New Features of the Boards (Dec 2009)

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New Features of the Boards (Dec 2009)

Post by December »

A brief summary of some new features which have been added to the boards. If you didn't catch this announcement when it originally appeared on our blog, it's worth having a quick read: there are some nifty new capabilities.

• Quick Reply
If you scroll to the bottom the thread in many (though not all) forums, you will now see a Quick Reply button, just below the last post. Clicking on this opens up a Post Reply Box right there at the foot of the page you are browsing. Type in your reply, hit Submit and you’re done — no need to switch to a new screen via the Post Reply button. With Quick Reply, you can scroll easily between the thread you’re browsing and the reply you’re writing. The downside: Quick Reply doesn’t give you access to the Colour Palette or any of the usual BBCode buttons (Quote, Bold, URL etc.). If you want to use those, stick with the ordinary Post Reply. (Or you can still type in BBcodes manually). If you started typing in Quick Reply and want to switch to the full Post Reply screen, just click on the Full Editor button — you can finish writing your post there. Note that there is no preview feature in Quick Reply.

This feature is not available in all forums, only those where replies tend to be short and fast. On the serious discussion threads, we’d just as soon users took time to phrase their response carefully and made use of the preview function! It really can’t be said often enough — when dealing with sensitive and complicated subjects, no one should ever post from the hip. The Preview Button Is Your Friend…!!!

• Approving New Users’s posts
One change you may have noticed for a while now: in order to eliminate spam and discourage trolling, we’ve put in place a “moderation queue” for newly-registered users. New users’ posts do not become visible on the boards until they have been approved by one of the mods. After a few posts, this restriction is lifted and users can post directly.

• Thread Lengths
On the old Lex, bandwidth limitations required us to keep thread length to a maximum of 100 pages. Nowadays, the system can handle longer threads, so we’re going to allow certain fast-paced threads (eg Randomness, The Person Above Me, etc.) to run longer (between 200 and 500 pages), so the mods aren’t constantly having to start new ones. Our rule of thumb is: the more serious the thread — and the more likely that users may want to navigate back to earlier posts — the shorter we’ll keep the thread. These new longer threads will state their revised length in the opening post. As always, if someone would pm a mod when a thread is nearing its page limit, that would be great!

• Username Colors:
You may have noticed users’ names appearing in new pretty colors. New Users are violet, ordinary Registered Users are blue , Moderators are green and Administrators are red.

• Se habla español – si parla l’italiano qui – Ici on parle Francais – Português é falado aqui
The forums are now available in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French versions. Certain buttons (Post Reply for example) will remain in English because they are graphics, not text. Note that thread content — the actual posts — do not get translated! (The current state of AI is still few years off a Universal Translator capable of swapping fangirl chatter from one language to the next). To change your language, go to the User Control Panel and on the Board Preference tab you will find ‘My Language’. This is where you can select your local language.

• Shiny New BBCode
The Post Reply box now features a couple of additional BBcode formatting buttons.

1. [ inv ] will turn your text a colour which is nearly invisible against the post background. Excellent for writing potentially spoilery information (but PLEASE be sure to preview your post to make sure it really did come out invisible!). To read “invisible” text in someone’s post, just highlight it with your mouse — the letters magically appear. Like this: Edward is hot: shhhh, don’t tell! <– (invisible text here)

2. allows you to use strikeout formatting.

• PMs: Reply v. Reply all
The PM system can now distinguish between Reply and Reply All. If you receive a group PM and do not wish your reply to be sent to the other recipients, just select Reply instead of Reply All.

• Go-To Navigation Link
This handy feature isn’t actually new, but worth pointing out since it’s not obvious or widely known. Allows you to navigate directly to a specific page number — you don’t have to work your way up through the little numbered-page icons. Very convenient for threads with 100 or more pages! Just click on the words “Page x of x” which appear to the left of the little numbered icons and a Go To Page box appears.

If you have any problems, questions or comments about any of the new features, please don’t hesitate to pm one of the mods — or put up a post in the Accident Prone forum. If you cannot post there, we have a Tech Support Form you can fill out to get help.
“When did you ever promise to kill yourself falling out of Charlie’s tree?”
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