This is an intervention! :D

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Wolfydragon
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This is an intervention! :D

Post by Wolfydragon » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm

Let me tell you why I am quitting Phpbb after ten years in the hope that someone finally listens.I hope you'll forgive me if I get any details wrong or ask too much, but it feels like I have to say this. I'm not really angry, I'm just kinda 'done'. I'm surprised that you guys are starting to try and listen to us, and there are a lot of good reasons why.

I'll give you an example. And I'm sorry if it offends you, but...

Remember when you guys brought in quick reply a couple of years ago, and it really was the most grudging half-hearted thing in the world? How it wasn't on by default and how you made everyone press a button to actually use it? :| Do you remember how every other forum on the web considered Quick reply a core feature about a decade before you did that? It is absolutely shocking that, to this very day, Phpbb's default Quick Reply still doesn't come with at least a bbcode bar and smilies. That you STILL need mods to make it fully functional. :?

I will say that again, because it needs repeating: Phpbb, now in it's 17th year, still requires you to add most of the quick-reply system yourself. :shock: And you can still see bbcode tags in raw text.

That is Phpbb in a nutshell, as far as I've seen. :| Most forums way back in the early Phpbb 2.0 days just came with it, or at least had it modded in. Every forum I ever went on had it, modded or not. There have always been quick reply mods for Phpbb, and the devs always had the option of asking the makers to let you add them as standard. But you did not. In fact, I think it's very telling that you guys still don't have it on your main website. There's set in your ways, and then there is this. I'll give you another example:

When someone clicks the 'backup', 'restore', 'prune users', or 'email all' function on any other worthwhile forum system the task actually gets done. :lol: They don't stop 10% in and pretend it's done. They just keep chugging until it's 100% finished. When I first started a Xenforo forum and deleted all my 1000s of spam users in one go, it felt like... I can't even describe the feeling. It was like I had been living in a cave and had finally saved up enough to buy a house! And yes, I did have to pay. I spent years appreciating the fact you guys never made me pay, and I know that Phpbb is a work of love. I used to love it myself! But the cave is still a cave. And cave is such a good metaphor for the entire phpbb experience, it really is: It may be free, it may even be pretty, but holy crap it's still a cave. When I finally made the switch to the other forum my system admin thanked me profusely. My users thanked me. The server load plummeted. The spam bots dried up like someone had installed a door and walls to keep them out. Everyone was overjoyed. Especially me, because I had been fighting a loosing battle with spam for the whole of the forum's existence.

Before I switched from Phpbb, we were getting near DDOS levels of spam every day. We suspect they were altering the actual install itself. There was all kinds of hacking. Now? It's just gone. We haven't had a single drop of spam ever since. I don't even have to do anything. Granted, this is partly because Xenforo is very much a less popular forum software... but it has security. It has lots and lots of inbuilt security and most of it is on by default.

CAPTCHAs

Which reminds me, don't you guys think the ugly default CAPTCHAs on Phpbb need replacing? I mean, all of them were broken back in the old Phpbb 2.0 days, so why would they ever be used on a real forum? Why isn't there a set of professionally made modern CAPTCHAs as default? Or even the most basic Spam Cleaner and SEO software installed and active out of the box? Every other decent forum I've looked at while hunting for a replacement has an entire selection of free anti-spam tools as standard. I realize that putting them on a forum as popular as Phpbb is an invitation to have them broken, but that's not an excuse to still be using that original broken CAPTCHA that actually puts off new users rather than bots!

I think we need a dedicated anti-spam tab on the ACP with every single spam related tool right there, including the ability to customize the registration page to throw off bots, and to install and maintain things like Stop Forum Spam directly from the ACP.

