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Posts In Thread Are Always White

  • Site Bug Reports
  • Imagination
  • Tom's Hardware
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December 6, 2005 2:19:03 PM

Okay, this may have been going on for a while. I thought it was my imagination at first, but I've definately reproduced it a number of times now.

When you click on a thread and see all of the pretty little posties in a row, they're all white, regardless of if you've read them before or not yet.

This makes it kind of hard to determine where you should start reading from.

The funny thing is, that the thread views and such steps back are all right. It's only when in a thread looking at the individual posts that it's wrong. So you know when a thread has new posts, but then it can be a dickens to figure out which ones are the new ones and which are old.

More about : posts thread white

December 6, 2005 3:34:46 PM

When looking at a thread, the unread posts are orange, and the read posts are white. At least, that is how it works for me....

slvr, you are a s/w engineer, so if the problem persists, figure out how I can replicate it :wink:
December 6, 2005 5:26:05 PM

All I can say is the way that I can replicate it. :lol: 

New threads don't seem to be affected. They work peachy keen.

But existing threads that aquire new posts get their thread icon oranged, but the posts themselves in the thread remain white. Now that I look for it, it's actually incredibly consistent. For that matter, are the last post icons meant to be orange? Because they're all white too, regardless of read state.

And you're right. As a software enginner I should give you more info to go on. Shame on me.

My browser is Firefox 1.5. OS is WinXP Pro, SPed and updated up the arse. And I'm currently wearing my contact lenses, which maybe is why it took so long to notice. I don't focus as hard when I wear them because they dry out quickly if I stare too intently. (Which is why sometimes I were glasses instead.)

Though I also just tested it on IE6 and it's doing exactly the same thing. So unless there's something weird in my profile or aliens are intercepting my communique, I don't know how you're not seeing it. Do you use Opera? (Or maybe Lynx. :lol: )

This should also serve as a test of what happens if I log in with one browser and then in the middle of writing a post log in with a different browser and surf to another section. :o 
Related resources
December 6, 2005 5:27:31 PM

Okay, the submit with seperate browser interference worked fine. That's cool. It doesn't invalidate my previous logon by logging on elsewhere. :D 

And I'll see about getting screen shots for you.
December 6, 2005 5:40:15 PM

Screen shots are on their way.

Oh, also I've noticed an increasing number of threads get a 'last post' icon appended to the front of the thread title in the section view. What's up with that? Is that a bug or a feature? :lol: 
December 6, 2005 5:42:30 PM

I've seen the same thing, but it seemed inconsistant. I just figured out what's happening. (at least in my case).

I ran through the forums this AM, but didn't visit the Other. I went to the Other after lunch, and found threads like Silver is reporting.

Any all new thread where nothing had been read is fine.

Any thread who's last post is before my last visit time (shown on the category page) shows all the posts as read even though the thread list shows it as having unread posts.

Any thread with posts newer than my last visit time shows the posts prior to last visit as read (even if I hadn't viewed all of them yet) while the post(s) after my last visit are unread.

Hope it helps in debugging.

December 6, 2005 5:44:38 PM

Duh! I'm so smart. (Not.)

I just realized it's a bug. Not only is it a bug, it's related. Der to me.

It looks like the last post's colored icon is actually being set in front of the thread name column instead of the last thread column. :lol:  So at least I've figured out that the last thread icon really is meant to be orange. Maybe the posts don't get their icons right because it's trying to change the icon to the orange one in the wrong column too?
December 7, 2005 5:12:46 PM

Okay, here's a fresh new description of what I'm observing with all of the pieces of the puzzle put in.

In the section view the orange/white icons are working just fine.

In the thread view, the leftmost orange/white icon for the thread itself is working fine. But the rightmost 'last post' icon isn't.

