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Functionality Changes Released Monday, Jan 28

  • mudaba Jan 28, 2013 03:07 PM

We released four changes to the way discussions work today that I wanted to describe to you here. These are not huge changes, but they may be slightly confusing initially for users, especially those of you who are used to the way "already read" has worked historically.

1. As a logged-in user, when you've read an entire discussion, that discussion will now be in a fully collapsed state. In the past, it was in a fully expanded state. We have changed this in order to make it clear that collapse works to help distinguish what you've read. You can expand a fully collapsed discussion by clicking on the + button at the top of the page.

2. We have added a new feature that allows users to hide nested replies if they choose to. You can do this by clicking the > next to the number of replies at the top of the discussion. Logged-in users will have "show all nested replies" as their default. If you would like to have a "hide nested replies" as your default view, you can set that yourself in your profile. Go to Profile, then click Settings, then click Chowhound. On that tab, you will have a choice about your "Default View."

3. When you reply to the original post on a discussion, your reply will now show up to you at the top of the page. If you view the page again, it will appear in chronological order with the other replies. This is only for replies to the original poster.

4. We have moved the login to a stand-alone page which is secured. This is as added security measure to protect user e-mail addresses and passwords.

Thanks for your continued feedback, and for being loyal users of Chowhound,

Meredith

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  1. Feature 1 seems to work. Now if you would just replace "+" with "-" after expanding, so that I can collapse it manually, I'll be happy with that aspect of the implementation.

    1. PROBLEM:

      An issue seems to have cropped up. In two separate threads, I've wanted to expand *just* the comment to which someone was replying, and it won't expand. You used to be able to click on the first line showing in the nested reply, and it would expand.

      For instance, for *this* particular post where mariacarmen is responding to something I had written earlier (and was now collapsed....

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8879...

      I clicked on the text in my reply - and nothing happens. NONE of the collapsed *individual* comments will expand. I don't want to expand the entire thread. I just want to expand one or two on an as-needed basis. I hit refresh, and all posts are now collapsed. And *nothing* will open up. That makes no sense.

      19 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        Linda- I just noticed that too. I thought there was something wrong and kept trying to refresh, etc. Agree that does not make sense at all!!!

        1. re: foodieX2

          And it JUST seemed to happen - no problem when I was at work an hour earlier. When I tried to log on this evening at home, there were problems. I'm assuming they were firing up the new log-on screen and the entire site was "on hold" while they added the changes.

          But mudaba, this is a *really* serious issue to not be able to expand an individual comment. In threads that get to 200 to 400 posts long, I most certainly would never expand the entire thread to read just ONE post. It would be impossible to find in such a long thread.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            Hi LindaWhit,

            I just saw this. It seems to happen when there is a #first_unread in the URL. We're looking into it.

            1. re: meshane

              Yup, that's showing for your post (I clicked at the # showing for the # of posts in the thread, and that's in the URL).

              Thanks so much for checking it out.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                For now, I recommend clicking on the thread title from a category page instead of number of replies or last replies column. We'll get a fix out as soon as we can. Sorry for the inconvenience.

                1. re: meshane

                  Sounds good. That's the way I *used* to access the threads and then hit the PgDn button to quickly scan through to find new comments.

                  Much appreciated for the quick responses, meshane.

        2. re: LindaWhit

          Strange, LindaWhit. I'm not seeing that at all. When I go to a partially read discussion, or a fully read discussion, I can click any of the collapsed posts and they open, just as they always have. Which browser are you on? We can test for exactly what you're experiencing. Thanks,

          Meredith

          1. re: mudaba

            I'm on Chrome, whatever the latest version is.

            AND - something else just happened. I posted a reply to chowser here:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8875...

            And when I hit the button to post...EVERY post above chowser's post expanded on that thread. And same thing just happened in this thread - the entire thread has expanded.

          2. re: LindaWhit

            Expansion of individual posts should now be fixed. Thank you for the quick report, and please let us know if anything else is awry.

            1. re: Engineering

              It wont let me open the individual posts in this thread. I am using safari.

              1. re: Engineering

                Thanks, Engineering - it does seem to be fixed!

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Thanks LindaWhit,

                  We hope to fix the 2nd issue you reported later this week.

