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Forums wishlist

 7:51 pm on May 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Posting here so I can add stuff as I think of it.

Every few years, someone drifts by and applies some spit-and-polish to the Forums software. Here are some things I'd like to see.

* explicit file encoding. Ahem. Nuff said.

* shouldn't urls in https be auto-linked same as ones in http? Seems more like an oversight than a deliberate choice.

* "new posts" flag should exclude your own posts

* idea to swipe from php/bb3 (wasn't in /bb2): If new posts are added to a thread while you're in the act of composing a reply, your Preview or Submit is preceded by a popup alerting you to the change.

* Mystery Issue: I haven't figured this one out, but it has happened too often to blame it on sunspots. If I hit the wrong key in the wrong place while composing an answer, the whole Edit Post box-- not just its content-- disappears. (Action includes hitting Delete key, and it may result in post content ending up on clipboard. More than that I cannot say yet.) If the cause can be isolated, it can be fixed.

* there are a couple more things that I can't remember at the moment



 2:27 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the ideas. We have some exciting changes and software updates coming.


 3:03 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

How about putting the "my threads" link on each page instead of having to go into the control panel to find it?


 8:35 pm on Jun 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just remembered another one.

* teach the "new posts" flag to be a little more dynamic. Every now and then you'll get a flurry of spam, troll or "me too" posts on months-old threads. By the time you see the thread, a moderator has come around with the scissors so there's no new content. But the threads are still flagged as new.


 10:44 am on Jun 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

It might be a nice idea to alert a user when someone mentions them by name? To get round any unintentional alerts you could put the name in some code like [user]rj87uk[/user]?


 10:02 pm on Jun 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

And, as a counterpart to https auto-linking:

#1 add subdomains to the exclusion, as in subdomain.example.com
#2 exclude non-word characters, as in http:/ /%{REMOTE_ADDR} or http:/ /%1

Yes, OK, so both of these issues primarily arise in the Apache subforum. Or, ahem, That Other Server. But that's exactly where it is most important to see what people typed.


 2:58 am on Jul 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

* Instead of "email notification of new replies" - offer "email new replies". This would be helpful so we can follow threads via email without wasting time going into sub forums again and again just to see a "me too" or another off-topic post..

Need the traffic? Set a timer to stop sending emails if the subscriber didn't log in within x days.


 10:37 am on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Another one, though this isn't a five-minute fix.

Sometimes people post links to screenshots as an alternative to linking directly to their own site-- mainly with HTML or CSS questions. But the screenshot may not stick around forever. ("Why did I put this in my photobucket album? It's nonsense!") So then you're no better off than if they had posted a link to the offending page.

Now, if the WebmasterWorld forums had a mechanism for hosting screenshots for those subforums that need them, then you'd have something stable and permanent.

This would be helpful so we can follow threads via email

Y'know, this forum could probably save a lot of bother just by swiping code from php/bb. It's open source isn't it? No point in reinventing the wheel... (This particular feature-- including post content in e-mail notifications-- is one of the few from bb2 that wasn't incorporated into the core of bb3. It's still an add-on.)


 10:49 am on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Now, if the WebmasterWorld forums had a mechanism for hosting screenshots for those subforums that need them, then you'd have something stable and permanent.

if webmasterworld isnt going to allow links, then i think this is a good solution that would keep people happy


 3:43 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

preserved formatting [ code ] posting :)


 7:23 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

dmorison there is a style code for preformatted text:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/help.cgi?cat=ubbcodes [webmasterworld.com]

or did i misunderstand you?


 7:26 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

function testing($foo)
if ($foo)
print "Bar";

Needs to preserve spaces throughout the edit / preview. I had to edit the above 3 times to get suitable single spacing never mind double...!

Edit: and the spacing has gone again!

Looks like the forum code is dealing with spaces before PRE.


 7:52 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

dmorison there is a style code for preformatted text:

or did i misunderstand you?

The problem is that it does funky things with spaces ...

<-- 1 space 
<-- 2 spaces
<-- 3 spaces
<-- 4 spaces
<-- 5 spaces
<-- 6 spaces
<-- 7 spaces
<-- 8 spaces


 7:59 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

1 space = 0
2 spaces = 1
3 or 4 = 2
5 or 6 = 3
7 or 8 = 4

It gets even funkier if you include other codes:
<-- 4 spaces 
<-- 4 spaces
<-- 4 spaces separated by [b][/b]
<-- 4 spaces separated by [i][/i]

I am especially fond of the difference in rendering between the first two lines. In my post, I had:
[pre]    <-- 4 spaces 
<-- 4 spaces


 8:04 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Trying to line 
things up
like this is
a real pain!

