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Collapsing threads

First let me say thanks for adding threading support, and more importantly, thanks for sorting threads by activity. These two things really allow discussions to take on a life of their own, engaging more people, and building a sense of continuity and community.

However, there is a problem. If discussions go on for a while (which is a good thing), the threads can get rather long (naturally). Each time a very long thread gets updated, it can push all other messages of the page.

There are two common solutions to this problem:

1) A 'collapsed thread' view. The default view only shows the first message in each thread, with a [+] next to the message. Clicking the [+] causes that thread to be expanded. This is a common approach in newsreaders and mail clients.

2) A 'topic view'. Again, the default view only shows the first messages in each thread, which is now refered to as a 'topic'. Clicking on a topic takes you to view of that topic, fully expanded. This is a common approach taken by popular message board software, as well as web-based newsreaders like Deja.

Cheers,
Eric

Comments

  • WEBMASTERWEBMASTER Posts: 549Member
    Thanks for your feedback.

    I will take your ideas and add it to the Wishlist/todo list.




  • Eric TetzEric Tetz Posts: 2,141Member
    : Thanks for your feedback.
    :
    : I will take your ideas and add it to the Wishlist/todo list.

    Any progress?

    Before you started sorting posts by activity, we had a problem: active discussions were being pushed off the page by newer posts. Nobody wanted to dig down through 5 pages of posts to get to a topic, so hot topics would fizzle and die prematurely.

    Now we have the opposite problem: several new post can be pushed off the page by one update to an older thread. If a thread is active for a while it gets long. If all threads are displayed fully expanded all the time, a single thread can take up the whole page. In that case, a single update to a long-running thread can push 50 newer post to page 2. Not good.

    The solution is obvious: threads must be collapsible. Every other message board software in existence does this, for precisely the reasons I described.

    For now, traffic is light, so this is not a major problem - yet. If traffic does get heavier, it will immediately become a serious. Even now it discourages me from adding to long-running threads; I don't want to blast all the new stuff off the page. Long running threads are really key to community building, so they are the last thing you want to discourage.

    My Two And One-Half cents,
    Eric


  • WEBMASTERWEBMASTER Posts: 549Member
    Hi,

    you can collapse and expand the threads lists. You just
    have to click on the Threads: Hide/show link just above
    the list of messages.

    Is that what you are looking for?



    [blue][italic][b]/WEBMASTER[/b][/italic][/blue]


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