Forum and Costume Controls

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Feedback Needed: Forum Upgrade
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ladysolo14 ()
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:45 am    Post subject: Feedback Needed: Forum Upgrade Reply with quote

Hey everyone, 

Over the next several months, the web team is going to be upgrading the forums.

We would appreciate it if you could give us feedback on the following: 

• What do you like about the current forums?

• What do you dislike about the current forums?

• What new features would you like to see in the new forums?

There are no wrong or right ideas, so feel free to speak your mind. I can't promise we can accommodate all of the feedback but we will do our best to provide a better forum experience.
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Amalphiea (Kellie)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate having to scroll through 500 threads all titled base events for a bunch of different bases. If each base's event thread could have "Fluff Bunny Base Events" instead of just Base Events as the title it would make more sense.
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Ritin Kornas ()
Helvetica Base CO
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Joined: 09 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Feedback Needed: Forum Upgrade Reply with quote

ladysolo14 wrote:
Hey everyone, 

Over the next several months, the web team is going to be upgrading the forums.

We would appreciate it if you could give us feedback on the following: 

• What do you like about the current forums?

• What do you dislike about the current forums?

• What new features would you like to see in the new forums?

There are no wrong or right ideas, so feel free to speak your mind. I can't promise we can accommodate all of the feedback but we will do our best to provide a better forum experience.


Good news to hear that, it is about time for some parts !
Also, sorry already for the length of this message. The length doesn't mean I dislike the forum in general (in which case I would not be here right now Razz) just that I try to go in detail on the point I mention, don't hesitate to ask if you have any question or for some things if you want any graphic example Wink
Most of the things in my post don't touch to the core of the forum, only details.

Things I would do are :
- Change the forum engine totally I guess, to get something far more modern. I think it would also be an easier solution for most of the things, even if you have to recode some specific features like the census or costume validation, it would just save lots of time I guess for some part. (also at some points its necessary even if its requiring some work). Depending on the programming language I could probably give an hand if you need Wink

- Fix the mass emailing, I think I hear it was but that it broke again just after ?
- Fix the automatic login. I can check the "log me automatically" box, it has never work for me or multiple people, and it's not a problem of computers, or browser (tried multiple ones of both).
- Update private messaging system to allow to send PM to multiple people at same time.
- One thing annoying me is that I need to scroll several subforums to be able to find the ones interesting me. No offence but I absolutely don't care as european member of all the US bases sub forums. Or about the trading card subforum or the junkyard... It would be nice if we could have a little customization possible of the user interface. Either be able to collapse those sections or change position of the various subforum in their display order. Because of that I actually never check the swiss outpost forum as it takes forever to scroll to it and locate it lost in the numerous base. If I could put it top position I would surely check it more and use it more ! I think this very point is also the reason why many people in my base don't like this forum as it's too big.
- Reduce number of sticky posts or announcements in many subforum. She you enter a subforum, the first basic thing you have to do is scroll to pass all the sticky stuff which never has any news in it. Except reducing their number I don't see many solutions here :s
- Update the IMG tag. No idea how this can be done, but surely there could be something done in here. It seems the forum can't handle many hosts or pictures format, and this would really need an update. As picture is a key component of our activity, either for reference, finished costume or WIPs, it is really annoying to be so much limited from that aspect. Surely their could be possibility maybe to be able to get sources like google drive or Facebook pictures to be able to be displayed :s
- Get the header actually do the same job than the website. With scrolling menus. And when clicking on the top image, be able to go page to maniple of the website.

Althought, even if I like the current design personally :s, I think it could not be bad to update it and make it more fresh and modern, maybe flat designs ? This could attract and catch more new people. Also to get it uniform with the website.

What I also like currently is the various categories. I think it's a nice separation of all the things, which would not need much to evolve i anyway. Maybe the only point on which I would change the category, it's for the costume section, to get every subsection (dignitaries, infantry....) have the same basic layouts. (No tutorial subsection in infantry for example !)


