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Suggestions for the new forum

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AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18

Hey all, as we know we are merging with nuxifed.com
The new forum is located here
It is only a test right now, so we need your suggestions on features
Please use this one currently....but feel free to play about on the other one if you like.
Please post suggestions in here.

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18

Oh and by the way, I have been heavy critical of the forum. I know this may be a kick in the teeth to libervisco, but I would reather that the functionality was right, and that people did not accept it cause they couldnt be bothered, 6months down the line we all hate it.
So please dont think "oh thats mean"

libervisco has worked hard, but I think he would rather have a forum we all like to use...

Apologies to the man himself anyway!

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
That's ok AndrewB. I

That's ok AndrewB. I understand your concerns. I am just a bit more optimistic about this final change thinking that people will actually like it once it's all done.

The switch is being proposed not without reason. Nuxified.com runs on drupal and therefore to be able to merge its content to Nuxified.org we need drupal as well. When you take into consideration also that we have articles here too that would very nicely fit the drupal system then drupal seems like an even more attractive option overall.

That said, the problem that is left is phpbb. I've noted our options in regard to that before. We can either have it completely separate to drupal therefore having separate logins for phpbb and drupal, which I believe wouldn't be very satisfactory either, or we can completely move to drupal forums and try to build them into something we might all like and that would function well.

Yes, there is a third option of trying to integrate phpbb with drupal so to share user databases, but the module that exists for that was only meant to import existing drupal users to phpbb, not vice versa. It is therefore questionable if the transfer in the opposite direction would even be possible at all. Even if it would, I doubt it would be very clean. It would still be hard to maintain.

So that's why am I considering a complete move to drupal, a step that might be a bit progressive, but I believe would in the end have the best results. Drupal may not look and feel like phpbb (although to a point it can be made to look like it), but it has certain advantages that phpbb simply doesn't have and that mostly come from what drupal as a content management system/framework really is. It is very extensible and customizable. Certain features that would be pain to maintain in phpbb can be added in drupal with a few clicks, like for example those custom fields we have here (like "operating system used" and "jabber" fields). It seems that with drupal there is virtually no limit to what we can do with it. The only downside seen is that it looks and feels a bit different and may not behave the same way as phpbb does.

As for features, in drupal forums you will have all the basic things you have with phpbb, such as avatars, bbcode, signatures, quick reply etc. and even more mostly coming from it being part of drupal. Not even I am yet aware of everything that can be done, and with the newest release of drupal 4.7 most people can only imagine what will become possible. There's a huge development drive for it going as we speak!

So why not take a leap? I in a contrary believe people will love it six months down the line. Eye

Anyway, feel free to take a look at what's currently there and post your comments and suggestions regarding anything.

Note though that it might looks quite a bit different in a final live version as I haven't yet decided on the exact design (your input on that would be appreciated), but all functionality that I know we need and you say you want will be implemented if possible (and I think most of it will be).

Thanks
Daniel

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

Okay guys, this is starting to look like a real forum topic view: http://www.nuxified.org/drupal/?q=node/310

I am also going to try to replace those "reply" links with a nice button and then I might try to implement stuff like quote button and possibly bbcode buttons within the reply box. Smiling

It already does the basics though. Smiling

Please stay tuned! Eye

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20

Starting to look better Smiling

One thing I find weird is the "Go to next topic forum" which is between the message and the sig in the first post in the link you gave.

dylunio

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

Thanks dylunio.

Yes, I've been asking how to move that below all posts since it wasn't anywhere in an actual template. It turned out it is coded into the actual forum module so it's a bit hard to move. I'll probably just remove that altogether until we find a better way.

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Joined: 2005-12-20

Looking good libervisco, very nice indeed, will it still have a quick reply box?

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Joined: 2006-03-28

On the Drupal-website you can find a lot of interesting modules, for example the mentioned BBCode- and Quote-buttons.
When I'm at home I can post a list of modules I downloaded some time ago and which I thought are pretty interesting.

