Some Talkback Changes and Fixes

Saturday December 4th, 1999

We've implemented some changes to our talkback forums that you may have noticed. First, you can now reply to specific messages from "flat mode". Before, you could only reply to the forum itself. Now, the messages will still appear in the same order in flat mode, but they'll be threaded properly in threaded mode if you reply to a specific message.

Next, we've fixed the titles of replies, adding a "Re:" in front of the default reply title.

Finally, we no longer allow anonymous posting. This change has been coming for a while, but we finally got around to implementing it. Old anonymous posts will show up, but no new ones will be allowed.

We've added one more change. Now, if you view in threaded mode, you have the option of showing which posts are new since your last visit. How does it work? Well, visit any forum, and click the "flag new posts" checkbox and click the "Change forum display" button. This change will affect all forums. After that, each time you visit a forum, we will store a cookie on your browser which will contain the current time and date of your visit to that particular forum, and use it to flag new posts. The cookie will expire a week after your last visit. If you don't like cookies, you can simply leave this feature off.

UPDATE: We added a small fix so that the "new" flags persist as you view posts in the forum.

These changes only apply to the talkback forums for articles. I will be propagating the changes to the poll and reader review forums when I have the time.

#1 Sample reply

by mozineAdmin

Saturday December 4th, 1999 6:38 AM

This is a test reply from threaded mode.

#2 Re: Sample reply (made from flat mode)

by mozineAdmin

Saturday December 4th, 1999 6:39 AM

This reply was crafted from flat mode. It will appear in the proper order in flat mode, and threaded properly in threaded mode.

#54 Beating A Dead Horse

by kerz

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 12:24 PM

Is like eating hotdogs in a pool....

#3 No ANONs any more!

by KaiRo

Saturday December 4th, 1999 8:23 AM

I like this change. talkback forums look better, and as a user of flat mode I really missed the possibility to reply to a specific message. I would be good to see if something was replied to a specific message also in flat mode (a line saying "reply to ...", perhaps with a link - anchor to the other message, if that's possible).

And I like it very much that all those Anon's are closed out. I just posted a message to that MSIE 5.5 - article where I mentioned that all "anti-Mozilla" posts where anonymous calling the others "immature" who posted MS-critic views showing up thier names as MozillaZine members....

A good change!

#9 Re: No ANONs any more!

by gerbilpower

Saturday December 4th, 1999 10:09 AM

Well for me at least, it is not so that we can identify who seems "anti-Mozilla" but who is saying and get to know how people are like. And if you have an opinion, I think you should be proud enough to show who you are.

Yes, this means that I don't like Anonymouse coward posts on Slashdot either :)

A welcome change.


#12 Yes.

by BigShu

Saturday December 4th, 1999 3:34 PM

Exactly. Sans anon. posts, we can figure out who I think is informed and who to just ingone! Way to go!

#15 Re: Re: No ANONs any more!

by KaiRo

Saturday December 4th, 1999 4:47 PM

gerbilpower: I didn't want to say that I want to identify who's anti-Mozilla - I exactly wanted to say what you posted: If you have an opinion, you should be proud enough to show who you are.

And not only Mozilla supporters should be proud enough - non-Mozilla supporters should be, too.

Constructive critics - positive AND negative - is what this site is about, in my opinion.

#42 In otherwords, Bruce'll have to fess up ;-) (N/T)

by SomeSmartAss

Monday December 6th, 1999 1:02 PM


#4 A suggestion

by Tekhir

Saturday December 4th, 1999 8:46 AM

Are you going to implement some kind of cookie support so we don't have to login all the time? Or are trying to force us to use the wallet feature in Mozilla and IE.

#5 That would be great

by jedbro

Saturday December 4th, 1999 8:51 AM

(reply.. pretty cool)

Chris, That would be great if you could implement cookie support, it's kinda a hassle to type in the L/p all the time.

#6 Maybe sometime, but not at the moment

by mozineAdmin

Saturday December 4th, 1999 8:59 AM

It's a reasonable request, but we've decided for the moment to not go that direction. To do it we would have to store login and password information in the cookie, which we are not inclined to do.

