"View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Get help with installation and running phpBB 3.0.x here. Please do not post bug reports, feature requests, or MOD-related questions here.
Suggested Hosts
Forum rules
END OF SUPPORT: 1 January 2017 (announcement)
Locked
User avatar
austin881
Registered User
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:58 pm
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA
Name: Austin Maddox
Contact:

"View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by austin881 » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:46 pm

What is the difference? How do they work? I've received so many complaints from the members of my website because of theses links.
The dilhema is not that they are not neccessarily working right because honestly I don't think anyone can really explain HOW they are supposed to work. I've read many attempts at explaining how they work but it seems that nobody really knows for sure.
Does "View new posts" display the last 24 hours? That can't be true because my site displays older posts that that sometimes.
Some days the "View new posts" link only displays 2 or 3 posts which confuses me even more because I know there are more new posts than that.
What does "View active topics" do other than display more results when you click it?
Is there a way to adjust the amount of time that the forums consider a post "new" ?

One of the members of my site said this...
"why are topics that have been replied too in the last couple of hrs not showing up when i click on new post button you replied before that you needed to extend the time alotment i posted a reply at 5:35 am and while browsing at 12 noon it was no longer in the new post section whats the sense of having the New Post button if its not going to be there atleast 24 hrs so people who just use that feature would be able to see all new post and replys"

Thank you for any light you may be able to shed on this. Is there a Wiki or some documentation that explains this because I've looked and haven't found anything. Thank you to whomever can explain it.
Available for paid phpBB help! PM me.

My Extensions/MODS: 475 Narius Categorized Smilies for phpBB3, Simplified & Compacted All-Members page, Flash Animated Cumulus Tag Cloud, "Hello" Name Tag of Newest User, AWS S3
phpBB portfolio: chevy truck forum, chevy astro van forum

sjk
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 2:23 am
Location: Eugene

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by sjk » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:27 pm

Thanks for asking about this.

I'm also looking for an authoritative explanation of how View new posts and View active topics determine results relative to different phpBB sessions. For example, if I'm logged in and keep a browser open I've noticed that View new posts will eventually exclude older posts which may or may not have been read.

What I'd really like is a View unread posts function now that phpBB3 seems to do a reasonable job of retaining unread post/thread status between sessions (hurray!). That would make it easy to locate unread posts that View new posts sometimes misses because of unpredictable (to me) session logout/timeout issues.
austin881 wrote:One of the members of my site said this...
II won't dare attempting to understand something so incomprehensibly unpunctuated! :shock:

User avatar
Brf
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 51889
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 7:47 pm
Location: {postrow.POSTER_FROM}
Contact:

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by Brf » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:30 pm

View new posts - shows topics posted in since your previous login.
View Active topics shows the latest 1000 topics posted in.

sjk
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 2:23 am
Location: Eugene

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by sjk » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:17 am

Brf wrote:View new posts - shows topics posted in since your previous login.
How are you defining previous login? Quite frequently on the EyeTV Lounge View new posts will omit a batch of older topics that had new posts during a single login and browser session. They're usually ones I've read but sometimes there it's ones I haven't, thus my interest in a View unread posts function (more about that below). I've suspected that happens because a session timeout on the forum server, though I don't know how to determine that for sure. But there's no predictable pattern. Sometimes previously read and a few unread new topics are omitted after the previous Vnp was only an hour earlier. Other times I'll run Vpn a day later and the full list appears (previously read plus unread new items).

What I'm saying is that my experience contradicts a simple "since previous login" explanation since every topic with a new post won't necessarily be listed during the same login. I've been diligently observing this for over six months and have tried describing the symptoms as accurately as possible.
View Active topics shows the latest 1000 topics posted in.
But that can limited using the Display posts from previous menu at the bottom of the page. Anyway, I've found that View active topics can serve as View unread posts for me, especially when the time between visits is relatively short and/or the number of topics is small.

User avatar
Eelke
QA Team
Posts: 2903
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 8:00 am
Location: NL, Bussum
Name: Eelke Blok
Contact:

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by Eelke » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:06 am

See this topic: http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 5#p5098145 I've included a link to a mod that will include a new posts overview. I'd be the first to vote for replacing "New posts" with "Unread posts" in standard phpBB.

