## No asterisks, please

When a topic gets very lengthy, it can be difficult to find those items which are new. One solution is to click on the message in the chronological view, read that particular entry (only), hit the back button, chose the next, etc.

The first problem with this approach is that if I close my browser (perhaps accidentally) after reading the first item, I will lose the stars for all the rest of the unread items in the same topic, because they all show in the same page as far as the browser is concerned.

The second problem is that it requires me to constantly reload the page unnecessarily, wasting time and bandwidth.

There is a second solution, which is to search for asterisks in the text. This will quite handily find all the unread items on the page. Unfortunately, asterisks also appear in code, and *some* people *use* them for emphasis, instead of using the <em> tag. Ideally perhaps, we should just use a more distinctive search marker. In the meantime, it would be helpful if people would avoid using asterisks unnecessarily.

Thanks.

## Comment viewing options

### Changing the marker is easy - suggestions?

Some other themes use the text "new", also highlighted in red or similar, to indicate new messages. That could also suffer from ambiguity when searching, though (think Java, C++... ;)

I suppose we could use some less common string like (new!) Any suggestions?

### Right

I was thinking about the same thing. The "types" thread contains too many * symbols...

Multiple indirection isn't so common, so maybe *** would work ;-)

### Yup

*** works for me...

### Done

Done. Now could everyone please refrain from including portions of the output of the Unlambda program rci.*ci` in their posts (see here for explanation).

### Thanks

Now that's quick service...

### Another solution

One solution is to click on the message in the chronological view, read that particular entry (only), hit the back button, chose the next, etc.

Do you mean that the behavior should be changed so that clicking on a message brings you to a page which shows only that entry? Like with the old weblog? Having that option would be nice, since I find the indentation of deeply nested messages iksome.

A slightly more general solution is would be that, if you click a message, you see the message and all its descendants, so, the sub-thread.

UI-wise, on the Recent Posts page, you could implement these three options as follows. Show the message title, and a down-arrow (a small graphic maybe) and some other symbol after it. Click on the message title and you see the message in context (current behavior). Click on the down-arrow and you see the sub-thread. Click on the other symbol and you see the message alone on its own page. Something like that.

Probably there is a better way.

Of course, I have no clue how hard this is to implement. With the current behavior, Drupal doesn't need to generate a new page for each read request, so it probably just pregenerates an HTML page for a thread every time it changes. If you want to make subthreads or individual messages viewable, you surely want to generate them dynamically because of sharing.

Hm, funny how on a programming blog everyone feels entitled to suggest modifications to the backing software. :) Please excuse us users for being so demanding.

(So is this what the "software evolution" thread was about? :)

### Viewing single messages

Do you mean that the behavior should be changed so that clicking on a message brings you to a page which shows only that entry? Like with the old weblog? Having that option would be nice, since I find the indentation of deeply nested messages iksome.

There is a way to view an individual comment (along with the top-level post), by using an appropriate URL - e.g., the comment I'm replying to is
here. I'll take a look at adding a link to be able to easily invoke that view.

A slightly more general solution is would be that, if you click a message, you see the message and all its descendants, so, the sub-thread.

I have the impression that this would require more work, but I'll keep an eye out for the possibility.

Hm, funny how on a programming blog everyone feels entitled to suggest modifications to the backing software. :) Please excuse us users for being so demanding.

I think the feedback has been great. We don't mind requests & suggestions, and if we agree with them and they're not difficult to implement, then everyone wins.

(So is this what the "software evolution" thread was about? :)

Yeah, well, where are all the content management systems implemented in Haskell or OCaml? :)

### OCaml wiki

This appeared recently in the Caml Weekly News: Wiki software written in OCaml.

### Copycats! :)

I'm glad to see an OCaml wiki. Although there some Java-based wikis out there, and a few C wikis, it seems that most wiki development has been DT-based, and of course the idea was invented by a Smalltalker. If the type thread runs out of steam, perhaps we could shift the battleground and ask: are DT folk more creative? ;oP