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Improving the WordPress.org support forums (84 posts)

  1. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Oh, one that would be a huge improvement to the profiles:

    Sort threads (by default, or optionally) by most recent replies, not by [profile-person's] most recent replies (I hope that makes sense).

  2. tradiart
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    email notification would be great :-)

  3. Re Remember Me - There's a check box by your name and password on the main page when you log in on the forums right now.

    Sort threads (by default, or optionally) by most recent replies, not by [profile-person's] most recent replies (I hope that makes sense).

    YES! The posts you've replied to list should be in order of their most recent reply. Very much this :)

  4. DreadLox
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I need to be notified by mail when a new reply get posted to a threads I have posted to

  5. mlanger
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    It's HUGELY difficult to find the answers to questions in the forums. Searches bring up so many possible threads; wading through them is a pain in the butt.

    One thing that might help is the ability to "vote down" a comment as "unhelpful." If "unhelpful" votes exceed "helpful" votes, the comment would be hidden. This could get the unhelpful, conversational chit-chat out of the way for people who have a problem and just want to solve it quickly.

    Also, there needs to be a way to combine threads. How many times have we seen six or ten or 20 threads all covering the same problem? Rather than simply point people to another thread, can't they be somehow linked? I don't know. I guess I'm grasping here.

    Forums are frustrating right now, but I've seen worse elsewhere.

  6. Chris_K
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I'd offer a small child[1] for a CSS change that would make followed links (topic) much easier to distinguish from unfollowed. Those of us who left the 20's a long time ago would be very thankful.

    [1] not one of mine, but guaranteed healthy.

  7. DigitalMcGrath
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Since I spend a lot of time in the admin side of things, it would be nice to see a dashboard panel with threads I am involved in showing the latest replies. This way I can stay in one window.

  8. Chris_K
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @DigitalMcGrath -- you kind of already have one. Just click on "Member" under your gravatar image or "View Your Profile" at the upper right corner of the screen: http://wordpress.org/support/profile/6162228

  9. Dougal Campbell
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    +alot for email notifications, and especially for plugin author topic notifications.

    How about a "vote up/down" mechanism for individual responses, so that the best answers float to the top? The ability to vote might need to be predicated by some sort of bozo filters -- some minimum prior participation level, double-opt-in email verification, peer approval, etc. What many sites call a "reputation" level.

    Plugin authors could probably use some moderator-type abilities within topics related to their plugins: mark as closed/resolved/duplicate.

    And while it doesn't directly impact the usability of the support forums, how about pretty permalinks? When you've opened several tabs of forum questions, it would make it easier to keep them straight.

  10. mrmist
    Forum Janitor
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Moving to the next version (/trunk) of bbpress would dramatically improve the moderation side of things, making it much easier. Bulk deletes of spam etc. Lovely.

    I'm not fussed about email notification, but some indication on when the last post in each forum was from the front screen might be useful.

    Previously mentioned in this thread were -

    More FAQs - Experience suggests that FAQs and sticky threads are largely ignored.

    Ability to alert moderators / More moderators - The mod team has expanded quite a bit lately and I think that we are on top of things in that regard. The way to alert moderators is to add a "modlook" tag.

  11. mrmist
    Forum Janitor
    Posted 4 years ago #

    We could also close the "Your WordPress" forum, as it doesn't serve a useful purpose for troubleshooting, rather just attracting spammers looking for SEO juice.

  12. mrmist
    Forum Janitor
    Posted 4 years ago #

    The idea of vote up/down was previously punted as part of a more general effort to improve community feedback levels. They can be useful, but more often than not are open to abuse, so it'd have to be handled delicately.

  13. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @mrmist:

    Ability to alert moderators / More moderators - The mod team has expanded quite a bit lately and I think that we are on top of things in that regard. The way to alert moderators is to add a "modlook" tag.

    IMO, "modlook" is sub-optimal.

    1) It's use is not clearly defined anywhere (that I know of?), although I think it's mentioned in the Forum Welcome Message.

    2) It is used not just to report spam, but also for requesting thread closure, or for some action to be taken (e.g. the Ideas forum). I presume it would also be the way to report a thread as a duplicate.

    I think it needs to be revised, or at least expanded. For example, when I come across a spam post, I tag both "modlook" and "spam". Or, if I'm in the Ideas forum, and come across a post that is a rant or support question (i.e. not an idea), I tag "modlook" and "not an idea".

    In other words: it would be great to have some standardized way for us users to provide the moderators with more information/detail, that would hopefully make your job easier.

  14. DigitalMcGrath
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @Chris_K I know how to do it on the forums. I was referring to some way to see threads I am following from inside my self hosted WordPress administration site.

