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Discussion2 In-Place Posting Testing

CmdrTaco (1) writes | more than 6 years ago

User Journal 16

Discussion2 rolls on... the most recent addition to the system is in-place comment posting. Essentially, little dynamic ajaxy slideout boxes to post directly within the thread, without going to a stand-alone page. This is great because you don't have to lose your place within the thread to post.Discussion2 rolls on... the most recent addition to the system is in-place comment posting. Essentially, little dynamic ajaxy slideout boxes to post directly within the thread, without going to a stand-alone page. This is great because you don't have to lose your place within the thread to post.

this functionality is currently only available to paid subscribers, and several hundred of them have tested it out already. We still need to make it look pretty and add a few minor things (like the CAPTCHA for anonymous posting) but it's almost done.

Also worth noting is that logged in users can click on the 'Score' field of comments to view the moderation information on the comment. This information was previously not visible within D2, unless you navigated outside the d2 system (opening a comment in a new window did it). I doubt most people really care about this info, but it's available.

We also have one (perhaps minor) thing to get in... right now if you visit a comment directly via a CID link you can navigate within that thread, but navigating 'up' the comment hierarchy results in a new page, and a new discussion... this makes context a pain to maintain. So pudge is going to change that page to display the parent posts in an abbreviated format. This will mean that you can climb back up the thread easily, even if you entered the forum via a link deep into a thread.

A few minor items left on the todo list (keybindings for threshold changes... maybe press 'r' to open the reply slideout from the current comment, and a bunch of small design issues to make the threads a little more visually clear and easily navigatable) and we're ready to call D2 finished.

We have no plans to remove D1, so those of you who hate D2 are welcome to stay on the old system, but obviously new moderation tools and whatever else we think of will be attached to D2, not D1, so you've been warned ;)

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I'm doing it right now (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22828884)

It is very nice - being able to see everything as I compose my reply. It does take longer though as in some cases I am quite content not to preview- but the new setup forces it. Not a huge deal, but it would be nice to be able to not preview. Even if you decide not to do that, I have to say that I find this to be much nicer than the old style.

Re:I'm doing it right now (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829430)

Ya know, I thought the old setup required a preview as well. In fact, it's probably a bug that it doesn't. I think the 'preview' link probably is a reasonable idea anyway tho. Give people at least one last chance to make sure they don't have any mistakes. Not that people will typically take the effort to re-read their words, but I usually do. Maybe we add a spellchecker there would be a reason to do it.

For me, the main short coming is design issues... which I'm glad to say will be fixed RSN. Wes (our corporate CSS/Design guru) has sent me mockups that just need to be translated into CSS. When completed, the form will stand apart from the thread a little more clearly... it should be quite nice.

Re:I'm doing it right now (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829482)

I've seen a few blogs recently where the poster can still edit a comment for some predetermined amount of time after posting. Usually it is a different color and has a timer counting down how long until it can't be changed. I don't know how well something like that scales though. I've seen it on blogs that are popular but nothing like the volume of comments that are generated by slashdot front page stories.

Re:I'm doing it right now (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829522)

That's frankly not on the TODO list yet, but it's a reasonable request. I tend to think the 'preview' process should suffice... you don't get to retract/change what you say in real life- you can only amend it. My fear is that people would post comments saying terrible things... and then 60 seconds later delete it. Now we could prevent comments from being delayed for 60 seconds to stop this abuse... but at that point, what is the difference between "Preview" and that?

Re:I'm doing it right now (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829944)

I agree on editing comments. It is technically feasible, not a HUGE deal, but I dislike the "feature." Once you say it, you say it. Also agree strongly on previewing first before submit. I think the biggest benefit to not having that before was speed: it took significantly more time and effort to preview a comment in D1. But now it is so much simpler and more efficient, why NOT require submit?

Also, pressing 'r' already does work to reply to a currently selected comment. Hooray!

Re:I'm doing it right now (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 6 years ago | (#22830064)

We should change 'Keybindings Beta' to say 'Keybindings Help' and link it to a FAQ entry listing WASD, QE, R, and when you get the threshold controls in, whatever we figure works for that.

Proposed new keybindings

  • [/] lower/raise top threshold
  • ,/. lower/raise bottom threshold
  • v - jump to the last comment on the page (looks like a down arrow)
  • t - jump to the top comment on the page ('t'op)
  • m - open moderation history dialog box
there's other things we could add purely as a matter of convenience ('p' to link to parent... its redundant but easy to remember)

Dunno if anyone has any strong thoughts on the matter. I like the keybindings tho. They are pretty helpful.

Re:I'm doing it right now (1)

TRS-80 (15569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22835668)

I'd use the keybindings but they interfere with find-as-you-type which I have on (searching for links) by default. Bug 215024 - Conflict between FAYT (Find As You Type) and javascript (key events) [mozilla.org] is the bug, but there's no resolution (it hasn't even been touched since 2006).

