Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Anything about use of this forum : NOT about cycling
Tangled Metal
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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Mar 2017, 4:41pm

It's only easier for the poster using the number. Everyone else then has to do the work of the poster by going back and reviewing what the referenced post number said.

If what you say is worth reading then it's worth quoting what your post is about. Or at the very least a link to the post that opens in a new window that can be closed after reading to return to your post. I'm not being anti-numbering i just think it's lazy shorthand to aid the poster at the inconvenience of the following readers. As i said earlier that shorthand just makes me ignore what you post.

I visit the forum for fun and information when I've got a quiet moment in my busy life. If i don't enjoy reading something i move on. I don't enjoy posts that refer to numbers. Not least because it requires a lot more effort to read/follow it than it would have taken the poster to include the actual quote.

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Mick F
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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Mick F » 28 Mar 2017, 7:21am

Tangled Metal wrote:It's only easier for the poster using the number. Everyone else then has to do the work of the poster by going back and reviewing what the referenced post number said.
The numbers would be linked.
Click on the number, and it automatically flips to the post.
Mick F. Cornwall

Bez
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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Bez » 28 Mar 2017, 7:52am

Mick F wrote:The numbers would be linked.
Click on the number, and it automatically flips to the post.


Firstly, that isn't quite as simple as it sounds; but, more importantly, it wouldn't be reasonably possible to add the opposite link to take you back to the post that referenced it. You're still going to be left scrolling around the place.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Tangled Metal » 28 Mar 2017, 8:41am

That's probably not easy for the site designers to add.

It still doesn't address which part of tree thread you're referring to, although if you make your argument clearly it should be apparent.

So you're still of the opinion that a thread should be easier to post than read? Isn't that what you're implying by putting the onus on the reader to look back down the thread to understand the point of your post? Are your views not worth the effort to follow simple quoting procedure? It adds impact too IMHO to actually see what a post refers to. It's an emphasis.

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Mick F
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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Mick F » 28 Mar 2017, 8:43am

Bez wrote:
Mick F wrote:The numbers would be linked.
Click on the number, and it automatically flips to the post.


Firstly, that isn't quite as simple as it sounds; but, more importantly, it wouldn't be reasonably possible to add the opposite link to take you back to the post that referenced it. You're still going to be left scrolling around the place.
Nope, not at all.

Reference the post number.
Click on it.
New window opens up with the linked post.
Read it.
Close the window.

It works very well on the Fiat Forum and no doubt on many others.
http://www.fiatforum.com
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Bez » 28 Mar 2017, 9:47am

Mick F wrote:Nope, not at all.

Reference the post number.
Click on it.
New window opens up with the linked post.
Read it.
Close the window.


That's a pretty cumbersome experience on a phone, though.

And it still doesn't resolve some issues. For instance, if the post being referred to is long, and only one small bit is being replied to, it's not very helpful.

The only issue with quoting snippets is that it requires a small amount of effort on the part of a post author. I'm pretty lazy and I can still manage to do it on a mobile phone without too much pain so, at least for anyone without disabilities that get in the way, IMHO it's not a huge ask in return for making things easier to read and understand.

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Mick F
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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Mick F » 28 Mar 2017, 10:07am

Bez wrote:....... it's not very helpful.
Yes it is.

I'm not saying to do away with the usual quoting system, just a quicker way of telling the forumites of a previous post further up the thread.

Maybe some information or an answer to a problem has already been given, and the user may have missed it.
Instead of going through it again and quoting the relevant bits, you just say "Look here - (post number)"

It's like those monkeys in parliament ............. "I refer the honourable gentleman to my previous comment."
They don't say it all again.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Bez » 28 Mar 2017, 10:10am

Sure, but then you can just say, "as I said above…" ;)

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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby PH » 28 Mar 2017, 10:16am

Mick F wrote:Instead of going through it again and quoting the relevant bits, you just say "Look here - (post number)"

If you don't want to quote, what's wrong with saying "look here"?
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=113326&start=15#p1113486

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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Bez » 28 Mar 2017, 10:43am

PH wrote:If you don't want to quote, what's wrong with saying "look here"?
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=113326&start=15#p1113486


The most significant issue with that is that it's unclear to most users how to, or even that that you can, do that.

