As a lot of new people are trickling in, I think its time to talk a bit about the state of this forum. The software we are using is an open-source free forum software called Vanilla. It has several neat features, is very programmable/extendable (why I chose it actually), and some issues. Seems one can't get the good without the bad in modern technology these days, but what can you do? I'm going to explain some features below, and then also describe known bugs I am working on. I'll close out with stuff that I'm actively working on but you won't see for a while. Feel free to chime in on this thread if you have ideas for things you'd like to see on the forum, or additional issues you might encounter.
// Features //
YAGA: This is a plugin for the forum that means: Yet Another Gamification Application. Essentially it lets everyone add reactions to others posts they read, and issues out badges to user for various milestones. It also provides a link on the left panel that tallies up the most active posts in these regards. Its not a big feature, but I think it helps enhance the sense of community.
Enhanced Private Messaging: The private messaging on this forum allows multiple people to be involved, so you can kind of have a side-chat with several people without starting a new thread for all to see.
HTML editor: The editor for posts is HTML, and WYSIWYG (mostly). This simplifies things, but can sometimes create issues if you try and cut a post from another forum and paste it in here. It can support BBcode or Markdown, but that is not how I have it configured. The advantage of HTML is that you can drag and drop images onto posts, etc. The editor is simply more powerful in that mode.
Responsive Theme: The theme is truly responsive and as such you don't need a special client to use it on your phone. Just loading the page on a mobile device works fine (at least on all devices I've tested).
// Issues //
Attachments: For some unknown reason, the attachment upload is eating everything that isn't an image. I'm working on it, but I haven't been able to get any input from the Vanilla community so that means I have to basically create a new blank test forum, start adding stuff, and see what breaks the upload. So its going to be a bit on that. The strange thing is that the uploads work, but for some reason they never get attached to the posts.
Theme Glitches: Since this site isn't secured, I'm having some issues with Chrome overriding theme settings to "protect the end-user". It seems if an unsecured page asks for a password (when you login for example) Chrome won't allow text color changes. This is why your login field text may appear black instead of normal white.
User Themes: Vanilla was not built to support this feature, but I've gotten a few questions about alternate brighter themes. I'd like to have that option open to people. Right now you can click Snow or Slate on the left panel to change the theme, but that isn't perfect and everything isn't applied as I'd like. Eventually I'll write a plugin to allow each user to select their own theme and I'll offer several colors.
// Future //
Chat: There is no real-time chat at the moment. I had setup a Rumbletalk chat, which was nice, but was barely used and a monthly expense to boot. So I took that down, and I'm planning on something else. I'll likely setup a Discord channel and link on the left panel in its place for now and see what people think of that. Its a good client, is free, and runs on just about any platforms (even inside a web browser).
Archiving: Next year archiving will begin. Essentially that meant posts older than one year will be dumped into an archive and no longer a burden to the forum database. Once that starts (using an automated system), on the first of each month posts from that month a year ago will enter the archive. They will still be viewable and searchable, etc. But unable to edit in any way at all, and can't be commented on. Of course you can link to them in new posts.
FRD Rendering: I've been working slowly on this for a while, but I have some code written now that will allow one to view an FRD file on the forum. This means if you just attach an FRD to a post (see issues above, ugh), you'll get a link that you can click to open it in a pop-up window and view it. I don't expect to have this ready and well tested till next year though.
That is a short synopsis. If you have an comments or questions, fire away!
= Howard Stark: "This is the key to the future. I'm limited by the technology of my time, but one day you'll figure this out."