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Major update to dpreview forums coming soon: tell us what you think

By dpreview staff on Sep 27, 2012 at 23:04 GMT

In an ongoing effort to improve the performance and user experience on dpreview, we've rewritten and redesigned the forums, and will be launching the new version in a few days. From a look-and-feel standpoint, we made an effort to stay faithful to the core of the old design (no point throwing out the bits that work well) and from a functional standpoint, we focused on adding, rather than removing features.

The new forums look a bit different (nicer, we think) and are built on totally different code, so there will inevitably be a few things you'll have to get used to. Below you'll find some images of the new design and descriptions of what's new, and what's been changed. We encourage you to provide feedback, positive or critical, as we make the finishing touches. We're nearly ready, but if there's anything we've missed, we want to know before this goes live. 

As we set out on what ended up being the major task of redesigning our forums, we had two main goals. As well as adding some long-overdue features that bring our forums into the 21st Century, we also focused on addressing the most common comments and criticisms that we get in user feedback.

For example, there is a lot of great information and advice shared in the forums every day, but it is often difficult to find. To solve this, we implemented a number of new navigation and design aspects that will both help users find what they were looking for, and hopefully, discover a few things along the way.

Here's a quick outline of the new forums - please let us know what you think.


Top-level forum pages:

The new forum index pictured above shows off the new color schemes and increased spacing that pervades the rest of the forums design.

Posting and viewing pages:

The posting and viewing pages have also been substantially reworked:

The posting panel is now a full WYSIWYG interface, with buttons on the right for directly linking to an image on the internet, for uploading from your computer or for pulling an image from your dpreview gallery.

The main viewing screen has a number of changes. Dots next to each post appear white for unread posts and turn grey once read. At the forum level, partially-read threads will be represented by half-white dots. Note also the ability to preview a post by hovering over the post.

The record of which posts you've read will now be stored on our servers, not in your browser, so the read status of threads will be correct whatever device you log-in on.

Questions and Answers

For years we've been discussing ways in which we could make it easier for users can find the information they are looking for on dpreview in general, and the forums specifically. We've made some progress on our product search and comparison tools, but we recognize that forum threads often contain extremely useful information on a wide range of topics, and it isn't exposed very well. To this end, we've introduced a new thread type, 'Questions', which enables you to specifically mark a post as a question.

Once you're happy that the question has been answered, you can mark the best, most useful response as a 'top answer' for all to see. We plan to begin displaying the top questions throughout the site on product pages and widgets to help existing users and newcomers find the most interesting and useful posts.

The original poster can identify which response best answers their question. Once marked as answered, subsequent visitors can jump straight to the selected answer.
The selected answer post is clearly marked, but can be de-selected if a better answer is given later. Answered and unanswered threads are easily visible and can be used as filters, so you can find questions still in need of an answer.

User and post ranking

It has been a long time coming, but, we've added user rankings into user profiles. In this initial version a user's ranking is defined simply by the number of posts they've made and the date they signed up. However, in the near future we will be incorporating a considerably more complex logic which uses forum and site activity to influence ranking.

Additionally, we've incorporated ratings into the forums, so as you browse through threads you can up- and down-vote posts. This will later be tied-in to user rankings and will also allow us to add a feature to rank posts by popularity - making it easier to get to the most interesting threads.
Individual posts can be up- or down-voted. Note also the white dots for unread posts and
Each post has voting tabs. Votes on the original post appear at forum level.

We realize that many users are so used to the existing design, for better or for worse, that we wanted to provide some options that will help put the choice in your hands as to how the forums work for you.

There's an option for a collapsed view, which more closely resembles the current forum view. And, at the bottom of the page, an option to view in the legacy custard colorscheme.

Full list of changes

New features:

  • WYSIWYG text editor (no more markup)
  • New 'Question and Answer' threads
  • New 'breadcrumb trails' and quick-jump navigation at the top of each page
  • New (larger) buttons for creating threads 
  • New search bar, removing an extra click
  • Voting on threads and individual posts
  • The ability to preview a post by hovering over it with your mouse
  • User rankings
  • Community mods – better moderation, based on feedback
  • Image viewer mode / lightbox for going through image (or text) heavy posts
  • More filter options and an easier-to-use feedback form for 'For Sale' threads
  • Direct upload of images into forum posts
  • Dialogs to insert image from web, from file, and from gallery
  • Read status of threads persistent across devices

 General style changes:

