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Forum United

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Forum United

I see in the takeover press announcement that Plusnet said:-

"It also plans to begin building a new community-support website which will bring together the discussion forums from its various portals, along with a news site, PlusNet staff blogs and community bookmarks. The site will launch in the spring.

How about combining FoL and Plusnet now, I asked for this a few years ago! I wonder when it will happen.
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Community Veteran
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Forum United

I also wonder what technology it will be based on?
Still phpBB or will it be something else?
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Erm, just like you quoted, the community site will bring together the discussion forums from its various portals.

This means that all Plusnet vISP's will share the one board.

Timescale, I haven't seen any firm dates, but I believe its in the specification stage ATM.
Community Veteran
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Just hope it doesn't use the horrible BB format used by ADSL Guide/TB.
Don't like the look of it at all.
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I also wonder what technology it will be based on?
Still phpBB or will it be something else?


Ultimately the decision will be a PN one, although the Moderating Team have been asked for feedback/likes/dislikes.

I quite like SMF, but do have a few issues with the way some aspects work.

I expect that PN will be keen to keep the source code as unmodified as possible, since its currently pretty tricky patching this board, due to the extensive modifications that were coded to make it sit in the portal, and interact with the other PN systems.

Do you have preferences, or any particular likes or dislikes?

Anything you want to see, or would hate to see?
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Just hope it doesn't use the horrible BB format used by ADSL Guide/TB.
Don't like the look of it at all.


LOL, we keep cross posting!

If it ends up looking like TB, they'll be at least one Mod short (this one) Evil
shellsong
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I realise quite a few folk won't agree with me but I like a properly threaded forum like the Slashdot one so if anyone goes too OT they find themselves on a minor branch to nowhere without any need for the main thread to get locked. I also like their "scoring" approach to posts but that is rather subjective I guess
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James do you wanna shoot him or shall I? :lol:
Community Veteran
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Quote
Do you have preferences, or any particular likes or dislikes?

Anything you want to see, or would hate to see?

Hmm, good question. To be honest I've not seen much else that I like other than phpBB, but then I am not an avid forum poster (really it's just this one I post to), so I haven't had much experience using other forum software. I read another forum which uses Invision, but that's not free and I prefer the UI of phpBB anyway.

Oooh my 500th post, yay Smiley

Myself and someone at work run a Warcraft guild site each, so we've quite used to phpBB - plus funnily enough we stuck 3.0 Beta 5 on a test box today and were having a play. Quite nice (and also a much better admin panel mods), hence probably the reason this subject is fresh on my mind .. Well it beats the state of the code I am having to debug at the moment :?

Not sure about a threaded option, to be honest I can get used to the 2d-phpBB approach and don't really see the need for thread trees. But I suppose is a matter of personal preference and can see why others might prefer it.

Another question, I guess the new site will start afresh and we will lose the posting history from here? I can of course see the difficulties in keeping the existing history when forums elsewhere are being merged into one. Be nice to keep the posts, but I guess given some of the stuff which has been said about PlusNet on here (by myself included) they might be keen to get shot of it Wink

Also would be nice to keep stuff like the Bright Sparks as well (not just saying that as I got made one!)
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To be honest I've not seen much else that I like other than phpBB, but then I am not an avid forum poster (really it's just this one I post to), so I haven't had much experience using other forum software.

http://usergroup.plus.net/forum uses SMF (Simple Machines Forum) which is a free one up for consideration. It has a few differences, but in the main is pretty simple to get used to if you are used to PHPBB.

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Oooh my 500th post, yay Smiley
Congrats! Wink

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Another question, I guess the new site will start afresh and we will lose the posting history from here? I can of course see the difficulties in keeping the existing history when forums elsewhere are being merged into one. Be nice to keep the posts, but I guess given some of the stuff which has been said about PlusNet on here (by myself included) they might be keen to get shot of it Wink


I'm not sure how easy it'll be to pull posts across and associate them with new accounts on a new board.
I imagine it'll be pretty tricky when merging the boards too, as there'll inevitably be duplication across the vISPs. (The Comm's guys post on all of the boards for example)

Another problem could be if PN allow us to choose a forum posting name, which can be different from our ISP username - supposing you chose to be called 'Steve99' on the Community site - if this post was carried across, the names next to the quotes would be confusing.

Different posting names have been requested many times in the past, and PN have never been able to offer it as an option - I guess the only time a change like this could be introduced, would be by creating a new site, so it seems an ideal time now. - If this change happens though, I expect there will be downsides/consequences.

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Also would be nice to keep stuff like the Bright Sparks as well (not just saying that as I got made one!)


Since Bright Sparks is not something forum-specific, its just a group which we created, with no extra permissions, I'm pretty certain that we'll continue with the rank on whatever board we use - unless somebody has an alternative suggestion for consideration?
shellsong
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I've seen it said more than once that vBulletin is better than phpBB and there are certainly issues I've had with the operation of phpBB, particularly in highly integrated sites like PlusNet's and Be's. I don't know whether they are specifically to do with integration problems or something else like the version or type of browser I tend to use but there seem to be inconsistencies in the way phpBB works on different sites and on different sessions

(Btw I reckon PN are very naughty not acknowledging phpBB at the bottom of the page in the requested manner even if they have modified it substantially)
Community Veteran
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http://usergroup.plus.net/forum uses SMF (Simple Machines Forum) which is a free one up for consideration. It has a few differences, but in the main is pretty simple to get used to if you are used to PHPBB.

Ah yeah - that's not too bad. I've registered on the Usergroup site, just haven't made a post on it yet. No doubt I will do soon, so I'll get used to it.

Functionality wise it looks quite similar.
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LOL, the most confusing thing is that the preview and submit buttons are the opposite way around.

From an admin POV, there are more options, but there are a few things it does in a manner inferior to PHPBB (the word censor being a great example)
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On the same token James, SMF allows easier mod addons makin it superior to phpBB.
Take my two links as an example...
avalon
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Well if a community portal and forum were being considered Joomla and SMF integrate well. There are also options to add Joomla add-ons like community builder. This allows a public profile of the individual to be created but allows some information to be kept hidden and available to admins only.

This would allow public usernames for the new community area to be different from ISP account name but allowing bith to be stored in the profile. The ISP account name being only available to mods and Plusnet staff so if a user were having connection problems a passing member of staff could find out the account name and look into it without needing to waste time posting a request for the user to PM their account name and wait for a reply before they can act (as currently happens on PUG forums).

This would improve security, reduce the chances of spammers harvesting account names and yet allow the benefits for problem resolution of staff being able to identify quickly whose account needs looking at. Other info can be added by users to improve their public profile, for example photos/avatars, vISP name, product type, and so on.

Best of all these items Joomla, SMF, the bridge between them and the Community Builder extension are all solid well supported with active comunities of developers. By using "off the shelf" components development time and costs are reduced and problems get solved sooner thanks to a worldwide band of developers.

Even better if the internal developers at Plusnet contributed improvements to the software FOC it would give positive publicity to Plusnet and encourage other developers in the community to help Plusnet with any issues theycame upon.