Better forum software?

I was just wondering if it has been considered to put in forum software in that shows how many pages of posts there are and how many reads of a topic there are?

There's been a lot of discussion about it, but nothing's happened about it. If you want a decent forum, you'll probably have to look elsewhere.


I like this forum.

It is missing a few features which are standard on other forums, but I like the people, and I usually have no problem finding the things I'm looking for via the custom Google search.

As far as I can tell, manowar has added most of the features which have been requested.

I'm not sure how it works at all, but I'm fairly certain he would add this functionality if it's possible and if a few forum members agreed that it would be a nice feature to have.

With the exception of a very basic messaging service, what other features have been added to the forum since this unsightly mess was inflicted on us? It still looks as bland as ever, there are no member profiles or post history, no option to display new or unread posts, no list of current members, etc, etc. Being forced to use a custom Google search to find things on the forum shows how basic this place is. This is the ugliest damn forum I've ever seen and it's even more disappointing how bad it is now considering how good it used to be.

I didn't discover this site until after the change.

To be honest, as far as the forum is concerned, I've only seen the messaging service upgraded, and that's the only suggested change I've actually seen numerous people agree upon.

While I'm being honest, I will also admit that I do prefer IFDB's layout and functionality over this, but I can name a few features exclusive to

The Pixie
...and many more!

Does the font make my head hurt after a while?
Yes (but I can fiddle around in the browser's console to fix that).

Would I like to be able to click on someone's profile to view their post history?

And the thing about having a list of current members (and how many are currently signed in)?

One thing I'd definitely like is to see how many people find solutions helpful.

How much time and money would such improvements require, though?

And how much are administrators bringing in?

If we can still go by the information in Alex's old blog, it seems to be an even break most of the time, but sometimes someone has to pay out-of-pocket to keep this place up and running. (This is conjecture.)

Again, I've never seen the old forum, so I can't really feel your pain. (Although I can imagine where you're coming from.)

Was this forum once like IFDB?

The old forum is gone now (unless anyone has a link to it), but it was a phpBB board. You can get an idea of what it was like by visiting ADRIFT or Intfiction:

They're not exactly like the old forum, but they're similar enough.

Oh, yes...
I forgot about intfiction.

I like their setup, too, and they have quite a few friendly members.

I have tried to get into making games with Adrift a few times, but to no avail.

The same goes for TADS (although I did actually complete a few games using it).

I prefer Quest and Inform.

I like the output files we get from Inform. We get a file in the old-school, text-adventure format, plus it's super easy to add on the bit to build a website along with it.

Inform also has all the standard commands and such built-in. (Note that quite a few of these have been added to Quest recently.)

I think of Quest as a learning tool which is used to create text adventures.

You can learn about:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript
  • some mutated version of C (I think that's what it is, at any rate.)
  • Errors running scripts

I've learned quite a bit about each of those things from the members of this forum (and I thank each and every one of you!).

I knew nothing about computer programming before I found this site less than a year ago, and I have acquired much (okay, maybe just a little) programming knowledge since then. (If only someone could teach me to write a good story (or a comprehensible post)! That would be the icing on the cake!)

NOTE: I'm not claiming to be an awesome programmer. I'm just saying I breezed right through quite a bit of the stuff on FreeCodeCamp (which may or may not be saying much*) after learning how to make a Quest game, and I'd never have been able to make the Quest game without this forum.

* I realize FreeCodeCamp is what it is. My point is that I was already familiar with most of the stuff in the first hundred or so lessons, just from having learned to use Quest.

(I ramble. Sorry about that.)

My point (if I have one) is this:

This forum could be better.

...but it has helped me better myself, just the way it is. (I don't think I'm alone in this, either.)

Having said all that (sorry about the rambling again), I do think of it more as a "site" than as a "forum". ("Community" is more appropriate.)

Also, I agree with you when you say (and I'm paraphrasing), "a more 'forum-like' forum would be much easier to navigate, and probably more popular."

...but I find that the current setup suits my needs. It's just missing a few bells and whistles.

I can definitely see how a switch from a forum like intfiction's to this would be an unwelcome one, though.

The motivation for new forum is people having the same identities on the forum and when reviewing games. Previously you needed one account for the forum and a second to upload and review games. I think that is a big improvement. Whether that makes up for the loss of other features is debatable, I accept (and totally out side of my control, by the way).

I appreciate the responses and particularly, K.V., thanks for an articulate and thoughtful response. I think it's a good point you made, that you can still learn a lot here even without some typical forum features.

The thing I think is sortof missing is that, if the forum had more capabilities, I think it would be easier for people to consolidate knowledge through searching and quoting and things like that. As is stands, I see some questions in the Squiffy forum (that's the software I use, so that's the forum I peruse) go unanswered and then they get closed, and sometimes I see those questions and think, "Oh yeah, I know the answer to that now!"--but it seems like the forum actually lends itself, unfortunately, to not being able to answer questions sometimes.

And Squiffy is pretty dang cool and easy to use, so it bums me out that the forum software, to my mind, sortof makes it more difficult than it has to be to form a community around it.

Anyways, that's all. Thanks again and it's good to see that there is a community around these tools. I can probably come off as a bit unfriendly myself (quiet), which is not my intention.

Cheers. :)

You seem quite friendly to me, loopernow.

...and you are correct on all counts.

Also, your Squiffy reference is very nice! I use it frequently.

"No great thing is created suddenly"

Having a single login for both sites instead of a separate one is definitely an improvement, but I'd hardly say it outweighs all the negatives this new forum brings, and the old forum managed just fine with separate logins for over a decade.

The thing I don't understand is that if the main reason for this forum change was to allow a single login for both sites, then why not simply keep the old forum and migrate it to here? Why abandon the old forum altogether and replace it with this one? In no way shape or form is this forum an improvement. It's a massive downgrade. It looks awful, it has none of the functionality people have come to expect from forums these days, you can't see who's online, you can't have it display new or unread posts, there are no member profiles, the messaging system is so basic you might have well just write letters to each other, the search is a bad joke, etc.

At the very least, the new forum should have every feature the old one had. Otherwise, what's the point of it? Forums twenty years ago were more advanced than this one.

The weirdest thing, though, is that the guy now running the forum, Manowar, even admitted in a previous thread that the old forum was better, yet he seems surprisingly reluctant to go back to it, or at least add the kind of functionality it had to this forum.

I tend to agree with David here. I find this forum very un-intuitive for most things. It certainly lacks a lot of what most other forums use. I find having to use Markdown or HTML to do things in posts a pain. I'm retired in my 60's and while I know there may be some who are older than that, trying to adapt to new technologies all the time may supposedly be good to keep one mentally active, I have enough other stimuli to keep mine ticking over.
I think that this forum should be archived and the old PHP forum be reinstated.
I think it has been said before but I wonder if Alex deliberately chose to implement this knowing he wasn't going to be around to worry about it.

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