Unread Pro

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HB
Admin

#1: Post by HB »

For over 10 years, members have discussed What to do about newbie noise, complained Noise is making useful data hard(er) to find, and lamented Why do the same questions have to be answered every 60-90 days? While not a complete solution, inspired by ira's offline suggestion to look at the issue again, I've coded Unread Pro:



You can think of this as a more selective version of Unread posts.

The existing unread posts is an all-or-nothing affair. Any thread that gets a post, shows up in your list of unread posts. You can manually trim this list by marking forums read or just starting over by marking the entire forum read. But these are blunt instruments, and frankly, it's tedious.

Unread Pro, on the other hand, let's you define only those items you want tracked in the forum's unread list. For example, in the dialog above, the choices indicate this member only wants to see unread posts from nine forums and doesn't want to see threads that have been going on for 5+ pages or ongoing for 6+ months. They want to skip topics started by day-1 members and so-called "foes". The minimum posts choice is for those who prefer to join a discussion after it's developed a bit.

Give it a try!

But please note, this doesn't "filter" the unread list, it actively removes unread indicators for threads you don't wish to follow (e.g., by forum, length of post, or some other criteria). Your selections are saved as part of your profile, or you can bookmark the "pro" link with your choices as link parameters. In the example above, clicking the "Unread Pro shortcut" link copies it to the clipboard. Here's what it looks like:
/forums/unreadpro?forums=brewing,cafes,coffees,espresso-machines,grinders,knockbox,marketplace,news,tips&maxposts=50&maxdays=180&skipnewcomers&skipfoes
This makes it easier to try out new options without saving them, bookmark them, share them, etc.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
HB
Admin

#2: Post by HB »

I've integrated the standalone settings for "Unread Pro" with the regular User Control Panel settings (see updated screenshot in my prior post); the settings are now saved in your profile. The prior method using parameters on a URL still work (e.g., if you want to have multiple settings for different situations, bookmark them).

Selecting Unread posts (pro) will apply the settings you've saved and show your list of unread posts. A short reminder is shown directly below the "Unread posts" heading:



Hopefully this will help members deal with the "too much to follow" problem. :D
Dan Kehn

User avatar
HB
Admin

#3: Post by HB »

I've added two new options, "Skip topics by very recent members" and "Skip topics by foes".

The former option skips topics started by day-1 members; their thread will be included once it's developed for at least a day, assuming it's not filtered out by another option. I don't expect the latter option will get much use, but it skips topics that you've explicitly identified as "foes" (er, I didn't pick the name, it's part of the base phpBB package this site is built on).
Dan Kehn

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yakster
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#4: Post by yakster »

Hi Dan,

Is the out-of-the-box Unread Pro the same as Unread Posts? If so, I imagine you could move to just having one option and leave the configuration in the user control panel.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

User avatar
HB
Admin

#5: Post by HB »

I thought of merging them as you suggest.

If you don't choose any options, you're right, Unread Pro = Unread Posts. But it's useful to keep them separate. For example, when I first visit, I use Unread Posts for a complete list since my last visit. I scan that quickly and decide if a topic/forum outside of my "favorites" is worth clicking into. Then I'll use Unread Pro to tame the length of the list in one click (it often cuts the list in half or more). Finally, I use "Mark all read" to clear the list until next time.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
yakster
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by yakster »

I like it, a coarse and fine sieve for posts. I still haven't set up Unread Pro but might consider it now used this way since I can look for interesting outliers first with Unread Posts then apply the filters to further refine my unread posts.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272