How to read new messages?

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by voodoo_invest, Aug 24, 2001.

  1. How does the 'new messages' folder work? Is there a date of last visit in the cookie, or does it show the same color folders for everyone? What's the easiest way to read just the new messages without going through the whole thread list?

  2. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Yeah, the cookie stores the last time you visited. So the new message folders represent threads that contain posts that have been submitted since your last visit.

    Beside folders that have new posts since your last visit (the red ones), you should see a blue arrow. If you click on that, you will be taken to the first unread message within the thread. So clicking on the blue arrow enables you to bypass any messages that you've likely already read so you can go straight to any new messages.
  3. mjt


    Where is the feature 'new messages'? I looked all over for it.
  4. Cool.

    I would explain the blue arrow below the color folder definitions (which always appear on the thread index page)
    It's a crucial feature, but not documented.

  5. Baron,

    Could you tell me why I keep losing the new messages info, it seems to happen when I spend to much time going through the messages, or when someone posts a link to an outside page and I visit that, then come back after a while.

    Is there a time limit, or is it because the site uses a session cookie as oposed to one permanently stored, or something else?

    I'd like to know what I need to avoid to keep the new messages arrows and folders until I've gone through all the messages, it's annoying when the sorting of threads is the only thing you have to go by to figure out what's new and what you have already read - means I first have to find the last thread that has been updated since I last visited, then in each thread go back one page at a time until I get to a message I've already read.

  6. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Yeah, it's a session cookie that lasts for 15 minutes. So you've basically got 15 minutes to check out unread posts before they are reset.

    The challenge of course, is that if you set the cookie for too short of a time period, the unread indicators disappear before you get to read all the unread posts. If it's set for too long, the unread indicators don't refresh fast enough to accurately reflect what's new since your last visit, especially if you visit the boards frequently throughout the day.

    It's a really hard thing to make work perfectly for everybody, since each person is unique in terms of how often they visit the site and how long they stay each time.
  7. mjt



    Could I suggest a longer time frame than 15 minutes before the unread messages indicators disappear? It's hard to come back more than a couple times a day, and it's like playing 'beat the clock' trying to catch up before your 15 minutes are up.

    Also, is it possible to set it up so that the indicators only disappear when you click on the associated thread, and not in a wholesale manner 15 minutes after you visit the site? If I go to the site and check out one or two threads, I feel like I have to read every unread thread, because when I come back all the threads will be marked as read anyway.
  8. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    The problem is that everybody's visiting habits are different. If I set the time for longer, we would undoubtedly receive complaints that the new thread indicators don't update fast enough. The only possible solution would be to offer an option for you to adjust the time limit to suit your own personal sufing habits. However, that would require some significant re-work so I can't promise that will happen anytime soon.

    In terms of tracking individual threads for each user, that is possible, but highly unlikely, as I would need a about $1,000,000 in database hardware/software to offer personlization that granular.

    There are limitations to certain web technologies, and you've just hit on two of them. It sucks because I would like to provide more robust features like the ones you've mentioned, but they just are n't practical from a resource standpoint. Heck, the servers we run now are already hitting 100% CPU usage during certain times of the day as the site stands now.
  9. Couldn't the session cookie expire only when you close your browser? Don't most people close their browsers once they're done browsing the web? Or how about updating the cookie every time a page is hit. That way the new thread info would reset 15 minutes after the user has stopped browsing the site.