Community Forum Software Update

OPSupport
OPSupport

I am excited to accounce that the new OP community forums are now up and running! In terms of user experience and ease of use- the new modern forums should be a substantial improvement over the legacy forums. You can find a few of the high-level details below:


  • A few missing recent posts from June/July have since been restored by the tech team.

  • A long requested feature, Personal forum signatures should now be working!

  • Another requested feature, the forums were configured specifically to be fully compatible with HTTPS

  • The forums utilize a new wysiwyg editor, which will also be available as an option through-out the site soon. In this way you can expect a consistent user experience across the site. Once the new multi-editor feature is released, users will have the ability to toggle the editor of their choice in campaign settings. Both the classic editor and new enhanced CK Editor will be made available for the WIKI and adventure log per user preference.

  • The new editor packs tons of features, and should be self-discovering for the most part. You can find common hot keys here and a general user guide here (the doc maybe slightly outdated but should be fine)

  • The new forums support rich content such as images and video. You can link-offsite content, or utilize files from your media library of course. The team is also currently working to enable file upload capabilities in the coming days, so that new images can be dragged an dropped into the editor, or uploaded/selected without having to navigate away from the editor. Uploaded files would be placed in the user's media library, with space used as maybe available per the user's account quota.

  • A question came up today on TEXTILE support for the community forums. The short answer is that our support options for the community forum are limited but the team is looking at all options. A complete response can be found here. The general direction for OP is going to be to embrace responsive design and move toward HTML 5/6 so we can all create more immersive content and adventures.

Last, I would like to mention that the team is fully open to feedback with respect to forum features. The team is looking into plugins/options which may provide enhanced functionality (polls, gamification, etc.). If there are subtle things which can be done to improve the new forums moving forward (layout, colors, features, etc.) please let us know. We are always looking to improve.

Thank you

OP Support

«1

Comments

  • Keryth987
    Keryth987
    Posts: 914

    Well, looks good so far. Still some glitches but figure that will be worked out

    Also, lets see how the new signature looks :)

     

     

    Keelah Se'lai,

    Keryth

  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 829

    Excellent on getting some of the June/July posts back.  Thank you.

  • Kallak
    Kallak
    Posts: 1,090 edited July 2016

    Awesome that the signatures are working!

    Edit: In attempting to go back and update hyperlinks in previous posts, I have found out that there is a 1 hour window for editing posts with the new forum setup. Not a huge issue going forward, but certainly less than optimal for updating stickies and the like to the new format. Are there any options in terms of editing allowance?
    Post edited by Kallak on
    All the best,
    - Kallak
  • weasel0
    weasel0
    Posts: 413 edited July 2016

    I'm diggin the signatures. Always wanted to do it but really wasn't about to take the time to do it by had every single time I wanted it there.

    edit:
    Oh, thought of something....is this a new Vanilla or fully custom or what's the driving software?
    edit:
    Oh, thought of something else...I do like the unifying look, but I keep butt loads of tabs open and I liked having a different icon for the forums on the tab so I could easily tell which one was the forum, which were the three campaign pages, and finally all the rest. I currently have 36 in Firefox, 6 in Safari, and 6 in Chrome. Only 1 is a duplicate and I visit/use almost all of them multiple times daily.
    Post edited by weasel0 on
  • pencilneckgeek
    pencilneckgeek
    Posts: 50

    The new forums look great. Quite the surprise when I logged in today. I'll be honest--I'm just posting so I can see what my signature looks like laugh

    --The Geek

    Current Campaigns:

    Shadows of the Rift : Homebrew Pathfinder Campaign (Campaign of the Month, September 2018)

    The Dresden Files: Portland

    Deadlands: Riders on the Storm

    Velvet & Steel : 7th Sea 2nd Edition

  • OPSupport
    OPSupport
    Posts: 93

    We can change the window for editing posts. I updated it from 1 HR to 1 Day if that works. 

  • saethone
    saethone
    Posts: 153

    I have to say, this is the first real, significant improvement we've seen to OP in a long time. It wasn't without its hiccups (but I mean, what project of this scale is??), but I'm so glad to see OP moving in a forward direction instead of just stagnating. This site has potential to be a cornerstone of the tabletop community again. I'm excited to see where it will continue to go from here.

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,781

    Looks very interesting.  Nice to see some modernisation!  smiley

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 829 edited July 2016

    Look here and tell me what I'm doing wrong for my alt text in the sig link please.

    Post edited by SkidAce on
  • Jim_Mount
    Jim_Mount
    Posts: 162 edited July 2016

    The timing was unfortunate, but the results are impressive.

