Pros and Cons of this phpBB Software vs. Worldcrossing

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Pros and Cons of this phpBB Software vs. Worldcrossing

Postby Ferguson Foont » Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:39 pm

After a week (it's only been a week? Well, no, actually not yet!) of setting up and running the NEW! IMPROVED?? Bare-Knuckles Politics 2.0 on phpBB on my own ISP I have noticed some interesting pros and cons.

For me, with my somewhat verbose style, one of the chief pros is that there is evidently no limit on the length of an individual post here. Hooray!

Whether the depth of the heirarchy is a pro or a con remains an open question. Navigation is obviously more complicated than the almost flat arrangement of the old BKP on Worldcrossing. The index page, which permits brief descriptions of the "forums," is longer than it should be. This is not even necessary because the "categories" can be collapsed by clicking on one of them, but I have not discovered how to make it default to the collapsed view, which would be very close to ideal.

There are lots of levels of control for access, but the logic of it is very different from Worldcrossing's and it will take much thought and clerical work to make it behave precisely as I want.

I had thought I was unable to move posts and topics around, but I discovered yesterday that I was wrong, and so that's one apparent "con" that has been nullified by experience. Indeed, the capabilities here apparently constitute a "pro," because it is actually much more flexible, permitting me to split topics and move selected posts en masse.

I haven't figured out special characters yet, like ü. We need that. I also do not seem to be able to use background images for anything but table cells created in posts, although this IS a listed configuration option -- it just doesn't seem to work.
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A Couple More Pros

Postby Ferguson Foont » Sat Jul 05, 2003 12:14 am

I love the way you can see the previous posts in a thread while you are composing your own post in this software, and scroll up and down in the previous posts independently of your own post. That's brilliant, particularly if you're trying to craft a point-by-point rebuttal.

Also, I anticipate that we will get a freeper storm here eventually. I have opened up membership almost totally, so it'll happen some time, probably sooner than later (more likely sooner AND later). But it will be much easier to clean up their garbage here than it was on Worldcrossing. Not only is response from the server almost instantaneous, there are administrative features here that permit me to identify freep disruptive posts quickly and delete them very, very efficiently. I also have ways to lock out misbehaving freepers that will be much more effective than one based solely on user names.

And I like using the combination of "BBCode" and HTML. I really like the way the BBcode "Quote" displays quoted text.

The more familiar I get with this, the better I like it. And I haven't even started delving into the actual programming code yet.
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A Con

Postby Ferguson Foont » Sun Jul 06, 2003 6:44 pm

One of the problems here is that post titles must be kept very brief, and they are displayed in a font so small that it does not impart the effect I prefer.

When I start playing with the actual programming this is one of the first problems I shall correct.
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Postby D H » Sun Jul 06, 2003 10:28 pm

Ferg,

If you want help in modifying the code on this thing, you know where I can be reached.
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Postby susan m » Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:31 pm

Ferg, so far, I like the layout and features. One problem though: the "jump to / select a forum" doesn't work, at least not for me. I select a forum, press "Go" and nothing happens. Does it work for anyone else?

I don't think this is related to the other problem I emailed you about either, because it doesn't work at home or at work.
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Hope This Helps

Postby Ferguson Foont » Tue Jul 08, 2003 2:40 am

Ferg, so far, I like the layout and features. One problem though: the "jump to / select a forum" doesn't work, at least not for me. I select a forum, press "Go" and nothing happens. Does it work for anyone else?

Works fine for me. You have to jump to a FORUM, however. You may be trying to jump to a CATEGORY, which on this software is the parent of a forum. When you try to do that in "Jump to:" it does nothing.

For example, you cannot "Jump to:" the <U>category</U> "General Politics," but you can "Jump to:" the <U>forums</U> "Political Humor" or "Our Political Parties." If you try to jump to "General Politics" or any other category it will do nothing but sit there.
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Larn Sumpn' New Evr' Day

Postby Ferguson Foont » Tue Jul 08, 2003 11:29 pm

Believe it or not, I had not tried the Search function on this system before a couple minutes ago. Indeed, I hadn't even noticed that there was one and assumed that its absence was a con of this software vs. Worldcrossing.

It works well here and locates posts that were entered even immediately before the search function was invoked, indicating a rather sophisticated indexing mechanism.

You access it from the second of the little blue links at the top of the page under the "Welcome" blurb.

There is also an internal email system for use between users that's real nifty, and a feature where I can send an announcement to all registered users in a single action (something that I promise I will use only VERY sparingly -- I really hate spam).
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Postby susan m » Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:31 pm

Thanks for the heads up on how the "jump" function works, Ferg.

One more question/complaint --

How come the posts aren't numbered? Numbered posts are good for knowing how big a thread is and where you are in it; they're also good for saving and referencing. Is there any way that this software can be set to generate numbers for the posts?
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Postby Ferguson Foont » Fri Jul 11, 2003 12:59 am

How come the posts aren't numbered? Beats the heck out of me. It is not an option available among the configuration settings.

Better than that, I would like it to display starting with the most recent post you have already read at the top of the thread display. This also is not an option as far as I've yet discovered.

In the source, there do seem to be numbers attached as "name=" tags to most posts, but they are not consecutive within threads and seem instead to be numbered chronologically overall.

This is one of these things we can only hope for in future releases, I suppose. It does make navigating quite a pain.
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This forum

Postby Grizzled Adams » Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:50 pm

I really don't like this whole format. Must be to used to the TT/ wordcrossing thing. I find it very hard to read the topics i want to. from what i have found and read, you are still doing a tremendus job. I will continue to lurk but Furg forgive me if I dont contribute.

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Postby Ferguson Foont » Sun Sep 14, 2003 1:50 am

Yes, I agree that navigation is difficult, and with 2.2 it will only get worse, as 2.2 will permit infinite "nesting" of subthreads within subthreads.

I'll tell you one thing: I am not going to permit THAT to get out of hand.

Once you get caught up it's not so bad, but this version (and I think they're going to fix this problem in 2.2) makes it so you have to catch completely up EVERY TIME YOU LOGIN, or you'll lose the little orange "unread post" indicators and will have to determine by date which you have not read. What a pain!
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