Testing A New Feature: Extended Forum Layout
PLEASE READ BELOW AND PARTICIPATE IN THE TEST BEFORE VOTING ABOVE. If you don't test this feature, then please don't vote. I'm trying to get an accurate reading from folks who are legitimately testing the Extended Layout feature. Please also provide any feedback by replying below, e.g. "I like the Extended Layout but I wish the Recent Topics sections were collapsed by default".
While we are working on the Latest Topics feature, I decided to try out the "Extended Layout" feature of the forum. I find it intriguing. In a nutshell, it basically marries the traditional forum directory page with a Latest Topics listing (topics/threads listed in order based on the last reply). It shows the 5 most recent topics in each forum in order of when the last reply was posted in each topic. You can see it by simply visiting the main Community Forums page, which indeed is the forum directory page. Currently, the feature is only activated in the Surveying-Related forums.
The Extended Layout also adds similar functionality to individual topics (once you enter one of the forums), by showing a preview of the original post plus the first 4 replies in the topic by clicking the dropdown arrow under the topic title. This allows you to see an excerpt of each post, when it was posted, and who posted it before entering the topic. This allows you to browse the topics and only visit those that may look interesting for you.
I'm seeing the links and can use the pull-downs once in a forum. I'm using Chrome 63.0.3239.108.
I like both a LOT. I haven't quite figured out the indents used with the authors (at right side) on the pull-downs. Original message is indented. Top-level replies are to the left/not indented with comments on that reply indented. There see to be some indentations that don't appear to match that, but I haven't investigated the threads thoroughly to see if I can spot the pattern.
Coordinate reference system and transformation specialist at Esri
I'll set my link to point to the Forums page. At first blush I'm not sure I like having the recent threads grouped by forum, but I"ll see how it feels over the next couple of days. My browser seems to default to having all the forums dropped down, which is probably the way I'd want it anyway.
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Initial reaction: I like the interface and hope it stays and expands.
Thoughts after kicking around the particular area for a few minutes:
When I click on a link I have not read or visited, I am taken to the last post. I might expect to find myself at the first message in that thread I had not read.
Related to above thought: for me, the menu bar is a tad too far down and partially covers the first line of text (as was mentioned initially on this new site and promptly addressed by the ever so wonderful person in charge). For the record, my primary browser is a Firefox knockoff called Pale Moon version 27.6.2.
On my system, the link to the thread "Giving CAD files to Architects/Engineers?" doesn't work -- it goes the Forums page.
You've accidentally stumbled on a bug. 🙂 That was a first post from a new user which requires moderation (spam prevention measure) and hadn't yet been approved. So technically you shouldn't have been able to see it until I approved it, which I just did. So it was redirecting you because you did not have permission to see it yet.
Just to be clear, this is NOT intended to replace the Latest Topics page/widget that we are working on. I didn't want anyone to think this is regarded as the solution to this problem because it is not.
Seems there's a some confusion as to what the Extended Layout is supposed to do, so hopefully the images below will help to clarify what you should expect.
Here is the Forums Directory page, which is simply our https://rplstoday.com/community page:
Here is the view from within a specific forum using the Extended Layout, which provides a preview of the topics inside:
I like tweaks that you have implemented and also like that the forum moves a little slower in seeking info. In my opinion, slower is good. I don’t need a recap of every thread with replies brought to my attention. It seems that with a few clicks one has all the info they need to read or peruse. Maybe a popular thread or hot topic with interesting discussion could be highlighted or tagged in some way to alert readers.
Maybe a popular thread or hot topic with interesting discussion could be highlighted or tagged in some way to alert readers.
I do have plans to implement some sort of featured threads feature, but I'm focusing on buggy stuff first.
However, you can look at the icons next to the topics, regardless of whether or not you are viewing in the Simplified Layout or the Featured Layout. The icons give you an idea of the status of each topic. For instance, the orange page icon indicates that it's a hot topic. I want to change that icon to fire or something though, but I consider that a low priority issue.
The legend can be found in the Forum Statistics section at the bottom of all forum-related pages.