  • Fonts and rows are larger throughout the forums
  • Search is more prominent throughout forums
  • Compact view mode which condenses more posts vertically
  • A legacy color mode enabling users to view in yellow rather than blue
  • Improved icons throughout the forums
  • More keyboard shortcuts
  • More filter options
  • Post contents will be hidden if down-voted enough
  • User can one-click subscribe to thread updates
  • Ability to hide posts' 'subject' in threaded view (avoiding repetitive “Re: Subject” titles if subject is unchanged)
  • More prominent actions (Reply, Quote, etc.)
  • Easier to use controls for managing your 'For Sale' thread
  • EXIF (if available) from all sources of attached images

The key thing to realise though, is that, while these initial changes may not seem huge, they represent only the visible aspect of the months of hard work that has gone into totally re-coding the forums. There is a lot of data in the forums and we prioritized speed and consistency in how we approached this upgrade.

The old forums were originally written in 1999 and have done an admirable job in helping to build and foster the dpreview community into what it is today. But the software industry has come a long way since then, and adding new features onto a software platform that is no longer supported, as well as maintaining it was not an option if we wanted to provide new and exciting features to the community.

Now that the new forums are using a software platform with modern conveniences, we can react quickly to feedback provided by the community and easily add new features. (Different 'skins' for instance)

Comments

Total comments: 698
12345
msrock
By msrock (Oct 1, 2012)

I think the most important thing, is to make the forum mobile.

3 upvotes
Mark H
By Mark H (Oct 1, 2012)

One huge problem, completely omitted here, but that really needs to be dealt with...

The 'camera' forums are meant to be the place to go to discuss 'cameras' - but they are absolutely plagued with posts by people simply sharing their latest photos, holiday snaps, birds, etc, and people using the forums like some kind of social networking/facebook facility.

Unfortunately, the new/easier 'direct upload of images into forum posts', whilst welcome for 'camera/technical' discussions, is likely to only encourage even greater amounts of 'look at my latest snaps' type posts.

There desperately needs to be a separate/parallel set of brand based 'photo-sharing' forums - so the 'camera' forums can be rid of people's nauseating holiday snaps, pets, etc.

I'd be very interested to see how many agree with me - so please click the 'LIKE' on this message if you do.

10 upvotes
Mark H
By Mark H (Oct 1, 2012)

P.S. Using the current option 'View>Exclude threads with images' isn't a solution - because many legitimate camera/technical discussions have images/graphics in them, and these then get excluded along with all the photo-sharing.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
NewYorkEd
By NewYorkEd (Oct 1, 2012)

Above each forum there is a VIEW tab giving three choices -
1, All Threads.
2, Exclude threads with images.
3. Only threads with images.

0 upvotes
Mark H
By Mark H (Oct 1, 2012)

Ed - you appear to have missed my P.S. (above) re the option 'View>Exclude... images'. It's an ineffective solution, because it also blocks all the 'camera/technical' threads that also have images.

2 upvotes
Alex Permit
By Alex Permit (Oct 3, 2012)

+1. I think a parallel set of "photo" forums would be great. But if that's too much trouble, or controversial, would it at least be possible to include a unique tag, like "photos", in the messages tag field? And give members the option to filter out threads with this tag?

1 upvote
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Oct 3, 2012)

+1 parallel "photo" forums
technical & leisure

0 upvotes
photomeme
By photomeme (Oct 1, 2012)

It's odd to see you preannouncing all these changes, without letting us try it on a beta basis. Did I miss it in the long text? I agree about the blue on black, violates so many conventions, why would you do that? blue's contrast color is yellow, not black!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Oct 1, 2012)

we will be launching it as a beta in due course, and will iterate based on that process. But we can't run the new system side by side with the old one unfortunately - once we've switched there's no way back, so we thought we'd get some feedback in advance.

1 upvote
Nightwings
By Nightwings (Oct 2, 2012)

Simon's reply makes sense to me. Better to get as much feedback now before the "switch" is pulled. One point I would disagree is the "no way back". I would suspect if the new changes are universally hated (just playing devis advocate) ... there would indeed be a way back. ;)

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Oct 2, 2012)

we could redesign the new system to look exactly like the old one, but that would take some time. Rolling back to the old system (thanks to significant changes in the data format) would be very difficult without downtime and/or lost posts so we want to avoid it :)

0 upvotes
nathanhw
By nathanhw (Oct 1, 2012)

Also was hoping for a proper RSS feed of the forums. I'm using Flipboard, for example, to see what all the recent topics are in a particular forum I am following.... but all Flipboard can do is create a tile for each Topic title.... and show me nothing of a summary (like the first post, that would be great), and when I click through I just get the desktop version of the site, rather than a basic text version or a mobile version, which is almost unreadable.

