#136 Add Google Groups-style navigation pane

Alaska Jack

I'm going to submit a suggestion for a major feature
that, I humbly submit would improve the reading of
comments by about 100 percent.

Despite the presence of the "nested" and "threaded"
features, reading comments can still be a confusing
experience. Specifically, it is difficult to keep track
of where you are in the comments hierarchy.

Here's a common example. You browse comments scored at
4 and 5. You read one comment, then its child comment.
But its child comment seems to be addressing something
different than the parent. After reading through it a
couple times, you realize there must have been an
intervening comment, rated at less than four.

This is a core problem with Slashdot. Reading the
comments is just not the smooth, quick, professional
experience it could be. Here's just one example of the
problem above that I ran into today:




I believe Slashdot should adopt what I think is the
best, most intuitive approach to threaded-comment
reading I've ever seen: The "tree view" from Google
Groups. You're probably familiar with this already, but
if not, find any comment thread on GG that contains
more than, say, 10 messages, and click the "view as
tree" link. All the message titles appear in a
hierarchical list in a navigational frame on the left
side of the window.

If you think about this, it's perfect for Slashdot. You
could have the frame show every titles, while the main
window shows only those comments that meet your
criteria, just like it does now. You could also have
options to show rating, author and other metadata in
the frame.

I know this would be a major new look for Slashdot, but
a) I think you could always have a preference to turn
the navigation pane off, and b) isn't about time for an
update anyway?

- Alaska Jack


  • Jamie McCarthy

    Jamie McCarthy - 2006-03-03

    Logged In: YES

    We're going to be looking into ways to improve the threaded reading experience
    on Slashdot. I doubt we'll do a two-pane view though.

  • Rob Malda

    Rob Malda - 2006-06-20
    • labels: 310780 -->

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