Message Board Updates and Constructive Ideas
Please just shut the whole thing down for a week & fix all these issues.
We use to have a really active community here with several dozen people interacting on a regular basis and who knows how many others following along without posting. Sadly, most of the regular users no longer post here because the functionality/usability of this message board sucks. Some of that discussion now takes place on Facebook which is ok, but even on BP Facebook page content tends to be stale or last minute, and not very interactive.
There is a lot of activism that gets started and nurtured from the discussions on this platform, lets not lose that.
Does the bike PGH staff know what’s going on?
There is often a lag between when an issue is identified and when it gets fixed, if it ever does. This issue is less an annoyance and more critical since functionality is crap.
I often feel that bikepgh could do a better job with communicating on these sorts of issues.
I keep checking back hoping this issue is fixed…
I am sorry for all of the frustration with the message board, everyone. I understand the important role this space plays in your activism.
BikePGH staff does know about these issues–We do not have a developer on our small staff of 9 to provide immediate attention to everything which is why you see things being resolved with some lag time. We do communicate issues to our generous volunteer developers regularly.
Thank you for supporting BikePGH through your membership dues and through your activism on and outside of the message board…and thank you for your patience as we continue to try and resolve our website issues.
Thank you for restoring the ordering to the previous state. We appreciate it!
We (including us dues-paying members) understand that things can go wrong and that someone will (eventually) fix it. But it shouldn’t be a big deal to post “we’re experiencing technical difficulties until further notice. Please stay tuned”. It’s easy to do and it’s a simple way to make us feel that someone cares, or is even paying attention. And it significantly decreases the number of those cranky posts (which are never a good sign).
And calling out the volunteers is always nice (“Thank you @GregLeMond for fixing that stupid .ini bug!”).
Thanks for putting the board back to its same broken self…. But it’s still broke. Load times are painfully long, you can’t post images easily, it doesn’t scale well on mobile devices, and on and on.
It’s time for BP to either put some money into this or let it die. I can use an old school site like reddit because at the end of the day it works, but dealing with all the glitches on this site has me visiting (and posting) less and less, and it has driven people to other platforms. We are losing the community. Don’t believe me, how many new users have you seen posting here this year?
Thanks so much for restoring order to the boards! Dilly Dilly!
I’m glad there are volunteers that maintenance the board but some basic checking of functionalty is needed once tweaks are made.
Have an “A” site and a “B” site. One is production, the other QA. Make your tweaks in the QA site. When checked out with a simple battery of tests, flip them. Meanwhile, incoming content updates both.
Y’all need to ease up on the staff, please. No one on staff really runs this, they just report issues. Certainly no one is running QA, or even has time to. If you want to see those sorts of things you should come in and volunteer.
most pages on bikepgh.org says https:// in green (100% secure). The message board individual threads show them insecure probably because the pictures linked in the message threads are pointing to http:// (ie insecure) links.
Once july hits Chrome will declare these pages “not secure.”
fixing this will be a bear.
Today I couldn’t log in from my work computer (win 10, chrome 64). Kept getting”invalid recaptcha” error on the login screen. I have the exact same setup at home and it works…
A constant irritation: Not being able to insert a hand-built “a href” tag. This error has been around a few months.
First, an example.
* Go to the current 412 Flock thread
* Find the recent posts about the Viking Ride
* I have one in which I mention Brigadoon
* The word “Brigadoon” is a link to a Wikipedia article.
Getting that link to work correctly took well over five minutes.
What’s going on is that the message board software adds an extraneous quote mark when you manually build a link. This breaks the “A” tag. The sequence should look like [a href=“URL to some website”] (using angle brackets instead of square ones) but instead you get a third quote mark next to the second, every time.
Attempts to repair it will work about 1 chance in 3. Either the quote comes back anyway, or the software drops the whole URL sequence altogether.
The software is indeed annoying. At the very least it could inform you about your formatting errors. But no. It’s easy to make a typo and suddenly the whole thing disappears. Not everyone typing in weird html is a troll. (And why can’t we just get .md formatting as an input option? I mean, sheesh, it’s 2018.)
I do my posts in ‘TEXT’ mode, so for example I can point to this board like this and it should work. But be careful to not switch into VISUAL mode, which will simply trash your markup.
I’ve also had visual mode eat up my letters as I type so I always use text mode.
I’m one of those new users who would probably post more often than I do, but it’s VERY hard for a new person to even FIND the log in button!
I’ve tried to respond to threads and I’m taken to a screen saying I need to log in, but I search the page and the menu and there is no link. After a lot of playing around I managed to do it today, but honestly I don’t think I could quickly do it again.
