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Messages - xrunner
Off-topic / Re: What type of programmer are you?
« on June 16th, 2013, 03:20 AM »
Duct tape baby.

The only programming I do these days is for my hobby [1]. The programming involves a microcontroller called an Arduino. Right now I'm putting together a traffic light project that simulates the operation of traffic lights at two intersections using LEDs.

Nobody will ever see the code nor have to understand it except me, and I don't have to worry about anyone telling me how inefficient the code is. If it appears to do it's job to the casual observer - it's considered by me to be a complete success. :)
 1. model railroading
Are you trying to blow up my testing thread? :heck:
The Pub / Re: Infinite Scroll
« on June 16th, 2013, 12:56 AM »
Quote from Arantor on June 16th, 2013, 12:22 AM
The thing is, if you're not aware of it, you probably won't ever actually trigger it in the current implementation...
That's described me before I asked how to get it to work. I didn't even realize it could be done nor did I trigger it "by accident".
Off-topic / Re: The "Print" function
« on June 14th, 2013, 01:59 AM »
Well shit - that's what happens when I get lazy.

Looks like it's come to your attention then. Like the one guy said, "I've never printed anything from that function in 15 years". Even if you kept it, it always seemed to have a dumb name. I mean who's going to "print" a whole thread? Save it maybe ...

I guess you can merge this with the other one - or delete my ramblings.
Off-topic / The "Print" function
« on June 14th, 2013, 01:49 AM »
You know - the button at the top of threads. Do you think anyone ever uses it? For some reason it came to mind this evening when changing a board description on my forum.

I see it's still around. If it's useful, I think the name should be changed to something else.

Like "thread dump" :) or a better name.

I'd be interested in your thoughts about "Print".
Quote from Arantor on June 12th, 2013, 02:28 AM
Now, I would argue that I am a reasonably strong communicator;
I have sufficient command of English - generally[2] - to be able to make my point and cover discussion in depth (when I choose to), and I tend to choose my wording fairly carefully to convey the meaning I intended, however most of that is a subtlety often lost in this medium.
 2. On a similar line of thought, I have heard it said that you shouldn't need to resort to swearing if you have a sufficient command of language. I find I resort to swearing when more erudite communication would be wasted or simply that I cannot find the words to express my frustration. There is something very earthy and primal about profanity to express level of frustration.
Oh I agree 100% I don't swear often on a forum, but if I choose the right time and place, one swear word works very well, thank you.
Ultimately, to me, it's not cheating, it's a way to express a hint of the missing context that goes with non-verbal communication. The tone of voice, the expression on the face... with a suitably well defined smiley set, a surprising amount of additional context can be easily communicated.
Compare the difference between these two statements (on a forum of course). Lets' say Wedge is released for general use and a newbie asks a dumb question in the inevitable support forum, and you respond in a way the newbie doesn't seem to appreciate.

I post this to the newbie -

"Oh yes, Arantor is a horrible communicator."

That's basically a straightforward assertion, to be taken without further interpretation.

But if I post this -

"Oh yes, Arantor is a horrible communicator" :) (a simple smiling face)

It's fairly obvious that there's more going on than just the words convey. So yes smileys do add something that can't quite be added by more words.
 1. Note appropriate use of non-verbal communications
Quote from Arantor on June 12th, 2013, 01:58 AM
Oh, I saw exactly where you were going with this. *cracks knuckles*
I know. :)

Let me consider what you have written until tomorrow. :hmm:

But I will respond with a question that kindof fits in, in one sense.
OK, let's get complicated :niark:
^^^ See that smiley you used? I use them too.

But, I had one moderator at another forum that said (paraphrasing) that he would never resort to using smileys. He claimed that, if you were intelligent enough, you wouldn't have to resort to using them. If you were intelligent enough, you could explain yourself without using a smiley.


I don't really quite agree with that. It seems to me that a smiley is akin to a facial expression when people are in front of each other. It's part of the way humans communicate without words, which I think is very much needed on a forum.

Oh, I just got a new idea regarding smileys! I swear I just now thought of it Ha!

But I'll wait to hear what you say about smileys first. Are they "cheating" or being lazy when used in a forum conversation?
Quote from Arantor on June 12th, 2013, 01:05 AM
You could but it would be flawed.
Most probably, but it's fun hashing these ideas out with you. :) [1]
In the case of a YouTube video, very often an individual frame may not have much substance in itself and it may not work out of context on its own. So too with posts of a thread, they may have little substance, or they may have everything... and out of context they may not work well.
I agree. Many posts in a thread have little substance too, especially longer ones where people just post "LOL" or other noise. So the analogy sortof holds so far ...
The difference is, though, generally a video is expected to be considered in entirety, while a thread not so much.
Well, I have scrolled through videos for a specific part that I was interested in and ignored the rest. I've done the same with a thread.
For long threads, commenting upon them is fine in reference to the last few posts/last page or two is expected, rather than reading the entire thread. Contextually we're talking about a jump-cut to another scene or location under some circumstances. It still relates to the whole but it might have a twist to it that requires new context.
What I was going for as I said was each video is analogous to a thread, and each frame of video analogous to a post in the thread. In the video, you can (and I do quite often) scroll though it to the information I want to get out of it. For example, I value the posts of certain members over other. I might scroll through the thread to just read what I consider the "smart" people are posting. In videos, I can scroll the bar and look for what a certain person is doing without regard to anything else. In threads, you can do the same thing, especially if they are long threads by looking to members names that you want to follow.

