Forum management going forward from August 2015 - please read!

Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 6,458
edited 2015-08-20 - 22:09:57 in General Discussion
Hey all,

I'd like to bring you current on some planning around forum improvements that'll take place over the next couple of days and weeks. In short, our current efforts will be focused on dealing more with final bug reports and functional issues than individual preferences. We have some web site improvements to make on Learn.parallax.com and where we host our teacher-only downloads and I need to move some of our web programming efforts in that direction.

Reporting Forum Issues

At present we have asked you to report forum issues to this thread. http://forums.parallax.com/discussion/161405/new-parallax-forums-issue-report-list. All of these issues have been ported to our internal issue tracking system and are maintained in that location, so we will be making this post "un-sticky". In the future, please submit bug reports to webmaster@parallax.com - this will save us the step of having Courtney maintain the list in two places and help the people I'm working with on the coding and prioritization. There's no need to post them here anymore [and truthfully, isn't it about time to move on rather than have these issues set our forum tone?].

Staged Forum Pushes Thread Sorting, Searching and Mobile Views Coming

We have three significant technical issues we're addressing.

First, we've got a staged upgrade in place that switches the default thread order from "By Vote" to "By Date". I can hear the cheering over the interwebs comms! This means forum members who don't want to login to set their forum preference to date order won't need to. The default view for everybody would be by date. in fact, this upgrade might be in place by the time I post this message.

The next big issue is the search engine used in the default forum installation is drain bread. We've been aiming to replace the Vanilla search tool with the Apache Solr Search engine. However, the development time and configuration to get the Solr system working just right across our web sites has been higher than expected so we're going to plug in a Google search box. This will take a few more days, but will be in place at some point next week. Just this morning I saw that Bump had it working on our test forums.

The third issue is the mobile view. We need to program in a collapsable side bar and improve the rendering still. This issue should also be done by the end of this month.

There are many other smaller issues, but most of them are preferences rather than bugs or functional issues. These items will remain in our internal issue tracker and we're going to visit them as needed. We can expect some ongoing improvements, but not at the rate we've been making them.

Moderators

I reviewed the moderator listings and have reduced the number with forum privileges to those people who are currently active. The current forum members include:

Community

Publison
Moderator Monkey
Von Svaras
Mike Green (need confirmation, Mike)

Parallax Insiders

Ken Gracey
Courtney Jacobs
Andy Lindsay
Chris Savage

If you were a moderator in the past and would like to continue, just send a message to webmaster@parallax.com and we can re-activate your moderator privileges. We depend on the community to provide moderation for us and appreciate the many hours they spend on these forums. To be a moderator you should review our guidelines to see if you're comfortable with what we're asking you to implement.

Courtney will be taking a leave from forum management and Chris will return. Courtney will be preparing some important content for Learn.parallax.com with Kyle, MattG, and MattM (our new teacher, who we've not introduced). I've asked Chris to focus more on technical issues since those are most important to Parallax customers (and therefore, to the company). You already know Chris very well, of course. Although he can handle tone-setting and disagreement quite well, I'm asking him to focus on the technical posts because we are all going to manage our behaviors nicely and we won't need him to keep us under control. Right?

And the Forum Tone!

We're not a bunch of phonies who jump around in Snuggie blankets with enthusiasm over nothing, but we want the forums to be a positive place. We're admittedly a little sensitive to Parallax-bashing. You've handled Parallax requests to welcome noobs with a friendly welcome. You've guided them in their questions, have written many code examples, and showed them how to ask questions in some cases. Please continue to do this.

There was some talk of whether or not we'd do away with the General forum. Of course this isn't in the plans, but it's been discussed internally because some of the content in this forum requires more management than we can provide. However, you are welcome to post your catch-all content in the General forum provided it avoids the key confrontational issues of religion, politics and violation of our PG policy. We recognize that many of you are on the Propeller 2 design team with Chip, too. You have met in person and are therefore a physical community with friendships, so you need a place to enjoy your coffee, talk about Windows 10, etc. The General Discussion forum is your place.

Feel free to respond as you see appropriate. We all need to understand one another.

Thanks,

Ken Gracey

Comments

  • It all sounds good, Ken. And I'm sure the tone will improve as the forum continues to improve.

    I think the biggest reveal of all, though, is that the mysterious Moderator Monkey is a community member, not a Parallax Insider! Or was that just a red herring? :)

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Hey Phil,

    The Moderator Monkey is, well, a monkey. If you've ever seen what a mad monkey can do from a zoo cage you know you shouldn't agitate them too much. We release the Moderator Monkey when things have already gone really bad.