But whatever happens, and this is vital, we need to stop the Newly Registered User group from posting any URLs in the forums or their signatures by default, and alert the admins if they try it. This is an incredibly important secondary level of defense, and it is by far the best way to stop human spammers and even robots once they get into the forums. I cannot stress this enough: stopping new users posting URLs kills the incentive for spammers to target your forums in the first place. The fact that most people involved with Phpbb seem to be against this is daunting. It wasn't until the spambots started hacking my forums and finding ways around my URL blocker mod that they became a totally unmanageable problem. Stopping spammers at registration is great, BUT, and this is the part Phpbb really fails on, you need a powerful fallback. And this is one of the simplest and best ones there is because even human spammers absolutely hate having to take part in your community for 5-15 posts only to be deleted instantly. Robots are way too stupid and obvious to even do this. It's like a magic off switch for spam, and I can't recommend it more. Coupled with any central list of blacklisted urls and emails, it's practically unstoppable.

Unless your forum is full of security vulnerabilities that let them have free reign despite it, that is.


Forum Experience

Slow and overly complicated are the words I would use here! Nothing is dynamic. Nothing invites the user to hang around and chat. All other forums are moving steadily towards instant replies, if they don't already have them, but Phpbb still requires you to wait for emails or hit refresh. Posting has long been a multi-page process, for no reason, and we need to strip back that kind of delay. The mchat extension is a notable exception, but I'm talking about Phpbb out of the box. (And even Mchat still lags far behind other chat systems.) If you wanted to do something interesting, let every forum have its own main icon that can be changed. It doesn't even have to grey out if there are no replies, but if it does it should do it the instant the user enters the forum vewtopic as otherwise it almost never will grey out. This will get rid of marking forums as read.

My number one suggestion here is to team up with the people who made Phpbb Sitebuilder and integrate it into every forum. This would give them a sophisticated modern feel right out of the box and encourage modders to make all kinds of interesting widgets and inventive new things for Phpbb. Teaming up with other mod makers to offer a few that add core features during the install would be a huge boost to Phpbb.

A built in mod uploader, a mod browser, and an invitation to mod and style your forum at the end of the install would also make for a very good experience. Not to mention encourage people to customize!


The Index

It's a mess! The page is still covered in ugly text URLs instead of dynamic buttons. We need more options to make each forum look visually different and interesting and the forum lists really should be dynamic. The dropdown menus have no mouseover. There is no way to make a global announcement without mods and no modern forum is complete without a modular sidebar, as in Phpbb site builder. Above everything, though, the forum needs to be much more dynamic, with topics and replies updated in as close to real time as possible.

And I notice the forum is still using gibberish random URLs instead of short user and SEO friendly names based on the titles of posts! That should never have been a thing in the first place. :P


View forum

Thread icons should be either the user's avatar, or an attractive graphic you chose (such as with Font Awesome). It should not be just be a long row of generic icons down the page with squashed on symbols for locked and so on. The current system somehow manages to be both a mess and very bland at the same time. Topics really need to be twice as tall and pop out at the viewer. For preference, they should have a mouse-over synopsis of what they are about (with the OPs avatar, as in the popular mod). They should also be something you can click anywhere (A feature I last saw in a very good Phpbb 2 mod).

And, really, please ditch the ability to give every reply to a thread a different topic title like it's an email! :lol: Nobody ever uses or even reads that! :D


Posting.

Quick reply with dynamic side-by-side previews that change as you type. Automatically turn links into previews. Don't have visible BBCode tags in post editing, unless you click a tab button to see it (Like with Wordpress code viewing) Make all the fonts a bit larger so they pop off the page on modern monitors. Replace the topic icon with the user avatar, or a list of font awesome icons from a dropdown menu that grey out when there are no replies. Make Phpbb detect replies as they are made and give you a popup saying 'show X new replies'. And if you build all the tools you need to post in the Quick Reply box, there is no need at all for a dedicated 'post reply' page that takes you away from the thread and leaves you isolated from it. Ideally, you should also have a bar magnetized to the bottom of the screen that can act as a quick reply with all the stuff you need, as well as maybe your bookmarks.


