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Author Topic: forum software  (Read 3830 times)

Dave Barnett

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forum software
« on: May 08, 2004, 10:28:20 am »

Okay, enough time has gone by since the "change" for me to conclude that this is the ugliest message board software package I've ever seen.  Why didn't you guys go with vBulletin or even YABB?

Sorry, I hate to be a whiner.
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Dave Stevens

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Re: forum software
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2004, 07:04:06 am »

Because this will out scale either of those by a factor of about 100, has MUCH better security, has a license we like better than the others and several other options.

As for the look, we can change it to whatever we like, this is just what we have.

Dave

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Ernie Black

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Re: forum software
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2004, 07:46:13 am »

Thanks for sharing your comments. If you feel strongly about how "ugly" the software is, why not let us know what in particular you find ugly? Colors? Layout? Functionality? Specific suggestions and comments are helpful (whether they are ultimately implemented or not), but simply telling us the software is "the ugliest" doesn't tell us much at all.
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Ernie Black, Code Warrior
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Dave Barnett

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Re: forum software
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2004, 09:20:48 pm »

Well, for one thing, the text of the actual message is buried, surrounded by headers and site navigational tools.

For an example of a good looking, easy to read and operate web board site, check out www.elitefitness.com.
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Ernie Black

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Re: forum software
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2004, 09:53:11 pm »

Well, that forum is very simple--they basically added a top nav/ad region and left it at that. But the forum appears to be lacking a lot of the functionality of the FUD forums (the option for tree/flat view, for instance), though it would take me some time to really check out their features on a comparative basis. Really the only "improvement" I see in the terms you pose is the lack of a sidebar, allowing the full width of the screen for the posts. But here we gain back the 150 pixels in width lost to the sidebar by placing the avatar and poster info above the posts, rather than beside them, which on the elitefitness forum takes up about the same amount of screen space (width) as our sidebar. Plus, we provide additional links there for your perusal, and an ad which helps to pay for these forums so that we can keep bringing them to you.
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Ernie Black, Code Warrior
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Dave Barnett

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Re: forum software
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2004, 03:44:40 am »

Ernie wrote on Sat, 15 May 2004 20:53

Well, that forum is very simple--they basically added a top nav/ad region and left it at that. But the forum appears to be lacking a lot of the functionality of the FUD forums (the option for tree/flat view, for instance), though it would take me some time to really check out their features on a comparative basis. Really the only "improvement" I see in the terms you pose is the lack of a sidebar, allowing the full width of the screen for the posts. But here we gain back the 150 pixels in width lost to the sidebar by placing the avatar and poster info above the posts, rather than beside them, which on the elitefitness forum takes up about the same amount of screen space (width) as our sidebar. Plus, we provide additional links there for your perusal, and an ad which helps to pay for these forums so that we can keep bringing them to you.


The sidebar appears to be an option on vBulletin, I've seen some boards that use it.  It can also do both tree and flat views, if the webmaster enables that option.

BUT -- if this package can look however you want it to look, I would suggest finding a way to make the actual text of the member's message be the dominant feature of the page.  Find a way to draw the eye toward the message, instead of burying it.  Or just make it look less crowded.
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Ernie Black

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Re: forum software
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2004, 08:26:08 am »

We've already done this. Here's a couple of comparisons for you. First, a vBulletin forum layout as seen on their site stacked over a PSW forum screenshot. Note that the PSW forum in this instance is showing a good deal more screen real estate given to the message than the vBulletin layout offers, with a tighter left column:

index.php/fa/76/0/
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Ernie Black, Code Warrior
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Ernie Black

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Re: forum software
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2004, 08:43:56 am »

And here's a comparison of message views in Elite Fitness (vBulletin) with a PSW (FUD) forum message view:

index.php/fa/77/0/

Note that the PSW forum message view allows more space for the message body since the poster info and avatar are positioned above the message; in the Elite Fitness forum, they are to the left of the message body, taking up slightly more width than our sidebar.

Of course, any layout is by nature subjective, and any number of people will have any number of divergent opinions about which style they prefer, but in terms of efficent screen usage, I think we're offering more here, imho.
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Ernie Black, Code Warrior
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Dave Barnett

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Re: forum software
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2004, 01:41:27 pm »

I think that one thing that makes messages here appear crowded and hard to read is that there's no margin -- text is crammed all the way to the four edges of the text window.
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Ernie Black

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Re: forum software
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2004, 02:32:44 pm »

Good point, and that's something I've changed in our REP and MARSH forums. I suggested that change for the SR Forums, but have not (until now) heard back from anyone regarding that change. Neither Dave nor Doug have suggested it. Perhaps I'll just exercise my Webmaster powers and make that change! Yeah, that's the ticket.
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Ernie Black, Code Warrior
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