Last Message of Thread posts

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by lotuseclat79, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    The Last Message of any one thread points to the member record who made the last post in the thread instead of the last post in the thread as a quick way to get to the most recent post in a thread.

    Surely, this is a mistake and the Last Message field intention is to point to the last message in the thread, i.e. the most recent post.

    Alternatively, I would ask if there is a feature to order the most recent post in a thread to the front of the thread posts, i.e. the first. Each user should be able to order the presentation of the messages in a thread from most recent to least recent or in original order which seems to be the default.

    If there is no such feature as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, then please consider this post as a request for such a feature, which exists on other forums.

    -- Tom
     
  2. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Actually, the Last Message column contains two separate links. The member name is in fact a link to the member who made the last post in the thread. But, right below that is a date field. That is a link that points directly to the last post in the thread.

    last-message-column.png
     
  3. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    There are two other links that take you into a thread.

    If you click on the date under the thread title, you are taken to the first message in the thread:

    wilders_threadlink1.jpg


    If you click on the thread title, you are taken to the first unread message in the thread:

    wilders_threadlink2.jpg

    So, three different ways of getting into a thread, depending on what you want to read first!


    ----
    rich
     
  4. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    Also if you click the blue dot to the left of thread title (see screenshot above) that also takes you to the first unread message in a thread.

    So there are 4 ways!!
     
  5. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    For threads that have been visited already, but have some unread posts, clicking on the thread title sometimes takes one to the last unread post, while other times the first post in the thread is shown. Is this how it's intended to work?
     
  6. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    I've never actually seen it take me to an unexpected place when there are unread posts in a thread, i.e. title is bold and blue dot is before the title in thread list.

    It will take you to different places depending upon whether you've been in the thread or not (while logged into your account, that is - a guest visit won't count).


    Here is a section of the thread list in other anti-malware when logged into my account. All three of these have at least one post that is "unread to me".

    unread1.jpg


    When I mouseover the WinPrivacy thread, which I have never read any posts in, the URL shows me that it's going to take me to the first post in the thread. (notice the link only shows the threadid number, no other qualifiers).

    unread2.jpg


    When I hover over the EMET thread, which I have read in previously, it adds the "/unread" qualifier. Everytime there are new posts in there and I click on either the bolded title or the blue dot, I'm always taken to the first post in the thread that is unread to me.

    unread3.jpg


    That is the intended purpose. If you are seeing it taking you to unexpected places sometimes, try doing some tests and just hover over the title first to see what it plans to do when you click on it.

    There is one limitation in this though that is important to note. You can only pull the trigger on "unread" once, for the current unread posts in any thread. If you are a person that uses more than one browser window (i.e. open link into new window/tab), separate browsers, or even the Back button with one window... You'll only be taken to the first unread post one time from any of those. The next re-click on the same bolded title will then take you further in the thread.

    As a test of that, you can try clicking into a thread that has a couple new, unread posts. Then hit the Back button to go back to the still bolded title, and click it again. This time you should be taken to the last post even though the title still appeared bold. (The Back button doesn't update the screen contents, but, the title click reaches out to the forum database and asks for a new "unread position" for you. Since you had just read into the thread, you get taken further on with the new click.) Likewise, using a mouse-wheel or shift-click for open link in new tab or window, will likewise give different results for each repeated click. (If a thread has three pages of unread posts for you, then three clicks with the mousewheel will open new windows/tabs, for each successive unread page of posts. Finally exhausting the unread post list for your account.)
     
  7. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    @LowWaterMark: I seem to be getting different behavior than you do. When I click on a bold title thread that I had previously visited, sometimes the thread URL has "unread" appended, and sometimes it doesn't. Here in detail is what happened just a few minutes ago:
    1. I saw that thread "AV Comparatives File Detection test for September 2014" was bolded, and I thought that I had visited the thread before.
    2. I opened the thread via the thread title in a new tab. It showed the first post. I closed the new tab.
    3. I opened the thread via the dot in a new tab. It showed me the first unread message.
     
  8. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    Can I just say that I have seen what Brian mentions a couple of times but it has always been due to clicking my mouse when the cursor was 'slightly' below the bolded thread title of a thread with posts in unread by me.