I don't mind the idea of "forcing" readers to click through after seeing the first post in a thread, so that we have to go to the site -- which helps with ad revenue etc. But it would be a great and convenient teaser if the top level posts were RSS friendlier, so that we would be able to quickly find what topics we want to click through to.

0 upvotes
nathanhw
By nathanhw (Oct 1, 2012)

Oh and I guess I should say that the method of RSS for now actually is worse than I describe, because since each topic contains sub topics (threads), the RSS method throws the parent topic to top of the list, not the thread.

Two ways to solve it:

1) Dedicated RSS option, instead of a hack like what we need to use now, just to skim.

2) Don't differentiate in the forum software between a thread and a topic. They are one and the same, and if a new thread is needed, it should be a new topic.

0 upvotes
nathanhw
By nathanhw (Oct 1, 2012)

Did a quick search and didn't find any mention of improvements for mobile access. The existing mobile formatting of the main site contents for mobile works well enough.

As we all know, there is no mobile formatting option available for the forums and that's a real drag.

Ideally, one would be able to use an existing standards-based api-compliant reader on mobile devices, something like Tapatalk.

Barring that, just an HTML version that is mobile friendly (adjustable fonts, single column, adjustable colors) would be GREAT.

As the site owners, you can tell how much traffic is from mobile devices from your log files. I'm sure I'm not the only person that spents 90% of my time reading and responding using an ipad, or even iphone, instead of a laptop or desktop.

0 upvotes
nathanhw
By nathanhw (Oct 1, 2012)

Woops, found the mentions of mobile via skinning. Not ideal but hey, it's still WAY better than the current mobile experience.

Still not clear why you guys are doing all this custom development work instead of using one of the time tested, open source, off the shelf solutions -- and focusing on content, moderation, etc. I mean, I come here for the content and expertise, not to have a unique conferencing software experience. Seems like with an org with limited budget/resources/time, focusing on something other than software development might be worth considering?

On the other hand, if it's a personal passion, like making one's own ice cream instead of buying it in a shop, I guess that's your prerogative. And whether it makes sense to me or not is not really your problem! :-)

0 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Oct 1, 2012)

I hope the rating algorithm will be smart enough to detect mob behaviour and people voting multiple times through different accounts and punish those accordingly.
Also, there are cases where a post was criticised (or praised) a lot and then it turns out that the post was actually correct (or wrong) - would a voting be reversed in such a case? I don't see how it would be done.

0 upvotes
Mike Gerstner
By Mike Gerstner (Oct 1, 2012)

dark blue on black is bad for the smaller text. I like the current color scheme. Making changes for the sake of change is not necessarily a good thing. Improve the current behind the scenes functionality ( site lockups, photo uploads etc.)

user rankings can wreak havoc, some thrive on this and this alone, and not at all necessary to the core purpose of the site (which hopefully is not just to make money, but to provide a service that is in demand, and also generates revenue.)

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Oct 1, 2012)

The ability to ignore users completely would be welcomed.

User rankings is a disaster waiting to happen, and given the intensity of feeling over some issues (like the Fuji orbs) I am truly surprised you do not realise this.

These forums are always split between people who want fan forums and people who want more objective assessment.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Oct 3, 2012)

ignoring some users?
GREAT IDEA !!

0 upvotes
MatijaK
By MatijaK (Oct 1, 2012)

Post and user rankings are a disaster. They're a playground for bullies. I can already imagine 1022, the only forum I frequent - 4/3 threads and users are going to be downvoted by m4/3 fanboys, and m4/3 threads and users are going to be downvoted by 4/3 fanboys... There are many issues with votes and rankings, and I could write an essay on them. Just say "no" and don't implement that.

The two New Thread / Question buttons on the top are too big.

Black has never been a good background colour for text, but I see that's likely to be fixed by selecting an alternative theme, like in the final Nikon example.

The flat view probably still doesn't have a "show parent" option. The tree view probably still reloads the entire page. Both of those need work, including "go to first unread" for flat view.

9 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Oct 1, 2012)

Argh! Rangefinderforum.com has gone over to feeble blue and wan gray type on black.

