The new forum upgrade

Abernovo

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I'll add my voice to Jo's and Parson's. Brian does an awesome job keeping this place running. Don't want to imagine the hours spent wrangling code, developers, mods, and the occasionally argumentative or moaning members. It is appreciated, though.
 

The Big Peat

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Apologies for being difficult, but am I the only person who's lost the "New Posts" panel on the right sidebar, or is that just a thing now?
 

The Judge

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I'm losing track of what was where now!

I'm using the default red skin, as I can't get on with the others. In that, at the top of the forums page I've got a maroon box at the top right with a lightning flash and "New posts" on it, which is immediately to the left of a darker (?black) box with a piece of paper and pencil symbol and "Post thread...". Is that what you're looking for? As I say, I've got that on the forums page, but not anywhere else as far as I can see.

I do have buttons for "New posts" at the top left on the menu bar immediately beneath the "Home" bar, and -- when I'm in new posts itself -- on another menu bar beneath that which also has "New media" and "New profile posts".
 

The Big Peat

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I'm losing track of what was where now!

I'm using the default red skin, as I can't get on with the others. In that, at the top of the forums page I've got a maroon box at the top right with a lightning flash and "New posts" on it, which is immediately to the left of a darker (?black) box with a piece of paper and pencil symbol and "Post thread...". Is that what you're looking for? As I say, I've got that on the forums page, but not anywhere else as far as I can see.

I do have buttons for "New posts" at the top left on the menu bar immediately beneath the "Home" bar, and -- when I'm in new posts itself -- on another menu bar beneath that which also has "New media" and "New profile posts".
There was a side panel that gave the 5 most recent posts. New Posts is useful, but I'm lazy and dislike clicking more than I have to.
 

The Judge

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Ah, right, like the "Latest profile posts" on the forum page. I vaguely recall seeing that latest posts thing somewhere -- in the new skin thing perhaps? -- but it's not something I'd use so never impacted on me enough to make me pay attention to it!
 

Brian G Turner

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Apologies for being difficult, but am I the only person who's lost the "New Posts" panel on the right sidebar, or is that just a thing now?
I've put it back. :)

I'm also testing latest posts and latest profile posts on the different forum views.

Happy to receive feedback on what works and what doesn't.

In the meantime, am still having trouble using the conditional statements so that I can put up more relevant author lists - I suspect one of the existing addons is interfering with that process.
 

Lumens

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Agreed. This is a great community and I am very thankful for all the effort you put into it, @Brian G Turner

And also anyone else who works behind (and in between) the scenes too.
 

AlexH

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The forum is looking great. I was a bit worried when the the Latest Posts box disappeared, but it's back now.

I'm actually looking to focus on tags instead of boards for authors - but I'm planning to make those tags a more normal feature of the forums. :)
Apologies if you already know this, but if there are lots of tags it can hinder a website's placement in search engines, so all the actual forums and good content doesn't rank as well as it should. If it's only to replace the author forums and a few other things I can't see it being an issue. I found this place via Google (more than once before I joined) so I like to think many more people will for many more years to come! :)
 

Brian G Turner

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lots of tags it can hinder a website's placement in search engines
My understanding of this is that it's potentially detrimental if there are too many tags per post, because it can look like spamming - but a lot of similar and related tags across the site may be useful for semantic processing.

However, the main purpose of tags is actually just to make it easier to find discussions about specific authors, and being able to cater for a wider range than would be possible (or practical) using subforums. :)
 

chrispenycate

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I got:

Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'XF\Db\Exception' with message 'User sffchron_brixf already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections' in /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/Db/Mysqli/Adapter.php:160 Stack trace: #0 /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/Db/Mysqli/Adapter.php(28): XF\Db\Mysqli\Adapter->makeConnection(Array) #1 /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/Db/AbstractAdapter.php(51): XF\Db\Mysqli\Adapter->getConnection() #2 /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/Db/Mysqli/Adapter.php(113): XF\Db\AbstractAdapter->connect() #3 /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/Db/AbstractAdapter.php(410): XF\Db\Mysqli\Adapter->escapeString('options') #4 /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/Db/AbstractAdapter.php(388): XF\Db\AbstractAdapter->quote('options') #5 /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/DataRegistry.php(137): XF\Db\AbstractAdapter->quote(Array) #6 /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/DataRegistry.php(82): XF\DataRegistry->readFromDb(Array, Array) #7 /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/DataRegistry.php(225): XF\DataRegistry->get('option in /home/sffchron/public_html/src/XF/Db/Mysqli/Adapter.php on line 160

On a Sunday morning, that probably means that Brian is mucking about with something - but, should it be a clue, you now have it too :)D)
 

Brian G Turner

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Yes, I've been mucking about with things. :)

One big change is that I've reduced the number of author boards - they still exist, but I'm trying to move visibility to the author tags instead.

