Everyone likes ponies! February 2, 2011 10:56 AM   Subscribe

Pony request: "Load New Comments" for Mefi threads, at least on mobile. Pretty please?

Like many Mefites, I'm stuck with dialup and no 3G- making megathreads like the recent Egypt one a major drag to stay up to date (Opera Mini doesn't even seem to support pages that long). This would be an awesome feature we've been missing for a while.
posted by dunkadunc to Feature Requests at 10:56 AM (349 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Heh. We're actually actively testing this today on the admin side, and it's looking pretty decent.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:57 AM on February 2, 2011 [16 favorites]


omg, if you only knew. Lemme get you a screenshot of it in action.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:58 AM on February 2, 2011 [11 favorites]


Yes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:58 AM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


yayyyyy! This is really, seriously awesome.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:59 AM on February 2, 2011


Wait, I want to change my answer. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this level of consensus.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:59 AM on February 2, 2011 [27 favorites]


Screenshot.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:00 AM on February 2, 2011 [4 favorites]




You click the "show" link and they all print out instantly below. It's really great and almost there. We patterned it after the search.twitter.com functionality (try searching something popular to see it auto-update every few seconds with new results).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:03 AM on February 2, 2011


Wow - (in the process of being) implemented before the question was asked. I'd say this is some sort of new record (except this was requested less than a month ago).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:04 AM on February 2, 2011


This is brilliant.
posted by -t at 11:06 AM on February 2, 2011


I approve of this pony and offer it sugar cubes and/or carrots, per the pony's preference.
posted by Drastic at 11:14 AM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yay! Thank you thank you - I love my new pony!
posted by rtha at 11:16 AM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is great, thanks!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:23 AM on February 2, 2011


This is really great, thanks! I've been abusing ⌘R in the egypt threads.
posted by tjenks at 11:24 AM on February 2, 2011


This is going to be available on non-mobile browsers, also, right?
posted by grouse at 11:26 AM on February 2, 2011


We're still working a few bugs out of the system as we speak. I'm guessing if we can fix those problems we can launch this for everyone tomorrow.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:27 AM on February 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is going to be available on non-mobile browsers, also, right?

That's our plan right now. We've talked about mobile-only, but we've been testing this on the standard site and it feels useful there too.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:30 AM on February 2, 2011


"We're still working a few bugs out of the system as we speak. I'm guessing if we can fix those problems we can launch this for everyone tomorrow."

Yes! Kisses and hugs all around.

xxoxoxoxoo
posted by rain at 11:32 AM on February 2, 2011


We're still working a few bugs out of the system as we speak. I'm guessing if we can fix those problems we can launch this for everyone tomorrow.

Badass, thanks so much!
posted by rollbiz at 11:34 AM on February 2, 2011


BEST. FEATURE. EVER.
posted by Jofus at 11:34 AM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I approve of this thread.
posted by not_on_display at 11:42 AM on February 2, 2011


it's beautiful!
posted by milestogo at 11:44 AM on February 2, 2011


This feature has inspired me to do a load of laundry and sweep the floor.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:45 AM on February 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


we joke about pb being prescient, and this happens.

Somewhere on the pacific coast, a man leans back in his office chair, tents his fingers, and smiles.
posted by boo_radley at 11:48 AM on February 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


heh, as much as I'd like to I can't claim prescience here. We've had a steady stream of requests for this and a while back matt said, "why don't you look into that?" Our switch to jQuery in November was prompted in part by that looking into it so it's been on our list for a while.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:04 PM on February 2, 2011


Anyone noticed the unnecessary, awful, and largely hated redesign over at i09?

Thanks for being so careful to balance the usability and potential impacts of new functionality here. The degree of community involvement in suggesting and debating changes here is truly appreciated.
posted by Babblesort at 12:05 PM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


This feature has inspired me to do a load of laundry and sweep the floor.

*bink* 8 More Chores to do
posted by cashman at 12:15 PM on February 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!
posted by brundlefly at 12:16 PM on February 2, 2011


Sorry to throw a wet blanket on the pony, but isn't this going to change the fundamental nature of conversation on the site by...um...making it easier to see what happened in a thread while I stepped aside for a hamburger?
posted by Mngo at 12:29 PM on February 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seriously, this would be wonderful and would definitely influence me to hang in with long threads.
posted by Mngo at 12:29 PM on February 2, 2011


we joke about pb being prescient, and this happens.

Oh God, we're breaking into the realm of pre-crime.

pb is hooked up to wires in a pit of goo. Jessamyn, cortex,and mathowie sit around, waiting for a red ball to come out of the machine. My name is on it. I will troll a thread about Nazi abortionists in 4 days.

Pre-ban. Coming to a Metafilter near you.
posted by SNWidget at 12:33 PM on February 2, 2011 [25 favorites]


Man, every morning I get up and pre-ban people. Seriously. Go through the new signups from the last 24 hours, look for sketchy domains or business names or other red flags, do a little digging on the stuff that looks problematic, if it checks out as spammy-looking I put 'em on a watchlist that alerts us about posts and comments.

A lot of folks are here for only exactly as long as it takes for them to post the spam I already basically know they're gonna post. Then, bam, delete and ban and how's your father.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:37 PM on February 2, 2011 [43 favorites]


Well, that's fine, cortex, but how many fingers am I holding up right now?
posted by .kobayashi. at 12:51 PM on February 2, 2011


we've been testing this on the standard site and it feels useful there too.

Yes! I was just wishing for this this morning for the Egpyt thread(s).
posted by bonehead at 12:58 PM on February 2, 2011


how's your father.

He's well, thank you.
posted by inigo2 at 12:59 PM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


THIS IS SO EXCITING. It's a day late to be my birthday present, but that's OK! You guys are the best! I know this is something that's been tossed around before, I am really excited to see it in action. Brilliant! Y'all are awesome.
posted by stoneweaver at 1:32 PM on February 2, 2011


I and my F5 key thank you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:40 PM on February 2, 2011


I kind of thought it was a nice damping feature on huge threads that they got so unwieldy.
posted by smackfu at 1:55 PM on February 2, 2011


Mngo: "Sorry to throw a wet blanket on the pony, but isn't this going to change the fundamental nature of conversation on the site by...um...making it easier to see what happened in a thread while I stepped aside for a hamburger?"

Really. Doesn't everyone see that THIS WILL BREAK METAFILTER? If people don't want to waste the time to refresh huge threads, they shouldn't read them. DON'T WANT, blah blah blah.

Seriously, this is great. Thanks, mods and pb.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:56 PM on February 2, 2011


Then, bam, delete and ban and how's your father.

Uh, did you mean "Bob's your uncle", or does banning, like... make you... uh... y'know...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:07 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


*notes to self: jessamyn uses the professional white background. mathowie does not.*
posted by slogger at 2:07 PM on February 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


There. are. FOUR! fingers.
posted by Babblesort at 2:13 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


pb: "We're still working a few bugs out of the system as we speak. I'm guessing if we can fix those problems we can launch this for everyone tomorrow."

I love you people. That's awesome. :)
posted by zarq at 2:41 PM on February 2, 2011


jessamyn: Screenshot.

Looking at that screenshot, I'd be more interested in the other features jessamyn has at her disposal.
posted by gman at 2:42 PM on February 2, 2011


Yay! I've been pawing at my iPhone screen like a confused cat on those mega-threads, this will be amazing!
posted by ukdanae at 2:46 PM on February 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


So. How does one take a screen shot on an iPhone, anyway?
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:57 PM on February 2, 2011


You get yourself a flatbed scanner, and then...
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:59 PM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


You think maybe James Randi would give a few bucks for this thread? An account or two?
posted by cmoj at 3:07 PM on February 2, 2011


um... and if the scanner and the iPhone love each other very much...

Sadly, cortex, that would probably be how I'd do it.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:08 PM on February 2, 2011


gman: Looking at that screenshot, I'd be more interested in the other features jessamyn has at her disposal.

Transcribed: posted by name at 12:01 PM on February 2 [edit] [x] [IP: whois|search] [user info] [+] [!]

I can guess some of them - "edit" to edit the comment, "x" to delete the comment, "whois" to perform a whois search of some sort; wild guesses: "search" allows a search of the whois info, to see if the user is a known spammer or can be directly associated with some shady business elsewhere, and user info may be for an internal dossier on users. Yes, I just wrote "dossier" for a internet user profile.

I thought there was an old thread with more info, but all I found was
this one from 2008.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:22 PM on February 2, 2011


Actually flt, you're right on the edit and x, the whois/search are for IP address used (which is why it says IP).

