Skald
 moderator, 397 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Fri 22 Mar 2013
at 07:05
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
<grins> Admittedly I also recently suggested that the FAQ layout should be changed, which makes me fickle.  But yes, I'd be happy with Links too - it's certainly neater, whereas Expandable got my vote on the basis that it might overcome some of the NMI problems.  :>

Ooooh !  Suddenly thought of problems with Expandable ... a) (probably the showstopper) # messages - how do you display 25 at a time ?  Certainly don't want to load all ! and b) won't be able to search the page for thread titles as easily as would have to expand groups first.

So that's a swiftly changed mind (don't worry, I have a few spares that can be hot-swapped), and a second vote for:

Links
Tabs
Buttons
Just about anything else
Expandable
adrasteia1
 member, 1146 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Fri 22 Mar 2013
at 13:50
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I noticed groups had already been mentioned (so this idea might already have been mentioned above). You could add section dividers (perhaps even with names alter-able by GMs) on the main page and connect each with one of the new groups, so threads set to that group/purpose display under it. Then set a hyperlink as an option on each named divider, enabling players/GMs to open it up on a new page with content relating to that section only (and possibly with more threads displayed there)?

If there's a shortage of room on the main page to include more information, what you could do is put something like an expandable link on an icon beside it (or something like that). Let's say a game has 203 posts and the number's showing up as purple, because a player has messages in the game and PMs. Clicking on the game link would open the game, but clicking on the icon or whatever beside it, might expand out the game information on the main screen to list the number of new posts and PMs. That way the information could be accessible from the main screen without interfering too much with the layout. Maybe it could even display as simply as a tooltip (on mouseover).
jmkool
 member, 241 posts
 aka'd as The Kool
Sat 23 Mar 2013
at 04:01
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to Skald (msg # 75):

There is another.  Known as subforums in the popular phpBB layout, or subfolders on your computer.  I'm typing from a wii, so I hope the examples are explanation enough.  It gets my top vote, followed by Links.
jase
 admin, 3031 posts
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Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 02:09
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to adrasteia1 msg #78:

That'll require querying the game database for each and every game on your list, way too resource intestive for something as frequently hit as the main menu.



Links, tabs, buttons -- they're really all ways to aesthetically offer thread groupings.  All of these would have the same underlying storage and database design.  Same problems, same pitfalls.  Same boons.

Tabs are links, they're just styled to look like a tab.  Buttons are a (complicated) link as well.  They all do the same thing -- load another page (or the same page with different parameters).

Unlike links, tabs, and buttons; subforums (which I mentioned a few times earlier in this thread) are not a way of aesthetically providing links to thread groups -- they are thread groups.  We can have links/tabs/buttons to subforums... you could even add them in as a browser favourite, it doesn't matter.

So whatever way you click on a link to get to a different thread grouping (subforum by another name), these are really all the same thing.  Expandable is really the only different option, as that doesn't hide threads on different pages, that'll load everything on the one page and just rely on javascript to hide sections (which will mean those without javascript running could see a very long page).

So we should first figure out if we're going to do subforums or an expandable list.. I think they're the only two options as far as structure.

Then we can worry about aesthetics and, if we opt for subforums, if sub-subforums are necessary.
FallingMorning
 member, 46 posts
Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 02:24
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Of the two, I'd give subforums a +1. It feels more natural, to me at least, and less of a hassle than expanding and, er, unexpanding(?) lists of threads.
adrasteia1
 member, 1156 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 03:21
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
It's really late here so just a quick reply for now.

It seems like sub-forums should be the better option, and I'd say they could be. I've used them on other forums and found that sometimes it's easy to lose track of new posts if they're not clearly marked (but then I assume they would be) or the sub-forums are out of the way.

While forums and sub-forums are a tidy way of doing things, sometimes it has an unconscious effect of making conversations (and presumably gaming) feel more separate than it is. Sometimes if threads are grouped together there's more of a feeling that they're linked (I know that sounds weird, but it's true).

But I think if you had lots of threads grouped into expandable sections, and some users wouldn't view those properly for lack of javascript etc, then sub-forums would seem to win. They're the more accessible option.
jmkool
 member, 243 posts
 aka'd as The Kool
Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 04:36
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to adrasteia1 (msg # 82):

I do know what you mean!  Which is why we as GMs are left with the freedom to use the subforum function, or not, as we choose.  In some games I have played in, this feature would have been incredibly nice.  In all the games I have run, it would have gone unused, because they have been smaller.  I guarantee you communities will be using this function, one or two at my urging (and my doing, likely), if this gets implemented.

