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Forum Transfer Status Update

JasonRevzon | Posted in General Discussion on

Since we finished our transfer of the forums to the Drupal platform over a week ago, we have been collecting feedback from the Taunton forum communities. Our producers and developers have read through all of the many feature requests, account questions, bugs, and calls for updates. In order to have a clear and direct line of communication with you about our progress in addressing these, we have posted a notice block at the upper right hand corner of every page with the latest status on the most important changes (such as notifications, finding new content and search), as well as an FAQ about how to use the new forums. This block will be the place where all announcements, such as this one, will be posted. Here is the progress so far:

1. Fix the “new” feature to actually show what’s new. Completed. This caching issue was specifically affecting the Breaktime forum and new content should be refreshed in the “latest posts” and “latest comments” areas. 2. Enabling notifications so you will receive an alert when someone comments on your posts. Completed. Members must individually opt-in to receive email notifications. To do this:

– login, – edit your profile, – check “Receive node follow-up notification e-mails” under the “Comment follow-up settings” section (note: you can also choose to receive notifications for comments to your comments). – save

3. Displaying replies in non-threaded chronological order with a link to the comment you replied to. In progress. We hope to make this user specific (you choose how you want the forums to appear) 4. Changing the “Save” button to “Post” so there’s no confusion about how to publish a post. In progress (unfortunately not a simple change) 5. Getting Search up and running. Done on Over the Fence & Gatherings; In progress everywhere else. Please note it will take time for the Drupal search index to populate (this is especially true for large databases like Breaktime, which have millions of individual records).

In addition to the visible changes we are making, there is a lot of behind the scenes set-up going on with our hosting provider to fine-tune these sites to run at the high traffic levels Taunton can experience (we will have over 2 Million visitors on our sites this month). If you have any requests, complaints, bugs, or questions about the forums, please respond as a comment to this post for now. Our producers and developers will be spending time with their families during the holidays and we will have a rotating crew who will be monitoring this thread and making the changes as they are able. Please continue to be patient with the process and have a happy holiday. Jason Revzon VP, Taunton Interactive

Replies

  1. KharminJ | | #1

    Hurray and Thank You for the updates, Jason!!

    May I suggest that you post a link to this particular thread in all the other New Format topics, too?

    I hope you and your crews are all having Happy Winter Holidays of Your Choice!

    Me - I'm celebrating the return of the Sun and the Turning of the Year -

    May 2010 be a better, brighter year for all of us!

    Kharmin

    1. JasonRevzon | | #2

      Thank you, KharminJ. Vicky is cross-posting this now.

      1. woodruff | | #3

        Dear Mr. Revzon,

        Regarding your statement:

        "Please note it will take time for the Drupal search index to populate (this is especially true for large databases like Breaktime, which have millions of individual records)."

        What does this mean, please? Apparently there will be a delay in setting up a search function, but 'Drupal," "time to populate," and "Breaktime" are not part of my everyday vocabulary. "Millions of individual records" I understand as it works in liberal arts English, but I suspect it means something else here.

        1. User avater
          VictoriaNorth | | #4

          Hi Woodruff, What Jason was trying to say (in English) is that our search engine is taking note of everything ever posted to Gatherings, and this takes a little bit of time. Search should be working now. You will find a search box in the header above. We will be switching to an improved type of search soon. Google is checking through all of the Gatherings content and we are waiting for this to finish. I will update you as things progress.

          1. Josefly | | #5

            Vicky, I just noticed over in Over the Fence, that the Search function button does appear in the Header, even when I'm using my usual Safari browser, but the button does not appear in the Header while I'm in Gatherings. I have to change browsers if I want to use the Search function in Gatherings. I can't figure out why it would be different in Over the Fence. Can whatever they've done over there be done for Gatherings?

            Thanks.

            Joan

          2. User avater
            VictoriaNorth | | #7

            Thanks for letting me know. Any details like this help. I will pass this along to the tech team and see if they can solve the Safari issue.

          3. Josefly | | #16

            still no search button

            Vicky, forgive my persistence, please.  I know you have editorial responsibilities which take priority, but I don't know whom else to address questions about the forum system here.  

            I still have no search button on the Gatherings pages, using my preferred Safari browser.  The button does appear on the Over the Fence pages.  Why would there be a difference - isn't the same system being used?  

            Joan

          4. User avater
            VictoriaNorth | | #17

            Browser Trouble

            I am definitely seeing the same problem in Safari and sent along a request to have this fixed. Sometimes there are issues with different browsers displaying (or not displaying) a website in the same format as other browsers. I will let you know when I hear about a solution to this issue, but I hope you will be seeing a search function soon. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but I will definitely follow up on this issue with our tech team. 

