Evil Empryss
 member, 401 posts
 There, their, and they're
 are NOT the same!!!
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 01:43
Force Thread to End of List Option
This would be kind of like the reverse of the Notice function: Instead of sticking the thread at the beginning of the threads it would stick it at the end.

I have a couple of games where GM info on characters and plots and such are kept in threads so I can access them easily, but if they're tagged as Notices then they crowd my game's home page and I sometimes forget to check the second page for game threads waiting for my attention.  If I don't tag them as Notices, then I risk losing track of them in the midst of all the other threads.

Something like "End", "Hold", "Reserve" or something would be a nice way of organizing these at the end of all of the other threads so they are out of the way without getting lost.  Within that category they could sort by date just like the Notice threads.
Gaffer
 member, 772 posts
 Ocoee FL
 Over 35 yrs RPGing
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 04:23
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1

I like this very much, especially for threads that are finished, but I want to keep handy, like Character Creation guidelines.
Alexei Yaruk-Mundhenk
 member, 1210 posts
 Ad Majorem
 Dea Gloriam
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 04:30
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Indeed. +1 (Million)
Denalor
 member, 54 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 07:38
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1
Oh YES !

My rules threads take almost the full first page. You always end up on first page whenever you update anything or post anything, so I always have to switch to second page manually. This would allow me to put all those rules threads on the second page and keep the action always readily available on first page.
I'm doing quite a lot of "bumping" to keep it reasonably oderly
Sotalia
 member, 176 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 14:14
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1

Keeping the active threads front and center is critical to a game.  While I don't have a lot of stickied threads in my game, I have been in some that used them heavily and moving them out of the way would have improved the experience.
Waxahachie
 member, 97 posts
 The horn that wakes
 the sleepers
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 15:47
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
This would be very useful.

+1
adrasteia1
 member, 1025 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 18:43
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1

Absolutely yes.
borderline_dnd
 member, 227 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 19:48
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
How will the GMs handle complaints when the players in their games cannot see something important at the 1st page of the game? Please have a solution other than "go to page 12" of this game
airellian
 member, 149 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 19:53
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Why not have the stickied threads in its own section, still displayed on the first page, which can be hideable. Click on a button, and the stickied section is hidden. Click on the button again, and it comes back up.
Evil Empryss
 member, 404 posts
 There, their, and they're
 are NOT the same!!!
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 20:04
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
My suggestion isn't for threads used all the time, but ones still important enough to keep track of, so not being on the first page is not a concern. And if they're on the last page, then "go to the last page to find the special thread you're looking for" is still easier than telling your player "dig through 12 pages of threads to try to locate the information you want, and good luck".  It's even harder for a GM to find buried threads since we see threads from ALL the groups, making things even more cluttered.
Waxahachie
 member, 99 posts
 The horn that wakes
 the sleepers
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 20:04
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
borderline_dnd:
How will the GMs handle complaints when the players in their games cannot see something important at the 1st page of the game? Please have a solution other than "go to page 12" of this game


How will GMs handle complaints? I suppose that's up to the individual GM. Some GMs handle complaints like a boss, others let their players walk all over them, and others still chart a middle course. It's up to you how you handle complaints from players.
PushBarToOpen
 member, 759 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 20:41
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
If it isn;t important enough to Hve on the Top but you still need to find it from time to time to time why not just have a stickied thread which is just links to all those threads?
prophacyks
 member, 10 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 20:47
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
-1

If I am understanding correctly, it is to have two options for stickied threads. Have an option to put at the top or at the bottom or last page or whatever. The whole point of the Sticky is to have it at the top stuck there, because the threads are important for the players to see especially if they are updated.

I am sure there are work arounds if you want specific threads at the end of the page. Wouldn't the bump option work for something like this, if you update one of the threads you would want to have at the end. It would take some work, but you could bump every thread you want forward to move the thread you updated back to the end.

Perhaps it is because I don't have any reason for it in my game, but I don't see the point of this if there is a work around for it.
Evil Empryss
 member, 405 posts
 There, their, and they're
 are NOT the same!!!
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 20:47
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Because that would be more work to maintain and would mix in "GM only" thread links with "Stuff for Players" links.

Just being able to shove them to the end with a tag like the "Notice" tag is really very neat and simple and doesn't require a lot of cross-referencing.
Gaffer
 member, 774 posts
 Ocoee FL
 Over 35 yrs RPGing
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 20:49
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to prophacyks (msg # 13):

Because the work around is simply INSANE?
prophacyks
 member, 11 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 20:52
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I just don't understand where having the notice tag on it makes it any different from a normal thread other then it being at the top.

But if it is only an issue for a small group, then I would think would just be better off doing it yourself as you could get it the way you want it. I know there are things that take me a lot of work to get gone, and it might be nice if there was one click type thing I could do. But in the end it is more for my own preference then a bigger site issue. But that is just my opinion.

This message was last edited by the user at 20:53, Mon 25 Feb 2013.

Waxahachie
 member, 100 posts
 The horn that wakes
 the sleepers
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 20:55
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to prophacyks (msg # 16):

You should try GMing a game on RPOL, then maybe you'd understand some of these concerns.
Evil Empryss
 member, 406 posts
 There, their, and they're
 are NOT the same!!!
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 20:59
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
prophacyks:
I am sure there are work arounds if you want specific threads at the end of the page. Wouldn't the bump option work for something like this, if you update one of the threads you would want to have at the end. It would take some work, but you could bump every thread you want forward to move the thread you updated back to the end.

I have a game with 12 pages of threads in it, and another with 9 pages.  I will have to spend over an hour bumping every single thread just to knock the one I want at the end back down in only one game.  And it's not necessarily that these are important for the players to find, but for me as the GM to find.  Again, when I can see every thread from every group, finding something specific becomes a real chore and I don't want to stickie two pages worth of threads at the top of my game.
prophacyks
 member, 12 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 21:04
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I Co-GM a game on RPOL I build and maintain and do a whole bunch on the forum itself for the game, I get the concerns. But for me I am only seeing it as a preference, if this is a big issue for everyone on RPOL fine go for it. But I am just stating if it is for a smaller group of people then if there is a work around for it then try using that.

