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So if forum browsing apps reveal some text from the first post...

Hoolio

Active member
#1
... Why dont we do that in thread list view for the web...?

Just wondering...

Do some forum layouts do this?

Perhaps a drop down (ajax?) display of the first few lines of the starting post on 'rollover' might be a good idea?

Or does revealing elements of the first post somehow remove the 'mystery'? (dissuading visitors to click..?)

Discuss (please)
 

Jeremy

Well-known member
#3
I believe he's talking about via mobile web, which, currently isn't supported (hover events never activate).
 

Jeremy

Well-known member
#5
I missed that... I'm on your side... The "apps" comment through me off, but yeah, I think he's talking mobile web, which XF doesn't do.
 

Hoolio

Active member
#6
OK yes, my bad. Of course smart phones and tablets dont have rollover functionality, so a poorly written question. But it is that lack of functionality that drives this question!

1) I bearly notice the pop up text sample on rollover on my own (10 year old) VB board! (and it just takes 1 second to
reveal itself) The pop up text sample on Xenforo takes about 2 seconds which is possibly why I haven't noticed it
before now. Is there a setting somewhere to speed it up? I have 2 Xenforo forums being prepped on dev servers -
is the pop up speed governed by server speed?

2) Back to the original question - is there a simple way to reveal a text preview of the starting post just on mobile web? It seems to be an attractive feature of mobile web forum apps.. So how do we grab the first few lines of a post? Can you give us some code clues please? Thanks...
 
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Hoolio

Active member
#8
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Thread title) How to catch a fish?
(preview text) First I used a fishing rod but later I moved over to using a machine gun and then finally dyna.....
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I imagine it would be a database query per thread list page

Fetch (say 30) thread titles - display on one page
Fetch first few lines from each thread - display below each of the 30 thread titles on that one page
(repeat automatically each time additional thread list pages are accessed)

Create a rule to only do this on iPad and Smart Phones.
 

Jeremy

Well-known member
#9
Just note that it'll cause degradation in performance if you were to implement something like this, since you are making a bunch of separate AJAX requests to a URL such as this:
Code:
http://xenforo.com/community/threads/so-if-forum-browsing-apps-reveal-some-text-from-the-first-post.51566/preview?_xfRequestUri=%2Fcommunity%2Fforums%2Fgeneral-xenforo-discussion-and-feedback.45%2F&_xfNoRedirect=1&_xfToken=[removed]&_xfResponseType=json
This returns a template code, which can be used to extract the first few lines and inject them to the main page. I feel your best bet would be to create a "Preview" link that would fire off the AJAX to avoid performance degradation, but have the same functionality available.

Or, more complicated, you could write a complete add-on that would have your own action (/previews/#forumId/?page=2, etc) and return a strictly JSON view and insert them all at once. This would be a single AJAX request per page (or if you inject it into the controller -- but it'd happen for every call) and reduce both HTTP requests and retain most of the performance. On the contrary, bandwidth could increase slightly.
 

Jeremy

Well-known member
#11
@Hoolio, I personally find the feature somewhat useless at times (most of the time) except when I'm looking through a long list of threads for something specific and they have misleading titles.
 

Hoolio

Active member
#12
@Hoolio, I personally find the feature somewhat useless at times (most of the time) except when I'm looking through a long list of threads for something specific and they have misleading titles.
Sure, I can get that.

I am trying to ease over community members fond of accessing an established, busy forum via a forum browsing app - to a responsive design, so 3 potential different looks for the web, tablets and smartphones.

We tried going totally app like with our mobile design but it had a stark 1960's East German / Russian utilitarian vibe that turned out way too basic and depressing! We are now probably going too far the other way - packing in too much info in too small a space.

Somewhere in the middle will be good! We almost certainly cant keep everyone happy!

While you are here - I am conflicted about the following navigation links on the mobile views of the thread list pages

The existing platform (VB) has a down arrow to take you to first unread post
The existing platform also has a sideways pointing arrow to take you to the last post
The date & Time of the last post is also 'clickable' but its not really made clear

What to do on a phone handset when there isn't much room?

Thinking out loud, is the following OK for a mobile / smart phone thread view?

*Thread title links to post 1
*last post date & time (possibly with arrow added next to it) links to the first unread post.
*Pagination number display for long threads

Surely that provides enough navigation points within the thread?

In addition to the above I am OK with also providing:
*Date & time of last post - (the community is used to this and will need it)
*Member name of thread creator - (the community is used to this and will need it)
*Reply count - (the community is used to this and will need it)
*Thread status icons, locked, moved etc, moderation check box
No Avatar - (I don't like the idea of an avatar for the original poster + the community is not used to it)

Thats already 7 navigation links - its a lot to jam into a mobile width tile - I was thinking of showing 3 or 4 threads per screen on iPhone 4 (expanding to possibly 5 on iphone 5)

I am also thinking of adding a 'drag screen to refresh' / see new last post functionality - that could be good for fast paced threads..?

Refreshing a long thread on a mobile device is an issue - it could become dull scrolling back to the top to do it.. If the drag down idea cant be done I may have to provide a "refresh" and see if anything is new button..

Any thoughts gratefully received.. chime in,..
 
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Jeremy

Well-known member
#13
Drag Screen to Refresh will be an interesting bit of hackery on your part and I'd love to see how that works out.

There is an obvious difference from vBulletin in how thread links function:
  • XenForo has a blue dot that will show and take you to unread posts, this is just an image and can easily be changed.
  • Thread post date is clickable and links to the first post of the thread. I can't remember what it did on vBulletin (if it linked).
  • The thread title will take you to one of two places:
    1. First unread post (if its unread)
    2. First post of the thread (if its read)
Personally, I think this is intuitive and I feel your members should/would get used to this quickly. If you feel the need to change it, I'm sure it can't be too difficult with a few template edits.

The current responsive design in 1.2 already displays 4/6 of the items in your second list
  • Date & Time of last post
  • Reply Count
  • Thread creator & post date
  • Thread status (moved, locked, etc.)
Only XenForo staff can comment on if it has the moderation (I can only assume it does. @Brogan?). While it displays the avatar and doesn't have pagination, those both should be easy template edits to place back in. It also displays the thread prefix.

The default Mobile Style (responsive, test on here) displays roughly 7 threads in the iPhone 5 viewport. The only thing I feel its missing is the name of the last poster, but I think I'll get used to it not being there.