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HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

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HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on October 24th 2010, 7:50 pm

I like to go between the versions, and I'm finding it difficult to sift through all the information to find the information on the specific forum I'm working with. Have you considered doing different categories for the different forum versions so that those with PHPBB3 aren't getting crossed with PHPBB2, etc? Would make some of us novice CSS coders and such less confused when surfing this forum for answers.

Would also cut down on search time.


Last edited by Honor on October 28th 2010, 3:09 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Sanket on October 25th 2010, 5:27 am

You forgot to add a poll.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on October 28th 2010, 3:08 am

Wasn't going for a vote, just making a suggestion. Can add one tho, i guess.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Darren1 on October 28th 2010, 3:15 am

Hi,

Any suggestion here requires a vote Wink

I'm say no here.
The majority of our guides & tuts are now available for all versions.
Ones exclusive to PunBB & PHPBB2 state they they are only possible on those versions.
Example:

Visitor only message (PunBB & PHPBB2 Only) <---------- That's also possible for all versions but not yet provided, but states only on those versions )
Multi-themes for your forum <-------------- That's possible ( & provided )for all versions

There is no tut that is exclusive to PHPBB3 alone, nor InVision alone, PHPBB2 alone or PunBB alone anymore.

Thus making this suggestion, in my opinion, useless Wink
No offence is meant here.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on October 28th 2010, 3:25 am

I'm speaking about for the forums to post questions. If I search how to change a code, I currently have to sift through hundreds of threads of similar "how to" questions for every theme before I find the CSS code that works for PHPBB3.

Would also help in comparison when trying to decide on one to stick with.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by LH Justin on October 28th 2010, 3:32 am

@Honor wrote:I'm speaking about for the forums to post questions. If I search how to change a code, I currently have to sift through hundreds of threads of similar "how to" questions for every theme before I find the CSS code that works for PHPBB3.

Would also help in comparison when trying to decide on one to stick with.
Don't see the point in this because the CSS classes are pretty similar and it's easy to find the appropriate class. Forumotion's CSS's are kept someone uniform for this purpose.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Agenda on October 28th 2010, 6:00 am

Well I'm voting yes here, and I understand what Honor is getting at. Its the searching that's the problem, not the quantity of related answers we have around here. The same dilemma he is recognizing is every bit similar to the dilemma we had with the graphics section. There is organization, but only so little that many of the topics are just jumbled together, and a specific problem for a specific version is lost amongst a sea of several problems for several versions, but under one big forum with one too-generic title.

The proposition concerns a user-generated search. If I'm having troubles with an Invision CSS error and I need help finding the answer to said error, then I can easily start a search in, let's say, the "Manage the appearance of your forum" section. However, how many questions related to CSS compatability errors are there in that section? Let's take a look... If I type in simply "CSS" then I get no information returned because the search refuses to send a spider for something only containing 3 dang letters. Search "css error" and I get a list of 25 different topics concerning anything that has to do with "error". Some of it concerns spelling, others admin panel, others "DB", etc, etc.

See what I'm getting at? Searching one large forum for a specific problem can be tedious. Its far easier to find what you're looking for if each of the forums in the support section were reclassified to focus on a particular interest, such as forum versions as this proposal is addressing. Search strings would produce better results. If the topic doesn't exist after all then the user can simply open up a new topic and wait for support.

Furthermore, if they are not sure how to address their issue, then bringing it up in a more narrow section would help responding users to better answer their question or solve the problem. I've seen several times where users have asked for help with their CSS for a BB2 or BB3 board and a responding user posts a line of code with properties pertaining to Pun or Invision. However, if we were to put that topic into a forum pertaining to only BB3 issues, or only BB2 issues, then the results would produce something more favorable. I'm sure, this, we can all agree on, or your just a monkey.

How does that old saying go? Oh yeah....

Organization is the key to success.

Reorganizing the graphics section seems to be working well with narrowing down a search for, say, ranks; now why can't we do something similar for the support section as well?

"Script (code) problems" can include issues dealing with a WIDE range of things. You first have to think about which code would be necessary to solve the problem. HTML? CSS? JavaScript? JQuery? Magic? Next, you need to understand the user's exact problem. Which forum version are they using? Does the theme have particular limits (for instance, many themes out there have widgets hidden via CSS, so the users can't just turn on their forum widgets, drop in a code, and expect their board to look the same)? There is also the question of template editing capabilities (can the fix be done with a whole stream of code, or does it need to be condensed into a line of JavaScript for phpBB3 or Invision boards?).

