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Forum Software Upgrade
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May 8, 2016 03:40:28   #
The software that powers UHH is going to be upgraded in the next few days.


The major and the most obvious change will be the page layout.

I understand that people who've been using the forum for a while are used to the old layout, and switching to the new layout might feel somewhat disorienting at first. But trust me, during the development of the new software, it took me less than a week to completely get used to the new layout. It's just a matter of habit. So please hang in there.

Why change the layout?

Well, these days people use huge desktop screens and tiny smartphone screens and everything in between. The array of different devices people use today is greater than it has ever been. The old forum page layout simply doesn't work well enough with smartphones (and doesn't work well with really large desktop screens).

To make the forum compatible with as many desktops, laptops, tables, readers, smartphones as possible, we simplified the page layout and removed tabulated elements from pages. Every element on every page on the forum simply flows top to bottom.

Because of that, we'll no longer have the left margin with user information next to each post. Instead, user information is shown directly above. Or rather, the post's text follows the user information.


The software transition announcement follows (taken from the announcement text of the new software; I'll run the announcement in full once the software is upgraded):

I tried to make transition to the new software as painless as possible. So the overall forum structure and function remains the same. All core control links are in their place. Some new features have been added, but most of the old features remain, and can be accessed through the same means as before.

Some of the new features.

Mobile Friendly

Page layout that works well with smartphones.

Attachments In Private Messages

You can attach files and pictures to private messages in the same way as you do with posts.

Editing Sent Private Messages

You can edit the text of a sent private message by clicking on it, and then clicking Quick Edit. You can't edit attachments, but you can edit the title and the text. This feature is meant mostly for fixing typos. You can edit a sent PM until it has been opened by the recipient. After that, the quick edit option disappears, since it doesn't make sense to edit a private message that was already read.

Ignore Lists

You can add users you don't like to your ignore list. You will then no longer see their topics. They will not be able to reply in your topics. And they will not be able to send you private messages.

Invite-Only Topics And Sections

To deal with trolls, we are going to try out invite-only topics (and maybe sections). Such topics would only allow posts from an established list of users. So that it wouldn't be possible for a troll to register new accounts just for the purpose of disrupting that particular topic. This is mostly planned for long-running topics with a limited number of established participating users.

Mass Unwatching Topics

On the Watched Topics page, there is a link to mass unwatch old topics.

Disabling Watched Topics Based On Replying

In My Profile settings, there is a way to prevent the forum from automatically adding topics in which you reply to your watched topics list. That way your watched topics list won't get filled with too many topics. If this option is enabled, then you would need to manually click Watch for topics which you do want to add to your watched topics list.

Long Quotes

Quotes that are longer than 500 characters will not be shown in full. This is done to avoid the need for excessive page scrolling just for a one-liner reply.

Photo Contests

Contest managers will be able to stage the second round of a contest by picking the top few entries and forming a new contest with only those entries. That way, new voting can take place among just those entries to determine the final winner.

Digest Sections

All sections will be eligible for the digest. So when a user subscribes to a user-managed section, that section will be instantly added to their digest.

New Section

I'll create a new section for contests, challenges, and other periodicals. So that all topics that are meant to be revisited regularly are kept in one place and are easy to locate.
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