    In other words, I am inadvertently clicking for example on page number 1 shown in the EMET thread in LWM's screenshot above.
     
  9. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Well, there are a few additional factors that I left off so as to not make my post all that much longer. What you saw on that thread actually makes sense when you look into exactly how "read thread markers" are stored.

    The thread you mentioned had nearly all of its posts made more than 31 days ago, except for the last two replies. The read thread markers are only stored for 31 days - per member, per thread. The table that stores them has all entries older than that purged out daily. So even if you had read the thread before, your last marker was likely purged out recently. (I know, because I had done the same thing on that thread. I had read it previously, sometime in late October, but, I had not seen the last two posts, which were made Nov 1st and 4th.)

    Basically, there were unread posts for you that were within 31 days, but, your previous "read marker" was older than 31 days, so, it was removed from the table. When you clicked on that thread title, having no marker, it sent you to the first page of the thread. But, being a multiple page thread, you still had not seen all the posts on page 4, some of which were within the 31 day window... so, the next click still had those most recent posts to show you. Your next click took you to page 4. It did the same for me just now.

    Read thread markers can't be saved indefinitely since it would take huge space to hold those for every thread for every member on the forum. I chose 31 days so that we'd all have 1 month to get current with threads before resetting the markers.
     
  10. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  11. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    @LowWaterMark: Can clicking the dot give a later first unread post than the true first unread post?
     
  12. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    The short answer is no, but, then there are all the various conditions I mentioned above, including: How old is the thread? When was the last time you read a post in that thread? Did you ever read a post in the thread? Was it longer than 31 days ago? Have you used "Mark Forum Read" on that forum section? (That overrides thread read markers up to the exact timestamp of executing that function.)

    There aren't really many variables actually being stored in the "thread_read" and "forum_read" database tables. All the thread page positioning is based upon calculations relative to each person's member account, based solely on timestamps of each thread/forum access. In fact, that's all that is stored. For thread read markers, for each member, there is simply a thread_id and a thread_read_date timestamp. For forum read markers, there is simply forum_id and forum_read_date.

    So, to calculate where you will be positioned, the timestamps from both of those, (if you have any stored for the thread or forum section), are compared against the timestamps on the posts in the thread. Any post that has a timestamp later than your read_date value, will be flagged as "new to you". And, you'll be positioned there for that one click. The next click will take you to at least the next page of the thread, if there is one, or to the end of the thread, if nothing else "new" remains.

    In some ways, it is very simple - very few values being stored. In fact, post_id's are not stored at all as far as unread versus read items. It's all based on that single saved timestamp for last access. Though, it gets more complicated when threads span longer than the 31 day database limit.
     
  13. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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  14. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    @LowWaterMark: I've tested this a few times on threads that I'm pretty sure that I never visited; if I'm not mistaken, it indeed is possible that using the dot can give a later first unread post than the true first unread post. This seems to happen when the first post in the thread is older than 31 days.
     
  15. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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  16. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    @LowWaterMark: If post #14 is correct, is there any good reason to keep the dot?
     
  17. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Well, it does serve some purpose in that it provides a link to take you to the most likely place where the unread posts are to be found - that being, those posts made within the last 31 days. If the thread in question is only a page or two, it's probably not a big deal either way. But, if we're talking about a 60 page thread, then that could be of a lot of value.

    You won't know ahead of time whether the thread has only a single recent, bumping post at the end of page 60, or, if there are 15 pages of recent replies. Clicking the dot could jump you to the middle of page 45, where the first "newer" post was made, and you can start reading from there without having to page through the entire thread to find where to start reading.
     
  18. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    I am not sure, but is the "dot" you guys are talking about the blue dot seen in the screenshots in post #6 ? :doubt:
     
  19. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Yes, the dot that appears before (to the left of) the thread title. It normally provides the identical link as the bolded title. But, for unread threads started more than 31 days ago, and, with more recent posts, it varies as it still uses the /unread qualifier while the title link itself does not.
     
  20. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    I understand, thanks for explaining LWM.
     
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