The UCP

Oh my God, the UCP. Where do I even begin? :shock:

Don't take this the wrong way, guys, but it looks like you are trying to confuse users and scare them away. 8-) I don't think any of the Phpbb designers really realize how bad that thing has gotten, or what that thing looks like to a new user! Let me show you the main Xenforo user control panel, fresh out of the box. It's a nice little dropdown menu with everything easily seen and accessed.

Image

All the basics flow neatly from that one panel. You don't even have to go to a new page to change your avatar or signature, then get it confirmed, then go back to the main UCP feeling a bit lost. You just click avatar, there is a popup box, and you upload and press okay. Almost everything that can be is done like this, and it make the forum very easy and quick to navigate. The way it is designed means that you have probably already found everything you need by mousing over that one menu, yet if you browse a little deeper you'll find there are at least as many advanced options in there as in Phpbb.

The key difference is that you just aren't bombarded with them on a day-to-day basis. Especially when doing new user things like your avatar or theme. You have to actually want the advanced options to end up faced with anything even half as complicated as the UCP! This is very important - the user should not feel like they are drowning!

Now, the only counter argument I can see being made here is: "We need to give the users all the options in one place at once, so they can control every single part of their experience!" But.... is that what you are really doing? And do you really need to do that? I think you need to work from the idea that most users don't care about the advanced options at all, so they need to be kept back a little from the user. They are still there, but they aren't burying useful day-to-day things in fluff. Phpbb menu tabs are a good idea, but most of them should lead to single pages with clearly labeled sections to stop people feeling so lost. And the settings should, most definitely, not be mixed up with everything else! Here's my take on the UCP options:
  • Overview. Stats have no place in the settings menu, they can to go on your user page and maybe be optional parts of your footer or sidebar.
  • Bookmarks. Who's going to use or see this buried way down here in the UCP? I keep forgetting we even have them! :D Bookmarks and subscriptions should be merged into a single dedicated forum browser system along with 'your topics' and 'advanced search'. Subscribing should be opt-out for bookmarks because they are basically the same thing in most cases. How about having it as a sidebar module for this as well? Letting us star topics to change them different pastel colours would be nice, but it at least needs to be an easier feature to get to.
  • Drafts. Dynamic forums just save them automatically as you type and and load them up when you press 'Post Topic' in the right forum! If you want it to be a dedicated feature, how about an optional sidebar in the 'Post Topic' Page? Modern browsers save text on shutdown anyway, as Chrome has done with this very post, so it's not worth going nuts with this unless you want history states (Those would be VERY nice. I'd consider coming back to Phpbb for that alone).
  • Edit profile and edit signature. Combine them!
  • Notification options. Why not just let user click a mute button on the topics and the notification itself? And why are there two settings pages for notifications? Why not merge them? Honestly I don't think this one even needs to exist. If a user has to search around the whole UCP to mute a topic, most won't even realize they can do it and the rest will find the process too long-winded and search intensive: "(Click, click, click) Now, where what this option again? (Click, click, click) No! Not the duplicate again! (Click, click, click) Damnit I give up..." :?
  • Manage “Remember Me” login keys Nobody wants to see this except maybe an admin. I clicked the text box. You remembered me. Done!
  • Avatar. Cool. But how about making a side panel in settings with your avatar, and a clickable link beneath it to change it? This is a basic thing users like to do, but they are having to hunt for it. And users hate hunting for things. That this is on the FAQ is a bit of a tell, I think.
  • Account settings. Everything in the UCP is an Account setting, so maybe call it 'Email and Password' and make it a popup box from the top menu. Change style, and other common settings, should be as accessible as possible.
  • Global Settings These options are great, but the page needs to be a one-stop-shop for common settings.
  • Posting defaults. Dear God. :lol: :lol: :lol:
It is at this point I have to take a step back and take a moment to, uh, appreciate the fact that for several years Phpbb has had an entire page dedicated to just four radio buttons, none of which are at all important. :lol: An entire page! For four buttons! :lol: This is exactly the kind of thing that makes the UCP a confusing mess! It needs merging! You could add 'Attach my signature by default' to the signature page, and everything to do with 'notifications' to the global Notifications page. Ditch the other two or just add them to general settings. Nobody wants four radio buttons on one page! It's the settings equivalent of making everyone eat M&Ms with chopsticks.
  • Display Options. Merge it with global settings as a category. Ditch all the dropdown boxes - these options just don't belong here. They need to go in viewtopic, if anywhere. Even then, you only need the first three. Nobody wants to see a thread upside down, then scroll to the bottom to post. Urgh.
  • Notification options. Not a bad page, but might be good to have a copy of the notification box in here to make it extra clear for new users. Adding mute buttons to the notifications themselves would improve the user experience here. The 'Someone sends you a private message' notification should be off by default, but on for emails by default. Why is it this way round? I don't understand why you would want to be notified twice on the forum about one thing, but not be told by email. Baffling.
  • Private Messages. Like bookmarks, I really think it should be separate from the UCP, but this is more a matter of taste. I think Private messages should have their own dedicated page, or be a popup.
Okay, I'm done for now. I think that covers most of it. I hope I haven't angered or offended anyone, but, in all honesty, PhpBB really needs to gain a new and more flexible approach to everything. It needs to be simpler, sleeker, dynamic, and loaded with modern anti-spam measures.

