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Author Topic: Comments on new site design  (Read 18058 times)
Chris_T
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« on: August 12, 2010, 06:45:19 AM »
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Been away for awhile and notice the new design. A couple of quick comments (after 5 minutes):

1. Saved links (for old forum threads) from the old design seemed to stop working. Instead of displaying the thread as it used to, one took me to the forum home page.

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=41252&hl=site

Another would only display a blank page.

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=13890

If the new design stops supporting links from the old design, it ought to be at least listed as a "new feature". It probably would be too much to ask for an automated way to convert the old links into workable new links.

2. In the old forum home page, clicking on the top "Luminous Landscape" link would take me to the main LL home page. Now it won't and stayed in the forum home page, and I could not find an easy alternate way.
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dchew
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 06:58:39 AM »
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2. In the old forum home page, clicking on the top "Luminous Landscape" link would take me to the main LL home page. Now it won't and stayed in the forum home page, and I could not find an easy alternate way.

Upper-right:  "Luminous Landscape Home"

Dave
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Mark Guertin
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 12:07:39 PM »
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Been away for awhile and notice the new design. A couple of quick comments (after 5 minutes):

1. Saved links (for old forum threads) from the old design seemed to stop working. Instead of displaying the thread as it used to, one took me to the forum home page.

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=41252&hl=site

Another would only display a blank page.

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=13890

If the new design stops supporting links from the old design, it ought to be at least listed as a "new feature". It probably would be too much to ask for an automated way to convert the old links into workable new links.

2. In the old forum home page, clicking on the top "Luminous Landscape" link would take me to the main LL home page. Now it won't and stayed in the forum home page, and I could not find an easy alternate way.

I've added a custom modification to perform 301 redirects for any of the old forum links (direct topic links only).  Worth noting, this was not just a new "design", it's completely different forum software.  Luckily it seems the the conversion preserved the topic ID's from the old site so this mod I did should perform well (in theory!).  If anyone sees it loading pages that they didn't expect from bookmarks please let me know.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 12:20:23 PM »
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Are we allowed to say we don't like the colors?  Hate them actually.. darker shades would be nicer.

The huge header (LL/discussion forum) header seems excessively huge..

I find the two icons to the right mostly a waste of space.. who's going to memorize the legend, especially when its at the bottom.  Cutesy icons aren't worth taking space over.. smiley faces, thumbs, etc.. and the different folder icons.. nah.. How about  a simple "hot topic" or "closed.."  Maybe it's just me.. but it's busy, takes space, and isn't very useful as far as providing information.

I know what I think isn't important.. never is to the wife anyway.. but there ya go..

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NikoJorj
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 01:58:03 PM »
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I've added a custom modification to perform 301 redirects for any of the old forum links (direct topic links only). 
Great, thanks!

BTW, Google still indexes the old "Lo-fi" form of threads, eg :
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t28791.html
for
http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=28791
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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pcunite
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 02:58:16 PM »
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A feature I use constantly is the "new" button for checking new posts I have not read. Since this button is now at the end of the post title, it is never in the same place. You might put it somewhere constant.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 03:13:10 PM »
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Many good improvements so far, thanks.

I use all the forms I am active in in threaded view where an indented view of the thread is shown.

This makes it possible to reply to a given post in a thread instead of replying to the whole thread, and is IMHO, one of the most important features. To my eyes a forum lacking this feature is... useless.

I have not found how to do this in the new interface, could you please explain how it can be done?

Thank you.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Mark Guertin
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2010, 06:32:56 PM »
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Nothing I can do for the lofi versions of the old pages unfortunately.  Google will catch up.

For a threaded view of the forum, I've not found that ability in this version of the software so unfortunately there's nothing I can do for that one.

Lastly, the "new" icons are also controlled by the forum backend, so there's no easy way to edit that either.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 10:52:38 PM »
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For a threaded view of the forum, I've not found that ability in this version of the software so unfortunately there's nothing I can do for that one.

This is a major issue, an order of magnitude more serious that the small details about lack of separation between posts.

A forum without threaded view really is next to unusable as it renders "conversations" within a thread impossible.

If you look at the old forum, you will realize that at least 70%to 80% of the posts are done within such a "conversation" where 2, 3 or 4 people discuss in alternance a sub-point of the initial topic.

I hate to be negative on this upgrade, but having deployed a forum software not offering this capability is IMHO a major mistake that will significantly reduce the appeal of LL's forums.

Cheers,
Bernard
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2010, 11:52:20 PM »
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So someone actually used threaded view... huh...
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michael
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 02:56:13 AM »
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Hummm. Must be me, but I never have used thread view. Appreciate its usefulness, but never felt the need.

Just to reiterate – the purpose of this forum software change was not to enhance the forum itself, but to provide a member database that we can use for other unique and worthwhile upcoming features. RThe old software just didn't have the capabilities that we needed.

We should all be thankful that Mark found SMF, because it provided a migration path. Without it we might have had to abandon all the messages and registrations. Angry
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kikashi
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2010, 03:20:49 AM »
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A few points:

 - I like the lines - they make it much easier to read.

 - Is there a way of viewing a multi-page thread in the old style, with the introductory post appearing at the top of each new page of replies?

 - What controls whether a thumbnail opens in its own window or merely enlarges in situ? Some do one, some the other. For an example, see the penultimate post in the Clouds thread (in User Critiques): the first three shots open in their own windows but the last exhibits the new behaviour. Like many here, I prefer images to open in separate windows.

