What do you like and hate about new message forum?
8 posts
6 users
3k+ views
Scott - DCSki Editor
July 16, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999
1,096 posts
Hi folks,

As you noticed, DCSki's Message Forum software was upgraded recently from ubb.classic to ubb.threads. ubb.threads is the next-generation package by the same company that makes the software DCSki has used for over 5 years. ubb.threads is much faster and customizable, and stores all messages in a database, paving room for much flexibility in the future. Because ubb.threads has the same DNA as ubb.classic, it was possible to bring all existing 5,000+ messages along during the upgrade, which was important.

I've seen a couple rumblings about the new software on the message forum and also received feedback from someone via e-mail who didn't like the new software.

Although ubb.threads is highly customizable, I have not made any customizations yet. If people have specific complaints about the new software, there's a good chance I can address those complaints through customizations -- but I need your help focusing on true deficiencies vs. things that we're all still simply getting used to (and might grow to like).

One thing you should realize is that you can already customize many aspects of the message forum yourself -- with far greater options than in the past. When you login and go to "My Home", you'll see some links to the bottom to edit preferences. (You can even change your own sort order -- something people have debated about for years!) In particular, note the style sheet (skin) option. That lets you change the look of the message forum considerably, with around a dozen options right now.

I'm still getting familiar with the software, but one thing I've noticed that I do not like is the Search capability -- it just doesn't seem to be too good. So I'm already thinking about how I might improve that. Otherwise, I haven't come across much that I hate, but you all have been busier using the forums than I have.

Again, I'm trying to find fundamental flaws -- not necessarily personal dislikes that might change over time.

Thanks!

- Scott
ski_guy_59
July 16, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001
221 posts
I like the functionality. I'm still getting used to the layout and color schemes, but it is working well so far
PhysicsMan
July 17, 2004
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
1) I can see how to view the last 24 or 48 hours of posts, but I can't seem to find a way to display the new posts since my last login. I use this feature a lot on other forums to quickly scan what's being actively discussed.

2) The search function is indeed funky. For example, if you type [whitetail AND slopes AND (southeast AND east)] into the keyword box, select "all forums", "subject and body", and "newer than 1 week", it returns (among other things), this thread, which thusfar contains not one of the above search terms. BTW, yes, I know the above keyword Boolean expression doesn't need parentheses, but it is a valid expression and I was seeing if changing ANDs to ORs had any effect.

3) I have set the switch "preview posts" ON in "my profile" (or whatever it is called), but I don't see the expected few line preview in threaded display mode, unthreaded display mode, when looking at the contents of forums or at the results of searches (eg, last 24 hours, search by author, etc.). I find previews extremely useful when quickly scanning for messages of interest.

4) If, for example, when looking at this thread, I click on "Letters to the Editor" in the line that says, "General Discussion >> Letters to the Editor - - - - Post - - - Previous - - - Index - - - Next - - - Collapse", I would expect to see a display of only the posts in the Letters to the Editor forum. Instead, I see recent posts from all the forums.

The overall look is nice, and we certainly appreciate your efforts in upgrading the SW, but having the four problems listed above is a real turn-off. Hopefully, the functionality is there, and it's simply that I haven't quite figured out how to use the SW properly yet.

Cheers,

Tom / PM
Scott - DCSki Editor
July 17, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999
1,096 posts
Hi Tom,

I'll try to get some answers to these questions.

I can make some comments on #2. It doesn't look like the search engine supports boolean logic with and's and or's. To indicate a required search term, you must enter "+" in front of it. "-" means a term cannot occur. Quotes can be used to specify phrases. So I think it was matching on "and" and "or" in your query, which would make just about everything match.

That said, I didn't have great success finding things with use of + and -.

(3) I believe the "preview posts" option in preferences causes any posts you make to be previewed to you first before being posted (or at least specifies the default). That's the behavior I experienced when I turned it on. So I don't think it's intended to provide the functionality you indicate.

(4) I can't duplicate this behavior -- when I'm viewing this thread and click on "Letters to the Editor" in the way you specify, it takes me to a listing of posts just from the Letters to the Editor forum:

- What do you like and hate about the new message forum?
- Confusing slope statistics
- First hand report questions
- found a bargain
- message board question
- etc..

Those are only from the Letters to the Editor forum. You're saying you saw more posts than that? I'm not sure what would cause that. Did the top of the page still say "General Discussion >> Letters to the Editor"?

I haven't quite figured out all the clues the forum tries to give to show new messages (sometimes the background of the title is a different color) -- or a way to list just those posts that are new since my last visit. I'll look into all of that when I get a chance.

Thanks,

- Scott
Scott - DCSki Editor
August 4, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999
1,096 posts
Hi gang,

Now that you've all had a chance to explore the new Message Forum software for a couple of weeks, I wanted to check in again and find out how people are adjusting to it. For those that had initial reservations, are you more comfortable with the software now? Any major complaints left?

Thanks,

- Scott
bawalker
August 4, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
This is just me and personal preference... is there anyway to get an exact copy of the previous forums skin/theme? I grew to love that and would love to use it as my personal theme here.

Outside of that the functionality has been very very good. Being able to rely on the database for keeping track of unviewed topics rather than having cookies do that is a lifesaver. Personally everything is much better except UBB's themes are well... crappy. Some funcationality I'm used to in Invision Board 1.3 is not here but that is very liveable without.

I won't venture too far with comments until you integrate the forum more with the site later on in the year and then I'll work on investigating funcationality more at that time. Great job so far. Now if I had the time to code my own modemnet site with the funcationality you've given this one.
JohnL
August 5, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
One nit-pick, the rendering of the emoticons is a bit lame compared to the previous software you used.

I haven't tried the search options so I can't yet comment on them. I'm a fan of the "linear progression" mode of a discussion thread, so I haven't explored the multi-threaded display option much (like those found in usenets.) For it to make sense, users must know on which message to reply to (versus the last message on the thread.)

So far, so good. I guess I'm able to do what I want. The display all thread messages on one page is most certainly a nice feature.
warren
August 5, 2004
Member since 07/31/2003
485 posts
Scott,
Other than just getting used to a slightly different look and feel, I like the new forum. I like the functionality and find overall navigation better than before. Keep up the good work!

-Warren-
DCSki Sponsor: DCSki

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.14 seconds