What if recent activity was limited to recent things? March 24, 2020 8:56 AM   Subscribe

While we're on the subject of ponies... What if recent activity showed, say, the last ten comments in the last 8 or 24 hours?

I find myself scrolling through the same long comments in slow moving discussions quite a bit... (especially when a new comment comes into a thread that's a few days old.) Time limiting the recent activity query would cut it down quite a bit, and probably make the recent activity queries a bit cheaper, too.
posted by kaibutsu to Feature Requests at 8:56 AM (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

So my standard disclaimer for all things RA-tweaking is "all else aside, the viability of the idea depends on frimble's take on how much of a (a) implementation pain and (b) load issue this is", since RA is our biggest, creakiest query on the whole site.

That notwithstanding, I'm curious about regular Recent Activity users' feelings about this. I can see the attraction of cutting down on some of the re-scrolling in frequently reloading and paging through a busy RA page for updates; I also want to think through the knock on effects for doing things like daily check-ins where the bigger scrollback would be more useful. I'd prefer to think in terms of increasing the flexibility of RA over just changing its default behavior, as far as that goes, but then that's *me* introducing some potential extra fiddliness into the idea.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:02 AM on March 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh gosh, as someone who lives in RA, I would not want this. I'm primarily a desktop user, however, so scrolling is less of an issue.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:17 AM on March 24, 2020 [10 favorites]

Haha, yeah; I noticed myself having a moment of 'user pain' which is well worth examining, but also fully understand that most ponies should ultimately be shot.

Now that I've got some coffee in, the 'not jumping to solutions' form of this is, indeed: How can I reduce the amount of scrolling through comments I've already read in Recent Activity?
posted by kaibutsu at 9:31 AM on March 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd be opposed to a change like this. I usually recognize the comments I've already read and skip down to the new ones, but like jessamyn I'm a desktop user and scrolling is no problem.

Are user scripts available on mobile these days? My first thought is that a snippet of javascript could wrap any comment older than x hours in details...summary tags, thus rendering them collapsible/default-collapsed.
posted by XMLicious at 9:54 AM on March 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

My pony would be the option for a new posts since last visit style of operation, still limited to the last 10 comments in each thread. On subsequent visits, all threads with no new posts would be hidden away behind an additional "older" link, near the currently existing pagination links.

I'm not too bothered by current behaviour, though.
posted by Bangaioh at 9:57 AM on March 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

but also fully understand that most ponies should ultimately be shot.

But...but...the ponies aren't SHOT, they're taken to a farm upstate where they can run and frolic and be happy ponies, right, cortex? RIGHT, CORTEX??!!
posted by cooker girl at 9:59 AM on March 24, 2020 [9 favorites]

I can confirm, ungranted ponies are well cared for and they keep living happy pony lives, just somewhere else, a place with more pony feed and stable space.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:06 AM on March 24, 2020 [23 favorites]

Hm, yeah, I agree it's much less annoying on the desktop: The titles to the left of the activity make it much easier to see where one post ends and another begins. On mobile I find it very easy to scroll past the thread boundary without realizing it, eventually noticing that the discussion of feasibility of organic farming has suddenly turned into a discussion of how much The Goldfinch sucks, but not having caught the new comment sandwiched in the middle... (Using the modern theme, FWIW.)

So maybe a 'skip to next post' navigation button alongside the thread title on mobile would do the trick: instead of scrolling quickly through and missing the divider, one could just skip to the next thread directly, and then scroll back to see the last couple comments. Or changing the post title color scheme enough to be easily seen when scrolling quickly?
posted by kaibutsu at 10:32 AM on March 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

metatalk: scrolling is not an issue.

but it can for mobile folks. ' last five comments' would saw the scroll.
posted by clavdivs at 12:55 PM on March 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

Do they ever put out a call for new feature requests? At least one very clearly-needed feature remains unimplemented.
posted by Baeria at 2:32 PM on March 24, 2020

The scroll is a pain in mobile, absolutely. Even on my giant phone. But on desktop, when you're posting in check-in threads or the like which tend to have longer comments, the scrolling is still non-trivial. Would it be possible to have a toggle between the way it is now and one that reverses the order, so you're seeing the newest comment on the top for each post? That way you're only scrolling through the ones you haven't read yet. Obviously, this doesn't work great when theres any sort of back-and-forth, but this would be an opt-in thing you'd have to toggle on.
posted by cgg at 2:59 PM on March 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd love the ability to collapse threads in RA.
posted by freethefeet at 9:25 PM on March 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

I do feel like pull-quoting has been creeping up in length.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:51 PM on March 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

What if there were a button that would jump to the most recent of the ten comments, or to the next topic in the RA display? We could then scroll back up to unread comments.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:46 AM on March 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

Agree on pull-quotes.

I'm too blind to read fiddly little text on mobile, so the RA thing has never bothered me much, although I understand the concern. On preview I like Kerth Gerson's suggestion but it might be a little hard to implement.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:01 AM on March 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Put me down as someone who uses Recent Activity, and would like it to work better.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:33 PM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Even on my phone, I would be opposed to this.
posted by desuetude at 8:00 AM on March 30, 2020

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