A few suggestions for the boards

Howdy! Just a few friendly suggestions from another vBulletin owner. :wink: [ol][li]Upgrade to the latest version[/li]Why are we still on the buggy and outdated release candidate? There has been at least four or five upgrades since RC4 was released, not to mention the fact that the RCs aren’t intended for production use anyway. Get us up to 3.0.3! And I know people are busy, but would there be any way the upgrade could be done at night or on the weekend?
[li]Bring back the quick reply[/li]Where’d it go? It’s bizarre that we had it for vBulletin2, where it was a hacked-in feature, but don’t on vBulletin3, where it’s built in. Why is it disabled? It shouldn’t be a performance issue; it actually helps decrease the server load somewhat.
[li]Put the Pit in its own category[/li]I remember people complaining about vulgar (and usually bizarre) words and statements on their screen while they’re browing the site at work. They can avoid the Pit of course, but it’s harder to avoid the main page. If you put the pit in its own category, there’s a button users can click that minimizes everything so all you see is the name of the category itself. This would hide any offensive thread titles for anyone who wishes not to see them. You can see how this works at vBulletin’s official site here. The button I’m referring to is round with a couple of carets (^) in it.
[li]Server and database stuff[/li]I have no idea what kind of technical expertise is behind the scenes here, so please just ignore this one if this is all taken care of already. I wanted to mention two things though. First, are the tables in the database being repaired and optimized every so often? As large as this forum is, I assume they are or we’d be having a lot more problems, but I wanted to toss that out there anyway. Second, have you optimized the server for a large mysql messageboard like this? The people over at vBulletin will help get everything running at top speed with a few changes to the server’s ini files. When I was on an underpowered server, some of the advice I got there made a world of difference. Again, I don’t mean to impune anyone’s technical skills or anything, just tossing out some stuff that helped me when I heard it. :slight_smile: [/ol]I think that’s all I had, although I feel like I’m forgetting something. Ah well, probably wasn’t important. :wink:

I agree regarding the quick reply. That’s-a spicy meataball…er…nice feature.

But regarding #3, it still doesn’t solve the problem, as vulgarity can legitimately make its way to the subject line in all of the forums.

GQ: Origin of the word “Fuck”?
GD: Should “Fuck” be allowed on the Senate floor?
CS: NiN: Did he just say “I wanna fuck you like an animal”?
IMHO: Should “Fuck” be allowed in subject headers?
MPSIMS: Blowjobs, annilingus and other things that occupied my time this weekend
BBQ Pit: Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuckity, fuck fuck (A Bush rant in 4-part harmony)

Most dopers know by now that even if a bad word is the subject of depate that it should be censored somehow.

RE the OP. I hope they take notice.

I always thought that idea was pretty stupid. Especially in a discussion of the origins of a particular word. Also, while it’s easier to indeed censor a word in an online discussion of the word, it’s even more awkward censoring a word in a face-to-face discussion? You can only say “the F-word” so often before it starts sounding ridiculous.

And then there’s the situation where someone wants to quote someone where the quote in question contains a “bad word”. While I’m willing to trim a quote for length (trying not to skewer the intent of the quote), censoring one word in the middle of a quote just seems wrong to me.

Which reminds me of a memory from junior high-school. A friend of mind, sitting behind me in class, was bothering me. I can’t remember how, but I do know that I uttered the dreaded “F-word” :eek: :rolleyes: under by breath. Suddenly, my friend blurts out to the teacher, “Miss! Chris said the fuck-word!” :smiley: Everyone save the teacher had a good laugh over that one.


Upgrading server software is not something you do without a damn good reason. Are there any bugs so egregious that we absolutely need to upgrade? Everything seems OK to me.

Demand for this site is practically infinite. Up the speed, the load will increase to match it.

I know for a fact that jdavis and his team do everything in their power to optimize performance here – this board presents a huge throughput demand. I’m fairly certain that he’s consulted with some of the expertise available on the vBulletin administrators and developers board – which includes a man I know who singlehandledly maintains a special-interest board larger and with higher use levels than this one, who makes his expertise available to other technical support people on request.

A newer release with a reinstated quick-reply and a few of the other options might not be a bad idea – as and when Chicago Reader monetary and human resources permit implementing it.

The monetary resources now permit it.

I love the dope, but right now I am vying between here and Wikipedia. I can just as easily go there to mingle with smart folks. CR is ignorant to our pleas and if these ‘suggestions for the boards’ threads don’t get answered with action i’m not reuping next year. Do you remember Ed Zotti “passing out” because we had exceeded his expectations?

We have not overly modified the board as the software is going to be upgraded at some point in the near future (date not specified) and it would be just to do all over again.

Quick Reply is one of those features that would have to be re-tweaked into being.

I probably just need to go do all this stuff so they they could throw the update on top of it; that’s usually how it works around here. :slight_smile:

We are not #1 on the Chicago Reader Technical Department list of Things To Do Today. We’re behind all the stuff it takes to get them to get the paper out weekly; that’s their main focus. They get to us when and as they can.

The fact that we now ask you for money in no way changes that. I’m sorry if you thought that it did, though it did go a long way towards encouraging them to keep this site open in the first place.

your humble TubaDiva

How so? The Reader has put thousands of dollars into the SDMB over the past five years, and our subscriptions are merely denting that loss.

This had its own thread, so I’ll keep it short- I certainly don’t think we reached a consensus on this matter (nor will we, barring official word from TPTB).

As the server software is going to be updated, I have a question: How hard would it be to implement RSS feeds for the different categories? It might reduce load on the servers a bit by allowing people to see what threads are worth replying to without creating more traffic by going to the main site. And with (as of the recent nightly builds) Mozilla Firefox supporting RSS/Atom reading, it may actually get used when you roll it out.

How easy would it be for the board to stop mangling HTML character entities? What I mean is, as things stand now, when I type π the initial ampersand gets translated to & by the software, turning the lowercase Greek letter pi into an ugly piece of code.

I can’t help but think that this is controllable by a small configuration file somewhere. I know it’s orthogonal to us disallowing HTML in general, because the prior version we used allowed entities without letting HTML into posts.

This is my single biggest peeve with the board in general. I would pay another $4.95 if it were fixed.

While I completely agree with you that HTML entities should work, there is a fairly painless workaround - Unicode.

As in: Pi = π

The trick is to write “& #<decimal value>;” (w/o the space after the Ampersand, of course!) - so π = & #960;

I did a thread about this a while back (targeting Hebrew, but works for any other character set as well) - the consensus seemed to be that almost all browsers showed the characters properly.