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IP.Board 3.1.0 Dev Update: Topic Preview

Posted by Matt , in Beta, 3.1.0 18 February 2010 · 7,163 views

3.1.0 ipb beta
We read virtually every piece of feedback we receive, even if we don't reply and we often see the same requests coming up. The ability to 'preview' the topic by viewing an excerpt from the first post is often requested and we've added this into IP.Board 3.1.

We've made it a little more useful by also including the last time you read a topic (if applicable) and the number of unread posts so you can quickly review how much activity has taken place since you last read the topic.

Posted Image

When you 'mouse over' a topic entry, you'll see a little 'pop-up' icon. Clicking this loads an excerpt from the first post along with some data underneath. This is very useful for moderators who can quickly review un-approved topics and well as being useful for normal members who can quickly decide whether they want to open the topic or not.

Technical Details:
- Icon appears for moderators / admins and normal members. If there are no moderator tools, it shows on its own.
- When you mouse over the cell, the icon is "faded" until you mouse over the actual icon.
- Data is loaded via Ajax to reduce mark-up required in the templates.
- The post excerpt is stripped of all BBCode and mark-up to prevent it breaking out of the pop-up.

This feature adds a little more functionality and polish to the forum index allowing you to perform your daily routine a little quicker and a little easier.




Wow, another great stuff! :) GW!
    • Wilford Tibbetts likes this
Better icon please. :blush:

Still, looking good!
    • Ran Yefet, TrixieTang, IP.iBaLLiN and 1 other like this
Now that's cool. I know I've written for this feature more than once! :)
good work
How about moving this to the topic "icon" (the one on the left) instead of so far on the right? Would be a somewhat nicer IMO.
    • Wilford Tibbetts likes this
Fantastic!
This looks very nice, but I have a few questions:

1) Can you enable/disable this based on User Groups?

2) Will this work in Search/View New Content/Active Content queries? If not, it's of limited functionality since many of my members use View New Content (and other queries) to browse posts. I personally rarely do my normal browsing by diving into individual forums.

3) I'd prefer if hovering over the topic title allowed you to see the preview, as most mods of this nature do. The icon is nice, but it's going to be out there 'on its own' for 99.9% of my users who aren't mods. It's more natural to have the preview associated with the title, rather than an icon, in my opinion.

4) Implementing #3 would require adding a user option to disable topic preview, since not everyone would want a preview to pop up while hovering over a title.

Ideally this "topic preview" would be enabled on the primary pages where topic titles are displayed. This includes the board index (last post topic titles), forum index (as you have above), and any search queries (including View New Content and Today's Active Content). Most especially the search queries, I think that's of paramount importance for a feature like this.

Thanks!

..Al
    • Wilford Tibbetts, simon2 and krstep like this

How about moving this to the topic "icon" (the one on the left) instead of so far on the right? Would be a somewhat nicer IMO.


You can certainly move it on your install if you prefer :)

We liked it on the right as you can just slide your mouse down the right column and click/click/click each preview if you wanted to.

This looks very nice, but I have a few questions:

1) Can you enable/disable this based on User Groups?


I've been sitting here trying, and I'm coming up at a loss. Why would you possibly want to enable or disable this sort of thing on a per-group basis? :unsure: I can't think of any reasons whatsoever. Even for sites that give upgraded members additional benefits, this seems like something cheesy to offer to upgraded members only.

I'm curious what your intentions would be for per-group permissions for this feature.
AtariAge:

1. I believe it's a global setting right now.

2. We can look into adding it there.

3/4. We really dislike on mouseover popups so we probably won't do this as a default feature. You could certainly change the behavior on your own community, of course.

I've been sitting here trying, and I'm coming up at a loss. Why would you possibly want to enable or disable this sort of thing on a per-group basis? :unsure: I can't think of any reasons whatsoever. Even for sites that give upgraded members additional benefits, this seems like something cheesy to offer to upgraded members only.

I'm curious what your intentions would be for per-group permissions for this feature.

You're right, this isn't probably something I would enable on a per-group basis so I withdraw that suggestion. I do have a paid topic preview mod installed right now, and it is only available to subscribers. The mod results in additional queries being run every time a page it's active on is loaded, so I did not want to enable it for everyone. Since this new feature loads the topic information on demand, that eliminates the main reason I implemented it this way.

