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We've made an attempt at solving some of the friction and pain with pagination in forums by having "in line" pagination in our forum. Take for example this forum post which has an unreasonably large 1,510 replies (at the time of writing this): In the URL the -1 signifies the "last page." The algorithm shows the first post, a bunch of links to other pages, and then then last 1 to 10 posts depending on how many posts are on the last page. When a user clicks on a page number then an AJAX call is made which pulls that page into the page you are viewing and splits up the remaining page links. I agree with Jeff that forums are fundamentally broken, however, I feel that given the traditional pagination model in forums and this one that we've made the web a better place. Granted that in the example above with a forum topic with 150 pages this is less useful. However, most of the forum topics are between 1 and 3 pages so pulling in the other 2 pages into a single page that you can scroll up and down through makes this much more usable.
Toggle Commented Mar 28, 2012 on The End of Pagination at Coding Horror
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Mar 27, 2012