May 23, 2009 in Feedback
Ok, so the idea behind the topic markers is to allow a user to see what they have read, and what they haven't read. This is supposed to work when they are logged in no matter what computer they are on, etc...
I can imagine that with the complexity of how it works, it can cause quite a bit of overhead, correct?
In effect, I'm really not suggesting that the concept be changed. What I am suggesting, however, is a "performance" alternative using something that already exists: browser history.
Most browsers, if not all, will keep track of which page (topic) you've visited. With CSS you can specially design a link tag that has been visited, and what is inside that link tag. Why not have an option to rely on the users browser history? All you would have to do is include a unix time stamp in the url using the topic's last_updated date. Then when a new post is added, the url changes, thus it's no longer considered "read" to the user. The same can be used with the board index (if the date passed doesn't match with the topic, you could initiate a 301 redirect).
Now I realize that this isn't the most desirable way of keeping track of read topics. If a user were to clear their history or use a different computer topics that they've already read would show up as unread. But if you have a pretty hefty board, it may be a good viable option.
What do ya think?
How would you handl using a different browser? History does not follow between browsers.
Or computers for that matter.
And many users clear their history as well.
A better alternative I wish we could implement would be to use Google Gears. This is the sort of thing Google Gears would be absolutely perfect for. Let each user store their topic history on their own computer, and let their PC/browser work out topic marker. Alas, it's not realistic. Additionally, last I knew there was no cloud support for Gears (e.g. to share data between computers).
Plus, gears wouldn't work in mobile browsers
Well, as I said it is limited. But it would be a viable alternative as it's something already being tracked by the browser. From a user aspect it may not be as convenient, but it would be still usable. Most users use one browser anyway (unless you're a developer), and a lot of people don't clear their history. If they did, it would be a penalty they'd have to deal with. And I'm not saying it should be the solution, but rather an option for improving performance on large boards.
I know topic markers are still being somewhat worked on, but when it's optimized to be the best it can be, along with everything else, I wonder what he benchmarks would be with topic markers completely turned off (without the joins).
I'm really not suggesting this be implemented now or anything. I'm just trying to keep an open mind and suggest any alternatives that pop into my head :) .
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