Do You Like The New Website?

  • Posted on: 7 January 2019
  • By: David Trammel
Very Much So
63% (12 votes)
Its Ok
26% (5 votes)
I Can Take It Or Leave It
5% (1 vote)
Not My Cup Of Tea
5% (1 vote)
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 19


David Trammel's picture

One of the added features is we can do polls here. Feel free to suggest more topics.

I was not exactly a huge fan of the previous forum interface, and not of this one either.

I am not just a person who likes forums that group comments into threads or conversations. I am most comfortable with old-style e-mail listserve and forum digests that present people's contributions in a linear, time-received order. I have been using and preferring those types of e-mail lists since way back in the early 1990s. They work in a way that matches how I think and prefer to ingest such learning.

With these newer forums, which includes and now this, the "Recent Comments" section is always where I start. My goal each time is to determine what comments or posts have been added since the last time I looked. With these threaded, web-based only forums, I find this most frustrating. While one can often see what topics are being commented on, once can't easily determine what specifically has been added.

The good news (for you at least) is that for now I will keep coming, because how else can I get the conversations, and you won't necessarily see how frustrated I get. But it won't be as often as I do other forums. But I would really prefer a different way for all of these, if it was for me to say.

Kevin Anderson

David Trammel's picture

I can understand your frustration Kevin. It seems sometimes I'm the only person that enjoys a book anymore, especially at Work. When we are on lunch, everyone else has their heads down, hunched over their phones, while I read my latest book or magazine.

I don't particularly like the way Durpal organizes forum posts either. The fault is that they give you too many places to post a reply, at the top, at the bottom and to individual posts. I haven't found a way yet to restrict that to just one, like Greer has on Ecosophia. The work around seems to be, for everyone to only use the bottom option, and I'll be doing a short tutorial on that this weekend. That would keep all the comments in a chronological order and have all the newest posts at the bottom.

At least, here I can have a sidebar that shows the new posts individually, not with just "2 new replies" like the old system did. It was a pain to try and scroll through a long thread to see what was added. Would it help to have more than ten new comments displayed?

I'm glad you will be stopping by and hope we don't get you too frustrated.

Thanks for listening. I'm sure it is frustrating for you as well, both in trying to figure out the best of configuration settings as you can, plus then to have to listen to people like me who also criticize.

I like the option of bottom post for all comments. At least give it a try, please and thank you. The lack of that control in the last forum site was frustrating, as "last Post" took you somewhere, but then I couldn't be sure if the those replies around that point were also old or new.

Can the "Recent Comments" be both a portion of the right-hand column list and launch its own page with a list? If so, then limiting the main right column list to 10 most recent comments (or topics if it must be) is fine, if I also have the option to click on a live link (or better yet, keep a bookmark in my browsers) that takes me to a page with a longer list.

Thanks again.
Kevin Anderson

David Trammel's picture

I don't consider it criticizing. Its easy for someone to get too focused and miss some of the obvious things that need to be included. I hadn't thought about the person who visits infrequently and wanted to see what the comments were.

I know I can put specific menu options on just specific pages, let me see how to do that. I can set up a page with Forum Helpful Hints and Tutorials and then put a side menu for more than 10 previous comments I believe. Then I should be able to provide a link to that page on the Main page's sidebar. Let me check into that.

I'v been moving posts all morning so I'm going to take a break and shovel some snow. We got pounded last night here in St Louis. I'd planned on waiting until the neighborhood kids knocked on my door and offered to shovel my driveway but I see I'm low on beer and may have to at least shovel a short path through the road side mountain at the end of my driveway, the snow plows always leave when the pass.

If I don't return in a few hours, call an ambulance lol. I probably had a heart attack and I'm face down in the snow.

David Trammel's picture

Kevin, I can't seem to have two "Recent Comments" blocks here (frowns) but I have found out how to restrict certain sidebar blocks to specific pages. I've removed the Recent Comments from the main pages, and instead put it just on the forum page, and increased the number to the past 30, which is the most it will show.

Unfortunately it won't show the thread title the comment is associated with .but it will show you how old the comment is. Nor can i limit it just to the forum comments. Blog comments from the main page will show up, but then I guess you want to see those too. That should at least give you an idea if it was made since you last visited.

I'll do a "Introduction to the Forums" page and then do a link at the top of the sidebar. Hopefully people will check that out and learn to only input their comments in the lower reply box and that will keep the comments more or less chronological. That will help also because when a thread gets alot of replies to a specific comment, they tend to get thinner and thinner which makes viewing this site on a phone poor.

Thanks for giving things a try in "fixing" the access to comments. We obviously have to live within the limits of the software.

I hope you got your snow shoveling done. I am on the very edge of the storm (Dubuque, Iowa). This storm has a very narrow and abrupt edge. Just few miles south of me and they have several inches of snow, whereas I have still have less than an inch and it is very fine grained. And for me the snow didn't start until about 11 am.

Kevin Anderson

Is there a reason why the huuuuge header shows up on every link one clicks?
I click on forums, the screen shows huge header, and I have to scroll and scroll down to the relevant material. The same on every other link. Is there a way to make the header apply only to the home page and not the subpages? Yes, I just added to your already huge To-Do List. Sorry about that, Chief.

David Trammel's picture

Are you on your phone or a tablet to view the site? I'd love any feed back from people who are using theirs to view us.

I've gone ahead and removed those three headers on everything but the front page, see if that is better.

ClareBroommaker's picture

Hallelujah, much better! I had really disliked the huge headers, too! Thank you.

Much better. I had the same complaint, but stayed silent on it since I had asked for other changes already earlier on. Thank you.

Kevin Anderson

David Trammel's picture

Don't hesitate to bring up any issues or ways you think I can improve the site. After all its OUR site, not just mine.

Sweet Tatorman's picture

I am grateful for all that you do here David. As someone with no knowledge of the software running the old and new forums and very little of HTML I am hesitant to ask for any particular feature as I don't know the level of effort involved to implement some preference that I might have. That said, since you have asked I'll mention a couple of items. In the old site when viewing the list of topics in an individual forum I like the inclusion of the column of number of views. I like seeing what topics are of greater or lesser interest to the members. Also unlike some of the discussion up thread, I much prefer to see new entries into an existing thread grouped into conversions as was possible on the old site. Don't jump through any time consuming hoops for me. You have plenty of work to do already.