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Topics - xrunner
Off-topic / YAQT (yet another quote thread)
« on June 21st, 2013, 01:24 AM »
Came across this topic at the SMF forum this evening -

Why do people kinda automatically quote the post above them...

I've also had to tell people to stop just automatically quoting a post without good reason. If they don't need to use the material in the post explicitly, but just want to address the person in a general way as to what they posted, I tell them to just address the member by name like this:

John22 - I would like to say in response to your post ...

So, I was wondering if it had ever occurred to anyone that there could be two types of quote buttons.

Type #1 would be the one we have now that quoted the whole post.

Type #2 would be an easy and quick way to address by name a member as a preface to your post. It would place the member name , even as a link to their profile, at the beginning of your reply, along with some boilerplate text as I showed above.[1]

So let's say you used this new quote function to reply to me, it might look like this -

xrunner, I would like to respond to what you recently said in post 33 in this thread  ...

Clicking on the button would put my name exactly with no typing errors (some member names are kinda crazy to remember) as a link to my profile, and also the specific post number as a link, but no text from the post.

Dumb, really dumb, food for later thought, or semi interesting idea? :hmm:
 1. yes I know they should be able to type a name at the beginning of a post, but we're dealing with the general population
Off-topic / The "Print" function
« on June 14th, 2013, 01:49 AM »
You know - the button at the top of threads. Do you think anyone ever uses it? For some reason it came to mind this evening when changing a board description on my forum.

I see it's still around. If it's useful, I think the name should be changed to something else.

Like "thread dump" :) or a better name.

I'd be interested in your thoughts about "Print".
I had worked on an idea today regarding forum "pages" and a different way to go through a thread's posts, but after reading what Mr. Arantor and Mr. Nao had alluded to in a PM, I need to ask a theoretical question now. If my idea doesn't work out and I just learn something, so much the better. I'd like to ask about where the limitations of how many posts per page comes from.

By process of elimination I found that the SMF "Number of posts per page in a topic page" would accept a number up to as high as 999. Entering 1000 made it revert to 15. Never even tried numbers that high before and never heard anyone talk about it much. On the surface it sounds like one of those "nice round numbers" somebody decided to use, but it may have come about by some sort of objective testing in the past.

I found the largest thread by replies on my forum that had 157 pages called "word association". My posts per page setting was 25, so that's about 3925 posts. Being brave, I set my active forum's posts per page to 999, and after a few seconds it came back with four pages, having re-sorted it all correctly. One hell of a scroll though (that in and of itself would not have impacted my idea though).

On another forum I can get into, I found the largest thread by replies was 67 pages @ 29 posts per page for a total of ~1943 posts, so the setting could have been set much higher there.

But on a much bigger forum redandwhitekop the largest topic by replies was 1569 pages. Don't know what sort on impact a high setting would have there.

Anyway, take the built-in limitation of 999 posts per page for SMF. That's a pretty high allowable limit as it is. What thinking lies behind that number? Is it a limitation for the server, or a limitation for the outside viewers or spiders?

Thank you.
Off-topic / Plagiarism Warnings?
« on June 8th, 2013, 01:43 AM »
I read that you were adding pre-determined sorts of warnings, such as signature violations and others.

Would you (or have you) added one for plagiarism? We run across that issue a lot on my forum and another one I help with.

Thank you.
Off-topic / A nice Wedge notice that I cannot duplicate
« on June 6th, 2013, 02:53 AM »
When replying to another post today, I got a nice notice message that I forgot a

Code: [Select]

I thought, wow, that's a very nice alert message! :cool:

I didn't copy the notice (it appeared at the top of the screen, as far as I can remember), but I thought it was pretty cool that it was incorporated into this forum.

But when I tested it, I could not duplicate the notice:

Code: [Select]
[quote]test line 1[/quote][quote]test line 2

What was I seeing before and how do I duplicate it?
Off-topic / Forum "persistence"
« on June 6th, 2013, 02:00 AM »
OK, this is the last idea I have .

For today. :)

Another idea for a feature.

