Thread pagination +500 comments July 1, 2008 6:39 PM   Subscribe

On thread pagination +300-500 comments

Some threads that I want to follow just become too huge for me to keep loading. I'm not suggesting anything extreme -- folding over at 300-500 comments would be very helpful.

(Search didn't turn up any preexisting MeTa threads -- has this been discussed?)
posted by loiseau to Feature Requests at 6:39 PM (35 comments total)

There was a discussion ages ago. I think the outcome of that was obvious.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:41 PM on July 1, 2008


It has come up a few times, yeah. Here's a comment from Matt on his take, back around the start of the year. I agree with him.

300+ comment threads are pretty unusual. 500+ even more so. A bohemoth like the current BoingBoing thread is the once-every-few-months monster, and those tend to prompt this conversation but what it comes down to is an outlier case that would require us to do a bunch of work to support something that's a little annoying but far from a dealbreaker for folks who are really into a discussion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:45 PM on July 1, 2008


I would repay my $5 ten times for this!

Well, I didn't pay $5, because I joined before the fee started. So I'd pay it eleven times.
posted by grumblebee at 6:46 PM on July 1, 2008


Just thank your stars we don't have images anymore.

*Shudders*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:46 PM on July 1, 2008


How hard would be be to "show new comments only"? As an option tied to your account? The DB would have to keep track of each thread you've read and where it stood when you last read it.
posted by grumblebee at 6:48 PM on July 1, 2008


because I joined before the fee started.

There was a time before the fee started? I feel like such a n00b.
posted by davejay at 7:04 PM on July 1, 2008


What about pagination of our comments and posts? Instead of the only navigation being "older" and "newer", why not have pages of 50 comments and the ability to jump directly to one page. It's not a big deal, but you could then jump way back in your comment history without having to click "older" over and over again. I ask because there have been times where someone's asked a question and I knew I'd answered a similar one years ago--I wanted to link to the older thread, but didn't feel like sifting back for 10 clicks. And I'm not a very prolific commenter or poster.

I realize I can just type in a number in the address bar, but if it's at all possible, I'd rather have it in the body of the page.
posted by LionIndex at 7:10 PM on July 1, 2008


Just thank your stars we don't have images anymore.

I was sad when they left. :(
posted by Mikey-San at 7:30 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


New Comments Page Every Ten Comments = Dramatic Increase In Page Views = More Advertising Revenue = Hovercycles For Matt + Jessamyn + Cortex.

Just puttin' that out there.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:31 PM on July 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Maybe a thread that's gotten too big to keep reloading is trying to tell you something.
posted by staggernation at 7:34 PM on July 1, 2008


Maybe a thread that's gotten too big to keep reloading is trying to tell you something.

"Hey chowder head, click on Recent Activity!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:37 PM on July 1, 2008


Frankly, images were the funniest thing about this place, by a mile. But it's still interesting.

For the OP, you can work around the hairiest thread with the MeFi Navigator and Metafilter Scroll Tag Greasemonkey scripts, which you can get from userscripts.org. Pretty much nullifies thread issues.

I guess, though, that if loading time is your main concern, that won't help. But you might want to try them anyways.
posted by facetious at 7:38 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Crazy idea: Ajax thread viewer. Whip up a simple paginated view that takes an offset and a number and returns the posts in HTML or even JSON. Writing javascript to smooth-scroll and load on demand given that would take a competent javascript programmer a day. That way the current page stays, no changes to what works, and it opens the door for anyone with greasemonkey to display however they want without loading the whole thread.
posted by Skorgu at 7:40 PM on July 1, 2008


Images broke up the page for me, and helped me to find where on the page I'd left off reading if I wandered off to check something else or took a smoke break or something.

So, yeah, really huge comment threads can be a pain.
posted by QIbHom at 7:49 PM on July 1, 2008


Alvy Ampersand said: "Maybe a thread that's gotten too big to keep reloading is trying to tell you something.

"Hey chowder head, click on Recent Activity!"
"

When threads move faster than 10 posts per check, Recent Activity doesn't help.

I know these threads don't happen that often, but they are usually threads I want to keep up with (the MeTa sexism threads last fall, for example) but eventually have to give up.
posted by loiseau at 8:23 PM on July 1, 2008


because I joined before the fee started

Rub it in grumblebee-otch, rub it in.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:55 PM on July 1, 2008


beaucoupkevin: "New Comments Page Every Ten Comments = Dramatic Increase In Page Views = More Advertising Revenue = Hovercycles For Matt + Jessamyn + Cortex.

Just puttin' that out there.
"


More likely far less people would read entire threads... they'd just stop clicking the next page at some point.

You forgot pb and vacapinta.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:12 PM on July 1, 2008


I'm definitely not asking for 10 posts per page. I'd be happy with 300 per page, but even 500 would be an improvement.
posted by loiseau at 10:19 PM on July 1, 2008


When threads move faster than 10 posts per check, Recent Activity doesn't help.

You're just not clicking fast enough is all.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:29 PM on July 1, 2008


Maybe a thread that's gotten too big to keep reloading is trying to tell you something.

