Move Layouts blocks with mouse

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peopleopinion
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Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:34 pm
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peopleopinion
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Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by peopleopinion » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:34 pm

As everyone knows phpbb has a layout that is not very flexible. For example, if the admin wants to move the login block that is in the bottom of the page, after all forum list, he must edit HTML template code.
This fact makes phpbb a "board for html experts".

So what about to add a new feature that allows to move blocks of the web site with just a mouse drag and drop or something similar to what happens for ordering categories and forum in forum management pannel?

At the following page http://jqueryui.com/sortable/ it is possible to see what I mean: as you can see drag n drop for frontend is very simple to implement using jquery.

For the backend, I'm not a programmer expert, but maybe the solution would be to have a template file that ("layout.html"?) that uses a list of <!-- INCLUDE filename.html --> properly connected to frontend: when the block is moved using the frontend UI, the function reorders the list of includes to match it in the layout file.

In this way will be very easy to modify disposition of blocks. And will be easy to create a new block of code (a new file will contain it) and include it in the right position into the general layout because it will be done almost all visually with a UI instead copying and pasting block of codes from a template file to another.

For example if someone want to change the position of login fields block that usually is at the bottom of the page, the admin has just to move the block up and down, where he want to appear in the new layout.
So If some admin want to add a new block for advertising it will be very easy its repositioning in case of need, without accessing / editing a line of original code.
This IMHO will make implementations of certain mods or updates more easy to do.

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View idea at: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by peopleopinion » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:35 pm

Here you can see a screenshot where I show what I mean for the frontend.
Update:
I added a new button "Add new" whose objective is to Add new block/file with further content. For example if an admin want to add a new block to contain advertises, clicks this button and add code into the editor/textarea. When the admin names and saves the new block, it is added a new item at the Blocks list.
Also I added a button to hide each block (except header and footer).
To remove a block open and edit the code and empty the code textarea: the block is deleted after submitting an empty text area.
I think at this new feature, if you will decide to implement it, as a little revolution in phpbb that will give to phpbb forums based a higher customizable facility.
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Modify Board layout blocks.png
Modify Board layout blocks.png (68.66 KiB) Viewed 181 times
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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by Master_Cylinder » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:42 pm

I suppose that would work other places, like the Manage forums blocks in the ACP too. Drag and drop reordering sounds reasonable if there's not a real reason to NOT add it.

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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by peopleopinion » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:03 am

Master_Cylinder wrote:I suppose that would work other places, like the Manage forums blocks in the ACP too. Drag and drop reordering sounds reasonable if there's not a real reason to NOT add it.
Also using jquery is not much difficult to implement: I quoted an example about.
At the following page http://jqueryui.com/sortable/ it is possible to see what I mean: as you can see drag n drop for frontend is very simple to implement using jquery.
I'm not expert programmer but I intuitively think that for implementing it will be prety easy for the backend too: correct me if I go wrong:
1) Create files that host blocks code;
2) Include those file in a layout file for each template using something like:

Example of one template layout file

Code: Select all

<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfHeaderBlock.ext -->
<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfBodyBlockUser.ext -->
<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfBodyBlockPost.ext -->
<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfBodyBlockStat.ext -->
<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfBodyBlockX.ext -->
<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfBodyBlockY.ext -->
<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfBodyBlockZ.ext -->
<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfBodyBlock....ext -->
<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfBodyBlockAdvertise.ext -->
<!-- INCLUDE filenameOfFooterBlock.ext -->
It should be easy to parse a file structured like that and link each line to the frontend draggable "block" and move each line by a drag'n'drop of the mouse of the related block.
It should be easy to add new blocks too and related files...
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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by brunoais » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:44 am

This may seem a lot flowery but, in reality, it is not easy to implement in the backend without making phpBB much, much slower than how it is now. It's really hard to automate changes in HTML, CSS and js files just like that and expect the outcome to be good and acceptably correct. Even WYSIWYG editors like CKE have a really hard time trying to do things intuitive enough to be used.

Trust me, not a good idea and it is a good recipe to failure.
Last edited by brunoais on Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by Master_Cylinder » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:47 am

That's a good reason not to do it... ;)

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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by peopleopinion » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:28 am

brunoais wrote:This may seem a lot flowery but, in reality, it is not easy to implement in the backend without making phpBB much, much slower than how it is now. It's really hard to automate changes in HTML, CSS and js files just like that and expect the outcome to be good and acceptably correct. Even WYSIWYG editors like CKE have a really hard time trying to do things intuitive enough to be used.

