Control Panel

From the Control Panel you can change the settings that control the display of the forum indexes, assign a rating to a forum post or series of posts, or start a new forum thread.

The first item in the Control Panel is the Node Rating area. It has a pulldown menu for assigning a rating between 0 and 5 to a post. (This also displays on the forum index itself, but is not particularly meaningful in that context.) Next to that is an update ratings button for assigning the ratings. In some thread displays, the complete text of more than one message will display, along with a Rating pulldown for each one. In this case, the Update ratings button will submit the appropriate rating for all the viewed posts.

The Comment Viewing Options area controls how you view forum indices and posts. There are four modes.

The default is Threaded - min. In this mode, the forum index shows recent posts listed on one line each in a hierarchical thread structure, newest thread first. When viewing an individual message, the other messages in the same thread will be indexed beneath the message body. (Note: currently the only exception to this is when viewing the first post in a thread; in that case, only the other messages in the thread are shown in the index.)

Threaded - max is like Threaded - min except that it shows the full content of each post on a single page. In this mode, all the posts in an index may be rated at the same time. This is useful for users who want to read the entire forum in one page load, without having to click on each individual message.

There are two other modes: List-min and List-max. They are like their threaded equivalents except they ignore threads entirely and display messages strictly by timestamp.

Next to the mode pulldown is a date pulldown; it allows you to control whether you want new posts displayed at the top of the page or the bottom.

Then comes the Threshold pulldown. This allows you to filter posts by rating. The default is zero; all posts will be displayed.

By selecting a higher number, you can minimize the display of posts that have some rating if they do not meet your minimum Threshold.

New posts that have no rating are displayed for all users (otherwise new posts would never be seen and thus never rated). So in this case it's worth it for users to rate posts when they see them, even if it's a low rating. Or just leave the threshold at zero and read everything; it's up to you.

Next is the Update settings button. Use this to make the changes to the mode, date and threshold pulldowns take effect.

Beneath these is the New thread button, which is used to create a new message.