#7 Re: Maybe sometime, but not at the moment

by slothy

Saturday December 4th, 1999 9:21 AM

no you wouldn't, well not exactly. You could store a session id or some other thing that would either never be written to disk (log in once per visit), or you could take the risk of storing that session id permanently, which isn't quite as dangerous as storing the user/pass (i.e. make them re-enter their password to change any user info, so the worst someone could do is have someone post comments/vote as them).

Just a thought, I dig mozillazine and just want to help improve it even more :)

#8 Why not use Slash ???

by ToriDan

Saturday December 4th, 1999 9:52 AM

I've asked this questioin befor but never got a clear answer.

Why don't you switch to the proven Slash Talkback engine. As I see it MozZine is only going to get more and more popular and is going to need a much more advanced talkback system. And Slashdot is great with it's system of ranking, karma, and the like... I really can't stand reading through 100+ when only 5 or so have something important to say.


#11 Re: Why not use Slash ???

by megaloB

Saturday December 4th, 1999 2:50 PM

Slashdot's moderated topic forum seems like a waste to me. Karma and other stuff may be good, but I don't see the point in scoring posts. Sure, there's going to be flames and trolling, but everyone who posts will be a mozilla member, meaning they eihter (a)have a genuine interest in mozilla or (b) they quickly got a membership after reading a /. post or something from GN or betanews. I read through all the posts not only because I have too much time on my hands but also because I think everyone's opinion should be read. Even if it's something like "FUK U MOZILLA U R FAG!!!" On the plus side I don't think members would post stuff like this, so keeping the anonymous people out should stop some anti-mozilla bashing.

#14 re:

by arielb

Saturday December 4th, 1999 4:40 PM

once you eliminate anon posters, you really don't need complicated schemes such a moderation and karma.

#21 Re: Re: Why not use Slash ???

by jilles

Sunday December 5th, 1999 5:57 AM

Karma not only filters out the trolls but also helps identify the really interesting stuff but also stimulates debate. Posts marked by multiple moderators as insightfull or interesting are usually well worth reader. When they are marked as such they draw attention from the slashdot elite (i.e. people who frequently post on slashdot) and usually a nice debate follows.

Stimulating debate is something that would be useful on this site since most posts here seem to center around mozillas performance ande whether it will crush MS or not. If you've read two threads you've seen all the arguments and the debate gets really dull. Having to read yet another 'mozilla is so slow on my PC' whiner or yet another 'mozilla works fine for me', me too like posting is not worth the trouble. Often though, hidden between all the garbage, there's a posting well worth reading. There's nothing wrong with marking such a posting as interesting.

Apart from the karma there's other useful stuff on slashdot. I realy hate mozilla's threaded look. I hate wating after clicking on a link and having to wait for somebodies possibly uninteresting reply to download. I always use slashdots nested view where I see all the posts in a tree like view. Mozilla only has the flat view where the structure of the debate is lost and the threaded view where you have to click and wait for the reply to appear.

I also dislike having to log in for each reply, it is so unnecessary. You'd exect that a site about the most advanced browser could do better than that.

#22 Re: Re: Why not use Slash ???

by jilles

Sunday December 5th, 1999 6:00 AM

After re-reading my own post I realize that slashdot's preview button is also a useful feature :)

Excuses for my spelling and typos.

#23 Re: Re: Re: Why not use Slash ???

by mozineAdmin

Sunday December 5th, 1999 6:21 AM

Moderation also filters out stuff that reasonable people think shouldn't be filtered out. And then you have to implement meta-moderation to catch the people who are maliciously "moderating down" posts.

Slashdot's forums are fine for them, but I do not think it's an ideal system for all sites, and it's not an ideal system for MozillaZine.

The Preview button would be useful, if only for people to see if their links show up properly. That's something I might implement.

#37 Slash moderation

by abraham

Monday December 6th, 1999 9:51 AM

/. moderation doesn't filter out posting. However, users can filter out posting for themselves by setting a high threeshold.

