Is there such a thing as a message board emulator?

I would like to view my posts before they are posted. I use the preview post feature and always have to make corrections, this takes time, and the phone line needs to be open which costs money. Is there some sort of emulator I can get that will allow me preview my posts off line?


Hmmm, if there isn’t, it wouldn’t be hard to make one <thinks>…

Just install vBulletin on your system at home.

** Mangetout ** wrote

Well, maybe for you, I’m not a programmer. I was thinking something like you paste your text here, click ok and it generates a page
showing how the post will look.

** Arnold Winkelried ** wrote

I got my mitts on a copy, it didn’t work, I think it wants my computer to be a server or something, at least I couldn’t get it to run.

That’s what I meant; I’m trying to decide whether to have a go at it or not; the easiest way to do it would probably be to let the user type in the vB code and then show a rendered version of it, but the nicest way (for the user) would be if you could select a block of text and apply format, like in a word processor.

** Mangetout** wrote

Well of course that would be neat and easy for the user, but something as fancy as that would be a pain to build. I was thinking about something like a window on top and a window on the bottom, you type your post and appropriate codes in the top and it shows the formatted text on the bottom, or something…besides, if its real fancy then you would have to charge me a lot for it. But I bet with all the message board users out there people would buy it (I’ll be your beta tester).

Actually, it may not be all that hard; the vB tags translate pretty literally into HTML tags…

You have a legal copy of vBulletin in your possession, but do not know how to set it up on a server? What about all the “how-to’s” online in the private area of vBulletin that you have access to when you have a legitimate license number? Did you try those?

** Anthracite ** wrote

No, I do not have a legal copy of vBulletin. In fact I do not have ANY copy of VBulletin. I tried something that said it was, but it didn’t work. Now it’s gone. POOF.
Further I think there is a far easier solution, there must be a
Vb interpreter or something out there, or get in cahoots with a programmer
Like ** Mangetout** or forget the whole thing, and continue running up massive phone bills.


Anthracite, do you have any plans to finish the story about Cecil cove?
I was really enjoying that! Then it ended. I was bummed.


I was hoping to have a crack at it tonight, but I don’t have the necessary tools on this computer; To begin with, it ought to be as simple as substituting vB formatting tags for the equivalent HTML, then rendering the HTML (I believe that Visual Basic and other languages come complete with a component that does this for you) - if I get anywhere worthwhile with the program, it will be freeware (then I don’t have to support it).

A question though, for any passing Admin; in order for this program to work, it would have to be able to render smilies, which would mean either:
[ol][li]Downloading copies of the smiley images from the SDMB and using them[/li][li]Making my own equivalent ones (which for the sake of simplicity would probably be just something like a circle with a J in it for ;j and so on.[/li][li]Hi Opal[/ol][/li]Option 1 would be preferrable (option 3 is right out of the question) - but is it permitted?

I am 99% certain that vBulletin does not hold copyright over the “default” smilies. And I am 100% certain that the Reader does not hold copyright over the smilies either, except potentially for the “custom” ones which have been added, which are:


Someone from the SDMB Staff will have to answer that one.

Ah, I see. I would think some sort of macro program might do it for you as well, but 1000 different programmers will come up with 1000 different ways.

Cecil Cove? I’m surprised anyone remembers that. Long story short - some Dopers who were portrayed as characters did not want to be portrayed anymore, and it messed the story up too much to continue. I have a couple of short story “sequels” to Cecil Cove I have put on my own Board, as well as all of my erotica.

** Mangetout ** wrote

That’s always nice, but even if you get anywhere near “just functioning” I’d still like a copy!

If you wanted, I could make smileys that are “real close” to the originals, this would allow the user see how the page will look without stepping on any ones copyrighted toes. It wouldn’t take me long, maybe an hour or so, let me know if you want them.

Anthracite ** wrote

Very true, but I will sit here on the sidelines and root for the way ** Mangetout ** does it, that is if he decides to. I took some programming 101 type classes back in college, Pascal and C++
so I have a good idea of what’s involved. For me it would be impossable because I have forgotten most of the stuff I learned and I never really liked doing it much. Still a application like this would be really neat to have.

Well, I found your “UnaBoard” supplement to the SDMB. Neat place, might I get posting privileges? I didn’t see where one would sign up. In any case where can I find your writings. About the Cecil cove story, I don’t mean to be a pain, but why don’t you get a search and replace tool and just change all the names, then keep going. I printed it out from the teaming archives
to read on the bus, I was REALLY getting in to it then it was dead just an FAQ remained. I was really more then a little bummed out but, hay, I figured you might finish it someday, what there was of it was fantastic. I would like to read the sequels, and if your erotica is a descriptive as your other stuff, it should be pretty fun to read. ::Janx blushes::

What I have decided to do is to make a single placeholder image that all the smilies will point to; the ‘alt’ text (which appears when you hover the mouse cursor above the image) will describe which variety of smiley will be displayed when the post is actually put on the board. All this will be configurable by the user, so anyone wanting to put their own individual smilies in the place of the placeholder would be able to do so.

Let me just say for the record, in case anyone reading this entertains notions that I might be writing a program to ‘hack’ the board or otherwise interfere: the program I am working on is an entirely stand-alone executable that (hopefully) will be capable of accepting input in the form of text and message board code (including but not necessarily limited to vBulletin code) and rendering an HTML preview of how that code should look when posted to a message board. That’s all it will do; it will not attempt to interface with the board directly.

** Mangetout ** wrote

So, this means, YOUR DOING IT! WOO HOOO!

::Janx does the happy bouncy dance™::


I’m glad you cleared that up. The whole point (for the record) is to allow one to look at their response before actually going on line, editing as needed before actually posting. Since we pay for phone time here by the “click” this will save me BUCKETS of money (BTW I do not know how long a click is).

A click is generally meant to be a kilometer. Now wasn’t that helpful?

Did you click on the “Register” button at the top of my Board? :wink: It tells how to register under it. The short answer: mail one or more Admins at the addresses listed on the page under that button.

Re: Cecil Cove - It’s not a matter of just doing a search-and-replace, because some of the characters were really too much built on real persona(e). It just didn’t work out well, and there were other problems too.

There are two short sequels - one poor, one decent. There is a third one half-completed (which has a multimedia intro to it, which is completed). I had to stop working on it due to real-life atrocities, but I have time now.

And on this note, a Moderator or Admin is likely to come by and tell me to stop discussing this here. So you should mail me at the address listed on my Board.

Neat stuff, Mangetout, I’ve been thinking about doing this with just some simply JavaScript for a while now but laziness interfered. You won’t happen to make the source public, eh? :slight_smile:

Well Mangetout, you think it will live?

Just an aside – VBulletin would not work on your computer unless you had PHP installed. Which most people don’t.