I have been through the insanity route with the game I work on, it is crazy some of the time and santiy I have lost because we wanted to do something specific on it that there was not an easy option to go and do it. Sometimes you have to take time to do something, to get things the way you want.

But my opinion doesn't seem to be popular, so I will shut up now.
PushBarToOpen
 member, 760 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 21:11
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to Evil Empryss (msg # 14):

Actually its pritty smple to maintain. Everytime a new thread is created just copy the link for it. Maybe it a little work for it to get set up but it achievesthe exact thing you are looking for... Easy acsess to all threads. This also means that you aren;t looking through the last 1/2pages for it but all within one post. Its a much more eligent way of doing things and allows the bumping system not to be altered with faeture creep.

If you nede to seporate GM and Player have two threads one in group z or just place the Gm links in a PM.
Maidenfine
 member, 70 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 21:29
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1

I've seen this pop up in here in various forms often enough to see that people find a need for it. Also, my husband pointed out that if you're talking about RTJ information that is really only needed before a person joins your game, but might need to be updated, this would be very useful. You set it to group 0 so it's public and for non-players would be at the top of the page, because it would be all that they had access to. But everyone already in the game shouldn't need it all that often (since they've already submitted their RTJ). In the rare instances when you need to update something (maybe to post that you are or are not currently accepting applications, or maybe there was a need to add certain information to the RTJ due to in-game events, whatever), you don't have to search through the whole game to find it, because it's at the end. But it would be something that you'd so rarely need to do, why keep it at the top?

I can see this as being very useful in large games. Once you get past a couple pages of threads, it can be very difficult to hunt down something specific, especially if you don't have a uniform naming system that might help. I have frequently found myself searching for a specific thread and having to go page by page using ctrl-F just because sometimes words run together when I'm trying to skim for something specific.
Utsukushi
 member, 1171 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 21:29
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I was going to say I could actually see this - there are things you might want to be able to find, but don't always want at the top.  A lot of games have a character creation thread, for instance, which becomes less important as the game goes on -- but then, after two years, when you're bringing in some new players, would be nice to be able to jump right to.

But then I realized, Jase just added in the Filter-by-Group ability which I had a look at on beta and it's quick and simple and looks like it will be available for everybody, not just GM's.

So all you will need to do as of the next update (which would be when this change would happen anyway) is make sure that all of those kinds of threads are in the same Group.  Set, say, Group A for that kind of thing, and when you need to find one of those threads, Filter to Group A.  You can even sort things if you've got that much; Group A for Rules Threads, Group B for Game Information Threads, Group C for Meta Threads, whatever makes sense.
prophacyks
 member, 13 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 21:34
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to Utsukushi (msg # 22):

That makes more sense to me in the long run the Filter-by-Group option, most GM's out there could use that. That can make a bunch of different things easier.
Heath
 member, 2231 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 21:54
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1

This option was suggested before.  I remember discussing it a year or so ago.  As I recall, there was some systematic difficulty in programming it or something.  But I'll still vote for it again.

I'm not sure the group naming is the best way to go.  I would use this for setting details, maps, and a number of threads for various rule variants.  Not something that you just dump into one Group.

Currently, I just have a notice that links to each type with a hyperlink, but then they pop back up to the front if a I add a new post.  I can "edit" to avoid forcing to the top, but this is not always ideal.

This message was last edited by the user at 21:57, Mon 25 Feb 2013.

Piestar
 member, 186 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 22:44
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to Heath (msg # 24):

+1 as well, for the same reasons as above.
jase
 admin, 2949 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 00:55
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Through a bit of trickery I created the ability to make notices when the request came in for that.  It didn't require any changes to the database through said trickery.

To have the ability to prioritise threads, which is what this and other threads are requesting, requires a database change and quite a bit of change in the way the system parses and displays the threads.  So unfortunately it's not as easy as it seems.

But the bigger problem is new message indicators.  We've just gotten rid of the confusion caused by false new message indicators (from posts in a group you can't see), now you want to introduce a new one -- the latest post is in a thread that's not on the screen you see upon entering the game.

I understand some GMs have a strong compulsion to have everything exactly how they want it, and that's not a bad reason to consider implementing it.  With something like this, however, my main focus must to be how the average user (the ones that don't even view this forum) will perceive the change, and what difficulties it will cause for them.

At this stage there seems to be a major issue with pushing threads off the screen, and before I even start to consider the numerous technical changes involved, I have you have to figure out how to address the bigger problem!  (c;
Evil Empryss
 member, 409 posts
 There, their, and they're
 are NOT the same!!!
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 00:58
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I have cash to donate.  Will that help?  (c;

This message was last edited by the user at 00:58, Tue 26 Feb 2013.

adrasteia1
 member, 1027 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 01:21
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I don't think we can figure it out, because we can't see the existing PHP. Even then, I'm not sure you'd want us fiddling.

You could hire someone with donations to do it for you? ;) Then again, that would probably cost a fortune.

This message was last edited by the user at 01:39, Tue 26 Feb 2013.

Piestar
 member, 187 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 03:35
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
The only solution I can see would be a bear to program; a switch that only shows threads with new content.

That was the order of things would stay as desired, but you could call all the new threads to the fore with a click of a button, by making all of the rest of the threads temporarily 'invisible', so to speak.

In the end, I'm not sure that wouldn't be more work then it is worth.
jase
 admin, 2951 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 07:58
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to adrasteia1 (msg # 28):

I'm not asking you to code the solution, but come up with one!

Like Pie's... maybe.
Piestar
 member, 191 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 08:00
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Hey, I almost got a +1 from Jase, made my day!

Sometimes thinking of how is just as important as thinking up what  you want.
Gaffer
 member, 775 posts
 Ocoee FL
 Over 35 yrs RPGing
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 11:43
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
For me, the current situation isn't enough of a hassle to ask a lot of effort from jase.

Thanks for the consideration, jase, and the information.
adrasteia1
 member, 1028 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 13:20
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to jase (msg # 30):

I really don't know. I assumed it was one of those things, where knowing how things worked specifically would increase the odds of a solution. Honestly, I've got nothing.

There are some good tech forums out there that might give you some ideas.
jase
 admin, 2952 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 15:45
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to adrasteia1 (msg # 33):

Maybe I'm not being clear enough.  It's not a technical issue, it's a issue of how to present it to the end user.  In this case; if threads are hidden from the user (i.e. on a different thread page), how do we go about ensuring it doesn't cause confusion?

It's not just the case were users going into a game, see all the threads are already read and wonder why they got a new message indicator.  It's also those that go into the game, read the new threads on the first page, and then upon going back to the main menu discover the indicator is still lit because there's a thread on page 3 that hasn't been read!

There's also a similar scenario where users won't even get a new message indicator about the updated thread on page 3 (because they read a more recent thread or make a new post themselves).  What happens then?  There's not even visual clue that there's an unread thread hiding somewhere.

I haven't said no, I think the idea has merit, but it does have usability issues that need to be figured out.  I wasn't, however, expecting that when I said it was up to the community to propose ways to solve this particular problem, that the proposed solution would to make me figure it out!  )c;
rogar308
 member, 242 posts
 Gaming is good!
 Got RPOL in my soul
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 16:16
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
My suggestion would be to suppress the notification flag (or thread edit date) for threads moved to bottom of list. Certainly for new notifications, maybe for existing ones as well. Though I'd imagine one could debate both sides of that. A user select-able option would be ideal but I'm guessing that would be a lot of (maybe too much) work for minimal benefit.
adrasteia1
 member, 1031 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 16:21
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Sorry Jase. I wasn't trying to be difficult, I just misunderstood. What if a method is put in place to pin a thread to the back/bottom of the list of the other threads. Then if/when there's a new post in threads, it shows on the top of the first page below the game notices. Then once read, it returns to its original location? It would be at the back/bottom most of the time but only overruled in the instance of a new post.

The other other possibilities I can see are leaving it where it is and letting players figure it out (it would be up to the GM to make the thread more obvious IF they posted something new) or a different highlight colour for posts not on the first thread if any come in. However, I think that might overly complicate things.

I'm with having it bounce up below the notices when there's a new post. Or perhaps if a new post is made in it, automatically disabling the feature that pins it to the back/bottom of the other threads.
rogar308
 member, 244 posts
 Gaming is good!
 Got RPOL in my soul
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 16:38
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Or maybe an 'archive' folder/directory. That would be massively useful for moving old threads and cleaning up the main page but still keeping all the game data.
Heath
 member, 2233 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 18:17
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I thought I recalled it being a difficult programming issue the last time this feature was requested.

I think my notice thread is a good alternative option.

You just have a Notice thread at the top.  In the notice you have links to all the threads you want them to be able to access so they don't have to go sifting through the many pages of posts (and neither does the GM if he wants to change or add to them).

That makes them bump to the top unless you edit, but that's not a huge deal.

One thing I did in one of my games was just use a free site host and they could just link to the game website for all the details.
Grimmond
 member, 73 posts
 Antler-care by LIV THATCH
 "RALPH" The Wonder Llama
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 18:51
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I haven't read this whole thread but I recall people wanting to be able to tag each thread to be able to order the threads in an order that makes sence to them, wether it be alpha numeric, big to small, new to old, content vs referance, and such. Could a tag not be added to each thread by the GM and THAT tag be numeric. Then the threads would always fall in THAT order top to bottom based on that number that the GM tagged the thread with.

It would solve everyones problem ... except the guy who has to program it.
Skald
 moderator, 378 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 27 Feb 2013
at 14:38
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I can envisage this kinda working with tabs (or links) for each message type

Notices | Game | OOC | Info | Private Messages

Click on each to display the relevant messages under that heading; heading goes to alternative colour when there are new messages present in that category.

Within each category messages are sorted by date (ie latest post) as now.

We could even add Game Maps to that list and display links to all maps visible to the player.

Just a slight overhaul of the user interface ... ;>
Utsukushi
 member, 1175 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Wed 27 Feb 2013
at 18:08
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Hmmm...I'm not completely sure I want Game and OOC split like that, but I'd probably like it once I got used to it.  I'm not sure how tricky that would be in terms of interactions with the [last] and [new] options that we have now for coming into a game, though - Jase would have to give those a whole cascading priority system, like, if you click [new] and there's a new message in Game, OOC, and Private, then it takes you to  your Private Message first.

I know he kind of already has the language for that, since it does exactly that now with a purple indicator, so probably not a huge problem, but would need to be done.

...If we're doing this idea, I'd suggest perhaps a "GM Only" tab also, akin to Group Z now, where the GM could go to organize their own thoughts away from all the noisy children.

  -- Of course, people are going to want to use that for composing messages, so we'll need to make sure that wherever you decide what tab a message goes into is editable, so that they can be moved later. ahem

I'm also not sure how this interacts with the even newer Filter option.  I was going to make a suggestion based on that, but Skald's is better... but I don't know if it makes the Filters obsolete, or just more complicated.  It seems like those bigger games are still going to want it, but probably only in the Game area... but with the coding in place, is there a reason to exclude it from the others?  It could really change a lot of the perception/functioning of Private Messages, actually, in some interesting ways.  If they were brought in as a Tab like that, and a Filter were available to sort by character name... that would be super awesome.  It's frustrating sometimes, as a GM, going into the Private Messages and looking for that one post to that one PC from two years ago where he said where he put that thing that time*.

Incidentally, I was thinking of putting in with the mods for a name change to Utsukushii, Archangel of Feature Creep.


