Opened 6 years ago

Closed 5 years ago

#1991 closed improve feature (fixed)

New landing and overview pages for groups and forums

Reported by: lantti Owned by: lantti
Priority: major Milestone: 1.8
Component: BW Forum Keywords: groups, forums, agora
Cc: shevek

Description (last modified by shevek)

To respond to the demand for a clearer separation between groups and forums, we need to develop separate overview pages and and a common landing page for forum threads and group forum threads. Discussion about the problem: http://www.bewelcome.org/forums/s1785-On_groups_and_forums


Related tickets: #1822, #1969

Attachments (1)

community.png (126.9 KB) - added by crumbking 6 years ago.
mockup

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (57)

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

A proposal for a possible implementation by lantti: https://www.gitorious.org/~lantti/bewelcome/lanttis-rox/commits/forumlanding

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

  • Description modified (diff)

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

The proposed implementation would eventually require an addition of a new value to the PreferenceForumFirstPage? preferences option. You can try it on your local install by running the following on your local db: UPDATE preferences SET PossibleValues? = "Pref_ForumFirstPageLastPost;Pref_ForumFirstPageCategory;Pref_ForumFirstPageLanding" WHERE codeName = "PreferenceForumFirstPage?"

You can also try the landing page and the overview pages without the db update at the following urls: forums/landing, forums/agora, groups/forums

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Could we just add a widget for the group posts to the front page as well?

Could we add a submenu to the main menu? Pointing 'Forums' to /forums/landing, and two submenus one for 'Agora' and one for 'Groups'?

comment:5 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

There is a preference that controls how to show forums/ and setting the new preference option there makes forums/ show the new landing page (after running that query you need to also select the option from the mypreferences page for your profile). I'm not sure which is better, forcing the new landing page as the only option or leaving the preferences option to choose which one you want (there are two other options at the moment, Recent Posts view and Categories view). I'll see about adding the Agora and Groups as submenu options. Also I see if I could fit a separated view to the widget on the front page.

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by crumbking

what's the status here?

Can we avoid to add new menu items? With the new activities explore is already way to long....keep it simple and always have a newbie in mind ;-)

comment:7 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Made a new proposal for this. It's again at https://www.gitorious.org/~lantti/bewelcome/lanttis-rox/commits/forumlanding

If you ever pulled the previous version, please delete that branch completely and pull the new one. It includes a lot of rebasing, because I had forgotten to include ticket numbers.

The new proposal includes the new forum landing page, modifications to the front page and a new my groups page plus removes groups link from the explore topmenu.

comment:8 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Looks good to me. I especially like the idea to show all groups.

A few things still need to be updated (like the top menu entry and the two 'Forum' on the landing page).

What is lacking is the former group search we should really keep that.

comment:9 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

I was messing around the proposal branch again, so please drop the branch again and pull a new one if you wish to test. Sorry for the extra trouble. The new version has search for groups again and some minor modifications.

comment:10 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Still looks good to me :-)

We should have Community in the Teaser not Forum. And a headline as for Groups for Agora (or whatever name).

With these changes I'd say we're good to go and check how the community reacts.

comment:11 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

To change the text on the teaser should I make a new word or can we just tell translators to translate the word "Community" as "Community" instead of "Forum"? Also I can't find where it was decided how the Agora (or whatever) is actually supposed to be called.

comment:12 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

If we reuse the word we can only translate after the release. Please use a new wordcode.

There never was a decision about the name. So lets push it with Agora and ask people if they like it.

comment:13 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Ok, played with some words and added some teasers and headlines

comment:14 Changed 6 years ago by crumbking

Let's get this into develop? I mean we should get feedback on alpha to see community reactions ;-)

comment:15 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

  • Status changed from new to to_alpha

Tested locally. Works fine. Really need feedback from the community now. Please merge into develop.

comment:16 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Ok, merged and pushed to develop

comment:17 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Oops, we have a small unwanted side effect here. It is no longer possible to create a new group :-)

Last edited 6 years ago by shevek (previous) (diff)

comment:18 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

I suggest to add a sidebar with the options 'Create new group', 'Search for a group' to the groups landing page. As the default option for new members is to show all group posts the Group list will probably always show something.

