I'm getting bored *and* motivated...



  • It's been three years since the look and feel of The Daily WTF has been updated, and, well, I've gotten a little bored with the look and think it needs a refresh.

    I was thinking of taking some time off of work and just hammering through all the feature stuff. Some things that immediately come to mind...

    • New Home Page - something less linear maybe? Feature teh Side Bar better, make the feature article more featured? I dunno.
    • New Article Page - minimize the sidebar
    • Comment ReCaptcha - though I will miss my hacked-together implementation
    • Social Media Stuff(?) - tweet this, share that?
    • Login with Facebook - do I have to do this? I don't want to, but it seems like all the kids connect that way these days...
    • Better Comment Moderation - perhaps bring back "Troll" voting or something?

    Any suggestions? Let's keep in mind that there are very limited resources (it's just me) and very subpar talent (again, me).

    I say, for historic purposes, we keep Community Server for at least another few years to power the Forums.



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    It's been three years since the look and feel of The Daily WTF has been updated, and, well, I've gotten a little bored with the look and think it needs a refresh.

    I was thinking of taking some time off of work and just hammering through all the feature stuff. Some things that immediately come to mind...

    • New Home Page - something less linear maybe? Feature teh Side Bar better, make the feature article more featured? I dunno.
    • New Article Page - minimize the sidebar
    • Comment ReCaptcha - though I will miss my hacked-together implementation
    • Social Media Stuff(?) - tweet this, share that?
    • Login with Facebook - do I have to do this? I don't want to, but it seems like all the kids connect that way these days...
    • Better Comment Moderation - perhaps bring back "Troll" voting or something?

    Any suggestions? Let's keep in mind that there are very limited resources (it's just me) and very subpar talent (again, me).

    I say, for historic purposes, we keep Community Server for at least another few years to power the Forums.

    Your priorities are off



  • If possible add a mobile version for the home page, or at least make sure the front-page renders nicely on modern phones.

    Not that it is bad now, but if you are planning to change it I would be sad if that stopped being the case.

     

    Next to that I don't really care. But then again, I just read the frontpage stories so i could care less about sharing, commenting etc..



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    New Article Page - minimize the sidebar

    Why?

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Login with Facebook - do I have to do this? I don't want to, but it seems like all the kids connect that way these days...

    Yeah, like we need our own personal Eternal September. ;=]

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Better Comment Moderation - perhaps bring back "Troll" voting or something?

    Just simple up-down voting would do nicely.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    I say, for historic purposes, we keep Community Server for at least another few years to power the Forums.

    Grooooan.



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

     maybe this way I could start posting  the huge backlog of fun stuff that's a stretch for the (current) front page (like http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/(Less)-Screwedup-Packaging.aspx)

    I'd recommend just posting your content linearly-- if you start creating multiple "departments", they won't update as frequently and your site will look content-starved. If you don't have the resources to do an article and feature every day (like, say, SomethingAwful or Cracked), you're better off sticking to the blog format, IMO.

    Presuming this software works like normal blogs, if people are interested in just a certain type of article, they can bookmark/RSS its category instead of the homepage.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Social Media Stuff(?) - tweet this, share that?

    Trivial-- you can add Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Fark, Reddit tags in like 5 minutes, max. You should do this first. Please don't add Slashdot's. Note: Facebook's shit runs in an iframe if you tell it you want a hit-count.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Login with Facebook - do I have to do this? I don't want to, but it seems like all the kids connect that way these days...

    Thoughts:

    1) Unless you're profiting from your current user database, this will save you time/effort, not cost

    2) Adding this may also encourage dumb-ass comments from people who are already logged on when they visit the site

    3) If Facebook Connect is even a third as awkward, buggy, and poorly-designed as OpenID or OAuth, make sure you take notes. There are a couple of articles worth of WTFs in OpenID alone. (Although I presume that Facebook Connect is significantly better.)

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Better Comment Moderation - perhaps bring back "Troll" voting or something?

    Anything to remove the cliches would be appreciated. Some kind of test where users have to prove they actually have a sense of humor before posting...

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Any suggestions? Let's keep in mind that there are very limited resources (it's just me) and very subpar talent (again, me).

    Lemme know if you need any kind of Javascripting or web analytics help.

