Order of forums on Board Index

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Dot
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Order of forums on Board Index

Post by Dot » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:51 pm

As the number of projects increases, so does the board index.

However, the newer projects are placed at the bottom of the list and one needs to scroll to find them. This means that casual browsers may not notice that they include new posts; they may even go away the impression that nothing is happening here.

Could I suggest reordering the projects list so that newer ones go to the top?

Similarly, should the Open Forums go above the Project forums?

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Re: Order of forums on Board Index

Post by JWPlatt » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:15 pm

Yes, this is an important thing to consider.

Here's what I've tried to do so far:
  • Main sections of domain (news, org, resources), projects and lobby
  • Put projects directly related to Open Source Uru at the top of the list
  • Put projects in an order roughly representing the progression of the pipeline (open source, systems, integration, testing, content, story, community)
The grid is part of infrastructure and development. So it should probably go between System Concepts and Building & Testing - or thereabouts.

When the list gets terribly long, we'll need to push things deeper to keep the main index short. For example there are infrastructure projects (systems and code), content projects (art, sound, video, story), and community projects (Eder D'Uru, Devoken, Debate Standards).

Open discussion is like the lobby for idle chatter until something becomes serious enough to become a project. Projects and tangible results are the thing here and the intent is to downplay OpenURU.org as simple forums. That's why they are at the bottom (to bubble up into something productive).
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Re: Order of forums on Board Index

Post by Mac_Fife » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:10 pm

If there were an easy way to suppress the display of the moderators for each forum then it would shrink the height of each row a little, so you got a bit more on screen. Looking the Admin Control Panel for phpBB3, I don't think there's an option for it, and we don't want to be modding the styles for what would only be a very small benefit.

I'm also not a huge fan of the sub-forums in phpBB3 - as a feature, it's very useful, but the display of the sub-forums withing the parent listing is a bit ugly and difficult to read. I feel it'd have been better as an expanding list with clickable +/- gadgets to show/hide the sub-forums.
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Re: Order of forums on Board Index

Post by Nalates » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:55 am

I agree with Mac_Fife's click-ables... but moding forum software is an ongoing pain. So, I guess we live with what we have.

JWP, I had not really thought of the organization and bubble up as you presented it. I see your point.

I'm not sure how many people use the View New Posts feature of sites. I rely on it. For whatever reason I have a problem with it on this site and miss posts. I've started using the Unread Posts feature to catch more of the new posts. The first use is a pain. I finally just marked everything read. Now it is pretty handy.

I don't know how others use forums, so I don't have a good suggestion for responding to Dot's concern. I tend to browse topics and see what is interesting. I use search a lot when question for information. As above, I use New Posts and Unread to keep up with the overall forum. How do you read forums?
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Re: Order of forums on Board Index

Post by JWPlatt » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:33 am

Hmmm, sorry, I forgot to ask for suggestions!

If you all want to use the current forum structure as a starting point and try to shoehorn, er, fit nicely some other hypothetical projects and stuff into an example outline, let's take a look and see if it makes sense. Moving forums around is really easy. Organization is really hard. ;) Use BBS Code bulleted lists for indenting your structure. Or if you don't know how to do that, just use a bunch of periods. If you don't like bullets and periods, use code:

Code: Select all

foo
    bar
    to
        you
        thar
            by
            far!
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Dot
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Re: Order of forums on Board Index

Post by Dot » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:03 am

Perhaps organising the projects under main headings will help -- and maybe an explanation of how the forum is organised. I hadn't picked up that it worked like that, which suggests that others might be having a similar problem.

One quick way of shortening the list would be to merge the first two projects (MO:UL and Open Source), perhaps making Just for the sake of posterity a sticky, given its historic significance. Tai'lahr, would this be appropriate, though?

What about splitting the projects list into Technical, Content and Community? That way people browsing the forum could drill down to what they are particularly interested in.

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Re: Order of forums on Board Index

Post by Mac_Fife » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:52 am

Mac_Fife wrote:If there were an easy way to suppress the display of the moderators for each forum [...]
I really should open my eyes. There is an easy way: ACP->Board Settings->Load Settings->Enable Display of Moderators.

Whether hiding the list of moderators for each forum helps or hinders is maybe a different matter. Since mods here aren't named individually, then I think that showing the mod user group for each forum probably isn't helping anyone (other than maybe helping JW to check that he has the right mod groups assigned ;) ).
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Re: Order of forums on Board Index

Post by JWPlatt » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:40 am

Tech, Content and Community seems pretty cool. Is there anything that doesn't fit on one of those at all? Though I'd want to wait until the list is a little longer. Drill-down depth makes things harder to find, so it needs to be essential and done well. And there's the brand spanking new alt home page to help too. ;) Plus the wiki.

If I can take the mods off the index page, I will. I think there's a setting for parent listing of subforum mods, per forum. I'll check tomorrow.

I like mod groups because group emailing is enabled and those groups being visible are a good hint toward being able to contact a bunch of project managers at once. For new users needing info, it's pretty quick.
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Re: Order of forums on Board Index

Post by Mac_Fife » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:42 pm

OK, I was forgetting that, for projects, the moderators are also the project managers. That makes a difference.

Once you select a forum, the list of moderators is currently shown above the topic list. I think that also disappears when you disable the display of moderators :( . If there were a way to keep the the mods shown there but not on the index page then I think that'd be good. But the space saving on the index page is fairly small, so it may be a sacrifice not worth making.

BTW: There are no designated moderators for the Open Forums? I guess that means that JW and I are the only mods for these.
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Re: Order of forums on Board Index

Post by Mac_Fife » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:19 pm

Nalates wrote:I'm not sure how many people use the View New Posts feature of sites. I rely on it. For whatever reason I have a problem with it on this site and miss posts. I've started using the Unread Posts feature to catch more of the new posts.
I keep thinking I should use the View New Posts, but seem to always end up scrolling through quickly to see what forums have the red highlight. :?

The other option, and it's a new feature that JW hasn't really publicised, is that quite recently I coaxed JW into turning on the RSS/Atom news feeds from the forum, so that's another way to see what's changed recently. I think it only gives you the five most recent items at the moment, but that's tweakable.

There's also a news feed for the wiki's Recent Changes page, but it only gives you the page name and the comment (if any) supplied when the edit was posted.
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