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Forum: Bug Report and Feature Requests

Minor bug in Authors story pages page selection

madnige

For authors with a story count of greater than 70, on the row of page selection buttons above/below the story listings the current page button is enhanced with spin arrows to allow selection of pages beyond the 7 around the current page. When the author has a number of stories which is also evenly divisible by ten, it is possible to spin up to one page past the last, which gives a page with no stories listed.

Example:
Author 'JAX' story count 350, 35 pages of story listings, spin button allows selection of page 36, which then shows "Displaying stories 351 through 350 of 350".

This issue only affects five authors at present:
JAX
maryjane
neff trebor
Scorpio00155
Tom Land

Another issue, which I'm not sure if is a bug or just clunky user interface, is that after using the spin arrows to select the desired page number, neither clicking away from the selection field nor pressing enter actually sets the selected page number; instead, the user must first click in the selection field itself (but not on the spin arrows), then click away or press enter, to go to the selected page. Note that typing into the field works, but related to the above bug typing an out-of-range number gives a prompt which gives an incorrect limit value (e.g., 'Please select a value that is no more than 36' for JAX)

Ernest Bywater

Just as a matter of interest, can you state what view mode you're using on what device, because I've never seen a spin arrow for story page selection on SoL - so I wonder if it may be an issue specific to a display style or device.

Replies:   MarissaHorne  madnige
MarissaHorne

@Ernest Bywater

Ernest

At this point you have 106 stories on your page. If I open your author page, I can see the spinner in box 1 to the right of the number.

Alternatively if I double click on the page number I can type in a valid page number to navigate straight there.

I checked Jax's page and observed the reported page behaviour.

Ernest Bywater

I'm currently looking at both my Author page and the Author page for JAX - I see no spinner at all. I use the PC display format, not the mobile device format - there is a difference in code and display between them, Lazeez may need to know which format you're using.

Both pages open with coloured banner with the Author name and some links.

Below that is a thin stripe with links for Series and Universes. for me - not there for JAX

Next down is text saying Displaying stories 1 through 10 of 106 for me and 350 for JAX

The next line is a set of boxes numbered 1 to 7 and on the far right is a box with a > arrow. Click on a box and you move to that page of stories and also get a box with a < on the left. Click on the arrows and they move you one page in those directions. If you click on a number box it widens to show an up arrow and a down arrow as well. You can click on the arrows to change the number, and when you click outside the number box it moves to that page - but there is no spinner of any sort. I can only assume you're referring to the up and down arrows as spinners or it displays differently in the mobile device mode.

Replies:   MarissaHorne
MarissaHorne
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

I'm using the PC display.

What I'm calling the spinners is the up and down arrows to the right of the number that appear in box 1 when I open the page. Clicking on the up arrow spins the number up, while clicking on the down arrow spins the number down. (At least that's what I understand a spinner to do).

The only difference between thee and me is that I see the spinners when I open the page, and it appears in the box for the current page. So, if I go to page 5, the spinners move to the box numbered 5.

There is no difference between us; it's just a matter of understanding what the other is talking about.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@MarissaHorne

Clicking on the up arrow spins the number up, while clicking on the down arrow spins the number down.


With my system in PC mode the arrows don't appear until I click inside a box, then they appear in which ever box I've selected.

You don't see them that often now, but spinners on webs pages are circular symbols with an arm that rotates around it in a clockwise direction. Some are used to indicate the system is doing something, and some were used with numbers like a clock you could move the arm to where you wanted to go, and then click on it to go there. Well, they were when I did web graphics about 20 years ago.

I had a look at all the authors listed, and they're the only authors with more then 70 stories where the story number is evenly divisible by 10 to give full page numbers. It could be the system has a new page ready for the next story for some reason.

sharkjcw
Updated:

I have checked all Author pages listed and can not reproduce the complaint. running win10, edge, full access, classic view

madnige

@Ernest Bywater

Just for completeness, this is a laptop running ChaletOS, a variant of Ubuntu {System: Host: HP-6720S Kernel: 4.4.0-96-generic i686 (32 bit gcc: 5.4.0) Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 (Gtk 2.24.28) Distro: Ubuntu 16.04 xenial} and Firefox 55.0.2 (32-bit), using the PC display format and Classic theme. I see the spinner arrows as in MarissaHorne's posts. I took up the 'spin arrow' terminology from when I was doing some PC GUI work a couple of decades or so ago when an edit box for numerical entry along with the paired arrows for increment/decrement was called a 'spin box' in VB, being a software analog of a tally counter or thumbwheel switch with up and down pushbuttons - that's probably where the name came from, as the buttons spin the display wheel up or down by one. I should have been more precise and referred to the arrows as 'spin box arrows' to avoid implication of any circular feature.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
zellus
Updated:

http://storiesonline.net/library/author.php?name=JAX&sf=alpha&so=asc&p=36
http://storiesonline.net/library/author.php?name=maryjane&sf=alpha&so=asc&p=13

Ernest Bywater

@madnige

I took up the 'spin arrow' terminology from when I was doing some PC GUI work a couple of decades or so ago when an edit box for numerical entry along with the paired arrows for increment/decrement was called a 'spin box' in VB,


That's interesting, when I did some training in creating interfaces for databases in the late 1990s we were taught to call those boxes up and down arrows regardless of if we were creating the boxes in VB, Oracle, or MS Access.

