But I was just here! May 2, 2008 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Why doesn't MetaFilter always recognize that I have visited?

This is probably a stupid question, but I can't find anything in the FAQ or after a bit of rummaging around the Wiki.

I can't figure out a consistent pattern of behaviour that will allow Metafilter to "know" when my last visit was. Sometimes I'll close the brower window or click through to a link, and visit the site again later and it will give an accurate count of new comments and posts since my last visit; other times it just repeats the same information as my prior visit(s).

Refreshing the front page doesn't make a difference, and I have my browser (Firefox) set to no caching.
posted by Shepherd to Bugs at 10:55 AM (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

You're not very important.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 11:02 AM on May 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


You, however, fantabulous timewater, are paramount!
posted by katillathehun at 11:05 AM on May 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


The site keeps accurate tabs on cabal members only. There is no cabal, therefore accurate tabs are kept on no one.
posted by Cranberry at 11:05 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


think if it's been less than n minutes (where n is something like 15) since your last visit, it doesn't update it. If you went to the home page, clicked and read a thread, and then clicked back to home, would you want it to say zero new threads? No.
posted by Plutor at 11:13 AM on May 2, 2008


And how come it never calls anymore?
posted by Greg Nog at 11:14 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


It knows if you're really paying attention to what site content that you're scanning over, so it gives you another chance in case you might of missed something you might benefit by reading. It looks out for you like that.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:14 AM on May 2, 2008


The site keeps accurate tabs on cabal members only. There is no cabal, therefore accurate tabs are kept on no one.

How delightfully naive. The "site" -- or more accurately the rogue AI that operates the vast protocol that appears in this brane of spacetime as a "site" -- has no more need to keep track of the members of the Cabal than you have need to keep track of what neurons are firing in what you optimistically call a brain. In fact, the very notions of "members," "tabs," and even "accurate" become meaningless at the levels of existence that the Cabal-Mind operates at.

Seriously though, the "since last visit" thing is a rough estimation at best. I believe one of Plutor's Greasemonkey scripts does a more accurate job of it, if you are into that sort of thing.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:16 AM on May 2, 2008


Yeah, sessions take 20min to time out and reset, for the reasons Plutor described. Once in a while firefox doesn't update for me even after several hours but for the most part, it works as described if I truly come back in a few hours.

If you ever want to reset it, logging into the site in a new browser seems to do the trick.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:17 AM on May 2, 2008


It is incorrect to say that the new comment values are only correct for the cabal. The mefi cabal interface allows us to edit those values based on our own judgement and whims. I can reveal this only because all non-cabal members are programmed to forget any comments that describe the inner workings of the cabal-- which, of course, does not exist.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:17 AM on May 2, 2008


Same thing happens to me, and it drives me crazy, especially at the thread-level. I'm not too concerned with how many new links or questions were posted since my last visit, I want to know how many new comments or answers there are on a particular thread.
posted by k8lin at 11:18 AM on May 2, 2008


Cabal? Oh!

I thought mathowie was asking if I wanted to pay an extra $500 for cable and I was all like "I'm good, thanks."

Can I have a do-over?
posted by Shepherd at 11:21 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find the behavior of the (NN new) lines really confusing/frustrating too. I was going to post about it.

I want to know the number of new comments since I last opened the thread. Not since I last opened the front page. Many other forums sites do it this way.
posted by Perplexity at 11:41 AM on May 2, 2008


Cabal? Oh!

No, kabbalah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:42 AM on May 2, 2008


Once in a while firefox doesn't update for me even after several hours but for the most part, it works as described if I truly come back in a few hours.

posted by mathowie at 2:17 PM on May 2 [+] [!]


You...go away?...for hours at a time?
posted by rocket88 at 11:52 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


You ask this like it's a bad thing.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:04 PM on May 2, 2008


Yes, Plutor's Metafilter Scroll Tag script makes the feature work as expected.
posted by team lowkey at 12:32 PM on May 2, 2008


I would like to drink a glass of fantabulous timewater. I believe that it would allow me to travel back and forth in time to wherever I please until it leaves my body.