    Post edited by Jim_Mount on
  • Jim_Mount
    Jim_Mount
    Posts: 162 edited July 2016

    Whoa that's huge! Thought I shrank that image :D Fixing now.

     

    Post edited by Jim_Mount on
  • Jim_Mount
    Jim_Mount
    Posts: 162

    I tried to shrink the banner image in my sig, and though it appeared to edit correctly on my profile page, it still appeared at original size in the forum post. Also, can we straight up delete forum posts?

  • weasel0
    weasel0
    Posts: 413

    Hmm...seems that by default, mobile can't see the attached signature. Guess that makes sense sit saves room and scrolling distance as it seems a bit thin to me.

     

    Only takes up about  1/2 the screen, right in the middle.

    ...lol. It's better in landscape but then I can't see anything due to keyboard size. Silly iPhone 5s.

  • OPSupport
    OPSupport
    Posts: 93

    It's an option on the admin side-  the decison was made to disable signatures on mobile for the reasons you described. We can also limit the size of the signatures if needed as they can get onerous. 

  • Kallak
    Kallak
    Posts: 1,090

    @SkidAce, I'm seeing the hyperlink markup twice, as in a second one inside the first one. That double markup is your issue.

    All the best,
    - Kallak
  • UselessTriviaMan
    UselessTriviaMan
    Posts: 518

    Sweet! Testing, testing...


    Ptolus, City by the Spire - 2016 Campaign of the Year

    "Please pay attention very carefully, because this is the truest thing a stranger will ever say to you: In the face of such hopelessness as our eventual, unavoidable death, there is little sense in not at least TRYING to accomplish all your wildest dreams in life."  - - Kevin Smith

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,781

    I'm just sticking in a couple of posts to see how they look.

     

     

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,781

    Trying another version now.

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 829

    Thanks Kallak, that prompted me to look at the sig in source mode, which highlighted my error.

  • JimC
    JimC
    Posts: 10 edited July 2016

    Is there a plan to utilize these new forums on the campaign sites?


    The current forums on the campaign sites don't meet any of the basic standards for what would be considerd an acceptable forum in oh.. the past twenty years...

    No indication of new posts.. this is just ridiculous. What kind of a forum doesn't let you see which posts are new -- do people really find it acceptable to visually scan all the subforums and threads to see if anything new has been posted?

    There are plenty of open license forum solutions available, that could be integrated.

    Is the plan to test the new software here, then move it over to all the campaign sites once it's ready?

     But to be honest, just in the course of posting this message and trying to edit it, I'm already unimpressed with the new community forums.  Why are you guys trying to re-invent the wheel? Why are you customizing a low-quality package, rather than using something off the shelf that has all the features people have come to expect in 2016?

    Soo... why is there so much emphasis on the community forums, rather than the forums people are actually paying for on their campaign sites? Isn't the product you are selling more important than the place where people talk about it? This means the community forums update is a test phase for rolling it out to the campaign sites as well, right?

    Sorry if this sounds negative, but... well... yep.

    Post edited by JimC on
  • OPSupport
    OPSupport
    Posts: 93 edited July 2016

    Hi Jim,

    I may not fully understand where you are going here. The community forums and the campaign forums have absolutely nothing in common with one another from either an end-user or technical perspective. They are different areas of the site and historically evolved differently.

    In regards to the community forums - the prior community forums were running on ten year old software at the point where the new tech team assumed them. I believe that most users recognize that the community forum update herein represents a fairly  substantial upgrade in many respects (user experience, performance, mobile responsiveness, features).

    While I am sorry to hear you may not be impressed; implying that the forums are a low quality package and devoid of 2016 features I believe would be a difficult assertion to defend. The software we use (Vanilla) is one of the top forum engines on the internet, and it powers well over 400,000+ websites today. The software is full featured as well as fully extensible. The theme applied is fully responsive amd mobile friendly. Stating that the forum wheel was some-how re-invented here when the facts are that the team integrated one of the most popular forum engines on the internet- suggests you simply maybe misinformed or making assumptions.

    With respect to the existing campaign forums-  these have a lot of custom programming and integration points such as e-mail which certainly may not be obvious. It's not a simple migration or matter of buying a software license. We are fully aware that some desired features are missing at this time. Moving forward the current plan is to modernize the campaign forums as well.

    Last, if the timing seems counter-intuitive to you we can appreciate that. The OP product road map takes into account a lot of factors (resources, technical complexities, support, user feedback, etc.) and we understand you could not be in a position to have all the facts so you could triage the considerations from a feature planning perspective. Ultimately many areas of OP are slated for upgrade and the team is working thru them the best they can. Community feedback is always being considered and integrated where appropriate.

