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Some suggestions for BGDF 3.0

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mistre
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These are some improvements that could be made on the new site, some of which were capabilities on the old site and I miss them.

1) Some sort of alert that you have a new private message (maybe a number in parentheses after the word). I had no idea that I had a message in my inbox that I found out about 10 days later.

2) Some way to reply to private messages directly, without having to exit out of the message and enter in the person's name into a new email.

3) When creating a child page for a game journal it would be nice to see the main title when posted to recent topics - the old site did this when adding a new entry to a blog. Something like - "Game Name:Post Name".

4) See the number of page views for blogs/game journals - it was nice to see this statistic as some sort of measure of how much interest there is in your game designs.

5) track number of posts for each member - gives an idea of how active a member is.

6) Be able to access a user list of all BGDF members in order to easily link to user pages.

mistre
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And a few more

7) The number of views for each forum thread is not working (they all show 0).

8) If the game journals are really supposed to be used for keeping a blog on game-specific material - they should be easier to use. At first, I thought that the solution was to use the child pages, but it is confusing at best. Plus there appears to be a limit of 9 child pages you can add. Some users are giving up on them and using the blogs instead...

mistre
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And another

9) There is no way to delete messages in the Private Messages. This isn't a problem now, but as they get used more and more, space might become an issue...

Has anyone read these suggestions? It doesn't appear that there has been any further development on this site since the color icons were created under recent topics.

Darkehorse
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Yes

Yes we read them. We are all pressed for time unfortunately.

-Darke

sedjtroll
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Good suggestions, but please be patient

These are all good suggestions, but please understand that the people who maintain the site and can make any such changes are doing it in their spare time, which for some is at a greater premium than for others.

Every time this (or any) site changes software, there are always a slew of comments/complaints/suggestions. I think it's very helpful that you've enumerated and gathered some of them into this list, it makes for a good start for a "to-do" list. However please bear with the staff and realize that even the best of suggestions may not be addressed anytime soon.

That said, I'm sure Darkehorse would be happy to hear from anyone with the expertise and free time to help make these changes!

Remember, this site is not for profit, it's run as a hobby out of Darkehorse's pocket. There is no dedicated support team or person standing by. If you find the site helpful, don't be bashful about clicking the "Support BGDF" icon on the left, but either way please (a) keep the suggestions coming, but also (b) be patient about their implementation.

Thanks,
Seth

mistre
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Suggestions

Thanks for responding. I understand that this site is completely run by volunteers on their spare time. All I really wanted was some acknowledgment that one of the admins had read the list. There seemed to be a flurry of activity when the site was first transferred over, so I guess I was expected a faster response time to some of the suggestions (especially those dealing with the Private messages system).

Please accept my apologizes if I appeared impatient. I really like the new look of BGDF 3.0, but the functionality is still lagging behind the old version, so hopefully improvements will eventually be made.

As for helping out, I have the time, I am just not sure I would have the expertise. What is required in order to make changes?

Darkehorse
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Helping

Well we really need people with existing experience with Drupal.

-Darke

mistre
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Darkehorse wrote:Well we

Darkehorse wrote:
Well we really need people with existing experience with Drupal.

-Darke

Sorry, I only have experience with CS3 and Xoops.

Zzzzz
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Please also realize that I

Please also realize that I rolled this new site out WAY before I intended. As a result of the nasty hackers, I had to result to a quick and speedy move to the new site before it was ready.

Please understand that things WILL get better, it just happened so fast that some of these issues/lacking features are a direct result of the undesired timing of the move.

And sadly I am the one at fault for the slow progress of the site, because I do not have enough time to devote to it right now (nor did I when I hastily switch us over to the new system, DAMN HACKERS!) and I am the one that selected the new system software.

In the long run all should be better, please understand that we all want BGDF to be GREAT. But sometimes it is difficult to choose between FAMILY vs BGDF vs $$$$ vs MyOwnGameDesigns

Again I am sorry and i promise things will get resolved, just need the time.

FunkyBlue
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Joined: 08/11/2008
Have you thought about

Have you thought about something like phpBB? www.phpbb.com

If you have php extensions on your server, you can downlaod their forum software and customize it quite a bit. Also has a lot of what is being asked for built in. And the price is right. Really need a web person skilled in php to make it shine, though.

Another thought is Moodle. www.moodle.org

Can be set up fairly easily, free, and is actually pretty easy to administer.

Zzzzz
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FunkyBlue, This issue is not

FunkyBlue,

This issue is not what software we have installed, just the time. PHP is used for a majority of the systems available, so that is not an issue either.

Again time is not on the sides of the current admin staff, mainly myself. The system will be used *as is* until I have the required time to resolve any issues I deem bad enough to resolve.

FunkyBlue
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Zzzzz wrote:FunkyBlue, This

Zzzzz wrote:
FunkyBlue,

This issue is not what software we have installed, just the time. PHP is used for a majority of the systems available, so that is not an issue either.

Again time is not on the sides of the current admin staff, mainly myself. The system will be used *as is* until I have the required time to resolve any issues I deem bad enough to resolve.

Hang on, I wasn't trying to ride you on this. I was just offering free and realtively quick and easy alternatives. I'm not slighting the site, the admins, or anyone's suggestions. I'm aware of the situation and I'm a patient person and I can deal with what problems may be out there and I was just offering a couple ideas that may help make this the site you and the users here use the most of what's available. I didn't think it was anything to go Defcon 2 over.

My apologies, but the intent wasn't to offend.

Darkehorse
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Not sure

Funky,

Not sure how you felt that Zzzzz was being defensive, I didn't get that at all from his reply. If nothing else, your comment about him going defcon 2 was just a tad offensive itself.

