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View Poll Results: Would you like `Quick Reply' to reside inside a "fake post"?
Yes 2 28.57%
No 5 71.43%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-28-2006, 10:56 AM   #1
jonaskoelker
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Denmark
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian
Posts: 1,524

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Quick reply "inside thread" (as editing)


When you edit one of your posts, the <textarea> is placed where your post was. I'm thinking that it would be nice to have quick reply work the same way--that is, have a `dangling' post widgetry with a <textarea> instead of a post, which would then turn into a post if you hit quick reply.

The only negative aspect of my idea I can think of is that people will have to adjust to the change. The only positive aspect of it I can think of is that it will make the site more unicorn^Wuniform and "integrated". Yeah, I'm being a bit fuzzy here. Deal.

So, what do you all think? Cast your votes.
 
Old 06-28-2006, 12:36 PM   #2
taylor_venable
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Indiana, USA
Distribution: OpenBSD, Ubuntu
Posts: 892

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I think it's a decent idea, but I can conceive of one problem / difficulty with it: multiple people responding via the Quick Reply at the same time. Now the Quick Reply works by reloading the page and showing your post at the bottom; if somebody else happened to make a reply whilst you were typing, it's no problem. But if you put it inside a blank "post" at the end, ala editing an existing post, you wouldn't see the other guy's reply. Of course, appearance doesn't have to follow functionality, so the posts would actually be entered in the correct order server-side, but you would have to manually reload the page after making your Quick Reply to see other replies in the proper order. In much fewer words, there's a chance that the display would be inconsistent with the true structure of the thread, if I understand you correctly.

I also agree that it would make things look more uniform, but creating a new post isn't really analogous to editing an existing one. With editing, you've already said something, and your place in the thread has been set. But when composing a new reply, you could at your option sit there and type for an hour and then not hit the "Post" button; no post at all, no evidence even that you were ever there. I guess this kind of goes with the problem above, that editing and creating are not the same thing.

So I'm torn in deciding whether this is a good idea or not. The interface would look better aesthetically, in my opinion. But in the process of improving the look it may confuse the functionality somewhat. Cheers on coming up with such an idea, though.
 
Old 06-28-2006, 01:23 PM   #3
jonaskoelker
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Denmark
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian
Posts: 1,524

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor_venable
Cheers on coming up with such an idea.
Thanks

Quote:
Creating a new post isn't really analogous to editing an existing one. With editing, you've already said something, and your place in the thread has been set.
When submitting a new post, your place in the thread is set: it's going to be at the bottom

Your point about race conditions is valid, but I think it needs clarification: as the system is now, if two people submit a new post, it might just happen that yours get stored, then you refetch the thread, then the other guy's post gets stored, then he refetches the thread (and sees your post). With my suggestion, the other guy would see his post and not mine, so later my post would be kinda' shoehorned in between his post and the previous last post.

However, a similar problem exists with editing: say you and I edit our posts at the same time. I'm only going to see my updated version (not yours) and you'll only see your updated version (not mine). So if consistency is important, that should be fixed, and if not, consistency is not a valid argument against my suggestion.

I think the optimal solution would be this: always refresh. Then, convince browser makers to implement an optimization which doesn't rerender the page if it doesn't have to--in that way, if there has been no updates the user experience is unchanged (WRT editing), and if there has been an update the page gets refreshed (as it should). Even better: convince browser makers to implement "incremential rerendering"--changing the page to reflect the new contents instead of starting from square zero (or square one if $[ == 1)

Quote:
When composing a new reply, you could at your option sit there and type for an hour and then not hit the "Post" button; no post at all, no evidence even that you were ever there.
Yes? If you don't post, there should be no updates to the page unless you reload. Unless we want to address one of the more fundamental problems of web applications--which is that some applications want interactive I/O, but the request-response is essential batch processing-style I/O--I don't see how this affects my suggestion.

Anyways, thanks for your input.

Last edited by jonaskoelker; 06-28-2006 at 01:24 PM.
 
Old 06-28-2006, 02:13 PM   #4
jeremy
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Registered: Jun 2000
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
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Thanks for the feedback. We mostly already do this. If you notice, the page does not reload when you post via the quick reply box. Your reply is just added to the end of the thread using AJAX. A check is also done to see if there are any new posts and add them if there are. The only difference I can see if that you'd like the QRB to actually look like the last post, but I think that would add to confusion with no real benefit.

--jeremy
 
  


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