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Upcoming changes to the forum

Posted on 10/27/2005 5:16:18 PM PDT by John Robinson

Edited on 10/30/2005 2:01:52 PM PST by John Robinson. [history]

I'm working on the following changes to the forum software:

Thread URLs will change.

Old links will be redirected to maintain bookmark compatibility. The new links will be more descriptive, offering the date of the article and perhaps a meaningful filename.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1510575/posts doesn't say much.
http://www.freerepublic.com/2005/10/27/freeptoon/p1 says so much more.

Time zone handled by browser.

The timestamps on threads will change to your computer's local time zone, but only if you have JavaScript enabled. Otherwise they will be in US/Eastern. Your FR preference will be ignored (and will be phased out in favor of browser-side time zone handling.) The beauty of this arrangement is that as long as your computer displays the time in your time zone, FR will "Do The Right Thing"(tm).

Fixed number of comments.

No more than 50 comments per page will be shown. Your preference of 20, 100 or 250 is going to be ignored. I know this is a bit of a heartbreak for some, I understand it is a sacrifice. There are very good and very strong reasons this is changing.

Article text.

Only the first page of the thread will show the article text, and will always show the article text. Subsequent pages will only ever show a summary. In the future, a little browser-side magic could make the article text appear when you click a link.

All for one and one for all.

Everybody logged in or not will see the same content and links. For example, in the existing software, if you're not logged in you won't see the "Report Abuse" links. This check is going away, everybody will now see the same row of buttons.

In exchange, we'll have cache-friendly forum pages. This means:

Update 10/30/05

I've expanded the scope of changes. I'm cleaning up the information we present to search engines like Google and Yahoo. Our site will be more useful to third-party search engines and thus more useful to you. For the most part this will not directly impact our human visitors. There will be changes that could break bookmarks of certain types of pages, but the chances such bookmarks have ever been made are slim.


TOPICS: Announcements; Technical
KEYWORDS: adminlectureseries; faq; fr; idontgetit; lexicon; youdaman
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1 posted on 10/27/2005 5:16:18 PM PDT by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson

Thanks, John. :)


2 posted on 10/27/2005 5:18:02 PM PDT by Brad’s Gramma (FR1....Varoooooom, Varooooooom!!!)
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To: John Robinson

does this mean I'm off probation?


3 posted on 10/27/2005 5:18:11 PM PDT by bigsigh
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To: John Robinson

Cool.


4 posted on 10/27/2005 5:19:17 PM PDT by Michael Goldsberry (an enemy of islam -- Joe Boucher; Leapfrog; Dr.Zoidberg; Lazamataz; ...)
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To: John Robinson
Your request will be served instantly.

JRB to the SCOTUS!

< poof! >

Hmmm. hasn't happened yet...

5 posted on 10/27/2005 5:20:14 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: John Robinson

Great job, John! Those of us on dialup Thank You!!!!


6 posted on 10/27/2005 5:20:40 PM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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To: John Robinson

Hooah.


7 posted on 10/27/2005 5:20:45 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." Pope JPII)
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To: John Robinson

I really like having 250 replies on long threads but if you gotta change it, you gotta change it.

Thanks for all your hard work keeping the forum going. I get nervous if FR is down for any length of time!!!


8 posted on 10/27/2005 5:20:59 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: John Robinson

Thanks John for all you do.


9 posted on 10/27/2005 5:22:28 PM PDT by afnamvet
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To: John Robinson

I guess this means we could never have a "killfile" capability? (I.e. where entering a user's name in a killfile list will automatically hide posts from that user.)


10 posted on 10/27/2005 5:24:04 PM PDT by Yossarian
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To: John Robinson

I have learned to trust you on this. Thanks amigo, you are underpaid.


11 posted on 10/27/2005 5:24:31 PM PDT by DainBramage
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To: John Robinson

Oh, I forgot to add to my previous posts: Thanks for all the hard work!


12 posted on 10/27/2005 5:24:51 PM PDT by Yossarian
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To: John Robinson

Now if someone could change it so it's easier to post pics and smiles and stuff. It takes me too long so I don't do it. But I do love to play around with such things when I have the time.


13 posted on 10/27/2005 5:25:35 PM PDT by queenkathy (I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing.)
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To: afnamvet

Wow. Not only warning us that changes are comming but telling us why. Thanks John.


14 posted on 10/27/2005 5:25:49 PM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: Brad's Gramma

Does this mean I will actually have to figure out the difference between Eastern time...and Central time????

Dang...and I thought this job didn't have math....


LOL


15 posted on 10/27/2005 5:26:05 PM PDT by Txsleuth (I am the real TXSLEUTH...please freepmail me if you doubt it.)
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To: John Robinson

Later read


16 posted on 10/27/2005 5:27:05 PM PDT by Mo1
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To: John Robinson
This is impressive:

In exchange, we'll have cache-friendly forum pages. This means:

* Faster downloads. If nothing changed on the thread you won't have to download it again. Also, local caches can store the page and deliver it much quicker.

