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Some more modern forum engine?

by llancet (Friar)
on May 04, 2014 at 02:44 UTC ( #1084913=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

As a user, I think there are at least two disadvantages on the design of perlmonks forum:

There are too many objects on the right side.

Does not support uploading pictures.

It seems the use of JavaScript are avoided. Is it the reason that we can only have such plain pages? Maybe you can find some forum engine which can render two sets of pages: one only plain HTML, the other one with the full use of CSS, JS, HTML5, etc.

Comment on Some more modern forum engine?
Re: Some more modern forum engine?
by Anonymous Monk on May 04, 2014 at 02:47 UTC
Re: Some more modern forum engine?
by GrandFather (Cardinal) on May 04, 2014 at 04:45 UTC

    Among the "cruft" on the right hand side is the "Settings Nodelet" which includes a Nodelet Settings link that takes you to the "Nodelet Settings" page where you can enable, disable and order the nodelets.

    The images issue is mandated by policy rather than by technology.

    Perl is the programming world's equivalent of English
Re: Some more modern forum engine?
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on May 04, 2014 at 14:21 UTC

    It’s all been discussed before – to death.   I really don’t expect to see PerlMonks significantly change in its appearance or in the way that it operates ... and, I also don’t feel that this is necessarily a bad thing.

    The mission, if you will, of PerlMonks is:   to be the “go-to (goto??) source” of information about the Perl language (and of a great deal of pretty-advanced computer science) on the Internet.   And, in that, I feel that it unquestionably is successful.   Despite its warts, its quirks, its ragged-edged not-aliased clip art, and its occasional undignified belching ... it is generally stable, it’s familiar, and it contains decades’ worth of Super Search-able information about Perl.   As an information resource, nothing comes close.   It is mostly self-moderating; anyway, it is moderated extremely capably by whoever does it.   It attracts and maintains a community of very bright – and sometimes, very prickly and opinionated – people who will usually answer any question (complete with a detailed code example) in about seven minutes.   Uh huh, The Monastery is a pretty good place, just like it is.   Maybe that’s why it still is “just like it is?”   Maybe it should just stay that way.

      ...people who will usually answer any question (complete with a detailed code example) in about seven minutes.
      Many times I would have paid for this gladly. I have found that the speed of responses is proportional to the quality and specificity of the question, and the popularity of the topic.

      The rare image that is actually helpful to the discussion is easily hosted offsite.

      -QM
      --
      Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

Re: Some more modern forum engine?
by talexb (Canon) on May 04, 2014 at 15:12 UTC

    These are interesting questions, but I have to put on my consulting engineer hat and ask, "What problem are you trying to solve with all of that extra stuff?"

    The pages are plain because we're discussing and solving technical questions. We can do that without graphics or gorgeous CSS, so there's no need to add it. Yes, the look of the site may date it to the year 2000; however, the site is functional, and full of excellent reference material.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.

Re: Some more modern forum engine?
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on May 06, 2014 at 21:15 UTC

    I have said this before, but ... if we are going to talk (once again) about the possibility for serious improvements to this site, I believe that we should focus on taxonomy improvements; not mere appearances.

    tax•o•no•my (n): the practice and science (study) of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification.   (WikiPedia, of course)

    Fundamentally (IMHO™ ...) PerlMonks has two primary missions:

    1. To enable people who have new questions, and who choose to ask them instead of searching first, to get the answers that will ... well-l-l-l ... get their a*ses out of a furnace that is all too familiar to us all.
    2. For those who do search, perhaps many years later, against a database of responses that by-now stretches back more than a decade, to help those searchers find the best possible answers with the best chances of success.

    There are lots of possibilities here which have been explored by many other websites and efforts in the past:   tagging; a retrofit of the “experience points” system into something that would have real search-quality improvement value; an explicit taxonomy/characterization system.   Of course, our situation is in some ways much more complicated:   PM is and always has been a single-focused site; it has a very long history (database); the single-subject (Perl) of that history is a constantly-moving target.

    So, yes, there are things that we collectively could do to make PM an even-better resource than it already is today.   But “cosmetics” are probably not too high on that list.   (Yeah, at first glance it might look dated, but upon second glance ...)   And-d-d-d ... I, for one, am, quite frankly, not too sure that “some more modern (sic) forum engine,” whatever-it-is, will actually fit our(!) rather special-purpose bill.   Yeah, I think that we as a very-experienced collective ought to be Meditating about these things, perhaps more than we now do.   But I also think that we are all experienced-enough to know that, if/when we decide to do anything about this, it’s just not gonna be quite that simple.   “How to make PM a Better PM” is a worthy and maybe long-overdue goal, but “the Devil will be in the Details.”

    Perhaps the best path forward for this community is, indeed, “to do nothing.”   To recognize that we really can’t get our heads together to (a) agree how to actually improve the site and (b) actually turn that into an implementation.   (Hey, as if Perl-6 isn’t already enough egg on the face?)   Tim Vrooms original efforts, all those years ago now, might indeed prove to be the best outcome that any of us can pragmatically™ hope for, such that we should merely continue to keep well enough alone.   Perhaps, as the cobbler’s children, we cannot, in fact, improve upon our own shoes?

    (And now, let the down-votes begin!!   They are, after all, much easier pickin’s than picking up my profferred gauntlet ...)

Re: Some more modern forum engine?
by taint (Chaplain) on May 23, 2014 at 23:32 UTC
    Greetings, Monks.

    In all honesty, I'd have to admit, in spite of my wide screen, and the high resolution of my monitor. I too, have pondered the right-hand-column (nodelets), and wondered how I might remove it, without removing it.
    Then it hit me while reading sundialsvc4's last post to this thread -- I could easily create a collapsible DIV. That is; style the DIV's CLASS/ID in such a way, that clicking on it, expanded/collapsed it, as wanted/needed.

    So how the H-E-double-toothpicks can you possibly accomplish something like that? It's not like you have access to the web site, and can change the HTML/CSS on the pages.
    True I don't. But I do have the option to use my own CSS against the HTML here at PM. In case you didn't already know; you simply go to the "Settings Nodelet" listed in the column you (the OP) indicated you had issues with, and choose Display. From there, you'll find a form field labeled External CSS file. Cobble up one that suits your needs, and enter the URL in the form field, and choose: Save.

    If I may say so; that's a great deal more control than most other Forums allow/have to offer. Cool, huh?

    --Chris

    ¡λɐp ʇɑəɹ⅁ ɐ əʌɐɥ puɐ ʻꜱdləɥ ꜱᴉɥʇ ədoH

      In my setup, I use "No Theme", and "render as DIV", and throw a whole bunch of custom CSS (via Display Settings) and javascript (via Free Nodelet Settings).

      I have the screen divided in two, horizontally; the upper part is a scrolling window with the "main" content of the page, and the lower part is static (though it uses the browser's own scroll) containing the nodelets in a colored tile arrangement. Don't worry, it's not nearly as pretty as Windows 8.

      I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.

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