The rightmost 'last post' icon is always white. Further, if there is a new last post, an orange arrow icon appears in the 'Topics' column, not the 'Last Post' column. This in fact even has a link, but if you click on this erronious icon/link in the 'Topics' column, it always says:
No new posts since your last visit

So it looks something like this:
| | Topics | Replies | Author | Last Post |
|([o])| ->[o] Welcome! | 1 | bug-o-matic | Mr.Respondo ->[w] |[/code:1:9ec4fb8aa7]

* Note tha the [o] is an orange page graphic, and the [w] is a white page graphic.

If I click on the link after Mr.Respondo, it takes me to the thread, but all posts are white.

If I click on the link (that shouldn't exist) before Welcome! it says no new posts.

And further, as stated, whenever I look into any thread to the lists of posts, every post icon is always white. They're never orange, even when they're new. Unless every single post in the thread is new, in which case they're all orange. That's the only time it seems to work right.

And this occurs under both FF1.5 and IE6, so I doubt that it's browser related.

And now that I'm paying attention, I can say that it happens each and every time. It's very consistant.
December 8, 2005 1:37:13 AM

Ok, I looked into this, and here are the observations:

1. The "lost post" icon is always white. We don't change that color. It is just an icon with no status.

2. If you look at a thread, and half of the posts are white even though you did not read the thread, that is due to you having done a "marked this forum read" [steve: edited this], which causes posts before mark time to be white.

3. View posts since last visit uses the "real" last visit, i.e. last time you were on. The red/white logic goes back 7 days (always) so that people don't miss posts (by request). So they are not the same animals.

After reading the above considerations, can you restate the problems that remain (and perhaps tell me how to remove the confusion regarding 'posts since last visit' without removing the functionality).
December 8, 2005 1:57:36 AM

3. View posts since last visit uses the "real" last visit, i.e. last time you were on.

How does the server decide that I have left?
Do I have to log out? If so I can't just set a link straight into a particular section.
Does the server sense that I have left if I close the browser page?

I have noticed that the "your last visit was" thingy is seldom right, this could be what is screwing up the read/un-read post marker!
December 8, 2005 2:01:56 AM

russel, there is a one hour session... if you are not active for one hour (hitting the server) it will close you, or you logout. Either way.

Closing browser has no effect on this.

Yes, 'last visit' and read/unread are different animals. It can get confusing as typically show posts since last visit shows less orange entries than are lit.
December 8, 2005 2:10:56 AM

OK so lets say @12:00 I leave the forum but I don't log out.
Now let's say there were perhaps ten new posts between 12:00 when I left and 1:00 when the server closes me. What happens to these ten posts? Will they be marked as unread when I return? Or will they be marked as read? remember you have thUnder the at one hour time constraint.
December 8, 2005 2:20:26 AM

They will be orange. In fact the server ignores your last visit, and marks anything new in the past 7 days as orange. This is done since people were complaining about leaving their pc/logging out, and missing out on new posts.

The "real" last visit (12:00 PM) comes into effect only for doing 'show posts since last visit' query.
December 8, 2005 2:30:42 AM

Actually, everything seems to have been correct for me today.

December 8, 2005 2:34:23 PM

1. The "lost post" icon is always white. We don't change that color. It is just an icon with no status.
Are you sure about that? I don't think so. If that's true then why is a new erronious (and orange) "last post" icon showing up in the topic column where it doesn't belong? It looks to me like you are trying to change the "last post" icon to orange, but you're doing it in the wrong place.

2. If you look at a thread, and half of the posts are white even though you did not read the thread, that is due to you having done a "marked this forum read" [steve: edited this], which causes posts before mark time to be white.
And I'm saying that they've been marked as white when I'm not using any "mark as read" features. Heck, they were all marked as white, no matter what, as my screen shot showed. There were brand spanking new posts being marked as white.

