Comments Since Last Visit, Reloaded, Augmented, Installed, In Two Steps

CK MacLeod

WordPresser: Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001.

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50 Responses

  1. Nevermoor says:


    I’m going to give it a few days of real use to see if I have other thoughts, but otherwise this is excellent work.Report

    • nevermoor in reply to Nevermoor says:

      Recognizing I’m probably way too invested at this point, a few thoughts:

      1. The clickable buttons are showing a thin rectangle instead of an arrow. Maybe an invalid character reference?

      2. It’s not clear to me exactly how the buttons work. What I expected was that the button at any particular comment would point at the subsequent unread comment. I’m getting different behavior:

      Assume 10 unread nested comments. If I have 1-3 on the screen, and click the button next to #3, it scrolls from 1 to 2. If I instead scroll down so that 4-6 are on the screen, and click the button next to #6, it seems to scroll to #5 (i.e. “next after top of screen” logic). I think my expected behavior would be more intuitive and functional, but you’re the designer.

      3. It appears that the last button points to the top of the comment thread. Might prefer the first NSLV comment, but there is (of course) a button right there so we are only talking an extra click.

      4. The only UI issue I see with putting a button at the bottom right of a comment (especially with the functionality in #2) is that it breaks focus when reading. This might be because I’m used to scrolling through threads with a keypress, but I find myself pulled away from text to find the button I need to click when jumping to the next group of NSLV comments. I’m not sure what the solution is (other than parallel shortcut keys),Report

      • CK MacLeod in reply to nevermoor says:

        Thanks for the feedback, and please don’t apologize for taking an interest: You’re the only one who has.

        1. Are you able to provide a screenshot? Also, what browser/os?

        2. Again, knowing browser/OS combo would be helpful, also if you view the threads at some unusual magnification level. In general, clicking the button should take you to the comment with the next one. With long comments or in other ways oddly vertically situated comments, it might take you a second click, or an extra scroll, to get to the clicker.

        I haven’t noticed the behavior you found about being on 3, and going to 1 or 2. If you could point me in addition the specific thread where you encountered that sequence, that might also be helpful.

        3. I found from my own experience that going to the top of the comment thread to resume the cycle was more convenient, since at that point I might very well want to show only new or refresh as start the cycle again with the first new comment.

        4. Noted. But I think you’re right about your being used to having a keypress alternative.Report

        • nevermoor in reply to CK MacLeod says:

          2: normal magnification (Windows/Chrome) Was playing around with buttons in this thread. Maybe it’s an interplay issue with your comment snaking, as I happened to be looking at reverse-nested comments at the time I wrote that, but if I have the screen centered on North’s “I’m gonna check it out!” with the comment from Glyph above entirely in-screen (and both unread), clicking the button next to North’s comment scrolls to the top of that comment rather than the next one.

          3: fair explanation.

          4: I definitely recognize there’s a limit to which your solution should cater to my unusual preferences.Report

          • CK MacLeod in reply to nevermoor says:

            on #2, that sounds a little less unexpected/problematic than the earlier description.

            If you start with the GTN BUTTON up at the top, then click your way through clicker by clicker, you should ideally bring each comment in succession to the top of the screen, then reach the last one, click, and be returned to the top of the comment section.

            If you jump ahead, or start the sequence by clicker rather than by button, then it there might be a slight hitch when the code calculates its target: as an offset from the top. It will end up finding the prior clicker and scrolling to show the associated comment as “next unread.” BUT next click it should continue proceeding down the list, and, only at the last, targetless clicker, scroll back to top.

            So, if there are comments 1 through 10, and you have come to a screen showing you 4 and 5, and click 5, the code first finds the 5 clicker as the “next target,” and then should go to 6, as new next target, on next click.

            In my use, I found that kind of within “bounds of the expectable,” if you will. But clicking on 4, then 5, then getting stuck in some kind of loop that never got you to 6 and beyond – that I would find disturbing.Report

            • nevermoor in reply to CK MacLeod says:

              To be clear: there was never a loop. I would just expect that no matter what my screen is showing clicking “next” at a comment will take me to the NSLV comment after that.

              People won’t just click through all the comments (in part for the UI reason I noted above) but will likely scroll through unread chunks until they need the button to jump ahead. It’s strange, under that use condition, to click the button and be jumped back up thread.Report

              • CK MacLeod in reply to nevermoor says:

                Next time you run across the problem, please take a very close look at what’s happening that you find confusing. It’s hard enough to state clearly, but I think that wherever you are and whenever you click, unless you’re on the last new comment, you’ll always go down. I figured users would find that sufficiently in bounds (and just keep clicking!), but I agree it’s not toadly optimal.

                So, first I’ll replace the character code with image icons,, and then I’ll see if I can jigger the jQuery to make things smoother for out-of-sequence/midthread clickers. It may be simple, or it may require more complicated offset calculation and array counting. Either way, it may facilitate some other more advanced indications (like producing down icons when down-clicking, and an up or recycle icon when you’re on the last new comment in the list – but no promises!).