This is the issue being addressed here, not tuts, and not similarities in Forumotion's basic CSS properties.

I hope I helped clarify that.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on October 28th 2010, 4:42 pm

Thank you! That's exactly it, Agenda!

This is the forum company we moved from:
http://if.invisionfree.com/index/

They're support section was EXTREMELY easy to use. Much easier than this. Take a gander and see how it's set up, and you'll understand what I mean. They have two kinds of boards (Zeta and Invision), so they have two categories. In those categories are the divisions like script, code, graphics, ect, and then it's broken down as needed beyond that. I could find things in minutes by searching in the right section, and often it only took me a few days to not only add a skin, but modify it with widgets and similar things by literally copy/pasting from other threads that had already covered the topic.

This support forum takes me almost two days alone just to find an answer (especially if I have to post a question), and then half the time the answers I get have very little to do with the type of board I'm using.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Agenda on October 29th 2010, 6:19 am

@Honor wrote:Thank you! That's exactly it, Agenda!

What can I say? I'm good with words. It comes naturally with a family of lawyers. Neutral

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by ngocducqtk32 on October 29th 2010, 2:02 pm

Voting yes .... ! that a good idea!

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on November 3rd 2010, 4:21 pm

My case in point:

Because these forums are not set up to where I can search in a specific category for my PHPBB3 forum, I couldn't do an easy search on questions I KNOW someone else has to have asked (my searches are returning hundreds of results that have nothing to do with my questions). I now have two topics out in which I've waited almost a week with no answers.

Also, in searching through these forums, I've come across a few threads where people have asked questions a while ago, got their answers, but then couldn't find the thread again when they needed it.

To break down these support forums by categorizing according to the platforms (versions) offered would cut down the number of posts to search through in each category making it easier to surf, and to locate older threads.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Guest on November 3rd 2010, 9:09 pm

@LH Justin wrote:Don't see the point in this because the CSS classes are pretty similar and it's easy to find the appropriate class. Forumotion's CSS's are kept someone uniform for this purpose.
The CSS between versions is NOT similar at all! phpBB2 has virtually no CSS because it was written in the last millennium and uses almost no classes in its tags. PunBB is better, but it's still problematic because virtually all its CSS is based on the div.pun page wrapper, and most of its major classes contain the phrase 'pun' (which is just plain stupid on the part of the board's author). phpBB3 and Invision are BY FAR the best boards for CSS manipulation, but their CSS is completely different from each other.

Voted YES, but the best solution for forumotion is to get rid of phpBB2 and focus on the other three board types. (Actually the best solution is to get rid of PunBB as well, but that would be too radical a suggestion. Cool )

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by LH Justin on November 3rd 2010, 9:33 pm

@Honor wrote:Thank you! That's exactly it, Agenda!

This is the forum company we moved from:
http://if.invisionfree.com/index/

They're support section was EXTREMELY easy to use. Much easier than this. Take a gander and see how it's set up, and you'll understand what I mean. They have two kinds of boards (Zeta and Invision), so they have two categories. In those categories are the divisions like script, code, graphics, ect, and then it's broken down as needed beyond that. I could find things in minutes by searching in the right section, and often it only took me a few days to not only add a skin, but modify it with widgets and similar things by literally copy/pasting from other threads that had already covered the topic.

This support forum takes me almost two days alone just to find an answer (especially if I have to post a question), and then half the time the answers I get have very little to do with the type of board I'm using.
Maybe next time you should clarify your suggestion then. Wink

Now while I agree that this could be useful on occasion, with the separated support section we have I don't think it would be practical for people here to ask one question. And if you can't find an answer, make a topic, that's why it's a support section, not an index of information.
@Dion wrote:
@LH Justin wrote:Don't see the point in this because the CSS classes are pretty similar and it's easy to find the appropriate class. Forumotion's CSS's are kept someone uniform for this purpose.
The CSS between versions is NOT similar at all! phpBB2 has virtually no CSS because it was written in the last millennium and uses almost no classes in its tags. PunBB is better, but it's still problematic because virtually all its CSS is based on the div.pun page wrapper, and most of its major classes contain the phrase 'pun' (which is just plain stupid on the part of the board's author). phpBB3 and Invision are BY FAR the best boards for CSS manipulation, but their CSS is completely different from each other.

