74 posts by 20 authors in: Forums > CMS Builder
Last Post: October 8, 2013   (RSS)

By ITI - December 20, 2012 - edited: December 20, 2012

ITI/Glen: Thanks for your feedback. When you say you don't want to see a "user reply/counter" do you mean a specifically user titles (Newbie, Regular, Expert) based on post counts? Or showing post counts at all? Right now we don't have any plans for user titles (I don't get them either). We want to keep the base release simple, but make the aggregate data available for developers to do whatever they want with, basically creating a really solid framework that can be built on. So in theory people could add it if they really like it. If we do something like that in the future I'd be curious to check out how stackoverflow.com, slashdot, and others do it, I think there's some much more modern approaches than just post counts for titles.

I guess what I'm really saying is "anything that rewards a member based on the number of post he/she makes should be discouraged".  Members posting to anything and everything just to reach that next milestone results in all those useless "replies to posts" that I was ranting about.  I'm sure you're right in that there is a more modern approach to classifying members.

Thanks for listening

Glen
http://www.CanadianDomainRegistry.ca
ITI Internetworking Technologies Inc.

By sidcam - December 20, 2012

First off, when posting the forum times out fairly quickly and doesn't remember the content of this field once you log back in.  REALLY ANNOYING to have to type a long post twice... ;-)

Second, here are several things I noticed about the Forum's reply emails...

1) All emails are coming from "dave@interactive..." which can be confusing to people who are both active on the forum and communicating off-line with Dave directly.  It also makes it difficult for people who use email rules to put incoming forum emails in a folder (because Dave's emails go there too).  You might want to include a display name in the emails that identify it as a Forum Reply as well as create a "forum-admin@" or "messages-noreply@" email address to send the messages.  It would probably make since to set a noreply email as a changable default before you release it.

2) Your email titles include user's email addresses.  Probably not good protocol since many users may not want their real emails exposed (for spam or security reasons).  User Names are probably more appropriate.

Example that caught my attention:

[itools CMS Forum] gkornbluth @ ----------.net replied: New Beta Forum - Help  us test!

3) It would be nice if you included the content field (or the first 100 or so characters of it) in the reply emails so users don't have to launch a browser just to read the reply.  Especially nice for mobile devices with slow connections.

4) Eventually you'll want to offer more options than just Turn Reply Emails On/Off.  It's pretty standard today to offer options for bundling reply posts (like 10 at a time), daily/weekly digest of replies, etc.  That way you're not inundating users with incoming emails on a very active topic.

Hope this helps

Sid

By gkornbluth - December 21, 2012 - edited: December 21, 2012

RE:Re: returning to the posting list or to my post after posting, what's your preference and why? in my post above.

I guess I just got used to the idea that I could say "oops" and go back to my post when I thought I might have missed something. Not necessarily important. Certainly the built in delay was not always worth the convenience, so I'll withdraw the idea.

I'm still a bit confused about searching.  I'm probably missing something simple, but I don't seem to be able to search for posts I've authored. I only seem to get the replies that I've posted.

The Google style search approach is a big advance, but I really liked the short cuts for the most popular types of searches as well.  

OK, confession time...

I don't really take advantage of Google style queries much, but I found this link that explained some of its intricacies.

http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=136861

While I'm into confessions, although I see the huge advantge to using it in the new forum, I've never been a big fan of implementing the WYSIWYG editor for my clients sites, and so I never have become really comforatble with using it.

This relatively current tutorial looks like it will help..

http://help.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=Admin_TinyMCE_WYSIWYG_HTML_Editor

BTW, I just discovered the edit history feature. Nice touch!

Best,

Jerry Kornbluth

The first CMS Builder reference book is now available on-line!
Take advantage of a free 3 month trial subscription, only for CMSB users, at: http://www.thecmsbcookbook.com/trial.php

By sidcam - December 21, 2012

Jerry-

It does let you edit (and delete) posts after they've been submitted should you need to make a change.  Looks like there's no time limit on that (at this time) since my post from two weeks ago can still be edited.

I've been able to find all the posts I've authored over the years by going to a thread I've commented on, finding one of my posts, then clicking on my user name.  That page will also have an Edit Profile link at the top. Admittedly that's a lot of steps to find a profile.

