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Forum Moderators: lawman
The second phase later this year, will be more interface changes based strictly upon user feedback. Thank you to all the members who have helped make this possible.
WebmasterWorld V3 BestBBS Change Log 05-30-2001
Updates additions and corrections since v2.0
- BestBBS : After 18 years of BBS programming, I've finally settled on a name for the software :-)
- Most sensitive actions on the part of the user, require being logged in via cookies. This includes, posting, responding, editing, and stickymail.
- Rewrote entire registration process.
- Registration now emails a user a confirmation number instead of password.
- Updated to use new theme/skin templates.
- Registration now works much-more-better-different ;-)
- New skins. Allows member customization of all main system variables and display parameters. The main reason for the switch was to get font size and font face control into the hands of the members for ease of use purposes.
- Users may clone each others skins.
- Users may expand or collapse category listings on main forum index page and on homepage via control panel pref.
- Auto post splitting with pref on profile for split level.
- All new preview routines.
- Preview now reshows input form window for those with caching disabled.
- New status line for messages just above location bar when needed. Warnings, confirmations, and user messages go here.
- Preview shows post exactly like it is displayed in thread.
- All mods now show "moderatore forumX" with a link to their forum under their profile anywhere on the system.
- Added post and keyword highlighting (v2.8).
- added "location" field to on screen profile display.
- "roll your own" active list to control which cols are included or not included. The default set is now rolled back with a few removed.
- The ENTIRE forum (including all threads) now validates via the w3c validator (hope to keep it that way)
- Created "side bars" for Netscape and Opera of Activelist and homepage highlighted threads.
- New user pref for post form input height (rows).
- Redid time zone display to make much easier (all proper times zones now displayed in simple drop down on profile).
- Zapped all cookie routines and went with new code.
- Forum/discussion last read pointers now comes out of user file instead of cookie if user is logged in.
- Open links in new windows prefs option.
- Added max threads in forum view option.
- Added optional ICQ field to profile.
- Added library system of highlighted threads.
- New category view option on prefs/profile.
- Added reverse display of threads to user prefs.
- Reset Cookies. Redid that system.
- Added 3rd level subforums.
- Converted from SSI to Apache Mode_Rewrite (v2.8). This Reduced file usage. Increased page generation speed 500%. Reduced overall system resources.
- Removed "template" page generation in favor of inline on-the-fly generation. This reduced amount of memory used per page view by up to 2 megabytes. Not all that important at 10k views a day, but at 100k views, it's critical.
- Converted User Files to new ini format instead of flat files. This is more flexible. Very easy to add new user prefs.
- Globalized many routines: Title, Nav bars now generated globaly for sake of skins.
- Adjusted thread msg flat files to new format. This gives us more options on a per-thread and per-message level. It paves the way for future enhancements.
- Moved to new Email system. Email now sent in delayed fashion for system resources and flexibility reasons.
- Moved an enourmouse amount of routines to stand alone scripts. This reduced the overhead hit for each routine.
- Inserted (but not enabled) post collasping that shows only unread messages.
- All new post, reply, and edit routines. Trimmed 30k from both ipost.cgi and misc.cgi. Should speed things up. Much more streamlined and easy to update.
- After post, reply, or edit, you are automagically taken back to the post at that spot via autorefresh to a named anchor on the page.
- Added named anchors to page for "exact spot" highlighting.
- New Edit routine blocks the "view" of an edit if not post owner (security precautions).
- V2.0. Major portions are a ground up rewrite and changes therefore are not fully documented.
- StickyMail link from each post to user.
- added msg icons.
- calendar setup for future online PIM.
- reworked folder display.
- new menu system
- preview must reshow message.
- added message quoting.
- flags now part of stickymail.
- enable or disable stickymail from profile/prefs.
- on create, now asks for user before proceeding to creation screen to check if user exists.
- rewrote member file edit routines to work with new file formats.
- new member file search on all fields.
- rearranged file names to something akin to logical.
- updated setforumorder.cgi to new templates.
- updated forumsetup.
- added note field to user prefs.
- added donation field to user prefs.
- added auto post "forwarding" to new post location if post moved.
- added new member log.
- added admin action log.
- added ip <-> member collation and tracking.
- final analysis: rewrote most of admin section (eg: dumped much lame code).
Not a single line of code hasn't been looked at, with most being changed.
Basically, what we are looking at here, is 80-90% rewrite of all code. The final vestiages of what the orginal software are gone.
- forum sort corrupted on split move join
- active list corruption on split post.
- stickymail not honoring auto-notify
- preview post _must_ present post in form window for those with caching disabled.
- cookies. nuff said.
- reset last read pointers on category level was resetting all pointers.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 6:28 pm (utc) on June 2, 2002]
- yes the post icons will be used. There is a system in place but not enabled yet where moderators can set an icon on any post. Then, you will be able to click on the icon, to sort the index list by that icon. We'll use it so that mods can flag posts as important, or as a good tip, hot news, etc.
- ThreadRank. It is a fairly involved algo that gives all messages on the system a unique "rank". The very general algo involves the variables:
$ThreadRank = $ThreadPageViews + $UniqueVisitorIPS + $ThreadMessages + $ThreadByteSize +/- $MemberVoting +/- $AgeFactor + $InboundReferrals + $SEReferrals.
Members will then be able to sort messages accross the system according to ThreadRank.
In early testing, it locked right in on 25 really good threads. It also put 200 of the library threads right in the top ranked 250 posts without any tweaking by me. That's pretty good indication that it is a solid system.
I took a serious look at patenting the system - I still might. I think it will make for a revolutionary way to sort through messages and find the important ones the system has to offer.
As for the color change, I too notice a difference. The blue seems to be a bolder, brighter blue than before. It's alright, but semi-distracting from the content.
One minor problem I see for new users - it isn't immediately obvious that a message spans multiple pages if you miss the small numbers above and below the post - if a new user is just looking at the content, (s)he may think the message ends on the first page. It sounds silly to say that a user would be blind to something prominent above and below the post, but it is equivalent to banner blindness.
popware: Pop-up on mouse-over to display definitions of words and terms
Why not just use the <abbr> tag? Either allow users to directly add this tag, or have a function that runs daily and replaces the first use of an acronym/term in new posts with the <abbr> equivalent from your custom dictionary. Best news is that it validates in xhtml.
This version is very quick, and splitting the threads on even smaller pages than before make it even more quick, but it have a downside for dial up users... normally we open the all pages we want and kill the connection ( because we pay per minute ). Now weīll have much more pages to open, but what the heck... itīs worth it.
And if we do a reply to that thread weīll get the whole thread on the new and neat Discussion Review, so itīs great! ( I didnīt noticed these new feature when I started to write this post.. only when I wrote "itīs worth it" :) ).
I'm not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but how about a bit more robust search function? For example, it would be great if you could search just google threads.
Anything to make the search function better would pay in spades - it might stop some of those posts like "can google index my dynamic site?" that come up regularly. Also might save brett some processing time....
maybe I overlooked all the upgrade options, but now that you numbered the messages per thread, is it possible to link within WebmasterWorld to another WebmasterWorld thread and direct straight to a message number within that thread? (like a bookmark)
[edited by: vitaplease at 4:21 pm (utc) on June 3, 2002]