0

I'm beginning to agree with WaltP and others who like absolute times. Relative time is completely fine when it's something like "1 minute ago" or some other close time. But "3 weeks ago"? That destroys the purpose of having relative time (which is to make it easier to find out when something was posted)...

Additionally, Dani stated that a large reason for the change was because of time zones. So doesn't that mean that anything more than a day should have absolute time, since you can't tell what time of the day it was posted anyway, using relative time?

0

Hmm ... coming from the person who just three weeks ago said:

I noticed it nearly immediately when I logged onto DaniWeb. The change is a good one, and helps even when you have the timezone set correctly. In the past, I always had to look at the current time to figure out how long ago a particular entry was posted. This feature is a good improvement.

Thanks!

0

But the point is, I don't look at the time when viewing posts more than a day old, because I usually know the date. It's fine for "xxx minutes ago", but pointless for anything more than a day. Dave Sinkula's words are coming true...

You seem to be the only one who doesn't like it.

Novelty wears off.

And if you have noticed WaltP changed his opinion, too.

0

Dani, as far as being a global community is concerned, one can always set the time zone in the CP (mine is GMT + 5.30) so that all the posts time are displayed wrt my time zone. The point being, if not many members are liking it, it would be best to remove the feature altogether. After all the ones who visit Daniweb regularly are entitled to fair browsing.

0

I think I agree with Joe on the liking relative timing for recent postings, but it becomes less useful for older posts.

0

Status Update on this matter =

I am really quite settled with the current time format. It's absolutely incredibly useful over the previous form for guests, as I've explained earlier in this thread. And, even for registered members, it's a very friendly and usable format to easily see a post was made 'an hour ago'. And as for posts being made 'a week ago' ... is anything more descriptive even necessary? When seeing what to reply to and what not to, does it influence anything in any way whether something was made last Tuesday at 4 pm or last Tuesday at 8 pm? I don't think anything more specific is relevant, which adds to the whole simplicity of it all. I think one of the most important things in web usability is to know when something is worth adding because it adds value, and when to leave something out for simplicy's sake.

I am also seeing a lot of other popular sites on the 'net taking to the same philosophy. Digg, for example, sports the exact same time format as we now do.

That said, while I personally don't feel it's necessary, I am not entirely opposed to the idea of giving registered members a choice, and allowing them to choose a more detailed time format relative to their time zone. However, I will admit that investigating how to go about coding this (I foresee it being a day long project) is not a main priority for me right now, and, while it's more likely than not, I am not going to 100% guarantee it will happen. It would actually not take much time to code given the vBulletin code, but I have the time format hard coded in a bunch of places within my CMS (blogs, etc) so the biggest part will be figuring out a way to unify everything.

For one, it's Passover time in my household. And for second, aside from being out shopping and at the bowling alley all week long, I've been getting really bad headaches lately. (One reason I am awake here at 3:30 am.)

However, I will say that my mind is rather decided on this issue = I really like the current time format and, since it was implemented, had no plans for change. However, I have taken all of this user feedback into consideration, and you all have changed my mind into adding it to my list of things to do to look into providing a user selectable option for registered members.

If this comment seems rather harsh, please understand I've had a terrible headache all day, my head is throbbing, I spent all day doing errands, and it's nearly 4 am.

0

FWIW, I am not 100% opposed to things the way they are now, just have a small preference towards the Joe idea. To be honest, I'm happy enough if it doesn't change and won't be losing any sleep over the time it takes to implement a members option either.

0

Status Update on this matter =

I am really quite settled with the current time format. It's absolutely incredibly useful over the previous form for guests, as I've explained earlier in this thread. And, even for registered members, it's a very friendly and usable format to easily see a post was made 'an hour ago'. And as for posts being made 'a week ago' ... is anything more descriptive even necessary?

As a registered member and a member that is on the board a lot, yes, IMO more description will be useful. A simple addition of the TOD for anything that is a day oriented, and adding date for ambiguous days:
17 Hours Ago (3:15)
1 Week Ago (14:23 24-Mar)

When seeing what to reply to and what not to, does it influence anything in any way whether something was made last Tuesday at 4 pm or last Tuesday at 8 pm? I don't think anything more specific is relevant, which adds to the whole simplicity of it all.

