Forum Spy for Early Use

arn

macrumors god
Original poster
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,164
3,045
We have a version of spy up and running:
https://forums.macrumors.com/spy/

A few caveats:

- Style / formatting could be better
- Timestamps aren't in the right timezone
- No way to exclude forums
- No other nice features like followed threads are indicated
- formatting is broken on iPhone

It's pretty bare bones, but it works.

The plan will be to clean this up, and also include the ability to block specific forums. Hopefully, we'll have a single solution so users can block specific forums in both New Posts and Spy.

arn
 
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arn

macrumors god
Original poster
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,164
3,045
and apparently it's broken in mobile :( Will deal with that later
 

sammich

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
4,289
218
Sarcasmville.
Out of habit, I've opened Spy at least a couple dozen times since the new forums came out, always to be greeted by just the MR header.

My thoughts:
  • I've been pining for a 'sub forum' field in Spy since Apple stopped just being a computer company (now I don't need to guess what product OP is talking about in the thread "This thing is smaller than I expected but it's oh so good" - See, now, that could be Watch, Macbook or...Community Discussions and a candidate for 'Funny Thread Titles')
  • the 'event' column is pretty useless and takes up valuable mobile screen space (see screens)
    • The event column had new post or thread - new thread was previously a bolded title, but we could instead use a tag "+" (see image)
  • We've lost the 'first post' button as well. I've always hated the UX of the tiny button - could we have a column on the end instead with a nice (can't figure out where to put it, though)
  • Loading indicator is hugely distracting and unnecessary
  • Slightly less top/bottom padding in the cells (see image)
I had to change the CSS a little to achieve what was in the screenshot, to remove the first column, change the padding in the cells, moved the 'prefix' class up one pixel, vertically align to the top and changed the padding on the final cell so that it fills up the space fully.

My $0.02.

Edit: and thanks for not leaving Spy out of action longer.
 

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SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,412
9,871
Detroit
Try reloading the page. I have to do that now and then one iPad Air 2. But, I'm just happy we have something that works much of the time.
It seems to be intermittent for me. Sometimes when I load it right away it loads a few posts and then stalls. Other times, like for the last 10 minutes, it seemed to work appropriately, and then it finally stalled out with the black progress bar in the upper right.

@arn A very nice feature of the spy, as it is right now, is the short preview of the post that is in there. I like that.
 

ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
2,142
1,216
It seems to be intermittent for me. Sometimes when I load it right away it loads a few posts and then stalls. Other times, like for the last 10 minutes, it seemed to work appropriately, and then it finally stalled out with the black progress bar in the upper right.

@arn A very nice feature of the spy, as it is right now, is the short preview of the post that is in there. I like that.
Yes, I'm seeing this as well. I'm guessing that it has to do with the amount of traffic that MR is having to process at any given time.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,412
9,871
Detroit
Another thing that I noticed a couple of times today, is that after I made a post and go over to the spy the post I just made does not appear in the list, however, other times it does appear so that is another intermittent problem apparently. That was on a Mac desktop and on a Windows desktop too.
 
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GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,428
796
Thank you, arn! I felt disconnected without Spy! I have noticed one thing. Apparently, Spy is set to check for new posts every 5 seconds, which is fine. It does, however, flash this icon in the upper right corner every time it checks, which can be a bit distracting. Any way to disable this flashing?

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.02.31 PM 1.PNG
 
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gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
5,298
50
~119W 34N
@maflynn I agree, bare bones Spy with basic functionality is better than no Spy at all. When at MacRumors, I live on the Spy to see what's happening and to find new and interesting threads to look at.
That's where I live too. I'm missing the old Spy. Is this a case of Spy vs Spy? :p)

A few things:
  1. (mentioned before) Too big.
  2. I haven't noticed yet, but does it only bold the first post in a thread?
  3. Does it mark threads I'm subscribed to?
  4. Is it possible to have it load a set number of older posts, rather than accumulating them one at a time to fill page?
  5. Time is off. A post that was actually at 4:48pm (PDT) posted in Spy as 11:48 (2 hr west of Hawaii)

MR Staff: Thanks for all the hard work! While change is hard, I am starting to get acclimated and are enjoying many new features.
 
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GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,428
796
I miss two features of the old Spy. One is that it would bold the name of the first post in a new thread, distinguishing those from posts in existing threads. Also, the number of posts in the thread was displayed, which was helpful.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,412
9,871
Detroit
I miss two features of the old Spy. One is that it would bold the name of the first post in a new thread, distinguishing those from posts in existing threads. Also, the number of posts in the thread was displayed, which was helpful.
To add to that, another feature was a little button to the left of the thread title which would take you to the very first post of the thread. I miss that one too.
 

arn

macrumors god
Original poster
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,164
3,045
I miss two features of the old Spy. One is that it would bold the name of the first post in a new thread, distinguishing those from posts in existing threads. Also, the number of posts in the thread was displayed, which was helpful.
New threads have no replies while new posts are existing threads
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,428
796
New threads have no replies while new posts are existing threads
As far as I can tell, the new Forum Spy doesn't show the number of replies or distinguish between new or existing threads, so there's no way to tell if a thread is new or has 1 reply or 100 replies. The old Spy showed whether the post was the first or 3rd or 85th.
 

arn

macrumors god
Original poster
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,164
3,045
As far as I can tell, the new Forum Spy doesn't show the number of replies or distinguish between new or existing threads, so there's no way to tell if a thread is new or has 1 reply or 100 replies. The old Spy showed whether the post was the first or 3rd or 85th.
It says "New Thread" in the left column if it's a first post. It says "New Post" if it's a reply to an existing thread.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,428
796
It says "New Thread" in the left column if it's a first post. It says "New Post" if it's a reply to an existing thread.
Thank you! I hadn't been paying attention to that column, because it didn't look like it was working properly. The times are not accurate.
 
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