            Thanks,

            Vicky

          5. Josefly | | #18

            More help?

            Thank you, Vicky, for your reply, and for checking into the problem once again.  It's good to know the system problems are being or will be addressed, even if it's taking a long time.  So many of us are trying to overcome the difficulties of using the new system, and hoping that Gatherings will once again become the much-used, much-appreciated, informative and friendly site we knew.  

            I believe I've discovered another bug, though.  For the first time since the new system was installed, I've had a discussion topic exceed 1 page, or more than 30 messages.  When I continue to the second page of the topic, I'm unable to post a reply, because my log-in isn't recognized.  My user name disappears on the second page, and the words "Log In" appear at the top of the left column, and neither the "Edit" nor the "Reply" button appears.  If I click on my browser's "back" button to return to the first page, my user name still appears there.  I wonder if this is related to the problem several of us have recently had posting messages even after we've logged in?  

            Joan

  2. wlric | | #6

    Hi Jason, I came back to Gatherings after a long respite and am finding the learning curve to be very steep! So, in response to your "search" comment I will note the following: A recent post has the phrase accordion pleated in the title. A response notes that such pleats had been discussed in past comments. I went to "search", typed accordion pleat, and got the reply of not found. So, not even the newest entry was found by the search.

    Just to let you know. Thanks for your efforts to keep this forum going.

    Wanda Rice

  3. KharminJ | | #8

    Hey, Jason, and Vicki ~

    Looks like it's time to update this ... lots of new items I've discovered this week (Feb 19)!  Mostly re: the "Reply" functions, so far, but Keep Up the Good Work - and don't forget to let us know what's going on!

    Kharmin

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #9

      Kharmin,

      Thanks so much for the support through this transition. We really are putting a lot of effort into making the adjustments you have all requested. You will continue to see features added and fixes being implemented. I will try to check in as often as possible, but we are also working on a few other big projects here at Threads, and the tech team is making changes quickly now. I will update the list to the right as soon as I have more news.

      Thanks,

      Vicky

  4. KharminJ | | #10

    My friend, it's not your age - it's your cinema-savvy ; )

    Perhaps, adding something to an 'old' posting in our personal Bookmarks will show up in some of our lost colleagues' emails as "A new comment has been posted at Gatherings" ... and entice them back?

    K

    1. Palady | | #11

      >> ... your cinema-savvy! ...

      >> ... your cinema-savvy! ... <<    Admittedly with Google's help!    My wonder though is if some "of our lost colleagues' " noticed being able to receive  notification of "new comments" & then activated the function.

      Navigating the now format still befuddles me at times, but I have to say I'm hanging in there because it is a challenge.  Anything that stimulates my grey matter has to a +.

      nepa 

  5. Sancin | | #12

    For Vicki or Jason

    Any thoughts to changing the top Letterhead to include the title "Gatherings" in?  Would 'modernize' everything! Or ability to change colour of font for emphasis?

    I also hope others will come back - it is getting easier and I, for one appreciate the responses to feedback.  Perhaps other old timers will keep trying and see the improved changes. Come on guys!

    And another thing - what does the body p mean at the bottom left  of the comment box or the diagonal lines on the right?  What is the purpose of them?

    1. KharminJ | | #13

      I know! I know! (she cries, waving hand and jumping up and down)

      The diagonal lines at the lower right are the "change the size dealie" that I mentioned ~ grab it with your cursor and you can make the reply box bigger (or a little smaller)

      Have a good day - off to a Birthday Party (mine, grin)

      Kharmin

  6. Sancin | | #14

    Well who would have guessed! Good on the waving hand.

    Apparently will only shrink so much - wish they would hurry up and make the posting print bigger. Pretty meagre menu for comments, isn't it ...for a creative forum, that is?

  7. Josefly | | #15

    log-in foul-up

    Jason, I'm not sure if you're (still) the person to whom kinks in the new system should be reported, but I hope someone will get this message.  

    I've just experienced the same problem another poster has discussed elsewhere in Gatherings:  the inability to reply to a post, even though I've logged in.  Clicking on the reply-to-post button carries me to a page which requires me to log in; when I attempt to log in I get the message "Access Denied.  You are not authorized to access this page."  I can see that I'm logged in by the appearance of my user-name at the top of the left column.  I try again to navigate to the message I want to reply to, and the reply-to-post button has disappeared, as if I weren't logged in.  This is very frustrating and time consuming.

    Same thing happened to me on (Taunton) Fine Gardening's "Over-the-Fence - Beta".

    Might I suggest that since there seem to be continuing kinks in this system, an obvious notation acknowledging that, along with directions on how to report problems, helpfully could be provided somewhere in the left-column paragraph "Forum Status"?

