none
Identify new messages in a thread? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Is there a way to see new replies to a thread while viewing a thread? I'd like to still see the entire thread, but see which ones are new since my last visit.

    I use threaded list view, and on the longer threads, where there are mutiple active branches, it can get quite confusing.
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 11:11 AM

All replies

  • Brian:

    Yes, I have suggested some way of marking the new threads before (different color bounding rectangle, bold rectangle...). Without  this the threaded view is pretty much useless. In fact, although I miss the threading information, I have given up using the threaded view for this reason.

    Actually, I think the threaded view is not as useful as it should be, because the whole display model is wrong. In an NNTP newsreader (and some forums) the threading is displayed in the post list, not the posts themselves.
    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:30 PM
  • >Actually, I think the threaded view is not as useful as it should be, because the whole display model is wrong. In an NNTP newsreader (and some
    >forums) the threading is displayed in the post list, not the posts themselves.

    I'm not sure what you mean. In the thread, the individual posts are indented, that is exactly like NNTP readers. Well, at least Forte Agent.

    Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:36 PM
  • I have never used Agent. In my Mozilla newsreader, the upper pane contains the list of posts. If you use "threaded view" only original posts are seen, but each item can be expanded to show the author and (possibly changed) subject of each response. Unread post items are in bold. Clicking on a particular post displays it in the lower pane.

    It's just like a mail program. In fact the Mozilla newsreader is part of the mail program in Mozilla (SeaMonkey or Thunderbird). News servers are like mail accounts. Individual groups are like folders in an account.

    I do not see the point of displaying more than one message at a time, because you can only read one message at a time. On the other hand the human mind can quite easily view the post tree of authors/subjects and see the structure and see which sub-trees contain new posts (unless the thread has gotten very big). The threaded view in the forums becomes unworkable as soon as there are more than a few posts in the thread.

    But I don't think that Microsoft is going to (again) change the way the forums are displayed. But identifying the new posts in threaded view should be possible,.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:54 PM
  • >It's just like a mail program.

    Except that most email programs do not show threading. NNTP readers (not made speciifcally for binaries) usually do. Netscape and Forte did it from the beginning.

    >I do not see the point of displaying more than one message at a time, because you can only read one message at a time.

    That is a preference. I enjoy looking back at earlier posts to see what the new post is referring to (quoting big blocks is a waste of space).

    >The threaded view in the forums becomes unworkable as soon as there are more than a few posts in the thread.

    I used threaded exclusively. I find it very usable.
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:41 PM
  • I used threaded exclusively. I find it very usable.
    I thought your original post was saying the opposite.

    I gave up on the threaded view in the forum because it's impossible to see which posts are new.

    (Sorry to have digressed into NNTP.)

    Actually a suggestion I made for the forums was not to have threaded view at all., Rather have the header of each post contain not only its author and post time, but also the author and post time of the post being responded to. That way the new posts would be at the bottom, but you could see who each person was replying to.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:52 PM
  • I used threaded exclusively. I find it very usable.
    >I thought your original post was saying the opposite.

    My post was saying that finding new posts in a thread with multiple branches was hard.

    I don't like your idea. I would find that confusing having to connect the dots later. I'd rather it shows it in the thread as it does now.
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:57 PM
  • Personally, I do like this idea. I don't really need to know the whole thread tree. I just want to know who the person is replying to. However, I have never gotten any traction on this idea...

    But, in the current forum display, I think we would both like a way of distinguishing new posts. How about a different border color, similar to how posts that have been marked as answer have a green border?

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 2:17 PM
  • Hmm.. Borders are already used for article marking. Using it for unread too could cause conflict.

    Instead, i'd suggest a light "shadow" around the border. Or a simple dot next to it.
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 2:45 PM
  • Hmm.. Borders are already used for article marking. Using it for unread too could cause conflict.

    Instead, i'd suggest a light "shadow" around the border. Or a simple dot next to it.

    Ok. Anything really that makes it easy to see which posts are new.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 2:55 PM
  • Just got an idea.

    Make the notification in the time stamp on the same line as the name. That is, use a background color.

    Should the information not be stored to support such a determination, another solution would be to color-code the "minutes ago" based on how long ago it was. Less than an hour, less than 24 hours, more than 24 hours. The words already do that, but a color code should be more easily recognizable.
    • Proposed as answer by stax76 Monday, July 20, 2009 1:52 PM
    Thursday, June 11, 2009 3:27 PM