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Just deployed: New dpreview.com forums system

By dpreview staff on Oct 3, 2012 at 21:29 GMT

We've just deployed the redesigned forum system - the biggest single change we've made since our forums were created, over 13 years ago. As discussed in an earlier news post, the new software will closely match the behavior of the existing system but with a range of additional features and with scope for further expansion in the future. We've sifted through the feedback from the preview announcement we made last week and have developed a list of requested features that we will start working on.

Existing feedback:

From our first round of feedback we have identified a series of features that we will be implementing in the coming weeks and months, including:

  • 'm.forums' mobile-device-friendly version of the forums
  • Alternative colorschemes / skins
  • 'Ignore thread' option
  • 'Mark as read' option for threads
  • Additional requested tweaks and improvements

But we've listened to all the feedback and will continue to add features and behavioral adjustments.

Clarification on user moderation:

We would also like to make a clarification about community moderation and the role of down-voting in the new forums. When we talk about community moderation, we are referring to a group of hand-picked moderators who have volunteered from within the forums communities and whose actions will be overseen, not simply entrusting moderation to up- and down-voting. We will also be working very carefully when setting thresholds for any systems based on voting so that they can't be easily rigged. These systems will not be introduced until we think they can be introduced in a way that truly benefits the community.

More features coming

In addition to the requested tweaks and feature additions that were requested in the first round of feedback, there are a series of features that the new system will allow us to add. These include:

  • User reviews
  • User articles / blog posts
  • User polls
  • Better filtering (time / date ranges ...)
  • Trending / hot stuff page
  • Better integration with product pages (ability to ask / see questions on product pages...)

More feedback wanted

However, we know that a change this big will inevitably have a few teething troubles and features that need to be fine-tuned, so we're looking for feedback on any bugs you spot or changes you think have to be made. Please send your feedback using this webform, where they will be monitored to help make the new forums as enjoyable as possible.

Comments

Total comments: 736
23456
Henry Richardson
By Henry Richardson (Oct 4, 2012)

This whole voting thing is starting to look meaningless and ridiculous. See this post I made asking a simple uncontroversial question and several people incomprehensibly gave it negative votes. I don't care about negative votes for my post, but it brings up the question of what is the point of these votes if people just randomly vote one way or the other?

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50002675

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
12 upvotes
Jos Bleau
By Jos Bleau (Oct 4, 2012)

I find it kinda fun to click on an empty vote and see the color change. I can click it back if I don't like it. I think dpr were thinking the same.

3 upvotes
Alanis
By Alanis (Oct 4, 2012)

To add my own tiny voice: I hate it. I don't think I need to say why - everybody else already has.

8 upvotes
Cameron R Hood
By Cameron R Hood (Oct 4, 2012)

did you lift the childish blocking of other camera forum websites?

0 upvotes
Alanis
By Alanis (Oct 4, 2012)

Says this child, who has just entirely childishly posted a link to some other childish forum.

0 upvotes
Cameron R Hood
By Cameron R Hood (Oct 5, 2012)

obviously not...

www.pentaxforums.com
http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/

0 upvotes
y3k
By y3k (Oct 4, 2012)

It's terrible...

13 upvotes
heinz 41
By heinz 41 (Oct 4, 2012)

what happened to my 'ignore list' ?

have to read them in every thread they are in now.

4 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (Oct 4, 2012)

I don´t like it and don´t see any sense in it. Why does every bigger site think that they need a new layout just because it´s "new"? At first Youtube, now Dpreview. What a waste of time they better have spent for real improvements or reviews...

5 upvotes
Peanut88
By Peanut88 (Oct 4, 2012)

Wrong.
Your forum format should be something like this one.
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/general-tech-talk/1160248-canon-d650-nikon-d3200.html
8 )

2 upvotes
dvilaplana
By dvilaplana (Oct 4, 2012)

That's too much nice and simple. They prefer complicated things, obviously... ¿?

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Oct 4, 2012)

That's flat-view only. I hate forums like that and avoid them where possible for that reason alone.

