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The Real Problem With The New Forum?


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#1 JimLucas

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 02:15 AM

Paul and Ken, please correct me if I'm wrong, but:

If I understand what you (especially Paul) have said, the old Forum was Paul's creation. If a change was needed, then he could do it, at least in theory.

Now, however, you guys are using somebody else's creation. You can enable and disable various features, or select various options, but you can't *add* things of your own, or make fundamental changes.

Specifically, you are *not able* to introduce a tree-structured display like the old Forum had, nor separate subject lines for each post. I'm guessing that you're not even able to give us a linear display of the poster's name, date, and first line of each post where we could click to display the full text of the one(s) we're interested in, but wouldn't have to scroll past *all* the full text to get to the one(s) we wanted to look at.

You see, I'd like to make several positive (IMO) suggestions rather than just criticizing. But I fear there's no point, because even if you like them, *you* can't provide them.

Please tell me I'm wrong.

#2 Richard Morse

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 07:10 AM

I also wonder if or how this new format threads things. The old one would indent for each new thread and run long with responses which made things easy to jump to and follow. Does this new format have something similar?

#3 Paul Schwartz

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 07:29 AM

No threading, because each TOPIC is supposed to be a thread. If you want a new thread, you should start a new topic. It's a different way of looking at the same idea.

Busy boards have mostly all moved to this way of doing things because threads can quickly get really big and cumbersome (which is why you don't see a whole lot of threaded boards anymore). Also threading is more difficult to program, and causes complications there too (keeping track of multiple children/parents can really eat up application and database server resources as the program recursively looks for where it is in each thread).

Paul

#4 Chris Timson

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 09:00 AM

Well, I guess you like this way of working, Paul, and since you provide the service (for free at that) for the rest of us off your own bat we really shouldn't complain too much. But threading, I have to say, is for me and clearly many others a more comfortable metaphor than the new set-up.

Still, I would be very interested in the answer to Jim's question: do you [Paul] get what you're given with this software, or can you go in and tweak the source? To extend that a little: clearly, since it's PHP, which is an interpreted language, you could go in and modify the code to your heart's content, but a) licence conditions may forbid that, and b ) it may be just too complex to modify with confidence anyway.

Furthermore, when I type b followed by a bracket, I get B) - that's unhelpful! That's why there's a space between the b and the bracket above.

Chris

#5 David Barnert

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 09:25 AM

Furthermore, when I type b followed by a bracket, I get [emoticon] - that's unhelpful! That's why there's a space between the b and the bracket above.

Chris

Chris-

Below the input window there are several enable/click lines. One lets you turn off "enable emoticons." Try that. I would try it myself, but I can't reproduce the problem you cite. It must be system specific.

#6 Sandy Winters

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 10:48 AM

The *tree of threads/nested threads* was what made the old forum attractive and unique. In my opinion it is what the community of C.net users was built on. Paul is perhaps too close to it to see its real value.

It was without doubt (to me) the best forum system I was aware of at any music site. It was conversational, intuitive, and yes *free-form*, all qualities that I believe *most* musicians (not all) find valuable.

Search capabilities??!! At this expense/cost/loss I couldn't care less.

Spam is an increasing problem for everyone, and if the anti-spam functions of the new software is a major reason to change over to it, then it truly is a sad day. I am grateful for Paul and Ken's efforts and certainly don't wish upon them any more work to keep the site functional.

The old software was unique. It fostered a unique experience and community.

The new software is generic. It's loaded with 'stuff' you don't really need and does not offer what is required for truly building and maintaining the community that we had.

Hoping not to sound too socio-political, I suppose it's just an inevitable reflection of society itself. We are surrounded by junk that we don't really need, but are told we do, all the while community crumbles around us. What we are left with is bad schools, poor health care (USA), corporate (as well as street) crime, unsafe drinking water....... But boy do we have products!!!

It seems that WalMart has moved into town. Say good-bye to the local hardware store, the local service station and the drugstore soda fountain

#7 RoyJanik

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 02:13 PM

The software is Invision Power Board, which isn't open source. I'm not sure how configurable it is, though. PHPbb is an open-source board with a very similar interface, and based off the same technology (PHP, MySQL). If we were to use that, we could definitely tweak things, for instance tying the existing memberships into the board memberships. It would take some php and mysql skills, though.

#8 Paul Schwartz

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 03:31 PM

Yes, it's all PHP and MySQL, just like every page of Concertina.net, so in theory I could get in there and tweak, but the point is that I don't have to, don't want to, and don't have time to. Also, it would mean breaking any potential upgrades, so the point with something like this is NOT to make any changes that would be overwritten by an upgrade. It is quite tweakable already (via the admin interface), and I've already done plenty of that. Concertina.net consists of many thousands of lines of complicated code and database tables, and this forum system is the same. The days of one person "doing it all" are gone. People want and need more features... not the least of which are wanted/needed on the back-end admin side (that none of you see). Yes, the spammers have indeed made it a sad day and sad state for the internet in general. It's all I can do to manage than many hundreds of spam messages I get each day, and they were getting into the Concertina.net registration system and then the message boards via automated spam systems, so Ken and I had to manually prune this garbage. This new forum system keeps them out. And that's just one example...

Thanks,

Paul

#9 Joyce

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 07:02 PM

Yes, it's all PHP and MySQL, just like every page of Concertina.net, so in theory I could get in there and tweak, but the point is that I don't have to, don't want to, and don't have time to.
Thanks,
Paul

You are right Paul, and even tho I prefer the tree thread, I'm sure we will all get used to the new forum format. I know I will. At any rate I don't intend to stop logging on.
This discussion forum has given me a great deal of information that I know I wouldn't have if I had to find it all on my own.

Joyce

#10 guckey13

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 10:31 PM

Paul,

I realy like the new fourm! I find it asteticaly (spelling) pleasing! hahah, No but seriously down to buisiness, it dose everynow and then have parts that are hard to understand. Exspecially the parts that include a bit of technical jargin! But overall I rate it a....

B+!

-Sean ;)

Edited by guckey13, 21 August 2003 - 10:32 PM.





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