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Vastly improved and easily customizable in Firefox

Enthusiast ,
May 07, 2012

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The new forum is a vast improvement in terms of performance—it screams in comparison to the Jive molasses we had been putting up with and it's very easily customizable in Firefox through a number of scripts and AdBlock Plus.

The images below show what a customized topic index page and an customized open thread page look like in Firefox 3.6.28 (the last Firefox release to support a Power Mac PPC) look like, respectively.  OS is 10.4.11.

Adobe_Forum_index_20120507.jpg 

Adobe_forum_thread_20120507.jpg 

These are very welcome changes.

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Vastly improved and easily customizable in Firefox

Enthusiast ,
May 07, 2012

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The new forum is a vast improvement in terms of performance—it screams in comparison to the Jive molasses we had been putting up with and it's very easily customizable in Firefox through a number of scripts and AdBlock Plus.

The images below show what a customized topic index page and an customized open thread page look like in Firefox 3.6.28 (the last Firefox release to support a Power Mac PPC) look like, respectively.  OS is 10.4.11.

Adobe_Forum_index_20120507.jpg 

Adobe_forum_thread_20120507.jpg 

These are very welcome changes.

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May 07, 2012 0
Enthusiast ,
May 07, 2012

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Remaining to be fixed are a few things already noted elsewhere:

• the User Bar breaking up in the open thread page;

• badly needed sequential post numbers;

• an indication of which post is being replied to;

etc.

In all, very satisfying.   

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May 07, 2012 0
Enthusiast ,
May 07, 2012

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In connection with the subject of customization, I'll note the intrusive scripts that I've managed to block with the Ghostery add-on:

Blocked-in-Ff-by-Ghostery_crop.jpg 

This has also helped with some performance issues and it does away with some annoying twitter pop=ups discussed in another thread.

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May 07, 2012 0
Enthusiast ,
May 07, 2012

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Also worth noting, the Advanced Editor is back when you edit a post. 

Picture 27.png  

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May 07, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 07, 2012

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Interesting.  Can't say I've noticed any speed improvement.  With IE9 it was interactive for me before, and it's still interactive.

-Noel

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May 07, 2012 0
Enthusiast ,
May 07, 2012

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Noel Carboni wrote:

…it was interactive for me before, and it's still interactive…

I have no idea what that means; but I'll take your word for it.    I see a vast improvement.  Opening pages and/or going to a different forum is almost like changing channels on the TV, as opposed to the one-or-two to ten seconds I was seeing in the best and worst days respectively.

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May 07, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 07, 2012

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Perhaps it's a difference between IE and Firefox then.  By "interactive" it's been a while since I noticed any delay here at all.  Click-done is what I've been seeing, and what I still see.

-Noel

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May 07, 2012 0
Mentor ,
May 07, 2012

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station_one wrote:

Also worth noting, the Advanced Editor is back when you edit a post. 

Picture 27.png  

But not when writing a Post. It should be there regardless of posting or editing.

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May 07, 2012 0
Enthusiast ,
May 07, 2012

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Of course.  But the fact that it is there when editing means it should be a trivial undertaking to add it as a button to the Reply Editor, like before.

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May 07, 2012 0
Mentor ,
May 08, 2012

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Should be there as a matter of course. Whether createing a new post, replying or editing.

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May 08, 2012 0
Enthusiast ,
May 08, 2012

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Phillip Jones wrote:

Should be there as a matter of course. Whether createing a new post, replying or editing.

Thats why I said "of course".

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May 08, 2012 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2012

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It's still Running on Jive, R.

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May 07, 2012 0
Enthusiast ,
May 07, 2012

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Thanks for the timely reminder, but I think everyone realizes the forums are still running on Jive.  That's no surprise.

The performance, however, is better than what was being delivered by Jive under the old design, comparable to the best performance observed before Adobe switch to Jive a few years ago.  In some of the other threads Adobe staff was saying that performance gains were expected due to less excess baggage, and they are right.  Pages load faster now.

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May 07, 2012 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 08, 2012

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station one,

I have been against customizing, preferring to know what others saw, but your screenshots look very tempting, quite a bit like the fair forums that fell into the abyss just over three years ago.

So maybe when the dust has settled, if it is not offered as a one click/default solution (maybe it would be more likely to see the sun rise in the west).

What did you actually do (I have Firefox 12 so it should be possible there, too)?