*- Yep, it's a Hackers reference. That movie still makes me giggle for all the wrong reasons.
Heath
 member, 2242 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Wed 27 Feb 2013
at 18:25
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1 for Skald's idea (tabs or separate areas in a game).

If that would be programmable, it would be an awesome addition, particularly for long-running games.
rogar308
 member, 249 posts
 Gaming is good!
 Got RPOL in my soul
Wed 27 Feb 2013
at 18:28
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1 Skald. It would certainly be a step in the right direction though I wouldn't mind seeing additional folder/directory and searching capabilities. I think there are other threads discussing that already though.
Evil Empryss
 member, 413 posts
 There, their, and they're
 are NOT the same!!!
Wed 27 Feb 2013
at 18:37
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
+1 to Skald's idea.  I would use the heck out of that setup.
adrasteia1
 member, 1038 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Wed 27 Feb 2013
at 18:40
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I like the idea, but I think it would make for a lot of text beside each game on the front page. A while back I suggested using icons and this was declined as the site's largely text-based, but if this is used, then I think icons would be a good alternative to having the full text beside each game. The way the table is laid out on the front page, you'd likely have to bring down the font size to list this for each (possibly too small). Even if you don't, it would make for a busier main screen. It could work underneath the game title, but some people have a lot of games.

Would it mean that each game is split into distinct sections, or would these work like named anchors where you're skipping to a certain spot on the game page? What if there's more than one OOC thread? Would these go in an OOC section? Like a group of their own underneath notices?

This message was last edited by the user at 18:41, Wed 27 Feb 2013.

Skald
 moderator, 380 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 00:30
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Utsukushi:
Hmmm...I'm not completely sure I want Game and OOC split like that, but I'd probably like

I figured OOC needed to be in a cateogory of its own to keep the most current discussion thread at the top.

Utsukushi:
If we're doing this idea, I'd suggest perhaps a "GM Only" tab also

Or Notes tab/link so both GM and players can use it ? Allow multiple Threads in there only visible to the poster ?  Replace Scratchpad and proposed Drafts ???

adrasteia1:
I think it would make for a lot of text beside each game on the front page

I think in effect you'd gain more real estate - you'd lose a line for the tabs/links (I doubt there's space anywhere else), but then you'd actually be displaying less messages under each tab/link as your Game page would be uncluttered with Notices, OOC, etc.

adrasteia1:
Would it mean that each game is split into distinct sections, or would these work like named anchors where you're skipping to a certain spot on the game page? What if there's more than one OOC thread? Would these go in an OOC section? Like a group of their own underneath notices?

Exactly - each tab/link only displays messages of that type beneath it, so you'd have all related threads, such as all OOC threads under the OOC tab/link.


Messages would just sit together in the database as they do now, but be categorised when the game page loaded.  That would mean each message would have to be identified - currently Notices and Private Messages are, so I'm hoping the structure is flexible enough to allow a few more classifications instead of those two (ie single text field rather than two booleans if that's the right terminology), or that it wouldn't be too hard to make the change.  I'm hoping it's a display problem rather than involving massive structural changes.  I can hope ...
jase
 admin, 2956 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 01:14
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I'm reluctant to admit I like Skalds idea, and it's a different (and better?) way of displaying the thread prioritisation that's been requested before (and really, that's what this thread was about too, it was just asking for three levels of prioritisation (notice, normal, sink) rather than many).

While going on about visual issues before, I've thought of a technical one.

The information is currently in a horrible Berkeley database, but it was soon going to be migrated to mySQL; so I'll talk about that.  With notices selecting the top 25 threads was going to be easy -- select the top 25 threads, sort by "is notice" and then by date.  That'll get your xx notices and your 25-xx non-notices.  mySQL, like any proper database, will only grab those 25 threads (even if the game has hundreds); this is very efficient and reduces server overhead/stress.

Now the way I'd see these tabs working would be that clicking on a tab reveals a different selection of threads (duh, of course).. but without reloading the page.  Visit dice.rpol.net and click on the tabs -- no page reload needed.  Clicking on each tab displays a different section of the page that's already been loaded, and hides the rest.

Now the problem with this is that I'd need to load the top 25 threads for every tab.  Suddenly our efficiency becomes less.

I'm not really a database guru, so I'm not sure if this would be a problem.. but I don't want to forge ahead with a redesign without understanding the performance implications.

Moreso, I'd have to change the way private threads work... and probably change the way they're displayed.  Actually, private threads are structured very differently to game threads, they would probably have to be a separately loaded page anyway.

Now I could solve this by reloading the entire page every time a tab is clicked on, but then we've got that problem of new thread in a tab you're not viewing.. so I'd probably need to grab some information on the other tabs anyway so I could have a visual clue on each tab if there's a new message in them.


P.S.  Tabs (except for Drafs/ScratchPad and Private) would be named by the GM, so what they're called and what's in them would be up to the GM.
Piestar
 member, 202 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 01:19
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to Skald (msg # 46):

Not sold on tabs, seem like a much quicker fix is possile.

1) A button that changes your view to active threads only

And 2) An option on the edit thread page that deactivates the bump
Feature.
Evil Empryss
 member, 414 posts
 There, their, and they're
 are NOT the same!!!
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 01:21
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Gah.  I'm just an end-user grateful that people understand all the techno wizardry that goes into giving me the results I want.

Any way that you guys work out to allow me to have a set of threads with high priority up front, normal priority threads in the middle, and low-priority-but-must-keep-track-of threads off to the side/end/whatever will be absolutely amazing and worth whatever learning curve there'll be to using it.
adrasteia1
 member, 1040 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 01:33
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Ok, this likely wouldn't work but.. would it be possible to:

1. Create a file for a new game page
2. Put some spry tabbed panels (or equivalent) on it
3. Develop the rest of the layout as necessary
4. Set up different categories for notices and OOC on the database (however this is done)
5. Re-route/put the links for the PHP into those panels, so the information is displayed in them.
6. Update the PHP and database where necessary.