Additionally I would remove the 'Show post to my groups only' button on the community landing page. It enough to have that on the groups landing page.

comment:19 Changed 6 years ago by crumbking

  • SwitchShowAllForumTopics wordcode needs to be replaced by something like SwitchShowAllGroupTopics if I understand right
  • switch button and link buttons are the same. From usability point of view we should try to differ both... on bw/forums
  • on bw/groups/forums I would add a 50/50 grid with the create button and the search field above the threads
  • on bw/groups/mygroups "members, new members should be grey and small or at least the should look the same all over the place. While we are at it could we remove all "New Forum Threads:" fields as they never worked ...

comment:20 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Adding the old possibility to add a new group is also a possible way.

comment:21 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Just added the create new group button to the groups search page, looking into planting them around to other pages as well

comment:22 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

I didn't add the create new group button to the group forums overview page because I didn't think it belongs there. I feel it is better placed at the search page, because it would be nice to at least try to search for the existing groups before creating your own. I did add the search bar for groups at the overview page.

The "Show posts to my groups only" button affects the landing page too, so I thought it would be nice to keep it there. Or would it be better to have a fixed setting for it on the landing page? (like showing all the group posts always)

The other points mentioned I think I managed to address somehow.

comment:23 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Disabled sticky threads jumping to the top of the list on the community landing page

comment:24 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

  • Status changed from to_alpha to testing

comment:25 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Added buttons for showing more and less threads on the thread lists on the community landing page. That requires two new preferences to the preferences table:

"ForumThreadsOnLandingPage?" and "GroupsThreadsOnLandingPage?"

comment:26 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

  • Status changed from testing to needs_work

To create those preferences you can run for example:

INSERT INTO preferences( codeName, position, codeDescription, Description, DefaultValue, Status ) 
VALUES ('ForumThreadsOnLandingPage', 100,  'ForumThreadsToShowOnLandingPage',  
'How many forum threads on community landing', '5', 'Inactive');
INSERT INTO preferences( codeName, position, codeDescription, Description, DefaultValue, Status ) 
VALUES ('GroupsThreadsOnLandingPage', 100,  'GroupsThreadsToShowOnLandingPage',  
'How many groups threads on community landing', '5', 'Inactive');
Last edited 6 years ago by shevek (previous) (diff)

comment:27 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

  • Status changed from needs_work to local_testing

comment:28 Changed 6 years ago by crumbking

Mmm somehow I don't like the way we introduce preferences. Why another preference? Is this absoluntly nessesary? Just because people are to lazy to click another time? I imagine a new member first time looking into our preferences. He would think "ooh my good what is all this ??!?" ;-)

comment:29 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

I agree and that's why I don't show these new preferences on the mypreferences page. That can of course be discussed is it necessary to have this kind of control variable at all, but if we need one, preferences seem like a natural place where to store it.

comment:30 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Although I see this was maybe too early to push that latest patch into develop. I'm no git expert so I don't know if we still could revert those commits at develop and I make a separate branch for them for testing locally etc. before reapplying them on develop. That way I could at least work on some layout details being discussed on the forum thread before deciding the fate of the more and less buttons.

comment:31 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

@lantti: While I disagree with that you shouldn't have pushed that to develop git revert should be your friend.

comment:32 follow-up: Changed 6 years ago by lantti

@shevek: The thing with that code now is that I didn't think about how the new preferences would show up on www before the next release if we add them now. And looking at it now on my local install it is clear that they show up really ugly. I remember that we had the same situation already with the previous releases, but I dont remember how it was handled. Anyway if you deploy that code to alpha now either the landing page will break because the new preferences are missing or the mypreferences page on www will show two weird choises that do nothing. It looks like that the new code doesn't mind much if somebody goes and sets those preferences to something silly while they show up on www though, it should just treat them as default in that case.

Changed 6 years ago by crumbking

mockup

comment:33 Changed 6 years ago by crumbking

Attached a version as described in the forum. Just a fast firebug mockup.

comment:34 in reply to: ↑ 32 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Replying to lantti:

@shevek: The thing with that code now is that I didn't think about how the new preferences would show up on www before the next release if we add them now. And looking at it now on my local install it is clear that they show up really ugly.

That was the first thing I checked. And they don't show up here at all.

The way you want to do it is actually the same as the one used by reverseForumOrderList in forums.model.php.

The only difference I see is that the preference is set to 'Inactive' there.

comment:35 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

I tried that already and it didn't work for me at all. I keep getting the default value (5) from the GetPreference? call if I set the preference to Inactive. But I'll give it another look tomorrow, maybe I just missed something.

comment:36 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

It's probably more important to figure out why they don't show up here and work than why they fail you ;-)

comment:37 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

@lantti: The teaser for the groups pages needs to be changed as well. Now if I visit a group and want to go back to the general overview I click on groups and end up somewhere else.

comment:38 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Ok, I found out the members preferences trick. There are actually more than one versions of the GetPreference? method. The one mostly used now is new and sits under the members entity and respects the Inactive status. The other sits under layoutbits and is older and knows nothing about the status flag, so with that you can still get the value for the preferences that would be ignored by the new method. And that's how the reverse arrows on the forums work... I'll try if I could use the same trick, so we could get the more less buttons on alpha already.