I'll just have remember not to take a piss in an eleventh-century Moorish castle.
posted by Viomeda at 12:37 PM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


...wait, what Illuminati?
posted by aihal at 12:48 PM on May 2, 2008


That Scroll Tag script is swell and doing the job nicely! Thanks!
posted by Shepherd at 12:49 PM on May 2, 2008


Then you might also be interested in matthewr's latest script...
posted by team lowkey at 12:55 PM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why doesn't MetaFilter always recognize that I have visited?

I bet you never wrote it a thank you note for that time when your [folks/boyfriend/girlfriend] kicked you out and metafilter let you couch surf for a whole month and you [drank all the beer/ate all the food/took all the drugs] without chipping in to restock the [fridge/stash]. And despite that, it still says "welcome back" at the top of every page. What more do you want?
posted by juv3nal at 1:17 PM on May 2, 2008


Back rubs.
posted by carsonb at 1:19 PM on May 2, 2008


I want to know the number of new comments since I last opened the thread. Not since I last opened the front page. Many other forums sites do it this way.

It's a lot more complicated. Instead of storing one timestamp for each user, on their system, you need to store a timestamp for every user for every thread they have ever visited, in the DB. So every view is a DB update. Which is the kind of thing that killls other forums.
posted by smackfu at 1:26 PM on May 2, 2008


Timestamp?
The Van Damme movie?
posted by Dizzy at 2:48 PM on May 2, 2008


No, kabbalah.

Okabbalah!
posted by owhydididoit at 2:49 PM on May 2, 2008


You...go away?...for hours at a time?

It takes time to count the stacks of crisp 5 dollar bills.
posted by lukemeister at 3:00 PM on May 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Okabbalah

Walk a mile for a camel?
posted by humannaire at 3:05 PM on May 2, 2008


I've heard that the Cabal can see the comments an hour before everyone else. That's why the since-your-last-visit numbers don't always sync up.

Lucky bastards.
posted by quin at 3:10 PM on May 2, 2008


Why doesn't MetaFilter always recognize that I have visited?

You could try leaving a calling card, such as "forgetting" to flush the toilet after dropping a loaf.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:17 PM on May 2, 2008


Back rubs.

Listen to him, he has a girlfriend.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:35 PM on May 2, 2008


Did you accidentally swallow your filling?
posted by Eideteker at 3:37 PM on May 2, 2008


"A man said to the universe: 'Sir, I exist!' 'However,' replied the universe. 'The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.'" Stephen Crane
posted by madamjujujive at 3:48 PM on May 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


You mean that whenever you re-click a thread, MetaFilter doesn't lay out fresh new guest towels and send you a big fruit basket? Huh, figured that was a standard feature.

Ooooo, mango!
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:16 PM on May 2, 2008


All my friends from Sherbrooke complain about refreshing more often.
I think it's because of the paper mill's fumes when the wind comes from the North.
posted by bru at 8:06 PM on May 2, 2008


When I log on, there's an mp3 played of a fanfare followed by a 21-gun salute followed by massed chanting and ululating from thousands of impi hailing me as I believe "Mighty Lion of the Internets" (f my Zulu isn't too rusty). Is this not the same for everyone then?
posted by Abiezer at 10:04 PM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why doesn't MetaFilter always recognize that I have visited?

MetaFilter gets a little fed up with how needy you are sometimes, so it ignores you. It's sorry about that, but what are ya going to do?
posted by wfrgms at 10:44 AM on May 3, 2008


Is this not the same for everyone then?

I hear a little eefin', is all.
posted by carsonb at 12:12 PM on May 3, 2008


Greasemonkey on the wiki, as pointers instead of a list.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:59 PM on May 3, 2008


it's not really that into you.
posted by quonsar at 10:31 PM on May 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why doesn't MetaFilter always recognize that I have visited?

It's retaliating for not providing feedback after you've posted an AskMe.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:45 AM on May 4, 2008


« Older AskMe on Cat and Girl   |   Yeah, I got my answer, but fuck you. Newer »

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