    Thanks so much for your attention.

    Joan

  8. KharminJ | | #19

    Part of previously "user friendly" = Left Column / Frame?

    Happy Sunny Sunday (I hope) ~ 

    I've been mulling this for a while - I hope it is clear enough to make sense in the techy-world....

    A huge part of what made the previous incarnation of Gatherings so "user friendly" (and that we users never even thought about) was the existance of the Frame (or second separately-scrollable column) that stayed where it was, along the left side of the window, as you read down the responses.

    And a large part of how that Frame worked for us, which made it quick and easy to "scan" for what you wanted to read next, was that the Categories listings (now 'default:closed', with Show Listing arrows) were instead default:open, thus didn't require another click to open: simply, each thread that had new responses since you last read it, was shown under its Heading, along with how many unread posts there were. So, no need to make a mental note to "remember" what Category you were in, and scroll again, to find the next new item. (Left Column real estate is not expensive, to my knowledge; human working-memory IS - no need to economize on column length, at the expense of 'ease of use'!)

    Also:

    The "creative" or "artistic" person's brain doesn't completely work the same way a "technical" or "linear-logic" person's does. WE have many traits, methods and thinking patterns that could be called ADD, if we were into labelling people.

    And for that matter, working-memory, in general, can only hold onto and use between 3 and 5 separate items at once. Thus, to a certain extent, the less one has to "go looking for" something, the better. OTOH, a cluttered or distracting, busy-appearing 'work space' (ie window) makes it more difficult to concentrate, too.

    I hope you can take this into consideration, in the ongoing "tweaking" process here.

    Bright Blessings ~

    Kharmin

    1. Josefly | | #20

      Left Column Frame

      Hi, KharminJ.  You've really put your finger on what I find most frustrating about this new system - the inability to scroll the Discussions topic list separately from the posted messages, and the inability to see the new topics continuously as you move from one page to another.  Unfortunately, (I gather this from some comments on this "frame" issue in the Over the Fence forum) the addition of a separately scrollable frame doesn't appear to be under consideration.  So, even if  the topics list could be expanded down the left column, it wouldn't be stationary with respect to the messages, nor scrollable, keeping the messages stationary.  

      In addition, - and this pertains to your message to Teaf5 under Gather for a Chat>Where is everybody - I think - but am not sure - that once a message has been replied to, that message can no longer be edited.  I've found that I can't edit messages I've previously posted - the "edit" button just doesn't appear.  Of course, I can edit my message immediately after posting it, but not after receiving a reply.  The reason I'm not sure that what I've said is accurate is that I've also been having problems in posting replies after logging in - somehow my log-in gets "forgotten" by the system; my user name disappears from the upper left column where it usually appears after logging in, and the "reply" and "edit" functions are not available.  So, when I thought I couldn't edit a message, it may've been because my log-in had been forgotten - just don't know.

      Further, I would love to know how you were able to provide a link to this thread from another topic message, as you did in your message to Teaf5.  Would you be willing to instruct me on that?  Or are there instructions somewhere here that I've missed?

      Thanks,

      Joan

        

      1. KharminJ | | #21

        Left Column Frame, edit, etc

        G'Morning, Joan!

        Well, Drat! (and a bunch of other words they wouldn't print!)

        Really sorry to hear that there probably isn't a "frame" in our future! It probably isn't available in this platform - Drupal? - which is one big reason why I asked for some real-life examples of the 'new style' forums that they were considering. If there really was any consideration of any platforms besides Drupal, we could've tested them elsewhere first, and given something closer to informed consent. LOL

        ~~~~

        Yeah, I think you're right about No Edit after a Reply - that button isn't there now on my post either.  I can sorta see the reasoning for *that* - if I write something, and you answer, and then I edit my original post, your answer may no longer make any sense. OTOH, in the previous version, it automatically showed if and when you edited, so typos and even bone-head boo-boos could be corrected.

        ~~~~

        To add a link to another comment, thread or category, just highlight the heading you want, and use Control-C to copy it, then Control-V to put it in your post:

        Left Column Frame, Gather For A Chat, etc.

        It has to show up as a link when you move over it, though - underlined and/or a hand instead of the usual cursor - in order to come up that way in your post. If you want to link to an outside page (somebody's blog, for instance) copy the "http://..." at the top of that window.

        http://forums.threadsmagazine.com/comment/reply/31721/94451

        That line doesn't look like a link in this Reply box, but it *should* post as one. (Although maybe not - it's to the page I'm currently writing on, so you shouldn't be able to access *this particular* Reply... dunno, we'll see...

        Be Right Back!

        ~~~~

        Hokay - yup, Left Column Frame and Gather For A Chat are separate links; notice that etc. isn't.

