Forum maintenance and refresh

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Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby gstark on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:06 am

A head's up for all y'all ...

As Leigh mentioned here, he's working on some changes to the forum.

What we're looking at is a full cosmetic and software refresh, moving to a buddypress/wordpress format. Leigh was working on a test conversion last evening; I don't yet know what the outcome of that was.

Amongst the implications are that we should have a much more modern interface (the classic forum concept is dying, as a form of communications) but with hopefully a lot of new features. I'm hopeful that this will address some of the (well justified) criticisms that some of you have made in the past.

For those of you who use Tapatalk though, I don't know if they make an interface for the changes we're implementing, so that may be a downside for you. I also don't yet know what the implications are for your passwords, but I believe that we'll be able to access the forum using our twitter, facebook, or whatever accounts as well.

I'm not yet sure of the timing either, but I don't think that it's too far away.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby the foto fanatic on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:23 am

Any hope of addressing the iPad formatting issues? Most images are cut off on RHS when viewing the forum via iPad.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby gstark on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:31 am

Yes, and no. :)

That issue is directly related to the portal that we run, which is phpbb3 specific. As we'll be leaving the phpbb3 environment, that should no longer be an issue.

What I don't yet know is how this will look under the new environment; Leigh hasn't yet got the templates up so I cannot tell.

Hopefully half an answer is better than none.
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Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby Wink on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:37 am

How does it function as a community if it's not a forum style package? Do you have an example of it that someone else is using? I'm interested to see how it all works.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby Mj on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:06 am

Speaking out of turn here...

The wordpress/buddypress solution provides a social network style environment somewhat like facebook or google+.
Look, feel and function will depend quite a bit on what plugins Leigh plans to use and the template deployed.
As Gary mentioned, some of the limitations of the current site would disappear but there are likely to be the odd interesting 'feature' applicable to the new (there's never one perfect answer).
I'm about to go through a refresh of a solution I have which is based on this platform but on an older codebase.

Gary/Leigh... let me know if you'd like any help on this effort... otherwise I'll keep my oars right out of it :)
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Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby Wink on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:40 am

Thanks. Sounds interesting.
Seems like a very bold move. Hopefully it can be pulled off and Leigh and Gary reach their goal of improving the site.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby Nnnnsic on Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:03 am

It's not pure Buddypress, but rather a combination of BBPress being used as the forum mechanism, and Buddypress being used to link social aspects of the system with a Wordpress environment, in case anyone wants to throw in reviews and be a journalist, or at the very least, try to kickstart a semi-decent reviewing career. :)

Still converting an older copy of the database. Will show more when it's looking viable.

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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby surenj on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:09 pm

Bravo Gary and Leigh for freshly pressing the forum into a more neat one. :cheers:
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby aim54x on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:56 pm

I will definitely be keen to see what you are cooking Leigh!
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby stubbsy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:52 am

Looking forward with interest Leigh.

aim54x wrote:I will definitely be keen to see what you are cooking Leigh!

I thought you followed that on Facebook :-)
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby aim54x on Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:43 pm

stubbsy wrote:Looking forward with interest Leigh.

aim54x wrote:I will definitely be keen to see what you are cooking Leigh!

I thought you followed that on Facebook :-)


I have been following the culinary adventures...
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby biggerry on Mon May 20, 2013 5:05 pm

Looking at the original date of this its some time ago, any further development? particularly regarding sample layout/concepts.

A couple of thoughts,

1) I disagree that the forum format is dead, its certainly dwindled, but still very much alive in various corners. User bases have moved to more social network platforms like FB, G+ Flickr etc, some of which have really good communities, however for the critique, and meetups the forum is still a very good medium.

2) A community will thrive in any environment with any software providing there are enthusiastic and keen group of people - groups on flickr and G+ are prime evidence of this.

3) Whats the point of refreshing the software? particularly when doing so will cut out tapatalk (which I thought provided access to alot of people), imo its not gonna suddenly turn the joint into a thriving community of critiques, reviews and meetups. People do that. I think addressing some of the nitpicks would be time better spent (at least in the short term) like teh forum width cutoff, list of topics on the front page etc.

Please forgive me if I come across brash here, but given the last updates (synthesis and whatever) I think people (myself included) may just see this update going the same way, nowhere. It seems like the same issues come up over and over but little changes, i do not have the answers by any measure, however I am happy to help where I can.
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Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby chrisk on Mon May 20, 2013 6:25 pm

It will take some convincing for me that it would be a positive change without tapatalk support.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby biggerry on Tue May 21, 2013 10:23 am

Rooz wrote:It will take some convincing for me that it would be a positive change without tapatalk support.


whilst I do not use Tapatalk anymore, it was just about the only way I accessed many forums last year. A mobile/tablet interface is crucial nowadays I think.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby gstark on Tue May 21, 2013 10:36 am

I've forwarded a link to this thread to Leigh, for his comments.

He was handling the changes and design implications of that; I do know that he was experiencing some issues with the data conversion, and I believe that that's where it stopped.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby Remorhaz on Tue May 21, 2013 10:53 am

biggerry wrote:like teh forum width cutoff


This one for me... going back to 575 pixel wide images is a step back for me

and I believe I'm leant towards Gerrys view re the community aspect of the forums. Whilst places like Flickr and G+ are nice for seeing and sharing work (with effectively masses of complete strangers mostly) - places like this (forums) are more attuned to longer term "relationships" where you're with an albeit smaller group of people you get to know well over years - who you see grow and get to show your own growth over time.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby gstark on Tue May 21, 2013 11:02 am

Remorhaz wrote:
biggerry wrote:like teh forum width cutoff


This one for me... going back to 575 pixel wide images is a step back for me


This is the compromise, though, that addresses the problem on iPads etc. Fundamentally, it's actually a flaw in the forum software specs - screen width should probably be user definable value.

Which is more important: I don't have a bloody clue, but would be willing to suggest that pads and phones will be the devices with a stronger future than straight out computers.
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Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby chrisk on Tue May 21, 2013 11:08 am

gstark wrote:
Remorhaz wrote:
biggerry wrote:like teh forum width cutoff


This one for me... going back to 575 pixel wide images is a step back for me


This is the compromise, though, that addresses the problem on iPads etc. Fundamentally, it's actually a flaw in the forum software specs - screen width should probably be user definable value.

Which is more important: I don't have a bloody clue, but would be willing to suggest that pads and phones will be the devices with a stronger future than straight out computers.


What is the compromise on iPads you speak of ? Images get resized on iPad...at least for they do.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby gstark on Tue May 21, 2013 11:12 am

Rooz wrote:What is the compromise on iPads you speak of ? Images get resized on iPad...at least for they do.


We get the rh column back.
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Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby chrisk on Tue May 21, 2013 3:40 pm

Aha...I use tapatalk so it's no an issue for me.
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Re: Forum maintenance and refresh

Postby zafra52 on Tue May 21, 2013 6:41 pm

I find no problem with this forum and is working
well, but I suppose Ms Change is on her way.
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