Repetitive gutter links?

(Kris) #1

Is there a good way to prevent this from happening? I understand why it happens, but it seems kind of crazy

Topics with lots of internal links look bad
Right arrow missing from "outgoing" post links
Make post links more visible with new right gutter timeline
Topics with lots of internal links look bad
(Benjamin Kampmann) #2

You want to merge them into one? Because they might refer to different posts within the topic, so there should be three distinctive links. But I agree those are not distinctive atm. So what if instead, they’d be grouped and give some more context like:

 -> Is "Activity too ambiguous? (3)
      * Post by codinghorror
      * reply #3 by awesome robot
      * reply #16 by sam

Which would only appear if there is multiple reference to the same link with different posts. And of course visually I’d make that list-block at least 25% smaller, too.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #3

@lightyear beat me to it but I’ll just post this.

Agreed, they should clearly be stacked, while somehow signaling that 3 outgoing links have been wrapped into one.

One problem: These links are pointing to different posts in the same thread, so you either gotta:

  1. Choose which of those posts to point to
  2. Invoke something like a drop-down selection between the different links upon click.
  3. Simply default to linking to the thread, no specific post

To save screen estate, how about just:

-> Is "Activity too ambiguous? (1) (2) (3)

With each number being a clickable link, and the main link points to (1).

(Kris) #4

I really like this idea. I was thinking there was so little confidence in the simple repetition that it may as well just link to the topic and the references themselves in the post linking out could be the beacons to the specific posts within the topic… but your suggestion seems to solve the problem entirely.

(Benjamin Kampmann) #5

In my proposal I already added the (3) behind it, thinking it could potentially be a collapsible. You’d normally only show the first link and upon clicking the number behind it, it would open the details as shown before. But to save some space, we could hide it if there is too many other topics linked to.

(Benjamin Kampmann) #6

Though thinking about, it do come to like this approach even more. I’d not just make them upcoming numbers but the count of the reply in the thread though. And upon mouse over just show the user and maybe even the date it was posted?

-> Is "Activity too ambiguous? (#1) (#22) (#43)

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #8

I dig this one with the reply number! Easier to click and more informative.

Instead of mouse-over I would make it de-collapse once you click the main link in the case of collapsed links (single links would go directly). And I think adding dates is too much. You’ll very rarely care about that information.

(Jeff Atwood) #9

Great discussion, and I like @lightyear’s suggestion, but that only covers a fraction of the problem.

First, we need a generalized way to show a click/tap to expand ‘6 more links…’ on the right when the # of incoming / outgoing links greatly exceeds the available space:

(Benjamin Kampmann) #10

Looking into that part of the code responsible for this, I feel like we want to refactor it a little anyways (we do use templates now …).

@codinghorror, Do we have a mockups on how to deal with this and the other case? Probably makes sense to fix this both together during the rewrite of that part.

(Jeff Atwood) #11

I would love it if someone could work on this!

That’s the simplest thing that comes to mind, just limit the right gutter height to the height of the post, and put a 28 more… link on the right there.

Clicking it could let the post expand all the way up, or do a pop-up, or whatever is easiest really. What have now is so hideously terrible (for large #s of links) that any change will be an improvement.

This also implies when you have 28 linked (incoming + outgoing) topics on a post, we need to be sorting the links putting the best ones at the top. For now “best” can be “oldest linked” to keep it simple.


(Dave McClure) #12

Pretty sure this is already the case, but in case its not obvious, pretty sure you also want to make sure that outgoing links are always above incoming links

(Jeff Atwood) #13

I was thinking we can mechanically limit it to say, 5 links. That way we don’t need to calculate actual height which will vary based on length of topic titles, we can do a quick calc to see how many links there are.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #14

How come? I actually find the incoming links more valuable. Outgoing links I’ll notice anyways by just reading the thread. The only way for me to discover the incoming links is the sidebar. I’d like the order to be:

  1. Cross-links (thread that is linked to also links back)
  2. Incoming links
  3. Outgoing links

(Dave McClure) #15

Never thought of it that way, definitely a good point.

But I’ve always thought of links within the post as being more important because they are really part of the post, part of the content chosen by the author. Of course you could hover over them to see where they go, but being able to quickly see the titles of those topics without mousing over each one, is just so convenient.

Not to say the links back aren’t important, but I’m not sure its best to put them before the one’s the author of the post has chosen as part of their post.

(Jeff Atwood) #16

Well, the outgoing links are duplicated on the right. So if there are incoming links, and we can only display 5, we would be suppressing unique information in favor of duplicated information.

(FichteFoll) #17

Something related that also should be considered:

The “Reply as new Topic” links belongs to the first post btw.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #18

I’m not quite following. Wouldn’t this issue be solved as a result of implementing the ‘more…’ as mentioned above?

(FichteFoll) #19

Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the length of the gutter links and as long as these exceed or are about as long as the post itself and the next post also has a gutter link, the button “reply as new topic” button will overlap with that.

(Jeff Atwood) #20

@eviltrout will be working on improving the gutter links this week!

(Robin Ward) #21

Actually that code is hand-rolled for performance reasons. We show a lot of links sometimes and it was quite slow! So my new version will use string rendering too. However, I will update it to use a component instead of a custom view.