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New forums release went live 06/18 with Quick Reply, bugs fixes and few others things...

    General discussion

  • We had a new release that went live yesterday with a few bug fixes, small features and performance enhancements.

    We also added a couple new features like "Quick Reply" in thread preview mode.  When previewing a thread in the thread list there is now a "Reply" link that brings up the reply editor and keep you on the current page.  Previously you had to drill into the thread itself before you could reply.

    We fixed up our hot key support.  We now support "ALT-N" to start a new question thread (forum and thread pages), "ALT-Y" to reply to a thread (on the thread page only) and "ESC" to Cancel out of the editor window.  We also added a confirmation dialog on the cancel and escape key so you don't lose your work if you didn't mean to hit the buttons.

    We had some pretty drastic db changes to help with future scale out.  We'll be continuing to work on perf and scale out for the next few months as well, to ensure high performance as we migrate more forums over to our system.  Currently we've got a single SQL box hosting our forums data (plus a mirrored backup for failover) and another separate SQL box hosting our social tagging system.  We're now working on sharding our data for better scale.  This will allow us to host specific forums on different SQL boxes and data centers.  We'll also be able to host geo based forums in data centers closer to their use to help our international users.

    Some of the noticable bugs we've fixed that were the proper scoping of the "Top Answerers" box, it now scopes to the forums you are in context with.  We also fixed our tag cloud so it now scopes properly to the context you are in, so if you are in a specific forum, you'll only see tags in that forum.  The last thing I can think of off the top of my head is fixing the "Unread" filter it was broken in that it was only filtering your current page.  So if you read all the threads on page 1 of a forum and applied the filter, the page would be empty then you had to go to page 2 to get the next set of unread threads.

    The forums team is currently working on having more frequent releases with bug fixes and new features introduced hopefully every couple of weeks (instead of few months).  Many of the features below for our next release were driven from our community in this forum.

    Here's a short list of new features coming next (subject to change however):

    • Mobile support
    • New "Top Answerers" lists, we'll have "Top Answerers" (that exclude MSFT users), "Top MVP Answerers" and "Top MSFT Answerers" and we'll put them in a single rotator list along with the "Recent Users" list
    • In the context of a forum we'll have a list of moderators of that forum
    • Some "Live Alert" email enhancements to now include the forum name and reply body of a thread you are subscribed to.  This should give you enough information to not have to click on the thread link unless you want to answer it.
    • Ability to set a forum to read only (locked)
    • Changing column titles on threads page from "Replied" to "Replies" and "Viewed" to "Views"
    • Changing our page title to begin with forum name to help when using back/forward buttons in IE instead of the root name we have now that takes too much space.
    • Plus several other bug fixes.

    We're also going to be visiting all the suggestions we have here to ensure we have everything on our backlog and prioritize them for the next few releases.

    Thank you all for your great feedback.

     


    Sam Jarawan Social Platform Forums - Senior Development Lead
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 5:10 PM

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