Discussions Improvements

Over the last month, we have made a number of improvements to discussions:

Threaded Conversations

Now, direct replies are threaded / indented making it easier to group and see different branches of the discussion.

Infinite Scrolling

We eliminated pagination (e.g., page 1, page 2, etc.). Now, regardless of how many comments there are on a discussion, as you scroll down, more comments are added without having to click to another page.

Embedding Videos and Images from URLs

You can now embed videos using the insert/edit video button. Additionally, if you already have a URL for an image, you can just enter it in the insert/edit image button / dialogue.

Both of these will help you make your comments more visual and informative.

Resizing Images Easily

If your image is too large, you can grab any corner and drag it in to make it fit better.

Undisclosed Users Now Have IDs

When multiple people post undisclosed in a single conversation, you can now see which responses are from the same person, with a 7 digit unique ID. See multiple undiscloseds here.

Improved Commenting on Mobile

Now you can use the full editor on mobile instead of a simple text box.

Reply To With No Page Reload

Now, when you reply to a specific comment, we just display a new form immediately (AJAX) making it quicker and easier to do so.

Reply To Comments on Articles

Now you can reply directly to specific comments on articles.

Easy Comment Reordering

If your comment is directly in response to someone else, but you forget to reply to that specific comment, we now have an admin tool to drag and drop it as a reply, making it easier to keep comments well organized.

Commenting Auto Formatting

Often, people will accidentally insert extra spaces or lines, making the comment look sloppy. We automatically eliminate those to minimize space used and to keep the comments style looking uniformed.

Comment Box Top and Bottom

To make it easier to comment, we now have a comment submission box at the beginning of each discussion and after the last comment.

What Else Do You Want?

Let us know what you think and what else you want.

Discussions are going great so we are continuing to invest in making this the most powerful forum it can be.


infinite scrolling, threaded and undisclosed ids these are all huge improvements for discussions... all of these upgrades make keeping a discussion on track much easier... nice work...

I think that it would be helpful to have the ability to click on a user name to see all previous posts by that user. For example, clicking on John Honovich would show me all of John's previous posting activity.

We actually have that code / feature in place. We just haven't made it accessible to other users. However, you can review your own past comments by going to the member's page and clicking on "Your Comments"

Allowing others to see one's list of comments is a quick 20 minute code change. The question is - Will members object that others can see a full list of their comments? Thoughts?

I don't necessarily care if other members see my past posts in a list... they are all available in the discussions anyway... how is that jandled in the situation where some posts as "undisclosed"...

Undisclosed posts would be stripped from any list shown to others. Presumably, we could also let people opt out or force people to opt in to show the list of their (disclosed) comments.

Ability to sent PM to other members

We have a feature that allows you to display your personal/company URL on your comments. For example, on Michael's comment, you see his name links to his company website. Alternatively, many members link to their LinkedIn profiles.

The goal of that feature is to let member's who choose to be open to make it easy for others to contact them.

It's 2013. Everyone can easily have their online presence (their own websites, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.). Those alternatives reduce the need for PMs.

Beyond that, I do not want us to worry about PM spam and managing PM abuse.

I'd recommend that anyone who wants to talk with other, go ahead and display your personal/company URL on your comments.

It would be good to have the commenter's website/company name appear next to their name on each post - makes it much easier to remember who's who.

We can show the company name in addition to the link. Right now, for example, it's Bohan Huang. Instead, we could do Bohan Huang, TruHD.

I'd want it to be another opt-in option so people can choose to display their company name as I am sure some would find it appealing, but others would not want to imply that they are speaking on the behalf of their company.

What does anyone else think?

Any suggestions to prevent unintended formatting within posts?

Font size appears to vary widely on my posts. I don't notice this on others' posts, so maybe I'm the only problem child :)

When I view internet explorer html source of my posts which show normal and small fonts, small fonts are always wrapped with this html code:

<p><span style="font-size: 11px;"> little font stuff </span></p>

I often take a while to draft comments, sometimes moving parts around by cutting and pasting. Maybe that's an issue?

So (don't know how this will turn out) I'm going to set up line 1 and line 2 below, then reverse their order by cutting line 2 and pasting it back above line 1.

Line 2

Line 1

Otherwise, any suggestions?

Thanks.

Looking back, it appears that cutting and pasting within the "post reply" window causes unintended formatting. On the plus side, you can tell where I've reorganized my thoughts after scribbling them down. On the minus side, I think that mostly this detracts from clarity and ease of reading.

