Staredit Network > Forums > Staredit Network > Topic: Discussion: SEN forum overhaul?
Discussion: SEN forum overhaul?
Jan 4 2013, 9:59 am
By: DevliN
Pages: < 1 2 3 >
 

Jan 4 2013, 8:56 pm Fire_Kame Post #21

a left leaning coexistence nut

Speaking of Facebook, I once was asked by Yoshi for suggestions, and I suggested social networking tools...this was the advent of MySpace. He said ew no. :( looking at it a lot of the tools out there for forums are really tacky as far as networking tools are concerned.

I'm fine with the sbox still being a part of the site. You know you could do it as a ticker feed, so that it operates somewhat like a locally hosted twitter feed of members. I think there is some code out there that is copy and paste (and might cut down on some spam)




Jan 4 2013, 9:02 pm Jack Post #22

>be faceless void >mfw I have no face

If moving to a new forum codebase requires the loss of all the posts and topics that we currently have then I am completely against changing the forum software.



Red classic.

"In short, their absurdities are so extreme that it is painful even to quote them."

Jan 4 2013, 9:20 pm Taintedwisp Post #23



Several things

1. Default skin to wide/ugly :P (there are some okay ones in there though)
2. Half of the time I cannot connect to the site at all.
3. WAY too many forum sections.
4. Site feels way too large, and therefore barren for the traffic it gets.
5. The chat box... damn the chat box, it should be modernized quite a bit, please revamp that damn thing so its a live chat instead of having to hit refresh every 5 seconds because the auto refresh is all but broken :P.


Just a few things I had noticed when I first came to the site.



None.

Jan 4 2013, 10:09 pm DevliN Post #24

OVERWATCH STATUS GO

Quote from Wing Zero
If you changed the site how would the shoutbox work? Would you improve it so it doesnt need refreshing? If thats not possibe what can you do to improve that?
If we went with vBulletin, the Shoutbox would have all the same features it currently has except the automatic refresh would work better, it wouldn't slow down the site, and a lot more would be added to it (like working chat rooms for private group discussions and tabs to go back and forth between them and the main Shoutbox). It would also have more moderation features and a built-in report function.



\:devlin\: Currently Working On: \:devlin\:
My Overwatch addiction.

Jan 4 2013, 11:17 pm Moose Post #25



I should note for that all my name is mentioned here, whatever we do here is not for me. Whether you want to fix up and improve v5.1 or make a v6 is not my decision. I'm not really into SC2 and I've pretty much given up on SC:BW as well as much of the community here, so the best that I actually want to do is to provide advice and share my experience or wisdom on assorted issues. I apologize for the venting and frustration if it gets excessive at certain points. With that in mind, SEN itself will be turning ten years old soon, so it would be nice to do some overhauling and put in some good work for the double digit birthday.

Quote from DevliN
1. Despite the occasional MySQL error and obvious missing features, are you satisfied with SEN's current state (specifically regarding functionality)?
Community / Overall Site
1. Streamlined, coordinated, and consistently enforced moderation policies are a must. Non-trivial, non-petty. Not that I've been above falling into these traps, but it's time to take responsibility here.

2. Clear indication of who is staff and moderators. If you have to sacrifice name colors for this, by all means. Another option is just putting an asterisk or [M] or something in front of a moderator's name in the particular forums they lead. Throw in display indicators for someone who's currently online and maybe a [C] for contact options next to a name on the forums and you've saved yourself a line and a bunch of 20px images on every post.

3. I would honestly like to see things become more content-oriented and content-focused. (ie. "professional" as far as StarCraft creativity is concerned) Keep in mind, of course, that is not my place to tell anyone what SEN is for.

4. Seperate login and display names, unlimited name changes and laying down the law on those who abuse them for confusion or to be jerks or to be immature. Increased security from having login names known only to the person, plus if someone ends up getting their name changed by the staff, they still know their login name. (Alternatively, ability to log in via email address.) Either finish clan support (it's in "alpha") or just tell people to put their clan tags in their display names.

5. Notices were meant to disappear after awhile, much like how Facebook works notifications.

6. Make the SC1/SC2 choice an option instead of a division. Enable users to have BOTH enabled instead of just one.

7. Make most of the profile editing take place in simple Javascript/AJAX forms directly on a user's profile instead of in Settings.

8. I still favor having one skin that looks very nice, perhaps with some colorblind options and extremely basic width options for users with particularly wide/narrow resolutions. For a site that enables custom colors in many places, it also ensures less clashing with particular skins.