However, as the conditional statements in the forum engine room aren't currently working, I'm using a stop gap of putting up tags for our resident authors on all forum listings, then most popular author tags on discussion pages.

Once the conditionals start working, I can make the right-hand menu much more customized - not just for the books and writing boards, but also the TV and film ones.
 
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Brian G Turner

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And... a progress update:

I've tagged all threads in the Author boards, except for JK Rowling, Tolkien, GRRM, Pratchett and HPL - I'll worry about those later. I've started tagging threads in the reviews section - though I did a blast on that some while ago.

Also, thought I've set up a Resident Authors tag to accompany boards, the list isn't complete - I want to push on members here with multiple books, but the fact that some don't post under their author name makes it difficult for me to connect the two together.

EDIT: I'm going to have to come up with some form of criteria for assigning author tags to chrons writers, otherwise we'll be in danger of becoming flooded with author tags which lead mainly to promotions, when it's discussions I want to have tagged. Will have to have a think about this.

I've also been reducing the list of Popular Author tags so that it really is a list of mostly popular authors - there are others tagged, but they are currently on the Tags Page which will hopefully make it easier to find named tags (which remains an ongoing process). However, once the conditional statements begin to work I can put up a box of Golden Age author tags in the Classic SF&F section, feature horror writers in the horror section, and historical fiction authors in that section, etc. That will allow for more author tags to be presented, but in the most relevant areas, and allow me to further reduce the long list currently on display.

Next steps:

1. Rules. We need a proper set of rules to reference - and make sure new members sign up to them. Includes GDPR protections, etc.

2. Portalization! Once I set this up the new homepage will probably run slow for a few weeks as it recycles existing older content in the forums. After then - once everyone's seen what it looks like - we can begin to see if new articles can go up, especially when written specifically for it.

3. Supporter subscriptions and signatures - which I'll leave until last, as I didn't want to offer this only to upset chronners with all the changes being implemented. As mentioned before, I'll set up yearly subscriptions for anyone who wants to support chrons - probably priced at around £15/£20 a year. Supporters will be able to display a signature link in their posts, with the caveat that it will have limitations. I also want to install a feature to allow members unhappy at seeing signatures to hide them, though I may require a new addon for this.

And that should be that, I think! Hopefully the end result will be a newer, shinier-looking chrons to raise its profile not just in SFF fandom, but also among those casual readers who might normally only stay on the big social media sites.

Then I might be able to get back to writing... :D
 
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Brian G Turner

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EDIT: I'm going to have to come up with some form of criteria for assigning author tags to chrons writers, otherwise we'll be in danger of becoming flooded with author tags which lead mainly to promotions, when it's discussions I want to have tagged. Will have to have a think about this.
Okay, now I'm thinking that I won't tag author promotions here - after all, they are usually relevant only for a very limited time. However, as new writers struggle to generate discussion because of lack of readers, I'll look for a way to make the Press Releases more visible - perhaps a feed of the latest 5 promotions.
 

AlexH

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My understanding of this is that it's potentially detrimental if there are too many tags per post, because it can look like spamming - but a lot of similar and related tags across the site may be useful for semantic processing.

However, the main purpose of tags is actually just to make it easier to find discussions about specific authors, and being able to cater for a wider range than would be possible (or practical) using subforums. :)
If you have control over them and are only adding author tags I can't see it being a problem. It's usually when they get out of control (like letting users make up their own tags!).
 

Brian G Turner

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Yeah, I'm definitely setting up tags for users, not Google. :)

And I've been seriously surprised at how much different authors have been spread about the boards - setting up author tags means all the discussion content about them will be in one place, which I think (hope!) will work so much better.

I'm also experimenting with the Press Releases feed by board lists outside of the homepage - see how that works out.
 

M. Robert Gibson

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A question about the upgrade. Does it include the Notices feature?
I mentioned it on another thread with regards to increasing writing challenge participation and voting
Writing Challenge Statistics

As @The Judge points out, it may not be a good idea because of the potential annoyance factor, but potentially useful for major announcements.
 
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