The whois does a rough check of what the IP maps back to. This sometimes gives us a quasi-region of where they posted from, which is handy for tracking down spammers. The search just searches the comment database for other comments that used the same IP. Sometimes we find stuff like a person acting like they are two different users but they're on the same exact connection and it's a sock puppet problem.

(I left this stuff out of my screenshot :)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:28 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've got 99 problems but a sock puppet ain't one.

[NOT KERMIT-IST]
posted by Rhomboid at 3:52 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


(I left this stuff out of my screenshot :)

FRIST!!!

But yeah, nothing fancy, just like mathowie said.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:15 PM on February 2, 2011


Devils Rancher: Hit power & home at the same time, screen will flash to white and voila, screencap in your photo reel.
posted by SpookyFish at 5:13 PM on February 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


ME LIKEY, thanks!
posted by cavalier at 5:30 PM on February 2, 2011


Also, I imagine your bandwidth bill will likey, too. IDK. I've only reloaded the PA thread, um..... a lot....
posted by cavalier at 5:30 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


also, jessamyn, how can you read with all that... white... background? MY EYES!
posted by cavalier at 5:31 PM on February 2, 2011


Hit power & home at the same time, screen will flash to white and voila, screencap in your photo reel.

Amazing! What won't this crazy little thing do? I mean, besides flash. (seriously, thanks)
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:38 PM on February 2, 2011


A lot of folks are here for only exactly as long as it takes for them to post the spam I already basically know they're gonna post.
Ahh… so that's where sunshinedust20 went.
posted by unliteral at 5:44 PM on February 2, 2011


Pony request: "Load New Comments" for Mefi threads

Heh. We're actually actively testing this today

Lemme get you a screenshot of it in action.

Yes.

The singularity approaches, and it wears MeFi Blue.
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:51 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't wait to wake up and see this. Or just see this whenever it is done. I'm a lot more excited than I thought I would be.
posted by cashman at 8:53 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's tomorrow. I'm waiting, but I don't see it. Seriously guys, this is as bad as the waiters who don't insist that customers lick all of the sauce off their plates.

Seriously though, I'm going to love how I won't need the Greasemonkey script anymore. That never did reload the pages for me.
posted by theichibun at 5:06 AM on February 3, 2011


I have no idea how these people got their iPhones wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by penguin pie at 6:58 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


WANT! When?
posted by mkultra at 9:12 AM on February 3, 2011


At the risk of a mod backslap for damn, can we get it working first,... is this going to be on the front page (and askme/meta) too? Not that I want it, just askin.
posted by cashman at 9:26 AM on February 3, 2011


It's tomorrow. I'm waiting

The official MeFi coding day begins about 10am pacific time, so it should go live in about an hour.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:28 AM on February 3, 2011


YAY!
posted by odinsdream at 9:36 AM on February 3, 2011


Separate post coming, or should we just squee here?
posted by cashman at 9:39 AM on February 3, 2011


probably just post here I guess.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:39 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


mathowie: "You click the "show" link and they all print out instantly below. It's really great and almost there. We patterned it after the search.twitter.com functionality (try searching something popular to see it auto-update every few seconds with new results)."

Can y'all explain in layman's terms how it will work on mobile browsers? What will BlackBerry users, for example, need to have active in order to get it to work? Will it be a javascript function?

I ask because even with javascript enabled, I've never been able to favorite or flag things using my BlackBerry browser, for example.
posted by zarq at 9:45 AM on February 3, 2011


You and your sily west coast bias. I hate how the whole world just loves the west coast. Why can't we eastern suffers get more love!
posted by theichibun at 9:54 AM on February 3, 2011


zarq, you'll have to let us know, we haven't been able to test it on a blackberry at all.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:27 AM on February 3, 2011


It lives!
posted by boo_radley at 10:30 AM on February 3, 2011


Because we're too grumpy at 5am for love.
posted by cj_ at 10:31 AM on February 3, 2011


* foams at the mouth, turns into a fishman *
posted by boo_radley at 10:32 AM on February 3, 2011


Squee
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:35 AM on February 3, 2011


ok, this is live for members on MetaFilter only. We're going to keep an eye on things, work out any bugs, and once it's solid we'll move it to other sites.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:38 AM on February 3, 2011


This is great! Thanks!
posted by joedan at 10:39 AM on February 3, 2011


I feel special because I apparently noticed this feature the moment it went live and immediately came to MeTa to see what the hell was going on.

(The number in the tab bar that shows how many new comments is nice. Disconcerting at first, but nice)
posted by Think_Long at 10:40 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This pony is my favorite and I will braid his mane and tail every day. Thank you thank you thank you!
posted by lriG rorriM at 10:41 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


question: how often does it check to see how many new comments have posted? Is this a technical thing that would be way over my head?
posted by Think_Long at 10:41 AM on February 3, 2011


mathowie: "zarq, you'll have to let us know, we haven't been able to test it on a blackberry at all."

OK, I'll beta test. Cleared my cache, history and cookies. Then logged back into MeFi on my phone and loaded this page. Am posting this comment on a desktop computer.

I'll let you know if something happens in the browser window after I post this comment.
posted by zarq at 10:41 AM on February 3, 2011


AHH I hadn't seen this metatalk. I just bumped into the new feature. You should have seen my eyes bug out.

Thanks guys. AJAX hotness is hot.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:42 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


*whistles jeopardy theme song* Nothing seems to be happening after a couple of mins. What should I be waiting for?

Also, should I switch to "standard site" in the browser?
posted by zarq at 10:43 AM on February 3, 2011


how often does it check to see how many new comments have posted?

Once the page loads it checks again after 30 seconds. If there are no new comments it adds a little time to the interval and checks again. (repeat.) Once it finds new comments, it resets the clock and checks again at 30 seconds. It'll keep doing that for a while, but once the response is the same 20 times in a row, it stops trying. We're using this decay and finite amount of checks so we don't overload the server with requests.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:45 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


zarq, are you trying it out in a MetaFilter thread? It's only live there.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:46 AM on February 3, 2011


What should I be waiting for?

Go to a fast-moving thread. Load the page. Wait a minute or two. You should see an indicator at the bottom of the thread like the images above. If you have teh ability, I'd try loading it in a regular browser first before trying it on the mobile version just so you know how it works. And, honestly, if the other javascript features aren't working in your mobile browser, there's likely something busted that will include this also. Might want to start a new MeTa about it, I am sure we have a lot of Blackberry-enabled browsers, it would be interesting to see if they're having the same problems.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:47 AM on February 3, 2011


OK, then definitely not working on blackberry browser. It's been way more than 30 seconds. Checking the site in standard mode now.
posted by zarq at 10:47 AM on February 3, 2011


OOooh I see it working in the Egypt thread. Nice.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:47 AM on February 3, 2011


Okay, thank you Jessamyn. I didn't realize this was working on regular browsers too. :)
posted by zarq at 10:48 AM on February 3, 2011


I've already used it once on the Egypt thread - this is excellent.
posted by odinsdream at 10:48 AM on February 3, 2011


This is the best pony EVER! Thank you!
posted by dejah420 at 10:48 AM on February 3, 2011


And the number in the tab title. Love it.
posted by cashman at 10:49 AM on February 3, 2011


Smokin! Love this pony.
posted by never used baby shoes at 10:51 AM on February 3, 2011


Just noticed this feature, and came here to see if there was an announcement about it. Really, really good idea.
posted by Dasein at 10:51 AM on February 3, 2011


holy smokes, I saw a 1 appear in the tab and I was like wtf, MeFi mail and then it was like, oh loady thing?? AWESOME. It's like Christmas!
posted by Mister Cheese at 10:52 AM on February 3, 2011


That's pretty awesome. Works on my desktop, but not on my mobile. Will compose a Meta shortly.
posted by zarq at 10:53 AM on February 3, 2011


Woah, I came back from the bathroom and saw the "one new comment" thing at the bottom of the thread and I was like, :O. And then I came to Metatalk and saw this thread and was like, :D.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:55 AM on February 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


pb: "zarq, are you trying it out in a MetaFilter thread? It's only live there."

Ah. So not on Metatalk then? Will check there now. Thanks!
posted by zarq at 10:57 AM on February 3, 2011


Now just stop people from commenting if they haven't seen all the new comments.
posted by smackfu at 10:57 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is frigging hawt.
posted by ao4047 at 10:58 AM on February 3, 2011


If it doesn't work on a blackberry, so be it really. There's not a lot we can do without basic javascript support for a very popular javascript library used by pretty much every modern site. I wouldn't bother making a metatalk thread about it to be honest zarq. It's not really something we could solve with our small team (that doesn't own blackberries to test on).