Forums
1. I would be okay with some minimalization in the name of optimization and efficency. I don't see the need to have 125x125 avatars and user titles and name colors (so many custom colors but so many different skins, things get tough to mix.) and signatures and a bunch of other stuff on every post anymore. Reddit you get your name, flair applicable to the subreddit (forum or subforum around here), and the time of post, and post options; that's it. Gamefaqs you get a two line signature, no avatar, no fancy name stuff, etc. Leaving a comment on someone's profile on Steam or something gives you a 32px scaled down version of your avatar, your name, the date/time, and post options. I don't know how well the community will respond to such ideas, but while the personalization and customization and everything is great, but not necessary. I would like to see a focus on content and creation versus tooting our own horns, socialization, and distractions. Disclaimer from above still applies, I cannot dictate what SEN is for.

2. I am unsure if everyone is happy with the way large images are processed and viewed and otherwise handled.

3. A search function, seriously. Also, why does searching the site via Google return no results? Whoever disallowed Google bots from coming needs to undo that. site:http://www.staredit.net test returns NOTHING whereas site:http://v4.staredit.net test works perfectly. We used to be the #1 result for "staredit" on Google, now we're not even listed. (well, maybe v4 is but fix that shit.)


DLDB
1. The DLDB needs a proper search and I have no idea why it's taken this long to get a solid and easy to use DLDB working properly. Currently I go to a seperate page and fill in: "Search file name file title for {map name}" = works correctly, "Submitted by: Moose" = SQL error, "Authored by: Moose" = no maps. This is a problem. Have a search bar at the top (not a seperate page) basic search that looks at titles, author name, and tags if we decide to use them. Then have a more advanced search in the search page with more powerful options.

At the start, what I told IP was to use tags for files much like Youtube did at the time. We got some frustrating bullshit search that didn't work and made things difficult to find. On top of that, the poor implementation of tags led to ambiguity about whether or not things like the map title and author's name should be tags when the search may or may not ONLY search tags for some reason. Then we did away with the tag system completely and moved to categories (I'm sorry, now it's category, sub-category, and sub-sub-category, WAT?) because nobody listened to me speaking about how it should've been done at the beginning. If you want an example similar to what I intended, I recently registered on Nibbits to put copies of my maps up there. I was surprised that it works just about how I originally intended; on top of that, they have a huge DLDB for SC:BW, SC2, WC3, and D3 and it's easy to search and use. This is something that's long been frustrating and is not very complicated.

2. Why is registration required to download files? To prevent someone from sucking up all the bandwidth through file transfers? Okay, they can just do it via page loads or DDoS us instead so it's not exactly adding a layer of security. Log IPs if we must to track people for security but let anyone download things without superfluous accounts.


Shoutbox
As pointed out in other threads, if it makes every page take 15 seconds longer to load when enabled, something is terribly inefficient here. Automatic refreshes also miss things sometimes.


Quote from DevliN
2. If you had to choose between a new CMS being used (i.e. vBulletin, Invision Board, phpBB, etc.) and the current SEN code, which would you prefer?
Running our own code is fantastic and of course preferred, but unfortunately it is not always very practical. I am not particular to either option due to the practicality issue. So we have some questions to deal with:
1. Is v5's code so bad that we cannot fix it or rewrite the most critical components? I can say I haven't put an extreme effort into doing so due to not having a very high level of motivation. It's an option worth considering because we can make an identical copy of v5 as a test server and then take the live site offline for a couple of minutes to port over large changes to the code here.
2. If we code v6 from scratch, do we have good people to code it?
3. If we get a CMS, do we have people who can customize it to our needs? Of course we're getting increased support paying for a license, but we can also pay a dedicated coder for supporting our own code.


Quote from DevliN
3. If we migrated to a new CMS, how important would porting all old threads to the new forums be (as opposed to just keeping them archived like SEN v4)?
It is important to make sure nothing is lost. If we do clear everything out, we must ensure that SEN has a bright enough future to fill up a new everything.

Quote from DevliN
4 [...]
Discussion of features is above.

Quote from DevliN
5. Would SEN on a CMS feel like it isn't SEN even if it looked the exact same way it does now (skin-wise)?
It might with proper skinning, but in my opinion fuctionality trumps feel.

Post has been edited 6 time(s), last time on Jan 4 2013, 11:38 pm by Mini Moose 2707.




Jan 5 2013, 1:31 am ClansAreForGays Post #26



Quote from DevliN
If we migrated to a new CMS, how important would porting all old threads to the new forums be (as opposed to just keeping them archived like SEN v4)?
As long as I can still 'search' for all my old topics/posts, then I don't care.




