Topic prefixes

Started by Arantor, February 15, 2022, 05:50:00 AM

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Arantor

So the future is upon us, and it's time to talk about 2.2 or 3.0 or whatever you want to call it.

The first feature I'd like to see is topic prefixes. I've talked about it before but I really think it needs to become core.

What are topic prefixes? They're a way of tagging a topic in admin-configured ways where you can mark topics in broad categories. For example, XenForo uses them in its fixed bugs board - https://xenforo.com/community/forums/resolved-bugs/ - to mark which items are fixed, which are duplicates, which are "not a bug". For people browsing the board after, it's super helpful.

Here's the other compelling argument: you can use this as a topic filter, to find things later. For all the arguments about "social media is killing forums", our strength always has been that you can categorise and organise discussions to find them again. This is another stellar argument in the camp for it.

For all the people who fret about bloat, I really don't think so. See, I used to think they weren't necessary, until I realised that for relative cheap you get access to giving people all kinds of useful features.

What I'm getting at is that this is one of those features that some people immediately see the benefits of, and some people won't - but over time it will likely occur to do things with it.

I'd even support going beyond where XF did by default and supporting multiple prefixes per topic by default just because it actually turned out to be really helpful in practice.

Doug Heffernan

I second this. Topic prefixes will be indeed a very useful feature to have.

Arantor

I actually made it a core feature in StoryBB but the code isn't really portable at this stage. Not least you'd need to retool all the templates, the database queries and the all the CSS...

What is also a thing to note is that people do the most interesting things if you remember to let them/tell them they can use emoji.

Antes

New button already has background for those type of actions... so customizeable background/color options with support to emoji can be really good feature for future release.

Col

@Arantor - I am not meaning to target your threads! :) As it happens, this is another area I wished to research before my upgrade to 2.1. I was hoping prefixes would be available in 2.1 - alas, not. Prefixes would allow me to more sensibly combine some of my boards. It is a pity that prefixes are not available.

Kindred

There is a prefix mod. I believe it works in 2.1
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Arantor

And... this is Feature Requests. It's about time it was made core already. It's a drum I've been banging for the last decade.

Col

Quote from: Kindred on February 21, 2023, 02:20:35 PMThere is a prefix mod. I believe it works in 2.1
I'll look it up. Thanks. Though, I am really hoping to avoid code modifications where I can.

mickjav

Quote from: Col on February 21, 2023, 04:13:30 PM
Quote from: Kindred on February 21, 2023, 02:20:35 PMThere is a prefix mod. I believe it works in 2.1
I'll look it up. Thanks. Though, I am really hoping to avoid code modifications where I can.

By @Diego Andrés

https://custom.simplemachines.org/index.php?mod=4038

I love this mod and it uses hooks only.
Site Under redesign not expected to be complete before January 2026

Col

Quote from: mickjav on February 21, 2023, 04:22:41 PM
Quote from: Col on February 21, 2023, 04:13:30 PM
Quote from: mickjav on February 21, 2023, 04:22:41 PM
Quote from: Col on February 21, 2023, 04:13:30 PM
Quote from: Kindred on February 21, 2023, 02:20:35 PMThere is a prefix mod. I believe it works in 2.1
I'll look it up. Thanks. Though, I am really hoping to avoid code modifications where I can.

By @Diego Andrés

https://custom.simplemachines.org/index.php?mod=4038

I love this mod and it uses hooks only.



I'll look it up. Thanks. Though, I am really hoping to avoid code modifications where I can.

By @Diego Andrés

https://custom.simplemachines.org/index.php?mod=4038

I love this mod and it uses hooks only.

Quote from: mickjav on February 21, 2023, 04:22:41 PM
Quote from: Col on February 21, 2023, 04:13:30 PM
Quote from: Kindred on February 21, 2023, 02:20:35 PMThere is a prefix mod. I believe it works in 2.1
I'll look it up. Thanks. Though, I am really hoping to avoid code modifications where I can.

By @Diego Andrés

https://custom.simplemachines.org/index.php?mod=4038

I love this mod and it uses hooks only.
That's great! I guess I under-appreciate what can be done with hooks. Thanks for the heads-up.

Arantor

You can do some pretty hardcore things with hooks with a bit of imagination ;)

mickjav

Quote from: Arantor on February 21, 2023, 04:37:43 PMYou can do some pretty hardcore things with hooks with a bit of imagination ;)

I'm still trying to get my head around them. They are a bit like API calls
Site Under redesign not expected to be complete before January 2026

Arantor

I don't get what's confusing: they're points in the code where a mod install says 'let me know when you're about to do this thing I care about', then when SMF gets to that point in the code, it goes 'oh, hey, that mod wanted me to tell it that I was going to do the thing, well, I'm about to do the thing, so I'm going to let the mod know'. And the mod can do with that whatever it wants to.

It *is* an API.

zappaDPJ

Quote from: Arantor on February 21, 2023, 02:22:18 PMAnd... this is Feature Requests. It's about time it was made core already. It's a drum I've been banging for the last decade.

I agree, prefixes have multiple uses and should be in the core.

New forums benefit from using prefixes instead of a multitude of barren sub-forums. Growing forums benefit so you can easily gather up multiple threads with a particular prefix and move them to a new sub-forum. Established forums benefit in more ways than I have time to post but as an example; thread prefixes properly implemented offers a similar thread function that actually brings up similar threads.

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