Trust me, not a good idea and it is a good recipe to failure.
During a past job experience of mine I was a co-administrator of an institutional web site that used this "technology" (pass me the term) and it was not slow. Infact as I proposed that it uses just one more template file to built the final layout to output to browser. To process a file and merge other files as indicated the server takes just hundredths of a second... well of course it depends on the server...
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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by Master_Cylinder » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:28 am

Jut click the button to move them...

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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by peopleopinion » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:46 pm

Master_Cylinder wrote:Just click the button to move them...
MC,
Uhmmm... not a good idea IMO because if you have for example 20 (or more) blocks into the layout list and you wish for example to move the first block to the last position you have to click 20 or more times... that's not efficient but it is a big waste of time and "a bit" boring.
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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by Master_Cylinder » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:08 pm

The reason given not to do it beats your boredom, imho.

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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by peopleopinion » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:58 pm

Master_Cylinder wrote:The reason given not to do it beats your boredom, imho.
MC,
The question is not the administrator boredom but the board efficiency: if every time a person has a thing to do that can be done with just one operation (if well hard coded) is better than if the board allows to do it with 20 clicks: in this case is the board to be boring... so people leave phpbb forums and go to other platforms This is not my aim: my aim is make things with efficiency so people stay on phpbb forums longer because they like staying there because things work well. A thing that doesn't work well is not appreciated... imho.
It is like uploading a single file or multiple files at a time: uploading multiple file at a time speeds up the board efficiency upload a single file at a time make the board very inefficient... and boring.
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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by Master_Cylinder » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:23 pm

It's been explained why it's a bad idea... :roll:

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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by peopleopinion » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:46 pm

Master_Cylinder wrote:It's been explained why it's a bad idea... :roll:
MC,
If you are referring to the following post of brunoais,
brunoais wrote:This may seem a lot flowery but, in reality, it is not easy to implement in the backend without making phpBB much, much slower than how it is now. It's really hard to automate changes in HTML, CSS and js files just like that and expect the outcome to be good and acceptably correct. Even WYSIWYG editors like CKE have a really hard time trying to do things intuitive enough to be used.

Trust me, not a good idea and it is a good recipe to failure.
I''ve responded that I have been an admin of another web site that used this kind of implementation and it was pretty faster than clicking 20 times on a button and wait to update the page for other 20 times as well as the forum manager works now, that is pretty boring and old procedure.
Also I have already demonstrated that with the use of jquery (I read somewhere that the phpbb v.3.1 will incorporate jquery as well, if I'm wrong please correct me) it is possible to implement this feature very easily: in fact the page I linked in one of my previous posts there is an example that shows it. I post such link another time for better comprehension: http://jqueryui.com/sortable. The code of such implementation can be seen clicking on "view source" link into that page: as everyone can see it has just very few lines of code.
Of course in the final implementation code lines will be more because there is the need to get the file to modify and to save it after modified. But I'm pretty sure that this won't be a problem.
Please explicate why you voted negative or positive, so it will be possible to better understand each one's point of view.
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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by Master_Cylinder » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:39 pm

Just because you responded doesn't make it a better idea. You respond to a lot of ideas. :roll:

I mentioned that there was another idea to do that but brunoais made a good point about *why* it's a bad idea.

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Re: Move Layouts blocks with mouse

Post by peopleopinion » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:28 am

Master_Cylinder wrote:Just because you responded doesn't make it a better idea.
And because you responded doesn't make it a worse idea.
Master_Cylinder wrote:You respond to a lot of ideas.
Is that strange? Of course I do. We are here for this. Am I wrong?
Master_Cylinder wrote:I mentioned that there was another idea to do that but brunoais made a good point about *why* it's a bad idea.
I respect what brunais said but maybe someone with different experiences could implement it, of course if the idea of this feature is appreciated. I'm pretty sure that frequently programmers/developers do things more complicated than this one.
Please explicate why you voted negative or positive, so it will be possible to better understand each one's point of view.
Please visit and vote my website and express freely your opinion on it (phpbb ver.: 3.0.12):
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