2005-07-11 : Cookie Testing

This is the thread where a) I test the new cookie thingy and b) you tell me if it works for you.

You'll know it's working for you if the last link into each comment thread switches around between "first unread comment" and "newest comment."

I suspect that my treatment of the cookie is stupid. Here's what it is: every time you click into the comment thread, it adds or updates a little piece of string in the cookie on your machine, consisting of the entry number and the number of comments currently posted thereto. Like, if you click into the Crap Crap Crap thread, it'll add (at this writing) "&74=5" to your cookie. If we post a few more comments there and you click back in, it'll update "&74=5" to "&74=8" or whatever.

When you return to the front page, it parses your cookie out into variables (as though you'd passed 'em in the url) and builds the front page links accordingly.

Feel free to suggest a smarter way.

Also, please suggest helpful things I might use this information for in the comment threads. Like, do you want unread comments to appear in a brighter blue, maybe?

I intend to track your comment handle, too, and autofill that field.

1. On 2005-07-11, Vincent said:

Testy testing. Test-o-rama!


2. On 2005-07-11, Vincent said:

Oh and I've set the cookie to expire after 10 days. Any thoughts about that?


3. On 2005-07-11, Ben Lehman said:

Adding some comments so that the cookie thing may be tested.


4. On 2005-07-11, Ben Lehman said:

Adding some comments so that the cookie thing may be tested.


5. On 2005-07-11, Ben Lehman said:

Adding some comments so that the cookie thing may be tested.


6. On 2005-07-11, Vincent said:

And here's me testing the handle capture.


7. On 2005-07-11, Ben Lehman said:

Handle capture seems to work fine, but "newest unread" seems to go to "newest unread - 1," oddly.



8. On 2005-07-11, Vincent said:

Look at that! So it does.

...Not any more, though. Try it now.


9. On 2005-07-11, Benjamin Lehman said:


How about handle capture?  Does it just capture the most recent handle?  (testing this right now)


10. On 2005-07-11, Ben Lehman said:

Yes, it does.


11. On 2005-07-11, Vincent said:

I've been thinking about maybe fun things to do with that, where you can preserve your identity but vary your login. Any ideas?


12. On 2005-07-11, Sben said:

Re cookie expiration:  Give it way more than ten days.  Like, a month or three.  I go through phases where I check the site regularly (like now), and then I'll go a month or two without reading, and would like to be able to catch up easily.

(Oh, and insert phrases like "if it's technologically feasible" and "if it doesn't piss anybody else off" and such, as desired, above.)


13. On 2005-07-11, Vincent said:

I've made unread comments a brighter blue than read comments. Somebody say whether you like it.


direct link

This makes...
BL go "Huh"*

*click in for more

14. On 2005-07-11, Thor Olavsrud said:

Cool Vincent! Works fine.


direct link

This makes...
ecb go "so...."*

*click in for more

15. On 2005-07-11, Emily Care said:

Testing it out on mine.


16. On 2005-07-12, Ninja Monkey J said:

Hooray! Implementation!


17. On 2005-07-12, Ginger Stampley said:

Brighter blue is working for me. I agree the cookie time should be longer than 10 days; 2 or 3 months sounds good.


18. On 2005-07-12, Ninja Monkey J said:

Oh! It remembers my name! Awesome!


19. On 2005-07-12, Ninja Monkey J said:

Hm. Here's a weirdness: when you post, it's a post you haven't yet seen, so it thinks there are posts you haven't yet read. So posting should increment by one.


20. On 2005-07-12, Ben Lehman said:

J, I think that's a bad plan.  If someone else posts while you are posting, it could give a strange result.



21. On 2005-07-12, Troy_Costisick said:



22. On 2005-07-12, Ninja Monkey J said:

You already get a strange result: if you post, it thinks you haven't read.

What it should do is this: the number of posts is put in your cookie. When you post, if that goes up by more than one, it marks it as unread.

Hm. I think you could wind up missing another simultaneous post and having your own post be the first one in the list.


23. On 2005-07-12, Vincent said:

I like to read my new post first thing after posting it. Clicking the "Yay! Success! Click here!" link brings you to your post anyway, it might as well be unread.


direct link

This makes...
VB go "I mean, uh..."*
NinJ go "Yeah"*
VB go "Eh."*

*click in for more

24. On 2005-07-12, Vincent said:

Just another test.


25. On 2005-07-12, Mgmt. said:

Just another another test.


26. On 2005-07-13, Ben Lehman said:

For some reason, I would love a "mark all comments read" button.



direct link

This makes...
NinJ go "Yeah. Me too."*

*click in for more

27. On 2005-07-13, Vincent said:

Hard. I'll think about how to do it.


28. On 2005-07-14, ricmadeira said:

The cookie seems to work... but you know what I really miss? The RSS feed! Can't we bribe Clinton to update it?

Ricardo Madeira


29. On 2005-07-18, Adam Dray said:

Cookie thing is tres cool. However, I read your blog both from my home computer and my work computer occasionally. That means different cookies and different replies marked unread. The only way around that is to set up login accounts and track stuff in your own database, which is probably a pain in the ass.


30. On 2005-07-18, Vincent said:

Been thinking about just that thing. No conclusions yet.


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