Pretty Forums: How important are they to you?

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Kage2020's picture
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Pretty Forums: How important are they to you?

As I continue to "fix" the site software and appreciate peoples' patience on the issue, I wanted to ask just how important it is to members that the forums look "pretty," or that they look like the traditional forums that you might see with phpBB and SMF?

Err, that's it.  I could have posted a poll but I actually wanted to hear your feedback rather than just see a chart!

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Dragon Lord's picture
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'Prettiness' is a nice added bonus on top of functionality, but it isn't that necessary.  I'm sure everyone would love it if our forums could look as good as Dark Reign's, but the amount of work that would take probably isn't worth it.  More 'prettiness' probably helps to attract the attention of anyone visiting the site and might encourage them to look around, so some added prettiness for the main site would probably be a good thing, but for the forums it is probably not so necessary.  Anyway so I would say that if there are some 'pretty' elements you can add to the forums relatively easily then go ahead, otherwise don't bother, or ask about a specific 'prettiness' element you are thinking about to weigh up whether it is worth the effort.

Dragon Lord

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Kage2020's picture
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Fair enough.  If nothing else it means that I'll hold off installing the Advanced Forums module before I've got the rest of the modules in place and working (most importantly of which, of course, is proper use of text filters, IMCE, and quotes for usability).

Given the amount that the site CSS is breaking on the forums it might be worth looking into new templates since this one does use a number of development modules to maintain it.

Dragon Lord's picture
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What additional functionality does the Advanced Forum module offer over the Forum module?  I know also that the two guys I am hoping will be able to help us out a bit said when I was talking to them about Drupal previously that the Forum module is not very pleasant to work with, not that Advanced Forum is necessarily any better, I'm just throwing that out there.

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Kage2020's picture
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Off the top of my head, AF just makes it operate like a forum.  Standard Drupal forum would work on replies in the following manner:

  • Post A
  • Reply to Post A
  • Reply to Post A 2
  • Reply to reply to Post A
  • Post B
  • Post C

Even if those had been posted in the order:

  • Post A
  • Post B
  • Reply to Post A
  • Reply to reply to Post A
  • Post C
  • Reply to reply to Post A 2

Flatcomment, which could be used without AF, removes the threading such that "Reply to Post A" is tabbed over from Post A (and underneath it), "Reply to reply to Post A" is tabbed over from that, etc.  In fact, now that I'm thinking about it it might be the "basic function" that most people are used to and not using it would be a problem.

What's annoying is the fact that the filters are screwed up, the quote doesn't work regardless of anything else, images are now all but permanently missing, etc.

Slowly slowly, I guess, on the new forum.

Dragon Lord's picture
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With the way that we usually work I think that the basic Forum module would be quite annoying in that case, and definitely Flatcomment in combination with Forum would result in no end of confusion.  If we can get Advanced Forum to work I would much prefer that.  Even if it might not have some of the extra 'prettiness' of an SMF or phpBB forum if it works like one that would be much better from my point of view at least.

Kage2020's picture
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Okay...

*shuffles feet*

Oh, that means I'm going to have to get some work done, dang'nam'it. ;)

Seriously, though, I'll build up to it slowly by working with the key components for styling and inserting images before tackling forums again.  If that doesn't work (as it doesn't at the moment) hopefully I'll be able to track down the problem sooner rather than later/never.

Dragon Lord's picture
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Sorry, I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear.  We did have the forums working on the previous test sites on the old server though, so hopefully it should be possible to get it to work, unless it is just something about this server.

Dragon Lord

Kage2020's picture
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Hopefully it's not this server since it is specifically geared towards supporting Drupal installs.  I just need to find the time and inspiration to get it done, that's all, and then figure just how the conflicts are working.  Hence the question about "pretty forums," since ultimately if you can get the function then the pretty as it stands in terms of the forum is not something that overtly bothers me.  On the other hand there are certain approaches to forums that I would not want to lose.

Again, though, I just need to get around to installing modules and making sure that I can work through the various permissions and conflicting issues.