I don't know if I got everything right, but it took me tow days to get it together so I hope at least some of this helps. It has at least helped me get all of this off my chest after years of feeling that nobody was listening. Thank you.

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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by david63 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:44 pm

And after all of that what is your idea?
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by Crizzo » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:49 pm

david63 wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:44 pm
And after all of that what is your idea?
I think we should copy xenforo and merge the whole ucp and stuff to a one-pagers. Something like that.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by 3Di » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:03 pm

I did count 20 ideas in this post and a big rant, if I can say.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by Crizzo » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:05 pm

3Di wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:03 pm
I did count 20 ideas in this post and a big rant, if I can say.
Well the post has a lot of feedback and input and many things have a point and are valid suggestions. But the origin of some things seem to be xenforo.

But this is a discussion topic and not a suggestion of a single idea for phpBB.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by 3Di » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:13 pm

Crizzo wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:05 pm
3Di wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:03 pm
I did count 20 ideas in this post and a big rant, if I can say.
Well the post as a lot of feedback and input and many things have point and are valid suggestions. But the origin of some things seem to be xenforo.
Yes, points are good and some valid as well, just I don't see how that long "rant" could take place in here, it would have been logic to post each feedback/input as a separate idea and the motivations behind the OP states he/she's bound to give up with phpBB into the phpBB discussion's forum, but that's me. :)

On a side note, it's logic there would have been a term of comparison (in this case xenforo), some other will have pointed to another software as we can see daily, on another Idea I read here there is a comparison with myBB, as an example.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by Mick » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:14 pm

Personally speaking, I don’t get quick reply, never have.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by bonelifer » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:51 pm

This has been moved to phpBB Discussion as it wasn't a single IDEA and therefore not appropriate for IDEAS center.

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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by AmigoJack » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:38 pm

