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next and previous

 6:46 am on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I need someone to explain this to me, preferably in words of two syllables. Recently I've been reading a series of blog articles on never-mind-what subject.* I don't know what CMS or blogging platform the author used, because this isn't something I know anything about, but it obviously isn't hand-rolled. Meaning that this is not a unique head-scratcher.

At first I spent a lot of time going around in circles, because I mistakenly assumed that
"next post"
= post written on some later date, bearing a higher number, dealing with some topic arising later than the post we're currently on
"previous post"
= post written on some earlier date, bearing a lower number, dealing with et cetera.

Nope. Turns out that, to get from post 1 to post 2, that's "prev post", while to get from post 2 back to post 1 is "next post". I tried to make sense of this by thinking that "next" = further down the page if you are reading from top to bottom on a page that puts the newest content at the top. And then "previous" would = closer to the top of the page. Except that, well, each article is on a page of its own-- and if they were on the same page, there would be no need for a link.

I need a mnemonic. Otherwise I will always click on the wrong thing and find myself on articles I have already read. Or should I just turn the computer upside-down?

* By weird coincidence, the last time I stumbled across blogs on the same subject, the navigation was also ### up. Only that time the problem was more straightforward: there simply wasn't any. Use browser's back-arrow or History menu to find the entry page, and start afresh.



 7:41 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Does it assume that you initially started reading at the most recent post? Then the "previous post" would be the one written before it (earlier in time). Or is that what you already said? Now I'm confused.

Edit: Let me try again. Maybe the order in which the posts are read is assumed to be the opposite of the order in which they were written. Would it make sense in that case?


 8:49 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Would it make sense in that case?

I would love to find some way in which it does make sense :) so I don't keep running into "Oh, now wait. If Angelina was shipped off to detox* in Episode 4, why is she still here in-- Oh, right, I goofed and this is Episode 3." The separate articles are each dated-- it was one of the things I checked-- so we can scratch the possibility that they were originally written back-to-front.

* Do I need to explain that this is not the ACTUAL subject of the ACTUAL blog that I'm ACTUALLY reading? Yes, I probably do. I'm just trying to offer an example of unambiguous sequentiality.


 9:00 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think you've slipped into a web based time warp were yesterday comes after tomorrow.

But since dessert comes before dinner there it's OK.



 2:24 pm on Jul 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yeah, but unfortunately hangover comes before being drunk, too...


I always find that particularly confusing, where the next link leads you to an article written prior to the current article being read.

I think that in WP the comments are threaded that way as well by default. Namely, the most recent comment is at the top of the list of comments, while the older comments were at the bottom of the list.

Drove me batty because you would see replies and responses to questions where you hadn't already read the question.


 5:56 pm on Jul 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

It all comes down to the semantics of the site structure:

  • If the posts/pages are ordered new-to-old (with newest on top), it makes sense to have "previous" as the newest and "next" as the oldest; in fact, you'll find that the newest post has only "next" posts but no "previous".
  • Viceversa can apply (so the newest post is "next" and older posts are "previous").
  • You can use a different approach (or *reverse* approach), with "previous" posts as the oldest even though the posts are ordere new-to-old. Here "previous" and "next" are treated chronologically, so if you want to visit older posts you'll have to click on "previous" all the time.

Sorry if that's not very clear. In case, I will explain. It's hard to put your thoughts in words while you're dealing with a mind-shattering backache. ^^''


 6:10 pm on Jul 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think that in WP the comments are threaded that way as well by default.

In Disqus-- or at least one manifestation thereof-- comments are threaded, but the threads are ordered by how many upvotes their initial comment got. So good luck coming back three days later to see what people have said in reply to you; your post is never where you thought it would be.

but unfortunately hangover comes before being drunk, too...

That's the whole selling point of reannuals isn't it?


 10:36 pm on Jul 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes, I am convinced that Disqus was created by The Devil.

On the other hand, it does seem like it frequently fails to load on some of the sites I visit, so I don't actually find myself tempted to read the comments.

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