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1. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 11:18 BST
So we're (finally) doing some development on the site again after a busy summer on other projects. One of the sticking points are these forums. As you might of guessed they're internally developed, which is good because we have total control but bad that they aren't as mature as other forums.
Therefore I'm currently looking into the options available to integrate some external forum software into the site. The obvious first one we looked as was vBulletin, but it's completely bloated, costs money and way over the top. Instead of that, I'm currently reviewing a few open source PHP systems, most notably FluxBB and MyBB. MyBB seems abit heavy on what we want to achieve, so I've been taking a very close look at FluxBB, it's very promising although version 2.0 is a time away.
What we want to keep:
FluxBB seems to achieve most things we want, apart from complete topic views, however I'm sure I can hack that in there. It doesn't seem to link to you the newest post since your last topic read (so it puts you back where you were). Would anyone miss that?
What features of this forum could you not live without and what features would you really like to see?
Let me know!
DO NOT suggest Private Messaging, Polls or Sticky Topics - we'll have them through other things!
Edited on Mon 26th July, 2010 @ 11:32 by antdickens
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2. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 11:39 BST
Here's some of the things I'd like to see, Ant, based on the other forum I visit:
That's all I can think of now, but I'll let you know if I think of anything else...
"Don't make enemies, they'll stab your heart; don't make friends, they'll stab your back. Including me, including you, all men are trash. Don't love; don't be loved. Have nothing to do with other; live in isolation."
3. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 11:43 BST
@Metroid_Fan, great thanks for those suggestions. I like the idea of "starring/favourite" certain threads for quick reference. Flux has an option to show topics you've posted in. Posts per thread would be quite easy also.
4. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 11:55 BST
Merging of threads and maybe a button alongside quote, report etc for the sites rules.
Warning: comments from this user may contain typos, half truths, down right lies, sillyness, sarcasm, missing the pointedness, madey up-edness, left wing propaganda, failed links, kissing up and pics of cute kitties
5. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 12:07 BST
Another feature that the forums would benefit from is a tracker for posts, with the posts that have been replied to being in bold and the ones that haven't just being regular.
Also, a way to reply to individual posts in a thread, in addition to the quick reply format. It gets confusing sometimes to tell who's replying to who, especially if the person doesn't use "@User" or quote the user he's replying to. The forum that I frequent has this feature, though it was initially just tied to a graphical/HTML editor, but they recently incorporated a quick reply method as well.
/two more cents
Edited on Mon 26th July, 2010 @ 12:07 by Deviant_Mugen
6. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 12:11 BST
Are you talking about showing which topics you've replied/contributed to? or topics that no-one has replied to?
This sounds like threaded forums (which I think is beyond what we need) but I can see a "Reply" button that simply prefixes "@username, " to the reply box at the bottom of the page - would that suffice? Maybe the @username could link back to the post in question instead of threaded?
7. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 12:28 BST
#1: The latter. It'd work similarly to the comments page in our user accounts, which shows us what articles/reviews we've commented on.
#2: Actually, your suggestion would work perfectly, especially if the "@username" did link back to the post you replied to. I think it'd make things a lot less confusing.
8. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 12:36 BST
@Metroid_Fan, #1 - okay, there's a listing in Flux that shows you topics you've commented on and also a listing of topics that no-one has replied to - that do it? #2 Okay cool, I'll see how feasible that would be to add. Cheers
9. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 12:41 BST
@Ant: Yeah, that sounds like it'd do quite nicely.
Other features that I think would be pretty cool—though not really important—would be to increase the size of avatars to 80x80 pixels, instead of 60x60 as it is now, maybe not allowing gifs anymore to make up for the increase in size. Also, the ability for a user to create his/her own rank with a color of their choice (obviously with a profanity filter in place to weed out any bad apples).
From the time I've been here I've observed that this community is quite well-mannered, unlike my other community which is a bit more chaotic and prone to mischief (then again, it is quite a bit larger, too), so I believe that they'd be able to handle the rank thing without abusing it. And there wouldn't be any of the elitism that happens on other forums, since post count wouldn't factor into the ranks as they do there.
I think I'll make this my last suggestion, for now at least...
10. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 12:52 BST
#1 - Avatars - Yes, we might increase them, but this is a non-forum feature in this case, there is a filesize limit for GIFs so the dimensions increase wouldn't be a problem.
#2 - Ranks - Yes, I don't like the idea of post-count ranks, but people being able to set a custom "tagline" with their username might be okay - that's kind of what the signature is for. I'm tempted to implement a rank system thats either "New Members" (under 10 posts), "Member" (over 10 posts), "Moderator" and "Administrator" just to make things clearer with the Shields.
Thanks again for your feedback Very useful.
11. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:04 BST
I would like a feature that makes posts that disagree with me not appear. I'd also like a forum that does not insult me every time I'm quoted. Oh, and a user sign-up capatcha that makes you type bad things about Dickens. I think that would help.
Other, perhaps more viable suggestions:
Loose your heart like a clumsy bell.
12. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:06 BST
@Ant: Ah, I see. And yeah, the limit on gifs is quite good that they don't even slow down my browser, even on the crappy dial-up connection I'm on.
Yeah, that kind of rank system wouldn't be too bad, though I think I'd go with a predetermined number of days registered instead of post count, especially since there are people who like to lurk and don't post much. Perhaps the limit could be set at about a week or so, maybe a month before you're deemed a "Member". As for the mods and admins, I think pretty much everyone understands the shields (Gold= Admin; Silver= Mod), but it wouldn't be too bad having an extra visual aid. Of course, Prosody's rank would have to be "Supreme Goddess of the World" (fixed)...
And not a problem, actually we should be thanking you for opening the lines of communication...
Edited on Mon 26th July, 2010 @ 13:08 by Deviant_Mugen
13. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:16 BST
Actually, I'm not sure everyone understands the shields. They're small and the silver ones especially are easy to miss. New users won't realize it unless they are curious and hover over it. A time-based rank system sounds like a good idea, and mods and administrators could have their titles replace the rank so that it's obvious.
14. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:24 BST
Yep, that makes sense to me - time based between "New Member" and "Member", then "Moderator" and "Administrator" labelled under the username, in addition to the shields.
@Adam, #1 - Non-Quick reply - okay, I'll see if others want that, might just be a case of making the form bigger (in Chrome you can manually make it bigger). #2 - 'Like' Feature - what would this actually achieve? Would it be in the listing? +5 (popular threads) or something? Similar to the favourite/starred suggested above.
15. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:25 BST
I like it that nl doesn't have a rank system like other sites do. I hope a rank system isn't introduced because it will turn into a competition.
16. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:27 BST
Forum search and a more sophisticated text box (as in buttons for bbcode, smileys, etc.). I like Adam's "like" suggestion too.
Edited on Mon 26th July, 2010 @ 13:28 by pixelman
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17. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:28 BST
@mariofanatic128, don't worry - we totally agree - we feel the reason these forums are successful is because of the simplicity and post-count based ranks won't be introduced. Only what we've suggested above which is more of a userlevel based.
18. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:34 BST
Darn tootin' it will!!
I know this probs wont happen, but it would be cool if in the grey box where your username is, there were game icons which when hovered over show online info. Would save Sig space but there would need to be a limit.
A few new Avatars like
and if its possible, fix the devil and angel.
Also, and this is probs my most wanted feature. When I want to see the posts that followed my own post, but it is a few pages back, I hate guessing where it is (when I know about what post number I am), then having to scroll down. It would be nice to be able to jump pages at the top.
I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south
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We could belong together.
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19. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 14:24 BST
I meant liking particular posts, not threads. Often someone will post something, and a bunch of users will quote that person and say nothing, or just say +1 or "what __ said," and though this is useful information, it also adds a lot of posts that don't say anything unique.
Let's say someone likes this suggestion. Instead of quoting my post to show agreement, they could click "Like", and then next to the Like button in the future it'd say "X persons liked this post." I've seen this mostly on blog comments, but it seems like something that would probably be used in forums, too. I just don't use any other forums anymore.
20. Posted: Mon 26th Jul 2010 14:27 BST
-Spoiler tags. Cover text in black and highlight to read.-Limit on quotes within quotes. Sometimes people have back-and-forths in a thread and wind up quoting their entire conversation. Limiting to one quote tag should be enough IMO, there's no need to re-print the entire conversation in each subsequent post.
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