Monday, June 20, 2011

New (vBulletin) Board Progress Reports

While it may not look like it, progress is being made on our new vBulletin message board (part of our Cauldron 4.0 Project). Members of this forum have had access to the test board for a few weeks and may be wondering why nothing much has happened there this week. The answer is probably obvious: I started work on the basic installation and setup of of the real board this week. I hope to have it far enough along by the end of the weekend so that our staff members can create their accounts and help with setup up forums and other areas.

Features Already installed:

* Multiple styles: Nothing fancy but members will have a choice in the way the forum looks color-wise. As I have used more basic (css-only) styles than the ones I used on the test board, there are not all the problems with things working right on some styles and weird on others. This mean the styles don't vary as much, but I don't have to limit support to just the default style either.

* Lightweight Style: This is a special style for mobile devices. It is lightweight in size and in features. This means it does not support all the fancy features nor all of our mods, but it should be great for people who just want to read (and reply) to messages from their phone. Unfortunately for staff, most staff features do not work. Troublemakers may have to be blocked from this style as it may also let them avoid some of the limitations some mods allow us to place on problem members.

* Thread Prefixes: Certain forums (e.g. the Pagan Religions forum) will require people starting threads to select a "thread prefix" classifying their new thread (as about a "specific" religion in this case. This will make it clear which threads are about which religion. Also members and visitors wll be able to click on a thread prefix to only see threads with that prefix (for example, click on the thread prefix of any message with the "Wicca (Trad)" prefix and you will then only see threads in the forum that are about Trad Wicca. Cluick on a prefix again and you will see all the threads in the forum again.

* Articles: The article area from the test board is in place. This will allow members to write articles and post them directly. No need to submit them to me and wait for me to find time to convent them to HTML and put them on our web site. Unlike on the test board there will be multiple categories for articles. Members with "editor" powers will be able to edit articles for grammar, spelling, style, etc.

* Gallery: Members will be able to upload pictures to their own gallery. (Size limits will apply).

* Social Groups: Members in good standing will be able to create their own mini-forums with their own message area, gallery and group calendar. (And web pages if we can raise enough money (about $60) for the pro version of the Vaultwiki mod. Group can be public or private and are moderated by the group owner (subject to TC's rules, of course) -- much like groups on our various incarnations of TCN, only as a part of our board, no separate login needed.

* Quizes: A mod allows members to create various types of quizzes that other members can take.

More Soon.

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