Toward a more user-friendly Forum



#11

In looking over the posts of the last few months, it occured to me that the site could be made a little more user-friendly, by building in some shortcuts. So what follows is a prototype list; perhaps some of you could add some more suggestions. The links are dummies right now; when we all agree (Ha!) on the list, then perhaps one of you web gurus can make the links automatically fill in the subject line. Maybe even include some starter text in the message...

Start a new thread on the deficiencies of the HP 35s

Start a debate on the pros & cons of the HP 48 series vs. 50g

Start a debate on the pros & cons of the HP 15c

Start a debate on the whether it is economically feasible for HP to build a good keyboard today

Start a new thread on why maybe the 33s is actually better than the 35s after all

Start a thread on some newfound bug in the 12c+ that no financial user would ever discover in 1000 years

Start a thread on any odd topic designed to provoke a discussion to liven things up (for hecube only)


#12

Forget about the starter messages. We should be able to completely populate the new threads automatically.

- Pauli

#13

I'd vote for a COLLECT operation, searching the archives and collecting all the arguments written already about a given topic. This will do the automatic thread generation Paul mentioned. Anybody eventually reaching the end of such a thread will then be generously allowed to append his new idea at the end ;)

#14

Start a thread on why RP(N|L) is better than.
RP(L|N).

Edit to add Karl's link per below.

Edited: 12 Sept 2009, 2:44 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


#15

Quote:
Start a thread on why RP(N|L) is better than RP(L|N).

Hi, Howard --

Your statement with links to multiple threads on the topic is perhaps incomplete without my "RPL -> Leisure Suit" comparison and responses (which itself was inspired by another's difficulties with RPL).

-- KS


#16

Thanks for the addition, Karl! I just did a Google on RPL RPN site:hpmuseum.org, and took the first four I came up with :)
I'll add yours to the links. :)

Regards,
Howard

#17

In my opinion all it needs is a better search Forum search engine. Then we could easily find threads on all of Martin's subjects.

BTW, I know there was a thread on forum searchability recently but I couldn't be bothered to use Google to search for it as it doesn't always work (e.g. sometimes the links don't always work when it's recently moved into the archives).


#18

I'd like to second the suggestion for a better search engine. I've been trying to use the Google hack but the results returned can be very limited.

However, rather than fixing the search engine, it might be worth spending the time on upgrading the entire forum to a more universal and modern standard such as phpBB. I know the existing forum has a certain "charm" with its rather unusual method of operation and style but I am sure that nearly everyone would agree that usability is not its strong-point, especially when compared to a typical php forum.

Having said all that, I do recognise that the current forum might be fairly immune to the majority of hacking/spamming/intrusion methods that target php so if the change was made, administration duties might increase. Perhaps some members might like to volunteer to help with this?

Mark


#19

Phbb has had security issues in the past, to put it mildly. As their security blog shows, they are working hard to address them, and may even have made substantial progress. However I have a longish memory when it comes to that sort of thing.

Regards,
Howard

P.S.

Pardon me for helping to start one of the perennial threads back up. :)

#20

Quote:
In my opinion all it needs is a better search Forum search engine. Then we could easily find threads on all of Martin's subjects.

BTW, I know there was a thread on forum searchability recently but I couldn't be bothered to use Google to search for it as it doesn't always work (e.g. sometimes the links don't always work when it's recently moved into the archives).

It doesn't need just a better search engine: it also needs to ditch the concept of archives.

Really, a thread should be a continuous conversation until people stop posting to it. With the archive system, you lose a lot of context whenever messages are archived.

If you want to achieve the same thing as viewing threads as if they started on a given day, the forum software should be able to achieve that relatively easily, but you should always be able to painlessly view prior messages if you so desire.

I've always wondered why we have the archiving thing going when the amount of disk space required by the entire history of this forum is probably a tiny fraction of a single modern hard drive...


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