Can you load an alternate browser like Opera or something on a bb that might have more javascript support?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:58 AM on February 3, 2011


gnt. Gonna have to figure out how greasemonkey scripts ought to deal with dynamic content loads.

(the community, not pb)
posted by boo_radley at 10:58 AM on February 3, 2011


Works great with my HTC Desire running... whatever the default Android browser is.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:00 AM on February 3, 2011


*rolls around in the new feature like a feral cat in day-old bunnyguts*
posted by adipocere at 11:01 AM on February 3, 2011


Nope. Definitely not working on Blackberry browser. I'm watching Viking Sword's thread show me new comments on my desktop, but nothing's happening on my Curve.

mathowie: "If it doesn't work on a blackberry, so be it really. There's not a lot we can do without basic javascript support for a very popular javascript library used by pretty much every modern site. I wouldn't bother making a metatalk thread about it to be honest zarq. It's not really something we could solve with our small team (that doesn't own blackberries to test on).

*sigh* OK.

Can you load an alternate browser like Opera or something on a bb that might have more javascript support?"

I have no idea. Will check the BB app store and see. Thanks for the suggestion.
posted by zarq at 11:02 AM on February 3, 2011


Logged in on phone, just to ride the pony. It's nice in a regular browser and all, (1) in the tab is great -- I've got 10 Egypt tabs open, but on the iPhone, this is the Secretariat of ponies. Very, very nice work.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:05 AM on February 3, 2011


I love it.
posted by theichibun at 11:11 AM on February 3, 2011


Very nice. It's a great little detail that adds a lot to usability on the site. Thanks Admins! Thadmins.
posted by chimaera at 11:11 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooh, ignore my e-mail. This is the MetaTalk where the feature is discussed. I love it! Watching the numbers increase in my open tabs is really awesome!
posted by charred husk at 11:15 AM on February 3, 2011


I just noticed this change, its a great idea and I love it! Thankyou!
posted by aGee at 11:16 AM on February 3, 2011


Zarq: Favoriting, flagging, and the new comment load feature all work on my blackberry. Do you know what OS version you're running?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:17 AM on February 3, 2011


next up: ajaxing up favorite counts. (please?)
posted by boo_radley at 11:18 AM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Love this, thanks so much.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:19 AM on February 3, 2011


Is this working on the green and grey as well as the blue?
posted by SNWidget at 11:23 AM on February 3, 2011


Is this working on the green and grey as well as the blue?

No. This is only available on MetaFilter right now. We'll move it over to the other sites once this feature has been tested a bit.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:24 AM on February 3, 2011


The YouTube inline player doesn't appear to work correctly for comments inserted with the new Show link.

I get the icon, but clicking it takes me to another blank page with just the youtube player, instead of centered over the page as a popup.
posted by odinsdream at 11:25 AM on February 3, 2011


Also the "play" symbol is yellowish or something in the new comments, but appears in the normal link color elsewhere.
posted by odinsdream at 11:26 AM on February 3, 2011


Thanks, odinsdream. Hadn't run into that yet. I'll take a look at that.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:26 AM on February 3, 2011


I just used it before I posted something. Kind of like the preview button. I NEVER USE THE PREVIEW BUTTON.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:28 AM on February 3, 2011


Thank you. It popped up in the Egypt thread (I forgot about time zones and pb's right to adequate sleep) and I think I might actually have chortled.

This is a good pony.
posted by catlet at 11:29 AM on February 3, 2011


30s*20=10 minutes; so no new comments in a ten minute span means that nothing new is noticed.

What if the time interval became longer over time, so that it checked once at 30s, then waits one minutes, then waits two minutes, then four minutes... maybe maxing out at an hour. This would be good for catching overnight activity, for example, when threads slow down a lot.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:31 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hell, this is wonderful.
posted by penduluum at 11:33 AM on February 3, 2011


30s*20=10 minutes; so no new comments in a ten minute span means that nothing new is noticed.

That's not quite how it works. 30 seconds the first time. 60 seconds if there's no new comments. 90 seconds if there's no new comments after that. 120 seconds if there's no new comments after that.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:33 AM on February 3, 2011


Pretty sweet. I was a little confused at first see the change in the firefox title bar or whatever it's called, but I like it.
posted by exogenous at 11:34 AM on February 3, 2011


Ah, I see. Well, the new feature kicks ass. Thanks!
posted by kaibutsu at 11:36 AM on February 3, 2011


Big thumbs up, pb. I can sit with the thread in another tab, and pop in when something new comes up without having to burn out my F5 button. A perfect way to get my MetaFix while pretending to do more work.

Can't wait till when/if it hits the green.
posted by SNWidget at 11:36 AM on February 3, 2011


And the number of new comments shows up in parentheses when my browser is minimized! *sob* Thanks pb
posted by Melismata at 11:38 AM on February 3, 2011


mathowie: " Can you load an alternate browser like Opera or something on a bb that might have more javascript support?"

Data point: the only Opera browser available for the BlackBerry Curve 8330 is apparently Opera 4.1. This new function doesn't work on it in mobile or standard mode.

The browser interface was also annoying as hell.
posted by zarq at 11:39 AM on February 3, 2011


This is fantastic. Thanks.
posted by sueinnyc at 11:41 AM on February 3, 2011


I love this. I love you all. Thank you!
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2011


Just saw this in action! Thanks!
posted by zix at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2011


I was about to come to MetaTalk to thank you for this new feature, but it appears other have before me...so...

GRACIAS! It's very useful :D
posted by lizarrd at 11:48 AM on February 3, 2011


Logged in on phone, just to ride the pony. It's nice in a regular browser and all, (1) in the tab is great -- I've got 10 Egypt tabs open, but on the iPhone, this is the Secretariat of ponies. Very, very nice work.

MetaFilter: the Secretariat of ponies.
posted by Tin Man at 11:50 AM on February 3, 2011


This is so cool, feel like I'm in the future. Which I'm not, it's just the present right now, but soon, oh so soon, I'll be in the future.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:54 AM on February 3, 2011


zarq: Make sure you have Javascript turned on in the Blackberry browser options. That will probably kill Recent Activity, though. The newer version of Blackberry OS can handle larger pages, but it's not available on the older Curve models.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:54 AM on February 3, 2011


That's not quite how it works. 30 seconds the first time. 60 seconds if there's no new comments. 90 seconds if there's no new comments after that. 120 seconds if there's no new comments after that.

So that works out to: it stops trying if there's been no new comment in 1 hour 45 minutes, right? (Do I have that right? 20!*0.5 minutes?)
posted by Tin Man at 11:56 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Er, not 20! because that would be 20*19*... *2*1. I meant 20+19+...+2+1.)
posted by Tin Man at 11:59 AM on February 3, 2011


Would there be a chance that posting a new comment could key this off instead of reloading the whole page?
posted by odinsdream at 12:00 PM on February 3, 2011


I just discovered this in the wild, and it is AWESOME. Thanks MetaFilter!
posted by Mister_A at 12:10 PM on February 3, 2011


Blackberry working fine for me on the mobile site. BB 8900.

Zarq, I was bitten by this the first time too. As Burhanistan says, you need to turn on JS in the BB browser. It seems that these things ship with it turned off by default. In the Browser: Menu->Options->Browser Configuration, then make certain the "Support Javascript" option is checked.
posted by bonehead at 12:11 PM on February 3, 2011


This is fantastic. I can already tell I'll have to retrain myself to lose the refresh reflex now.
posted by Drastic at 12:12 PM on February 3, 2011


I noticed this when I got back from a meeting and was like "AAH AAAAH NUMBERS WHAT IS HAPPENING" but now that I know what's going on, it might be my favorite pony ever.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:13 PM on February 3, 2011


So that works out to: it stops trying if there's been no new comment in 1 hour 45 minutes, right?

Right. General formula is kn(n+1) / 2:
 0.5 * 20 * (20 + 1) 
---------------------  =  0.5 * 420 * 0.5 = 105 minutes
          2 
Which, after a couple hours, you can go ahead and reload the thread. Which if you want to see favorite counts update or have comment deletions reflected, you'll need to do in any case because we aren't dynamically updating the overall content of the page.

That's a bit more of an issue on the admin side than on the user side since there's more behind the scenes stuff we're going to be looking at (visible deleted comments and deletion attribution and timestamp, accruing flags), but something to keep in mind in any case.

