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Status Update from Robyn (1/15/10)

RDA's picture

Yesterday the Web producers met with the larger tech and design teams who will help us implement many of the changes you’ve been hoping for. The changes will be made in phases, and the first phase is in the works right now and includes the following:

Fixes -

Attachments: Right now, some people are able to attach photos or docs to their replies and some aren’t. We’ll fix it so that everyone will be able to attach images or docs to a reply.

New: “New” only works on page one. We’ll fix this so you’ll see what’s new to you on pages two and beyond.

Editing and Previewing Posts: Soon, you’ll be able to preview a post or reply before posting and you’ll be able to edit your post at any time (right now, it appears to only work if no one has replied to your post or reply).

Email Notifications: Some users get a “page not found” error when they try to open email links (this happens because you’re not logged in to the forum). We’ll fix it so that instead of an error page, you’ll be prompted to login so you can read your message.

Posts with Duplicate Titles: This isn’t a huge problem for us, but it may be for the other forums. Drupal only recognizes the first of any duplicate titles, so if your new title happens to be the exact title as a post from years ago, you may lose your post. We’ll fix this.

Upgrades -

Layout of Discussions/Chronology: Our ultimate goal is to let you customize your view, i.e. threaded or flat (a.k.a. chronological). We’re working on that. We’re also looking for ways to make it explicit to whom you are replying. Instead of seeing “Submitted by Gretchen on Fri, 1/15/10. . .” you’ll see something like “Gretchen in reply to X” much like you used to see with Prospero/Mzinga’s thread numbers, though we won’t use thread numbers per se). We’re also going to put a rule (or box) around each reply so you don’t have to rely on a subtle change in background color to signal a new reply. We’ll test our design options and roll out a.s.a.p.

Forum Layout and Text Color: In answer to “What are you going to do about the orange color?" We will increase contrast between text and background to improve visibility and usability. We discussed making the text a simple black since the orange is hard for many of you to read. We’ll also expand the layout to take advantage of the full screen, very much like Drupal does on their own forum (left hand navigation, the rest is given over to the discussions).

Message Formatting Options: (May not be in place until Phase II): Don’t want to learn HTML, but want to bold a word in your post or use italics? No problem. We’re working on a solution so you can easily style your text without using code.

Spell Check: Spell check will come right along with your options for styling.

There’s more coming down the pike, but these are the highlights.

Cook something awesome this weekend and make it a good one,

Robyn

Pielove's picture

Hey Robyn, this sounds great. (post #68946, reply #1 of 29)

Hey Robyn, this sounds great. Keep on refining!

pie

MEANCHEF's picture

What about the #new accuracy (post #68946, reply #2 of 29)

What about the #new accuracy and the "new" showing up in the list of discussions on the left.

RDA's picture

This was originally a problem (post #68946, reply #3 of 29)

This was originally a problem with the cache; it was fixed and is working fine for me. The number of "new" posts listed on the left is indeed the number of new posts I'm seeing in any given discussion when I go to it (provided the discussion is all on one page). Is that not the case for you?

ashleyd's picture

I refresh my page (to flush (post #68946, reply #4 of 29)

I refresh my page (to flush the cache) and the "new" is accurate as far as I can tell. Maybe Mean is just trying to pull your chain instead of flushing his cache?

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Gretchen's picture

Nice little (sarcastic) turn (post #68946, reply #5 of 29)

Nice little (sarcastic) turn of the phrase, A. Maybe it is what it is, and why should we HAVE (I'd use bold here) to refresh to get it to happen. Just one more "thing" to do to make the site useable.
I find it true also.

Gretchen
ashleyd's picture

Cache refresh is a choice, (post #68946, reply #13 of 29)

Cache refresh is a choice, you can have it happen every time you make a "transaction" (like a post), or only on certain "events", like changing forums, or on demand (like a page refresh in the browser). All have their benefits and drawbacks and all have optimal ways of working which assumes that you do things certain ways. Now the one thing I have found over the years is that there are almost as many ways of using the board and navigating it as there are people using it. So a change which works for you may well mess it up for lots of other people, and vice-versa.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

AnnL's picture

I'm not sure who I'm replying (post #68946, reply #16 of 29)

I'm not sure who I'm replying to and it doesn't really matter. The new is not really working. What I do is I click on Home so that I have the listing of Folders in the middle of my screen. When I came in today, it told me there are no new posts in the Feedback on CT folder. But, I can see that Ashley had a post 5 hours ago and I haven't checked in since last night. So, I right click on that folder and I see that there are 14 New posts in this thread and 1 new in the New Features thread.

However, in writing this, it does occur to me that the New under the folder might indicate only New THREADS, not new POSTS/REPLIES within the threads. In which case, it's not very helpful, I want to know about new posts as well as new threads. :-)

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

MEANCHEF's picture

Ah. The key is "as far as (post #68946, reply #7 of 29)

Ah. The key is "as far as you can tell". Not very as we can see.

ashleyd's picture

My point is that I haven't (post #68946, reply #14 of 29)

My point is that I haven't investigated every little last minor detail, that part of the functionality is useable even if it's not strictly accurate. Personally I'd prefer it if the real major issues were dealt with in fairly short order rather than getting anal about nitpicking detail.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

MEANCHEF's picture

Hard to believe it works for (post #68946, reply #6 of 29)

Hard to believe it works for you. There are two separate problems:

1.The discussions on the left DO NOT represent what is "new", but what is recent. If I haven't read the forum in a day or two,or if there is lots of activity, many discussions which are "new" to me would not be shown.

2. the "#new" in the discussions do not equal the "#new" in the middle under forums.

kathymcmo's picture

MC, are you talking about how (post #68946, reply #10 of 29)

MC, are you talking about how the thread titles posted in the Discussions box seems to be only a partial listing of threads that have new posts? Sure seems that way to me.