I know that may be overly simplistic, but is a simpler option that doesn't require you to change the database much possible? It would display the same information differently.
Utsukushi
 member, 1177 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 02:07
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Skald:
Utsukushi:
Hmmm...I'm not completely sure I want Game and OOC split like that, but I'd probably like

I figured OOC needed to be in a cateogory of its own to keep the most current discussion thread at the top.

No, no, you're right - it would just be a thing I'd need to get used to before I really loved it.

quote:
Utsukushi:
If we're doing this idea, I'd suggest perhaps a "GM Only" tab also

Or Notes tab/link so both GM and players can use it ? Allow multiple Threads in there only visible to the poster ?  Replace Scratchpad and proposed Drafts ???

Aie!  Would that still be visible only to the person-logged-in?  I ask as someone with Moderators in my game, who naturally trusts them implicitly, but who might, nevertheless, keep certain notes in the Scratchpad on the understanding that they can't see that even if they forget to Mod-Down before checking in.

...Admittedly, in this case, they'd still have to actually click on the tab even then, so that's akin to Group Z, and that's probably alright anyway.  But I would miss Scratchpad if it went away completely.  Besides, players still need it.

Jase:
While going on about visual issues before, I've thought of a technical one.

jumps  What?  Oh, you're here, too?

jase:
Now the way I'd see these tabs working would be that clicking on a tab reveals a different selection of threads (duh, of course).. but without reloading the page.  Visit dice.rpol.net and click on the tabs -- no page reload needed.  Clicking on each tab displays a different section of the page that's already been loaded, and hides the rest.

Now the problem with this is that I'd need to load the top 25 threads for every tab.  Suddenly our efficiency becomes less.

That would be lovely, but I'm not sure it's necessary.  This is definitely a Bigger Thing than what's happening on dice.rpol.net - I picture it working very much like the Character Details / Scratchpad / Dice Roller / Etc. `tabs' do now, which is to say, requiring a new page load when you go into a new section.  (And out of curiosity, why are the tabs on dice.rpol.net linked like that?  It seems like anybody going in there would only be using one or the other, just by their nature?)

I can't imagine that going from loading 25 threads in a game to loading, say, 25X6 per game, for everybody, all the time, wouldn't have some performance issues, but it would be pretty cool if it somehow wouldn't.

jase:
Now I could solve this by reloading the entire page every time a tab is clicked on, but then we've got that problem of new thread in a tab you're not viewing.. so I'd probably need to grab some information on the other tabs anyway so I could have a visual clue on each tab if there's a new message in them.

Ooh, that's a very good point.  Would the coding you've done for detecting new-messages-while-someone's-posting help with this?

jase:
P.S.  Tabs (except for Drafs/ScratchPad and Private) would be named by the GM, so what they're called and what's in them would be up to the GM.

Ooooooh.
jase
 admin, 2957 posts
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Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 02:26
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to adrasteia1 (msg # 50):

Database change is simple, I can just add a new field for "parent tab", or "thread priority".  Spry (not that I'd use a discontinued framework) will still have the issue I've mentioned -- if we're just switching visible regions on the page then I have to load (some or all) information for every thread tab/priority from the database.

Utsukushi:
I can't imagine that going from loading 25 threads in a game to loading, say, 25X6 per game, for everybody, all the time, wouldn't have some performance issues, but it would be pretty cool if it somehow wouldn't.

Sure as heck wouldn't.. but then again there would be a performance impact if users now had to start loading different pages (tabs) more often.  Which is the lesser evil?

The simultaneous post detection wouldn't help as that only checks the thread you're posting to.
adrasteia1
 member, 1041 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 02:53
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
The only other method I can think of for loading one section of information for a page without loading all of it (thus cutting down on server load) might be frames. I don't like that idea.

I'm not sure what to suggest in the place of Spry. It's the only one I know and have used. I heard it got discontinued recently. There must be other alternatives that do the same thing.

This message was last edited by the user at 02:54, Thu 28 Feb 2013.

jacktannery
 member, 55 posts
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 08:08
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Skald:
I can envisage this kinda working with tabs (or links) for each message type
              Notices | Game | OOC | Info | Private Messages
Click on each to display the relevant messages under that heading; heading goes to alternative colour when there are new messages present in that category.
Within each category messages are sorted by date (ie latest post) as now.
We could even add Game Maps to that list and display links to all maps visible to the player.
Just a slight overhaul of the user interface ... ;>

This is an absolutely brilliant idea and I'm delighted to see that it might be implementable without too much trouble. It also makes sense to incorporate all the existing tabs (scratchpad and the like) so everything uses the same basic layout and system. Even better that GM can change the tab headings. Overall I think this idea will keep rpol looking streamlined and minimal even in large games (which, frankly, currently do not present well on rpol).
jase
 admin, 2958 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 09:36
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Upon further reflection and research, doing the dynamic hide/show (that doesn't require a new page to be loaded) relies on javascript, so I'll forgo that idea and each tab will have to load a new page when the tab is clicked on.
adrasteia1
 member, 1046 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 16:19
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
So that means you're going to go ahead with it then? :)
jase
 admin, 2960 posts
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Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 00:18
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Just because I've ruled out an option doesn't mean I'm forging ahead with another!  It's also too late to put into the current version, that's been in the final stages of getting ready since November.

To be honest I'd been thinking of ways to add subsections to a game, which would present differently to tabs but do much the same thing, though I was hoping to be able to give subsections the ability to have their own subsections.
Skald
 moderator, 381 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 12:53
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
jase:
P.S.  Tabs (except for Drafs/ScratchPad and Private) would be named by the GM, so what they're called and what's in them would be up to the GM.

... and that's even better !   Love that ! :>

I'm absolutely and completely fine with loading each section as you click on the tab/link ... to be honest I don't have that many Notices or OOC threads, so there won't be many on those pages when they load.

Couple of design questions:

1) Given the tabs/links will be named by the GM, will you have to make it a selectable GM preference which of the tab/links is presented first when the user first enters the game ?

