DruBB - Proposals, Features and Funding!

MikeyGYSE's picture

Okay,

I've been mulling this over for a long time now, Drupal's current forums simply aren't adequate. But what do WE as the community want from DruBB? What is it we need?

Personally:

Look and Feel - the forum needs to look and feel more ... natural it needs to be easy to use, let's face it forums are community tools, who has a community which contains users who can code HTML? Who can navigate confusing multi-level hierarchies? I certainly don't.
Features - it needs to be quick and easy to assign moderators, to set permissions, to create and edit forums, containers etc, we need those cute features which make a forum, a forum. Smilies, BBCode (implemented elsewhere, perhaps the implementation needs to be considered and tightened), Ranks, Avatars etc. These are the features we lament as "missing" from Drupal's forums. They exist in the drupal community but their implementation is somewhat lacking.
Clean URLS - this is something that NEEDS to stay, it's what sets Drupal's forums and CMS apart. I LOVE clean URLS in a forum, they are just so, easy to work with!
Add! - let's build this into a complete list (I'll be tracking this story and updating the list periodically) If you have money to pledge for a particular part of DruBB pledge it. Gay Youth :: South East (My Charity) are well on our way to securing... wait for it! Wait for it! £3000 GBP of which £1500 will be pledged to the DruBB module. (Again I will keep this updated!). Let's get Drupal's forums sorted because that's what's missing from EVERY open source CMS, decent, feature-rich forums!

Comments

Clean URLs

cburschka's picture

Clean URLs: Maybe I'm misunderstanding this point, but isn't it absolutely self-evident? I don't know if it's even possible without quite a hassle to develop in Drupal without making use of the "virtual paths" that make up clean URLs.

Or is this more about self-explanatory URLs, which contain the title rather than the node ID?

I can see benefits and drawbacks both for "forum/Miscellaneous" and "forum/1", and as for threads, I'm a bit skeptic of topic/the-title-of-the-topic, if only because titles could be duplicated...


I agree with the part about HTML though. If DruBB will be a package of modules that work together to create a smooth forum, then one of those modules should probably render BBCode (whether it is the existing BBCode module or, say, [url=http://drupal.org/project/reptag][rep]tag[/url] is another question.)

Edit: I mean <a href="http://drupal.org/project/reptag>[rep]tag of course, but this was too ironic to fix.

I'm thinking PathAuto can

MikeyGYSE's picture

I'm thinking PathAuto can handle the URL generation very well, and does with drupal forums. It's about ensuring a clean intergration with PathAuto and Clean URLS.

For threads PathAuto will generate topic/category/title or topic/title/0 topic/title/1 etc where duplications exist.


Michael O'Toole

Gay Youth :: South East - Chair & Operations Administrator


Michael O'Toole

Gay Youth :: South East - Chair & Operations Administrator

I'd recommend something like

ggilbert's picture

I'd recommend something like just /forum/topic# for posts. My experience is that it's not terribly rare for posts to be moved from one category to another or have the title changed, so putting that information in the url is asking for trouble.

Seconded

cburschka's picture

Yes, this is actually the second thing that made me uncomfortable about titles (or even forums) in URLs.

W3C has a good article about it: http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI

If we go by this advice (and I often find that taking advice from the W3C is the path to bliss), then it's more important to make a URL persistent than self-explanatory - especially when the website is dynamic and unmoderated. Nobody expects the contents of a forum to follow a subject-oriented path structure as a static website would. As long as it's short and easy to write down, sequential numbers should be no problem - thus /topic/#node_id (or while we're being revolutionary... "/node/#node_id"???).

(Note that /topic/#forum_id/#topic_id does convey more information but - see above - is less persistent. A topic shouldn't change its URL just because it's moved to a different forum, and unless we muck about with redirects to keep old links alive, this would be a bad approach.)

phpBB, IPB, vBulletin and any other board I've seen out there has something like showtopic.php?t=#id. Nothing against innovation, but that way has worked pretty well - and with our clean URLs, it wouldn't look bad either...

Pathauto is smart enough to

Steven Jones's picture

Pathauto is smart enough to not just go changing urls because the tokens upon which they're based changes. In fact you can get it to not change anything, change the url, or create a duplicate, new url pointing to the same content as the old url.

Also, with a bit of luck,

catch's picture

Also, with a bit of luck, nodes with multiple aliases will have an 'active' alias in D6. Meaning that if you change a post from four different forums, all the old urls will still be there, and 301 redirect to the newest one.

Why re-invent the wheel?

Michelle's picture

It's great that you are getting funding, but why start over from scratch on the feature requests? They're already pretty covered here:

http://groups.drupal.org/node/3442
http://groups.drupal.org/node/2418

As well as other posts on this group. I think it's fairly clear what's wanted. What's not clear is who is going to do it. :)

Michelle

Very true

roxpace's picture

We shall not invent the wheel once again when there are good sources to use as a base like those you linked.