It's a stampede, I tell you. (In case you haven't noticed, ours is a stampede culture.)

DPR, please don't follow suit. At least, give the user options (that persist over invocations). Rangefinderforum provides options, none of which I like. It's banana-yellow-chalk-white for me. Please.

2 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Oct 1, 2012)

Hey Pat, notice the color options we mention at the end of the post:

http://3.static.img-dpreview.com/files/news/8745432408/connectforums.jpg?v=1601

0 upvotes
Rick Stirling
By Rick Stirling (Oct 1, 2012)

Yes!!! Finally - I don't have to worry about going blind reading the DPR forums. I'll probably spend more time here now. ;-)

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Oct 2, 2012)

"notice the color options we mention at the end of the post"

The link doesn't show color options, only a sample page having light blue and black on white.

Why not provide an option for the "classic" scheme, viz., banana-yellow-chalk-white?

0 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (Oct 1, 2012)

User rankings are nice, being able to flag users that you want to be hidden from your forum view would also be helpful.

1 upvote
TKinVA
By TKinVA (Sep 30, 2012)

Just one comment.

Please don't use dark blue. dark grey, or any other dark color for type on a black background.

It's very low contrast, and it's very hard to read. Especially for us older folks.

For instance, the list of threads in the forum uses a dark blue font, and the "(1 hour ago)" uses a dark grey font.

2 upvotes
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Oct 1, 2012)

Agreed!

Along the same lines, it would be great if the whole site was converted to the colo[u]r scheme see in "Print View"

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Oct 3, 2012)

options, please, options!
I'm not young either, but I just love the current color options!
So give us a few pre-selections (1=classic)

0 upvotes
Valterj
By Valterj (Sep 30, 2012)

Nikon has several foruns: How do I find the forum related to Nikon D600 ?

Why there aren't less foruns for Nikon: just 3!

Nikon talk
Nikon mirrorless talk
Nikon SLR talk

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

+1. It should be identical to all brands (granted: if they have mirrorless systems).
Simpler and much quicker to browse through.

0 upvotes
Funduro
By Funduro (Sep 30, 2012)

I think I will enjoy the changes. You have a very thoughtful ideas on improving the user experience and making navigation to faster, specially tag searches. Bring it on !

0 upvotes
guinness2
By guinness2 (Sep 30, 2012)

I am keen on your improvements. My suggestion is, whether in threaded view could also the original post be collapsed. It would make sense to me, to avoid scrolling and uploading lot of pics, when I want to look at only new answers posted.
Thanks for your great work yet.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Button Pusher
By Button Pusher (Sep 30, 2012)

Kudos to larger default fonts!

The thumbs down with contents hidden is a good feature, hopefully this will control the 'trolls' and 'keyboard commandos'.

The OP control over selected answer to questions is a great feature.

Thanks for your efforts to make this site even better!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Oct 3, 2012)

larger fonts?
PLEASE: an option: font size: small, mini, medium, maxi, large

0 upvotes
Nightwings
By Nightwings (Sep 30, 2012)

Good job on the new changes..... should be nice to see!

Since I never saw... forum name changes as one of the pending changes on your list..........

I thought I'd throw this in as a suggestion -

Nikon FX Camera Talk
Nikon DX Camera Talk
Nikon 1 System Camera Talk
Nikon Compact Camera Talk
Nikon SLR Lens Talk

I would suggest you use this format for the rest of the brands. Model numbers come and go..sometimes semi-yearly ... But the basics remain.

One only has to scan the Nikon Talk forums for a couple of minutes to see what I mean ...... tons of off topic posts.

4 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Oct 2, 2012)

How about: Full Frame and APS-C?
Instead of using Nikon marketing BS?

1 upvote
Nightwings
By Nightwings (Oct 3, 2012)

Anything's better than what there now... imho

0 upvotes
Louis Dallara
By Louis Dallara (Sep 30, 2012)

WOW, looks good

0 upvotes
Najinsky
By Najinsky (Sep 30, 2012)

I've been giving some thought to the up/down (like/dislike) voting.

Aside from the concerns, fears and hopes expressed throughout the 577 (currently) messages I think there is a flaw in the concept.

There are multiple valid reasons for a 'dislike' vote, along with some which will be a misuse. But the reason is never known.

I think many people will see "Like" "Dislike" options as an invitation to express whether they like or dislike the post (or maybe dislike a photo)

If they see a thread comparing noise at such a technical detailed level that it bores them, they may want to dislike to say they don't like this type of content.

