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V4 feedback from CTP RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Posting this here on behalf of davewilk so it doesn't get lost in the ctp environment....
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    Friday, March 20, 2009 8:42:08 PM0 votes
    Vote As HelpfulPosting from the CTP interface (hope it works...)..

    I need to play with it a while, but some initial (superficial) reactions:

    1. I am confused about whether we are supposed to be able to actually use the CTP version. If not, why not?

    2. I am disturbed to see the large number of HTML errors still present on the pages. I would have hoped that the new interface would be an opportunty to clean up the code.

    3. Because I am a Mozilla (actually SeaMonkey) user, I still have IE6 on my main machine. Version 4 does not display correctly on IE6 (the Filtering and Sorting section at the top is all messed up).

    4. As a SeaMonkey user, I am disppointed that the default font is still much too small. On FireFox it is fine (as before). Differences between SeaMonkey and FireFox behavior are usually due to incorrect browser sniffing, because the rendering engines are identical.

    5. On the good side, getting rid of the "floating composition window" and its horrendous editor has got to be a huge improvement, although I am disapponted to see that the Mozilla automatic spell-checker no longer works in it (this was the only good thing about the version 3 editor, IMHO).

    6. The presence of options beside "Reply" ("Quote" especially) on the "preview" is great. Previously I would just not use these features as I could not be bothered to switch to another page.

    7. For me, the font size in the composition window is too small, and there is no setting to just change the size as there was in v3 (though it never worked properly in Mozilla browser),
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP



    davewilk
    MVPFriday, March 20, 2009 8:51:45 PM0 votes
    Vote As HelpfulOk, it seems that posts in the v4 interface do not appear in the live v3 forums. Understandable, but it will limit my willingness to provide feedback before it goes live. I just don't have the time.

    One more thing: As in v3 I think that the Ask a Question link should be something agnostic like New Thread. The subsequent radio button with Question as the default is good.

    I think I'm starting to like it already...


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
     

    davewilk
    MVPFriday, March 20, 2009 9:01:59 PM0 votes
    Vote As HelpfulMore serious:

    On Mozilla browser (FireFox or SeaMonkey), the "Expand" button/arrow to the left of the Subject of each thread is not present. (However, as in v3, it is possible to get the preview by clicking to the right of the Subject, which is what I always do anway, because the "Expand" button/arrow is too small).

    EDIT: I see this works right in IE8 on Windows 7 and on FireFox 3 (I don't have IE7 on any of my machines). But it does not look right on IE6 or FireFox 2 (or SeaMonkey 1.x).


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
     

    davewilk
    MVPFriday, March 20, 2009 9:12:24 PM0 votes
    Vote As HelpfulSome observations on editing my post:

    1, Why am I not able to Edit or Delete my original post? Just my Reply posts.

    2. If I Edit a post, and then go to Edit it again, I get an HTML display in a monospace font. Even the first time, this view flashes before the regular composition window appears.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
     lit

    davewilk
    MVPFriday, March 20, 2009 10:09:33 PM0 votes
    Vote As HelpfulSome other things:

    1. The Replies/Views display to the right of each thread is mesed up (no space between). EDIT: I see this works correctly on IE8 on Win7 and on FireFox 3. But it does not work right on IE6 or FireFox 2 (or SeaMonkey 1.x, which is FireFox 2 vintage).

    2. On Forums Home, the  Threads/Messages/Questions/Answers display is not nicely formatted  (it's ragged). Surely this could be easily improved with simple HTML or CSS formatting?

    3. Could we have Forums Home on the Navigation Links on the right? Right now, as in v3, you have to pick it out of the breadcrumb at the top. Or am I missing something?

    4. I miss the V3 Close button for closing up a thread. Now you have to scroll back up to the top of the thread to close it up (unless I am missing something).

    5. The rotataing Recent Answerers/Moderators... display is even more annoying than before, now that it is not possible to manually selcect the displayed list. Actually, could we have the option to get rid of this altogether in My Settings, as we can the Tag Cloud?

    6. As in V3, I would like to request an additional Most Reecnt Action (or Most Recent Activity) item in the Sort criteria. This would include things like Editing, Marking, etc.