Any chance of fixing this bit of a bug?

Thanks.

Sorry to run on, but it also appears that just using backspace to delete previous lines within the "Post reply" window also causes formatting. This seems to occur when the deletion removes a carriage return boundary.

FYI I'm using google chrome version 29.0.1547.66 m

Horace, I filled a bug to fix this. I think it relates to our wysiwig editor (tinymce) in general. Sorry about that.

Feature request:

It becomes difficult to find the latest post in a discussion when there are recent replies nested under the original post, rather than at the top or bottom. Could you offer an option to sort all posts by date; perhaps with each having a pointer to the original post the poster was replying to?

I also think this would be a positive improvement.

It gets a tedious having to scroll through all the posts to find the latest and greatest when there's a high volume of responses to a topic.

Carl, Alain, At the top of the thread you'll now see a link to 'Display Comments in Chronological Order'. This will resort them by time. Default remains threaded.

UBB (ultimate Bulletin Board) does that Carl.

It is used on many of the forums I participate it.

It's not very expensive either, if John ever decides to look for alternatives: http://www.ubbcentral.com/purchase.php

Scott, we've developed the forum / comments ourselves because there are certain things we wanted to optimize, like editing, undiscloseds, managing/promoting comments, etc.

We can certainly sort by straight date.

The ability to minimize a single thread of replies.

Colourised replies if they're new so you can quickly find new comments.

Here an example what I mean

Blue being a new post.

Example

After I've read an article or discussion, I still enjoy revisiting it to reviewing the ongoing community discussions. I am hunting for the chronological order "switch" so that I can efficiently read just the more recent contributions that I haven't yet seen.

Is it possible to allow users make a profile selection to view discussions in either chronological or threaded order?

Right now, that "swtich" is below the entry article or comment, which vary widely in length. If it were either at the top or at the bottom of the web page, you could quickly click it without paging about looking for it. If you could set your personal default sort order, you might wish to click on it very infrequently. Any of those approaches would be a convenience feature that would save a little time and trouble.

I think you guys put alot of thought and effort in to this. I hope you keep the classes simple to understand just like class 1.

HI John,

Not sure if this should fall under discussion improvements but here is my 2 cents:

I think IPVM has grew quite much... do you consider rolling out an app for Android or iOS?

With perhaps some of the tools (like the camera finder, etc)

And or viewing the latest discussion trends (sort of a facebook format / twitter) <-- related to this topic.

Of course with a monthly fee for the APP. I think it will be a good value for the customer.

Using Firefox, its spellcheck does not work when writing a post. Would be a "nice to have" if there was some way to permit it to work.

Luis, thanks. I added it to our 'nice to have' feature list. It also do not work on Chrome though we use Grammarly plugin which does work and has some more advanced features.

I just have issues overall viewing the site on my smartphone using Google Chrome. Even after logging in it acts as if I still haven't done so. Any thoughts as to whether this a user, app, or functionality issue?

Email reply to discussions.

If we are subscribe to a discussion and get an email alert when a new post has been added and you want to reply to that specific post and you click on :Read and respond at: http://ipvm.com/forums..............." in the email your directed to the top of the post. You have to scroll for the post you want to reply to that the post came from, if a discussion is short it's easy to find but when the discussion is long it takes a while to find the one you want.

Hope you understand this?

Thanks Dwayne

Dwayne, for me on Chrome desktop, it works - goes right to the comment.

What browser/OS are you using? We'll try to replicate.

Articles work fine (for me) from e-mail:

http://ipvm.com/updates/3058#post-71496

Discussions lose their hashtag somewhere along the way:

Before redirection

http://ipvm.com/forums/forums/1/topics/anyone-tried-this-wireless-camera-with-sensor-to-i-o-to-trigger-dvr-alarm-out-to-alarm-panel#post-71509

After redirection

http://ipvm.com/forums/forums/video-surveillance/topics/anyone-tried-this-wireless-camera-with-sensor-to-i-o-to-trigger-dvr-alarm-out-to-alarm-panel

iPad also.

John IOS iPad and iPhone most of the time, when in office use a windows laptop in Chrome also or Explorer, honestly never replied from the laptop.

So its IOS problem

Weren't we able to edit a post after it was posted maybe three years ago?

John thanks for editing the website discussion I started..

You can edit a comment for 1 hour after posting. We don't let it be indefinite to ensure someone does not go back much later and completely change their position. 1 hour is enough time that if someone made an obvious basic mistake they can edit it.