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"Who Read This Discussion" - worthwhile plugin or terrible idea?
DoyceT Model Questioner ✭✭✭
I'm on Vanilla 2.1. My users are getting back from summer break and voicing a lot of excitement about the new forum. This is good!
They're also making requests and suggestions. This is... not always good.
One request: the ability to see a list of people who have viewed a discussion or comment - basically like the "Who Read the Conversation plugin (http://vanillaforums.org/addon/whoreadconversation-plugin), but for discussions.
I am, to put it mildly, a little leery of this, not least of all because the "who read the conversation" plugin seems to lag my inbox immensely, and I'd really hate to see that happen to all discussions.
So... thoughts on this? Is it as bad an idea as it seems?
seems like alot of overhead, without much value to me, unless there is a real need to know. what happens when a 100 people read the discussion, and if the discussions are public, it wouldn't be accurate anyway.
I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.
What it sounds like to me is a writer who's looking for validation that their instructor has seen the post and, thus, can now be fairly badgered to post a reply.
I'm going to tell them that the lag effect on the server is too high to make it worthwhile.
I would hate such a feature.
But it would be easy to implement a WhoReadThisDiscussionModule and I guess it would really be a performance break for bigger boards.
Absolutely. I hate the idea, but I'm trying to treat all the requests as not-crazy.
My policy is to treat all requests from members very seriously before turning them down flat....
This plugin would be really needed. Did it ever worked out?
Do you want to write it? It's really easy. If you dare to, I'll advice you how to start, where to look at, what to do and you just have to do little research on how things are done. But you can always ask me/us and I'll give you hints on how to solve each little problem. In the end, you'll be the owner of a plugin!
I like to teach so if you want to learn I'll be glad to help.
Here are the steps that you would have to take:
1. Decide how the information should be displayed (module or list, where should list be shown?)
2. Create a skeleton plugin
3. Think about ways to get the information "who has read"
4. Think about efficient ways to get that information!
5. Implement 5. and 6. (you should come up with your own ideas, but I already have an idea about that)
6. If it should be a module: look at plugins that display modules and find out what is needed to load a module
7. If it should be a list: search for plugins that display information at the same place
8. Implement display of list
9. Comment and clean up your code!
My forum is small - small number of users and small number of discussions. I therefore do not expect a performance impact.
If it were up to me, the implementation (from an end-user point of view) would be somewhat like the Discussants plugin -- a list of user pictures who saw the discussion, and for that list to be visible the user's role must have permission to see the list (e.g. admin and moderator can see, users cannot).
The need is different that asserted above -- it's not the author who cares. What we have in one of the categories is a list of discussions that contain educational videos some users (not all) need to see (and of course, if they want to comment on). So tracking who saw what is beneficial to the admin to urge some users to complete their training (and yes, we know, they can just go in and out not really see the videos).
I don't know if this means that this is a plugin rather than module, but I'm not sure what the term module means in Vanilla context.
Back to this issue. Does Vanilla actually track somewhere whether the discussion was read by a user? If so, where?
I think I found the answer - in the UserDiscussion table.
@gohunter , @DoyceT - take a look at the DiscussionReaders plugin I just uploaded. I believe I addressed the performance considerations.
Thanks to @R_J for his guidance above.