1 upvote
DJMusic
By DJMusic (Oct 4, 2012)

Love the new format! Two. Thumbs up. 😄

1 upvote
lemon_juice
By lemon_juice (Oct 4, 2012)

Recently, I'm experiencing more and more of the so called "change for the sake of change" - first windows 8 and now dpreview new forum look. Why change something that worked well? I know the new forum format has a few new features but they could have been added to the old look as well.

To be more specific my major concerns:

1. The blue text is harder to read and their no colour indication of visited links. I had to switch to the yellow layout - yellow should be the default and the blue should also have visited link distinction!

2. Lots of space wasted in the thread/post lists - why so much empty space between the lines? The pages have become huge and require more scrolling. The older compact view was much better.

[to be continued....]

23 upvotes
lemon_juice
By lemon_juice (Oct 4, 2012)

3. There's some mess introduced in viewing images in posts. Enlarging/shrinking images with a mouse click results in some weird jumping of the page and the result is that the image goes out of view. Additionally, I've noticed some images are upscaled in the browser which results in perceived softness that is not present on the original. No images should appear larger than uploaded by the user - this makes no sense and degrades quality. Besides, the old widged allowed nice and smooth resizing, which was nice. Why did you have to change what was working so well?

Generally I have a feeling of a little chaos now that I'm coming back to the forums, much less enjoyable experience. But well, that probably has one good advantage - I found myself spending here more time than I wanted to so now I have a chance to step back from the forums and reclaim some of my time. No problem at all, who said I have to be a regular user of dpr forums?

5 upvotes
jwaif
By jwaif (Oct 4, 2012)

Have you thought of adding a keyboard shortcut to open the original photo in a second window? You’ve made some great improvements with the new forum navigation and layout which are more obvious on the second day. This is the first time all the keyboard shortcuts have ever worked correctly for me.

1 upvote
David Nall
By David Nall (Oct 4, 2012)

Give us back the old forum layout. This one stinks.

11 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Oct 4, 2012)

The votes are in, and most users think this new eyestraining layout stinks. Flashy, garish and a real pain to look at. Back to the drawing board!

10 upvotes
Nightwings
By Nightwings (Oct 4, 2012)

back to to old board I say. :) ... Except the forum name changes .... they can stay! :)

3 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Oct 4, 2012)

Keystroke "n" skipped over ignored posters. Now it's broken and happily opens all posts, thus defeating in large degree the ignore lists.

2 upvotes
fdfgdfgdgf
By fdfgdfgdgf (Oct 4, 2012)

make the old one back fast

13 upvotes
Andrewteee
By Andrewteee (Oct 4, 2012)

I know there is no going back, but I prefer the old layout. It was much easier to scan. The new layout has too much chrome (vs content) and there is too much "air/space" around content. I think the color palette and the layout can be tweaked to improve on those challenges. As it stands now I find the forums hard to browse. For what it is worth...

6 upvotes
micdair
By micdair (Oct 4, 2012)

I agree that scanning discussions for interesting topics is quite tiring now - for me it's probably mainly due to that strange interlaced design (two types of data in one column), maybe dimming the white color of 'infoline' with the name of the author could help a little.

I'm sure there are many important improvements in the code. It's just that the current layout and colors hurts my eyes much more than the previous one even though there is less info that fits on my screen...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Dynho
By Dynho (Oct 4, 2012)

I agree as well that this new layout does make it hard to browse and find an interesting thread in the first place. The two lines (or three lines, depending on the subject) forum index is a step backwards. Before we had all the information at one glance, the layout steady.

To me it seems as if this new forum system is a concession to mobile device users, especially ones with so-called "smart"phones. Well, I don't own a cell-phone at all and like to surf the net with my desktop or laptop computer. I reckon I won't spend too much time at Dpreview anymore since it is for me an uncomfortable place now.

2 upvotes
Mike CH
By Mike CH (Oct 4, 2012)

Just deployed - wishing it would be possible to 'just undeploy', too. This is horrid.

Uses far too much real estate on the screen, both yellow and blue on black are very bad choices of contrast.

Regards,
Mike

7 upvotes
wootpile
By wootpile (Oct 4, 2012)

Clunky. Hurts the eyes. Loss of "community" feeling. You ought to fire whoever designed this. Or demand your money back.