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    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
     

    davewilk
    MVP20 hours 52 minutes ago0 votes
    Vote As HelpfulI thought when we saw the demo at the MVP summit there was an indented "threaded" view that did not need to be drilled down into as in v3. But now I do not see this threaded view at all.

    EDIT: I see you can control this feature (and others) in the My Settings page. Nice. I will use the threaded view now. In V3 it was just too inconvenient because you had to drill down into each sub-thread.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP


    Brent Serbus STO Forums Program Manager
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 3:57 PM

All replies

  • My feedback, hope it's okay to tag it on to this thread.  Tested with Firefox 3.0.7.  A=critical, B=please fix, C=can live with it, D=minor blemish

    Main page:
    - Last reply should be Last post.  Essential to discover new threads on low traffic forums. A
    - Collapsed state of forum category not preserved.  A

    My Forums:
    - Adding and removing forum doesn't work consistently, nothing happens about 30% of the time. B
    - Usefulness of My Forums Threads murky.

    Forum view:
    - Tag cloud jumps up and down, mis-click likely. C
    - Auto-changing name list distracting.  Always show top-10, rest by clicking on scroller. B
    - Can't switch view of name list anymore.  B
    - Long thread title doesn't fold cleanly.  D
    - Colored icons worked much better than font style to indicate read status.  B
    - Top 10 list points are not correct, I did not earn 36,237 points in 30 days in BCL.  A
    - Bell icon is visible on threads in restricted forum although alert doesn't work.  D
    - Not possible to undelete announcements.  D
    - Tags in tag cloud not filtered by forum.  C
    - Edit icon missing on OP.  B
    - Awkward to open a long thread in another tab, only one link.  B

    Thread view:
    - Tag cloud and tag entry box visible in restricted forum.  D
    - Thread in restricted forum shows alert is enabled.  D
    - Right-clicking Reply, Edit or Quote to open in a new tab produces unusable post editor.  A
    - Right-clicking Mark as Answer to open in a new tab is odd.  D
    - "Show Answers First" option shows post with answer twice.  B
    - Unmarking an answer doesn't remove "Show Answers First" post.  B
    - Clearing abusive flag prompts for reason.  Not logged in thread.  C
    - User marking answer not identified.  B
    - User proposing answer not identified, this will cause widespread abuse.  A
    - Moderator status of poster not indicated.  B

    My Threads:
    - Unread filter doesn't work correctly, threads shown with an italic font get filtered.  A
    - A contributor doesn't want his own posts moving a thread up in the list.  C
    - Helpful filter only shows a small subset of threads where I got a helpful mark.  D
    - Last reply on old threads not accurate (check last page of my My Threads page).  D
    - Changing Sort By order should reset page index to 1.  D
    - Last page of My Threads, ordered by views, shows threads with 0 views.  That's not possible.  D
    - Mark All Read is missing.  B
    - Search box searches all forums, not my threads.  C
    - Arrow + dropdown next to search box doesn't do anything.  D
    - Filter tool box says "Use these ... discussion list".  Discussion list?  D
    - Lock icon should behave like helpful icon.  D

    My Settings:
    - "Member since" not correct.  D
    - Automatic Updates enabled should be different for My Threads.  B
    - Updating signature doesn't update signature in existing posts.  B

    My Profile:
    - Back button in My Bookmarks doesn't work.  C
    - Option needed to make My Threads only accessible to moderator.  B

    Browse Forum Users
    - Last active date is UTC, not localized.  D
    - I much preferred the % wildcard that Forums 2.x used.  B
    - Should moderators be able to sanitize signatures and avatars?

    My Alerts:
    - Unread filter doesn't work correctly.  But different from My Threads.  B

    Ask a question:
    - Alert checkbox doesn't look disabled in restricted forums.  D
    - Somehow managed to get alert turned on in restricted forum (don't fix please).  D
    - "Post this to" should be cleared when user selects another category.  B

