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"Unread Messages Indicator" add-on released

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Author Paul
Lead Developer
#1 | Posted: 20 Feb 2009 03:57 | Edited by: Paul 
There were many suggestions and requests in the past regarding this option for miniBB - finally, we decided to make it happen. Of course, without the help, advice and testing of our friends from TDT3D Team this should never done, because in our team's opinion, that option doesn't work for what it actually describes. So everybody wanted this to be released - make donations to TDT 3D project :-)

The add-on works both in mySQL and cookies mode. When mySQL is used, it stores read topics and the checking point in two separate mySQL tables, that gives an opportunity to keep checked lists and points not depending on the specific computer. Since cookies are set on the client's side, you are tied up with checking points to the specific computer; but on the other hand, this doesn't overload the database.

Such tool is often called "Unread messages since last visit" indicator, but it doesn't work actually for unread messages. It only displays an icon near each topic's title, indicating there are some messages posted since the last checking point. The checking point should be defined by the user himself. When you log-in and check for the first time, such point is undefined, so all topics are considered unread; as soon as you read some topic, it goes to the "checked" list, and the icon is not appearing until there is new message posted in that topic, OR until you don't rich the checked topics limit. Such limit should be defined, because cookie has a limitation in size, the same way forums database should keep the good balance on stored topics information, else it will explode sometimes ;-) Finally, when you have checked what you wanted, you need to click a special link "Mark all messages read" - at the time you didn't read them at all.

My personal opinion, that comparing to our Checker tool, such "checking" principle has more cons than pros.

- You need to enter each forum to see what's new there, because Recent Topics doesn't always handle the total list of new stuff appeared. Even if you have ~10 forums, that makes the life difficult. In opposite, Checker allows to see what's happening entering just one panel, straight away. In Checker, it's possible to specify forums you will only check.

- Checker doesn't use (so doesn't overload) the database, storing data in plain files, and it doesn't use cookies. Still it works on different computers.

- Checker allows to see a short preview of each message before actually reading it.

- Checker is really a checker for unread messages, only end user decides if s/he read some topic or not, and it actually checks it out. It's more convenient, and it's more turbulent - the only problem it has, it is different and not usual.

What does it mean? I don't know who investigated this "unread icons" algorithm, but for me it seems terrible. It's not a proper solution which still says itself it is, and those believing it is, obviously are just under massive impression, dictatorship of majority. It seems nowadays people are learning from what others say, not from what they actually feel... sad.

Despite of that, miniBB is a software of choice, so my task releasing this add-on was to give everybody a choice :-) I hope you appreciate it!

Author TexasSeaHog
#2 | Posted: 21 Feb 2009 23:41 
Where can i get the add-on?

Author marsbar
Associated Member
#3 | Posted: 22 Feb 2009 00:32 
The add-on is available via the miniBB Downloads section.
- mb

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#4 | Posted: 23 Feb 2009 04:39 
"The add-on" link above stores the direct link to the package...

Author Guest
#5 | Posted: 23 Feb 2009 10:39 
I've installed this addon but nothing happens? I don't even see in the bb_plugins code where it refers to unread.gif. Am I missing something?

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#6 | Posted: 24 Feb 2009 03:30 | Edited by: Paul 
It seems we are missing something :-) I've updated the add-on to have a code for parseTopic() function of bb_plugins.php - it will actually hold the indicator... please re-download the package and follow README.txt instruction, and thanks for mentioning that.

Author Rock
#7 | Posted: 24 Feb 2009 19:51 
Could you please a little extend that code, so it would be able to show "unread indicator" not only near each topic's title but within the messages in it. So new messages in topic will be marked as unread too.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#8 | Posted: 25 Feb 2009 06:21 | Edited by: Paul 
So new messages in topic will be marked as unread too.

If you pay for it, I'll do... I'm not interested in that add-on at all. It all comes from our sponsors ;-)

Author Rock
#9 | Posted: 25 Feb 2009 06:32 | Edited by: Rock 
I'm not interested in that add-on at all.

I prefer the Checker too ;-) but some of my users dislike it.

Author Guest
#10 | Posted: 25 Feb 2009 06:34 
Anyone have this running and can show a link?

Open your eyes - TDT3D forums has sponsored it and this feature is available on their forums.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#11 | Posted: 25 Feb 2009 08:26 
A little update - it seems I've messed the code from the other add-on, and it should be actually pasted in parseTopic function, not parseMessage, like I mentioned earlier... too many buzz over my head past days, apologies :-) You may try now and it all should work...

Author Rock
#12 | Posted: 6 Mar 2009 05:42 
Could anyone help me with the following issue, I discribe it in brief.

I use this add-on some time in cookies mode, everything worked fine. But today I decided to try MySQL mode and that's a problem in:
1) function "Mark all messages read"
When I click on it page reloads and all topics marked as unread.
2) Condition in options "cLimitTopics".
I was trying to set 5 topics but it exeeds this limit (i think even all topics on my forum were marked as unread).

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#13 | Posted: 6 Mar 2009 07:23 
Without studying your database and website deeply it's impossible to determine where the problem is. So you need to debug it yourself... too less information to repeat on our side.

Author Guest
#14 | Posted: 6 Mar 2009 11:07 
I'm curious Rock where did you see the message: "Mark all messages read"
I couldn't find in the code where it called $resetReadLink at all and its not showing up on the site at all. I had to add {$resetReadLink} to my footer. Maybe its just my setup.

Author jontrac
#15 | Posted: 29 Oct 2009 02:31 
There are some limitations to this addon:

Cookies Mode:
Different computers/browsers show different results...

Database Mode:
The addon adds a lot of data to the database. It stores data from all users (what they have read and not read), even if they only register and visit the forum once. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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