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The New Forums
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 9:38 pm
   Subject: The New Forums
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First let me say that it's been great having so many members and visitors to the site over the past 3 years. And it's time for change.. So I decided that I would try and give you all a new forums for christmas... Unfortunately, I didn't make the deadline that I set. Sorry...

MCS, Adam Biser, Arielus, Schabbs, and Leo have been trying to help me find and catch all the possible problems that could pop up via a test site, but it's the fix one thing and find another syndrome (or so it seems right now). I hope to have the new forums moved over as soon as possible and let you play with all the new features (and on a few of them - don't play, but know that they work - and we are notified). I've stomped out most of the bugs, if not all of them... for what is installed, but we still need a day or 5 to make sure that everything is 100%. I could upload it now, but I don't want to give you something that might break... On top of that, the makers of phpBB just released yet another update, so that may also break things that are already installed. I've got my fingers crossed. Trust me, I seen enough code in the last 4 weeks that I really need a break from this soon... anyhow...

Besides installing many different forum protection features, I took the liberty to install a few options that I figured a few of you just might like. Here is a small list of the changes that have been made so far:

The Forums will now keep track of your last read and un-read messages. So if you haven't read all messages, they will still be marked un-read when you return to the forums the next time. You may also mark message as "un-read" so you can read them again, besides putting them on your Watched Topics list.

A Quick Reply window is now at the bottom of each page allowing you to reply to messages in a much quicker and easier way. It does support all the different BBCodes, so if you know them and your smilies, you can just type away. Of course the standard reply and post message via the page buttons (reply and new Post) still work as before.

Global Messages may be posted by Admins and Mods - These messages will show up in every Catagory.

Staff Messages - These messages are for the Mods and Admins to leave messages to each other. Don't worry about these, as they do NOT show up for anyone who isn't a mod or admin on the forums - regular users will never know the difference if I hadn't said something Laughing.

Locked Topics - These can now be located at the bottom of each area OR I can enable the system to move topics when locked into the archive area. I still haven't decided if the posts should be moved automatically when locked, but the option is there when and if it is needed.

Quotes and Code Sections within posts are now within new box types. These boxes can be opened via the "expand" and closed via the "collapse" and if you want to copy the information, then you just hit the "select" and then CTRL-C on your keyboard or ALT-E - C as the select will auto highlight all within the box.

Avatars - Now all avatars should automatically resize themselves to the size set via the Forum Configuration Panel. So if your avatar is too large, it should not affect the forums and throw off the formatting.

Styles... There are now a few more choices to allow you to choose something closer to your liking or preference at any moment. Added are: Black, Blue, Brown, Gray, Red, Green, Purple and Orange.... (more may come in the future). The standard php subSilver is still there as well. They are currently all in the same layout, but that may change in the future.

Smilies... They're all wearing helmets now... and there's more of them...

BBcodes... A few more have been added as well. Actually, the whole editor was reworked. You will now find that BBcode buttons will accurately put the codes where the cursor is.. and if you enter a URL Link... well... give it a try... I hope this makes things easier and a little more flexible for all of you (besides making things look a little better in the forums) Smile The other new BBcodes are "Up and Down" scrolling messages - Spoiler - Search (ie: put some word in the code like this:
[search]Tutorial[/search] and all the user has to do is click the link and it will auto search the forums for the word.

There are also 2 new search input boxes away from the advanced search page. The one on the main index will search all areas... the one on the Viewforum will only search within the forum.

I've tried and tested a new chat program.... It will use a little more bandwidth from the site, but MCS mentioned that that was ok as the site was getting nowhere near close to the max.
Also for those trusted members, we can turn on the ability to upload pictures so that when you post, the picture will be hosted on the forums site. Remember that this is a privilage and not a right, so it can be given/taken at any time.

And if you view your personal profile, you will find that things have changed as well. I mean view your profile, not edit via the Profile option on the top of the page... well, there's changes there as well.. Smile

All Users now have the option to enable/disable the Censored word Censor in the forums... I will (with your input) add as many words to the word censor as are reasonable and then if you decide you want to see those words, you have the option of turning it on and off yourself.

