Address screened comment behavior in notifications.bml and notification emails
Short, concise description of the idea
Address these problems:
1) if a comment is posted screened, those watching the thread do not receive notification of it, even after that comment is unscreened.
2) conversely, if someone responds to a comment and immediately rescreens it, those receiving email notifications receive an email notification that includes the text of a comment that isn't visible to them on notifications.bml or on the original post's page.
The easiest way I can see to address both problems would be to use a separate, slightly different notification email for thread tracking, which includes only a link to the parent comment, instead of its whole text, and to add a post-to-notifications request as part of unscreening comments.
Full description of the idea
Under the new tracking system it's possible to track a thread, so that you can see when new comments are posted and hence manage to stay in the conversation without having to return to the post over and over again. The new comments show in http://www.livejournal.com/tools/notifications.bml, and there is also an option to turn on email notification.
I really like this system -- it cuts down on how many pages I'm always keeping open, and promotes much less frustrating conversation than before, when several sets of people would be having the same convo in parallel threads.
The system doesn't address screened comments very well, which is a shame, given that if it /did/ show newly unscreened comments it would be possible to have decent conversations in journals where the owners always screen comments.
A more worrisome problem is that the emailed notifications are the same as all other emailed notifications -- both the new comment and the text of its parent are included. This isn't a problem with most comments, but most folk would prefer that comments they think are not visible are also not sitting in other people's inboxes. NOTE this is not a problem in notifications.bml -- it correctly shows originally open but currently screened comments as "you do not have access to view".
1 - add a separate (one time?) trigger to the 'unscreen this comment' action that also posts it to notifications.bml and sends it out to the comment notifications
2 - branch a second type of comment notification for notification of tracked-thread comments (as opposed to 'here is the comment you just posted / someone replied to a comment you posted)
2a - Most simply, do not include parent comment text but instead a link to context.
2b - Alternately, test for parent comment screenstatus before generating the notification email -- if the parent comment was screened (i.e. might again be screened, too) when the comment being notified was created, a link is presented instead of the comment's text; otherwise send the current form of notification email.
3 - Option B of step #2 can be greatly simplified by, removing the automatic unscreening from the reply-to-screened-comment code. This creates an extra step for the post owner (though it can be presented as a popup option) but keeps there from being a need for a parameter of "was this comment created as a response to a comment which may or may not be still screened?".
Ideally, post owners would unscreen before replying.
Here's an example from my testing the current implementation: http://vvalkyri.livejournal.com/680221.html?nc=22 I had a friend track the thread and turn on email notification. On the page you can see some comments that have no reply to them; they do not show in notifications.bml and no email notification was received. Any time you can see a reply from me to a screened comment the text of the screened comment was delivered, though the screened comment does not show in notifications.bml There are two comments I replied to in a way that wouldn't send the text of the parent in email: in this one, for example, I started a new comment thread and referenced a screened comment but do not reply directly to it.
Unfortunately without emailing the original commenter or the original commenter tracking the thread himself, the reply will not be received.
Maintain the ability to track and participate in threads where the comments are initially posted as screened.
- Maintain the ability to have conversations like this one, where threading is maintained even if some of the comments in between are screened. [edit: this is a better example]
- Fewer people insisting that the tracking function enables stalking.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
- Some people may be confused about when comments show in notifications.bml
- Links to context are less friendly than the full context
- Mucking about in the comment notification code requires testing.
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
- See above.