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   Author  Thread: Forum Structure  (Read 5186 times)
Secret Drinker
MV Fixture
****



Paul Gunningham, MoM

   

Posts: 207
Forum Structure
« : 15.11.04 at 13:01 »
Quote

Whilst I think Steve's done a brilliant job setting up the new MV, which is now working really well (take another bow, Steve!), it occurs to me that the current structure could become a bit unwieldy in years to come.
 
For example, the *oDs forum is already getting cluttered with a lot of threads on different topics, and after a few more 'oDs it might become difficult  to separate the PoD items from those for the next 'oD and the one after that... At present there are also threads in that forum about the proposed Herts/Beds/Bucks/Middx sclonch, as well as other items. This is analogous to having a filing system on your computer with only one level of folders - OK for small numbers of files, but increasingly difficult to navigate/manage as items are added.
 
Would it be possible to improve the structure by creating "sub-forums" within existing forums? Using the above example, you could have a PoD sub-forum and a HBBM Sclonches sub-forum within the *oDs forum. This would be a tree structure like folders  and files in computer filing systems, where you can have folders within folders...
 
Steve - what do you think? Is it possible? Are there some complications I haven't though of? (etc.)
 
Cheers
 
Paul
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Staving off the pressure... by drinking real ale
Roger Cornwell
MV Friend
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Posts: 22
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #1: 15.11.04 at 17:08 »
Quote

Not a complication, but a simplification: the forum structure is really only an issue for people starting new threads, I think. Won't others just pick it up because it's listed in the last ten posts? The POD thread has been hyperactive of late, but give it six months, maybe only three, and I expect it will be a (valuable) historical record rather than something that's being actively updated.
 
Roger.
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Roger
S J Birkill
MV Administrator
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just a sensible reserve

   

Posts: 602
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #2: 15.11.04 at 16:06 »
Quote

Hi Paul
 
It's a little academic I'm afraid, as the number of levels (forum/category/board/thread/message) is fundamental to the structure of the software. To change it would mean huge ramifications across all the modules that make up YaBB, and to the database itself. I think most users have now become familiar with the hierarchy of messages, and (even if it were possible) to change it would leave many at sea.
 
The threading process, with old threads being displaced down the board, means that hot topics are presented first, and the 'most recent' tables allow users to see fairly easily what's new since they last visited. So long as proper threading discipline is maintained (JtJ did right to start a separate thread for HBBS sclonching, under "*oDs" -- after all it is subtitled "Special events for MV members", which I think covers ad-hoc meetings). The alternative would have been to propose a new "Sclonch" board, but I agree with Roger: PoD will soon become history, and the next big event is probably a couple of years off, so keeping that board alive with a thread about meetings is fair enough. Should anyone wish to start a different regional sclonch, that would deserve its own thread too, also under "*oDs".  
 
Of course none of this is meant to imply that I've got the category/board headings right -- there may well be improvements possible within the current architecture.
 
Steve
 
[Later] Looks like the server time zone went screwy again -- I posted this at 21:06 and edited it 21:21!
« Last Edit: 15.11.04 at 16:21 by S J Birkill » IP logged
Secret Drinker
MV Fixture
****



Paul Gunningham, MoM

   

Posts: 207
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #3: 15.11.04 at 22:56 »
Quote

(Aaagh! I just lost this message, being told it was less than 60 secs since my last posting. More like a few hours, actually! Is this a side effect of the timing problem? Also many sections haven't been highlighted in red - I've just realised I've missed reading some messages. Anyway, here's my 3rd attempt! Thinks: must remember to Ctrl -C...)
 
Thanks for the explanation, Steve - no problem (except the above!)
 
Cheers
 
Paul
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Staving off the pressure... by drinking real ale
JtJ
MV Feature
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Allow me to present myself....

   

Posts: 93
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #4: 18.11.04 at 21:00 »
Quote

Hi there!
 
[Sings]  "I did something right!" [/Sings]
 
Actually, it was that Moderator Leslie Moss who suggested the post's placing.
Makes perfect sense, of course....and I'm sure I would have put it there myself (perhaps).
 
FWIW:  On other boards (older ones than this) I've seen, there are popular threads and less popular.  I've found it easy, with practise, to sort out what's hot....er, and what's not.  The thread title, date of last post and number of replies all help to build a picture too.  Then I zero in on what looks good and topical and up to date.
 
Mind you, without practise and experience of BBs it must look a bit daunting too!
So that's what I think....
 
I vote we leave well alone for now....and see what happens.
 Cheesy
 
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Jim Grozier
MV Feature
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The leading young poetic hope of the whole planet

   

Posts: 37
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #5: 26.11.06 at 21:54 »
Quote

Gosh, this is an old one!
 
