Skip to main content

View Diary: Ask me anything about Daily Kos (and elections!) (142 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  [new] comments on DKE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    Following the lead of eXtina, I'd like to ask a technical question.

    As many DKE members know, there's a bug in the coding system left over from the new comments switch last year that has still not been fixed. To quickly re-cap for members who are not aware, on the specific page, all comments appear as "new" on the front page no matter how many of them you've previously been able to read. Such that, for instance, if there are 88 comments, all 88 will show up as "new" on the front DKE page (not in the diary itself, thankfully).

    David, is any progress being made on this at all or has the coding team simply given up?

    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

    by wwmiv on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:22:45 PM PDT

    •  I know this is a major frustration (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, wwmiv, Zack from the SFV

      And I'm afraid I don't know the answer to this. However, elfling has also been active in this thread, so hopefully she will pop in!

      Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

      by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:29:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As this is a technical question, I can speak to it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, lordpet8, RiveroftheWest

      The old style of [new] comment decoration required writing to the database every time a page loaded, something that is widely frowned on when optimizing application performance, as writing on read happens much, much more frequently than writing just when some new content is generated (comment posted, diary posted, etc).  I posted a graph of our database server load at the time, and there was a huge drop the moment we altered the code to remove the old style [new] decorations.  Sometimes what seems like a simple features can have seemingly outsized engineering repercussions associated with it.

      We've run through technical solutions to this problem, and while there are some possible hacks that could work for a time, the right way to do this is to build an in-memory store on the server side for all the comments each user has read.  This requires a substantial amount of work, as well as entire new parts of our physical infrastructure.  The amount of work and developer time that we'd need to get this to work without taking a heavy toll on the database make it not a good investment of resources in the older perl system we are in the process of replacing.  

      The good news is that we still intend to bring the feature back.  We are currently rebuilding the story page, along with comments, and will build this feature into the page.  We have spent a lot of effort and care on the design and development of comments, and think the new comments will be a vast improvement.  The final roll out of this feature is still a little while out, as releasing the diary page must wait for release of a new diary authoring tool as well (so preview matches published stories).  

      •  I'm not sure any of this is really answering the (0+ / 0-)

        question I had.

        Specifically, if in the process of moving from the old version of [new] to the new version of [new] created alot of problems, then why did this particular problem impact only this page:

        The problem is that on this particular page only (using today's live digest, so you can see for yourself the way this operates) the number of comments that are shown as new is always the total number of comments in that thread (but only on the preview at the outset, not within the diary itself).

        I understand that you're trying to move to another new system altogether, but why is that at all relevant to the particular problem I'm talking about?

        And I have the distinct feeling that either this is because it isn't relevant, or it is because the replies that are constantly given on this issue are written in such technical jargon as to be completely indecipherable to all of us who don't understand it at all.

        If this was happening system/site wide I would understand the relevance of the response, but the simple fact of the matter is that this is only happening on one very highly trafficked subsite so it would seem to me not to be a system wide thing, but a particularized problem that may or may not be easy to fix.

        Additionally, the lack of a functioning new feature on this subsite alone has contributed to what I see as a substantial decline in the commenting amount on these diaries (DKE) and these diaries alone. Overall, the new [new] feature works just fine from my vantage point especially in diary, except for this one huge problem.

        23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:01:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the details (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David Nir, skibum59, CF of Aus

          Sorry, I never know quite how detailed to get in these explanations of the internals of dk.  I'll do my best to refrain from technical jargon, though, to be sure, we're deep in the nuts and bolts here, so forgive me if I resort to it some.

          To clear up your first question- the count of new comments you highlighted in your screen shot comes from the same data-store as the [new] decoration, so we are indeed talking about the same issue here.

          So, here's the details.  We moved the recording of which comments you had read from the database server to the user's browser.  We use a feature similar to cookies called Local Storage.  It is a bit of text storage in the browser available to just the domain that wrote it.  There is a well founded privacy concern of the browser manufactures over keeping information one website wrote inaccessible to other websites.  To the browser, for the sake of this feature, is different than, and the Local Storage created on one can't be read from the other.

          That said, the exact same content from is available at with the same domain as the original, so the counts will be the same if you move from to a story.  

          As for why waiting for the new story page is relavant to the particular problem you experiencing, my answer is a long winded way of trying to explain the issue not a technical limitation, its a resources limitation.  We are a tech department of five people- with responsibilities that include moderation, quality assurance, database administration, system operations, as well as development, so have to be very wise about where we spend our time.  We have chosen not to do new development on the old system, instead replacing the pages as we go.  The full featured [new] decoration and new comment count will return when the new page rolls out.  

      •  I think the question (0+ / 0-)

        Is about something different - not the [new] flag on comments, but the new comment count on each post when you navigate to This behavior works as intended on the front page of Daily Kos. Example:

        But for some reason, it does not work on DKE. No matter what, the new comment count never resets. It will always be "13 comments / 13 new" or "108 comments / 108 new" — no matter what.

        Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

        by David Nir on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:26:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (144)
  • Community (55)
  • Baltimore (38)
  • Civil Rights (36)
  • Bernie Sanders (31)
  • Culture (28)
  • Elections (28)
  • Economy (26)
  • Law (24)
  • Texas (23)
  • 2016 (20)
  • Rescued (19)
  • Labor (19)
  • Environment (18)
  • Hillary Clinton (18)
  • Education (18)
  • Media (16)
  • Freddie Gray (16)
  • Politics (16)
  • Barack Obama (16)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site