I do believe there is a need for more users than MozillaZine has for the moderation system to be useful though.

#38 Re: Re: Re: Re: Why not use Slash ???

by sunose

Monday December 6th, 1999 10:08 AM

Pls Open another new window,when click a url to view the article,this is . comfortable.not 'back' and 'back'

#41 Open another new window

by SomeSmartAss

Monday December 6th, 1999 12:58 PM

Why not just right click (or click and hold in Mac) and select "Open In A New Window".

I personally don't want thirty new wiondows popping up all over the place

#44 Re: Open another new window

by basic

Monday December 6th, 1999 2:12 PM

do you mean links that are inserted by posters like this one?

or all links?

I would like links like the above and links in the articles open in a new window automatically. But I don't think this should be on by default. This should be a setting that can be turned on and off [which means cookies ;-) ].

I wouldn't say that this "feature" is very important though.

#10 Indent of replies

by odd

Saturday December 4th, 1999 11:30 AM

In addition to adding a 'Re:' to a thread reply, why not indent that message? It would be less confusing...

#13 anonymous postings

by arielb

Saturday December 4th, 1999 4:37 PM

Thanks a million!!!! This will greatly improve the signal/noise ratio and cut down on those trolls Now it's slashdot's turn to eliminate those cowards. I'm sure the public's impression of the tech/linux/open source community will be much higher if they did that.

#16 Strange

by DvilAdvocate

Saturday December 4th, 1999 8:49 PM


I don't see a lot of Trolling here.

Rather, I see people who make valid points all get shouted down by many fanatics, albeit with a few cool heads who can be proMoz without getting delusional.

If you want to improve the OpenSource community, just behave a bit better. I think Slashdot has more intellegent posting right now than this place.

#18 the search for mature discussion

by url

Saturday December 4th, 1999 10:17 PM

I admire the wide berth of opinions in other discussion sites such as Slashdot, etc. and I'm glad to express my likes (and occasional dislikes) of the Mozilla project. Mozillazine is the first Internet forum I've found where I feel seriously comfortable & invited to discuss related topics intelligently and freely. I totally respect being able to forum here with people who do everything from engineering the browser to just chatting with fellow end users looking for the latest status of Mozilla. If I ask a stupid question, I know I'm not going to get a smartass answer just because Joe Programmer knows more about the subject than I do. To me, that makes all the difference between being part of a mature discussion or just another Troll website.

I consider myself a proMozilla Superfreak, but I know I can behave that way without tearing down people's opinions if they're different than mine. If all that makes me a fanatic, well so be it. :)

I also have nothing personal against (and I know I'm bound to step on somebody toes for saying this), but I don't feel encouraged to make intelligent views or ask questions on there because the end result for me is usually flames or immature comments. It's great for its news and articles, but I prefer to take my 2 cents elsewhere when I want to talk about them.

I'll get off my soapbox now. ;)


#19 Totally agree, no Trolling just hot heads

by DTHML_Fiend

Saturday December 4th, 1999 10:40 PM

Now I know Ive posted some replys that could be taken as being pro Microsoft, but in the end I feel that Mozilla is the best browser I've seen to date. While its not anywhere near ready for public consumption I still think its wonderful. The only thing I hate to see is when i might say that people are getting to wrapped up in the anti Microsoft thing i get reply like "Screw you!!! Dont you know Bill Gates is Satan himself. And that he sacrifices people in his basement and that he eats baby flesh. And that Microsoft is the true evil empire in the world and that they steal everything and that the company will take your soul!!!"

I guess why I hate that is because I dont what Mozilla to get wrapped up in any "holy war". And I think we'd all end up better off if we take a set back and cool down and think before we reply. I know I need to at times and Ill do my best to keep a cool head, and I'd hope everyone would do the same.