                  1. re: meshane

                    Great, thanks.

                2. re: Engineering

                  HOWEVER....are all posts above the one a user posts supposed to then expand when a user hits Save? That continues to happen - the screen bounces around a bit as they're all expanding and then it settles back on the post I left.

                  1. re: Engineering

                    I'm not able to open individual posts either.

                    Firefox/Mac OS

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      After testing more than a dozen threads before posting the bug, 18 minutes later, the next five threads I open work fine for opening individual posts, including this thread.

                      ETA: No, still not working when opening threads for first unread post.

                    2. re: Engineering

                      foodieX2 and Melanie Wong,

                      We just released another update. There is a slight chance that this will fix the issue you're seeing, although I'm a little surprised you are still seeing it at all. We're not able to reproduce it here. It's worth taking another look, and if you are still seeing it, please report back with your OS and browser (I know you've already done this mostly), the full url where you are seeing it, and the steps you take to reproduce it. It sounds Melanie Wong like you're seeing this only when you click on the reply count field for an updated discussion and have "#first_unread" in the url, which is what I was seeing previously? Is that correct?

                      1. re: meshane

                        Seems to be working as intended now, thank you. Yes, it was only a problem for threads with "#first_unread" in the url, and I tried with threads I participated in and those I'd not across a few boards.

                        1. re: meshane

                          Sorry for the delay. Yes it is working now, It seemed to be an issue when I clicked on the new thread option

                    3. Showing my ignorance, but I don't know what a "nested reply" is.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: c oliver

                        I assume they mean an indented reply to a comment posted to someone other than the OP -- like this repy to your comment. And, if someone replies to me, it will indent -- i.e., "nest" -- even further.

                      2. we'll all need to learn how to hit and use faithfully the addition of a # replies button on the side of any individual comment in order to read every reply.

                        For instance, Linda has 4 replies in this thread and before I hit her nested 4 replies I couldn't follow the entire conversation...to understand a) what was going on and b) what had already been said.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: HillJ

                          If you're a logged-in user, you have a choice of viewing discussions in two ways:

                          1) Only show top-level responses to the original post. If you choose this option, you'll need to press the expand button to see the nested responses, as HillJ describes.

                          2) Show all responses. If you choose this option, you'll always see every response displayed. This means that the view you'll have of discussions won't be changed in this release.

                          You can access your settings in Profile > Settings > Chowhound.

                          As mudaba mentions above, all non-logged in users will see View #1. All logged-in users who joined the site before January 28th will have a default of View #2, though they can change it if they'd like.

                          1. re: Dave MP

                            The improvements/new features to My Profile, tab and subtabs, (including a Chowhound subtab to adjust personal preferences) is terrific and the start of a whole new way to read threads I imagine.

                            1. re: Dave MP

                              wondering why would anyone not want to see all nested replies as a first preference? much of the time the response location of thread participants is fairly arbitrary with folks getting activated to jump in to discussions and provide their content at random locations. especially when there is no "reply to original post" option right there. To me, this is a refinement without a real rationale for new users which will reduce what they see when they dont refine their site access. For example, I wouldnot have a clue what was happening unless I read this thread.. So maybe we should be keeping it simple and have the open all the default setting for everyone.

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                Here's a further complication: This post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8883... shows <16 replies in the lower right corner. I can toggle to show no replies or 8 replies currently. Where do I find the full 16? Or should I only be counting the 2 replies that are in direct response to that post? If that's the case, why state that there are 16?

                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  I'm seeing 16 replies nested under that post- nine in the branch that starts with Ipsedixit, and seven in the branch that starts with violatp. Are you seeing something different on your end?

                                  1. re: Engineering

                                    The branch that starts with ipsedixit was missing, all but this one from greygarious. Since it was in reply to mike2401, I tried clicking on "mike2401" and the cursor shot up to the top of the replies and not to a post by mike2401, which implies that that post had been removed.
                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8883...

                                    Looking at it today, the branch has been restored. But I checked it three times before posting the bug two days ago, and it was not there that I could find.

                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                      Sounds like a bug in the new feature that we fixed yesterday. It shouldn't happen again- sorry for the confusion in the interrim.

