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Why aren't posts numbered within a thread?


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It seems like it would be a no brainer to number posts within a thread for easier reference but I don't see an numbers in IPS?  As a matter of fact, how would you even permalink a post if you needed to?  The only way I see possible is by using the Share>Email link as a permalink but that takes a few steps to access...

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This is something that always bothered me. There used to be a plugin that fixed this, created by Matt Mecham (MTM Post Counter a.k.a. MTM Ye Olde Post Count Of Yesteryear), that is no longer available

No one said or tried to say it was a legal requirement (though it really is for Federal institutions, they cannot use software that does not follow certain ADA requirements by a Federally mandated law

For my communities, I fixed this issue showing the unique ID of the post. You can see it in action here.

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Just now, RocketStang said:

It seems like it would be a no brainer to number posts within a thread for easier reference but I don't see an numbers in IPS?  As a matter of fact, how would you even permalink a post if you needed to?  The only way I see possible is by using the Share>Email link as a permalink but that takes a few steps to access...

Click the time of post. Similar to twitter etc. in that regard.

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17 minutes ago, Adriano Faria said:

Because it can be confusing as post #3 to a user can be the post #7 to a moderator, for example. I mean, if you have hidden posts, etc., the sequence won’t be the same for everybody.

Yeah, I can see that point...I don't use hidden posts much but I'm sure others do.  My forum has a lot of "how to" tutorial for auto restoration and members used to referenced individual posts inside a whole thread.  Maybe the Bookmarks Ap would be a good fit for my members?  They would be able to bookmark the important posts for later use!

 

Edited by RocketStang
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1 hour ago, RocketStang said:

Yeah, I can see that point...I don't use hidden posts much but I'm sure others do. 

Other issue is that the number can change with other moderator functions too like split/merge/delete/etc... Not really ideal to statically number things in a dynamic world. Most older posts in a topic might not change but this is a good example where numbering can get confusing.

1 hour ago, RocketStang said:

My forum has a lot of "how to" tutorial for auto restoration and members used to referenced individual posts inside a whole thread.

If they are referencing those posts in a separate topic, I would recommend using the permalink as @Morgin mentioned. This is the way to reference an individual post outside of a topic.

If a user is commenting on a post in the same topic, the "quote" feature should be used to reference it.

If a member is just wanting to save a post for their own future reading/reference, a bookmark tool like in your browser or the app you mentioned are a good way to revisit.

 

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14 hours ago, RocketStang said:

 Granted, it may be something most forums don't need but coming from MyBB, my members are used to it and having a hard time adjusting to not having them.

So write an article and explain it to them. 😉 I can easily link  one post and another from this topic. Other than the “that’s how we always did it”, there really is no advantage in having me retrieve post numbers and then having every user manually trying to navigate to those numbers. 

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What would you do when posts are deleted? Renumber the posts so that "check out post 4 with the answer" no longer points to the actual answer (it's now post 3) - or leave gaps in the numbering so it's obvious when content has been merged, deleted or moved?

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54 minutes ago, opentype said:

So write an article and explain it to them. 😉 I can easily link  one post and another from this topic. Other than the “that’s how we always did it”, there really is no advantage in having me retrieve post numbers and then having every user manually trying to navigate to those numbers. 

It's not that they were using post numbers to navigate to them...members that were follow a large topic would just remember what posts they were at, how many new posts were after a certain post, etc.  Post numbering worked as a kind of 'timeline' within a topic!

43 minutes ago, Matt said:

What would you do when posts are deleted? Renumber the posts so that "check out post 4 with the answer" no longer points to the actual answer (it's now post 3) - or leave gaps in the numbering so it's obvious when content has been merged, deleted or moved?

We try not to delete any posts because of what it does to the context of a thread!  Obviously, we delete spam posts or rule violation posts which basically would result in skipped numbering.  Never seemed to be an issue.

Edited by RocketStang
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51 minutes ago, RocketStang said:

members that were follow a large topic would just remember what posts they were at, how many new posts were after a certain post, etc. 

I see. That’s even worse as a reason, since the software already provides functionalities that make it unnecessary to manually deal with things as “unread posts” in a topic. 

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10 hours ago, Matt said:

What would you do when posts are deleted? Renumber the posts so that "check out post 4 with the answer" no longer points to the actual answer (it's now post 3) - or leave gaps in the numbering so it's obvious when content has been merged, deleted or moved?

Ask the developers of all other forums where the numbering of posts is.

