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Thread: Another VB upgrade pending, looking for input

  1. #1
    Benevolent Dictator
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    Another VB upgrade pending, looking for input

    Just to let everyone know, and call for some feedback about it...

    I've realized that there's not sufficient reason to fix the various (in many cases unexpectedly complicated) issues that the vb 3.5->3.8 migration caused.

    Basically, vbulletin 3.x is a "dead" line. It's likely at its last non-security update. And while that'd be fine if I was looking for an update to just bugfix and settle on, I think it makes sense to change course a bit and go with the newer version.

    See, the bugs caused by the last upgrade were the result of new features getting added, and our benighted default "gotwoot" theme not really coping with that too well. The person who originated the theme isn't doing that anymore, and the code style is a bit messy. Meanwhile, the possibility of updating further to vb4 means that any 3.x theme updates would be wasted when that happens, because of their entirely new template engine.

    Right, so basically what I'm saying there is, you know all those bugs that I haven't made significant progress on lately? Yeah, don't count on me making significant progress on them.

    Instead, I'm planning to do a full-on vbulletin 4 upgrade. This will entail building a new forum skin in the new template engine, and also rolling out a bunch of new functionality (much of which is in the current 3.x version, but not implemented in the default theme).

    So here's where you come in. I've got some outstanding questions to ask you, the gotwoot reader at large. So I'm making a bunch of polls and feedback threads to roll up some of the outstanding stuff. Give me some feedback, now's your chance!

  2. #2
    It wasn't much Archangel's Avatar
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    Should we use this particular thread for some suggestion for the upcoming v.4 or should we focus on the bugs for now?

  3. #3
    Benevolent Dictator
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    I'm pretty well done with the v3 bugs, insofar as I've got no motivation or commitment to continue trying to untangle them, opting instead for the 4.x update and mandatory new theme that comes with it.

    If you've got sort of broad-scale v4 suggestions, feel free to post them here.

    On specifics, I am liking this 1000px width of the theme I'm working on. It's still fixed-width, still centered, but like 220px roomier than the current layout. I'm going to do away with some of the subtle side gradient thing, just going for a straight-up black background, with a couple doses of #333333 charcoal for things that should be subtly separated from the background. Rather than having the banner be 815x120 with structural elements and weird gradients in it, I think I'm going to make the rotator banners just stick to 1000x150. Losing the pinstripe restriction is definitely the way to go. I'm still experimenting on whether I'll need to put other template restrictions on it or not, but I'm hoping I can make it work without them.

    Lots to do .... not enough brain-cycles left to do more on them tonight. But yeah, comments welcome.

  4. #4
    I've seen some sites, that I think are SFM boards though, that automatically converts youtube links into an embedded video on a forum post. I think that would be cool to have.

    Theme-wise, it would be nice to kinda have the forum to the left side, and have like a column on the right side with various different tools that might help on navigation, etc. For example, a section in the right column that gets updated with the 10 threads that have most recently been posted on, maybe the hottest 5 threads during a period of time also. The former would really help with overlooked topics/posts I think, particularly in sections that aren't visted as frequently as others. Don't know what else could be added at the moment.
    Last edited by Munsu; Tue, 06-08-2010 at 06:08 PM.

  5. #5
    It wasn't much Archangel's Avatar
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    Mangashare has a very cool feature that autoresizes any picture posted to a size that doesn't break the page and then allows the user to view it at full size with a single click

    That would be really helpful, i usually have to do it manually using imageshack and it's terribly annoying

  6. #6
    Photoshop Hero Alhuin's Avatar
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    I second Arch's "cool feature". I see it on Nihonomaru as well.

    Aside from my already suggested scanline restriction on the banners (which you commented on already), and the increase in the default size of sigs, I would also like to bring up the idea of spoiler tags, if they are possible.

    It's dangerous to go alone. Take Nep.

  7. #7
    No spoiler tags.

    No problems for the sigs, though just a slight increase should be enough. These smaller sized sigs look much better this way.

  8. #8
    Photoshop Hero Alhuin's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wasn't thinking anything too big anyways... the 400 width isn't really a problem, it's just the 100 height that is hard to work with =P...

    How come you don't like spoiler tags?

    It's dangerous to go alone. Take Nep.

  9. #9
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    There's a whole philosophical debate to be had about spoiler tags. The short version of it goes like this:
    pro: you get to hide stuff
    pro: you get to talk about spoilers in places where they aren't wanted
    con: presence of spoiler tags very quickly degenerates into whole threads of spoiler tags
    con: spoiler tags make people unmindful
    con: you get to hide stuff ... whatever you want, which can lead to abuses that mods who aren't caught up on a series can't easily see.
    con: you get to post spoilers in places where they aren't wanted

    We've gone around and around on it, but honestly, if you want to talk about the raw releases of some anime, or wander around throwing manga spoilers into anime forums .... well, I don't think a whole lot of people are really missing anything there.

    Yeah, spoiler tags aren't happening.

    As for layout, the whole vertical layout idea of ... you know ... forums... makes it kind of hard to put a static sidebar and have it be useful. Alternatives (ie: stuff that chases your browser position) are rarely good. I'd rather have the real estate for post content than a badly-implemented widget. Beyond that, it sort of sounds ... fiddly. Not on my priority list of features.

    Auto image-resize.... I'll look into how to implement that, 'cause that'd be good, yes. Not sure what the actual implementation looks like, might be relatively simple.

    Auto-embed youtube links ... also possible. Another to look into. I might not have that ready when I roll out the upgrade, but I like the idea.