    Post editor:
    - Navigating away or closing tab doesn't produce warning.  B
    - FF spell checker doesn't work.  A
    - Indent toolbar button doesn't work.  B
    - Cannot switch back to "no format".  B
    - Fonts too small, users will post a lot of Heading1.  A
    - Format combo inconsistent after using undo.  C
    - Format combo inconsistent after deleting text.  C
    - Link editor dialog too cramped.  C
    - Font in post editor should match font shown in finished post.  B
    - Popup windows mess up the Alt+Tab order.  C
    - Entered <font> gets translated to <span> that is not an exact match.  B
    - HTML source editor should break line on <br /> like FF does, very hard to use otherwise.  B
    - Word wrap checkbox in HTML editor is odd, off is unusable.  D
    - While testing posting, I got "Unexpected error".  The post still got submitted, causing many duplicates.  A

    Insert code block:
    - Language combo is missing C/C++.  A
    - Language should default to "not specified", post code exactly as-is.  A
    - Preview pane confusing, gray it out until preview clicked.  C
    - Preview font is wrong.  D
    - Size of font used for code block in final post is badly mismatched with regular text font size.  A

    Moderation:
    - Split command should move only one post.  B
    - Deleting a proposed answer takes far too many steps.  B

    Debugging leftovers:
    - Refreshing My Forums once produced a msgbox that read:
      0:
      /Forums/en-US/user/mylinks
    - Filtering My Threads by Proposed answer once produced a msgbox that read:
      0:
      http://ctp.social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/user/threads?user=nobugz&filter=general&
      sort=repliesdesc&since=2009-03-13T13%3A27%3A20.6300000Z

    General:
    - Error messages still lousy.  "Unexpected error" doesn't help me provide you a diagnosis.  A


    Many improvements.  They all look well thought out and debugged.  Please check out how Stackoverflow.com did their post editor and code marking, very effective.

    Hans Passant.
    Sunday, March 22, 2009 3:25 AM
  • Thanks, Brent. I may play around some more in the CTP, but I will be sure to post actual comments/suggestions here.

    Overall I think it looks really good. For the first time it looks like a well-thought out application, rather than something kind of thrown together. Congratulations!

    For me the real biggie is the dramatic improvement in the posting experience. The My Settings page is a good feature also, though I think there might be more things on it.

    Let me reorganize/streamline my somewhat rambling list of comments/suggestions a bit:

    1. Maybe these browsers are not recommended, but there are a lot of display problems on IE6 and FireFox 2 (and therefore SeaMonkey 1.x).

    2. I am disturbed to see the large number of HTML errors still present on the pages. I would have hoped that the new interface would be an opportunity to clean up the code.

    3. The FireFox spell checker now no longer works by default (though you can activate it by right-clicking on the composition window). Following some research, I think you will find that there is a setting in TinyMCE that can rectify this. Please fix it if you can!

    4. Font in the composition window is too small (for me). Maybe this font size could be a setting in My Settings?

    5. As in V3 I think that the Ask a Question link should be something agnostic like New Thread . The subsequent radio button with Question as the default is good.

    6. Edit and Delete are not available for original post. Why not?

    7. If I Edit a post, and then go to Edit it again, I get an HTML display in a monospace font. Even the first time, this view sometimes flashes before the regular composition window appears.

    8. On Forums Home, the  Threads/Messages/Questions/Answers display is not nicely formatted  (it's ragged). Surely this could be easily improved with simple HTML or CSS formatting?

    9. Could we have Forums Home on the Navigation Links on the right? Right now, as in v3, you have to pick it out of the breadcrumb at the top. Or am I missing something?

    10. I miss the V3 Close button for closing up a thread being "previewed". Now you have to scroll back up to the top of the thread to close it up (unless I am missing something). Idea: would it be possible to put expand/contract on the context menu when you right-click anywhere between the top and bottom horizontal lines of a thread. (I'm big into context menus...)

    11. The rotating Recent Answerers/Moderators... display is even more annoying than before, now that it is not possible to manually select the displayed list. Also, the display with the avatar on the left is rather untidy because the avatars are not all the same size. Actually, could we have the option to get rid of this altogether in My Settings, as we can the Tag Cloud?

    12. As in V3, I would like to request an additional Most Recent Action (or Most Recent Activity ) item in the Sort criteria. This would include things like Editing, Marking, etc.