But as he said, the issue is strictly time. Your suggestions would require more time. Moving from one CMS to another would take a BUNCH of time. Implementing PHPBB would take a lot of time.

I apologize to the members of this community that we don't have the time to perform the changes that both us as administrators and you as users feel are necessary. In a perfect world, we would still be running PHP nuke and it would be chugging right along, but due to hackers, security threats and ISPs, that was unfortunately impossible.

Again, if you are proficient at Drupal then by all means, please contact us, as we'd love to have help. If you are good at other CMSes and want to help, perhaps you could take it upon yourself to learn Drupal and give us a hand? Otherwise, we're going to keep chugging along until that time when we can make changes to the system.

-Darke

GrimFinger
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Darkehorse wrote:Moving from

Darkehorse wrote:
Moving from one CMS to another would take a BUNCH of time. Implementing PHPBB would take a lot of time.

Not all CMSs (Content Management Systems) take a lot of time to "move to," so to speak. Some CMSs can certainly be installed and up in running within a matter of minutes, especially if site users have to re-register, as was the case with the move to the current system.

All in all, I like the current system, although there are a few annoyances about it. I don't really understand why the current software doesn't automatically notify site users of new private messages, as an example of one of those annoyances, since that is a fairly standard entry-level feature of most CMSs these days.

The blog and journal functions on the current software are functional and work, although they are merely variations on the same, basic thing - a messaging system. I like the little icon images on the right hand side, which distinguish blog entries, game journal entries, forum entries, etc. from one another, even though that is largely a cosmetic item, one that could be emulated by other CMSs.

Darkehorse wrote:
Again, if you are proficient at Drupal then by all means, please contact us, as we'd love to have help. If you are good at other CMSes and want to help, perhaps you could take it upon yourself to learn Drupal and give us a hand? Otherwise, we're going to keep chugging along until that time when we can make changes to the system.

-Darke

I looked at the main Drupal site a few days ago. I think that the learning curve for Drupal is higher than for at least some other CMSs that I have tried in the past.

Some issues are not going to be Drupal issues, per se. The problem with the images extending to the right too far and overlapping text in the right hand column, for instance, is likely just a template issue.

For other issues, such as informing site users if they have new private messages, you might can come up with a work-around that largely makes it a moot issue. For example, make a noticeably visible link that stands out, so that site users notice it, and make it have a text label or even an image link that says to check for new messages, and then simply link it to: http://www.bgdf.com/messages/private/inbox

As it is now, on the left hand side is a link that says "Private messages," and it links to: http://www.bgdf.com/messages/private

It would simply make more sense to make that link connect to http://www.bgdf.com/messages/private/inbox instead of to http://www.bgdf.com/messages/private. You lose no capabilities nor options on the left hand side (Inbox, Write New, and Sent), but the site user can tell with one click whether they have any new private messages awaiting them or not.

It would not be a perfect fix for that particular problem, but I think that it would not be unduly difficult to effectuate a change in site user habits to empower site users to quickly learn if they have any new private messages or not. Just make it obvious for them what they need to do to check for new messages, and you don't even have to really make any significant nor time consuming changes to the site in order to "fix" that particular problem.

For whatever it is worth.

FunkyBlue
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Darkehorse wrote:Funky, Not

Darkehorse wrote:
Funky,

Not sure how you felt that Zzzzz was being defensive, I didn't get that at all from his reply. If nothing else, your comment about him going defcon 2 was just a tad offensive itself.

But as he said, the issue is strictly time. Your suggestions would require more time. Moving from one CMS to another would take a BUNCH of time. Implementing PHPBB would take a lot of time.

I apologize to the members of this community that we don't have the time to perform the changes that both us as administrators and you as users feel are necessary. In a perfect world, we would still be running PHP nuke and it would be chugging right along, but due to hackers, security threats and ISPs, that was unfortunately impossible.

Again, if you are proficient at Drupal then by all means, please contact us, as we'd love to have help. If you are good at other CMSes and want to help, perhaps you could take it upon yourself to learn Drupal and give us a hand? Otherwise, we're going to keep chugging along until that time when we can make changes to the system.

-Darke

I guess it was the emphasis on "will be used *as-is*" that struck a tone with me. I could have been wrong and wouldn't be the first time.

Regardless, I've used those two systems and had PHP installed and running both of those system in a day on an old Windows 2000 server machine. The PhpBB was a hell of a lot simpler than Moodle, but then Moodle was mostly designed around an education environment and uses a lot more functionality.

As for helping, I'd love to if I can get to know the software well enough. I've actually been looking for something similar for work, so I may pull Drupal down and see if I can do anything with it.

Zzzzz
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I want to point out that one

I want to point out that one of the concerns is to attempt to use aCMS/system WITHOUT modifying the main CMS code directly.

In the past, because of hackers both phpBB and phpNuke (BGDF.com was originally a phpBB, and lastely phpNuke) sites have been hacked. Modifications to help *improve* user experience with those two systems required source code modification of the CMS code base, which is NOT good at all, since it did not allow for easy installation of security patches etc.

WIth Drupal any customization are reduced to entirely separate modules or code stored in the DB. This will make security patching easier, so BGDF can become more secure versus hack attempts.

Again the annoying issues WILL be fix, we/I just need time, because I now have a 10 month old child, a wife and 2 jobs. Sorry if my priorities are not focused on the annoying defects, but as always it will be resolved at somepoint, maybe not at the rate some members desire, but every issue reported is WELCOMED and in the queue to be resolved.

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