    Also, bring back Mandatory Fun Day.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    I say, for historic purposes, we keep Community Server for at least another few years to power the Forums.

    Just make sure you're keeping backups. Oh, and keep in mind: sooner or later some script kiddy wanting to prove his worth is going to take this thing down, I bet it has more holes than swiss cheese. So be prepared for that.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    2) Adding this may also encourage dumb-ass comments from people who are already logged on when they visit the site

    Thorn by this, is this bad or good?

    @blakeyrat said:


    Also, bring back Mandatory Fun Day.

    Agree

    @blakeyrat said:

     Oh, and keep in mind: sooner or later some script kiddy wanting to prove his worth is going to take this thing down, I bet it has more holes than swiss cheese. So be prepared for that.

    Hmmm, I don't think anybody in his right mind would consider taking down Community Server a worthy achievement, you only need to stare at it for five minutes and it will die on its own.

    @blakeyrat said:

     

    Anything to remove the cliches would be appreciated. Some kind of test where users have to prove they actually have a sense of humor before posting...

    Agree on the cliche, but how do you measure humor?  I find most post unfunny (including mine).  Also I think it will make the forums a graveyard less active (not that they are particulary active now)



  • @serguey123 said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    2) Adding this may also encourage dumb-ass comments from people who are already logged on when they visit the site

    Thorn by this, is this bad or good?

    Just make sure comment moderation is in-place first and working. Then add in Facebook Connect. If you want to dive into OAuth, you could do Twitter also.

    On the cliches: I was referring to posts on the homepage, not the forums. I think the forums are, generally speaking, great. But the homepage comments are awful.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    2) Adding this may also encourage dumb-ass comments from people who are already logged on when they visit the site

    Just make sure comment moderation is in-place first and working. Then add in Facebook Connect. If you want to dive into OAuth, you could do Twitter also.

    Let me rephrase this: are dumb comments a good thing or bad taking into account the nature of this site? Btw I agree on moderation although nowadays most forum posts are ok and profanities are fun sometimes.

    @blakeyrat said:

     

    On the cliches: I was referring to posts on the homepage, not the forums. I think the forums are, generally speaking, great. But the homepage comments are awful.

    Hmmm, I tend to only read the forums and the main articles, but I have heard that sometimes there is a worhwhile comment there (extremely rare)



  • I don't think Facebook login is needed at all. One of the nice things about this site is it's easy to keep your account separate from everything else if you want, that way you can post WTFs about your company and not be too worried about getting fired for it. Tying user accounts directly to facebook might make that more difficult.

    Maybe for comment moderation you can add a simple thumbs-up/thumbs-down type control, but it won't automatically remove or hide comments based on their rating. Moderators get a page where it shows all comments that have recieved a certain percentage of negative votes and they can ignore or delete them as needed. That'll make it easier to find bad stuff while keeping the haters from deleting valid comments by voting them down a lot. That's just my thought anyway, I've never had to moderate anything online so I don't know how most sites deal with moderation.

    I agree with the general sentiment here about Community Server. Sooner or later some bored kid's gonna nuke the site just for fun, or hackers from eastern Europe will take it over and turn it into a link farm. As funny as its bugs and errors make it, it's just not worth it and it's only a matter of time before it happens. At my last job we set up a public wiki as an experiment and never used it. Nothing on the web linked to it and we forgot it existed. A year later we discovered that someone (IPs from Ukraine and Russia) had found it and turned it into a porn link-farm. And this was a site no one should have even known existed. TDWTF has enough traffic that site security and stability should be a higher priority than they have been.



  • Good discussion so far. I mostly skimmed (but I do plan on reading/responding in full soon) - but I wanted to comment on Community Server.

    I think you're right, and I was kinda half-joking. Maybe I could keep the existing forums, make them read-only, and half-migrate things to a something new forums (http://yetanotherforum.net/ was something that came to mind??). I guess it wouldn't be too bad if we're all OK starting from scratch? Thoughts?



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Good discussion so far. I mostly skimmed (but I do plan on reading/responding in full soon) - but I wanted to comment on Community Server.

    I think you're right, and I was kinda half-joking. Maybe I could keep the existing forums, make them read-only, and half-migrate things to a something new forums (http://yetanotherforum.net/ was something that came to mind??). I guess it wouldn't be too bad if we're all OK starting from scratch? Thoughts?