Yet, in the video, there are no "pages" of frames - it's just the whole video from start to stop. Nobody cares about the number of frames or that they aren't divided into "pages" of frames - they care about what they can find in the video. I'm just wondering how people would react to a thread that could be "scrolled" from beginning to end, as a video, without regard to "pages".

Now, to destroy my own argument, I'd probably say ... ... because each post has information in it that needs to be able to be searched, whereas a frame of video, which does have information, is (as far as I know) impossible to search at this point in time, all posts have to exist all at once in bins "pages" for search engines. :hmm:
 1. at least I get fun out of it - thanks
Could an analogy be made between an individual You Tube video and it's frames, and a forum thread and it's posts?

Hmmm. I could try, and amuse anyone reading this. :)
That's very good material for consideration. Some of it I had stumbled upon today on my own - that's why I didn't post my idea in full because I realized there were flaws, and that's why I needed to ask some questions. :)

But, I have some conflicts about all this still swirling in my head [1]. When I devoted some time to this today I was, all the time thinking, "Surely some ultra-intelligent person has already gone through this". Yet, I'm still troubled by a few concepts relating to why "pages" still have to be used on forums. I mean today the Admin can say there are 50 posts to a page, and tomorrow he/she can say there are only 25 ...

Maybe I'll resolve these conflicts tonight or tomorrow. Maybe I won't. Let me consider what you have said, with the ideas I had in my other text file. Regardless, it's an interesting and instructive hashing-out of ideas. :cool:

 1. feeble as it is
Quote from Arantor on June 10th, 2013, 02:07 AM
Sure, we could display a 'you are |---------------|____| this far' through the topic. It might not be a bad idea to experiment with as a plugin actually.
That's nearly exactly the text representation I had on the file on my other computer (which I gave up on for the time being). :lol:

I had all sorts of ways to compute the percentage where you were and where you wanted to go in the thread, but I ended up thinking it would have been so responsive and so dynamic, that it just wouldn't fly on a real forum. :-/
Would you read a book if you didn't have 'pages' but simply one long thing to scroll through?
I thought about this for a while. Now, I have had 1 and 1/2 glasses of wine, so take that into consideration ...

I think so, sure. As long as I can mark what page I left off reading, and if there was a table of contents that would point to at least a symbol on certain pages (which was one argument I wanted to make against pages on a forum - what are pages without a table of contents :wow:)

So I say - yea I would read a book without page numbers. Now I suspect you will try, and succeed, to cause me to reverse my claim. ::)

I see. Thanks.

The idea I was tinkering with, was to consider the entire thread, no matter if it was 10 posts or 1000, as an entity that was browsable in terms of a percentage - not a "page". I don't think people care about pages per se, they sometimes go across long threads to see how the progression went. They want to perhaps go to the 50% point, or the 75% point, and so on. To my mind, talking about pages or dividing a thread into pages is not really a help to people. That's the way it's been done, but I wanted to come up with a way to scroll across the totality of posts and the indicator was to be a percent indicator of where you were with respect to the total posts in the thread - not a "page" number.

But I ran into computational concerns ... well if this spurs any ideas then there ya go. :)
I had worked on an idea today regarding forum "pages" and a different way to go through a thread's posts, but after reading what Mr. Arantor and Mr. Nao had alluded to in a PM, I need to ask a theoretical question now. If my idea doesn't work out and I just learn something, so much the better. I'd like to ask about where the limitations of how many posts per page comes from.

By process of elimination I found that the SMF "Number of posts per page in a topic page" would accept a number up to as high as 999. Entering 1000 made it revert to 15. Never even tried numbers that high before and never heard anyone talk about it much. On the surface it sounds like one of those "nice round numbers" somebody decided to use, but it may have come about by some sort of objective testing in the past.

I found the largest thread by replies on my forum that had 157 pages called "word association". My posts per page setting was 25, so that's about 3925 posts. Being brave, I set my active forum's posts per page to 999, and after a few seconds it came back with four pages, having re-sorted it all correctly. One hell of a scroll though (that in and of itself would not have impacted my idea though).

On another forum I can get into, I found the largest thread by replies was 67 pages @ 29 posts per page for a total of ~1943 posts, so the setting could have been set much higher there.

But on a much bigger forum redandwhitekop the largest topic by replies was 1569 pages. Don't know what sort on impact a high setting would have there.

Anyway, take the built-in limitation of 999 posts per page for SMF. That's a pretty high allowable limit as it is. What thinking lies behind that number? Is it a limitation for the server, or a limitation for the outside viewers or spiders?

Thank you.
The Pub / Re: Infinite Scroll
« on June 9th, 2013, 01:57 AM »
Quote from Arantor on June 9th, 2013, 01:47 AM
Wait until you see what I've been working on. It explains why I was so frustrated with jQuery UI breaking things... ;)
Cool. Can't wait. :cool:
The Pub / Re: Infinite Scroll
« on June 9th, 2013, 01:45 AM »
Quote from Arantor on June 9th, 2013, 01:41 AM
I can only imagine how annoying that would be :/
Yea I guess you would need a big red dividing line at the end. I'm just infatuated with it now. It doesn't take that much to entertain me. :)