But if you had a "Rate" button that brought up options, for example:

-Don't like: Subject bores me
-Don't like: Contains bad information
-Don't like: Poster is rude and antisocial
- Like: An informative and enjoyable read
- Like: I agree with the comment

This will also allow you to understand what your users like and don't, for further site enhancements.

6 upvotes
bodziu
By bodziu (Sep 30, 2012)

Likes and dislikes are probably too valuable to abandon. They provide bloody good stats especially in photography where primary principle is based on fact that you either like the the photo or not.
After being processed those likes-and-not probably end up on some been-counting presentation as fancy chart... so that others can follow and re-design...

From the news article understood that the main concept has been decided already and will not change, or will it?

If not, at least leave the bloody alternative and add 3rd (neutral) vote;-)

0 upvotes
Sammy Yousef
By Sammy Yousef (Sep 30, 2012)

Based on past experience on boards such as slashdot.org (computers and science newsdiscussion), the moderation will be a disaster. It's too easy for groups of bullies to put in the time and effort to gang up on someone they don't like, and most good people will simply steer clear rather than get involved. The user moderation system on slashdot.org has contributed to turning it from a reputable "news for nerds" board into a shadow of it's former self.

10 upvotes
Nightwings
By Nightwings (Oct 1, 2012)

Agreed 100 percent .... It's just like a gaming server with voting allowed .. it doesn't take long before wolf packs show up and kick everyone else off - BAD IDEA DPR.

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Oct 1, 2012)

Wow. I'm not the only one that thinks the moderation killed /.

I Hope this forum does not go the same way.

1 upvote
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Oct 3, 2012)

user filter will do...
I'd rather just hide a few persons...

0 upvotes
bodziu
By bodziu (Sep 30, 2012)

There is no mention about optimising forums when viewed/edited on mobile devices with smaller screens...

Posting to dp forums from mobile can be a pain already in existing format and scaled down features like WYSIWYG editing will be another challenge for my fat-fingers with end result being more of 'what u see is what u WON'T get' actually.

Hope that at least option to edit posts will stay and ideally be active on diferent platforms;-)

1 upvote
kakman
By kakman (Sep 30, 2012)

Anything that gets away from the white on black theme. A nice dark grey on white or similar would be easier on the eyes. I've always thought the colour theme for DPR was unusual.

5 upvotes
bodziu
By bodziu (Sep 30, 2012)

I would definitely stick with current theme which must have become part of dp brand.
Annoying as it can be, especially in direct sunlight, this black bckgrd somehow fits dp content perfectly, and indeed cameras (simply because most is still black) or something artish seems to spring as first association... further look at the site and you know it's not about funeral services or pron;-)
Most importantly, when writing everything is as it should be b/w.

2 upvotes
Xellz
By Xellz (Sep 30, 2012)

don't agree, reading reviews is a huge pain, but sadly dp beats by content other similar websites.

1 upvote
UCSB
By UCSB (Sep 30, 2012)

I would like to be able to have a background/text combination with less contrast than black/white. It is hard on the eyes and fatiguing. Being able to opt for even dark grey would be a step forward. Do other color themes exist?

Take a look at fredmiranda.com to see a good color theme that is easy on the eyes.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Mark H
By Mark H (Sep 30, 2012)

Ranking users by number of posts, even though just initially, is a terrible idea.

Apart from the old adage of 'quality not quantity' - some of the most prolific forum posters are quite often those who are the biggest and most objectionable nuisances on these forums, and such a ranking basis will only encourage them even more.

11 upvotes
leno
By leno (Sep 30, 2012)

Anybody mention Pentax?

1 upvote
Mark H
By Mark H (Sep 30, 2012)

P.S. Of course - don't forget to 'LIKE' my comment. ;)

2 upvotes
eli2k
By eli2k (Sep 30, 2012)

top-level forum: do not like the increased spacing; we all have wide monitors so there's no problem fitting extra information across the wide screen. more important to have vertical content, so more spacing = less vertical content = more scrolling. the condensed version right now works fine!

4 upvotes
DamienM
By DamienM (Sep 30, 2012)

I applaud the changes.

I'd add the ability to 'follow' users and make the current 'ignore' feature more robust.

