Any Plans to Improve Ease of Navigation?

Specifically, will the “pages” navigation ever be returning? Pretty, pretty please?

I am mostly getting used to and enjoying the new forum format. But it makes it almost impossible to browse the forums as I’m accustomed to.

For example, right now I’m renovating a barn. In the past, I would seek out ideas and inspiration by browsing through the “Around the Farm” forum. Sometimes even very old posts will contain a useful tidbit of information. With the new format, every time I accidentally click on a thread title (instead of right clicking and opening it in a new tab), I lose my browsing “place” when I go back. Or if my computer decides to randomly refresh the page, or restarts, etc…the site always goes back to the very top of the forum.

This means that I’m spending many, many minutes of my precious free time endlessly scrolling to try to get back to the last topic I read. I’m not looking for just one specific subject, so the search function is useless to my current goal.

I can’t be the only person who uses the forum this way, right? It’s usually my “light reading” before bed, but I’m almost ready to give up at this point.

Per the posts in the other threads, the lack of pages is how this format works and there is no plan to add pages back in.

I have noticed when I got back, the last thread I looked at is highlighted in green for a bit (it fades). Are you not seeing this?

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That happens for me when I scroll to the end of a “page”. But I’m currently looking at topics from January 2016. So I have to scroll through YEARS of posts to get to my stopping point, and then screenshot my place every night before I go to bed so I can remember where I was. And then every time I come back, I have to scroll even more than the day before. It’s a royal pain in the rear.

If there were at least a way to “jump to” topic # whatever I was last at, that would be a reasonable work-around. As is, there is no way I can find to just browse the forum. :rage:

This is more a question than an answer. Can you use bookmarks on your last thread and then jump to the bookmark? Or is bookmark a post thing, not a thread thing?

Nope, because the web address doesn’t change as you scroll down. So any bookmark I save will just bring me to the top of the forum. Surely there’s SOME way to fix this? Otherwise the main purpose for which I use the forums has just become a giant headache. :frowning:

The site should automatically be saving your place of where you read to in any given thread, so that when you go back to that thread and open it again, it should automatically take you to where you left off.

Your browser back button is not working to take you back to your previous thread?

I don’t know if this would somehow help, but the URLs are dynamic, so if you use the “copy link” feature on a post, that link will take you to that specific post, not to the first post in the thread.

Are you logged into your account while you’re browsing the site?

Also, a random tidbit, if you’re scrolling around within a thread, and go back up higher in a thread to check something, for example, you should see a “back” button appear on the green navigation slider that will take you back down to the last post you read in that thread.

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No, that works fine.

I’m talking about browsing in a particular forum (in this case, Around the Farm, but it happens in all of them). If I’m reading a thread from four years ago and have to leave the page for some reason, the only way to get back to that “spot” in the topics list is to scroll aaaaaalllllll the way down through four years of topics. Is there any way to make the topic list browsable again?

Like I said, if I was looking for one particular subject (i.e. stall mats), then I could just do a search. But I’m just reading through all the topics in that forum for ideas, tips, cautionary tales, etc.

Would it help in this situation for you to set your preferences to open all links in a new tab by default?

You can also do an advanced search for topics in a Forum by date…not sure if that would make it at all easier for you.

I think that would help with my accidental clicks instead of right clicks. But it wouldn’t solve the times the page randomly refreshes and/or my computer decides to update itself and restarts.

Trying to search would, I think, be even more cumbersome. (Even though the new search function is SO much better than the old one! Props for that.) Like I said, I’m not really looking for one or two specific topics, and a general search like “barn”, “stall”, “tack room”, etc. doesn’t really narrow the results down much. Especially since many people put really generic titles (i.e. “question”) on what turns out to be a very specific and helpful thread (i.e. “what’s the best way to line the walls of an indoor wash stall”) I’ve used the forums this way for 20 years now - just pick a section and browse through in my spare time. It’d be super sad to lose that ability permanently. :frowning:

I’m furtively tiptoeing in because I’m inexpert on here for sure and may not even fully understand the question but are there other ways the bookmark suggestion might help you

I’ve used them before to hold my place in an older thread until I can come back to it. You apply at the post you’re ending on, then later go into your profile and your bookmarks will be listed there for you to return to.

@ohmyheck, not a silly suggestion. That works within threads because the posts are numbered, so you can “save” a spot based on that number. But, within each forum, since the topics aren’t numbered and there are no longer any page numbers, there is no specific spot that can be “saved”. Any bookmark will just redirect to the very top of the topic list within that forum. Does that make sense? That’s the clearest way I can come up with to describe the problem.

