Google Blogoscoped

Forum

Another Forum idea

Travis Harris [PersonRank 10]

Sunday, April 16, 2006
13 years ago7,052 views

Mr Lenssen, I like the improvements you added to the forum lately.... views, article arrows and such they make things much nicer. But I have another idea. on the forum main page, by where you have the thread starter, you could put the last person to post too. Since I'm often on in the wee hours of the morning here in Eastern US time, the forum is very slow... and I'll pop my head in every once in a while, and I'm never able to remember how long ago I posted on such and such thread, or how many replies it had..... but, when I'm watching a thread, I could see that there is a new "last poster" and could read that. This would save me from having to open each thread, scroll to the bottom, and see what the last post was. Anywho... I'm tired, and maybe just being lazy right now... if it's a bad idea, throw it out! I'll just realize that I was not thinking straight when I came up with it.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Subscribe to the forum feed:
blogoscoped.com/forum/rss.xml

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Actually, I thought about that idea too, maybe it's time to give it a try.

Travis Harris [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

You rule! Just saw it!

Utills [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Wow....it looks quite good actually....good work.

The only question I have is about your longer threads. What should happen once a thread reaches a certain size? If there are 60 replies should one have to scroll down all the way to the bottom everytime there is a new comment? Or should the thread be locked and another thread spawned so that discussion can resume without the scrolling element? Or using the latest AJAX technology should all previous read comments be collapsed with only the comments that are deemed to be current shown?

Just a few questions, I'm not sure what would work best....so I leave the area open to discussion. I think upto about 30-40 comments the forum works fine, after about 40 it doesn't scale I dont think.

Sam Davyson [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Thanks for these improvements, very nice!

What Utills says about the length is also true. Maybe not automatic spawning how about creating a second page after say 40 or so which isn't viewable seperately but is linkable from the first page.

I am thinking how other other web forums work.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Well, there's a feature here which I disabled for a while, it will collapse the earlier posts once a thread reaches a certain limit. I've now put it down to 100 again. E.g. blogoscoped.com/forum/23657.ht ...
This feature makes more sense when then conversation is followed by regulars in the forum, who saw the old comments, and it makes less sense when e.g. a forum thread is on the front-page of Digg, exposed to more new readers (which happened when Bob's Gmail account was deleted).

Travis Harris [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

What is funny, is I was thinking about the whole collapse thing last night when writing this too.... but I thought it would be too much to ask... the way I would probably do it is using an associative array cookie something like this

array
(
thread_id=>last_post_id_seen,
thread_id=>last_post_id_seen,
thread_id=>last_post_id_seen
);

Then collapse all posts above that last_post_id_seen.....
If you find the cookie pushes the limits of cookie allowances, you could use the cookie that you use to auto-populate full name and store the thread_id=>last_post_id_seen in a database.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Philipp- have you ever thought of the running a php forum like area51 does ? But keeping it opened for anon submits ?

Sunil Nair [PersonRank 9]

13 years ago #

Another request for your consideration, Philipp – do you think you can set up RSS Feeds for selective threads only? That way, readers can subscribe to threads of particular interest only. Maybe two options – "All Forum Feeds" and "This Thread Only"

Just sharing my thoughts with you...

OREO [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

A question for Philipp, just wondering if did you build this forum or are you using some services? Thanks

Travis Harris [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

pd- I actually like this forum over any others I know (like phpbb) due to the shear simplicity of it. no formatting junk... no smileys... graphical signatures.... it is clean, and it is fast! As features are needed most of them can be added simply and all that bloat does not creep in.
For the RSS feeds... once again, it is close to something I was thinking... I was thinking under the posting box there could be an optional "Email address" (also cookied) field to where update notices would be posted. Though, I like the RSS idea better... but maybe a personal RSS... one where we can add any thread we want to subscribe too and then we can add just that one thread to our google home page!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Oreo, this blog was built from scratch. I was using Blogger + FTP export before but it had downtimes and wasn't simple enough. Also I couldn't easily convert all posts at once via search and replace (e.g. to change an HTML tag). This forum was a separate place once, and a multi-forum application (I used the same source + database table for different forums) but it's now completely customized for this blog.

A while ago I ported this from PHP4 to PHP5 (still MySQL in the background). The blog itself is actually completely static now... whenever someone posts a new comment, the blog post's static HTML page is recreated. It's not as neat and clean to program such a thing, but I ported it from a dynamic application simply to handle server traffic peaks.

As for thread updates notifications, I kind of like the "email me when this thread changes" idea. I'll think about that. As Travis noted I like to keep this forum extra simple in terms of the interface + what info you need to provide to post (e.g. you don't need to enter your email...). For every interface element I balance the need for it to some vs the added interface complexity it adds to others. I like what Joel Spolsky once said:

"Every time you provide an option, you're asking the user to make a decision."

I love this article:
joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chap ...

Sam Davyson [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I love this forum for the simplicity of it. And the trust that is imparted by the lack of logon. I think I am correct in thinking that anyone could pose as anyone else. And perhaps sometimes they do. But for the ease of use the lack of logon gives it is worth it.

Philipp never seems to use anyone elses code. Everything is from scratch.

Sam Davyson [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Philipp that article is BRILLIANT! Thanks for sharing.

CJ Millisock [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Yeah, thanks for that article link Philipp!

OREO [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Thanks Philipp for the history. I always wondered about that.

This forum/blog is amazing. It works the best for me out of all the other forums on the internet. Simple, nice, and about Google.

Thanks for making it and running it! It truly is pleasureable.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

Forum home

Advertisement

 
Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About
Advertisement

 

This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!