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Community Site Ready for Testing

Okay folks. This is a work-in-progress version of a New Babbage Community site, intended as an eventual replacement for the Ning. Most of the requirements are installed and working, but things are clearly in motion. Interface especially, and finding the links to do all the stuff you want to do. For example:

  • The Ning lets you create new content by clicking links near the blog/discussion/image areas; Community puts those links in the right column.
  • Posting new content to the Ning only involves a few choices; posting it here involves a bewildering array of choices. They’re optional, but possibly confusing.
  • You have to send someone a message from their avatar profile – there’s no Inbox link

The good news is that (unlike the Ning) it’s all – or mostly – fixable.

Please post your feedback and improvement suggestions to this thread as you poke around, and we’ll fix or improve them as best we can. It’s all ours, too – we don’t have to wait for a company to add a feature or change something we don’t like – so don’t be shy about imagining ideal solutions to things.

Mods: please create new accounts and let AE know so I can give you mod privileges.

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  1. Greg Merryman Greg Merryman June 13, 2010

    After our initial migration is over, I think we should we create a new user role named “verified user” that allows the user to post comments without moderator approval. Then we move everyone to that rule and remove that ability for the default “authenticated user” role.

  2. archivist archivist June 13, 2010


    • adjust CSS/templates to display avatar icons on comments and replies – DONE 6/13
    • install security update – DONE
    • set up Help menu/FAQs – DONE 6/13: 
    • build recent activity section like the Ning
    • test WYSIWIG – DONE
    • create verified user role – able to post unmoderated comments – DONE 6/13, but needs permissions set up.
    • replace WYSIWIG library with a better one, or add Containers and Classes to the one we have. Should this be the editor by default? – DONE
    • tweak formatting to see if we can create “Add [Content Type]” buttons near the block/page displaying that content type
    • extend Recent Discussions/Recent Blogs to include last-post date, last post avatar, etc. – DONE
    • tune CSS so the options below the post-submission windows are a little less daunting – DONE
    • improve styling on delete/edit/reply links
    • improve styling on image-upload and WYSIWIG/add-link popup
    • improve styling of Galleries node
    • remove ‘next discussion’ link from bottom of discussions
    • further develop Build Record content type
    • explore a node with a taxonomy index – so you can view all elements tagged with a given value
    • archivist archivist June 13, 2010

      I tried to get the avatar’s image to display on the comments and such, even tweaked the PHP a bit, but no dice. For some reason it’s not available to the comment module, either not pulling from the database or not displaying in a standard way.

      Here’s what the PHP comment template says:

      Reply by | ...

      I’ll keep digging. Any suggestions are welcome.

      • archivist archivist June 14, 2010

        Okay that worked. It was an unselected option for the theme, and then I had to tweak the Comments setting to select the new 32×32 avatar image preset. It’s new so I’m not sure how much I like it. I’ll let it grow on me and see. It might be too small. The Ning’s is more like 42×42.

        I’d also like to add some victorian stylings in certain places in the theme – stuff more interesting than straight lines.

        • Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf June 14, 2010

          I like it. The icons are smaller than usual but not bad we just need to make sure there’s nothing too complicated in the icons otherwise.

          • Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf June 14, 2010


            WOW! Ummm maybe we need to looks at the CSS again or something because now that the images are in the correct positions the text doesn’t seem to be.
            [img_assist|nid=39|title=Mess up|desc=Glitch in the system|link=popup|align=left|width=640|height=351]

            • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk June 14, 2010

              Would using a dynamic width for the main CSS layer fix some of the formatting woes? Or putting the nav bar on the left hand side so things don’t run into it?

              • archivist archivist June 15, 2010

                It’s either the rich-text that’s breaking the style or the fact that some comments are a single line. I’ll futz with the CSS to see what I can do.

            • archivist archivist June 15, 2010

              I had set the comment style to a -30 top margin, which, if the comment was longer than one line, correctly calculated that it should start halfway down the avatar icon. When the comment was less than one line it started too high and overlapped the div above it. Now everything is starting below the avatar icon, which isn’t as compact but doesn’t fail.

              There should be some way to fix the height of the comment div so it will always space correctly relative to the icon, but I’m not sure what would work.

              • Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf June 15, 2010

                This isn’t too bad at least. When we had the full sized avatars it was annoying but the tiny ones work well with the top over. Now if we could just get it to work on the main page.

              • Greg Merryman Greg Merryman June 16, 2010

                Greg Merryman

                why not just put the image first, use a float left and a right margin? let the hr etc but up to the right margin?

