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New Feature: Thread Watcher

by jdporter (Paladin)
on Feb 29, 2024 at 19:54 UTC ( [id://11157995]=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I am pleased to announce a new feature: thread watching. This lets you receive notification whenever someone posts a comment in a thread of interest.

More specifically, you can get notified when someone replies directly to a specific node of interest, or when someone replies anywhere under a node of interest, no matter how many reply levels below the node. These two modes are called 'direct' and 'any'. The node of interest doesn't have to be a root node in one of the sections; it could be any reply as well, in case you're only interested in a subthread under some post.

To register for notifications, click one of the new links you'll find by each node, near the "Comment on" link. For a node you're viewing directly (that is, the 'root' of a (sub)thread you're viewing), the new text looks like:
Watch for: Direct replies / Any replies
For all other nodes in a (sub)thread you're viewing, the new text looks like:
Watch: Dir/Any

If you have already registered interest in a node in this way, you will instead see a link like:

To see a list of all the nodes you are currently watching, go to My Watched Nodes. Next to each watch listed, you'll see a "button" (like [X]) which you can click to delete that watch.

In addition... You can watch a user, i.e. receive notification whenever a specific user posts. To set up this kind of watch, go to the user's homenode, where you will see a link like Watch for posts by this user. When you are stalking a user in this way, you will also get notifications of whenever they submit root posts in any of the main sections of the site.

If a post happens to hit multiple criteria you have set up — for example, you're watching for posts in a certain thread and by a certain user, and that user posts in that thread — you will get just a single notification message.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: New Feature: Thread Watcher
by pryrt (Abbot) on Feb 29, 2024 at 20:38 UTC
    Interesting feature.

    When I did my recent reply elsewhere, I was surprised to see the cb told me You said "[id://1158292] posted [id://11157997] as a comment somewhere under [id://11157983]" to [MonkNameHere] . Since I hadn't yet read your message, I was a bit confused as to how I sent that message, and started investigating my cb recently-sent, trying to figure out what happened. (Also, the cb message gave the raw links as I quoted, rather than link-rendering.)

    Was it intentional that you also message the poster that someone watched them post?

    Someone making a reply might get a little annoyed at seeing a dozen notifications that they msg'd everyone who happened to be watching a popular thread.

    And moreso, [MonkNameHere] might get a little annoyed that their watching of the discussion becomes semi-public knowledge. (I know some monks value staying hidden, even when they do log in, and might be upset to find out that I happened to know they were watching a particular conversation.)

      Thank you for the report. I've done some testing, and at this point I'm pretty sure that that message you saw in your cb was spurious, and factually inaccurate. I got it too, in my tests. But only the person who has registered for a notification will actually get it. I need to figure out why you got that message.

      Update: Fixed.

Re: New Feature: Thread Watcher
by Discipulus (Canon) on Mar 01, 2024 at 08:26 UTC
    Hello jdporter..

    ..and thanks for this feature we expected since long time!

    > There is not yet a way to turn off a watch.

    Can I suggest to have a page under Settings where all watched threads are visible and where you can unwatch them? In my opinion this will be better than an unwatch link in the node.


    There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
    Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.
      Can I suggest to have a page ... where all watched threads are visible and where you can unwatch them

      et voilą.

      One idea could be to have a search for "nodes you watch"

      The "Find Nodes" Nodelet has "nodes you wrote", that's the same link like for the write-ups number in a user's profile.

      One could parallel that in the Nodelet and in the profile.

      Update: Though in that case these lists should be private like votes.

      Cheers Rolf
      (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
      see Wikisyntax for the Monastery

        I have added the link to the Find Nodes nodelet. Not sure where I'd put the link on the user's profile, though. In any case, it would just be a link to My Watched Nodes, which only ever shows you your own watches, never someone else's.

Re: New Feature: Thread Watcher
by jo37 (Deacon) on Feb 29, 2024 at 20:14 UTC


    Though the links are almost not recognisable in the "Perl-Blue" theme.


      the links are almost not recognisable in the "Perl-Blue" theme

      Thanks! I have made an adjustment. Let me know if it's still not good.

Re: New Feature: Thread Watcher
by LanX (Saint) on Mar 13, 2024 at 19:25 UTC
    Hi I think it's still too complicated to "unwatch" a node

    The "You are watching this node" message in the node's footer should either

    • be followed by an unwatch! link
    • or (even easier) include a link to My Watched Nodes ¹

    I was trying to provide a patch for the latter, but found the usage of genLink() confusing.

    Reading the code in the Everything modules didn't help and I didn't want to guess.

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
    see Wikisyntax for the Monastery


    ¹) Thanks for implementing! :)

      Thank you for the idea. Good one!

      genLink is pretty simple. genLink( 'link text', { CGI parameters for the href } )

      genLink( "<u>watching</u>", { node_id => 11158023 } )
Re: New Feature: Thread Watcher - Should we call it 'follow' instead?
by jdporter (Paladin) on Apr 05, 2024 at 13:55 UTC

    What do y'all think of the idea of referring to this feature as following rather than watching? I think that would make more sense in the modern context.

      Can't say I would be overly worked up over the naming of it. Following sounds more appropriate where the object is a user and watching moreso where the object is a (sub)thread, so either is fine for the general case.

      As a hippo I'm in favour of combining watching and following so that we end up with wallowing. That sounds ideal. :-D


        OK. I have changed the verbiage on user homenodes only to 'Follow'/'Unfollow'. And I have moved that link to the 'For this user:' list of links. So you'll see it right after 'Search nodes'.

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