I disagree. I actually want to know if a post was made yesterday at 1AM or yesterday at 11PM. Yes, it's important.

I think one of the most important things in web usability is to know when something is worth adding because it adds value, and when to leave something out for simplicy's sake.

I am also seeing a lot of other popular sites on the 'net taking to the same philosophy. Digg, for example, sports the exact same time format as we now do.

No problem with KISS, as long as KISS isn't below the 'usability level', which this is IMO. C'Mon, you're better than Microsoft. You don't have to program to the lowest possible user. You claim you want a "professional site" then dumb it down below what the professionals are suggesting. And why do you want to "follow the pack" and do it just because other sites do. You know the old addage you mom always quotes: "If your friends jump off...."

That said, while I personally don't feel it's necessary, I am not entirely opposed to the idea of giving registered members a choice, and allowing them to choose a more detailed time format relative to their time zone.

Why make it complex? KISS... Instead of my previous suggestion, then give the registered user the post time. Give the lurker the relative time. Simple if statement at any time output. No settings.

For someone answering a post, the post time can be important. And to answer a post, you have to be registered. No confusion in time display -- it's the local time. But if you're lurking, I agree, it doesn't matter when a post was made.

0

> Instead of my previous suggestion, then give the registered user the post time.
But I like relative times, remember? :)

> Simple if statement at any time output. No settings.
It's not that simple, unfortunately. vBulletin inheritantly fetches the time format specified in the vBulletin admin control panel and pretty prints all timestamps it comes across using that format. On top of that, I'm having some sorta scope issues where I am only able to fetch the time in random places within my CMS.

0

> Instead of my previous suggestion, then give the registered user the post time.
But I like relative times, remember? :)

OK, fine. Here's yet another attempt at compromise. Give us relative times:
17 Hours, 15 minutes Ago
2 Weeks, 3 Days, 5 hours, 38 Minutes ago.

There, you have your relative times, we get our detail.

0

The simple solution is to just ADD THE TIME TO YOUR POST USING GMT TIME

Right now:

Eastern USA time is GMT - 4 (4 hours behind GMT time)

Pacific time is GMT - 7 (7 hours behind GMT time)

Notice the time @ the lower left corner of my post.....


12:00 GMT

0

Please give me a good example of when it would be necessary / important / make a difference to know whether a post was made five days, 8 hours, and 15 minutes ago or whether it was made five days, 6 hours, and 20 minutes ago upon coming across the post for the first time.

0

Please give me a good example of when it would be necessary / important / make a difference to know whether a post was made five days, 8 hours, and 15 minutes ago or whether it was made five days, 6 hours, and 20 minutes ago upon coming across the post for the first time.

I can't, I saw a long term member answer a three year old post yesterday, it had 'urgent' in the topic subject he he! So it goes to show the majority don't even look at post time. *edit* that's a silly phrase, the majority based on one example! what a plum! better to say I strongly suspect the majority don't even look at it.

In fact I can't think of any reason for needing to know the post time down to the nearest minute, other than being sad and lonely with no life, or just plain freaky!

0

When a post is made rather recently, the current format does specify three minutes ago versus forty-three minutes ago. But, as I said, I can find no valid example of when it would be important to know down to the minute on a post that one first runs into a week after it's been initially posted.

0

When a post is made rather recently, the current format does specify three minutes ago versus forty-three minutes ago. But, as I said, I can find no valid example of when it would be important to know down to the minute on a post that one first runs into a week after it's been initially posted.

Of course not. Because you don't care about exact times. There are others here who do. If we want more accurate time, that is a valid example.

But I'm also not talking about a week, I'm talking about HOUR, DAY. I don't mind
DAY resolution after a week,
HOUR resolution after 2-3 days or so,
MINUTE resolution up to 2-3 days or so.

