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My top ten criteria for the new forums

Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2009 Feb 21, 2009

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This is my view on what the new forums should provide. This is what I'll personally be measuring the new forums against when we have a fully testable beta version.

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1 - The new forums should encourage the participation of new members, both to feel encouraged to seek help in the first place, but also to stay and become long-term contributing members of the online community here.

2 - The new forums should alienate the existing users as little as possible, as there's no point in having questions with no answers - though equally there's no point in having answers with no questions. A tricky balance to strike.

3 - Response of the forums should be no worse, and hopefully better, than typical performance here in recent months. If that means beefing up the hardware to accommodate the demands of more graphic-intensive software, so be it.

4 - The forums should look not unlike the majority of typical modern internet forums. This will not be favoured by those familiar with the sparse appearance of the present forums, but incoming new members expect to see something that looks more contemporary and familiar in style, even if there's a modest performance cost.

5 - They should function not unlike the majority of modern internet forums, in terms of the user interface and usable features. If you've got your first problem with Adobe software and you arrive in the Adobe forums for the first time, you don't want then to be confronted with something that looks like another problem and which takes time and effort to understand. The learning curve should be absolutely minimal. There should be a very low turn-away rate (potential users taking one look and backing off before participating or even complaining).

6 - The search function should be state of the art. If you have a good manual for the product software, a good user interface for it, and a good search engine for the knowledgebase and forums, the number of questions needing to be asked should be significantly lower.

7 - To support the regular participants it should be possible to list the discussions which have unread posts in any given member's selected forums, and within those discussions it should be possible to go directly to the unread content without scrolling around to find it. It should then be possible to go to the next unread post in the next unread discussion without first going backwards to the overall list.

8 - NNTP access, though a mystery to me, seems highly valued by some, and providing it does not seem to mess with what the rest of us see (setting aside the quoting problem), so let's have it.

9 - An effective mechanism to enforce the forum rules by restricting access by individuals who persistently break the rules should be provided - and there should be no simple way round it. Failing that, provision of an inbuilt method for users to ignore posts by other specified users is necessary.

10 - There should be a properly functioning list of banned words.

=================================================================

That's my top ten list of criteria - though in five minutes I'll probably think of some key stuff I have left out.

What's yours?

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Explorer ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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Many people's attitude to car engines is much the same as to forum software and God. They only take an interest when things go badly wrong. (Ramon, it would appear, takes an interest in car engines and forum software in advance of problems arising, and as I recall it takes no interest in God under any circumstances - all of which is entirely his prerogative! 🙂 )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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:-)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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omg, they've turned to discussing religion!

We do not know how many users are visiting these forums.

Most adobe forums posters are not here posting, even if they visit, because these "what's coming forums" are not asking for input. They promise "information about." Most probably take a look and are then willing to wait and see.

Also, frankly, if I were not someone who is willing to post every now and then, I sure wouldn't get my feet wet in this "new forums" group of absurdly rancorous forums.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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>Ramon, it would appear, takes an interest in car engines and forum software in advance of problems arising, and as I recall it takes no interest in God under any circumstances - all of which is entirely his prerogative!

that's ok. God's interested in him. :)

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Advisor ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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Andrew's point and analogy are very good. The large majority of users here care only about content, which in the end is the critical thing.

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Explorer ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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But when "Content" becomes as obscured and bogged-down in junk and wasted-space (as it does in the current MM and Apple Discussions Forums a pattern that we now seen doomed to follow) how useful is it?

Endless questions being posted but no-one who could so easily answer those questions being prepared to waste their time doing so any more unless they are hired to do so for a fee?

That sort of "Content" is useless and pointless.

Basically, I am rapidly becoming convinced that the Adobe Forum Development team are simply taking the LAZY way out by just accepting the use of the particular existing boiler-plate Forum Software which has been primarily responsible for the proliferation of the abysmally low standards of Forum and Website Design that is spreading like the plague across the Internet.

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Advisor ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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Thats one viewpoint, or you cold consider the obvious: Things are popular because people like them.

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Explorer ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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The obverse to that is that such things are not "popular" (meaning actually "LIKED") at all but there is no other choice available to people.

Or it could mean that the general standard of education and public taste is deplorable.

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Guide ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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Bunk. Nothing to see here but bunk.

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Explorer ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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Alan Paprocki, "Would a video upgrade be meaningful in Audition 3.0?" #3, 11 Mar 2009 8:39 am is an unsolicited opinion from a new user of the forums on the existing system.

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Explorer ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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My memory of the Audition/Syntrillium take-over is that the Syntrillium users have hated everything to do with the Adobe Forums ever since they lost their own Forums?!

So I wouldn't put too much weight on comments from that quarter!