However, funnier still, is that since my last post this is no longer happening. Suddenly this bug looks fixed. Obviously you must have found and fixed something that related to this bug even though you so far haven't accepted that it is a bug and seemed to be oblivious to it. :lol: 

3. View posts since last visit uses the "real" last visit, i.e. last time you were on. The red/white logic goes back 7 days (always) so that people don't miss posts (by request). So they are not the same animals.
I've never even used this feature, so this has no meaning to me. In fact, I don't think anyone has mentioned this feature in this thread... :?

After reading the above considerations, can you restate the problems that remain (and perhaps tell me how to remove the confusion regarding 'posts since last visit' without removing the functionality).
I'm not sure how I can make it more plain. :? No one has even mentioned the 'posts since last visit' feature and yet you're going on about it. The screen shots that I sent by email said it all. My last post using ASCII art said it almost as clearly. But here it goes ... again.

1) The posts in a thread were being marked white when they should have been orange. Without using any 'mark all' features. You could look at a thread and see that it had an orange indicator. If you clicked on that thread, all posts were white, including the new posts that caused the orange indicator on the thread. The only time when this was not true was when every post was new, in which case they were all orange. But so long as the first post was white, they were all white.

This bug however seems to have been fixed very recently. Even though you don't seem to understand what's going on, you must have found something, because today this bug is no longer happening.

But if you didn't change anything there, then I have to wonder if there's still a lingering bug waiting to pop up again at a later date.

2) The shortcut to the last post in a thread is always white graphic. This itself may not be a bug, but it looks like one in light of the following number 3.

3) A new second last post in a thread shortcut is being placed in the left side of the Topic column. (Instead of being in the Last Post column where it belongs.) This new icon is orange, like it should be. This new icon also has a link, but that link doesn't work. This new icon only appears if the thread has a new post. If the thread's posts are all read, this shortcut does not appear.

So it looks very much like you are trying to overwrite a default white shortcut to the last post in a thread with an orange one if that last post is new, but you've just royally screwed it up.
December 8, 2005 7:53:45 PM

You lost me with the last (number 3) remark. I know you are talking to Steve but am I missing some feature that I don't know about? What do you mean "last post in a thread shortcut "? Maybe this is something that shows up with the collapsed viewing option active.

Just curious.
December 9, 2005 2:03:59 PM

In the list of Topics (threads) there are four columns: Topics, Replies, Author, and Last Post. The last post column contains the date, time, and name of the last person to post in that thread. Then after that is an icon looking like an arrow pointing to a page. Click that icon and it'll open the thread, taking you to its last post. It's a (somewhat) convenient shortcut.
December 9, 2005 3:35:09 PM

An even more convieniant shortcut would be to replace that with "First unread post" || "Last read post"
December 9, 2005 4:27:19 PM

I totally agree. I've suggested the same myself in a number of places.

Maybe if we keep bringing it up


and again

and again

and again

someone will finally bother putting it in. :mrgreen:
December 9, 2005 10:41:20 PM

I'd also like to claim that feature as my own - I was the first to post it. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
December 11, 2005 5:15:46 AM

Scuba Steve! I have a request. It's kinda a bug.

If there are multiple pages in a thread with new posts then if you click ALL you can see which posts are new by the orange icon. However if you click on one of the numbers you only see the new ones in that number. Once you go to the next number it doesn't show the orange icon next to new posts that you haven't read.
December 11, 2005 5:43:15 AM

Apparently post indicators have a mind of their own and therefore cannot be fixed.
December 11, 2005 9:51:54 AM

"...the first signs of real A.I appear on a Tomshardware Forum"

I can see the headline already :D 
December 11, 2005 5:06:51 PM

Scuba Steve! I have a request. It's kinda a bug.

If there are multiple pages in a thread with new posts then if you click ALL you can see which posts are new by the orange icon. However if you click on one of the numbers you only see the new ones in that number. Once you go to the next number it doesn't show the orange icon next to new posts that you haven't read.

I fixed this one. If you go to a page, and now you go to the next page, the orange is still there.

