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#1 2021-11-18 05:25:55

lfitzgerald
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Registered: 2021-07-16
Posts: 38

Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

I'm new to the forums so sorry if this already exists.

There's a link in the top right to sow unanswered threads. However this shows them across the whole forum, which is quite a few. Often one wants to see what threads are unanswered in a certain section.

I tried clicking while inside a section and it still does forum-wide. I also tried appending &forums%5B%5D=23 (I think that's the param from when I do a search in Newbie Corner) but it gets ignored.

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#2 2021-11-18 05:38:32

kermit63
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Registered: 2018-07-04
Posts: 91

Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

If 'm not mistaken, a [ New posts ] link will appear beside each section that has new posts in it. This will only show the new posts within the specific section. Is this what you're looking for?

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#3 2021-11-18 05:50:23

lfitzgerald
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Registered: 2021-07-16
Posts: 38

Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

kermit63 wrote:

If 'm not mistaken, a [ New posts ] link will appear beside each section that has new posts in it. This will only show the new posts within the specific section. Is this what you're looking for?

No- new posts shows all threads I haven't seen yet. I want all topics with 0 replies within that forum.

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#4 2021-11-18 05:53:47

jasonwryan
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

I don't think this is possible.

FWIW, given the rolling nature of Arch, it probably would not be a useful filter anyway.


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#5 2021-11-18 17:29:08

lfitzgerald
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Registered: 2021-07-16
Posts: 38

Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

jasonwryan wrote:

I don't think this is possible.

Isn't it just a matter of (1) add api endpoint that can list threads with 0 replies in a given section (if it doesn't exist) (2) change the HTML to make it query this api for the current section.

jasonwryan wrote:

FWIW, given the rolling nature of Arch, it probably would not be a useful filter anyway.

Why do you say so? Why does it matter that it's rolling?

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#6 2021-11-18 18:07:40

jasonwryan
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

lfitzgerald wrote:
jasonwryan wrote:

I don't think this is possible.

Isn't it just a matter of (1) add api endpoint that can list threads with 0 replies in a given section (if it doesn't exist) (2) change the HTML to make it query this api for the current section.

The API would have to be added upstream: you can open a request with FluxBB is you really want to see it happen.


lfitzgerald wrote:
jasonwryan wrote:

FWIW, given the rolling nature of Arch, it probably would not be a useful filter anyway.

Why do you say so? Why does it matter that it's rolling?

If a thread is unanswered after any significant period of time, eg., a couple of months, it is essentially irrelevant. See https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Genera … bumping%22


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#7 2021-11-18 19:59:36

lfitzgerald
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Registered: 2021-07-16
Posts: 38

Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

jasonwryan wrote:

The API would have to be added upstream: you can open a request with FluxBB is you really want to see it happen.

Oh I see - guess there's not much that can be done without FluxBB changing it then.

jasonwryan wrote:

If a thread is unanswered after any significant period of time, eg., a couple of months, it is essentially irrelevant. See https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Genera … bumping%22

Well, if you did "all threads in forum with 0 replies ordered by age" then you probably wouldn't see the very old ones until many pages down, but I see your point. It's somewhat moot anyway since it's a FluxBB thing... Guess I can just write my own script to list the threads instead.

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#8 2021-11-18 22:07:35

loqs
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Registered: 2014-03-06
Posts: 14,282

Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

FluxBB is intended to be replaced at some point https://gitlab.archlinux.org/archlinux/ … issues/257 do any of the suggested replacements implement the feature?

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#9 2021-11-19 00:30:24

Trilby
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

A great replacement would be modular, so it wouldn't matter.  There's no reason for the front-end display to be so tightly bound to the back-end data as most forums are.  It'd be great to have a forum server that just answered queries and provided "raw" data as json (or other optional data formats).  There could be an official front end, but alternative front ends could be made, or users make their own as they wish ... or check for new forum posts, or replies to their recent thread and display a summary in their status bar, etc.

We need a forum not just *about* linux but made with a linux (or perhaps unix) mentality.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#10 2021-11-19 02:16:17

jasonwryan
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

Trilby wrote:

We need a forum not just *about* linux but made with a linux (or perhaps unix) mentality.

