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Old 18 July 2013, 02:32   #1
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Forum layout

Something has always puzzled me about websites, and RibNet is no exception.

I cannot see any good reason why sites use pages. When browsing a thread as I scan down I get to the end of the page, press next page, then carry on browsing.

Most, if not all sites do this. From Ebay to RibNet, one notable exception is Facebook.

Why? Why can' I just scroll down, unencumbered by page breaks, to whatever post or the end? Paging just seems to me to be a nuisance.

So, can anyone tell me sites use paging? Or is it just a hangover from earlier times?

Cheers to all

Ian Wilson
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Old 18 July 2013, 03:07   #2
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It keeps the page size smaller so it loads faster, keeps the load on the server manageable, and doesn't waste resources by transferring massive amounts of redundant data.

Look at the length of some of the threads. Loading hundreds or even thousands of posts every time would be pointless. As would loading tens of thousands of thread titles on the forum index pages.
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Old 18 July 2013, 03:10   #3
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It keeps the page size smaller so it loads faster
Yeah, Facebook is reeeally slow to load on some smaller mobile devices
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Old 18 July 2013, 03:20   #4
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I see your point - that helps explains things.

But - (at the risk of prolonging this thread beyond your patience level (o: )

Surely it would be possible to have the system load a pageful, then as the user scrolls down and reaches the end of the downloaded portion, automatically download the next set of posts.

This would make the whole process transparent to the user.

Better still, the user could set the number of posts to download in a page and so tailor the download volume to their connection/device.

Better yet, why is this a problem at all? Surely it would be relatively straightforward to know when sufficient data is downloaded to give the user a "screen full". Display that then, as the user reads it, download more in the background.

I know, I know, this is a RIB forum not a programmers forum. Sorry, just thinking aloud.

Feel free to take my observations/queries as rhetorical.

Thnaks for the info

Ian Wilson
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Old 18 July 2013, 03:54   #5
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Ian,

Two ideas:

1. Increase your posts per page setting - it can be set for 100 posts per page.

2. Get a Supporter membership. That way, you will have no ads to scroll through. Oh, and we'll have more patience...

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Old 18 July 2013, 04:07   #6
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1. Shows my ignorance - I didn't know I could do that - thanks

2. Will investigate Supporter membership

3. Your patience is prettydamn good already!

Cheers

Ian Wilson
an older and wiser man!
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Old 18 July 2013, 08:13   #7
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On the flip side I was still on Dial-up when I first joined here.

All above is 200% true!
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Old 18 July 2013, 12:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.i.wilson View Post
Surely it would be possible to have the system load a pageful, then as the user scrolls down and reaches the end of the downloaded portion, automatically download the next set of posts.
it would; as you say this approach already exists on some other sites - but as John points out is has downsides for server load, and the amount of data you download (which costs some users per MB).

This would make the whole process transparent to the user.

Better still, the user could set the number of posts to download in a page and so tailor the download volume to their connection/device.

Quote:
Better yet, why is this a problem at all? Surely it would be relatively straightforward to know when sufficient data is downloaded to give the user a "screen full".
Well yes and no. The technology exists to do it - but its not how web "pages" were designed to work, and so it might be wrong to say it is 'relatively straightforward'. If you browse facebook on a poor connection you will soon find this 'feature' frustrating.

Quote:
I know, I know, this is a RIB forum not a programmers forum. Sorry, just thinking aloud.
And as you may realise RIBnet just uses an off the shelf forum system, so the approach is defined by their programmers rather than ribnet. Your suggestion is not without merit, and if someone was developing a forum system from scratch today might be worth thinking about.
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Old 18 July 2013, 15:04   #9
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Its doable with javascript and ajax an d stuff to pick up when you are nearing the bottom of the page and start loading mroe content.

BUT - that makes the site dependant on client side scripting and anythign client side means the client complains when it doesn't work and expects the server guys to know why and fix it for them...
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Old 18 July 2013, 17:07   #10
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While you are talking about the site layout,my Android tablet loads 10 posts on each page which i think is the norm.if their are say 9 posts on the thread, when i have read them all i have to scroll back to the top of the page to see the list of threads on the right hand side to choose the next one i want to read.does everyone do this or am i missing something?
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