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  • Looks indeed very promissing. It is clearly faster than the old one and has no flicker. It is also nice to get rid of the paged threads and just have all replies of a thread in one page, and it is nice finally to have all data, points etc. for a person located in one place.

    I tried to reply to a post through the new forum, but it didn't work - probably because reply is not enabled yet. If it is, you have a problem :-)

    I can see that you have preserved the absolutely useless Browse-by-Tag box. This is a waist of space and why not move medals etc. up front or down below and in this way be able to utilize the full screen width? Especially, when it comes to code examples it is nice to have the full screen width so that it does not wrap around so often.
    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
    Friday, March 20, 2009 1:31 PM
  • Carsten Kanstrup said:

    I can see that you have preserved the absolutely useless Browse-by-Tag box. 


    If you are talking about the 'tag cloud' you can turn that off now in the My Settings page "Show Tagging"...

    Brent Serbus STO Forums Program Manager
    Friday, March 20, 2009 2:35 PM
  • It is looking very fine. I like it !!! I  also like the ideea with preview ... first. If you will not perpetuate bugs from previous version...and you will restore all answers, threads, points will be perfect. This time I think you are doing a good job ....


    dni
    Friday, March 20, 2009 3:42 PM
  • Just as bloated and unintuitive as the previous version. Only a slight UI improvement.
    Friday, March 20, 2009 9:07 PM
  • Jin24:

    I totally disagree. It is a vast improvement. I worked with it all day yesterday, posting a "stream-of-consciousness" set of posts (which nobody seems to be paying any attention to), and coming back to this V3 forum is like going back into the Stone Age.

    You need to use a recent browser. On IE6 and FireFox 2 (and SeaMonkey 1.x) there are a number of problems. But on IE8 and FireFox 3 (and SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha) it works very well. (I haven't tried IE7 or other browsers.)

    Like you, perhaps, I dislike all the bells and whistles in these Microsoft forums, and I campaign constantly to get rid of some of them. But they are much much better implemented in this new version.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 11:17 AM
  • Sam:

    I think it is looking really good. Such a great improvement.

    Tell me, what is the place to make suggestions about the new V4 format? I spent a large part of yesterday posting comments on the Suggestions and Feedback forum in V4, but nobody (MSFT or otherwise) seems to be taking any notice.

    Indeed, my posts (mostly in the same thread) were kind of rambling, and some of the things I have since figured out for myself, and some were due to using an older browser (SeaMonkey 1.x, similar to FireFox 2).

    But I do have some surviving comments/suggestions which I could gather together in a coherent list. Where should I post it? Here in the V3 forum, or in the V4 version that does not seem to be propagated back to the V3 database?

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 11:36 AM
  • Hi Dave,  we've all been reading the comments both here and on the ctp site and appreciate the time spent and observations made. We just haven't had much of a chance to respond yet as we're heads down trying to get a solid build for test.

    I wan to go through the threads on CTP and respond some time today or tomorrow, but right now there's actually blue skies and sunshine in WA :>

    A couple quick answers.
    1. They are 2 different dbs/environments and anything done over there should be considered temporary. But we'll pull out the feedback before anything is done.

    2. Mostly targeting IE7, IE8 and FF3. I spent half of yesterday on  IE6 making it functional.
    Rob J, Forums Dev
    http://twitter.com/robjoh
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 3:03 PM
  • Dave, I hope you don't mind but I copied over your feedback from ctp to this thread.... thanks for all your feedback!

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/suggest/thread/d4083c19-a58f-4de9-916b-508426902465
    Brent Serbus STO Forums Program Manager
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 3:58 PM
  • We've just updated CTP with the version we plan on releasing.


    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Tuesday, March 24, 2009 11:43 PM
  • Matt:

    I don't see much difference, except that it works a bit better than before on IE6 (which I don't care about).

    EDIT: I see font size in composition window is now same size as posts -- good!

    I am concerned that there are so many display errors on FireFox 2 (and therefore SeaMonkey 1.x). FireFox 2 is a fairly standards-compliant browser, and I cannot help feeling that these display glitches might be related to the large number of HTML errors present on the pages (or perhaps to non-compliant CSS, which I have not checked).

