Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

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mevans
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Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby mevans » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:41 am

The switch to the new phpBB forums has made it difficult for me to figure out what's unread.

There was a thread about the topic post icons where we discussed that the new icons are very difficult to interpret visually in some places what the status is.

Then I also find that hovering over a forum title there's a little tooltip that will indicate "No unread posts" or "Unread posts". However, this doesn't appear to work correctly, either. Sometimes it will say "Unread posts" but I can't find anything I haven't read in a forum. I don't know if this is because the icons are so difficult to discern or if the status just doesn't work correctly.

I really wish we could have some improvement on being able to distinguish what's read and what's not. It worked really well on the old forum.

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aebrown
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Re: Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby aebrown » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:43 am

Personally, I just use the view unread posts link to see what's unread. I don't rely on icons or tooltips visible only when you hover. I do agree that those feedback mechanisms are subtle and not completely reliable.

That unread posts link is only available on the Board index page, but I've bookmarked it to make it easy to access.

mevans
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Re: Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby mevans » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:14 pm

Too bad there isn't an unread posts link for each forum. I'd like that. The volume of posts is high...I spend most of my time on the lds.org forums and don't always have time to keep up with those.

I haven't been into RSS feeds lately, but there appear to be RSS feeds at a more granular level. Maybe I'll investigate those and see how well they work. My previous experience with RSS (in general, not on this forum) is that it usually worked for alerting me to new posts, but sometimes it malfunctioned.

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:08 am

I'm also not totally comfortable with the phpBB switch (yet), but it's slowly getting better.

mevans wrote:Too bad there isn't an unread posts link for each forum.

I too use the View unread posts link suggested by Bro. Brown, but if the list is excessively long, instead of opening an unread post (usually in a new tab), I will open the forum of that post in a new tab. Once there, the little icons will reveal all the other topics (if any) in that particular forum containing unread posts. I open any of those topics that interest me, click the "Mark topics read" button and close that tab. The only other thing I do is occasionally refresh the main View unread posts page to shrink it down to those still left to look at.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

mevans
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Re: Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby mevans » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:36 am

Mikerowaved wrote:Once there, the little icons will reveal all the other topics (if any) in that particular forum containing unread posts.


I find that the "unread posts" icons are difficult to see (see the post I referenced in my original message) or are inaccurate in a forum. The forum will say there are unread posts, but when I open the forum, I can't find any.

Maybe I'll give the view unread posts view a try and see what it does (after marking everything read).

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:46 pm

There are a couple of settings you might want to check in your User CP. I think these might be the defaults, but I've tweaked them a few times so I'm not sure.

User Control Panel --> Board preferences --> Edit display options

Display topics from previous days: All Topics
Display topics ordering by: Post time
Display topic order direction: Descending

Display posts from previous days: All Posts
Display posts ordering by: Post time
Display post order direction: Ascending

Now, following the steps outlined in my previous post to open a forum with unread topics, look for the following little icon just to the left of the topic title.

Image - Go to first unread post in the topic

That's the visual I use. It's not color dependent, like the circle icon. It will only be present on topics with one or more unread posts, and those topics should always be near the top of the list (following any stickies) making them easy to spot.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

mevans
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Re: Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby mevans » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:46 pm

Thanks, Mikerowaved! I've never noticed that little icon you mentioned. Now that you told me about it, I see it. That's going to be real helpful :)

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Re: Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby mevans » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:22 pm

Thanks again, Mikerowaved! In the few days since I've been enlightened about that icon, things are going much better. I'm no longer trying to decipher the other strange icons.

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Mikerowaved
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Re: Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby Mikerowaved » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:14 pm

You're certainly welcome. I also don't find those circular symbols very intuitive. Oh well, I guess we'll all just struggle together while trying to get comfortable with the new phpBB format. :)
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

mevans
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Re: Problems knowing what's read with the switch to phpBB

Postby mevans » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:29 pm

I think I may have come across a problem relating to this issue. It's probably a phpBB bug. It looks like if a moderator moves or merges a post to another forum that the original forum still shows that there are unread posts in the forum until I either read the post in its new location or mark everything in the forum read.

jdlessley recently moved a post from the Calendar forum to iPhone/iPad LDS Tools forum. When I view the LDS.org Website forum, I saw that I had unread posts in the Calendar (denoted by the few red pixels and hovering over the forum name and getting a tooltip telling me I have unread posts in the forum).

Well, I couldn't find anything unread in the forum by looking for the little unread icon we've been discussing in this thread. So, I went back to the LDS.org Website forum and clicked on the last post. The last post it showed was the one that was moved. Once I clicked on the last post and went back to the LDS.org Website forum, it no longer showed that I have unread posts.
calendar.png
(7.83 KiB) Downloaded 1172 times

Note: you don't see the few red pixels in this screenshot because I took this picture after I'd navigated to the latest post and it no longer thinks there are any unread posts.

I think in this case I was lucky because it was the last post and still showed that it used to be in the Calendar forum. Otherwise, it would have been much more difficult to track down.

So there's my theory for the day. :)


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