This feature would not be meant as any indication of "value" per se, but simply as a way to see an activity level over time of members. It's an idea that may be another little feature that Wedge has to offer over other forums.

Since I muck around with electronics I'll compare it to an oscilloscope trace. The more often the trace goes across the screen the more the screen is refreshed and the longer the trace seems to persist. The less often the trace sweeps, the less the trace seems to persist. Same idea here. The more active you are over a time period, the higher your "persistence" is.

I will define a valid input to the tracking algorithm as a post per day, not simply logging in. So, it's a tracker of active participation, not passive participation. Only one post per day is needed to count.

Let's say it works with a simple moving window over time. Say the time period is two weeks for this example.

So, that's 14 days, and at least one post per day fills the bin with a "1". More posts don't matter here. So if you post once each day for 14 days, you would have a persistence of

14 posting days / 14 = 1.00 or 100% persistence

That's max forum persistence (duh).

Now, if you skip one day in the moving two week window, you have this -

13 posting days / 14 = 0.92 or 92% persistence.

and of course if you skip 7 days out of the 14 you have 50% persistence.

I would envision the Admin could make the window any size they want, depending on the forum they run. You could make it a month or six months. The same concept applies - it gives an indication of activity in the window. Whatever the window size is, everyone sees it something like this on the profile display -

4 Week Persistence

{some tidy little neato visual indication}

I would come up with a neat visual indication for this feature, there are many possibilities for that.
Off-topic / In Addition to Post Count - Power Ranking?
« on June 5th, 2013, 01:36 AM »
Has anyone ever looked into, what I'll call for the time being, a "power" ranking for each member. I hate for people to use the post count to determine who's a valuable/high contributing member.

Let's say John has 50 posts, but he doesn't really contribute much for each post, and he hasn't started any topics. Suppose he mainly makes replies such as "Good points in that post" and the like. If I added all the individual characters he's posted it comes to 2500.

Then we have Mary who has 20 posts, but they are really good and consist of several paragraphs each, and she's started 5 topics that generated, respectively, 10, 15, 20, 10, and 5 responses from other members. Lets say her character count was 10,000.

Mary provides much more content than John, generatates more traffic (topic replies) but has fewer posts. How to show this?

So a power ranking might be characters posted * total topics started (if greater than zero) * total replies to topics started (if greater than zero).

So if you take John, you have 2500 characters and no topics started and (therefore) no replies to your topics, the total is: 50 * N/A * N/A = 50.

Take Mary - If you have 10,000 char. and 5 topics started and 10+15+20+10+5 replies to each topic, the total is: 10,000 * 5 topic starts * 60 replies from other members = 3,000,000.

Now to avoid large numbers you scale them by, say, 1000.

So the power rankings would be -

John: 0.05
Mary: 3000

That's just a brainstorm I had, the values chosen for the calculations could probably be improved. Is that an idea (or something like it) worth consideration as a built-in feature?
Off-topic / Scary Times Helping Other Admins
« on May 31st, 2013, 02:19 AM »
An electronics forum I go to uses a plain jane SMF install so I offered the Admin to spice it up with some better new post/no new post icons (see attached) more oriented towards electronics. I chose to make them oscilloscope displays with and without a signal.

Well he really liked them, so he PM'ed me back that he uploaded them but nothing changed. :sob:

Well, first of all, I only linked him to two of the needed files since I didn't want to waste time making all of them yet until I knew he liked them. Second, I have no idea where he "uploaded" them to. :hmm:

I just sent him a full set of files and the specific path to upload the files. Sometimes these people scare me. :o

I'm sitting here refreshing his forum waiting for his icons to change ...

Oh Dear - Now it shows 504 Gateway Time-out!

Off-topic / Initial forecasts of Wedge installs/conversions
« on May 30th, 2013, 01:24 AM »
Have you [1] any idea how many people are planning to start using this or converting to this when it's released? Any wild ass guesses?

I'd expect you foresee a large amount of support in the first few months too, but that's to be expected.
 1. Arantor/Nao (I keep wanting to type Neo)
Off-topic / Concerning Email Option on Registration Screen
« on May 27th, 2013, 12:51 AM »
I was talking with another forum Admin about spam and member email options and we got into user's ability to be emailed.

