New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

    I have closed the original New forum Wishlist - and boiled it down (and added some stuff) to the things we will do, the things we might do, the things we are unlikely to do and the things we won't do. Here is our roadmap. There are no timescales as we have a lot of other stuff on our plate.

    El Reg forums roadmap - no time scales

    Inbox to inform you if your account is upgraded, if suspended etc. Give users chance to reply to moderators via this mechanism

    Ability to view replies to self via my posts view

    Badges to indicate levels of accounts / moderators

    Formatting: introduce line breaks, bullet points, blockquote, superscript, subscript

    Most recent 50 posts view

    Demote "closed" topics so that they always appear underneath "open" topics

    Stats view - most popular topic, etc.

    Enable editing posts - 10 minute window for all [DONE - Oct 2013]

    One page - up vote / down vote [DONE - Oct 2013]

    Possible inclusions for roadmap


    html formatting bar in post comments form

    Ignore / Follow - individual commenters

    Nesting - three-level nesting, default or optional. Jury still out

    View from last read /last post. We think this is useful, but we haven't yet figured out how best to do this

    Notifications when someone directly replies to your post or to the thread. Via email or forum in-box? And what if there are dozens of responses to the thread?

    Possibles - but only if El Reg forums get very big

    Commentard to Commentard communication via forums

    Invite-only forums / topics

    Kharma-ish system have to balance rewards with attempts to game whatever system we come up with

    Ability to order comments by popularity - again this could be gamed

    Not on roadmap

    User-defined avatars - we don't want to have to store avatars, or vet them, or get angry if someone changes avatar to something abusive.

    Log-in via third parties - e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Disqus, Linked-in

    1. Aaron Em

      It could be nifty to have an optional "withdraw reason" field, which if used would produce something like:

      This post has been deleted by its author because it sucked.


      This post has been deleted by a moderator because every word but one was illegal.

      with the current message appearing if no reason is provided.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Allow me to jump in here (hi all).

        I came across an issue with flagging posts - IMHO it would be good if you could provide a one-liner with the reason why you flagged a post for review, as it may not always be immediately evident. That also allows for a feedback loop which should (hopefully) result in a degree of tuning between moderators and those who take the time to flag a message as moderators can offer feedback too (I'm assuming a message facility here, but you have the email address of the user so you could just ping an email).

        C'est tout :)

    2. poopypants

      Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

      Posted Wednesday 21st March 2012 10:00 GMT

      This is very informative if you happen to live in the UK. Not so great if you live somewhere else. It would be nice if you could change it to something like

      Posted Wednesday 21st March 2012 10:00 GMT (3:37 hours ago)

      Pretty please?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

        I think it just make sense to say "x hours ago", then "x days", then "x months", then "date/ no time". That works for everyone, yes?

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

          I think it just make sense to say "x hours ago", then "x days", then "x months", then "date/ no time". That works for everyone, yes?

          Not really. Trying to respond to a particular AC, when 3 or 4 of them posted "x hours ago", is rather problematic, doncha think? With an unambiguous timestamp, I can respond "@ AC (15 Aug 14 - 12:34:56 (GMT))" and the whole world (well, at least our whole world) will know exactly to whom I am directing my well thought out vitriol response.

    3. P. Lee

      Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

      Could we have fonts moved out of Javascript on Channel Register?

      1. Marco Fontani

        Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

        > Could we have fonts moved out of Javascript on Channel Register?

        The "custom" fonts for Channel are defined in the main CSS. What problem are you experiencing with those fonts?

    4. jheronimus

      Re: New Forum Wishlist - but read roadmap first

      Why doesn't www.theReg auto-redirect to m.theReg on mobile?

      Seems kind of silly to have to manually navigate to the mobile site like a savage, rather than have theReg if { us to its mobile site like a proper English gentlesite

  2. dogged

    I like most of these except for the "karma" thing which seems like unnecessary fluff.

    1. Ole Juul

      Yep, karma's a bummer.

      Otherwise the list is indeed well prioritized. And yes please, definitely NO avatars.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Quick search of one's own posts would be nice.

    Providing a link to the stray post I reference in:

    could come in handy.

  4. Gordon861

    Get rid of the advert/profile bit on the right of the page, currently 25% of available space is wasted.

    And/Or allow forum to fill whole browser instead of the fixed width bit.

    1. Aaron Em

      I'm actually going to argue against this one on the grounds that the widescreen displays it's almost impossible to avoid any more give you gobs of horizontal space but put vertical space at a high premium. That being the case, a columnar layout is really the only thing that makes sense.

      Here's a Javascript bookmarklet that'll get rid of the sidebar on any Reg or Reg Hardware page. To use it, create a bookmark (preferably in your toolbar) with it as the target, and then click the bookmark to remove the sidebar. To retrieve the sidebar, reload the page. It doesn't work on the homepage because there are only three headlines per row div and if you want that reflowed then you can damn well do it yourself.


    2. monkeyfish

      Use the mobile site if you want it fill the full width. m.forums.register

  5. Haku

    No to avatars.

    No to karma stuff.

    No to sorting comments by popularity (people will start trying to game the system at the detriment to the quality of the posts).

    IMHO this kind of stuff will just detract from people engaging in putting forward serious comments and engaging in interesting discussions. I really like the fact that certain forums I visit do not have avatars and very few people have bothered to make sigs (of which the ones that do usually put useful info/links in).

    Nesting - you shouldn't have brought in the silly curved arrow to indicate someone's post is a reply to someone elses, with the vertical grey bar it was instantly obvious it was a reply, and if you bring it back you can make it so two vertical grey bars mean a reply to a reply, and perhaps stretch it to 3 for a reply to a reply to a reply.

    1. Martin Budden Silver badge

      re Nesting

      Proper indenting is all that is needed. You know, 40px for a reply, 80 for a reply to a reply, and so on. Easy peasy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re Nesting

        Problem with that is you soon run out of horizontal space and on popular topics you end up with replies that are one word wide and forty feet tall.

        Another possible solution is after the name of the poster, have a row of tiny arrow icons with one arrow being one level of reply. You could nest 10 deep easily without messing the overall formatting up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re Nesting

          Just have a maximum width for indents, say 300px. 50px per indent. If you end up with too many indents, reduce the per-level indent amount until it is less than 300.

          Get rid of the pages of comments though.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Html wishlist from Irony Deficient

    Originally posted here.

  7. heyrick Silver badge


    A direct link to the forum/containing from your list of posts. If you get upvoted a lot or downvoted to hell and back, it might be nice to jump to your post for follow-ups. With the new system, I open the post alone and then click "posted in forum blahblah". The "ability to view posts to self" is a good idea, but fixing the above (back to what it was) will be a quick patch to make this simpler until then.

    Subscript? Superscript? Is this really necessary? Next we'll want fonts (so code can be in monospaced, etc), alignment/justification, and so on. I can understand linking things, and also italics for emphasis and bold for shouting at fanboys, but anything else is surely overkill? [I grew up when you had to make do with plain ASCII and a few symbols!]

    Please kill that grey arrow. No, seriously, take it out back and shoot it. I'm not a "old ways were the best" sort of person, but you've taken a large clear visual cue (the bar) and reduced it to an easily-missed icon.

    If we do avatars, mine will be Haruhi Suzumiya. That, along with somebody else offering the obligatory animated GIF of an ejactulating dick, ought to be enough to make you rethink the idea of avatars...

    Facebook login? Die.

    1. Irony Deficient

      … wants, really.

      heyrick, nothing in this thread (or in my post on the other thread) is a need; they’re all wants. My being a typographophilotard, a wide selection of formatting options rates highest with me, despite (or perhaps due to) having grown up when upper-case-only hard-copy Teletypes were the reigning “terminal”. As such, I disagree with characterising such a selection as “surely overkill”; those with no desire to make use of e.g. monospaced text will simply choose not to use it, just as I’ve chosen to not use the upvoting and downvoting buttons.

      I too believe that the grey vertical bar was superior to the curved arrow icon, and look forward to its triumphal return.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Might I suggest replacing "editing ability" with "10-minute editing window". This will enable a quick spell-correct or 'Oops I forgot that bit'; while cutting out most the 'rewriting history' shenanigans that are possible with unlimited edits.

    1. Irony Deficient

      another possibility

      moiety, another possibility would be to allow unlimited edits of a post only if it has no unwithdrawn “descendant” replies: so e.g. if A makes a post, B replies to A, C replies to B, and B withdraws his reply, A cannot edit his post again until C also withdraws his reply.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: another possibility

        That's good too. I do know that unlimited no-holds-barred edits can lead to dickery in some circumstances. Don't know for sure that it would be a problem on El Reg...the atmosphere here is a little more mature than many places on the net. Maybe even a "This post has been edited" tag would be enough. Maybe not though.

    2. stuartnz
      Thumb Up

      I strongly second this idea. My brain often races ahead of my CP-affected hands and submits my comment with all sorts of annoying typos. A ten minute window to clean up evidence of my lousy hand-eye co-ordination would be very helpful.

  9. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ?

    (unless I am being very thick)

    When I view my list of posts, where I have REPLIED to a post, the little curly arrow acts as a link to take me directly to my post in context. However, if I merely add a comment (at the "top level) then I have no such link, and have to trawl through the comments, to see my comment (and hence if anyone has replied to it).

    I'm sure you used to be able to do this. If so it's a feature that has been lost in the upgrade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ?

      I dont recall what was there before. But I'll put this onto snag list to investigate for our next round of improvements.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ?

        Please please please !!!!!!

        If it helps to move this up the priorities list, it's not a new feature. It's fixing whatever broke it in the first place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ? Reminder

      "I dont recall what was there before. But I'll put this onto snag list to investigate for our next round of improvements."

      What was there before was View Post in Context. It took one straight to the post in the thread.

      In any conversation-based model, this is pretty important. Without it, it is hard (sometimes, in a busy thread, just too hard) to return to it.


      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ? Reminder

        Any life or movement?

        What seems to happen now is that when clicking on the reply-to arrow, it is a link to the post to which one replied. There is no way to get from a post in the my-posts list to that post in its thread --- except by searching the page[s] for it. As an index, then, the posts list is utterly useless. Well, ok. it's a reminder of what articles one commented on, but that's all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Not able to go directly to a top-level posting ? Reminder

          We should be making a couple of tweaks in coming weeks. Let me check on this.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          My posts / posting in context - your wish is granted

          in My Posts / post / Click on the "posted" timestamp link when in my posts to see in action.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: My posts / posting in context - your wish is granted

            Brilliant ... but obscure! I'd never have guessed if I hadn't stumbled on this while wandering the site news wondering what all the badges were about!

            Thanks anyway :)

  10. BlueGreen

    possibly dumb suggestion

    I understand el reg has considered full threading (I'd like that) but it's a hefty change, so I was wondering if there was any way of also republishing posts as nntp.

    Newgroup readers are mature, support full tree-structured threading and plenty more. Obviously you couldn't reply to a comment via nntp and expect it to end up in the html forums (could you? I know of no nntp authentication) so it would be read-only. Also I guess the html forums would be the permanent record, nntp threads would not be kept much past the 'this topic is now closed' point.

    It's been some years since I used newsgroups (bloody spammers) so I may be missing a very obvious problem, but it just might be a lightweight if freaky solution.

    Ur thinkings, please? not to flamey, ta.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not a dumb suggestion

      A couple of other people have mentioned this. We'll have a mull.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Not a dumb suggestion

        Without knowing what your back-end systems look like, Russ Allbery's News::Gateway perl module might be a starting point. I've used it in the past ... it's a trifle crusty around the edges (Tim Skirvin cleaned it up a bit about ten years ago), but the base code is usable. I can't comment on the security of the system if open to world+dog.

  11. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Pre-expanded comments

    When a comment is accessed via an explicit url, e.g., it would be nice if it was presented pre-expanded - if you're going directly, the chances are you want to see it all.

    1. BlueGreen

      Re: Pre-expanded comments

      Turn off jscript, they all show expanded.

    2. Minty

      Re: Pre-expanded comments

      With a bit o luck, that should now be fixed. Thanks for the suggestion :)

  12. TeeCee Gold badge

    Ok, not strictly "forum", but I'm not starting a new topic.

    A commentard-to-commentard message capability. An opt-in system for registered commentards only, with the capability to wield the banhammer on individual commentards at the receiving end[1]. Basic forward to the target's email would do the trick[2], option to add local inbox/outbox/reply capability later if it proves popular and people want it.

    [1] Something like: "You can't message ${commentard} as he's already decided you're not worth listening to. You may publicly grovel for forgiveness in the User Forums if you like."

    [2] Manual reply process via the same PM process, unless the sender wishes to divulge a return email address of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ok, not strictly "forum", but I'm not starting a new topic.

      What a cock!

  13. Simon Harris


    Now that we have basic html formatting, can we have a <font color = .... > tag with the colour attribute as specified in this long overdue colour standards document...

    The Color Of Irony

    Please, pretty please.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Colours

      Please, no ... My eyes hurt enough as it is.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Colours

        If you do that I want a <blink> tag too. If my experience of 70/80/90s computing is anything to go by, that idea alone should kill it off almost immediately :).

        On a serious note, I do support the idea of a FEW colours, like blue and red, but there is a serious risk it will start to look like the first years of DTP: some people just want to use ALL the possibilities in one post. OTOH, this tends to settle down after a while.

        In summary, I can see some people wanting it, but I'm not bothered. I started computing when everything was glowing in uppercase green, so I learned to cope early on :)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Colours

          That conversation was happening half a year ago, Fred.

          Thankfully ElReg hasn't implemented colo(u)rs, fonts, <blink>, and miscellaneous other bits of RansomNote text display ... ASCII is ASCII, and most of us techies like it that way.

          I prefer amber on black, not green on black ... Personal preference ;-)

  14. jake Silver badge

    So ... Is this "user forum" thingie working?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    [multi]markdown support

    Typing HTML is a pain in the arse —especially on a mobile keyboard. But I'd much rather have markdown support than some bloaty resource-hogging WYSIWYG formatting bar.

    1. Minty

      Re: [multi]markdown support

      Covered here

  16. This post has been deleted by its author


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