Author Topic: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum  (Read 11839 times)

Daley

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #50 on: January 21, 2018, 04:16:18 PM »
Old G-Dog working on learning new tricks ;)

You and me both, buddy.

ElleFiji

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2018, 06:54:15 PM »
I'm testing it...

If I still use new replies in the meantime, does that have a huge effect on the forum breaking?

(And yes, I am starting to text and email more and more forum friends since you've told us that we could be ruining it by talking too much)

Daley

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2018, 09:27:50 PM »
If I still use new replies in the meantime, does that have a huge effect on the forum breaking?

No one raindrop believes it caused the flood.

The fact that you (and others) are trying is very good. Notify simply uses less database resources than Show New Replies, and it resolves and even provides a feature long sought after by many - the ability to un-follow after posting. On one hand, yours is a small part... ultimately, it's in your hands to decide how much you desire to contribute. I still use Show New Replies myself on occasion, partially out of habit, partially because we really need a top-level link to Notify... but I too am adapting and trying to reduce unnecessary server load. It's a process, and it's a good change to make no matter how well or poorly running the forums are at any one point in time.

I won't deny that there's far heavier hanging things that could do far greater benefit to the forum's database performance, but most of those things require us calling on the moderators to do now, making their jobs harder short term, as opposed to doing ourselves. We can't lock our own threads anymore to make it easier to transition to new ones (and I remember why, too, because it was a change that flummoxed my ability to update the Guide on my own and eventually stopped trying). We can't split long threads into shorter ones. We can't purge dead accounts that are racking up huge database entries of a never-ending slew of new "unread posts", or trim the "unread post" database size on long-long idle accounts. We can't consolidate down the board count, either. (And there is some consolidation that might be worth doing if we actually think long and hard about it, such as ask and share as there's a lot of overlap. I also found it odd that it seemed like the journals were originally intended for case studies and progress given its descriptor, which was one of the reasons why it wasn't publicly visible without an account given it dealt with more sensitive financial data points, but then the journals morphed into what it did and a new board for case studies was added later on and left publicly readable. ¯\(°_o)/¯ )

It was never my intent for people to bail out of the journals and just give up. I'd seen so many journals "rebooted", what's the difference if it's done at 1500, 2000, or 5000 posts? The dialogue continues. The shorter lengths simply hammer the database less to pull up. My intent with my initial post was to get everyone's attention for the sake of realizing we were all contributing to the problem (even me). My biggest regret now was not also rapping the board against "infinite horse-beatings over long-dead topics" in the litany of over-the-top, attention-grabbing phrases to perhaps take a bit of the sting out of the Journal check. For that, I do apologize. But I also want to remind that I never once name-checked any specific person, nor did I have any specific people in mind. Please remember that.

That's still something we can collectively choose to at least try to do on our own, though. We don't have to keep posting in the same thread, whether it's locked or not. We can start new ones and ask to move discussion to them, and we can ask the mods to lock the old ones at their leisure. I did it myself with the guide discussion thread, trying to live the example. Baby steps though, and transitioning the most active users from Show New Replies (with or without PTF) to Notify is an excellent start.

That said...

(And yes, I am starting to text and email more and more forum friends since you've told us that we could be ruining it by talking too much)

Try not to frame it from a "ruining it by talking too much" angle so much as just being more conscientious of what we're all posting and actually contributing. Slow the roll just a bit, that's all, and maybe consider that a subforum that isn't publicly searchable but still publicly accessible with an account may not be as private as it sometimes gets treated. However, it actually brings joy to my heart to read that part I bolded. Texting and emailing your friends and taking the relationship more out of the forums and into real life is a great thing! I am genuinely happy for you and others.

Right tool for the job and whatnot. :)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 10:03:25 PM by Daley »

Northern gal

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2018, 10:48:19 AM »
I wish I had known this!

I PTFd on some super active posts that I now can’t unfollow. I shall do things the proper way in the future.

