New forum Wishlist

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  1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    New forum Wishlist

    Post your wishlist items for the user forums (or article comments) here. 1 per post, so people can vote up/down as takes their fancy. I'll start the ball rolling with some things that have been mentioned so far...
  2. BristolBachelor Gold badge
  3. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Edit post button go back an correct your maths when 1000 people point out your schoolboy error :)

    1. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Up

      Re: Edit post button

      For me that would be an excellent improvement; I sometimes have migraines and my spelling flies the coop at such moments. The past couple of days is evidence of this. There are 'legitimate' reasons for post editing. (I've just made 3 attempts to spell 'editing' and 2 attempts to spell 'made', 'attempts' and 'to'; I normally touch type at speeds of between 100 and 120 wpm)

    2. dave 93

      Doesn't that just break the thread?

      If you correct some mistake after that mistake has been discussed, what do you do with all the posts about the mistake?

      1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Doesn't that just break the thread?

        This is the challenge with an edit button but there are a couple of options.

        e.g. limit edit facility for x minutes to allow tidy-up

        e.g. indicate that a post has been edited x times if there has been a reply or replies to that post.

        1. dave 93

          Meh. Just repost if you're really bothered

          This isn't a collective masterpiece , it's a comment forum. Silly or factual errors are part of the life blood, plus they expose the twatdangles who don't read/check their own posts!

          I could support a 5 minute 'oh shit!' window of editing opportunity, I suppose, but real life doesn't have that, does it?

  4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    The ability to assign a troll icon to someone that will appear no matter what icon they choose :)

    Hey, you said it was a wish list :P

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Maybe refine this?

      "Vulture/Twatdangle" list? (Where if the person is listed as a twatdangle on your list you don't see their posts?) Or at least ability to "flag" someone in your own personal view? Perhaps something wherein if enough folks flag someone as a twatdangle it is raised as an issue with whomever happens to be guarding Vulture Central?

      1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Maybe refine this?

        Murray suggested something like this, albeit in more decorous terms.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Ah, yes. Decorum.

          I am theoretically capable of it - periodically people accuse me of exercising it - however it doesn't exactly seem my forte. The social niche I’ve carved out for myself seems to be somewhere in the “calls it like I sees it” range.

          Great for getting across “what you mean” in a manner everyone can understand. Abominable for laywerspeak, writing contracts or other exercises in CYA or interpersonal diplomacy.

          Legacy of being a redneck, I suppose. Folk ‘round here are raised with an innate distrust of anyone who exercises an abundance of decorum. It is a social hindrance I struggle daily to overcome; it requires a certain amount of cognitive dissonance to behave differently when dealing with folks online/over the phone/at a conference/etc. versus people in RL back home.

          I wonder how much others experience this, or are even aware of it? Do people raised with layers of outbound filters between “what I mean to say” and “how I should be saying it” realise how they are perceived by (for example) rednecks? There is a certain amount of obvious “, my social conditioning is the ‘right’ social conditioning” evident in any society, but I wonder to what degree introspection makes its way down to the individual level in different cultures.

          Here in Alberta, we actually talk about these issues a fair amount. Regardless of education, occupation, etc…I find a lot of people amenable to a discussion about the use of social filtering on speech. Why is it that Albertans – and by extension, rural Ontarians and all Newfies – have such a problem with decorums (or other related social filters?)

          I think it isn’t necessarily that we perceive prevarication in such interactions, but that there is a certain perception of lack of interpersonal trust. We are a culture big on “handshake agreements,” “word is your bond’ etc. If you feel that you have to choose your words carefully – usually for CYA purposes – then you are perceived as not trusting the listener (or reader) to extract meaning (and political correctness implications) from context.

          I find the entire topic fascinating, especially in the context of writing and trolling online. El Reg is a culture unto itself; rooted in British sensibilities, but with its own quirks. Ars Technica is prototypically American, with the Science, Technology and Gaming sections of the website each having sub cultures that seem to reflect a predominance from one coast or the other. (Actually, the science areas have a large international representation, so a great deal of formality enters into discussion, and rules/debate semantics become critical elements.)

