Elements of a post

When a post is displayed as part of a thread, there are several elements that are static (such as the content of the post), and several elements that are dynamic (such as the member’s status and post count). I’m still not sure exactly which elements are updated with each view and which remain as they were at the time the post was submitted.

I assume the user information, such as location, gets updated each view, so I can’t see what a person had as their old location by viewing an old post. How about their sig? I’ve seen a couple of instances where comments were made on a sig that didn’t appear to match the contents of the sig.

I also still don’t fully understand what other elements can change. I just discovered today that the little checkbox beside the profile button changes to yellow if the member is logged on, grey if not. (Can I change that so I can lurk invisibly?) Are there any other elements in a post that can change?

I would also appreciate a rundown of the elements of a board listing; I’m still unsure of some of the elements shown when viewing the list of threads.

Of course, if this is explained somewhere a link would be great.

Thanks in advance.

Pretty much everything except the post content has to be checked against the server, and is called up each time the thread is loaded.

This includes the signature. Under the old board (UBB), the signature was stored as post content and did not update. Under vB, it downloads it from the preferences file each time the post loads.

Most of the buttons have to change because they open to new link locations. Post reply will go to a new number count, for instance.

Thanks, Irishman. This goes a long way towards explaining why the server takes such a hammering. Apart from the little checkmark that indicates if a member is logged on, are there other elements that change for other reasons?

I suppose you could lurk invisibly by reading the board without logging in and turning cookies off. Unfortunately, I can’t test that because I’m logged in with cookies on, and my own posts have the check mark box all grey to my view.

Check under user CP. I think there’s a setting you can change. Ringo, check your prefs. My checkbox is yellow to me.

I’m not aware of any other icons that change. However, you can see the number of buttons at the bottom changes depending upon the profile of each poster. Check above, and compare mine to yours, for instance. I have four buttons, you have three. This is because you’re email isn’t visible. Other people have homepages listed, and they get a button for that.

I don’t know much about the software, but here’s my WAG as to how it all works.

The program starts with a single number, the post ID. Using that number, it looks up: the body of the post, the User ID of the poster, whether the sig was turned on for this post, and the timestamp. These are the only four things that will be constant every time you access the post. The edit and quote icon URLs are generated from the post ID, as is the Report this post URL.

Using the timestamp, the program compares it with your session information to see if you’ve accessed this post yet. That determines if the icon to the left of the timestamp is gray or yellow.

Using the user ID, the program looks up many things. The profile, search, and buddy icon URLs are all generated from the user ID. From the user’s profile, it also looks up Location, email address, homepage, and avatar. If the email address is viewable, it generates the email icon. If the homepage is filled in, it generates the www icon. This board does not use avatars, so it may not need to retrieve that information. If the signature was turned on, it also gets that.

It also accesses the user information. From this, with the user ID, it gets the user name, user status, registration date, post count, and IP. These things can all change, but are not controlled by the user profile. If the IP is logged (and it always is for this board) it makes a little link.

Finally, it has to access the list of currently logged-in users, to determine if the checkbox icon is yellow or gray.

And that’s all there is to it. :slight_smile:

Let me add some things and make a couple minor corrections.

The thread-view starts at the thread level. When you’re viewing a thread, vBulletin looks up the list of post IDs that compose the thread, and your user status.

Given your user status, the program decides whether to create some Admin or Mod-only links at the bottom of the page. For the Forum Jump box, the program decides if there are any forums you are not allowed to see, and then does not display those.

The Board does not even try to see if you have an avatar if the option is off, to save a query. Also, the “www” icon is stupid, and will generate sometimes even if there are nothing but " " in the field. But that’s a trivial note.

Your note implies that it gets the IP from the profile. It does not retrieve your IP from your user profile, it gets it from the http session. The IP is always logged regardless, the option is whether or not to display the IP link.

Thanks for the corrections!

Eh, you had 99% of it right. I just felt like adding a couple things was all.

Thanks Irishman. I was seeing myself in grey, stypticus, because I was unwittingly doing what you want to do. Go to User CP > Edit Options and turn on Invisible Mode and you’re a stealth lurker.

BTW, I’m not sure how much weight that bears as I, and I’m sure others, leave my machine on and logged in even when I’m off to work or other whereabouts.

Excellent help all. Turns out I’ve been in Stealth Mode all this time without realizing what it was. I’m paranoid like that.

Thanks again!

Y’know, this is the first I noticed that we didn’t have those anymore. Used to be, that those links showed up for everyone, and if a non-mod tried one, they’d just get an error message.

And I think (but I’m not as knowledgeable as Anthracite) that username, status, etc., are also considered part of the “User profile”, just not a part of the profile which can be edited by the user.