17 posted on 10/27/2005 5:28:32 PM PDT by Petronski (Cyborg is the greatest blessing I have ever known.)
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To: John Robinson

BTTT


18 posted on 10/27/2005 5:29:13 PM PDT by DocRock
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To: John Robinson

Ignore feature ignore feature....


19 posted on 10/27/2005 5:31:15 PM PDT by Lauretij2
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To: Brad's Gramma

I woke from my coma for this??!!??


20 posted on 10/27/2005 5:31:32 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (I'm not a curmudgeon!!!! I've just been in a bad mood since '73)
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To: John Robinson
The only thing better would be if you were switching to Windows and Microsoft SQL Server 2005!

Actually, what's new on the RSS front?  I'm not sure if basing the site more on Web Services would be easier or more difficult.

I will say that it would be nice to be able to get an RSS feed of my pings.

 

21 posted on 10/27/2005 5:31:44 PM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: John Robinson

Is there any possible way to anote the pages with the depth of the thread in terms of pages...

Either visually or in the URL...

In other words somwhere on the page it might read somthing like Page 1 of 3, or the url could have some string like "1of4"...

It could be in the source too...

Just curious...

It would be easier than parsing the source...


22 posted on 10/27/2005 5:33:26 PM PDT by antaresequity
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Yossarian
Killfile would have to be handled by your browser. You'll still have to download the posts, but your browser could be instructed to hide them.

Technically, I think the easiest way to handle this is to apply a CSS class name derived from the poster's name to the div fully containing the message. Something like this:

<div class="message u22380">some vapid or daft comment</div>

And then instruct CSS to hide that user's messages: .u22380 { display: none } This of course would all be transparent to the end-user. A better alternative would be to employ JavaScript to fold that user's message, allowing a click to venture were you promised you wouldn't.

24 posted on 10/27/2005 5:34:34 PM PDT by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson
In exchange, we'll have cache-friendly forum pages.

Here they come again, mmmm-mm-mm
Cache us if you can, mmmm-mm-mm
Time to get a move on, mmmm-mm-mm
We will yell with all of our might

Cache us if you can
Cache us if you can
Cache us if you can
Cache us if you can

Now we gotta run, mmmm-mm-mm
No more time for fun, mmmm-mm-mm
When we're gettin' angry, mmmm-mm-mm
We will yell with all of our might

Cache us if you can
Cache us if you can
Cache us if you can
Cache us if you can


25 posted on 10/27/2005 5:34:42 PM PDT by Willie Green (Posted with apologies to The Dave Clark Five.)
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To: John Robinson
Everybody logged in or not will see the same content and links. For example, in the existing software, if you're not logged in you won't see the "Report Abuse" links. This check is going away, everybody will now see the same row of buttons.

Well crap, how will I know if I'm logged in or not??? I'll guess I'll just have to post a vanity and ask......

26 posted on 10/27/2005 5:36:27 PM PDT by Bush_Democrat (Ex-Democrat since 2001)
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To: John Robinson

I don't know what the hell yur doin' but Keep it up! :-)


27 posted on 10/27/2005 5:36:36 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: John Robinson

Very cool! Thanks for all you do.


28 posted on 10/27/2005 5:36:43 PM PDT by PilloryHillary (Government is the only enterprise in the world which expands in size when its failures increase.)
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To: John Robinson

Thanks, sir.


29 posted on 10/27/2005 5:36:45 PM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: queenkathy

To be perfectly honest, I construe this as a feature. I abhor puke-inducing cutesy smilies, avatars, and other images that add nothing to the discussion. That's just my personal opinion, however.


30 posted on 10/27/2005 5:37:27 PM PDT by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson

I love this fourm.


31 posted on 10/27/2005 5:40:23 PM PDT by Phlap (REDNECK@LIBARTS.EDU)
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To: tutstar

read later...


32 posted on 10/27/2005 5:40:28 PM PDT by tutstar (OurFlorida.true.ws)
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To: John Robinson

I abhor puke-inducing cutesy smilies, avatars, and other images that add nothing to the discussion. That's just my personal opinion, however.



Agree..... That is one of the features that sets FR apart from many other forums. It becomes tiresome to see the same picture over and over, imo.

Keep up the good work as you continue to make the site more user friendly.


33 posted on 10/27/2005 5:40:52 PM PDT by deport
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To: Phlap

I can't spell.


34 posted on 10/27/2005 5:40:59 PM PDT by Phlap (REDNECK@LIBARTS.EDU)
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To: John Robinson

nice work.

we need a little real time java applet that runs and shows which threads are receiving new posts - or at least the "top10" hotlist of threads getting new posts.


35 posted on 10/27/2005 5:41:39 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: John Robinson; rdb3
I abhor puke-inducing cutesy smilies, avatars, and other images that add nothing to the discussion.

I usually do to but I find myself pausing at rdb3's logo on long threads.