Finally about new features... I think the important is really to fix the current before to add anything more. But if we want to get fancy it could be nice to be able to insert multiple pictures as kind of gallery or slideshow instead of one after the other, it could thus reduce length of a post when not necessary to get them one by one Wink

I know some forums give you the possibility to basically write your post like in a text editor similar to word, which could be nice for beginners to put better shape to there posts.
Shortcut like ctrl+B / cmd+B to put bold or stuff like that directly would also be a nice comfort improvement, as well as if you click on the "Img" tag to be inserted, except if you are selecting some text (in which case it put it on both side of the text), it will put it at the end and not where your cursor is currently placed, which annoys me a lot, and I guess I'm not the only one Razz

Also, some video games have a "devtracker" page. It could be nice to get a "command tracker" page with update on what is currently at work and so on by dev team or legion command or charter team and so on. The lack of communication from the top on what is going on has been pointed in few topics recently, and I want to thank you already for this topic that show some things are going to happen (hopefully) !

Cheers


Edit : regarding text editor I mentioned, I got the name back in mind ! So what I was meaning was to get to write post in an editor which is a WYSIWYG : what you see is what you get https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WYSIWYG
While currently you see the code of it Wink
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Old Man Grumpus ()
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:10 pm    Post subject: New Features Reply with quote

- Allow subscription to selected subforums, to be alerted to new threads and posts. 501st has this feature. Thanks!
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Yub-Yub ()
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My one issue is that I cant copy and paste anything when writing a message.
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ichnob ()



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to see buyer/seller feedback. I've made a few purchases here from some great sellers.
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Ritin Kornas ()
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ichnob wrote:
I would like to see buyer/seller feedback. I've made a few purchases here from some great sellers.

We are not meant to be a selling platform like ebay... So I disagree with this point which would just encourage problems and more selling with prices that are for me too high for what it is, most of the time.


Quote:
- Allow subscription to selected subforums, to be alerted to new threads and posts. 501st has this feature. Thanks!

I double this proposition ! Could be nice for specific forums for lots of people i think, the ones who don't want to have to check everyday
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ionicdesign (Michael)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have unread forums not be marked read when not read. Meaning right now the RL forums mark all things read if logged out or something happens, whether read or not. It would be nice if they were marked as read, when actually read.
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Jabari ()



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would really like to see clear links to the costume standards that actually take you to the most recently updated version.

It would also be nice to have them listed by era/movie as well as by type- so for example, you could look up Rogue One, pick Jyn Erso, and then be directed to Fringe, or look up Force Awakens and Scavenger Rey, and be sent to the appropriate section (Rebel Supporters? Jedi? I don't remember).


Or, go to a section of the forum, say, Rebel Supporters, and see the list of all costumes that go in that section, so there's no guessing.


Upgraded photo hosting abilities would be fantastic, as there is very little point of a WIP thread with no pictures.
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Yub-Yub ()
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont know if this would be possible so if it isnt i apologize.

Is it possible to have that when you log in the first thing you see is your base. The fact that our members have to scroll down and find their particular base is the number one reason I have been told that our base in particular is using facebook.

Thank you.
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GotWookiee (Matt Pfingsten)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you are moving to phpBB3 for the forum and WordPress for the site, I would keep things as stock as possible, with minimal mods, plugins, etc. Lots of cool extras are neat at first, but they become obstacles to future upgrades in the future after you have moved on.

That being said, there are three features I would like to see:
  • TapaTalk support is something we've always wanted, and moving to phpBB3 and WordPress will make this possible.
  • A user authentication bridge between phpBB3 and WordPress Many of the problems with the Legion and its website come from the fact that everything has to be done at the top due to the limited permissions of phpBB2 and the existence of a separate login system for the site. There are a number of excellent user bridges for phpBB3 and WordPress that allow users to have one login for both sites. Some of them even link user groups. This would be a huge advantage for the Legion going forward, as it would allow Legion, Base, and Detachment officers to maintain various pages on the site, submit news articles, etc. In short, it would make the club more grassroots and less top heavy.
  • A WYSIWYG Editor would be awesome. I know there is a lot of hostility in the phpBB dev community towards WYSIWYG editors (and usability in general), but most other forum software has this.

