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.