 - each time I click "show unread posts", the number of pages of new posts shown on the first page is one greater than the actual number of pages: when I reach the last page, I find it doesn't actually exist.

 - is there a way of going directly to the last post of a thread if there are no new posts in it? On the old boards, there was a link to the last post in the "last post" column, which was logical. Here, there seems not to be any such link.

 - the boards certainly seem more responsive.

Jeremy
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2010, 03:45:06 AM »
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Hummm. Must be me, but I never have used thread view. Appreciate its usefulness, but never felt the need.
Hi, Michael

I think threaded view would be extremely useful in topics like "Recent Professional Works" (you often do not know to which photo a reply relates)... but the way round this is to have a sub-forum for it like "User critiques" ... and start a new topic for each new topic or photo, or set of photos.
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Kumar
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2010, 06:58:42 AM »
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In the old version, one could elect to remove the signature for a particular post.

Quick Reply also had an option to Go Advanced.

Threaded View is very important to me as well, for the reasons Bernard gave.

The colors are awful.

BUT, the boards seem to have become faster.

Kumar
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beamon
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2010, 07:59:22 AM »
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Just to reiterate – the purpose of this forum software change was not to enhance the forum itself, but to provide a member database that we can use for other unique and worthwhile upcoming features. RThe old software just didn't have the capabilities that we needed.


Hi Michael,

Would you please expand on your statement above? I hope that LL doesn't plan to allow members' data to be used by any other interests and that LL's use of it will not intrude in any way with our privacy.

BTW, the "delete account" capability of this s/w is a good feature. I hope that if a member chooses to use it that it will expunge all that member's data, 100%.
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Roger
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michael
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2010, 08:34:02 AM »
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Hi Michael,

Would you please expand on your statement above? I hope that LL doesn't plan to allow members' data to be used by any other interests and that LL's use of it will not intrude in any way with our privacy.

BTW, the "delete account" capability of this s/w is a good feature. I hope that if a member chooses to use it that it will expunge all that member's data, 100%.

Rest assured, no member's data will be visible by or used by this site or anyone else without that person's expressed permission and involvement.

Here's a hint at what's coming up, and why the database is important......

If a member wishes they can provide information about themselves. This information can be visible to others, or not. As one wishes.

Let's assume that you are a portrait photographer who lives in Boston and who shoots Nikon, and have underwater photography as a hobby. You also currently print with Epson printers.

If you provide the site with this information, then whenever there is a new article publish on the site, or a new discussion thread that mentions portrait photography, or Nikon camera or lens reviews, or Epson printers, or photography events in Boston, the system will be able to great you when you visit the site with an advisory that either new content or discussions on the topics that you are interested in has become available.

This can optionally be sent to you in the form of an RRS feed, or not. If you like you can make this information (or subsets of it) visible to others, or not. Always your choice.

You will also have our guarantee of complete confidentially with regard to your information, and also complete control over its use by the system.

If people want to take advantage of this new capability it will greatly enhance the site's usefulness. We are adding a great deal more in terms of new authors, topic experts, feature sections, discussion areas and more. Being a registered member (free, of course) will open the door to these features, but its optional, and anyone and everyone will still be able to read all content without the automation and community tools.

I've now probably disclosed more than I should (I'll punish myself at the next staff meeting), but I wanted people to know that the new database structure is intrinsic to what we've had in development for the past 12 months, and this particular brand of forum software was the only way to actualize it in a timely and cost effective manner.

So – I ask that everyone just settle down and become familiar with the new Forum software, because there's no going back now. Yes, it has some failings, but overall it will be the engine that will make LuLa a much more dynamic environment for those that love photography.

Michael

Ps: As for colours and other cosmetics, we'll continue to experiment, and value everyone's feedback. But I've also learned that you can't please all of the people all of the time.
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2010, 09:28:24 AM »
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Right now, I find the member's list a bit too accessible. Nothing prevents a quick script (running as guest) to collect the "public" information about all the users, their on-line (strictly speaking logged into board status), etc... Not too much of an issue for those of us who were relatively careful when providing their personal information, and I have no problem with sharing my ID/Age/URL with any member of the board, but I think this shouldn't be so visible and so accessbible to guest scripts.

Within a few minutes, the board being so fast, the database you have in mind can be created by anyone.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37216
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37216;sa=statPanel

Just loop on the uid and store the result. Not too bad, but still eventually very convenient for data collection and consolidation.

While delivering custom content to users in, in principle, a good idea, please make sure someone keeps an eye on security issues, especially if the plan is to evolve towards a more personalized experience.
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beamon
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2010, 09:51:48 AM »
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Thanks, Michael, for the sneek peek and the assurance of security issues.
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Roger
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2010, 09:54:03 AM »
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When building my own rather modest site.. the forum software choices were limited by priorities not necessarily obvious to forum users.

1.  Localization.  (ability to render in different languages, a planned future feature)

2.  SQL reliability and repair functions

3.  Data migration capabilities

4.  User account information inclusion into other parts of the site and planned future features.

After these requirements were met.. THEN we looked at actual forum design, icons, colors, and the little stuff..

Once you get to this point there just wasn't a lot of choices left..  
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2010, 10:03:54 AM »
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I'd wish the "unread posts" feature wouldn't leave out a post once I have read it.
Though this might be economic to some, I believe it would be nicer to be able
to go back to a topic in the "unread topics" list. Sometimes I just quick-peek into a
new topic and then want to go back to it later, butr with this forum behavior it is
lost for me from the list.
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