User avatar
Brf
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 51889
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 7:47 pm
Location: {postrow.POSTER_FROM}
Contact:

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by Brf » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:39 am

sjk wrote:How are you defining previous login?
Seriously I do not know, since I have autologin turned on, I never login. Usually, Latest Posts for me shows new posts since I switched computers.

In any case, "New Posts" and "Active Topics" have nothing to do with Read-vs-Unread. The fact that you have read a topic is not checked. The only thing that is checked for "New Posts" is the time your previous login session was created.

Right now, "View New Posts" is showing everything since yesterday at 4:30PM CDT, which is when I left work yesterday. I imagine when I get to work, it will show everything since 7:30 this morning (one hour from now), which is when I shut this computer down and go to work.

sjk
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 2:23 am
Location: Eugene

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by sjk » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:43 pm

Eelke wrote:See this topic: http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 5#p5098145 I've included a link to a mod that will include a new posts overview.
Thanks. My earlier comments here are relevant to part of that discussion.
I'd be the first to vote for replacing "New posts" with "Unread posts" in standard phpBB.
Yes! Make mine the second vote. If nothing more, it would be a satisfactory workaround for this problem:
Brf wrote:In any case, "New Posts" and "Active Topics" have nothing to do with Read-vs-Unread.
They do from the viewpoint of both possibly returning read/unread results, which I think this implies:
The fact that you have read a topic is not checked.
That's understood and fine, however …
The only thing that is checked for "New Posts" is the time your previous login session was created.
And that's what's not working properly for me, most obvious on the EyeTV Lounge forum I mentioned earlier.

Apparently something can cause the current login session to randomly reset while I'm still logged in, with the unwanted side effect of View new posts starting from when that's occurred and sometimes skipping posts that are new and (what's important) unread. If I run View active topics after that's happened I'll see any of those new+unread posts that slipped in between times of original, intended logins and when they were reset.

I'd expect View new posts to always find those new+unread ones if forum sessions were properly sustained over the lifetime of corresponding active browser sessions, but something insists on unpredictably resetting them without my logging out of the forum or closing the browser. If I stay logged into the forum and keep the browser open 24/7 then the oldest post of View new posts results (regardless of read/unread status) should remain the same -- and sometimes it isn't.

I'm 100% certain of the symptoms even if the session reset explanation isn't quite accurate.

And that misbehavior would be more tolerable with a View unread posts function that ignores any session times/timeouts. :!:

User avatar
Eelke
QA Team
Posts: 2903
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 8:00 am
Location: NL, Bussum
Name: Eelke Blok
Contact:

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by Eelke » Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:24 am

Well, I kind of think this is the wrong discussion to have. The way phpBB session management works, I think there is no way to distinguish between one long (browser) session and many short ones, especially if the browser is left idle for some time. It would be no good if the new posts would remain the same list for as long as someone has logged in with the "stay logged in" function checked either. That could mean the new posts trace back for years, at one point.

Like I've said elsewhere, I'm no fan of the new posts overview. The functionality in phpBB2 is "broken" in that the overview is a mix between new posts and unread posts. I was surprised when I found out that the team chose to fix it one way (making it a true* "new posts" overview) instead of going the other way (making it a true "unread posts" overview), especially because the read/unread tracking in phpBB3 is much more advanced than it was in phpBB2.

Anyway, might well be one of those things that they left for a next release. We should not forget phpBB3 development took far too long already, fixing stuff like this would have only made it much longer.

*: Within the limits of having to decide what exactly constitutes "new"; as you have observed, this apparently has been tied to session lifetime, which can sometimes give weird results.

sjk
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 2:23 am
Location: Eugene

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by sjk » Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:45 pm

Eelke wrote:Well, I kind of think this is the wrong discussion to have.
Not sure exactly what you're referring to but it's been very useful to me.
The way phpBB session management works, I think there is no way to distinguish between one long (browser) session and many short ones, especially if the browser is left idle for some time.
That correlates with my experience.
It would be no good if the new posts would remain the same list for as long as someone has logged in with the "stay logged in" function checked either. That could mean the new posts trace back for years, at one point.
Right. Without a cutoff time for "new" it wouldn't make sense to view new posts.