With that said, I just clicked on your profile name and there's only 5 messages there (all from this month).  Then I did a search for you and found a second account with all the rest of your messages.  It's here:

http://www.interactivetools.com/forum/forum-search.php?k=user:gkornbluth

Also just realized your user name is your email address (which scratches an item off of my last email). 

Hope this helps, Sid

By gkornbluth - December 21, 2012 - edited: December 21, 2012

Hi Sid,

Thanks for setting that straight. Sorry, but ithe process is not too intuitive, especially compared to the old fashioned way. I still like the shortcuts for frequently used search criteria.

FYI: My username was not my email address until the new forum was launched. I'd much prefer it not to be and Dave said he's work on it.

Below are my comments about the new forum format after trying to post and edit a post that included some PHP code.

I use the latest FireFox browser, and  always create my posts over time in WordPerfect. Since the old forum was text based, that was never an issue and things ended up looking as planned.

OK, maybe it's just some things I'm doing wrong, but after fighting with posting and editing my last post, I'm extremely frustrated with the WYSIWYG editor.

1)  When I highlighted a piece of multi line code, and click on the "programming code" button in the editor, all of the code ended up on one line, without formatting or returns. If I then toggle the programming code off I end up with the same one line of now hard to read text, with all formatting gone.

I tried that copying the code from plain text too, with the same result. Don't know what this is about, but it's an issue that needs to be fixed.

Every time I needed to edit the post, after clicking on edit, something  was lost, a piece of code or a line of text, forcing me to paste the entire post anew just to make some minor edits.

Trouble is that the original errors are visible to the public until I'm able to work through the anomalies. PLEASE, PLEASE BRING BACK THE PREVIEW FUNCTION

2)  I've been spoiled by the spellcheck that was in the old forum (controlled by FireFox's spellchecker?) Now the default for spellcheck in the WYSIWYG is "Off" and even when it's turned on, it does not dynamically scan new material until it is toggled off then on again. It's easy to be careless and miss some embarrassing and unprofessional  typos. There's also no easy way to add a word to the dictionary, just ignore one or all occurrences.

3) In the old forum, after a search, the last item visited from the results was highlighted with a 1 px "focus" box around the title. That made it really easy to keep track of where you left off when looking for relevant information. It seems to be gone now. PLEASE BRING  "FOCUS". BACK

4)  Again, probably me, but I now get no email notifications of updates to threads that I've posted to, and don't know how to change that.

For me, all of this, and all of the other commnets that have been made, start begging the question of where the benefit and the drawback curves actually intersect.

I hope that this will all get sorted out in the end, and I'm sorry if this is becoming a rant, but it's hard enough programming and solving issues for my customers without having to fight with the Forum, which has become an enormously valuable resource for answers to our challenges.

While the old forum was far from perfect, it was never broken. Now it feels a bit tattered.

Best,

Jerry Kornbluth

The first CMS Builder reference book is now available on-line!
Take advantage of a free 3 month trial subscription, only for CMSB users, at: http://www.thecmsbcookbook.com/trial.php

I just wanted to comment on the new forum.  I am impressed ...  especially with the addition of the code blocks.  It sure makes for a better reading experience!

Ron Conring
Conring Automation Services
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Software for Business and Industry Since 1987

By Dave - December 21, 2012

Thanks everybody for the great feedback and help working out these issues.

The forum is our own personal holiday project so we're kind of using ourselves (and you) as the test guinea pigs here and we have a ways to go, but once we're happy with a v1.00 feature set we'll be releasing it as a plugin.

In general we follow an "incremental" approach to development.  We see all these components like Lego bricks that we can put together all kinds of ways to build all kinds of new and interesting things.  But this first iteration is a rebuild of our existing forum. Since this rebuild is based on CMSB it will be incredibly easy for us to add new functionality once we get back to a similar point of base functionally as our old forum offered.

