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liorean

Forum functionality feedback

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Hello!

One thing that really irritates me with these forums is that images attached to forum posts can't be middle clicked to open in new tab, because they are a javascript link instead of a real link with a javascript event handler. I find this quite a nuissance as I out of reflex never left click any link unless I specifically want to open it in the current window but instead middle click for opening in new tab. Since I don't see any standard forum software markings I assume it's a homerolled forum software. It would be nice if this could be adjusted at some point.

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The forums are running on Expression Engine, which is a recognized forum software (and by that, I mean that it's something that when people hear about it they go "Umm... yeah, that's something that exists"). It's unfortunately not very good, but several of its shortcomings can be alleviated with userscripts. Its major fault, that it doesn't remember your last unread post, unfortunately can't in a satisfactory manor.

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Indeed, it is a forum software. That's about all one can say about it. Just curious, what forum software would you prefer?

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Indeed, it is a forum software. That's about all one can say about it. Just curious, what forum software would you prefer?

phpBB forums always have a pretty decent feel to them I think. But I don't think it all matters too much in general.

Smiles

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I don't know what forum software I would prefer, but I know what features I think are missing. Middle click to open links in new tab is one of the big ones - that is, there should never be any javascript-protocol links of any form in it. Another one is that only threads that you have actually viewed should be marked as read, right now it seems like if you have visited the forum, even if there are unread threads in it, the next session you open they are no longer marked unread.

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Indeed, it is a forum software. That's about all one can say about it. Just curious, what forum software would you prefer?

Hi, Aaron. I hope I didn't come off as too harsh? Are you new at Double Fine?

I have used and am mostly satisfied with both phpBB, IPBoard and Vanilla, but my favourite is probably vBulletin. I don't know how well those ties in with customizations that might have been made to integrate with your business backend though. I understand from people who have been around the forums for a while that quite a few changes/hacks have been made to the code base, so that's probably a complicating factor as well.

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Did someone fix the smiley issue very recently? :bug: Looks like it. :) Awesome. :lol:

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Did someone fix the smiley issue very recently? :bug: Looks like it. :) Awesome. :lol:

Yeah, I did. It had been bugging me for a while, haha. Fixing anything on these forums is a real pain because it's an old version of the software and documentation is incomplete and difficult to find, so it usually just consists of digging around through dozens of php files (it took me probably two hours to find the place to fix the smiley thing, and two minutes to actually fix it when I found it).

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The effort is certainly appreciated. Thanks, Chris! :)

You're probably aware of this, but here's a common technique to find something like css within a php file (in this case) from the command line (assuming your forums are hosted on a Linux box:

find /var/www -type f -name "*.php" | xargs grep "img.*display.*block"

That's assuming smileys are set to display inline by default by the forum software and the style has been overridden from a php file.

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The effort is certainly appreciated. Thanks, Chris! :)

You're probably aware of this, but here's a common technique to find something like css within a php file (in this case) from the command line (assuming your forums are hosted on a Linux box:

find /var/www -type f -name "*.php" | xargs grep "img.*display.*block"

That's assuming smileys are set to display inline by default by the forum software and the style has been overridden from a php file.

The problem was specifically that smiles were simply displayed as image tags, with no particular CSS classes applied. The CSS file itself is easy enough to find, but there wasn't any CSS being applied to emoticons in the first place. Images generally were displayed as block, but I couldn't change that because that would affect all images, and we have plenty of existing forum posts for which that would be inappropriate. So I had to find the code that was generating the smileys in the first place, and apply a CSS class to that. But for some reason there were four different places in which basically-identical code could have been doing just that--I have no idea why (in addition to the countless additional places in which image tags of any sort were being generated).

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Ah, I see. I can understand that being pretty time consuming then. I'm glad you were able to sort it out. It's a bit odd that Expression Engine doesn't come with built in support for smileys, but nothing really surprises me when it comes to EE. I'm sure the DFA art updates would look really weird as horizontal scrollers.

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On the topic of forum behaviour, I would absolutely love to have the thread title included in the page title. It'd make navigating browser history for the forums, using Firefox's "awesomebar", and jumping to the right tab heaps easier. How doable that is depends on how early the thread content is being grabbed, but if it's not a big change, it'd be really nice :D

Also, finally, inline smileys :o

Edit: But not for me ^_^

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Yeah, I agree. I made a userscript that handles that for me, and it's made things a lot easier. It doesn't work on my mobile browser though, so an official solution would be very nice. Preferably including page number as well.