I am thinking all the other problems in this thread related to the same thing :?
December 11, 2005 5:17:39 PM

not fixed yet.. Stay posted.
December 12, 2005 6:37:42 PM

Ok, I released a new version, and need to ask you guys to fix it.

Ok, here's the scenario. You are reading page 3 of a 4 page thread, and have not yet viewed page 4. Now if you go to page 4, the little status icons should still be orange... before, if you visited any page of a long thread, that thread was marked read.

Pls test.
December 12, 2005 7:05:32 PM

The ready aim fire poll in the other section stays orange after I have read it.
December 12, 2005 7:12:15 PM

any thread I post in turns orange :?
December 12, 2005 8:03:03 PM

That should be fixed now. I justed posted a message in test section, and it was fine.
December 13, 2005 4:28:46 PM

Well, most of what I reported is fixed by now, with one exception:

(By the way, PicPile rocks.)
December 13, 2005 5:26:50 PM


That orange button is a feature. Mouse over it.. it takes you to the first unread post. Does it not?
December 13, 2005 6:09:46 PM

A superb feature - Too well hidden :wink:

Can you comment on my ideas in Russels thread?
December 13, 2005 6:17:04 PM

A week ago when I reported it it didn't. I don't think that it was even working when I posted my last picture.

It works now. And it's a nice feature.

But only since it started actually working was there any indication that it was even a feature at all and not a bug.

And while it is a nice feature to have, I can't help but feel that the placement and icon are a bit kluge. :?

1a) Can we just throw out the Last Post bit entirely and replace it with this?
1b) If not, can we at least give it a better icon or make it in some way more intuitive/clean/friendly?
2) Instead of having it try to vanish and bring up a no new posts message, can it be made to be always there and just go to the last post in the thread if there are no new posts? (Heck, with orange/white indication color changes?)
December 13, 2005 6:29:20 PM

Solutions being proposed are:

1. create a new column just for this info
I think we already have too many columns, and that one would only applied to logged in users, and would be sparse, and only populated when there are new posts

2. mix it with the last post column, or replace last post column
All forums have the last post column, and it is universal (logged in, not logged in, have a last post or not) again a bit against the norm.

3. Distinctive icon:
How about this one. I think it is a a good solution and easy for me :wink:

a little icon like:

I think it is pretty clear what that icon means.
December 13, 2005 7:37:05 PM

I believe there's a problem with posts that are 1. old & 2. longer than 19 pages (I believe the shortest one is 19 pages). There are 3 of them, 2 in Polls & one in the Other.... They show as unread both at the community lever & the forum level... They are active threads as well...

I go to the forum & see it has a new post & click the take me to the last post icon & it will.... I read it, then go back to the forum level or community level & it still shows as unread... I go back to the forum & click the take me the last post & it says there no new posts since your last visit... All the other threads work flawlessly, except for these old, long threads...

If I post in these threads as I've done with a test post, they will show as read, & only then.. I can use mark all as read & that's the only 2 ways I can make them show as read.
December 13, 2005 7:44:49 PM

I'm having a problem with the longer threads always showing orange even after they've been read by the "ALL" option or the last page or anything. The only way to make them white is by marking all threads as read.
December 13, 2005 7:51:55 PM

ok, I see that. Yes, applies to longer threads, it seems. I will check into it.
December 13, 2005 8:09:33 PM

You still haven't answered my question: What use is knowing the last poster in a thread?

We could try different methods to see which one suits best:

1) Replace the thread link with this feature. If you wanted to start from the begining you would then click on the Page 1 2 3 ...etc link

2) Replace the last poster column (the single most useless feature ever)

3) Combine the last poster column and this feature into one column
December 13, 2005 8:16:40 PM

The 'last poster' info is:

a) standard for both phpbb and VBulletin

b) gives an indication of the last activity on the thread, dates, posters. It is also useful to people who are not logged in.

