Message Board Updates and Constructive Ideas

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Italianblend
Participant
#

Please look into getting something new. The text chopping is so frustrating. And with mobile devices becoming the norm, it is worth taking a look at.


erok
Keymaster
#

“Isnt it time to look into a new forum system?”

We’ve looked into this during the original transition. the main problem is the history and archive that’s on here that will be lost by switching as it won’t carry over. I’m no tech, so i can’t discuss details.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

There is so much history here. The almost 300,000 posts and umpteen thousand threads are a living history of how this town’s bicycle culture came about and continues to evolve. To lose it would be unthinkable. It’s bad enough we lost 1/3 of the accounts on the board in the last retooling.

No, fix it. It’s almost surely CSS, XML, HTML, whatever. I work in a software shop that’s doing far more complex stuff than a message board, and making it all work on a multitude of browsers, OSs, machine types, etc.

Whoever is testing it, though, possibly could use a better test bed.


Italianblend
Participant
#

I’m sure there is a way to log everything into a searchable archive and start fresh. But I’m no tech.


salty
Participant
#

Yeah, some sites I’ve seen have made searchable archives or even continued to run the old board software in “read only” mode. I’m sure with enough time you could write something to import the data into the new board.

Although, I think most of the “big” issues with the board were solved long ago (by reddan et al) – most of the issues I still have are the layout issues which is certainly CSS, etc like Stu said. I use stylebot (which someone here suggested) to improve the layout on my desktop devices, with just a couple lines of CSS tweaks. Unfortunately, I don’t know of anything like that for mobile. I think it’s likely not too hard to fix that on the server side, although it’s not really my area of expertise.

Maybe we can gather a few volunteers to get together somewhere (maybe at the bike-pgh office?) with a variety of mobile and non-mobile devices, so we can set up a little test lab and tweak the layout until it looks good on all devices?


scott
Keymaster
#

Great idea Salty, we’ll work on putting it together. We’ll call it Bike City Codefest.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

We’re losing posts again.

This morning, I added a few lines, no HTML, to a thread, and an hour later, discovered it did not post.

Just now, I saw that @jonawebb posted a comment to a thread, but I could not see it. I tried loading that thread in a different browser but it did not show up there, either.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Since this is still running, on my ipad, the right side of text boxes still gets cut off and is unreadable, even by lateral scrolling.


Mick
Participant
#

@ edmunds59 Since this is still running, on my ipad, the right side of text boxes still gets cut off and is unreadable, even by lateral scrolling.

This is true for me with IE 8 as well.

(Yes, it’s antiquated browser. So am I. Don’t criticize the coffee, you might old and bitter yourself someday.)


Italianblend
Participant
#

I don’t think the forum is a priority here. We don’t get heavy traffic on the forums and nothing has changed in a while.

So, is the forum simply a minor asset to bike pgh and not worth throwing resources or time into, or will an improved forum increase site traffic and number of posters and members?


Ahlir
Participant
#

We don’t get heavy traffic on the forums
I didn’t realize that we were in competition with 4chan.

Out of curiosity: Are bikepgh analytics available? I’d be curious to know what visitors do here. I would assume this information is not proprietary…


Steven
Participant
#

We don’t get heavy traffic on the forums

Maybe our bike forums bugs are really a traffic-calming measure? :-)


Mick
Participant
#

This forum used to be more lively. Maybe it could be again? But maybe everyone moved to facebook.


Drewbacca
Participant
#

Facebook… maybe jail. Depends on the person.


rgrasmus
Member
#

^Ha


smarchit
Member
#

“This forum used to be more lively. Maybe it could be again? But maybe everyone moved to facebook.”

Or spend most of their time lurking in the shadows here (kinda like on Facebook!)


stefb
Participant
#

I don’t look at this board as much as I used to because I can’t. I actually can’t read whole posts from people because I can’t see the whole reply.


Marko82
Participant
#

What happened to the little do-dad above the text box that allows you to upload a photo directly? I first noticed that it disappeared a few day ago and now must do it the old multistep third party way.

Anyone else having this problem or is it my browser (chrome)?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Nope, not there for me today, either. Chrome or Firefox.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
#

Missing for me as well, Chrome, Firefox, and mobile Chrome & HTC Android 4 browsers…


Benzo
Participant
#

If this goes away, I’ll be sad. Best feature of the board!


Drewbacca
Participant
#

Missing for me too. Also, not sure what happened to the quote feature which is either broken or removed.

If removed on purpose, and no one could be bothered to tell us… well, that’s jerkish.


Steven
Participant
#

Looks like bad coding. The page tries to retrieve a script from http://bikepgh.orgjs/topic.js, which is invalid (stray “js” after the “org”). There are other errors too. The code for image uploading is still there; it just doesn’t work.


srpit
Member
#

I continue to have the problem of the right side being cut off so I can’t read the full posts. Doesn’t happen on every thread, but it happens often enough to be super frustrating.

Is this being worked on, or are we stuck with what we have now??

Agree with above comments that I don’t do much on the MB because of this.


Mick
Participant
#

@ srpit

I continue to have the problem of the right side being cut off so I can’t read the full posts. Doesn’t happen on every thread, but it happens often enough to be super frustrating.

Me too!


Ahlir
Participant
#

I just send the below email to “info@bikepgh.org”; I could not find a “webmaster@bikepgh.org” pointer.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The BikePgh message board no longer displays image data correctly. Specifically, all <img> tags are being removed.