The forum community is the backbone of dpreview.

What have you done..?

10 upvotes
RomanJohnston
By RomanJohnston (Oct 4, 2012)

Why fix what is not broken? Not a fan of the new layout.

Roman

6 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Oct 4, 2012)

I dont really like the cyan text.

Also, for messages that are viewed, the text should be a desaturated version of the un-viewed texted (light cyan in the present case)... having to look at that dot take too long and requires conscious effort.

Also, i prefer to have more messages rather less, which now requires much more scrolling than before, thus taking longer to find what you want.

1 upvote
Mr Gadget
By Mr Gadget (Oct 4, 2012)

I use an Android 10" tablet and for the most part I find your new format easier to navigate, except for the Amazon movie ad that is at the top of the right column, its hot spot is so large that it takes up half the screen if I use horizontal or almost all of the screen if using vertical. This is not a new feature with your upgrade, it was there before, but it seems more irritating now. Also when using the HTML WYSIWYG editor, my tablet's editor and spell checker is disabled, which is a disaster using a touch screen.

Please have someone give it a try with with a touch screen tablet and/or smart phone.

Oh, my tablet is a Toshiba Thrive 64gb.

0 upvotes
Jerry045
By Jerry045 (Oct 4, 2012)

I am finding the new layout to be very cumbersome. I much prefer the old format.

Jerry

6 upvotes
Bill Borne
By Bill Borne (Oct 4, 2012)

Wehn posting photos they should post 1 after another downwards...not on top of each other! ?????

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
1 upvote
photophile
By photophile (Oct 4, 2012)

EXIF information associated with a photo embedded in a thread now appears in a small side-window when cursor is over photo. But it ONLY shows the date the picture was uploaded to Dpreview galleries - NOT when the picture was actually captured. Why not ?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (Oct 4, 2012)

Content vs. Variety

Just publishing now and then I had no question about improvements. Either we have got to discuss something or not, the format doesn't matter to me or some quick database quirks.

More variety does not necessarily deliver more content.

0 upvotes
J C Brown
By J C Brown (Oct 4, 2012)

I miss the ability to look at a list of threads and see at a glance the identity of the member who posted each thread.

3 upvotes
Augustin Man
By Augustin Man (Oct 4, 2012)

Two problems: the first, VERY IMPORTANT, is that the images lost their former clarity and it's only a zoom in step; the second, of secondary importance, is that in the "Recent forum activity" appear the messages but not the forum name to which they belong.

Thank you for your attention.

4 upvotes
harry cannoli
By harry cannoli (Oct 10, 2012)

Agree. For a photography related site image clarity should be a priority. One look at what happens to my images once they're posted compared to the original image tells the story.

1 upvote
doktorjorge
By doktorjorge (Oct 4, 2012)

While browsing a forum, if one is on the (ex.) 2nd page of the listing, and enters a topic, pressing "f" returns to the first page of that forum... I think this didn't happen before and I think it was better that way... IMHO It's logical that one would want to return to the page (2nd in this ex.) where the chosen post was...

0 upvotes
Anthony Curcione
By Anthony Curcione (Oct 4, 2012)

Please disable the mouse over pop-ups for traffic coming from iPads. Makes it almost completely unusable. There should also be a way to disable it for regular desktop traffic, but at least there you can moue out and hide them. Not so much for the iPad.

0 upvotes
Stephenbw
By Stephenbw (Oct 4, 2012)

Another bug?

I just uploaded some pictures to my gallery for a challenge. The pictures in the gallery show the EXIF data but the same shots embedded in the challenge say "No EXIF data"

2 upvotes
Badbatz
By Badbatz (Oct 4, 2012)

Why in the "flat view" mode the messages ae not properly indented indicating answers to a particular message in a thread? As it is now, all answers appear to be to the OP.
Also, the new forum/thread page is too heavy and loads way too slow on mobile devices and/or with a slower connection. How about removing some icons and windows dressing or at least allow per-user configuration indicating whether an user wants the windows dressing or not.

3 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Oct 4, 2012)

That's always how flat view has been. That's why it's called flat.

