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The CodeWalrus of the Future (mockups and ideas if we ever switch from SMF)

Started by DJ Omnimaga, April 30, 2016, 12:30:12 am

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DJ Omnimaga

Some rushed mockups of what CW could look like in a few years (2018-20? assuming web standards don't change by then):






This is nothing official, but switching to a different forum software is something that I have considered in long terms so I was curious about what CW could look like in Flarum, NodeBB and Discourse format. NodeBB is not likely as it's too close to the dying traditional forum format, but I threw in a mockup anyway. This would obviously require one of the staff or member to write a converter, though (preferably one that takes into account cloned topic if we ever switch to a tag-based topic sorting system). All content would be preserved.

I particularly like Flarum, because it has a similar system as Lexaloffle forums.

aeTIos

My thoughts:
Too white
Too white
Too white.

It looks nice, but too white. Needs more of our current background. :P
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DJ Omnimaga

^This. But of course it would need to be possible to integrate. I think we would need to ditch the double line border. Also perhaps a way to make the background show up even on mobile, while still not reducing page content?

I'M also curious about if making a SMF theme that looks like one of the above is feasible in the meantime (it would obviously lack any Flarum/Discourse functionality).

c4ooo

What is wrong with our current format? The above mockups dont make sense as forum layouts >_>

DJ Omnimaga

Traditional forums are dying. Just look at SMF support forum stats. They went from 1500 posts a day to 150 (barely three times what we get). We need to adapt against the competition that is Reddit and to a lesser extent Facebook, Twitter and Github.

Ivoah

Quote from: c4ooo on April 30, 2016, 12:57:36 am
What is wrong with our current format? The above mockups dont make sense as forum layouts >_>

I agree. I've used NodeBB and other forums, but it always felt like they were trying to be something more than the were. Our current software suits our needs just fine, and feels comfortable to use.

DJ Omnimaga

While it feels comfortable to use for us, it seems that many Internet users are no longer attracted to forums unless they focus primarily on content than features, and they seem to prefer ones that looks closer to social networks or much more simple sites. They don't want to have to use Tapatalk if they use mobile. In fact, I noticed we get more complaints about how our site doesn't focus enough on content or that it's hard to find anything.

Also Flarum and Discourse would probably fit with our topic cloning abilities. Browsing forum categories would be similar to PICO-8 forums, except perhaps we could also have a traditional view.

Of course all of this depends of people's opinion. But I feel that if we stick to statu quo forever then we will regret it.


The other problem is that SMF code is becoming more and more messy and installing mods is chaotic. Not to mention in order to make CW more social-friendly we had to use 40+ different mods.



At the very least, though, we really need to switch to a backend that is more real-time, as in, when you browse the site you immediately get notified that new posts have been made, or that you got private messages and stuff, so you don't need to refresh constantly. Of course WalrusIRC can do that too, but not everyone stay at the top of the page. On the other hand, it needs to be lightweight, so that we don't need to upgrade our VPS too much.

Ivoah

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on April 30, 2016, 01:28:09 am
At the very least, though, we really need to switch to a backend that is more real-time, as in, when you browse the site you immediately get notified that new posts have been made, or that you got private messages and stuff, so you don't need to refresh constantly. Of course WalrusIRC can do that too, but not everyone stay at the top of the page. On the other hand, it needs to be lightweight, so that we don't need to upgrade our VPS too much.

This.

Juju

Personally, I probably wouldn't stay too much away from the usual forum paradigm, but we do need something that isn't a bitch to admin, looks quite modern and doesn't have the cruft of everything added since 1996.
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c4ooo

I would not like a social media- style forum. The simplicity of many social media websites makes it harder to view more information at once. Also what aeTIos said, its too white :P

DJ Omnimaga

What about just more real timeness? Eg someone makes a post mentioning you and it shows alert in the navbar (eg [1])?

Hayleia

I don't think forums are dying that much. I'm on gbatemp and a lot of threads get created and get to 5 pages in one day. Some other threads can get to 70 pages in one day, such as "Wii U hacked free pirating for everyone on all firmware versions", then you can popcorn watch people hopping on the hype train and people saying this is dumb :trollface:

I agree with the real-timeness though. On gbatemp (and probably other Xenforo based forums), there is an alert system that can tell in real time (well, probably with a delay of 1 or 2 seconds) when someone answered to a thread you're following, and you have settings to automatically subscribe to threads you answer to or not, and you can watch threads without answering, etc. And then these alerts are gathered in an "alerts" menu, which allows you to go away for a day, come back, see "8 alerts" and check what's new about what's interesting (and cry when you notice that one day was enough to be 20 pages late on the Luma3DS thread :P).

Flippanteer

Quote from: Hayleia on May 02, 2016, 05:45:02 am
I don't think forums are dying that much. I'm on gbatemp and a lot of threads get created and get to 5 pages in one day. Some other threads can get to 70 pages in one day, such as "Wii U hacked free pirating for everyone on all firmware versions", then you can popcorn watch people hopping on the hype train and people saying this is dumb :trollface:

I agree with the real-timeness though. On gbatemp (and probably other Xenforo based forums), there is an alert system that can tell in real time (well, probably with a delay of 1 or 2 seconds) when someone answered to a thread you're following, and you have settings to automatically subscribe to threads you answer to or not, and you can watch threads without answering, etc. And then these alerts are gathered in an "alerts" menu, which allows you to go away for a day, come back, see "8 alerts" and check what's new about what's interesting (and cry when you notice that one day was enough to be 20 pages late on the Luma3DS thread :P).


(On a bit of a sidenote... WOAH gbatemp still exists?!)

Hayleia

Quote from: Flippanteer on May 02, 2016, 05:47:08 am
(On a bit of a sidenote... WOAH gbatemp still exists?!)
Lol yeah, and well alive. Not necessarily on the same topics than some years ago though (I mean, it has "GBA" in the name but the active portion of the site isn't about GBA. Plus, it used to be a rom site I think, but now roms and links to roms are forbidden).

Juju

Yeah, most forums are still alive and well. Look at the Android scene for instance, or the countless roleplay forums that seems to pop up a new one all the time, in France at least.
Read Zarmina!
YUKI-CHAAAANNNN
In the beginning there was walrii. In the end there will be walrii. All hail our supreme leader :walrii: --Snektron



if you wanna throw money at me and/or CodeWalrus monthly it's here

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