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for the last few days on the Java forum (and I assume this is the same on the other fora as well), I've seen old threads (years old) to show up on the top of the 'last replied to' threads, with a postername and posterdate of less than a day before, yet, when opening the thread, all there are, are the old posts.

I think this is caused by removing the new posts, but, if this is so, isn't it possible to also update the 'last posted' date (if that's how it's stored) so that it won't come up any longer as one of the last updated threads?

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Last Post by stultuske
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It does seem to be caused where spammers have commented to a long dead thread and that spam posting has then been deleted by the mods. I will leave it to Dani or deceptikon to explain whether it is possible/feasible/likely to make any changes to how this works.

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I think this is caused by removing the new posts, but, if this is so, isn't it possible to also update the 'last posted' date (if that's how it's stored) so that it won't come up any longer as one of the last updated threads?

It's possible, but not practical. The last posted date isn't tied to the actual last post in the database, it's a denormalized field stored directly at the article level. As such, when deleting the last post from a thread, we would also need to do a query for all of the other posts in the thread, then take the timestamp of the new last post and overwrite the field in the article with that value.

Another alternative would be to redesign how the timestamp is handled and query for it rather than store it directly as redundant data, but that too involves touching the database more than we'd like.

In terms of efficiency, adding that feature would be a kick in the balls, which is why we haven't done it yet.

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heh ... I sure wouldn't want to be called 'efficiency' once you do get to 'adding that feature' :D

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