0 upvotes
migus
By migus (Sep 29, 2012)

Could you please simplify the process of adding pics to a post?
The current baroque method of addorning a post w/ pics is discouragingly complex in steps:

1) start new post/thread;
2) add new gallery/photo;
3) interrupt the post and actually add the desired pics to a gallery:
4..6) tedious manual process like in '93 (birth of WWW) follows...
7) return to (2), select the pics... at this step the new gallery or new pics may be hidden somewhere, or not visible yet...
8) Eventually finish the post and pray that's it's OK :-)

Perhaps i'm slow with computers (though i design them for living), but for the casual poster this is arguably asking too much. Quite a stressful adventure 2 out of 3 times; worse when compounded by DPR server errors and lost posts (happens frequently).

I wish for a lazy drag&drop w/ quick edits, few mins per post. Or just links to our photos resident w/ a "Cloud" site like flickr, picasaweb, FB, MS etc.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Sep 29, 2012)

Just paste a link in to your flickr/whatever site right in the post text and .... done.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Sep 29, 2012)

Maybe read the story above

1 upvote
migus
By migus (Sep 29, 2012)

"directly uploading an image" sounds promising, though not explicit: Is this a drag&drop, with on the fly re-sizing?

Inserting a link remains my favorite.

0 upvotes
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Sep 29, 2012)

Dpreview could enter a dedicated list of Categories in each Forum and allow us define separately the fields Brand, Model and Category both in forum thread and in search thread. For example:

Forum: Camera talk
Brand: choose from a dpreview list (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, etc., All)
Model: choose from a dpreview list (6D, D700, etc., All)
Category: choose from dpr. list (Performances, Controls, For sale, etc., All)

Forum: Lens talk
Brand: choose f.d.l. (Canon, Nikon, Sigma, etc., All)
Model: choose f.d.l. (400mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, etc., All)
Category: choose f.d.l. (Performances, Samples, For sale, etc., All).
Forum: Photography and Techniques
Brand: choose f.d.l. (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, etc., All)
Model: choose f.d.l. (6D, D700, etc., All)
Category: choose f.d.l. (Studio, Landscape, Birdwatching, etc., All)

Finally few forums each of them with own dedicated list of Categories for a probably more useful search aid.

0 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Sep 29, 2012)

Just more readings for weekends!!!

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Sep 29, 2012)

Information flooding ? detail overload? multiplicity of opinions and attitudes popping into existence faster than multiple parallel universes? confusion ++++?

Solution : just say hello to those who agree with you and resonate like a piano string at your frequency only.

Dudes, that is going backwards. I promise you. Everybody will be better off if more are included, not excluded.

1 upvote
Eugene CH
By Eugene CH (Sep 29, 2012)

1) Down voting ability is evil >> YES! Why should Dpreview introduce such feature as used in other sites? It is very impolitely, in my opinion, to give somebody subjective judgment. Because they are, inevitably, subjective.
2) I believe that viewing everyone's posts is a basic courtesy of participating in a community >> YES! I already asked flat view should be the default.
3) Blue text on the black background is a headache to read >>> YES! I suppose there are specialists which know what is the better color combination for human eye, isn’t?

7 upvotes
RMillward
By RMillward (Sep 29, 2012)

I hate to pile on but... add me to the negative voices vis a vis blue titles on black backgrounds. The title is just too important an information block to "hide," even a little.

On the other hand, I'm solidly behind the "Question" concept - 80/20, it's what I use the forums for, so it will both direct my reading and simplify my searching.

Likes/dislikes? Don't really care much. I use a system whose related forum is a hotbed of cliquishness, so I easily imagine this going awry very quickly. Presumably it will be easy to look past so I suppose that's what I'll do.

On a related note, I don't see mention of what we old school types call a "killfile," a list of users' names whose post are simply not rendered. The infighting in "my" forum is perpetrated by no more than a dozen people who, in my experience, don't add anything else of value. I'd be very happy if I could just keep their posts hidden.

Overall: great job, solid move forward.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
odoketa
By odoketa (Sep 29, 2012)

I have always thought the slashdot.org mod system was quite effective. Points are given at random to a subset of active users. Once they use those points, they're gone. You get lots of positive points, and few negative ones, so it takes a special kind of crappy to get a post hidden/removed. I don't participate a great deal in the dpreview forums because I find them too vitriolic, so anything you can do to even remotely increase civility will go a long way to bringing in people who otherwise would stay away.

5 upvotes
emilmaga
By emilmaga (Sep 29, 2012)

I'm a member since 2006 but I really thing to quit your forums because your photo upload system doesn't work; instead of making it simpler and more stable you just complicated it and it's not even worki well. You should think about the simplest way like drag-and-drop or something...anyway, it's a shame.

