locked Merging threads


 

Hi All,

I just pushed the changes so that you can merge threads. I can't say I'm completely satisfied with the way the user interface currently works, and would appreciate any suggestions you may have. Here's how it works:

Go to the thread view for your group. As the owner or moderator with archive editing permissions, you'll see 'Start Merge' links with every thread. Click on, and you'll get a dialog confirming you'd like to start a merge. Click ok. Then the links for other threads will change to 'Merge Into'. Click the thread you'd like to merge into, and you'll get a dialog asking you to confirm this. Once you do, the threads will be combined.

If you start the process and then visit the thread view of another group, everything is reset, and you start over.

You can split a thread into two, and then merge the two parts back together, and it's like nothing happened.


Thanks,
Mark


 

Mark,

Go to the thread view for your group. As the owner or moderator with
archive editing permissions, you'll see 'Start Merge' links with
every thread. Click on, and you'll get a dialog confirming you'd like
to start a merge. Click ok.
I don't think you need the confirmation dialog, as no real action is taken until you "Merge Into".

Click the thread you'd like to merge into, and you'll get a dialog
asking you to confirm this. Once you do, the threads will be combined.
Oh, I didn't expect this: the merged thread is sorted into temporal order (or perhaps message # order) for display. I thought the segment I started with would be appended onto the end of the one I merged into.

This could get interesting when merging two parts of a thread that diverged and were posted in parallel for a while before the moderator put them back together. To the extent that members quote for context (as email users tend to) that will work fine. To the extent that members were posting from the web site without quotes it could get interesting. The antecedent to someone's "I agree." post may become unclear.

Of course that's a problem anyway in a multi-user message board that fails to show message reply-to relationships...
*cough* https://groups.io/org/groupsio/beta/thread/9671#366

You can split a thread into two, and then merge the two parts back
together, and it's like nothing happened.
The strict temporal view could also get real interesting if you make a mistake and need to back-out a merge.

Perhaps the Split function needs to have some smarts and offer the user the option of plucking the sub-thread (using the logic of the original message Subject and in-reply-to references) versus all messages past this point in the thread as displayed.

-- Shal


 

On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 2:04 PM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:

I don't think you need the confirmation dialog, as no real action is taken until you "Merge Into".

Yeah, I was unsure about that. I have removed the dialog.

 

Oh, I didn't expect this: the merged thread is sorted into temporal order (or perhaps message # order) for display. I thought the segment I started with would be appended onto the end of the one I merged into.

Yeah, it's just date ordered. In the database we don't currently track parent/child relationships for messages. Of course it's all still there in the raw emails.

 
This could get interesting when merging two parts of a thread that diverged and were posted in parallel for a while before the moderator put them back together. To the extent that members quote for context (as email users tend to) that will work fine. To the extent that members were posting from the web site without quotes it could get interesting. The antecedent to someone's "I agree." post may become unclear.

Do you think that'd be a popular use case? I guess I figured that merging would normally happen pretty quickly after a split..

 
Of course that's a problem anyway in a multi-user message board that fails to show message reply-to relationships...
*cough* https://groups.io/org/groupsio/beta/thread/9671#366

Sigh Reddit. :-)

 
Perhaps the Split function needs to have some smarts and offer the user the option of plucking the sub-thread (using the logic of the original message Subject and in-reply-to references) versus all messages past this point in the thread as displayed.

Hmm, that could be interesting.

Thanks for the feedback!

Mark


 

Mark,

Yeah, it's just date ordered. In the database we don't currently
track parent/child relationships for messages. Of course it's all
still there in the raw emails.
That's a consistent and defensible implementation. It may have "surprised" me only because I had the cut/paste metaphor too strongly in mind. But naming the function "Merge Into" is a good clue, and from it I should have anticipated the result.

I think perhaps that a view option for hierarchical threading could show the result in the way I expected, giving members an alternate way of following the conversation.

Do you think that'd be a popular use case? I guess I figured that
merging would normally happen pretty quickly after a split..
My thought was that "pretty quickly" might be a fair number of messages in a busy group with light moderation. But no, I don't think it will often be a big issue.

Sigh Reddit. :-)
Yes, well, you needn't copy a format that you dislike.

Or maybe I should go read at Reddit for a while, perhaps that will make it obvious to me why you cite it.

Perhaps the Split function needs to have some smarts and offer the
user the option of plucking the sub-thread (using the logic of the
original message Subject and in-reply-to references) versus all
messages past this point in the thread as displayed.
Hmm, that could be interesting.
Another way of giving the moderator this choice is to have the split affordance in both a hierarchy-sorted view and in the temporal-sorted view. That covers both natural meanings of "this message and those that follow it."

-- Shal


 

Merging killed threads for me. It show one message, when I click on it, it goes to the homepage.


Linda
 

Hi Nikolay,
I've had success merging threads.  In Thread View, click on Start Merge, then click on Merge Into of the other thread you want to combine.  Is that what you did?
Linda

Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2015 4:12 PM
Subject: [beta] Re: Merging threads

Merging killed threads for me. It show one message, when I click on it, it goes to the homepage.


 

On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 1:12 PM, Nikolay Kolev <nikolaynkolev@...> wrote:
Merging killed threads for me. It show one message, when I click on it, it goes to the homepage.
_._,_._,_
That doesn't sound good. Could you send me off-list the name of the group and the subject of the thread and I'll take a look?

Thanks,
Mark


 

After time, the issue got fixed. Could this be backend caching related?


 

On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 4:04 PM, Nikolay Kolev <nikolaynkolev@...> wrote:
After time, the issue got fixed. Could this be backend caching related?


Hmmmm. The only thing that gets cached are search results, within the search engine. We do use the search engine to grab thread information for the thread view, so I suppose that may explain it, except that I explicitly tell the search engine to refresh its cache after the merge is completed.

Please let me know if you see it happen again.

Thanks,
Mark