2) Will 'thread type' (Notice, or other GM named tabs) be selectable from a drop down list when the GM creates a new thread ?  Can this be later Edited (in the same way you can change Group, it'd be great/wonderful/a must to be able to change thread type ... I'm thinking here that personally I'd create an "Archived" tab/link, and use that for old adventure paths where the threads are all closed, keeping only the current adventure path under my "Game" link ... which would minimise the threads in there and cut down on load time/server load.

Numfar ... do the dance of joy !
jase
 admin, 2961 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 14:50
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves here... I'd really like to get the current version out before we start making such a large change (both programatically and visually).

If we are going to change the way threads are grouped together (notices and normal threads did do this, but there was only two tiers) then we should figure out which option is preferred, even though the tabbed layout is by far the favourite at the moment.
adrasteia1
 member, 1053 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 14:57
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Hm, an accordian layout might be another option and it might only mean loading one page for the main game screen. It could hide all sections by default until they're clicked on and you could open more than one section at a time. It might not look as organised as tabs though. Just an additional idea.
bigbadron
 moderator, 13456 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 15:16
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Things to consider:

Tabs might run the risk of making it easier to miss stuff.  Don't open the right tab, and you don't see the post that's waiting for your reply.

Additionally, how do the tabs affect the main menu NMI?  If I open the OOC tab and read a thread, does that cancel the NMI on the main page, even if there are new messages in the other tabs?
jase
 admin, 2962 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 15:24
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Tabs or subsections would work by a thread being owned by a tab/subsection.  When we list the top 25 threads then it's be just that, but also where the owning tab/subsection/whatever equals the one we're on.  NMI indicators wouldn't change as the way posts are made to thread isn't changed, it's just how they're visible that's different.  A NMI wouldn't be cleared until you've read the newest thread, wherever it's hidden.

There'd had to be some way of notifying users of posts in other groups, which would involve the (hopefully small) overhead of checking grouping-mechanism you're not on, and then doing something like colouring or putting a number next to the grouping-mechanism.
adrasteia1
 member, 1054 posts
 Even a small star
 shines in the darkness
Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 15:44
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Perhaps a similar way to Wordpress, where it puts a small number in a circle beside the tab or panel to show the number of new messages? Or would that inadvertantly complicate things? Highlighting it though would show there's something new to be found there, and might be easier to implement. I really don't know - it's beyond my knowledge to say 'how' at this stage.

Would this use PHP or something like Ajax?
drew0500
 member, 123 posts
 D&D Gamer
 Eclipse Classless
Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 15:47
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Jase - Partially off-topic but related, PMs are exactly like the threads we're talking about, is there anyway to indicate how many messages are marked as UNREAD? That may help the missing of a thread for this discussion, and could also be useful for PMs (As a GM, I've missed the fact I have players in a discussion in a PM in the 'other' inbox, since it's buried towards the bottom, after all my NPCs inboxes.)

Having a method to know I have x unread threads marked would alleviate the issue across the board for both problems. Thoughts?
Utsukushi
 member, 1178 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 17:23
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
PMs aren't, though - they're apparently even coded differently.

jase:
There'd had to be some way of notifying users of posts in other groups, which would involve the (hopefully small) overhead of checking grouping-mechanism you're not on, and then doing something like colouring or putting a number next to the grouping-mechanism.

The coloring is something we're all already trained for, so I think if the section's name just highlights in red while it has new messages in it, that should do it.  And if it is reloading pages everytime you go into a thread, I assume it could be checking those, also, each time.  How much impact this will have processing-wise I have no idea, except that I think Skald has a point - for the most part, people will be going into the main game area, and then maybe into the OOC.  Posting rates probably aren't going to suddenly jump sixfold, so the number-of-page-loads shouldn't go up that much either.

...Admittedly, in some games, I can see people sorting this by actual "areas in the game", which might have a different effect.  But I think most will either not really use this, or end up with the kinds of sections Skald first proposed.  At least, that's what my horoscope predicts.

Um.  Well.  Those weren't its exact words, but, you know.  Prophecy always requires some creative interpretation.

BBR:
Additionally, how do the tabs affect the main menu NMI?

On a related note - right now if you click on that, it takes you straight to the Game Screen if it was red, and the Private Messages if it was blue-or-purple, if you click on the number instead of the game title.

Can that be preserved?  Would clicking on a red number take you straight to the tab/subsection that has a new message?  If so, how can that be prioritized?  When Skald had first written it I'd assumed we could just agree on the list, like, it could go Notices > Info > Game > OOC, but if the GMs can name them themselves, that makes this harder.  Just in the order they're set up on the screen, maybe?  Or do we need to give that up?  If you go into a game and there aren't new messages - say, you read them earlier and are now coming back to reply - which tab will it open?

I think that naturally, psychologically, people are going to want to put a "Notices" tab `in front' - so that it's farthest to the left - but whatever their "Game" tab is called is going to be where people will want to go most.  Could there be a chance to set one tab as Primary, and default to whichever is `first' if none are tagged for that?

Also - how will it interact with Thread Groups?  If a tab has only Groups that a player isn't part of, will they not see the tab at all?  (I'm going with "tab" because it's shorter than "subsection")
jase
 admin, 2963 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Sat 2 Mar 2013
at 02:26
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
quote:
Would this use PHP or something like Ajax?

Ajax is client-side, and relies on javascript (that's what the j stands for) to dynamically render (or re-render) sections of the page.  It's reliance on javascript makes me reluctant to use it.  RPoL still works without javascript, albiet with slightly reduced functionality.  If we used Ajax then I'd probably have to create a completely separate site (fetching the same data) for the simpler hand-held devices, and that's not something I can do alone.  I want to improve the rendering for such devices, but a separate site is too much work for one person.

Ajax, being client-side, still requires something server-side to render the page in the first place; something like ASP, PHP, Perl or ColdFusion.

So your question doesn't actually make sense with the "or" there, it'd make more sense as an "and".

