Googlewell? January 6, 2008 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Does the thread of all threads (Givewell) break Google Reader? Or is it a feed settings thing here? Or (more likely) am I doing something wrong?

The Givewell thread only shows 1062 comments in Google Reader. Strangely, it neither starts at the beginning nor ends at the end, choosing rather to start sometime Jan 1 and end sometime Jan 3. Any ideas?
posted by nevercalm to Bugs at 9:43 AM (25 comments total)

What's the last comment you get? I can't say why it's not starting at the beginning (when did you subscribe to the thread?), but it's possible a bad char in a comment on the 3rd is breaking further entry parsing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:45 AM on January 6, 2008

This is the newest comment.
posted by nevercalm at 9:46 AM on January 6, 2008

Oh and sorry, I just subscribed about 15 minutes ago.
posted by nevercalm at 9:47 AM on January 6, 2008

I wish that we could continue that thread somewhere else, it takes too long to load now.
posted by grouse at 9:54 AM on January 6, 2008

Has anything new happened in the last 1000 or so posts?
posted by smackfu at 9:55 AM on January 6, 2008

I wish that we could continue that thread somewhere else, it takes too long to load now.

Maybe that's why larger communities (with thousands of active, commenting members) shift to some sort of organized commenting structure.

::tries not to poke the bear::

posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:01 AM on January 6, 2008

I recently had all the MetaFilter threads I was following in Google Reader reset themselves, with all the posts marked as "unread." How are your other MeFi subscriptions?
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:02 AM on January 6, 2008

SeizeTheDay, just having pages for every 300 comments or so would be a big help. We don't need threads.
posted by grouse at 10:04 AM on January 6, 2008

I generally use "recent activity," and can easily load the thread if I've missed something. But this thing is a bear, and ties up my browser as it takes 45 seconds to load. It's a drag, so I figured I'd give my rss reader a whirl, thinking it might be easier. And then....kaboom!
posted by nevercalm at 10:05 AM on January 6, 2008

Me too, nevercalm, but occasionally (a) someone will post a comment that is too long to read in Recent Activity, or (b) I will leave the computer long enough for more than 10 new comments to be posted (shocking).
posted by grouse at 10:07 AM on January 6, 2008

I just fixed a few validation errors (one "fatal", a couple of warnings). None were right near your cut-off point, so I'm betting that wasn't (directly) the problem, but that will hopefully improve someone's feed-parsing experience.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:12 AM on January 6, 2008

cortex, while you are here: what about getting these monsters broken up, as per grouse's suggestion? Seems it would be a relatively easy and much appreciated fix.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:36 AM on January 6, 2008

Seems it would be a relatively easy and much appreciated fix.

As with all things, "seems" and the reality of it are two different things. These aren't static files on a server somewhere that can be cut into pieces, it's all part of the same active system that is used to display all mefi sites. Adding pagination is a big deal that will cause unintended changes like "hey, why do I have to click through three pages to see a whole huge thread, are you just trying to make more on ad revenue?!" and then you have the problem of what people do when their conversation is cut off mid-pagination (responding to comment #248 on page two, which ends it up being say comment #264 and you can't tell what they are referring to.

Up until this point they've been single page threads by design -- after a thread has more than 300-500 comments, it's fairly inaccessible to all but the most voracious readers. It's just too much junk to wade through. Keeping it on one page kind of acts as a self-defeating mechanism where a person is much less likely to add comment #1001 because they know pretty much everything has been covered already.

You throw pagination into the mix and suddenly these monster threads that used to die on the vine continue forever ("hey, did you see comment #2607 on page 17? It was hilarious!").
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:44 AM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

I don't think we need pagination; the present structure works fine almost all the time. But we do need a new thread for the Givewell topic; I keep hoping the NYT or someone will pick up on it so we can use that as a hook, but maybe it's time to just post "Givewell Part Deux."
posted by languagehat at 10:48 AM on January 6, 2008

I rely on the browser search to navigate those massive threads quickly, which pagination would disrupt
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:13 AM on January 6, 2008

I think it should just be left as-is. Pagination would suck, to me. A new thread (if created just for the sake of having a part II) would just be asynchronous pagination really.

I think it does help to keep comments to those who value the topic most, who will read through many of the posts and have relevant things to say. Some of it is who happens to have free time at the moment, I admit, but I still think this is better than pagination or threading or a part II.
posted by cashman at 11:16 AM on January 6, 2008

I was thinking the same thing as grouse the last time I read that thread. Ee-yow it is long.
posted by Tehanu at 11:38 AM on January 6, 2008

Meanwhile, not to derail this whole nth threading/pagination discussion....are we getting anywhere with the reader thing that was the original intent of the post?

Alternately, anyone have any other other means of reading posts like this? Beyond "recent" and rss? I'm basically looking to read this post in a manner that will allow me to not have to load the whole thread. Without having to install new software either, by the way....I'm pretty happy with Google's reader....
posted by nevercalm at 11:52 AM on January 6, 2008

I suggested in that givewell thread that someone should add a 'notable comments' section to the wiki because the thread is too long to read for most people.
posted by puke & cry at 12:18 PM on January 6, 2008

God, that thread is still going strong. Madness.
posted by puke & cry at 12:37 PM on January 6, 2008

The corpse in the library, the same reset thing happened to me recently w/ gr
posted by Jahaza at 12:46 PM on January 6, 2008

I've found that using Opera makes reading the thread a little more bearable (in that it's somewhat faster than firefox). As far as Google reader goes, I haven't tried it but I do see all the latest comments in the RSS itself.
posted by whir at 1:17 PM on January 6, 2008

I also had the reset problem that corpse and Jahaza describe. It wasn't that they were marked unread, but duplicate entries were added for every comment and dated Jan 1, 2008. It happened to most of my metafilter subscriptions. The rss feed itself looks fine, though.
posted by Gary at 3:04 PM on January 6, 2008

Same here, Gary, Jahaza, Corpse in the library.

Further, the RSS feed I had for posts tagged with maps reset itself so the last 10 map-tagged posts appeared unread and dated Jan 1.
posted by desjardins at 3:18 PM on January 6, 2008

jessamyn just closed it - it's just as well
posted by pyramid termite at 9:36 PM on January 6, 2008

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