1 upvote
maiaibing
By maiaibing (Sep 29, 2012)

I think the like/dislike function can be useful. I have seen it work well on another very large forum were feelings often run high - however with a very important twist.

In stead of showing number of likes/dislikes it only shows the "sum" of likes/dislikes. I'm not sure why but it seems to work better in practice than the like/dislike flaming that some times goes on forums. Youtube being a prime example here.

I just realised that there is also a consideration "hiding" entries with a certain number of dislikes - please, no more censorship than we have already...

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (Oct 1, 2012)

"Hiding" as in the text will not be displayed by default, but can be seen by clicking a button.

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Oct 3, 2012)

an option of hiding disliked items
I'm way too curious and want to see them all
I'll rather filter some persons...

0 upvotes
Mike CH
By Mike CH (Sep 29, 2012)

Any kind of user or post ranking is a horrid idea. It is far too easy to misuse by any kind of faction. Factions which btw have come around at least in part due to a lack of moderation...

Like is at base nothing but 'a million flies cannot be wrong'. And dislike just adds the possibility of malice to the brew.

No, thanks

10 upvotes
efg40
By efg40 (Sep 29, 2012)

I look forward to the changes and new features! And I'm also glad the look will not change too much as the color scheme and layout on this site has always been my favorite by FAR in the world of forums.

0 upvotes
Barrie Davis
By Barrie Davis (Sep 29, 2012)

I do not like the new colour scheme. I find it too dark and depressing... the blue particularly disappears into the background when a thread/posting is marked as read.

* It seems the designer has never viewed the look of these pages AFTER they are marked as "read" ....[??]

I have ALWAYS found this scheme too dark, ever since it was imposed on the "My threads" page... where I STILL don't know what the hell the white blobs are supposed to tell me...[??] Indeed, I have been dreading this change ever since the "My threads" page was first messed up....

I am not surprised this is happening. Nobody ever responded to the complaint's about "My threads", or explained why this dingy and depressing colour scheme is considered an "improvement."

Final point: If a visitor doesn't find the appearance of a site amenable to their tastes, they will not stay.

2 upvotes
FrankCorn
By FrankCorn (Sep 29, 2012)

Switchable colour schemes using CSS would be great. I Don't like the black background.

6 upvotes
Xellz
By Xellz (Sep 29, 2012)

yep, white text on black is horrible to read.

1 upvote
I shoot guitars
By I shoot guitars (Sep 29, 2012)

I've disliked the white on black since I started frequenting this site. I'm on a lot of guitar sites and if any of them have white on black and cannot be changed by me, I don't go back. I still come here because I learn something every time I'm here. But it would be great if I could change the color to suit me.

6 upvotes
kodakoid
By kodakoid (Sep 29, 2012)

Yes. User customizable color schemes will be awesome. White text on black background has been around since Phil Askey started Dpreview as a demo to showcase his skills as a web developer. It's high time for a change after 13+ years.

2 upvotes
PSCL1
By PSCL1 (Sep 29, 2012)

First, thank you for practicing what we in the US call "continuous improvement." Personally, I think the main display of message titles with blue on black is much less readable. Skipping lines for the main display leaves the viewer with only half the information s/he would have in each glance. Frankly, I will/would not use any of the more complex options you have developed. I don't search in those ways now and my aging brain cannot cope with all the options. Just because somethng can be accomplished electronically does not mean it needs to be accomplished.

2 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Sep 29, 2012)

Or, in other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Ok, some changes ARE needed. I only hope we manage to retain the ability to display things as WE like and not be forced to accept something we do not like.

Just have to wait for it to go live, I guess.

0 upvotes
theswede
By theswede (Sep 29, 2012)

Downvoting ability is evil. There is a reason there is no "dislike" button on Facebook; they get that right, whatever else one might think of them. Positive contribution is much better. Having upvote and promote those posts is positive, cannot be abused for bullying and will lead to a much nicer spirit on the forum.

Seriously. Don't do downvoting. It's been the bane of many a forum, and it would be a shame to see DPR go down from incorporating such a brutally negative feature.

17 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Sep 29, 2012)

Better yet, do not do EITHER!

6 upvotes
Dimitri_P
By Dimitri_P (Sep 29, 2012)

Bean counting post polpularity, like/dislikes, up/down votes, user ranking is distracting and sometimes annoying. There are other sites if you want to play this kind of game.
I like reading forum posts without being distracted by the stats of every post or user.