2 upvotes
Stephenbw
By Stephenbw (Oct 4, 2012)

As has already been pointed out, Flat View was never indented. Flat View now tells you which post has been replied to, which it didn't do before.

On my iPod Touch the load speed is unchanged, and the layout and performance is much improved.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Oct 4, 2012)

The "votes" column is, to me, more harmful that beneficial. First of all, I don't want any one else's opinion on the thread, I'll form my own. Second it takes the place of the author, which I do want to see. Please at least offer the option of having that column replaced by author in collapsed view.

18 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (Oct 4, 2012)

Mild censorship to your opinion or view?

0 upvotes
fuego6
By fuego6 (Oct 4, 2012)

How about something like a "Mark Forum Read" button so we can log on and only see white dots in the forum thread... read those, ignore the ones we don't care about and then click the button again to reset so next time we only see new posts/updated threads?

Also, can you please change the reply default to jump to the the TEXT box and NOT the subject line.... how many times do we change the subject line that we need to default there???

While I'm not thrilled with the design, there are some benefits to it but hopefully these 2 items can be added!

4 upvotes
RoelHendrickx
By RoelHendrickx (Oct 4, 2012)

MAIL NOTIFICATIONS : DEFAULT NOT LOGICAL

Concerning the new forums.
In my profile, I have email notifications DISABLED (except for private messages°.
Nevertheless, the little box underneath a new forum post, that decides whether or not an e-mail notification will be sent to the user when someone replies to his post, is ticked by default.
However, I really DO NOT WANT my mailbox to be swamped by messages from DPR every time someone replies in a forum.
Sure, I can of course "untick" that box.
Only I don't think I will remember to do that EVERY time I post in a thread (which is often).
I believe that this is something that should not be opt-out, but opt-in.
Or at least the default status of that box should be corresponding with the poster's preferences in his personal profile.
Can you fix it?
Roel

7 upvotes
PAUL TILL
By PAUL TILL (Oct 4, 2012)

Don't worry about it, it doesn't work, I've left it ticked and not received any notifications.

0 upvotes
Larry Winters
By Larry Winters (Oct 4, 2012)

Hi Paul:

Sure it works. Its just disabled to previously banned members.

0 upvotes
thinkfat
By thinkfat (Oct 4, 2012)

Just checked usability with a tablet, 10" Archos 101XS - not that bad. I expected the "image view mode" to be a big problem, but actually it works nicely, fills the screen, allows easy viewing of the images. Better than having to click on each photo to enlarge it.

What's not good is the amount of "mouse-over", at least not for tablet. If you have an actual mouse, the popups work well e.g. as a preview of the message content when you hover over a post in the thread view. But on tablets, and it appears to be the same on Android and Ipad, the mouse-over is triggered after each swipe or scrolling gesture, at the position where you finger left the screen. That is highly disturbing.

Oh, and a big thanks for toning down the contrast in the message view. I see you changed the background from bright white to gray. It's much better that way, especially if you read the forum in a darkened room. Kudos for that!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
PhilPreston3072
By PhilPreston3072 (Oct 4, 2012)

Seeing as many people have commented that the brightness of the new forum hurts their eyes, I would suggest changing the subject banner for each post to white text on a dark grey banner, the same colour scheme used for the tabs for News, Reviews, Buying guides etc.

This would probably make the forum more similar to the previous one.
The current black text on white banner looks a bit daggy.

0 upvotes
JohnK
By JohnK (Oct 4, 2012)

Fixing something that wasn't broken.

1. Pop-ups. I'm not a fan of the pop-ups when hovering over a thread on a main forum page. Too many pop-ups on dpreview already, IMO. Distracting and discontinuous, IMO.
2. Member names missing from front forum pages: I miss being able to see the member's name so I can decide if I want to open a thread.
3. Ignore list: I liked having the threads from users on my ignore list separated, in gray at bottom of page. Mixing them in is less efficient, IMO.

May I ask who are these changes for? Who asked for this? Aren't there enough members and forum visitors already? Is the thinking that more people will come to dpreview if it's flashier and more "fun"? I think the new look ''dumbs down" dpreview for the short attention span crowd. IMO the overall affect of the new dpreview is schizophrenic and thus harder to find information. Oh well, I've spent too much time here anyway.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
Stephenbw
By Stephenbw (Oct 4, 2012)

2.Members names, and more info than before is all there in the full view; names only disappear in collapsed view.