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21

I like the "got 'nux?" header from .org better than the one from .com . That's all. I wonder why make a fuss about nearly identical looking forum software.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

Indeed reptiler, there's alot of cool modules to check out, though it is always better to keep it simple to the tasks that we want as too many modules tends to spend a bit too much memory on modules administration..

onlinebacon: Yes, the quick reply form is going to stay. It is actually just a normal reply form, but displayed on the topic view page as to allow you to make a "quick" reply. Smiling

tbuitenh: The current logo you see on test installation will be changed. It is possible that it would be some kind of a hybrid between the two or something entirely new, but keeping the general style. We'll see.. anyone is free to submit suggestions, or maybe even sketches on how you'd like it to look. Smiling

Oh and drupal forums didn't look nearly identical by default. I've modified the styling to make it look familiar. Smiling

I'll be working more on it today. Some of the things I want to attempt is to add bbcode buttons in reply forms, clickable smileys, a quote button and possibly some profile infos displayed in topic view... Some of that stuff, if not all, should be possible. In any case it is getting pretty close to looking basically ready for live usage. Next to test is importing the old Nuxified.com content and after that is done we're on the move. Smiling

Cheers
Daniel

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

UPDATE: We will have a quote button feature (clicking it opens a reply page and puts the quoted text ready in quotes. This feature is already up on a testing installation, but I just need to iron some stuff out, like making that "quote" link a button and removing the double quote link.

I've also checked about clickable smileys as well as the bbcode buttons and it seems that we will have to wait a bit for that, at best, as there's no modules and it seems to be rather hard to implement.

HOWEVER! - We will have a WYSIWYG editor for posting and replying powered by an excellent TinyMCE which also has some built in clickable smileys and a number of other cool features for adding stuff to your reply available with a click of a button! It is just amazing.. like a whole word processor right there on our site while it still loads reasonably fast. And like any other form you can resize it as you see fit for the text you're writing. We will be the first Free Software support site with this feature enabled. Neither LFDO nor LQ have this. This will be a true delight to use. Smiling

The switch to drupal is very near and forums are now pretty much as featureful as this phpbb while looking simple and elegant. With the power of drupal it even has more in certain aspects. I think we have reasons to be excited. I know I am! Eye

Test it out!

Cheers!
Daniel

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21

Huh, when I'm logged in in drupal, it gives me access denied on that page, and when I'm NOT logged in, I can view it. Freaky.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

That must be permissions.. I'll check it out, thanks for saying.

It is just a test install though and I've already started doing what should be a live site in another subdirectory. It is a little tricky though as first the phpbb has to be imported and then somehow the old Nuxified.com content has to be merged to it, which includes some users there of which some do have accounts on .org and some don't.

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Joined: 2005-12-20
Very nice libervisco, it's

Very nice libervisco, it's looking and feeling brilliant

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
thanks
onlinebacon wrote:

Very nice libervisco, it's looking and feeling brilliant

Thanks

Any suggestions or critiques are welcome here.

So by the way, should we have the rich text editor (WYSIWYG) enabled by default or the normal one instead? In either case there is a link below that allows to enable or disable it so it's just a matter what will show first. Would most of you like WYSIWYG editing better or the normal (code) editor?

Also, some of the things you might ask about...

Polls aren't in forums, but in polls section and the poll threads (replies) just turned into comments to those polls, so everything's there.

Articles are no longer to be published in articles forum. The ones there are only for viewing now (and might actually be move to the new articles section). To submit an article (such as a tutorial, review etc.) just click on the "submit article" link below header (on the right), write your article there and submit. It will then be reviewed and published.

That of course doesn't necessarily mean you can't just go on and put a long post in forums. I can't stop you from doing that nor is that in any way harmful to be a reason to stop you. If you write something that is pretty much an article you may simply get featured on homepage. Smiling

Another thing.. about forums being 100% width I'd like to see what most of you think about that. It might be convenient to have the left column for navigation, latest posts etc. so maybe we should leave it for that. However if you would still prefer forums to be 100% width we can have it that way. There already is horizontal navigation that should be enough to get around the site, and it may also be expanded anyway.

