Forum tools you may have missed!

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Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Enail on Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:13 pm

So, you may have noticed this is not the fanciest of forums. Some of that is because I'm not the fanciest of forum-setter-uppers, and we will probably be making some improvements as we go along once our mod expert has the chance to poke at it, but unfortunately some of the limitations may come with the forum.  

So I thought we could have a thread to point out tools that we've discovered that are maybe not as noticeable as they might be, in case anyone wants to use them.


  • Block: If you don't want to see someone's posts or receive PMs from them, you can add them to your Foes list: Click on any member's name to view their profile.  On the right-hand side of the page, just above their avatar, there's an "Add to my foes list" link. As far as I can tell, your foes list is not visible to other members (your friends list is).

  • Favourite threads: You can save threads to a list of personal favourites by clicking the "Actions" link at the top right of every thread, then "Add to favourites." You can view your list of favourites on the Favourites tab in your profile. It doesn't seem to be visible to other members.

  • Drafts: You can save a draft of a response you're working on. Click the Preview button; in the preview screen, a Draft button will appear beside the Preview and Send button. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be possible to save drafts of topic-starting messages, only replies.

  • Visitor Wall: You can leave comments on a member's visitor wall. For some reason it's tricky to find (I'll try to sort that out, but for now this is how it is!) On their profile, on the Statistics tab, there's a section labelled Visitor Messages. There's a link there to "Send a new message on X's profile". Click it, and you'll be able to leave a message that's visible to everyone.

    I'd suggest using this as a way to leave a comment about posts you particularly like or other compliments (since we don't have an upvote system with comments yet). Please note that this is NOT a place to leave hostile, rude or inappropriate messages, and doing so will be subject to moderation just like any other comments.

    You can view a member's Visitor Messages on their public profile. To see your own Visitor Messages, you'll need to go to your public profile, by clicking on your name, rather than by clicking the Profile link at the top of the page.


Anyone else found anything cool or useful?
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Wondering on Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:37 pm

You can also disable people posting on your Visitor Wall. Under Profile > Preferences > Allow visitor messages on my profile. At least, I assume that's what that setting is for.

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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:08 pm

I miss having certain client-side customization options like replies/posts per page (it looks like an admin can change posts displayed per page, but that changes it for everyone and there are people who prefer the default setting).

On the other hand, I like some of the dynamic stuff like notifications getting "pushed" to your browser and thread status icons updating without needing to refresh all the time. It seems like the general design of this place is on the opposite extreme of caching from the old place, which is mostly a good thing—just, mobile data users and image lovers beware. Razz
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Enail on Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:29 pm

I just stuck with the default, but if people do mostly prefer a different number of posts/page or some other simple change like that, I'm happy to alter the global. Stick up a poll if you like, and we can change it if there's a heavy preference one way.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by WJMorris3 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:26 pm

This is actually the first forum software I've found where they let you change the color of the headline to be shown in forum view. Neat feature!

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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:50 am

Seems most people have visitor messages from normal users disabled, incidentally. Is that the default? I went through every setting I could find immediately after registering, and I don't remember what changed and what didn't.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Enail on Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:32 am

It's the third option under Preferences in your profile. I don't have any control over what's the default, I'm afraid.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by KMR on Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:27 pm

I've noticed that these forums show which posts are "new" (i.e. were posted since the last time I accessed the site) but not which posts are "unread." This means that if I don't finish reading all the newest posts in one sitting and navigate away from the site, when I come back those posts are no longer marked as unread, so I tend to miss some posts from time to time. Is there any way to change this?

I have a feeling that this is just a feature of these forums that there is no control over, but I thought I'd ask.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Enail on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:38 pm

Are you going by the "view posts since last visit" link, or by the little orangey doohickey beside the most recent poster in each thread?

For me, the orange doohickey jumps me to unread posts (and they have a red thread icon on the left of their name). But I think the "view posts since last visit" show all new ones, not all unread ones.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by KMR on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:53 pm

I'm going by the little orange thing and the red thread icon, but they both reset for me if I leave the site for a while and come back (or if I read some of my unread posts on one device, then try to finish reading them on another). In that event, only posts made since my last visit show up as orange/red, and the ones I didn't get around to reading that last time are indistinguishable from all the other old posts.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Enail on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:55 pm

Hmm...that's not how it seems to be working for me. I'll poke around to see if there's anything I can do.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Werel on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:57 pm

Yeah, that's actually how it's working for me too-- it's only orange-flagging posts that are new since last visit, not unread. I have KMR's same "gotta binge-read all posts in one visit or I'll miss them" problem.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Enail on Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:00 pm

Ugh, apparently this is sort of intentional - if you show up and don't return for a while it times you out and for some reason that means it assumes you read everything. And for some reason that makes sense to them.Suspect Except that it doesn't seem to do it for everyone, so obviously there's something that's not quite right.

...I'm starting to see the drawbacks of using a free forum provider Sad Sorry, folks, I doubt I'll be able to do anything about this one.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Wondering on Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:13 pm

It probably makes sense to them in a bandwidth way. I've been on forums before that started doing it the way this forum is because it took too much juice to remember where all users left off reading ad infinitum. Those were forums that had grown to a much larger user base than this one.

This forum's difficult because I get things marked as read after a time even if I haven't navigated away but because I have gotten up and left my computer for a while.

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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by nearly_takuan on Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:24 pm

Apparently when you add someone to your "foes" list, it replaces their posts with

This post was made by $user who is currently on your ignore list. Display this post.

Which is neat, because it means you don't have to miss everything they say (in case it's an important part of some specific conversation) but otherwise you can safely just imagine they said something vaguely objectionable and skip past.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by The Wisp on Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:22 pm

If you're the OP, you can edit the title of the thread! (I don't believe you could on the old forums). This could be useful for revived threads with updates, for instance.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:03 pm

Links that don't lead to Forumotion pages don't show up as links to unregistered guests. Obviously registering is easy enough if people are of a mind to pry, but if you wanted to (say) link to your OLD account in a slightly less public way, using custom link text is a decent way to obfuscate it.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Prajnaparamita on Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:42 am

Hey Enail, remember when I PM'd you asking about missing the stalker function (i.e. how at the old forum you could go to someone's profile and if they were online it would tell you what they were doing/looking at?)

Turns out that this is one on the forum after all--I imagine other people have probably already noticed this, but if you go down to the bottom of the index and click on "WHO IS ONLINE?" it shows the activity of all the visible forum members as of the last five minutes. Obviously you can't see people who are set to invisible who aren't your friends, but since it's the case that at the bottom of every subforum it lists all users who are currently viewing it, I knew there had to be a comprehensive stalker function somewhere.

idk how accurate and informative it is compared to the function on the old forum (that would distinguish between stuff like viewing inbox, viewing specific PM from user, and replying to said PM) but I'm going to keep an eye on it.

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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Hirundo Bos on Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:51 am

When I tried that out, I saw my own name at the top, engaged in "viewing who is online". Smile
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Enail on Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:43 am

Ha! I should have titled this thread "Forum tools I may have missed! Laughing
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

Post by Werel on Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:45 pm

This new thing where quotes link to the user's profile is pretty neat! Thumbs up, Enail, if you did that!

edit: Whoa, now it doesn't exist. I swear I saw it a second ago-- quotes had the original author's name prefixed with an @ and it was autolinked to their profile... weird.
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Re: Forum tools you may have missed!

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