Please Add "Latest Replied" to the "Sort by" of Forum Searches


First of all I want to thank you for these forums; the software that operates them (Meteor-based?) is great, and many things that have always been inconvenient for me in other forums, were solved here.

When people search the forums, the most popular search is no doubt “Latest Replied”; after all, people want to know what’s new in the fields interesting them.

Unfortunately, this is not one of the options in the current forum; there are only “Relevance”, “Latest Post”, “Most Liked”, and “Most Viewed”.

For example, I’m curious to know what’s new with “SQL”, and check it daily.
Since there are no new threads about it everyday, I’m looking for new replies to old threads. On the other hand, “Latest Post” may return a thread that I already read, because it was published several days ago, but a thread with new and important reply, will not be returned, just because the thread was started a long time ago.

Such a feature will help a lot.


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I’d suggest posting this as a request on Discourse, which is the off-the-shelf software we (MDG) use for this forum:

No, @sashko please don’t recommend that, as … this already exists. What you describe in the above quote is exactly how it already works.

When you go to a specific category, it’s ordered by last reply, regardless of the date of the first post in the topic. That is, in fact, the default order for all topic list pages in Discourse out of the box…

If you are looking for

new replies to old threads

that’s exactly what you’ll get by, say, visiting the core - Meteor forums category. This is classic forum behavior, every reply “bumps” the topic to the topic.

I apologize if I am somehow misunderstanding what you’re referring to here…

I wrote about “Search”.
When you use Search, you have a “Sort by” label, with the following options near it:

  • Relevance
  • Latest Post
  • Most Liked
  • Most Viewed

But no “Latest Reply”.
I know that inside categories the threads are sorted by default according to the latest reply, but this doesn’t help, and it is not what I asked for.
Thank you in any case for your good willing!

Oh sorry I was unclear you are referring to search. Is there any reason why the order:latest option isn’t working for you in search?

I think latest sorts by “latest post” which seems to indicate the first post in the thread? I think net mask is looking for an option which will sort the threads by the latest reply.

So you could think of it as a filter on the latest view of the homepage, but via keyword search. So that you could find the most recently discussed topics about a certain keyword.

It IS working great, but not what I (and most of the people) usually need.
As I wrote (and as @sashko understood correctly), it is the latest post, not the latest reply.
You can try it yourself.
If the hottest thread, with zillion replies from the last 24 hours, was started 2 months ago, and since then there have been 100 newer threads, the search will show them before this thread, even if none of them has replies from the last week.

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Sorry, I am a bit confused:

Latest post definitely orders on the date the post was made, not the date the topic was made. The twist is that we de-dupe, so if a single topic has 20 mentions of SQL we only show the last one.

Can you give me an example of where this is failing, I want to improve it and clearly there is some sort of issue here.

After becoming confused myself, I investigated the issue, and let me explain my conclusions:

First of all, there is a confusion around the terminology:

Some of us speak about topics and posts, while other about posts and replies.

I was frustrated because I wanted to look for all the topics which discussed a specific issue (e.g. “SQL”), ordered from the recent reply to the oldest one.
However, sometimes the replies don’t contain the searched keyword; in such a case, they will be ordered much later in the list.
I understood, mistakenly, that it happened because “Latest Post” meant “Latest Topic”.
Although there is also a lot of use for what I’m looking for exactly, I think that you can “close” this discussion, because returning the latest reply that contains the keyword, is already a half solution.
I just got used (from another forum) that even one instance of the keyword in the entire thread is enough to be included in the list of results, while the order of the results is according to the latest reply, whether it contains the keyword or not.

Sorry for wasting your time! :wink:

Not at all, you are not wasting my time :slight_smile: I understand what you are
looking for now, the tricky thing is describing it clearly in 2 works

Order By: “Topic creation” seems to be what you want, that way you results
are not muddies with stuff you have very likely seen before.

On the flip side though… you can lose stuff by just ordering on topic

Say you are interested in “widget12” and someone necros an ancient topic
and out of the blue starts talking about “widget12”, now you are not going
to be able to find it.

No, the opposite. Actually, I need exactly what all of us are used to with Google:

If you are looking for “SQL”, and ask Google to give you only pages which changed in the last 24 hours, then a topic with the word “SQL” that was created a YEAR ago, but replied to in the last 24 hours (WITHOUT the word “SQL” in the reply), will be returned.
And a topic with the word “SQL” that was created a WEEK ago, but without replies, will not be returned.

Why, the hell, should I want to see a new reply, if it doesn’t contain the searched keyword?

Well, it’s simple (and Google engine is not silly) :

Let’s say that the opening question was “When are you going to support SQL?”, and it was asked a year ago.
And let’s say @sashko replied 2 hours ago with one word: “Tomorrow” (just joking…).
Well, it is the most important news about SQL for a long time, even more important than the announcement of a new PostgreSQL, isn’t it?
So I want it.

Anyway, I don’t want to bother anybody to invest in this request, because the current status is still better than sorting according to the topic creation time.

I am very, very confused.

Right now if you search for “SQL”, the results will be ordered by relevance, meaning, the most relevant results at the top. This is the default. This means roughly speaking a topic which contains the word “SQL” a hundred times, in the replies, in the first post, in the topic title, will be ordered first. The more the word appears, in the replies, in the first post, in the topic title, the more relevant the result, yes?

If you specify order:latest then the results are returned ordered by latest reply date. That is, show you the topics that contain the word “SQL”, but ordered by those that were replied to most recently. That is to say, a topic where someone said “hey I love SQL” in reply #30, yesterday, will be ordered before a topic where someone said “I hate SQL” in reply #2, three weeks ago.

I would swear the ↑ above paragraph is what you wanted, so I am still unclear if this is not the case?

Perhaps the confusion here is simply terminology, so let me define some;

  • Topic: a first post and 0 to infinity replies. The entire entity and all words contained in the first post and all subsequent replies are referred to as “the topic”

  • Reply: a single reply to a topic. Never the first post, since the first post including the title defines the topic.

  • Post: either the first post or a reply. A topic with a single post has no replies, only the first post.

Does that help?

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