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Why aren't posts numbered within a thread?


RocketStang
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1 hour ago, Lindy said:

Admittedly, I think our frustration with demands for legacy functionality does bleed through on occasion, for which I apologize.

I think you hit the nail on the head here. Often it seems frustration can be interpreted as arrogance. Like with the handling of Sparkpost-gate. (Too soon?) 😋

There's also a difference with legacy and tradition. It's interesting that the default view of forums is still the traditional view, and not the more modern, space saving and attractive grid view.

Edited by The Old Man
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Well it would still be interesting to know the answers to the to the points which I made in my previous post – two posts up from this one as I don't have a number to refer to. It's the post that I made one hour ago – although of course this will change as the thread gets older so for the avoidance of doubt, to the question I asked in this post:

but here's a suggestion which maybe will satisfy everybody.
I also hadn't realised that the dates were clickable although that wouldn't be necessary for the suggestion below.


As clearly the date of each post is logged somewhere, how about actually having the date and time each post was submitted.

This would allow people to refer exactly to the post that they made – whether it is a member view or a moderator view. At the moment, there is a certain amount of "visual clutter" which might interfere with focusing on content.

Instead of using "posted two hours ago" or "posted August 28" which is actually visually cluttering and is also using information which is quite unnecessary because it is so obvious -  such as the word "Posted", how about replacing that with simply the date and time that it was posted.
So that when you see "Aug 28, 14.31", it becomes obvious that the post was submitted on August 28 at 2:30 PM and therefore it becomes very easy to refer to whether you are a moderator or a member.


That means that you could say something like – "if you go back and check my post about eight pages ago in this thread dated Feb 10 23.49, you will see that I've already described what happened…", Then this will provide a precise reference for everybody, no misunderstanding and also it will have the advantage of removing visual clutter because unnecessary words such as "Posted".
It will have been replaced with useful and functional information and also it will be several characters shorter than the current "visual clutter" because the month names would have been shortened to their traditional three letters and the word "Posted" would have been replaced altogether.

If this is felt to be to "legacy" then there can be a setting somewhere to make this a matter of choice so that the nay-sayers will be able to dispense with it altogether but those in favour will be able to decide to use the system.

I know that I have posted the above suggestion in a slightly mocking manner – but if you can get over that and treat this as a serious suggestion then maybe you'd like to let us have your comments. It seems to me that this is a way forward.

If you wanted you could also give an option to decide whether to have a 20 4 o'clock or 12 o'clock so that the date might say "Sep 14, 10.31pm" if you prefer- although the AM/PM would just make things longer and for Europeans would be unnecessary visual clutter.

Of course it would mean at some point that one would include the year that the post was made – but this would probably be a bit shorter than what is being used at the moment and at least the visual clutter would have a purpose.

2019, Aug 14, 20.21

  I think that it is important to distinguish between useless visual clutter and useful visual clutter.

I would add, that simply having a generalised date of posting is generally speaking quite unhelpful. With lots of threads, there can be a flurry of posts the same date so simply saying - if you look at the posts which were made on August 28 – when there might be 10 or 15 posts, it is pretty nebulous – and August 28 really becomes visual clutter without any particular purpose. Having a specific time makes it very useful.

 

Edited by BankFodder
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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

Instead of using "posted two hours ago" or "posted August 28" which is actually visually cluttering and is also using information which is quite unnecessary because it is so obvious -  such as the word "Posted", how about replacing that with simply the date and time that it was posted.
So that when you see "Aug 28, 14.31", it becomes obvious that the post was submitted on August 28 at 2:30 PM and therefore it becomes very easy to refer to whether you are a moderator or a member.

That won't work across time zones though.

I'm in Australia and see times in my time zone. Many of our members are in the UK which is 9 or 10 hours behind. What I see as September 13 19:00 would show as September 13 10:00 in the UK.

Our members liked the Post Number plug-in but if doesn't return I won't be upset. I see how the numbers change after deleting, hiding, splitting posts. The PostID idea is interesting but I can't see too many members quoting numbers like this - 2931519 (a real post number from a few minutes ago on my Forum)

With collapsed quotes, we'll just keep educating people on linking rather than saying "post 1234"

Now, about the old Automatically hide/delete inactive posts feature......😮

 

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Damn! You spoiled a good idea.

I wonder if anyone can make a contribution to answer that problem.

Of course the solution then is to have a numbering system – or at least have a choice to implement it or not implement it.

However, simply having the date to the top left hand side of each post is visual clutter and I have to say when it's in my peripheral vision I've had a lot of trouble focusing on the content of the post. I'm sure I can't be the only one

In fact, having a share button on the right-hand side and a clickable but otherwise useless generalised date on the left-hand side is simply a duplication which makes the visual clutter even more unnecessary and seriously interferes with the ability to focus on content without any perceptible benefit in return.

