Tag Archives: Threading

To Thread Or Not To Thread

I saw an article today called Flat or Threaded? which examines the practice of “threading” a web forum. This has lead me to do some serious thinking about threading. Read on for more…
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PHP Lesson 2: Behind the Scenes of Threading

This is going to be a very nerdy post, because I’m going to get into some actual PHP code. I’ve been thinking a lot about efficient threading. The implementation of threading on OSNews is very complex, because it involves lots of math in order to properly construct and align tables. Furthermore, because we don’t use CSS for positioning, it’s accomplished via ‘align’ commands and TWO templates, which is really clumsy, because between flat mode, admin mode, collapsed threading mode, and expanded threaded mode, we have several templates, and since they are all independent, they tend to unintentionally vary, so you might see different things in replies and threads. My goal in writing a threaded display for firsttube.com was to avoid all of the pitfalls in that implementation and come up with something clean. Read on for the gory details.
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firsttube.com gets threads

I understand that some people believe that threading comments are unintuitive, they confuse the user, and that they are ugly. I like ’em. So this site now supports threading in the comments.

Now – as of right now, you can only reply once, like digg, but it supports two deep. This is only because I haven’t found a more elegant way to allow deeper threading in the code. As soon as I do, I will be allowing deeper threading, probably 3 or 4 comments deep for aesthetic reasons.

The entire thing is done in CSS, unlike OSNews which is hard coded to the pixel with very complex code that really makes me uncomfortable when I see it. This is much nicer. It’s all done via templates, and there are only two – one for comments and one for threads, and this will probably change to one soon too.

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