"Load new comments" for MeFi mobile? January 8, 2011 1:59 PM   Subscribe

"Load new comments" for MeFi mobile? Especially for tragic and topical threads.

Today's thread about the Giffords shooting reminded me how I sometimes rely on MeFi for news updates, especially when stuck on the bus, waiting for laundry to be done, etc -- moments when mobile access is key.

Since those threads tend to build up 200-300 comments quickly, would it make more sense to load new comments with Ajax rather than reloading the entire page? More like the "Load More" button Twitter used to use at the bottom of update streams?

(Keep in mind, I have no idea what is possible on a technical level. Just a feature idea I thought would be helpful. Thanks...)
posted by deern the headlice to Feature Requests at 1:59 PM (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

There has been at least one thread about this previously and pb suggested:

Here's one thing to try. Click the timestamp of the last comment you read, hit reload, and the browser should snap to that comment with no scrolling.

I have never been able to get that to work tho (Safari stays at the top of the read after reload for me).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 2:03 PM on January 8, 2011

Drat, sorry I hadn't seen that previous post.
posted by deern the headlice at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2011

On my iphone, I click on the timestamp, reload, and then hit the back button. It takes me back to the selected timestamp with the reloaded comments below.
posted by chiababe at 2:07 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]

Hey, chiababe, that works! Thanks!!!
posted by ClarissaWAM at 2:11 PM on January 8, 2011

I don't need fancy Ajax stuff but a simple link that calls window.reload at the bottom of each thread would make reading this site on an iPhone about a million times easier. So would Apple unfucking the reload functionality in Mobile Safari, but that seems less likely.
posted by enn at 2:35 PM on January 8, 2011

For these long threads, for mobile use only, I'd love for there to be pagination. My phone often chokes around the 100th comment.
posted by SMPA at 2:39 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

A couple months ago we made the jump to jQuery and one of the reasons was this very feature that we want to add to both mobile and the full site. We're picturing a periodic check at the server with a note that says "x new comments". If you click that they load inline. This is all drawing board stuff but it's on our to do list.

(And for more new jQuery goodness, see the podcast site which has a fancy new jQuery-powered player. We'll be rolling that out to Music soon too.)
posted by pb (staff) at 2:53 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]

Awesome, pb.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:03 PM on January 8, 2011

enn: So would Apple unfucking the reload functionality in Mobile Safari, but that seems less likely.

To jump to the top of a page, just hit the status bar at the top of your screen.

Although, you will be stuck at the top of the page again and need to scroll down. That I don't know how to solve (except for comment-level links as described above).
posted by 47triple2 at 4:18 PM on January 8, 2011

On my iPhone, I usually tap the status bar to jump to the top of the page, then reload, then tap "skip to menu", then scroll up. It's usually less scrolling that way.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

is temporarily subscribing to the RSS feed for the thread feasible?
posted by onalark at 8:56 PM on January 8, 2011

To jump to the top of a page, just hit the status bar at the top of your screen.

A handy convention which the facebook app did not follow. Infuriating. I like standard behavior, especially if it's useful. The plan pb describes seems like it's becoming the standard with all my list-type apps. I was thinking that'd be more appropriate for a dedicated iOS MeFi app, though, rather than try to kludge up the site with scripts.

But if pb's good with it, then what the hell do I know? Yay, pb.
posted by ctmf at 11:17 PM on January 8, 2011

One handy thing to note is it's possible to add javascript “bookmarklets” as bookmarks on the iPhone, the process of adding a “reload page” bookmarklet is a little complicated but not too bad, it isn't possibly simply add the bookmark directly so the procedure is as follows:
Note: These instructions are for iOS but the same process should work in any mobile browser that allows javascript bookmarks.
  1. On your phone add a new bookmark, to this page for example.
  2. Give this bookmark the name “Reload Page”.
  3. Save the bookmark then re-enter the bookmarks menu and hit “edit” on the bottom left.
  4. Select the bookmark you just made.
  5. Change the URL to the following:
  6. javascript:window.location.reload()
  7. Save the bookmark.

Now when you're on any page you can simply enter your bookmarks and select the “Reload Page” bookmarklet and the page will refresh, leaving you where you were navigationwise. It's a total lifesaver in long threads here and elsewhere on the net.
posted by nfg at 10:00 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]

nfg, that works like a champ, thanks.
posted by ctmf at 2:55 PM on January 9, 2011

Look. I'm not a fan of pagniation, but that Giffords thread is pushing 2MB. It's completely impractical to load that on a mobile phone (or even a low-end broadband connection).

I'm not sure what can be done to break up MASSIVE threads like that, but the current strategy needs some improvement.
posted by schmod at 3:17 PM on January 9, 2011

The problem isn't with having to scroll aaaaall the way to the bottom of the page (skip to nav works nicely for that). The problem is that those monster threads can rapidly chew up your data allowance and your patience.

I'd love to see the jQuery stuff happen to tack new content on the end of a page.

It would save server bandwidth too...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 10:29 AM on January 10, 2011

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