But the answer to your question is that section of RPoL is still in Perl, so it'd be in that.  Ajax, due to the fact I ruled out using javascript a dozen or so messages ago, wouldn't be used.

Anyhoo, wandering way too much off topic here.


quote:
PMs are exactly like the threads we're talking about, is there anyway to indicate how many messages are marked as UNREAD?

Alas PMs aren't the same as the game threads.  Similar, yes, but not exactly like.  While I'm opening the index for game threads and looking through them it's not much extra overhead to fetch information on the threads in the other grouping-mechanism.  To grab how many private threads you have unread would require me to list every private thread you've got and compare them against your read/unread data; that doesn't have any real overhead when we're listing your PMs, we're already listing them, but to go through the PM list for each player every time they're on the front game screen is too much.


I think we're worrying too much about the polish without concern for the core functionality.

We've had a few alternate thread-grouping-mechanisms suggested, but everyone seems to be fixated on the tabbing mechanism.  Don't get me wrong, it's a great idea, but is there a better way to do it?  If we're going to go to all the effort of radically changing the way threads are grouped, shouldn't we make sure it's the best way?

With that in mind I'm going to continue to use "grouping-mechanism" instead of "tabs" until we can agree on the best grouping mechanism!

quote:
Also - how will it interact with Thread Groups?  If a tab has only Groups that a player isn't part of, will they not see the tab at all?  (I'm going with "tab" because it's shorter than "subsection")

Good question.  A grouping-mechanism would be a way of doing exactly that, of grouping threads together.  Groups, as we currently use them, are a way of limiting who has access to the thread.  They do different things - Notices work fine with groups, and notices are a way of grouping threads together.  Imagine notices were on a different tab already, that's how it'd work.  There's nothing stopping a notice being only for group xx at the moment, that's how it'd work going forward.


One.. possibly large.. problem I've thought of is in the way the new message indicator works.  It compares the date of the last thread you can see compared with the most recent thread you have read.  That's how the NMI on the front screen (and stickylist) works.

Once you go into the game and are listing the threads it can do a more thorough investigation, and does that by comparing the cookies you have (plus the database record of the most recent thread you have read) to give individual read/unread indicators on each thread.

Now the simple and most efficient way to check threads within our other grouping-mechanisms would be to compare the newest thread post in each of those tabs and compare it to the most recent thread you have read.

However if you go into a game and there's new threads in five grouping-mechanisms, once you've read one of the threads in one of the grouping-mechanisms, the most recent thread you have read might now be greater than some or all of the newest threads in the other grouping-mechanisms, so the NMI indicators that were on for them would now be off, without you having read them.

In a nutshell -- once you read a thread in one of the grouping-mechanisms, the NMI indicator on the other grouping-mechanisms might turn off (will turn off if the thread you've read is newer than the most recent thread in each respective grouping-mechanism).
rogar308
 member, 254 posts
 Gaming is good!
 Got RPOL in my soul
Sat 2 Mar 2013
at 03:05
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Could you have a notification flag for each group and say color the group name for instance, if unread messages within that group? Then check each of the group names to color the notification flag for the game?

I think for the game I co-gm a separate group for the notices would be sufficient. It would clear up enough threads so all active threads would be on the first page most of the time. Anything else would be ice cream.

---

What we could really use even more is a way to move pm's into groups say 1 group for each character(PC or NPC). That way after we can keep the number of pm's we have to troll through looking for new messages down to a more reasonable number. I was thinking of having both pm's as we get them now and a group that we could put them in but I'd take even changing the process so that each PC/NPC's pm's all went into their group as long as the group name would indicate a new pm message. Then we could easily scan the groups and spot those with the flagging, open or navigate into the group and find the message to read. Or, 3rd similar option, a way to expand and collapse the group of pm's as we have them now with some sort of flagging at the group level so that we could keep then collapsed by default, see the flagging for a new message for a character, open it up, read it, respond, and then collapse it again.
jase
 admin, 2964 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Sat 2 Mar 2013
at 04:12
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
We could add a flag, but flags don't really work due to the ability for posts/threads to be deleted.  It really has to be a date comparison.  We could have a date record for each grouping-mechanism, but if we're allowing GMs to add/remove grouping-mechanisms, and also move threads between grouping-mechanisms, then that's going to have issues as well... not to mention require a blowout of the tracking data by # of grouping-mechanisms.


PMs could be reorganised... If something like tabs were used then we could have a private thread tab, which would take you to a list must like what's currently there, however we could then, using the same scheme, have tabs for each character (and hopefully (once I've considered the technical ramifications)) two more tabs; one for access requests and one for "other private messages".

Expanding/collapsing could also be done.. that would rely on javascript but it'd degrade nicely for those who didn't have it (or a device that doesn't support it).
Skald
 moderator, 382 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sat 2 Mar 2013
at 05:28
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
H'mmm ... yes, I'm thinking you'd have to track date time stamp of most recently read thread in that group.

And you could have a notice thread (eg with character XP/HP details), OOC chat thread and game thread(s), not to mention PM threads, so that's four groups that might easily show NMIs, so there would definitely be more overhead than the current system.

The only other way I can see is if there was a sytem generated group called "New" or somesuch where all new threads were viewed, no matter what group they actually belonged to - so everyone would default to New to see any new game threads, OOC chatter, Notice updates or PMs, and once viewed they'd vanish from the New group and reappear under their correct group.

Initial date of last thread you can see vs most recent thread you have read check when you enter the game would determine which threads were to be identified as "New" and they'd stay "New" until read - ie reading a later thread wouldn't make earlier threads read as it does now.

And that way you'd only need to track NMI on the "New" group.

If you had no new threads to view then you'd just see all the group headers and would pick one to view the read posts.
Utsukushi
 member, 1179 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Sat 2 Mar 2013
at 18:39
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
jase:
If something like tabs were used then we could have a private thread tab, which would take you to a list must like what's currently there, however we could then, using the same scheme, have tabs for each character (and hopefully (once I've considered the technical ramifications)) two more tabs; one for access requests and one for "other private messages".

