Author Topic: Suggestions Welcomed  (Read 34169 times)

Mike Briggs

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2007, 03:01:31 pm »
One question though, Mike, what's the avatar sizing? Is it 65X65? I was wondering if it's possible to make it any bigger than that? Maybe 100X100 pixels? Which is not too big, but big enough to do a bit of detail in the avatar.

I wasn't trying to ignore you, I just need to get some time blocked out to master this crazy forum software.  It looks like the avatar size is set globally in the templates.   If I change it, all the other avatars will be stretched to those dimensions, which would probably make them look grainy, or would show up with a bunch of blank space around them..  Talking to some other folks, it looks like 65x65 is a pretty standard avatar size, so I'm just going to leave it as is.  Sorry Elle :'(
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Mike Briggs

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2007, 04:36:41 pm »
Well, one thing about a shorter sig, it gives you the chance to spread your 'wit' out.
Different topic:  Except for the few forum members in the Southern Hemisphere, winter is creeping up on us.  Is there a way to change the background colors of the forum screens to something warmer?

Absolutely - there's probably two hundred skins available for these forums.  I STILL need to find some time to customize a skin, but I'm not sure when I'll be able to do that.

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Mike
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Mike Briggs

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2007, 05:40:27 pm »
Hmmm.  I'm suffering from the "too many irons in the fire" syndrome.  These forums are BARELY customized at all -- pretty much running a plain vanilla installation.  :-\ I don't know HOW to add a lot of functionality, though there are quite a few plugins available for these forums.  They're also written in PHP, and use a fairly straightforward database design for the back end.   

DarkQueen -- you mentioned you've played with forums previously, have you played with the "Simple Machines Forums?", and do you have the PHP skills required to make changes to the code base?  If so, many things become more possible. . .   ;D

As far as adding to the signatures -- actually I think there's PLENTY of signature options already.  In fact, there are a few that have enough text and graphics to be borderline obnoxious already.   :P

We'll need to write a custom theme for these pages at some point, but I'd really prefer to make it look more like Patty's primary site rather than something completely different, even if different were creative and good. 

Maybe I'm just a stick in the mud, but in general I prefer simple and functional to glitzy.  Still, if several people want something and there's a plugin available, I'll be happy to install it. 
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DarkQueen

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2007, 07:31:40 pm »
Yup, I have PHP skills. It's been awhile but I'm sure I can remember most of it. If not, there's always internet help sites. :)

Alright, alright, I'll lay low about the suggestions then. ;)

charmed

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2007, 05:11:03 am »
..... I tried Baen's Bar and it was horribly confusing and overwhelming!  Thanks for all your work, Mike, I think this forum rocks!! :)


Same here. I've stopped going there, it's just not worth it.

I'm utterly useless at software and such but if ever the board needs another mod, I'm game. I've got experience on another forum.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 05:12:44 am by cat charmer »
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jackie

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2007, 07:48:08 am »
It's not that change isn't welcome per se,  it's that I at least find simple better than busy or flashy.  Patty's site is a good example.  And at least a few of us are aware that simple isn't always easy to achieve once software is involved. :P 

Mike Briggs

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2007, 08:15:21 am »
It's not that change isn't welcome per se,  it's that I at least find simple better than busy or flashy.  Patty's site is a good example.  And at least a few of us are aware that simple isn't always easy to achieve once software is involved. :P 

Absolutely.  I made my living as a programmer for a number of years.  Like most young programmers I wanted to show what I could do, and came up with some horrible "cool" ideas.  Fortunately I had a wonderful mentor named Steeg.  I remember one incident very clearly.  In an application I needed to let the users select a number between 0 and 100, with  single-decimal precision.  I came up with a very cute "radio knob" control.  You could "grab" this chrome-knob image with your mouse and spin it round and round (it even made little clickity sounds).  A simulated "LED" display next to the knob would display the selected number, incrementing or decrementing as you spun the knob.  It was flashy, it was 'retro' and I thought it was very cool.

Steeg praised my programming skills, and suggested we submit the program for user testing, smiling a little.  The users couldn't figure it out.  They moused all around the stupid knob, but it somehow wasn't apparent that they were supposed to click on the rim of a knob icon and then whirl their mouse in little circles to select a number.  When the reviews were in, my knob was the source of considerable frustration, and was easily replaced by a simple text box.

Then Steeg said something I'll never forget, "Beginning programmers focus on what they can do.  Expert programmers focus on what they should do."    Simple, elegant and easily used, that's what we're looking for.


