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Subject: Assign a unique sequential number to each post in a thread rss

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Dan Fielding
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Not only does it make it possible to easily refer to another post, it reduces the effect of the dirty delete.

In this long thread, the primary poster has deleted all his posts; so the remainder simply make no sense at all:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1728751/streets-stalingrad-...
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YaVerOt YaVerOt
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I'm not certain what you're asking for, each post "article" already has a unique number across the site, not just in the thread.
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Kim Williams
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yaverot wrote:
I'm not certain what you're asking for, each post "article" already has a unique number across the site, not just in the thread.


I imagine the op is suggesting a number for each post that would be visible to readers of the thread.

For instance if the first post in each thread displayed with a 1, second post a 2 etc, then you could easily see if posts had been deleted.
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J J
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How does a unique sequential number within a thread help in that situation?
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Russ Williams
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JasonJ0 wrote:
How does a unique sequential number within a thread help in that situation?

It makes it explicitly clear where and how many posts were deleted.


It might be helpful for providing a bit more context in a case like this where someone unwisely does not clearly indicate to whom they are responding:


A: I think this game is wonderful.
B: No it's not! The rules are a mess, and it's stupidly random with no interesting decisions.
C: I completely agree with you.


(and user B deletes their comment, leaving the following) :

A: I think this game is wonderful.
C: I completely agree with you.
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J J
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russ wrote:
JasonJ0 wrote:
How does a unique sequential number within a thread help in that situation?

It makes it explicitly clear where and how many posts were deleted.


It might be helpful for providing a bit more context in a case like this where someone unwisely does not clearly indicate to whom they are responding:


A: I think this game is wonderful.
B: No it's not! The rules are a mess, and it's stupidly random with no interesting decisions.
C: I completely agree with you.


(and user B deletes their comment, leaving the following) :

A: I think this game is wonderful.
C: I completely agree with you.


That indicates a missing post, but it does nothing to address the ambiguity of a poster who does not quote.
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Russ Williams
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JasonJ0 wrote:
That indicates a missing post, but it does nothing to address the ambiguity of a poster who does not quote.


It at least indicates an increased probability that their response is not to the previous comment that it apparently seemed to be replying to. Better than nothing!

(But note the original comment's smiley. I'm saying this only half-seriously.)
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Richard Irving
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russ wrote:
JasonJ0 wrote:
That indicates a missing post, but it does nothing to address the ambiguity of a poster who does not quote.


It at least indicates an increased probability that their response is not to the previous comment that it apparently seemed to be replying to. Better than nothing!

(But note the original comment's smiley. I'm saying this only half-seriously.)


I am not sure if C is referring to A or B even before the deletion of B's post.
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Russ Williams
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rri1 wrote:
I am not sure if C is referring to A or B even before the deletion of B's post.

Fine, suppose that the timestamps of the 3 posts were:

A: 2017-05-01
B: 2017-06-15
C: 2017-06-16

Sheesh!
 
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Deviated in his zealotry? Surely not
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It seems you could get the same effect by collapsing deleted posts down to a highlighted box reading "This post was deleted by a monster" or something. No need to do arithmetics while browsing threads.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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To insure sequential numbering, you'd need to reserve a set of numbers in advance that would be sufficient no matter how many posts appear. Practically speaking, that would mean having a dual numbering system, with the primary number indicating the thread and the secondary indicating the position within that thread's post list.

Replies already have dual numbers which so far as I can tell are always redundant, so somebody may have thought about doing something similar at one time. Personally, I don't think fooling with it would be worth the effort. To make the transition, you'd have to re-number millions of existing thread posts, and the benefit derived seems questionable at best.
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Sphere wrote:
To insure sequential numbering, you'd need to reserve a set of numbers in advance that would be sufficient no matter how many posts appear.


No need to reserve numbers. Each thread is already a table of which individual posts appear in it; each post only needs to remember which number it had in its own thread (which it records at the time of creation), and that's what gets displayed. You only ever look at one thread at a time, so any number of posts from different threads can be "fourth".

But the whole idea of numbering posts seems like an unnecessarily human-unfriendly way to get information across to humans.
 
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Tomello Visello
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Apart from trying to determine any particular solution methodology, it is also worth asking just what is the scope of the problem.

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Russ Williams
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Sphere wrote:
To insure sequential numbering, you'd need to reserve a set of numbers in advance that would be sufficient no matter how many posts appear.

