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Question: Do you like the new Forum Portal
Yes - 4 (66.7%)
Yes But.... - 0 (0%)
No - 2 (33.3%)
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Total Voters: 6

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Budgie
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« on: June 07, 2008, 10:25:03 AM »

As you'll have seen by now, I've added a new portal into the forum that has a few added extras.

I'm still sorting things out but I'd like your comments, this also gave me a good excuse to use the poll facility so that there's something in that box on the portal.  Wink

Over to you............
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weathermaster
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 02:20:44 PM »

I like it good work Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 04:15:37 PM »

Definately a shock when i got here, but yes i like it Smiley
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skyewright
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 08:36:33 PM »

There is a school of thought that runs along the lines that a consistent interface is an advantage, especially for visitors, so there is something to be said for having a 'front door' that looks and behaves in a similar way to others.

At present I'd say I am ambivalent about the portal. Many thank of course for your efforts, Martin, but I'm not sure the original was "broke".  Wink

I do like having the "Users Online" near the top.   Smiley

Regarding the right hand column I suppose it may give a new visitor a quick overview of what's going on, but why would a first time visitor be interested in 'Top Posters'? If I were to try to rate the 'windows' there in order of interest, I'd probably almost reverse the sequence, i.e. Top Topics, Top Boards (I'm not sure that that serves much purpose), Top Posters (nor that much?) then Advertise.

Just a few random thoughts. What do others think?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 10:23:18 PM by skyewright » Logged

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David
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 08:56:54 PM »

Appreciate your work Martin.
Don't like the new portal; maybe just don't like change Sad

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John
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 09:47:44 PM »

I've moved the blocks around as suggested by David (I found the php code for that.  Wink )

Munrobaggins made some good points and I hope he doesn't mind me copying them into here:
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Martin, I'm sure that you have put a lot of effort into the new home page and it is distinctive (the banner is particularly so)...  and all, way, way beyond my skill levels..

In time I'm sure that it will become accepted by the most intransigent dinosaurs amongst us...but in the meantime some changes might be considered.   

There would appear to be some repetition of the table blocks (deliberate or otherwise)...for instance there are 2 SCWN blocks for advertising at the moment at each lower side (perhaps one of them could simply have the term "your advert here" type message).  Also, should ScWN be the favoured abbreviation of Scottish Weather Network i.e. Large "C" being a little "c". ...I have actually used SWN in the past, but the addition of the c does make it more obviously an abbreviation of Scotland.

The content of the "Recent Posts" and "Recent Topics " is probably likely to always remain very, very similar.  A longer "Recent Posts" may solve that problem.

I do like the format of the block "Users Online"...and...the "Board Stats", "Latest Member"....However, (there will always be a however) I think that the "User" block is a bit OTT...What is this Karma Stat...is this, "the like/hate statistic/standard", awarded by other members, similar to the system dropped after being brought into disrepute on the WeatherWatch WD forum?

I haven't really considered the RHS of the page..Posters/Boards/Topics...

We need more input from other members...this is a starters..over to you!

The two adverts are the same as I needed to fill the gap on both sides but could only come up with one advert at the time.  Wink

As for the small 'c', I take your point and I would have liked to have used SWN as the abbreviation but that is being used by the Southern Weather Network in the U.S, and has been for a couple of years now. All of the networks have an individual three or four letter identification, in caps, and so as not to confuse things we were assigned SCWN. I kept this going as all the files that we include in the ZIP for new members are titled SCWN and that's how we're referred too by the other networks.
I can change is to the small 'c' if that's what everyone wants but I suggest we go the whole hog and change everything if we're going too, just to avoid confusion at a later date with new members.

The Karma Stat is an award system that's built into the forum download and we're not using it, I'll see if I can remove that. The Mid-Atlantic WN has started using it but I don't like that sort of thing either.  Wink

With the portal, I can (now) move things around, make them larger/smaller, more/less info in the blocks and there's even a gallery that can be included.
If the general consensus is that it's crap and not worth bothering with then I'll take it down tomorrow morning and we can revert back to just having the forum menu as the front page.
I just thought it was something a little different as a forum home page for visitors and members to get an overview of the forum before entering. Maybe it's a little too different.

