Would it be possible to train the hamsters to add some automatic color coding?
It would help to keep track of the OP in longish threads, if his/her name could appear on the screen with a different color than the rest of the posts. Sometimes the OP remains quiet till the 2nd page of a thread, and you don’t realize that post number 63 is the same person as post number 1. It can can be confusing.
And it would be an easy way to catch zombie threads.
Any thread older than, say, 12 months should automatically get a bit of color added, too.
There’s nothing wrong with most zombie threads—I figure that if a GQ thread was interesting 10 years ago, it is usually interesting today, too. But sometimes a zombie is a little inappropriate, and ya just feel kinda dumb when you start writing a response, only to realize that the OP’s plumbing no longer leaks, or he was banned, or died, or something.
Besides, colors are pretty. And we Dopers are an aesthetically sensitive bunch.
Surely it wouldn’t be hard for a programmer* to add a couple lines of whatever language they use these days. Just check the date and the OP’s username, and add a color to the screen.
*( I took a semester of progamming in 1981, and so I’d volunteer to do it for you, but I don’t think I can find my old textbook on Fortran )
I assumed that the vBulletin software is flexible.For example, other vB sites allow avatars, pictures, etc, which the Dope has blocked* . So I thought that simple changes could be made by individual customers.
this response is colored by OP manually…too bad it can’t be done automatically
*(and I like it that way!)
IIRC, in some previous thread on this subject, it was discussed that the older version of vBulletin that this board uses is thought to be unable to do this, although it might be possible in other boards that use newer versions. Nobody who mentioned it seemed quite sure about that, though.
I think highlighting zombie threads, either through color or through a pop-up warning to the first two or three late posters, would be an excellent and useful idea.
Not so sure about highlighting OP posts - seems redundant or on a level with many “yeah, maybe” ideas.
Frankly, if vBulletin doesn’t allow modifications and extensions, SDMB should be using something else. There are a dozen competitors and I know from long-term admin experience most can be modified in almost any conceivable way.
Seems to me most of the people who bump old threads are new to the board. How are they supposed to know what the different color means? Also, if they find old threads using a search engine, they might never see a current thread and have no way of knowing that the coloring in the old thread is non-standard.
It sounds like you’d be adding yet another thing to explain. “Here’s our color-coding system, which is for zombie threads. And this is our policy on zombie threads.”