The New Forum Lay-out and Features

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Offline ~Souza~

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The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 03, 2011, 10:02:54 PM
As everyone has seen, the forum has had a facelift. Partly because I didn't like the old one, and partly because there were errors and bugs in the old one because of the conversion from the old software(phpbb) to the new software (smf). For that last reason, I couldn't use the old lay-out even if I wanted to. The forum even had more problems after a security update I had to do, so this is a complete fresh install and should run smoother and faster for those who had trouble loading and/or posting.

Let me first explain what has changed and how to use the forum layout and features the best way possible.

I have tested the forum on my laptop the way it is (widescreen 1600x900) and normal screen (1024x768) and in 4 different browsers: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox (latest releases of all 4 of them). I personally always use Chrome, because for me Chrome works the fastest and the easiest, but I saw that the new layout works fine with Safari and Fireforx as well. The problems I encountered in IE were that the buttons are white (only see the text when you put your mouse pointer on them), the graphics are not shown as they should (not a major issue by the way) and the scroll bar can not be dragged up and down, unless you double-click it. My advise is therefor for everyone who has trouble using the forum in Internet Explorer, to switch to either Chrome, Firefox or Safari. If you need any help on that, ask me or any other member in this thread to help you out. Here are the links to the downloads:

Chrome: http://www.google.com/chrome
Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/
Safari: http://www.apple.com/safari/download/

Let's start with the menu, which is now in the silver bar on top of the forum above the logo, instead of below it:



This is what you will see on top (except for the admin and moderator section of course). 'Home' will take you to the new portal section, with an overview of certain boards/topics etc. Just like the old one, but this one has many more features. I might add or delete some things in the upcoming days/weeks, but that will change nothing to the forum layout as it is now, at least nothing major.

What was 'forum' on the old board, is called 'community' now. I could change that in the code, but I will not because it's simply something everyone will get used to in a few days. 'Community' will take you to the actual forum index, or board index.

The rest is unchanged and should look familiar to everyone. The pokes still act weird and show ghost pokes, but it does work when you really poke someone and many do like it, so I reinstalled it. Maybe the developer of this modification will fix the bug some day but until then: ghost pokes guaranteed!


Also new are the sidebars displayed on the forum now, instead of just on the portal (home) page. For those with a widescreen (like me) it's heaven on earth, because you can navigate the forum very quickly with it. For people with a normal screen it seems like a pain in the ass, since the middle section is so small that they have to scroll from left to right. But do not panic, because there is a solution to that issue!
When you point your mouse to the sides of the screen (next to your scrollbar for the right that is), you will see another bar that says 'Hide the left Panel' or 'Hide the right Panel':



As soon as you click that (either just one of the sides, or both), your middle section will expand. If you hide both, it will be the same as it was with the old layout. If you want to use them again, do the same to show the panels again.


Functions of the sidebars:

I installed the sidebars because many were complaining that they found it hard to navigate the forum or view recent posts; not just with this layout, but also with the previous one. If there is anyone left now having trouble finding anything, then there is nothing more I can do.

The left side

On the left side you see your profile info with links that will take you to: your personal messages, your unread posts since last visit, unread replies to your posts and your own posts. There is also a drop down menu for language, where I will add additional languages later (this is not working yet).

Under that there is a counter that shows the days, hours, minutes and even seconds since June 25, 2009 2:26pm. This way we will know exactly how many days have passed since then, without having to use calendars or calculators.

Underneath that are the visitors displayed. It said 2011 first, because I thought I installed this new software somewhere in april and that the counting started then, since the code says 'smf log', which is the log for the new software installation. But I just saw I installed it in late July, so 4.3 million visitors seemed a little too much. On the other hand, it said 4.2 million yesterday, which means an increase of more than 100,000 in a day, so these are most likely the visitors since July 2011. Nothing important, just fun to see that so many are lurking.

Then we have the calendar with the b-days, holidays and upcoming events. My request is to please use the calendar, only a few do. Whenever we hear a date for something to occur, please post it in the calendar.

Under the calendar is an option to select a theme. The orange theme is the default one, the other one is a light theme which is less graphic. For those with a slow internet connection, the light theme might help speeding up loading your pages.

Lastly on the right are the board statistics and the online users, also nothing important but just fyi.


The right side

On top of the right side you will find the most recent posts/topics. That way you will always see what is posted lastly, without having to click a certain link.

