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Community Feedback: New Forum Software Is Live!

27184 Views 356 Replies 70 Participants Last post by  VSAdmin
We are excited to announce that we are live on our new forum platform!

It’s been a long time coming. Let’s face it. Sometimes older forum technology lags behind other parts of the internet. Although seeing the same format for a long time is comforting, the member experience shouldn’t include dealing with outdated, unsafe, slow software.

The transition to a new platform will never be 100% smooth but the days of dealing with out of date forum software are over. We have teams dedicated to building a world-class community for you. The development has been steady with regular software releases since May 2019. Asking members for feedback and coming up with ideas for improvement is what we want.

Speed and Reliability Are Key
No one should have to wait for information. This site has been built to be much faster and more reliable, period.

New Homepage Experience
Our algorithm will serve a personal customized feed based on your prior engagement with content on the site. If you’ve liked and or commented, or are following certain topics that are of interest to you, similar content will appear at the top of the homepage.

We have introduced new search algorithms, powered by an industry-leading AI platform, to help you find information faster. We plan to roll out new features to continue improving search, and to power many additional areas of the forum.

Due to the volume of content, our search platform may take some time to complete indexing over the first few days after migrating. During this process, you may see a limited number of posts until indexing has been completed. We appreciate your patience.

Finding Your Way Around
We have made the design clean and simple to use. Near the upper right-hand corner of the community, you will see navigation icons.

The first icon is for what’s new on the site.

Clicking on it, by default, will take you to new unread posts. On that page, you can click on additional tabs as well, such as Popular, if you prefer to view active topics.

Clicking the list icon next to “NEW” will bring you to the full forum listing.

Clicking your avatar will give you a drop-down menu for all things related to your account.

You can also navigate more by clicking the 3 vertical dots.

Dark Mode
We have introduced Dark Mode. One of our favorite features allows you to access the site with a power-saving, and easier on the eyes dark mode. You can access it in the drop-down menu under the 3 vertical dots.

Save Bookmarks
Now you can save your favorite discussion threads and posts! Bookmarks are a handy way to remember and easily find great content or stuff you want to read later.

We also wanted to make it easier for new users to understand the lingo of forums. We have cleaned up various language to more commonly recognized phrases including:
  • Following - Thread subscriptions, and Watched are now known as Following
  • Conversations - Private Messages or PMs are now conversations and can be accessed from the user avatar drop-down in the main navigation
  • Showcase - Showcase is designed for users to "showcase" items/projects through the use of uploaded images, text descriptions and custom content categories. It’s a way to visually and textually provide detailed information on the content you wish to share. The showcase would be similar to a catalog, whereas the gallery would be like a photo album. It can be accessed from the drop-down menu with the 3 dots.
Take a tour and look around! Check out the Help section for some quick FAQs about the new platform.

Please keep all feedback, questions, concerns, requests for help, etc. regarding the new platform right here in this Feedback thread. This will help us make sure not to miss a request for help and also let us pass along your thoughts to our Product team. The Admins and I will be here to help along the way taking note of your comments.

- Community Management Team
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In the new format, how do I change the setting to newest post first?
Love the black background!
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Love the black background!
In newspeak that's 'Dark Mode'
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I'm a bit sorry that the Community Forum is now the Off-Topic Discussion. It doesn't seem half as welcoming.
Sorry but I strongly dislike this new software, I find it awkward to navigate. I visit 6 other forums 2 or 3 times daily with no problems, prior to this new software I enjoyed this forum and previously MIMF (which has also moved to this abomination). I don't have problems with ads, I use Adblock plus which works very well.
I note that Fora includes Xenforo software, yet it looks nothing like other Xenforo forums I use.
Until such time as I hear TC is using a better software I will not be visiting.
persevere, you might get used to it. Would be a shame to see you go so soon
Oh dear, how disappointing. I don't intend to pay for a forum that has been free for the ten years I guess I'll have to say goodbye. Thanks for all the great correspondence in the past. Best wishes to everyone.
There are always people who wanna take out more than they are prepared put in. But at least you're doing the admirable thing and walking away.
We do hope that you will reconsider. The previous compilation of this site was privately owned/operated. The [then] owner paid for everything himself ... all of the software changes, paying for the servers, paying the hosting company, etc. We weighed all of the options (Frederik and myself had many conversations) and the best option all round was to sell the forum to another company. We were not going to be able to afford any further upgrades to the forum ... we had no corporate sponsor, though we did have subscribers, but it still wasn't generating enough to make the purchases and also change the design of the site - that was something on our list to do for many years.

