Recent Activity Test December 18, 2009 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Help us test a new version of Recent Activity.

We're fixing up some problems with Recent Activity and we'd like to test a bit before we move everyone to the new version. You can test the new Recent Activity here.

The most noticeable change is that your posts are now folded into Recent Activity. So instead of having to tab between "My Posts" and "My Comments" there's a single tab called "My Activity".

We also fixed some long-standing issues:
  • If you had more than 10 posts with recent comments from any given subsite, some would not appear in Recent Activity. Now all posts with comments in the last 30 days will appear.
  • If you had more the 30 posts combined with recent activity, you wouldn't see them all. The new Recent Activity shows the last 30 posts and has paging at the bottom if there are more.
  • Old threads appeared in Recent Activity, some where the latest comment is months old. The new Recent Activity only shows posts with comments added in the last 30 days, so it's closer to recent.
You can compare the results side by side for now and see how the new version works compared with the old. You'll know you're at the new page if you see "activity2" in the URL and the title "Recent Activity on My Posts & Comments" at the top of the page. Please post any feedback or bugs here. Thanks!
posted by pb to Feature Requests at 2:17 PM (97 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I like it. Thanks.
posted by exogenous at 2:21 PM on December 18, 2009


I dunno, this seems suspiciously like... an experiment.
posted by The Pusher Robot at 2:22 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


ZOMG THIS LIMITS MY ABILITY TO ... no, wait ... this is actually pretty smart. Go forth.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:24 PM on December 18, 2009


But aren't experiments part of SCIENCE!?
posted by owtytrof at 2:25 PM on December 18, 2009


Neat, but there appears to be a bug that doubles both comments within a post of mine, and the entire entry for that post on the page. Eg. my post from today has all comments doubled, and shows up twice in a row. So does a post from the 14th, although my post on the 15th does not. All the threads where I just commented appear fine.
posted by OmieWise at 2:27 PM on December 18, 2009


Thanks OmieWise, I'm seeing that too and looking into it.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:30 PM on December 18, 2009


pb didn't mention it but in our speed tests of how much computer rendering time is required for Recent Activity, we saw most users having a page load time improvement of 2-5x faster due to the new queries.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:37 PM on December 18, 2009


I'm looking at the new recent activity page, and for a thread I just commented in, it says "14 total comments. Last 10 shown below...". But my most recent comment is the newest one in the thread, and it's the only one that shows up in the new recent activity page. So it's not the last 10 in that case.
posted by FishBike at 2:42 PM on December 18, 2009


I dunno, this seems suspiciously like... an experiment.

Only half of MetaFilter can see this MetaTalk.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:43 PM on December 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


I love the new version. Thank you for working on this!
posted by prefpara at 2:43 PM on December 18, 2009


(oh and in case it matters, and I suspect it does, the thread I'm talking about above is one I posted, so it maybe something weird that only happens when you comment on your own post.)
posted by FishBike at 2:43 PM on December 18, 2009


(and now that the post in question isn't the top one in my Recent Activity page, the problem went away entirely... so either it's already fixed or it's something that only happens when you comment on your own post AND that's the top thing in the Recent Activity page)
posted by FishBike at 2:48 PM on December 18, 2009


OmieWise, you should be seeing single threads and comments now. And I think the counts should match up now too, FishBike, thanks.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:48 PM on December 18, 2009


Ooh, I like it.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:49 PM on December 18, 2009


It would be really helpful if the "manage posts removed from recent activity" link was moved to the top.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:55 PM on December 18, 2009


gotta say, that does feel snappier! Thanks for the improvements or the placebo effect!
posted by potch at 3:04 PM on December 18, 2009


Thanks for the improvements or the placebo effect!

This basically the all-purpose greeting card right here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:09 PM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think I'm doing it wrong... I posted an FPP today that had 25 or so comments--none of them mine--and it's not showing up on this new page. What am I missing?
posted by not_on_display at 3:11 PM on December 18, 2009


Cool. It works!
posted by OmieWise at 3:16 PM on December 18, 2009


not_on_display, clearly you're in the control group for this experiment.
posted by FishBike at 3:17 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, my podcast post just now isn't showing up either, pb.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:18 PM on December 18, 2009


You're not missing anything, not_on_display. It's a bug, looking into it.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:18 PM on December 18, 2009


The 'My Contacts' tab at this url:
http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/activity2/contacts
still has the old format with the unconjoined tabs. Overlooked or just not there yet I dunno.