    13. Auto-link of pasted URL's still does not work on Mozilla browsers, even FireFox 3.

    14. C/C++ is missing from the list of languages in the code window.

    15. It is confusing whether I am signed in or not. In V3 there was an indication on the page itself when the signed in status became stale. No there is only the entry at the top right above the banner. When I am logged in it says: davewilk Sign out . When my status becomes stale, it says Sign out . Should it not change to Sign in ?

    16. On my screen (with my eyes) there is very little difference between "real medals" and "virtual medals". It looks as if everybody has five medals. Why do we need to show all the medals anyway, why not just display the earned medals?

    17. It is not possible for OP to edit post to change the thread type (question or discussion), Erroneous initial choice is not as common as before now that we have the radio buttons (with question has default), but it still happens.

    18. It is not obvious (unless you know) that OP can edit the original post by going to Thread view. Why cannot this edit be done on the Forum view like other edits? The only difference is the presence of the modifiable title (and thread type, id added per #17).

    19. If you delete a post from the Forum view, you get taken to the Thread view, where the deleted post is shown "struck out". This change of context is confusing. This does not happen if you Edit in Forum view.

    20. The "Edited by" information is not diplayed in either Forum view or Thread view. Wasn't it there in the CTP? Personally, I do not really approve of editing (at least after a reply), but if it is done there has to some visible record that it happened.

    21. I have asked for this before, but could we separate the Sticky threads from the "real threads" in the Forum view? Some forums, e.g. Visual C++ General, have a lot of Stickies. Could they not be displayed above, with the Announcements?

    22. If you Edit or Reply in a long post, and then scroll up or down to look at one of teh previous posts, it's not so easy to find you way back to the composition window. It just doesn't stand out too well. Could we perhaps put a heavy border around the composition window?

    [I may add to this list if I see other things.]

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    • Edited by davewilk Saturday, March 28, 2009 11:18 AM typo
    Sunday, March 22, 2009 6:14 PM
  • Thanks Hans and David, there is some great feedback here. 

    I think I'll get our team together this week to go through them and prioritize the items to fix.  We plan to release this version real soon, so much of the feedback won't make it in this month, since we're doing final testing right now.  We have cleaned up IE6 however so it should be more usable than you what's currently live on our CTP.

    We're doing monthly releases now and we'll work on the highest priority items each month.

    I'll post some feedback on the items you've pointed out as well within the next day or two after we've gone through them.

    thanks and please keep the input coming.
    Sam Jarawan Social Platform Forums - Senior Development Lead
    Monday, March 23, 2009 4:01 PM
  • And the checkboxes in my settings does not work sometimes. I need to check/uncheck all 4 checkboxes to have the settings saved.
    MSMVP VC++
    Monday, March 23, 2009 8:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Sheng:

    Yes, this happened to me also, but I thought maybe I had done something wrong. I changed my settings to get rid of the tag cloud and to enable the threaded view, but when I went back the old settings were still there. It worked the second time I did it.

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Monday, March 23, 2009 8:58 PM
  • Copy/paste from the Moderator's forum: 
    "
    Super-duper. I love that you can mark posts as answers right form the "quick reply" window. '
    What I'll miss is the roundness of the menus in here. But I think the GUI will be modifed there eventualy. So it's great. 
    I also hope you'll solve the "Top answerers" issue. The feature does not work here. Also, if you could include the "Top 100 Answerers this month" there, like it was in the 2.0 Forum it would be great. Many people were answering just to get in there. I know I did.

    Regards,  "
    Lucian Baciu, http://studentclub.ro/lucians_weblog
    Monday, March 23, 2009 9:04 PM
  • Sheng Jiang 蒋晟 said:

    And the checkboxes in my settings does not work sometimes. I need to check/uncheck all 4 checkboxes to have the settings saved.


    MSMVP VC++



    This should be fixed now, can you try again?
    Sam Jarawan Social Platform Forums - Senior Development Lead
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:54 PM
  • naicul said:

    Copy/paste from the Moderator's forum: 
    "
    Super-duper. I love that you can mark posts as answers right form the "quick reply" window. '
    What I'll miss is the roundness of the menus in here. But I think the GUI will be modifed there eventualy. So it's great. 
    I also hope you'll solve the "Top answerers" issue. The feature does not work here. Also, if you could include the "Top 100 Answerers this month" there, like it was in the 2.0 Forum it would be great. Many people were answering just to get in there. I know I did.

    Regards,  "


    Lucian Baciu, http://studentclub.ro/lucians_weblog



    Thanks Lucian,  one of the problems with "roundness" is the javascript needed to get it to work on cross browsers.  Our code is much cleanier by just avoiding it and we also want a consistent look and feel across MSDN.  We'll look into the "Top 100 Answerers" feature as well.
    Sam Jarawan Social Platform Forums - Senior Development Lead
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:56 PM
  • Hans:  Here's a breakdown of answers to your feedback.  Thank you very much for all of this.  We've got most of them now in our backlog and didn't have enough time to get many of them into the first release (happening very very soon), but will try our best to get them into next months release.

    David: I'm going to go through your list next!

    Main page:
    - Last reply should be Last post.  Essential to discover new threads on low traffic forums. A
    [Sam] On our backlog for next release
    - Collapsed state of forum category not preserved.  A
    [Sam] We intentionally didn’t implement this due to My Forums, do you think this is important?
    My Forums:
    - Adding and removing forum doesn't work consistently, nothing happens about 30% of the time. B
    [Sam] This may be a caching issue, we’ll investigate. 
    - Usefulness of My Forums Threads murky.
    [Sam] Why, can you elaborate?

    Forum view:
    - Tag cloud jumps up and down, mis-click likely. C
    [Sam] This is due to some lists not having a full 10 users so it shrinks (specifically for “Recent Moderators” which usually won’t have 10)  See next answer as well
    - Auto-changing name list distracting.  Always show top-10, rest by clicking on scroller. B
    [Sam] Would you like a setting to turn off the rotator completely, similar to “My Settings” turning off of
    - Can't switch view of name list anymore.  B [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release.
    - Long thread title doesn't fold cleanly.  D
    [Sam] On our backlog
    - Colored icons worked much better than font style to indicate read status.  B
    [Sam] We’re not sure about icons, but would like a better way to do this as well
    - Top 10 list points are not correct, I did not earn 36,237 points in 30 days in BCL.  A
    [Sam] Fixed
    - Bell icon is visible on threads in restricted forum although alert doesn't work.  D
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release, actually we’ll be allowing alerts on private/moderator forums in next release.
    - Not possible to undelete announcements.  D
    [Sam] No plans to change this
    - Tags in tag cloud not filtered by forum.  C [Sam] they should be, could be an environment issue with CTP, we’ll have to investigate
    - Edit icon missing on OP.  B
    [Sam] It’s part of the thread header, not the root message footer (edit on root also allows you to change title)
    - Awkward to open a long thread in another tab, only one link.  B
    [Sam] Can you elaborate?

    Thread view:
    - Tag cloud and tag entry box visible in restricted forum.  D
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release.
    - Thread in restricted forum shows alert is enabled.  D
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release, we will be allowing alerts in private/moderator forums .
    - Right-clicking Reply, Edit or Quote to open in a new tab produces unusable post editor.  A
    [Sam] This was by design for this release and allows browsers without javascript to reply, but we need to clean up pages for non-js browsers in the future.
    - Right-clicking Mark as Answer to open in a new tab is odd.  D
    [Sam] By design but we need to clean up pages for non-js browsers
    - "Show Answers First" option shows post with answer twice.  B
    [Sam] By design, useful in longer threads or threaded view especially when answer isn’t first reply
    - Unmarking an answer doesn't remove "Show Answers First" post.  B [Sam] Refresh page it will, probably won’t fix
    - Clearing abusive flag prompts for reason.  Not logged in thread.  C
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release
    - User marking answer not identified.  B
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release
    - User proposing answer not identified, this will cause widespread abuse.  A
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release
    - Moderator status of poster not indicated.  B
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release.