#20 the code speaks louder than personalities

by Ben_Goodger

Sunday December 5th, 1999 4:19 AM

Let's not let anyone's personalities or thoughts stand in the way of what is really important - the software. Everyone, remember we're here because of the Code. The Code is what is important. The Code loves you, and the Code needs your love :)

Regardless of what people say to each other, in the end (whenever that end may be), the Mozilla team will have produced a web browser. The Mozilla team is doing everything in its power to make it the best web browser. The Mozilla team wants us all to use the web browser. However, being in a democratic society, everyone is free to choose, and I respect the person who chooses to use IE for their own reasons.

I personally believe that people should try both browsers, and make up their mind based on the merits of each, and not take into account the words of any other individual. If IE works better, use it. Otherwise, use Mozilla, or use Opera, Communicator or Konqueror, or Lynx, or whatever suits you best. Mozilla is simply another choice, a choice we sincerely hope is a compelling one.

#46 Re: the code speaks louder than personalities

by danielhill

Monday December 6th, 1999 8:01 PM

Yes, I must agree with this. ATM I am using IE5 because it comes with Win98, and I dont have enough hard disk space at the moment to install Netscape 4.x.

I do have Mozilla on atm, and I use that for 'non-critical' things. I don't use it here in case it dies while typing a comment.

I am very interested in Mozilla, it looks damn good and hopefully it will be released as soon as it's perfect. Not before.

#24 re:

by arielb

Sunday December 5th, 1999 8:29 AM

it's basically about accountability. It's very difficult to respond to an anonymous poster because you don't even know if he is the same guy when he responds. The attack on anon posters was discussed I think a few weeks ago when someone tried to impersonate someone and be on both sides of the same argument.

#25 Re: anonymous postings

by spaetz

Sunday December 5th, 1999 9:22 AM

Mmmh, I really think anonymous posting was a useful feature. In this discussion we don't only want to hear the Mozilla developers/enthusiasts. This site is said to be an advocy site for first timers and newbie of Mozilla. It can often also be some outsiders who have some valid points, but do not want to register, confirm,... I think by keeping these voices out, we definitely loose a big part of future Mozilla user voices. Otherwise we could just discuss on the developer newsgroups.

#27 Re: Re: anonymous postings

by gerbilpower

Sunday December 5th, 1999 10:51 AM

True, but I think overall this is better and will not lock out that many people. For a while I was just an outside who knew nothing about coding but I monitored the discussions but after a while I wanted to share my opinions so I registered and started posting.

If someone really has an opinion they want to share, why hide behind an anonymouse banner? I am not saying that we want to know who people are so we can pick on them, but we want to know what is saying what just to know who is saying it. On newsgroups, mailing lists, and even IRC you always know who everyone is.

#39 Outsider replies

by leafdigital

Monday December 6th, 1999 10:55 AM

Well... Though I don't consider mys'elf an "outsider", I tend to have opinions different from the typical fanatics that hang out here (rabidly anti-MS folks using Linux or some weird platform).

I don't see any need to hide behind an anonymous login. I've only ever posted anonymously because I couldn't be bothered to type in username/password...

Basically, this is a fairly free forum. Nobody is going to get lynched for saying something others disagree with.

I think getting rid of anon posts was probably a good idea. Now, if only we could have a nice indented tree view, like thread view but showing all messages, as somebody else suggested... :)


#17 I was an Anon poster.

by Mike_S

Saturday December 4th, 1999 10:16 PM

I was an anon poster because I'm not a Mozilla developer and I don't know jack about programing or Internet development beyond HTML.

I never trolled and always signed my name but didn't think I'd be a useful member.

Now you're stuck with me sucking up a few K in a database.

#26 Moderation

by stephan

Sunday December 5th, 1999 10:47 AM

Judging from the feedback on the IE5.5 story, MozillaZine *needs* to start moderating messages - regardless of membership or not. Restricting feedback possibilities to members only a) doesn't seem to work and b) is not fair c) will not make it sufficiently easy to join the mozillaZine community for newcomers.

#28 registration nothing new

by arielb

Sunday December 5th, 1999 11:53 AM

stephan it's very easy. many forums require registration in order to post. there may be a few that require registration just to view the thread!

