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Going Back to Our Old Comment System


We’re going back to our old comment management system. The new system worked well for me when I tested it, but it caused problems for a significant number of you, so we won’t be using that system. Things should be back to the way they were before we made the switch. If you have any difficulties, please use the Contact page to let us know.

Sorry for the confusion.

Note: We’ve had a Reply button next each comment for a long time. At least I see one in IE8. If you reply to a comment, it is not indented under that comment, but it does appear under that comment and not at the end of the comment list.

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. 1. Positions 2 comments not displaying . . . Please try them now. The length of your comments is straining our current server/software combination. I have a fix in place now, and we are looking into other ways to improve the discussion experience.

    2. Reply feature. . . It seems that some like this feature, and some do not. I think the way to address this is to provide better comment navigation and a clearer visual indication of what is a comment and what is a reply. We are looking into solutions to these challenges.

    3. Where to report a problem . . . To contact us for any reason, please click the Contact button in the navigation menu (top right).

  2. same here, no acces for the last 3 of 2nd Positions.
    It was the same yesterday morning (now is Wendesday at 6 am in Japan) and became accessible around eight.

  3. I don’t know where else to report this but I’m unable to access the latest 2nd POSITION posts.

  4. I like the ‘reply’ option, as it’s easier to read a post in context of what it’s responding to, if it’s responding in particular to something that somebody has said.

    Your day is my day, Gabi… you’re about one hour behind my time zone. You’re approximately in Sandra’s time zone, I think. Many of us are probably in different time zones, especially if we include readers as well as posters. Billie Wilson is in a different time zone to Paul MacNeil.

  5. I find it hard to get through the mix of dates and comments.
    If someone does not make it into the list of the last 15 posts, I am not able to even know something has been posted.
    (Since your day is my night, I usually wake up to a long list of new comments …)

    And just checking on the last one of a post will not let me know what has been added in the meantime somewhiere earlier.

    I agree with Chris
    “I much preferred the posts to appear in the order they were posted.”

  6. I much preferred the posts to appear in the order they were posted. And for the “Comments on Posts” sidebar to also list them in the order they were posted (in some cases the posts aren’t listed there at all). That way I can keep track of what I’ve read. As it is now I’m missing a lot of posts altogether.

  7. I see that posts are still appearing out of place and out of time. A June 4 post by Peter, and a June 5 post by Lorin appear after a June 6 post by Mark Harris in Position 1.

    1. Perhaps the two posts you cite were replies. Replies go under the post to which they are replying, not in date sequence.

      For example, my June 6 post above (I’m pretty sure”) comes before Lorin’s June 5 post (“Just releived”) because it is a reply to Chri’s June 5 post (“No problem”).

      I must say that our current theme does not indent replies, which can make them harder to spot. But some might wantg to use replies anyway.

      In any case, the old system is indeed back in place, and we are still looking into ways to improve our discussions.

  8. Just relieved that I can access comments other than the first page again. IE belongs to you-know-who. I use Firefox.

  9. No problem. And thanks for the reply tip-off – I hadn’t noticed that before!

    I’ve just thought of one other feature which would be nice: at the moment if you scroll down on the THF homepage it lists the 5 most recent comments. However, if I click on one of the comments it just takes me to the first page of the topic it was posted under, rather than the relevant page, or the specific comment.

    I’m not sure if that’s just a peculiarity which occurs with firefox, but if that’s how it’s actually meant to work then I’d definitely see it as a big plus if it took you straight to the appropriate page / comment.

    Just thought I’d give you a bit more feedback as it happened to occur to me.

    But anyway, thanks again. It’s good to know you’re looking into other options.

    1. I’m pretty sure that the links to specific comments, which appear in a Recent Comments section on the home page and in the right sidebar of the blog, have always worked intermittently.

      We are looking into ways to make a feature like that work consistently.

  10. Will you be trying any other systems instead? Despite the problems with the system just tried (which were obviously not manageable) I do think a better comment system would be a major advantage. Even if there was simply the option to jump to specific comment page numbers that would be a useful advancement. If it was also possible to have reply threads then so much the better, but perhaps that’s not going to work out.

    I feel that an improved comment system would help facilitate meaningful discussion here quite a bit. Comments are easily lost, and with no simple way to track down the comments of a specific writer (perhaps that’s something which could be implemented through another system too) it can also be an offputtingly difficult job trying to keep track of simultaneous discussions.

    One other useful feature would be the option of having the comments listed from either oldest to newest, or newest to oldest. Whilst it may be good to encourage people to read through older posts, it would perhaps be useful if there was at least the option to invert the comment order.

    There are probably other things worth discussing, but they’re not coming to me right now.

    Just in case this comes of as a somewhat frustrated message, it isn’t intended as such. The standard system works, but it just seems to be somewhat lacking, and it may inhibit the degree to which very fruitful discussion may occur here.

    I think it’s great that you’ve tried to implement a new system, and just because this one hasn’t worked out I hope it won’t put you off trying other options. There’s a lot to be gained from a good comment system, so I really hope this won’t be the end of your efforts.

    I appreciate what you’re doing here, and I know that this is voluntary work. So I’d like to register my gratitude for the work you do irrespective of whether or not another alternative is looked into. Many thanks.



    1. Thanks for your suggestions, Chris. Yes, we are looking into other ways to improve the discussion experience.

      As for the Reply feature,specifically. . . We’ve had a Reply button next each comment for a long time. At least I see one one in IE8. If you reply to a comment, it is not indented under that comment, but it does appear under that comment. You might want to try it.

  11. On behalf of limpflash, clamfish, spookflesh, lumpfish and my entire School, I wish to express my gratitude for your work and patience, Dave.


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