                          2. I love #3, thank you!

                            Today I'm not seeing the "reply to original post" link at the bottom of the thread. has that been removed?

                            Thanks.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jujuthomas

                              juju, that's been missing since the larger reformat. Not sure if they're going to have it return, although it makes a LOT of sense. You have to click "To the Top" and *then* reply.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Thanks Linda, I guess that just sank in this morning, LOL.

                            2. The ability to edit in an AOL formatted browser is no longer functioning in this release. Just in case AOL matters to anyone. Once you contribute a comment to a thread refreshing it while on the page or leaving that OP and coming back will not reopen your specific comment to edit it.

                              AOL is not user-friendly but sometimes a quick fall back log in when I'm btwn work screens.

                              The current log in design does not hold your sign in for long,even if you hit remember me (& I thought this was fixed).

                              Otherwise, the release is working like a champ for me in FF, Chrome, Opera and IE.

                              1. Is it just me who is experiencing the "bounce up" affect after posting. I'm not sure how to explain it but once I post the screen scrolls a bit then kind of bounces to a stop at my finished text. Sound accurate? Well it's making me a little sea sick I think. lol

                                16 Replies
                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Yes I'm getting the bouncy bounce with every new post.

                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                    jrvedivici, I had noted that further upthread. I think meshane said it was going to be looked at and fixed.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      My apologies Ms.(rs) Whit in missing that you had already brought this point up. Now with two of us complaining about it maybe they will get to it twice as fast!! (joke)

                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                        :-D I hope so. As someone else said, it gets a little nausea-inducing with the bouncy-bounce. Feel a little like Mudd, the Wonder Dog:

                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU9RSN...

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Ironically I believe it was me that noted that further up thread that it is making me slightly sea sick! :-)

                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                            LOL! Then we're in the same boat, jrve!

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Well move over you two, wouldja? I thought I was alone in this boat. Sadditionaly, not only do I get The Bounce, but when It comes to a rest It stops at the post just Above mine...

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                We're gonna have GREAT fun in our Bouncy House, Gio!

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  http://blog.gobouncy.co.uk/wp-content...

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    There you happy you got sole recognition for being the one who identified the problem like Gio and I don't even exhist. Oh and don't think I didn't notice my lack of an invite to the bouncy house!

                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                      :-P And we're already BOTH in the bouncy house (or on the bouncy boat) - so we're all getting nauseous together, jrved.

                                                      (And I didn't post my original reply to you to get sole recognition - just letting you know that meshane had noted the issue and they were working on it!)

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Ehhhheeeemmmm excuse me Ms.(rs) Whit I'm still bouncing can you please use your powers of persuasion to get this problem fixed!?!?!?!

                                                        If not I'm going to be bringing a very large pin to your bouncy house!

                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                          I gotz nuthin', jrved. Although I could do the :::::Veruca Salt foot stomp::::: if you like.

                                                          And it's Miss. Or Ms, I suppose. But I'm kinda old-fashioned when it comes to stuff like that. :-)

                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                            I just bounced too, Junior. It's too early in the morning for this...

                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                            We hope to release a fix for the issue that LindaWhit pointed out shortly. This will hopefully also resolve the issue you're seeing with bouncy posts. We did have to make some changes to how the page scrolls in certain situations because of hidden posts, so there may be some lingering issues to iron out, but hopefully the coming release gets us pretty close. Let us know otherwise.

                                            1. re: meshane

                                              Still getting bouncy posts.

                                        2. "When you reply to the original post on a discussion, your reply will now show up to you at the top of the page. If you view the page again, it will appear in chronological order with the other replies. "

                                          That's very confusing. I suggest you drop that.

                                          Please get rid of the weird bounce as well.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            If you're counting votes, I'm with Robert. The fact that I can't tell where the system is putting my post makes me reluctant to post anything.

                                            And the whole system is bouncy. At this point, I've accepted it as a feature, but it would be nice if it didn't bounce so much.

                                            1. re: 512window

                                              I agree with the placement issues as well.

                                            2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                              I agree with Robert here. I have two main comments on the way posts are now behaving on the site:

                                              1) I never know what the order of posts are anymore. They keep moving around. It would be much better to have consistency so that posts stay where they are and that they don't get reordered.