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May 08, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 08, 2012

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Jacob, what are you seeing in the screen grabs up above that isn't what you're seeing when you're browsing the forum directly?

I'm using a lower zoom level than what station_one has shown, but I don't sense the customization.

-Noel

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May 08, 2012 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 08, 2012

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Noel,

It is rather the reverse, what is absent from the screenshots which only contain the core matter.

The forum/thread takes up about 5/7 of the space to the left, the 2/7 to the right contains

Thread:

A row of buttons starting with facebook,

Actions,

More like this,

Bookmarked by.

Forum:

Actions,

Notifications,

Popular discussions,

Top participants.

The OP screenshots led me to believe, maybe wrongly, that it was easy to get the forum/thread to fill the whole screen, and get rid of the other stuff.

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May 08, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 08, 2012

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I see.  Yes, that big empty space on the right is kind of useless, but I have a fairly large number of pixels (1600) horizontally on each monitor so it's just a minor inconvenience.  Since the stuff on the left doesn't work very well when it's compressed too much horizontally, I agree that being able to reduce or eliminate the dark gray area on the right might be handy, though it's always been there.

-Noel

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May 08, 2012 0
Enthusiast ,
May 08, 2012

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Jacob Bugge wrote:

…What did you actually do (I have Firefox 12 so it should be possible there, too)?

It's still a work in progress, Jacob.  These two new screen shots show a further refinement that brings the current forums much closer to what you refer to as "the fair forums" in your post.

You are correct in your assumption:

Jacob Bugge wrote:

The OP screenshots led me to believe, maybe wrongly, that it was easy to get the forum/thread to fill the whole screen, and get rid of the other stuff.

The page does fill the whole screen.

Of course you can do all this in Firefox 12, as a matter of fact I have Ff 12 on a Mac-Intel box and it's customized exactly like this one here.

Once they finish the to-do list here, I'll send you a list of the page elements blocked by AdBlock and the scripts to modify the styles, all of which can be done with standard Firefox Add-ons like Stylish and Greasemonkey.

Here's the index page as it looks to me right now:

Adobe Forums_topicindex.png

and here's this open thread:

Adobe_forum_open_thread_2.png

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 08, 2012

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Once they finish the to-do list here, I'll send you a list of the page elements blocked by AdBlock and the scripts to modify the styles, all of which can be done with standard Firefox Add-ons like Stylish and Greasemonkey.

Thank you, station one, I look forward to your posting it, whenever it may be.

It's still a work in progress, Jacob.  These two new screen shots show a further refinement that brings the current forums much closer to what you refer to as "the fair forums" in your post.

Indeed; it gets better and better. And I am not the only one still using that term.

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May 08, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
May 12, 2012

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Is there an add-on like this for Internet Explorer?  I'd like to recover that screen real estate that has been seized by this new design

But that's really the wrong approach.  The forum design should simply add a button to close the panel -- every multipanel interface I'm familiar with has this as a matter of initial design -- e.g., Adobe Acrobat's left navigation panel  This is a forum defect that should be fixed by Adobe, not by users having to add yet more cruft to their browsers to compensate for bad design.

-- Roy Zider

P.S. this reply editor is faster than before, but still a noticeable delay between keystroke and on-screen glyph.

Message was edited by: FUBARinSFO

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May 12, 2012 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 12, 2012

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That's what Adobe/Jive fail to understand: if a lot of users are complaining about things like lack of readability, waste of space and the like, perhaps these users are right and they are wrong. In my experience, Adobe will never admit such a thing.

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May 12, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
May 12, 2012

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Claudio:

Very interesting.  So I'm not the only one who's noticed that, besides the whole stock market.  Thanks.

-- Roy

05-12-2012 20-03.png

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May 12, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 13, 2012

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In fact, it is not clear why this forum exists except for us to blow steam. They have never seemed to listen to any of the comments and often seem to make things worse after we have commented. That is the irritation. The new skin wastes so much space it is pitiful. If you could change panel size or turn them off, that would help a lot. On my wide screen, the discussion list seems to only cover half the space. The rest is taken by panels I never really use or could at least be much smaller. I can only imagine what the forum must look like on a 4:3 screen size.

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May 13, 2012 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 13, 2012

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This is what it looks like in my old fashioned 3:4 screen with a narrow bookmarks sidebar (after 60 years of taking photographs in 4:3, I have been unable to get used to the widest formats):

Untitled-2.jpg

Message was edited by: Claudio González. Reason: important addition

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May 13, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 13, 2012

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Bill@VT wrote:

In fact, it is not clear why this forum exists except for us to blow steam. They have never seemed to listen to any of the comments and often seem to make things worse after we have commented. That is the irritation…

Very well put!