This is an attempt to make monitoring threads a little easier and less bandwidth intensive, not an attempt to remake the whole face of a thread into AJAX wonderland.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:14 PM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll nth my admiration for the (number) showing up on the tab heading. It's a nice way to keep tabs (ahem) on a thread you're interested in without having to go back to the site.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:15 PM on February 3, 2011


Not that this is anywhere approaching being important, but new comments don't get the "quote" option if you're using MefiQuote Greasemonkey script.
posted by charred husk at 12:19 PM on February 3, 2011


If you want to inject some steroids into this pony, it'd be awesome if this worked for Recent Activity (although much more difficult, I know).
posted by grouse at 12:19 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This has made posting comments by phone more difficult than I would have believed possible. The auto-updating of the new comment count removes focus from the text box AND erases everything that was already entered in it up to that point. Please fix; people need my wisdom.
posted by jinjo at 12:21 PM on February 3, 2011


Can we give this pony a small haircut and not have the (x) in the title bar for new comments? Or make it turnoffable in preferences?

Seems like other people like it, and I'm not going to take my ball and go home if it stays, but I feel like its pressuring me to hustle on down to the SHINY NEW comments at the bottom of a thread while I'm still trying to carefully read through the stuff I'm on now.
posted by Aizkolari at 12:23 PM on February 3, 2011


Which if you want to see favorite counts update or have comment deletions reflected, you'll need to do in any case because we aren't dynamically updating the overall content of the page.

That prompts my next question. If the unloaded comments contain a comment that winds up being deleted before the user reloads the page, will the displayed number of new comments decrement by 1?

(Example: I load a MetaFilter page and then walk away from my computer. In the meantime, someone posts a comment, and 30 seconds pass, so my browser shows that there is 1 new comment. Then you delete that person's comment. 30 more seconds pass. When I return to my computer, will I see "1 new comment" or no new comments?)
posted by Tin Man at 12:25 PM on February 3, 2011


The auto-updating of the new comment count removes focus from the text box AND erases everything that was already entered in it up to that point.

Ouch.
posted by cashman at 12:26 PM on February 3, 2011


Ouch indeed, except now that no longer happens and it works great! WHO'S A PRETTY PONY
posted by jinjo at 12:33 PM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


best. pony. evar.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:42 PM on February 3, 2011


Can we give this pony a small haircut and not have the (x) in the title bar for new comments? Or make it turnoffable in preferences?

The title modification is awesome for tabs, though, especially since it's the first part of the title, so it shows up even when the tab name is truncated.
posted by odinsdream at 12:43 PM on February 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Much thanks!
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:45 PM on February 3, 2011


I'll nth my admiration for the (number) showing up on the tab heading.

Yay, that was my suggestion!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:45 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Works on the iPhone too!
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:45 PM on February 3, 2011


Thanks!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:46 PM on February 3, 2011


odinsdream, that is awesome, if you want to see the number, which I do not.
posted by Aizkolari at 12:46 PM on February 3, 2011


Also works great on Android, both in-thread and in the tab view screen.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:46 PM on February 3, 2011


My F5 key is feeling unloved.
posted by Acey at 12:47 PM on February 3, 2011


That prompts my next question. If the unloaded comments contain a comment that winds up being deleted before the user reloads the page, will the displayed number of new comments decrement by 1?

Ha. I have no idea, personally, though I'd guess so. One of those things that's more oddity than practical feature issue is my take, if so; the situations in which that specific chain of events is going to manifest itself are pretty niche. But depending on how pb has the query working it might be easy to minimize, I dunno.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:47 PM on February 3, 2011


I love this and really love the tab number. It DOES feel like the future in here today.
posted by Mngo at 12:48 PM on February 3, 2011


You folks are amazing, thank you.
posted by ashirys at 12:50 PM on February 3, 2011


Love it.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:53 PM on February 3, 2011


I love this for mobile, but not so hot for me in the title. I use something similar for email and all it ends up doing for me is distracting me from reading the comments already loaded, damn Pavlovian reflex. Turn-offable?
posted by neewom at 12:55 PM on February 3, 2011


One of those things that's more oddity than practical feature issue is my take, if so; the situations in which that specific chain of events is going to manifest itself are pretty niche.

Yeah, I was curious about it, but from a practical standpoint it might not matter too much. At any rate, this is awesome.
posted by Tin Man at 12:57 PM on February 3, 2011


This is AWESOME!
posted by redfisch at 1:00 PM on February 3, 2011


To be specific, on the iPhone, it works on mobile Safari and iCab for the iPhone. Neither one has normal tabs though.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:06 PM on February 3, 2011


A bit late, but I just saw it. Squeee!
posted by jfuller at 1:10 PM on February 3, 2011


Aesthetic suggestion? Maybe the box should be left-aligned with the comments, not with the "Older" arrows? They seem to have the same left alignment here in MeTa, but in MeFi the "Older" arrows (and the New Comments box) are significantly to the left of the comments. This is in up-to-date Firefox, on Windows 7.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:12 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


...will the displayed number of new comments decrement by 1?

Yes, but as cortex mentioned it will be an edge case.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:15 PM on February 3, 2011


Turn-offable?

No, we don't offer a way to turn it off. If you don't mind blocking all JavaScript features (such as favoriting and flagging), you can use a browser extension like AdBlock or NoScript to disable it.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:16 PM on February 3, 2011


Put me down for I loooooooooooove it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:19 PM on February 3, 2011


This is pretty slick. Thanks!!!
posted by JoeXIII007 at 1:27 PM on February 3, 2011


Holy crap, this is awesome. I was wondering, WTF with the numbers, then got to the bottom of a thread.

THANK
YOU
MATT
(AND
PB).
posted by notsnot at 1:33 PM on February 3, 2011


Unfortunately, Plutor's Metafilter Scroll Tag for greasemonkey is not yet currently smart enough to scroll into the newly loaded comments. Has anyone tried to make this work yet?
posted by jepler at 1:37 PM on February 3, 2011


4 people have liked this feature, show
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:37 PM on February 3, 2011


Thanks
posted by Phssthpok at 1:49 PM on February 3, 2011


I am in love with this. Thank you!
posted by SarahElizaP at 1:55 PM on February 3, 2011


This is cool. DO WANT.
posted by tommasz at 1:56 PM on February 3, 2011


Awesome pony!
posted by Dano St at 1:58 PM on February 3, 2011


Yeah if Recent Activity is cocaine, then this pony is some sugary crack rock.
posted by carsonb at 1:59 PM on February 3, 2011


I like to think of RA as your like main pile of cocaine, the one on the coffee table where you can do the Richard Dreyfus "this MEANS something!" thing with or whatever, and this feature is like a bunch of tiny little cocaine deposits scattered throughout the condo, with little built-in cocaine alert systems that are like "hey hey hey some coke over here, don't forget to snort me!" whenever you walk by.

I don't really know anything about drugs, basically.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:03 PM on February 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Nice
posted by Sailormom at 2:05 PM on February 3, 2011


If you really want to make it coke-tastic, threads in Recent Activity would be represented on a screen of small panels, much like the wall of closed circuit camera monitors in a security office or crazy voyeur's back room. They would all update in real time and you could sit and watch them like some perverted landlord.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:09 PM on February 3, 2011


I too love this, but I too am seeing the Scroll Tag script fail. That makes me sad... But, still, it's an awesome feature.
posted by meese at 2:10 PM on February 3, 2011


I really like this new pony. Thank you.
posted by gemmy at 2:10 PM on February 3, 2011


Not sure if this has been asked, but does this update the favorites on the page when you click on it?
posted by phaedon at 2:17 PM on February 3, 2011


Reading the thread I became concerned that the end-times were nigh as no one was complaining.

Thank god some of you saved life as we know it...
posted by Mick at 2:19 PM on February 3, 2011


Sweet baby jesus, this is awesome! This fits so well with my Gmail habits... Thanks!
posted by mindsound at 2:19 PM on February 3, 2011


> Not sure if this has been asked, but does this update the favorites on the page when you click on it?

I just tested it in the Egypt thread, and no, it does not.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:21 PM on February 3, 2011


suggestion:

ajax up a "THIS THREAD? WE CLOSED IT :(" notifier as well
posted by boo_radley at 2:24 PM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is so very excellent. Thanks!
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:26 PM on February 3, 2011


Not sure if this has been asked, but does this update the favorites on the page when you click on it?

