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(announce) Recently Active Threads

by demerphq (Chancellor)
on Oct 07, 2004 at 23:57 UTC ( #397487=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Well, its official now. Recently Active Threads. (As if you didnt notice it on the titlebar...) Please see Recently Active Threads Faqlet for documentation.

Enjoy and please, if you have bug reports take careful note of what mode and depth and make sure its not something like that. Also, if you have issue with colors please hold your horses there are things in the works. (Although color endpoints for the color blend suitable for your theme are not unwelcome)

Also, IE users may find the following CSS makes the page look a lot nicer:

p.nnt-p-title { width: 70%; } p.nnt-author { width: 28%; }

Unfortunately it exploits a bug in IE's handling, and will make Opera browsers do bad things so it cant be included by default (even though compliant browsers should ignore it). Its odd because IMO this behaviour makes a lot more sense to me than what the proscribed rules say. Kudos to anyone that can come up with a legal way to do the same thing using legal CSS. I will even contemplate changing the markup scheme if the proposal seems viable.

Goodnight and enjoy.


---
demerphq

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    -- Gandhi

    Flux8


• Update:  
Whoops, mistitled the announcement, thanks theorbtwo for pointing it out.


Comment on (announce) Recently Active Threads
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Re: (announce) Recently Active Nodes
by jacques (Priest) on Oct 08, 2004 at 02:39 UTC
    ++

    I think this is a great addition. One thing I always try to avoid in my design is relying on color too much since a certain percentage of the population is color blind.

      Yours truly, for example... although the colors used work OK for me.

      Michael

Re: (announce) Recently Active Nodes
by FoxtrotUniform (Prior) on Oct 08, 2004 at 02:52 UTC

    Well done, and well documented.

    On a more pedantic note, I'd just like to preemptively remind everyone that a quantum leap is a very small jump, rather than a large one. :-) Seriously though, this is good stuff. ++ can't possibly cover it.

    --
    F o x t r o t U n i f o r m
    Found a typo in this node? /msg me

      A quantum leap is a transition from one discrete state to another (i.e., without intermediate stages.) I consider this is a fine and good metaphor for a dramatic, sudden change.

      I'll emphasize: the relevancy has nothing to do with the magnitude of the change, but to the change's seeming bypass of intermediate stages.

      and yay demerphq! This is a great improvement for the monastery.

Re: (announce) Recently Active Nodes
by hossman (Prior) on Oct 08, 2004 at 05:05 UTC

    sweet looking page. I'm not sure i understand all the codes, but it strikes me as the kind of thing you only really understand once you start using it.

    One thing: can we get a <div> with a distinctive CSS class around that block of navigation at the top of the page (starting with the color spectrum, up to and including the <hr/>) so that it's possible to disable it with a custom CSS of display: none; ?

Re: (announce) Recently Active Nodes
by grinder (Bishop) on Oct 08, 2004 at 08:29 UTC

    /me applauds

    Bravo! I've always wanted to do something like this, but never got around to doing it.

    One question, can we envisage a user setting that will let us choose the order in which the sections are displayed? I like seeing code-ish nodes first, followed by meditations, other stuff and SoPWs last, and I don't care to see new patches at all in this context. Other people will prefer different orders. Such settings would apply to here, and to Newest Nodes, and it would be Good.

    update: hurg, I've just discovered Config Mode...

    Also, minor niggle, why aren't the regular title used? (e.g.: Questions rather than Seekers of Perl Wisdom, Discussions vs. Perlmonks Discussions, etc).

    - another intruder with the mooring of the heat of the Perl

      minor niggle, why aren't the regular title used?

      Because then the list of sections at the top doesnt look very good. These short forms of the sections are the same used in Newest Nodes.

      I hope the config mode was reasonably easy to use. Did you try node filtering?


      ---
      demerphq

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
        -- Gandhi

        Flux8


Re: (announce) Recently Active Nodes
by hv (Parson) on Oct 08, 2004 at 11:56 UTC

    This is lovely stuff.

