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What is it about this forum design...

jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
edited 8:35PM in Off Topic
that some people like so well? I read a college football board with the same or similar software, and any talk about other formats being easier to use is quickly quashed, much as it is here.

What bugs me is that nothing more than a day or two old (if that) can be found easily, nor will it be viewed by anyone if you have something to add. If you set the prefs so that all the replies are shown, they're in sequential order instead of reply order, so it is very, very easy to get lost in who is saying what to whom.

Just wondering what the upside is, 'cause I don't see it.

Comments

  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,585
    the vast majority of the board regulars like the classic view option but obviously you don't. Perhaps clicking on the Flat View option at the top would be more to your liking and a more rapid way to follow a particular thread. Try it.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    Flat view is exactly what I'm talking about. It is in sequential order instead of reply order. So there's no way to know what message a reply refers to.

    Classic view allows you to see who is saying what to whom, but is an endless stream of clicking and waiting.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,585
    OK under classic view try active thread first vs. newst thread first.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • WMKWMK Posts: 1,747
    jeffiingsf,

    I agree with you about the current flat view making it difficult to tell which post is a response to which. We'll take a look at offering an option to format the flat view to fix this.
  • So would that be semi-flat format?
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,585
    yeah semi-flat laytext :laugh:
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,442
    Has any thought been given to changing the whole thing to VBulletin? Each thread is a stand alone and you can simply scroll down the page and read every response to the original post in that thread. No clicking on anything and no waiting for the next page to load (which seems to take forever). I have participated in several other forums using VBulletin and find it far superior to whatever is used here. Soooo much easier to post pics too! No need for Photobucket or Flickr.

    I think this forum has a great deal to offer. Very helpful - especially to us noobs. And the people here are great!! I also understand that changing to another format would be a major undertaking. But, frankly, this software leaves a lot to be desired.

    EDIT: There is always the possibility that there is another setup better suited to my preferences. If so, I haven't found it yet. I think I have tried all of the available alternatives, but maybe I'll poke around some more.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • WMKWMK Posts: 1,747
    Carolina Q,

    Yes, VBulletin (which costs money), and, also phpBB (which is free), and others have been suggested.

    We've so far, however, stuck with what we have (after upgrading from the venerable Perl based forum from "Matt's script archive" of 1997 vintage). During this upgrade, which is now three years ago, we worked hard to keep the original look and feel whilst migrating to a newer style (albeit not VBulletin). This required making extensive modifications to an existing component that fit within the site (specifically Mambo now Joomla).

    We'd like to upgrade quite a few aspects of the site. The versions of everything we are running are old now (PHP 4.x, MySQL 4.x, Mambo 4.5.1a, etc.). Upgrading them, however, is a big piece of work; and, it would require a separate server for staging to avoid disrupting the forum. Eventually, we will do this work, but it will take a while. During that process, we will evaluate the various up-to-date alternatives for everything we have (i.e. the forum, recipes, the rest of the site). But don't hold your breath.

    In the meantime, we can make improvements to what we have with much less effort depending on the specifics. We could, for example, enhance the "flat" view to a) allow the thread to be followed (i.e. who replied to who); and, b) permit control of the page size so there would be no need to fetch more pages.

    Also, we've just made a couple of fixes related to database queries that, on my Mac at least, has made quite a noticeable difference in the page load time. This might help a little.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,442
    Thanks for the enlightenment, WMK. First let me say that, while this site is slower than most and navigation is a bit awkward, the people here - and their amazing helpfulness - MAKE this place. It's so nice to see civility in action too. On many forums, that is certainly not the case. In other words, the benefits far outweigh the shortcomings!

    Many of the forums I have been involved with have used VBulletin or similar so it's what I'm used to. In fact, I used to be a moderator on one such forum so I spent a lot of (way TOO much!) time there. Old habits, ya know? The Admin there had his hands full, that's for sure.

    I certainly understand cost issues. And upgrades to a 24/7 production environment can be problematic too. We can be a demanding bunch when access disappears or is intermittent! :) I've done a few server installs/upgrades, but we always had the entire weekend to play as it was for a 5 day week application.

    Anyway, thanks for filling us in. I feel sure that if you can make improvements, you will.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

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