#29 Re: registration nothing new

by stephan

Sunday December 5th, 1999 12:27 PM

I know it's easy as in "not difficult". However, it is *not* easy as in "not a problem". Readers will have to come up with a profile(username/password), which might sound trivial, but has kept me from submitting posts to other forums as I wasn't sure if I would become a regular reader. Most readers don't know that at once.

#33 Registration is not the important issue

by gerbilpower

Sunday December 5th, 1999 1:25 PM

But knowing who is who is. I've been confused a hell of times with zillions of anons posting different opinions. Over the long run this will eliminate some confusion and prevent any increase in trolls. I think trolling could be an increasing problem as Mozila is starting to get more attention now in the press.

It seems that the most commited are most likely to register. Although requiring registration could scare away a few not-as-commited but insightful individuals, I think we are more concern with the people who are more commited in voicing themselves than those who do not want to be identified.

Also reconsidering the point that so many forums and discussions require registration, and many of those are successful, prohibiting anonymouse posters should not hinder MZ.

If you got an opinion, speak up, be heard, and let us know who you are so we know that you really believe in what you say.


#30 Why not INDENT replies.

by odd

Sunday December 5th, 1999 12:31 PM

It would be ALOT easier to distinguish if you indented REPLIES.

Like this:


I dunno, but I'd find it alot easier to read that way.

#31 Sorry, that looked weird, I guess you understand?

by odd

Sunday December 5th, 1999 12:33 PM

Bleh. Mozilla didn't want to do spaces, so here goes again:


#32 Sorry, that looked weird, I guess you understand?

by odd

Sunday December 5th, 1999 12:35 PM


Once again. Damn crap.



#34 I love cookies, give me the choice

by spwolf

Sunday December 5th, 1999 9:12 PM

Unlike so many of members and generally people on net, I am not scared of cookies - first of all nobody can find out my info based on cookie... however, I really dont like having to type in my name and password each time I try to do something around this web site - so what about us having a choice in members area do we want cookies enabled or disabled.... it would ease my life - a lot! I mean if I had to type in passwords on each site that I am member of...goodbye sanity! Please consider this as an option

#40 Re: I love cookies, give me the choice

by Waldo

Monday December 6th, 1999 10:58 AM

I said this about 6 months ago, but I agree totally. Cookies should be an option..

Maybe you should use W-agora (

Also, I think the benefits of anon posting outweigh the drawbacks. I used to use it all the time, even though I'm registered...if only to save myself the pain of typing in the log/pas.


#35 I love cookies, give me the choice

by spwolf

Sunday December 5th, 1999 10:02 PM

Unlike so many of members and generally people on net, I am not scared of cookies - first of all nobody can find out my info based on cookie... however, I really dont like having to type in my name and password each time I try to do something around this web site - so what about us having a choice in members area do we want cookies enabled or disabled.... it would ease my life - a lot! I mean if I had to type in passwords on each site that I am member of...goodbye sanity! Please consider this as an option

#50 Of Remembering Passwords, and cookies

by SomeSmartAss

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 7:22 AM <--

Nice little program, that remembers username/password info automatically for you.

As for cookies, they may not be able to get personal info per se (although there was a recent security hole that managed to yank out your e-mail address by setting a cookie in an e-mail) but they can do some pretty invasive tracking. Some banner ad comapanies have attaced cookies to the gifs they send, and because the ads are being accessed from a central server, they can use this one cookie to track all the sites you visit that they have contracts with, thereby getting a broad visit pattern.

I personally don't have a problem with this myself, but a lot of more paranoid people seem to think this is privacy invasion.

#51 yeh, paranoid....

by spwolf

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 9:07 AM

yep...well ad companies actually dont track sites you visit (i do know that)and I know of programs like Gator... but still cokie enabled sites dont sell member info to anyone (at least ones that I work with) - and I am sure that mozilla zine wont do anything to violate my privacy...thats why I want cookies :) even damn slashdot has them, and they have bunch of yupiies over there :)

#36 Anon was nice esp since there so many CLOSED Minds

by DTHML_Fiend

Monday December 6th, 1999 9:24 AM

What is bad now is that lots of people here (maybe its just a certain few) but ... It seems that if a person doesnt agree to the following you are a troll.