MDM

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2018, 11:01:12 AM »
I PTFd on some super active posts that I now can’t unfollow.
You can if you delete those posts.  Up to you to decide if the cure is worse than the disease. ;)

grantmeaname

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2018, 02:20:33 PM »
I've switched and agree that it's a change for good. Thanks for the gentle facepunch, IP!

Three questions for the powers that be:
1. Is it possible to get a notifications link on the top of the page to spread wider adoption? I've bookmarked it for now but it's still a PITA when switching computers and the like.
2. Is it possible to build an unread-notified page? Is the issue that the "unread replies" keeps track of a larger number of threads than "notify" or that it does it in a less efficient way than the "new" buttons?
3. Is there any way we could get a notifications page without a thousand pixels of dead space above it?

Other than that, no complaints and I'm much enjoying the ability to not follow the "overheard at" and "welcome" threads.

Daley

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2018, 04:13:26 PM »
I've switched and agree that it's a change for good. Thanks for the gentle facepunch, IP!

Hokey smokes, Grant lives!

Happy to help, as always, and thanks for not treating me like I shot your dog in the face for pointing it all out. :)

We've gotten a little soft around here, especially with our own picadillos. Glad to have you back.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2018, 09:38:16 AM »
Notify would be useful, especially for threads that I only want to follow temporarily. My biggest issue is that I like to get all replies to certain threads emailed to me. I don't want emails for everything. I could create a filter in gmail to delete anything outside of those threads, but gmail filters seem to go wonky after a while. I could create a more reliable 3rd party script, but it would take time, and this is not my highest priority.

Yes, yes, it's only a forum. I am not emotionally invested in this. Whatever people want to do, including changing the forum rules, they can do. I don't make +1 or PTF posts, although it is nice in the journals to know who's following along.

Since unread replies is so slow, I typically use all unread posts, and look for the indicator that I've posted in a thread. Side note, I don't understand why unread replies is so much slower if all unread can load quickly and include an indicator that I've posted in it. Does the extra step to filter to just those threads really take that long? Maybe there are other differences I'm not aware of.

I did not realize a single 50-page thread is harder to search than five different 10-page threads. Why is that?

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #58 on: January 23, 2018, 09:49:12 AM »
I'm curious why the "show unread replies" is so slow for some people and not for others. (Mine always loads in a snap.)
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Daley

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2018, 10:21:21 AM »
Since unread replies is so slow, I typically use all unread posts, and look for the indicator that I've posted in a thread. Side note, I don't understand why unread replies is so much slower if all unread can load quickly and include an indicator that I've posted in it. Does the extra step to filter to just those threads really take that long? Maybe there are other differences I'm not aware of.

There's gotta be some way of this being more efficient and effective, logically speaking from my perspective (which means the reality of it is counter-intuitive but what we got), but it is the way it is. As its coded now and traditionally works, it's just takes more work from the database to pull up that shorter list... and it's consistent with expectations in doing so. An actual DBA admin could probably answer this one better than me. Trying to find that more efficient way is clearly above my paygrade, and unlikely to be found if it hasn't been already.

I did not realize a single 50-page thread is harder to search than five different 10-page threads. Why is that?

Quote from the useful and educational "Twenty-four things you can do to make SMF go faster":

Quote
Cap the length of your threads This is one of those things that ought to be a setting - even vBulletin is known for choking on large threads, look up rpg.net's motivational poster history. Large threads mean there is a large result set for further instructions in the query to prune from, and if a thread is too disproportionally large, even browsing the thread will result in using table scans instead of the index - a very bad situation indeed.

Basically, shorter and newer stuff typically gets handled by index scans (faster, less database load due to fewer rows being returned). Older and longer threads start causing table scans which can take up far more processing power to parse. Even just opening up larger, older threads to read that should be archived can cause a heavier performance hit. More data, more work.

It appears that the advantage of Notifications means that even if a thread has the potential for pulling a table scan, it's a fixed and limited list. The system already know what to pull and from where to get the info needed instead of big scan, sub-scan, parsed relevant info. Smarter DBA people please correct me if I'm wrong on this over-simplification, but that's the best way I can think to articulate it without getting too complicated. Now, this doesn't mean that some people couldn't theoretically create such a long Notification list that it could actually hammer the database server harder than Show New Replies, but so long as it's a page that's pulling up for you faster than Show New Replies...