I told him I wouldn't personally use it (if another member had it enabled)[1]. If I see anyone that has it enabled I turn it off (in their profile) and send them a PM warning that their email address could be gathered by spammers. Then once they realize this they can do as they wish, although I'm not sure that it should even be allowed at all. Anyone that wants to email another member can request it through a PM.

I couldn't remember, so I went through the registration process again, and it does offer a check box upon registration to enable members to email you. Of all the possible options to give a new registering member, why was  "allow other users to email me" picked to be so important that it needs to be presented at registration time? Is this a legacy thing left over from back in the day when email was a big thing and was just never removed from the registration screen?

In SMF, I think they should have given the Admin an option in

Themes and Layout Settings --> Member Options --> Configure guest and new user options for this theme

for the ability to make this unchecked for new users and in registration settings, unavailable on the registration screen for new members by default. As it is, it's a check box that is unchecked but available to be checked at registration; many people unaware that this is a bad idea may think "Oh email is important and they're offering to let me enable it now - how nice of them, I need to turn this on ..."

What would you think of taking that check box off the registration screen in Wedge, or at least giving the Admins the option to have it not even appear at registration time?
 1. Because I don't want to encourage it
I was under the max allowed -

Max characters: 500; characters remaining: 287

But got this error. I tried twice and got it twice -

Database Error

Please try again. If you come back to this error screen, report the error to an administrator.
Off-topic / Automagically De-Nesting Quotes
« on May 22nd, 2013, 01:04 AM »
I searched but didn't find this discussed before. I sometimes de-nest quotes manually for what I feel like is easier reading. I wonder if anyone else has ever thought that this would be a useful forum feature? It places the person's membername closer to the start of their quote for easier association, especially when there is more text.

Instead of going from the inside out -
Quote from xrunner on May 22nd, 2013, 12:48 AM
Quote from Wanchope on May 8th, 2013, 05:56 PM
Quote from Arantor on May 8th, 2013, 05:07 PM
Mostly because they set up their style in the old days, then got big in spite of ugly design, and had to keep it to avoid upsetting the existing fans.
You need to see the picture of Facebook back in 2004,...
Test test test additional comment.
You'd see this going from first to last in sequence -
Quote from Arantor on May 8th, 2013, 05:07 PM
Mostly because they set up their style in the old days, then got big in spite of ugly design, and had to keep it to avoid upsetting the existing fans.
Quote from Wanchope on May 8th, 2013, 05:56 PM
You need to see the picture of Facebook back in 2004,...
Quote from xrunner on May 22nd, 2013, 12:48 AM
Test test test additional comment.
Off-topic / Excuses for turniing off all Personal Messages
« on May 20th, 2013, 01:42 AM »
I am a member of a forum that supports the electronic parts, kits, and discussions of a certain company. The forum is phpBB  - not that it matters. They do not allow ANY personal messages. I wanted to PM several members but it frustrated the hell out of me so much that I posted a question about it in their administrative area. The claim was that they turned off the PMs because of "spam" issues. I told them I had never in years been sent spam via a PM, and I run a forum so I would know about this issue.

I proceeded to dump what knowledge I had about spam, which is not too shabby really, but to no avail.

Does anyone here think their excuse for not allowing PMs is a pile of doo-doo? I personally think they are, for some reason, afraid of people communicating with each other in a manner that they cannot see.

Archived fixes / Error Message Displayed When Replying
« on May 18th, 2013, 07:17 PM »

Message icon /
Notice: Undefined index: privacy in Themes/default/Post.template.php on line 365
/ Subject:
Off-topic / Forum Rules
« on May 16th, 2013, 01:27 AM »
Do you bother writing a lot of rules for your forum? Considering, in my experience, most members don't read them until it's too late, I wonder sometimes if it's worth it. I have a fairly long rules write up (I'll post it here if you want to critique it or steal parts of it) I've had for years. I used a "party" analogy which seems to fit the bill at my place.

If you've written rules, did you do it on your own or did you borrow parts from other forums?