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  • Need help planning a forum!

    Anonymous1157 5 years ago
    "Anonymous1157, immediately before ville's post," said:
    What about collapsing quotes into the quote header?
    "ville, immediately after Anonymous1157's post," said:
    One idea I had was to make the quote-part invisible unless you click a button to reveal it. Sort of like a box that shows there's a quote, and you can see it by clicking on it. But I'm not too sure about that, since it's so drastically different from what we have now, and what people are used to in other forums.
    Good idea.

    And no, I don't think it's very drastically different. Anyone who reads blogs has had to press a "Read more" button a few times. It should only take a little getting used to.
    "MageKing17" said:
    Also, about quotes linking to other posts, I think this is a fantastic idea. In fact, I think it should be generalized so it was something like
    "Ville's Blog" date=2011.01.08 link=http://www.instantkingdom.com/2011/07/abbot/ said:
    for a header. Clicking a "quote" button should, obviously, fill in name, date, time, and link in for you. A shortcut of
    postid said:
    would also be cool for forum posts, as long as the "long form" version was also possible for, as in my example, things outside the forum (for us obsessive attribution types).
    I like this. It's more powerful than phpBB's quoting system, but still simple enough to start working with right away. (By the way, it keeps inserting more /quote tags every time I preview my post. I think your example is driving the forum nuts.)
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    Amarth 5 years ago
    +1 on the thread tagging system.
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    ville 5 years ago
    I wonder if the thread tagging system could be visual? Sort of, you'd be forced to select an icon to represent a new thread. And you could select from things like Driftmoon, Driftmoon modding, Notrium modding, Idle chatter, and so forth. Then you could visually see from the topics view what the thread is generally about. And of course you could limit your search by that.

    Sounds good so far. A new thing I've been thinking about. To keep the interface uncluttered, I'd want to keep as much details as possible from the main discussion view. I'm talking about user ranks, post counts, join dates and so forth. The details could be hidden inside some sort of an info box that would come when you hover the mouse over a user's name or avatar. Any thoughts on that?
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    Grim Reaper 5 years ago
    Mouseover infobox sounds just fine to me. Could also be a user setting with other choices like hidden (so the data is only visible via profile) and shown (data shown similar to how it is now or in a similar manner) etc.
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    Kario 5 years ago
    A good idea would be to make a built in chat to it rather than the preexisting one because not very many people come to the preexisting one.
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    MageKing17 5 years ago
    "Kario" said:
    A good idea would be to make a built in chat to it rather than the preexisting one because not very many people come to the preexisting one.
    ...What on Earth are you talking about?

    Wait, do you mean a chat widget on the forum instead of people using IRC? Because, uh, people tend not to use those. And people do use IRC.
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    Anonymous1157 5 years ago
    "ville" said:
    I wonder if the thread tagging system could be visual? Sort of, you'd be forced to select an icon to represent a new thread. And you could select from things like Driftmoon, Driftmoon modding, Notrium modding, Idle chatter, and so forth. Then you could visually see from the topics view what the thread is generally about. And of course you could limit your search by that.
    I THINK we're both describing the same tag-centric forum, but with different language. Maybe I'm just tired, but this reads like you're trying to reimplement subforums over the tags while you're at it.

    "ville" said:
    Sounds good so far. A new thing I've been thinking about. To keep the interface uncluttered, I'd want to keep as much details as possible from the main discussion view. I'm talking about user ranks, post counts, join dates and so forth. The details could be hidden inside some sort of an info box that would come when you hover the mouse over a user's name or avatar. Any thoughts on that?
    This. I think just the username, avatar, whether the user is an admin or moderator, and that 30-ish characters of custom text you guys were talking about really need to be visible all the time. Come to think of it, we're displaying contact methods (website/msn/aim/facespace/et cetera) for users all the time right now, and I haven't once actually needed to press those buttons.

    Oh, and another semi-related thing: said information flipped from the left side of posts to the right side along with the theme change. Keep it that way on the new forum. I quite like it.
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    Kario 5 years ago
    Wait, do you mean a chat widget on the forum instead of people using IRC? Because, uh, people tend not to use those. And people do use IRC.Yes but not very many do.
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    ville 5 years ago
    I would like to make the chat more visible to a larger amount of people, but let's leave that for later. The very least we could do is post the IRC channel and instructions as a sticky topic.
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    ville 5 years ago
    "Anonymous1157" said:
    This. I think just the username, avatar, whether the user is an admin or moderator, and that 30-ish characters of custom text you guys were talking about really need to be visible all the time. Come to think of it, we're displaying contact methods (website/msn/aim/facespace/et cetera) for users all the time right now, and I haven't once actually needed to press those buttons.

    I found the Bungie forums, what do you think of the user info hiding in that? You just click on an arrow and it comes out, otherwise it's pretty clean and uncluttered. And the user rank seems to be visible.
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    Pete 5 years ago
    "Grim Reaper" said:
    Mouseover infobox sounds just fine to me. Could also be a user setting with other choices like hidden (so the data is only visible via profile) and shown (data shown similar to how it is now or in a similar manner) etc.
    Wouldnt that cause problems on mobile browsers? I mean you could change to a compatible mode but still...
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    ville 5 years ago
    True, a button would be better, like in the bungie example.
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    Anonymous1157 5 years ago
    The button seems to work well; I suppose we could have a button instead of mouseover text. And yes, I forgot to mention rank when I suggested what should be visible.