Under that an advanced search block, and below that the forum navigation as displayed on the board index. When you expand a certain category with the + on its left, you will see a maximum of 2 unread posts in that certain category. If you click the category name itself, it will take you to that category.

On the bottom of the page, just above the links in the footer, there is a shoutbox. Only logged in members are allowed to post in it, but guests are able to read. Again nothing important, just fun.


The Homepage:

In the middle section of the homepage ('home' in the top menu), you will see all kinds of info. On top we have MJ Beatz radio (keep in mind that you will have to keep the homepage open in order to keep listening) and underneath that are the most recent posts/topics, like on the right sidebar but with an intro to the post, the trial live stream and updates from the trial sister site, and at the bottom there are recently updated topics from certain categories I selected (most important/popular ones).

Lastly: there is a new toolbar for the forum (the old one is still on the main site). With this toolbar you can translate not only the forum, but also the posts, and it has an IM function. If you click on 'Who's Online', you will see a list of online users (NOT the ones that are hidden though) and if you click one of the names, you get a pop up window that allows you to privately chat with that member.

I hope it's clear for anyone and that you will all benefit from the new layout. If you have any questions, please ask them in this thread and please fill in the poll, this will help me help you better. If you have any additional ideas, or if you are experiencing any problems, please explain in your post what exactly, and as for the latter: please provide me with your screen resolution and internet speed (slow/fast).

ps. Comments like 'I liked the old layout better' are useless and will be ignored.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 11:33:33 PM by ~Souza~ »

Offline ~Souza~

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 03, 2011, 11:06:02 PM
Someone voted 'I never had problems loading but forum is slow for me now' without leaving a comment. If you don't explain what your problem is, I won't be able to help.

Offline Andrea

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 03, 2011, 11:27:50 PM
I liked the old layout better...

LOL, just kidding - it looks great Souza.  I only had problems (slooooow loading) on my work computer but it's sorted itself out.

Thanks for your hard work in continuing to keep the forum at it's best, I definitely appreciate it.

Offline bec

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 04, 2011, 12:46:38 AM
Amazing. I'd love just a little bit of your sense of motivation. This is great, Souza!
Are you entertained?

Offline voiceforthesilent

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 04, 2011, 12:48:42 AM
Thanks Souza - I, for one, had a lot of problems with slow loading pages but I haven't used the new features enough to report that it's fixed so I'll come back in a day or two and report with your poll at the top of the page.

My only wish is that when I click on a post it will take me where I left off. Perhaps there is a way that I'm not aware of?

Blessings
I'm proud to be a child of God and a member of MJ's Army of L.O.V.E.
 
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Offline heartwarrior

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 04, 2011, 03:15:22 AM
 respect/ Souza, the new lay-out works great, like the other one (I had a slow-loading problem on the old-old forum), but that didn't keep me from studying at all.

GREAT WORK!


Offline curls

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 04, 2011, 05:42:52 AM
Souza, thank you so much for that superb explanation!  I'm a happy bunny now that I know how to hide the side panels.  The 'freezing when typing' issue I was having seems to have righted itself too today, so all's well here. Thanks!

Offline G0THTH1NG

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 04, 2011, 07:36:38 AM
Great job Souza!! Thank you for your hard work!!

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 04, 2011, 09:03:09 AM
    You cannot criticize the labor disinterested and well done, very well  Souza                                                                                     

Offline skyways

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 04, 2011, 09:04:06 PM
Thanx  Souza, but my update very unfortunate with new layouts:((

1. On front page of Forum as well as Resent unread post - same thread repeats few times itself instead of give place for some new post or different info.

2. It's VERY difficult to navigate now Especially from phone connection- pages not screen out properly and it's impossible to login via phone anymore cause all recognizable patterns is gone and new one no where to be found:(((((. But may be its just my phone problem.

Solution: it's possible to have open options for old layouts on front page connected to all news or at least resent posts for some one who unable to use new futures- the simplest way to navigate is Really Helpful in face of BIG Mess all Hoax presented NOW?

3. Also, First page on Forum look  really like smash out mess when all topicks just mix with each other without proper Connection like it was before- without some map I m lost there now - WHERE to go and how to find something???
All help will be truly appreciated.

May be all that changes is truly necessary but we also have to keep in mind that our forum navigated from MANY PEOPLES ABROAD- please, keep that much easy will be helpful for all.

