Stories are marked as read incorrectly in ACM TechNews feed

Stories are marked as read incorrectly in ACM TechNews feed.
Usually I use “mark newer/older stories read” buttons, with this feed up to 13 stories are incorrectly marked as read in the opposite direction (newer stories when I mark older ones and vice versa).

I use Firefox 61.0.1 (same behaviour with older versions).

Though it’s not a critical issue for me, any help will be appreciated.


Ah-ha, just tested it out. Looks like it’s marking read by timestamp and many of those stories share an exact timestamp.

I’m not sure what the fix would be although I can think of one: I’ll just check if there are any other stories sharing the same timestamp that are currently visible and if so, manually mark all of those and then add/subtract 1 second. I’ll see if I can get that done now.

Well drat, looks like it can’t happen from two angles. A fix on the backend won’t work because the stories are stored non-deterministically, which means they can come out in any order if they share a timestamp. On the frontend it won’t work because then you would essentially be seeing those stories as an authentic read and they would clutter up your Read Stories feed.

There is one possibility of enforcing an order by keeping track of timestamps during feed parsing so that every story is at least one second from another, thereby ensuring that they come out in a deterministic order. I’ll give that a try.

Ok, that worked. On stories with unmarked dates, I now add a random number of seconds (under a minute) to give stories their own timestamp. Makes feed timelines more deterministic once the stories are injested.

It isn’t retroactive but it should work now for future stories.

Thanks man! You’re the best.
Do I need to mark this as solved somehow?

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It’s the ACM. I had to make it work no matter what.