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This JavaScript "more" linking is annoying

edited November 2009 in Feedback
Can it be turned off? Instead of pulling in more comments into the current page, is there any way I can set my account to go back to a simple list of pages?

The AJAX stuff looks nice, but the loss of context when I move around pages makes it unusable. Just to view a comment I added to the Notifi module, I need to click "N rmore comments" TEN TIMES. If I add another comment, then it's another TEN CLICKS just to see what I posted.

This can turn a lot of people off, because the information here can no longer be scanned and bookmarked, not to mention what Google makes of it.

-- Jason


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    MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    We recently open-sourced the addons site so that issues like this can get resolved. In my testing I hadn't used any addons with that many comments, so I didn't notice. Thanks for bringing this up!

    ps. I have no idea what you mean by "not to mention what Google makes of it".
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    lucluc ✭✭
    I guess he might mean that googlebot won't open "more" discussions pages, so that it will only be able to index the ones in the first page.
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    Hi - yes, Google. Since there is no link to multiple pages, and no distinct URLs to each page, there is nothing for Google to follow to get past the first page of comments. Google doesn't run JavaScript and AJAX, and so would not be able to follow the links to those additional pages of comments.

    -- Jason
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    edited October 2009
    Another example: I just clicked "more discussions" twice in the main discussion list, then went into a discussion to view it. After viewing it, I used the browser's "page back" button, and that took me back to the first page. I had completely lost the context and so could not carry on from where I was.

    Like I say, it all looks nice, but really AJAX-based inline extending of pages is not appropriate for discussion forums where people are flitting in and out of discussions and comments.

    Adding of comments using AJAX is great though!
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    Have to say I agree. It's pretty, but just not functional. And very quickly gets irritating.
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    I personally prefer the discussions list with JavaScript turned off in my browser so the back button is more usable, but the comments list is so much better with JavaScript turned on ;)

    Maybe it could be made configurable in the Dashboard or user-preferences.
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    Oh yes - the back button. I'm finding the back button keeps taking me three or four pages back at a time, and I am quickly losing my place. For example, going from "my activity" to a discussion takes me to a new page. Pressing the back button does not then take me back to "my activity" - it takes me back to a page elsewhere in my account and I need to try and find the activity tab again.

    -- Jason
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    LincLinc Detroit Admin
    edited November 2009
    Been thinking about this for a few days, and I think I ultimately have to agree. I'd rather see paged navigation and the "More Discussions" functionality be moved to an Addon.

    Generally, I like AJAX for improving a single-page interface (especially forms), but disfavor it for navigation. I put paging firmly in the latter column. The Twitter-style AJAX thing is slick for a quick catch-up, but it isn't as functional as paging if you're trying to do more than that. Twitter wants to answer "What's happening now?", but I think Vanilla is more about "What's happened since I was last here?" and the "More Discussions" link isn't as helpful for addressing the latter question (especially if it's been a week or two).

    Currently, if I'm catching up on a large backlog of Discussions, I have to remember to open each discussion in a new tab because, as mentioned, the discussion list gets reset if you use the Back button, which is very disruptive. I also can't take a break on page 6, close my browser, and come back to page 6 after I've had my tea. You have to sit there and scroll down the page after each click (and count the clicks).

    I'm not sure if Google indexing concerns based on the use of AJAX is a real or perceived problem, but I think it might be a disincentive to use Vanilla for webmasters who worry a lot about that.

    Lastly, I think paging discussions is good base functionality. Use of an AJAX "More" seems like a glossy addon, not a solid starting point for most people. I think it adds complexity (both in code and user thinking required) rather than simplifying.

    That said, I'd be interested to hear why you went with the "More" link to start. It's easier to see the negatives when there's already several posts to start you in that direction. :)
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    I'm against navigation via js in principal, it's just overkill. It certainly gets my vote for moving to a plugin.

    Having said that, isn't there a jQuery history plugin that could be used to enhnce the "more" functionality (also for bookmarking)?
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    Thats pretty much all it needs, so it will update the url with #pagenumber and then you can enter the url with the #pagenumber and it will return to where you were, it also makes the back button work intuitively.
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    edited January 2010
    Pagination please. SEO nightmare otherwise. Yes, the jquery mod above can work, but there is not ability to jump straight to page N.

    Even with jquery, SEO not as good IMHO.

    What's more, paginated pages need to have the page number in the meta title too.

    Without this as a default, garden is simply unusable. All rankings would tank very very quickly.
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    My first reaction was that sitemaps would solve the crawling problem for older posts, but I guess for very large forums you are going to need to split them up or the actual sitemaps are going to get out of hand pretty quickly. Maybe something clever based on months/years would be a good way to go.

    I do agree that core functionality should be just that - a core that works without the bells and whistles turned on, so pagination would seem sensible, and it could be overridden as a standard plugin for those that want it.
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    I agree. Standard HTML pagination with page numers, first and last page and an indication of what page you are on should be the core navigation - it's a defacto standard. I do like the look of the jQuery thing as a plugin though!
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