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Author Topic: Cauldron Suggestions Wanted: How Would You Improve TC?  (Read 39655 times)
Syrbal
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« Reply #60: January 26, 2008, 01:26:08 pm »

Some alternate themes being available and accessible in the "profiles" look and layout section would be appreciated.

Not only do I find blue and white intensely boring, lol, but my lasic enhanced eyes find black on white for long term reading rather excruciating.  It directly decreases the time I spend here browsing.  Other than walking off leaving my computer sitting here....I spend on average less than 10 minutes per day here.  And that is at least 50% attributed to the white screens.
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« Reply #61: January 26, 2008, 01:59:44 pm »

Some alternate themes being available and accessible in the "profiles" look and layout section would be appreciated.

Unfortunately, this isn't going to happen due to a major lack of time on my part. Each theme (except the default theme which we use with just minor color changes) has to be individually figured out, hand modified, and then tested for each of the 25+ standard mods we are using on TC, not to mention all the changes I've made by hand. Worse it would have to be done again for every non-default theme every time a new version of a mod came out).  This is why we use the default theme and only the default theme most mods are designed to work with it and I only have to hand fix things when one mod sort of overlaps another.

SMF version 2.0 is supposed to handle mods and non-default themes much better. When 2.0 comes out and all the mods we have to have are able to work with it, I suspect we will be able to have a few more themes -- Although most will look weird with our standard website headers and footers (that wrap the board with our site menu and such) -- which will not be changing as the every page on the TC web site would need to be completely redesigned and rewritten from scratch to be themeable, which would probably take 500 to 1000 hours as the HTML code for the site is designed with 1998-1999 web design standards (e.g. when it was created).
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« Reply #62: February 02, 2008, 08:27:03 am »


You know one of my main complaints. I would LOVE to be able to put a thread on ignore and not just an entire folder. I know that's a software issue, but maybe at some point there will be an add-in written for it. Just keep you eyes peeled.
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« Reply #63: February 02, 2008, 08:30:24 am »

You know one of my main complaints. I would LOVE to be able to put a thread on ignore and not just an entire folder. I know that's a software issue, but maybe at some point there will be an add-in written for it. Just keep you eyes peeled.

Unfortunately, it's a common request than I don't think the designers of drill-down boards "get" -- I don't know whether that's because it would be very hard to do given the way drill down board software works or if it is just because they don't think the feature is really needed.  The ability to ignore boards isn't even built in to SMF.  It's a third party add-on for the current version.
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« Reply #64: February 02, 2008, 10:48:07 am »

You know one of my main complaints. I would LOVE to be able to put a thread on ignore and not just an entire folder. I know that's a software issue, but maybe at some point there will be an add-in written for it. Just keep you eyes peeled.

yes, that is kind of annoying. I don't get why you can mark a thread unread but not read. It's my only real technical problem with this board. In other ways, it's hands down my favorite format ever, for a public forum.
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« Reply #65: February 02, 2008, 11:45:30 am »

yes, that is kind of annoying. I don't get why you can mark a thread unread but not read. It's my only real technical problem with this board. In other ways, it's hands down my favorite format ever, for a public forum.

I actually hate this format. It's one of the reasons I'm not around as much as I used to be. My personal preference is for Beehive software, but it just doesn't have the flexibility a huge/busy forum like this needs. That was our main reason for looking into a drill down format. There were trade-offs that we were going to have to make, and SMF was our best option. The good thing is, though, it remembers where you've been. That was an absolute deal breaker for all the staff. None of us would scroll through a thread to find out what was old and what was new.
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« Reply #66: March 02, 2008, 03:15:58 am »

my lasic enhanced eyes find black on white for long term reading rather excruciating
I can so relate, though mine are not lasic enhanced! It helps to turn down brightness and contrast on your monitor. I've turned mine down so much that the TC-backround looks more grey than white. (Well, not every cauldron is polished...)  Grin
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« Reply #67: June 16, 2008, 12:26:00 pm »

It's not only time for our Annual Donation Drive, it's time for our annual "suggestion drive" when we open a topic and request your suggestions for how TC (the forum, the web site, the MUX, forum rules, etc.) could be improved. We make no promises to implement suggestions, but the Hosts and staff do look at and consider them all.  (And have implemented a number of suggestions over the last ten years).

Four items are completely off the table, however:

1) Changing forum software.

2) Eliminating/weakening our quoting rules. (The Hosts will shut down the board first -- seriously, having quoting with the backlinks to the quoted message is that important.)

3) Eliminating the restrictions on accounts that have not qualified for Full Membership.

4) Turning the board away from its "Discussion and Debate" orientation.

Suggestions regarding other areas will be considered. Suggestions that take a lot of staff time or that cost money will be considered, but will will be far less likely to be implemented (for obvious reasons).

Staff may not reply to suggestions, but they ARE read.  (And I read every one of them.)

I wouldn't ask to have any of those things changed.  I may not like them, but I do understand the need for them.  I actually think it's a very good way to weed out certain types.  Anyway, I do have a suggestion.  I noticed in looking through the sidebar, that, while there are links to other sites, I didn't see any to other informative sites.

My idea was possibly a special project that would give an actual links page.  Maybe have a few people on staff as assistants just for the purpose of reviewing suggested links and sending over the ones they think are good for the regular staff to review.  That way it doesn't take up all of yalls time and energy just going through all the suggested links.  Oh, and I think I should have inserted this earlier in this, but a thread just for link suggestions... that's something I would leave open to all members though, as anyone can find a really good source, and want to share it with others.

What made me think of it is I am working on a list of sites for a website I'm going to be revamping soon, and I realized I hadn't really seen anything like this here.  I came back and checked and didn't see one.  Although if I'm wrong someone just please grab the thing and smack me in the head with it.  Maybe that would get the cobwebs out of my brain.
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Star
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« Reply #68: June 16, 2008, 12:48:34 pm »

What made me think of it is I am working on a list of sites for a website I'm going to be revamping soon, and I realized I hadn't really seen anything like this here.  I came back and checked and didn't see one.  Although if I'm wrong someone just please grab the thing and smack me in the head with it.  Maybe that would get the cobwebs out of my brain.

Like this?:
http://www.ecauldron.com/links.php

It's in the left-hand column under "Pagan Features", the link entitled "Web Resources".  There are also some links lists in some of the specialized areas like the Recon pages.
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« Reply #69: June 16, 2008, 03:52:13 pm »

My idea was possibly a special project that would give an actual links page.

As Star pointed out, an old and unmaintained one is available now. The problem with links pages is that they are a lot of work to maintain. All links need to be rechecked at least every week or two. Most of the links people suggest via suggest a link forms are spam that someone has to wade through.  To be useful, each link needs to be carefully and accurately described in a few sentences. It can eat up hours and hours of time for little return, especially since there are dedicated link sites that can devote all of their time to this.

Also, we have links scattered about the site on pages devoted to a specific subject -- although this don't get checked for continued existence and accuracy more than a few times a year.  This way people looking at a page on (say) Roman recon have useful links right there not hidden away in a links area.

I'm not saying "no" just saying that it is a long more work than I am willing to bother with -- especially as the work never ends as the list needs to be maintained and updated forever to be worth having.
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« Reply #70: June 16, 2008, 03:59:28 pm »

My idea was possibly a special project that would give an actual links page.

Not that I've said why I don't like doing link lists, I will point out something we could do. What we could do is have a few very trusted people able to add web sites to our Google Custom Search Engine and feature it more prominently on our web site. Right now, it's only on our main page.
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« Reply #71: June 16, 2008, 04:04:33 pm »

As Star pointed out, an old and unmaintained one is available now. The problem with links pages is that they are a lot of work to maintain. All links need to be rechecked at least every week or two. Most of the links people suggest via suggest a link forms are spam that someone has to wade through.  To be useful, each link needs to be carefully and accurately described in a few sentences. It can eat up hours and hours of time for little return, especially since there are dedicated link sites that can devote all of their time to this.

Also, we have links scattered about the site on pages devoted to a specific subject -- although this don't get checked for continued existence and accuracy more than a few times a year.  This way people looking at a page on (say) Roman recon have useful links right there not hidden away in a links area.

I'm not saying "no" just saying that it is a long more work than I am willing to bother with -- especially as the work never ends as the list needs to be maintained and updated forever to be worth having.

As the person that is primarily responsible for doing checks of the links a few times a year, I can tell folks that even that portion of the job is very time consuming.  You have to check all the links, check a few days later to make sure that the pages not found have really disappeared and not suffering from a downed server or the like, and do some detective work to try and find pages that have moved.  To maintain a site the way Randall talks about could easily be easily be work for 3-4 dedicated volunteers to keep running smoothly.  It would be TONS of work.

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« Reply #72: June 16, 2008, 05:02:17 pm »

As the person that is primarily responsible for doing checks of the links a few times a year, I can tell folks that even that portion of the job is very time consuming. 

I went to Web Resources and noticed my old site is still on the list.  AsetNet is no longer active or available.  It's under the Kemetic section of the links. 

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« Reply #73: June 16, 2008, 05:03:07 pm »

I went to Web Resources and noticed my old site is still on the list.  AsetNet is no longer active or available.  It's under the Kemetic section of the links. 

Thanks for letting me know!

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« Reply #74: June 16, 2008, 05:03:25 pm »

I went to Web Resources and noticed my old site is still on the list.  AsetNet is no longer active or available.  It's under the Kemetic section of the links. 

I suspect I'm just going to remove the entire Links section. No time to maintain it.
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