To make it easier for you I'll enumerate my answers.
  1. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    It is absolutely shocking that, to this very day, Phpbb's default Quick Reply still doesn't come with at least a bbcode bar and smilies
    This all needs additional network traffic and rendering resources (CPU and time) both on server and client side with every page of each topic. And if you want to quote someone it won't prevent you from making at least one click anyway, just like you do now. Regarding this I never was a friend of quick reply.
  2. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    you can still see bbcode tags in raw text
    So you want a richtext editor. Yes, valid point. Problem is: still every internet browser does this differently, and while other board softwares seem to support it they also have difficulties. The outcome of such a richtext content can be difficult to parse since it can invalid markup. That's why using BBCodes still is a more solid approach than trusting on richtext editors. But I do understand people want the former nonetheless.
  3. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    When someone clicks the 'backup', 'restore', 'prune users', or 'email all' function on any other worthwhile forum system the task actually gets done. :lol: They don't stop 10% in and pretend it's done. They just keep chugging until it's 100% finished. When I first started a Xenforo forum and deleted all my 1000s of spam users in one go
    Valid point again: most submit actions in phpBB aren't expecting an execution timeout. This is something which can be improved. But the other question is: how does it come you need to delete thousands of accounts in the first place?
  4. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    it's still a cave
    How about comparing it to i.e. the internet browser Firefox? It used to be pretty much the rendering engine only but was very popular for the freedom of having dozens of add-ons from thousands of add-ons being available. phpBB is about the same: the basic installation should be plain and slim, meeting the lowest common denominator of most users, who then would be able to add any extensions they want. But I also understand the perspective "installation package with most popular extensions pre-installed".
  5. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    The server load plummeted
    Having looked at XenForo code and others (i.e. vBulletin) the software alone can't be the culprit for this.
  6. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    There was all kinds of hacking. Now? It's just gone. We haven't had a single drop of spam ever since.
    Hacking means to gain access where it wasn't planned - only XSS and CSRF vulnerabilities for phpBB3 are known. Spamming means to add unwanted content thru legit access. For years phpBB already comes with a question+answer countermeasure, and based on how an administrator chooses both it kills of (automated) spammers very well. Not to speak of moderating new registrations in the first place.
  7. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    don't you guys think the ugly default CAPTCHAs on Phpbb need replacing? I mean, all of them were broken back in the old Phpbb 2.0 days, so why would they ever be used on a real forum?
    Valid point - I have no clue either why those are shipped.
  8. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    the most basic Spam Cleaner
    Because spammers should be avoided in the first place. I understand that there are administrators who "just" want them to disappear and don't distinguish between killing culprits and symptoms.
  9. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    SEO software installed and active out of the box
    SEO is the same category like CCleaner: the vast majority of people want it and use it, no matter how ineffective and dangerous the outcome may be.
  10. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Every other decent forum I've looked at while hunting for a replacement has an entire selection of free anti-spam tools as standard.
    By this do you mean tools to prevent spammers? If yes: why multiple tools if one should stop all? If no: what are important differences from managing "normal" accounts?
  11. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    I think we need a dedicated anti-spam tab on the ACP with every single spam related tool right there, including the ability to customize the registration page to throw off bots, and to install and maintain things like Stop Forum Spam directly from the ACP.
    The ACP is (like the MCP and UCP) fully configurable - you can have your own tab right there along with all the modules you want. While maintaining accounts and registration settings are indeed found on different places right now which I think is suboptimal I think one big drawback is that you can't search in the ACP - this has been requested as idea already and previously also coded by me - once you're able to have such a thing then it is irrelevant where which option resides in the ACP.
  12. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    we need to stop the Newly Registered User group from posting any URLs in the forums or their signatures by default
    I somewhat agree that this could be a default setting. But more important is to put posts of those into the moderation queue by default - I feel most boards miss the concept of moderating boards completely.
  13. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Stopping spammers at registration is great, BUT, and this is the part Phpbb really fails on, you need a powerful fallback
    Group permissions and the moderation queue are powerful to me already.
  14. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Coupled with any central list of blacklisted urls and emails
    How should phpBB blacklist emails? Or do you mean addresses? Who should be the central? What happens on encountering a blacklist match? phpBB can already forbid email addresses and censor words, including those in URIs.
  15. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Nothing invites the user to hang around and chat
    That's because it's a BBS in the first place, which is aimed for longer posts, not short chat messages.
  16. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    let every forum have its own main icon that can be changed
    This is the case for decades already - most boards just opt to never define pictures for their forums.
  17. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    It doesn't even have to grey out if there are no replies, but if it does it should do it the instant the user enters the forum vewtopic as otherwise it almost never will grey out. This will get rid of marking forums as read.
