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Author Topic: Preview a post by hovering mouse on topic title Back to Topics
GoGoGoodyear

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Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 4:21:18 AM


One or two other sites I frequent have a forum function that when one is looking at a page that shows a list of topics (or subjects) one can hover the mouse on the subject line (without clicking) and a small rectangle box pops up that shows a portion of the body text of the topic as a preview. Moving the mouse away from the topic line makes the popup disappear. This helps to quickly see if the topic is worth reading without having to click on it and wait for the sometimes lengthy discussion page to load, and is also helpful because many times members don't type a good, descriptive topic title.

The balloon popup is just a few lines of the original post. I will point out that sometimes what is shown in the popup preview is not useful because of things such as the post begins with a quote from another post or website, or has an image at the beginning of the post instead of text, and those are not displayed correctly in the preview. Those cases require opening the entire discussion thread.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Apr 6, 2013 8:08:34 AM

Correct GGG.
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Apr 6, 2013 4:56:04 AM


Not a trustworthy download source there, scout.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 6:50:17 PM

Well, It is GGG.
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 4:39:20 PM


scoutmaster,
"...I doubt if it would lessen the number
of duplicate topics, though."

I don't think it would either since most people just post without first checking other discussions.

I had forgotten about Coolpreviews but it's a great little plug-in. Too bad it's not available for those running IE.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 7:38:38 AM

Thanks Cookie! I just installed this on Chrome! Works great! And scroll-able!
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CookieAcct
Champion Author London

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 7:20:28 AM


The add on Cool Previews works very well for this purpose.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 5:11:22 AM

This is a good idea. I doubt if it would lessen the number of duplicate topics, though.
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 3:47:53 AM


This is what I consider a great example of properly implementing the preview hover function. I linked to the Automotive Tech forum, but look around the entire site and see that it functions the same on all it's forums.

That site has what I think is one of the best set of discussion forum features around. It beats GB by a mile (almost anything would...) and is far better than many of the turnkey forums out there that run on VBulletin. But that's what you get when you have custom code carefully improved over years.

CK, the example you gave a link for (hotforwords) is a cheap imitation. That site implemented hovering using the HTML comment/placeholder function that was intended to be used to provide a short descriptive placeholder for graphic elements such as JPGs while a page was loading, or if the browser didn't automatically display graphics, or for blind website users using a text-to-speech page reader.

edit: You'll notice that downloading the previews with those forum pages doesn't noticeably increase the page loading time.


[Edited by: GoGoGoodyear at 4/5/2013 3:50:17 AM EST]
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Apr 4, 2013 3:26:01 PM

Hover over these subjects, and you will see what an impossibly complicated and unfeasable idea this suggestion really is.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 8:28:13 PM

I like the idea -- it should be possible to implement it lazily, so that the index page itself can load quickly, and the snippets are only fetched when you hover the mouse to request them.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 5:36:12 PM

"Perhaps the impact of that could be limited by shortening the index page so that fewer topics appear on one page. I suspect most readers who keep up don't really look at more than the first ten or so topics anyway..."

It may be that most members don't read the titles of more than 10 topics, but reducing the number of visible topics will very likely lead to many members, especially newer members, not seeing a topic of interest and then starting a new topic on a subject that's been discussed in multiple threads... on the second and third pages of 10 topics. If a change should be made, I would prefer that the listing be more inclusive than it is, and hopefully members will see (and participate in) topics of interest, rather than starting new topics on issues already being discussed.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 4:19:12 PM

This suggestion has been added to the Suggestion Tracking List as a new subject.

This would require sending the preview material along with the category index itself, which may or may not be a show stopper. Perhaps the impact of that could be limited by shortening the index page so that fewer topics appear on one page. I suspect most readers who keep up don't really look at more than the first ten or so topics anyway, so that would probably not be a problem. Or the number of topics per page could be user selectable and the user could balance page-loading time vs. topics per page.

Of course the need for this idea would be lessened if members would accurately and adequately describe topics in the title in the first place, but how many years have we been yammering about that without results? There is one now (sorry to poke a stick in one member's eye, but I want to make the point) with the title "GasBuddy improvement." Of course that title applies (hopefully) to every topic in the category, so it does not differentiate that topic from all the others. Hmmmm. I just got a new idea and will post separately.

Meanwhile, if there is no hope that topic title writing will improve, this idea would be helpful.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 2:15:15 PM

scoutmaster:

While I haven't seen this in the very few discussion forums I've ever used, you do see this feature on some news sites. On www.cbssports.com, for one, you can "cursor" over the story heading and it will open a small box, such as GoGoGoodYear is discussing.

It's not much different than placing your cursor over the "Home" link at the top of this page, and then moving the cursor from left to right, with each new link (Gas Prices, Points & Prizes, etc.) revealing new sub-links.

Obviously it would be better if topics were better titled and issues identified in the topic name; after all, topic names such as "Favorites", "Fuel Logbook", "More Prizes" and "Price Posting" (just to name several in the "Suggest a GasBuddy Improvement" forum alone), or "Awards", "Favorites ? ?" or "New Owners" (in Talk Back to Us), let alone such topics as "Prices" "Rip-off", the all-inclusive "Gas".

The problem with a "hover box", depending on size of the box, and how much of the post it "opens", be it a line or two, or an entire first paragraph, is that it's dependent on how well the member writes his opening.

From a personal perspective, I limit my topic reading/participation to only a few categories (not Just For Fun or Off Topic), and consequently there aren't that many new topics to make it a bother to open in the threads I frequent and decide I don't wish to participate in the topic. That said, it's a good suggestion, just one that is dependent on good opening writing in the original post.
FrPersonally, while it's a good idea, I don't I don't
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 2:15:15 PM

scoutmaster:

While I haven't seen this in the very few discussion forums I've ever used, you do see this feature on some news sites. On www.cbssports.com, for one, you can "cursor" over the story heading and it will open a small box, such as GoGoGoodYear is discussing.

It's not much different than placing your cursor over the "Home" link at the top of this page, and then moving the cursor from left to right, with each new link (Gas Prices, Points & Prizes, etc.) revealing new sub-links.

Obviously it would be better if topics were better titled and issues identified in the topic name; after all, topic names such as "Favorites", "Fuel Logbook", "More Prizes" and "Price Posting" (just to name several in the "Suggest a GasBuddy Improvement" forum alone), or "Awards", "Favorites ? ?" or "New Owners" (in Talk Back to Us), let alone such topics as "Prices" "Rip-off", the all-inclusive "Gas".

The problem with a "hover box", depending on size of the box, and how much of the post it "opens", be it a line or two, or an entire first paragraph, is that it's dependent on how well the member writes his opening.

From a personal perspective, I limit my topic reading/participation to only a few categories (not Just For Fun or Off Topic), and consequently there aren't that many new topics to make it a bother to open in the threads I frequent and decide I don't wish to participate in the topic. That said, it's a good suggestion, just one that is dependent on good opening writing in the original post.
FrPersonally, while it's a good idea, I don't I don't
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 6:21:23 AM

How about listing a couple of those sites GGG.

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 3/12/2013 6:21:35 AM EST]
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