Any tips on good use of the forums?

Talk about stuff specific to the site -- bugs, suggestions, and of course praise welcome.

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Posts: 131
Joined: November 4th, 2002, 8:28 pm
Location: Boston, MA, USA

Post Posted November 6th, 2002, 10:13 am

Hi, all!

In general I like the new forums - the ability to have an identity on the forums seems like
a good idea and in general they seem much more powerful.

However, I am wondering what the best way is to read the forums. I have this exact same
problem on other phpBB forums, so any answers here would be much appreciated as they
might apply to the others.

Here is what I want: I want to read a bunch of the forums - read pretty much
all of the threads, except a few where from the subject it is obvious that I am not interested
in them.

Here is what I do right now: I have set up a bookmark group which opens all the main forums
I am interested in. Regularly during the day, I will open this bookmark group, and go through
the pages, ctrl-clicking on all the threads of interest. In particular, I am ctrl-clicking on the little
arrow-article icon on the left hand side, which I *think* is supposed to take me to the newest
article I haven't read yet. Then, I keep on reading the threads.

However, this seems a little flaky - It seems to me as if some threads sneak by, not having
a "new-article" icon, so how do I know to click on them? Also, it seems as if pretty often
it takes me to articles I have already read.

Any tips on how to streamline my process? Options I am missing? How do you do it?

If we get good tips, then this thread could potentially be a nice future resource :).

One tip that I do already is: when there are a bunch of threads I want to ctrl-click, I
Lock the tab and just single-click them all to open them in new tabs. This feature
and many more come from my favorite extension: Tabbrowser Extensions ... ns.en.html

Any info much appreciated!


User avatar
Posts: 131
Joined: November 4th, 2002, 8:28 pm
Location: Boston, MA, USA

Post Posted November 7th, 2002, 1:09 pm

Nobody has any tips? I find that hard to believe. How do you read the forums?

If not, does anyone at least know exactly what "mark all topics read" does? I would
expect that it tells the system that I've read everything and any future posts should be
marked as "new" for me - but it doesn't seem to work that way - in fact seems to
mess up the new message showing completely...

Also - anyone fully understand the logic behind the "new message" detection? It seems
to me as if if I completely understood the way it tries to work, I could adjust my habits
so it would work better.

Thanks for any info.

Posts: 10
Joined: November 6th, 2002, 8:21 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post Posted November 7th, 2002, 3:50 pm

The forum keep track of all the thread you read. The icon will show up different. When you use "mark all topics read" it tells the forum software that you have read then all even if you really havent. It's like ctrl+alt+c in mozilla mails/news when you reading a newsgroup. One way to keep track of all the post on this forum is to click on "View posts since last visit" on the top of the forum. Use incremental search to find it if you can't spot it. There are other things but not really easy to explain. You'll get use to it after a while.

Posts: 1974
Joined: November 5th, 2002, 3:25 am
Location: Lancaster, UK

Post Posted November 7th, 2002, 4:19 pm

the nice thing about the new forums is that you actually seem to be able to view them in multiple tabs at once. the old forums always seemed to get confused about which posts you had read if you used multiple tabs.


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Posts: 23
Joined: November 11th, 2002, 4:32 pm

Post Posted November 11th, 2002, 4:48 pm

The 'mark as read' functionality is based on cookies and on the last login time in the DB table on the server. The sessions really have severe limits so the current code is far from perfect. It functional but not perfect :D

I've written a new system to keep track of read/unread status entirely in the database. This way the read status is always perfect (well, in 99.9% percent of the cases), it doesn't get b0rked when you crash, it doesn't do unexpected things when you login from another computer.

I'm creating this system for phpBB 2.2 but I'm testing it on my own 2.0 site at the moment. If the admins are interested I sent them the mod. I'm curious about the implications for the server (because it's all server based with this approach) but I'm testing it now without running garbage collection, have 0.5M rows in that table now and the DB server isn't even sweating. But that's on a fairly well equiped server. Anyway, the system should have enough with something like 10k to 20k rows in a very simple table that consists of a few ints of various sizes.

If the admins are interested in testing this they can contact me through email.


User avatar
Posts: 131
Joined: November 4th, 2002, 8:28 pm
Location: Boston, MA, USA

Post Posted November 11th, 2002, 7:31 pm

That sounds wonderful to me, but of course I am not an admin.

I am very unhappy with the read/unread functionality of this forum - it
really seems to work very poorly for me.


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Posts: 174
Joined: November 4th, 2002, 6:10 pm
Location: Palmdale, California

Post Posted November 11th, 2002, 8:27 pm

The new posts since your last visit on the top of the main Forum index page is your friend. :) It has been working great for me from home and at work.. give it a try

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