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Author Topic: Kick-off Discussion: Existing Forum Temperature Check + Criticism  (Read 4092 times)
Wangbus
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March 20, 2014, 09:58:58 PM
 #1

Thanks to Theymos, we have a completely new area to talk about the forum software that is being developed. Keep in mind that the code will be created for bitcointalk.org first but will serve as general purpose forum software under the MIT license once we have it delivered and in Alpha/Beta status. Let's start off with a temperature check...

Here are a bunch of questions and topics for everyone to discuss. Please keep the conversation going, keep trolling to a minimum and before you post, please ask yourself if your post contributes to the overall goal of creating this new forum software.

1. What are the existing problems (for you) with SMF and the current state of the forum? Please list as many as you can and feel free to elaborate on the issue.
2. What are the existing features that you would want to keep? Please do not be concerned about how petty it may seem as your opinion is valuable no matter what the feature is.
3. What would you like to see added that's currently not implemented in the forum?
4. Compare and contrast vs other platforms and their features. Would they work well with these forums? Take a look at Reddit, Discourse, Hacker News, Slashdot, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, etc etc...

The goal is to create a compelling platform that can be used for notable/historical events while keeping useless content out of the way for the consumer.

-Slickage
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March 20, 2014, 11:06:49 PM
Last edit: March 20, 2014, 11:24:26 PM by Cyrus
 #2

It's great to see action regarding the new forum software, I was happy to see this new section today.
I'll try to get the ball rolling:

3. What would you like to see added that's currently not implemented in the forum?
  • Multiple Factor Authentication: Signing a Bitcoin address, Yubikey, Google Authenticator, etc.(maybe more than one, with the possibility of picking).
  • Having a mobile version of sorts.
  • Would be nice to have threads grouped by tags too, not just by category. It should make it easier to find similar information that might be in other sections.
  • Bitcointalk.org/language would be nice to redirect towards that respective language section, and so on. This will make sharing Local subforums a lot easier!
  • Perhaps something like a "Mark as spam" button, close to Report to mod. If enough members click, a red flag notifies the mods, while the post gets minimized just like when you ignore the user and gets something like a "Not Spam?" button.
  • A "Say thanks" or a "+1" button could help reduce the number of "+1" posts.
  • Members being notified when someone mentioned them in a post.
  • A "Notifications" dropdown, where recent events are displayed(for instance, a new reply to your post, a user mentioning you in a post, etc.).

I'll edit this post and continue the list, as it is not a complete list.

Good luck Slickage.

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March 20, 2014, 11:21:12 PM
Last edit: March 21, 2014, 12:33:55 PM by malevolent
 #3

1.
- sometimes it's slow
- Handling/managing/searching through hundreds of PMs is cumbersome
- no 2FA/3FA/x-FA
- the default forum search (not the Google one) without selecting some options to narrow the search results yields in strange results (I think it's only a problem for new members). But it's still limited, for example I'm unable to search for "+1 posts" by searching for <+1> or <"+1">. Yeah, I know it's the same with google, but duckduckgo works OK with special characters (if one puts the query between quotation marks) and so does symbolhound.

2.
- Stats, though I wouldn't mind them being much more detailed
- Ignore button, ignoring PMs

3.
- Wouldn't mind the forum responding a bit faster to posting, handling reports, nuking users, etc.
- 2FA/3FA/x-FA
edit: also, the Trust system, as much as the concept of DefaultTrust is very far from being ideal, it's somewhat of a protection for newbies

4.
reddit - I don't like the layout and the voting/downvoting/karmawhoring, all which do not contribute or encourage meaningful discussions, but I like the idea of subreddits.
facebook - there's a joke of a chat... and that's it, not sure if it's something needed on this forum

Those are just a few that popped into my mind now, by no means a comprehensive list. Smiley

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March 21, 2014, 02:37:25 AM
 #4

Thanks to Theymos, we have a completely new area to talk about the forum software that is being developed. Keep in mind that the code will be created for bitcointalk.org first but will serve as general purpose forum software under the MIT license once we have it delivered and in Alpha/Beta status. Let's start off with a temperature check...

Here are a bunch of questions and topics for everyone to discuss. Please keep the conversation going, keep trolling to a minimum and before you post, please ask yourself if your post contributes to the overall goal of creating this new forum software.