Like anything in this world, we need to accept change ... I am willing to bet that you visit other sites that have banners and ads ... are you going to quite going to those sites now, too? I rather think not!

How many ads to you have to watch while viewing shows on TV? It's today and this is what it is. It seems rather a small picking point compared to the wealth of information that we share on this site, and all the friendships that we have gained. You have always been a well respected poster and we would hate to lose your contributions to this site.

Please reconsider, that is all we ask.

Best Regards,
Krummhorn, Administrator
No need for appeasement. Others with short arms and deep pockets have had the decency not to moan.....
I like the new format very much. The odd frustration I may have is probably down to getting used to something different, rather than something not being as good.

However, there is one distraction as far as I'm concerned. A lot of the posted images are huge. There seems to just be a choice between thumbnail (too small) and actual size.

Can something be done to limit//adjust the size of the uploaded images?
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I don't know if this helps, Henry, but when I add an image by my favoured "insert image" option via URL code the image can be dragged to any size you want if you left click on it first (before actually posting, obviously). I have a feeling this couldn't be done under the old system so this was a good thing for me to stumble on.
I will try that myself, but how comes most people are posting enormous images? Or is it my set-up?
How can I choose "most recent posts first"?
You can't reverse the order of a thread but the following will help you get to the most recent posts in a thread.

Navigating Thread Listing

  • Clicking the thread title will take you to where you left off, the 1st unread post.
  • Clicking the timestamp below the title will take you to the 1st post of the thread.
  • Clicking the timestamp above the last poster user takes you to the last (newest) post.
- Cricket
That's pants. oldest/newest post is one of the most simple and basic options on any forum format. can something be done about it? It's not complicated.
If a thread is deleted, it then deletes all the responses and thus other people’s posts too. Or, when deleting a post, people may respond. Then, if you delete one post, the following posts will not make sense - because one is missing it, it destroys the understanding and flow.

- Cricket
No, it doesn't work like that. Can it be changed so we can delete our own posts?
This option will not be available to members.

- Cricket
Why didn't you just say that in the first place and spare us the phoney stuff?

Reordering newest/oldest posts, deleting your own post etc, is absolutely standard in Internet forums ranging from subject-specific discussion sites to twitter, Facebook et al. How come the specification for the new format is so cack-handed?
It has never been the case that members could delete their own posts. There is no change in the new system. The moderators have always felt that allowing members to delete their own posts could be used to hide evidence of trolling.
Also not known to most - That once you actually click on "Post reply", that post and subsequent revisions, including deletions, remains visible to the moderators and admins.

Every time you edit your post, the previous version is still in existence - the new post is just added to the queue - If you write a post and then edit it 10 times, only the last post remains visible to the members of the forum however, all 10 of the previous versions can be seen by the moderators and admins.

Resist the temptation to carve someone up like a roast turkey thinking that you can then go back, delete the ad hominem(s), and just write "Deleted post - Wrong Thread - Note to Self - Try looking up every once and a while to see where you're actually at" or some such nonsense like I routinely do.

The moderators and the admins can see what you wrote and while you won't necessarily be disciplined for something that you had the sense to delete before reaching mass circulation, what you have done, in effect, is taken the target off of your back and placed it squarely upon your forehead.

I don't know for certain, but there surely must be some Moderator version of a "Master List of Usual Suspects: Malcontents, Troublemakers, and Members Who Actually Think That "Objective" and "Subjective" are Synonyms" whose posts are routinely monitored.

Not that I would necessarily know...
exactly! Why doesn't Taggart et al understand this? The trolling/security explanation keeps being trotted out, but it is simply wrong.
On Talk Classical there really was a problem with people posting and then later deleting posts causing confusion and anger. The administrators disallowed post deletion by members precisely for that reason. As Shaughnessy points out, the history is there but that doesn't help.

By the by, we don't have a list of members to check. We're members too and enjoy looking at the site. We leave it up to you to report any wrong doing.
You and I are on different wavelengths on this......
Please excuse me if this has already been sorted, but can someone tell me how I disable/hide 'recommended Reading' ?
That is not an option at this time.

- Cricket
Ok. At this time? Does that mean that there will be a time when it's an option?
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