It's telling me I need to make an inane comment in the thread just so I can keep track of it using my "Recent Activity" page, which is about 20 times shorter.
posted by Jimbob at 1:09 AM on July 2, 2008


I like boheme moths.
posted by Catfry at 1:36 AM on July 2, 2008


Rub it in grumblebee-otch, rub it in.

I know you're joking, but I'm sorry if I rudely flouted my semi-early membership here. That last sentence makes me laugh, because, to me, it's really odd to care about whether or not someone joined a website early on. How is it meaningful? Sure, it suggests I know the rules around here (in theory -- actually, I'm pretty dense about them), but it doesn't take years and years to figure out rules. And I guess I know the history. But it's all archived, public stuff. Anyone who wants to can know the history.

thepinksuperhero (for instance) joined this site years after I did, and yet she's SO much more a part of the community than I am.

I know that people often have a fetish about early members. I don't share it. I don't get it. But I also get confused when people discuss the U.S. Constitution and try to mine what the Founding Fathers intended. Who cares what they intended?
posted by grumblebee at 7:12 AM on July 2, 2008


I tried to join when the new member signups were closed, which was maybe just before the $5 started. Look how that turned out.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:19 AM on July 2, 2008


re-railing, a compromise might be anchors at the top of every 100th comment or so, like
comments: first -- 100 -- 200 -- 300
This wouldn't show up on short threads and would be helpful on long ones.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:34 AM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Images broke up the page for me, and helped me to find where on the page I'd left off reading if I wandered off to check something else or took a smoke break or something.

For long threads, the inevitable poem(s) can serve this purpose.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:35 AM on July 2, 2008


Ajax thread viewer. Whip up a simple paginated view that takes an offset and a number and returns the posts in HTML or even JSON. Writing javascript to smooth-scroll and load on demand given that would take a competent javascript programmer a day

Please don't do this. It breaks things like scroll wheels and space bar paging. Besides, you know who else did that?

Actually, they've since fixed it a bit, but when Live first launched the UI was unnavigable without grabbing the scroll bar with the mouse. It sucked. Now I can at least use my scroll wheel.
posted by stet at 12:39 PM on July 2, 2008


Grumblebee, I'm glad that you recognized that I was joking, and I apologize for abusing your screen name.

I don't fetishize early membership, but I was a locked out lurker here when it seemed like new memberships were closed forever. Also, $5 is a ridiculously small bar, but I think it kept me off the site for a year or two more until I saw a post where I just had to comment. Also, if I had had foreknowledge of the $5 fee, I'd have signed up like six sockpuppets.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:50 PM on July 2, 2008


stet: Works pretty well in Google Reader, no?
posted by Skorgu at 2:37 PM on July 2, 2008


I think numbered comments would be nifty. Comments already have their own anchors, why not just display the number of the comment next to them?
posted by saysthis at 11:03 AM on July 6, 2008


One of the things I personally find really unsettling on sites where comment numbers are displayed is the propensity among folks in the conversation to refer to one another by number or to otherwise use that in lieu of the kinds of nominal and quotational signifiers that are common on mefi. Which may be largely a matter of local convention, but I really like that threads here aren't punctuated by a series of #xyz callbacks in every other comment.

Add to that the weirdness that comes with auto-numbered comments in threads where deletions are a possibility. You either get deletion-leads-to-reindexing headaches (all of a sudden what was quoted as #117 is in fact #116), or you get OMG MISSING COMMENT(S) gaps in the numbering, neither of which I'm particularly hot on, the first one particularly so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:16 AM on July 6, 2008


@556736: I think that happens more on forums where posters are anonymous: people here respond to posters by username, mostly, rather than by the time of the post (the other such convention I've run across).

Rather than letting each post have a comment #1, you could show enough digits from the end of the existing comment_id that each reply in a thread is unique and increasing. So the comments in this thread would be numbered 6, 7, 8, 9, 91, 93, etc. up to your 6736.

On reflection, that's a fucking terrible idea. I would like some anchor every (few) hundred comments, though.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:13 AM on July 7, 2008


I think that happens more on forums where posters are anonymous: people here respond to posters by username, mostly, rather than by the time of the post (the other such convention I've run across).

I'd have thought the same as well, except that I've been seeing that it's not true in practice even in places with persistent names and no great pile of anonymity to account for it. I think it's one of those things where if it's there, folks won't resist using it; and if they use it, they'll neglect other stuff. It's not even a terrible way to proceed (assuming you don't auto-reindex on deletion), but it also doesn't seem to have any clear advantages that'd make it worth the change.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:21 AM on July 7, 2008


So, about the pagination for huge threads... that's a no, huh?
posted by loiseau at 9:29 AM on July 8, 2008


I think that's a no, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:02 AM on July 8, 2008


Sigh.

It was a reasonable request, no?

I have a personal interest in things like Internet community moderation and wanted to follow the BB thread but can't reload 2MB+ pages. I have a bandwidth cap plus my computer can't handle it.
posted by loiseau at 12:11 PM on July 8, 2008


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