Possibly Woltlab forum?

Discussion in 'WoltLab Burning Board' started by Shanj, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. Shanj

    Shanj Aspirant

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    I was originally using VB and then XF from the start until now. Not happy with how XF has been over the last 2 years so looking for an alternative.

    Woltlab looks good on the basics - I'd want forum, filesharing, maybe gallery.
    The core for me in the forum. But unlike XF there is no public demo. They do offer a free private demo but that would just show me the admin really. I want to see what a working board looks like in practice. Can anyone help?

    Also I couldn't find a list of features. There's a long list in a message on here which helps. But still not sure if it does something as fundamental as private messaging.

    One issue which XF has which killed off my main 3 communities is it cuts off email notifications. If a user doesn't visit the board they stop getting notifications. I believe that is to protect from flooding notifications off a big board. (Though a user can opt out of notifications.)
    Anyway this to me and my users was backwards as my busy people wanted to be kept informed while too busy to visit. Keeping the thread going for them meant they would return when they could and catch up, making contributions usually. Silence meant eventually my board dropped out of their landscape.
    What does Woltlab do? Do notifications continue until the user disables them/ changes their preferences?
    Also how easy is it to edit the emails that go out? I always found XF notifications badly cluttered but editing them was fussy and difficult.

    Is there a membercard? XF dropped that from XF2. It was an elegant popup which displayed the key info about a member - and it could be designed with css.
    I like the sound of the Woltlab profile pic. XF always sadly neglected their profile pages.
     
  2. dtdesign

    dtdesign Developer

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    You can give the access credentials to your demo to anyone, so simply request a demo and invite your community to test it out. Demos do run for 2 weeks before they get disposed, however if you contact us at least 3 days earlier by email, we can extend that period for you free of charge.

    Absolutely, it's just called "Conversations", but it is the same exact thing.

    You won't receive any more emails for threads once you have receive a notification for them already, unless you visit the forums again. So yes, it works exactly the same and I'm pretty sure all forum softwares work that way.

    There's a dedicated template group that lets you customize the HTML, while the content are pure phrases that are also edited right through the ACP.

    Yes, but it activates after hovering over a username in most place, e. g. in the message sidebar next to posts. It doesn't pop up and block the window on click, instead a click will always navigate to the user profile instead.
     
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  3. Shanj

    Shanj Aspirant

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    Thanks for prompt answer and some things are fine.

    But this doesn't show me a working forum already in action. I'd need a LOT more than 2 weeks, more like 2 months - or more - to work up a reasonable test board. Which would take a lot of time and energy I don't want to invest just to test. If I have to do that for three different forum tests it's way too much work. Plus it's asking alot of a forum's members to be used as guinea pigs.

    Anyway I want to try a new forum software for a project where I don't have members yet. I am eminent in my research field and when I have a forum ready there are colleagues who will be happy to join. (It's a national heritage project.)
    But I can't write to extremely busy academics and professors asking them to test software for me! That will put them right off the project. They need to see it's all prepared and comfortable for them - not an experimental pilot but a solid project.

    Surely there must be boards I can visit to see what they look like?


    Not all, no. It really needs to be an admin choice. As I said it completely killed my communities which was very distressing for me and for the work teams involved.
    If a board is servicing a small number of members who don't want to visit often, but do want to be kept in the loop so when they do visit they can jump right in, I can't see why this is not allowed.
    It surely can't be difficult in software terms to switch off the block to notifications at admn level.
     
  4. Shanj

    Shanj Aspirant

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    OK there is a thread on a forum on your site I found via google - with list of forums using your suite.
    https://community.woltlab.com/thread/254133-boards-using-woltlab-suite-forum/

    I don't know why this forum is not made available to prospective admins!
    Anyway I had a look and it's reassuring. Standard kind of layout, standard features, and all very uncluttered and clear. It is obvious that it's possible to do widely different kinds of cosmetic design.
    All good.

    Would it be possible to pay for an addon to disable the notifications block? It must be a line of code somewhere that detects recent visit or not since last notification, and if none, there's a notifications = no. Not a big thing to override.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  5. Shanj

    Shanj Aspirant

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    The forum on your site https://community.woltlab.com/
    is exactly what I was looking for - I don't know why it's hidden from new site visitors as it obviously answers new enquirer questions!!!
    If that is the bare vanilla version of the forum it's fine - except there's no search box. ???
     
  6. dtdesign

    dtdesign Developer

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    It isn't that easy and I'm pretty much certain that even a plugin cannot alter this. The reason is that it is not based on the last visit time, but solely build around the fact that the notification is still pending. These notifications will update themselves (such as tracking the actual number of new posts), but they're blocking a new notification from being created as long as they're outstanding. There is no simple toggle switch somewhere, this is a restriction that is enforced through the design of the notification system itself.

    I'm afraid that there is no solution for what you want. I don't see any reason to lure you into purchasing the software if I already know that this particular requirement cannot be fulfilled.
    It's the vanilla version and I don't see it particular being hidden?

    upload_2018-3-26_21-55-53.png
     
  7. Shanj

    Shanj Aspirant

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    Thank you for explaining. I will have to keep sending general emails out which people don't ;ole much. Sigh.

    What I meant by search box is like google, I put a search term or phrase to trigger a search. Usually a board will also allow me to do this per section or per sub-forum.

    By hidden I meant that when I visited the site at first all I could find was quite short descriptions of the features, and a lot of urging to get a demo.
    Once I knew a working forum existed I searched for it and found it under a 3 bar menu icon. A navbar - or a sidemenu, on the main site would be very welcome. Sometimes hiding things away to look clean is not useful.

    A lot of people don't realise what that is. A navbar menu along the top

    Thank you for your patience. I am sure this will impress others as well as me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  8. dtdesign

    dtdesign Developer

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    The mobile menu contains all relevant options regardless of your position on the site:

    upload_2018-3-26_23-19-39.png

    I assume you're using some kind of tablet or why do you get presented the mobile view in the first place? Or are you using some really small window sizes on a desktop pc?
     
  9. Shanj

    Shanj Aspirant

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    I have a 17" laptop which is comfortable for most sites.
    A lot of them squash things into small spaces to be mobile friendly - and I'm not a gamer. So 17" is enough for me.
    I just meant it's intuitive on a new site to look for the main areas as a list, a menu, or navbar.

    An icon, 3 small lines are fine for artistic sites that just show a picture or animation and you catch on it's not showing any links except this icon.
    On your site I started scrolling down to look for info. In fact I found just now the forum is there at the bottom. But before I reached it I started looking at other sections about the core, the forum software, and filesharing. It was puzzling I could not click on the titles to read more.
    For information sites I want the main categories on the surface, right there, where I don't need to hesitate for a second. That minute or 2 when I arrive is crucial to user attitude to the site - a moment's irritation then does a lot of damage. It can mean annoyance and giving up. Better to be a little less elegant and a lot more helpful and informative.
     
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