I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that OP only meant "unique" within the thread. I.e. first post = 1, second post = 2, etc... easy-peasy. But I don't know.
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Dan Fielding
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russ wrote:

I assume that OP only meant "unique" within the thread. I.e. first post = 1, second post = 2, etc... easy-peasy. But I don't know. :)


Correct. Many discussion forums do have this numbering. I would even say that MOST do it.

Even if you quote a portion, without a sequential number there is no easy way for your reader to find the _entire_ quoted post, especially in long threads.
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Russ Williams
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Gronak wrote:
russ wrote:

I assume that OP only meant "unique" within the thread. I.e. first post = 1, second post = 2, etc... easy-peasy. But I don't know.


Correct. Many discussion forums do have this numbering. I would even say that MOST do it.

Interesting; we (unsurprisingly) evidently visit different forums. I honestly don't remember any forum I've used over many years which does this. (E.g. the popular phpBB software which I see at a lot of sites like http://forums.xkcd.com doesn't do it, and of course nested post (instead of sequential post) forums don't do it.)

But I agree it might be useful.
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russ wrote:
Sphere wrote:
To insure sequential numbering, you'd need to reserve a set of numbers in advance that would be sufficient no matter how many posts appear.

I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that OP only meant "unique" within the thread. I.e. first post = 1, second post = 2, etc... easy-peasy. But I don't know.

That's precisely why I said you'd need a dual numbering system - the first would be the number of the thread, but assuming there is one it isn't part of the url.

Your post, the one I'm replying to, is designated as article/26275059#26275059. I can reference it by selecting 'reply' under Insert Geek Link and pasting (or typing), like so:

Re: Assign a unique sequential number to each post in a thread

Posts are indeed numbered sequentially as they're created within the database. I can decrement or increment that number to see its neighbors in the database, posted immediately before and immediately afterwards to see where those went:

Re: Crowdfunding campaigns doomed to fail
Re: 2nd Annual AAC Con Tournament

What we can't do is guess in advance what thread any given post is a part of. The system could certainly be changed so that rather than having a redundant post number resolve a url address to use a single instance coupled with a thread number, but all legacy posts that refer to other posts by the current system would have to be changed or resolved differently from new posts using a new system. I imagine there would be response time problems as well - it takes longer to resolve two elements (thread and post) than one.

I think there are a thousand things more worthy of BGG's limited software development resources.

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Dan Fielding
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>
you'd need a dual numbering system - the first would be the number of the thread, but assuming there is one it isn't part of the url.

Your post, the one I'm replying to, is designated as article/26275059#26275059. I can reference it by selecting 'reply' under Insert Geek Link and pasting (or typing),
>

Not at all relevent to referencing a particular post. When I am reading a thread, I SEE a bunch of posts per "page." The PAGE NUMBER is embedded in the URL, but that page has multiple posts within it. I can't even SEE the entire URL string, its longer than the entry box.

If I want to mention a post, then before I hit REPLY, I note it is post #185.
Then I go back to your post -- which is 5 pages ahead, post #276.
Then I REPLY to your post and write:
"Back in Post#185 the guy said "xxxxxx" and back in post #200 the guy said "zzzz" -- so how do you reconcile that with your statement ?


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Dan Fielding
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For instance, I advocate by this:
>
I imagine the op is suggesting a number for each post that would be visible to readers of the thread.
>

Now, how are you going to figure out who said it? How are you going to find the entire post to see the whole context of the tiny bit I quoted?

I would like to tell you, but there is no unique post # that I can mention.
 
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Herb
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Gronak wrote:
For instance, I advocate by this:
>
I imagine the op is suggesting a number for each post that would be visible to readers of the thread.
>

Now, how are you going to figure out who said it? How are you going to find the entire post to see the whole context of the tiny bit I quoted?

I would like to tell you, but there is no unique post # that I can mention.


You should look here for the original post...
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Derek Rainwater
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Wouldn't just allowing nesting of comments (like reddit does) eliminate this issue?
 
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On some discussion boards I just see a placeholder at deleted posts:

Post A
[deleted post]
Post C

That might be easier to implement than numbering? And it'd accomplish the same goal, right?
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Russ Williams
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dtrainwater1 wrote:
Wouldn't just allowing nesting of comments (like reddit does) eliminate this issue?

That would be a huge change and complete upheaval, both to the underlying software implementing the forums and to the user experience!

(It also would not necessarily make it clear that some comment had been deleted.)
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J J
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Have we established yet the actual need that would be met by this? I know there was a thread given earlier as an example, but I had absolutely no trouble following it.
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Dan Fielding
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dtrainwater1 wrote:
Wouldn't just allowing nesting of comments (like reddit does) eliminate this issue?


please god not consimworld...
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