I am pretty happy with discourse at the moment. Is very good software and it shows.
The one feature I have problem with, is going to the last unread post. Thats basically 90% of what I do when reading forums, and I don’t know how to do it in discourse.
Because I am a big idiot, what I do is to click on the thread name, then fight with the thing to scroll to the bottom, then read the post going back in time to the last post I have not read, then go forward in time reading. Is about the most complicate and awkward way possible. No less because going to the last post in a phone is hard.
There has to be a better way to do it, I have missed.
Unrelated, but I love so much the feature that shows how much time since the last guy have posted, that I would legally marry it. Every time I see “3 months later”, I always laught.
Yeah, if WEB CODEZ allowed it, even something like “Fade on Timer X” where Timer X doesn’t start until the tab gains focus would be a more ideal implementation than what it currently does (or I assume it does).
If you want to enter at the bottom, click or tap on the post count, not the title.
All those areas are tappable, and lead to logical destinations, if you think about it for a second. (You can even tap on @Jason_McMaster though I don’t recommend it.) Post count is more abstract, but you’ll see what it does when you tap it.
It is easier on desktop/laptop/tablet, but yes, on mobile you need to expand the topic timeline then tap on the date at the bottom of the timeline, like so:
So… search gets an A+ for locating the only post on the forum that has a unique and obscure string in it. Good work.
But let’s try out some use cases of things I might actually search for in the real world. Say, I just finished a game and want to post my thoughts about it:
It surfaced the right thread just fine, but please explain under what conceivable logic the appropriate arrival point in that thread should be the undistinguished post #42/225, which contains none of my search terms?
Why is it at all surprising that this feels random, @wumpus?
I’ll give this use case a B-. It gets me most of the way to the right place, but requires a pointless extra step to get to the bottom to start replying, following a moment of “why am I here?” disorientation.
I think the disconnect is that my thought process when searching is almost always “Where was the thread about ______ ?” rather than “Where was the post that contained ‘__________’ ?” I naturally want to land at my own personal last-read position in that thread, just as if I had clicked it from one of the other navigation methods.
The obvious fix to me would be to decouple the thread title from the text snippet preview in terms of links. If you want the current functionality, click on the text snippet and go straight to that post. If you want to go to your last-read position, click on the thread title.
And as long as we’re talking about the search function’s deficiencies, it’s got a severe recency bias that makes it all-but-useless for locating older threads. There’s a valid argument for a moderate preference for more recent results, but not to anywhere near the extent that it’s done here.
Two issues there. First is that the preview text snippet for some reason highlights spurious partial matches like ‘looking’ rather than the verbatim match of the entire search term elsewhere in the same post. More importantly, we have a 500+ post thread chock-full of juicy, detailed discussion, dedicated to that game, but Discourse thinks I want random drive-by mentions in unrelated threads, just because they happen to be more recent?! F-!
Compare with Google, which surfaces no less than 8 dedicated threads before getting to the first match that’s just a mention in a thread on another topic:
That is indeed odd, I can’t explain why post #42 would be the target for a search on “Nier Automata” without the quotes. I’ve definitely never been in that topic, and since we both got shunted there… I dunno, let me look into that one.
In general I do not agree that every search is de-facto searching for a topic title, though topic title matches should get a pretty hard bump in the search results. We could debate how strong that effect should be.
However, I do agree that we should have a “scope to just the topic title” advanced search option; this is as close as I can get right now:
Yeah, I wouldn’t want to completely take away the ability to pinpoint the most recent usage of a specific phrase, it’s just the opposite of what I tend to use search for, so I find it being the assumed goal of search annoying.
Agreed. But even without the title or scoping to the first post, there’s something to be said for volume and concentration of search matches as a heuristic when trying to find the thread about a particular topic rather than just a random mention.