Re:I'm doing it right now (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843902)

i'm not particularly familiar with FAYT but it strikes me as being trouble waiting to happen ;)

Re:I'm doing it right now (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22832210)

My fear is that people would post comments saying terrible things... and then 60 seconds later delete it. Now we could prevent comments from being delayed for 60 seconds to stop this abuse... but at that point, what is the difference between "Preview" and that?
How about an eBay-style "--- On March 22, 2008 at 21:30 CmdrTaco added the following: ---"? That would achieve the result of being able to clarify/correct without the problematic feature of changing what you had wrote. And perhaps it should only be available as long as your post wasn't moderated, so as to prevent someone's +5 post being later edited with some malware link appended to it.
 

Re:I'm doing it right now (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843890)

My general thought is that this is what *replies* are for. If you post 'A' and then someone else says 'Not A' and then you realize that you were wrong... you should reply to *him* or reply to yourself and say "Oh you're right. Not A."

If you update your comment then your comment says "A, Not A." but a reader of that comment wouldn't necessarily see the greater context (which is that another user corrected you).

And still- the potential for abuse is still high. It just really makes me nervous to let someone modify the context of a discussion where others are participating. If we did it, I'd definitely disallow updates once any reply or moderation occured. That would lock it.

Re:I'm doing it right now (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22848812)

My general thought is that this is what *replies* are for. If you post 'A' and then someone else says 'Not A' and then you realize that you were wrong... you should reply to *him* or reply to yourself and say "Oh you're right. Not A."
Good point. I wonder if the situation has ever occurred where someone unintentionally pasted in some text they didn't want to. Such as rather than pasting a great quote relevant to the discussion, they accidentally posted some sensitive banking information because the other text didn't get copied to the clipboard and they submitted their comment out of reflex. I'm sure that's an extreme edge case though.

I sort of like the other suggestion where submitting the comment results in it going into a one minute timer, a "comment purgatory" of sorts before it goes live. While this is, in effect, like having a preview, for some reason I find there's a psychological difference between doing a preview and submitting the comment. Almost as if submitting causes my mind to stop actively thinking about it, which occasionally causes something unrelated to pop into my head which would be quite relevant to the discussion. Then again, I'm not sure a one minute window would simply delay that particular effect so perhaps it's a moot point.
 

Nice, but not switching (1)

crow (16139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829114)

I really like most of D2, but I'm sticking with D1 for the sorting options: Keeping it threaded, but sorted by highest rated parent comment. I can't think of any alternative viewing mode that makes better use of the moderation to present the best comments first. (Well, it could sort threads with equally-weighted parents based on some measure based on the replies, but I'm not sure what metric would work.)

Of course, in a true Web 2.0 world, things like sorting the comments should be done on the client side. The page just needs to include a sort function which lets the user specify one of several comparison functions.

I suppose if I were a true web geek, I would write a Grease Monkey script to sort the threads for me, just as described above. I haven't looked at the raw HTML; have you done anything that would make that awkward? Could you do anything to make a hack like that easier?

Re:Nice, but not switching (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 6 years ago | (#22829498)

We're sure open to people patching in alternative sorting mechanisms.

That said, the default settings retrieve the top rated comments first, which was done intentionally to meet your needs. The 2 threshold controllers are 'abbreviate' and 'full'. You set the full bar in the middle, and the abbreviate bar lower. If you scroll through the discussion you see the highest rated comments. If you want to expand into the threads, the information is there.

It's different. You have to get used to it. But it works really nice, assuming you have your settings set to retrieve highest comments first and a medium amount of data.

Is it broken? (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843526)

I get javascript errors every time I try to scroll ("gd.style has no properties" on line 167 of comments.js: "var oldpos = gd.style.position;"), none of the comment expanding/collapsing works for me, everything starts fully expanded, and I can't moderate.

I think it all comes down to "html_doc.appendChild is not a function" on line 55 of comments.js: "html_doc.appendChild(js);" which is probably preventing some other necessary include from happening (as it seems to be a javascript including function).

Browser statistics: Firefox 2.0.12 on Windows XP, Mac OSX 10.5, and Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10. Also IE 6 Windows XP. All exhibit the same problem (though I tend to see a lot of this stuff earlier than most people, maybe this problem isn't a problem for others?) Happens even when I disable all addons.

While we're at it, would it be possible to shift the scripts you host on SocialComputingResearch over to a Slashdot server? Once in a while those guys get hung up, and due to either use of non-deferred script tags, or synchronous XmlHttpRequest calls, the entire browser and all its tabs hang, sometimes even for up to a minute. Personally, I consider that a browser bug (only the current tab, and windows/tabs opened by scripting from it [hence have a reference to them and may interact with them via script] should hang), but one which every browser on the market has, and so which affects all of your readers in an avoidable fashion.

Re:Is it broken? (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843572)

Sorry, I should clarify, I use the University of Michigan testing option, though I am disabling that for now, and things seem to work again.

Re:Is it broken? (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843908)

The UofM posting option is going away, probably this week. You'll be shifted to the real D2, which you should do anyway.
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