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View Full Version : Using the new forums: Making a transition between the listserv and forums



MTan
04-01-2004, 11:58 AM
What is a post?

A post is just a message that you publish to the forums. It is similar to an email message.

What is a thread?

A thread is a number of posts on the same subject. With email, this is similar to a string of emails generated when people send email reponses to a given email message.

How can I get email notification when people post to the forums?

You can subscribe to a thread in all of the forums. When you are subscribed to a thread, you can do several things:

Receive email whenever a new post is made to the thread.
View all subscribed threads (Log in, go to the "User CP" on the toolbar of the forum, select "List subscriptions")
There are different ways to subscribe to a thread:

If you post a new thread or reply to an existing one, there is a control at the bottom of the editor that lets you subscribe.
To set your default mode to be "subscribe to thread after posting", go to the "User CP" on the toolbar of the forums and select "Edit Options". There you can customize your account's default behavior.
If you are just reading a thread, you can choose "Thread Tools" at the top of the message and select "Subscribe to this thread".
How do I subscribe to an entire forum?
In addition, you can subscribe to an entire forum: Click on the forum to which you want to subscribe. When it lists the various threads in that forum, there will be a "Forum Tools" button at the top. Select the option entitled "Subscribe to this forum".

If you click on "User CP" in the forum menu, it will show your personal control panel (CP). From here you can view your current subscriptions.


Hope that helps!

MTan
04-01-2004, 08:28 PM
Those of you who know how to use forums, please feel free to jump in and add helpful advice for those who are struggling to adjust to this paradigm change.

Thanks!
Michael

tcblack
04-02-2004, 12:02 AM
Being a bit of a forum junkie I've really come to enjoy the mozilla based browsers because of thier "tabbed" browsing interface, which makes reading forums much easier.
With Internet Explorer (http://www.microsoft.com/ie) if you want new windows you can shift click and they open but always right on top of where you're working, and before long if you hit a new window for each new thread you want to read - in a heartbeat you can have 30 windows open.

Move to Mozilla (http://www.mozilla.org) or Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/) (my current favorite) and when you find a thread you want to read, centerclick the link and a new tab opens up "under" all the others, so that you can finish reading the page you're on without being interupted. When you're done reading the current page, close it's tab and viola! there's the new tab underneath.

It's better by the way for more than the forums.

onefear
04-02-2004, 12:37 AM
Is there a keyboard shortcut in Firefox for moving from Tab to Tab (like Alt-Tab moves from window to window)? I love Firefox, but I hate having to click from tab to tab. Thanks!

Clay

tcblack
04-02-2004, 12:55 AM
Is there a keyboard shortcut in Firefox for moving from Tab to Tab CTRL-TAB moves from tab to tab.
But be careful CTRL-W will close the one your on :)

Dan Phillips
04-02-2004, 09:34 AM
I've really come to enjoy AvantBrowser (http://www.avantbrowser.com/). It's sort of an upgrade to Internet Explorer. It has built-in popup blocker, is quite customizable, and runs fast. Plus, it too is tabbed.

I've tried FireFox, and what keeps me from going over the wall is that it doesn't recognize everything IE/AB does and they have no intention of "fixing" that. For instance, when you use the Holman Christian Standard Bible online (http://hcsb.broadmanholman.com/crossmain.asp), FireFox won't handle the notes. I notified them, and they sort of sniffed that the coding wasn't proper, so they wouldn't accommodate it. That's nice for them, I guess... but meanwhile I can't use the site if I stick to FF.

I've never run into anything that AB can't handle.

FWIW,
Dan

Don Johnson
04-02-2004, 12:42 PM
Move to Mozilla (http://www.mozilla.org/) or Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/) (my current favorite) and when you find a thread you want to read, centerclick the link and a new tab opens up "under" all the others, so that you can finish reading the page you're on without being interupted. When you're done reading the current page, close it's tab and viola! there's the new tab underneath.
Thomas,

How do you get these to install? I tried to try Mozilla once, but I couldn't get it to install. I thought I followed the directions, but it just wouldn't run. I am running WinXP Pro on an AMD Athlone 1.16 Ghz system. I thought the installation instructions for Mozilla were pretty lame.

Don Johnson

Paul Johnson
04-02-2004, 04:33 PM
How do you get these to install? I tried to try Mozilla once, but I couldn't get it to install. I thought I followed the directions, but it just wouldn't run. I am running WinXP Pro on an AMD Athlone 1.16 Ghz system. I thought the installation instructions for Mozilla were pretty lame.

Hi Don,

I'm not Thomas, but I'll jump in anyway. I've used Firefox for quite a while. They have improved their installer over time. It is now an .exe file that works like normal installers. You can download it here (for Windows) here:

http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/0.8/FirefoxSetup-0.8.exe

There are some helpful extensions that I would recommend, but you could contact me offlist for those. ;)

Paul

onefear
04-02-2004, 11:06 PM
CTRL-TAB moves from tab to tab.
But be careful CTRL-W will close the one your on :)In my Firefox CTRL-TAB creates a new tab. I was wondering if there's a keyboard command that moves me from tab to tab without creating any new ones. Is this customizable in some way or something? Thanks!