    It's not likely that the two of you have an encounter as long as you focus on being a model forumista as you come into full compliance with our system :)

    Ken Gracey
  • Works for me. My forum utilization has plummeted in the last two months, so I was already thinking of asking to be pulled from the moderator pool. Even though I have 2 Propeller based projects in the works, I only average a forum visit once a week, compared to my 3 times a day 6 months ago.
  • Ken Gracey wrote: »
    The Moderator Monkey is, well, a monkey.

    “Everything is improved by the judicious application of primates.”

    ― Chris Roberson

  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,438
    edited 2015-08-20 - 23:59:47
    Ken Gracey wrote:
    It's not likely that the two of you have an encounter as long as you focus on being a model forumista as you come into full compliance with our system.
    Oh, Ken! When have I ever been anything but the soul of discretion and the very model of propriety? :) [Don't answer that.]

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Ken Gracey wrote:
    It's not likely that the two of you have an encounter as long as you focus on being a model forumista as you come into full compliance with our system.
    Oh, Ken! When have I ever been anything but the soul of discretion and the very model of propriety? :) [Don't answer that.]

    -Phil

    Well, I'll pass on answering that question. The lack of replies on this forum thread is sorta interesting, though. Since you're a more assertive forumista about management policies, you still reply but without lots of comment you may want to write. Others must feel suppressed by my statements above or really don't care too much. Maybe they're just growing tired of the cycle we've all been in - not sure.

    What we all really care about are things of technical interests, though. I'll post my short video on the new laser rangefinder now and see if people care to watch it.

    Ken Gracey
  • User NameUser Name Posts: 1,451
    edited 2015-08-21 - 16:53:30
    Ken,

    In this case silence is rightly construed as consent. I appreciate all that has been done to make the forum work. The direction you outline seems 'right on.' My main source of sadness stemmed from your moderator discussion...sadness that Holly has wandered into the sunset. Meanwhile we owe Jim a big debt of gratitude for manning the good ship Parallax Forum in Bristol fashion ere these many years.
    Platåberget
  • User Name, agreed. I don't like delisting moderators from our system because it feels like a step backwards in community development. Hopefully they'll return and want to serve that role again, in which case we'll welcome them back. Through the years we've had lots of high-color characters in the forums, some of whom have been here for 20 years and others who show up and vaporize after their project.

    Ken Gracey
  • Ken,

    "suppressed"? No. I'm in accord with everything you wrote in the opening post here.

    There has been some, shall we say "heavy handed" reactions by moderators here which I see caused some upset. But given the avalanche of complaints about the forum breakage that's hardly surprising.

    God bless this forum and all who sail in her :)




  • PublisonPublison Posts: 10,958
    edited 2015-08-21 - 17:38:56
    Heater. wrote: »
    Ken,

    "suppressed"? No. I'm in accord with everything you wrote in the opening post here.

    There has been some, shall we say "heavy handed" reactions by moderators here which I see caused some upset. But given the avalanche of complaints about the forum breakage that's hardly surprising.

    God bless this forum and all who sail in her :)


    One Moderator here that wants to see an even keel through the storms we have seen.

    The weather looks good.






    [/quote]
    Infernal Machine
  • What we have right now can work for me. I'm happy, with the potential for more.

    Thanks for that.
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/123709/commented-graphics-demo-spin<br>
  • Hmm...Perhaps we should not continue with the ship analogy, this leaky old bucket could send us all to davy jones locker at any moment :)


  • Ok, We we just turn into memory leaks that us old timers seem to have at times. :)
    Infernal Machine
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,514
    Thanks for the update Ken. Full speed ahead!
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • AAARRrrrHHHHHHHHHH 'matey!

    Ten points about east starboard beam!!!!
    Well-written documentation requires no explanation.
  • Thank you Ken.
    Fix it, if it ain't broke! .......... D Rat .......... Dave ..........
  • I only just noticed this topic.

    I'll give a big thank you to the website development effort. Recent changes, namely the bigger edit box that came with the bb codes, and date ordering too, have made me a happy camper again.
    "We suspect that ALMA will allow us to observe this rare form of CO in many other discs.
    By doing that, we can more accurately measure their mass, and determine whether
    scientists have systematically been underestimating how much matter they contain."
  • To quote a phrase from someone I know (But not very well.) "Works for me!". Everything is all good so far.
  • It's all good, IMO. Onward and upward.
    Andy North

    My Index Page:
  • Sound great - Love this place - You have my full support!

    As far as the Moderator Monkey - I a picturing Dexter from Night at the Museum!
    640 x 640 - 161K
    Whit+

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,438
    edited 2015-10-05 - 03:15:45
    I think I just figured out who Moderator Monkey's alter ego is, but I ain't tellin'. :) HInt: It's someone you'd least expect.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Can someone please tell me how to search a subject, new here and still in the learning curve.
  • The Search box in the upper right-hand corner works quite well. It takes you to a Google page with the results restricted to this site.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Thank's Phil, There's a big difference between the full site and the mobile.
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