                • archivist archivist June 17, 2010

                  That’s how I did it, actually, except the line is a border-top of the comment div, not an hr. It works fine when the comment is more than one line. I tried a min-height style on it but it didn’t take. This will do, I think – we can tweak it later?

  3. archivist archivist June 13, 2010

    Do we need a name for this? Something funked-out and in-theme? We can’t call it “The Ning” anymore, and “Community” is just … dull. Maybe we hold a contest among residents to get them to name it.

    • Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf June 13, 2010

      Maybe Babbage Station (like train station) so the short could just be The Station.

      • Greg Merryman Greg Merryman June 14, 2010

        That’s clever, I vote yes for “the Station” unless something better comes along :)

  4. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk June 14, 2010

    link to personal contact form from edit page goes to Access Denied

    Merchant directory: Clockhaven/EZ Steampunk Emporium no longer exists, marker was removed from lot a while back.

    Format bug on this page, Cyan’s and Greg’s coments are running on one line. screenshot here

    ok, in rich text now, that popup to make the link was a bit akward but it worked.

    EDIT: i left this comment window open a while while poking around, and my final paragraph was not included.

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk June 14, 2010

      Image upload form needs more feedback after the save button is hit. I *think* i failed because my file was too large, but it won’t tell my what the problem is. the url of the file i browsed for appears in red. keep the dumbest user in mind.

      still can’t include an image with hand html from a photo hosting site? that annoys me.

      • archivist archivist June 15, 2010

        Re: including HTML from a hosting site. When you post it, change the Input Format to “Full HTML”. We can make that the default, I think, but then rich-text will be problematic.

      • archivist archivist June 15, 2010

        Re: upload failure. When I tried to upload a large image it gave me an error message in pink(ish): “The file you uploaded was too large (1.73MB).” I upped the max size to 2048MB – I don’t know how quickly we’ll max out our storage allotment at that rate, but what the hell.

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk June 14, 2010

      The line superimpostion of comment text seems to be happening if you make your comment without rich-text enabled, and the default window for making comment is rich-text disabled.

      Rich-text is not making paragraph breaks as expected. all text is being formatted into one run-on paragraph without line breaks.

    • archivist archivist June 15, 2010

      Re: link to personal contact form from edit page goes to Access Denied.
      I’ve been poking around for permissions on contact forms and can’t find anything. Right now it says all roles (including anonymous) can “access site-wide contact form.” I just sent contacts to Tenk as a registered user (not archivist, who’s an Admin) and it went through fine. Not sure where the Access Denied came from…

  5. Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf June 15, 2010

    Has anyone focused on the profile page any. Was thinking we should probably make that a little bit better or at least see what we can do with it. I’ll see what we have currently and drupal’s website.

  6. Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf June 16, 2010

    Something weird and wonky has happened to the front page theme the middle section is thinner and there is a gray line through it now.

    [img_assist|nid=49|title=Front Page|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=640|height=185]

    • Lia Bilavio Lia Bilavio June 16, 2010

      confirmed on my end as well. This is just the front page.

      • archivist archivist June 17, 2010

        This morning before work I got halfway to adjusting the theme to construct an area for a ‘recent updates’ column like we have on the Ning. I may or may not get to finish it tonight/tomorrow morning.

        I’m not sure I like it (it makes the site seem all off-balance), but let me get the content in there and see what people think.

        • Greg Merryman Greg Merryman June 17, 2010

          I think we have to have a recent updates area… I find myself going to the admin section and looking at the logs to find recent posts. The front page is obviously borked atm but I think it has promise.

          • Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf June 17, 2010

            Actually if you look at this module: it seems to do what the ning recent activity does. Might help that issue at least. The themeing is a bit different matter I’m afraid.

        • Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf June 17, 2010

          This theme doesn’t seem to really be made for a three paneled website. In truth though it has too much margin space on either side.

          • archivist archivist June 17, 2010

            Yeah I don’t like it either. I’ll try and come up with another solution. If we don’t have that on the home page I think the transition will be much harder. I built a custom View that shows the activity fine (and got that working), but making it work with the theme will take a bit of effort.

            One more night and we’ll have something.

  7. archivist archivist June 18, 2010

    Folks – I’m going to retire this thread from the front page and promote a new one. Tenk may invite a bunch of mods to start poking around shortly. Stay tuned.

  8. archivist archivist June 19, 2010

    Okay weird. The funked-up comments are actually *outside* the “main” div, which is what keeps them in line. Why only the first 15 comments would be in the Main 

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