Vote On Comment Viewing Modes

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narcogen
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Vote On Comment Viewing Modes

We're shortly preparing to upgrade R.net to the newest version of Drupal, 4.5., when it is released, which should be soon.

For that we also have to prepare to change some of the tweaks we use to make our forum look and feel a little bit more like phpBBB and WebBBS, systems the Bungie/Halo community has been using since 1999 (and earlier, for the Myth and Marathon communities) or to stick with the way Drupal does things out of the box (which is more like phpBBB than like WebBBS.

However, we want to know what thread viewing setting people use (or if, indeed, people are using any but the default.

So check out the new poll:

http://rampancy.net/node/view/8154

and/or comment in this thread: what could we change about how the forum looks and works to make things better? (short of installing webbs again... since that isn't happening).


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MarineSniper
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I don't know...

Whats the difference between flat collapsed and threaded collapsed? I could never tell the difference..

narcogen
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Re: I don't know...

[quote=MarineSniper]Whats the difference between flat collapsed and threaded collapsed? I could never tell the difference..[/quote]

Collapsed vs Expanded is this:

"Collapsed" means when you view a node (either a story or a top-level forum topic) you see only a list of subjects, posters names, and date/time, and you have to click on the subject to read the whole comment.

"Expanded" means that you see a list of comments under a node, complete with poster's name, avatar (if they have one), subject, date and time, poster's location, and link to their home page, along with the body of the comment, comment score, moderation links, etc.

Flat vs Threaded is this:

Flat shows all comments attached to a node (story or forum topic) in a single straight line, either from first to last or last to first. It doesn't matter whether someone replied to the node, or to a comment to the node, the comments are all just listed in a chronological order.

Threaded indents the comments (either in collapsed or in expanded mode) to indicate which comments are a reply to what. Comments attached to the main node should display flush left against the lefthand column; comments created by replying to other comments should display indented underneath that comment. Again, the whole list itself can be sorted with new comments either nearer the top, or nearer the bottom.

The threaded-collapsed mode most closely mirrors what the average user sees in the HBO forum, with some things missing; once you click on a subject to see a comment body, you lose your place in the thread and have to hit "back" to see where it displays. What I'm trying to figure out is whether or not we need to hack this feature into Drupal 4.5 (if possible). But it isn't necessary if people don't use it. If we stick with an expanded view (closer to phpBBB's default settings) we can add other enhancements instead (avatars for Rampant AIs, other things).


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MarineSniper
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Ok

So it was flat and threaded I could never tell the difference..
Personally I perfer expanded and flat. Maybe incorporate both of them? Or I'm assuming that would take too long..?

narcogen
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no problem

Both expanded modes won't require any changes-- they are Drupal's default modes, so they will always work.

Collapsed modes are, in the current release candidate, broken, and some developers are suggesting dropping them, which would require me to fix them myself, so I'm just asking how many people use them to see if it's worth it.

Some sites don't even allow users to change the settings-- you just get threaded expanded and that's it. Encourages short threads :)



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MarineSniper
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Ohh I Get You Now

I meant that why don't you just keep both of them, for people that haven't signed up and don't even know that Rampancy exists. I didn't know until I tried to get the sheet music for the Halo Theme..but now I get you.
How do you change the look? When I'm not signed in its down the bottom, and now I just realised the difference I'll see which I perfer out of all of them.

narcogen
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need to be signed in

Yeah, users need to be signed in to see the controls. When you're logged in, underneath the post and before the index is a line that says "comment viewing options". That lets you change the look.

Rampant AIs (anonymous users) don't see those controls and can't change the look.

Of course I'd like to keep all 4 modes, but with each Drupal upgrade it makes keeping R.net looking consistent over all modes more challenging. I think I will be able to do so, as the collapsed thread bug I noted the other day has been (partially) fixed. Problem now is that when viewing an individual post with the threaded-collapsed mode on, avatars are not displayed. It's problems like that that lead me to consider making one mode the sitewide default and removing the options. I'd rather not to it, but if I can get one forum display mode that most users like and continually improve it, that might be preferable to trying to keep four different modes all working without any enhancements.



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Rampant for over se7en years.



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