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Forum Software Discussion
#91
(04-28-2019, 02:37 PM)Lurker101 Wrote:
(04-28-2019, 01:27 PM)Kyng Wrote:
  • 'Forums' are replaced with 'tags', and you can give multiple different tags to the same thread. I think this is great, because it completely fixes all potential overlap problems. For example, I've refused add a 'Reviews' forum on here, because we already have sections for TV, movies, gaming and so on - and I don't want to have to explain that, for example, "Game reviews don't belong in Gaming". If we were using Flarum, then this wouldn't be a problem: we could have a 'Gaming' tag and a 'Reviews' tag, and apply both tags to any gaming reviews.

Quite honestly Kyng in the 100s of boards I have been a member of, of the 1000s of forums I have lurked on as a member and non member, though the better part of 2 decades (maybe even longer), this is the only forum I have had with "this post could be in multiple forums" issue. As I have told you before your forum subjects tend to be broad yet specific at the same time (e.g. "news","Science", et al). Normally most forums put in a General discussion, maybe a place for more serous discussion, forum games, etc. Adding subforums to the parent board as needed (i.e. if Science was starting to take over general discussion). And this worked well on forums that had 1000s of active users and 10k+ posts a day, and yet here we are on a forum that has maybe 1% of the posts a day at most and no where the amount of active users and we face this problem.

I'm not defending my current forum layout here (because I'm well aware that it has problems), and I'll try to keep this short (so that it doesn't turn from a "Forum Software Discussion" into a "Forum Layout Discussion"). However, I really don't think this is an issue which is unique to us: it seems to affect any 'general' forum which attempts to cover a wide range of 'serious' subjects, with a forum area for each subject.

For example, take Yaketys - another board which, like ours, is structured along those lines. Their layout has most of the same problems as ours does, and even some that ours doesn't. For example:

  • They have the same attempt to separate "Science" from "Nature" as we do, by having "Health, Science and Technology" and "Mother Nature". In fact, they take it a step further, because they have animal topics in another board separate from those two. (We currently have this silly Science/Nature overlap; however, I'm planning to fix this in the coming days);

  • They have a 'Polls' board, which overlaps with all the different subject areas (I once had a 'Polls' board, but I eventually scrapped it for this reason);

  • Their TV and Movies forums have sub-forums for different genres (Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi, etc). These all overlap with one another, because some franchises are in multiple genres, or fall 'between' two genres without neatly fitting into either of them. (This also means that any entertainment-based board which has a forum for each genre will run into the "Which forum does this go in?" issue. Likewise, any gaming forum which has boards for each genre will run into this issue too)

It seems that the only ways to fix this issue forever would be to: a) switch everything over to organising by "type of discussion" (which I'm not going to do, because setting it up would be way too much work at this point), or b) drop back to a single "Serious Discussions" board with sub-forums (thus completely abandoning "emphasising serious discussions" as a design goal).

I really don't think that "emphasising serious subjects, and breaking them up by subject" is an inherently bad design goal: it's just that traditional forum structures (where each topic can go in only one forum) aren't well-suited to meeting that goal. Thus, I maintain that the Flarum structure of 'tags' is a genuine improvement, which can do something of value that the traditional forum structure can't.
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#92
Well with a general forum, one is compelled to have everything on it, therefore it could cause problems in the long run. I do agree that Flarum is best for that sort of thing. Also, found out some more softwares for anyone to investigate on, and also mentioned in that Discord of mine...
  • FlaskBB
  • FeatherBB
  • Luna (getluna.org)
All I know is that FlaskBB is very basic to set up and work with and is built with Python. The others were just based on FluxBB (which was mentioned here a few pages back, and on another thread). There is also Aurora but its site (get-aurora.org) is down so I can't find any information on it.
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#93
I just discovered another free forum host. Simple Forums is a SMF host, with cPanel access. The owner also has a few free themes he's created too! I haven't used this service, and I was a member on his forums before he closed it and just switched over to forum hosting. :\ Here's the link if you'd wish to check it out:
https://simpleforums.net/
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#94
(05-05-2019, 03:53 AM)Ravenfreak Wrote: I just discovered another free forum host. Simple Forums is a SMF host, with cPanel access. The owner also has a few free themes he's created too! I haven't used this service, and I was a member on his forums before he closed it and just switched over to forum hosting. :\ Here's the link if you'd wish to check it out:
https://simpleforums.net/

Nice, but where's their support forum?

There are two links that say 'Support Forum', but they don't seem to work: clicking either of them just takes me back to the page I'm on :-/ .

Not a good start for this host, it has to be said :( .
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#95
Not having a support forum doesn't really surprise me. One of the outdated ones I looked up last year for the list had like two or three places for support, one of which was basically unfinished.
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#96
Looks like the support forum is back online now. https://support.simpleforums.net/
Since this hosting provides cPanel hosting, I think it's much better than the other free Simple Machine Forum hosting. Plus it's running on the latest version of SMF too!
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#97
Crossposting to two threads:

According to the ZB community Discord, Tapatalk closed recovering ZB forums today.
I don't recall seeing any notice on it and it's not even a year. Good job caring about us TT.
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#98
(05-12-2019, 03:19 PM)Ravenfreak Wrote: Looks like the support forum is back online now. https://support.simpleforums.net/
Since this hosting provides cPanel hosting, I think it's much better than the other free Simple Machine Forum hosting. Plus it's running on the latest version of SMF too!

Ah, good to see :) .

If it's as good as it sounds, then that's promising. However, the lack of activity on their support forum (coupled with the previous downtime) is kinda worrying - so, I wish them the best of luck in turning that around.
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