    Then you're not using it in the sense of "read" anyway - something is read when you're done with it - just visiting a forum does not mean you also read every topic, let alone every post - you still have to do that. Likewise a topic is only read when all posts have been read. And in this sense the information is accurate. Why should a status icon change when there really are no new posts?
  18. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    A built in mod uploader, a mod browser, and an invitation to mod and style your forum at the end of the install would also make for a very good experience. Not to mention encourage people to customize!
    I agree. As for now, the team already works on such a thing.
  19. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    The Index ... is still covered in ugly text URLs instead of dynamic buttons
    Text links. Yes, sometimes the option to also use BBCode on a forum's title would be nice. Dynamic buttons for what - which thing do you miss?
  20. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    There is no way to make a global announcement without mods
    I agree - sooner or later there is always the need to have something that can be changed instantly, without touching the templates. So far one could only abuse the board description for this.
  21. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    no modern forum is complete without a modular sidebar
    And such a sidebar has which advantages? Apart from the disadvantage of always wasting space? I mean: earlier you wanted "mouseover" menus, but here you want a static menu?
  22. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    the forum needs to be much more dynamic, with topics and replies updated in as close to real time as possible
    And you are sure this doesn't multiply the server load with each client to periodically ask for new content? Keep in mind that phpBB is more or less the only BBS where you can sort both topics and posts by different criteria, which means new posts and/or topics don't necessarily "appear" at "the end", which would result in a questionable reading experience.
  23. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    gibberish random URLs instead of short user and SEO friendly names based on the titles of posts
    The URIs are fine and easy to identify: what's the post, what's the forum, what's the topic and so on - in contrast to SEO friendly ones that all have their own pattern of being gibberish once there exists more than one topic with the same title or having username characters that cannot be used in an URI. Do you mean the text of links instead when posting a URI into a post? Automated that in my installation to display to topic's title or post's subject or forum's name as link text - be aware this also comes with unwantingly spreading information (i.e. telling the title of a topic that is accessible only to a few ones).
  24. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    View forum ... icons should be either the user's avatar, or an attractive graphic you chose (such as with Font Awesome).
    A font has no graphics, it has characters. Yes, topic authors and maybe also last post authors could also display their avatar next to the username - two downsides here are that avatars can be quite big (i.e. 150x250), so they have to be scaled - and the server load would be higher again for requesting all the additional pictures.
  25. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    They should also be something you can click anywhere
    I strongly disagree, as I still want to choose whether I want to read the topic's first or its most recent post - or click on one of its two user's profile links.
  26. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    please ditch the ability to give every reply to a thread a different topic title like it's an email! :lol: Nobody ever uses or even reads that!
    Yes, literally nobody uses it. Which is a bit sad, as it always had the opportunity to summarize your own post and choose a proper reference at which context your post is aiming to.
  27. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Quick reply with dynamic side-by-side previews that change as you type
    This is contradictive to your richtext editor: either it already is one, which then needs no preview anymore - or you still want to enter BBCode manually, which then needs a preview - and in that case a live preview is hard to impossible to implement, based on how complex BBCodes can be.
  28. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Automatically turn links into previews
    Do you have an example of what you mean by this? Also keep in mind that I still want to be able to choose the presentation of my link myself (i.e. text combined with pictures). I think you're talking about pasting URIs only, but then again how should pasting http://google.com render a "preview"?
  29. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Make all the fonts a bit larger so they pop off the page on modern monitors
    This contradicts to mobile devices, such as netbooks and smartphones. Modern internet browsers come with a zoom feature, which should be adequate enough.
  30. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Make Phpbb detect replies as they are made and give you a popup saying 'show X new replies'
    Not sure how old you are but 15 years ago and more the internet was full of popups and I yet have to meet one who liked that. I also don't understand why you now want a popup instead of putting that into your wanted sidebar? Once in a minute it could be updated to something like "205 unread posts, 51 unread topics, 16 unread forums, 2 unread PMs". But keep in mind that this increases the database load, of course.
  31. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    And if you build all the tools you need to post in the Quick Reply box, there is no need at all for a dedicated 'post reply' page that takes you away from the thread and leaves you isolated from it
    Except for creating a topic. Unless, of course, you want a "quick topic" in viewing a forum as well.
  32. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Ideally, you should also have a bar magnetized to the bottom of the screen that can act as a quick reply with all the stuff you need, as well as maybe your bookmarks
    Having a fixed bottom is a nice idea and could help in many areas, preferably to users having limited input capabilities (i.e. smartphones), while I as a desktop user "just" optimized phpBB to have more access keys than by default, so for me it's only a key combination to submit a post or go to the topic's next page of posts.
  33. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Don't take this the wrong way, guys, but it looks like you are trying to confuse users and scare them away. 8-) I don't think any of the Phpbb designers really realize how bad that thing has gotten, or what that thing looks like to a new user! Let me show you the main Xenforo user control panel, fresh out of the box. It's a nice little dropdown menu with everything easily seen and accessed.
