Feature Requests

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distler 77 posts

Andrew Stacey wants:

  • The ability to selectively allow anonymous posts (ie, posts by unregistered users). It’s not clear whether he wants that on a per-forum basis, or on a per-topic basis. It’s also not clear who gets to decide (moderator or admin).
  • Themes. I think themes_for_rails looks promising.
  • More fine-grained access-controls. Apparently, admin/moderator/user(/anon) is insufficiently fine-grained.

Other thing that bear looking at:

  • The Signup process.
  • Since posts are editable, should they be ordered by updated_at instead of by created_at dates?
 
Andrew Stacey 118 posts

With the anonymous posting, then I can specify it on a “per category” basis in Vanilla. The hierarchy in Vanilla is:

Forum: Category: [Subcategory:...] Discussion: Post

Subcategories aren’t really hierarchical in the code, just in the layout. So “per category” doesn’t descend to categories (unless I’m misremembering … I did code this part so I ought to know!). On the nForum, then the allowed category is “nLab - Latest Changes”. To avoid spam, the person has to solve a reCaptcha to post. Behind the scenes, there is a “guest” user and the software logs in the guest user, posts the post, and then logs out again. All such posts get authored by “Guest” and (this is less than ideal) there’s no obvious “Put your name here” field (one has to put it in the post itself). Nonetheless, it works reasonably well and means that people can leave short messages about nLab pages without having to sign up.

Regarding the roles, I’d want something in between moderator and user. On the nForum, then some users have slightly more “power” with regard to organising the place. They don’t have full moderator power, so can’t edit others’ posts and so forth, but they can move posts from one category to another, or similar simple things.

Regarding “editable” posts, I’d go for “created_at”. A discussion is a linear thing, and most of the time edits will be for minor typos which certainly shouldn’t change the order. Deciding on the difference between minor and major is a human thing.

If you wanted the best of both worlds, an edit to a post could insert a line at the relevant time point saying “Post X was edited at …”. That wouldn’t disrupt the flow of the conversation but would signal that someone had potentially thrown a stone in to the water.

 
distler 77 posts

edited 3 years ago

With the anonymous posting, then I can specify it on a “per category” basis in Vanilla. The hierarchy in Vanilla is:

Forum: Category: [Subcategory:...] Discussion: Post

I think this maps onto

Site: Forum: Topic: Post

with the proviso that (at least as currently implemented) “Sites” need to live on separate subdomains.

So you’re talking about allowing anonymous postings on a per-forum basis?

To avoid spam, the person has to solve a reCaptcha to post.

There’s some captcha mechanism built-in (but disabled) in Beast. Will have to explore …

Behind the scenes, there is a “guest” user and the software logs in the guest user, posts the post, and then logs out again. All such posts get authored by “Guest” and (this is less than ideal) …

I suppose just creating a “Guest” user, with a blank password, would not suffice, as “Guest” could then post to any forum.

Regarding “editable” posts, I’d go for “created_at”. A discussion is a linear thing, and most of the time edits will be for minor typos which certainly shouldn’t change the order. Deciding on the difference between minor and major is a human thing.

If you wanted the best of both worlds, an edit to a post could insert a line at the relevant time point saying “Post X was edited at …”. That wouldn’t disrupt the flow of the conversation but would signal that someone had potentially thrown a stone in to the water.

Or simply tag the post, itself, as having been “Edited at …”

Maybe best of all would be a 5-minute grace period: if updated_at time - created_at time > 5 minutes, then include such a tag.

… Like on this post.

 
Andrew Stacey 118 posts

I was just thinking that if only the post itself was tagged with the edit then it wouldn’t be clear to someone reading the end of the thread that something earlier had been changed. Having it sorted by “updated_at” would fix this, but at too great a cost, I think. The extra line was meant to mitigate this without resorting the posts.

You’re right that the guest user doesn’t have an empty password. The script has to know guest’s password.

 
distler 77 posts

Hmm. I think tagging a post as having been edited, after the grace period, should suffice.

See what you think.