I'm curious why the "show unread replies" is so slow for some people and not for others. (Mine always loads in a snap.)

Elephino.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 10:23:28 AM by Daley »

grantmeaname

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2018, 10:31:53 AM »
Is your home across the hall from MMMHQ's secret server base, deep in the antarctic?

That's my best guess.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2018, 10:50:02 AM »
Thanks Daley! Following the link, they recommend capping at 1k posts, which would be 20 pages here. That seems reasonable to me. Of course the admin would know better what is best for this forum.

There's other interesting stuff in there. Restricting the number of boards stood out, since the number has increased in the last few years, and there are still requests for more finely tuned boards.

I'm curious why the "show unread replies" is so slow for some people and not for others. (Mine always loads in a snap.)

"Show new replies to your posts" runs much faster if I have recently marked all messages as read. I guess since there are fewer threads to pull up, or even fewer threads to scan through. It also varies by time of day. Not sure why it always run quickly for you, unless you regularly do "mark all as read."

That, or the secret antarctic server thing.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2018, 10:53:56 AM »
Is your home across the hall from MMMHQ's secret server base, deep in the antarctic?

That's my best guess.

:)
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Daley

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2018, 11:44:48 AM »
Thanks Daley! Following the link, they recommend capping at 1k posts, which would be 20 pages here. That seems reasonable to me. Of course the admin would know better what is best for this forum.

I'd actually recommended 1500-2000 to Rebs since we're not on shared hosting, but a dedicated VPS. I was trying to be considerate of the Journals with that number, but I'd personally rather see 1000 myself in the general boards. Less daunting thread length for noobs to parse through, and discourages beating dead horses past the point of leaving not but a greasy smudge and the faint whiff of failure.

There's other interesting stuff in there. Restricting the number of boards stood out, since the number has increased in the last few years, and there are still requests for more finely tuned boards.

Yeah, that one stood out to me as well. Old dead accounts did too as well as marked unread, as we have over 8000 zero-post members, almost all older than six months (some of them obviously unused spammer accounts), and no telling how many of those never logged back in after the first 24 hours. Even without back-end access, it's unfortunately far too easy to go down that list and say, "Yup, we do that and that and that and that and... huh, no wonder we have problems." From there, I tried to put a gameplan together on how we could do better (or at least slow the entropy), with or without moderation support, and my now somewhat infamous "You are the problem" post was born.

It'll be a while before I'll try the "we have to admit we suck before we can be great" approach again, though.

MDM

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2018, 12:09:49 PM »
...we have over 8000 zero-post members, almost all older than six months (some of them obviously unused spammer accounts), and no telling how many of those never logged back in after the first 24 hours.
Presumably the "Last Active" date/time would be programmatically available to someone with appropriate privilege.  One might further presume that an automated way (with better user interface than, say, the Hawaiian public alert system) could exist to delete (suspend?) all accounts with
- posts fewer than X, and
- Last Active prior to Y.
Even very conservative settings of X (e.g., zero) and Y (one year ago?) might help.

But I don't know if said program exists.

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2018, 12:16:56 PM »
...we have over 8000 zero-post members, almost all older than six months (some of them obviously unused spammer accounts), and no telling how many of those never logged back in after the first 24 hours.
Presumably the "Last Active" date/time would be programmatically available to someone with appropriate privilege.  One might further presume that an automated way (with better user interface than, say, the Hawaiian public alert system) could exist to delete (suspend?) all accounts with
- posts fewer than X, and
- Last Active prior to Y.
Even very conservative settings of X (e.g., zero) and Y (one year ago?) might help.

But I don't know if said program exists.

Maybe coupled with an automated email alert along the lines of "your account has been inactive for Y. It will be deleted unless you log in by <date>".