3 upvotes
Michael Chen
By Michael Chen (Sep 29, 2012)

Would be great if Dpreview release apps for Android and iOS.

0 upvotes
bdkr65
By bdkr65 (Sep 29, 2012)

User ranking will attract trolls to no end and provide little for site visitors in return. It will also, if mis-engineered, allow for generated efforts against specific users, which is counterproductive in any regard.

Cheers

8 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Sep 29, 2012)

and also possibly against specific products (or posts related to specific products).

Dump ranking, of any kind, entirely. It's just for the fanboys and trolls.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
coudet
By coudet (Sep 29, 2012)

"Post contents will be hidden if down-voted enough"

So, I guess now the majority will decide what posts are ok and what are not for all of us. Horrible decision, dpreview.

14 upvotes
Steen Bay
By Steen Bay (Sep 29, 2012)

Yes, please clarify what's meant by "hidden".

0 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (Sep 29, 2012)

i don't visit a lot of different boards. from time to time, i do read Tomshardware.com.

Tom's will use gray font color for posts that have net negative votes and hide posts with more negative votes. i don't know the thresholds. there is a little button to click that shows the hidden post. perhaps things proposed here will work like that.

one hidden post at Tom's states that Intel used to be Foxconn. that got a lot of negative votes.

earlier, i thought down votes would be good. reading the experience by other users, i am now not sure. maybe the lack of good/like votes is enough to indicate a poor post is dislike'd.

0 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Sep 29, 2012)

Oh really really bad decision. Who says what is good and what should be hidden? Me think the trolls and fanboys will LOVE this feature.

Maybe time to abandon dpreview.

6 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (Oct 1, 2012)

Hidden as in the contents will be not displayed by default, but would be displayed when clicking on "Show contents". We will continue to monitor and adjust the threshold. Even if all the trolls and fanboys got together, if your post garnered 20 downvotes, perhaps the content of the post was the problem.

0 upvotes
Brandon birder
By Brandon birder (Sep 29, 2012)

It would be useful to have some sticky threads, either mod generated for when there are hundreds of threads on one specific issue like Nikon d800 left focus problems, and /or dynamically created from best answers or top voted answers into a FAQ like sticky. This would save people from a lot of searching for frequently required information.

Otherwise like the changes. Have been a DPR poster for 12 years in some persona.

0 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Sep 29, 2012)

No, I have been to other sites that use stickys and, unless there is a time limit, the stickys start to dominate the first page.

Just use search if you need to find something.

Ok, search NEEDS to work properly first.

0 upvotes
rrr_hhh
By rrr_hhh (Sep 30, 2012)

I like the idea of sticky threads, but they have to be decided by the DPreview team and have to be limited. For intance there could be a thread for tips and tricks for each cameras series (Panasonic Gs, GHs, GFs and Olympus Pens and OM-D) one can easily reduce that to only 2-4 threads because cameras are pretty similar. That would be a great facility for new users, the place to look up.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
BPJosh
By BPJosh (Sep 29, 2012)

I dig it! Nice Work DPReview!

0 upvotes
Richard Biffl
By Richard Biffl (Sep 29, 2012)

Maybe a Dislike button? Ideally, I'd like to score things from -5 to +5, though any other integer besides 5 would be okay.

1 upvote
Babka08
By Babka08 (Sep 29, 2012)

PLEASE! No more white text on black. This is Horrible to read. Please provide black type on 10% grey card. Thank you.

8 upvotes
Baseman
By Baseman (Sep 29, 2012)

There are only a couple of options I would like to see.

1) The option to let the OP remove a thread started by the OP
2) The option by the OP to lock a thread so no further posts can be made

Far too often I've seen threads where the topic goes way off in left field having nothing to do with the OP's original post.

The above options I've mentioned I do hope you heavily consider their importance.

Great job!

2 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Sep 29, 2012)

Think I have to disagree with both those suggestions. Removing and locking threads is a job of the moderators. It is up to the OP to think before starting a thread (or responding to posts). The OP cannot change his mind later and just decide to delete the thread.

4 upvotes
ArvoJ
By ArvoJ (Sep 29, 2012)

On one forum we introduced policy that everyone can delete his posting only when that is last posting in thread. This means also that if I accidentally started new thread, I can delete it easily (unless someone answers me).
Moderating threads by OP creates more trouble than good.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 698
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