81 votes

If you have the "mark new comments" feature enabled, old comments will now be collapsed when returning to a thread

The "mark new comments" feature (which isn't enabled by default) has two main functions:

  • From the listing pages, it shows which topics have new comments (and how many)
  • On the comments page, it puts an orange stripe down the left side of the new comments

These are both extremely useful (and you should probably enable it if you don't already have it on), but it was still a bit hard to find the new comments in larger threads, even with them marked. You had to just scroll around and look for the orange stripes.

I've deployed a new update now that makes it so that when you go back to a thread that has new comments, all the old comments will be collapsed, except for the direct parents of the new ones. I've also updated the appearance of collapsed comments so that you can see the first part of the text of the collapsed comments.

No behavior will change if you're not using the "mark new comments" feature, and if visit a thread for the first time or go back to a thread with no new comments, all comments will be expanded as normal. Remember that you can also use the new "expand all comments" button added last week to quickly uncollapse all comments if you want to.

Edit: And if you really don't like it, you can disable it now with the second checkbox at the bottom of the settings page: https://tildes.net/settings/comment_visits

Let me know what you think, and if you notice any issues. This should make navigating large threads a lot easier, and there are also some other interesting possibilities with the "individually collapsed" comments that I'm going to be working on soon. One thing I definitely want to do is add an indication of how many comments are in a particular collapsed chain, since right now you can't distinguish a single collapsed comment from one with (potentially many) replies.

29 comments

  1. [5]
    teaearlgraycold Link
    I think I'd like to see this a separate option.

    I think I'd like to see this a separate option.

    18 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      The option's available now, there's a checkbox for it that you can disable at the bottom of the settings page if you don't like it: https://tildes.net/settings/comment_visits

      The option's available now, there's a checkbox for it that you can disable at the bottom of the settings page if you don't like it: https://tildes.net/settings/comment_visits

      22 votes
    2. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      Same here. I don't like the "graveyard" feel I get when I open a thread and large numbers of the comments are collapsed. I like having the new comments marked, but I don't like having the old...

      Same here. I don't like the "graveyard" feel I get when I open a thread and large numbers of the comments are collapsed. I like having the new comments marked, but I don't like having the old comments collapsed.

      10 votes
    3. spit-evil-olive-tips Link Parent
      I love this change, and I would definitely leave it enabled for my own account, but I agree with having it as a separate option. Tracking which comments are new should be decoupled from the...

      I love this change, and I would definitely leave it enabled for my own account, but I agree with having it as a separate option. Tracking which comments are new should be decoupled from the visibility of those comments.

      5 votes
  2. [2]
    cain Link
    I like it, I was just clicking the "last comment posted __ minutes ago" link in the topic info to jump to new comments, this will help when its more than just one new comment in the thread and I...

    I like it, I was just clicking the "last comment posted __ minutes ago" link in the topic info to jump to new comments, this will help when its more than just one new comment in the thread and I want to see all of them without killing my scroll wheel.

    Thanks for all the hard work @Deimos

    8 votes
    1. CALICO Link Parent
      Just throwing in my affirmation here, I really like how it functions. This should be really nice for the longer and/or quicker threads we occasionally have.

      Just throwing in my affirmation here, I really like how it functions. This should be really nice for the longer and/or quicker threads we occasionally have.

      5 votes
  3. Tau_Zero Link
    I think this is my favorite improvement so far. Navigating large threads with new comments in several threads was a nightmare particularly on mobile, and it was the primary reason I installed the...

    I think this is my favorite improvement so far. Navigating large threads with new comments in several threads was a nightmare particularly on mobile, and it was the primary reason I installed the Tildes Extended extension on desktop.

    7 votes
  4. [3]
    Eylrid Link
    This is fantastic and makes reading new comments much easier. I did find a problem, though. When opening a link for a specific already read comment in a topic with new comments, the linked comment...

    This is fantastic and makes reading new comments much easier. I did find a problem, though. When opening a link for a specific already read comment in a topic with new comments, the linked comment is collapsed. If someone is linking to a specific comment it shouldn't be collapsed, whether it is a new comment or not.

    7 votes
    1. Deimos Link Parent
      Ah thanks, that's definitely an issue. It might be a little difficult to fix in all cases, but it can certainly be improved over how it is now.

      Ah thanks, that's definitely an issue. It might be a little difficult to fix in all cases, but it can certainly be improved over how it is now.

      4 votes
  5. [2]
    Lynx Link
    Found a bug! Not sure if this was actually introduced by this change, but collapsed removed comments still show preview text. I can write a gitlab issue as well if you want, that's just a little...

    Found a bug! Not sure if this was actually introduced by this change, but collapsed removed comments still show preview text. I can write a gitlab issue as well if you want, that's just a little annoying on mobile.

    6 votes
    1. Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
      Whoops, thanks. No need for an issue, I'll fix that shortly. Edit: should be fixed now.

      Whoops, thanks. No need for an issue, I'll fix that shortly.

      Edit: should be fixed now.

      4 votes
  6. [10]
    Algernon_Asimov Link
    Further to my reply agreeing with @teaearlgraycold's opinion, I've also just noticed that this collapses all the comments in threads where someone has replied to me (where their reply is the only...