I vote for subforum layout.  Also partly because I see it being less prone to 'losing' new messages.
jase
 admin, 3032 posts
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Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 10:21
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
adrasteia1:
But I think if you had lots of threads grouped into expandable sections, and some users wouldn't view those properly for lack of javascript etc

Those without javascript wouldn't have the ability to expand or collapse, it'd be permanently expanded.  So the issue wouldn't be seeing to little, it'd be seeing too much.
adrasteia1
 member, 1157 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 12:39
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to jase (msg # 84):

I thought you meant that. It would also mean that if anyone uses a screen reader or voice software, they'll probably get the whole lot.

Though would it be any more complex than it is now? If threads are all together right now, having them permanently expanded out might be much the same depending on how it displays. Is there a way to do it other than javascript? Something that's going to display on mobile phones etc.

Maybe keep a simpler mobile version and a normal version for screen? (Just an idea, and if you change one it might mean changing the other. I don't know. It just occurred to me that Wikipedia for example have a simpler mobile version but it still looks to use ajax or something akin to it).

This message was last edited by the user at 12:39, Mon 25 Mar 2013.

jase
 admin, 3033 posts
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Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 12:58
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
AFAIK there's no widely supported expand/collapse technique that doesn't use javascript.  I've seen some CSS, but it's very hit and miss as to what supports it.  It's also HTML5, which older browsers don't support (nor do some current ones), HTML5 also hasn't been finalised.

Whatever we do has to be more complex than what we've got now, it's impossible not to add to what we've got without it having an impact.
adrasteia1
 member, 1159 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 18:21
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
You probably could do it with CSS, but it would be awkward. You could probably use display: none to hide things and have its state change on hover or click, but it wouldn't hide other sections not in use (unless they were hidden first)? (Am getting confused) Visibility has a collapse value for table elements, but apparently it only works on IE and Firefox.

HTML 5 is out there, but I don't know about finalised. Canvas is interesting (but not something I'd suggest for a forum). So yeah I really don't know, short of having 2 different versions.

This message was last edited by the user at 18:31, Mon 25 Mar 2013.

rogar308
 member, 290 posts
 Gaming is good!
 Got RPOL in my soul
Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 19:49
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option

CURRENT:

PMs

PM PC1
PM PC1 Mesg 1
            2
....

PM PC2
PM PC2 Mesg 1
            2
....

PM NPC1
PM NPC1 Mesg 1
             2
....

PM NPC2
PM NPC2 Mesg 1
             2
....

... There are hundreds and more likely thousands of pm's ...

=====================================================
NEW suggested method:

PMs

PM PC1 link to PM PC1 subpage
PM PC2 link to PM PC2 subpage
PC NPC1 link to PM NPC1 subpage
PC NPC2 link to PM NPC2 subpage
...

PM PC1 subpage
PM PC1 Mesg 1
            2
...

While collapse and expandable button clicks seem to be the most user friendly solution, I wouldn't mind a solution where the main heading pointed to a sub page. As long as the group heading was updated when there was a new PM message. Meaning group PM PC1 would get updated then there was a new PM in that group even though the actual message would appear on the PM PC1 subpage. This would greatly help in processing PM messages and it will reduce the PM front page to probably between 1-3 pages which is much easier to scroll & scan through quickly.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:50, Mon 25 Mar 2013.

jase
 admin, 3034 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Tue 26 Mar 2013
at 00:52
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
adrasteia1:
You probably could do it with CSS, but it would be awkward. You could probably use display: none to hide things and have its state change on hover or click

Yes... but you're missing the key part.  Every website uses CSS and CSS does control display elements, but CSS sets how an element is rendered.

Javascript is then needed to change the "display: none" to "display: block".  You tie the javascript call into a hyperlink and do an "onclick" event.

The main menu (and W-P) search, for example, does this:
  1. The initial CSS sets the search block to visible.
  2. Javascript then immediately sets it to none.
  3. When you click on "Browse / Search the Games" javascript fires again, changing display back to block.

Only step 1 is done if the user has javascript disabled, thus the section is left visible.

Without javascript you have to use CSS3 something like :hover (which will result in lists collapsing when users don't want them to) or :focus (which again can result in the list collapsing an undesirable times).  It also relies on a very pretty modern and fully featured browser that some of the trickier things in CSS2.1 and 3.  I think the changes of someone not having javascript is a lot lower than the chance that all the prerequisites you CSS only would line up.
adrasteia1
 member, 1161 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Tue 26 Mar 2013
at 01:56
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Thanks for explaining. I thought there might be some way to create it with pure CSS, but yeah, it seems like it would need to be Javascript.

So how similar is this to the method you'd use for expandable threads, if you used javascript to expand them?

The links from the PHP would show beneath section headers on the page - in effect the page fully expanded. The headings might be displayed as block level elements and the links would typically show up in a table format, right? So would the javascript set the table to none, and when you click on the headings it changes back to table (or should it be block instead of table)?

