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Author Topic: [3.0] My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1  (Read 53389 times)

Offline Matthew K.

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[3.0] My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« on: September 20, 2011, 06:56:32 PM »
Hey everyone!

I've put quite a bit of thought into what I think SMF 2.1 should have, should not have, and what should be modified, so I thought I might as well share these thoughts with the public.


Database Support:
In my opinion, SMF should just support MySQL, or have the option to select their database type on the installation.

Browser Support:
All old browser support should be dropped, such as IE6. There are quite a few limitations supporting old browsers cause, and there has to be some point where developers can develop Web 2.0 code without worrying about old browser compatibility and having to code a lot of extra lines to keep it compatible with ancient browsers.

CSS3 & jQuery Implementation:
jQuery is most definitely in the future of the web, it is highly extensible and at the same time lightweight. If for no other reason, it should be included on a boolean variable for mod authors to enable if their mod uses it.

In my opinion, the default theme should also contain some nice attributes that CSS3 has to offer.

Spellcheck:
Most modern browsers contain some form of spell-check built in, or an addon for it. SMF's also requires a third party script to run. So in my opinion, it's not even practical.

Although I do believe it could be updated, and provided as an official addon/modification.

Calendar:
I believe the Calendar should not be a core-feature. I think it should be removed from the SMF Core, and completely re-written to have an AJAX/jQuery fancy interface, provided as an official addon/modification.

$smcFunc & PDO:
$smcFunc should be re-written as a PHP Object for easier usage, and a much shorter line-count to accomplish a much better result. Plus some more automation such as auto-data type with the ability to over-ride? For instance, with $smcFunc in 2.0, you have to declare each columns data type, such as 'field' => 'int', and so forth, but this can be figured out with PHP very easily, with no need to declare each column.

Along with the PHP Object, PDO should be implemented for data sanitation.


File Based - Database Modifying - Menu:
There were huge benefits with the move of the menu from template files in 1.1, to Source side in 2.0, however this still could be much  more customizable for forum admins who do not know any coding, and even for those who do, much more simple and quick.

The solution is a file-based, and database driven modifying for the menu, with a very customizable and easy to use interface in the admin panel. (Menu Editor Lite + some features of full)

BBC Editor??
It wouldn't be bad to consider the same idea of "Menu Editor" for Bulletin board code, such as the ability to remove bbc items, or add custom ones, permission to use one, and so forth, through an easy interface, outputted to a file so there wouldn't be any extra queries on a regular page load.

Bloated Profile Fields:
I believe bloated profile fields as "MSN" - "ICQ" - "AIM" - "YIM" should be removed. With the addition of Custom Profile Fields in SMF 2.0, why provide some fields, but by no means them all? What about Skype, Google Talk, Facebook? I think it's much better to remove all un-necessary fields but allow them to be added easily through Custom Profile Fields. You could even have "Custom Profile Field Templates".

Customizable Memberlist:
The memberlist should be configurable through the admin panel, with different two different listing styles. Block / List.

Buddy List:
The buddy list is very limiting, and practically useless. This should be moved to an actual database table, and the features expanded.

Profiles:
The profile sections of SMF are lacking, and very behind today's technology and social aspects. Inline editing, more social such as visitor messages / comments / notifications / etc.

Captcha:
Recaptcha to replace SMF's default captcha?

PM Attachments:
Personal Messages should definitely have the ability to include attachments.

Quick Reply vs. Posting Page:
The possibility of completely removing the actual "post" page and making something similar to Quick Reply be the main form of posting, with BBC editor obviously, and attachments. (Attachments powered by AJAX?)

News / Newsletter:
Provide a more intuitive Newsletter system, with a more advanced news system being an official addon/modification.

Smartphones:
Who doesn't have a smartphone today? Provide jQuery Mobile for smartphones. "Posted from iPhone" or "Posted from Android" (very simple to addon, but a neat idea imo)

Email Template Editor:
Provide a simple but customizable interface to modify email templates? Probably better kept out of core, and added as an official modification.

External Links / Blacklist:
The ability to "blacklist" an address, when the link is clicked, warn the user that the link is blacklisted, ability to proceed or stop. Let users know that they are clicking a link that is external. Enable or disable...possibly a modification rather than core.

Users Online Today:
This should definitely be a core feature by now.

.gif's:
Remove all of the old .gif's that are old fashioned looking, and replace with a nice new icon pack.

I have more thoughts, but I think this enough for one post.

Definitely feel free to comment or question any of my ideas.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 04:48:16 PM by Norv »

TheListener

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 07:01:35 PM »
The Calendar may not be everyones cup of tea ( or coffee)

BUT on MKAware our Calendar is full of local events although I would prefer to see more member birthdays too.

Offline Matthew K.

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 07:08:22 PM »
1) That's why it would be a new fully re-written Calendar, with much more functionality, and with jQuery so it'd be much more fancy and up to date. (most useful as a modification imo)
2) You can still show birthdays without the calendar...not that hard to make possible.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 07:14:07 PM by Labradoodle-360 »

Offline live627

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 07:31:27 PM »
Quote
In my opinion, SMF should just support MySQL, or have the option to select their database type on the installation.
+1... possibly make the alternative database files as official plugins.

Quote
All old browser support should be dropped, such as IE6
+1

Quote
jQuery is most definitely in the future of the web, it is highly extensible and at the same time lightweight. If for no other reason, it should be included on a boolean variable for mod authors to enable if their mod uses it.
I wouldn't agree on the lightweight part, unless you had 1.3 in mind.

If jQuery does end up being included, why not also rewrite most if not all the existing javascript to use jquery and the $ function?

