New forum: early test version

Jeff's avatar
You may have heard on the podcast or see me mention in blogs or posts that I've been intending to rewrite the forum application. It still has a long way to go, but it's in good enough shape that I'd like to have people messing with it.

I did a dump of the data from this forum a few days ago, and it includes your login information. Check it out here:

Again, this is not feature complete, and I'm sure you'll see that there are a lot of things not yet there. The more important issue is that it's performing well at this point. Future iterations will have additional features.

In the event that you see something that's really not right, post it in the suggestions forum on this site, not the beta site. That data may go away or get reimported at any time.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Something very minor I just noticed:

Edit: Did the BBCode change? My signature links are broken over there. *** Edited 1/3/2007 4:26:25 AM UTC by pkidelirium***

Jeff's avatar
Go to your account and re-save it.

By the way, neat thing, if you click on the "!" graphic on the topic list, it'll bounce you to the newest post in the topic. Trying to figure out a better way to make it obvious that it does that.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

In my programming experiences, nothing has caused me more stress and disdain than writing forum software. Not only that, but it requires so much work. One of the most difficult aspects I had was working with sessions and keeping track of new and read posts.

I admire you for rewriting the software and really hope that you are reusing at least some of your code, especially things such as pagination (another thing that bugs me)!

Did you completely redesign the database? *** Edited 1/3/2007 5:04:51 AM UTC by Infamy***

Jeff's avatar
In theory, a forum starts as just four tables: users, forums, topics and posts. That's the really easy part, actually.

Session tracking isn't that hard. I never really did it before, but I decided I wanted a much better view of the world and log user actions to a ridiculous extent. Makes it easier to track things when people are naughty or having a problem.

I started over with the database design. It was crappy and not efficient, and not indexed particularly well either.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

bobthecoasterguy's avatar
Jeff, just letting you know that the "!" isn't working for me. It takes me to the first post in the thread, not the most recent.


Fun's avatar
Noticed two things:

-User's signatures: URLs don't seem to be working.

-Starting on page 2 of a given thread, the top post on that page is the same as the very last post on the previous page... but I guess that might have been on purpose, no?

Jeff's avatar
Well if you've never marked the threads read (on that site, not here), it'll take you to the first post.

The signatures just need to be reparsed (save your profile, it'll work).

The dupe posts from page to page were because I didn't deploy that stored procedure. It's correct now.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Hey Jeff,

I noticed two things last night, although neither one of them is a crisis;

1. Emoticons (is that the right term?) aren't working :)

2. I uploaded a photo, but nothing seemed to happen.

Good luck with the programming and keep up the great work!

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
Jeff's avatar
Yeah, I know about the emoticons. They simply aren't there yet. Photo upload seems to work OK for me.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

eightdotthree's avatar
Its really fast, nice job on that front.

The search still seems irrelevant, I searched for Kennywood and got results from 2004, but not the thread from the front page. In fact, I did another search for "kennywood 07" and didn't get the new thread.

The wysiwyg editor is showing even though I have plain text in my profile.

Jump to newest post button not working, its jumping back to the first page of the thread.

Any thought to using an Ajax requests for editing posts, grabbing links to specific posts etc?

Jeff's avatar
Until you've marked a forum read, the first post is the newest post.

I will do some AJAX'y stuff when it makes sense and isn't just to be trendy, but at the moment it's not a high priority. It's not an issue of difficulty as much as it is getting things to a stable point.

The main CB site will have some nifty stuff, however.

I search for "kennywood" and get a ton of relevant topics, the fifth of which is from August. You'll be able to sort by date or forum later. The scoring is weighted on how many times each word appears, with bonus points if it's in the title. What I haven't decided is how to score yet for multiple word queries. Right now it's just the sum total, but I may switch to an average or something.

The "Kennywood 07" thread has the word "Kennywood" 15 times, plus once in the title. I think that would score it around 35. The top result is a ten page thread that has the word many, many times more, and thus scores much higher.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Yeah. I never really had much of a problem developing the basic database infrastructure; however, when integrating it with other features of the site, I would have some (minor) issues. It was a long time ago when I was writing one and programming regularly, but I would have several features that required knowing when the person was last there, so that required me to create extra columns within the table to track forum visits and such, in order to better control the sessions. The last implementation of the forum I tried, the site I was designing was going to use only sessions--no cookies. So that required extra scripting to allow the session times to be moved to the user's profile table row when the session was going to be deleted.

You know, it wasn't really all that difficult to figure out how it was going to work, but it was rather difficult to implement some of the features. The only hard part was actually figuring out what posts were new (when compared to the user's time) and not having all of the posts become "read" once they logged on. It was making sure the times were changed at the appropriate time. I eventually figured it out, though--and then quit the development of that website.

The only reason I was even trying to use the original forum in the next site was because I have serious issues trying to write something I have written in the past and works alright. Do you have that problem?

I doubt this post even makes much sense. Neither site made it online! Haha. *** Edited 1/3/2007 6:11:01 PM UTC by Infamy***

Jeff's avatar
If there's a well-define problem domain it's not that hard to write new stuff. At least in ASP.NET, I'm so familiar with the framework that it generally comes fairly easy.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

I've done some testing and so far so good. Need more traffic to see if it can handle it. Typical functions seem to work okay.
Fun's avatar
Upload worked for me, but is it my imagination, or did the max file size go down?
Jeff's avatar
The file size and dimensions are configurable.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

I'm unable to create a new topic in Firefox & Safari.
I have Firefox on XP home and it works fine.
Jeff's avatar
It'll force a plain text box now on Safari since it only partially worked. Still don't have any problems with Firefox (Mac version).

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

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