Or not ... If someone has been inactive for that long, they may not care.....

As someone not in IT, it always sounds easy to automate things, but I admit I don't  know how difficult it is in reality.

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #66 on: January 23, 2018, 12:48:47 PM »
The +1/PTF riff-raff is a symptom of the forum software. You can't expect your humans to behave without nudging them in the right direction, and no FAQ or stickied topic will fix that 100%.

So really you have 3 options:
- Subtly control your humans by carefully crafting your interaction mediums.
- Discipline your humans.
- Let the proverbial patients run the asylum, accepting the conventions that may arise.

Well, the past six years has basically been option three, and the software has been ever increasingly buckling under the load.

Perhaps it's time for a little more one and two.
I vote for some of option 1.
PTF is also reasonably easily fixed if we can convince and persuade people to actually use Notify over "Show new replies". Of course, part of this problem is getting people to understand that they can, a) turn emails notifications off;  b) get them to the Notifications Page easier than it is currently; and c) that using "Show new replies" thrashes the database way more than "Notifications" does. It's not a pretty page, but it's a competently useful one.
Relatively easy fix:
  • Add link to notifications page to the site template just above (or replacing) "Show new replies to your posts"
  • Improve layout of notifications page
  • Change the default settings to "Turn notification on when you post or reply to a topic" but not to recieve notifications by email
  • Sell everyone on the idea that using this feature allows you to easily ignore a thread after it goes off the rails (optional)

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #67 on: January 26, 2018, 11:57:39 AM »
Relatively easy fix:
  • Add link to notifications page to the site template just above (or replacing) "Show new replies to your posts"
  • Improve layout of notifications page
  • Change the default settings to "Turn notification on when you post or reply to a topic" but not to recieve notifications by email
  • Sell everyone on the idea that using this feature allows you to easily ignore a thread after it goes off the rails (optional)

(Emphasis added.)

Are you volunteering to code the CSS for that?

Let's keep in mind that the entire forums section is run by volunteers, so suggestions without offers to step up are less helpful than they appear.  :)
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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #68 on: January 26, 2018, 12:04:28 PM »
Relatively easy fix:
  • Add link to notifications page to the site template just above (or replacing) "Show new replies to your posts"
  • Improve layout of notifications page
  • Change the default settings to "Turn notification on when you post or reply to a topic" but not to recieve notifications by email
  • Sell everyone on the idea that using this feature allows you to easily ignore a thread after it goes off the rails (optional)

(Emphasis added.)

Are you volunteering to code the CSS for that?

Let's keep in mind that the entire forums section is run by volunteers, so suggestions without offers to step up are less helpful than they appear.  :)
It is something that I'd willing to work on. I've dabbled in web development, but have not done it professionally, so I'm not highly qualified but I do think it is something I could figure out.

grantmeaname

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2018, 04:29:22 AM »
I tried MDM's suggestion, but still got a LOT of emails. Not sure I did it correctly.  How does one go directly to their list of notifications? Via the profile page?

The most important settings/states on the Notifications page Macoconut linked to disable emails (combined with what I've come to understand) are listed below in bold:

Quote
☐ Receive forum newsletters, announcements and important notifications by email. This checkbox is less important since the mod staff has never sent out community notifications.
Turn notification on when you post or reply to a topic. This checkbox is vital to have selected to also use Notify as a "Show new replies" replacement, not just a PTF replacement.
☐ When sending notification of a reply to a topic, send the post in the email (but please don't reply to these emails.) This checkbox applies specifically to including people's replies to a thread in emailed notifications.

For topics and boards I've requested notification on, notify me: [Instantly ▼] This dropdown setting doesn't actually matter what you have it set to unless you want emails.
For topics and boards I've requested notification on, notify me of: [Nothing at all ▼] This dropdown setting is one of the most important ones for disabling email.

