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Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Printable Version

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Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - mr-scorpio - 09-26-2011

Where each Thread starter is permanently shown & any replies are merely noted as a number etc, UNTIL you actually enter the thread & see the replies properly.

All this zig-zagging is very wasteful & inefficient?
It also means that a thread that would still otherwise be a few lines down from the top, gets shoved off the bottom of the screen, thus potentially being 'out of sight, out of mind', to anyone who might have replied, but no longer sees the thread, and thus forgets about it.

How much effort might be involved in migrating this Forum (& its archive) to a current style Bulletin Board system, say phpBB for example?

Please do not view this thread as a 'moan', but more as a constructive critisism in potentially kick-starting ideas for positive change.




Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Randy - 09-26-2011

I like the format, far less visual noise than phpBB. IMO, the paging needed with long threads in phpBB is very annoying.


Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Jonathan Eisch - 09-26-2011

While I like the format, and find it very intuitive, but I can see how others might want to see it any number of other ways.

Fortunately, the html is very clean (just nested lists) so it would be relatively simple to just parse it with HTMLParser in python or something similar, and make your own version.

I would assume you could use greasemonkey or similar to add your own css and a little javascript to collapse it down, but I don't know so much about that.

-Jonathan


Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Dominic Richens - 09-26-2011

I quite like the current forum for just browsing - I like the context of new article with the old. However it does fall quite short when it comes to looking for information.

The search function doesn't really work - at least I can never get it to work, especially with anything older than a couple of weeks.

Also, once you find that old article, you can't post a follow-up, you need to start a new thread.

Not sure how easy it would be to import all old articles into something more modern like phpBB or WordPress "mingle"


Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Marcus von Cube, Germany - 09-26-2011

You can set-up the layout to different formats from the search page. What I don't like is:

  1. The information about new articles (the date of the last visit) is stored on the browsing machine, not in the database per user.

  2. The limit of 500 active messages is a bit on the low side at times.

  3. The JavaScript (buttons below the reply window) does not apply formatting to the currently selected text, id always adds the tags at the end and scrolls the input window back to top.

  4. If you edit an older post, you cannot preview it.

Otherwise I like it very much being here.


Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Garth Wilson - 09-26-2011

Quote:
I like the format, far less visual noise than phpBB. IMO, the paging needed with long threads in phpBB is very annoying.
I'm a moderator on 6502.org's phpBB forum. One of the few things I don't like about phpBB is that for example if you do a search and your search term appears only in page 6 of a 10-page topic, it won't put on on page 6. You have to still go through that pages until you find the one where it exists and is highlighted.


Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Garth Wilson - 09-26-2011

+1

Quote:
The search function doesn't really work - at least I can never get it to work, especially with anything older than a couple of weeks
Ditto here. I've gone to using the web search engine (ixquick.com, not Google, but it works the same).

Quote:
Also, once you find that old article, you can't post a follow-up, you need to start a new thread.
Some people think you shouldn't dig up old ones and post new material on them. As a moderator on another forum, I encourage people to do just that. It makes it more difficult if the old is separated from the new and background or answers already given have to be repeated, and even then, some of the value in the old is lost. Keep it all together! This goes especially for cases where our projects may go years, even going dormant for a period when life gets in the way.


Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Garth Wilson - 09-26-2011

Quote:
The JavaScript (buttons below the reply window) does not apply formatting to the currently selected text, id always adds the tags at the end and scrolls the input window back to top.
Yes, it absolutely drives me nuts!! I do not write from beginning to end.


Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Michael Kussmaul - 09-26-2011

I don't mind the formatting, I just have one thing I would change:

Because I access the forum by using multiple computers (Mac, iPad, iPhone, ...) it seems my read count is not shared across the computers - even when I log in using my username... It seems the read-count is just saved as a cookie and is not stored server side.

It would be great to store the read-count on the server side, so I could continue reading on whatever computer I'm currently logged in :-)


Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Howard Owen - 09-26-2011

I agree with every point (so far) raised here. But I also know that the forum ticks along quite well with a single admin, and he's the guy that would have to transition to something new, and to live with supporting it. I also don't mind playing with outdated technology. :)




Re: Can't this forum's outdated format be updated? - Kevin Brown - 09-27-2011

The biggest deficiency I see is the archiving mechanism. It causes threads which should be continuous to be broken up. This makes it significantly more difficult to see the context of some of the responses to a thread than it should be, because the context lives in an archive while the active part of the thread does not.

Other than that, I like the way the forum displays threads.