Appreciated all hard work on that issue ant look forward for BETTER changes- Hopefully its NOT Last version;)))).

BLESSINGS!!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 09:07:38 PM by skyways »

Offline skyways

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 04, 2011, 09:37:00 PM
Againe@ i dont want 2 hurt anybody feelings on my update- just try to be objective and observing for better function of OUR VERY BELOVED 4 US AND VERY IMPORTANT 4 MICHAEL PLATFORM !!

Hope againe that its NOT our Last outlook @@

p.s.  Have few topiks and subforum saved on my phone memory that still look familiar- so i use it@ uh, such a pity ://  .

Hope its not stay that way for so long :(
and Way its always have to happend around such IMPORTANT dates - Murray trial outcome 4example??

Offline Grace

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 05, 2011, 04:19:30 AM
Someone voted 'I never had problems loading but forum is slow for me now' without leaving a comment. If you don't explain what your problem is, I won't be able to help.
There's no space to post any comment. At least I didn't see any.

Rant.
I never had any major issues until now but now this is a real pain since my firefox (latest version) always freezes and dumps and I am about to throw the desktop out of the window or refrain from using the forum.
I don't need and want to see the foot panel that I seem not to be able to click off, I don't want to have the facebook buttons in each and every post. The whole thing is so overloadedly slow now that I can even see the process calls for each and every site that is linked from here.
There are 4 trackers now on the forum: Facebook Connect, Facebook Social Plugins, Google +1 and Twitter and I don't need and want any of these. For everybody who does not want them either: block them with Firefox Add-In "Ghostery".
This is testing my patience big time.
Rant over.
Create your day. Create the most astounding year of your life. Be the change you want to see in the world! L.O.V.E.
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"I am tired, I am really tired of manipulation." Michael Jackson, Harlem, New York, NY, July 6, 2002
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******* Let's tear the walls in the brains of this world down.*******

Time to BE.

Offline MissG

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 05, 2011, 11:37:23 AM
Souza, it took me 3 trials to be able to log. At times says my pass is wrong.
("Minkin güerveeeee")
Michael pls come back


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Offline Katie2

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 05, 2011, 12:23:46 PM
Thanks for writing the bit about scrolling I feel thick now for not clicking it twice  :roll: I think I am the only one who didn't have any problems with the old forum  8-) Well done on updating the forum it looks great

Offline Im_convincedmjalive

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 05, 2011, 07:20:35 PM
Souza-I roll with the forum however it is. I am grateful to have a forum to go to so no need for me to complain because there could be no home for us.  smiley_spider

My favorite part of the new forum is the quotes at the top. I love how they randomly change for every page. I like learning new stuff and perfect this quote came up as I am posting. Thank you for all your hard work.  respect/
Quote
We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong.
~Bill Vaughan

Offline dragonflylilies

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 05, 2011, 07:35:55 PM
Souza I sent you a message through your inbox.  You can ignore that!  After much patients I was able to get to this topic and found all the good advice that you had left for us.  It is still very slow in loading, but IE seems to works very well on all of the other sites we frequent.  Since this hoax requires patients, then I will be patient with the pages loading.  I do love the layout!  Great job!

Offline PureLove

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 05, 2011, 09:02:06 PM
Someone voted 'I never had problems loading but forum is slow for me now' without leaving a comment. If you don't explain what your problem is, I won't be able to help.

Sorry, I've just seen your post and it was hard for me to find this thread. I was the one who voted for that. The forum is slower for me now but I can deal with it. I use Chrome but tried it on IE and Firefox but it is slower on them. The homepage is confusing to me, hiding side bars, finding recent posts etc. It shows all of the last posts even if they were made to the same thread. I don't know actually how to tell it. I use 'Show Unread posts since last visit' to view the recent posts. That works better for me. I'm not using the homepage.

When I click on NEW next to recent posts, it brings me to the last post that was made in that thread. In the old one, it was taking us to the last post we read on a thread. I need to scroll back and find where I was on this one. 

Offline all4loveandbelieve

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 05, 2011, 09:49:14 PM
Souza I do not want to be a pessimist and I do not want to demean your work, I know you have worked so hard in fixing this forum and time consuming. I need to tell you that the homepage is so confusing, I cannot find the threads as easily as the old one. The other homepage we could have seen the threads so easily.. for me it is too crowded too much writing on the homepage. If you can find a solution to facilitate this for us it would be greatly appreciated. I  thank you for all your hard work..