Quote
In my opinion, the default theme should also contain some nice attributes that CSS3 has to offer.
YES +100 DEFINITELY!! Just think of everything that could be replaced: rooundeed corners, gradients, zebra-striping.

Quote
I believe the Calendar should not be a core-feature. I think it should be removed from the SMF Core, and completely re-written to have an AJAX/jQuery fancy interface, provided as an official addon/modification
.-1. It can and should be improved. Maybe then it'll get what it deserves...

Quote
I believe bloated profile fields as "MSN" - "ICQ" - "AIM" - "YIM" should be removed. With the addition of Custom Profile Fields in SMF 2.0, why provide some fields, but by no means them all? What about Skype, Google Talk, Facebook? I think it's much better to remove all un-necessary fields but allow them to be added easily through Custom Profile Fields. You could even have "Custom Profile Field Templates".
+10

Quote
The memberlist should be configurable through the admin panel, with different two different listing styles. Block / List
+1... also custom profile fields should have the option to be shown on the memberlist. See Sinan's mod.

Quote
The buddy list is very limiting, and practically useless. This should be moved to an actual database table, and the features expanded.
+1... see the enhancement to buddies in the ultimate profile mod.

Quote
The profile sections of SMF are lacking, and very behind today's technology and social aspects. Inline editing, more social such as visitor messages / comments / notifications / etc.
+10... see above
 mod.

Quote
Recaptcha to replace SMF's default captcha?
I feel this one to be shot down if only because it relies on a third party service if I recall correctly. Why not include Bad Behavior and decrease the default captcha to easy and remove complicated levels starting from high? Maybe then less people would complain about the "horrible captcha". Signed, a user who has a hard time solving these puzzles.

Quote
Personal Messages should definitely have the ability to include attachments.
+10
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
- Albert Einstein

Offline Matthew K.

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 08:39:47 PM »
Quote
If jQuery does end up being included, why not also rewrite most if not all the existing javascript to use jquery and the $ function?
+1 exactly...

Quote
YES +100 DEFINITELY!! Just think of everything that could be replaced: rooundeed corners, gradients, zebra-striping.
Amen.

Oh, also get rid of the old fashion .gif's and replace with some nice new icons?

Quote
.-1. It can and should be improved. Maybe then it'll get what it deserves...
Sure, either way though, it needs a full re-write with jQuery, new features. Whether or not it's a modification or core doesn't really matter, but it definitely needs an update.

Quote
I feel this one to be shot down if only because it relies on a third party service if I recall correctly. Why not include Bad Behavior and decrease the default captcha to easy and remove complicated levels starting from high? Maybe then less people would complain about the "horrible captcha". Signed, a user who has a hard time solving these puzzles.
Well, the spellcheck requires a third party...maybe just officially support this addon.

Offline Kryzen

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 02:31:37 AM »
I could quote every thought, but that's too much work. Let's keep it on a +100 for your whole post :) I couldn't agree more with everything
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Offline live627

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 02:37:29 AM »
I could quote every thought, but that's too much work.
Too much work then? Hm, doing multiple quotes like that is very time consuming. For me, the work lies in ttyping actual stuff :D
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Offline Kryzen

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 02:41:47 AM »
Time is money ;D
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Offline live627

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2011, 02:47:32 AM »
eheheh
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
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Offline Matthew K.

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2011, 08:33:03 AM »
Why thank you :)
I could quote every thought, but that's too much work. Let's keep it on a +100 for your whole post :) I couldn't agree more with everything

Offline Aaron

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2011, 06:53:53 PM »
I'd reply on every point, I pretty much agree with what live627 has said above. :)

Well, the spellcheck requires a third party...maybe just officially support this addon.

Actually, the spellcheck just requires PHP to be compiled with aspell/pspell support. That's not a 3rd party tool in the same sense as ReCaptcha. ;)

Offline Matthew K.

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2011, 09:35:28 PM »
ReCaptcha is owned by Google. Doesn't Google pretty much own everything on the web? :P I'm sure they have to have some sort of API.

Offline Kindred

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2011, 07:10:44 AM »
Recaptcha is useless now. It was broken by the spambots several months ago.
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Offline drumsage

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2011, 09:04:21 AM »
Ditto +100 on the entire initial post.
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Offline Burridge

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2011, 03:46:18 PM »
I actually think that the default SMF captcha is stronger than ReCaptcha. When I used a site with ReCaptcha, I had bots everywhere. When I set the default SMF captcha to high/extreme, I have no problems with bots at all. loving the rest of the post! +99 :P

Offline Matthew K.

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2011, 03:51:30 PM »
According to what Kindred said, that would be accurate. But I still think SMF's Captcha could be at least re-styled...

Offline Antechinus

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2011, 05:38:03 PM »
I don't even use it. Switched it off completely. Haven't had any bigger problems since doing that either. It made absolutely no difference. IMHO, captcha is obsolete and not worth bothering with. All it does is annoy legitimate new members.

Offline Matthew K.

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2011, 05:41:09 PM »
That's probably true, Facebook doesn't have Captcha...I think Email Activation is smart though.

Offline live627

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2011, 06:28:42 PM »
All it does is annoy legitimate new members.
Even if it's set to simple/very simple?

I think Email Activation is smart though.
It does filter some robots... however, spammers can and do get past that. That is where Bad Behavior works so well; because some spammers use unsafe agents , they get blocked.
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Offline Matthew K.

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Re: My Thoughts on Features for SMF 2.1
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2011, 06:40:26 PM »
Yeah live, that's true.