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 firstname.lastname@example.org - 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.
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:
Mike Green (need confirmation, Mike)
If you were a moderator in the past and would like to continue, just send a message to email@example.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.