    Thank you,

    OP

    Post edited by OPSupport on
  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 829

    Please do not change the campaign forums.  We use them for play by post daily.

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,781 edited July 2016

    Personally, I like the new Community Forums and the improvements seem good to me so far.  There are still bits I have not yet utilized and it may be that some improvements still have to be made, but it seems to work well for me.

    I, like SkidAce, use my campaign forums quite extensively, and differently to the community forums.  While I do not share, SkidAce's resistance to change on these forums, I will add that we as groups on our various campaigns use these private forums very differently from the Community Forums, and I'm sure other groups all have their own ways of using them - probably not too easy to homogenise, although I am not saying that improvemnts cannot be made.

    Our group also has a Facebook Page which we use for social updates but the good thing about the Private Forums (that is better than the continually descending Faceboook updates) is that we can easily categorise issues and threads in such a way that it is easy for us to reference details months or even years after posting.

    I know that many groups use the Private Forums for Play by Post campaigns and that is always something to consider, if any future changes are planned.

    devil  Oh look, a Smiley Face - and I'll bet I don't have to copy and paste my signature anymore.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Post edited by twiggyleaf on

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • JimC
    JimC
    Posts: 10

    Where is the button, on this modern forum, to quote your post so I can respond?

  • JimC
    JimC
    Posts: 10 edited July 2016

    Currently you have categorized comment threads -- more like a blog than an actual forum.

    https://www.phpbb.com/ is the standard.  

    Most experienced forum users expect at least some of phpbb's basic features in anything that is going to call itself a forum.

    Don't get me wrong, I just want to share my honest opinion as a new customer.  I'm paying for OP, and I will probably continue.  But it's my guess that like myself, the main attraction of OP for most people is that it allows people to manage multiple aspects of their game in a single place -- and it's really the only service of it's kind.  Unfortunately, all the individual pieces are sub-par.  If I were you, I would be worried someone else is going to come along with another service that is built with more modern tools, and OP will be abandoned by it's user-base, in favor of a better product.

    My group also use the current OP forums for play by post, and it's impractical and unreliable for a variety of reasons -- mostly because there is no way to view new posts.  Any forum that requires it's users to use outside tools to broadcast updates is simply broken.  

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear it is on your list, and I hope you will do something to bring the forums in-line with current standards.

    It wouldn't be hard to customize and integrate a more robust and standardized forum solution into the OP site.  The problem of course, would be migrating the current forum content -- since it was custom-designed in someone's bedroom, the data is likely inaccessible to any standard migration protocols.  However, any the extra work to migrate the content to a decent forum solution will pay-off in the long run.  If the people who originally designed OP had put a bit more fore-thought into things, you wouldn't be working so hard to upgrade everything right now...  I would try to avoid the same mistake if I were you.

    Just my 2cp.

    Post edited by JimC on
  • OPSupport
    OPSupport
    Posts: 93

    Let's punt on the vbulletin vs. vanilla, vs. phpbb debate. All of these forum solutions are relatively comparable when stacked together on a comparison sheet and power a wide number of forums on the internet successfully. All of them have a rich selection of plugins and features which can be enabled/disabled such as signatures, quotes, voting, gamification, etc. In this particular case the OP forums were already on vanilla, so an upgrade versus a port seemed the logical choice for OP after considering single sign-on, etc. 

    In regards to the campaign forums- your point is well received. We are assessing migration options at this time. If you have a specific reccomendation we would be happy to look into it. Ultimately be aware that the current team didn't make the original design/architecture decisions governing OP. All the team can do is their best to carry it forward. 

    Cheers,

    OP

     

  • cgregory
    cgregory
    Posts: 772

    Where is the button, on this modern forum, to quote your post so I can respond?

    The new forum software vanilla does allow quotes, can't but I can't remember if the quote functionality you are likely looking for is in version 2.2 (which I'm guessing this version is) out of the box or from an addon. But I've used vanilla forums with quote support before.

    Version 2.3 which is currently in beta apparently comes with better quote support.

     

    They are among us!

    image

    Current Campaign: XCom: Defiance - Campaign of the Month November 2016

                                           My Campaign CSS

                              Unlocking The Portal: A Guide to OP CSS                                    

     

     

  • OPSupport
    OPSupport
    Posts: 93

    BTW, a full listing of plugins which can extend the forum can be found here.

     

Sign In or Register to comment.

July's Campaign of the Month is The Coldfall Sanction!

Read the feature post on the blog!
Or return to Obsidian Portal!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Discussions