I like that overall, but the access request usually ends up holding the bulk of character creation - which is often important later when you're talking to that person.  Having the RtJs grouped would be awesome, I think, for the mods, especially when they need to peek in on age verifications and whatnot - but as a GM, I'd much rather the RtJ still be grouped with the rest of that character's messages.

...Would it be possible, especially in this possible PM area, for a message to be available in more than one sub-group?  I suppose if a PM included multiple characters, this might already happen there -- so maybe you can make "RtJ" kind of like a character name flag that's automatically applied, behind the scenes, when somebody first creates an RtJ, so that that message shows up in the RtJ area and, once they have a character name assigned, there?  ...Assuming, of course, the technical ramifications all work out in the first place. grin

quote:
Initial date of last thread you can see vs most recent thread you have read check when you enter the game would determine which threads were to be identified as "New" and they'd stay "New" until read - ie reading a later thread wouldn't make earlier threads read as it does now.

And that way you'd only need to track NMI on the "New" group.

But that would have to somehow store it, on a message-by-message basis; at least for a short term, and possibly longer.  I think people would expect that to still exist if they exited the game and came back in.  Like, if you go into a game with ten new messages, read six of them, and then have to leave RPoL for a little while -- now it has to remember those four messages being New, plus adding anything that might come up new between then and the next time you log in... and I think ultimately this means adding a `read/unread' notice on each individual message for each individual player and that sounds like a lot.


How bad would it be if, once you went into a game, each sub-group was basically treated as a separate game?  The front-screen NMI could work just like it does now; then when you go into the game, the game-screen NMI's would work just like the front-screen NMI does now, but checking each sub-group in the game.  And then when you go into the sub-group, it would work like it does now when you go into the game itself?  If everything is like nested folders, where you have to basically `back out' to the Game Menu before going into a new Sub-Section, then I think that would even be `it'.  If it's more like tabs, where you can hop laterally, you'd probably need both processes happening when you went into a sub-group, so that it would read the one you're in now as it does now, but read the others as if they were separate games - matching the last time you read something in them with the last message posted, every time a page loads.

Hm.

What about the stickylist function?  That was developed just because it was somehow faster / easier to process than bringing up the whole main screen each time, wasn't it?  Is there something in that that might help here?
jmkool
 member, 239 posts
 aka'd as The Kool
Thu 21 Mar 2013
at 21:10
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
I'll admit I skimmed the last half a page, but this strikes me as a big deal.  If I get the gist of it, then...

I am in support of 'sub-forums' or 'folders' within a game.  Being able to post threads under the main game, OR create folders and put threads in those (or both), gets a big +1 from me.  I don't see the need for complicating that function any further.  How you visually determine how many threads and folders will display on the front game page, I don't know.  I do feel the need to be able to create threads without folders, just as the current system stands, if that was under question.  Likewise, any thread or forum should be 'sticky'-able.

If you were looking for a short-term fix, the new system as put forth in 1.9 works just fine.  Simply put stuff in a group no one is using, then filter to that group when you want it.  (If I understand those functions properly.)

Speaking of understanding functions, and reorganizing threads and games (and speaking of groups), how does the Archive function work exactly, and will it be needed/useful with this reorganization?  And on an unrelated note, I have wondered what the point of the Public group is, and how it differs from group 0.  But that's just me rambling about functions I don't see a use for.


In short, I support subforums/folders within games.
bigbadron
 moderator, 13517 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Thu 21 Mar 2013
at 21:35
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
The Public Group can only be posted to by a GM, so it's handy for all those information threads (here's the game background, here's how to create a character, etc... ) that the GM wants people to be able to read, but doesn't want players posting in.

The Archive function locks the thread, and makes everything in it (including private lines) public.
jmkool
 member, 240 posts
 aka'd as The Kool
Fri 22 Mar 2013
at 01:46
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Okay, so Public is exactly like Group 0 closed threads.  Seems redundant now, but if a restructure is in order, it might not be.  Food for thought.

Archives I can see a use for, cool.  Thanks for that, BBR.
jase
 admin, 2998 posts
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Fri 22 Mar 2013
at 04:56
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In reply to jmkool (msg # 73):

No, public threads are visible by everyone, regardless of group membership.  Visitors can see public threads.

Group 0 threads are only visible to those players (and lurkers) with access to group 0.  Visitors can see group 0 threads.

Covered in the help - /help/?t=help&page=gamegroups.  Possibly to brush up on the information there so we don't continue to derail this.
Skald
 moderator, 395 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Fri 22 Mar 2013
at 06:37
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
Somewhere back there jase asked we consider the issue of how best to group threads, so without further ado ...

Tabs - obviously a few of us, and I'm including myself here, pounced on that option.  Probably cos we're all sitting using tabbed browsers so it was staring us in the face.

Links - exactly same functionality as tabs, just visually different - though perhaps more aesthetically pleasing as it fits in well with the rest of RPoL's layout.

Buttons - to my mind a bit chunky and still no different to tabs/links

Expandable - ie same as FAQ, click on a heading and those grouped messages appear below.  This one is growing on me, though sounds horribly hard to code (I'm sure fixed text as in the FAQ is a lot simpler !) though then again, perhaps actually loading everything at once but hiding bits of it will resolve other coding problems, as all messages will actually be on the same page ?

Over to the rest of you to brainstorm other options. :>

For what it's worth, and pending something thinging up something I like more, or the pointing out of the obvious flaws, my vote (in order, first best):

Expandable
Links
Tabs
Buttons
bigbadron
 moderator, 13518 posts
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 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 22 Mar 2013
at 06:53
Re: Force Thread to End of List Option
In order of preference:

Links
Tabs
Buttons
Just about anything else
Expandable

Links is a win, IMO, because it fits best with the style of most of the rest of the site.
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
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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
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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
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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.