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Knowing if you've read all the comments.

posted by Krow on 11:17 AM July 16th, 2002   Printer-friendly   Email story
Most modern browsers tell you if you have already visited a link. What i'm suggesting is a way to know if you've already read all the comments of a story by tricking the browser into thinking you havn't visited the link when you have, by having a dummy parameter on each "read more" link that is the auto generated to be the time that the last comment was submitted. so the next time you load the page, it will be a new link if new comments have been submitted and an already browsed link if no new comments are availiable.
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  • would have a blast with this. talk about an infinite number of links for the same story :)

    not a bad idea though, something that would do this (or a comment mode that would show comments posted since you last read the story) would be cool.

    lottadot []
    • I am working on such a beast right now. Trying to get it to work with cookies. one for each article viewed with a timestamp. then compare timestamp of each comment with that in the cookie and make the color of the comment-title-box one color for viewed and one color for not-viewed comments (maybe a count of each on the link to the page as well)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    well say if the "read more..." linked to;
    " /1727 256.shtml?tid=127"
    maybe change it to;
    " /1727 256.shtml?tid=127&lastcomment=4124328423"

    all that this fix would need is the main page generating cgi would need to add this timestamp (lastcomment=<timestamp>).

    how's that sound?

    p.s. i just previewed this as plain old text and it strips < and >. You need the html ( & l t ;) tags to view them. That's not plain old text, that's html..
  • On any site with any popularity, it wouldn't take more than a minute to get a new comment. A threaded email reader system where each viewed comment gets marked is much better.


    • On any site with any popularity, it wouldn't take more than a minute to get a new comment.

      but, isn't that more reason to do something like I am working on? color coding read and non-read comments. this way the user can better keep track of what they have seen in a rapidly expanding discussion?

      It seems to me that you got it backwards, if a site did not get lots of comments this idea would be useless

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you didn't want to rely on the browsers' ability to track visited links, you could do the following:

    create two CSS classes, one for "new" and the other for "old", for example. Then, instead of appending the parameter, you could simply assign the anchor tag one of the classes based on the calculation that you're doing to determine if there are any new comments since the last time the user viewed the page.

    CSS will let you override the browser's visited links tracking mechanism.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      yeah this isn't perfect, when you are viewing discussions in the normal "thread" mode, because you may be able to get it to jump to the last new thread, but it doens't mark new comments on old threads as new.