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Backwards Comments

I despise comments posted "backwards" - with the newest comments at the top. The O'Reilly blogs do this and it absolutely drives me nuts. Not only do people read top to bottom, meaning they have to then scan over text they've already read and past text they've not yet read to get to the next comment, but why should every first-time visitor be made to scroll, scroll, scroll to the "bottom" (and then back up again to find the start of the first comment).

It really has nothing to do with the fact that blog entries are posted "newest to oldest" because blog entries are oftentimes rather unrelated. Most blog entries aren't published as a series of the same article. Comments, on the other hand, are usually very much related to the topic at hand and should adhere to the pattern(s) most usable by the readers: oldest first, newest last.

8 Responses to "Backwards Comments"

  1. Hehe. My custom blog engine started ordering them randomly. But only on some posts. 🙂 I guess I should look into it.

  2. Agree completely! Anything else is just broken, IMHO.

    Heck, even threaded comments bother me a bit. Lots of scanning and scrolling past stuff you have yet to read.

  3. Agree 100%. The worst part about it is that it can be hard to tell at first whether it's sorted the good way or the bad way; usually, you have to squint at the tiny, almost-background-colored timestamps of the first few posts to figure it out.

    I tend to view threaded comments in nested form. Everything's visible, and yet it keeps its heirarchy and chronology.

  4. [...] Backwards Comments [...]

  5. [...] Backwards Comments | NSLog(); I completely agree, backwards comments make no sense. [...]

  6. Then this "top posting" custom of recent years with email replies, should bother you just as much, I would think.

    Which, reminds me, Mail.app needs a preference that lets you specify where the cursor should default to on a reply. Seems like there's a lot of wasted time trying to move the cursor to the bottom, especially when you've likely all ready read the email you're replying to in the main viewer.

  7. Which, reminds me, Mail.app needs a preference that lets you specify where the cursor should default to on a reply. Seems like there's a lot of wasted time trying to move the cursor to the bottom, especially when you've likely all ready read the email you're replying to in the main viewer.

    I would add that Mail should be able to use the same formatting for forwarding emails as the original message, instead of simply for responding. What if I want to send someone this email with all the funny colors? I have to open up preferences and temporarily change it, then change it back when I'm done? Silly.

  8. I hate it when apps move the cursor for me. That's like someone taking my hand and moving it somewhere without my asking...I'd very much prefer someone telling or showing me what to do.

    And heck, my Mac might as well use itself if it's moving the cursor for me.

    The "top posting" of email lists bothers me, indeed. I'm glad that for the most part, online forums (with their HTML anchors) have provided the same functionality that email lists do, but in a better fashion and with many more features.


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