(62 replies, posted in News)

A disappointing move with no benefit to the community and only one benefit to the new owner - thousands of backlinks pointing at his domain.  That's why he bought the project.

Saying that moving PunBB to a new domain is:

Rickard wrote:

a way for our benefactors to promote their other services to the PunBB community and to promote PunBB to users of their other services.

is either naive or disingenuous.  Promotion either way could have been achieved just as easily without moving the domain.  When people start lying / treating a community as stupid, it never ends well.  Note - I'm not accusing any one in particular, but something smells bad.

Taking a quick dig in to Victor Sazhin's portfolio, it shows that he owns a very large network of questionable quality properties.  PunBB has therefore transferred ownership from an open, passionate, community-focused project manager to a shady, non-communicative individual who is evidently motivated by money first and foremost.  IMHO of course.

Also, note that the community at feed.informer are less than happy with the new owner.

Can anyone point me to a forum comparison (phpBB, vBulletin, SMF, etc.) that provides hard data on performance and server load?  Do the devs here make any comparison to see if they're 'on the right track'?

http://www.forummatrix.org/ provides feature comparison, but no indication of performance (although they use PunBB for their own forum, which is a nice endorsement).

Also, is comparison of hits at http://securityvulns.com/ a fair measure of security?

phpBB = 1690
vBulletin = 678
PunBB = 230

Or is the low score for PunBB simply a product of it being less popular than the 'bigger' forums?

lol.  I'll put my helmet back on.

P.S. Did you see my ramblings about URL underlines?  http://punbb.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=18366

Rickard wrote:

... I prefer them on the right is because this is where all "action" links are positioned.

Good point, although I'd counter with "not all action links are of equal importance", which was part of my thinking behind the suggestion.  Anyway, we can step down from DEFCON 1 now that we have a definitive answer wink.

Paul wrote:

You missed the point. The markup was written with flexibility in mind. The idea is that there is no default ...

... I could create a style based on the heatmap results and call it heatmap.css.

I think we're talking past each other, and also maybe struggling with semantics smile.  There is a *default* style - it's the one we all see immediately after install.  The few PunBB installs I've done required nothing more than changing some colours and maybe adding a logo to the default design ... because the default design is 'just right' IMO.  I'll bet that applies to most installs.

I know what's possible with CSS (I've been building with it for >8 years), but I thought my suggestion would benefit most users, particularly new ones, for the reasons I've already (badly??? wink) explained.


MattF wrote:

As Paul mentioned, if it bothers you, alter your CSS. What about bottom to top languages, btw? I suppose they are a minority too? What I would personally class as a minority issue is the fact that this subject has only been brought up by one person so far, so everyone else obviously appears quite content with the defaults.

FFS.  What a dim argument - "if you don't like it, change it yourself".  Is that how applications are improved?  Is this forum not for discussing how PunBB *might* be improved?

Yes, bottom to top languages are also a minority AFA PunBB usage is concerned.  Unless you're going to astound with evidence to the contrary?  Either way, it's irrelevant to what's been suggested - as already explained.

So, because I'm the first to make this suggestion, it's automatically invalid?  You're satisfied with the strength of your argument, are you?  Fair enough.  big_smile

Of course PunBB has a layout - we're all viewing the layout now.  Most of us as a result of the CSS, but even screen readers 'see' a layout based on the markup.

And of course we could all change it however we want - I was simply suggesting what I saw as an improvement to the default presentation / layout / visual / design / treatment / whatever you prefer to describe the combination of HTML + CSS used.  I never imagined it would be such hard work! wink

MattF wrote:

... the heat map data is skewed and biased towards English

That's just one heat map.  It's just an example that measures eye movement on *that* website.  However, given the layout of PunBB, you can expect the heat map will be very similar (except that at the moment we need to scan far right to find the 'post' link).  A heat map for a right to left site would obviously be different - but that's not the issue.  PunBB usage is itself skewed towards the vast majority (?) of users that employ left to right language, and the overall design should reflect that.  Just because a small minority uses right to left language isn't reason to stick a couple of key functions on the right hand side in the 'English' template!

If there's a reason the most-used links on the page are 'away from the action', fair enough - but I don't see it and no one is pointing it out.  If it's because "that's where they've always been", now would be the time to consider if moving them improves usability.  I think it would, for the reasons given.

D'oh!  Humble pie - on *that* issue. wink

Taimar wrote:

Heat maps are just heat maps.

What does that mean?  What's your point?  If you've got a coherent, evidence-based argument, put it forward.

Taimar wrote:

Most forum softwares have action-buttons on the right side. This is sort of convention ...

Rubbish.  phpBB = left, Phorum = left, Quicksilver = left, vBulletin = left.

Taimar wrote:

You must be forgetting that quote links are attached to every single posting.

No, I didn't forget anything.  You evidently didn't understand my post.  Read again.  Slowly.


(2 replies, posted in PunBB 1.3 troubleshooting)

DavinONE wrote:

For the sake of usability, I'd like to see consistency - either all or none.

Correction: for the sake of usability and accessibility, all links should be underlined; for the sake of aesthetics, they should be one or the other.

Taimar wrote:

Breadcrumbs also. Its hover should have underline though.

And... please, make forum title link to home page.

I disagree about the breadcrumbs - they're just a string of words in the main content area, along with many other words.  The main menu is graphically separated from the content below, and its purpose is clear.  Breadcrumbs are not a common element of websites, so Jack Average will not immediately recognise their function.

Agreed on home page link.

At the moment most links are underlined, but some are not (e.g. breadcrumbs, username, 'Post topic', 'Unsubscribe from topic', link to post, etc.).  It seems a little arbitrary.  For the sake of usability, I'd like to see consistency - either all or none.  The only exception to that rule could be main menu, which has obvious purpose.

If you look at any 'heat map' for a website (e.g. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html), the eyes follow an 'F' pattern - scanning starts at top left and moves right.

Given that 'Post new topic' and 'Post reply' are going to be the most commonly clicked (?) links, would it not make sense to have these positioned in the 'hot' area - left of screen?  I find the current position at far right a little difficult to pick out quickly - especially on wide-screen monitors - and it takes my eyes away from the content that I'm reading.

Similarly, 'Quote' is going to be frequently clicked and it should be located closer to 'Post' because they share functionality.

For topics, I'd advocate that 'Post' + 'Quote' are located in the dark blue bar, directly above / below post body.  For forums, I'd recommend 'Post new topic' is located in dark blue bar, to right of 'Topics [ n ]'.

Also, while I appreciate the understated design of PunBB and don't want to see it become strewn with icons (a la every other forum in the universe), I wonder if 'Post' is important enough to get its own eye-catching icon?


Just been playing with the new release - superb.

However, I managed to get locked out of frontend and admin by setting SEF URL (and not setting RewriteBase correctly).  I didn't work out where the config file was (I know now), so just reinstalled.  No big deal - just playing on localhost.

Although this was no big deal for me, I'm guessing there's going to be quite a few people who are going to set SEF URLs and freak when they're locked out of admin + frontend.  This seems like an area that could / should be improved.

Is it not possible to test .htaccess is present and RewriteBase is correctly set before saving this change?  Or simply do not apply fancy URLs to admin, so that people are not locked out if there is a problem?