Of course, we could agree to set everything to GMT – which I think would be very appropriate and also very acceptable to subjects of Her Majesty :tongue:

 

We could refer to it as UTC or Zulu if that makes it more acceptable

Edited by BankFodder
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I'm obviously missing the point, but in my defence, it's Sunday and I've only had the one coffee. 

If I copy the share link of a post, say from Adriano earlier, I can post it anywhere and I get either like this:

 

and then IPS offers to revert it back to a traditional link so it appears like this:

https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/457939-why-arent-posts-numbered-within-a-thread/?do=findComment&comment=2826125

So I could refer a member to a preview of the post I'm referring to, or just post a full link, or use the url button to make some typed text a link.

If someone deletes a post in the thread, it doesn't matter as far as my reference goes, because AFAIK it is unaffected.

 

 

 

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Yes but if you have a post number plug-in – which you can switch on or off – then you have three choices. You can either refer to the number – simply not displayed at all, or refer to a post by your method.

How wonderful to have three choices. Far more likely to address the diversity of needs – and is that such a bad thing?

And of course nobody yet has managed to explain why having a Choice is such an undesirable thing.
It all sounds a bit Republican to me  :ohmy:

Edited by BankFodder
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Diversity is always good! Choice is always good!

2 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

You can either refer to the number – simply not displayed at all, or refer to a post by your method.

Sorry, I just don't understand the point you're making because if you want to refer specifically to an ID number, it's there to see in the link, 2826125 in the example. Or by the post number you mean say, the 16th post in the topic, or maybe the 16th post on page 8? IMHO the permalink is easier because a member reading your reference can just jump straight to it, see a preview of it and anyone using a screen reader can understand it easier from an accessibility point?

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22 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

How wonderful to have three choices. Far more likely to address the diversity of needs – and is that such a bad thing?

 

as a developer myself, I wouldn't call it a choice or "diversity of needs", but a redundancy. it also creates inconsistency imho. as you would have people offering up the perma links/link embeds, others referring to post number/id. as a long time member of a rather large tech board out there, the guides and threads that use perma links/embeds over referencing a post in a thread by a number, are far more popular and easier to consume than they use to be when the standard fair was to do reference the post number/id. 

also there is another huge advantage that you are denying your community by wading in the waters of days gone by, link juice.

https://moz.com/learn/seo/what-is-link-equity

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Just now, BankFodder said:

That still doesn't explain why we shouldn't have the choice

I'm all for choice but can you imagine how daunting the settings in the ACP would be if IPS offered a choice on everything? I'll fairly certain the software isn't 100% perfect for most of us right out of the box, hence the marketplace.. and if this particular mod wouldn't be allowed in the marketplace you do have the choice to have one of the devs make a custom plug in for you (or make it yourself). That's your choice.

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11 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

That still doesn't explain why we shouldn't have the choice

you do, you have the choice of adding it back in if that is what suits your community better. its much like hemming your pants, they might generally fit well, but need that extra little bit of attention to make them fit just right. 

Edited by CodingJungle
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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. I edited it to work with 4.5. See below. After installing it, you must clear the cache using the support tool. It is working like a charm here.

 

MTM_Post_Counter-4.5.xml

Edited by Gabriel Torres
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9 hours ago, The Old Man said:

Well the new Marketplace has this requirement:

I don't know if anyone would want to take the risk of re-introducing the original post ID. The MP is a fairly scary and off-putting place these days, and whilst there's not exactly an "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here" sign above the gate and it's done with the best of intentions, it comes across loud and clear that there are clear penalties for those going repeatedly against the corporate grain that could quickly affect their livelihood.

I actually never knew you could click on the post date, there's no indicator that it is clickable a bit like that dot in the topic list, but the ability to reference a post via the share link works great, no lengthy post id to remember, just a dynamic link or embedded rich link (a member's choice) that means it doesn't matter if the ID changes or the post moved, they will always get there by clicking on it.
 

 

So, this plugin existed in 4.4 and I sorely doubt that they will deny it in 4.5. Its a cosmetic change that doesn't affect performance. When they speak of "removed functionality" they are talking about things that are detrimental to the health of a site and thus why it was removed (Re: the topic title of the next unread post at the bottom of a thread:
image.png.03bd3e4e0dc2342aad2a1ae9378fec76.png

which was removed due to major performance issues on large communities)

As for the link on time.... that's been a feature since IPS was in version 1.x. Honestly most platforms have the feature to click or copy the link from the time as its been a building block of forums for as long as I can remember for over the past 20 years.

 

10 hours ago, BankFodder said:

However, you haven't explained how depriving your clients of Choice is not compatible with a modern forward-looking approach.

