in the old forum there was a special sub-forum in “Flashlight modding”, called “DIY parts reviews” (or similar).
Is it possible to bring this sub-forum back? @sb56637
Now the LED tests/reviews and also reviews of drivers, springs etc. are scattered in this whole Flashlight modding forum from which the overview unfortunately suffers a lot. Of course I could create an extra thread where I collect all my tests and so have an overview, before I found the collection of topics in an extra sub-forum much better.
But tbh, it makes no sense to me why it is there. I understand by ‘featured mods’ that only mods or heavily modded lamps are presented there, perhaps also from a selection of the community, like some type of ‘showroom’.
Maybe I am not the only one that thinks the same, so I would change my suggestion slightly to ’ bring this sub-forum onto the main page of Flashlight modding.
Edit: in ‘featured mods’ are only mods of flashlights shown, like in a ‘showroom’. My suggestion stays the same. The tests are scattered in the whole forum ‘flashlight modding’
We used to have a …Reviews sub-category for some but not all categories depending on the amount of review threads. The advantage of the current system is that the review tag can be applied to any review thread in any category, and doesn’t require adding a deeper-level dedicated …Reviews sub-category (which would actually be a sub-sub-category in some cases).
There’s a difference in the depth of the levels of sub-categories; the old forum engine allowed for deeper 3-level sub-sub-categories, for example: LED Flashlights > 1xAAA Flashlights > 1xAAA Flashlight Reviews. Whereas the current forum engine by default strongly pushes forum administrators toward a structure with only two levels of categories and sub-categories. So with that structure it wouldn’t be feasible to add a …Reviews sub-sub-category to some of the sub-categories, for example in these ones:
So for simplicity and consistency I liked the idea of a 2-level structure + review tag where applicable. During the forum migration I automatically tagged all threads in a dedicated …Reviews category with review and moved them into their parent sub-category. Of course it’s possible that some reviewers might not add the review tag to their new reviews, but it was also common in the old forum for some reviews to be placed in the main sub-category and not in the …Reviews sub-sub-category even if it existed. And fortunately there’s a pretty good way to find those too thanks to the incredible forum search engine we now have: https://budgetlightforum.com/search?expanded=true&q=review%20%23flashlight-modding-and-diy-parts%20in%3Atitle%20order%3Alatest_topic
But tbh I don’t really understand the reasoning, since this is just another sub-forum next to “Featured Mods”. It should NOT be hidden deeper in the structure.
I have created an example image of what I mean.
There is no bypassing of the 2-level structure here, just adding another subforum.
This is also about visibility of the threads. Who of the users (who were more used to the old forum) uses the filter function for “reviews”? I think that the LED tests (and other of course) simply went ‘lost’ in the sub-forum where everything about modding is inside. For now, the whole ‘DIY parts test/reviews’ section is scattered in one big sub-forum, and I don’t think that filtering with ‘review’ will solve this issue, especially since in the old software this sub-forum was there, next to ‘featured mods’!
Those are all examples where even having dedicated …Reviews sub-sub-categories doesn’t necessarily improve the organization of the forum, because those threads were all originally placed in the old forum’s parent DIY Parts category and not in the …Reviews one.
I am quite concerned about whether the effort with the LED tests (which, in addition to translation, also have to be formatted manually with code in Composer, which is extremely time-consuming due to missing comfortable formatting features like in old SW!) is still worth it if this feature with the “review tag” is not really known or used and the thread is thus relatively quickly forgotten. As a result, the views are likely to suffer, since ‘DIY Parts’ virtually disappear from the field of vision of the normal user (who is likely to be mostly on the start page or the categories).
After all, this forum software is out of the ordinary, I don’t know any forum software or forum where such a feature must be actively used to get a good overview of certain topics, and if other forum users have forgotten this feature, that seems to confirm my suspicions.
But I think I’ll see how I handle this. Thank you @sb56637
I understand your concern, thanks for mentioning that. I would argue (in the sense of definition #1, not #2 ) that they are likely to be more visible now since they will be placed in a more prominent top-level category that users enter first, whether they are specifically looking for a review or not. For example, here is your review at the top of the recent posts in Flashlight Modding and DIY Parts :
I agree with @sb56637 that the tagging is better than a separate sub category because some topics are semi-test semi-discussion. That said I agree that it lacks visibility, I forgot about tags and ”review” is hiden in the tag menu. Would there be a way to make it more visible ? Like a ”review” button to filter the review tagged topics ?
It lists review tagged topics from all categories though, not just flashlight-modding-and-diy-parts (where I was when I clicked on a review label), I can select the category afterwards but it’s another step.
One point: under ‘reviews’ are now all reviews of all things regarding flashlights and DIY parts collected, which makes it still difficult to get an overview for only DIY parts from this button alone. (Ok, the user can navigate to the sub-forum and then filter by reviews, but then we have the problem that the visibility is really low.)
To ask for a dedicated ‘DIY part review’ tag and button is maybe a little bit too much
But tbh, I think to split the review tag into ‘flashlight reviews’, ‘battery and chargers’ and ‘DIY parts and LEDs’ and put them below the sidebar seems to be not the worst idea to me.
The thing about tags is that they need to be generic so as to apply them to different categories. So a [flashlight-reviews] tag wouldn’t make a lot of sense since those threads are already categorized underneath LED Flashlights – General Info , and DIY parts reviews are under Flashlight Modding and DIY Parts.
In current state, for me is difficult to format text, which is especially difficult for a review, here are some points:
easy change of font size (highlight → drop-down menu, not working with HTML < h6>< /h6> or something)
easy integration of external images, incl. possibility to adjust the size directly in the editor or to specify the size in px (for example small window, where the image link is entered, as well as the size in px, instead of working with [IMG] tags)
Select text colors directly instead of searching for the hex values in the color picker.
no need to convert line breaks with <br>
In fact, the old tests can no longer be edited properly because there is HTML code everywhere. Basically, I would have to completely rewrite the old tests which is simply not possible due to limited time.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate your effort to bring the forum to a more modern standard and with also new design. But the editor is - sorry that I have to say that - not usable for me. For simple text with some Emojis it’s no problem, but in case of a review, it’s a mess. In the meantime, I’m already thinking about automating the creation of this strange Markdown-HTML code-mix to save at least the most time, but this can’t be the permanent state in the sense of the other forum users (who probably aren’t all that tech-savvy and have these options).
The old WYSIWYG editor from the old BLF SW was great. It was not the most elegant looking solution, but it worked flawlessly and the formatting was well done every time. In year 2023, from my point of view a code-based editor is not longer up to date.