Make sure the three bold options are set as illustrated: unckecked, unchecked, nothing at all. That should eliminate any and all possible notify emails (for better or worse), then it doesn't matter what the frequency dropdown is set to. Mine is currently set to "Instantly", and I've only ever gotten one digest email, and it was because I had the bottom dropdown set to "Replies and moderation", the frequency set to "Weekly", and the top option selected - it came on a Monday at 1800hrs. I may actually turn back on a weekly digest as it's actually quite interesting, but I wanted to ensure it was possible to disable all email notifications before blowing hard on this point. When I was further exploring the settings, I switched back to instantly first to make sure I found the proper switches to nip the emails in the bud.

I don't arrive at my positions lightly, and I do research things out, as I've always had. It's very possible to use Notify without getting any email once you get the settings right, and honestly, the emails you can get with Notify are actually even more useful than the PM emails you can receive... but I understand that's not for everyone, as using email is becoming a source of panic for some who can't manage their inboxes and using it has become a bit of a dying art. As such, it's important to provide a solution that doesn't cause further anxiety. The issues I brought up were anxiety inducing enough for others because people don't like being told "you're doing it wrong" no matter how much you try to sugarcoat it, so I just leaned into the problem and rolled with the insults and punches. I did want to ensure that it was possible, first, and not just trust the SMF documentation and Macoconut. There was a little bit of muddying on the settings initially quoted, but the fact remained that it was possible to use Notify without receiving any emails.

It's doable, G-dog. :)

I'm still getting weekly digest emails even with exactly the settings in your post. Any idea for a workaround other than a filter/rule to delete it as it comes in?

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2018, 06:45:38 AM »
I get the weekly digest too. I don't see any "none" option. So I delete it. 


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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #71 on: February 07, 2018, 07:13:29 AM »
I'm still getting weekly digest emails even with exactly the settings in your post. Any idea for a workaround other than a filter/rule to delete it as it comes in?

I get the weekly digest too. I don't see any "none" option. So I delete it. 

Strange. Very strange. I haven't gotten a notification in weeks, which is why I posted the configuration I did. I literally would not have posted any of the things I had if I hadn't been able to disable email notifications... and I haven't gotten an email from the forum regarding anything but private messages since I enabled these settings.

You even used the "non-important" settings down the line? Unchecked, checked, unchecked, instantly, nothing at all, save settings?

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #72 on: February 07, 2018, 07:28:36 AM »
I'm still getting weekly digest emails even with exactly the settings in your post. Any idea for a workaround other than a filter/rule to delete it as it comes in?

I get the weekly digest too. I don't see any "none" option. So I delete it. 

Strange. Very strange. I haven't gotten a notification in weeks, which is why I posted the configuration I did. I literally would not have posted any of the things I had if I hadn't been able to disable email notifications... and I haven't gotten an email from the forum regarding anything but private messages since I enabled these settings.

You even used the "non-important" settings down the line? Unchecked, checked, unchecked, instantly, nothing at all, save settings?

OK - where you have "instantly" I had weekly, having taken your side note literally (drop down setting doesn't matter unless you want emails). I've been getting weekly summaries - e.g., 87 posts in thread A, 24 posts in thread B.

So, I've now changed that to "instantly" and I'll see what happens.  I'll recheck other settings too.

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #73 on: February 07, 2018, 07:35:00 AM »
OK - where you have "instantly" I had weekly, having taken your side note literally (drop down setting doesn't matter unless you want emails). I've been getting weekly summaries - e.g., 87 posts in thread A, 24 posts in thread B.

So, I've now changed that to "instantly" and I'll see what happens.  I'll recheck other settings too.

From my experience, it had looked and behaved like a non-important setting to actually getting emails from my usage and experimentation, but if setting it to instantly is actually the secret sauce to disabling it... let's get that confirmed so I can update the settings!

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #74 on: February 07, 2018, 08:31:49 AM »
I had everything exactly the same except "weekly" rather than "instantly". I have also changed it and will let you know how it goes.

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #75 on: February 07, 2018, 09:07:08 AM »
I had assumed "instantly" meant I would get an email every time a thread I was following was updated (I'm not looking at the settings panel right now - so this is a general assumption, not a specific statement that even I would see was wrong if I were reading the actual text right now).