Also, let me ask you this:  If a developer comes along and puts a new post-number plugin on the Marketplace, will you prevent it?

IPS isn't depriving you of choice. YOU have the choice to add it yourself. All IPS did was remove the fact that they offer it as default functionality. I personally removed post numbers even in the 2.x days and find softwares that use post number a little archaic and aged. Yes. Even Xenforo is getting a little behind in the UI times.

 

6 hours ago, BankFodder said:

However, simply having the date to the top left hand side of each post is visual clutter and I have to say when it's in my peripheral vision I've had a lot of trouble focusing on the content of the post. I'm sure I can't be the only one

In fact, having a share button on the right-hand side and a clickable but otherwise useless generalised date on the left-hand side is simply a duplication which makes the visual clutter even more unnecessary and seriously interferes with the ability to focus on content without any perceptible benefit in return.

Of course, we could agree to set everything to GMT – which I think would be very appropriate and also very acceptable to subjects of Her Majesty :tongue:

 

We could refer to it as UTC or Zulu if that makes it more acceptable

Unfortunately, that's not how time works and using referencial time makes what you're looking for impossible but its cute. If you find the time clutter then remove it. I find the time a good reference for me to know how long ago something was posted. Its my best reference IMHO.

 

Overall, I've seen this come up a few times since it was removed in the 4.x days and its a circular conversation.

"I want it because I think its useful"

People provide "reasons why its not useful"

"BUT I WANT IT BECAUSE I LIKE IT!"

"Okay but its not useful... here are more reasons."

"But I think I deserve to be able to keep it despite your reasons."

"Well then use a plugin. Its not coming back to core."

"BUT I WANT IT because...." return to step one.

 

 

This whole conversation so far has been that and if you go back through it, it really exemplifies what I just put into laymens terms. I understand that you feel its useful for your community but really it would be more "useful" overall if you taught your users how to use the newer more advanced features then asking for the more basic archaic features back.

Education is king in a community environment, don't teach your users that this is a bad thing, teach them that it both helps THEM as its faster and it helps the end user because its easier.

Hell.... teach them how to use quotes. Quotes link to the original post.

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18 hours ago, Lindy said:

<snip>

believe me, cluttering up the interface with inconsequential numbers, is by ALL modern web standards - a step backwards.

More personal opinion, derides others opinions and attempts to alienate others that don't believe the same thing you believe

<snip>

1) It's 2020 - post 390 right now, may not be 390 5 minutes from now or may not even be 390 right now to another user.

Well, unless you're not telling the truth then the ID will remain the same regardless of where it's moved to. You can't have it  both ways. Either it's Dynamic with regards to moving around or it's not. Saying it acts like a static post # would seem to be inaccurate or you're attempting to mislead people because you didn't read the entire post? 

<snip>
I can't imagine you would tell a colleague "Hey Bob, check out tweet 9832441068311 on Tim's twitter feed" 

Wow, are you really trying to associate Twitter or other social media to forum software? Wow, not even close to the same product or intent. But okay, thanks for your comparisons of water to rocks, because you know what I wouldn't attempt to do it either. Obviously developing and building software is not the same as actually using it daily to support people, not just chat and spew like on Twitter. Forum software allows a business to actually track, monitor, and help users. It is an impossible task to help someone on Twitter or similar social media software. One doesn't just say go check out post X on a forum. You're in a very specific thread not a random thread, not one of potentially thousands from a specific user as your Twitter analogy. Quoting or posting the link 30, 40 or more times is annoying. Please see ID # 390 for common issues that Support Personnel have memorized requires no copy, no paste, no lookups, nothing but a quick reference that would only apply to that thread.

<snip>

I would be extremely annoyed if someone sent me an arbitrary ID number for content I'm suppose to find myself when they could literally click the date of the post and send me the link to it.

The ID number is not arbitrary, see reply above, and that is your prerogative but for myself on the other hand seeing a quote 30 times for the same entry in a thread is annoying and waste space, data, and time. Again, no one is telling you to put it back in your precious software but I am getting rather tired of you trying to vilify me as a customer for something I like. DON'T PUT IT BACK I really don't care but stop telling me how advanced and modern you are and that I'm a neophyte if I don't agree . In the 30 years I've been doing support there have been well over a thousand start up companies that thought their new modern ways were the best. Guess what they're no longer in business. I get that the flow of UI/XU changes over time and as a customer you're sort of stuck with it, but at least I don't have the bigger companies posting back telling me as a customer that my opinions are inconsequential

Go check out how many apps Slack supports today, hundreds. Come back in 5 years from now and tell me how many of those same companies that are so "modern" are still in business. I'll bet you at least 30% or more go out of business. It takes a lot more than being modern to sustain and keep customers.