36 posted on 10/27/2005 5:42:24 PM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: deport
It becomes tiresome to see the same picture over and over, imo.

Except the kitties, we love seeing pics of the viking kitties!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

37 posted on 10/27/2005 5:42:57 PM PDT by Bush_Democrat (Ex-Democrat since 2001)
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To: Bush_Democrat

Except the kitties, we love seeing pics of the viking kitties!



LOL.. well some do I'm sure but I don't normally frequent the Zot threads that much. In fact I'd pull the thread completely and not give the person the stage to see his/her work on display. I think that is one reason so many repeat. jmo.


38 posted on 10/27/2005 5:45:22 PM PDT by deport
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To: Incorrigible

Almost any of the URLs that end in "browse" have an alternate "browse.rss" for the feed. I'd like to do this for threads too, but I don't know if it is kosher to dump raw HTML into an RSS feed, and if not, I'll have a bit more work to do. My comments would be great as well but is a bit more work, having to implement some type of authentication scheme beyond the cookie (unless RSS aggregators can now borrow the MSIE cookie, etc.)

One of the things really holding back my involvement with RSS is the lack of a decent aggregator. I haven't really looked, but my cursory attempts to find something decent leave me wanting.

I definately want to implement an API for the site. It will primarily be used for Ajax-style client-side programming, but could be used for external access as well.


39 posted on 10/27/2005 5:45:27 PM PDT by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson

clever use of css ... I will try that later


40 posted on 10/27/2005 5:45:45 PM PDT by fnord (497 1/2 feet of rope ... I just carry it)
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To: Howlin; Miss Marple; Mo1; PhiKapMom; Dog Gone

Upcoming changes in case you missed them.


41 posted on 10/27/2005 5:46:56 PM PDT by deport
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To: John Robinson

John,
First off, Thankyou. Thank you for this forum. There is so much information, political or otherwise, that is posted by my fellow FReepers.
My question / request for improvement to Fr woulod be this: Could there be a button labelled "e-mail" where you could easily e-mail a particular thread to a friend who is not a member of FR?
Currently, it is necessary to create a Word document and attach it to an e-mail.
There is so much immenently shareable information posted here. Perhaps we shoul dhave an easier way to quickly send it on its way to those who could use it.
Just a thought. Take care. And again, Thank You


42 posted on 10/27/2005 5:48:22 PM PDT by RoadGumby (Let your fear be as a monkey, hiding in a pinata)
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To: antaresequity

For what purpose, just curious? With the change to fixed-size pages, we'll probably move away from the comment # (first 1-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200 ... 3,051-3,074 next last) style pagination to a page # pagination.


43 posted on 10/27/2005 5:48:43 PM PDT by John Robinson
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To: bigsigh
does this mean I'm off probation?

As long as you don't post ANYTHING to the nascar threads under my screen name...

Even if it is relevant to nascar info.

44 posted on 10/27/2005 5:49:01 PM PDT by ChefKeith ( If Diplomacy worked, then we would be sitting here talking...)
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To: John Robinson

Uh oh, my computer time clock is haywire, sometimes it thinks it is 2002.

Right now it 5:58 am.

I have replaced the battery.


45 posted on 10/27/2005 5:49:13 PM PDT by razorback-bert
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To: John Robinson
Please please please, let us have at least 100 replies per page, 50 is just too darn short, and even 250 can be a PIA on a busy thread. Man (if not most of us) have broad band these days. Also, even when I didn't, I had no problems loading up 500 reply plus threads under the old (good old days) software. I realize that you probably want to reduce overhead on your side, maybe you could just auto throttle when it gets too busy? I know in the past that you have shortened page length on a needed basis, maybe you could just have the forum do it automatically when you hit a certain threshold?

I think you might find that when you shorten the threads per page, that there will be many more page requests going on. Or maybe you could just offer two sizes to reduce the number of cached pages, but make one short and the other longer (like at least 100 replies). Please think about it.
46 posted on 10/27/2005 5:49:58 PM PDT by Woodman ("One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." PW)
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To: John Robinson

Hey John! I almost understood this! That is pretty good for me! LOL


47 posted on 10/27/2005 5:51:33 PM PDT by ladyinred (It is all my fault okay?)
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To: JMack

As soon as I can sort it out, I'd like to enable posters to be able to update their own articles (and comments for that matter.) And, at least for articles, to allow a select list of other people to be able to edit the article (i.e. some type of article with several authors.)


48 posted on 10/27/2005 5:51:34 PM PDT by John Robinson
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To: Woodman
Please please please, let us have at least 100 replies per page,

I concur. 50 is just too short. On lengthy thread, to save to disk, the short pages are a nightmare.
49 posted on 10/27/2005 5:52:57 PM PDT by TomGuy
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To: deport

I didn't see it listed but an EDIT button would be nice to correct errors or tempers.


50 posted on 10/27/2005 5:54:08 PM PDT by PROSOUTH ( Deo Vindice "God Will Vindicate")
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