Voted YES, but the best solution for forumotion is to get rid of phpBB2 and focus on the other three board types. (Actually the best solution is to get rid of PunBB as well, but that would be too radical a suggestion. Cool )
Actually Dion I was referring to how the CSS were ordered and organized, almost everything is in the same place in the CSS. I wasn't declaring that the classes were similar by any means, I think you've misunderstood my point. And having the word pun in almost every class is a bit annoying, but it's still readable. There aren't really that many things that are possible on all forum versions, so I don't understand your logic in saying that phpBB3 and Invision are better in that manor. They are bit more flexible then the other versions, because as you said they weren't written in the last millennium. What is achievable on phpBB3 and Invision is also achievable on phpBB2 and punBB with trickery and mimicry. I do agree that phpBB2 is far too outdated to keep around though. Template Editing is the only thing that has kept it alive and I do wish phpBB2 users would be forced onto another version, but that's not going to happen anytime soon. punBB is still far within the usability parameters right now though.

And this has gotten really off topic. I was simply saying that it isn't that hard to apply a tutorial to all versions because it isn't that hard to figure out what does what for different versions.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on November 6th 2010, 3:06 pm

Now that you understand my suggestion, reread my case in point just above: Though it "should" work this way, it doesn't. It's simply too big.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on November 10th 2010, 5:45 am

To show that I understand exactly what I'm suggesting, I am more than willling that, if the staff decides to try this, I will gladly help sort if you want. (Yes, it's really bothering me that bad Razz )

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Agenda on November 10th 2010, 11:54 pm

Can I point out something real quick? Thanks.


Yeah... I think those numbers I bit heavy. Don't you think so too?

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by LH Justin on November 11th 2010, 12:37 am

As I said before the forums aren't an index of information, they are meant for you to ask questions and have them answered.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on November 11th 2010, 11:39 pm

So.... you guys really don't mind answering the same question multiples of times then? Because the search function doesn't give any good results with these kinds of numbers.

And I have three topics STILL open without answers (been over two weeks now)

I'm not looking for an index of answers. I'm looking for an more condensed search option (have a PHPBB3 board? enter the PHPBB3 section and search there, and it doesn't render results from the other categories). That's how we should be able to search, but that's not what we're able to do it.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by LH Justin on November 12th 2010, 12:38 am

@Honor wrote:So.... you guys really don't mind answering the same question multiples of times then? Because the search function doesn't give any good results with these kinds of numbers.

And I have three topics STILL open without answers (been over two weeks now)

I'm not looking for an index of answers. I'm looking for an more condensed search option (have a PHPBB3 board? enter the PHPBB3 section and search there, and it doesn't render results from the other categories). That's how we should be able to search, but that's not what we're able to do it.
In response to the text in red what you are describing is an index of information that can be searched through to find answers, and as I've said twice now it isn't supposed to serve this purpose. It is basically a place to get a quick answer.

We try to make thread authors keep their titles explicit, but it's inevitably impossible to control what other people do. This is where the FAQ/Tips & Tricks sections come in. If we have a question appearing constantly we will usually write a tutorial or information thread explaining the problem/query.

The point is your suggestion is okay in concept, but I doubt it would do well in practice. The purpose of the support section is to ask a question and have it answered. I understand sometimes a question may not be answered, but there are a lot of questions to be answered, so some get forgotten. Separating four forums to have four different sub-forums is just ridiculous; a new user would be completely and hopelessly lost. The cons are greater than the pros in this suggestion.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on November 12th 2010, 4:31 am

Worked perfect for Invisionfree. May be heading back there with all this hoopla. This support forum is the least helpful thing I've ever come across, and I've admined three (or four, can't remember now) different boards from different companies. I do actually happen to know "what works".


In several question threads, I've seen it asked that you "search the forums before asking this question". Yet when I've searched what I needed to know, I spend half an hour sifting through over twenty pages of threads.

So I ask a question. And it goes weeks without an answer?