I leave it up to you.......
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Budgie
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 10:11:31 PM »

There, I made some changes.
The Karma & IP address for members have been removed - not really required.
I've shortened the latest announcement block.
Increased the latest posts and latest threads from 4 to 6.
Removed both adverts as they were surplus to requirements as space fillers with the other alterations.  Wink
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 10:33:09 PM by Budgie » Logged

skyewright
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 10:30:11 PM »

There, I made some changes.
Good moves (IMHO).

I might even go so far as to say I like it now.  Wink

For existing users there is a range of useful data immediately on view as soon as you arrive. For first time visitors there is a general overview and a summary of recent activity.
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David
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2008, 10:44:44 PM »

I like the new forum homepage Martin.  I must confess that I usually visit only via the index.php?action=unread (recent unread posts) method.  I'm generally on at 14 forums, so the action=unread is a big timesaver :-)

As for changing your abbreviation to ScWN from SCWN, I've no issue with it.. just let me know as the 4 characters are case-sensitive on Unix/Linux systems, and I'll need to change a few files to pull the mesomap code/map graphic/php to NAWN for processing.

Best regards,
Ken
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munrobaggins
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 01:19:14 PM »

The "changes" on the portal are an improvement I believe and looks much cleaner.  However, I would also remove the "Top Posters" block, as although visually looking nice it will inevitably become interpretted as a pecking order tote.  That normal forum stats will indicate the number of posts individuals make if one needs to see them.

I still think that the SCWN with a Capital C indicates that there is an additional word beginning with C in the abbreviation (ie lead Capital letters normally constitute a full abbreviation minus words "the, of, a," etc)...thus either SWN (which is already in use) or for us to get over the problem "ScWN" should be used.  I would suggest that the sooner it is done, the less likely there would be problems in the future.
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2008, 01:49:50 PM »

However, I would also remove the "Top Posters" block, as although visually looking nice it will inevitably become interpretted as a pecking order tote.  That normal forum stats will indicate the number of posts individuals make if one needs to see them.
I second that.

Also, the logic for "ScWN" seems good to me too, and as Munrobaggins says, if it's going to be done, easier sooner than later...
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David
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2008, 01:59:45 PM »

I think I'll just remove the portal from the front page as it seems general thoughts are that its not the upgrade that I thought it would be.

I'll close the forum at sometime over the next couple of days to remove all the code & files I've added so if you come on here and see a strange message then you know what's happening.  Wink

Can we have some input from the rest of you about the SCWN vs ScWN.

If we go ahead with the change then it will mean a fare bit of work at mine & Kens end to complete it and everyone who uses the PHP files contained in the ZIP download will have to delete all the current SCWN files and download the new ones so that it will all work correctly.

Let me know your thoughts.  Wink

Martin.
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Gogs
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 07:24:08 PM »

I think I'll just remove the portal from the front page as it seems general thoughts are that its not the upgrade that I thought it would be.

Pitty, I liked it.
Quote
Can we have some input from the rest of you about the SCWN vs ScWN.
Martin I missed this bit, but I would leave it as it is.

At the end of the day what difference does it make, a capital "C" Vs lower case "c"

Still think you should leave the portal in place, at least for a while to see if those that do not like get used to it.

After all, you spent more than two minutes creating it, probably about five. Grin
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 07:33:44 PM »

The "changes" on the portal are an improvement I believe and looks much cleaner.  However, I would also remove the "Top Posters" block, as although visually looking nice it will inevitably become interpretted as a pecking order tote.

Depending on how you read it, Sir.

Quote
 I still think that the SCWN with a Capital C indicates that there is an additional word beginning with C in the abbreviation (ie lead Capital letters normally constitute a full abbreviation minus words "the, of, a," etc)...thus either SWN (which is already in use) or for us to get over the problem "ScWN" should be used.  I would suggest that the sooner it is done, the less likely there would be problems in the future.

I agree entirely where you state that the Capital "C" indicates another word, however, in this case it does not; adds to the intrigue, and after all are we not Scottish, what more intrigue could one wish. Wink

Personally, considering the impact of the alteration upon us all, minor though it appears(try telling your web site that), I would leave as is. In future years it will become a topic of conversation as to what that "C" stands for, and we will know the answer - nothing.
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Budgie
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2008, 08:55:48 PM »

Thanks Gordon,

I posted a "Why SCWN" thread to explain, or try too.
I can see the point of the small 'c', not that I'm trying to create work for myself you understand, but if we're to change it then now would be a good time so that it's done and out of the way.

I leave it up to the members.  Grin
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