          Contrast this with the far more laid back – even at the upper levels of high-stakes corporate discourse – culture here at home, and it is a learning experience. “Know your audience” as it were; the vagaries and subtleties of which are apparently something that can occupy entire professions.

          I’ll be interested to see what the less blunt versions of the discussed featuresets eventually get called. It also raises the question of forum rules and “unofficial” decorum expected in the new setting.

          Traditional netiquette requires a certain level of “on topic-ness” to a given post. El Reg has a great list of Big Bad Don’ts as well. (Visible in the “why was my post rejected” screen.) But the ability to set your own topics – and the more “free-wheeling” culture that typically implies – might be something to address at the outset?

          Perhaps then an additional “feature request” should be an “unofficial rules” post to help shape the new topicless (or free-for-all topicness) of the new forums. Something that addresses not only the overarching issues such as libel or blatant trolling. But also something that discusses some of the more subtle ones such as decorum, policy regarding linking to other sites (deep linking/image linking issues are things some sites have problems with.)

          Or maybe I am just over thinking all of this. That happens a lot too.

          1. Sean Baggaley 1

            If memory serves, as your society becomes larger and more complex, so do its user interfaces. Etiquette is essentially social grease. The more cogs, gears and other folderol you have in close proximity, the more grease you need to keep everything moving smoothly. If you only have a simple wheel spinning all on its lonesome, you can spend a lot less on its maintenance.

            In a rural village, with a low population, you don't need to worry about formal introductions as everyone knows everyone else already. It's all just one big tribe.

            Once you reach a certain population level, that "one tribe" system fails: it becomes impossible to remember everyone's names, and you end up with separate groups forming within the über-tribe, each of which then has to interface with the other groups. The more groups you have, the more complex the interfaces become, until you end up with people who spend their lives analysing and codifying those very interfaces in the form of etiquette.

            The rise of social media technologies in recent years has had the effect of reducing the number of interfaces required to socialise with even a very large circle of friends and acquaintances, as the computer is doing the remembering of names and faces for us. The result is a gradual erosion of what many of us older readers think of as basic politeness and social graces.

            Polite society—as we know it, at least—is ending. There will be a new society, but it's unlikely anyone has a clue what it'll look like. We're in the transitional phase now.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Cogent and insightful.

              I can find no flaws in your reasoning.

              1. Sean Baggaley 1

                Neither can I.

                I find that a bit worrying as there's no family history of lucidity or sanity. I'll see the doctor in the morning.

            2. FIA

              Aren't we always in a transitional phase though? It just takes a generation or so to really see it.

              Perhaps the (relatively recent) proliferation of mass media will make this more obvious as time goes on, but it's probably just a lens on an effect that has always been; just a consequence of the wider berth of human experience modern communications offer us.


              I really want to visit Alberta now. Sounds an interesting place. (I'm British; but from a part of the country that also likes to call a spade a spade).

  5. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Sort "My posts"

    The ability to sort "my posts" by Topic / Thread / Date

  6. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Block quote

    Some sort of formatting for quoting...

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Formatting for quoting? Some of us haven't even got basic formatting yet!

      I wanna be an itard, btard and atard

      Bugger, just replied so that must make me a retard.

      Sorry, long day, even I'm not entirely sure I'm finding myself funny at the moment

      1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge


        Ben, you've found us! Your account is upgraded.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge


          Thank You! I can now waste my last week at work by playing with formatting!

  7. Jedit

    Direct links to posts

    Or failing that, notifications when someone directly replies to your post or to the thread - God, even Memebase has that. As is, the forums aren't much more than a fire-and-forget comment board; holding an actual discussion is very hard.

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: Direct links to posts

      I am unsure what you mean by "Direct links to posts". In the Forums box on the Right hand Side - which you can see when you are logged in, there is a link currently called My Forums. This lists all the forum that you have posted in and in grey how many posts there have been since you have last posted.

      Does this help at all?

      As for direct replies - where would you like to see that notification - in the user panel on the right hand side or as an email? Or somewhere else?

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        I don't know if this is sort of what he/she is referring to, but when you up/down vote a post, the link to go back to the forum is actually a link to the post you just voted on, like this:

        However, I don't know another way to get the link to the post - unless you count rooting around in the page source!; oh and for any Australian's reading this part, the other use of rooting applies here too :)

        But, thumbs up to being able to tell that someone has replied to one of my posts (The replies sometimes keep me on an even kiel; if it wasn't for them maybe I'd have a white cat and fleet of space shuttles by now...

        Oh, and I know I can't spell; writing is not my job, just a bit of fun I do (badly) on the side.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Link to post

          Click the hash (#) beside the timestamp.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge

            Hey, you mean like this?

            <Sound of universe recursing down plughole>

            Now look what you've gone and done.....

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              I think it was supposed to be more Like this.

              Which you can only get if you click on the post link, and then on the 'show in context' link. I think.

              1. Phil Mitchell (Written by Reg staff)


                I think we could do with making permalink a bit more obvious

  8. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Interfacing, threading, communications...oh my!

    [quote="TeeCee"]<Sound of universe recursing down plughole>[/quote]

    Stop recursing! These forums don't support quotes! If you recurse we'll lose all sense of conversation flow, and then we'll really be buggered.

    Oh, quotes. Crap. I have to do this manually. *weeping*

    TeeCee wrote:

    <Sound of universe recursing down plughole>

    Stop recursing! These forums don't support quotes! If you recurse we'll lose all sense of conversation flow, and then we'll really be buggered.

    Much better. I wonder how many years it will take to embed that into my motor neurons such that I can do it as instinctively as bbcode? Curse you, internets, and your lack of standards! So many different forums from so many different people...virtually no standardisation between them!

    Power trollus interruptus.

  9. dave 93

    What about ratings?

    They are everywhere, but little baby vultures, not stars. Yes or no just isn't enough sometimes.

    And while you're at it, not picture uploads, but maybe icon uploads?? Aw, go on then, picture uploads as well. Let's have a party!

    1. dave 93

      Icon uploads was my idea right?


      The post is required, and must contain letters.

      1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Icon uploads was my idea right?

        Yes, yes - but what kind of icons are you talking about - your very own avatars?

        1. dave 93

          Avatars could work

          Alongside your username as part of your account, please no animated gif though!

          I was thinking more of the post icon selection panel having an 'Other' button for something to go alongside the post.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


            They would have to be manually vetted by El Reg staff. Otherwise we'll drown in d*ngs. IF we allowed everyone an avatar, the mods would drown in d*ngs trying to prevent the masses from drowning in d*ngs.

            The bar for "allowed an avatar" should probably be very high if it is seriously considered...

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              You'd also have to think about whether you wanted to store those avatars;

              Another site I use allows you to just specify a URL, the image on the end of it will be vetted and then the avatar is approved/disapproved. The problem is, what's to stop me changing that image to something that would obviously have been disapproved?

              The flip side of the coin is that you force people to upload, but then have to absorb storage for the many wonderful images that people will try and use. This'd be even worse if its on a per post basis rather than per comment.

              Moderation levels the same either way, but one route carries higher risk of publishing willies whilst the other has a (potentially substantial) storage cost.

              There's a way round it, but I'm not entirely sure what it is!

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


                I think user defined avatars would be a nightmare to administer.

                If you go down that road at all, why not have some pre-made ones, perhaps base them on number of posts/up-votes/down-votes or whatever.

                Bronze, Silver and gold vulture profiles would be nice, with the black/red reserved for staff :)

            2. TeeCee Gold badge

              "IF we allowed everyone an avatar, the mods would drown in d*ngs...."

              Or maybe worse.