comment:39 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Solved the preferences problem, now they work also if the status is set to "Inactive" so we can test this on alpha without disturbing www. Also I compressed the layout of the community landing page.

comment:40 follow-up: Changed 6 years ago by lantti

Moved things around according to the wishes of the people on the forums thread and added some things to the layout of the community landing page. If somebody cares to test all this now locally and then mark this ticket either failed or clear to alpha, that would be nice. If we get this to alpha at some point then maybe we'll get also updated comments from the people on the forums and have some idea whether or not to include it to the release.

comment:41 in reply to: ↑ 40 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Replying to lantti:

Moved things around according to the wishes of the people on the forums thread and added some things to the layout of the community landing page. If somebody cares to test all this now locally and then mark this ticket either failed or clear to alpha, that would be nice. If we get this to alpha at some point then maybe we'll get also updated comments from the people on the forums and have some idea whether or not to include it to the release.

The last update on alpha at least shows the general structure. I announce that.

Tested locally as well, but the amount of post shown increased and decreased rather strangely for the group posts. When I click less, I got 2 threads. Another less showed 1 thread. Clicking more let to three, five, ten and 13 threads.

comment:42 Changed 6 years ago by lantti

@shevek: Thanks, that definitely sounds like a bug. The more and less buttons should increase and decrease the number of posts by three per click.

comment:43 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Problem might be that I used it before and then it was +/- 5.

comment:44 Changed 6 years ago by crumbking

Okay we have 2 searches which is rather complicated. Could we get rid of the google forum search now? Wasn't there even a ticket for that as it wasn't working anyway?

Added some padding and moved the headline in the search field.

@shevek: Not sure what you wanna archive with your paddings but I guess you wanna get them smaller in a way.

Suggestion: #main table.forumsboardthreadstight td, #main table.forumsthreads th {

padding: 0.3em 0.3em 0.3em 0.5em;

} The 0.5em in the end are important to be in a line with the headline.

comment:45 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Google search can't be dropped yet as we don't have any other solution. I removed the group search instead as I believe that isn't necessary.

Regarding padding: Updated the forum.css to use 4px instead of 8px for the landing page.

0.5em is only used in the header line and dropped for the remainder of the page for the thread listing page.

comment:46 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

  • Status changed from local_testing to to_alpha

Renamed agora to bwforum in URLs. Changed style for header to show that they are links.

Deployed to alpha. Please test.

comment:47 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

  • Status changed from to_alpha to testing

comment:48 Changed 6 years ago by crumbking

comment:49 Changed 6 years ago by planetcruiser

wow, the current behaviour adds more confusion that it solves imho:

  1. i click on "Community" in the main menu
  2. i get to the url /forums
  3. i see "Groups" first

%-)

comments:

  • "Community" is a *very* broad term. i would say all of bw is the community. we might as well call the menu item "Website" :-P - but seriously, why not "Discussions"?
  • exploring groups without searching is not really possible any more - how does this serve the purpose of a clearer separation between forum posts and group posts? suggestion: leave the "Groups" in the explore menu
  • groups and the forum are two essentially different things. groups contain *discussions* among other things, forums are discussions only. the new grouping of both in the ambiguous "Community" menu item puts them on the same level

summary: we all know that the forum/groups messages are a mess, also from data model point of view, but i am not sure if this new shuffling around creates more clarity.

i might be pretty late with my comments, but unfortunately before changes appear on alpha it is very difficult or sometimes impossible to see what exact changes are planned for a release.

comment:50 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

I guess the only way to find out if it adds more confusion or not is to release it and check the community reaction. A group of 10 people discussing the changes might not be enough to decide if it's a good move or not.

I tend to release and revert with the next release if it turns out to be a bad idea.

comment:51 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from testing to closed

comment:52 Changed 5 years ago by lantti

  • Milestone changed from 1.7 to 1.8
  • Resolution fixed deleted
  • Status changed from closed to reopened

Reopening to implement pagination, enabling sticky threads, disabling the display of tags and removing new topic button and show group posts/forum buttons on the community landing page

comment:53 Changed 5 years ago by lantti

  • Status changed from reopened to local_testing

Done and pushed to develop. Local test please.

comment:54 Changed 5 years ago by shevek

  • Status changed from local_testing to to_alpha

Deployed to alpha. Please test.

comment:55 Changed 5 years ago by shevek

  • Status changed from to_alpha to testing

comment:56 Changed 5 years ago by crumbking

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from testing to closed

looks good. Clicked around and seems to work as described.

Sidenote: Better start a new ticket for improvements as testers could be confused what to test.

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