    Some obvious errors on FireFox 2/SeaMonkey 1.x  in each Forum page:

    1. Dropdown arrow for expanding thread is missing

    2. Replies/Views columns are not spaced apart.

    3. The numbered boxes at the top (for the different pages) are intersected by the horizontal line below it.

    4. On SeaMonkey 1.x the font for the whole page (and all forum pages) is too small (as it was in V3). It's OK on FireFox 2, so this must be due to incorrect browser sniffing. Really, you don't need to do anything special to support the SeaMonkey browser, except to treat it the same as the corresponding version of FireFox. Why not humor some old Mozilla suite die-hards?

    But the thing that bothers me the most is that the Mozilla spell checker does not function automatically, even on FireFox 3. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I think this may be corrected by a change in the settings for TinyMCE.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    • Edited by davewilk Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:23 AM Noticed font size improvement
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:52 PM
  • It seems to work pretty well on Chrome!


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 1:18 PM
  • Hi Sam

    I like it!

    The menu items as buttons on the top bar is much better than the old Options menu.

    The HTML window is much easier to read and add code.

    The compose window appearing directly below the post is much less disconcerting than the sliding window. :)

    The only thing I see missing is the Font and font size selection?


    Regards,




    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    Friday, March 27, 2009 5:11 AM
  • Ronny:

    Actually, i think I prefer it without the font and font size selection. It never worked correctly in Mozilla browsers anyway.

    For me the main thing missing is the Mozilla spell-checker.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, March 27, 2009 8:23 AM
  • I'm wondering whether the faster comment is only because no-one is using it!

    I'm also a bit hesitant about thinking any complete re-write is a good idea. After all we have gone through how many adjustments of the code here over how long a period and yet there are still things that don't work as they should (simple example MVPs listed in the top ten lists - it's been OUT, IN. and at the moment its OUT again - which shows that changes even simple changes are not always for the better).

    Must we now start on a new round of us trying to get errors out and then just as we have a fairly error-free (if amazingly slow) system, they replace the whole code again and we are back to square one.

    or am I being over pessimistic here ?


    P.S. Will there be a downloadable paper giving the changes and how they effect users *and moderators* use of the forums ?



    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Friday, March 27, 2009 2:46 PM
  • Mike:

    You may be right about the speed issue. We'll find out soon enough.

    I have to disagree with you about the rewrite. The existing V3 posting experience is so awful in so many ways that something radical really had to be done about it. The new V4 is very very nice, don't you think so? At last we have a framework that I think can be tweaked toward "perfection". Maybe a few new artifacts introduced, but not too many.

    You are right about the whole Top Answerers fiasco, but personally I would just like an option in My Settings to turn the thing off altogether, as we can the Tag Cloud.



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, March 27, 2009 3:15 PM
  • Just want to comment on various things in this thread.

    -This was only a "rewrite" of the UI, the back end was for the most part unchanged for this release.

    -Posting Speed therefore is not likely to be improved with this release. That is one of our priority issues over the next few releases.

    -Preferences to turn on/off answerers rotator is on the backlog of things we want to get in.

    -The stats/answerers stuff on the right rail is one of the backend changes that were made. It'll now be over the last thirty days vs all time which should get it a lot closer to what most people want.

    -We talked about font size selection. Our thinking is to use more semantically correct markup (strong, em, h1,h2...) for those purposes instead of a font selection which specifically dictates the size that you want everyone to view it as.

    -html validation... we'll never fully validate for many reasons. Custom attributes, legacy post data... But I think the main reason FF2 looks wrong is it may not support all of the CSS selectors we used. All browsers (except ie6) use the same css, ie6 doesn't support css descendant selector so we had to make an ie6 css with a few overrides. We'll look at the browser share and if necessary tweak the css for FF2 but I think thats a smaller percentage case as FF users tend to upgrade.

    -Mozilla spell checker, we'll turn this on in the next code drop it's already checked in and ready to go.




    Rob J, Forums Dev
    http://twitter.com/robjoh
    Friday, March 27, 2009 4:48 PM
  • Hi Rob

    Thanks for the explanations and insight.

    The initial problem I was having with the missing Font/Size options was that I have always used Word to archive my notes and research. I perform a lot of copy/paste from those documents and sometimes the Word formatting munges the font size.