    The faqlet mentions that for maxdepth Root nodes are considered to be of depth 1, and 0 means not hide any children and get the full tree in all its glory. This neatly avoids letting me use the new facility in the ideal way: with minimal nodes, and hide all children, so that if I follow each link to read the node and its children I'll have read all new nodes without duplication.

    The faqlet does not make clear whether config mode settings are ephemeral or persistent.

    In config mode, a section with no content shows the message nothing to see here right now, but you have the " ."section enabled.... I'm guessing the section name was supposed to go in there, but it seems to be missing.

    The node seems to remember my last used set of options with regard to thread style and depth. It would be useful for the faqlet or something else to document how to construct a bookmark for a specific set of options, so that I could return to a consistent layout regardless of how I last used it; I would then probably be happy to turn off all the other control features except for "I've read all these" and possibly a "give me the control features back", and thus further reduce the size of the page.

    All the actual threading display looks fine, and the faqlet seems clear and complete other than the things I mention above. Strangely, the mere fact that author names are no longer shifted off to a separate column helps to highlight the names: I'm not sure what effect that might have on my reading, but I suspect it's more likely to make me read a thread I'd otherwise have ignored than vice versa.

    Oh, I just noticed the toggle, and now I realise than even when requesting the minimal set I'm still pulling the full list from PM so that the thread can be expanded. I don't need that - I'd really like to be able to minimise the amount of data I receive. So that's another thing I'd like to be able to turn off.

    Hugo

      First off, thank you for the detailed feedback. Ill see what I can do to address your points when I can get the time. A few of them I suspect will require some refactoring and recoding, but I'll see what I can do. Please excuse me for merging some of your comments into a single reply.

      This neatly avoids letting me use the new facility in the ideal way: with minimal nodes, and hide all children, ..... and now I realise than even when requesting the minimal set I'm still pulling the full list from PM so that the thread can be expanded.

      Well, no, actually you shouldn't be pulling the _full_ list, just the stuff that is new. It will be as threaded as possible, but everyhting transmitted to you in minimal nodes is new (assuming you are looking the current view of course). It seems to me that what you actually want is a new mode that is something like the ancestors view but contains only the earliest common ancestor to all new nodes in the thread and nothing more. I can see about adding something like that at a later point in time. However in a more expediant tone I can add a switch that makes the maxdepth a hard limit and not just the place where the children are automatically toggled hidden.

      The faqlet does not make clear whether config mode settings are ephemeral or persistent.

      Well, I guess you now know its persistant, but ill update the docs. Actually the truth is I intend to modify the way the docs are handled so the SiteDocClan can take the node under their wing. There are a number of contributors in that group who are much better at stuff like that than I am.

      In config mode, a section with no content shows the message nothing to see here right now, but you have the " ."section enabled.... I'm guessing the section name was supposed to go in there, but it seems to be missing.

      Actually the section name wasnt supposed to be there. That was just meant to be a break in the string but I got the quotes wrong ie: 'blah "." blah' instead of 'blah '.' blah' :-)

      The node seems to remember my last used set of options with regard to thread style and depth. It would be useful for the faqlet or something else to document how to construct a bookmark for a specific set of options, so that I could return to a consistent layout regardless of how I last used it; I would then probably be happy to turn off all the other control features except for "I've read all these" and possibly a "give me the control features back", and thus further reduce the size of the page.

      This is a good idea. It will take a bit of reworking as I think it will be best if using such bookmarks _didn't_ reset the default view. But overall ill do something to accomodate this. Might take a while as I dont have too many tuits left right now.

      I don't need that - I'd really like to be able to minimise the amount of data I receive. So that's another thing I'd like to be able to turn off.

      Yeah, a really minimal mode is probably a good idea. Good food for thought here, I'll see what I can do.


      ---
      demerphq

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
        -- Gandhi

        Flux8


        It seems to me that what you actually want is a new mode that is something like the ancestors view but contains only the earliest common ancestor to all new nodes in the thread and nothing more.

        Close: I want the earliest common new ancestor to each new subthread. I want the minimal set of links such that if I click each link and read that node and its children I'll read all new nodes and nothing but new nodes.

        So I guess that means I want to see all new nodes except the ones that have a parent which is also new.