Clay

tcblack
04-03-2004, 12:57 AM
Thomas,

How do you get these to install? I tried to try Mozilla once, but I couldn't get it to install. I thought I followed the directions, but it just wouldn't run. I am running WinXP Pro on an AMD Athlone 1.16 Ghz system. I thought the installation instructions for Mozilla were pretty lame.
Nothing fancy Don,
I just downloaded the installer and ran it, when I installed Mozilla 1.6. After my system crashed due to my own foolishness I reinstalled Winxp and then simply unzipped the Firefox package into the C:\program files\firefox directory and ran the program, it worked from the start.

Make sure your antivirus is turned off, they frequently cause installer issues with all sorts of programs.



In my Firefox CTRL-TAB creates a new tab. I was wondering if there's a keyboard command that moves me from tab to tab without creating any new ones. Is this customizable in some way or something? Thanks! Strange, Ctrl-T creates a new tab on my firefox install. AFAIK there's no setting to change it.

MTan
04-06-2004, 11:06 AM
Two useful tips for reading new posts:

1. When you click on a thread and all of the posts in the thread are shown, if there are new posts, a button labeled "View First Unread" appears next to the "Thread Tools" button. This will jump to the oldest unread post, making it easy to see what has been posted since you last visited.

2. On the main toolbar for the forums (the one that says "User CP, FAQ, Members list, etc."), there is a button labeled "New Posts". When you click this, it will show all threads that have activity since your last visit. In addition, next to the title of each of these threads, a button appears that will jump to the first unread post in that thread.

Hope that helps!
Michael

BBeers
04-06-2004, 05:13 PM
I have noticed a couple of features in this forum that we never had with a listserver.
First: You can see information about the other users by clicking on their name. It is a delight to learn about those who I have come to know through BW.
Second: You can see who is currently online.

Don Johnson
04-07-2004, 01:35 AM
Paul Johnson said:

There are some helpful extensions that I would recommend, but you could contact me offlist for those. ;)

Paul
Hey, would that be Paul Johnson as in my brother in Courtenay, BC...??? If so, I'll give you a call. If not, send me your e-mail address to dcsj@telus.net and I will send along some questions

Don Johnson
04-07-2004, 01:42 AM
Nothing fancy Don,
I just downloaded the installer and ran it, when I installed Mozilla 1.6. After my system crashed due to my own foolishness I reinstalled Winxp and then simply unzipped the Firefox package into the C:\program files\firefox directory and ran the program, it worked from the start.

Make sure your antivirus is turned off, they frequently cause installer issues with all sorts of programs.


Strange, Ctrl-T creates a new tab on my firefox install. AFAIK there's no setting to change it.
Thanks for the reply Thomas. I am still painfully trying to learn how to use these "fora" (isn't that the plural of forum?? <g>) I didn't see your message till today, although Michael's latest tip might help, regarding the "view first unread" button. I have been in the threaded view and it is difficult to find new posts that way.

I will experiment with the Firefox install. Hopefully it will go ok.

Don Johnson
04-07-2004, 03:49 PM
2. On the main toolbar for the forums (the one that says "User CP, FAQ, Members list, etc."), there is a button labeled "New Posts". When you click this, it will show all threads that have activity since your last visit. In addition, next to the title of each of these threads, a button appears that will jump to the first unread post in that thread.
Hello Michael

I noticed that if you wait too long while still online, the New Posts list refreshes and you miss entries lower in the list that you had not yet been able to get to.

In a way, I wish there was a way to "mark a message as read" manually, rather than have the computer assume you have read a message because of time on line, or viewing a list, or whatever it is. It seems too easy to lose track at the moment.

tcblack
04-08-2004, 02:10 PM
Hello Michael
I noticed that if you wait too long while still online, the New Posts list refreshes and you miss entries lower in the list that you had not yet been able to get to.

I've noticed the same, and it is an issue since I open several pages at once and then read at my speed.

Charlie
04-08-2004, 04:44 PM
Hello Michael

I noticed that if you wait too long while still online, the New Posts list refreshes and you miss entries lower in the list that you had not yet been able to get to.


I've noticed the same thing here. I guess you need to log out immediately when you are done reading.

Charlie

Don Johnson
04-09-2004, 01:40 AM
I've noticed the same thing here. I guess you need to log out immediately when you are done reading.

Also, when I click the "view first unread" button, it sometimes takes me beyond posts that I have not yet read. For instance, in this thread, it took me to Charlie's response to my last post, skipping past Tom's similar response.

Perhaps you could check with the providers of the software to see what can be done about these points.

MTan
04-09-2004, 12:00 PM
If you're interested in interacting with the vBulletin team, they have a very active set of forums at http://www.vbulletin.com . The site is also a good example of how forums allow you to handle way more messages than you could handle with a single email list. In highly populated forums, the amount of message traffice can be staggering. Forums are designed to handle a ton of traffic.

One helpful tip -- of you click on a forum, the current threads will be shown. If you have them sorts by "Last post" date, you can get a good sense of where you last stopped reading (sort of like looking at your email folder, and sorting by date).

When you look at the forums and wish it was more like a single stream of posts (e.g. like the old list server), you want to remember that the single-stream model doesn't work well when there is a high volume of posts. One hope in moving to forums is to increase the number of people who are interacting on the list (a common reason for leaving the old list server was the volume of email received from it). The forums are more readily accessible and are better suited to high volumes of posts...

Michael