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June 29, 2006

DeThreaded Comments

I love threaded comments. When I visit an old blog entry, it’s great to have the comments organized thematically, with responses threaded with the comments that inspired them.

On the other hand, while a comment thread is developing, there can be several parallel conversations happening at once. And it can be hard to figure out, from the threaded view, where the new comments are. A chronological view would be more convenient. Of course, you can always subscribe to my comment feed, but that’s not quite the same thing.

Fixing this has been a low-priority item on my TODO list for a long time. Finally, one of my commenters spurred me into action. Thanks to my previous experiments in DOM-wrangling, it was fairly easy to whip together something that would toggle between the default threaded-view and a chronological view (with trackbacks followed by comments, in chronological order).

I haven’t tested it yet in a wide variety of browsers. So, if you encounter problems with it, please let me know.

Posted by distler at June 29, 2006 11:47 PM

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7 Comments & 0 Trackbacks

Re: DeThreaded Comments

In an old version of Mozilla running on Linux, I could see a button at the end of the comments marked `Chronological Order’, or similar.

In the newest version of Firefox on Windows, it doesn’t seem to be there. What am I missing?

Posted by: boreds on June 30, 2006 3:56 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: firefox

Ah, I have it now. The button appears in a different place, which is weird as I’d expect them to basically be the same.

Posted by: boreds on June 30, 2006 4:00 PM | Permalink | Reply to this


The button only appears if there are 3 or more comments (i.e. if there is something to sort).

I’m pretty sure it works on the latest Mozilla/Firefox, at least on MacOSX. Dunno about Windows (I don’t do Windows), but I’d be surprised if there was any difference in the Javascript handling on Windows.

If you’re still having problems, let me ask you to open up the Javascript Console (under the Tools menu) and check for errors (ignore any warnings) when you load one of the pages on which the button should appear, but doesn’t.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on June 30, 2006 4:08 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: Windoze

I cannot see the button (but maybe I am just confused 8-) with Firefox on Windows and I get the following error in the JavaScript console window:

Error: [Exception… “Component returned failure code: 0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE) [nsIDOMNSHTMLElement.innerHTML]” nsresult: “0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE)” location: “JS frame :: :: localizeDate :: line 145” data: no]
Source File:
Line: 145

Posted by: wolfgang on June 30, 2006 6:37 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Windoze

Indeed I was just confused and the error I reported probably has nothing to do with the button.

I can see it now, but the problem is that Firefox places it just somewhere (outside the main white area or in another case in the middle of the white area).

But now that I know how it looks I am able to see it 8-)

Posted by: wolfgang on June 30, 2006 7:42 PM | Permalink | Reply to this


Not that it has anything to do with dethreaded comments, but I’m glad that you find Planet Musings useful. ;-)

Posted by: Jacques Distler on July 1, 2006 8:32 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: Planet


as soon as I posted the error message it was clear that it was probably unrelated, which is why I wrote the second comment.
But in blogoland one posts first and thinks later 8-)
And I certainly use Planet Musing often.

Posted by: wolfgang on July 2, 2006 2:43 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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