Add-on Viewers


Well-known member
This free add-on keeps track and displays where members are viewing a forum on: forum home, in categories, pages, forums, and threads. On forum home, you may choose to display the members avatar, username, or just the grand total of viewers (clicking the total will open an overlay that displays the members viewing that section of your forum). The data is displayed in a footer within each category, or under each section that does not have a parent category.

For categories, pages, forums, and threads a new row is inserted under the content that displays the viewing members avatar, username, or just the grand total. You may also choose to display members viewing these areas in a widget instead.

What this does: if, for example on forum home you have a setup like this:

no threads yet, just an empty forum​
Small dogs​
Thread 1​
Joey is viewing this thread​
Thread 2​
Martin is viewing this thread​
Large dogs​
Anna is in this sub forum​
Thread Three​
On forum home, you will see in the footer of Pets that Joey, Martin, and Anna are viewing somewhere within this category. If you enter Cats, no one will be listed as viewing that section. If you go to Dogs, you will see Joey, Martin, and Anna are viewing that sub-forum. If you enter Small dogs you will now just see Joey, and Martin are viewing that sub forum. And so on.

Only those with the permission can view who is viewing a category, page, threads, etc.

The add-on respects user privacy settings and this can be over-ridden by those that have the bypass privacy permission.

Write Queries:
Guests will not generate any queries unless they are given the permission to view who is viewing.
Members will generate one write query whenever they move within a forum. This query is to a memory table.

Read Queries:
Members will generate one read query to retrieve the list of members viewing. If you elect to use a widget, 2 read queries are needed (the additional one is to retrieve the list of sibling and child nodes)

Forum home will always generate one query to retrieve the totals, and one additional one if username or avatar is selected to be displayed.

About Forum Home:

Forum home will generate the largest read query as it is the home to all nodes, sub-nodes. If your forum uses a large number of nodes you may want to set forum home to display totals only.

Forum home also comes with the option to use a simpler query for retrieving the list of members viewing each section. This is recommended. See the description in the options screen shot for more information about it.

A new widget position is added by the add-on for the page nodes. And the footer/viewing members lists can be styled via style properties.

Screen Shots:

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Well-known member
More about Forum Home:

When viewing forum home, members retrieved are based on the setting multiplied by the number of categories the totals query returned with viewers. Example, you set the option to retrieve six members per category: if you have 8 categories on forum home, and the total query returned only five of the categories as having viewers, the add-on for forum home will return 6 * 5 viewers for a total of 30 viewers sorted by activity date. This should help to ensure all categories that have viewers are represented. But this may not always be the case, if for example one category has 15 of the viewers, there are going to be unseen members.

Members unseen is already implemented in the listener for forum home, and is exposed to the template. I have not added this to the template as of yet as i'm not sure if it is really needed or not as I can't see this being a problem for normal sized forums. If it does become an issue, it will just take me a template edit to post a link for unseen viewers that open in an overlay,and release it as a point release. And also, you can just use total only, which will always be accurate.

Forum Home and Private Nodes:

If a member is viewing a staff visible only forum, forum home will display that member as viewing the category (forum home only). If a member that can not view that private forum enters the category, they will no longer see that staff member viewing in that category. If you select the option to not use the simpler query, the staff member will no longer show under the category for forum home, however; it generates a much larger query depending on the number of nodes you have. This should not be a concern for medium to smaller sized forums (that's why the option was added) for forum home. You can always use total only if it does concern you.
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