I would also point out that it's not just about Forum, the group should also work hard to get much tougher spam control in Drupal, we have serious problems on our biggest sites with tons of spam attempts everyday and many succeeds to post which we are almost sure are "manual" spam into our forums hired by cheap companies in mainly Russia and Asia (the IP addresses are pointing out those regions). I am also not sure, are there any banmodule for Drupal today which can ban email address/email domain and IP addresses at registration (and ALSO with an easy click in user profile or their posts ban their IP or email address/email domain directly) ?

Considering design and the feel of a "real forum", it would be much better to create a strong guide/tutorial for people to use flatforum or an exhanced flatforum. Hopefully the future design "examples" will not just be copycats of current big forums like vbulletin, phpbb, smf and more but have more originality and flexible for many purposes.

When considering a good design I also appreciate short load times for visitors with bad internet connections or simple dialups, yes they still exists and too many sometimes but we have to work for them, the same as for designing for people with handicaps, they are many enough to be important.

Hi guys, I haven't posted

tounano@drupal.org's picture

Hi guys,

I haven't posted here for a while, my job is killing me.

I already want to start working on that module, but, I promised a lot, and did almost nothing, the only thing I can say is it's my job. I have this project, that I am working on it since august 2006, and should finish it by Feb 07. Now, there's a new deadline, it should be finished by July 1st, I hope that after I'll finish it, I'll have Drupal quality time.
In the worst case, I finish my contract on 27th of September, and I am looking for quality unemployed time :), so I hope that maybe then I'll have some time to move some things on DruBB topic.

Have a nice day.

This is exactly why it's

Heine's picture

This is exactly why it's important to distribute the effort and provide regular updates.

Good point michelle, what

MikeyGYSE's picture

Good point michelle, what I'd intended for this was for people to pledge money towards those feature requests. As I said I should be able to secure the funding for the whole of the DruBB project. Money is always a motivator!


Michael O'Toole

Gay Youth :: South East - Chair & Operations Administrator


Michael O'Toole

Gay Youth :: South East - Chair & Operations Administrator

Development Resources

bpocanada's picture

Mike,

If someone can lead the project, I can commit 2 development resources immediately for a period of 10 weeks.

We have a pretty huge development team in India and solid Drupal expertise. I expect that the funding will cover our development costs at bare minimum.

Community has been asking for it. There has been lots of thoughts around. If someone can lead the scope definition and feature summary, we can build it fast. My number is 1-604-630-4292.

Roshan

Roshan Shah
BPO Canada - http://www.bpocanada.com

--
Roshan Shah
BPO Canada - http://www.bpocanada.com
Skype : bpocanada

Forgive me, I don't want to

MikeyGYSE's picture

Forgive me,

I don't want to ship this out to a development company, it's something the community has an interest in - something THEY should be working on. If I were a coder I'd get stuck in and do it myself. The money hasn't been secured yet. There's a good chance we'll get it, however it hasn't happened yet.


Michael O'Toole

Gay Youth :: South East - Chair & Operations Administrator


Michael O'Toole

Gay Youth :: South East - Chair & Operations Administrator

Finer grain permissions.

majortom's picture

BPO Canada has done some great work (their e-publish module is one great example). I would love to get an estimate on how much it would cost to implement a finer grain permission system for drupal forum.

Treeview AND single post view AT ONCE

samuel lampa's picture

I want to be able to view a (collapsed) treeview, AND single posts at the same time, so that you can click the treeview and read the single posts one at a time, like this example.

In Drupal there is already the functionality to show a collapsed treeview, but when you click the posts you see only the single posts, without the treeview, so you get lost and can not easily navigate further in the discussion three.

I can't understand why there is not an option to view both the single posts and the treeview at the same time, when the underlying functionality is there already? Maybe a small patch is what is needed?

Best Regards
// Samuel

Samuel Lampa
RIL Partner AB

Maybe this?

Michelle's picture

Not sure if it does what you want, but it's closer than anything in this group, since this is more about flat forums.

http://drupal.org/project/forumthread

Michelle


See my Drupal articles and tutorials or come check out the Coulee Region

Not exactly

samuel lampa's picture

Thanks for the link!

That's not exactly what I'm looking for though, eventhough this seems to be useful too.

This thing still lists only threads though, and is more focused on the main "forum view", while I'm rather looking for a better solution to the "post view", since I want to be able to see (and click browse) the tree-structure of the current thread while reading the individual posts. This link shows exactly what I mean. (try clickin' around)

Best Regards // Samuel

Samuel Lampa
RIL Partner AB