Nope. It's not updating the whole page, it's just loading in new comments such as exist at the moment that you click the link. If you need to refresh the thread to it's canonical state at that moment, you'll want to actually reload the thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:29 PM on February 3, 2011


OS version 4.5.0.191

Javascript is enabled, (cache/cookies/history cleared, too) and it's an older browser version because trying to load the PA thread crashes the browser.
posted by zarq at 2:30 PM on February 3, 2011


This is awesome, and I'm amazed how quickly it's changed how I read long threads, but the timing out bothers me. I understand why you don't want the servers to get hit forever, but maybe there should be some visible indicator that background comment checking has been turned off?
posted by aspo at 2:30 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


...but the timing out bothers me.

It only times out if there haven't been any updates. If a thread continually has new comments it could run forever. If the state doesn't change over the course of an hour or more, it just takes a simple refresh like before to start the clock again.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:35 PM on February 3, 2011


Yay! I have been following the Egypt thread since Saturday, and on my phonce since I'm without a computer right now. This is so helpful.
posted by apricot at 2:41 PM on February 3, 2011


awesome pony folks, works well on this end.
posted by clavdivs at 2:46 PM on February 3, 2011


Awesome pony is *awesome*.
Thank you!
posted by susanbeeswax at 2:57 PM on February 3, 2011


Just tried it. And it's awesome. Thanks for doing this!
posted by jillithd at 2:57 PM on February 3, 2011


Squee! Works on my Droid (though text input is oddly laggy, like the processor is under serious strain).
posted by filthy light thief at 3:02 PM on February 3, 2011


And I get dropped at the top of the page after posting, also on my Droid.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:03 PM on February 3, 2011


...though text input is oddly laggy...

Are you in Standard View with Live Preview on? That often causes problems on mobile devices. You can click Hide under Live Preview: to turn it off. This new feature shouldn't be doing much processing at all.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:05 PM on February 3, 2011


Live preview is off for my Droid (v2.2.1, build # FRG83D). Weird. (Typed from my desktop PC, where it works like a charm, even updating content with live preview full of text!)
posted by filthy light thief at 3:11 PM on February 3, 2011


If the state doesn't change over the course of an hour or more, it just takes a simple refresh like before to start the clock again.

I understand that, I was just wishing there was a visible indicator that comment checking had timed out.
posted by aspo at 3:12 PM on February 3, 2011


This is superb. Hearty thanks.
posted by languagehat at 3:18 PM on February 3, 2011


I just noticed this, and I like it. Thanks for making this place even better.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:20 PM on February 3, 2011


pb, do you think you could add a synthetic event for extensions to hook onto? It wouldn't be anything more than adding:
$.get("/comments-latest.mefi?l=" + a.link_id + "&c=" + a.comment_id + "&d=" + a.diff_id + "&f=html", function (d) { $("#newcomments").append(d).show().trigger('mefi-ajaxcomment'); ...
That way, greasemonkey script authors can just write:
$('#newcomments').live('mefi-ajaxcomment', function() { ... });
...and their handler will get called each time new comments are appended so it can act accordingly to update whatever it needs to update. Without that there are probably still ways to do it; here's an example that works by overriding domManip to hook all element creation that happens through jQuery. But that's kind of ugly. The post also references the livequery plugin but I've read elsewhere that this has performance drawbacks since you're basically polling the DOM to see if something's changed.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:23 PM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


(And actually now that I think about it you wouldn't even need live(), you could just use bind(), since the #newcomments div is static, it's what it contains that's dynamic.)
posted by Rhomboid at 3:26 PM on February 3, 2011


Wow, that's really amazing! It's so freaky to watch the number on the tab increase without hitting refresh. Thank you for this.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:38 PM on February 3, 2011


Sent you a MeFi Mail, Rhomboid. I'd rather not get into collaboratively writing code here.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:43 PM on February 3, 2011


The notification adds a strangely real-time element to reading Metafilter, making the site seem more like a giant instant messaging system. It's kind of hard to close the tabs now and get back to work.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:48 PM on February 3, 2011


This is great pb and mathowie. Thanks.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:59 PM on February 3, 2011


Really liking this for long threads - thank you guys.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:14 PM on February 3, 2011


Ponies should have names. Call this one Kipper?
posted by anniecat at 4:48 PM on February 3, 2011


I am also a pony lover.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:33 PM on February 3, 2011


I would have KILLED for this early last year. Great news, and thanks.
posted by fake at 5:35 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think this is the best pony ever. Thanks!
posted by Kwine at 5:42 PM on February 3, 2011


Hm, it was working for me an hour ago, but then I've been reading in non-mefi tabs for an hour and - upon returning to the mefi tab, there was no "x new comments" at the bottom. But I refreshed, and there had been about ten new comments in the intervening hour.

What are the limits of this thing? Does it stop looking for new comments if I click into a different tab? (it wasn't doing that initially)

(I'm using Safari 5.0.3 if it matters.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:56 PM on February 3, 2011


Interesting - after a full reload, the mega Egypt thread is now giving me the "x new comments" box at the bottom again.

And upon experimenting, same for another thread that had displayed it before, stopped displaying it, I fully reloaded it, and now it is also showing the "x new comments" again.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:59 PM on February 3, 2011


In honor of the Chinese New Year, this pony should e referred to as a rabbit.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:03 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


be. Swype fail.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:04 PM on February 3, 2011


Wonderful!
posted by The Toad at 6:09 PM on February 3, 2011


LobsterMitten: I'm seeing the same behavior in the Penny Arcade thread; it may be falling into the 1h 45m cutoff that pb and cortex describe above that results from (a) progressively backing off the poll interval, and (b) stopping the poll altogether if there's nothing new in 20 tries.

Maybe that cutoff is a tad too soon when a long thread is winding down and new comments tend to be posted in widely-spaced clumps.

(Suggestion: when the script stops polling, it could add a "check for new comments" link that checks for new comments and starts the polling again?)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:45 PM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just saw it in action, and came here to see if this was new or if I just hadn't noticed.

Awesome pony!!
posted by porpoise at 6:50 PM on February 3, 2011


In honor of the Chinese New Year, this pony should e referred to as a rabbit.

Yes! Best New Year present EVER! Fluffy bunnies for pb!
posted by girlhacker at 6:54 PM on February 3, 2011


Thanks We had a deal, I had overlooked those answers earlier.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:57 PM on February 3, 2011


Minor oddity here -- if i have 2 tabs open with Metfilter threads that update one at a time with new comments, the (x) in the tabs disappear and reappear off and on, each time a thread is updated.

ie:

Thread 1 updates, number appears in tab.
Thread 2 updates, number disappears from tab.
Thread 1 updates, numbers appear in both tabs.
Thread 2 updates, numbers disappear from both tabs.

Is it just me?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:58 PM on February 3, 2011


Oops, sorry -- Safari 5.0.3, OS 10.5.8 ppc
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:59 PM on February 3, 2011


Hey, that shit is awesome, thank you.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:36 PM on February 3, 2011


I thank you but my girlfriend hurls curses at you for making Metafilter even more like crack.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:46 PM on February 3, 2011


This pony rocks.
posted by not_on_display at 7:46 PM on February 3, 2011


This feature rocks. Thanks, guys!
posted by phunniemee at 7:47 PM on February 3, 2011


HEY PONIES ARE FUN! I MEAN FUN IS PONIES! ER WAIT CHECK TO SEE IF I SAID ANYTHING NEW! KTHXBY OK I'M BACK! I CAME FROM THE FUTURE TO GIVE YOU COMMENT UPDATE PONIES NO I DID NOT OK YES I DID SRSLY THANK YOU
posted by trip and a half at 7:53 PM on February 3, 2011


Devil's Rancher, I'm on the same browser/OS combo and I can't reproduce it. The titles across multiple tabs update just fine for me with no disappearing numbers. Any Extensions installed?
posted by pb (staff) at 8:04 PM on February 3, 2011


OMG sexy!
posted by gomichild at 8:21 PM on February 3, 2011


I just stopped into this thread because I noticed the feature at the bottom of the page and I think it's fantastic, so thank you!

Even though that is great, would it be possible to give us a way to turn off the updating numbers in tabs? I get weirdly anxious when I see that there are comments I haven't read and while I'm trying to do something else I keep noticing "Oh, hey, there are three more comments in that baby shaking thread" or whatever and it's a bit distracting. I don't know how complicated it would be to add an opt-out feature for that but if we could I would be very grateful. Thank you again, overall this is super-awesome!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:23 PM on February 3, 2011


I'm in the same boat vis-a-vis user scripts; I'm sort of the semi-de-facto maintainer of the Chrome Mefi Navigator, which is not behaving well in response to this script.