So far, several updates, but no emails...

Hmm ....

grantmeaname

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #76 on: February 07, 2018, 09:10:58 AM »
So far, several updates, but no emails...

Me too! Presumably instantly is actually latin for "never"?

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #77 on: February 07, 2018, 09:29:51 AM »
So far, several updates, but no emails...

Me too! Presumably instantly is actually latin for "never"?

Or some Vulcan mind-meld thing?

Qapla!

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #78 on: February 07, 2018, 10:25:26 AM »
So far, several updates, but no emails...

Me too! Presumably instantly is actually latin for "never"?

Huh. Okay then! Post with settings updated with the change. And here, I'd set it to "Instantly" to ensure the other changes were the right ones (given I'd gotten a couple "timely" messages in the past with that setting), and never bothered putting it back. Who knew this was the last key setting? Oh SMF, I both love you and hate you.
Spoiler: show
Certainly there's a German word for that.

*headdesk* Sorry about that, folks!
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 10:31:06 AM by Daley »

grantmeaname

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #79 on: February 07, 2018, 10:34:50 AM »
No apology needed. Your gentle facepunch and how-to guide were what convinced me to make the leap. You're the man, Daley.

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #80 on: February 07, 2018, 10:41:43 AM »
No apology needed. Your gentle facepunch and how-to guide were what convinced me to make the leap. You're the man, Daley.

I agree - thanks to you and others who helped decipher this and provide guidance via screenshots.

I wouldn't changed based on what I interpreted as an emotional argument that people who say "PTF" or "+1" were just stupid assholes that didn't know how to properly use a forum.

But logic will get me every time.  It also helped me that @ElleFiji volunteered to test this also.

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #81 on: February 07, 2018, 10:59:20 AM »
I tested... and it was a failure for me. I can't get the notify screen/profile menu to work on mobile. So I use new replies. But if we added an easy link in the future, I would try again!

I do think that if we add an easy link, the sales pitch should be "cool new feature that also happens to help the tiny hamsters better run through mazes".

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #82 on: February 07, 2018, 11:08:54 AM »
No apology needed. Your gentle facepunch and how-to guide were what convinced me to make the leap. You're the man, Daley.

I agree - thanks to you and others who helped decipher this and provide guidance via screenshots.

I wouldn't changed based on what I interpreted as an emotional argument that people who say "PTF" or "+1" were just stupid assholes that didn't know how to properly use a forum.

But logic will get me every time.  It also helped me that @ElleFiji volunteered to test this also.

Thank you both, I try.

I know @chris5977 started out with an emotional argument in that other thread, and I know it tainted and turned off a lot of others immediately, but the problem was despite all the emotion and the lack of technical knowhow, he wasn't wrong in his understanding and observations... and he got dogpiled for it. Then @macoconut came in with some logic and explanation on settings, got ignored and dogpiled for going against the grain and backing a social pariah... and...

It's why I responded the way I did. Everyone was being overly emotional and not reading anything, so I felt as though I needed to catch the attention of and derail that mindset first before going for the logical kill, lest I just be ignored like Macoconut was. (We've gotten a bit emotionally group-thinky as a community lately, and have started to reject non-conformists, which is... ironic.) Unfortunately, I apparently didn't weigh in enough technically initially and overly relied on outside documentation to balance the emotional hook for most people to see it initially. I am sorry for that, I was trying to avoid doing what I apparently had to do anyway... paragraphs on paragraphs of careful explanation and justification.

Now if only I can get Rebs on board to make the final changes.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 11:11:32 AM by Daley »

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #83 on: February 07, 2018, 11:21:13 AM »
I tested... and it was a failure for me. I can't get the notify screen/profile menu to work on mobile. So I use new replies. But if we added an easy link in the future, I would try again!

I do think that if we add an easy link, the sales pitch should be "cool new feature that also happens to help the tiny hamsters better run through mazes".

Is using https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/profile/?area=notification that much harder than using https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/unreadreplies/ as a shortcut?  It's quite possible I don't fully appreciate how your particular mobile works....


