Latest posts (posts wall)

(Stefan) #1


I’m not a big fan of Facebook, so please don’t think at this feature as a “FB wall” because is not (even if I’m calling it a “wall”) :smile:

I own a forex community for more than 8 years and I’ve managed other communities during this period. One thing that I’ve noticed is that is useful to have all the posts (from all topics / categories) displayed in reverse chronological order. This way people can have an overview of what is happening inside the community and they can discover interesting discussions without having to dig inside piles of topics and categories. This is an example of what I mean (the posts are in Romanian, but I’m sure you will get the basic idea): Search Results - Vamist Forex

It’s something like this on your list of features for Discourse? And if not, it would be hard to implement this as a third party addon?

(Sander Datema) #2

The main page already shows the latest topics, but you want to see each post’s content as well?

(Stan Bright) #3

Yes, the latests posts are already shown. I don’t think that posts’ content should be shown.

(Stefan) #4

Yes, it’s about seeing each post content. The topic title only tells you part of the story… Interesting things may happen behind that title. Maybe the title is not interesting for me, but a post inside that topic is.

In my opinion (and I realise that I may be the only one that thinks like this), the main issue with forum platforms is that they try to limit discussions, not encourage them. You have topics and categories to try to stop people from being “offtopic”. This is not a bad thing, but the way this is implemented in all forum platforms today is very bad. Because it stops people from being creative, from engaging in interesting conversations, from discovering new things. Too many contraints and too little guidance. People have the tendency to expand and to explore, so we should allow them to do this inside our communities. That is why I strongly believe that topics and categories should not be “closed boxes”, but just “guiding lights” (sorry, English is not my native language and I could not think at another metaphor :smile: ). And in my mind, the only way to achieve this is to focus on posts and not on topics and categories. Topics and categories should only be used for filtering posts and nothing more.

Because Discourse it’s about “rebooting forum platforms”, I think there is a good opportunity to think about this kind of stuff. Before finding out about Discourse, I’ve started to put this idea into practice using Drupal, but I realise now that Drupal is not good for such a task. So now I’m seriously thinking to switch from Php to Ruby and RoR and try to implement this using Discourse. The only problem is that I don’t find people who think the same as me :blush: But then again, I remember Henry Ford and his quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

(Jeff Atwood) #5

We used to display an excerpt from the posts on mouseover. But we have backed away from key mouseover behaviors because they do not work at all on tablets, which we view as the future of all computing in the next 5 years. We can’t have key functions buried behind a behavior that is not compatible with the future.

I am open to other ways to preview a post content without doing a mouseover popup, though we have yet to decide what that is.

(Stefan) #6

This is better that nothing, but I think is a slightly different feature. Posts previews are very useful to have across the entire board and I really hope you will find a future proof way of implementing this. But what I’m proposing is an alternative way of consuming the forum content. Implementing only a preview of the last post won’t do it… With previews you are still focused on topics (even if you can see a preview of the last post). Is like having a box (the topic) and take a peek inside. With a list of posts is like taking everything out of the box and sticking labels with the box name. Then you can mix things from different boxes and play around without having to worry about forgetting where everything came from.

I feel that I’m unable to explain in English exactly what I mean, so maybe it will be better to express myself in code and actually implement this feature. So I will wait for CDCK to publish some documentation for module developers and take my chance with that.

(Bill Ayakatubby) #7

What about displaying a brief excerpt from the beginning of the next unread post, a la Gmail?

(Dave McClure) #8

What if there were just an ‘Activity Stream’ to the side of the already existing interface on the main page. It could have a fixed amount of space for excerpting content from the latest posts across all topics in reverse-chronological order.

And it could be collapsed or expanded…

(Sam Saffron) #9

I understand the request.

You want an area that has select cooked from posts order by id desc, I think this is a totally legit request for an admin, or VERY high trust area on a VERY active forum.

That way you can see all activity in reverse chronological order and quickly weed out problems etc.

That said, at the moment I do not think we have a forum yet that needs this feature. I am uncertain if this is core or plugin material.

(Sam Saffron) #10

We are already struggling with information overload on the front page, I worry that adding more visible information would compound that problem.

(Jeff Atwood) #11

In addition @BhaelOchon this would cause load times to increase for the homepage since we have to retrieve text for all the topics. We have a similar problem with mouseovers if they are implemented with the title attribute.

(Stefan) #12

I know it’s an old thread, but because the other forum software I’m using is preparing the next version and they integrated this functionality by default (before this version I had to “hack it” myself), I though that it would be good to give you an example of how this was implemented. Hopefully this will find it’s way into Discourse as well at some point.

(Kane York) #13

I have just implemented a latest posts feed.

It will return the posts with the last 50 ids, in order, with posts you can’t see filtered out. You can attach a ?before=5678 to only see post IDs 5629 thru 5678. With that scheme, it should be fairly easy to make sure your service sees every post it has access to, even if more than 50 posts occur between two checks.

(Sam Saffron) #14

what happens when you want page 2?

(Kane York) #15

You take the last ID you saw (as in, end of the response) and deliver that as ?before= to get the next 50 posts.

You take the first/highest ID you saw, subtract 50, and deliver that as ?before= to get the next ‘page’.

Repeat until you get past the highest ID you saw in your last check (say, an hour ago).

(Stefan) #16

This is awesome, @riking, thank you! @sam do you think this pull request will be included in the next release?

(Stefan) #17

@riking, I see it also displays posts in unlisted topics. Is this intentional or is it a bug?