    The best would be a seamless transition.  I'm afraid about what SpectateSwamp would do, he doesn't seem like a person that embrace change.

    We have accumulated a ton of stuff here so, perhaps you should freeze the old threads, start the new threads there and slowly migrate everything so that eventually everything is in the same place



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Good discussion so far. I mostly skimmed (but I do plan on reading/responding in full soon) - but I wanted to comment on Community Server.

    I think you're right, and I was kinda half-joking. Maybe I could keep the existing forums, make them read-only, and half-migrate things to a something new forums (http://yetanotherforum.net/ was something that came to mind??). I guess it wouldn't be too bad if we're all OK starting from scratch? Thoughts?

    I don't think having to re-create accounts would be an issue. What we could try is migrating over the most recent 10-20 discussions in each forum as a bootstrap (even if it has to be done manually), maybe?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I don't think having to re-create accounts would be an issue. What we could try is migrating over the most recent 10-20 discussions in each forum as a bootstrap (even if it has to be done manually), maybe?

    Hmm, we could make a play out of it, we each get our roles and then is action. The play could win prizes.

    I get dibs in playing Spectate: a pot driven lunatic shun by society and the internet alike



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Good discussion so far. I
    mostly skimmed (but I do plan on reading/responding in full soon) - but I
    wanted to comment on Community Server.

    I think you're right, and I was kinda half-joking. Maybe I could keep the existing forums, make them read-only, and half-migrate things to a something new forums (http://yetanotherforum.net/ was something that came to mind??). I guess it wouldn't be too bad if we're all OK starting from scratch? Thoughts?

    Have you thought about using a content management system, such as DotNetNuke? I briefly had to deal with YAF and while it seems to be a reliable forum platform, that's all it is. DNN has some forum and blog modules you could easily use to implement the bulk of TDWTF and you can easily import hundreds of other modules if the need arises. And you get the added bonus of easily managing content pages within your browser whenever you want to change the site up.

    If you don't think you'll need additional functionality YAF should work great.



  • @mott555 said:

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Good discussion so far. I
    mostly skimmed (but I do plan on reading/responding in full soon) - but I
    wanted to comment on Community Server.

    I think you're right, and I was kinda half-joking. Maybe I could keep the existing forums, make them read-only, and half-migrate things to a something new forums (http://yetanotherforum.net/ was something that came to mind??). I guess it wouldn't be too bad if we're all OK starting from scratch? Thoughts?

    Have you thought about using a content management system, such as DotNetNuke? I briefly had to deal with YAF and while it seems to be a reliable forum platform, that's all it is. DNN has some forum and blog modules you could easily use to implement the bulk of TDWTF and you can easily import hundreds of other modules if the need arises. And you get the added bonus of easily managing content pages within your browser whenever you want to change the site up.

    If you don't think you'll need additional functionality YAF should work great.

     

    I agree that a CMS might be a good idea, but please, please not PhpNuke. Last time I worked with that thing, it had enough WTFs to make it the exclusive content of a month. At least.

    I haven't used YAF yet, but the editor gives me a bad feeling. It uses the exact same weird mix of bbcode and wysiwyg HTML that already drove me mad in Community Server. It also overrides my context menu with a javascript imitation that offers the exact same options as the toolbar and original menu - or at least tries to. All in all, those aren't really good signs IMO. Honestly, this doesn't seem much of an improvement compared to Community Server .

    What's wrong with one of the free PHP based forums that seem to be used everywhere? phpBB or SMF come to mind. They seem generally free, well-supported and mature.

    Also, login with Facebook - why not? I'd use it. Though it would be nice if it were an additional option and not a replacement for the current system.



  • @PSWorx said:

     

    What's wrong with one of the free PHP based forums that seem to be used everywhere? 

    Answer: PHP



  • Absolutely no Facebook, please. (Use OpenID if you have to, though)

    One idea is to add a new category for Sponsor Appreciation and color it as gray (like Error'd, since many of the same things are written there on those days) and then make list of category by colors too

    Maybe add TeXnicard instead?