Great feature, though!
posted by ChrisR at 8:42 PM on February 3, 2011


Nice work.
posted by Artw at 9:06 PM on February 3, 2011


I struggle with my English, which is not my native language. So, it can take me a long time to properly compose a post, and often by the time I do, the conversation has changed. I just want say that I absolutely love this new feature, which allows me to adjust me writing, and which is one of the best things added to this site since I joined.

Thanks!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 9:32 PM on February 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Normally I hate and fear change. Actually, I still hate and fear change. But I hate and fear this change less than most.
posted by Justinian at 10:22 PM on February 3, 2011


Any Extensions installed?

Nothing unusual -- click to flash, flip4mac. I wonder if it had anything to do with the bbc liveblog that loaded randomly in a third tab. Haven't seen it again, as the evening slowed down.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:30 PM on February 3, 2011


I struggle with my English, which is not my native language.

Sister, you write in English more coherently than the majority of Americans, including a bunch of PhDs that I work with.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:34 PM on February 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


This is excellent.
Keep it for us and let the plebs pay $5
posted by adamvasco at 11:24 PM on February 3, 2011


I love this so much.
posted by NoraReed at 11:28 PM on February 3, 2011


Niiiice. For what it's worth, it seems to work perfectly for me on iPhone (Safari) and iPad (Safari and iLunascape)
posted by dg at 11:49 PM on February 3, 2011


Love it, thanks!
posted by tomcooke at 11:56 PM on February 3, 2011


Yep, neat-o.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:09 AM on February 4, 2011


Sister, you write in English more coherently than the majority of Americans, including a bunch of PhDs that I work with. (Burhanistan)

Quoted for truth. Dee Xtrovert, I have always thought your comments were exceptionally well written.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:14 AM on February 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Awesome pony... could it be worked into the comment posting as well though? That way the whole thread doesn't get refreshed when you post a comment... just sticks your comment + any other new ones at the bottom?
posted by xqwzts at 12:37 AM on February 4, 2011


WOOOOAH! I thought this was great on desktop, but on iPhone coming out of locked to an instant where-you're-at-refresh??

SEXY!!!
posted by cavalier at 12:45 AM on February 4, 2011


Best pony ever! Thank you!!!
posted by Ahab at 1:16 AM on February 4, 2011


It is excellent, thanks.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:32 AM on February 4, 2011


I gotta say, this is one seriously awesome feature. You guys cut unneeded traffic dramatically, we get a great deal more convenience. Doesn't get much better than that.
posted by Malor at 1:48 AM on February 4, 2011


Oh, and:

Dee Extrovert: I struggle with my English, which is not my native language.

I'll tell you straight up, I couldn't tell. I knew you were from Sarajevo, but it never even crossed my mind that English wasn't your mother tongue. You read like a native.
posted by Malor at 1:54 AM on February 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hmm that explains why when I loaded that mammoth Dickwolves thread yesterday I saw (1) Phalluses then (2) Phalluses and later (10) Phalluses in the Metafilter tab.
posted by elgilito at 4:02 AM on February 4, 2011


Same t hing happened to me that happened to elgilito -- I didn't realize it was a brand new feature, just figured I didn't hang around Metafilter (or particularly busy threads) enough. I realize, now, that was, like many things in the aforementioned thread, a ridiculous framing.

Despite not knowing it was as new as it was, I loved it and am super glad to see it. Maybe my favorite pony ever.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:38 AM on February 4, 2011


I want to hug this feature, thank you for it.
posted by brookedel at 5:07 AM on February 4, 2011


It works on the Kindle (3) browser. Simply awesome! Thanks!
posted by tomboko at 5:19 AM on February 4, 2011


it's awesome!
posted by milestogo at 5:40 AM on February 4, 2011


Matt, I am paypalling you money - please buy beer with it.
posted by odinsdream at 6:15 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow! Wow! Wow! This is the awesomest pony ever!

I love MetaFilter the most when it's covering live events and those threads just really hurt my browser and internet connection. This is so perfect! Thanks pb, Matt, Jessamyn and Cortex for the excellent work you do. Much love to you all!!
posted by marsha56 at 6:58 AM on February 4, 2011


Sister, you write in English more coherently than the majority of Americans [...]

While I like the compliments, the fact is that my posts are spell-checked and grammar-checked and often checked by someone else! So don't be fooled, I'm not as coherent as you think.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 7:01 AM on February 4, 2011


Late to the party, but this has been extremely useful in the Egypt threads, so thank you so much guys.

You read like a native.

I can't speak for Dee Xtrovert, but her words do resonate with me. There appears to be quite a gulf between "I'm struggling with my English" and "but you read like a native", but for me at least, one actually causes the other.

It's not the vocabulary so much, it's the readiness of the vocabulary that is lacking. This is why I write English so much better than I can speak it. Speech is especially torturous because I am 1) proficient enough to know the correct words for things ("correct" having different values of course depending on whether we're talking about "what's that animal called again" vs. "how does reading this poem make me feel") and 2) smart enough to realize I'm lacking. Either of these could disappear and I'd be perfectly comfortable speaking English.

I am reminded of my (also Dutch) ex-girlfriend who despite being intelligent simply did not have the level of English common amongst her educated Dutch peers, and yet never complained about not being able to express herself accurately. She'd do things like refer to pork as "pig meat" when speaking with foreigners (including native speakers of English), and nobody'd care. I mean, it is pig meat, right?

I'm starting to think her approach leaves people happier than mine.

Because, you see, maybe I'm overcompensating by using all kinds of big words and careful complete sentences, or maybe it's just that when you're writing, as Dee touches upon, you have the time to weigh and select words, or even look them up.

But I guess it sticks with me when I speak as well because a young Texan woman once observed: "Paul, you always sound like you're writing a term paper".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:01 AM on February 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


odinsdream writes "The title modification is awesome for tabs, though, especially since it's the first part of the title, so it shows up even when the tab name is truncated."

Which also means that if your tabs are compressed enough to only see a few characters of the title all your see is the numbers. Extremely sub optimal because not only does it remove that context that allows one (well me anyways) to switch between dozens of MF tabs the numbers keep on changing so you can't use them as an anchor instead you are forced to use relative position. I know I'm in the minority when I have 50, 60 or more tabs open, still it has the feeling of brokenness that the title tab is displaying non title information. Are there other sites that routinely do this?

Alternatively how about at least just displaying the bare number without the () there by saving two characters?

pb writes "No, we don't offer a way to turn it off. If you don't mind blocking all JavaScript features (such as favoriting and flagging), you can use a browser extension like AdBlock or NoScript to disable it."

Would this disable the title changing feature? I'd hate to give up flagging (I already have favouriting turned off) but I'd trade that off to get rid of the title change thing.

This is probably me just being a bit too curmudgeonly but the feature seems a little too prominent; jumping off the page like a blinking comment and not really in line with the aesthetic picture I have of Metafilter. Could we maybe tone down the contrasting background of the text or just eliminate it all together? It show cases the new feature nicely but like a long boot up sound it might get annoying after a while.
posted by Mitheral at 7:05 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you add a rule in AdBlock to block "metafilter.com/comments-latest.mefi" then it will effectively disable the feature without affecting other JS functions; since it never receives a reply to the query if there are new comments it'll never alter the title.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:25 AM on February 4, 2011


Which also means that if your tabs are compressed enough to only see a few characters of the title all your see is the numbers.

I highly recommend the Tree Style Tab extension for this problem.
posted by odinsdream at 7:26 AM on February 4, 2011


For people asking for changes, preferences, etc, keep in mind this feature is less than 24hours old and we're not going to rush into more changes when we've just released it. We'll revisit the feature after it has been up a week and gotten used and given us enough time to use it to determine if any changes are necessary and how it may be improved.

The best course of action is to just use it for a while and see how it works in practice, to get past our first impressions.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:30 AM on February 4, 2011


This is an awesome pony and I am riding it hard.

Thanks, pb, matt, jess and cortex for making it happen!

And vacapinta, I don't know if you had anything to do with it, but thanks to you, too, just on general principles.
posted by misha at 8:03 AM on February 4, 2011


When this first happened it actually scared me!

Thanks, pb, matt, jess and cortex for making it happen!

And vacapinta, I don't know if you had anything to do with it, but thanks to you, too, just on general principles.