And you thought the captcha was bad! Wait until the new forum is just an API spec...


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#11 2021-11-19 23:53:53

WorMzy
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

Every message is a file!


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#12 2021-11-20 02:45:27

Trilby
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

... on a 9p filesystem.


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#13 2021-11-20 03:41:51

jasonwryan
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

...over gopher.


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#14 2021-11-20 05:11:39

lfitzgerald
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Registered: 2021-07-16
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

Fund it!

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#15 2021-11-20 13:39:29

ngoonee
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

This actually looks like it would be a good idea


Allan-Volunteer on the (topic being discussed) mailn lists. You never get the people who matters attention on the forums.
jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
Griemak-Bleeding edge, not bleeding flat. Edge denotes falls will occur from time to time. Bring your own parachute.

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#16 2021-11-20 14:16:09

Trilby
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

Which, the option for unanswered posts within a subforum, or a modular forum software?

I once made the latter.  In reality the back-end code for the database and responding to requests via web connections is trivial.  Reaching feature parity with something like fluxBB could be done within a couple hours (porting data between databases is more work).  The front end is where all the work is for forums - and most of that work is really from trying to negotiate with different users and interested parties about how it should work: they all have conflicting goals.

I suspect making several different front-ends for different goals would be easier than trying to make one that was acceptable to everyone.  It becomes even easier when only one or two really need to be made and the rest "outsourced" to the community by documenting a simple web API for the server.

This approach is essentially behind most AUR helpers. There is the official AUR web RPC - and all kinds of helpers and tools are built on top of that.

Last edited by Trilby (2021-11-20 14:17:37)


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#17 2021-11-20 18:42:15

lfitzgerald
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Registered: 2021-07-16
Posts: 38

Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

Trilby wrote:

I once made the latter.  In reality the back-end code for the database and responding to requests via web connections is trivial.  Reaching feature parity with something like fluxBB could be done within a couple hours (porting data between databases is more work).  The front end is where all the work is for forums - and most of that work is really from trying to negotiate with different users and interested parties about how it should work: they all have conflicting goals.

I suspect making several different front-ends for different goals would be easier than trying to make one that was acceptable to everyone.  It becomes even easier when only one or two really need to be made and the rest "outsourced" to the community by documenting a simple web API for the server.

This approach is essentially behind most AUR helpers. There is the official AUR web RPC - and all kinds of helpers and tools are built on top of that.

I think that's a pretty good idea. As you say, most of the quibbles arise around how the front end should behave. Since traditional forums provide both the server and the frontend, they force the user into the one frontend, and the users must then negotiate as a collective on features. If instead the forum was merely an API, then the only things that need to be agreed on collectively would be fundamental properties of the forum, such as are accounts required, what subforums are there, etc. Actually most of these, even if the server maintainer is unable or unwilling to support, can be replicated in the frontend. For example if there are no subforums, frontends could be configured to treat thread titles with a certain suffix as being in a subforum. Contrived example, but the point is that if you decouple frontend from the server then you really don't need many features on the server. It would probably allow the server to have much better performance and save on costs.

Then to actually use the forum, someone would need to write a client. But the good news is that writing clients for an API like this would be pretty easy. Moreover everyone can write their own client that is customized to their taste, or pick from one of the available ones. It could also reduce the burden on moderators, since people could easily filter content they don't like on the client side.

So whatever happened to your project? Did you ever host it somewhere for people to use?

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#18 2021-11-20 22:13:15

Trilby
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

It was not packaged for distribution - though it was freely available on some github page.  It was live for a support page for a citizen science research project.  They've since gone another direction and paid six-figure fees to some major marketing agency to run their website ... and now it does much less.

Part of that may have arisen from the fact that I'm not very good at making flashy front-ends.  I know how to do all the coding, but I loath all the "features" that most of the general public seems to like, and I don't have much (visual) aesthetic sense (I suppose you could say I'm pretty good with front-end implementation, but just about worthless on front-end design).  There was no community writing alternative front ends, I just had to make everything myself ... and deal with every single user complaint about how the front-end was not perfectly to their liking.  And I wasn't really at liberty to tell them just how few s**ts I gave about those quibbles.