  10. #10
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    In supporting Munsu and Comp's stance, go to the animesuki forums and look at an episode thread for a currently airing series. They also use a vBulletin variant.

    The discussion is constantly segmented into raw watchers some who use spoiler tags, some who don't and those who wait for subs. It's also full of people who have read the manga, read the novels, etc. Those people liberally abuse the tags. The community there is large enough (read: full of enough noise) that multiple discussions can still occur, but here it only stifles it. Then the thread can end up as little as two people going back and forth with spoiler tags.

    It is similar to the rule on why raw discussion isn't allowed.

  11. #11
    It wasn't much Archangel's Avatar
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    Been there, done that

    I agree with Al, we should at least be able to use 500x150px sigs

  12. #12
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    I actually like the current sizes. Sigs are cool and all, but when you look at other forums where they have bigger they are often just annoying. And it's the height that is the biggest problem. On forums where they have big sigs you usually have to scroll though enough to fill a 5000 word article and in the end you have read 5 sentences. Rest is just filled out sig space. And if you would get the new sig sizes, you would beg for bigger in a year. People always want more. But then again i don't make sigs so maybe i just don't feel the pain you feel over it. Also i think you're doing great with the sigs as it is.

  13. #13
    It wasn't much Archangel's Avatar
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    500x150px is hardly enough to make the pages look broken and confusing, especially since we don't allow spoiler tags

  14. #14
    Photoshop Hero Alhuin's Avatar
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    While my idea of spoiler tags did include the inevitable details of spoilers in a non-spoiler section, I was actually mentioning them for other uses as well, such as putting images in spoiler tags (if the auto-resize couldn't happen), or putting long two-person discussions into tags (such as the ones that happen between, say, Yuki and Ryll), or anything else that could shorten a thread. I only read the Naruto and Bleach manga, which is so far ahead now, I can't even remember a lot of the stuff that happens, so posting spoilers for a series wasn't ever really an intention, except for in a case like Rebuild, where someone brought up the issue of comparing it to the original and whether or not that would be a spoiler.

    As far as the sigs go, like I said, the 400 width isn't really the problem... it's just the 100 height. The majority of my sigs are 400x125, so I would be perfectly fine with that. 500x150 might be getting closer to too large, but it's nowhere near as bad as the, say, 600x400 or whatever some people use on a forum where there is no restriction.

    It's dangerous to go alone. Take Nep.

  15. #15
    It wasn't much Archangel's Avatar
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    You forget that comp plans to increase the forum's width, increasing the maximum to 500px as well is only natural

  16. #16
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhuin View Post
    While my idea of spoiler tags did include the inevitable details of spoilers in a non-spoiler section, I was actually mentioning them for other uses as well, such as putting images in spoiler tags (if the auto-resize couldn't happen), or putting long two-person discussions into tags (such as the ones that happen between, say, Yuki and Ryll), or anything else that could shorten a thread. I only read the Naruto and Bleach manga, which is so far ahead now, I can't even remember a lot of the stuff that happens, so posting spoilers for a series wasn't ever really an intention, except for in a case like Rebuild, where someone brought up the issue of comparing it to the original and whether or not that would be a spoiler.
    1. As it stands you don't have to put an image into [img] tags. You post the url and it parses it as a url. No need for a toggle. Already ideal for spoiler images (when properly marked). Mods could also force the edit if someone posts a wallpaper outside of a thumbnail and breaks the layout.

    2. Why would you want to put, "long two-person discussions into tags (such as the ones that happen between, say, Yuki and Ryll)," or otherwise shorten a thread? That completely eliminates the chance for someone to jump in and support one or the other. If a conversation wasn't meant to get jumped into, it would occur through PMs. The idea is to get a long dialogue going that others can hop into to diversify the viewpoints presented. We want to promote that level of activity on the forums, not fragment and isolate it.

    If you're talking about nested conversations where the posts are cropped to links (something like Slashdot, et al.), then that is a different issue entirely. EDIT: Gotwoot already has that functionality, no one uses it to my knowledge.

    3. As for Rebuild, I asked because I realized that some people were watching Evangelion for the first time. They'd never seen the original series. The dilemma comes into play because Rebuild leaves out a great deal that was discussed at great depth in the original series, and also intentionally draws out parallels and alternate takes on prominent events from the original. It is a special case. I wouldn't think of spoiling if it was a series of movie adaptations coming from a novel (Garden of Sinners) or manga (Break Blade).

  17. #17
    It wasn't much Archangel's Avatar
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    Guys you're cluttering the thread, move your discussion to here

  18. #18
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Points 1) and 2) relate to layout and functionalities that vBulletin has.

  19. #19
    It wasn't much Archangel's Avatar
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    The thread in general support is much more appropriate for that current discussion and more importantly you're missing the point of this one

    Pretty much like I'm doing right now... lets stop

  20. #20
    Photoshop Hero Alhuin's Avatar
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    The idea was to make suggestions... I made suggestions... Some people don't like walls of text that have nothing to do with them, especially if it's 5 or 6 posts in a row. I personally don't care, and I read through each discussion, I'm just either too lazy to post whos opinion is closest to my own, or just don't care to post. I was trying to think of other examples besides actual spoilers as to why spoiler tags could be useful... your and Yuki's discussion in Working was the last time I could remember that example, which is why I singled that out. My Rebuild example was actually the one I wanted to relay the most, since there are more anime (such as series that get new seasons) that we discuss in the same thread, and I wasn't sure if there would be an incident with relating stuff to the first (or original) series and considering it a spoiler, even though it had already aired/been discussed.

    It's dangerous to go alone. Take Nep.

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