Or on preview what misha said.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:11 AM on February 4, 2011


That looks really sharp, thanks pb!
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:25 AM on February 4, 2011


I like the ability to load new comments inline, but man, that title bar is just distracting. READ FASTER! THERE ARE MORE COMMENTS WHY AREN'T YOU RELOADING. GO, MAN, GO!

This is totally my own wiring, but I hope I can learn to turn it off/ignore it.
posted by Eideteker at 8:28 AM on February 4, 2011


What Gnfti said. You're far too modest, DX.

That said:

Metafilter: Don't be fooled, I'm not as coherent as you think.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:45 AM on February 4, 2011


This is probably a stupid question (and maybe I missed the answer in my skim of the comments) but does this mean the site is constantly refreshing/connecting with the server? Because that's exactly what they're cracking down on at work. We've been warned to use Twitter and Facebook as little as possible due to refresh and bandwidth issues. (Which sounds like BS to me, but that's another story.)
posted by JoanArkham at 8:51 AM on February 4, 2011


I'm not getting this on my HTC (Sprint) (yes, I'm looking at the blue).
posted by Mngo at 8:54 AM on February 4, 2011


Another vote for this awesome pony, along with unsolicited design advice: Can we maybe tone the marker down visually and align it to the right? Something that has to do with more text looks better on the bottom right to me.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:12 AM on February 4, 2011


...does this mean the site is constantly refreshing/connecting with the server?

Yes, but it's sending a very limited amount of data back and forth.

I'm not getting this on my HTC (Sprint)...

Are you logged in? Can you do other things like add favorites?
posted by pb (staff) at 9:12 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a very good feature -- thank you.

That said, I kind of wished that the additional Egypt posts had been allowed to stand, to make more than one Egypt thread. It's not like the situation could not sustain more than one discussion. Whether I'm browsing on a computer or a mobile device, it's much, much easier to read new short threads than to keep up with mega-ones which first began a few days earlier. For one thing, there is no way to bookmark where you left off reading a megathread -- you end up skimming through the hundreds of comments looking to see where you last left off -- sometimes, I end up missing the middle of a mega-thread this way, only to notice when someone quotes something interesting later.

-- in fact, I think I missed the first posting of the Egypt-Mega-Thread because I was working, and was wondering why no one had made any posts on Egypt. I only finally found them through the Deleted Thread blog. It would have been much nicer if there had been more than one thread, with a link to previous.
posted by jb at 9:36 AM on February 4, 2011


Can favorite, yes. Hmm...
posted by Mngo at 9:36 AM on February 4, 2011


For people asking for changes, preferences, etc, keep in mind this feature is less than 24hours old and we're not going to rush into more changes when we've just released it.

NP, just throwing out some suggestions to consider rather than a demand for changes. It is a very silky pony.
posted by Mitheral at 9:38 AM on February 4, 2011


My bad--that bunny's hoppin' just fine. Really a great feature, that horse-rabbit hybrid. Thanks again!
posted by Mngo at 9:58 AM on February 4, 2011


SQUEE! Happy pony time.
posted by LMGM at 9:58 AM on February 4, 2011


THANK YOU!!!!!!
posted by pwally at 10:12 AM on February 4, 2011


charred husk: "new comments don't get the "quote" option if you're using MefiQuote Greasemonkey script"

jepler: "Metafilter Scroll Tag for greasemonkey is not yet currently smart enough to scroll into the newly loaded comments"

I'm looking into these.
posted by Plutor at 10:21 AM on February 4, 2011


awesome! yay pb & the crew! yay jQuery!
posted by epersonae at 10:46 AM on February 4, 2011


instead of (#) can we please make it bracketed? like [#]. I associate the [brackets] as part of the "branding" of the "mechanical" or functional or I'm-not-sure-of-the-word side of metafilter, mod comments, the favorite icon, flags, and etc. [brackets] are just more metafiltery and less like gmail and facebook. It's cool to stand out and be distinct.
posted by fuq at 10:47 AM on February 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


That said, I kind of wished that the additional Egypt posts had been allowed to stand, to make more than one Egypt thread. It's not like the situation could not sustain more than one discussion.

There has been more than one thread. We are always going to be striking a balance on these things; the working philosophy is more along the lines of "keep it to a dull roar" than "only one thread ever!" when we're dealing with big, complicated events. That not every single follow-on post is going to stick around is pretty much a given, but it's a matter of volume management, not a stark line-in-the-sand situation.

The closest thing we have to a rule on this front is "don't literally just post a 'new thread!' post". That's not how this place works, those get deleted, and that's about all there is to it. People making substantive new posts that address in a useful way some developing or distinct aspect of the situation or otherwise appropriately capture what has changed over time with a situation is generally fine, and we've had several of those already regarding the situation in Egypt over the last week and a half.

The absolute quickest approach to answering the "where is the discussion about x?" question is to go to the search bar and type in x and see what comes up. If it's a niche event somehow, maybe the answer will be "nowhere so far"; if it's a geopolitical thing, it's more likely that something's already out there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:57 AM on February 4, 2011


Excellent feature. Thanks, Mods.
posted by steambadger at 11:32 AM on February 4, 2011


I just missed posting this comment in the newly-closed thread, so I'll post it here:

Next on the to-do list: add the "There is one new MetaTalk thread about the new comment feature" feature.
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:13 PM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


pb rules! mefi's mgmt team is teh awesome. Thank you!
posted by madamjujujive at 12:15 PM on February 4, 2011


You could post one of those 'lines' at the top of the site announcing it.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:16 PM on February 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


You could post one of those 'lines' at the top of the site announcing it.

This seems like a good idea, given that virtually all returning users will notice this, and might, perhaps, be initially confused by it.
posted by grouse at 12:20 PM on February 4, 2011


Since there have been two new MeTa posts on this new feature, maybe there should be a small (More Info) link pointing back to pb's comment? Keep the info link on for a few weeks, so people don't freak out or whatnot, especially as these MeTa threads get pushed off the first page of MetaTalk.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:37 PM on February 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or what Confess, Fletch mentioned
posted by filthy light thief at 12:37 PM on February 4, 2011


Hey, so I really like this a lot. Thank you!
posted by Greg Nog at 12:41 PM on February 4, 2011


Yeah, a "What's this?" link might work too.
posted by grouse at 12:47 PM on February 4, 2011


I was just thinking that *this* post could use a (2) at the end that automatically updates with the number of times someone has opened a new MeTa post instead of finding this one.

(I totally understand that people overlook this thread because it wasn't posted by a mod. Still. Lurk moar.)
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:50 PM on February 4, 2011


The title of my next Metafilter thread is totally going to start with "(8,000)"

I, too, really like this feature. Thanks, Team Mod!
posted by bondcliff at 1:15 PM on February 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks pb & team. This is a rainbow shitting unicorn of a pony.
posted by peacay at 1:53 PM on February 4, 2011


Splendid! Nthin' the "Squee!" I will shine this pony's hooves, and schedule the farrier often.
posted by cookie-k at 1:54 PM on February 4, 2011


This is really nice. I mean like peach pie nice. Like a rainbow shitting unicorn of a pony nice. I don't know what that means but I'm pretty sure it's meant in a good way and as such I agree.

It's really great in action, thanks.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:00 PM on February 4, 2011


I'm starting to think that this pony should be modified to add a yes this is a new feature here is the MetaTalk on it link, for at least the next two months.
posted by adipocere at 2:43 PM on February 4, 2011


There's something in the sidebar now, announcing it.
posted by smackfu at 3:29 PM on February 4, 2011


I had no idea I wanted this pony, but hey, there it is! Thanks, folks!
posted by deborah at 4:18 PM on February 4, 2011


This pony comes with ribbons and bows and happy shiny things and I'm thrilled about it. I can leave a tab open at work and wait to see if new comments roll in without having to reload the whole page, which is fantastic. Thanks, Team Mod!
posted by jokeefe at 8:00 PM on February 4, 2011


This is a great feature.
posted by joost de vries at 9:14 PM on February 4, 2011


Thank you for this wonderful pony!
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 9:59 PM on February 4, 2011


The 5 bucks that keep on giving. Awesome. Thanks.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:43 AM on February 5, 2011


Very good feature. But once in a while, it seems to stop working for me. Why would that be? A page that has been very active and reporting "new comments" sometimes stops doing so after I click "show". After a half hour with no updates reported below the last post, or on the browser tab, I refreshed the page anyway and find that there have been about 40 new posts during that half hour. But then it resumed working. I'm using Firefox 3.6.13.
posted by Snerd at 3:32 PM on February 5, 2011


Snerd, it's hard to know why that happened for you. If you experience that consistently, you might start by checking anything that could be blocking access to the site or interfering with JavaScript running on the page. One common culprit is Greasemonkey scripts.

