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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Continuing with the discussing on the forum system project, this thread will cover what should be developed in the scope of the project. I know a lot of people have plenty of ideas, but we should focus on the core requirements / features for the first stage. Additions / extensions could always be made later.

I would also appreciate devnet moderator feedback, since they have a lot of experience with the administrative controls of the forum (and how they would like them to be different).

So the basics are, in my opinion:

1. Posts
Posts are really the core feature of a forum system. Posts should include the following:
* Hierarchical posting - Categories -> Threads -> Posts.
* Some markup language for formatting (bbcode, markdown). This should also include code highlighting in different languages
* File attachments? - not sure if this is really necessary
* Polling? - again, not sure if it's really useful
* Email notification on new posts in thread (is this useful?)
* Categories can be managed from administration area
* Administrators can edit posts and thread and move threads between categories (depending on permissions)
* Users can edit their own posts
* Different categories could require different permissions to post in

2. Users / Authentication / Permissions
The forum should be able to allow anonymous posting as well as subscribed user posting. A permission system should declare what actions are available to each type of user (including anonymous).
* Authentication should include a registration and log-in process.
* Permissions can be managed from the administration area
* Users can be managed from the administration area
* Users can manage their own profile (except for anonymous). This includes defining details such as signature and avatar, as well as configuring notification settings

3. Personal / Direct messaging
An internal messaging system between forum users.
* A listing of received messages (Inbox)
* A listing of sent messages (Sent)
* Message composing interface, similar to the post composing interface

Add what you think is relevant.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:51 pm 
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Whenever features are requested which are new, please keep in mind that this system will be built upon the existing phpDN database. I believe stage one of the project would be to complete a forum that runs on the same database, with stage 2 being feature additions, enhancements. Not to say that there may be changes that will need to be made to the database during stage 1.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:54 pm 
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Right, I would even say not use the same database - but migrate it to the new schema. So one of the features should be migration from a phpBB database.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:01 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:36 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:44 pm 
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Private messages:
I think they should be implemented as in IPB 3 (like in GMail actually, and like forum topic actually - conversation can be one topic with multiple replies. We can even include a feature the conversation to be between more than 2 people, creating a mailing list or a private topic)

IPB is a good example for many features, but implementation is not good, and there are a lot of unneeded functionality.

Anyway, Auth should be module-based (imo), so for example someone can create LDAP authentication and create internal network for the employees.

E-mail notifications are really useful.

Having the ability a topic to belong to multiple forums (tags) is also useful imo.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:56 pm 
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I think a conversion / thread approach to PM is a great idea. The current system is certainly not very evolved.

I also support the categories to tags movement. It works great in sites that do it. Lets see what others think of that.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:01 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:07 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:10 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:12 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:10 pm 
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Ditto on the tags (or labels, as Gmail calls them)

Ditto on the conversation idea for PMs.

Maybe a more definitive way of marking a post as [SOLVED]. The Adobe Flash forum has an option for marking a certain post in your thread as the answer. Not only does that solve this, but also provide a scoring system on how helpful a given user is.

In addition, it might be useful to show new users possible matches to their question when they post. It might eliminiate some of the more basic questions that have already been answered a million billion zillion times :banghead: :D

And finally, as I suggested in the other thread, different levels of moderating permissions for advancing users.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:53 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:58 pm 
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Something like AJAX should be implemented as progressive enhancement and not a part of the core as it will affect accessibility and search engine indexing. Also, replacing the roles system with a reputation mechanism is probably something that the moderators should decide amongst themselves, since it will completely change the hierarchy of the forum.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:12 pm 
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