New forum features

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New forum features

Postby Dave » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:05 am

Hi all. Forum is back.

I won't bore you with a list of reasons why it's taken so long, suffice it to say that 'automatic conversions' do not exist.

I'm still playing around with a few style things, but you're good to go now.

Have a look round, get used to the new features. Any errors, questions or suggestions, post them here and we'll see what we can do.
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:11 pm

Good job, Dave.

Where's the news and articles? Yet to be implemented? Is the forum going to be the homepage from now on?

One slight grumble ... can we have bigger avatars, please? 150x150 would be looooooovely! 80x80 sucks!
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Dave » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:33 pm

I'm still trying to decide what to do with news. I think the easiest thing is to simply post it in this forum, that way we can discuss it directly without making loads of threads. Last time we used phpbb I created a separate news forum, but we simply don't write enough news articles to warrant it.

The articles are returning shortly. I'm changing the default style a bit for the articles section so that I can incorporate it into the forum software but without displaying needless info like number of views/replies or date posted. It's a bit of work but I think it'll be worth it. I'm hoping I don't have to do this too often in the future though.

The forums will be the homepage until I sort out a semi-portal to display a brief welcome and intro to the site, with forum and article links. After many experiments with creating other areas of the website that nobody uses I think it best to keep the site forum-based for now. That's always been the core of the site and I don't think that's going to change.

I quite liked the idea of smaller avatars actually. Means you have to choose your picture more carefully, and wastes less screen space with stuff that doesn't really matter. I may increase it to 100x120 once I get round to testing it but 150x150 is excessive.
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:10 pm

News was very infrequent before. Maybe you could just post less important news? I don't know how. Maybe things like "Will's ankle injury is better now" and "Danny Wood is getting married"...

It would be good to have them as posts that allowed us to reply to like a normal forum post. The same goes for articles so we can debate the wording and bring up discussion around our own views of each article to develop understanding.

Not sure about the homepage because yes it would be nice to have a page of information for visitors, but us lot would never go in it, we just bookmark the forum page and never see what's going on on the homepage.

How about some pages like About Us (this could be information about the site and its purpose) and some links to useful articles like "what is parkour?" that could be easily found by a visitor, like at the top of the page?

80x80 is ridiculous and 120x100 (did you mean that??? rectangular???) is absurd. I don't see what's wrong with 150x150 in this day and age. That's what p.net used to have.
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Re: Forum's back

Postby raven » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:04 pm

Good to be back. Hows everyones "summer" been??
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Luke_Pitt » Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:01 pm

100*100 is a good size, they don't need to be any bigger than that.

can we move them (and the other info like post count and from etc) to the left like they used to be.

I think the styling needs some changing.

it's not obvious at first glance where things start and stop, having some sort of line separating the post content from the authors name and date of reply and reply title would be good.
also, why is the authors name displayed above the post when there is the section on the right (that i want moved to the left so it is more obvious) which says their name and whose sole purpose is to identify the poster by giving their name and a avatar so you can visually recognise them without having to read their name.

the post's subject line should be less prominent, all of the posts in this thread say "Re: Forum's back" above them in big letters - it's not as important as the content of the posts, why emphasise it?.

there should be a box separating all the posts from the outside of the page to group them together.

non-post sections like the thing which says "Board index ‹ General Forums ‹ Parkour Talk" background colours are too similar to post background colours.

hope those points help :)

hmm, this save button is a bit annoying, i clicked it instead of clicking submit :/
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Dave » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:08 pm

The 'about us' page if effectively the only other page that is needed, so it'll form the homepage that most of us will bypass.

On avatars, depends which version of p.net you're talking about, Ben, because I'm fairly certain it was 125 for a significant part of it's lifespan. A portrait orientated avatar is good because it encourages 'portraits'. You can have a 100 square if you want, but if you've got a portrait photo to use then it will fit more easily.

On articles, I'm going to have a play and see if I can come up with a way of separating the original post from the replies and stay within the forum code. If so, we could happily allow replies to articles without poluting the articles themselves. If not, I suppose the next best thing would be to post the articles themselves in the discussion forums when first created for everyone to read and discuss. That would also help announce new articles.

The user info vote is looking pretty one-sided at the moment (Left=5, Don't care=3, Right=0), so it looks like it will be back on the left ultimately. There is a small white line between the post content and the user info at the moment, but it only extends down as far as the user info does, which maybe leaves room for ambiguity. This should be solved if/when the user info moves back to the left, as the line will extend down as far as the post. It's a bit of work to do it, but if I'm going to be messing around with the posting layout anyway as a result of the issues below it's not much extra bother.

Having the author's name in the post title is pretty pointless. The existence of the post title is only marginally less pointless, and I agree it doesn't need to be as bold as it is now. I'll look into removing the author's name, shrinking the post title and adding a dividing line (and maybe making the signature divider a bit more obvious too).

I don't think we need a box to separate the posts from the background, as the different colour already acts as a page boundary. It's not like there is anything to separate the posts from.

I don't think having the header box background being the same as the post background is much of an issue, unless you simply don't like the colour in the first place. I don't think it is in any danger of confusing anyone.

It took me a while to get used to the posting options too, although I usually click 'Preview' not 'Save'. I'm not quite sure how useful the 'save' function really is, but I'm sure we can manage to get used to the button being there.
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:08 am

I'm not sure about the latest version of p.net but the really annoying shit version (omg I'd forgotten how awful that software was!) had 150x150.

