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Forum system - how to track already read vs new messages, per user

#48
[eluser]jedd[/eluser]
Hi sunny85. I think Fuzzy's complaint is that he always overthinks things too .. so this might not help. Wink

Out of curiosity, can you describe the difference, as you see it, between doing this:
Quote:Table name: has_read
Fields: user_id, thread_id, date_last_read

When the forum member views a thread, the above table should be updated with the forum member’s user id, the id of the thread they are reading and a timestamp.

If the timestamp in the has_read table is greater than the timestamp of the last post in that thread, then there are no new posts for the user to read.

If the timestamp in the has_read table is less than the timestamp of the last post in that thread, then there are new posts that the user has not yet read.

And changing each occurrence of 'timestamp' & 'date_last_read' to message_id in all the above?

I think your second point - the option to flag an entire thread as seen even if you looked at, say, just the first 10 messages (1 page) - is a simple logic choice, and not dependent on whether you use time or message #.

I think if you're presented with a thread of 50 posts, and you read some of them, and you wander away, and a new post is posted - at that point the thread contains unread messages too. I'm not sure how you distinguish between subsequent posts in that thread. Should the system track that you are not interested in that thread ever again (because you've already viewed some, but not all, of the messages in it) or should it re-flag that thread as containing unread messages again?

From a user perspective I see the difference there as pretty subtle.

I think of my usage of these forums as an example. I don't look at every thread, and determine which threads to not look at based on the subject. Until they float off the page (within a day or so) I don't mind that they stay bold - I'm happy to track that in my head. More importantly, I don't really pay attention to whether they get augmented by none, some, or many new messages.

Perhaps if the system tries to be extra smart - an 'ignore this thread forever' option up there next to 'watch this thread'?


Messages In This Thread
Forum system - how to track already read vs new messages, per user - by El Forum - 09-06-2009, 08:09 AM

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