The orange icon right the left of the descripti IMHO is much better positioned, since you are already looking at the title, and it is well in line of sight, vs. having to look over to the right column to figure out if the thread has some posts needing a reading.

Just my 2 cents.
December 13, 2005 9:31:51 PM

It's standard. Ok, good reason to keep it then. [/sarcasm] :wink:

Your second point is pretty useless. If I wanted to know the last poster in a thread (God only knows why I would) then I'd click in the thread and check the poster and dates etc. I don't see how it is useful to people who are not logged it - If they are here so often as to need to know if a thread has another post then they'd register.

I thought of a really good way to get this feature + more usefull information in that last column.

Replace the last column with "New posts" - In there have the number of new posts since you last checked:


[10] (the number itself is hyperlinked to the first unread post of the thread)

If there are no new posts (or the thread hasn't had one for 7 days - as per the logic we already have in place) then the number would be [0] with the link going to the last poster / no link at all

^ Best idea ever, I know.

Additionally, if your not logged in then either that column isn't shown.
December 14, 2005 4:27:07 PM

I don't know Steve... I've got to agree with Neddy on this. Just because it's been a standard feature doesn't mean that it was ever really all that useful. :? (Especially now that a newest-unread link is available.)

Personally my vote is to combine the last post and newest-unread into a single column.

The text in that column can soooo be squished. For example, using a military date format (14DEC05) or purely numberical date format (14/12/05 or 12/14/05 depending on country) takes up way less room than "Wed Dec 14, 2005". And time doesn't need an am/pm designation if it's in military time. So you could quite possibly squish the last post date/time/user/shortcut into a single line.

(Also, it'd be cool if the last post was orange/white sensitive instead of always white.)

And with that squished into a single line, a second newest-unread line could also exist in that same column then, much with the same format.

Heck, so many posts already seem to take up four lines for that matter, so even if you used the current formatting, you still have plenty of room to put both into that column.

But I also like Ned's idea of a New Posts column. It would hardly take up any room to add a New Posts column, especially if you stack the header text vertically to be:


As for your file open icon ... that's a bad icon to use. The reason being that it is clear what that icon means, and that meaning is to open a file, not to jump to the newest unread post. :p 

I think a totally different icon would be better suited. Maybe something like a pair of glasses with a little white box in the left lense and a little orange box in the right? (Like this: ) I don't know.

But even still, cramming all of those links into the topics column is messy. It has enough as it is. I think the last read column is known for being a special jumping point, so adding the newest unread link there is more expected than having it in the topics column. Or, again, make the link for the newest unread in a New Posts column. Either would be cleaner IM(NS)HO.

For that matter, you could probably get rid of the " Goto" part and just have "Page 1, 2 ..." in the topics column. That'd clean things up a little bit more.

So basically, instead of the current look:

You could do this:

Or this:
December 14, 2005 10:18:53 PM

First off: Great post slvr.

The screen shots will help steve a lot.

I used your template to make one that will give us the best of bost worlds


Infact, thinking about it - Perhaps the last poster information in my example should just be "Last post on xxx" (can fit that on one line).

Also, the Number (not the [ and ]) should be hyperlinked to the last unread post as well.

It's all about presentation. :wink:
December 15, 2005 9:41:29 PM

I don't have access to the 'new posts' count... it is not possible to do so, as that information is not maintained at the forum level (only available at the thread level).

I still like to hear the problem with having a more descriptive icon for new posts (e.g. it says 'new posts'). I personally like it right next to the title as I don't have to move my eyes and mouse to the right.
December 15, 2005 10:19:26 PM

Well add it to the forum level. It's not hard.

All we're talking about is an integer value for threads not older than 7 days.
December 15, 2005 10:24:16 PM

The old forum had a similar feature that showed the new posts at the forum level when looking at the forum list.

The feature currently been asked for is a new post count at the thread level when looking at the thread list.

At's just a level deeper. The code is probably pretty similar even though this is a PHP board.