I would consider dropping all other extra features that are stock in phpBB, apart from the census and costume submission system. Top priority is to get us out of phpBB2. Anything else can wait. The events calendar/registration system is nice, but is't essential.

I would also look into trimming the main site. There are so many things in the menu its just insane. The 501st's site is clean and elegant. I would consider your audience(s) and par things down to what's really needed.

Longer term, I would consider moving as much off of the forums as you can, and using stock WordPress features or very popular WP plugins instead. Some ideas to think about include:
  • Getting the costume system out of its custom phpBB mod and into WordPress In principal the costume system is nothing more than an article submission system, with the applicant being analogous to an author, the LCJ being an editor, and the LMO being the editor in chief. In past migration projects, we were able to duplicate the basic functionality of the costume submission system via a custom content type and a workflow plugin.
    Both Visual Composer and Oasis Workflow seemed to be features useful for accomplishing this.
    The problem was always porting the existing costume data to a new structure. Every single migration project has been unable to solve that problem. Your solution to simply port the existing system from phpBB2 to phpBB3 is a pragmatic one that seems likely to succeed.
    However, it won't be long before we are again facing the same problem. phpBB3 is getting pretty long in the tooth already, and phpBB4's development is not encouraging. So long term, looking into a way to get that data ported seems to be essential.
    I would be curious to see what it would cost for a freelance developer to write a script for porting the costume data. Maybe put some ads on the various freelancer sites and get some estimates.
  • A proper election system would be nice. There are several voting and election plugins for WordPress. It would be wonderful to streamline and automate as much of the election process as possible. Having a page where all the elections you are eligible to vote in would be nice.
  • Online store for merch There are a wide variety of eCommerce modules out there, and they could be used to setup a private, members-only store. This would streamline and automate much of the process of tracking and fulfilling runs on merchandise, rather than doing it all by hand.

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rlobrecht ()



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a great initiative. I look forward to seeing it happen.

• What new features would you like to see in the new forums?

The ability to stay logged in for more than 24 hours.
The ability to explicitly mark the forums read.
Having the forums actually know what I've read, and the ability to go to the first unread post in a topic.
Bookmarks.
The ability to list unread topics in a subforum.
Proper mobile support (either Tapatalk or a good mobile skin)
WYSIWYG editor
Better image support, with small image hosting

I can point to forums which have those features, if that is helpful.
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MrTexas (Chris Hummel)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GotWookiee wrote:
Getting the costume system out of its custom phpBB mod and into WordPress In principal the costume system is nothing more than an article submission system, with the applicant being analogous to an author, the LCJ being an editor, and the LMO being the editor in chief. In past migration projects, we were able to duplicate the basic functionality of the costume submission system via a custom content type and a workflow plugin.


This.
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aidzan (Aidan)
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tapatalk plugin (works with numerous boards if not using phpbb going forwards)

Better Costume management system with more control over members given to BCO/BXO/BMO etc

Ability to stay logged in

Nicer Style to make going between the main website and forums more seamless

Do we know what system will be used? Obviously the front end is WordPress and someone already mentioned the Bridges that exist between that and phpbb3, are we going to be using phpbb3? I think this would be good idea too to implement the bridge to make it one login for everything (would make it easier for those who do updates)
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AgnesAUT ()
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again and again, I (and other members of our base) deal with technical problems:
- subjects don't get posted (that is, a new post gets posted with a blank subject), and I can not reach this post later to try to alter or delete it
- sometime I cannot send a private message since it says "there must be a subject", although I typed it in, but once I try to send it, the subject vanishes
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