    Further to my reply agreeing with @teaearlgraycold's opinion, I've also just noticed that this collapses all the comments in threads where someone has replied to me (where their reply is the only new comment in a thread).

    I just navigated to a reply I received. The whole thread was collapsed except for three comments: their immediate reply, my comment they replied to, and their earlier comment I replied to. There was a whole chain of parent comments above this exchange that was collapsed.

    I do not like this change at all. I understand that other people want it, but I want the ability to switch it OFF.

    5 votes
    1. [9]
      Deimos Link Parent
      I'm not opposed to adding an option for it, but I do want to ask because I'm curious: why? You've already read those comments (and you can still see the first part of them while they're...

      I'm not opposed to adding an option for it, but I do want to ask because I'm curious: why? You've already read those comments (and you can still see the first part of them while they're collapsed), why do you want to read them again and again, every time you open the thread?

      Also, I mentioned it in the post, but in case you missed it: you can always just hit the "+" button next to the "5 comments" type header at the top and uncollapse all the comments at once.

      6 votes
      1. [6]
        Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        I already told you, when you asked why I like to go to threads to read replies, rather than stay in my inbox: to see the context, and to prompt my memory. Also, I may not read every single comment...

        I already told you, when you asked why I like to go to threads to read replies, rather than stay in my inbox: to see the context, and to prompt my memory.

        Also, I may not read every single comment when I first visit a thread. I may find one or two that catch my eye, read those, reply to one, and then move on. Later, I'll revisit the thread to see the new comments - and take the opportunity to read any earlier comments that I skipped over on my first visit. But now they're all collapsed and I have to manually reopen every single comment to read them.

        Don't assume that just because I've had a comment open on my screen that I read it or memorised it.

        9 votes
        1. [5]
          Deimos Link Parent
          I don't think I really understand the case where you're replying deep in a thread without reading the comments that led up to the place you replied, but either way, it's simple enough to add an...

          I don't think I really understand the case where you're replying deep in a thread without reading the comments that led up to the place you replied, but either way, it's simple enough to add an option for.

          And like I said, you don't have to uncollapse everything manually. It's one click on the "+" button at the top of the comments to get back to everything expanded like it was before.

          5 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            I think you're conflating my two different use cases: Replying to a comment deep in a thread. Revisiting a thread to read comments I didn't read first time round. Of course I read everything down...

            I don't think I really understand the case where you're replying deep in a thread without reading the comments that led up to the place you replied

            I think you're conflating my two different use cases:

            • Replying to a comment deep in a thread.

            • Revisiting a thread to read comments I didn't read first time round.

            Of course I read everything down to a comment I'm replying to. But there might be whole other comment trees that I just don't read on my first visit to a thread.

            And, if someone replies to a comment of mine days or weeks later (I recently had someone reply to a comment I wrote more than a month ago!), I'll want to re-read the context while reading their reply.

            3 votes
          2. [3]
            Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            Just so I know... would this option be added soon or later? I want to know whether to turn off my "mark new comments" feature until it's fixed.

            it's simple enough to add an option for.

            Just so I know... would this option be added soon or later? I want to know whether to turn off my "mark new comments" feature until it's fixed.

            2 votes
      2. Rocket_Man Link Parent
        I might suggest that seeing the comments we viewed previously is beneficial because they are associated with the post and the post's topic. The more associations or richer context you have the...

        I might suggest that seeing the comments we viewed previously is beneficial because they are associated with the post and the post's topic. The more associations or richer context you have the easier it is to remember things that were said and things you might have wanted to say.

        4 votes
      3. Zeph Link Parent
        It's still early but I like this new feature. Rarely do I come back to a thread for any reason other than to see the new comments without caring about any of the old ones, and I like how well this...

        It's still early but I like this new feature. Rarely do I come back to a thread for any reason other than to see the new comments without caring about any of the old ones, and I like how well this will scale to large topics.

        I do understand the apprehension since overloading users with configurable settings is rarely a good idea and it's important to be cautious. The way you and I browse tildes may not be the same others do and having this as an option seems like a good idea to me (established userbases will always hate change). The highlighting feature is already plenty good enough for its purpose without collapsing old comments.

        3 votes
  7. Amarok Link
    I am liking this way too much, especially on mobile. Definitely leaving it on, probably forever...

    I am liking this way too much, especially on mobile. Definitely leaving it on, probably forever...

    5 votes
  8. balooga Link
    Thanks for the new feature, I'm looking forward to trying out! It's a different approach to the same problem I recently posted a thread about so I'm curious to see how effective this method is.

    Thanks for the new feature, I'm looking forward to trying out! It's a different approach to the same problem I recently posted a thread about so I'm curious to see how effective this method is.

    3 votes
  9. Gaywallet Link
    I don't have much to add except a resounding "fuck yea". Nice feature. I was finding it difficult to find new comments, especially in the deeper comment trees.

    I don't have much to add except a resounding "fuck yea". Nice feature. I was finding it difficult to find new comments, especially in the deeper comment trees.

    3 votes
  10. Neverland Link
    Thanks! I like it.

    Thanks! I like it.

    2 votes
  11. Diet_Coke Link
    This is a great change, it makes a big difference reading longer threads.

    This is a great change, it makes a big difference reading longer threads.

    1 vote