Small Comment Functionality Changes Coming Tuesday

Jamie Squire

The SB Nation Product Team has refactored and reorganized our commenting code and will release these code changes Tuesday. Along with the under the hood refactoring, we've added a couple of small features to the comments as well.

For the past few months, the SB Nation Product Team has been working on a couple of major code refactoring projects in an effort to clean up our codebase and make it easier to maintain (and improve) going forward. The first project was to completely rewrite our front end code. We pushed out the final release in this project a couple of weeks ago and it has largely been a success. There are a few lingering bugs, but overall, we were able to reduce the overall number of outstanding bugs and we've seen some performance improvements to boot (to go along with the improved development environment for our developers).

The second project was to perform similar refactoring and reorganization on our commenting code. Even though we'd recently upgraded the commenting system (both with new code and the editing functionality), fixing a few especially crazy bugs (including the terrible ghost comments issue) led us to the conclusion that some additional code maintenance and cleanup was necessary in order to more realistically maintain the commenting system (and add features).

This is the work that we'll be releasing Tuesday morning. You should see limited changes in functionality and should see at least some improvement in performance. There are a few small improvements that we've wrapped into this work that should help with some of the outstanding complaints and issues folks have had with the new commenting system.

  1. Hide image functionality. One of the chief complaints with the new collapsing functionality was the inability to collapse a single comment, namely those that had an image, but also had many replies. This new functionality allows you to click on any image to collapse it, while the rest of the replies are unaffected. The rest of the comment collapsing functionality will remain unchanged. Additionally, there is now a setting on your account settings screen that allows you to set all images to load hidden by default. There is an indicator when a comment has a hidden image that you can click to show the image. This might be especially handy for mobile-heavy users.
  2. Comment editing no longer uses system time. This should allow all users to edit their comment regardless of their system time. This should alleviate the issue where certain users were unable to edit their comments ever because their system time was off by more than 90 seconds.
  3. Active comment indicator regardless of read state. Currently, after you have read a comment (Z'd through it), there is no longer any indication of it being the actively highlighted comment when it is linked to directly or by clicking the "up" button. We've added an indicator that makes it clear which comment is active whether it is read or unread.

Everything else should be the same and commenting should be business as usual after the changes are made live. We've got plenty of great things to come in the second half of 2013 for SB Nation, both within the commenting system and overall, and this set of changes will allow us to work on those great things more efficiently.

We'll be providing follow-up support to this release on Tuesday, so please send reports of any bugs you do notice to support@sbnation.com and we'll get them addressed ASAP.

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