Let’s discuss it a bit more detail. We have a task for timeline improvements for v11, but details are not settled yet... so this discussion is very timely. Considerations....
- Timeline card can include interactive content - links, embeds, etc. Those elements need to be individually clickable. On desktop it also means cursor change on-hover for clickable elements.. We can make whole card clickable too, but cursor would be an arrow anyway, which makes it less intuitive.
- ‘Updates‘ don’t have titles, so no obvious click target to open the individual update page. Again, either we’d have to make whole thing a target, or add some kind of “open page“ link.
- Interestingly, the above conundrum is more manageable on touch screens, because there’s no need for onhover cursor change and whole card can be a tap-target.
- Comments opening in-line can be an issue when there’re too many of them, especially on mobile devices. Twitter handles it by simply always redirecting to the tweet page when the tweet or comments counter is clicked/tapped. Facebook, always a master of complicated solutions, shows comments in-line on desktop, in pop up on iPad (comments-only pop up, without the main post), and redirects to the page with prescrolling to comments on mobile (like Twitter). Though if the post is not fully fitting (‘show more’ overflow is used), then Facebook won’t open the page on-tap in mobile apps, but will open the overflow on-tap, and you’d have to tamp the date to see the the post page, or tap on comments if there’re any.
- Timeline also features FB-like comments pre-load, which shows a few latest comments in the feed, even if comments link is not triggered. Each of the preloaded comments had action objects - reactions, inline links, embeds, etc. These Interactions are available even in the pre-loaded view, so if someone clicks “like” to a preloaded comment we have to execute ‘like’ and not just open pop up with all comments, or redirect to the page. Facebook handles this on mobiles by removing any interactive objects from -reloaded comments previews, redirecting to page or pop up and pre-scrolling to tapped comment. Twitter simply doesn’t preload comments/reply-tweets in feed.
- Now, we have two options - simple way, always redirecting to page, no preloads; or complicated way - preload on desktop, pop up on tablet, redirect on mobile, preload comments as stripped previews, BUT 🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁 .... UNA is responsive, remember? So, we have to readjust on the fly as the viewport is changing - make cards work in one way while it’s wide, another way as it’s being changed. We can’t do it by simply manipulating the styles and hiding elements, or using different JS rules tied to viewport - because we also have to adhere to settings set in Navigation builder, where users may choose to show some elements (action links) on desktop, hide on mobile or apps, show again on tablet, etc. So, we could handle comemnts actions by pre-configuring menus in Navigation builder (show all on desktop, hide all on mobile), switching between in-line and redirect for the post/comment click for different viewports, perhaps even add pop up configuration to Pages builder, since some will want the pop up to include main post or main media and with comments on the side, some will only want comments in it. All of that will once again complexity to Timeline and may make it slower and buggier for a while, as well as more difficult to understand and re-configure. Decisions, decisions...
Sorry for being the ‘it’s complicated’ guy again. Very often things that seem to be very simple and seamless are in fact the result of very sophisticated process at work, and it’s very important to get it right before making changes..