    Ville, would you happen to know how many people actually read the forums / visit the site on a mobile browser now? If there really are a LOT of people doing so, we could talk about mobile-friendly features the forum might have. (Not that I have any immediate suggestions, but others might. Heck, Pete realized mouseover text wouldn't work on a mobile browser.)
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    ville 5 years ago
    I have the figures here. There were exactly 0,47% mobile users on the whole site. We're not exactly something you'd be interested on the road, I think.
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    Narvius 5 years ago
    Well, that depends entirely on you ;P
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    Pete 5 years ago
    "Anonymous1157" said:
    Heck, Pete realized mouseover text wouldn't work on a mobile browser.)
    That would be because I was testing out my new Android phone (shiny!) at the time, actually
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    ville 5 years ago
    Looks like here are a lot of good ideas and suggestions. A short recap of the differences to the current forum:
    -Private mail will be handled by private discussion threads.
    -Theme will be different, I'm going to try white text on black to suit the rest of the site.
    -Subforums will be gone. Have to invent something clever to ease search.
    -User details will be hidden inside a panel that comes out with a button press. That will house PM buttons and post counts.
    -Quoting will be improved to include at least post links, possibly other features.
    -There should be equal support for BBCode and post preview buttons.
    -Avatar support. Probably include Gravatar into this.
    -RSS feeds.
    -Spoiler tags and possibly other new tags.
    -Probably bring ranks back. Anybody remember the old days?

    I'm sure I forgot something, but I'll start with these some day. I don't think there's anything vital missing, is there? I'm not planning to taking too many hours to make this, but it'll take a while if I only use some 15 minutes per day as a break from working on Driftmoon.
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    Amarth 5 years ago
    I've always liked the "who is online" function but I guess it's not really essential. Kinda useful for winning werewolf games at times.

    Is there going to be some sort of archive of the current posts or are we going to lose everything? Might make some backups otherwise.
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    Anonymous1157 5 years ago
    "Amarth" said:
    Is there going to be some sort of archive of the current posts or are we going to lose everything? Might make some backups otherwise.
    We'd have to go back and tag all of the existing threads so that they would be accurately searchable. If we do list them and somehow manually or automatically tag them, they should have an "archive" tag at least, and possibly not show up in normal thread listings unless the archive tag is specified.

    ... Oh, that reminds me! If we do implement tags, I'd like to suggest that anyone in the community can add to any thread's tags, but after the thread ages past two or three days, only tagging moderators (If there's any sense in adding different types of moderators, otherwise just any moderator) can add or remove them, or possibly approve changes by others. You know, to prevent problems while still being able to have the former.
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    ville 5 years ago
    "Amarth" said:
    Is there going to be some sort of archive of the current posts or are we going to lose everything? Might make some backups otherwise.

    My plan is to keep everything, so old posts should be visible and working, and old user accounts will work just as they always did. I'm not sure about private mails though, because it's pretty hard to test that without knowing what people have been sending each other, and I don't really want to know...

    The who is online feature shouldn't be hard to make, but I'll probably leave it out or at least till further update, since it's not essential. If I make it, it would probably only be available to logged in members, since that means extra database calls that cost money.
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    Narvius 5 years ago
    Database calls? I doubt phpBB does it with these, since it also shows anonymous connections. I guess it keeps track of any activity within the last so-or-so-many arbitrary time units.

    [Edit]
    Yeah, it even say it, right there on the main page: "Based on user activity over the last 5 minutes" (paraphrased.)
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    Amarth 5 years ago
    "Narvius" said:
    Database calls? I doubt phpBB does it with these, since it also shows anonymous connections. I guess it keeps track of any activity within the last so-or-so-many arbitrary time units.

    [Edit]
    Yeah, it even say it, right there on the main page: "Based on user activity over the last 5 minutes" (paraphrased.)
    And how do you think it keeps track of that? Don't want to get all technical here, but yeah, database calls. There's no other way to get information about other sessions. Basically, for each visit, phpBB makes an entry into the database with a timestamp, and it counts the entries in the last 5 minutes when creating this line.
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    ville 5 years ago
    "Amarth" said:
    And how do you think it keeps track of that? Don't want to get all technical here, but yeah, database calls. There's no other way to get information about other sessions. Basically, for each visit, phpBB makes an entry into the database with a timestamp, and it counts the entries in the last 5 minutes when creating this line.

    Exactly. PHP doesn't have a single running instance that knows who's using it, the instance runs just long enough to make the currently visible page. Technically, since I'm doing this on App Engine, I could use memcache to store the temporary data. That way I would skip the database entirely, which would be both faster and cheaper. So if it's a useful feature for someone, it's definitely in the realms of possibility.
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    MageKing17 5 years ago
    "ville" said:
    So if it's a useful feature for someone, it's definitely in the realms of possibility.
    It is a useful feature. Definitely.

    I completely understand if it won't be in the first version, though; as long as the first version lets us converse with each other, it can lack as many optional features as you want.
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    Narvius 5 years ago
    "ville" said:
    "Amarth" said:
    And how do you think it keeps track of that? Don't want to get all technical here, but yeah, database calls. There's no other way to get information about other sessions. Basically, for each visit, phpBB makes an entry into the database with a timestamp, and it counts the entries in the last 5 minutes when creating this line.

    Exactly. PHP doesn't have a single running instance that knows who's using it, the instance runs just long enough to make the currently visible page. Technically, since I'm doing this on App Engine, I could use memcache to store the temporary data. That way I would skip the database entirely, which would be both faster and cheaper. So if it's a useful feature for someone, it's definitely in the realms of possibility.
    Oh. Oh well... I thought it was doing it kinda like that.
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