Open Thread (Testing New New Comments New Since Last Visit Reloaded, Reloaded, Augmented)


Part of kind of what you’ll see when you click the Show New Comments Only button

Incorporating feedback and suggestions especially from OGs Vikram and nevermoor, “Comments Since Last Visit, Reloaded” (CSLVR) re-works and builds upon “New New Since Last Visit Comments” (NNSLV), which had replaced the simple New Since Last Visit (NSLV) function introduced here last April. I’m eager to replace the not fully right NNSLV, but I think I need to beta CSLVR a bit – so its functionality will remain confined for the moment to posts (including this one) originating at the Developing… blog.

Now, most of what follows is going to be drier than Upland odd-number-address lawns ex Tuesday Saturday nights (drought rules), while the application ought to be intuitive. So I’ll refrain from providing any instructions beyond:

You’ll need to make some comments, and possibly browse away and come back, in order to see how it works (assuming it does work for you!), and it’ll be helpful if in the meantime others are commenting, too.

In other words, you can skip the rest and feel free to dive in – just treating this post as an open thread. ((Here are some possible topics if you’re feeling blankish:

Everything you know is wrong, and everything you like is evil and harmful.

Did you see that thing? What a thing that thing is!

America is pretty great.

America is pretty bad.

[         ] are pathetic and dangerous, but you, well, you’re pretty darn terrific.

Commenting on blogs is a complete waste of time.

Everyone should support web developers financially to the very limit of ability to pay.

RTod was right about something.

This thing is/isn’t working [on browser/device/firstvisit/secondvisit/etc.].

Tell me how to do footnotes again?


Also, the first 19 comments are leftovers from a pre-session session (thanks again, OG nevermoor).

Now the fine print:

CSLVR defines and sets visits for each thread visited. (Previous versions incorporated site-wide definitions for a “last visit”). CSLVR also introduces a set of Javascript/jQuery-enabled functions accessible by button and clickable icon that will enable users to find and scroll through new comments, to display new comments separately and sort them oldest-to-newest or newest-to-oldest, and to mark them all as read (or “old”) at any time. Part of the idea with CSLVR is also to create relatively persistent sessions in which NSLV comments retain their highlighting even after the user has offered replies or browsed to other posts.

To achieve these ends CSLVR sets three types of cookie in the user’s browser of which two, the ones that record time(s) of visit(s), may persist for up to 90 days, while one, the “session” cookie, will last for only 15 minutes (according to current default). The total cookie size is capped so that, once a certain level is reached, the function will remove the oldest cookies before adding any new ones. Note that these functions will not carry over across browsers and devices: In addition to being thread-specific, the application is also device-and-browser-specific.

If you browse “incognito,” and refuse cookies, perhaps because you like to use the internet to do evil things, then you’ll have to do without these conveniences. .

I’ll be continuing to polish the formatting, and will be happy to consider changes based on feedback. I’m also still researching an execution lag problem that should become more apparent on longer threads and more with some browser/device combinations than with others. Because one of the main purposes of the plug-in is to make browsing lo-o-o-ng comment threads easier, I’ll wait to move things over to the main site at least until after further testing.

(post re-published/re-dated 2015-09-08)


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78 thoughts on “Open Thread (Testing New New Comments New Since Last Visit Reloaded, Reloaded, Augmented)

    • That was fine: seems maybe a weirdness that occurs when a post is published then unpublished (on same browser), but amn’t confident about that.

      Buttons seems less oversized in context of developing thread.

  1. RTod was right about something. I forget what, at the moment, but I’m sure that he was right about something. This shouldn’t alarm anyone. When you think about it, the blind, thoughtless machinations of chance make that sort of occurrence practically inevitable.

  2. “Everything you know is wrong, and everything you like is evil and harmful.”

    Well, that’s why I come here… I’m surprised you even let me in.

  3. I just want to give CK a pointer to something I think couldn’t have happened without his contributions thus far. This thread has 65 comments, but only two “root-node” comments. The other 63 are replies or children of replies to those two comments. This would be totally illegible without the multiple levels of depth and now the snake. Now, it’s actually quite easy to follow.