Not sure if this is the right place, but I just wanted to say how impressed I am with the forum. It's quite the best one I've come across - and part of that is down to having an active administrator moving things around when they get a bit out of control.  
 
I'm interested in the fact that MV used to be an e-mail list and has progressed to a forum. You are probably aware that there are differences of opinion about which of these is better. To me the answer is pretty clear-cut: I'd MUCH rather go and look at a noticeboard every so often than have loads and loads of mail (which I may or may not want to read) put through my letterbox every day. But some supporters of e-mail lists are adamant that they don't like forums for some reason. I think they may be the people who have very clever e-mail programs which automatically sift their mail according to who it's from and what it's about, so that they have the equivalent of a forum on their own PC. But the rest of us have to put up with all these messages coming in all the time.
 
Another advantage of forums (fora?) is that I can read 2-year-old threads (like this one) and resurrect old discussions if I want to. With an e-mail list, all the messages that were sent before I joined are inaccessible to me.
 
Keep up the good work, Steve!
 
Jim.
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Jan
MV Fellow
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Posts: 304
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #6: 27.11.06 at 00:14 »
Quote

on 26.11.06 at 21:54, Jim Grozier wrote:
Another advantage of forums (fora?) is that I can read 2-year-old threads (like this one) and resurrect old discussions if I want to. With an e-mail list, all the messages that were sent before I joined are inaccessible to me.

 
Steve looked after the MV email list as carefully as he tends the forum now! We had a weekly digest available (if preferred) and a cumulated file. I'm amazed he ever found any time to work. If you log on to the forum and click on the link to the Archive you will find many things, among them towards the bottom of the page some links to the seven text/zip files making up the email archives. Life is probably too short to read that lot but at the time if you were obliged to work with your mailbox open (and many MVs seemed to) you could be sure of a light, spam free supply of Atkin discussion most days of the week.
Jan
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Secret Drinker
MV Fixture
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Paul Gunningham, MoM

   

Posts: 207
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #7: 27.11.06 at 10:23 »
Quote

on 26.11.06 at 21:54, Jim Grozier wrote:
I think they may be the people who have very clever e-mail programs which automatically sift their mail according to who it's from and what it's about, so that they have the equivalent of a forum on their own PC. But the rest of us have to put up with all these messages coming in all the time.

 
Jim, if you have MS Outlook or Outlook Express you can set up Mail Rules to sort incoming mail into folders. I assume other email clients have similar functionality but I don't know for sure - maybe if you say what your email client is, someone here will be able to help.
 
Not that it matters as far as this forum is concerned, but it can be handy to know anyway - with a bit of ingenuity in setting up the rules, you can even consign incoming spam straight to the bin without having to delete it manually (apologies if you knew all this already, or if you're using an email client that doesn't have such functionality).
 
Cheers
 
Paul
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Staving off the pressure... by drinking real ale
Jim Grozier
MV Feature
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The leading young poetic hope of the whole planet

   

Posts: 37
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #8: 27.11.06 at 10:38 »
Quote

on 27.11.06 at 10:23, Secret Drinker wrote:

 
maybe if you say what your email client is, someone here will be able to help.
 

 
Mulberry. It's the recommended software for Sussex University, in that they don't support anything else (and are quite shirty if you suggest you might want to use Outlook in particular) but they don't actually support Mulberry either; I've asked them quite a few questions in the past four years, the answers to most of which have been "don't know". Anyway I'll be handing in my PhD in 6 weeks so there's no point in changing things now, but I guess I'll have to switch to Outlook when I've finished, so might be handy to know how to work it (I've never used it before - only Mulberry and FirstClass, the OU system).
 
My gut feeling is that I'd still rather have the messages stored on someone else's server, and if they were in mailboxes in my own computer I might get worried about the amount of space they were taking up, especially if there were anything like the number on this forum!
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BogusTrumper
MV Fellow
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You alone will be my last adventure

   

Posts: 282
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #9: 27.11.06 at 13:41 »
Quote

I think the forum structure is fine (and I much prefer a message board to an email list).
 
I am more used to vBull, which seems to be pretty flexible.  But given the low number of members and low rate of posting here, everything can really be worked out very easily from the new posts lists and the new posts in the fora markers.  So I am content.
 
And administering a board is a labor of love, and takes way more time than most people think!  So thank you Steve.
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And so goodbye, my lady of a night
Colin Crooks
MV Feature
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The Hypertension Kid

   

Posts: 46
Re: Forum Structure
« Reply #10: 27.11.06 at 17:54 »
Quote

on 27.11.06 at 10:38, Jim Grozier wrote:

 
...  I guess I'll have to switch to Outlook when I've finished ...

 
If you're only interested in email handling and not the calendar and task management, you might like to consider Mozilla Thunderbird.  Its interest browser cousin is Firefox.
 
Colin
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