I'm happy to be alive, I'm happy to be who I am.
Michael Jackson

Offline ~Souza~

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 06, 2011, 05:57:30 PM
@Grace, yoyu can hide the top and bottom bars just like the sidebars. The socal network apps have been here before I did the fresh install. The moment you enter the world wide web, you are in 'danger', including the links we all click on this site. If you are afraid for your personal info, you should take precautions yourself.

As for the recent topics: see homepage. If you people get recent topics, you want recent posts, if you get recent posts, you want recent topics. You have them both now, so I assume it's finally satisfying for you all. Some of you are already so freaked out over a few forum changes, that I am concerned about how freaked you all might get when bigger things will change.

Anything else I missed? Sorry, have been a little busy with other things that need my attention more now.

Offline PureLove

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 06, 2011, 08:39:10 PM
@Grace, yoyu can hide the top and bottom bars just like the sidebars. The socal network apps have been here before I did the fresh install. The moment you enter the world wide web, you are in 'danger', including the links we all click on this site. If you are afraid for your personal info, you should take precautions yourself.

As for the recent topics: see homepage. If you people get recent topics, you want recent posts, if you get recent posts, you want recent topics. You have them both now, so I assume it's finally satisfying for you all. Some of you are already so freaked out over a few forum changes, that I am concerned about how freaked you all might get when bigger things will change.

Anything else I missed? Sorry, have been a little busy with other things that need my attention more now.

You added the Recent Updated Topics which is fabulous. Thank you!  :mrgreen:

Offline GINAFELICIA

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 07, 2011, 03:03:08 AM
I liked the old layout better.

Offline Grace

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 09, 2011, 12:57:30 PM
@Grace, yoyu can hide the top and bottom bars just like the sidebars. The socal network apps have been here before I did the fresh install. The moment you enter the world wide web, you are in 'danger', including the links we all click on this site. If you are afraid for your personal info, you should take precautions yourself.

We cannot hide the bottom java toolbar with the "Who's online".
The facebook apps etc. only got visible again because I had to switch to other browers than Mozilla Firefox in a try and error attempt to get back on the forum without any dumps. I finally got around my technical issues which took me two days of install, deinstall and workaround. These additionally required efforts were reason of letting out some steam.

Still, I see no necessity for the social network links and trackers. They will not generate any new user traffic but only search engine traffic. Who wants to find the forum will find it already being on top of the respective key word search lists. In some countries, use of facebook like / link buttons is already subject of court because the owner / admin of a homepage is responsible for data transfer to those trackers. Facebook being integrated in layout proposals does not mean it is ok, legal or technically or organizationally necessary. Maybe the U.S. are a different web territory but it would be more than interesting to hear an up-to-date expert on international internet on this. Just throwing this in for reflections. Open for any discussion on it. I know you both care a lot about the users on the board. The more because we KNOW what this application does not serve for I think we may consider being careful about the use of it.

Only Mozilla Firefox offers a reasonable variety of data safety and privacy add-ons. None of the other browsers can secure data protection to this level. There are some members who are not so technically savvy to protect themselves well. Knowing this and knowing what to install and what not to use, I offered my concerns about some features of this site.

I don't like these features, I know how to protect myself, I do. Others don't. That's why I mentioned it again.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 12:59:30 PM by Grace »
Create your day. Create the most astounding year of your life. Be the change you want to see in the world! L.O.V.E.
***********************************************************************************************
"I am tired, I am really tired of manipulation." Michael Jackson, Harlem, New York, NY, July 6, 2002
***********************************************************************************************
******* Let's tear the walls in the brains of this world down.*******

Time to BE.

Offline curls

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 09, 2011, 01:50:51 PM
A lot seems to have gone back to how it was! Sidebar thingies have gone for starters.  Was this what you were doing the day after the verdict Souza?

Offline fordtocarr

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 09, 2011, 01:55:28 PM
I love the forum..esp with that side bar!!

I do still wish each comment had a "like" or "agree" button though  ;)

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Re: The New Forum Lay-out and Features

  • on: November 09, 2011, 09:29:25 PM
I can't seem to upload an avatar now. Nor can I get the avatar by url to show up even tho the site says my avatar has been successfully changed. This only happened since yesterday for me when I decided I needed a change of picture which was after the site was down for maintenance.  Any help welcome, or RK will have to remain a bland, colourless white box. /overreacting/

 

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