  15. mrmist
    Forum Janitor
    Posted 4 years ago #

    It'd be neat if there was more seemless integration between the forums, codex, and other areas of login / profile on the wordpress.org site as a whole. Currently to log in to everything I have to log in numerous times, even when areas share usernames.

  16. Mark / t31os
    Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I've actually already been hacking the forum styling, etc.. to make things a little easier.

    Some comparison images (they're around 1 - 2mb each, so you know before clicking).
    Scroll right of the image to see the original (ie. what you see now).

    Profile Page
    http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/5184/profilewp.jpg
    Thread List
    http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/9808/threadlistwp.jpg
    Post List
    http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/9471/postswp.jpg

    The above is accomplished by using a combination of CSS overrides and a jQuery based Greasemonkey script. Of course not everyone can see the edit, delete and spam buttons (but i wanted to show how i have it to make my time here easier on me).

    Anyway, that said, here's a run down of what i would like to see changed / updated.

    Styling:

    • Increase overall font-size (too many little pieces of text)
    • Rethink the use of colours throughout the forum.
    • Lose the round buttons, or at the least reduce the roundedness (it's easy enough). See the "Add new" button as one example (if you're using IE then you'll have no idea what i'm talking about).
    • Give the support status input(in the new topic form) it's own row in the form table.
    • Switch to using flexible width (you can still have fixed margins, just let the width run the length screen so those with bigger screens can utilise the extra screen space they have). This won't help me, i'm on a small screen, but i do sometimes use another screen and i'd like to be able to use the extra space (surely others do to?).

    Threads:

    • Please allow the profile to sort in the same way as a forum lists it's posts, by last reply.
    • Rating thread system (use the same as i've seen on WordPress.com), either "This post/thread was helpful" or "This post/thread was not helpful". I don't personally think members should have a rating system (but threads should).
    • Remove sticky and closed topics from "No replies" view
    • Add paged links to thread listing (see my above image i've done this via script for the moment).
    • Add report this post button with very simple text box, click report, small box appears and you type in a brief reason for the report (no html support or anything needed, it should just be simple text), no need for all that modlook tagging business.
    • Stop automatically converting links, if i write http://example.com then it should just say that and not link (there's a link button if i want it to link - or i can type in the a href etc..)
    • Append posts modified by anyone not the original author with a "Last editted by" message with the users name.
    • Add "Quote" button to posts, so we can quote without having to copy -> paste.
    • Add "Request Close" button to posts. This could work like report, just it's a simple request to close a thread.
    • Add merge threads functionality?

    Bugs:

    • Any page where you see pagination twice, the element holding the paging links often has the same ID.
    • Invalid/inconsistent markup in registration page and possibly profile/edit profile pages (can't remember without looking and i've already spent long enough on this reply, lol).

    Styling concerns are not really so much an issue for me, because i just restyle using a script, but i think it wouldn't hurt to give the style some love (maybe use the twenty ten theme as inspiration, it has great typography and readability - better then the forum), and i'm sure whatever you guys whip up will look better then my CSS hacking.

    Thread tracking, and keeping track of threads in general has got to be the biggest issue for me, i can only echo what others have said (although i don't see a need for email notification, that's what mailing lists are for imo - if it is added though please don't auto subscribe me to every thread i reply to, i hate that on other forums).

    I'll also echo the login issue, i'd love to login into the forum, and automatically be logged into everywhere on WordPress.org where the same login is used.

    I'm sure there's a whole bunch more, i'll post back when i recoup some energy to write another epic reply...

  17. MichaelH
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Plans have been underway for sometime to revamp wordpress.ORG as announced by Otto today on the wp-forum email list.

    http://lists.automattic.com/pipermail/wp-forums/2010-June/005527.html

  18. On the forum topic list, it would be nice if you could click on the 'freshness' field that says when the last post was, to take you to the ... last post. bbPress.org does this.

  19. 2) Here's a crazy idea: some way of auto(-magic?) linking of WP functions and template tags to their related Codex entries? Almost every answer/response I've given in the support forums has involved linking to the Codex.

    Try this [[ codex name ]] it should work e.g. Template_Tags

  20. If their was going to be some sort of reputation system added, could their be some sort of layer between user and moderator, something like sub-moderator. Where as those reputable users have just a few more tools available to help out the moderators to do their job?

    Also, maybe Moderators could get their own private forum as a means to keep in touch with one another without using the mailing list. I like how everything is out in the open with the mailing list but I think the forum method would give everyone a better chance to stay in touch and on top of things.

  21. MACscr
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Definitely need the ability to get notified by email. I personally dont use RSS, so that feature is useless to me. All basic forums out there have the ability to be emailed on response (would prefer that it included the response content in the email as well). Would prefer that I could set this as default within my profile and then just uncheck it for individual topics if needed, etc.