MS = Satan's Army Bill Gates = Satan Himself AOL = Great(Supports Mozilla) / AOL = Crap (bad service your stupid if you use AOL) IE4 = SHIT IE5 = SHIT but 1 level better Nav4 = Good

Mozilla = Great, God's second coming, knight in white armor, Satan Killer, etc...

And I really hate these BS standards that so many of the "veterans" want you to uphold to. And if I might say IE5 = good and Mozilla = work in progress I get stamped as a troll. And it my view that anyone here that DOESNT HAVE AN OPEN MIND is a TROLL. If you cannot stand up and have an open mind and debate (not slander and say that Im a troll bastard), then YOU are the troll.

Since everyone here keeps touting OPEN source (Im not bashing it, I think its rather good), why not have an OPEN mind to go with it.

All comments and responses are good its just Troll minded people that shut themselves off to other thoughts thats the real baine(sp) of this community.

#43 RE: lots of people here (maybe its just certain fe

by basic

Monday December 6th, 1999 2:02 PM

I would say a certain few rather than "lots of people". I for one agrees with you that IE is good, and Moz is work in progress. Maybe we need some type of moderation. I have not noticed the word "troll" before the IE 5.5 article.

#45 Let's wait a see

by gerbilpower

Monday December 6th, 1999 2:15 PM

Well I think we should wait a see how the ban on anon posts will work out before deciding if any moderation is needed.

Personally the whole moderation bit on Slashdot confuses the hell out of my lil head . . . but that's just me.


#47 Re: Anon was nice esp since there so many CLOSED M

by BigShu

Monday December 6th, 1999 11:37 PM

The point is, if you believe in your views, than you should be proud enough to sign a name to them.

I for one agree that Moz is a work in progress, but it is far better than IE for the Mac. It renders faster anyway. Granted it is not quite stable or support enough advanced "features" of web sites yet to be used for daily use, but IE for the Mac is awful.

Moz may not be the "knight in white armor," but it at least symbolizes choice, and that is the best part about it. Choice, faster rendering, XML support. . .

#48 Re: Re: Anon was nice esp since there so many CLOS

by odd

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 5:06 AM

I don't know what kind of setup you have, but on my G3 300, 192 MB Ram IE is a considerably faster than Mozilla.

#49 Faster Rendering

by SomeSmartAss

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 7:08 AM

Not to put words in anyone's motuth, but I believe he meant that it renders faster than the current Netscape. which it most certainly does (especially with deeply nested tables)

BTW, there should be marked improvement once all the debug code gets removed. And you might want to try using Mozilla with the "status" window minimized, to speed it up some.

#52 will alpha have debug code removed?

by spwolf

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 9:18 AM

yep, then they remove the debug code, load should be much much faster - its pretty funny when people say mozilla is slow - I mean right now mozilla is not in that stage of development when you would measure how fast it is... (especially on startup)... maybe this upcoming alpha will have some debug code removed or? (anybody knows?)

#53 Have you tried the recent builds?

by gerbilpower

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 10:15 AM

Builds starting from this weekend feature Hyatt's new memory recycler and Vidur's new incremental reflow changes, they make things hell of faster for Mozilla!


#55 Recent Builds: Javascript error?

by jedbro

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 1:21 PM

Yes, they are much faster.. it's great. One problem I've had with the last 8 days of builds is with javascript detection. The javascript is working, but detection doens't work.. (for instance, go to the page and try to long in, you get a "You need to enable Javascript. Also \NOSCRIPT\ something here \/NOSCRIPT\

throws mozilla off believeing it doesn't support javascript. Anyone know why?

#56 not really a Javascript error?

by asa

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 1:33 PM

I reported this last week and it turns out to be a layout issue. See layout is not parsing <noscript> correctly or something.