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Subject: Changing # of comments displayed in geeklists rss

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Ryan Powers
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Is it possible to change the number of comments displayed by default?

So that it could display the first 10 comments instead of five comments on a geeklist entry. To me, five seems a bit over aggressively pruned.
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Mike Jones
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Re: Channging # of comments displayed in geeklists
There was some talk about giving us a show all comments button so that we can reveal them all at once.

But, yeah I'm having to display a lot of comments just to see if I've read them.

5 is quite a small number.
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Ian Klinck
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Re: Channging # of comments displayed in geeklists
Agreed!
 
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Joe Niezelski
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Re: Channging # of comments displayed in geeklists
I have a feeling the 5 limit is to cut down on bandwidth usage. The thinking is probably that if you're just loading up the page and scanning through the list, there's no need to load all the comments with all their avatars and badges.
 
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Dave Terhune
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Re: Channging # of comments displayed in geeklists
DuckAndCower wrote:
... there's no need to load all the comments with all their avatars and badges.


There's no reason to load a geeklist other than to look at all the comments. The discussions under the entries are the best parts of geeklists.

I want that user setting that allows me to automatically have all the comments loaded to start with. I'm using up extra bandwidth having to hit the "show all comments" buttons on every entry of every geeklist I read. I'd use up much less bandwidth if I could see it all the first time.
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Randall Bart
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This was a deliberate change due to the high overhead of GeekLists. A list can have 25 items per page, and each one could have 25 comments. It was theoretically possible to have 625 comments, and there are several that run into the hundreds. The processor time to render such page and the bandwidth the deliver it was huge. With the new scheme you could get as many as 125 comments at once, which is still a lot but more manageable. Under each list item there's a button to load all the comments for that item. I find it good enough.
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Ryan Powers
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Barticus88 wrote:
This was a deliberate change due to the high overhead of GeekLists. A list can have 25 items per page, and each one could have 25 comments. It was theoretically possible to have 625 comments, and there are several that run into the hundreds. The processor time to render such page and the bandwidth the deliver it was huge. With the new scheme you could get as many as 125 comments at once, which is still a lot but more manageable. Under each list item there's a button to load all the comments for that item. I find it good enough.


Assuming you are correct, it's a pretty flawed way of fixing either of those problems.

If limiting the total # of comments displayed (a potentially flawed line of reasoning in some respects to begin with) is the goal, one could make a pretty solid argument as to why a roughly similar # of comments in total uses bandwidth and likely CPU time more efficiently with more comments/item and less items/page in most cases.


I find the bandwidth argument likely flawed, I suspect the bandwidth savings to be present, but far smaller than you seem to be attempting to indicate. If you really want, I could go into why. Short version: it involves avatar size vs compressed text and how the avatar bandwidth likely dwarfs the text but isn't going to increase linearly with the # of posts due to a comment heavy GL likely having a lot of comments by the same people.

I can't speak terribly specifically to rendering time as I'm unfamiliar with exactly how it's done for BGG, but would expect that to increase more linearly than bandwidth, so you may be onto something there. But again, I think the savings would be far less dramatic than you'd think.

And even at that I would wonder if the time spent not rendering is enough to justify the servicing of the extra requests required to make the GLs that it's truncating useful. The "real" savings might be more in the less useful = less use = less resources. A savings to be sure, but a good one?

Again my rendering estimations are fuzzier because I'm less familiar with the specifics of BGG "behind the scenes". But if, in practice, the changes save as much as you claim, I'd suggest there's a fundamental flaw.

I work with some decently similar stuff for a living and I'm having trouble coming up with a combination of factors that would make this the appropriate answer, at least if conservation of bandwidth is the concern, and likely not a a terribly great answer (but at least better) if it's CPU-time based.

I could create some hypothetical GLs where this would be the ideal solution, and have no doubt that some small percentage are close to that "ideal". But as the GLs are actually *used* I think the solution saves little and a big (relative to the savings, not big in an absolute sense) hit in usefulness.

EDIT: The parenthetical bit just above this is important. Before someone says I'm making a big deal out of a small issue.
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John Farrell
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I find I'm just not bothering to load the extra comments, and I sure as heck am not going to be the 6th commenter on something, because nobody will see it anyway. In fact, geeklists are just discouraging now. With 25 it used to be the case that anything you couldn't see was probably a flame war and not worth reading; now valuable stuff is being hidden.
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Scott Alden
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We are working on a better display and notification system for geeklists.
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Mike Jones
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Aldie wrote:
We are working on a better display and notification system for geeklists.


Notification?

hhhhmmm?
 
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Randall Bart
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Guantanamo wrote:
Notification?

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Ryan Powers
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Friendless wrote:
I find I'm just not bothering to load the extra comments, and I sure as heck am not going to be the 6th commenter on something, because nobody will see it anyway. In fact, geeklists are just discouraging now. With 25 it used to be the case that anything you couldn't see was probably a flame war and not worth reading; now valuable stuff is being hidden.


Yep. I think that discouraging use may be the only major savings with the current system.

But below aldie mentions it's only a partial solution. So Let's see what the final comes out looking like.

Better yet, let's come up with some ideas. Here are a few to get started:

1) If it *has* to be basically how it is now, I'd suggest cutting the # of items displayed in order to increase the default # of comments. 15 items/10 comments, 10 items /25 comments, whatever. Of these three, this is the most similar to the current system.

2) Other options would be displaying "new" comments (and maybe the last 1-2 "old" comments to give more context. You'd still display all of them the first time someone hits a GL (this could be combined with cutting the # of times displayed if it's still too much), but when it gets revisited you'd just display the new stuff. This would add overhead in having to remember the "state" of what's been viewed and what hasn't. Of these three, this is my favorite. But it still does have a potentially steep costs of initially visiting an already crowded GL.

3) If we're keeping a state about what's new and what's not (as in #2), one could just mark items with new comments so we'd know which of the items being truncated at 5 comments is worth expanding. I like this one the least, but it's still an improvement of the current system.

I'm sure three are flaws in all of these (they're very much off the cuff) but all three would solve similar problems with less impact on usefulness. I really don't think there's a solution that maintains usefulness and limits bandwidth/rendering without keeping a state.

And while we're discussing usability and GeekLists... can we please, please, please get some sort of way to subscribe to a GL (that we didn't create) and get notifications on changes? It would cut down on the same GLs getting remade over and over because adding to older ones becomes more useful.
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