1. What are the existing problems (for you) with SMF and the current state of the forum? Please list as many as you can and feel free to elaborate on the issue.
2. What are the existing features that you would want to keep? Please do not be concerned about how petty it may seem as your opinion is valuable no matter what the feature is.
3. What would you like to see added that's currently not implemented in the forum?
4. Compare and contrast vs other platforms and their features. Would they work well with these forums? Take a look at Reddit, Discourse, Hacker News, Slashdot, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, etc etc...

The goal is to create a compelling platform that can be used for notable/historical events while keeping useless content out of the way for the consumer.

-Slickage

Okay, I'll freely admit that I'm biased, but here are my suggestions.

1)  The trust system that exists with SMF is a really bad idea.  It makes it easier for people like TradeFortress to scam people over the long haul.  Please make sure that the new forum software does not have this system, I really think it is a bad idea, especially with the default trust list.

Also, the bb code has a (fairly minor) flaw that I noticed a while back: I was trying to link to a URL that's https, and it wouldn't let me.  It worked when I changed the url to be http format, but I couldn't do it with the SSL formatted link.  I think this is a flaw, and while relatively minor, it'd be nice to not have to deal with it.

2) Obviously, as I'm using the quote feature with SMF, I like this feature.  I think it's useful and makes it easier to reply to people's comments. 

3) I'm going to second Cyrus's "Mark as spam" recommendation.  Also, I think a better forum search option would be useful.  Oh, and the one thing that may be useful that other forums have: a threaded reply option, where replies show up indented to the the post being replied to.  Sort of in the reddit style, I guess?  The one downside to this, however, is that if there are a lot of replies, the 10th or so reply gets really hard to read, so...I can do without it too.

4) Don't emulate Facebook features, they tend to make their UI worse over time.  Disqus is even worse, I think it doesn't even work in Firefox any more, lately.  (Unless it's my Adblock that broke it, but the rest of the internet looks fine, so I'm inclined to blame Disqus.)

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March 22, 2014, 12:29:19 PM
 #5

Thanks to Theymos, we have a completely new area to talk about the forum software that is being developed. Keep in mind that the code will be created for bitcointalk.org first but will serve as general purpose forum software under the MIT license once we have it delivered and in Alpha/Beta status. Let's start off with a temperature check...

Here are a bunch of questions and topics for everyone to discuss. Please keep the conversation going, keep trolling to a minimum and before you post, please ask yourself if your post contributes to the overall goal of creating this new forum software.
1. What are the existing problems (for you) with SMF and the current state of the forum? Please list as many as you can and feel free to elaborate on the issue.
2. What are the existing features that you would want to keep? Please do not be concerned about how petty it may seem as your opinion is valuable no matter what the feature is.
3. What would you like to see added that's currently not implemented in the forum?
4. Compare and contrast vs other platforms and their features. Would they work well with these forums? Take a look at Reddit, Discourse, Hacker News, Slashdot, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, etc etc...

The goal is to create a compelling platform that can be used for notable/historical events while keeping useless content out of the way for the consumer.

-Slickage
1. As mentioned before:
  • 2FA and GPG auth
  • Laggy, old interface
  • Lack of proper moderation
  • Signatures! (although it has got better)
2.
  • Ignore button
  • NOT the trust system
3.
  • More user profile fields - like a GPG key field
  • New sleek look
  • Use all that Node.js has to offer Wink
Posted from Bitcointa.lk - #QvzOWYIac4eEXeiG

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March 23, 2014, 02:46:32 AM
 #6

How many people are familiar with MarkDown on here?

Would updating the forum's editor to be markdown based vs. what's currently used a favorable idea?

I am a Epochtalk (New Forum Software) Developer.
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March 23, 2014, 02:53:17 AM
 #7

How many people are familiar with MarkDown on here?

Would updating the forum's editor to be markdown based vs. what's currently used a favorable idea?

Markdown is OK for simple things, but it's too weird and verbose for more complex stuff. I especially don't like how you have to indent every line to make a code block, and how you have to put two spaces at the end of a line to make the next single line break "real".

I would like it if *italic*/**bold** or ''italic''/'''bold''' (wiki syntax) worked. Typing [i] and [b] takes too long. Lists could maybe also be improved.