If you can enable the Firefox JavaScript console and look for Errors from metafilter.com (you can ignore warnings) that might help us track down exactly what went wrong.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:49 PM on February 5, 2011


This is worth exactly $5 to me, and so I've moved from lurking to, um, lurking with an account.
posted by MsMacbeth at 9:13 PM on February 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks so much for this feature. I had no idea I wanted it until it arrived, and now it is here and all shiny and lovely. Yay!
posted by harriet vane at 2:22 AM on February 6, 2011


I love it when programmers give me something I need that I didn't know I wanted.
posted by klarck at 5:27 AM on February 6, 2011


One thing I've noticed is that this seems to make the "x new" comments on the front page even more inaccurate than previously, if you have been loading comments progressively. Given the number of ways we have now for following where we are in a thread, we should just get rid of those notifications.
posted by elephantday at 4:00 PM on February 6, 2011


Yay, this is very neat. It might be interesting to see what this does to your web metrics (page views would go down?).
posted by carter at 5:31 PM on February 6, 2011


I clicked 'show' on a thread with two comments and then clicked a link in one of the new comments to an article off-site. My back button returned me to the page with only two comments, and no 'show'.
posted by carsonb at 10:06 PM on February 6, 2011


Oh, my. I'm in love with a pony.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:01 AM on February 7, 2011


Wow, this is very useful & well done. Thanks!
posted by malocchio at 8:31 AM on February 7, 2011


My back button returned me to the page with only two comments, and no 'show'.

Sorry about that, but keep in mind our object with the feature is not to replace the reload button entirely. Once in a while you'll need to reload the page to reset things.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:37 AM on February 7, 2011


I love this, it is totally awesome. (there's still plans to put it on ask when the bugs are worked out, yes? because that would make this pony perfect!)
posted by mosessis at 2:02 PM on February 7, 2011


Super nifty. Thanks!
posted by p3t3 at 2:18 PM on February 7, 2011


there's still plans to put it on ask when the bugs are worked out, yes?

Yep, we're going to give it at least a few more days, talk about any changes/tweaks, make those, and then move it to the other sites.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:39 PM on February 7, 2011


This Firefox 4 extension may be of interest. Haven't tried it out myself, but it seems like it might be a nice solution for people who are concerned about the new comment numbers taking up too much space in the page title.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:50 AM on February 8, 2011


This is such a great pony. Thanks one more time.
posted by cashman at 11:26 AM on February 9, 2011


Yay!
posted by mosessis at 12:19 PM on February 9, 2011


Although I initially thought this new feature was kind of neat, I no longer enjoy it - for the same reason I can't use RSS Readers. I would like to be able to turn this feature off for the same reason I have 'number unread messages' turned off in Gmail.

This feels like it is pushing too much information to me too effectively -- it turns an ordinary thread into something that feels like a task for Sisyphus. The thing at the bottom of the page is unobtrusive, but (sorry Jessamyn) the number at the top of the page makes me go into a bit of a panic.
posted by aniola at 7:21 PM on February 9, 2011


Yeah, I also am not a fan of the number at the top. If that sticks around, I'm sure that there will be a greasemonkey fix for it, though. So, I'm essentially neutral.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:07 PM on February 9, 2011


I reckon this is saving some load on the server from today's Egypt thread.
posted by exogenous at 1:39 PM on February 10, 2011


Yeah, thanks again for this. It's really an invaluable improvement.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:17 PM on February 10, 2011


There's a huge, happy, happy party happening right now in this thread. Just wanted you to know how much this gorgeous, beautiful pony has added to the fun.
posted by marsha56 at 9:09 AM on February 11, 2011


Is this where I get to mention that I'm totally digging the AJAX? Because, y'know, I was thisclose to saying it in a brand new thread. I might still do it.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 2:54 PM on February 11, 2011


I'm just itching waiting for this to show up on AskMe & here. Like seriously. I'm Sam waiting for that quantum leap. For those of you reading in the future, who will never know what it was like before this feature came. For those who will experience this as a 'microwave oven' moment - right now when you're on the blue it's like being in the one candle lit room in the house during a power outage. You know everything's still pretty much the way it was just recently, but the rooms just don't quite feel the same.

Kids, you're going to laugh at this but we used to have to refresh the whole page to see if there were new comments. If you were in an AskMe thread and wondering if someone had just posted, you had to hit a button - either preview or refresh. It was a common thing for someone to post an answer just as you were posting an answer with basically the same content. We'd just say jinxies and go on to the next post. It was fun! Now while I take a sip of my lemonade, sit on down and let me tell you about how it was in AskMe back in the days before you could easily tell who the original poster was.
posted by cashman at 10:08 PM on February 12, 2011


Almost a month in... I love this. Love. Love. Love. Love. Please don't ever take it away.
posted by togdon at 11:03 AM on February 23, 2011


Almost a month in... I love this. Love. Love. Love. Love. Please don't ever take it away.

Yeah, I was kind of on the fence initially, but I've really gotten used to it. So much so that I am occasionally baffled as to why it's not working on some pages, but then I realize I'm on Ask or MeTa and it hasn't been rolled out there yet.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:05 PM on February 24, 2011


I asked for it and lo and behold, we got it! Great minds think alike.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:40 PM on February 24, 2011


And now on AskMe with extended main page goodness.
posted by Mitheral at 8:13 PM on February 25, 2011


Yesssssssss
posted by cashman at 8:04 AM on February 26, 2011


I'm not sure whether this is covered elsewhere, but it looks like the Older Posts link in AskMe is Ajax now? I'm not sure that's an improvement-now when I click through to an older post and then hit the back button, I get to wait an extra second for the JS to do an additional redirect. What am I missing-what's the use case for that?
posted by Kwine at 6:48 PM on February 26, 2011


And poking around a little more, it gets progressively slower the further back you go-when I get five or six 'pages' of posts on screen, it takes five or six seconds for the redirects to happen. It's a tough AJAX use case because you can't cache, with the additional posts always and irregularly coming to the front AskMe page. I tend to let a lot of AskMes stack up and go through them at once-this makes that use pretty difficult. I see that the blue still has a hard link for that functionality-any chance we could roll this one back to that?
posted by Kwine at 6:56 PM on February 26, 2011


Yes, we do have a 'Show new questions' link on the front page of Ask the loads new posts inline. It's only available on Ask, and we're going to test it there for a while before we move it to other sites. As with inline comment updating, we'd like to live with it in one place for a while.

We know that people browse and use the site in many different ways and not every change we make is going to positive for everyone. I'm sorry you don't like this particular change. If you'd like, you can still use the old method of navigating by hand by bookmarking and linking to the pages directly, like so: http://ask.metafilter.com/index.cfm?page=2. You can change the page number in the URL to go back and forth.

As I said, we're testing the feature now to see how it fits with the site. If it works out, we'll move it to the other sites just like we're doing with inline comments.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:34 PM on February 26, 2011


Fair enough. Here's a GM script that restores the traditional behavior:

Old School AskMe
posted by Kwine at 11:15 PM on February 26, 2011


pb if you've got scripting turned off the newer posts button is no longer there, is that the intended design?
posted by Mitheral at 12:41 AM on February 27, 2011


Yes, if you have JavaScript disabled it reverts to the old paging style.
posted by pb (staff) at 6:40 AM on February 27, 2011


I'm not sure I explained that properly. Two pages into the "older pages" on the front page you are presented with two navigation options: « Older posts | Newer posts ». Two pages into the "older pages" on AskMe you only get the single option: « Older questions. Has there never been a | Newer questions » navigator on AskMe?
posted by Mitheral at 7:37 AM on February 27, 2011


Oh, I see what you're saying Mitheral. Yeah, the new system messed up the 'Newer posts' link for logged-in members. It should be working now.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:48 PM on February 27, 2011


I don't like the new thing at the bottom of AskMe. I like to have separate pages when I'm reading back through the archives to catch up on the weekend. I just don't see the point of the new thing, other than "gee, let's add this everywhere!"
posted by smackfu at 1:17 PM on February 28, 2011


The idea is to reduce the friction of viewing posts that aren't on the front page anymore. We're trying to make viewing older questions quicker by loading the questions inline. That way you don't have to reorient with a new pageview, reload the header/footer sidebar stuff. You simply get to keep reading in place. We think this will mean more people reading more questions.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:00 PM on February 28, 2011


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