Jan 5 2013, 7:06 am iCCup.xboi209 Post #27



If we are ever going to code a new SEN from ground up, I could help out by doing javascript work :D




Jan 5 2013, 8:26 am DT_Battlekruser Post #28



Quote
1. Is v5's code so bad that we cannot fix it or rewrite the most critical components? I can say I haven't put an extreme effort into doing so due to not having a very high level of motivation. It's an option worth considering because we can make an identical copy of v5 as a test server and then take the live site offline for a couple of minutes to port over large changes to the code here.

The v5 code makes me want to stab myself every time I try to do something. That being said, it might actually be more time-efficient from a coding standpoint to do a major overhaul on the sever-side of the code (like perhaps commenting it). But making the v5 code easily workable is at least in the same ballpark as starting from scratch. My biggest concern about engaging volunteer coders from the community is the pervasive unwillingness of amateur coders to document their work thoroughly.



None.

Jan 5 2013, 10:12 am InsolubleFluff Post #29



DTBK, when I was discussing that idea with Moose, he suggested that the commenting wasn't too bad in some places and in others it was really bad. I told him that I would be commenting everything so that it would be easier to reference at a later point :) x



None.

Jan 6 2013, 12:42 am Riney Post #30



Id like to see site updates, and maybe skin updates before a total overhaul.

Else I am satisfied with current sen. It works as a forum and shouldnt be expected to do too much more.



Riney#3387 on Discord. (Discord Community)
Riney on Steam (Steam)
Youtube Channel

Jan 6 2013, 2:18 am DevliN Post #31

OVERWATCH STATUS GO

Quote from Riney
Id like to see site updates, and maybe skin updates before a total overhaul.
Again the problem with site updates is that we don't have a dedicated coder, and anyone who can code gets frustrated with IP's existing code along with all the patching that's been done over the years. So I do agree that more updates would be great, but that's tough to accomplish and we're trying to look at this in the long-term.

And skin updates can be done whenever. They're just limited by the current SEN.



\:devlin\: Currently Working On: \:devlin\:
My Overwatch addiction.

Jan 6 2013, 2:24 am Fire_Kame Post #32

a left leaning coexistence nut

If the frustration is what is keeping us from finding a committed, full time coder I think that's more than enough reason to scrap everything now and start over. How do the databases that handle the maps and mods look? Would it be difficult to move them to a new database?

There's this thing called Escalation of Commitment - the idea that a company or entity pours so much money and time into a project that even after it is far past the point of redemption the entity still wants to complete it, so they keep pouring time and money into it...like Duke Nukem Forever. Do you want SEN to be like Duke Nukem Forever?




Jan 6 2013, 2:36 am DevliN Post #33

OVERWATCH STATUS GO

What's keeping us from finding a committed, full time coder is the lack of payment for said coder. Everyone who does this is doing it for free, and considering the amount of work that would need to be put in to fix SEN, that isn't an easy task. I'm grateful to people like DeVouReR, DTBK, and Moose for taking time to occasionally patch things up for us, but I've consistently heard that the base code is not great to work with.

Moving the map and mod database would not be difficult because at the very least we could reupload all of it. Moving the posts database is a different story, and that would require some special work.

That's not a very good comparison and the whole point seems irrelevant and completely unrelated. As seen in this thread, some people like SEN and say it is and don't suggest changing it. Clearly SEN works, the code is functional, and we've all be getting on just fine with it for years. I started this topic to see if there would be a use in moving to a fully functional system instead or even having someone redo the forums from scratch.



\:devlin\: Currently Working On: \:devlin\:
My Overwatch addiction.

Jan 6 2013, 3:13 am Sacrieur Post #34

Still Napping

I do support the idea of moving to a new system. They're very nice.



None.

Jan 6 2013, 6:15 am SinistrouS Post #35



I'd love to see "View new posts" and the obvious search.

Off topic and random: Anyone know what's happened to Michael Lat?



None.

Jan 6 2013, 8:32 am InsolubleFluff Post #36



Devlin, it seems to me like your decision is already made and you are trying to convince people it is best to just move.

If the base code is so difficult, either start again or in your own time go through and comment things and make it more user friendly. Once you have done that, then start tinkering with things from time to time to improve them one step at a time.

There are features on this site you could just out-right remove and not bother to fix, in all honesty. I believe SEN is more of a social community than a map making community at the moment, so the real question is, does SEN want to move forwards as a map making community, or is it happy just being a 30-odd member community.

I personally believe that you can retain the social elements whilst still being a map making community and improving the site to actually accommodate for map making and hopefully start bringing in new members. However, I do not believe the site can remain in this dysfunctional state and still progress as a map making community.

