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Add link to "Reply" to a thread when previewing it...

    General discussion

  • The previewing of a thread is cool (with that little down arrow). However, I wish there was a link to "Reply" to it while looking at the preview. Right now, if you want to  Reply to a post that you are previewing, you still  have to click on View (and wait for it to load), just to get to the "Reply" button.
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 4:21 AM

All replies

  • Funny you say that. We're working on making that upgrade now... :)
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 4:54 AM
  • Yep we went live today with this new feature, we're just waiting for our cached scripts to get refreshed.
    You'll see a reply at each post at the far right and then it'll get inserted at the end of the thread.
    Sam Jarawan STO Forums - Senior Development Lead
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 5:53 AM
  • Sam:

    Wow, now that is a fantastic improvement. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    But I have to ask...

    If the Reply button could be placed on the Preview, why not the others: Quote, Vote, Mark as answer [I won't mention Propose as answer because I dislike this feature greatly...]? At the very least Quote.

    In fact, with the great Preview feature in the new forums, why do we need the Thread view anyway? It seems to me that whatever additional information the Thread view has (not much) could easily be placed on the Preview. I for one will not be using Thread view any more (unless I am missing something). One more page refresh gone. If we're not careful this could get as easy to use as NNTP :-).

    One other thing: the contrast between the blue reply link and the grey background is not good for me. I'm not sure I would have noticed the Reply button if I had not read this thread. But, really, the entire color scheme of the new forums sucks, IMHO.

    But once again: Reply from preview is great (and is something I had been meaning to ask about). A great gift to the responders of the world.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 10:58 AM
  • Thanks David,

    I think we may head that way over time.  There are still a lot of features you can do on the thread page itself that you can't do here like:

    • Mark As Answer
    • Propose As Answer
    • UnMark As Answer
    • UnMark As Proposed Answer
    • Vote As Helpful/Not Helpful
    • Set a post as abusive
    • Tag a Thread
    • See Tag Cloud for thread
    • See thread statistics
    • See Posts that are helpful
    • Get more information on the user that posted like badges, affiliations
    • Quote
    • Moderator Functions: Split thread, Merge Thread, Make thread Sticky, Delete Thread, Assign Thread, Lock Thread, Move Thread
    • Filtering on a long threads by users
    • sign up for an alert


    So you can see there is a lot of stuff.  If we cram it into the preview it won't look pretty that's for sure.  It'll most likely also slow down that page, which is a very important page for everyone so perf hits on this page wouldn't go over too well.

    I'd like to get more suggestions on what we can add to the preview to help folks but trying to move everything over doesn't seem like a good idea.  For example an easy one that comes to my mind is when you reply, turn all the other replies on that thread to "Quote" so you can then do quoting on this page.

    Hope this is helpful and please let me know if you have any features that you use a lot that you must drill into the thread page for that would save you time by putting it in the preview.


    Sam Jarawan Social Platform Forums - Senior Development Lead
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 5:21 PM
  • Sam:

    Thanks for the detailed answer.

    Think of it this way. You have opened the door now to avoiding the thread page (A Good Thing, IMHO). In the preview, you can read, and you can reply, which is all you really need. So people will learn to live without the other features.

    So I would say, pick the useful features from your list, and figure out a way to have them in the preview. The following items that are properties of each post would be pretty easy, I think.

    • Mark As Answer
    • Propose As Answer
    • UnMark As Answer
    • UnMark As Proposed Answer
    • Vote As Helpful/Not Helpful/Abusive
    • Quote
    • Edit (you forgot that one)

    For the other stuff, maybe make only one thread at a time preview-able and free up some space by getting rid of Top Anwerers, which is totally unnecessary (and many find offensive).

    Basically, an Ajax application should be able to do everything an NNTP newsreader can do. My NNTP reader (Mozilla) manages to display many newsgroups on many servers, all in a single window (the reply window is a popup). Why can the forums not do this (and more).



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    • Edited by davewilk Thursday, June 19, 2008 6:48 PM Misc details
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 6:42 PM
  • Thanks David, we'll certainly look into these.

    As for only previewing one thread at a time, personally I like doing as many as I want, there are times when I'm crosslinking as well so it's handy to not have to open a new window to see contents of both.
    Sam Jarawan Social Platform Forums - Senior Development Lead
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 6:55 PM
  • Sam:

    Thanks for the response.

    If you like to expand more than one thread, then maybe there could be a concept of the "active thread" with a changed surrounding color (or some other distinguishing feature). Then the properties of that thread could be displayed on the right in place of Top Answerers (a useless and offensive feature, IMHO).





    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, June 20, 2008 6:08 PM