Here's the latest updates: 

  • Merging Accounts - We had to create some new accounts when merging the systems and some people had duplicate accounts under different emails. If your account still needs merging just email me at dave@interactivetools.com and I'll take care of it.
  • WYSIWYG - We've now got this in place, let me know if it doesn't work for you.  We're using a very limited button set to keep the content and markup clean, and HTML Purifier (http://htmlpurifier.org/) on the back-end to filter unwanted or malicious HTML.  So we get perfectly valid safe code even though we're letting users submit HTML.  We also wrote a "Code" button for inserting program code, and we're working on some bug fixes for that (pasting into a code block doesn't work the way it should).
  • Advanced Search - We don't have this yet, but you can do +word -word "phrase search" with the search box as well as user:dave to search for posts by a specific user (this is what you get when you click on someone's username).  Let me know if you find it hard to find anything and what you'd like to be able to search on.  I'm thinking I'll add a default "Advanced Search" bar along the top of the search results page to allow you to further drill down in the results.
  • Social Media Logins - We've got facebook login already setup on our login page and we'll be adding Twitter login shortly.
  • Social Media Integration - We're curious about this for a future version.  Because it's all CMSB it's very easy for us to pull in other data related to the user in any way we want.  We'll probably have a forum thread about this in the future looking for feedback and ideas once we are happy with the basic forum features.
  • Better Email Notifications - I've updated the email notification to include a text preview snippet, direct links to view the comment, reply to the comment, and unsubscribe from notifications for a thread.  Thanks all the suggestions.  Let me know any feedback.

And some responses for specific users:

Sidcam: I'm like the idea of linking to showcase sites from users profiles, we'll just need to make it opt-in or check how everyone feels about it.  I checked out the "wholelattelove" site on google.  I think you can do a lot of that with CMSB already.  We've actually built a number of social networking sites as custom jobs with CMSB.  I think when we get around to redoing our product pages we might use some of those ideas.  Feel free to email me direct and I can give you some tips on building social networking sites and what's easy and possible as far as CMSB goes.  Also, for timeouts, sometimes you can go back and hit ctrl-r to re-post after logging in again, but agreed it's annoying.  How quickly are you getting timed out?  It shouldn't happen more then once every 24 hours. (Update: Just happened to me on this post... I'll look into it).

Toledoh: For RSS feeds, for which: forum wide, forum specific, topic specific, for search results?  And if I build it do you want to help me beta test it?  

gkornbluth: We moved servers at the beginning of this month and I think there's some isolated emails not getting through.  Just you and one other user.  We made some changes on our end.  Are you getting password resets and forum notifications now?  Sorry about that!  Also, I think "Saved Searches" and "Favorite Posts" are a neat idea.  Do you think you'd use one more than the other, or are they both worth having?  (Also, those will likely by version 2).  Lastly, we're going to put in a preview.  Also I agree with you the WYSIWYG editors are a pain, but it's between that and teaching people [markup][/markup] tags, or having unformatted code blocks.  I stripped the WYSIWYG down quite a bit to try and make it more manageable.  I'm going to see what else I can do.  

Thanks everybody and happy holidays!

Dave Edis - Senior Developer
interactivetools.com

By gkornbluth - December 22, 2012 - edited: December 23, 2012

Hi All,

I thought that it would be helpful to document the idiosyncrasies I’m finding with the WSYIWYG editor and programming code boxes. (anyone else having these issues?)

In both Firefox, and IE9 if I first create a programing code box and then paste some code into it, the code is formatted as multi-line code.

If I paste code into my post, highlight that code, and then click on programming code button, the code loses all formatting and comes out as a single line. Removing the programming code box does not restore the multi-line format.

If I try to edit a post containing a programming code box after publishing it, much of the code in the box is deleted. I need to delete the resulting half empty and fragmented programming code boxes, create a new empty programming code box, and then re-paste my code into that.

It also appears that spellcheck intermittently doesn't work in edit mode.

Seems like either I’m doing something wrong, or something is awry.

BTW: Any thoughts on including a 'first page' and 'last page' option to the post list paging and internal post paging navigations in addition to 'next' and 'previous'. Maybe even a +n pages and - n pages option?  How about a custom sort for pages? (earliest first, latest first)

Jerry Kornbluth

The first CMS Builder reference book is now available on-line!
Take advantage of a free 3 month trial subscription, only for CMSB users, at: http://www.thecmsbcookbook.com/trial.php

An RSS feed would be awsome for me since I try to visit the forum daily, time permitting.  I am not usually researching a specific problem but rather scanning the latest posts for knowledge and inspiration.  Having the latest x posts on my home page along with news and weather would be a serious time saver.

Ron Conring
Conring Automation Services
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Software for Business and Industry Since 1987