Accurate time was there before and there were few complaints. Actually none that I saw. Now it's changed, and multiple members have indicated they want the time back. (4 strong, 2 mildly). That should give you some indication.

Summary:
No one complained before, then the time was relatively (pun intended) OK.
Now, multiple members voice disapproval. Relative time is not as well liked.
Compromises proposed so we both get what's important to each side.

-30-

0

I think you misunderstood me.

I'm saying: "You indicated it's important to you to know specific times for posts which are a few days old. But why? Please give me a specific example of why it would be necessary for you to know this, or how seeing this more detailed information would affect how you post on DaniWeb in some way."

0

One example is I'm away for a day, and so when I'm looking at older unviewed threads, of course they say "1 day ago".

Now I see 2 posts from different users that look like they have exactly the same meaning. How in the world can I tell if the second poster was typing his reply while the first one posted, and then the second poster didn't have a chance to see it?

If the post time difference is a few hours, I can conclude that the second poster is probably an idiot and ignored the first post while he restated the points made by the first poster. Yes, I know it's a low way of thinking, but I like to do this. :cheesy:

Another example is it becomes increasingly difficult to tell if the person was trying to bump his/her thread.

0

Hi Joe. Thanks for the feedback: valid example although I don't quite understand the "trying to bump" thing. One question though: when browsing the site, what is the bloody difference to you what the reason is as to why random person two rephrased something random person one said in some random thread? :)

0

I am also seeing a lot of other popular sites on the 'net taking to the same philosophy. Digg, for example, sports the exact same time format as we now do.

Just to illustrate how popular this time format is becoming, it is actually a built-in vBulletin feature. Aside from using it for a very long time in the past, I decided to switch back to it after seeing it used on Digg. However, it appears that it is also the exact same time format sported by both Google News and Google Blog Search.

0

... However, I really do like to be original (as with our entire design) ...

... I decided to switch back to [relative time] after seeing it used on Digg. However, it appears that it is also the exact same time format sported by both Google News and Google Blog Search.

?

0

You're taking what I'm saying out of context. It is very important to NOT be original when it comes to site layout and usability. People expect things to be positioned the same way (ie logo in top left clickable to homepage) and for forums to have the same basic functionality and form. For example, it should be easy to deduce what and where a username is located next to every post or else they're just some random made-up words splattered throughout the pages.

Any type of learning curve is bad for a site when it comes to functionality. However, originality is important when it comes to graphic design.

The trick is having a unique design with a unique look while conforming to a layout and functionality that is familiar to web users with as little a learning curve as possible .

0

Fundamental question: is Daniweb a blog house, or is it a forum?

The two serve different purposes, IMO, and the context is misserved by displaying one as the other.

0

Fundamental question: is Daniweb a blog house, or is it a forum?

The two serve different purposes, IMO, and the context is misserved by displaying one as the other.

Hey Dave!

Point taken that, to maintain the consistancy I am talking about, the best thing for our forum would be to mimic the timestamp format standard to the majority of forums.

However, because we cover so much (blogs, forums, code snippets, etc) I think a key ingredient to making it easy to understand our site and navigate throughout the website is to be consistant throughout DaniWeb with the style and format of key elements. (headings, timestamps, etc)

Therefore, I'm opting to pick what I feel is the most used / current / useful / standard timestamp format among user-submitted / content-based websites and apply that sitewide here. I think that you can agree that Digg / Google Blog Search are prime examples of the latest trends and current standard in user-generated content technology-based websites.

If that makes any sense.

And if it doesn't make any sense, then gimme a break cuz it's after 1 am :) ... Err, oh, wait. That's still relatively early for me. Nevermind!

0

> Fundamental question: is Daniweb a blog house, or is it a forum?

Incidentally, vBulletin has always offered by default two timestamp formats to choose between: our old one and our current one (and we used our current one for a very long time in the past, as well). Therefore, while yes, the examples I cited are bloggy, it is not to say that this format isn't very popular among forums as well.

An example of a technology-related forum which uses this timestamp format is that of my friend Mike - http://forums.techguy.org ... it is one of the largest computing forums on the web with nearly 5 million posts.

