Can My Comments take me to my last comment on a post. December 8, 2011 9:14 AM   Subscribe

A pony request for the "my comments" view. It would be nice to be able to jump to the last comment one made in a topic from the "My Comments" view. It is sometimes difficult to follow the conversation from ones last post without searching.
posted by humanfont to Feature Requests at 9:14 AM (17 comments total)

but. this is exactly what "recent activity" does?
posted by elizardbits at 9:18 AM on December 8, 2011

Yeah, go to Recent Activity. At the top of each post's string of comments there should be something that says 171 total comments. 26 since your most recent comment, last 10 shown below.... Click on "your most recent comment" and it will take you to (drumroll, please), your most recent comment.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:20 AM on December 8, 2011

I assume you're talking about the My Comments tab on the front page of MetaFilter. That's left over from the days before Recent Activity existed and we don't plan to put any more work into it. We keep it around because some people prefer it to RA, but we don't want to build more into it or make it any more complicated than it already is.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:21 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just realized recent activity includes IRL threads that you've RSVP'd for whether you've commented in them or not. Neat.
posted by Dano St at 12:07 PM on December 8, 2011

Thanks for the tip. Perhaps recent activity could be more prominently placed vs my comments. Today it appears that My Comments is the prefered path from a layout perspective.
posted by humanfont at 12:22 PM on December 8, 2011

There's also the method of typing posted by [username] into the browser's 'find' function to skip quickly between comments by the same person (including yourself).
posted by Kattullus at 12:39 PM on December 8, 2011

Today it appears that My Comments is the prefered path from a layout perspective.

It does take some poking around to find it. A link to Recent Activity appears at the top and bottom of every page across all MetaFilter sites. If you're not used to seeing those links in the header and footer, or if you aren't sure what "Recent Activity" means, it might look like we're giving more priority to an older page. It also couldn't hurt to add a note to the top of the My Comments page. Chances are people who like that view will also like Recent Activity.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:55 PM on December 8, 2011

I have a related pony-request that I might as well drop into this thread--no doubt it's been raised before and there's some reason it can't be done. Is there any way the "(N new)" information on visited threads could be made accurate? On other sites I visit I can glance at a thread and if it tells me that there are "(10 new)" posts to the thread since the last time I visited then I know that that's what I'll find. Here, it just seems to be a count of posts made within some recent timeframe. If the thread activity dies down and I don't visit for a while then it will tell me there are no new posts even if there are, in fact, several since my last visit. If the thread is going hot and heavy, on the other hand, it might have "102" posts of which I've read 50, and it will keep saying "102 new" because they've all been made in the last hour or what have you.

It would be really nice to be able to glance at a thread I've been following, even if I haven't actually posted in it, and say "Oh, look, there's a couple of new posts to that thread...I think I'll check them out."
posted by yoink at 1:19 PM on December 8, 2011

Yeah yoink, the x new counts are a best guess based on session times—which is a nebulous 15-minute period after your last activity on the site. We haven't been clever enough to come up with a way to provide more accurate counts without tracking every thread that every member reads, along with the last comment they potentially read. Storing that much data on our end has been a non-starter for us. We have a pretty modest tech setup, and we can't scale to managing data that size without some serious changes. So we haven't ever felt that getting those numbers precise is worth the effort that would be involved.

When you end your time at MetaFilter, you could close your browser completely. That should reset all of your x new counts within 15 minutes of no activity.

There are some 3rd party options like the (recently revamped) MetaFilter Scroll Tag Greasemonkey script. Storing thread and comment data distributed on the client side works a little better.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:40 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Tant pis--thanks for the explanation. Entirely understandable.
posted by yoink at 1:44 PM on December 8, 2011

There's also the method of typing posted by [username] into the browser's 'find' function to skip quickly between comments by the same person (including yourself).

I used to use favourites to mark like this sometimes (searching for "-]"), but once the hyphen got changed to the dash it got too inconvenient to type that with my keyboard
posted by rollick at 2:01 PM on December 8, 2011

pb, re: x new counts. Could you bind an click event handler to all anchor tags and issue async requests to update the session time? You wouldn't need to keep any extra data, just update and maybe select on the session table. You could even throttle updates client-side to once every minute or so.
posted by kuatto at 10:05 PM on December 8, 2011

I'm not sure what that would get me, kuatto. A session is associated with all of the threads, and then we compare that time with comment times. If you reset the session on every click you'd be resetting every thread with each click, even if you haven't read it.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:36 AM on December 9, 2011

Well perhaps not much, and I think I misunderstood the above session explanation.

A part of me expects that if I click on a thread and then reload the front page, the new comment count for that thread should drop to 0. So what I'm talking about is a finer granularity in reporting. Since you are doing the query for `X new comments` anyways, you could join the front page threads, comments, with a "thread-session" table that tracks visits to individual threads. Of course that is a lot more infrastructure, probably too much bother..
posted by kuatto at 8:55 PM on December 10, 2011

Just thinking a bit more, It could be a procedure that is almost the logical inverse of the mechanism which alerts you to new comments as you idle in a thread.
posted by kuatto at 10:07 PM on December 10, 2011

well, if I get some time I'll mock something up ;)
posted by kuatto at 7:44 PM on December 11, 2011

I appreciate the thoughts kuatto, but we don't want to start tracking per thread. We're not going to go down that path right now.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:50 PM on December 11, 2011

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