0 upvotes
Kai Griffin
By Kai Griffin (Oct 4, 2012)

I like the new look. I find it easier on the eyes - and it just plain looks better. Well done.

1 upvote
NewYorkEd
By NewYorkEd (Oct 4, 2012)

I woke up this morning and turned on the computer and linked to dpreview. I sat there looking at it for ten minutes - I then started pinching myself. Am I still dreaming?

1 upvote
Edoveral
By Edoveral (Oct 4, 2012)

It seems that change doesn't fall good here. It's a miracle some here actually switched to digital camera's.

It's different, get used to it.

5 upvotes
Paul Janders
By Paul Janders (Oct 4, 2012)

The new forums are fantastic! Much easier to read and more esthetically pleasing. Great job!

0 upvotes
Merowech
By Merowech (Oct 4, 2012)

The one thing I wished for in the forums was a threaded view with all posts open (or maybe cut short and expandable) or call it flat view with answers moved to the right depending on the post they refer to. Or is it there and I just can't find it?

2 upvotes
NiallM
By NiallM (Oct 4, 2012)

well, everyone is happy then..

0 upvotes
GMart
By GMart (Oct 4, 2012)

Don't like it, sorry.

6 upvotes
GMart
By GMart (Oct 4, 2012)

However: Knowing IT systems it had to do with the current set-up either being at the end of life, the current software becoming unsupported or to bring efficiency (in storage terms) back to the system.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
1 upvote
deleted_081301
By deleted_081301 (Oct 4, 2012)

It's truly awful ........who designed it ? stevie Wonder / or ray Charles ?

9 upvotes
Larry Winters
By Larry Winters (Oct 4, 2012)

Maybe its just my XP machine and/or the much despised IE, but everytime I hit the "enter" tab to start a new paragraph, the whole IE locks ups.

1 upvote
PAUL TILL
By PAUL TILL (Oct 4, 2012)

Come on Larry, get with the times, your operating system is older than the original forums. It never worked 11 years ago, you expect it to work now.

2 upvotes
Its RKM
By Its RKM (Oct 4, 2012)

Yes, I have EXACTLY the same problem here.
IE also locks up every time I try to insert a paragraph into quoted text, for example to address a specific point in the quoted text.

If all previous text has to be retained just to stop IE locking up then its going to clutter the forums to the point of being unreadable.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
PAUL TILL
By PAUL TILL (Oct 4, 2012)

I've just noticed, the new layout is just a rip off of Twitter. Hope they don't start to restrict the number of letters we can type in each message too. :)

1 upvote
Joe Brush
By Joe Brush (Oct 4, 2012)

I can't wait till the introduction of the "Revert to classic view" button.

:)

13 upvotes
PAUL TILL
By PAUL TILL (Oct 4, 2012)

+1

2 upvotes
drummercam
By drummercam (Oct 4, 2012)

cant see as many threads in a window. bad move.

4 upvotes
PAUL TILL
By PAUL TILL (Oct 4, 2012)

Click the collapsed button at the top.

0 upvotes
jpr2
By jpr2 (Oct 4, 2012)

collapsed is way more useful, but it ripped some vital info (like who is the poster of each OP) to make way for a completely non-essential votes :( !!

2 upvotes
PAUL TILL
By PAUL TILL (Oct 4, 2012)

I believe they might implement that back into the forums further down the line.

0 upvotes
sean lancaster
By sean lancaster (Oct 4, 2012)

The "Recent Forum Activity" quick link in our profile menu on every page over on the right (avatar and name) provides a listing of all of my forum comments, but gone is the column that shows which forums the comment is posted in. I'd like to have that added back instead of just generically showing the comment thread titles. Thanks.

3 upvotes
lazy lightning
By lazy lightning (Oct 4, 2012)

Plain awful. Fred Miranada Forums here we come!

4 upvotes
deleted_081301
By deleted_081301 (Oct 4, 2012)

you couldnt put a link in here could you ;)

0 upvotes
Total comments: 736
23456