Also, it seems to me that the "new" numbers in the middle column under forums indicates the number of new posts in that entire folder, spread amongst any number of threads.

But I could be wrong, whenever I try to check it by going back and forth, I lose track of the "news" and then they're not there anymore, and I get all confused. Tedious.

MEANCHEF's picture

Kathy, yes. The discussion (post #68946, reply #19 of 29)

Kathy, yes. The discussion listings on the left are only recent posts and have nothing to do with what is new.

People who look at this superficially like Ashley don't se that if the volume were like it was before, you would not see most of what was new.

The new in the middle is new discussions and not new posts. On the left the new is replies minus new discussion posts.

AnnL's picture

Meanie, if I'm understanding (post #68946, reply #17 of 29)

Meanie, if I'm understanding what you're saying in #2, then I think the #new in the middle under forums indicates New THREADS, but the #new on side under discussions is the number of new posts/replies in those threads. I think. That's the conclusion I've just reached today, anyway. I could be wrong, but check it out and see if you can confirm that.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

MEANCHEF's picture

ANNL, you are correct (post #68946, reply #18 of 29)

ANNL, you are correct

RDA's picture

Thanks for the explanation. (post #68946, reply #25 of 29)

Thanks for the explanation. I'll put "new" back on the radars of our developers. What you're describing is a problem for the Breaktimers too, I've noticed.

Thanks again (and stay tuned).

kathymcmo's picture

Robyn, today I logged in and (post #68946, reply #27 of 29)

Robyn, today I logged in and all the posts I read as a logged in person several days ago are marked as new again, even though they're not.

RDA's picture

Thanks for letting me know. (post #68946, reply #28 of 29)

Thanks for letting me know. Is it possible that you originally read the posts by scanning the "Recent Replies" listing? I know I do that. Then, when I'm actually in a post, the comments are marked with the red font "new" but I know I've read them. Just one possibility. The other possibility is that in our developer's attempt to do some work on fixing "new" a new bug is presenting itself.

I'll try to duplicate on my end and report it.

In the meantime, has anyone else noticed comments marked "new" within a thread you know you've read?

Again, thanks for the heads up,
Robyn

kathymcmo's picture

No, Robyn, I don't use that (post #68946, reply #29 of 29)

No, Robyn, I don't use that "recent replies" page because it's too scatterbrained for me, a bunch of non sequitur posts that just raises the frustration level.

Honestly I haven't found a way yet to easily ID what posts are new or what threads are new. The discussion bar seems like an incomplete listing of current threads with new posts, the recent threads page is confusing and I already mentioned why the recent replies doesn't work. I'm coming here much less often as a result and am thinking of leaving for 2-3 months in hopes that when I come back something will have improved.

Just too frustrating a site right now, sorry to be a broken record.

Napie's picture

I hate to say it but everyone (post #68946, reply #8 of 29)

I hate to say it but everyone is thinking it, does it matter? No one is here anymore..... So sad.

RDA's picture

Really? OK then. Good to (post #68946, reply #9 of 29)

Really? OK then. Good to know.

kathymcmo's picture

Now see, Robyn, I can't tell (post #68946, reply #11 of 29)

Now see, Robyn, I can't tell if your post was in reply to Napie, to Ashley or to MeanChef. So you could either be politely thanking someone or making a really sarcastic remark out of frustration.
This is the kind of thing that's a conversation killer around here--a printed form of cacaphony. Sigh.

RDA's picture

@kathymcmo: Point taken. Once (post #68946, reply #12 of 29)

@kathymcmo: Point taken. Once this phase of upgrades is rolled out (the impetus for my post) the ambiguity won't be a problem any longer. As for my reply (and I hadn't thought of this before), maybe it's to them all.

tomato's picture

In an earlier reply on this (post #68946, reply #20 of 29)

In an earlier reply on this thread, AnnL said:

"Meanie, if I'm understanding what you're saying in #2, then I think the #new in the middle under forums indicates New THREADS, but the #new on side under discussions is the number of new posts/replies in those threads. I think. That's the conclusion I've just reached today, anyway. I could be wrong, but check it out and see if you can confirm that."

This is a perfect illustration of the problem. THE FORUM SOFTWARE IS AT FAULT IF IT IS THAT HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOING ON. And, yes, I do know that all caps = shouting.

MEANCHEF's picture

Correct (post #68946, reply #22 of 29)

Correct

tomato's picture

Also, a question. If this (post #68946, reply #21 of 29)

Also, a question. If this software can't be fixed, has any consideration been given to switching to phpbbforum? It may not be as satisfying to your visual designers, but it does integrate with drupal, it's free, and it works.

RDA's picture

Our site's blogs use the PHP (post #68946, reply #26 of 29)

Our site's blogs use the PHP platform, and I like working with it, but I don't think that's in the cards for the forum.

We're going to keep plugging away at it until we've mastered Drupal. I don't expect we'll get there tomorrow, but we will get there.

I appreciate the feedback,
Robyn

ashleyd's picture

Kathy it was in reply to (post #68946, reply #15 of 29)

Kathy it was in reply to napie, who was just pointing out the obvious that about the only thing missing from this ghost town was the tumbleweed. Her reply indicated that if nobody were here why should she bother to do anything. Which brings us neatly back to the point of what do Taunton want to get out of this board, and what will it take to deliver that into a thriving and active community.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Glenys's picture

I thought Napie was male by (post #68946, reply #23 of 29)

I thought Napie was male by gender.

ashleyd's picture

He certainly is, the her (post #68946, reply #24 of 29)

He certainly is, the her referred to was Robyn.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.