1 hour ago, RocketStang said:

Meh, not a big issue...I was just mainly curious as to why IPB doesn't have post counts when most other platforms do?  I am a fan of different, but users can be very resistant to change, LOL!

Posts were numbered in the old version of IPB, but then this feature was removed.

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It's just meaningless clutter.

The question comes up now and again, but it really doesn't get a lot of traction from fellow Invision Community owners. You can share the post permalink via the three dot menu, or by the post time link.

We're keen to keep visual noise to a minimum and let the post content be the focus.

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Yeah, fair enough, but if some threads go for years, then the left hand sidebar icon will get smaller and smaller, or stay at a certain size and become more and more sensitive.

So this idea works quite well for small and medium sized threads, but very big ones, not so much.

:cool:

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  • 2 weeks later...

We've been operating forum software for 15 years with post counts and we don't have any problem and most importantly our users like it.

There are only about 10 or 15 members of the site team – whereas there are getting on for half a million ordinary members. Because of this, I don't find that the argument that the numbers reviewed by moderators are different from the numbers reviewed by the half a million members to be at all compelling.

We prioritise the interests of our users and as I say, we've never had a problem. Most other platforms have post numbers. We've used post numbers with Invision now using a plug-in which unfortunately doesn't work any more with the latest version of Invision.

I don't see what is wrong with choice. Invision is a pretty good platform and well supported but one thing I find quite unpleasant about it is that the Invision team seem to consider that they should make choices for us and deprive us of choice.

We are all adults – I don't have an option to use post numbers which I can either switch off or switch on. It's also not beyond the wit of someone with the right technical ability to have the member Post number in the corner and then to the left of it in a slightly different colour moderator post number.

Problem solved. People don't like it can switch it off. People who like it can switch it on.

Problem solved – what's not to like?

 

Edited by BankFodder
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On 8/12/2020 at 11:38 AM, Matt said:

It's just meaningless clutter.

.....

We're keen to keep visual noise to a minimum and let the post content be the focus.

I've shared these comments with our site team and some of the members on our forum.
The action has been incredulity and hilarity.

If you are really concerned about "visual noise" then what's wrong with putting the post number in the pop-up under the three dots . . .  with all of the rest of the moderator/editing options. That way you clear out this offensive and objectionable "visual noise" allowing the "post content to be the focus" and also you return a very useful function to people who want to refer quickly to information contained in a previous post in a very long thread.

Once again, surely it is reasonable to let the forum administrators decide how much "visual noise" should appear on each post. Surely it is up to forum administrators to decide how far to go in resolving the balance of interests in helping members to focus on post content.
Surely it is the forum administrators should be able to make these choices. Surely it is the job of Invision simply to provide options and not to make decisions for forum administrators.

In fact one of our members said:

Quote

It does not help the reader "focus on the content", rather it annoys the hell out of them because they can't identify easily a previous post they want to refer to.  Your forced to "bloat quote" 

and that's true. The problem of "bloat quoting" is already significant and it simply adds a great of length to an already very long thread and makes it much more time-consuming to get round.
Being able to refer to post numbers is simplicity itself and makes navigation of a thread much easier.

I suppose that if Invision went into the book publishing business we would be told that in future, books would not carry any page numbers or even chapter numbers because they were simply "visual noise" and it was important to let the page content be the focus.

Bravo.

Edited by BankFodder
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On 8/18/2020 at 11:00 PM, Malwarebytes Forums said:

Curious how you accomplished this. Seems to give best of both worlds

For IPS 4.4, changed this:

<li><a class='ipsType_blendLinks' href='{$comment->item()->url()->setQueryString( array( 'do' => 'findComment', 'comment' => $comment->$idField ) )}' data-ipsTooltip title='{lang="share_this_post"}' data-ipsMenu data-ipsMenu-closeOnClick='false' id='elSharePost_{$comment->$idField}' data-role='shareComment'><i class='fa fa-share-alt'></i></a></li>

to this:

<li><a class='ipsType_blendLinks' href='{$comment->item()->url()->setQueryString( array( 'do' => 'findComment', 'comment' => $comment->$idField ) )}' data-ipsTooltip title='{lang="share_this_post"}' data-ipsMenu data-ipsMenu-closeOnClick='false' id='elSharePost_{$comment->$idField}' data-role='shareComment'>#{$comment->$idField} <i class='fa fa-share-alt'></i></a></li>

In this template:

image.png.407c1a1c1aef5fbc800b4017f7faeb13.png

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