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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby PH » 28 Mar 2017, 11:18am

Bez wrote:
PH wrote:If you don't want to quote, what's wrong with saying "look here"?
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=113326&start=15#p1113486


The most significant issue with that is that it's unclear to most users how to, or even that that you can, do that.


Maybe that's an age thing? I work with a number of people half my age and the assumption is if you can't click on it, it doesn't exist. The suggestion that they might need to go looking would cause them much amusement, but it would never happen.

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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Bez » 28 Mar 2017, 11:32am

PH wrote:Maybe that's an age thing? I work with a number of people half my age and the assumption is if you can't click on it, it doesn't exist. The suggestion that they might need to go looking would cause them much amusement, but it would never happen.


No, it's a general user thing*. The provision to do what you're suggesting has very poor discoverability, especially on touchscreens, and poor interaction once you do discover it.

* Other than that younger users may be more habituated by touch interfaces; and rather less by older interfaces relying on pointers and, very often, some domain expertise on the part of the user. (Both of which apply to the current interface here.)

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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby simonhill » 28 Mar 2017, 12:47pm

I was happy to end this thread, but I think TangledMetal (TM) is rather overstating the possible outcome.

The only other forum I use is the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree. They have numbers and quotes. The numbers are just sequential and have no links. Neither are used very often as people seem to be able to keep a thread going without constant quoting or reference back. I personally think this forum uses quotes far too much, particularly unedited ones.

I effectively use the refer back system now, I just say re xxx's comments above. It is usually only one or two posts up. TM paints the worst case scenario of having to scroll back pages. I don't do this and I don't see it done on the LP site.

I also make a reference to what I am talking about. This is the way I was taught to construct an arguement. I would say that it is the quote system that is the sloppy approach, although I do accept it is probably easier to follow.

Funnily enough in a recent post TM wrote "Late to thread but on the first page a poster agreeing with the thread starter made a comment about ........."

Regardless of all this, my problem is that I often can't do all the fancy quoting, hyperlinks, etc. I spend most of the winter touring in far flung lands. Internet connections, if available, are often slow. At the moment I am in Sri Lanka where you usually have to access the wifi in the mosquito infested hotel reception area. Pages take many seconds to load (often made worse by the interminable quotes and re-quotes), but once loaded I can easily scroll up and down that page. If I open another link, its another wait and I risk being timed out.

OK these are my problems, I am a touring cyclist trying to keep in touch the best way possible. So far no one has complained when I say xxx said so and so above. All I thought was it was a bit more precise to say xxx said this at post n above.

As I said I am happy to drop the request, I will carry on as before, people can choose to ignore my posts, but I object to the insinuation that I do this as the lazy option.
Last edited by simonhill on 28 Mar 2017, 1:20pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Bez » 28 Mar 2017, 1:11pm

simonhill wrote:I also make a reference to what I am talking about. This is the way I was taught to construct an arguement. I would say that it is the quote system that is the sloppy approach, although I do accept it is probably easier to follow.


I come at this from a usability viewpoint, where the goal is to make life as pleasant as possible for the user. In this context, whatever the means by which it's achieved, "easier to follow" is the key criterion ;)

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Re: Can We Have The Posts Within a Thread Numbered, Please

Postby Tangled Metal » 28 Mar 2017, 3:06pm

simonhill wrote:I was happy to end this thread, but I think TangledMetal (TM) is rather overstating the possible outcome.
....
As I said I am happy to drop the request, I will carry on as before, people can choose to ignore my posts, but I object to the insinuation that I do this as the lazy option.


It's my opinion and experience from a lot of sites with numbered posts. If giving your opinions is overstating something then I'll continue overstating things.

With some threads, especially current affairs/political threads, the post count can increase quickly. If you do get someone replying to a numbered thread without quoting you could end up having to go back a page quite easily. Add in the potential for the referenced post referencing another you lose interest quite easily.

BTW this reply was done on a smartphone using Swype, a fast way to type on a phone. It took me a lot longer to type this reply than quote the two bits of your thread, even with the editing out of bits that I wasn't interested in replying to.

One more point. A small screen like a phone i enlarge to show just the posts. On most forums I've seen numbers on they put them outside of this enlarged window. A minor thing but it really adds up to make the user experience a pain IMHO. YMMV of course.

Perhaps start a poll with a few different solutions for referencing previous posts. I wonder how many find the current site a problem for this.