Last edited by Trilby (2021-11-20 22:21:37)


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#19 2021-11-20 22:48:50

jasonwryan
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

Trilby wrote:

and deal with every single user complaint about how the front-end was not perfectly to their liking.

  • We really need you to make this POP!

  • Could you change the background to orange?

  • I think it would look better with a sort of zoomy-thing, like on IG, you know?

  • This is shit. I could have done this myself...


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#20 2021-11-21 01:58:18

lfitzgerald
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Registered: 2021-07-16
Posts: 38

Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

Trilby wrote:

It was not packaged for distribution - though it was freely available on some github page.  It was live for a support page for a citizen science research project.  They've since gone another direction and paid six-figure fees to some major marketing agency to run their website ... and now it does much less.

Part of that may have arisen from the fact that I'm not very good at making flashy front-ends.  I know how to do all the coding, but I loath all the "features" that most of the general public seems to like, and I don't have much (visual) aesthetic sense (I suppose you could say I'm pretty good with front-end implementation, but just about worthless on front-end design).  There was no community writing alternative front ends, I just had to make everything myself ... and deal with every single user complaint about how the front-end was not perfectly to their liking.  And I wasn't really at liberty to tell them just how few s**ts I gave about those quibbles.

Sucks that it didn't work out. Sounds to me like you were targeting it to a general audience. Unfortunately for something like this, I think appeals to the general public are doomed. As you say, flashy widgets that degrade function are the norm for frontend design right now. The industry has gotten the majority of users accustomed to that UI paradigm, and now large profits are extracted by servicing that artificial "need". Doesn't help also that modern commercial software (which unfortunately dominates the web) has opaque APIs (unless you pay $$$ for api key). In a similar way, users are also taught to not develop their own extensions on top of websites, and instead become purely consumers, such that their only means of solving problems is to nag the developer. This is a great model for commercial software where the developer can convert the nags into income, but for FOSS projects this type of userbase is fatal. This seems to be the problem you've run into.

IMO the more practical approach would be:

1. Develop minimal but functional server (API only) and host it somewhere
2. Develop (and document) a basic CLI reference client in some widely used language like Python
3. Possibly abstract some of the tedious aspects of #2 into a companion library - although if the interface in #1 is well designed, there shouldn't be much that is complicated
4. Introduce this to a technically-apt audience that is comfortable hacking things to make them work and is willing to be patient with alpha-stage projects (eg. arch community)

The first priority would be to grow the user base in #4 to the point where there is some real content on the forum and people are getting some actual value out of going to the trouble of using some funky client (and maybe even developing) just to view a forum. Once this happens, now you have a strong value proposition to the general audience: What they perceive as a steep learning curve is balanced by the fact that if they invest the effort, they can access high quality content (interesting discussions that already exist on the forum). This is in contrast to the users in #4, who don't necessarily demand a lot of quality content to justify their "great labor" of learning a new system (and it's not that much of a labor to them anyhow), they're happy just to try something different.

But my point is that with any kind of project where you require the user to put in some effort beyond mindlessly consuming, you have to start with a core of highly technical and motivated early adopters. Only after you reach critical mass with those, will other users show significant interest.

Last edited by lfitzgerald (2021-11-21 02:03:00)

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#21 2021-11-21 02:14:49

Trilby
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Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

In my case, the forum was not the project, it was just thrown together over a day or two in order to maintain engagement with 10s of thousands of participants in a project that had absolutely nothing to do with software / computers.


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#22 2021-11-21 05:37:36

ngoonee
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From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 7,294

Re: Forum suggestion: Unanswered *in current board*

Trilby wrote:

Which, the option for unanswered posts within a subforum, or a modular forum software?

The latter. Which based on the follow up posts is something you've already done smile. Pity its no longer live.


Allan-Volunteer on the (topic being discussed) mailn lists. You never get the people who matters attention on the forums.
jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
Griemak-Bleeding edge, not bleeding flat. Edge denotes falls will occur from time to time. Bring your own parachute.

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