Oh right, I see.

I think the “best” way to browse this way is to search by date. You can do an advanced search for a time period. So, you know you’ve scrolled through…say…2020. You’re looking through threads in December 2019. To get back there, and continue scrolling back, you can search the Around the Farm forum for threads started prior to Dec 2019, and scroll down from there. When you’re done, note the start date in the last thread, and use that date to run your search the next day, and continue scrolling back from there.

How does that sound?

Here’s an example, so you can see how it’s set up. This is searching for threads in Around the Farm from before Dec 1 2019:

When I scroll down a ways here, and click on a thread, and then click back, I’m returned to the same place in the list, and not the top of the search. (I’m using Firefox, not sure if all browsers act the same way.)

The date you see on these threads is the first post date, but they’re sorted by last post date–just like you’d see in the forum itself.


Oh, my goodness. @Simkie, you are my hero! Thank you so much!!! That will work great.


Yay! I’m so glad that looks like it’ll work for you :grin:

I poked around the Discourse website last month. We won’t see pages. That is one of their primary selling points. Pages are “awkward and arbitrary.” It’s a pain to have to look for the page button, they say. The benefit is “just in time loading” and you just scroll down if you want to read more. It looks like a chat room where half a dozen people have a conversation in real time. You earn your way up the ladder and can do more, have more access to features, maybe, if you behave yourself and don’t break rules. There is a thread on Discourse that talks about “impersonating” a user and making it easy to ??? I’ve been trying to figure out how it’s different than what we on COTH are doing. This is the start of a topic off the Discourse site:

“I’d like to start a discussion about the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. After the tragedy in Connecticut (of which I am a native), I think most of the country has decided it’s time to take a serious look at gun ownership in the United States (I am a gun owners as well).”

That sort of conversation got banned from COTH years ago, although it tries to revive itself from time to time. It reminds me a bit of when the USEF established a limitation on the length of whips. Every whip in every discipline. They were too short for dressage. I can picture a real-time conversation that goes way off the COTH track. People pop in and out wondering why, who was the idiot, so and so did this, that one is a cheater, whatever. She likes the kind of whip that has a little leather popper on the end. They should be black. No, any color should be allowed. The popper should be a lash.

We probably do the same sort of thing. But it’s in a block of text. We are not working in real time with half a dozen people chiming in, posting, leaving, coming back.

I’ve drifted away from COTH to some extent. I don’t like the appearance, the lack of pages, poor organization, not intuitive. I went into my preferences trying to do something and couldn’t find it. I had allowed COTH to send me emails about posts, click here to read it. I couldn’t figure out what I did and how I did it. That made it difficult to undo it.

I’m glad there are some nice features out there for those who want to use them. What I haven’t figured out is an easy way to go through four or five categories, click on a topic for a preview and chose to read a thread. I don’t need tiny useless avatars all over the place. I don’t need to know frequent posters. I’ve scrolled a few topics and find myself looking at things that are years old. I don’t think you can shut that off. I don’t feel like looking around and then posting to wait for someone to tell me what I’m trying to do, with some instructions.

I was a sailor for almost my whole life until I had to give it up in 1999 after an unrelated injury. That’s when the horse fever finally broke through. I tracked my boat down to the Great Lakes with a couple of searches. I rejoined the board because I can still do useful brain dumps of technical information for people doing rebuilds. The discussion board is easy, like COTH used to be. I found ancient posts on a defunct board that were imported to this one. Found photos of my boat from two buyers. Yes, it’s a small board for a small group, but it is on a platform with thousands of organizations. The set up is easy to learn, and they use pages. What an amazing idea! It took a couple of hours at the most including copying a lot of it to my PC. Then I come over to COTH. I’m astonished that people are still asking questions about why something does or does not happen and how to do it. That is going to erode the member base. We will lose a few individuals who have more information and expertise stuffed in their brains than the rest of us combined.

Irrelevant tangent.

This sentence reminded me that I think I just passed the 20 year mark here myself within the last 10 days or so. I don’t remember the exact date in December off the top of my head, but I remember I was snowed in around Christmas with a house full of relatives when I came across the BB for the first time. So I was very glad to have a diversion.

I would not like to think how many hours I’ve spent on it since then! Lol.


So freaking true! I bet lots of us fall into this category. I know I do.

The 21st is your join date :grin::grin:

Oh man, you and me both :rofl::rofl: