question about the Forums page

• Apr 18, 2024 - 23:23

This is definitely not an important question. It's just something I noticed a while back and it's annoying my inherent OCD nature.

On the main Forums page ( there is one item that I just don't understand. It seems quite intuitive, but its reality simply doesn't match my intuition.

The columns going across the page are

Forum -- Topics -- Posts -- Last Post

Under Topics, it lists a large number (presumably, the number of threads in this Forum) and for most, a link labeled "[some number] ... new posts". I had assumed that this showed the number of unread posts in that Forum. However, it often does not seem to be linked to anything real?

For example, the General discussion Forum shows "1 new post" after I view all the new posts. When I open it up for the day, it will show for example, "12 new posts". I open that forum and it will have 8 new posts, or 15, or sometimes 11. But once I read them all, it goes down to "1 new post".

Support and bug reports was showing "11 new posts" after I had read them all until about two weeks ago, when the number climbed to "13 new posts" ... and stayed there. Once again, when I open it in the morning, it will show 15 or 30 or 50. After I read them, it shows 13.

Some time ago, I tried to skim through all the pages of the General discussion Forum, wondering whether there were simply very old posts marked as "new". The first 2-5 pages of the forum had new posts: I read them. That's when the number went to 11. After that there were no more threads marked with new posts. I went about 150 pages into the past before giving up. (There are about 900 total pages in that Forum.)

As I write this, on the Forums page, it shows the Support and bug reports forum with "15 new posts". The actual forum page shows 7 threads with new posts. (This is after opening them in separate tabs and refreshing each page in quick succession.) I open one of the threads with a new post, then close it. On the Support and bug reports page, that thread no longer shows that it has any new posts, but the main Forums page (after refresh) still shows 15.

And the second part of my question is ... This number of new posts is a link. I had assumed that clicking it would take me to (something like) the most recent new post or the oldest, or to a list showing all and only new posts. But it just takes me to the 1st page of the forum.

Can anyone tell me what this means and why it behaves like it does? Soothe my (ever so slightly) obsessive nature :-)


Trying to follow your post. Not having much luck.

I saw a forum that had 229 new posts. I went to that forum and read the most recent post. I went back and the number of new posts for that forum was 228.

In reply to by bobjp

Yup, sometimes it does that, but other times it won't change at all ... or it will change by more than it should ... assuming that it actually means what out intuition says it does.

When I posted the original, the Support and bug reports forum showed "17 new posts". I went in and read 1: it still showed "17 new posts". I went back in and read the remaining 6: it still showed "17 new posts". This was about 4 hours ago: it still shows "17 new posts" even though it has 5 new posts since then.

I'll report back in a few moments when I've read the 5 new posts ...

When I logged in today (~1045 EDT), General Discussion Forum showed "5 new posts". Looking in the forum itself, it had 12 new posts in 6 threads.

Once I read them (about 10 minutes because I was also doing other stuff), the Forums page now shows "1 new post" ... which is what it has had after everything is read for several months ... but not always.

Support and bug reports Forum showed "21 new posts". The forum itself shows 49 new posts in 27 threads. About 90 minutes later, after reading them (and the 3 more new posts in 2 threads that were posted while reading), this Forum again returned to "13 new posts" as it has for several weeks.

It's just weird!

In reply to by TheHutch

Well, I think I figured out how this works. (If anyone other than me cares! :-)

Today, the General Discussion forum showed "1 new post" after I had read all the unread posts. So I went back in and scanned through a few pages of threads. I found a thread that had NO replies on it. So I opened it up and it turned out to be something I could actually answer. After I did so, General Discussion now shows no new posts.

So apparently the web page counts 1) threads with new replies, 2) threads with no replies, but not 3) threads that I created that have no replies. (My own new thread about the "Ped." symbol has no replies but was not counted for my "unread" list.)

All that just counts the posts that you have displayed on your screen or not, and it works quite well (at least for me).
The http request fetching these numbers is not done in the fetch post itself, but an instant later.
So maybe when that count request is slowed down or blocked by your network for some reason the result might be inconsistent ?

In reply to by frfancha

No, this is on the main Forums list: the page that doesn't show any posts. But yes, I suspect that the fetch command is not running every time the page is loaded. Sometimes it doesn't change after reading multiple posts; other times it shows radically incorrect values even after refreshing. It does not seem to be consistent.

But when it is working, it is (appears to be!) counting as I described.

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