  22. elfin
    Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Ability to quote would be nice, though I can see a lot of unnecessary quoting just waiting to happen.

    instead of tagging modlook, why not just have a report button/link? even if it just automates the tagging process.

    marking topics as resolved, and closing threads. For the few that do get marked resolved I am truly thankful, apart from others that then come in and post... So that system needs a complete revamp. If they are resolved - can they not be locked as well?

    Specifically in the plugins section, as a plugin author I would love the ability to be able to mark threads about my plugin as resolved.

    User activity, and recent replies. Specifically this would be extremely useful, if only only you could also sort by recent reply... and not by when you last posted.

    Also as a support forum adding in the ability to accept chunks of code is all well and good. But colour coding the code it would be even better (and yeah I know that wouldn't be easy).

  23. Adam W. Warner
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    2) Here's a crazy idea: some way of auto(-magic?) linking of WP functions and template tags to their related Codex entries? Almost every answer/response I've given in the support forums has involved linking to the Codex.

    Try this [codex name] it should work e.g. Template_Tags

    What about the ability to search the codex directly from the editor and insert the relevant codex link (or codex text) with the click of a button. The functionality would be similar to how an image is inserted into a post after choosing it from the media library, or how Vladimir Prevolac's "Insights" plugin works. While we're at it, why not include the ability to search and insert the plugin repository too?

    Also, +1 for email notification.

  24. @mercime
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @t31os_ nice redesign proposal - why can't we have those links to "All-Topics" "No-Replies" "No Tags" too? ;-P

    + 1 email notification: for those who either started the thread, those who tagged the thread as "favorite", and/or "subscribed to" that thread

    - At sign-up form to get username and password in WP forums, add links to start off:
    - to http://codex.wordpress.org/Forum_Welcome in general,
    - to the job listing link specifically,
    - to proposed FAQ page, and
    - to WordPress.com forums (many wp.com bloggers go wp.org forums for some reason)

    - Make it a requirement to indicate what WP version is being used for reference of volunteer who would like to assist.

    - Include "exploratory version" in dropdown for "can WordPress do this?" questions ... or maybe include that in FAQ's

  25. Mark / t31os
    Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Had an idea whilst looking over one of the stickies today.

    It would be nice if stickies were available across forums, ie. a sticky could be shown across all or several forums rather then being native to a particular forum.

    So take for example a welcome or faq type thread, that covers more then one particular area of discussion (is of a general nature), the topic might be appropriate for 4,5 or all of the forums, but obviously cannot exist as one thread across all forums. The current solution, post the same topic numerous times, once in each forum (not really ideal).

    It would be great to consolidate FAQ type threads into one place but have it shown in several places. Tags of course can be used to group threads, but i'm not talking about grouping threads, more over, just reducing the amount of duplicate information due to having to post several threads in different forums, that all basically provide the same information.

    Or alternatively, just grab stickies as a seperate query, and display them on all forums (would be less work then making bbPress support global stickies).

    Just a thought.. :)

  26. Dougal Campbell
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    There should be a Search box on every forum page view for searching the forums. Currently, the only place I see it is on the front page of the forums. Additionally, there should be an easy-to-use option to limit the search to the current topic area.

    The composition textarea should be WYSIWYG instead of using quicktags (though a tabbed option for both a la the WordPress post editor would be nice, too).

    Perhaps we should create our own in-house "pastebin" service, and make it easy to access when composing a message on the forums.

    Oh, and did I mention email notifications? Yeah, I did.

  27. Mark / t31os
    Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I like the idea of making the search available on every forum page, although the search right now is quite lacking usability/usefulness impo, so i tend to google anything i need, even if i'm looking for it here.

    ie.
    site:http://wordpress.org/support my search terms
    site:http://codex.wordpress.org my search terms

    Google always seems to do a better job.

    If the search is going to get a more prominent position on the forum pages i'd suggest a rework of the search funtionality(it's not very good right now if i'm to be honest).

  28. MichaelH
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    There should be a Search box on every forum page view for searching the forums.

    It's sometimes hard to see but there is a search box at the very top of all pages, at least in my browser.

  29. Mark / t31os
    Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    On these forums, I can't see one, other than on the main page.

    It's sometimes hard to see but there is a search box at the very top of all pages, at least in my browser.

    My browser certainly has one, that's what i tend to use most often for googling. CTRL + T to open a new tab, Tab to move the cursor to the search box, write search terms, hit Enter, bam!, new tab with google results.. takes moments..

    I assume that's what you're referring to... :)

    Although you did say at the top of the all "pages", which aren't part of the browser, do you see something we don't? :)

  30. mrmist
    Forum Janitor
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Moderation-wise, I think it would be useful to have functionality for private messaging of users, so that users can contact moderators (possibly an extension of "report thread" functionality but also in a wider sense) and mods are able to reply without going off-site.

    Curently I get people contacting me about site-related issues through my own web site's contact form, which really is less than ideal.

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