Also, I noticed this on the old page, but the size of the post titles is larger on the My Comments tab page than on the My Posts or My Favorites tab pages. With the new setup the larger post titles (which I like better) are evident on the My Activity tab, but the smaller size is used on the My Favorites page again.
posted by carsonb at 3:19 PM on December 18, 2009


I think I patched up that bug that not_on_display and cortex were running into, let me know if not.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:41 PM on December 18, 2009


oh thanks, carsonb, yeah the older tab style will be there until we make things live. That page isn't a part of the test. I didn't notice the font difference before, but the layout on the Favorites page is slightly different. We put the site name on the same line as the title. Maybe we can revisit that for consistency.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:44 PM on December 18, 2009


It fixes weirdness that vexed me in the past. I like it.
posted by quin at 3:45 PM on December 18, 2009


This is exactly what I've always wanted from 'Recent Activity' -- it keeps me from commenting in every post of mine to keep updated on it.
posted by flatluigi at 3:45 PM on December 18, 2009


I'm here to:
a) "me, too" all the people saying they like it
b) add this thread to my recent activity page by commenting in it.

I added this new page to the greasemonkey script that puts twisties on that page, and it works with the new code. Not that it would be pb's responsibility to change anything if it didn't. But I thought people might like to know.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:03 PM on December 18, 2009


The most noticeable change is that your posts are now folded into Recent Activity. So instead of having to tab between "My Posts" and "My Comments" there's a single tab called "My Activity".

Sold.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:16 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rah rah rah! It works now! And I like it a lot!!
posted by not_on_display at 4:18 PM on December 18, 2009


woohoo, thanks for spotting that! (But it slowed down performance a bit to fix it, grumble.)
posted by pb (staff) at 4:20 PM on December 18, 2009


Love it. Vote AYE.
posted by bearwife at 4:29 PM on December 18, 2009


Nicely done. Thanks!
posted by futureisunwritten at 4:39 PM on December 18, 2009


Very cool.
posted by rtha at 4:49 PM on December 18, 2009


The most noticeable change is that your posts are now folded into Recent Activity.

Hallelujah!
posted by Artw at 5:21 PM on December 18, 2009


I am a big fan of this.
posted by smackfu at 5:32 PM on December 18, 2009


Like.
posted by flabdablet at 6:08 PM on December 18, 2009


Oh yeah. I like it.
posted by grapesaresour at 6:45 PM on December 18, 2009


Already prefer it to Old Coke.
posted by ardgedee at 6:59 PM on December 18, 2009


The integration is great. Glad to see the outrage over the interface change during the event whose name shall not be spoken hasn't shut down all change. Has the multi page navigation at the bottom always been there or is that new?
posted by Mitheral at 7:07 PM on December 18, 2009


I know it's not a change made from RA to RA2, but since we're talking about that page, I'll note it always seemed a little too double-spacey for my tastes. Yeah, something you can hack with Stylish, but still, I'll just toss in my two cents on that bit.
posted by MikeHarris at 7:14 PM on December 18, 2009


I like this.
posted by shelleycat at 8:04 PM on December 18, 2009


Has the multi page navigation at the bottom always been there or is that new?

Also new.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:09 PM on December 18, 2009


Thanks pb -- the new combined tab is really nice!

One thing I noticed: I commented in the "Get well soon, mathowie!" MetaTalk thread but it doesn't appear on my activity2 page, even though the most recent comment in that thread is from two weeks ago. (The thread does appear on Recent Activity Original Edition.) I'm guessing this is happening because the thread is closed now? Just my two cents, but it'd be useful to see threads included even if they're closed, so I don't miss any comments made just before the auto-shutoff.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 8:15 PM on December 18, 2009


This is good. I used to run into the 'posts disappearing' bug every once in a while and it was kinda disorienting and made me wonder how much else I was missing. So superthanks for taking care of that, pb!
posted by Kattullus at 8:17 PM on December 18, 2009


How dare you improve a service I use every day for no additional charge. My expectations for everything else will suffer. SUFFER!
posted by birdsquared at 8:38 PM on December 18, 2009


Erm, what I said above didn't sound right. That should be "it'd be useful to see threads included even if they're closed, so we/people/folks don't miss any comments made just before the auto-shutoff." I am just one of the many folks here...and apparently I need to click the preview narwhal more before posting...
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 8:40 PM on December 18, 2009


Good catch rangefinder 1.4, it should be picking that post up now. It wasn't based on the thread being closed, but I did need to expand the set of comments to look through.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:04 PM on December 18, 2009