  4. So should I send you a check for my life’s savings, or just the login information for my brokerage account?

    • Well, speaking just for myself, I’m willing to be reasonable about it. For instance, I’m guessing there are one or two or maybe even a handful of other developers to whom in a just world you’d be offering fair recompense. So, if you were to give me both the check and the login, and add a list of deserving payees, I’d throw in asset distribution services for free!

  5. Main message: Those of you who have been playing along may be disappointed to discover that messages you expected to be NEW are not formatted as such. For all intents and purposes, you should be encountering a fresh thread without any highlighting at all.

    On the heels of my provisional interim possible success, had a bit of a brainstorm, or brain-clearing, leading to recognition that the less than completely fully understood approach I had been using, based on an earlier implementation of someone else’s idea, was unnecessarily complicated. (Techspeak: No need to json_encode/decode cookie arrays with WP Post IDs as keys and UNIX time as values: setcookie at default already sets cookies by path rather than domain, so cookies are already directly associated per thread.)

    What this means for you is that your cookie innocence should have been restored, if you are reading this on-line, this very visit may be in effect your first visit.

    Treasure the experience! Let me know how it goes for you.

        • When I came here at 11:33 everything was un-marked. When I left the comment, only the comment I made was marked. When I came back just now, your two comments were new. This all seems as expected.

          However, I do have a slight issue to report, I think. I opened this from my e-mail, scrolled down, and clicked the “Show New Comments Only” button, which showed your new comments as expected. When I clicked “Reply” though, it opened up the thread in a new window.

          • Thanks. The part about opening in a new window is not an issue: It’s a choice, though one that also follows a certain path of least resistance, and that I may re-visit at some future point now that I have the principal functionality “down” (fingers crossed).

              • Dang, you’re attentive! I’ve frequently run across a version of that same problem or confusion using the “reply” links in subscription emails, since they appear to bring you to the bottom of the thread. It has more to do with how reply links and nested threads are coded: The default action on such secondary (or even lower priority) replies seems to anticipate mono-columnar sequential rather than nested threads. So, you’re taken to a replybox at the end – which is easy to locate and specify before the fact, rather than to a box underneath the actual comment within the nested display. I have NOT closely examined what it would take to achieve the functionality that I think you and I agree would be most desirable, since it requires an immersion in the mysteries of the WordPress comment-reply-link that I haven’t quite been ready for, though I’m getting there I think.

                I’m going to see if I can produce a different alternative for purposes of this CSLV application, but the main ones that I had previously been considering were 1) no reply link at all in the “new comments” display, and 2) a “location reload” that wouldn’t put you in a position immediately to reply.

              • Assuming I can’t achieve most desirable functionality anytime soon – reply in place wherever comments appear – which of following would you prefer

                1) no reply link at all, thus avoid any confusion at all
                2) reply link that, when clicked, opens the full thread in the same window, but not necessarily precisely at location of comment
                3) current functionality (reply link that, when clicked, opens the full thread in a new window, with respond box appearing at bottom or thread but addressing particular comment, preserving new comment list in prior window)

                My current order of preferences would be 3, 1, 2, but I could be persuaded that 1 was best – people wouldn’t miss what they never knew they could have, and wouldn’t be confused.

                • I submit this as a maxim: If there is a reply button under *each* comment, then your reply better post to that comment. Everything else is secondary.

                  If #2 means that the comment once submitted will be a reply to the corresponding comment, then that would be my preference. If it means it just gets tacked on at the bottom as a new thread, then it is my least favorite among the three.

                  But yeah, I prefer #3 to #1.

                  • No – #2 means that the reply link doesn’t function as a reply link at all – just re-opens the thread. Something more advanced than that might be worth researching and developing, since it might also solve or better handle the problem with email reply links to nested threads, but I can’t say now when it would be deliverable, and I don’t think that it’s a big enough issue to hold up moving this feature over the main site until it’s solved.

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