And then there are 'new message notifications', if they're included.
Utsukushi
 member, 1201 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Tue 26 Mar 2013
at 03:01
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
jase:
So we should first figure out if we're going to do subforums or an expandable list.. I think they're the only two options as far as structure.

Then we can worry about aesthetics and, if we opt for subforums, if sub-subforums are necessary.

I think you've had a lot of good reasons all along for not building too much into Java.  It is common, but it also sometimes has problems of its own, and a lot of people don't like to use it because of the occasional security issues.  (It is also less likely to be allowed on things like work computers.  Not that we encourage that sort of thing, of course. ahem)

So it seems to me the two choices here really are subforums - and figuring out the best way to handle that - or staying with the current format.
Skald
 moderator, 400 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Tue 26 Mar 2013
at 13:28
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
tech question for jase - with Expandable, how would you handle lots of posts ? Currently a single page holds 25 posts ... but to my understanding, expandable would have to hold all of them ?

<thinkthinkthink>

Could have multiple Expandable lists, broken up into 25 posts per grouping, so you'd limit what was actually displayed at any given time (though the whole lot would be in the background, hidden, so > load time).

Even so, I'm still liking the idea of subforms.  I also like the idea of private messages becoming a bit more standardised (ie closer to current threads), which this could (would ?) give us.

VS what we've got now ?  I think the extra functionality of being able to split off "archived" posts into a sub group (ie not archived per existing functionality, but just old posts stored "as is" in separate group is the winner.

So my vote, in order (best first):

Sub forums (whether link or tab)
What we've got now
Expandable
jmkool
 member, 244 posts
 aka'd as The Kool
Tue 26 Mar 2013
at 15:33
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
As for aesthetics, I say it should display like the main menu.  You have your table of threads, with its header (what we've got now), and above that, a table of subforums, similar to how games you gm / games you play are divided on the main page.

I think each subforum (we need a good name for this) line should display name, # threads, # posts, and latest post (overall; same way a thread displays it).  #posts would go red for new posts, because even though there might be a more aesthetically pleasing way, that is what people will recognize.
adrasteia1
 member, 1165 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Tue 26 Mar 2013
at 23:26
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Skald: I was assuming threads (on the main game page) rather than posts on the page for a given thread. If it's the posts page, then I'm getting totally mixed up. With the main game page, it uses a table format so instead of 1 currently, you could have tables for each given section header and reveal or hide those using the javascript/css combo.

Once you click on a thread link, would the posts then load without any expandable-ness on the page with all the posts? It's usually not necessary to see the last 25 in one go, so maybe it could be less?

The idea of a sub-group for archiving posts is a really good one and overall, sub-forums is probably the tidiest/most accessible way of organising stuff. Javascript is really common though, and it's way better than it used to be, so maybe it wouldn't be a problem.

This message was last edited by the user at 23:28, Tue 26 Mar 2013.

rogar308
 member, 292 posts
 Gaming is good!
 Got RPOL in my soul
Wed 27 Mar 2013
at 13:13
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
PMs

I/we have currently have over 60 PC's & NPC's. As such, I need to have a vertical column list(as we do now). The list just needs to be condensed to the PC/NPC name and then sub-page out from that link or tab name. A horizontal list won't be very helpful and might even make the situation worse.
Evil Empryss
 member, 466 posts
 I feel your pain
 It makes me giggle
Wed 27 Mar 2013
at 13:59
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I prefer a vertical list.  A horizontal list would be very mobile-device-user unfriendly.
matthewfenn
 member, 302 posts
 www.nj-pbem.com
 Northern Journey PBeM DM
Wed 27 Mar 2013
at 14:05
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Would it be possible to count the number of PMs that you have, and if it goes over a certain limit, it then groups them into sub-pages automatically?
Skald
 moderator, 401 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 27 Mar 2013
at 14:07
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to adrasteia1 (msg # 94):

Yup, I used "posts" where I meant "threads".  D'oh ! :>

And I'd been thinking vertical, though didn't specify.
jmkool
 member, 245 posts
 aka'd as The Kool
Wed 27 Mar 2013
at 16:38
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to matthewfenn (msg # 97):

That sounds pretty good.  Personally, I'd say when it hits 3 or 4 pages of PMs, it switches.
GammaBear
 member, 721 posts
 Gaymer
Mon 16 Jan 2017
at 01:28
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Definite +1 to this.
PrettyBirdie1
 member, 226 posts
 What spoon?
Wed 22 Feb 2017
at 21:17
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1 to bringing the focus back on this discussion here and coming to a definitive solution. Another method of organization, whether that be sub-forums or tabs or whatever else you may have, is definitely something I'd like to see laid out in an easy format and then implemented.