Wow, that was speedy. Excellent -- thanks for fixing it, pb (and for explaining why it was happening)!
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 9:19 PM on December 18, 2009


very nice
posted by caddis at 10:09 PM on December 18, 2009


Very much like this, and have wished that posts were included for a long time. Also, thanks for presenting this in beta for comments etc. before implementing; this is a good example of change introduction!
posted by Miko at 11:31 PM on December 18, 2009


pbsi blue
posted by Rumple at 9:37 AM on December 19, 2009


The most noticeable change is that your posts are now folded into Recent Activity. So instead of having to tab between "My Posts" and "My Comments" there's a single tab called "My Activity".

no, just tested and it shows my recent activity still as comments made earlier and doesn't include the FPP I just put up (unless... *gasp* ... its already been deleted)
posted by infini at 12:11 PM on December 19, 2009


There's probably no activity yet. Once there are comments it should show up.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:15 PM on December 19, 2009


ah ok, so it doesn't count my creating an FPP as "recent activity"...
posted by infini at 12:25 PM on December 19, 2009


infini - You have to wait until someone makes a comment. (Check the the signature time from when you made the post; when you made this comment and first comment on the post time).
I like this pony. Thanks pb.
posted by adamvasco at 12:53 PM on December 19, 2009


ah ok, so it doesn't count my creating an FPP as "recent activity"...

Since Recent Activity displays a list of comments, what could it show for a post that doesn't have any comments yet? I think it would look kind of weird if it showed the post information and "0 total comments." beside it.
posted by FishBike at 12:57 PM on December 19, 2009


i guess somehow I interpreted this as "recent activity" = all my recent activity i.e. my post as well as comments, but now clarified as "recent activity on said post or thread " ja?
posted by infini at 1:02 PM on December 19, 2009


The integration is great. Glad to see the outrage over the interface change during the event whose name shall not be spoken hasn't shut down all change. Has the multi page navigation at the bottom always been there or is that new?

I actually thought this question about multi-page navigation was a joke, along the lines of "oh, and are the threaded discussions new?" So I thought I would just point out, for anyone else being similarly dense, that it's not a joke and that it's the new recent activity list that now arrives a page at a time (and not comment threads). Which is nice!
posted by FishBike at 1:03 PM on December 19, 2009


i guess somehow I interpreted this as "recent activity" = all my recent activity i.e. my post as well as comments, but now clarified as "recent activity on said post or thread " ja?

Yeah. It used to be that you had to comment in your own post to get it to show up there, now it shows up even if you don't comment in the thread.
posted by FishBike at 1:04 PM on December 19, 2009


Yeah, this is cool. I like it.
posted by dejah420 at 5:38 PM on December 19, 2009


I noticed that although our posts are now included on the page, there is no favorite count for the post displayed. This is something I look at, in particular, because I often make posts that get very few comments, and I like to see if they are getting favorited nonetheless. (I know, some people may use favorites differently, but I tend to look at them as primarily bookmarks to a post.)

Would it be possible to include a favorite count in the left column for our posts?
posted by OmieWise at 5:52 AM on December 20, 2009


I can see how the favorite count would be useful there, but we need to make a bunch of trade-offs for Recent Activity. It's an expensive page to generate as far as server resources go. And just about every bit of information we add to the page adds time that it takes the server to generate the page. So we have to consider any additions to the page very carefully and weigh whether or not it's worth the increased time it takes the page to load. In this case, I think favorite counts probably aren't worth the cost of calculating them. We already have a "Recent Favorites" tab in Recent Activity that shows all favoriting activity across your contributions. You can also click through to see the count, so the number is never more than a click away.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:22 AM on December 20, 2009


Maybe down the road we could store favorite counts for posts in the database instead of calculating them on the fly whenever we display them, but that would be part of a bigger optimization project. (And it might be more than you wanted to know.) That's something we can consider.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:25 AM on December 20, 2009


Yeah, the Recent Favorites tab on the RA page does a great job of making that kind of at-a-glance information available at an actual glance; keeping the main RA query as (relatively) simple and lightweight as we can seems to me to be a lot more important than adding a bit of shine to the post column on this front.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:15 AM on December 20, 2009


Cool, thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 12:19 PM on December 20, 2009


I kind of expected to see commentless FPPs in there as well, FWIW. I can see the argument against, but if it's no technical buggy I'd like to see something for them.
posted by Artw at 12:23 PM on December 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