0

<< update: I digress: It appears that Mike hacked his forum so that recent posts are in the '1 hour ago' format while old posts do include the time.

0

Hey Dave!

Howdy!

Point taken that, to maintain the consistancy I am talking about, the best thing for our forum would be to mimic the timestamp format standard to the majority of forums.

However, because we cover so much (blogs, forums, code snippets, etc) I think a key ingredient to making it easy to understand our site and navigate throughout the website is to be consistant throughout DaniWeb with the style and format of key elements. (headings, timestamps, etc)

I find that to be the disjoint amongst a number of disputes.

With news, etc., I expect the "blog" format because I expect a post once a day or once a week, or otherwise infrequently. This is not what one expects in a forum. In a forum, one desires a chat-like discourse, but often it is more drawn out.

Therefore, I'm opting to pick what I feel is the most used / current / useful / standard timestamp format among user-submitted / content-based websites and apply that sitewide here. I think that you can agree that Digg / Google Blog Search are prime examples of the latest trends and current standard in user-generated content technology-based websites.

If that makes any sense.

And if it doesn't make any sense, then gimme a break cuz it's after 1 am :) ... Err, oh, wait. That's still relatively early for me. Nevermind!

And what I'm saying is that it's a goose/gander issue, when you get right down to it, that seems to be your biggest bottleneck: "What made Daniweb what it is today" vs. "where Daniweb is going".

For forums, I remember things like, "Narue posted something great about Roman numerals a couple years ago"; or, back in July 2006 I think I spent a great deal of time on a post out of frustration. If you still believe in "search first", then the format of the time plays a much larger part than you may think.

In deriding it, you secondarily admonish "don't search the forum". Such things are not really relevant to blog-type posts, but they become highly relevant to forum-type things. It may be difficult to see on the other side of the fence, but please don't ignore it completely.

You know I have too many thoughts about the "what one thing would you change", but most of them would be relevant to this same central tenet: "is Daniweb a blog house, or is it a forum?" If it is one, diverge the other; the two are not best served in the same manner (at this point in time, IMO).

0

Hi Dave,

I think I'm a little bit confused where you are going with this.

With news, etc. you're saying is best served with the format similar to Digg and Google News and Google Blog Search. That's our current format.

And then for the forums, you said: I remember things like, "Narue posted something great about Roman numerals a couple years ago"; or, back in July 2006 I think I spent a great deal of time on a post out of frustration. Well, that's ALSO our current format, no? My point exactly that folks remember things like "a few weeks ago, Narue said ..." and not "On March 10th at 6:53 pm, Narue said ..." Hence making the current format best serving to the forums as well IMO.

0

I think I'm a little bit confused where you are going with this.

I take it you've not regularly searched for your own or others' posts. I used to.

And then for the forums, you said: I remember things like, "Narue posted something great about Roman numerals a couple years ago"; or, back in July 2006 I think I spent a great deal of time on a post out of frustration. Well, that's ALSO our current format, no? My point exactly that folks remember things like "a few weeks ago, Narue said ..." and not "On March 10th at 6:53 pm, Narue said ..." Hence making the current format best serving to the forums as well IMO.

It starts as a ballpark and then goes to, "Oh yes, September. I was making spaghetti sauce..." I don't translate relative times well on the fly.

Especially if it was back in, say, 2003. I remember seasons, not well served by "4 years ago". But worse, for forums, there happens to be the onslaught of similar posts that happen to coincide with homework assignments. A "two weeks ago" and a "three weeks ago" may happen to be the same assignment from two students in the same class working on the same problem at the same time that was answered already in triplicate, and then some late-comer dumb-ass pops in today and has an EMERGENCY! I NEED AN ANSWER IN THE HOUR!!! thread...


Look, I used to depend on absolute time (even if wrong it had value) here and elsewhere for such things. Before, during, and after Mod duties. I found them indispensable. To discard them matter-of factly seemed quite rude.

[edit]BTW, that's my #1. Quit making site-wide retroactive changes to all posts.

This topic has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.