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TIP: How did I miss that thread?

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  • TIP: How did I miss that thread?

    The way the forum tracks which threads you've read and which ones you haven't is a bit complicated, and far from foolproof. Frequently it will think you've read posts you actually haven't.

    The primary culpret is a restriction to the forum software that's necessary to keep it from overwhelming the server. If you've been inactive in the forum for 20 minutes it assumes you've left and marks the entire forum as 'read', whether you've actually read the posts or not.

    This sucks, but as I said the alternative would slog down the server so much no one could ever read anything.

    So, if you click 'View New Posts' and there's a lot of stuff you want to read use my little trick: I hold down the 'shift' key when I click on new posts I want to read. This opens another browser window and leaves my 'new' list intact. This way I can take as long as I want to read, answer, go make coffee, whatever, and when I get back to the new list it's still intact (as long as I keep remembering to hold the shift key when I click).

    If you just want to see every thread that has new posts for the last 24 hours, regardless of whether you've already read them or not, use this link.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

  • #2
    Thanks for the tip Doug. I'll give that a try. But that's not the only time it doesn't give you the correct information. Yesterday or the day before I was reading the new posts. My usual process is to answer any post I want, return to the forums and click on the new messages link. This almost always brings up the ones that I began with when I began the session. But for the first time, when I responded to a post rather quickly, then went through my usual routine, the only new message that showed up was the one I just posted. I'm pretty sure I wasn't inactive for more than 5 minutes or so. It seems that lately there are more and more posts that I'm missing. Has anyone else noticed a problem?

    Ed

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    • #3
      Good tip and one I may use often. I too have noticed some of the things Ed noticed but I chalk it up to normal bugs in the works. The only time it gets complicated is when, as in the post by Sjm where she expected someone to respond to her restoration efforts and none of us saw it until she triggered it by posting her own reply. I'm glad she knew us well enough to know that that was unusual. That could be a real turn off to a newbie who may view it as being ignored when that isn't the case at all. So maybe we need threads like this to make members aware of these things.
      DJ

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      • #4
        I'll admit that even I, who supposedly knows the innards of this forum, still manage to miss posts, even with tricks up my sleeve.

        I guess the moral is don't trust the software. Periodically run through the forums manually. That's not a bad idea, regardless. I sometimes look at 'oldest first' just to see if anything posted months ago has suddenly become relevant, or if unanswered back then can be addressed now.
        Learn by teaching
        Take responsibility for learning

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        • #5
          interesting tip, but it doesn't work on a Mac. But I always open *new window with this link* using a pull down menu that appears when I hold the mouse button down.

          Don't PCs have a similar feature that will open a link in a new window?

          My original page will stay there forever until I close it.

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          • #6
            Right-clicking in Windows offers the same thing (but I didn't know until you just pointed it out).

            Shift doesn't work? That's interesting. Have you tried the other modifier keys?

            Glad we had a Mac user to try this.
            Learn by teaching
            Take responsibility for learning

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            • #7
              learn something new everyday!

              at your suggestion, I tried some of other keys on my Mac, and discovered that holding down the APPLE/COMMAND key and clicking on a link will do the same as your SHIFT key does.

              I'm wondering at what point my brain can no longer absorb new information and go into self-destruct mode!

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