Comment and Feedback on New Layout?

Discussion in 'Admin Announcements' started by arnisador, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Bob Hubbard changed the site over to the newest version of the forum software this past weekend. We know that a few things are broken, like the go to first unread post button, and he is also working on changing the background color from white. Please give us any feedback on problems, desiderata, etc.! We appreciate your input on the site.

    -FMAT Admin
  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    So far so good on my end based on just the issue of change. Anytime change happens it can be a little shocking.
    I will definitely be happy with the color change from white. :)
  3. Sorry, I am not a fan of the new look :(

    I know all forums update their "Skins" regularly and people hate change though.

    My font has gone a lot smaller when reading the threads and when writing in posts. I do not see the reason for a "Tag Cloud" and "Blogs". My main gripe is that the focus is taken away from the conversations and more "Social Networky". The "New Posts" worked better at the top of the screen as it was possible to scroll down and have a browse. Now everything feels so condensed - and small!

    Anyway, like I say I know you're trying to give the place a "Lick of fresh paint" and hope you take the feedback as it is intended.

  4. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    The feedback is greatly appreciated! The underlying forum software has gone through a major update (3.x to 4.0) and that will provide fixes to old bugs (and of course the introduction of some new ones) and greater security, especially where forum spam is concerned. (That's a constant battle for us behind-the-scenes.) The blog feature is supposed to be cool but some of the social networking and other features could be disabled. It's important that the site remain welcoming and convenient for both current and potential members, so I hope we get more comments.

    -FMAT Admin
  5. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Darth Vindicatus Supporting Member

    Tag cloud is supposed to be a quick way to search for related topics, plus helps with search engines connecting to us.
    The entire side bar though can be hidden if you click on the >> icon along the side.

    I think font size is member controlable. I'll check into that.

    Blogs are an added feature, which is optional. The trend nowadays is more social network features, which are added to compete against sites like Facebook.

    All feedback's welcome. I had one person contact me on Kenpotalk (now running same software but a different 'skin', who said "It sucks". Hey, I need to know this stuff. :)

    Some of the bugs are supposed to be solved in the next patch which just came out. I might be installing that over the weekend, once I read up on feedback on it.

    Please, keep the good and not so good comments coming. :)
  6. Thanks guys for the response.

    I think we have a great community here with an admin / management team that cares about it. I know a lot of "Behind the scenes" work goes into a busy forum such as this and people only get to see the "front end".

    Just saying "It Sucks!" is not really helpful for you guys.

    That's great news about the sidebar and wondered if there was some tweaking I could do to get rid of it. Once thats gone and the fonts made bigger everything is fine with me!

    Thanks again,

  7. qwertz

    qwertz New Member

    I find the entire side bar annoying and I do not think a considerable amount of people is using a tag cloud for searching the topics. I guess in the end it's more about looking cool and doing what is often done in blogging systems. And -- btw -- I cant hide the entire side bar, because that only work with enabled javascript. so for me, the new design it more of a disturbance, than an improvement.
  8. Yeah, after I posted I looked at the "Cloud" and the terms were extremely generic and more for SEO than members. IMO if anybody is going to search for something they should be using the "Search" function..

    I hid the sidebar but it get's rid of the "New Posts" function which is a pain. I look into the forum a few times a day and the "New Posts" / latest activity is what I head for straight away.To me it just works better at the top or bottom rather than the side.

    Maybe there's a few people who like the sidebar so it will balance out :lookaroun
  9. I've found something odd too...

    If you go to a member's profile and click "Find all posts" it's no bringing any up or in the case of one member just one!

    Please let me know if you want to know the members I checked and I will PM them to you.

  10. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Darth Vindicatus Supporting Member

    Theoretically, you can enable javascript, hide the side bar, then disable it again and it should stay hidden. I haven't tested that though. Unfortunately, many of the functions on the site require javascript to work. If you're running Firefox, you can install NoScript and have an option to allow/disallow scripts by site of origin. Other browsers may/may not have similar capability.

    You can still see what the new posts / threads are by clicking either New Posts or What's New on the menu bar.

    You can control what tags are associated with your thread when you create it. I think if you leave it blank the software takes a guess and creates them for you.