    The hover menu is no help when searching for a thing that can not be related to any of those key words. The whole "Your Account"'s advantage is that every module's title is seen at once, while in phpBB's UCP you have to go thru each horizontal tab to see all its vertical tabs. There and here I miss a search feature again.
  34. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    you have probably already found everything you need by mousing over that one menu, yet if you browse a little deeper you'll find there are at least as many advanced options in there as in Phpbb
    I cannot
    1. manage my subscriptions and bookmarks
    2. manage my attachments
    3. delete "remember me" keys
    4. use a custom time format - I can't even select from pregiven ones
    5. disable images/Flash/smilies/signatures/avatars from being displayed (low bandwidth or just being annoyed by these things)
    6. create custom PM folders and create rules for PMs
    7. manage group memberships
    with that menu and all its advanced settings. Plus not being able to adjust the features XenForo doesn't have.
  35. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    I think you need to work from the idea that most users don't care about the advanced options at all, so they need to be kept back a little from the user
    Over the years I learnt that most people are annoyed by the freedom they might have to adjust things. And I have to live with the outcome of getting less and less advanced options in a software. For this I also think a search feature would help those feeling overwhelmed, while not unnecessarily taking away the possibility to adjust many things.
  36. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Who's going to use or see this buried way down here in the UCP? I keep forgetting we even have them!
    That's why internet browsers came with the bookmark feature for decades - I have no clue why this died away silently - on nowadays popular ones I have to search for them.
  37. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Subscribing should be opt-out for bookmarks because they are basically the same thing in most cases
    Subscribing means to be notified about updates, whereas bookmarks (just like their real life purpose in books) means to have a shortcut to something you read again and again. My only suggestion here would be also (or only) being able to bookmark posts - either for reading long topics and being unbound to marking everything as "read", or for long topics with valuable posts being hidden there. But then again, I can also use my internet browser to bookmark a post.
  38. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Dynamic forums just save them automatically as you type and and load them up when you press 'Post Topic' in the right forum
    Until you experience this negatively, where your internet browser is smart enough to remember all inputs when just going back one page (i.e. after you had to sign in again), but then the board's AJAX kicks in to overwrite that content with a previous outdated version of your text.
  39. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    unless you want history states
    Having a post history is nice, but I'm also concerned about the storing space needed for this.
  40. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Edit profile and edit signature. Combine them!
    Why? You'd still submit each one separately, not together. Or it would prevent you from updating one thing when you fail with the other for some reason.
  41. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Notification options. Why not just let user click a mute button on the topics and the notification itself?
    Great idea! Operating systems have it, remotes have it, Internet browsers have it... and a board should have it as well. And I also understand the difference to "untick all notifications", because that's something you still want to leave unchanged while still wanting to mute everything for a while.
  42. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    And why are there two settings pages for notifications?
    Historical reasons, if you're interested. Just like in the ACP you can reach modules thru different routes.
  43. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Manage “Remember Me” login keys Nobody wants to see this except maybe an admin. I clicked the text box. You remembered me. Done!
    The whole "remember me" feature is a compromise of security and convenience, and as such each user might be interested to not only remove all his cookies but also to remove all these keys. Not only the administrator of the board.
  44. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Account settings. Everything in the UCP is an Account setting, so maybe call it 'Email and Password'
    I disagree. An email is the text I'm reading, whereas an email address is what you mean. If you want to be accurate. And if multiple languages are no concern for your board you could have renamed this in your ACP already without touching one single file.
  45. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Posting defaults. Dear God.
    I also think this is used by no one. Still it's nice to have the ability to, including how the "Notify me upon replies" checkbox should be set.
  46. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    An entire page! For four buttons! :lol:
    That's inconsistent: at one time you don't want the user to feel lost, but this time you think this isn't enough? If you're interested: each page of the UCP/MCP/ACP is a module which can be positioned freely - it's just that one of them solely deals with these options and as such has nothing else.
  47. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Display Options. Merge it with global settings as a category
    On my installation I added "mobile display options" with the same set (and both got a few more checkboxes), then it makes even more sense to separate that: while at home my screen is large enough to display all avatars and signature, on a mobile device (detected automatically) I don't want them because of a smaller screen. And that doesn't really mix with "global settings". Ideally one could set up a cookie for that or similar.
  48. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    Nobody wants to see a thread upside down, then scroll to the bottom to post. Urgh.
    That's funny, because most of the times people want to see the new posts instead of the old ones, hence seeing them on the first page instead of having to click to the last one would be more logical. On my installation you even have more choices, like "topic time" and "forum default".
  49. Wolfydragon wrote:
    Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:54 pm
    It needs to be simpler, sleeker, dynamic, and loaded with modern anti-spam measures.
    You do realize this is an oxymoron?