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I don't think there's any way to do that "natively" unfortunately, because (as Cheese implies) the way the data is routed means that information is only exposed to the "inner" forum page template (as opposed to the skeleton the page is built inside, which includes header/footer/nav/etc.), but I can take a look at alternative methods.

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Could always do a JavaScript change to document.title, I remember doing those to have scrolling page title as far back as Netscape 2 or maybe 3 and IE 3. Or navigate the DOM to change/replace the text node in the title element, whichever works best...

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Could always do a JavaScript change to document.title, I remember doing those to have scrolling page title as far back as Netscape 2 or maybe 3 and IE 3. Or navigate the DOM to change/replace the text node in the title element, whichever works best...

Yeah Javascript would be my next course of action. I'm already using jQuery to display the backer tags due to similar limitations.

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Okay, how's this?

Ooh, nice, that'll help a lot with quickly finding threads I've looked at before. Thanks for all the forum tweaks, Chris!

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As much as I dislike Javascript for that sort of thing, that seems to do the job nicely (and shows up in my history as well). Thanks! :D

(by the way, are those link elements intentionally outside of the head element?)

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Okay, how's this?

Awesome. Another thing I can remove from my userscript.

Oh, and another suggestion that I've seen pop up a couple of times is to have links in posts and signatures open in a new tab. I use XPath expressions to handle that, but I'm sure there's a better way to do it with jQuery.

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As much as I dislike Javascript for that sort of thing, that seems to do the job nicely (and shows up in my history as well). Thanks! :D

(by the way, are those link elements intentionally outside of the head element?)

I also dislike JS for this kind of thing but without digging way too deep into the guts of our underlying site framework I don't think there's a better option unfortunately.

As for the link elements: No, that's not intentional I'm sure. It's been that way longer than I've been working on this website and also has to do with what order the framework loads and displays nested data. I think it's absurd as well. At least it doesn't break in any browser!

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Is it possible to enable a way to upload images directly to the forums so imgur/tumblr/equivalent is not required? Right now the image just appears as an attachment.

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Is it possible to enable a way to upload images directly to the forums so imgur/tumblr/equivalent is not required? Right now the image just appears as an attachment.

Attachments are just how this forum supports user image uploading.

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Hello!

One thing that really irritates me with these forums is that images attached to forum posts can't be middle clicked to open in new tab, because they are a javascript link instead of a real link with a javascript event handler. I find this quite a nuissance as I out of reflex never left click any link unless I specifically want to open it in the current window but instead middle click for opening in new tab. Since I don't see any standard forum software markings I assume it's a homerolled forum software. It would be nice if this could be adjusted at some point.

I changed this. Thumbnails now link directly to the large version of the image.

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I would reccomend XenForo personally, but vbulletin 4.22 is outright brilliant with enough tinkering. The current setup will suffice but things arent always where I expect them to be all the time.

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I also dislike JS for this kind of thing but without digging way too deep into the guts of our underlying site framework I don't think there's a better option unfortunately.

Yeah, I remember when I completely restructured 2lb to do that. It was super deep reaching.

At least it doesn't break in any browser!

Yeah, it doesn't break anything but validation and syntax highlighting coding :D

It's nice to see all these tweaks happening!

Not to push our luck, but is there any chance of getting Vine and Twitch archive embedding happening? I can imagine that everybody is itching to post Tim's creepy carpark Vine and it would be interesting to add Game Club archives to their respective forum threads.

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Indeed, it is a forum software. That's about all one can say about it. Just curious, what forum software would you prefer?

Hi, Aaron. I hope I didn't come off as too harsh? Are you new at Double Fine?

I have used and am mostly satisfied with both phpBB, IPBoard and Vanilla, but my favourite is probably vBulletin. I don't know how well those ties in with customizations that might have been made to integrate with your business backend though. I understand from people who have been around the forums for a while that quite a few changes/hacks have been made to the code base, so that's probably a complicating factor as well.

Not too harsh at all. It's a known issue. For example, I didn't get notification that you updated this post. Very counter-intuitive. Yea, I'm new to DF(or was when I posted this) I'm the Tech Ops Manager, so I'm going to try to find a way out of these forums and onto something better, either phpBB or vBulletin most likely. But, there are a lot of technical hurdles to that.

-Aaron

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For example, I didn't get notification that you updated this post.

That "smart notification" mode. It's really good at letting you miss posts ;_;

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