Forum development: next steps

After a small mountain of forced labour in the salt mines of the Spanish course, Ifan is now (barring a few last small-ish fixes) bracing himself to get back to work on the forum.

He’s going to be kicking off by getting to grips with a tagging system, and figuring out how to build an option for people to go straight to all new posts in any given thread.

Then, because we’ve got some interesting challenges with extra navigation, we’re going to be looking at possible changes to the forum interface (ie what goes where on the page). Now would be a very good time for you to throw in any high level structural requests (so, for example, stuff like ‘I’ve been longing to have 3 horizontal rows’, rather than ‘We need a nicer colour for the preview button’!).

Because the forum is now integrated with the rest of the site, when the first draft is ready, we’ll be able to give you an option to test it (and see if it includes your personal suggestions or not!), with the ability to switch back to this interface if you want.

Note to phone users: the interface for phones will stay as close as possible to exactly the same as now, even if we end up having to build a separate site for phones - we know you’ve been loving it…:slight_smile:

The next project we want to get Ifan onto is our moderately gigantically important algorithm project - which we hope will allow us to start to produce courses in other languages massively more quickly than previously - but we’ve probably got a window of about two or maybe three months of work on the forum before we start with the algorithm.

Great news, Aran. Do you know what other languages are most likely to be at the forefront of the algorithm project? I could be interested in signing up for them :slight_smile:

Thanks Aran. My mind being a tabula rasa regarding your plans, and me not knowing what is already on your indubitably long list, I am submitting a request to have a personal ‘recent activity’ and ‘favourites’ register on the forum page (if not already covered by the tagging system).

My reasoning is that this makes it easy, without the need to scroll through the thread list, to find items that are already of interest to me, either because of participation in a thread = recent activity, or because of explicit selection = favourites. The existing thread list is still required, of course.

I imagine that this does not require a full column, and that keywords and/or thread headings are sufficient information, but that is detailed design, and not high level.

If it’s dead easy to do I think a “like” button or rating thingy for individual posts would be a nice addition. Not really handy but just nice.

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@Bontddu - the aim is to build something that in the first instance will make it easier and faster to build a new course with a trusted translator - at which point, the top of our immediate list looks something like Dutch, Cornish, Latin, French, Italian, Breton, Basque, Gaeilge, Gaidhlig.

The next step will be to try and validate crowd-sourced sentences - if we get that right, sorry, once we get that right, we’ll be able to throw it open, and any language community that wants to will be able to rustle up a course in pretty short order…:slight_smile: With luck and following wind, we might be working on that stage at some point next year.

@Louis - good call, Mr Tabula, and both of those are definitely firmly on the list. In fact, they’re part of the need for extra navigation that is putting real pressure on the current interface…:slight_smile:

@Geraint - [exaggerated sigh] - that’s ‘nicer colour’ material…:wink: [But yes, it’s on the list…:-)]

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Firstly, thanks for all the fantastic work! And very exciting plans afoot!

After using the new forum for a while, these are my wishes in an ideal world…

  1. A “one click” filter for threads that I’ve posted in.

  2. To be able to subscribe to email notifications for a particular thread. (Maybe even without needing to post in the thread first?)

  3. For people who don’t read everything, I have often thought it would be useful to have another colour-coding option - a nice one of course - to distinguish threads that you have read that have new replies, from threads that you haven’t read at all. (When I logged on just then, nearly everything was green. If I hadn’t been sidetracked by writing this, I would probably have skimmed down the list looking for a couple of threads I read yesterday lunchtime). I wonder if other people would find that useful?

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Yes, I’m with @Louis on the "personal ‘recent activity’ and ‘favourites’ register.
I’m waiting for French. I’m keen to learn that next. :slight_smile:

Diolch, Netmouse! 1 sounds like the bit about recent activity from Louis - does that sound right? 2 is on the list, although we need to make sure that we can afford it if it gets heavy usage (particularly as we move into larger languages). 3 sounds interesting - we’ve chatted about different shades of green previously - so that would fit neatly on the ‘give it some thought’ list…:slight_smile: And thank you very much for your kind words…:-))

@Liz - and we have a French speaker in-house, although I point a gun at him every time he lifts his head from writing code, just by way of a friendly reminder…:wink:

Living 90 minutes from France I’m looking forward to SSIF…Maybe I’ll reach a basic conversational standard

Aran: Diolch, Netmouse! 1 sounds like the bit about recent activity from Louis - does that sound right?

That’s right - I just wanted to clarify that I was seconding “personal recent activity”, but thought that colour-coding might be better than a “favourites” filter, as it would make people cast an eye over the whole list more often, which may be better for the community(?)

It could be pink…

I’d love to see French too, but need to get this Welsh business sussed first!

It could be pink…

That would certainly get Angharad Lliar on the forum more often!..:wink: [And it’s not a bad thought…]

LOL, we have now passed the stage when everything had to be lurid pink or Sparkly!!! You have a few more years of it yet Aran!

Judging by Catrin, I may be in for the long haul…:wink:

Beware the day Angharad Lliar gets into black…


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Tragically, she’ll be inspired at a younger age than would otherwise have been the case, by looking at the endless photos of her mother’s Goth stage…!

Aran Jones posted 11 minutes ago - “Judging by Catrin, I may be in for the long haul…;-)”

I think you may be mistaking me for my sister - when it comes to pink and sparkly, aunts are very dangerous!

Stu Bonham posted 8 minutes ago - “Beware the day Angharad Lliar gets into black…”

Stu, I’m always in black and it doesn’t seem to have any influence on her at all… sigh… :wink:

So I guess that since Dutch, Cornish, and Latin have now become a reality, the next one on the list is French?:smiley:

Sorry, I don’t want to be a nerd, but is not algorithm more important than a forum? I would give this priority since people are asking about new languages all the time. (Oh, it might be I’ve found the candidate for Slovene language too).

Ooo, ja … I know this part … I have one “black guy” at home and my friend has her “bladk” very anime related girl … English and Japanese with a bit of, Russian and German are on their daily “menu” of speach all the time … (but yes, gamer he is and musician/dancer she is though.)

This is yet about to be comming, believe me.

Um, that post was from 2014!

We’ve been working on the algorithm ever since… :wink:

In my mind, none of them has really happened - I want to see at least 50 lessons before I feel we’ve got a ‘real’ course… but I’m certainly hoping we’ll have a fair bit of French available in the not-too-distant future… :slight_smile:

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Wupsy … my mistake! It seamed strange to me to see @dinas and @essenbee posting since I know they’re not that active on the forum anymore and I was extreamly happy to see them so this probably distracted me not to look of the dates of last post. And it seamed strange to me that forum would all of a sudden be priority upon algorithm but even this didn’t make me think further to look.

So, these forum changes actually happened already but if you still accept some suggestions, maybe the old threads (from two or more years) should be somehow colored differently. Or, when one opens it at the last post there might be a tiny banner saying this last post is xy years old so that one gets the quick mark about how old it is. Yes I know (of course) the software do allerts you abut the old threads and asks you if you still want to bump it up, but when one bumps it up already, the next poster (me in this case) can misslook this fact and post comments on the old posts which might be at the time a bit outdated already. There’s no point to close the threads though as quite many times old threads still can be used to “continue the conversation” (as the software names these things). (if all this isn’t too much “off work” which is in the finishing touches of development of the SSiBorg is not needed of course.) :slight_smile: