improvement suggestions

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sine
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improvement suggestions

Post by sine » Nov 2nd 2002, 6:56 am

Here's a few aspects of the forum that I'd like to see added/changed:

a) An urgent(?) issue: it seems that the region of Europe has (at least) 4 different time zones and the region of Australia has (at least) 3 -- either this or the line at the bottom of Forum Index Page has to change. :wink: To avoid the contradiction, the Timezones line could, for example, show (in addition to GMT) the times at 4 different cities across the world.

b) It would be convenient, especially when the user has slow internet connection, if the link/button "View next topic" was disabled when browsing already the first topic in a forum. In the given situation, and as the link/button is enabled, clicking it leads (frustratingly) to an semi-empty page saying "There are no newer topics in this forum."

C) Again, it would be convenient if the main Forum Index Page displayed how many new posts has been added to each forum since the user's last visit/login.

And finally, I'd like to thank the mscl.com team members for providing us with the forum and the whole site! Keep up the good work! :)
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dTheater
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Post by dTheater » Nov 2nd 2002, 2:39 pm

I have a problem that always annoys me, and this seems to always happen. Maybe it's just me.

Whenever I go into the forum, all new messages since my last visit are marked by a yellow bookmark. But after I read just one message, every message and every forum goes back to being marked read and the yellow bookmark is gone. Then I have no idea what to read.
- Jim

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Sascha (sab)
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Re: improvement suggestions

Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 2nd 2002, 4:40 pm

sine wrote: a) An urgent(?) issue: it seems that the region of Europe has (at least) 4 different time zones and the region of Australia has (at least) 3
Yeah, I know. When I wrote the code, decided to pick just the most common timezones.
To avoid the contradiction, the Timezones line could, for example, show (in addition to GMT) the times at 4 different cities across the world.
That's a good idea! I'll change it when I have some free time.
b) It would be convenient, especially when the user has slow internet connection, if the link/button "View next topic" was disabled when browsing already the first topic in a forum. In the given situation, and as the link/button is enabled, clicking it leads (frustratingly) to an semi-empty page saying "There are no newer topics in this forum."
I guess I can't do anything about that. But I'll take a look at the code, maybe I can add an additional database query to check whether there is another (newer) topic.
C) Again, it would be convenient if the main Forum Index Page displayed how many new posts has been added to each forum since the user's last visit/login.
Yeah, that should be possible to add. I don't know exactly when I have the time to make the changes, but I'm sure it'll be done by next weekend.


Thanks for your suggestions! Feedback is always welcome! :-)
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Sascha (sab)
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 2nd 2002, 4:45 pm

dTheater wrote:Whenever I go into the forum, all new messages since my last visit are marked by a yellow bookmark. But after I read just one message, every message and every forum goes back to being marked read and the yellow bookmark is gone. Then I have no idea what to read.
That is really weird. There's a link on the forum frontpage "view posts since last visit". Does this page also "reset" after you read one message?

Which browser (version number) are you using? Are Cookies enabled?
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Nostradamus
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Post by Nostradamus » Nov 3rd 2002, 2:29 am

Not sure if this has anything to do with dTheater's problem, but there is an automatic log off feature on the forum which prevents misuse of an individual's registered screen name. I think it's a good feature but it would be helpful if we knew how long the "timer" is set for. Would I be correct in guessing about thirty minutes or so?
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lizardcub
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Thanks!

Post by lizardcub » Nov 3rd 2002, 4:55 am

I just wanted to mention that this is by far the most amenable to suggestions of any forum I've ever encountered. You guys are so user-friendly, and you do a great job. (Maybe this is what happens when forums are run by big fans?...Maybe MSCL fans are really smart and competent?...Maybe this is just a good website.)

Anyway, thanks, MSCL.com team.

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Sascha (sab)
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 3rd 2002, 7:08 am

Nostradamus wrote:I think it's a good feature but it would be helpful if we knew how long the "timer" is set for. Would I be correct in guessing about thirty minutes or so?
60 minutes: The session length (used by the cookies) is set to 3600 seconds.

But if you mark that little box on the forum login screen "Log me on automatically each visit" then the session timeout shouldn't affect you. The forum then sets a permanent cookie on your browser which lasts for a few months and under normal circumstances, you shouldn't be asked for a login for a long time.

I know that some older browsers sometimes have problems under certain circumstances with that cookie/session thingy and "forget" the forum cookies for some unknown reason, but it looks like browsers like Mozilla 1.0, Netscape 7, Internet Explorer 6 and Opera 6 make less problems.
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Nostradamus
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Post by Nostradamus » Nov 3rd 2002, 10:59 am

sab wrote:60 minutes: The session length (used by the cookies) is set to 3600 seconds.
OK, is that 60 minutes from the initial log-in or 60 minutes from the last refresh/reload?
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
-- Clarence Darrow

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
-- Mark Twain

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Sascha (sab)
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 3rd 2002, 3:00 pm

Nostradamus wrote:
sab wrote:60 minutes: The session length (used by the cookies) is set to 3600 seconds.
OK, is that 60 minutes from the initial log-in or 60 minutes from the last refresh/reload?
Whoa, good question. You got me there :-). I think the cookies get refreshed on the browser each time you access a forum page.
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dTheater
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Post by dTheater » Nov 4th 2002, 12:11 am

sab wrote:
dTheater wrote:Whenever I go into the forum, all new messages since my last visit are marked by a yellow bookmark. But after I read just one message, every message and every forum goes back to being marked read and the yellow bookmark is gone. Then I have no idea what to read.
That is really weird. There's a link on the forum frontpage "view posts since last visit". Does this page also "reset" after you read one message?
Yes it does.
sab wrote:Which browser (version number) are you using? Are Cookies enabled?
AOL, unfortunately, so I believe that would be IE 6.0, and cookies are on. And I don't log out when I close the forum.
- Jim

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Sascha (sab)
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 4th 2002, 1:32 pm

dTheater wrote:
sab wrote:Which browser (version number) are you using? Are Cookies enabled?
AOL, unfortunately, so I believe that would be IE 6.0, and cookies are on. And I don't log out when I close the forum.
According to the logs, we have lots of AOL users here - if any of those happen to read this topic: Does anyone have the same problem like dTheater?

It could be a AOL thingy, but I don't know what could cause this behaviour. It could be their proxies. :roll:

All I can suggest is a small work-around: Click on "view posts since last visit" and open the topics by clicking with your right mouse button. In the pop-up context menu select "Open Link in new window". After you've read that topic, you can close the new window and open the next link the same way and so on. It's a bit messy, but at least you can keep track of which new posts you have read.

You can also use the "View previous topic :: View next topic" links at the top of each topic page to step through all topics in one subforum, but in case of topics spanning several pages this will lead you always to the first page.
Last edited by Sascha (sab) on Nov 5th 2002, 5:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mglenn
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Post by mglenn » Nov 4th 2002, 2:49 pm

According to the HTML spec. The 60 minutes is from the last action on the forum. The cookie's Time To Live should be reset with each request. So 60 minutes after you leave the site it will be expired by your browser. Sessions on the server should work the same way as they are ussually based on the cookie and the time of the last request. Its all kinda fun stuff having to do with thread timers and locking that will cook your brain into mush.

Sometimes I wonder how I learn anything new with all the useless info in my head already!
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Post by mglenn » Nov 4th 2002, 2:55 pm

As a side note if you happen to lose the list of post "since your last visit" going to the search page and putting an * in the authors box and clicking search will display the most recent posts in decending order.
"When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit." - Ayn Rand

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Nostradamus
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Post by Nostradamus » Nov 4th 2002, 3:12 pm

Thanks, Sascha and Mike :D
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
-- Clarence Darrow

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
-- Mark Twain

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Browsing with AOL

Post by NIGHTJESSI » Nov 5th 2002, 5:04 am

DTheater and other AOL users who might be having problems, I am on AOL 8.0 and had difficulty with AOL's buit-in IE browser not holding the cookies from page to page. What I do is open IE on top of AOL when I come to this board. Then I have no difficulty in manuevering pages and seeing what's new and what isn't.
"When you drink from the cup of life, chug." ~ Citibank billboard

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