(Note for existing users: Please make sure to check My Profile link at the top, and scroll down the profile settings. There are many new custom settings available that you can use to tailor the forum to your specific needs.
For the impatient:
• If you use the home page for quick access to the sections and don't like to scroll through the listing of active topics, then you can go to the profile (link My Profile at the top), scroll down to Custom View Settings, and enable "Hide active discussions on the home page" setting.
• You don't need to click Send for quick reply. You can use Ctrl+Enter shortcut. It works with private messages too.
• The bookmarks are located under My Profile now. But you can bring them (and some other links) to the top menu by changing Custom View Settings.
• Give it a week or so to get used to the new layout. I know it feels disorienting at first, but that's because you are so used to the old layout.
Back to the announcement.
This page contains an outline of some of the new features. For the explanation of each feature, please visit the Help link at the top. Also, many of the pages on the forum contain help notices. Once you are familiar with the new functionality, feel free to click "hide this notice".
I tried to make transition to the new software as painless as possible. So the overall forum structure and function remains the same. All core control links are in their place. Some new features have been added, but most of the old features remain, and can be accessed through the same means as before.
The major and the most obvious change is the page layout.
I understand that people who've been using the forum for a while are used to the old layout, and switching to the new layout might feel somewhat disorienting at first. But trust me, during the development of the new software, it took me less than a week to completely get used to the new layout. It's just a matter of habit. So please hang in there.
Why change the layout?
Well, these days people use huge desktop screens and tiny smartphone screens and everything in between. The array of different devices people use today is greater than it has ever been. The old forum page layout simply didn't work well enough with smartphones (and didn't work well with really large desktop screens).
To make the forum compatible with as many desktops, laptops, tables, readers, smartphones as possible, we simplified the page layout and removed tabulated elements from pages. Every element on every page on the forum simply flows top to bottom.
Because of that, we no longer have the left margin with user information next to each post. Instead, user information is shown directly above. Or rather, the post's text follows the user information.
I understand that such change is somewhat disorienting, but give it a week or so. It really doesn't take long to get used to it.
And please feel free to try accessing the forum with a smartphone.
Other changes are listed below.
If you notice any bugs or errors, then please let me know. This is brand new software, so it's likely to have a few bugs that weren't caught during testing.
Attachments In Private Messages
You can attach files and pictures to private messages in the same way as you do with posts.
Editing Sent Private Messages
You can edit the text of a sent private message by clicking on it, and then clicking Quick Edit. You can't edit attachments, but you can edit the title and the text. This feature is meant mostly for fixing typos. You can edit a sent PM until it has been opened by the recipient. After that, the quick edit option disappears, since it doesn't make sense to edit a private message that was already read.
You can add users you don't like to you ignore list. You will then no longer see their topics. They will not be able to reply in your topics. And they will not be able to send you private messages.
Custom View Settings
My Profile (link at the top) contains a lot of new settings that affect forum usability. Please make sure to check them out. Scroll to the very bottom of My Profile page.
All posted images are now accessible for preview from one page. Newest Pictures link. You can enable it by using My Profile link at the top. Please check the custom settings of your profile.
Invite-Only Topics And Sections
To deal with trolls, we are going to try out invite-only topics (and maybe sections). Such topics would only allow posts from an established list of users. So that it wouldn't be possible for a troll to register new accounts just for the purpose of disrupting that particular topic. This is mostly planned for long-running topics with a limited number of established participating users.
All User-Managed Sections Are Eligible For Inclusion Into The Digest
Going forward, if you subscribe to a section, it will be shown in your digest. In the past, only more popular sections were included. But now, it only depends on your section subscription settings.
Mass Unwatching Topics
On the Watched Topics page, there is a link to mass unwatch old topics.
Disabling Watched Topics Based On Replying
In My Profile settings, there is a way to prevent the forum from automatically adding topics in which you reply to your watched topics list. That way your watched topics list won't get filled with too many topics. If this option is enabled, then you would need to manually click Watch for topics which you do want to add to your watched topics list.
Previewing Attachments Before You Submit The Post
The posting and image upload process is different now. Please make sure to check the help notice the first time you are attaching a picture with the new forum software.
Long-running topics that get split up will contain a notice on all pages, linking to the previous topic. And the original topic will contain a link to the topic that was created as a result of the split.
Quotes that are longer than 500 characters will not be shown in full. This is done to avoid the need for excessive page scrolling just for a one-liner reply.