Lovin the New Site Format

Right, from what I’ve read, the developers don’t like full quotes, especially when they are in the next post right after the original. The idea is to avoid this:

There is even a feature to completely suppress full quotes of the immediately preceding post, but I disabled it to make the transition less painful.

Also Discourse has a concept of threading in the replies, and it puts an indicator in the post showing to whom it is replying and it allows viewing the entire original post with one click, so that often makes full quotes less necessary.

Screenshot from 2023-02-26 21-09-57

@Bort To see the new menu you might need to refresh your BLF browser tab if it’s been open for a few days.

Also don’t forget about the Discourse Bookmarks function, it even lets you tag and organize your bookmarks and set reminders to follow up on things, and you don’t even need to be subscribed to those threads or posts for notifications. I’ll also add Bookmarks to the above mentioned new sidebar menu, because it appears that not many have discovered it yet.

Regarding search functionality, there’s frankly no contest. The old Drupal search engine was absolutely unusable; dreadfully slow indexing process that brought the server to its knees, and the same big long threads would always appear first for almost all search queries simply because they had more occurrences of almost all keywords due to their length. I disabled the Drupal search engine a long time ago and replaced it with a Google “Custom Search Engine” box, but Google was seriously slow to index new posts and some never got indexed at all. Plus it wouldn’t take you to the correct page (remember those?) of a long thread. It also picked up users’ signatures in search results since it didn’t know how to differentiate them from the post content. The Discourse search engine whether it’s the simple popup menu when you click the magnifying glass or the advanced search is incredibly good at finding stuff, and relatively resource efficient to boot. In my experience it always takes me directly to the specific post that contains the result. The search term retention after navigating to a different page that @Bort mentions is actually a feature so that you don’t have to re-type your search term as you check out different results. I supposed it could be argued that you would usually not want to carry that same search over to your private messages, but it’s not out of the question either.

Regarding bugs, the most annoying is the one that @Bort recently discovered where putting certain smileys immediately after a quote breaks the quote. I’m pretty sure they’ll fix that one soon. We also had what we thought was a bug with quoting threads that had [brackets] in the title, but I can’t seem to reproduce that bug again.

It’s worth reiterating that Drupal was far from free of bugs. For me as administrator, in most multi-page threads the post numbers were all wrong and I had to manually change the ?page=XX part of the URL in order to see the last few posts in most threads. The poll module was utterly broken from the very beginning and was never fixed. There was a relatively frequent bug that created duplicates when posting a new thread. There were also major issues with broken quote blocks and mixed formatting in quotes. The critically important (for search engines) sitemap generator also would bring the server to its knees, it was totally random at picking up new threads and I had to use a bizarre workaround to make it update the sitemap.

If we talk about functionality, Drupal by itself had almost nothing, even making it show the user’s location below their avatar required a difficult adaptation to the code that I had to manually add every time there was an update to that module. It had no multi-quote functionality. The Subscriptions list was a bespoke creation for BLF, I had to build the extremely complex email notification system from the ground up (twice, thanks to the Drupal 6 → 7 upgrade), the community moderation system that became key to making BLF what it is today was also created from scratch for BLF. It had no feature for @pinging users, and critically it did not have an Ignore feature for those users that generally try to behave but they simply can’t get along with a specific user that they clash with. Plus the previously mentioned missing site-wide search functionality.

I don’t deny that I still have some work to do here to accommodate user preferences as much as possible, but do keep in mind that the old forum received minor and major tweaks and improvements over 12 years, whereas we’re still in the first month of using Discourse. But I do appreciate user feedback and suggestions and specific criticisms, so please keep them coming.

Its glitchy, i had to fight with it to get what i wanted, i almost missed finding the PM because of its setup.

I understand that it was unwieldy (the poll bug was always a laugh) and i get why you upgraded, but i am impressed that Discourse has so many simple oversights (while they have many clever mini features).
Another website i know up changed from Disqus comments to a small player, so many glitches and basic oversights that i no longer comment there.
Thats not a risk at BLF, but its strange that user experience mis-tweaking is so commonplace.

There are things i don’t like about DIscourse but am willing to live with, and some web 2.0 features that are just gimmicks imo, though i hope the layout here gets tweaked which i believe you and @ToyKeeper will manage.

Despite my complaining about the software i do very much appreciate all you do here and on the old software to make BLF a great forum

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Thanks for saying so. I also appreciate having you and your time and experience here over the years.

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Thanks :blush:

Please bear in mind that my issues with the software are most certainly not personal, none of the bugs or design oversights are your doing and i know you are managing as best you can with them.

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i’m kinda buying into it lately…

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It looks like they fixed this bug, @Bort could you please give it another quick test? (You’ll need to refresh your BLF browser tab if it’s been open for a few days.)

Oh noes! :confused:
Computar lernd 2 frown! :frowning:

For real though, strange bug. I wonder what caused it.

[quote=“ToyKeeper, post:27, topic:217047”]
For real though, strange bug. I wonder what caused it.
[/quote] <— I’m surprised they haven’t fixed this very simple parsing bug: requiring [/quote] to be on its own line.

I think that’s only an issue if you manually add the [quote][/quote] tags right? As far as I can tell when selecting text and using the Quote button it adds newlines as needed.

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I’m not so sure that’s a bug. It arguably could be a bug, but it also could arguably be the correct behavior. For example, parsing [/quote] anywhere in a line would mean that it’d cut off your quote above after “requiring”, and make it look like I was the one who said “to be on its own line.”.

Either way works, especially since there’s a real-time preview to show people whether it did what they intended. That makes it much easier to get things right.

Correct, it adds newlines and puts the cursor in the correct position. However, that doesn’t stop the user from typing directly after “[/quote]” and breaking it, as I’ve seen many instances of.

Oh yeah, I see what you mean. Still, I would have expected the [/quote] (inside a quote) to be escaped, for example \[/quote\] (or another escaping technique).

Yes, the preview does help (on desktop), but if the user does get it wrong and break the quote they may not know how to fix it.

Yes, it’s by design. Whether it’s a good design or not is debatable, but that was one of the regexp replacements that the conversion to Discourse importer scripts all have.

Bug fixed? :frowning:

Bug fixed :frowning:

Bug appears fixed :slight_smile:

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Come on, a sad face for a fixed bug? Oh wait, that was the bug. :smiley:
Thanks for confirming that. :+1:

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Thats why i did a third post with a happy face :smiley:

The first was frown-Enter key and the second was mouse selected frown, both passed the test.

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Yep, gotcha. Appreciate it!

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Things seem to have picked up since the switch.

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This is not working today, i just replied to two threads that don’t show up in this link