        In practice I'd probably end up using 'Root and Node' rather than 'Minimal', to give a better visual binding of new subthreads to a non-new thread, and also to give me the option of saying "almost the whole of the thread is new - it'd be easier to load the root and read the whole thread (even though it includes some non-new nodes) rather than to load each subthread independently".

        While the earliest common (non-new) ancestor would occasionally be more useful than the root, few non-root nodes get more than a couple of responses, and only very rarely will a non-root node have had a significant number of responses since I last "read all these nodes".

        Oh, I should also have mentioned that the only age distinction I care about is 'new' vs 'non-new'.

        Hugo

Re: (announce) Recently Active Threads
by mpolo (Chaplain) on Oct 08, 2004 at 14:28 UTC

    Minor niggle. The Faqlet links at the bottom to the (nonexistent) "Recently Active Nodes" (a very minor change to say the least, but one that needs to be done).

    Excellent work, by the way. Now I just have to train myself to click "Recently Active Threads" instead of "Newest Nodes". ++demerphq

    Mpolo

Re: (announce) Recently Active Threads
by talexb (Canon) on Oct 08, 2004 at 14:50 UTC

    Yves, fantastic work. I'm a big fan of neat User Interface ideas, and this one is way cool.

    My only complaint is that the main RAT page is too wide for my browser .. has anyone else seen this problem?

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

Re: (announce) Recently Active Threads
by terra incognita (Pilgrim) on Oct 08, 2004 at 15:15 UTC
    Very Cool, looks great in Firefox.

    There is only one thing I find confusing, and am constantly being messed up by it. The colour bar runs left to right (newest on left) and the time controls run right to left (newest on right). My brain always wants to associate those two controls, and so I always get the colours reversed.

    Of course it could just be me. :-)

Re: (announce) Recently Active Threads
by hsinclai (Deacon) on Oct 08, 2004 at 19:35 UTC
    Well done! A great addition and very well thought out. ++

Re: (announce) Recently Active Threads
by hossman (Prior) on Oct 08, 2004 at 21:59 UTC

    After using it some more, i have another CSS request (in addition to my earlier suggestion)

    It would bereally handy if the little codes appering after a node name (your vote, node rep, Front paged, Approved, # of replies, # of descendents, # in the selected set below) each had span tags arround then with different class names, so that people could highlight the different codes they are interested in in their own way.

    It would also be handy if the information about your vote, front paged, and approved was used in making class names for a span tag arround the whole line -- so that people can highlight nodes that have cetain properties.

    For example, someone might want all nodes that they have down voted to be striken, all nodes that have been front paged to be in a bigger font size, all nodes that are not approved to be blinking, the number of descendents of each node in italics, and the number of nodes in the selected set to be shown in plain font (instead of bloded as it is now)

Re: (announce) Recently Active Threads
by parv (Priest) on Oct 09, 2004 at 00:43 UTC
    Lovely demerphq. Thanks much.
Re: (announce) Recently Active Threads
by tinita (Parson) on Oct 11, 2004 at 16:06 UTC
    cool...
    can we have that also in the "Find Nodes" nodelet? I turned off the titlebar because i'm sometimes using lynx.
    I've added it now to my personal nodelet but it would be nice to have it in "Find Nodes"
Re: (announce) Recently Active Threads
by hostyle (Scribe) on Oct 11, 2004 at 16:25 UTC
    * html p.nnt-p-title { width: 70%; } * html p.nnt-author { width: 28%; }

    Although that may not be pretty on MSIE on the macintosh.

Re: (announce) Recently Active Threads
by ysth (Canon) on Oct 12, 2004 at 05:53 UTC
    I'd like to see RAT respect having the showreaped option turned off. Because of the threading, this is a little more difficult than for Newest Nodes, but I think perhaps when the option is off threads whose only new nodes are reaped should be entirely omitted and other new nodes that are reaped should only be shown if they have children.

    What do you think?

      Agreed totally. If you dont come up with a patch (understandable, the code needs a clean up) ill see what I can do. I've been taking a holiday from doing much PM the last few days but ill get back into it soon.

      I applied your patch cleaning up the text BTW. Thanks.


      ---
      demerphq

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
        -- Gandhi

        Flux8


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