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March 23, 2014, 03:04:29 AM
 #8

 As a simple user I wish there was a quick way to view a list of threads I have put on the watchlist, I want to be able to quickly return to a thread even if it hasn't had a new recent post.
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March 23, 2014, 03:38:49 AM
 #9

3. I would like a feature where you can tag or add reminders/notes on other users (which are private and only you can see).  This could be a short string which appears beneath the username next to each post.  This would be useful for notes like: possible scammer, alt of XXX, developer/owner of YYY.  Maybe it's just my old brain needing constant reminders.

Alternatively, a feature where you can rate each member (like, neutral, dislike) which again only you can see beneath the username next to each post.  The results are accumulated to provide a public global rating for each member (similar to the ignore system but allows positive as well as negative feedback).  I find on other forums that this encourages users to make more productive posts so as to maintain a positive global rating.  An example of this is the smiley system used at http://forums.whirlpool.net.au (you need to be logged in to see it) and is described in the wiki:  http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/wp_smileysystem.
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March 23, 2014, 03:53:19 AM
 #10

Well glad to see this is now its own section

For questions most of the ones I had were addressed in the current requirements document
So I guess i'll relate to point one
Users control their own experience. Don't worry about adding too many options and features. Don't be restrictive.
What type of other ideas real or theoretical do you think would improve the user experience
Example: Prezi style posting instead of traditional posts perhaps would be kind of neat to see presentations instead of documents now and then on topic or a place to view Bitcoin based presentations.  
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March 23, 2014, 10:16:52 AM
 #11

Thanks to Theymos, we have a completely new area to talk about the forum software that is being developed. Keep in mind that the code will be created for bitcointalk.org first but will serve as general purpose forum software under the MIT license once we have it delivered and in Alpha/Beta status. Let's start off with a temperature check...

Here are a bunch of questions and topics for everyone to discuss. Please keep the conversation going, keep trolling to a minimum and before you post, please ask yourself if your post contributes to the overall goal of creating this new forum software.
1. What are the existing problems (for you) with SMF and the current state of the forum? Please list as many as you can and feel free to elaborate on the issue.
2. What are the existing features that you would want to keep? Please do not be concerned about how petty it may seem as your opinion is valuable no matter what the feature is.
3. What would you like to see added that's currently not implemented in the forum?
4. Compare and contrast vs other platforms and their features. Would they work well with these forums? Take a look at Reddit, Discourse, Hacker News, Slashdot, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, etc etc...

The goal is to create a compelling platform that can be used for notable/historical events while keeping useless content out of the way for the consumer.

-Slickage
1. As mentioned before:
  • 2FA and GPG auth
  • Laggy, old interface
  • Lack of proper moderation
  • Signatures! (although it has got better)
2.
  • Ignore button
  • NOT the trust system
3.
  • More user profile fields - like a GPG key field
  • New sleek look
  • Use all that Node.js has to offer Wink
Posted from Bitcointa.lk - #QvzOWYIac4eEXeiG

As for noscript, there are a lot of noscript people around so supporting that is a priority with 2 user interfaces for the forum just for the web -- Noscript and >= Class A Browser.

As far as Node.js, and we can commit to scalability with a fault tolerant backend geared for replication, and introduce realtime functionality in creative ways in the future. We will also begin to accept contributors once the alpha version is out.
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March 23, 2014, 10:20:52 AM
 #12

4.
reddit - I don't like the layout and the voting/downvoting/karmawhoring, all which do not contribute or encourage meaningful discussions, but I like the idea of subreddits.
facebook - there's a joke of a chat... and that's it, not sure if it's something needed on this forum

Those are just a few that popped into my mind now, by no means a comprehensive list. Smiley
I completely agree. I want to make moderation as easy as possible with status levels to show prominence of their posts. This will encourage users post useful content.
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March 23, 2014, 03:46:58 PM
 #13

Some suggestions off the top of my head:

Searching PMs by username doesn't work with the current forum (or I'm doing it wrong).
You could add a built-in auction end timer, so people know when to stop bidding and don't have to rely on external countdown .gifs.
You could add a custom field for date in Press so you could sort news by date and keep the same formatting in all thread titles.
Get rid of "1 bitcoin=$400 www.usflne.com buy now" spam bot threads
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March 23, 2014, 08:32:59 PM
Last edit: March 23, 2014, 10:42:01 PM by dewdeded
 #14

Feature suggestion:
fully automated, trustless escrow-system
(obvious secured by multi-sig from hacking, stealing, goverments)


May I ask if a real 100% new forum is developed or an existing one is forked?
If 100% new, why?!


