Big Changes Coming to the Forums!

(Linus Åkesson) #121

If we’re nitpicking on the theme, it’s not immediately clear to me what the function of the colours is. Both “Community Announcements” and “Collaboration and Author Resources” are orange, while both “Authoring” and “TADS 2 and 3” are light green, and I don’t see the connection. Surely it’s not just for decoration?

But that’s a minor thing, and I’m sure it can be switched off. I’m much more worried about what tomasb wrote:

On the whole, I was starting to warm up to the idea of Discourse (mobile-friendly, less clutter, etc.), but those are some very loud warning bells.

(matt w) #122

I don’t have any inside info, but if you look at the Latest posts or some other list, the colors let you quickly visually differentiate (e.g.) posts in “General” from posts in “Authoring.” I would guess that the reason that some colors get reused is that there’s more categories than colors.


I was going to say that you could just disable Javascript for the Discourse page and then it’s very snappy and has pages instead of the irritating infinite scrolling (though no styling), but apparently then you can’t log in or post or anything AFAICT. :frowning:


(Hanon Ondricek) #124

Have you been able to try logging into discourse with JS turned on and then turning it off, or does it not work that way?

(Hanon Ondricek) #125

Yes, that’s the reason. We have a lot more categories than most forums so there is some re-use. We can turn the color bullets off for categories altogether, but then as Matt pointed out, there’s no differentiation.

I actually like the Vincent theme because it makes bullets that are round and visibly split in two when there’s a category and sub-category color that differ. What that means is we can extensively tweak look and feel via CSS, but that’s a thing to eventually do after the forum is live and any extensive customization won’t be wiped out when the board is reset. Similarly, we can adjust the category colors so there aren’t any that match the main category or each other, though there is only so much that can be done to get colors that are perceptibly different - it becomes a matter of needing to choose among green/light-green/yellowish green.

(Linus Åkesson) #126

Thanks Hanon and Matt, and the rest of the mod team, for taking the time to listen to everybody’s concerns and questions! Your answers in this thread are consistently clarifying and well-researched, and it’s appreciated.


Yeah, but it doesn’t matter if you’re logged in, nothing really works except for viewing. A lot of the regular navigation stuff is completely gone. You can see the unread posts without JS if you bookmark the page but it doesn’t remember that you have now read the ones that you’ve visited. It seems to record that with JS when you click the link? Yeah, if you visit a thread directly (from a bookmark or something) then it does not record that you have visited it, even if you’re logged in and have JS enabled. That’s…an extremely stupid design decision. Hrmph. I would have said that nothing could be worse than the clunkiness of phpBB, but the more I look at this, the more it seems like a badly-constructed piece of software. But…yeah, that’s web devs for you. Oh well.

Anyway. Lots of sites are partly or mostly broken without JS: I’m OK with that. I just thought it might be a way for people to avoid some of the things about Discourse that they seem to be objecting to. Apparently not.


It seems the powers that be decided on Discourse.

Would it be possible to run a poll instead to see what people actually prefer?


It’s deeply disappointing, but it feels like this decision was made before this thread was started.

I think the “real poll” will end up being whether or not they see a drop-off of people showing up to post after the migration… or an influx of complaints about discourse not functioning the way the userbase expects a forum to work.

I’ll likely load the page every so often to see if it gets de-discoursed, but I’m just not feeling the “New Coke” here.

(matt w) #130

Hi, speaking only for myself and not for the rest of the moderator team, I want to say that the moderators had a very vigorous discussion about which forum software to move to–the decision was not at all made before this thread was started! That’s why it’s taken so long to do the migration.

One factor in the choice is that one of the key modifications to phpBB that we use to help moderate the board is no longer supported by its creator and does not work in the latest version of phpBB. So sticking with phpBB would make it harder to respond to moderation issues, in a way that might not be directly obvious but would still hurt the board in my opinion.

The other members of the team, who are more familiar with the technical side of things, have been working on ways to give people options to improve their Discourse experience. That’s something that they’ll keep doing (again, not speaking officially for them, but I feel sure that they’ll try).

I understand that this is not necessarily satisfying to everyone but I hope that people will give the updated forum a try!

Tips to organize your home page
unpinned #131


Shouldn’t this discussion have been held in public?

(Hanon Ondricek) closed #134

(Hanon Ondricek) #137

The forums have migrated and this topic has been closed.
Feel free to discuss the forum in the Site Feedback category.