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Ellyll

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2007, 11:09:18 am »
I don't think you should stop posting suggestions.  Speaking for myself, I wasn't annoyed by your suggestion, I just didn't agree with it, but that's okay, isn't it?  And from reading the other posts, I don't think anyone else was annoyed or upset with you for the suggestion, either.  I think some of the comments were about fancy design changes in general (and I was a programmer in a previous life, too, so I get that), rather than your particular suggestion.  

Keep suggesting, and don't feel badly, okay?   :)
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jackie

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2007, 12:53:42 am »
DQ - Your suggestions are welcomed, just as ours were when we stated a preference for a simple layout.  If you have some elegant looking changes or some ease of use options I'm sure your expertise would be useful as well as appreciated.  We may be opinionated, but we don't mind if you have opinions too.

DarkQueen

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2007, 02:39:46 pm »
It's fine guys, don't worry.

The thing is I don't understand why you  say you want a "simple" board as the reason you don't like my ideas because frankly I didn't think the four ideas I suggested made the board much more complicated... This is the last time I talk about this but I just want to explain I guess because right now I feel like I'm this super snob girl who only wants the more complicated sh$t and wants to convert this board absolutely as if it's a VBulletin which is really not the case. I guess I took it personnal.

Signature at the bottom of the post: I admit this is overkill. So this one I understand why people didn't like it.


Countdown: This usually is a little image that is put at the complete bottom of the site itself. For exemple, it would be under "Powered by SMF 1.1.4 | SMF © 2006, Simple Machines LLC " and is usually 40px by 65px or something and it's only an image that says "3 days, 26 minutes and 12 seconds 'till book whatever". You only see it if you completely scroll down the page. Even more, if I remember correctly, it doesn't take that much time to add that to a board.

How about a different color fo the mod's username?: This is to differentiate the mods from the user and the admin from the mods and on and on. I don't see what that complicates... It's only a color whereas we normal user have black. There is no glitz or moving texts or something. Honestly I've had a hard time to see who's mod who's not, it makes it easier. Yes, you could say you can read the little text under the username or go in the "Moderation" forum. Personally, I've always liked this feature and like all of you say we all have our right to our opinions and I completely agree. I just can't help but feel that this is not something complicated or flashy (my, I feel I'm going to used that word many times in this post). Although, for Mike, I do agree it can be a little hard to do as a modification to the board itself.

How about a theme contest? This is not even a board modification...... I just thought that in the "Contests and Giveaways" forum we could have a competition amongs members where we could all make a banner or something for a new theme, it didn't even have to be a theme it could have been banners or stuff like that. I guess the fact that there would be a banner would make the board glitzy....

So that's it. I understand that people didn't like my ideas and it's quite normal. I just didn't get why everyone was saying it was complicated, flashy and glitzy that's all.
 

charmed

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2007, 07:35:08 pm »
I like the idea of a different color font for mods. One board I go to does that and it really is convenient. Another Board where I am a mod, has no identifying feature; on here, "mod" appears by the username but over there - nada. If you can't remember who is a mod or for which forum you have to go to teh forum index, scroll down and click on "view team list", then look at each name to see what forum they mod. It's a pain and I get many PM's from members who know that I'm a mod but can't remember what forums I do.

I also like the idea of a book countdown, that would be so cool. :)

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DarkQueen

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2007, 11:09:57 pm »
Thank you!

Mike Briggs

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2007, 11:23:30 pm »
HAH!  I just tried to add a mod that would let me change the color of the moderator's posts, and naturally it blew up on install and mucked up the forums for an hour or so while I tried to fix it. I TOLD you guys I wasn't too great with PHP.  I did install a calendar, which at least allows events to be added. . .   

I looked over the plugins available for these forums, and there's nothing like a countdown clock already made.  It would be pretty simple to build something like that either as a server side script (counting days) or as a JavaScript (which would allow minutes and seconds to be displayed, but I'm not entirely sure how to work that into the forums (sigh).

And now it looks like my brother in law mucked up his car, so I get to spend the next day or two out twisting a wrench in zero-degree weather, what fun!!!!

Peace!
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Jazzlet

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2007, 08:50:49 am »
Would it be possible to have 'road-tests' of changes, so we could say if we really hated them or especially if we loved them?

Some of the stuff being suggested might be OK, but as I don't always know what you are talking about I am not sure. Though if it moves around I won't like it, I even scroll down when I'm typing a reply, so I can't see the moving letter option  ::)

Patti L.

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Re: Suggestions Welcomed
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2007, 09:45:34 am »
Oh, like limiting it to a testing thread or two?
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