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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Page Saving New Layout (Read 16,491 times)
Unilat
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Page Saving New Layout
Jul 12th, 2009 at 7:25pm
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We've all been looking for something that would revolutionize YaBB unlike any other bulletin board. Here is my proposal.

I guess I could call it the "Inline View". The Board index and message index would become sort of a combined type of layout.

When you click a board for instance, ajax loads the list of messages which would grow out from beneath the clicked board. Of course this would save a complete page load and the returned layout would only be the list of topics rather than having to generate an entire page.

When switching between boards, previously opened boards would slide closed and the newly clicked would slide open.

Not only would this reduce page load and server load, it is much more intuitive and gives the illusion of less moving around through the site. None of the data would be loaded until a board is clicked and the returned data could be cached for re-opening. On a re-open, we could either choose to display cached topics or have it refresh data instead.

Other pages could implement inline view as well to basically get rid of as many location changes as possible and minimize the use of back/forward buttons and navigating with the current method.

Of course, this is all based on user preference, as some are sure to hate it or not use javascript  Wink
  
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deti
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #1 - Jul 12th, 2009 at 8:39pm
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I like this idea Unilat! I can imagine that it will look really different from every other forum software!
  

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Corey Chapman
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #2 - Jul 12th, 2009 at 9:09pm
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I like this too.  This sounds a little like the sample images and ideas we discussed in the staff board.  Make it happen!
  

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Jet Li
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #3 - Jul 12th, 2009 at 9:16pm
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Dito. Smiley
  

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OH Eng
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #4 - Jul 12th, 2009 at 11:18pm
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Unilat, I like the idea.  How does it essentially differ from what we see in a RSS feed?  Hopefully it will allow for more style control than that.

Questions regarding this feature in js:

How will you style the various views this produces? 
How will a user with, say, a side menu, control the size of the view, or add other tables/elements to it?
How do they change the Board Link text properties, or the properties of any piece of text currently available for changing?

In short, when you build this feature, we need plenty of information on how to alter it/color it/resize it.  That hasn't happened with things that were added using js, and I'd like to see us get better at that.  Just putting a css file in with the feature is not explaining it to users.  Please keep this in mind when making it.

« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2009 at 11:20pm by OH Eng »  

 
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Matt Siegman
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #5 - Jul 12th, 2009 at 11:44pm
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We could go the insane route and just pass the data to Javascript, then render the HTML with Javascript Smiley It's kind of how GMail and Facebook work.

I like the idea though. If we can figure out how to do it w/out breaking the back button, it would rock.
« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2009 at 11:47pm by Matt Siegman »  

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OH Eng
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #6 - Jul 13th, 2009 at 2:28am
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Matt Siegman wrote on Jul 12th, 2009 at 11:44pm:
then render the HTML with Javascript


So... now to make templates we need to learn all the variables... and learn a language to put the template together... and now we need to learn Javascript to render it?

Sounds to me like you are more and more making templates by necessity a dev team function.  Is that the goal?  I seem to remember the goal being "easy" to template.  Is the average user going to be able to write or edit javascript code, you think?



« Last Edit: Jul 13th, 2009 at 2:31am by OH Eng »  

 
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Unilat
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #7 - Jul 13th, 2009 at 3:05am
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All the javascript will do is print the template output which will be generated by perl code, and in the future, from some sort of template file that we have yet to agree on .

Matt Siegman wrote on Jul 12th, 2009 at 11:44pm:
We could go the insane route and just pass the data to Javascript, then render the HTML with Javascript

Wouldn't it be faster if we are going to process data with perl anyways to just return the templated data as well? That way javascript just prints it.


OH Eng wrote on Jul 12th, 2009 at 11:18pm:
How will you style the various views this produces? 
How will a user with, say, a side menu, control the size of the view, or add other tables/elements to it?
How do they change the Board Link text properties, or the properties of any piece of text currently available for changing?


Basically, the template will be no different than templating the current Message index. Except it will not include the default header, navigation bits, and some other details I choose to cut off  Wink The styling would all be done in a template file. The javascript and ajax part have nothing to do with the styling and are only there to get what data is needed and bring it back to the board index. In other words, templating it will not change from how it is currently templated to be on its own page.

