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Author Topic: Feature Wishlist  (Read 7144 times)

MrPhil

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Feature Wishlist
« on: September 05, 2011, 12:15:03 PM »
Here are some ideas for new SMF features that might greatly improve the product. Feel free to either mod them into the mainstream product, or use them in your own fork. Some of these might be better addressed as theme features, but would be useful to have widely available.
  • ability to repeat first post of a thread on each page ("what is is about" reminder) regardless of time ordering. May be pinned to each page
  • for multiple items (topics, posts) displayed on one page, have an easy choice of preferred sort order. Order may vary by section (category), e.g., sort forum topics by creation date or subject line rather than last post timestamp
  • pinned posts (in a thread) or pinned threads (in a board) on first or all pages of thread/board
  • pinned items sortable in a different order than rest of page, including manual ordering override
  • ability to vote posts or topics to the top of the list
  • "hot topic" by number of posts and/or number of views
  • related to admin blacklists and warnings, every member can blacklist/block selected other members if they're annoyed enough with them...
    • block their posts from showing (have view button)
    • put up warning (to yourself) YOU HAVE BLACKLISTED THIS MEMBER so that you don't respond to their nonsense
    • a reply to a topic started by, or directly to a post by, a blacklisted member gets a reminder warning
    • possibly block them from PMing you
  • ability to stop following a thread/topic -- topics go off in other directions, or have so much noise that you no longer want to follow them (SMF: ignore the fact that you've posted in this topic, when showing recent updates)
  • ability to archive deleted or edited posts, for review/evidence
  • ability to mark given boards/topics noindex/nofollow
  • for members who can't be bothered to search first, "move" function that just points to an existing post/thread/FAQ; either replacing current thread or is new last post (with lock)
  • moved posts or topics are marked "started by" the original starter, with the mod who moved it listed in the move post
  • hooks to create boards/posts from external feeds or files or email (need to sign on as admin or member with privileges)
  • export semi-formatted text to HTML static archives. PDF files, etc. Remove from active forum
  • reasonable way to re-add a user and associate their old posts with them, or add with a specific ID
  • categories, boards, etc. which are links to another site (or at least, outside the forum, such as a Wiki page on your site)
  • be able to pull out selected (e.g., "popular") post as a banner ad-like feature, with "teaser" excerpt
  • a way to ignore new posts (at the top of page 1) when going to 'next page'. That is, when getting the next batch of records from the database, would need to add however many items have been added since you were on page 1 (started), so you don't get overlap with stuff you've already seen. This is a big problem with topics with heavy posting traffic -- by the time you've read a given page, enough new posts have been added so that "next page" start may even be on the previous page now!
  • automatically lock a topic when marked 'solved'
  • defense in depth against spammers. Spammers have gotten wise to all the tricks used to keep out spambots, and are often using people to get around these blocks. Need to...
    • impose hurdles (CAPTCHA, question, etc.) on "new" users, including length of time since signup and number of posts so far
    • scan posts for potential spam terms, after replacing punctuation with letters and merging non-words (e.g., v1@gra --> viagra)
    • count all-cap words (SHOUTING)
    • look for a disproportionate number of links within a post
    • randomly vary the challenge presented (type of challenge, number of questions, etc.) to keep robots off balance
    • see my sig > Projects > "Checking and validating user input" for more in-depth discussion, including the generation of a "spam score" to determine whether a post is let through, held for admin review, outright banned, CAPTCHA challenged, or some other fate.
  • better BBCode:
    • ordered lists with choice of styles: 1., 1), 1 --, etc., B, b, II, ii, β, etc.
    • include arbitrary HTML entities such as —, α, etc. (and numeric &# ). Maybe just [&name;] -- & would signal an entity. I can't think of any HTML entities that would be harmful and need to be excluded.
    • supply "system" things, such as the URL, domain, URI of this forum. This would stop hardcoding of many URLs in a forum, always a pain if something is changed.
  • control over alphabet allowed for member names
  • amount of editing (or deletion) allowed is a function of time passed and member privilege level -- e.g., anyone can delete or edit their post for 5 minutes, then for 30 minutes they can edit with no "edited by" mark, then for 6 hours they can edit with "edited by", and finally after that they can only append to an existing post (with "edited by"). A mod or admin can always make changes.
  • clear "inclusion" and "exclusion" member groups, with arbitrary functions (or external utilities) to maintain/update groups, and groups that members can apply to join (automatic or admin-approved)
  • easy export of membership list to other programs, such as a bulk mailer for newsletters
  • easy import of membership lists, "starter sets" of topics and posts, etc.
  • threaded view in a topic -- this is something requested from time to time, but before implementing it, we need to step back and look at overall navigation and the flatness of the category-to-post tree. If you have a sufficiently flat structure, with members encouraged to start new topics for different subjects, and the ability to split off posts into a new topic; is a truly threaded view necessary?
  • when N or more members have reported a post, automatically suppress it (content and title not shown) until a moderator can get around to inspecting it. Note that this is not an automatic deletion. If deemed OK, set a flag that it cannot be suppressed again (unless modified). Track members who report posts, and against whom and what the final disposition was -- if they appear to have a grudge, warn them and possibly revoke their post reporting privileges.
  • copy important navigation tabs (home and logout, if not all of them) at the bottom of the page, so you don't have to scroll up to the top to log out. Disable logout tab if you're not logged in -- it's annoying to not be sure whether you're actually logged in, and get that silly error message if you were already logged out.

That ought to do it for now. Sorry about the haphazard order. I'll add more later if I think of them.

Offline emanuele

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Re: Feature Wishlist
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 12:35:44 PM »
That's a huge list! :P

ability to repeat first post of a thread on each page ("what is is about" reminder) regardless of time ordering. May be pinned to each page
A bit of spam. :P

  • for multiple items (topics, posts) displayed on one page, have an easy choice of preferred sort order. Order may vary by section (category), e.g., sort forum topics by creation date or subject line rather than last post timestamp
  • ability to vote posts or topics to the top of the list
Interesting.

reasonable way to re-add a user and associate their old posts with them, or add with a specific ID
Reattribute user posts?

ordered lists with choice of styles: 1., 1), 1 --, etc., B, b, II, ii, β, etc.
There is already a quite good list of possibilities! :)
Would you propose others?


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MrPhil

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Re: Feature Wishlist
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 09:31:53 AM »
That's a huge list! :P
Shor 'nuf is... I hope it will give some ideas for new themes, new mods, improvements to base SMF, and even new forks. If someone is looking for something to do, but can't come up with a useful new feature, this list might help give them an idea or two.

MrPhil

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Re: Feature Wishlist
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2011, 09:30:47 PM »
Hmm. It's kinda died stuck out here in a sub-subboard :( . Anyway, I'll poke it with a stick: "What kind of things do you wish SMF had done differently? If you were in charge of SMF 3.0, what would you put in it even if it meant breaking compatibility?" Even, "If you were designing a forum from scratch today, especially given the state of social media (blogs, Twitter, FB), what would you put in it?" How about some unlimited blue-sky thinking!

Offline live627

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Re: Feature Wishlist
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2011, 01:28:59 AM »
I would infest the core with hooks, redo the theme so it uses more modern technologies, combine many templates into a unified form class, do away with mods or hacks and introduce plugins or add-ons that use purely hooks (file edits reserved only for updates), objectify a few things (central stuff), require 21st century software.
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