We also had some neat graphical items for fancier GUIs which were like little spinning wagon wheels we were told to call spinners - most of the time they were set to display a spinning wheel to show something was happening and the program wasn't locked up. We could also use them to change some settings if there was four to twelve setting options, and you could drag the arm around to the chosen option, usually identified by a number like on a clock face. I never liked that, but we were shown how to do it with and the provided image and routines. I doubt I remember a tenth of the coding I was taught then, due to not using it for years.

BTW I'm using Zorin Linux with both Chrome and Firefox for browsing. SoL is set to the classic PC mode display as well.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@madnige

When the author has a number of stories which is also evenly divisible by ten, it is possible to spin up to one page past the last, which gives a page with no stories listed.


It was me being lazy. Instead of checking if there is a remainder from the division or not, I went with the most likely answer of yes to remainder and calculated the max number of pages accordingly.

Considering that currently the site has over 5500 pen names and only 5 have a number of stories divisible by 10 and more than 70 stories, odds are of anybody being affected by this bug is less than 1000 to 1.

But you did. And I fixed it.

the user must first click in the selection field itself


This is actually not clunky. It was a careful design decision.

If I were to trigger the page reload on the user clicking the arrow to increase the page number, then each click would reload the page, slowing the reader down and putting undue load on the server. So I set it so that when a reader changed the number (whether by typing a number or clicking the arrows), and after they leave the field, the reload would get triggered.

Replies:   madnige
madnige

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

tl;wr I think it's not quite right, but is good enough as-is.

after they leave the field, the reload would get triggered


- but it doesn't always:

Typing a new page number then clicking away from the field/control works as you describe.

Clicking on the page number entry field, then using the spin box arrows to select a new page number, then clicking away from the control works as you describe.

Using the spin box arrows to select a new page number without clicking anything else first, then clicking away from the control (or hitting Enter) does nothing: the entry field shows the selected page number, but nothing is loaded.

Using the spin box arrows to select a new page number, then clicking on the newly selected page number (not on the arrows), then clicking away from the control is required to load the new page. This two-click process is what I think is a bit clunky (and obviously reloading the page on every arrow click is a Very Bad Idea).

For completeness, the above failure only occurs if the entry field has NOT been selected before clicking on the spin box arrows (i.e., the text caret is not flashing in the page number spin box field); if you click on the numeric field next to the spin box arrows before, during or after using the arrows the page loads correctly on clicking away from the control. So to demonstrate this issue, load a suitable author page from the authorlist pages or any other method, then without clicking anything else use the spin box arrows to select a different page, then click away from the control; compare this behaviour with performing the same actions but also clicking on the spin box numeric field at any time between loading the page and clicking away from the field.

Actually the quote highlighted above is correct if you regard the spin box arrows as being neither in nor out of the field (which seems a bit odd). I think the easiest fix would be to put in something like a set_focus() to the entry field when either arrow is clicked, or setting the arrow or spin box attributes to make that happen. A different workaround would be to hide (or grey out) the arrows if the control does not have focus, and to by default set focus to the current page numbered button on page load. Of course, it may be a bug in the underlying JavaScript control library, but either way the above focus shenanigans will make it behave more logically.

It's really an issue of UI design; the reader using the spin box arrows would normally expect use of the arrows to focus on the control, and has no way (apart from reading these forums) of knowing the requirement to click in the edit control before hitting Enter or clicking away from the control, and the (lack of) caret in the edit box is a subtle indicator, so it becomes somewhat of a hidden variable problem leading to inconsistent user experience and probably avoidance of the feature. On the gripping hand, there aren't many authors with enough stories to make using this feature faster than just click-to-load on the highest available page a few times, instances of wanting to go to a particular page or region rather than sequential browsing will be relatively rare, and it only takes a handful of seconds for me to realise I've been caught out again and to click in-then-out of the control to trigger a reload. So, just ignore me.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@madnige

On the gripping hand, there aren't many authors with enough stories to make using this feature faster than just click-to-load on the highest available page a few times, instances of wanting to go to a particular page or region rather than sequential browsing will be relatively rare, and it only takes a handful of seconds for me to realise I've been caught out again and to click in-then-out of the control to trigger a reload. So, just ignore me.


No, you're right, it is a bit clunky and non-obvious why it doesn't work as expected. And it's not just about authors' pages. The same mechanism generates the navigation bar for other pages, like search results pages.

I've made the small change you suggested and it should help alleviate some of the clunkiness. Now when you click the arrows, the field is focused and you can simply use the arrows and click outside the field or hit enter and the action will be triggered with the intended page.

Replies:   paliden
paliden

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Yes, that works much better.

Crumbly Writer

Damn, five authors with more than 350 stories. Everyone thinks I'm a prolific writer because I've written 16 books in only six years. I can't imagine ever reaching 350!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Damn, five authors with more than 350 stories.


I found 6, however, it comes down to what you call a story. I didn't check all the stories listed, but did check the sizes of the first 20 stories listed, and they ranged from an average of 2,500 words of less for 5 of them and the other had an average of under 10,000 words for the first 20 stories.

Let's get generous and say 5,000 words a story at 22 kb, that means I've posted the equivalent of over 650 of their stories and you can work out you're own.

Some of those prolific authors also seem to be posting a lot of short stories on the same basic theme.

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