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Paul Arden
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Thread Summary

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:23 pm

Hi guys,

I don't think this currently exists. To give you a quick background I run a fly fishing site where we often research flycasting physics. After sometimes hundreds of pages of discussions there occasionally is some new understanding. A solution if you like. For the people involved in the discussion they gain the knowledge. However I don't think we can expect the rest of the world to read through hundreds of pages to find it.

So what I'm thinking is that those involved in the discussion can try to formulate a joint statement. This would achieve two things; firstly it would result in a thread summary that can be shared with the world and secondly it would allow us to clarify what the hell we were actually talking about and see if we agree on what it means ;)

This extension would be this joint statement (summary) appearing at the very top of the first page of the discussion, separate from the discussion, with a different colour background, similar in appearance to the board announcements extension, or better still, slightly different. This way when a reader finds the thread he gets to read the summary first.

On all the pages apart from the first one, instead of this long summary appearing at the top of the page, there could be an announcement-style "read the summary" which then links back to the first page of the discussion where the summary then appears in full. I imagine that the summary could sometimes be quite long.

Many thanks,
Paul
it's all about to happen..

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warmweer
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Re: Thread Summary

Post by warmweer » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:33 pm

Paul Arden wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:23 pm
...
There will be no extension for thread summary in phpBB ... for the simple reason that phpBB is not a threaded forum - it uses topics (not only is the wording different, more importantly it's also a different concept.
My board's not broken, it just went peculiar

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Re: Thread Summary

Post by 3Di » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:42 pm

Paul Arden wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:23 pm
To give you a quick background I run a fly fishing site where we often research flycasting physics. After sometimes hundreds of pages of discussions there occasionally is some new understanding. A solution if you like. For the people involved in the discussion they gain the knowledge. However I don't think we can expect the rest of the world to read through hundreds of pages to find it.
All what you need is this extension IMHO: https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/exte ... st_answer/
... allows users to mark a post as the "Best Answer", which will then be quoted in the first post with a link to it. ...
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Re: Thread Summary

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:08 pm

Thanks Marco, with a few small changes that should work perfectly!

Cheers,
Paul
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Re: Thread Summary

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:48 pm

for the simple reason that phpBB is not a threaded forum - it uses topics
It must be a language thing, warmweer! It's a discussion thread.

Cheers, Paul

Edit: you're right! Thanks for the correction 8-)
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Re: Thread Summary

Post by warmweer » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:23 pm

Paul Arden wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:48 pm
It must be a language thing, warmweer! It's a discussion thread.
I had written that in good spirits with some humour in mind but conceptually it is important.
There are threaded forums and flat forums.
Conversations in threaded forums easily branch out and develop into seperate discussions with become less and less related to the starting post. You could compare it to a group of people discussing a certain subject in a lounge bar. It won't take long before the group naturally splits into subgroups holding their own discussion which has deviated form the starting point. Summarising the thread is usually a PITA.
Database-wise every post then needs a parent_id and a child_id (unless it hasn't been replied to yet) in order to construct the logical view of the discussion(s).

In Flat forums all posts stay in 1 branch (which is THE topic) and (usually) stay a lot more on topic.
Yes it is a language thing because the 2 different concepts need 2 different wordings to make sure we're talking about the same thing. Knives can cut but so can a saw and I wouldn't use a knife to fell a tree, nor use the saw to cut my watermelon ;)

It's not only in English that there are 2 differents words, one for each concept.

BTW in this topic on a threaded forum, my first reply would have been the start of a new branch deviating from the subject, with 3Di's reply the start of another branch (remaining on topic).
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Re: Thread Summary

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:23 pm

Indeed! Most of the topics on our discussion board have threads that disappear off into the obscure, which is actually rather important because it helps bring in some humour and quite often the off-topic thread is more entertaining to read. And yes I can see now that something like the facebook discussions are threaded by structure, which is incredibly annoying to follow, so it is an important distinction!
Knives can cut but so can a saw and I wouldn't use a knife to fell a tree, nor use the saw to cut my watermelon
What you want is a machete.
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Re: Thread Summary

Post by warmweer » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:06 pm

Paul Arden wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:23 pm
What you want is a machete.
Good one :lol: I use that for the green coconuts ;)

off topic stuff like this is perfectly fine in a threaded board but in this (flat) board I'll be getting bad marks :? )
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Re: Thread Summary

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:09 am

I do have another question related to this. If I install this extension and then modify it so that it is "Topic Summary" ;) what happens when I upgrade the forum software? The last time I upgraded I had to remove all mods (I'm sure there's a difference between a mod and an extension? 8-) ). Under such a circumstance if or when this happens again what happens to the topic summaries? Will they return after the extension is reinstalled?

Many thanks,
Paul
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Re: Thread Summary

Post by warmweer » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:24 am

"mod" is short for modification which implies that core files are modified. This also implies that with each update, the core files would have to be modified again.

"extension" adds (or changes/removes) functionality to/from the production files. The core files remain untouched and are used (with the extensions files) to create the production files. And it's these production files (which are created on the fly) which produce what you see.

It can happen though that an extension is not compatible with an update of phpBB, in which case the extension has to be updated.

The whole point of extensions is to get rid of the hassle with having to edit afer each update of phpBB.
More (and more precise) info can be found at https://www.phpbb.com/extensions/

edit: forgot to mention that updating phpBB usually does not require the extension to be removed (not even disabled) and won't affect the topic summaries.
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Re: Thread Summary

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:49 am

Brilliant - thanks warmeer!
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