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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #84 on: February 07, 2018, 11:30:00 AM »
@MDM it works until I reply to a thread, or flip over to a sub forum. Once I'm in the greater forum, I play around and then click unread replies. Theoretically I absolutely could go to my phone bookmarks and get back to notifications. But I don't and won't. (Out of inertia, not hostility)

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #85 on: February 07, 2018, 11:46:19 AM »
I tested... and it was a failure for me. I can't get the notify screen/profile menu to work on mobile. So I use new replies. But if we added an easy link in the future, I would try again!

I do think that if we add an easy link, the sales pitch should be "cool new feature that also happens to help the tiny hamsters better run through mazes".

Working on it. The silly thing is that one variant of this addition should be fairly easy and straight forward.

We're only talking sticking the following into /Sources/Subs.php around line 4031 after ), and right before the 'pm' => array(, which should stick it between "Profile" and "My Messages":
Code: [Select]
'watchlist' => array(
'title' => 'Watchlist',
'href' => $scripturl . '?action=profile;?area=notification',
'show' => !$user_info['is_guest'],
'sub_buttons' => array(
),
),

I'm not 100% this will work exactly as posted as I don't have an install of SMF to play with currently, but it's sufficiently most of the way there that plugging it in and seeing if it works or not should get us the rest of the way, and should only show up for people logged in. *cough* *cough* @arebelspy

This method also isn't discounting a possible even easier method of menu addition from the back end that I may not know of that would survive upgrade without re-editing.

If people don't like the name "Watchlist", I'm sure something else could be used, like Notify or some such.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 12:10:30 PM by Daley »

MDM

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #86 on: February 07, 2018, 12:11:04 PM »
@MDM it works until I reply to a thread, or flip over to a sub forum. Once I'm in the greater forum, I play around and then click unread replies. Theoretically I absolutely could go to my phone bookmarks and get back to notifications. But I don't and won't. (Out of inertia, not hostility)
Ok, thanks for the explanation.  That's a situation different from what one has on a laptop/desktop, with an always-visible bookmark bar.

grantmeaname

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #87 on: February 07, 2018, 12:25:59 PM »
@MDM it works until I reply to a thread, or flip over to a sub forum. Once I'm in the greater forum, I play around and then click unread replies. Theoretically I absolutely could go to my phone bookmarks and get back to notifications. But I don't and won't. (Out of inertia, not hostility)

Have you tried tapatalk? I'm not in love with it but it does at least match this feature from the full-blooded forum pretty well.

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #88 on: February 08, 2018, 08:48:02 PM »
I'm using the forum on computer, not Tapatalk. I've set up notify for my preferred threads earlier today and I LOVE IT. I never would have thought to do this if it weren't for wandering across this thread.

There have been many threads I like to read but don't want to post in because either my thoughts have already been articulated or I don't feel my response would benefit the discussion. This is fantastic, being able to have a list, and being able to unnotify.

Thank you for persisting in your explanations.
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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #89 on: February 09, 2018, 07:54:19 AM »
Is there a way to get no email notifications except for instant on just specific threads?

Right now I use notify for the threads I want instant emails for.

If I used notify for the dozens I want to follow (my current replies list), I'd get way too many emails.
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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #90 on: February 09, 2018, 08:27:57 AM »
Thank you Daley and others for working out how to use notify without getting emails, I have switched over to using this rather than new replies (for the most part, sometimes I still auto-click the link.  Working on breaking the habit.)  I know it's a drop in the bucket, but I'll do my part!

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #91 on: February 09, 2018, 10:07:07 AM »
Is there a way to get no email notifications except for instant on just specific threads?

Right now I use notify for the threads I want instant emails for.

If I used notify for the dozens I want to follow (my current replies list), I'd get way too many emails.

Not as far as I can tell. Is this a moderation thing or just a personal preference thing? If it's personal preference, you could always try the daily feed as a middle ground and flex the patience muscle. If it's a moderation thing, use it the way that best suits your workflow. I know Notify isn't a perfect feature for everyone, but it's a good feature. Use the tool the best way that helps you.