8/

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Explorer ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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The poster has been a member for a week or so - no obvious connection with the old Syntrillium forums - it's just an example of how some people react to the current system before they get used to it, or they walk away. Most new users don't comment either way of course.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 11, 2009 Mar 11, 2009

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> I hope that not too many people considering the purchase of Adobe products ever see this klunky forum software.

I've seen that opinion many times over the years.

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Explorer ,
Mar 17, 2009 Mar 17, 2009

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"My memory of the Audition/Syntrillium take-over is that the Syntrillium users have hated everything to do with the Adobe Forums ever since they lost their own Forums?!

So I wouldn't put too much weight on comments from that quarter!"


Kinda sounds like you're describing your own reactions to the new forum.

Don't get me wrong, Ann...I agree with just about all the complaints. But your pit bull harangues have put me offnot from visiting the new forumbut from listening to ANYthing you have to say about the matter.

Give it a bloody rest, will ya please!?

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Explorer ,
Mar 17, 2009 Mar 17, 2009

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Shan't!

Take it or leave it

8/

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Explorer ,
Mar 17, 2009 Mar 17, 2009

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Louder and longer does not equal more correct or higher regard. Most people I know just consider it bitching just to hear oneself talk.

> "Take it or leave it"

There ARE other options.

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Explorer ,
Mar 17, 2009 Mar 17, 2009

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<SHRUG>

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 18, 2009 Mar 18, 2009

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b on message width

I don't mind sidebars for avatar and navigation, but I'd like either full browser width (fluid title/message part) or ability to specify a width. This is not about the size of the text, but about how much fits on the screen. Messages that are mailed in may still be force-wrapped, but I'm guessing a lot of messages won't be. It also helps severely threaded messages as may occur. I don't get to view the lovely grayscale CS3 artwork in the background, but
i c'est la vie.

b for user-defined styles

I can use the Stylish extension for Firefox to take care of general formatting... so long as the forum code has a consistent structure (webx makes validators cry). I'd rather not have to hack the table width by this means.
i If I'd found this earlier I might have worked out some styling for the current forums. Guess that time is past now...

b on the PDF download

I like this idea, however, with some modifications:
PDF download to be pure text, black and white. No avatars.
* Pictures within the message body are ok (presuming here they add something to the discussion).
* Title is way too big. For 12pt text, maybe 14/16pt bold with a 2pt rule underneath would be sufficient for the title.
* It also needs a rule between each post (0.5-1pt) -- right now avatars do it, but very poorly.
* I'd love some other styling for clickable links in the text than coloring it blue (e.g. dashed underline).
* If you're going to have links, why not a link to the original article along with the title? Perhaps the URL in small (9-10pt) type just beneath it? Long titles should also be printed in their entirety taking more than one line if necessary.

b navigation issue

I did want to select which forums I see on the All Content view (all hidden in sections on the index page is painful, as is having to see every Adobe product), but I see I can make a set of my own links on a personal page, so I guess that's that.

i edit: formatting

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Explorer ,
Mar 18, 2009 Mar 18, 2009

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> I see I can make a set of my own links on a personal page, so I guess that's that.

It seems only possible to make a set of the whole lot that way - have you found a way to make it a chosen set of a few?

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Advocate ,
Mar 18, 2009 Mar 18, 2009

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Personally I actually don't care one bit how the forums look, and less about avatars, numbers of post published and such things, as I never login but to answer to something and never read a thread in the forum form if I can avoid it.

The simpler and more effective the graphical form the better.

As long as it is possible to still subscribe to digests and single messages from a forum in email-form and to answer simply by clicking a link in same digest or email and get directly to the post in the forum, then I am happy.

If the possibility to subscribe to emailed digests or single email messages disappears I will no longer participate in any of these forums because then they totally lose their effectiveness as I see it.

So I certainly hope that possibility won't disappear.

It would also be good if it actually would be possible to find something when you search for it. I know I almost never do, despite being a seasoned user and formparticipant.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 18, 2009 Mar 18, 2009

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> It seems only possible to make a set of the whole lot that way - have you found a way to make it a chosen set of a few?

Kinda:





Still faster than digging through the default page, or the non-alphabetical-ish forums widget (rather literally "the whole widget").

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Advisor ,
Mar 18, 2009 Mar 18, 2009

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Isnt it a lot easier to just use browser bookmarks? Do people really go to the forum home page every time to hunt for a forum? After the first time, I never see it again.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 18, 2009 Mar 18, 2009

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> Do people really go to the forum home page every time to hunt for a forum?

no never.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 18, 2009 Mar 18, 2009

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I've had bookmarks for different forums. However with a personalized page I could organize the four forums I want to keep tabs on, and the other 10 worth an occasional viewing.

Plus features I might use all close to that same space: Discussions (I've started), History, Private Messages.

This is one bookmark instead of 14. Works for me.

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Explorer ,
Mar 18, 2009 Mar 18, 2009

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Well, I can see you've done it, but I'm still unable to see how. What widget (I hate that word) did you use?

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