                Thanks as ever for getting down into the details on this.Report

              • CK MacLeod in reply to nevermoor says:

                You know one thing I forgot to ask: I’ve already replaced the arrows character in the top button with an image icon version, but I wonder if it was showing for you while the side-clicker wasn’t.

                Will get to the side-clicker shortly. EDIT Er – later…Report

              • nevermoor in reply to CK MacLeod says:

                Arrows now displaying correctly.

                The time it goes up is when I’ve read a few comments on the screen and clicked the button next to the last of ’em. Makes the screen scroll backwards/up every time on my setup.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to nevermoor says:

        The clickable buttons are showing a thin rectangle instead of an arrow. Maybe an invalid character reference?

        It renders properly on my screen. This does raise the philosophical question as to what makes an invalid character reference. The character code is a valid Unicode glyph; OTOH, lots of fonts fail to define the arrow glyphs. This is part of why I’ve made the Noto fonts my default — Google has committed to defining every glyph at least up through Unicode 6.2 for them. The other reason is that with some spacing tweaks, the Noto Serif font is quite attractive.Report

        • I’d – obviously wrongly! – expected virtually all browsers to handle the character correctly. I may just use an image (or two) instead, though I’ve tried applying a very generic serifed font stack specifically for the clicker arrow (both top and side), as an experiment just to see whether it fixes the problem for nevermoor for now.Report

          • nevermoor in reply to CK MacLeod says:

            Now I have a square empty box instead of a thin one. (Windows/Chrome)

            It’s trying to render the glyph in Georgia. (font-family: Georgia, Times, ‘Times New Roman’, serif;)Report

            • CK MacLeod in reply to nevermoor says:

              Odd – have no idea why it would be I think I’ll just replace it with image icons. On Windows 7/Chrome, I’ve had no problem either way, nor on Android. Have you tried a cache flush? Seems this wasn’t a problem for you when we were discussing the earlier versions on the Developing blog?Report

              • nevermoor in reply to CK MacLeod says:

                True, it wasn’t a problem there. Just did a hard reload and commenting to get an NSLV.Report

              • nevermoor in reply to nevermoor says:

                Not fixed.Report

              • CK MacLeod in reply to nevermoor says:

                Switched to decimal from hexadecimal code just on off chance it works for you. Decimal is, in my observation, more common in HTML. Had only used hex because in an early draft it was part of a CSS “content” statement, and for those you use escaped hex. One difference that only the obsessively observant would notice is that this is a different double arrow character than the one I was using on Developing: It’s down then up, rather than up than down, though the difference in the code was only an F rather than a C.Report

              • nevermoor in reply to CK MacLeod says:


              • I’ve seen versions of fonts that include one glyph but not the other. To some extent, fonts can be the kind of DLL hell that some of us used to suffer through — no version numbers, upgrades break as much as they fix, etc. This is the kind of problem that has led to abominations like Font Awesome.Report

              • Will teach me to distrust the code for the also-ran characters anyway, though I still lack a good guess why my Chrome is getting what nevermoor’s Chrome isn’t, and why it worked OK for him on Developing…, but not hereabouts. If it’s not a problem 100% unique to this site, it’s worth encountering the exception early rather than late.Report

              • nevermoor in reply to CK MacLeod says:

                Yep. Color me mystified too. Image is the right solution, though, especially if you see this as a shareable WP plugin (which you should, it’s great work!)Report

        • Need another new comment to look at something.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    Can we have the Greek Alphabet? Or is that crazy talk?Report

    • CK MacLeod in reply to Jaybird says:

      All things are possible in this best of all possible worlds, Jaybird.

      I’ve just added CSS support for Greek. So, if you can type Greek characters, you would wrap them in a span tag, like so (experiment #1):

      ??? ???? ????? ??????? ??. ?? ??? ???? ???????, ?? ??? ?????? ?????????, ??? ?? ??????? ????????. ?? ??? ????? ????????, ??? ?????? ??????? ??. ?? ??? ?????? ??????? ????????. ??? ???? ?????? ??. ?? ??? ????? ?????, ?? ??????? ???????? ???????? ???, ??? ?? ????? ????????.

      hmmm… still working on it – didn’t turn out to be as simple as indicated.Report

  3. CK MacLeod says:

    Ahem – the kindly developer of Simple Comment Editing made a change, on request, and I’m uh trying it out here.Report

  4. CK MacLeod says:

    sce fixed?

    EDIT: Absitively – should be a little less obtrusive this way.Report

  5. Vikram Bath says:

    I know there are others, but this is another example of how the new commenting features have changed how conversation happens. Burt is the post author. But most of the comments are responses or responses to responses to the first comment by Damon.

    • CK MacLeod in reply to Vikram Bath says:

      Thanks for that. I’m still looking forward to the day that we get a comment thread in multiple snakeback mode: I’ve seen several reach from snake-left (pink) to snake-right (blue), but none yet from s-l to s-r and s-l again, much less full-on multiple sl’s and sr’s. Having a breakpoint (formerly max-depth) at 10 makes that harder to achieve, but I think we have it in us.Report