                                              2) I don't understand the logic of opening a thread and seeing it in collapsed state. The point of opening the thread is to see the posts -- why do you force users to click another button to get to the default desired behavior? I can maybe see exceptions if a thread has 200 or more posts but in general I don't see why you by default hide what users want to see by clicking the link.

                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                Another +1 to Robert's observation, and agreement with both of calumin's points. The straight chonological placement that was in place before this functionality change was utterly logical and easy to follow. Now I find myself hunting around for new posts in a chain whether I have posted or not. The order is all over the map.

                                              2. If it's a new discussion to me, will it be fully expanded? There are interesting older threads that I'd like to read through but clicking open each response is tedious...

                                                13 Replies
                                                1. re: Violatp

                                                  Violatp, scroll to the top of those old threads, and look for the black Plus sign. Click that, and all posts will expand.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    Awesome, thank you!

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      It's driving me crazy but for the life of me I can't find the black plus sign - where exactly is it???

                                                      1. re: mirage

                                                        Look to the the left side of this page, directly above the first comment. You'll see a black plus sign and the # of posts printed. Hit the plus sign and the entire thread (comments) opens.

                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          Nope, not there. Okay, it must be my computer. I use Firefox, and have Ad Aware installed...

                                                          1. re: mirage

                                                            Figured it out - loong ago I had blocked some obnoxious visuals - apparently that blocked the black plus sign too! Weird. Thank you for your help!

                                                            1. re: mirage

                                                              You should be able to adjust your ad blocks to *not* block the plus sign. Full block will probably get rid of the + sign, but maybe dial it down a bit to allow it to show?

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                I'm not terribly technologically savvy - I'm just happy we were able to figure it out! It's frustrating to not see what everyone else seems to be able to, and not know why that is.

                                                                1. re: mirage

                                                                  glad it worked out for ya, mirage! depending on what browser i'm using the site appears different. plus the wonky glitches that happen from time to time. just adds to the amusement around here!

                                                    2. re: Violatp

                                                      If it's a discussion you've never read, it will load fully expanded. Nested replies may be hidden in that case if you have set your preferences that way. Otherwise it should look pretty much the same as what you're used to.

                                                      1. re: meshane

                                                        as noted above, I dont get the "why" of this default preference. It should be flipped because it really does not reflect the way folks use the site.

                                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                                          I supposed that not viewing nested replies will make it faster to scan down a page on mobile view.

                                                          Yet I have to wonder if new posters have trouble finding the hidden from view reply button and continue to reply to the OP like this one, maybe nested replies will become a thing of the past.

                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8754...

                                                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                            to me its obvious that new posters will not find obscure options like a hidden from view reply button> All of these new options are as inscrutable to a user as they may appear elegant to the designers. I cant see any virtue at all to adding to the complexity of seeing what people are saying when that is what they are coming here for

                                                    3. Have I misunderstood the point of a Remember Me box at log in? Isn't it there so you don't have to keep logging in? That you'll remain signed in for "awhile" if not, what is the Remember Me box for?

                                                      1. Not sure if my problem/bug is related to these changes, but might be so asking here -- and wondering if this is happening to anybody else:

                                                        Occasionally, but not always, when I go to a discussion I've been to before that has new posts since I was last there ALL the replies are collapsed, so that I can't tell which ones are new to me. (Well, I can go through and expand the new-to-me ones, if I remember when I was last on the discussion.) Not the biggest deal in the world, but it's also not how it's supposed to work, so wanted to ask about it.

                                                        I'm on a pc with firefox, most recent version I think.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: mselectra

                                                          That's been happening to me too, for quite a while now. I'm on FF as well. Sometimes all the posts are collapsed and sometimes they're all open. Now that's the real pain.

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            Ditto for me, Gio. And I use Firefox too.

                                                            1. re: soccermom13

                                                              Same thing is happening to me - I just went to a thread I'd been following with several new posts but found all collapsed. Had to open all of them and then work out which ones were new to me. Unlike the folks above, I'm using Chrome.

                                                        2. One issue I have come across is when I need to log back in the log in link does not always appear. It may reappear if I refresh the page but only some times. Very weird.