This makes it impossible to display in-line images. This is not good. A significant element in communication between cyclists (and anyone, really) is the ability to share information visually. It can be images of significant street features or simple part of an ongoing amusement. For some purposes posting an image together with text is the only effective method. Forcing readers to click on links simply destroys the impact of a message.

I have not been on the board for maybe a week, but I see that people have been commenting about this issue for several days. I realize that everyone is busy; but even if the problem cannot be solved immediately it would be appreciated if bikepgh could acknowledge that there’s a problem and that someone is looking into it. Or, that your policy is now different and that you will no longer permit image postings.

The bikepgh msg board community is very involved in cycling issues and the board serves as an important forum for committed cyclists. I would invite you to scan recently posted topics if you are unsure that this is the case.

As a dues-paying member of bikepgh, I hope that you can make an active effort to address this issue or at the very least acknowledge it.

Thank you,
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


Benzo
Participant
#

FWIW, at the bike-pgh members meeting this fall they said that new website is coming in early 2016, likely with improved forums! So, I doubt anything is going to be done till then.


Ahlir
Participant
#

Well, no one is demanding major improvements at this instant.
Just simple maintenance. How hard is that?

Or, heck, just simple communication. You know, like in all that relationship stuff where you keep being told it is so important.


stefb
Participant
#

It was never good from the start. It is a major reason i don’t look at this board for months at s time.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

It’s really broken twice. The IMG tags now, but the previous problem of not being able to click on a button and navigate to a file, never got fixed. On some of my devices I can still see the vestige of a button, so the functionality is probably all in place, but some small linkage is broken. Hunch: Related code.

All that to say, while doing the maintenance on the one, please also fix the other.

Edit: Mick’s and srpit’s complaint from 13 months ago is also still broken.


jonawebb
Participant
#

From long years of work in this industry, here’s my explanation of what’s going on. It’s a complete mess, nobody wants to touch the code because it might fall apart (and even trying to figure out what’s happening would take a long time). And anyway they’re working on something much better that will be available real soon now.
(The solution, BTW: some programmer does a heroic act, digs into the code, understands it, and fixes things without breaking anything else, gains our respect forever. Let his or her name be recorded in the annals of BikePgh history!)


erok
Keymaster
#

jonawebb hit the nail on the head.

Not only is it a complete mess, but our support barely exists. We’ve had a programmer doing some heroic acts, but there’s only so much he can do.

We do intend to have a new messageboard with the new launch. and we are not going to attempt any customization that will require additional support beyond what the platform offers.

I truly wish we had a magic want to fix this thing, or even make minor edits, but until then, we’re looking forward to the new one.

I’ll inquire about the pics thing.


Steven
Participant
#

No plan to keep the old message board content around for posterity, then?

Well, we seem to rehash certain topics regularly, so no doubt there will shortly be new threads on riding in winter, the Wabash tunnel, and bad drivers.


Mick
Participant
#

I’m OK with the legacy being destroyed – even though an inordinate number of the posts were mine.

It isn’t search friendly or anything, so the legacy dones’t mean that much.

I’m just hoping the board gets smooth enough so that we get a lot of traffic.

I’m hoping we’ll welcome new people. I hope it’s convenient enough that people will discuss upcoming events here.

I mean, I like all yinz, but posting for the same 12 people gets a bit old.


Ahlir
Participant
#

@Mick:

1) I would argue that everything should be preserved. I mean, for you and me it’s all just stuff. But, maybe, ~100 yrs from now someone will want to research something or other about bike culture in the early 21st century. You know, just like today people get curious about bike stuffs from the late 19th century.

2) Yes, the search is crap. But why would you use if when you can simply google “site:bikepgh.org ______” and find what you need?

3) I don’t know if it’s just 12 people who post all the time (I’m too lazy to count). I would be more interested in the number of unique visitors.
And, hey, bikepgh: you’re into all that analytics stuff, right? I saw “google-analytics.com” in the page code. So I guess you already know the answers to the above questions; help us here.

~) Now that I got myself going (and there’s still some postprandial wine left in my glass):

You know, ever so often, there’s a dude who post on this board something like “Hey, nobody reads your tired crap! Check out the reddit! That’s where the action’s really at!” Unbeknownst to the Dude, people like me (and I suspect many other posters to this board) do look at the reddit.

But it’s different. Okay, but different.

For example, this week (and every week) the Hot thread is “Where did you ride this week?”. Here’s a quote from the (one) current post: “Last week I commuted to and from work 4 out of 5 days.” I happened to be out of town most of last week, so only 2/5. Though most weeks I get stuck doing 5/5. I could post about it, but why? There’s more important bike stuff to talk about.
Maybe that’s a bit unfair: jayjaywalker3 does relentlessly post relevant bike items. Some even attract the occasional comment.

Finally, @Mick, face it: you and I are just plain old. I have the pictures.


paulheckbert
Keymaster
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I say the old message board content MUST be preserved. There’s a lot of important history there. To me, this message board is one of the reasons that bikepgh has been a big success. Bikepgh would be weakening itself and also losing much of its historical record if it does not preserve the old messages.


Code Monkey
Participant
#

Does it work now?


Swalfoort
Participant
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I realize that I am not the target audience, but I MIGHT be because I am the target audience here. But seriously…..reddit? I don’t even know what that IS, much less how or why to access it.


jonawebb
Participant
#

Awesome! Code Money, forever will your name ring!


erok
Keymaster
#

Whatever happens to the board, preserving the years of history and history-making, is really important. It seems that worst case scenario is that we just post an archive of it.

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