Any thoughts on adding that direct link now that we have the code to add it? It's untested, yes, but it also conforms 100% to documented SMF code for such a thing.

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #92 on: February 12, 2018, 04:41:14 AM »
@MDM it works until I reply to a thread, or flip over to a sub forum. Once I'm in the greater forum, I play around and then click unread replies. Theoretically I absolutely could go to my phone bookmarks and get back to notifications. But I don't and won't. (Out of inertia, not hostility)
+1 In addition, I'm really not a fan of Tapatalk as a solution but I haven't sat down to properly tease out all the settings the either. I suspect in my case, I'm also operating on a completely different time zone so I see less of the issues. I have started seeing up "notify" stuff for myself but haven't achieved full conversion due to the same "reading on phone" use case as Ellefiji.

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #93 on: April 08, 2018, 06:27:32 PM »
I'm a recent convert to "Notifications" over "Show new replies to your posts." It took me a bit to grok it because (as others have said) what I wanted is buried in page-then-pull-down, page-then-pull-down: Profile/Account Profile/Modify profile/Notifications. But with a BOOKMARK on that page (Notifications) then all I ever need to do to efficiently browse the forum is click on that bookmarked page. So much faster! Thank you! Love the orange buttons that let me pick up where I left off in a thread. I love being able to turn a thread on and off once I tire of it. I also feel much less inclined to post something unless I have something to contribute. Before I was typing crap to follow the thread. And no emails all y'all, don't worry!

Remember that some of us need a bit of tech handholding. @MonkeyJenga walked me through it with screen shots in another thread and it made all the difference.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 09:12:05 PM by Basenji »

Basenji

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #94 on: April 08, 2018, 06:38:47 PM »
Related topic:

I follow/contribute to some very large threads that have been around forever and can take a long time to load. For example:
Overheard at Work (402 pages!)
Mustachian People Problems (just for fun) (101 pages)
What small things did you do TODAY to save money? (225 pages)

Would it help if these were locked and a "part 2" or "continued" was created? Do popular threads like that affect forum performance overall?

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #95 on: April 08, 2018, 07:20:37 PM »
The screeenshots Basenji mentioned are below. Visual guides can be easier to follow, so if anyone got confused before, you can try again with this. Let me know if anything isn't working the way you expected.

Navigate to Notifications: Easy Option

Go here: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/profile/?area=notification

Navigate to Notifications: Hard Option

If you're curious where this has been hiding...

First menu (Profile > Account Settings):

Second menu (Modify Profile > Notifications):

Change Notification Settings

Mirror all the settings here, including the "Instantly" and "Nothing at all" options. Bookmark the page (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/profile/?area=notification) so you can easily come back to it. The list at the bottom will show all the threads you are following. There will be a "New" flag for those with posts you haven't read. You can click that flag and go straight to where you left off. This is true in any setting where you see a "New" flag, not only in Notifications.

To build this list, click "Notify" at the bottom-right or top-right of any thread. You will not receive any emails if the settings look like the below example.

ETA: Redacted pictures bc they had personal info. I'll crop and reupload later.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 08:56:31 PM by MonkeyJenga »

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #96 on: April 08, 2018, 07:37:26 PM »
Would it help if these were locked and a "part 2" or "continued" was created? Do popular threads like that affect forum performance overall?

Yes, it would. Really long/old threads really bog down system performance when accessed. One of the reasons for the thread cap suggestion.



The screeenshots Basenji mentioned are below. Visual guides can be easier to follow, so if anyone got confused before, you can try again with this.

Thank you for that. :)

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Re: Suggestion for New Rule/FAQ to Optimize Use of Forum
« Reply #97 on: April 08, 2018, 08:28:37 PM »
If new threads are created for the notoriously long topics, more people will see this information by placing a short summary and link to detailed instructions in the first post. Many people do PTF in things like Overheard at Work and won't see this thread otherwise.