This is super basic. If you want new people to join your discussions, you have to make it easy for them. If the log in/register buttons aren’t prominently displayed, you’re gonna lose a lot of traffic like me who browse regularly and sometimes feel like adding a bit to the discussion.
Starting in September chrome will label all non https sites as not secure and will start flashing it on the address bar when typing data into forms on these sites.
The bikepgh message board uses https, but many of the links to pictures within it are http links. Thus, most threads on the message board have broken locks. They are mixed secure and not. By September chrome won’t care and when people type out new messages on the message board using chrome the not secure will flash. I worry this will scare away potential users of the message board…
I agree with @pit2mad about the login button. Through practice I’ve learned to find it by clicking on some random thread and scrolling to the bottom to find the login link, but that is SO non-intuitive.
Maybe it’s time to simply create a subreddit for this community. We have been dealing with a less than ideal forum for many years now.
I don’t blame anyone as I understand there is really no hired tech staff, but it would be so nice to have a great forum that’s easy to use.
I’m not an expert. But it’s 2018. There’s gotta be a free or low cost option out there.
Posting TO THE MESSAGE BOARD a message about the message board not working is… there’s got to be a good word for it, possibly German…
I tried. I was hoping that my post about the message board not being there would magically make it come back.
there has to be a German word for magical thinking that I can’t remember from my 4 years of Deutsch I took in High School.
Anytime there’s a problem accessing the board itself, I contact Erok via Twitter, or failing that, a phone call to the Bike-Pgh office.
reCAPTCHA v3 is now out. The bikepgh site currently uses v2 during login. It’s the “I’m not a robot” clickbox. v3 has NO visible interface with the person using it.
i’m wondering if the website coders could add a v3 reCAPTCHA to the message board. I think it would cut down on the # of spam posts to the message board as well as create little friction for the every day user (They’d still see the “submit” button and wouldn’t have to do anything extra to post.)
Thanks @marko82 for finding the right thread. The Forum search function leaves a lot to be desired.
Anyway, I posted that suddenly the lock has disappeared in my browser — i.e., bikepgh.org is serving up insecure content along with secure content, and Chrome is flagging it as a security problem.
@steven did some snooping and found that the Over the Bar footer ad is being served up as an HTTP link image instead of HTTPS, thus causing the problem.
If someone at bikepgh could tell whoever maintains the site that this is the case, it should be a 5 minute fix.
(Just to be pedantic, it’s not the OTB footer ad that’s the problem, but the OTB sidebar ad. The exact same image, but in the sidebar it’s referenced with http, in the footer with https.)
It’s hardly intuitive, but if you can remember one unique word in the post you’re looking for, the search function works reasonably well. In this case, it was the word “constructive”. All you need is to memorize all 359,178 posts on the board first.
A) someone added an attachment function to posts but size limit is 512k. Really. That’s how much memory my first 8088-2 PC had. Though I upgraded it to 768k, but MS-DOS would only recognize the first 640k. Bummer.
B) the search threads function seems to have disappeared, at least on the mobile version of the webpage.
Nearly every photo is 1-2MB. Let me try adding a random pic, a still of the Westinghouse flood gate, from the video on our April 2017 field trip.
An error occurred in the upload. Please try again later.
here’s a 42 byte text file.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.
Thank God I can now share my messages under 512 kb with everyone on the Bike Pittsburgh message board.
I think I’m going to break out some ANSI art like I used to have on my BBS in the 1980s.
We had a flurry of spam on the messageboard this morning (a new thread with text in Mandarin being started every minute or so) but using my awesome and magical moderator powers I marked them as spam, alerted Eric Boerer, and he blocked the offending user/bot. By the way, ergfdhfhfgh09 would like to sell you a fake diploma.
I’m going to now post exclusively using attached .txt files made with windows 10 notepad.
sorta like when I used pico on the SunOS machines back in college.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.
They’re Baaacck…. Hey Paul, it looks like you have a new full-time job removing spam from the message board.
it seems like the message board is dying a slow death. There’s a general lack of interest which i think is from multiple issues. 1) the interface stinks, 2) there’s no improvement of anything that’s broken-ish, 3) spam is starting to pop up.
it’s like taking your kid to a playground and over the years as the equipment starts to break and it starts getting overgrown with weeds nothing is done to keep it in shape. Sure, maybe the diehard kids come to play still, but why would anyone else go there?
Is there a way to pull this message board out of death by neglect, or should we consider taking our talents to someplace like a subreddit?
My superpowers are not as strong as Eric Boerer’s. He is able to block users.
I don’t know all the details, but it seems that a year or two ago, changes were made to the web system that resulted in much longer response times (like 5 or 10 seconds instead of 1 second) and that drove away most of the users. I think that, by itself, is the main cause of the decline of this messageboard. I wish BikePgh would fix that.
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