I wasn't disgruntled before, but now I am. Not because of this thread, but because of the time it takes to get answers (still waiting in several spots!) Forgotten? Not with all the bumping I do.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on November 14th 2010, 7:28 am

Alright then here's an idea.

If this isn't an index of information, delete all threads older than a year as obviously the versions have changed to where the information is for the most part outdated, or there are answers now where there once weren't any.

Course, if you say you can't do that because there are answers there, then this is indeed an index of information and needs to be organized.

And you can't say the search function renders newest post first, because that depends entirely on the wording of the search vs the wording of the topic titles. I've had search results showing starting dates for topics back in 2005 on the very first page.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by LH Justin on November 16th 2010, 5:03 am

@Honor wrote:Alright then here's an idea.

If this isn't an index of information, delete all threads older than a year as obviously the versions have changed to where the information is for the most part outdated, or there are answers now where there once weren't any.

Course, if you say you can't do that because there are answers there, then this is indeed an index of information and needs to be organized.

And you can't say the search function renders newest post first, because that depends entirely on the wording of the search vs the wording of the topic titles. I've had search results showing starting dates for topics back in 2005 on the very first page.
What would be the point of deleting all thread older than a year? Waste the time of staff?

The search function compares topic titles to your search and and finds what it thinks is most relevant and has nothing to do with date posted as far as I know.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Honor on November 18th 2010, 2:13 am

Dude you don't listen, eh? The problem is the number of topics to sift through. Solvable through either 1) narrowing the search parameters by dividing the posts between the different supported versions or 2) removing excess and now outdated threads.

Since you say this isn't an index of information, there should be no problem purging the old and outdated posts.

Check this: The official PHPBB community.

GASP! Their support forum is divided how? Versions! As is InvisionFree Support. Who'd have thunk it? The big dogs play right.

Oh wait, I forgot. Forumotion isn't customer-friendly.

Forget it - you guys can fight your own support system. We're moving. The lack of care for clients as well as the completely discriminatory remarks made by actual staff members has lost all our respect for this company.

OH! And check this - I have 4 support topics in the PHPBB3 forum, all answered within 12 hours with satisfactory answers.

And they even have a board Forumotion Converter. Never loose your database again.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by LH Justin on November 18th 2010, 3:35 am

@Honor wrote:Dude you don't listen, eh? The problem is the number of topics to sift through. Solvable through either 1) narrowing the search parameters by dividing the posts between the different supported versions or 2) removing excess and now outdated threads.

Since you say this isn't an index of information, there should be no problem purging the old and outdated posts.

Check this: The official PHPBB community.

GASP! Their support forum is divided how? Versions! As is InvisionFree Support. Who'd have thunk it? The big dogs play right.

Oh wait, I forgot. Forumotion isn't customer-friendly.

Forget it - you guys can fight your own support system. We're moving. The lack of care for clients as well as the completely discriminatory remarks made by actual staff members has lost all our respect for this company.

OH! And check this - I have 4 support topics in the PHPBB3 forum, all answered within 12 hours with satisfactory answers.
What I'm saying is that what is the point of purging old information if it isn't an index of information? You have no reason to search through all of that mess.

As for the different versions being divided into sections, Forumotion's versions only differ in CSS and templates, nothing else. This is why they can be grouped together.

And I'd like to point out that all of us here are voluntary staff and sometimes get flooded with work or we just don't know the answer because we're only human. It's not like we were handed a manual to Forumotion, everything we know we figured out ourselves and we use it to help members to the best of our abilities. If you feel that support is inadequate there is no reason to go attacking Forumotion in a thread, if you have a complaint about support questions not being answered you need to PM a staff member and we can think about hiring new staff or improving the support system somehow.

I am simply against this method of organization because it does not make sense for the type of forums that Forumotion has.

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by [ViP] K-Pop on November 21st 2010, 2:59 am

I think so! it would help people

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Re: HelpForum Suggestion: Version Separations

Post by Caihlem on November 27th 2010, 11:12 pm

Hum... tough question :/

Yes it would be handy
No it'd make the forum tough to navigate through

Basically, the problem (from my point of view) lies there. I think however, that I'll be voting No. As my ex-colleague LH here mentioned there's tutorials dedicated specifically for each version already. I don't think that the advantage of out-growing the forum would be greater than the added difficulty in it's navigation

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