The forums will now show when the forums are being spidered by the "Search" engine sites. You will see things like "Google Bot" in the online list of members. While this may or may not seem interesting to you, it will aid the admins and mods in doing things that they need to do.

If you get banned and try to log in, the system will now give you the ban reason. Once again, as per the rules of the forums, please accept the ban and don't try to circumvent it as a few have tried in the past.

From the main menu options, you may now bring up a list of all listed member websites by clicking the option. The Quiz program is back working as I have converted it over to work with the new phpBB versions. I also changed the download program as well.

There is also now a Post Reporting system. This is one of those things that I say use wisely. We know it works - It works well... So only use this when you find a post overly offensive and in breach of the rules.

Who knows, we may even start allowing the uploading of your Avatars so that there will never find those "image" missing blocks and the usual waiting for it to try and locate/download your image from other servers.

On the security side, there is so much installed now that I won't even begin to explain all the things installed, but let you know that any personal information that you enter via the site (except in an open message) is protected from view of those NOT members of the forums. To that matter, the registration process has changed as well.

NOTE: For the first week that the new forums are in place, you will still be able to use your existing account and password. Part of the new security features include account protection and when I enable it, it will do two things - re-validate the e-mail address that you have entered in the forums and force a password change - with the password change will be (now and in the future) a visual confirmation to make the change, and an e-mail sent to you to re-enable the account with the new password. So any time you change passwords - and e-mails you will have to validate yourself to get access back into the system. But this option will not be turned on immediately and I'll give you advance notice of when it will be activated.

There is so much more comming, and so little time to do it all in. I am now shooting to have it go live before the new year.

One last thing that I need... Is anyone running Windows NT version 4? I have some post script fonts that I need converted to True Type, for making the buttons. Windows NT 4 supposedly does it automatically. You just point it at the font and it automatically creates/converts it's true type equivalent. So if you are running Windows NT 4, send me a PM and hopefully we can arrange to get the fonts converted pronto and I can finish all the buttons.

Anyhow... It's late... I'm tired... And it's Bah Humbug day (I'm not celebrating christmas this year) Have a safe and Merry one... Everyone..

Greg
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 9:19 pm
   Subject: Re: The New Forums
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I'm sure that once the new forums are in place, the wonderment of the new features will kick in. I can say that I think it will be a great improvement over our current system, not that what we have is bad, mind you. The new one is just that much better. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:25 am
   Subject: Re: The New Forums
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.....


Last edited by Thomas on Sun May 29, 2011 7:38 am; edited 1 time in total
BrotherTank
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 3:03 am
   Subject: Re: The New Forums
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I've added a few more features now as well Adam. Although they won't be up on the test site until later today... I've been up all night again... and am just going to sleep... lol.... But, yes I agree the new features are just that much nicer.... and feel free to comment on them if you'd like.

@Anyone:

I'm still looking for someone who is running Windows NT version 4. The docs say that WinNT 4 will auto convert "post-script" fonts to true type when you go to install them. I have the fonts that I need for the buttons, but they are in post-script format... And unfortunately (or fortunately - depending on the situation) , I am running Win98SE.... So it will not install those types of fonts.

So if you are running WinNT 4 - send me a PM.. I can send you the fonts, and all you have to do is install them to your system and send me back the "True-Type" conversions that it creates automatically. With those, I can finish the buttons (which are about all I really have left to do to complete the templates - unless I find more goodies to install like the buddy list and the Auto Status Mail - this one is neat.. will send you a weekly update of any and all posts in any area or complete category of your choosing - all user configurable..).

With that done, I can then start upgrading the system to the new files (once I know that the errors have stopped - I think I've got them all now... except for the new phpBB upgrade to 2.0.22 and the few new pieces that I installed during the last 24 hours that I've been awake....)

Anyhow... I'm off to sleep...
Back in a few hours.... (hopefully 8 or so)...

Greg
BrotherTank

PS. I was going to add the Black Card Mod to the Yellow Card Mod (post reporting system) - and then we could have an area of the forums that would be like "Survivor"... sort of like the last user standing... but I figure that would just get too out of hand, so I took the Black Card out.. and just left the Yellow Card Post reporting system installed... Smile
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