    Summary (or in modern terms "TL;DR"):
    • I agree with a couple of points,
    • I disagree with the majority of points,
    • I agree in that phpBB can still be improved (having searches in UCP, MCP, ACP and private messages alone),
    • a few points are contradictive,
    • I see one great idea,
    • most people just aren't meant to manage or comprehend things like BBSes.
    • phpBB can do more than most people know (the classic Windows versus MacOS versus Linux situation, where it's mostly broken down to optics and feelings instead of what's actually being possible if you're just eager enough to step thru it).
    • It gave me ideas to improve my installation (i.e. searchable UCP, muting).
    I'm here for more than 7 years and am mostly disappointed by phpBB's technical evolution. I've also seen countless ideas, with many of them being out of proportion for a BBS. Even small fixes need years when discovered by non-team people. It still remains to be the most robust BBS software from all, tho - and I have the advantage of not being in the need of a good look - if it works and is ugly as hell I will still love it.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by Holger » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:58 pm

This is a GREAT topic!
I hope the discussions/ideas/suggestions here will help to improve phpBB.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by Mick » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:42 pm

They won’t if not requested by somebody. Sitting chatting about it in phpBB Discussion won’t bring it to anyone’s attention.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by Toxyy » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:48 pm

I think the OP is a request, Mick.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by RMcGirr83 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:25 pm

But there is too much in the OP post. He would be better served to split the post make several topics in the Ideas Section
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by bonelifer » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:01 pm

RMcGirr83 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:25 pm
But there is too much in the OP post. He would be better served to split the post make several topics in the Ideas Section
This actually started out as a post in IDEAS, but as it was mostly a long kitchen sink rant, it was moved here. If it had been posted as separate coherent topics it would have been fine.
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Re: This is an intervention! :D

Post by AmigoJack » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:26 am

bonelifer wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:01 pm
This actually started out as a post in IDEAS
It is still listed there - I think only few people actually recognize they're rerouted to a different forum when viewing/replying to it.
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