"technical biggie" - MF autocorrect.
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on December 20, 2009


I used to post stupid comments in my posts so they would show up in the My Comments tab. Now I can just post stupid comments for no good reason. WIN.
posted by chunking express at 7:59 PM on December 20, 2009


I added commentless FPPs into the mix. It'll show up like the others, but will say "0 total comments" with nothing in the right column.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:40 PM on December 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


oh wow... i can never get over the thrill of somehow influencing change ;p
posted by infini at 4:56 PM on December 21, 2009


Loves it!
posted by P.o.B. at 5:45 PM on December 21, 2009


So, is there any timetable for implementing this?
posted by flatluigi at 3:12 PM on December 22, 2009


I think it's a "as soon as any kinks are worked out" situation. So, pretty soon ideally.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:13 PM on December 22, 2009


Awesome.
posted by Artw at 3:14 PM on December 22, 2009


Hooray!
posted by flatluigi at 3:15 PM on December 22, 2009


If there are no objections, going once...
posted by pb (staff) at 3:16 PM on December 22, 2009


I object! Because...I'M PREGNANT WITH THE NEW SCRIPT'S CHILD!
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:26 PM on December 22, 2009


Well, the new version is live now anyway.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:28 PM on December 22, 2009


Heh, I just changed over to Chrome so I thought at first this had to do with that.

Yay!
posted by Kattullus at 5:01 PM on December 22, 2009


A post on Projects isn't showing up on the new Recent Activity, though it's been approved & gotten a comment.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:26 PM on December 22, 2009


Thanks for letting me know, it should be working now.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:07 PM on December 22, 2009


It is! Thanks!
posted by Pronoiac at 10:15 PM on December 22, 2009


whoa... the new recent activity page rocks!! thanks pb
posted by infini at 3:48 AM on December 23, 2009


Oh that is very, very nice. Thanks guys!
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on December 23, 2009


Didn't recent activity used to include deleted posts that you commented in?
posted by smackfu at 10:36 AM on December 23, 2009


Yes it did, so I just added them back into the mix. Deleted posts include a note in the left column: "This thread was deleted." We remove deleted threads in most places, so I was following that rule for the new RA. But I can understand why it'd be jarring to have a thread you participated in suddenly vanish, so I think Recent Activity is an exception to the rule.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:01 AM on December 23, 2009


While were on the subject, one weird thing I noticed a while back - "Remove from activity" doesn't seem to affect the iPhone Recent Activity page.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on December 23, 2009


What do you mean, Artw? The link to Remove From Activity isn't available on the iPhone to conserve space. We can't go with the 2-column layout there.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:24 AM on December 23, 2009


Retyesting doesn;t show the problem, but I could have sworn that at one point threads I'd removed from activity on the full version were showing up in the iPhone version.

Possibly this is just crazy talk.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on December 23, 2009


I think what Artw might be saying is that if you remove a thread from activity on your computer, it still shows up in Recent Activity when you're viewing from your iPhone.

I don't have an iPhone, so I don't know if that's the case; that's just how I interpreted Artw's comment.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:32 AM on December 23, 2009


"Retyesting doesn;t show the problem" = Retesting doesn't show the problem.

Clearly this is not a good day for me and computers.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on December 23, 2009


The two pages use exactly the same code, just a different stylesheet for the iPhone, so if you spot a problem in one place it should be in both. That said, we just flipped the switch on the new code yesterday and the old Recent Activity had a number of problems so that could have been an unknown problem a week or so ago.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:35 AM on December 23, 2009


Well, clearly if it had been that much of a problem I would have done proper testing at the time to make sure it wans;t some caching effect etc... etc...

The two pages use exactly the same code, just a different stylesheet for the iPhone, so if you spot a problem in one place it should be in both.

Yeah, that's what I would have expected. Probably error of type user=idiot.
posted by Artw at 11:52 AM on December 23, 2009


Yes it did, so I just added them back into the mix. Deleted posts include a note in the left column: "This thread was deleted."

Awesome! In a perfect world, the note would be at the end of the columns but I can deal.
posted by smackfu at 12:38 PM on December 23, 2009


Great job, pb. I have a feeling that there's a lot of database and optimization and db-layer code work that went into what appears to be a pretty small change. It was worth it.
posted by Plutor at 7:59 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just made my first post (on the green) since this feature was added. All I have to say is that this is an awesome feature and I am thrilled to have it.
posted by grouse at 1:51 PM on December 26, 2009


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