  • @Medezark said:

    Answer: PHP

     

    Oh come on. It's all nice and fun when we do that as a joke, but I'd rather like a fast and stable forum that is written in php than a .NET-based forum that drags KBs of viewstate behind and gets confused by its own editor. (Disclaimer: I'm referring to CS, I haven't done enough testing with YAF yet.)



  • @PSWorx said:

    I haven't used YAF yet, but the editor gives me a bad feeling. It uses the exact same weird mix of bbcode and wysiwyg HTML that already drove me mad in Community Server. It also overrides my context menu with a javascript imitation that offers the exact same options as the toolbar and original menu - or at least tries to. All in all, those aren't really good signs IMO. Honestly, this doesn't seem much of an improvement compared to Community Server .

    Seems to me like the text editor should be user configurable. Start out with F/CKEditor (or whatever the popular one is these days), and then give an option of using a wiki-like syntax or just plain text. I hate rich text editors myself. Does anyone do that? I swear, I did added that as a feature on another site I did like 6 years ago... not that complicated of a thing to do.



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Seems to me like the text editor should be user configurable. Start out with F/CKEditor (or whatever the popular one is these days), and then give an option of using a wiki-like syntax or just plain text. I hate rich text editors myself. Does anyone do that? I swear, I did added that as a feature on another site I did like 6 years ago... not that complicated of a thing to do.

    Yes, that sounds like a good idea. I'm aware that you can turn of the editor here as well, but a (opt-in-able) wiki syntax that doesn't conflict with HTML markup would be the best solution. I mean, I'm not against rich-text editors on principle, but there doesn't seem to be any decent ones around. If someone knows about a good editor, preferably with code and quoting support, out with it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

  • New Home Page - something less linear maybe? Feature teh Side Bar better, make the feature article more featured? I dunno.
  • Meh.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    New Article Page - minimize the sidebar

    Meh.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Comment ReCaptcha - though I will miss my hacked-together implementation

    Yes.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Social Media Stuff(?) - tweet this, share that?

     NO!

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Login with Facebook - do I have to do this? I don't want to, but it seems like all the kids connect that way these days...

    DEAR GOD NO.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Better Comment Moderation - perhaps bring back "Troll" voting or something?

    Meh.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    I say, for historic purposes, we keep Community Server for at least another few years to power the Forums.

    You evil bastard!

    At any rate, you have a userbase of computer programmers who are accustomed to working with broken-assed shit. Pick a new forum, hand us a sanitized subset of the CS database, hand us the new DB schema and let us figure out a conversion.



  • At least I turned off WYSIWYG in my account that improves it a bit. Whatever new things you make you should also ensure there is a non-WYSIWYG option.



  •  Any way you could fix it so that posts containing comments like "Ask as a service to muted tortillas. Ask by reason of squashy tortillas." are marked with some kind of special indicator?



  • @da Doctah said:

     Any way you could fix it so that posts containing comments like "Ask as a service to muted tortillas. Ask by reason of squashy tortillas." are marked with some kind of special indicator?

    Hey, don't discriminate tortillas, they are a wholesome meal



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    I hate rich text editors myself. Does anyone do that?
     

    Are you nuts?

    Rich text editors are better. I don't want to spend time manually typing BBcode or —god forbid— HTML. I'm writing a post, not code, for Pete's sake. If I wanted to manually format my posts in CS, I'd use Chrome!

    I italicized that word with Ctrl+I.

    TinyMCE is perfect for the job. Just don't use the mangled old version CS is using.

    Also I don't have a Facebook and I'm not prepared to make an account.

    Freezing the current forum and fresh slating seems like a good idea. One just needs to know what's out there. I enjoy Vanilla (php), because it has a few really awesome features:

    1. you automatically go to the latest post that you last read when you click a thread link. That's cool for the fast discussions that sometimes arise here.
    2. It does away with those pesky category layouts and just presents the user with a big list of the latest threads; newest on top.
    3. very simplistic, noise-free layout. Very content-focused, unlike them others which seem to add moar tiny buttonz with each release.

    I don't know how adminning Vanilla works.


    HA uses Invision which, as far as PHP boards go, I prefer much over PHPBB (kiddie) and VBulletin (bloated layout).

     

    CS does have its good parts, though. For one, the selective quoting system is AWESOME and a feature I miss in other forums —except Vanilla. Also tagging!