Portrait would fit better but meh, squares are cool. In a perfect world everyone would have a standard portrait (passport photo with a smile) like yours on p.net but people want to be more customisable that that and change it every five minutes to suit their mood. I think once you've picked the dimensions I'll crop and resize a standard photo of myself and leave it as that for a while.

A couple of other things, can you strengthen the horizontal rule that separates the signatures - use a more definite colour that will be a really good separator between post and signature.

The quote box is perfect. Ooh just want to test something...

Ben wrote:Ooh I wonder what quotes-within-quotes look like...
David Belle wrote:They look like this, Ben Nuttall. Bonjour!
Ben wrote:Oh, thanks David. See you at the gym staircase tomorrow at 9. Don't be late this time. I'll show you that technique I was telling you about. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it some day!
David Belle wrote:Hahaha Ben Nuttall, you crack me up!
Ben wrote:I'm sure you'll get the hang of it some day!
You'll get the hang of French one day too. Just keep practising. You know I'll buy you a croissant any day if you're hungry.


Sorry ... got a bit carried away there...]

Hmm the quotes-within-quotes aren't brilliant. The colours aren't different enough. Single ones are fine though.
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Re: Forum's back

Postby gaz » Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:04 am

With regards the news sections. Would it be usefull to have general parkour news as opposed to NP news? Just thinking that this would take it away from a local forum and into just a general parkour resource
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Luke_Pitt » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:49 pm

how about a dark blue background like:
Image

the rounded corners would need to be re-coloured, but that isn't very hard.

hmm, i just got a message saying
Your images may only be up to 480 pixels high.
Your images may only be up to 640 pixels wide.

could the forum automatically re-scale an image if it is too big?
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Dave » Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:32 am

Ben, I already mentioned the sig divider line. I'd not seen quote within quotes before, so I'll take a look at the colouring for that too.

Gaz, that's not a bad idea about more general parkour news. It might be a bit of work to keep it up to date but it'd certainly be worthwhile. If we can put together a list of areas we would like to keep informed about I'm sure we can figure out a way to make it happen.

Luke, I like the idea of a slightly darker overall background but I think the colour contrast between the background and foreground in your example is a bit harsh, so if I changed it I'd go for a more mid-range blue.
2.png


I'm sure auto resizing would be possible, and the forum claims to have this function, but it doesn't seem to work.
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Ben » Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:19 pm

Good colour Dave!

Luke - why not simply upload a picture to photobucket or imageshack and post the link? Especially with large images that would disrupt the content of the page.

Dave - clicking the image Luke posted opened a link in the same window - could you set it to open links in posts in a new tab/window?

What did you mention about the sig line?
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Dave » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:48 am

It's fairly straightforward to set links to open in a new window, but having found the relevant code I've also found a note that points out that you can choose to open the link in a new window anyway, whereas if I set it to open in a new window by default then it's harder for people to open it in the same window if they want. If I can find a mod to let users choose then I'll see about installing it, but otherwise I suggest you learn to live with the new internet standards. ;)

About sig dividers:
Dave wrote: I'll look into removing the author's name, shrinking the post title and adding a dividing line (and maybe making the signature divider a bit more obvious too).
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Dave » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:50 pm

Ok, changes so far:

* User profiles back on the left.
* Avatar repositioned and allowed size increased to 110x125
* Darker background colour
* Dividing lines in posts more obvious
* Quoted text backgrounds changed
* Quick reply added
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:29 pm

Nice one, Dave! Looking good.

I don't know if someone suggested removing (they may have just said make smaller) the "Re: Forum's Back" - yes it should have been made smaller but not removed as it's useful as the text is a permalink to its respecting post, so you can copy that link and send it to someone to take them to a specific post.

Dave wrote:I like parkour!
Ben wrote:Me too
Dave wrote:Hahahahaha
Ben wrote:Something else


I like profiles on the left.

The sig line's good.

Dave wrote:It's fairly straightforward to set links to open in a new window, but having found the relevant code I've also found a note that points out that you can choose to open the link in a new window anyway, whereas if I set it to open in a new window by default then it's harder for people to open it in the same window if they want. If I can find a mod to let users choose then I'll see about installing it, but otherwise I suggest you learn to live with the new internet standards.


Interesting. I'm in two minds about this. For people who know how to use a web browser (i.e. (excuse the pun on IE/i.e.) middle click to open new tab, etc.) it would be best if all links opened in the same window by default so we could always be in control of where links open. But for people who don't really know what they're doing, I like to make it so that links that take you away from what you're reading (e.g. when reading a news article and there's a link to something in the middle of the paragraph, you don't want to be taken away from what you're reading so you would open in a new tab, so if it does that by default, people who wouldn't think of opening in a new tab wouldn't lose what they were reading).

It's a weird one - should we, as the controllers of our respective areas of the web, choose to make it easy for those with difficulties understanding computers, or should we make them adhere to modern web standards?

Love the quick reply tool.
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Dave » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:54 pm

I don't know if someone suggested removing (they may have just said make smaller) the "Re: Forum's Back" - yes it should have been made smaller but not removed as it's useful as the text is a permalink to its respecting post, so you can copy that link and send it to someone to take them to a specific post.

So ....? You're saying you like how it is...?
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:43 pm

Yes. I'm justifying you leaving it and praising your efforts in making in smaller. Didn't somebody say to remove it? Also telling people what it's for so they can use it in future...
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Dave » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:15 pm

Ok, glad you're happy.
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:11 pm

Ok, I'm glad you're glad I'm happy.
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Re: Forum's back

Postby Rob-F » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:55 pm

I have a feeling this could go on for a while.
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