If you have any questions and, as mentioned, suggestions, critiques and such, feel free to put it out here. Smiling

Thank you
Daniel

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
set in profile
libervisco wrote:

So by the way, should we have the rich text editor (WYSIWYG) enabled by default or the normal one instead? In either case there is a link below that allows to enable or disable it so it's just a matter what will show first. Would most of you like WYSIWYG editing better or the normal (code) editor?

I forgot to mention that every user can select in their profiles if they want the rich text editor to display by default or not. To set this just go to "my account" in left menu, click the "edit" tab and then the "TinyMCE rich-text settings" link to maximize the setting. There you can select "true" for rich text editing to be enabled by default for you and "false" to be disabled (leaving you with the normal light editor.

Now it is just a question of wether it is better to leave that setting on "true" by default or not. What would a user that just joined prefer to see before he goes and sets this in his or her profile...

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
new posts

Make something more than a little text to show new posts in a forum. Perhaps change the background color a little.

Redirect to the last page of the thread after posting.

Remove the first/last page links for two page threads.

Move preview/post comment above input format so you can just hit tab twice and enter to post.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Some of the changes

Some of the changes you propose there would probably require editing of some php in certain core modules, like this for example:

a_thing wrote:

Remove the first/last page links for two page threads.

I'm not sure if it'll be possible only with a theme, even though it's quite flexible (allowing overrides of certain functions to display something differently) so I'll see what I can do.

Thanks

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
Add page numbers on multiple

Add page numbers on multiple paged threads when viewing the forums (not jus the threads).

Add page numbers at the top of threads.

Also redirect to the last page after editing a post.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I'll see what I can do about

I'll see what I can do about these requests!

As you see I've made some improvements to the design of which the most notable one is the header, but also those reply and quote buttons on forums and comments etc.

I've asked about this annoyance of signatures being put in a reply box. Haven't yet got any satisfatory answers nor found a solution but I'll keep looking. That one really is rather annoying.

I also turned on caching to improve performance.

Btw, what does everyone think of that WYSIWYG rich text editor? Should we remove some buttons, or even add some? Do most of you use it or have just set not to? Do you think it slows things down?

Thanks
Daniel

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Joined: 2005-12-20
Not to be mean, although,

Not to be mean, although, there doesnt seem to be much activity over the past few days, and it is kinda hard to keep up with new posts, like phpbb had highlighted sections and this doesnt Sad

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
You have a "new forum

You have a "new forum topics" and "new comments" blocks on the left to keep you updated for now, but I'll try to implement these highlights and such as well, so hold your breath. Eye

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
A bit of an open mind, please?

It seems that the feelings about this new Nuxified.org and especially forums here are rather mixed. The reason for switching was in my opinion compelling enough to go for it. I did post everything publically and let you say what you think about that. Enough of you generally supported the idea that I've decided not to scrap the plan and go for it. I understand that after getting so used to a standard phpbb forum it can be a little hard getting used to something like this. Everybody runs phpbb and people know it. I realize that this is one of the biggest disadvantages of anything else, such as drupal.

However I think a little bit of an open mind wouldn't hurt. Think about this. Everyone runs either phpbb or the proprietary vBulletin. Some also run proprietary IPB. All of them pretty much tend to resemble each other in many ways. What if switching to something different, like drupal, is a way to positively differentiate ourselves from that crowd? What if we can ultimately develop this forum to cause envy of those who are still on phpbb/vB/IPB? Sure, those forums are full featured, but there are certain advantages of drupal forums that phpbb and alikes can't have because drupal forums are actually part of the bigger web system. We can now have advanced user profiles, a great efficient tag based stories and article system, image gallery (coming soon) and much more, all tightly integrated in a way that doesn't leave forums out as a separate application. It is all here, all in one.

So why not give this a chance? I am sure that in not-so-much time you will love it, as I work on it adding improvements and tweaking things up, with help of your feedback. This can be one of the most unique Free Software support sites around, not just one in a row.

Note also that some of the most succesful, most popular sites around have used Drupal from spreadfirefox.com to NASA and many others. I think we can be the next big one!

I have taken suggestions that were made so far into consideration and will be working towards implementing whatever is possible of them. I invite you to tell what bothers you, what would you like to see and I'll take it all into consideration.

Thank you
Daniel

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