..Al
    • maxima likes this
? :D

2. We can look into adding it there.

Thank you.

3/4. We really dislike on mouseover popups so we probably won't do this as a default feature. You could certainly change the behavior on your own community, of course.

This is interesting considering you just added mouseover popups to your site recently (the menus at the top of the page). :P I understand that you wouldn't be able to "click" on the title to display a popup (since that takes you into the thread), so a mouseover would be required. This really would be nice as a user-toggable option, since it makes browsing through threads faster than stopping over an icon and clicking each time.

Also, this feature shows you the first post. This is really only useful the first time you look at a thread. After that, you're more interested in the first new post or perhaps the last post. If you visit a forum on a regular basis, always seeing the first post isn't going to be helpful. A user option to display either the first post, the first NEW post (if you're logged in) or the last post would be very nice.

What you've created here is a nice built-in feature of the forum and a welcome addition, something many people have requested over the years. I'm just asking that you flesh it out a bit to make it even more useful. :)

Thanks,

..Al
Can it be disabled by members?

Would prefer it to be when hovering over the topic rather than a separate icon though.

Would also prefer it to either show the first post on unread topics or perhaps the first unread post or last post on topics that have been read or partially read.
    • AtariAge and ZakRhyno like this
I understand you may want mouseover popups and you are free to change the event from onclick to onmouseover on your community :) You could even move the event to the topic title link just by a simple skin edit.

Keep in mind what you have asked. You asked for on mouseover then your very next sentence said that we should have an option to disable it per user. Adding a feature you know many people will disable because it can be annoying having these popups appear as you run your mouse over a topic listing seems a bit counter-productive to our development time. That's all I'm saying :)

But, in the end, it's easy to add if you really want it.
    • Alahmnat, Tanax and -Bort like this
I love it :)

Depending on how its implemented I'm sure it wouldn't be very hard to move the icon or to anchor it to the link.

FWIW, I prefer it showing the content of the first post, as that is the text that is supposed to set the content of the thread (which helps user to determine if the thread is worth reading). While I understand why users may want to see whats new, showing the last post could end up just showing "Yes, I agree" which isn't very useful in determining if the thread is worth checking out.

Anyhoo - thumbs up from me. Keep up the great work.

I understand you may want mouseover popups and you are free to change the event from onclick to onmouseover on your community :) You could even move the event to the topic title link just by a simple skin edit.

Keep in mind what you have asked. You asked for on mouseover then your very next sentence said that we should have an option to disable it per user. Adding a feature you know many people will disable because it can be annoying having these popups appear as you run your mouse over a topic listing seems a bit counter-productive to our development time. That's all I'm saying :)

But, in the end, it's easy to add if you really want it.

Your argument of "Why add it if people are just going to disable it?" is a bit ridiculous, since there are already many other such such toggles in the user preferences. Why add those features if people are just going to turn them off? :rolleyes:

I would be content to see the Topic Preview added to the search results pages (including Active Topics / New Content) and the ability at the member level to control which message is shown (first/new/last), since those are more difficult to add in terms of modifications and I feel they would be generally useful to the entire user base.

..Al
    • .Ian likes this
Do we really need a "per group" and "per user" setting for everything? Why not see it in action and you'll realise how unobtrusive it is. I agree that settings are needed when it changes functionality, but this doesn't. It's a little 16x16 icon that appears on mouse over. It's not in the way and doesn't change how you interact with topics.
    • Baxter_jb, martin-al, Prive and 4 others like this

Do we really need a "per group" and "per user" setting for everything? Why not see it in action and you'll realise how unobtrusive it is. I agree that settings are needed when it changes functionality, but this doesn't. It's a little 16x16 icon that appears on mouse over. It's not in the way and doesn't change how you interact with topics.

As I stated above, I don't care about the per group setting. Nor do I think a user setting to turn it on and off is necessary since it's a separate icon in its current incarnation. However, a user setting to change which post is displayed (first, new, last) would be very useful.

Thanks,

..Al
Al,

I had considered that actually. The backend code has the ability to return the first unread post already. Just needs some JS to tie it together.
    • Adriano Faria and AtariAge like this

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