On Aug 1, 2018, at 9:29 AM, Dominique Devienne <ddevie...@gmail.com> wrote:
> One of the features of a Mail User Agent is to track what was read or not.

It should be straightforward to track “artifacts seen” on a per-user basis, 
then tag the HTML block-level elements when rendering the page so that the skin 
can style the elements appropriately.

The skin could, for example, overlay 5% transparent black over all posts the 
user has already seen, so that the new (not-yet-seen) elements are in a higher 
contrast coloring.

This could extend to the timeline as well.

(That’s why you do this with transparent tinting over the existing coloring, by 
the way, rather than hard-code a pale gray background: because you can’t easily 
predict what the existing background color will be, and you wouldn’t want a 
bunch of nearly-identical CSS rules even if you could predict each background 
color in advance.)

Since this solution is all-CSS, you’d then have the freedom to do the styling 
differently if you prefer.  You could bold the subject line of threads that 
haven’t been opened, etc.  You’d be limited only by your CSS fu.

> And also many MUAs collapsed
> older parts of the thread already read, while still allowing to re-expand 
> them,
> as the user's choice.

That may be possible in CSS as well.  If not in pure CSS, then in CSS + JS for 
sure.  All that’s needed are suitable styles on the block-level elements.

> Some MUAs (GMail) use a strict time-based
> ordering of the post,

I’d be careful using Gmail as a comparison here, since it isn’t so much 
threaded as clumped, which makes it difficult to compare 1:1 to a threaded 
forum system like this new Fossil Forums feature.

Still, I agree with the basic idea you’re expressing here, which I think I can 
express more simply: thread titles in the top-level /forum should be ordered by 
the date of the most recent post in the thread, not by the date of the first 
post.  If a new post is made to an old thread, the whole thread pops to the top 
of the list.

> Could a strict "flat" time-based ordering
> be available, as an alternate view, replacing the in-reply-to nesting with 
> simply a link
> to the replied-to post?

You get that via /timeline if you show events of “Any Type” or “Forum”.

If an alternate view is provided, then I guess some people will like a 
Gmail-like clumped view, but personally, I think that’s only useful on mobile, 
where horizontal screen space is especially precious.

On a desktop browser, give me real threading any day.
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