  •  I better keep my mouth shut, since people in general are not fond of my suggestions.



  • This page at is shitty best, check the body of the article and the useful comments I would put a screenshot for posterity but this editor is too shitty



  • @serguey123 said:

    @da Doctah said:

     Any way you could fix it so that posts containing comments like "Ask as a service to muted tortillas. Ask by reason of squashy tortillas." are marked with some kind of special indicator?

    Hey, don't discriminate tortillas, they are a wholesome meal

     

    I'm not saying suppress those posts, just mark them so they're easier to find.

     



  • @serguey123 said:

    I'm afraid about what SpectateSwamp would do, he doesn't seem like a person that embrace change.

     

    That's true. And after all, he has become pretty much forum inventory at this time. I think we should keep him. Though I guess, we could offer him some tutorials for migration. Video tutorials for example.



  • @PSWorx said:

    Though I guess, we could offer him some tutorials for migration. Video tutorials for example.

    As long as they comply with his standards he would watch them but who will be crazy enough to try?



  • Sharing via social media seems like a good idea.   I agree with dhromed that rich text editors are nice.

    As far as up/down voting on comments goes, I feel that it encourages bullying and groupthink.  Just my opinion.



  • Also - spam filter. I never thought i'd say that, but askimet starts to look really nice...



  • I also hate rich-text editor. If you put one in, allow to disable it by account setting.



  • @zzo38 said:

    I also hate rich-text editor. If you put one in, allow to disable it by account setting.
    Isn't that option there already? I disabled the RTE long ago after deciding that


    1) it's crap and

    2) doesn't work on some of the browsers I choose to/actually use.



  • @frits said:

    As far as up/down voting on comments goes, I feel that it encourages bullying and groupthink
    I thought we already have 'up/down voting on comments' - at least, I do. When I see a comment I don't like, I scroll my mousewheel up or down, and vote it off my screen. Works every time.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/beehiveforum/ is definitely worth a look for the forum. It uses far and away the most usable, understandable forum structure I've seen. In my experience (as a user, not the admin running it) it's stable and works well - but their 'demo forum' is currently down, possibly for maintenance. Usual objections to PHP/MySQL taken as read, but it works well and is nice to use.



  • @intertravel said:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/beehiveforum/ is definitely worth a look for the forum. It uses far and away the most usable, understandable forum structure I've seen.

    Any software product that considers sourceforge.net a desirable interface for a bug-tracker is not going to have a very good interface.



  • In their defence, they've been doing it so long that Sourceforge might have been the best choice when they started. It's worth a look.



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Login with Facebook - do I have to do this? I don't want to, but it seems like all the kids connect that way these days...

     Avoid Facebook if at all possible. Their mission statement seems to be "Do evil" - that's the only possible explanation for the key-sniffing JavaScript they use.

    @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    Better Comment Moderation - perhaps bring back "Troll" voting or something?

    Give logged-in users a killfile so we can ignore the trolls. For non-logged-in users you could possibly automatically hide comments from anyone who's killfiled by more than a fixed number/percentage of users.



  • @PJH said:

    @zzo38 said:
    I also hate rich-text editor. If you put one in, allow to disable it by account setting.
    Isn't that option there already? I disabled the RTE long ago after deciding that


    1) it's crap and

    2) doesn't work on some of the browsers I choose to/actually use.
    Well, I don't know how bad it is, I disabled it before posting any messages.

    Yes the option is there but I mention it in case a new forum is made



  • @intertravel said:

    In their defence, they've been doing it so long that Sourceforge might have been the best choice when they started. It's worth a look.

    I don't know what planet (or... should I say... hive?) are you from, but I once tried to use forum powered by that engine. It was awful. Also, it was using FRAMES (of the framseset-tag variety). In the year two-thousand-bleepin'-eight. Every single user complained (well, that'd be 30 or so of us), the admin was like "I was testing different engines, then old forum host went down, and this is what I had installed at the moment, so I pushed it live. Sorry." then switched it to something tolerable.

    IMO, nonshitty small PHP forum engine is SMF (Simple Machines). Nonshitty large PHP forum engine... hrm, can't say from the admin side, but some of the commercial ones at least are quite usable.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.