I read Slickage is so busy all the time.
Slickage are 4 people.
Give they are so busy, so they can max. set 2 devs on the project, I guess.

I saw the not so small feature list.

==> Whole project will take: 1,5 or 2 years, right?
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March 24, 2014, 04:23:27 PM
 #15

==> Whole project will take: 1,5 or 2 years, right?

Quote
When will the software be finished?
About one year from now.

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March 24, 2014, 09:52:08 PM
 #16

Feature suggestion:
fully automated, trustless escrow-system
(obvious secured by multi-sig from hacking, stealing, goverments)


May I ask if a real 100% new forum is developed or an existing one is forked?
If 100% new, why?!


I read Slickage is so busy all the time.
Slickage are 4 people.
Give they are so busy, so they can max. set 2 devs on the project, I guess.

I saw the not so small feature list.

==> Whole project will take: 1,5 or 2 years, right?

It will be 100% new forum software. After viewing the forum software landscape, there weren't very many that had the exact features theymos wanted (please refer to the document mentioned in the other theymos thread), and we felt that the money was better spent building from the ground up than patching older systems to get to something theymos was asking for.

Often times in software, it's easier to build from the ground up with the latest tools. Replicating the features in existing software is quite easy and creating more advanced features become possible with little overhead. A great article about this can be found here: http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html Paul Graham, is the founder of Y combinator, otherwise known in the startup circle as Hacker News. He explains how often using the latest and greatest can give you a technological advantage over those that still use older tools and methodologies. We hope to achieve the same goals with Node.js and this forum software. We have found similar success in other areas with Node.js.

Sorry if this reply is getting lengthy over a short question. I feel that many people are asking the same thing and wanted to put our intentions into written once and for all.

As for the number of developers, yes. Right now we're at two dedicated developers but that will change soon enough. It is up to the individual(s) to reveal themselves. Some of us have families and are not comfortable with the amount of scrutiny that the forum often finds itself wrapped up in. (As James and I have experienced already.)

Alright, I think this is enough. We want to keep this thread from being derailed so this will be the last question I will answer along these lines. If you want to ask more of these types of questions, please do so in another thread within this sub forum. We'd like to keep this thread specifically to the forum features.

I am a Epochtalk (New Forum Software) Developer.
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March 27, 2014, 04:58:25 AM
 #17

Users should have the option to upload a GPG public key that the forum uses to encrypt all notification emails.

Alternately or in addition to this, the forum should have native Bitmessage capability. This means letting users register with Bitmessage addresses and sending notifications through the Bitmessage network. Note that routing the notification through a honeypot gateway like bitmessage.ch doesn't count because the primary purpose of Bitmessage is to not have monitoring chokepoints with access to plaintext.
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March 27, 2014, 10:36:38 AM
 #18

Users should have the option to upload a GPG public key that the forum uses to encrypt all notification emails.

Alternately or in addition to this, the forum should have native Bitmessage capability. This means letting users register with Bitmessage addresses and sending notifications through the Bitmessage network. Note that routing the notification through a honeypot gateway like bitmessage.ch doesn't count because the primary purpose of Bitmessage is to not have monitoring chokepoints with access to plaintext.

This is a toss-up. Technically we can enable the option without a problem and sensitive info like password reset links and things of the like can be sent with GPG if the users opt into it.
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March 27, 2014, 02:49:41 PM
 #19

and sensitive info like password reset links and things of the like can be sent with GPG if the users opt into it.
Am I reading this correctly that you'd only encrypt "sensitive" emails from the forum if the user opts in to encryption? Why not all emails the forum sends?
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March 27, 2014, 02:53:37 PM
 #20

Never mind, I think I may have answered my own question. Slickage is a apparently US company, and US companies should be expected to consistently sabotage strong encryption and user privacy.
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