    There are issues with the search function. I'm monitoring the vB site daily for fixes.

    Think I found another bug. It ate my original reply but kept the quotes.
  11. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Darth Vindicatus Supporting Member

    Ok, I ran some of the suggested fixes for the search function. Could a few people run some searches and tell me if it's better/worse/the same please?

  12. I just ran the same searches as earlier and it's pulling up the posts now. Good Work Bob! :)
  13. qwertz

    qwertz New Member

    I already checked that out, before I made my lost post. that is not working. actually javascript is not really necessary for the site. I can read and write post without any javascript and many functions are working with rollovers that does not requite javascript.

    Is there any user who likes the sidebar?
  14. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Darth Vindicatus Supporting Member

    If you want to hide the side bar, javascript seems to be necessary. Basic functions will work, however many will not. AJAX based functions for example work on javascript. There is no way that I'm currently aware of for me to adjust that option per account from the back end. vB recommends it be allowed for full functionality.

    Rollovers are probably an ALT tag, though I'm not yet familiar enough with vB4 skins and template structure to be 100% certain.

    Additional Issue
    vB4 seems to really cause issues for anyone still using IE6. My suggestion to them, or anyone on an IE6 based browser (AOL for example) is to upgrade to IE 8 or switch to Firefox, Safari or Chrome as all 4 will render the site correctly. While the software company is working on a solution for IE6 users, the browser is obsolete and even Microsoft suggests folks switch.
  15. qwertz

    qwertz New Member

    sorry, but you are wrong. you can make e.g. drop down menus that just work with style sheets -- without any jacascript. there is some similar technique used here in vB. It's not about simply using an ALT tag. and... btw... ALT tags are not meant for rollovers and are therefore e.g. not displayed as such in firefox.
  16. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Darth Vindicatus Supporting Member

    This is the "forumhome_forumbit_level1_nopost" template.
    You're right, they aren't using Alt tags, but Title tags which are pulling from forum variables.

    <li class="forumbit_nopost L1" id="cat{vb:raw forum.forumid}">
        <div class="forumhead foruminfo L1 collapse">
                <span class="forumtitle"><a href="{vb:link forum, {vb:raw forum}}">{vb:raw forum.title}</a></span>
                <span class="forumlastpost">{vb:rawphrase last_post}</span>
            <vb:if condition="!$show['collapsable_forums']">
                <a class="collapse" id="collapse_c_cat{vb:raw forum.forumid}" href="{vb:raw relpath}#top"><img src="{vb:stylevar imgdir_button}/collapse_40b.png" alt="" title="{vb:rawphrase collapse_this_category}" /></a>
            <vb:if condition="$show['forumdescription'] OR $show['subforums']">
            <div class="forumrowdata">
                <vb:if condition="$show['forumdescription']"><p class="subforumdescription">{vb:raw forum.description}</p></vb:if>
                <vb:if condition="$show['subforums']">
                <div class="subforums">
                    <h4 class="subforumlistlabel">{vb:rawphrase subforums}:</h4>
                    <ol class="subforumlist commalist">
                        {vb:raw forum.subforums}
        <vb:if condition="$childforumbits">
        <ol id="c_cat{vb:raw forum.forumid}" class="childforum">
            {vb:raw childforumbits}

    I ran some tests on IE7 and javascript is required to dismiss the side box, as well as for the new post indicator to work. Some functions in the WYSIWYG editor also seem broken when you disallow javascript. There is nothing I can do about that unfortunately.
  17. qwertz

    qwertz New Member

    I have no problem with the missing functions in the editor. and actually I already managed to get rid of the sidebar. I did not hide it, but I placed it below the main content -- similar as Simon has wished for. :)

    I am using Firefox together with this add-on:

    and I wrote a css script for this site to change the location of the sidebar, the size of some areas and I got rid of some annoying shadows and background images. so by now everything is ok for me -- again. :)

    thanks for your time!
  18. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Darth Vindicatus Supporting Member

    Cool. Wasn't aware of that plug in. I'll check it out.
  19. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I don't like the sidebar, but I do wonder if someone deciding whether or not to join the site would become more interested because they see snatches of a few conversations?

    Oh, and qwertz--you're hired!
  20. qwertz

    qwertz New Member

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