I offered to code for you guys, for free. But truth be told, your posts make it quite clear you are more interested in just shifting to vBulletin. If that is the case, Archive the forums and just add a new lick of paint to vBulletin. The forums are filled with outdated material, a chronic back log of broken features, pointless posts and inactive members.



None.

Jan 6 2013, 8:59 am DevliN Post #37

OVERWATCH STATUS GO

This seems more suited as a PM than a post here, but alright.

Quote from InsolubleFluff
Devlin, it seems to me like your decision is already made and you are trying to convince people it is best to just move.
Nope. I'm fine with how SEN is now. I'm just tired of getting my hopes up. As I've said a few times now, this came about when other staff members were talking about updating SEN or moving. As I said in the thread where this all started, I'm happy to pay for vBulletin or wait for someone to code something new or just go on as we have been. I'm cynical about the middle option, though, as I've heard that a few times now.

Quote from InsolubleFluff
If the base code is so difficult, either start again or in your own time go through and comment things and make it more user friendly. Once you have done that, then start tinkering with things from time to time to improve them one step at a time.
I'm just going based on what others have said about our code since I'm no coder myself.

Quote from InsolubleFluff
There are features on this site you could just out-right remove and not bother to fix, in all honesty. I believe SEN is more of a social community than a map making community at the moment, so the real question is, does SEN want to move forwards as a map making community, or is it happy just being a 30-odd member community.

I personally believe that you can retain the social elements whilst still being a map making community and improving the site to actually accommodate for map making and hopefully start bringing in new members. However, I do not believe the site can remain in this dysfunctional state and still progress as a map making community.
I don't think putting a shiny new paint job on an old community will bring in any new members. It'll take more than a recoded community. I still consider SEN to be a mapmaking community, just not a SC2 mapmaking community. As far as I can tell we're all that's left for StarCraft 1 other than maybe Campaign Creations. So when you say mapmaking community, I'm assuming you mean for StarCraft 2? If that's the case, I don't think we'll ever be as big or well-known as SC2Mapster, and we'll never even start moving in that direction without content. Even if I paid for vBulletin or if you made a new SEN, we'll still be the 30-member community just with a different looking website (which can be accomplished by just updating our skins as well, in theory). If the concern is growing SEN to be a powerhouse again, I think we have bigger things to worry about than updating our code.

Quote from InsolubleFluff
I offered to code for you guys, for free. But truth be told, your posts make it quite clear you are more interested in just shifting to vBulletin. If that is the case, Archive the forums and just add a new lick of paint to vBulletin. The forums are filled with outdated material, a chronic back log of broken features, pointless posts and inactive members.
Okay, and what would your new SEN be? A new lick of paint with forums filled with outdated material, no broken features, and pointless posts with inactive members? Come on. My posts are just explaining what vBulletin can do if we went that route, nothing more. The options presented to me so far are vBulletin, doing nothing different, and you coding a brand new SEN. I know the outcome of the first two, so there's not much to think about there. When it comes to coding a new SEN, I'm just going based on past experience. You told me you would relearn PHP to do it and even ask a friend for help, and hope to get it out by HotS's release in March. That's ambitious, and given that past experience I'm skeptical (and I know I'm not the only one). If your offer was to instead work on the existing code and try to patch it up, I see that as something different and not really what was expressed to me. :/

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Jan 6 2013, 9:17 am by DevliN.



\:devlin\: Currently Working On: \:devlin\:
My Overwatch addiction.

Jan 6 2013, 9:30 am DT_Battlekruser Post #38



Just a note - anyone who wants to make a new CMS from scratch that is custom-planned for SEN can go right ahead and do so. I'm happy to talk technical details for data portability, but most of the work should be capable of being done completely independently from any official commitment to it. I don't expect anyone to have the time to commit to such a project, but nothing is really stopping anyone from proving me wrong.



None.

Jan 6 2013, 4:34 pm The Starport Post #39



Quote from DT_Battlekruser
I don't expect anyone to have the time to commit to such a project, but nothing is really stopping anyone from proving me wrong.
You have to have a good reason for that, like needing to be very intimate with the code for doing lots of specific, involved stuff. You'll be reinventing tons of wheels, and I can all but guarantee potential security issues, unless you're already an expert. It's not super hard, though, but it can suck you in.

For anything short of the applications I've been working on and their need for such intimacy, I wouldn't have bothered with mine. :rolleyes:

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jan 6 2013, 4:48 pm by Tuxlar.



None.

Jan 6 2013, 5:54 pm Sacrieur Post #40

Still Napping

I'm mostly enthused about a new board because tables. BBC TABLES! (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻



None.

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