The whole thing is relatively simple (at least thats what I say before I do the work Tongue) I imagine only altering the current message index to determine whether it is being called via Inline Mode or the standard on-its-own-page mode. If it is Inline Mode, neglect templating navigation bits and unimportant parts that I choose to remove and return just the list of topics and of course page navigation. Buttons would be there but probably in a different format to save space. The sub would then just return this html that comprises only part of a page, but wouldnt display if used as a complete page by itself. Javascript receives the data and prints it to a specialized div beneath the board clicked and it expands sort of like a treeview on a standard windows application.

In short, its like a window opening within the BoardIndex beneath the current board that lets you see straight to the MessageIndex without loading a new page or as much data.
  
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Matt Siegman
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #8 - Jul 13th, 2009 at 3:17am
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I was just taking it to an extreme guys, I didn't think we should actually do that. Templates can't be a dev team thing, we've got enough to worry about already and need all the help with--especially with making it look as amazing as possible Wink

Unilat is essentially proposing putting an ajax flag into the query which would turn off all the stuff except what's unique for that particular page---if I understand correctly.
  

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OH Eng
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #9 - Jul 13th, 2009 at 11:47am
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I get the overall picture - at least I think I do - though it is hard to fully understand without seeing an example.  I'm only concerned that we don't work against our own goals of making it easier to modify.   

Quote:
Javascript receives the data and prints it to a specialized div beneath the board clicked and it expands sort of like a treeview on a standard windows application.


And if I want to modify it, I need to change what?  A template file?  The javascript?  Both?  All I'm saying is that is the piece of data we will need to supply to users.  The first question I anticipate is "I had advertising on __ page (or some place)... how do I get that in the new window?"




« Last Edit: Jul 13th, 2009 at 11:53am by OH Eng »  

 
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Corey Chapman
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #10 - Jul 14th, 2009 at 1:59am
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There's nothing saying you still can't have a "standard" template that is simple like it is now. 

And there always has to be an option for the forum to work without Javascript/Ajax support too for those that turn it off or don't have it.

And I would like to see a "mobile" template for phones too.  This might require a detection script that sends you to that template automatically maybe with a ?m or something at the end so it knows.
  

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OH Eng
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #11 - Jul 14th, 2009 at 11:55am
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While we are on the topic of templates, at what point are we going to stop supplying version 2.1 templates?  We've supported them for all of the 2.2/2.3/2.4 series... is Y3 the logical point to stop supplying older templates, considering Y3's template will be totally new?

Seems like a 2.1-look template could easily be offered as an option via BoardMOD by one of the template makers rather than provide dual templates/graphics that most will only use one set of.
« Last Edit: Jul 14th, 2009 at 11:57am by OH Eng »  

 
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Unilat
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #12 - Jul 14th, 2009 at 6:38pm
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@ OH Eng

Modifying it will be exactly how you would modify it before. If you want to edit MessageIndex then you edit its .template file. Because what is shown is going to be the MessageIndex, just with extras removed so that it integrates nicely onto the boardindex.
  
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OH Eng
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #13 - Jul 14th, 2009 at 11:06pm
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Thanks, Unilat.  There is much of this stuff I don't fully understand, but I'm doing some reading where I can to try and grasp it.  I'm sure most of my concerns will evaporate when I can see an example page of output in front of me, then examine where it came from.

  

 
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Re: Page Saving New Layout
Reply #14 - Jul 14th, 2009 at 11:21pm
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Corey Chapman wrote on Jul 14th, 2009 at 1:59am:
And I would like to see a "mobile" template for phones too.This might require a detection script that sends you to that template automatically maybe with a ?m or something at the end so it knows.

Browser detection can be tricky, especially with the number of mobile browsers growing quickly... I would recommend supplementing a browser detection scheme with a text link ("Mobile version") that users can click if their phone isn't auto-detected as mobile.  The forum should then set a cookie to prevent having to detect the browser in the future.  (This could actually be built into the existing "session" cookie.)  A cookie-based method would also allow debugging the mobile template via a desktop browser (or, heck, if anyone just wants a very sparse output).
  
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