:33 PM on August 30, 2005


I'm with you guys. I'd love this feature. (And I know it's wrong and won't happen, but it seems like Katrina should be higher up, but I guess the sidebar handles that. Maybe the link on the sidebar should be a bigger font? And higher up? I dunno. This is a major, major deal.)
posted by blacklite at 6:38 PM on August 30, 2005


Back in the old days, I had suggested an option or reconfiguration by which the most recent comment would appear at the top of the thread, but that was rejected. This seems much better, in any case...
posted by ParisParamus at 6:42 PM on August 30, 2005


and, perhaps, Morse Code.

I'd be delighted to see a proof-of-concept for this in Morse code.
posted by odinsdream at 7:54 PM on August 30, 2005


OOh, or Flag Code.
posted by Balisong at 8:01 PM on August 30, 2005


flagging? : >
posted by amberglow at 8:11 PM on August 30, 2005


Refreshing a long thread takes too long, and wastes bandwidth.

It also saves bandwidth if you don't post dozens of content-free comments, PP.
posted by holgate at 8:31 PM on August 30, 2005


holgate : "It also saves bandwidth if you don't post dozens of content-free comments, PP."

And avoiding snarky posts saves bandwidth too, holgate! So does avoiding making posts like the one I'm making now!

(But I suspect making a "most recent 50 posts" page would save more bandwidth than the savings off PP, yourself, and myself falling off the edge of the world entirely)
posted by Bugbread at 9:18 PM on August 30, 2005


holgate, I'll let you in on a little secret: MH relies on my posts to drive traffic to the text ads.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:21 PM on August 30, 2005


.-.. .-..
posted by ParisParamus at 9:26 PM on August 30, 2005


Thanks, holgate! You've certainly elevated the discourse.
posted by blacklite at 9:46 PM on August 30, 2005


Look at me! I'm wasting bandwith!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:10 PM on August 30, 2005


MH relies on my posts to drive traffic to the text ads.

I seriously doubt that Google can extract any meaningful content from them.
posted by holgate at 12:48 AM on August 31, 2005


The coding for this would be real simple.

As well as the normal

http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/*

Threads, have a script on, say

http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/last/*

This script is identical to the normal page, but the SQL query only selects the 50 most recent comments when generating the page. There could be a link to the "last comments" page on the normal page - "View Last 50 Comments Only" somewhere below the story body.

It would not take up any additional processor - after all, people would only be viewing one page or the other, not both. It would not require any complex code. It would save bandwidth.
posted by Jimbob at 2:07 AM on August 31, 2005


Wow, Paris is a lawyer. Who'da thunk it?
posted by grouse at 2:23 AM on August 31, 2005


Yes, I actually in denial myself...
posted by ParisParamus at 8:47 AM on August 31, 2005


Yes, Im actually in denial myself...
posted by ParisParamus at 8:48 AM on August 31, 2005


I think this would be bad. It would discourage people from reading the whole thread resulting. This would contribute to different people posting the same quoted text multiple times.
posted by Mitheral at 5:05 PM on August 31, 2005


Mitherial, no one is reading the whole tread--it's too long, and too dynamic. This is not for every thread; just the very long ones that are breaking news-ish.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:25 PM on August 31, 2005


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