    I spent some time, this morning troubleshooting this and have found that simply changing the formatting and creating a more forum HTML friendly default style in Word, easily solves the problem.

    Overall, I really like the changes.
     
    Kudos to the dev team.  :)


    Regards,



    Ronnie Vernon MVP

    Friday, March 27, 2009 5:46 PM
  • davewilk said:

    For me the main thing missing is the Mozilla spell-checker.


    That's defnitely on my plate as something to look at. You mentioned it was a single line change before. If you happen to have a link, that would be great. I've sometimes had difficulty finding what I need in the TinyMCE docs... :)

    Thanks

    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Friday, March 27, 2009 6:04 PM
  • Matt:

    If you do a Google or LiveSearch search for "tinymce firefox spell checker" you will get lots of hits. That's all I know about it.

    But I think Rob is saying this is already fixed for the next release.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, March 27, 2009 7:06 PM
  • Rob:

    Personally, I like the editor better without the font size selector (now that you have increased the size). The way some posters change the font size in V3 is very annoying.

    I would not give them h1, h2, h3 either, because (as Hans says) it will lead to abuse. I'm not so sure I would allow HTML source editing either. TinyMCE is doing a fine job by itself.

    As to the validation issue, you may well be right that the FF2 problems are due to CSS, not HTML. But have you ever looked at the list of HTML errors for one of the forum pages? It's pretty shocking. With some of these errors, I'm surprised the page will display at all.

    Great news about the Mozilla spell checker!
     


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    • Edited by davewilk Friday, March 27, 2009 7:39 PM addition
    Friday, March 27, 2009 7:35 PM
  • mattfras said:

    davewilk said:

    For me the main thing missing is the Mozilla spell-checker.


    That's defnitely on my plate as something to look at. You mentioned it was a single line change before. If you happen to have a link, that would be great. I've sometimes had difficulty finding what I need in the TinyMCE docs... :)

    Thanks

    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer

    This is the HTML for the post editor:

    <body id="tinymce" class="mceContentBody" spellcheck="false" dir="ltr">

    Change spellcheck to "true" and solve the problem.  You've got about 2 hours to get it in, I bet you can do it.

    Hans Passant.
    Friday, March 27, 2009 8:40 PM
  •  Early on in the dev process I did some investigation with the xhtml validator. With the mvc version, most of the problems come from posted content. One big problem is the AntiXss library, among other things, changes <br/> to <br>. FAIL! The actual page structure is almost entirely Xsl Transforms so minus the content, it's guaranteed to be well formed. We do have a workitem to go through and clean up what we can (missing alt's and such), but we're not likely to get 100% validation any time soon :)
    Rob J, Forums Dev
    http://twitter.com/robjoh
    Friday, March 27, 2009 8:51 PM
  • haha nice try Hans. The code for this drop was locked last week, I already tried to slip it in the day after we froze ;)

    For reference, the actual fix was adding the following to the tinyMCE init options. 

            gecko_spellcheck: true,

    It will go live in a planned minor update that's probably going to take place late next week. That update also includes some CSS updates in relation to the Code Insertion to make font size more consistent between the dialog, tinymce and the actual post.

    Rob J, Forums Dev
    http://twitter.com/robjoh
    Friday, March 27, 2009 8:56 PM
  • Matt:

    If you do a Google or LiveSearch search for "tinymce firefox spell checker" you will get lots of hits. That's all I know about it.

    But I think Rob is saying this is already fixed for the next release.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP

    Yup, thanks Dave. Found out this morning that Rob had already fixed it. unfortunately it didn't make it into the release we just put live, but it should be fixed next week.

    Matt
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 2:06 AM
  • New version is now live, go check it out.

    thanks everyone for your feedback,

    Sam Jarawan - Senior Development Lead Server and Tools Online
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 2:44 AM
  • Hi David,

    I very much agree with this comment.

    Just as I really dislike the people who put things like "Urgent!!" or "Help Me Please!!!" or even "!!!!!" or "?????" in the subject (now called a Title) in order to attract people's attention (I remove then via Edit), I also dislike people who use large fonts (often with bold) when posting their messages. (I often just go in and change then back to normal if I have time ...)

    However people who post using all CAPS simply get deleted ! 

    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 10:17 PM