I've always enabled Log me in automatically with each login even though I've usually manually logging out, attempting to make View new posts results simulate View unread posts. But without control over automatic session timeouts that can influence Vnp results I'm now reconsidering reasons to logout. I think it'll depend on the frequency of visits. Anyway, I'm more confident of being able to locate unread posts on phpBB3 forums without tying them to sessions and any of their idiosyncrasies.
The functionality in phpBB2 is "broken" in that the overview is a mix between new posts and unread posts.
Not retaining unread post status between sessions is my biggest gripe with phpBB2 (and other forum software with that irritating behavior). For people that don't understand it, I've suggested imagining that if every time they launched their email client all previously unread messages had been automatically marked as read.
I was surprised when I found out that the team chose to fix it one way (making it a true* "new posts" overview) instead of going the other way (making it a true "unread posts" overview), especially because the read/unread tracking in phpBB3 is much more advanced than it was in phpBB2.
I'm thankful how it's mostly fixed in phpBB3 even without a true unread posts overview. The combination of View new posts (initially) and View active topics (when necessary) as a method of locating unread posts on phpBB3 forms will work well enough for now.

It's a relief better understanding some of this stuff that's been bugging me for too long. I appreciate your help… thanks!

User avatar
Eelke
QA Team
Posts: 2903
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 8:00 am
Location: NL, Bussum
Name: Eelke Blok
Contact:

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by Eelke » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:09 am

sjk wrote:Not sure exactly what you're referring to but it's been very useful to me.
What I meant was, it's not so useful to look at exactly how phpBB defines "new posts", whether or not is should be tied to session lifetime, etc. The central problem really is that "new posts" != "unread posts".
sjk wrote:For people that don't understand it, I've suggested imagining that if every time they launched their email client all previously unread messages had been automatically marked as read.
Yup. It's the first mod I compromised my very conservative approach to modding (which was "don't") for. For regular users, it's not such a problem. It might be considered an inconvenience, but after installing a mod to introduce proper, cross-session read-tracking in phpBB2, I found that some were actually relying on the phpBB2 behaviour and complained that the board "no longer marked their messages read automatically" (guys, the board wasn't doing anything "automatically", it was just suffering from amnesia) :lol: For moderators that would like to jump on the board for a few minutes to go through what they can, but would like to return later to finish the job, it's a downright PITA; you have to go through the entire board in one go. I too am really happy that phpBB3 comes with proper read-tracking built in. I still had to mod it, though, to give my users their "unread posts" overview back :)

sjk
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 2:23 am
Location: Eugene

Re: "View new posts" vs. "View active topics"

Post by sjk » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:48 pm

Eelke wrote:What I meant was, it's not so useful to look at exactly how phpBB defines "new posts", whether or not is should be tied to session lifetime, etc. The central problem really is that "new posts" != "unread posts".
Defining "new posts" was useful to better understand why it's inferior (for some of us) to "unread posts". And it partly answered the original poster's question plus my original followup about it.
For moderators that would like to jump on the board for a few minutes to go through what they can, but would like to return later to finish the job, it's a downright PITA; you have to go through the entire board in one go.
Even as a regular user I'm too well aware of that PITA with unread post tracking on several forums, though most I still care about have migrated from phpBB2 to phpBB3.

Maybe it's only a small influence, but making it harder not to notice unread topics/posts can increase the chances of duplicate topics. I'll advocate any forums changes that help reduce redundancy.
I too am really happy that phpBB3 comes with proper read-tracking built in. I still had to mod it, though, to give my users their "unread posts" overview back :)
And maybe whoever's responsible will make it part of the core in some future release.

And while they're at it …

Add Next/Previous Topic navigation links to the top and bottom of topic pages in the default theme. It was frustrating enough not having those at the bottom of pages in phpBB2 but now they're not even at the top in phpBB3. What I'd really like is First Unread Post of Next Page for quickly browsing through topics starting at the first unread instead of having to open each one in a separate tab.

It's puzzling how developers seem to ignore some of these basic usability issues, as though they're not actually using the software themselves. Or maybe it's that I still haven't discovered methods other people are using for actively participating on forums more efficiently. And maybe most forum users request and care more about "improvements" that seem superfluous to me. Oh well.

Locked

Return to “[3.0.x] Support Forum”