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Number of topics shown on the "latest posts" list
Thread poster: juvera
juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:43
English to Hungarian
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Jul 16, 2009

I selected to visit the English language forum latest topics with one click, and I used to get a three pages long list to browse. I never counted how many topics would this actually contain, but I usually managed to keep up by visiting it two or three times a week.

I noticed lately that the third page only contained a few topics, and tonight there are only two pages, and the second page is very short. My suspicion is, that the list got much shorter, the oldest posts are all dated 16th and I would have to search all over the place if I wanted to find out what was posted during the previous couple of days.

What are the criteria to decide how many topics are shown on the "latest" list and why is this list restricted so much? I think it would be reasonable to be able to go back for 3-4 days. On KudoZ you can backtrack endlessly (well at least back to the very first question posted!)

I think a lot of people visit the English topics. Would it be preferable to have a longer latest topics list available? What do you think?


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Matt Petrowski
SITE STAFF
Still the same amount of results Jul 17, 2009

Dear juvera,

The Recent Posts page has indeed changed, but the number of results that is returned has not. Previously, each page only displayed 25 topics per-page, and now they display 50. The Recent Posts page currently retrieves the 500 most recent forum posts; the amount of different topics that these 500 posts belong to therefore can vary, so the overall length of the list may change, but these 500 posts usually seem to belong to about 150 different topics.

I hope this explanation was helpful. If you have any suggestions for ways to improve the Recent Posts page, and the ProZ.com Forums in general, please submit a support request.

Best regards,
Matt Petrowski
ProZ.com staff


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juvera  Identity Verified
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Thank you very much for your answer, Matt Jul 18, 2009

At least now I understand the system. I guess 500 posts are plenty to keep an eye on, although obviously some topics may hog the board, with or without reason. What baffled me a bit why the number of topics vary from time-to-time, but this explains it.

Best regards
Judith


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juvera  Identity Verified
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Dear Matt, the trend seems to be continuing Jul 20, 2009

Now the number of topics is down to 41, less than a page.

In theory it could go down to a very low figure, and contrary to what I wrote a couple of days ago of having 500 posts are plenty, it does mean that some subjects are squeezed out by others, before those who don't visit the forum at least every other day have a chance to read them. Some of them may interest only a minority, but it could be quite useful to be able to read them.
Some of the 500 posts often don't contain more than "congratulations" or "sorry, I wrote in haste and removed my post".

I would have thought a minimum number of topics, like the mentioned 50, but perhaps a bit more (60?) could also be maintained.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:43
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Old threads can still be valuable ! Jul 5, 2010

When I was starting out on Proz, one of the most fantastic resources I found was the ability to track back through many pages of discussions, and find out many things I didn't know.

Recently all the lists of threads have been cut down to only 2 pages. Where have all the earlier threads gone? Is it still possible to access them?

I appreciate that keeping absolutely everything probably uses up an awful lot of server disk space, but it's so useful to be able to trawl back through old discussions.

Is there any hope that the previous multi-page thread lists might be brought back?


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:43
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I agree with juvera Jul 5, 2010

juvera wrote:

Now the number of topics is down to 41, less than a page.

.....some subjects are squeezed out by others, before those who don't visit the forum at least every other day have a chance to read them. Some of them may interest only a minority, but it could be quite useful to be able to read them.

I would have thought a minimum number of topics, like the mentioned 50, but perhaps a bit more (60?) could also be maintained.


Yes juvera, I fear I may be missing reading really interesting or important posts because they disappear so soon from the list (especially since I'm watching in more than one language).

I feel that this change was not a change for the better


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:43
Member (2005)
German to English
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Present situation not defensible Oct 1, 2010

Tom in London wrote:
I appreciate that keeping absolutely everything probably uses up an awful lot of server disk space, but it's so useful to be able to trawl back through old discussions.

Whatever the amount of server space they occupy, old posts are still there: forum posts from long before the "recent posts" can be found by doing a forum search, so saving space is clearly not a reason for this restriction.
In my experience, only 2, possibly 3 pages of "recent posts" are available and this is not enough if, for example, I've been unable, too busy etc. to look at posts for more than the past couple of days.

Since proz.com apparently has no intention of making a reasonable number of recent posts easily accessible this way (despite members' wishes: it has been requested in the past and not implemented), I would like to reverse this absence of intention by pointing out that it could easily be implemented by modifying the advanced forum search page.
At present I can do something a little like this but I have to select individually all the separate forums in the box "Search specific forum(s):".
I suggest this: What is needed is a "pseudo-forum" in that list to represent all those in the "recent posts" list, and perhaps extend the "Post date:" drop-down list to include 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 days.
Then we could do a search for, for example, the past 4 days, and get the equivalent of a longer "recent posts".

In the hope that somebody will read and act on this,

yours hopefully (i.e. I have some hope, but, I admit, not much),

Oliver

[Edited at 2010-10-01 21:40 GMT]


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:43
English to French
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With Oliver Nov 1, 2010

Oliver Walter wrote:

I suggest this: What is needed is a "pseudo-forum" in that list to represent all those in the "recent posts" list, and perhaps extend the "Post date:" drop-down list to include 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 days.
Then we could do a search for, for example, the past 4 days, and get the equivalent of a longer "recent posts".



That would be a great solution.
May the staff hear you...


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juvera  Identity Verified
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Length of latest post list Nov 1, 2010

Thanks, Oliver, it may be a solution to the problem.