... since I have to type:
[pre]Trying to line 
things up
like this is
a real pain![/pre]


 8:19 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

see the post by swa66:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/php/4587934.htm?highlight=msg4588417 [webmasterworld.com]


 8:42 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

The quote-pre-code thing is just a hack, though ... and undocumented at that. It would be nice if the system itself just "did" this. The bug has been around for years, and never fixed.

Basic bandaid -- internally replace all
[pre] with [quote][pre][code]

  <-- 4 spaces
<-- 4 spaces
<-- 4 spaces separated by
[i][/i] [i][/i] [i][/i] <-- 4 spaces separated by [i][/i]

... and the presence of [code] breaks stuff!

Without [code]:
<-- 4 spaces 
<-- 4 spaces
<-- 4 spaces separated by [b][/b]
<-- 4 spaces separated by [i][/i]

Just fix, please?! ;)


 9:26 pm on Jul 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Looks like the forum code is dealing with spaces before PRE.

That reminds me of another forums wonky. You may have noticed that in some situations a closing parenthesis by itself turns into an unwanted ;) wink. This happens because the characters & and > (and, I assume, < though this wouldn't normally come immediately before a closing parenthesis) are converted to &amp; and &gt; before the smiley-rendering code executes-- and since the final ; in html is optional, you're left with what appears to be a single-character wink.

Now personally I prefer mandatory noses on smileys; it's rare that someone would legitimately quote text containing a hyphen immediately before a closing parenthesis. (It would be worse if this forum included Sunglasses Guy, who can be introduced by an innocuous B) or 8) ) But this is obviously not something that can be changed retroactively.

Now, would it be possible for the Quote function to include what the person actually typed, rather than what's visible onscreen? This includes nonbreaking spaces and also locutions like
(Trick learned from php/bb2. It doesn't work in 3.)


 8:20 am on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

One more wish... - the new posts indicator doesn't seem to survive past page 1 (unless it's just me!)

I presume it's based on the lastactivevisit cookie which gets updated as you browse page 1 so by page 2 everything is assumed to have been read...


 2:50 pm on Jul 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Every now and then a forum (usually the AdSense forum, because that's one of the only ones I frequent) gets borked and requires a mod to do whatever they do to fix it. All the pages and posts seem to "disappear". Looks like a DB thing or something.

Then I have to to roust up someone who is in my time zone AND a moderator to fix it. Usually it's faster to just holler on twitter, because the sticky note system is kind of a PITA.

#1 would be making it so that doesn't happen anymore.

#2 would be making a one click button (maybe visible only to senior members if you're afraid it would be abused) to notify the mods of a system problem (as opposed to a post problem)

Otherwise, I'm just going to keep hollering on twitter, because who needs the aggravation.


 4:00 pm on Jul 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yeah, we wish it didn't happen, too.

FYI, any Admin that's around can fix it, or the Forum Moderators.

Various systems of alerts work. Twitter relies on the same Admins or Mods.

Changes are in the works.


 11:46 pm on Jul 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is it forum-specific? I've seen it a couple of times on the whole Recent Posts list-- everything older than {some point in time} has simply dropped off the face of the earth :)


 12:08 am on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Another simple mechanical change (unless there's a reason I can't figure out):

Normally when you edit a post, Submit takes you back to the post. But in a multi-page thread, Submit takes you to the beginning of the thread, not to the post (or even the page containing the post) you just edited.

This seems perverse :)


 5:20 am on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Another one with new post notifications. We should not get new post notifications for forums on which new posts are automatically held for moderation (e.g. Google SEO) until the moderators approve the post


 1:54 am on Sep 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nother tweak:

The Compose Post window has an option for "disable graphic smileys" -- invaluable when you're posting something like
and don't want to keep switching to "code" format.

But the smileys aren't disabled in Preview, so you always come away thinking the option didn't work. This can be fixed, can't it?


 1:29 am on Sep 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh yes and...

Is it too much to ask that the post function REMEMBER your settings (such as the above "disable graphic smileys") when you go back to fix a typo?



 8:42 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

And, furthermore, moreover:

In Private Messages, how 'bout an option to disable auto-linking?

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