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May 13, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 13, 2012

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The fashion industry is immune to criticism and feedback.  They are self-appointed leaders, and however horrendous things look they succeed.  It's not about what makes sense...  It's about substanceless influence and setting trends, and nothing about actual value.

The technical industry is dry and lifeless by comparison, and is built by people with common sense who care about value.  But people with good sense tend to stick with what actually works, and that just gets old.

Unfortunately, old dry and lifeless doesn't sell things as well as fresh glitz, and so we have marketing folks who decide things like what icons should look like and whether buttons should be flat or 3D looking.  And how much space should be left around the edges of forums.

We can only hazard a guess at who management has put in charge.

-Noel

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May 13, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
May 13, 2012

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As it turns out, not all is lost.  There is one good thing about this new design: all the wasted space is on the right side of the window, not the left.  This means that you can expand the text size and/or shrink the window and will see only the thread on the left.  No add-on required.

Perhaps the designers had this in mind when they appropriated 30% OF THE WHOLE WINDOW for their own idea of a process improvement, but somehow I doubt it.

-- Roy Zider

P.S.  The typing of this message still has noticeable keystroke delay.  Their efforts would have been better spent making impovements in performance.  From the days of WordStar there has been better keyboarding of text input than what the user gets here.

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May 13, 2012 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 14, 2012

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Has this happened to you before? There are  issues with Firefox (not specific to this forum, but to the combination of add-ons installed) which can cause textarea inputs to experience delays.

FUBARinSFO wrote:

P.S.  The typing of this message still has noticeable keystroke delay. 

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May 14, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
May 14, 2012

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Dave:

I'm using IE8, but the issue of add-ons would be the same. I've disabled most of my Startup programs, but startup services still has hooks.  This has been a problem with this forum before, I think, as I note -- but I would have to see if and to what extent I've made note of this problem before. 

My objection is to all the cruft attached to the web page by the designers -- just check out the javascript on some web pages sometime.  And just saving this web page takes over a minute (1:30) and 100% CPU.  The saved page is 3 MB (!!) -- I mean, really. This page has 68,076 lines of code+text in it.  Give me a break.

WordStar with overlay was less than 100KB.  There are 30 WordStars on this page alone, and yet is still sucks.

-- Roy

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May 14, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 14, 2012

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IE9's "F12 Developer Tools" function reported 94 items in 138,997 bytes sent and a whopping 2,409,255 bytes received just to refresh the page on this very thread.

And that's with the various social networking crap sites most people see at the upper-right blocked.

AdobeForumLoad.jpg

It really is ridiculous how much needs to be done by the browser just to put up a forum thread.  Note that more than one WordStar had to be sent in the process!  Good thing I have a 40 megabit uplink!

-Noel

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May 14, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 14, 2012

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Note the amount of data required to just display the parent page:

http://forums.adobe.com/community/general/forum_comments

 

ForumCommentsPage.jpg

 

-Noel

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Community Beginner ,
May 14, 2012

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40 Mbit uplink -- 100X my uplink.  No wonder the developers don't get the complaints they should be getting.

Turns out <F12> works in IE8 too.

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May 14, 2012 0
LEGEND ,
May 14, 2012

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FUBARinSFO wrote:

40 Mbit uplink -- 100X my uplink.  No wonder the developers don't get the complaints they should be getting.

Heh heh heh, and yet here I am.   One should not HAVE to have a fiber optic internet link and a happenin' workstation to enjoy a mostly text forum.

Are you seeing the same upload amounts I am?  With your 400 kbits/second uplink, just the data going TO Adobe.com will take 3 seconds!

By the way, I just counted (with help from an editor)...  There are a little over 17,000 characters of text on this page, including the post I am composing.

-Noel

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May 14, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
May 14, 2012

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Noel:

With 17KB of payload in a 3,085KB package, that would be a ratio of 0.551%, or 551 parts per million -- like CO2 in the atmosphere. Or alternatively, 181 X burden rate of total package to payload.  Probably surpassed only by NASA missions to outer space.

I'm not tracking the traffic.  I just saw the ref above to <F12>, but haven't used it (assuming that's where you're getting your numbers_

-- Roy

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