[oh, and let me spell it out. No, I did not say that in some attempt to have you put back some old feature, my point is please try to be respectful to your customers as well as build good software]

I really wasn't even going to reply again because it's like beating a dead horse...

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Malwarebytes Forums
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I'm really sorry you're taking this so personally @Malwarebytes Forums - the intent wasn't to vilify or offend you and I apologize for coming off snippy. I also apologize for misunderstanding the second component to the feedback - placing the actual post ID number from the database in the post.

I can understand, from your perspective, you're simplifying things for yourself and staff. Fair enough if you're able to remember ID numbers (I'm impressed to be honest.) From our perspective, it's far more end-user friendly (and if end-users aren't happy, none of us succeed) to provide a link (and you can prevent that from embedding if you'd like) to content, so a user can bookmark the content, re-share it for peer-to-peer based purposes (which is often a strong point of support communities), etc. The references to Twitter and the "rest of the web" were simply to illustrate a sense of familiarity to end users. Nothing I'm familiar with outside of legacy forums handles or references public facing content in such a manner - blogs, social media or otherwise.

I certainly did not refer to you (or anyone else) as inconsequential. I was clearly referring to the number itself. I realize now you personally were not talking about arbitrary in-line numbers that are in fact subject to change, but while the number is no longer arbitrary, it's still nonetheless not user-friendly if you have a 30 page topic and are told "see post 390."

I digress and am happy to concede that we simply disagree and that's ok. To address others' point "let us choose" - we'd love to accommodate every request vs an on/off setting, I'm unsure why there's a limited perception that we strip things out just to alienate folks. The reality is, everyone has their own "thing" and unfortunately, accommodating them all leads to a bloated management interface, increased development time via implementation, maintenance, etc. -- a "simple" setting doesn't seem like much on an individualized basis, but cumulatively it adds up, so we have to prioritize and we don't do so based on our own personal preference, but based on the demand of the majority. As I've said, our majority prefer moving forward and thus, software real estate is reserved - so-to-speak - for that purpose. Fortunately, the Marketplace is intended to accommodate things like this and to alleviate concern in that regard, no, we would not reject a resource that put this back. There's no performance overhead or functional backend issues. Mere cosmetic re-introductions are permitted.

As noted in line number 1 of this post (post number TBD after submission) in topic ID 457939 (I kid, I kid! Too soon?) - I do apologize for the seeming hostility. You're right in that we needn't agree on subject, but I don't want you to feel disrespected personally.

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17 minutes ago, Lindy said:

. Fair enough if you're able to remember ID numbers (I'm impressed to be honest.)

Of course, remembering ID numbers is not the way that it's done – and I'm sure you know that.

17 minutes ago, Lindy said:

From our perspective, it's far more end-user friendly ...

And I'm afraid this probably sums up the problem that everything seems to be done on the basis of your perspective or whether your chief architect believes that it is useful to your clients.
This is not at all customer-facing.

 

17 minutes ago, Lindy said:

I certainly did not refer to you (or anyone else) as inconsequential.

I hope no one has suggested that you did say this – I certainly haven't noticed– and I certainly appreciate the CEO of Invision getting involved in this discussion.

 

17 minutes ago, Lindy said:

'm unsure why there's a limited perception that we strip things out just to alienate folks.

I can't imagine that this is anybody's perception and I'm not sure that it has at all been suggested here that you are simply out to alienate people. However, I think that to a great extent the forum software is managed according to your own perception of what people need and what people should have – and as I have already said, this is not a customer-facing approach.
I have a sense that Invision is a sort of benevolent dictatorship – which is okay, but it doesn't always get things right.

Anyway, for my part, somebody has modified the previous plug-in so that we now have post numbers on our new version of Invision so from now on it's merely an academic discussion.

Edited by BankFodder
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19 minutes ago, Lindy said:

I digress and am happy to concede that we simply disagree and that's ok. 

Yes, nothing wrong with disagreeing. Probably by the 3rd or 4th post had someone from support said something like, "We appreciate your concerns but at this time we no longer support that feature. Thank you"  This topic would have stopped at page 1 

As noted in line number 1 of this post (post number TBD after submission) in topic ID 457939 (I kid, I kid! Too soon?) - I do apologize for the seeming hostility. You're right in that we needn't agree on subject, but I don't want you to feel disrespected personally.

😃 All good. Perhaps just a tough day and too many months cooped up. Sorry about that.

Thank you and your team for your support

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Malwarebytes Forums said:

Yes, nothing wrong with disagreeing. Probably by the 3rd or 4th post had someone from support said something like, "We appreciate your concerns but at this time we no longer support that feature. Thank you"  This topic would have stopped at page 1 

 

you must be new to the internet if you think that would've happened 😛 

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