Order of messages

Should incoming messages be ordered by sent time or by receiving time?

I think the sent time is important.
What do you think?

In groups (my case) it’s better to order by the send time. (I think it’s always the better way)

In my case the answer was received before the question. A thread with this inconsistent is not really readable.

-Alice write question
-Bob answer to this question
-I see the order: Bobs answer - Aliices question.

So I can’t understand what they plane.
Very often a group chat is made of questions and answers.
And a Order not by sending time is not really helpful.

My group is relative small.
I believe in a larger group it’s terrible.

How do it other popular messengers?

If you vote, it would be great if you would write a short line why you voted for this way.
Thank you.

  • Order messages by sent time
  • Order messages by received time

0 voters

maybe it is a bit more tricky than the simple answers suggest. the strict ordering by sending time makes it very easy to overlook messages completely - eg. if a user is offline for a day, its messages will appear maybe pages away - close to invisible for others. maybe we can ignore this issue, however, we should keep it in mind.

(iirc, the very first implementations sort strictly by sending time - which sounds so easy and obvious - and the behavior was changed because of exactly the invisible message issue :slight_smile:

Let’s talk about a group of e.g.6 members.

In your case it can be Alice ask a question in a group.

But the answer of Bob will showed a few messages before Alice’s question on Claudias devic
Because Bobs Server is faster to send the message to Claudias server then Alice’s server.

So Claudia get the answer before the question.

I think I don’t like this behaviour.

Don’t forget that you can’t trust user time.
I share the opinion it should be sent-time, but the real solution isn’t that easy because when the system time of the sender is wrong by days you would not see those messages as receiver, because they appear
outside your view.

So the time question is more complicated than it looks at first glance.

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I believe 98% of devices will sync the clock via time server.
Isn’t it?

OK, chatting over time zones could be interesting.

What’s the solution by other messengers?

the time is not always as correct as one might think. also there is desktop and non-deltas.
also 2 messages of 100 that are “lost” by bad sorting is pretty much :slight_smile:

The solution for other messengers are one or a few central servers that dictate the time AFAIK.

One time again.
A chat has to follow a strict chronological order to got keep the correct conext.

      1. -3. - 4.
      1. -1. - 2. is not correct readeble.

I got this problem more then one time.
As a fun fact.
Sometimes I have for the same chat on 2 devices different order of messages.

Sync clock is on by default. So the user have to switch it off manually.

So it’s your choice.
Do you like to fix a wrong setup of a device.
Do you like to fix a DC made issue which happens very often.

BTW. All my regular mailclients sort messages by sent time.

Sometime time ago I got a completely wrong message order.
something like:

Message 1 (40min)
Message 5 (2min ago)
Message 4 (3min ago)
Message 3 (15min ago)
Message 2 (30min ago)

I believe this bug has something to do with in which order messages are fetched from the server, because my own messages are mostly in a single block (in those buggy cases), rather than at their rightful place in the conversation.

I don’t have a concrete, recent example right now so this comment is written from memory.

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Fun fact: few minutes ago I ask a friend to get me out of a group and then re-enter me (due to some issues with 971). The thing is that those messages came in the wrong order, so I ended up with a single person group (my friend as the sole member)… so yes, i would like incoming messages to be ordered by sent time

this would not fix the issue as the message would still arrive and being processed in the wrong order :wink:

but there are currently other ongoing efforts that will target the added/remember issue.

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In this case “your” user have to write his messages while he is offline?!

So probably his messages is already outdated if there are so much new messages :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Or do you mean the messages he will receive after he is online again?

How ever, this will happen in all popular messengers I believe.

If there a lot of messages there are always messages out of sight.

Another posible case:
I’m offline for a day.
If I go online again, I get 20 messages. My friends using different mailprovider. So some messages come faster in my mailbox some slower. Or what ever could be reason.

If you now sort by incoming date, it’s possible the newest, maybe the most important (because the remediation) message is out of sight.

Let’s say the first written but last incoming (e.g.because network issue or what ever) message says “let’s meet 12:00”.

The second message written by a other user but first incoming says “hi, let’s meet 9:00”

The third message maybe says “OK, this time os OK”

So written is it in this order:

Showed is

And it’s possible the last sent message is out of sight because I got 20 mesages in a bulk but wrong order.

A discussion (especially with short messages-often just a word) should always follow a strict chronology.

BTW. I believe users will awrong order see as a bug.
The time stamp illustrate the wrong order. See my screenshot. In this case I was always online while the messages reached my phone:


Just to illustrate again why a chronological order by sent time is important (in my opinion).
This are two screenshots of the same “3 member group” shown on two accounts.

My last message (blue arrow) in this group was sent on Sunday morning. Roundabout 24 hours after the marked (with the red arrow) messages.

In the first screenshot you can see the order by sent time.
There is a reaction “Ich dann aber auch” to “Ich teste auch”.
This is the correct chronology and I can see the context of both messages.

In the first sceenshot I could not scroll to the end of the chat for the screenshot.
So you can’t see the last message in the chat “Mit de vierten wären es dann 12 Nachrichten.”
But still it’s there.

On the second screenshot I have marked the same messages.
In the area with the red cross I have deleted a few messages to capture the both important messages in one screenshot.

You can’t see the context between this messages. because there are 5 messages between this messages which are in wrong order (first the reaction, later the action)

Sorry that I’m coming back to this issue.

Today I had a discussion about the new features in Delta Chat about the new features in a small group.

We use different providers and probably different good or bad connection.

In this Chat are the most messages in a wrong order.
It was nearly impossible to follow the discussion.

I had to scroll up and down and compare the time stamp to bring the messages in the correct order.

It’s terrible to use it this way. And also embarrassing if my friends ask me why do my favourite messenger this strange things.

And I have to say it’s a feature not a bug…

Please rethink this behaviour.

I have just took a screenshot of a small part of my yesterday chat and brought the messages in the correct order by adding red numbers.
But see on your own :wink:
Believe me. It’s hard to impossible to follow this chat.

I’m not a member of the “testers group” anymore. But I believe it’s chaotic too by. Especially if it’s a fast chat with only a few seconds between messages.
Isn’t it?

I only see this once in a while, and I use DC in a daily basis on slow network conditions. Could it be somehow related to your provider? I often spend hours with data off, and when I turned data on I get the messages sorted correctly

agree, I use a 2g connection really unstable, and get a lot of messages every day, and haven’t this issue ever, I think there are something else wrong here

Of course it could be related to the provider. Or maybe because we (in the group) not use the same provider.
And I believe that happens also for other people.

And that’s why I think sorting by sent date is the better way.

Using different provider will always end in different delay of delivering.

Sometimes it will delivered fast, sometimes slow.

Still messages should be showed in chronological order if you can see in my screenshot.

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We at the testing group are using 12 different providers afaik, I have no complain of noticeable delay or something like that, only the ocasional message(s) in the wrong order.

I also want the messages sorted by received time, but not because of the issues you’re having.

That’s nice.

But it dosn’t work for me and my friends.

So it’s a bug of DC.
Very often a bug happens only for a few uers.
Still the DC team try to fix it. And that’s very good.

And if you say it’s a bug of the provider, so DC is a dead horse.
Because GMX and web.de are providers which are used by very many people in germany.

I think it’s easy to fix by the DC team :wink:
Simply sort by sent time.

The “lost” messages which is mentioned are not lost. They only sorted in correct chronological order.
That’s definitely not a bug.

And if you say messages for you will received in the correct order so the messages will also not get “lost” if messages will sorted by sent time.

How about showing mails/messages that have differing sent and received times in both cases? Maybe with an icon that tells you that this message is shown twice when you click it.