        Important ~ If you don't want to keep adding to the link title, hit Enter after you paste, to start a new line and then add a space before you continue. Then, you can backspace to keep typing after the link. Otherwise, it'll add the whole rest of your paragraph into the link. Gaakk!

        ~~~~

        Happy to help - hope it does. Let me know if anything is 'clear as mud' - it's 3 am, and I don't even know why I'm still up! That does explain the voluminous verbiage, though, doesn't it?

        Bright Monday Blessings to you!

        Kharmin

        1. Josefly | | #22

          Adding a link

           Ooh, a wedding dress...

           

          Kharmin, I'm smiling at your message and it's early morning time stamp.  I thought I was the only one who stayed up 'til all hours trying to find my way around this site!  :>)

          I just noticed that my message, to which you replied in this thread, appears twice.  Don't have any idea how that happened!  

          Thanks for the instructions on adding a link.  They seem quite clear.  I'm going to experiment with the process; don't bother to click on the link, it's one of my messages in another Discussion topic:

            Well, you can see what happened - I tried to add the link on this line here, hitting return after the colon following "Discussion topic" just above, then pasting, but the pasted link immediately jumped up to the top of the reply comment box.  Hmmmmm.  Not sure what's going on here.  Can you figure this out?  What am I doing wrong?   Thought I would preview the post to see if I could detect any problems, but whoooops!  No preview option.  Does that only appear when composing the original message in a new topic? 

           

          By the way - more ranting on the problems with having no scrolling left-column frame.  I just timed myself, scrolling from the bottom of this message list back up to the place where I can see the topic list - 17 seconds!  I know I can get back to the top more quickly than that by clicking at the top of the scroll bar, but that requires moving my curser to the top, then back again to the bottom to scroll the topic list.  Don't like it.

          Thanks again for your help - I'll have to experiment a little more to see why I'm having problems.

          Joan 

          1. KharminJ | | #23

            Yeah, no Preview anymore.

            Mostly, it's WYSIWYG, except for the links, and the bizarre narrowing of the Compose Reply box when you lengthen it. I'd really prefer to see how the *actual* post will line-break and show links, too!

            Don't know what happened to your link - you say it moved? Now, it doesn't show up at all!

            Happy playing - and 'figgering out'!

            K

            Hey, since there's no reply yet to your duplicate post, does it show a "Delete this post" button at the bottom? Of the second one? Just a thought ~

          2. Josefly | | #25

            Figgerin' out

            Hey, again.  My link does show up - it just looks like a heading:  "Ooh, a wedding dress..."  At least I see it at the top of my post, under both the bold print subject line and the "by ... in reply to ... on (date/time)" line.  I haven't tried the link, though.  I don't know why it popped up there to the top like that.  That's not where I pasted it.

            (Way back in the good old days, there was a "Sandbox" site which served all the Taunton forums.  There you could try out all the little tricks to posting, like attaching photos and/or text, using html tags, etc., so you didn't have to make your mistakes in the main forum where they could confuse everybody who happened across them.  You could also see and read about how other people successfully used those tricks.  I thought the Sandbox was a great idea.  You could also communicate with the systems people there if you were having a problem, and be pretty sure of getting a quick reply with some expert help.  That site disappeared shortly before old system was replaced with this lovely new one.) 

            No, there was no "Delete this post" button at the bottom of my duplicate, unanswered message, but there was still an "edit" button, so I just deleted the contents of that message and noted that it had been a duplicate.

            Oh, and I did check out the Preview option - it's there when you click on "Post New", as when you start a new topic.  Can't figure out why we don't have that option to preview our replies also.  Just another mystery I guess.  

            I'm gonna go now to see if the link works.  Thanks for sticking with me on this. - Edit:  The link does work.  Amazing!  Now to get it in the right place!

            Joan

          3. KharminJ | | #26

            Joan ~

            Ooop! Yeah ~The link IS there - just in color, but not already underlined (until you roll over it w/the cursor).                                                       I completely missed it, even though it's in great big burgundy type!!

            I was thinking about missing the "Sandbox", too - though I never used it at the time. Would be handy, now that we have *so much* to experiment with.

            Good question, too, about why there's Preview in New Post, but not in Reply!

            Ahhhh, yes  - Learning Experiences!   );P

            Kharmin

    2. Josefly | | #24

      Left Column Frame

      Sorry, this was a duplicate of another post.  Joan.  

  9. sews4fun | | #27

    Hi

    has anyone had any problem posting on the Project Runway Blog? I can not only NOT post, I can't even see what others have posted. I have no problem posting on any other topic on this website, just the Project Runway site. Have I been blacklisted from posting?

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