I have given up following the forum postings. I look at it occasionally, when I can, and that's that. You could say it is my loss, but it is also loss of audience for the ProZ forum and for the site generally, because it is obvious from your posts that others have the same problem.

In the old days, if I remember well, several pages were available under the latest posts list, so it was possible to go back to the date I looked them the last time and skim through the postings from there, picking out the ones I was interested in.

The forum had a longer chronological backbone, making it easier to follow. I have no time to search within each topic, and as I said before, it is possible to fill in half the latest posts with "congratulations" or similar, very nice comments, but it does not improve the accessibility of the postings in other subjects.


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:43
Member (2006)
English to French
Agree Nov 5, 2010

Oliver Walter wrote:

In my experience, only 2, possibly 3 pages of "recent posts" are available and this is not enough if, for example, I've been unable, too busy etc. to look at posts for more than the past couple of days.



I agree, I also feel frustrated when I reach the end of the second or third page of "recent posts" and cannot go to a fourth page to find the specific thread I am looking for.

Stéphanie


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:43
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Let's look at it in a different way: what is the lenght of time a post is likely to be visible? Nov 6, 2010

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:
Oliver Walter wrote:
In my experience, only 2, possibly 3 pages of "recent posts" are available and this is not enough if, for example, I've been unable, too busy etc. to look at posts for more than the past couple of days.


I agree, I also feel frustrated when I reach the end of the second or third page of "recent posts" and cannot go to a fourth page to find the specific thread I am looking for.
Stéphanie

Three pages? You should be so lucky.

Far from the mentioned 150 or so English topics likely to be shown, at the moment there are only 54 of them are visible, and they barely reach the second page. Out of these 15 belong to SDL-Trados. That leaves 39 non-Trados threads.

The actual time of the first post still visible - i.e. the oldest one - is about 24 hours.
It means that if you did not visit the forums for just one day before that, quite possibly you missed a total turn of posts, or you may just catch the tail end of them if you are lucky.

Is that a way of trying to make people visit more often, I wonder?
It doesn’t work.

We look in when we can, when we have the time. Nobody can afford to miss a deadline or want to put off a visit or “forget” to cook dinner or do the shopping or whatever, because the forums are galloping ahead, like time itself.

It also means that we don’t have the time to search for missed posts, unless there is a very special reason for it.

So, simply, the forums get fewer visits, because they are disappearing too fast from the general setting (all "latests posts" in English), which is the most convenient way to look at them.

Of course, that may solve the problem - less visits, less posts; they stay on longer. But is that the objective? Not very likely.

So, I repeat: PLEASE, make the forums more user-friendly for those who cannot visit them as frequently as it is necessary at present in order to keep up with them.


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Adrian Grant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:43
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Death Row Nov 7, 2010

Folks, you're living on borrowed time.

Soon this thread will be on page 3, and entering easily-accesible Kafka Building 9.
Behave, and accept the real.


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:43
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Let's see what happens Nov 7, 2010

At the moment I counted exactly 1000 visible posts, double of what suppose to be there.

Has the system been changed or is it a fluke? Is it because today is Sunday, and comes Monday morning, it will be culled again? Or after all the quota has been changed?
Let's wait and see.


[Edited at 2010-11-07 17:00 GMT]


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:43
Member (2005)
German to English
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No action yet from Proz Nov 8, 2010

There was a very similar topic in October 2007, to which both Juvera and I posted contributions:

http://www.proz.com/forum/site_forums/87838-only_one_page_of_most_recent_posts.html

I have now submitted 2 (two) support requests about this: one in November 2007 and one on 2 November 2010 (last week!) in response to Matt's posting in this topic in July 2009. The only results of those, so far, are "I have added this to be evaluated as a site improvement " and a similar reply in 2007.

The above are the only responses by Proz about this idea (providing easy access to a longer list of "recent postings") that I recall ever having seen. The possible reasons for that could be:
  • Proz thinks that giving any time to consideration of, or responding to, this idea is a waste of time;
  • Proz has a reason for not implementing this feature but will not reveal the reason, nor even admit that this reason exists;
  • It is already possible to achieve this effect easily, but if that is the case, I would like to know how it can be done as I have not yet found it.

1. Do you think my list of possible reasons is valid?
2. Do you (those who have not replied to this topic) support the idea?

To Proz: let me point out the following, which I expect is true, although of course I have not asked all the members whether they agree: To many members, an important reason for using the Proz website is precisely these forums which are valuable exchanges of information, assistance and ideas. Taking that as understood, it is not reasonable to make it easy for members to see forum posts from the previous 1 or 2 days (that's what it is in practice), but much more difficult to see posts from the (let us say) 3 to 5 days before that.
I am now waiting for a constructive response from Proz......................

Oliver


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juvera  Identity Verified
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Hear, hear Nov 10, 2010

Oliver Walter wrote:
To many members, an important reason for using the Proz website is precisely these forums which are valuable exchanges of information, assistance and ideas. Taking that as understood, it is not reasonable to make it easy for members to see forum posts from the previous 1 or 2 days (that's what it is in practice), but much more difficult to see posts from the (let us say) 3 to 5 days before that.
I am now waiting for a constructive response from Proz......................
Oliver


Me too...

By the way, following the previous count of 1000, actually the number of the visible posts fluctuates wildly, at the moment it is around 850.
Luckily, it tends to be substantially more than the 500 mentioned, but it is not enough, and after all it seems that there is no system.

Judith


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