            3. M Gale

              Re: Avatars

              Has anybody suggested a Karma-ish system yet? If posts_total - posts_reported < some_percentage then bingo_you_has_imagery(uid). Well, something like that anyway, and it could be extended to other plusses, eg if someone really can be trusted to play around in a simple scripting environment without breaking the site layout and pissing everyone off. How hard to make a little box the size of a post with a canvas area and a very simple tablettish VM in javascript, does anybody have the spare time to implement it, and more importantly could it have a checkbox so users can say "no I don't want funky Javascript running everywhere"?

              Might help to have some feedback as well, if you're trying to make the forums more self-moderated (ie: users can banhammer each other). Having a flag next to the post in the Your Posts list with "X number of people have reported this post" or similar might promote a more graded response than "you posted something shit, you're lolbanned."

        2. Vic

          > your very own avatars?

          If you do this, can we also have the option never to see avatars?

          They inevitably end up as an exercise in tastelessness...


  10. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

    Change to threading?

    Could I request a slight alteration to the way comments are threaded.

    Let me explain ... assume the thread is like this at the moment:

    Comment 1

    | Reply 1

    | Reply 2

    If I reply to "Reply 1" with a new comment, the thread becomes:

    Comment 1

    | Reply 1

    | Reply 2

    | New comment.

    Rather than the expected:

    Comment 1

    | Reply 1

    | New comment.

    | Reply 2

    This can lead to some ambiguity as to which comment the reply is to. Further indenting could also help, but this could open a can of worms when you get to 27 levels of indent...

    <brazen cheek> Any chance of an upgrade? </brazen cheek>

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Change to threading?

      You shall go to the upgrade ball, Blofield's cat.

      We'll have a think about threading. But last time we thought in public - several readers were opposed to threading in any form, IIRC.

      1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

        "You shall go to the upgrade ball, Blofield's cat."

        Thank you!

        (Now where did I put that glass slipper?)

      2. Vic

        > several readers were opposed to threading in any form

        That's a slightly strange attitude - but nevertheless...

        On various other fora with which I am associated, there's usually some option to define the threading model displayed. So those that want nested comments get them, those that don't, don't.

        But that's more code for you to write :-(


  11. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    'Search' button on mobile version?

    Yeah OK, I know the Forum search box only went live today (or I've been blind the last few days), but I noticed earlier when browsing on my phone that I can't actually use it.

    If I whack in a search term and press enter the phone just moves to the next input box which is Search IT jobs.

    Tis only a little thing, and I can probably live without it, but if a phone's browser is detected can you serve a little submit button? The moving to the next box is probably more to do with the crappy default browser on Android than the site, but it'd be handy for when I'm too lazy to move off the sofa

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: 'Search' button on mobile version?

      I am almost certain that search will be added to our next mobile upgrade - going to be two or three months though.

      BTW forum search on desktop has been here long time long time.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        *orders replacement eyes*

        Awesome, not to worried about the search, will just have to remember not to use it on my phone

  12. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    Not sure if it's already been mentioned, but one thing I would like to see is: when I look at 'myposts' it would be nice to see some indication that there has been a newer post in the 'thread*' of replies for me to look at without having to click on my post and read the thread.

    *By thread, I don't mean the whole listing, just the post that has been made/replied to - damn I can't explain it, you know what I mean :)

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      To add to that

      I like the "My Forums" page, but what about changing from x posts since you last posted to x posts since you last viewed or even both?

      Yeah, a 'view replies' link on the My Posts page would be good

  13. Vic

    Page order

    Ok, here's my most recent wishlist item.

    When selecting a forum from the "Your Forums" link on the right-hand side, the last page in a multi-page forum is always selected.

    So if I've set a forum order to "Newest", I get the oldest page of posts (which is never what I want).

    Can we have the page selected being dependent on the display mode, please?



    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Page order

      Seems reasonable - I'll check out feasibility

    2. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Page order

      This seems logical. Will check out feasibility.


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