    My Threads:
    - Unread filter doesn't work correctly, threads shown with an italic font get filtered.  A
    [Sam] This may just be environmental on CTP, we’ll have to investigate further
    - A contributor doesn't want his own posts moving a thread up in the list.  C [Sam] No plans to change this.
    - Helpful filter only shows a small subset of threads where I got a helpful mark.  D
    [Sam] The rule here is 5 helpful votes on 1 post marks the whole thread as helpful
    - Last reply on old threads not accurate (check last page of my My Threads page).  D
    [Sam] We’ll investigate this one
    - Changing Sort By order should reset page index to 1.  D
    [Sam] Backlog On our backlog to be fixed next release.
    - Last page of My Threads, ordered by views, shows threads with 0 views.  That's not possible.  D
    [Sam] We’re changing how views work so this should go away
    - Mark All Read is missing.  B
    [Sam] On our backlog
    - Search box searches all forums, not my threads.  C
    [Sam] On our backlog
    - Arrow + dropdown next to search box doesn't do anything.  D
    [Sam] It shows “Search all MSDN Forums” on this page
    - Filter tool box says "Use these ... discussion list".  Discussion list?  D
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release
    - Lock icon should behave like helpful icon.  D
    [Sam] By design we don’t have room to show thread type, locked and helpful icons so we decided thread type wasn’t as important for locked threads

    My Settings:
    - "Member since" not correct.  D
    [Sam] Migration issue in that we only show new membership date into newer 3.x platform, no plans to fix
    - Automatic Updates enabled should be different for My Threads.  B
    [Sam] It’s on our backlog – different setting preference right?
    - Updating signature doesn't update signature in existing posts.  B
    [Sam] On our backlog
    My Profile:
    - Back button in My Bookmarks doesn't work.  C
    [Sam] Should be Fixed, can you provide steps?
    - Option needed to make My Threads only accessible to moderator.  B
    [Sam] No plans to change, what’s your concern?

    Browse Forum Users
    - Last active date is UTC, not localized.  D
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release
    - I much preferred the % wildcard that Forums 2.x used.  B
    [Sam] No plans to change
    - Should moderators be able to sanitize signatures and avatars?
    [Sam] They can only clear avatars, we’ll add to backlog

    My Alerts:
    - Unread filter doesn't work correctly.  But different from My Threads.  B
    [Sam] We’ll investigate

    Ask a question:
    - Alert checkbox doesn't look disabled in restricted forums.  D
    [Sam] Won’t fix, since we’re going to fix link to restricted forum from email alert
    - Somehow managed to get alert turned on in restricted forum (don't fix please).  D
    [Sam] No problem
    - "Post this to" should be cleared when user selects another category.  B
    [Sam] Won’t fix: Another forum is not selected yet, so we leave it to the original forum in case they want to leave it, as soon as they select a forum, it will change

    Post editor:
    - Navigating away or closing tab doesn't produce warning.  B
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release
    - FF spell checker doesn't work.  A
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release (if it’s a simple fix)
    - Indent toolbar button doesn't work.  B
    [Sam] On our backlog
    - Cannot switch back to "no format".  B
    [Sam] We’ve removed the styles for now
    - Fonts too small, users will post a lot of Heading1.  A
    [Sam] Fixed: Font in editor is now same size as the default it will be posted to which is same size we use today.
    - Format combo inconsistent after using undo.  C
    [Sam] We’ve removed the styles for now
    - Format combo inconsistent after deleting text.  C
    [Sam] We’ve removed the styles for now
    - Link editor dialog too cramped.  C
    [Sam] Won’t fix, since it’s the default for the common editor
    - Font in post editor should match font shown in finished post.  B
    [Sam] Fixed
    - Popup windows mess up the Alt+Tab order.  C
    - Entered <font> gets translated to <span> that is not an exact match.  B
    - HTML source editor should break line on <br /> like FF does, very hard to use otherwise.  B
    [Sam] It does already in IE, which browser?
    - Word wrap checkbox in HTML editor is odd, off is unusable.  D
    [Sam] Won’t fix
    - While testing posting, I got "Unexpected error".  The post still got submitted, causing many duplicates.  A
    [Sam] Will be fixed immediately. This is usually a failure to subscribe the thread to our subscription server, we have a fix coming to catch the error and dismiss the dialog to show user it was submitted

    Insert code block:
    - Language combo is missing C/C++.  A
    [Sam] Backlog
    - Language should default to "not specified", post code exactly as-is.  A
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release
    - Preview pane confusing, gray it out until preview clicked.  C
    [Sam] Backlog
    - Preview font is wrong.  D
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed next release
    - Size of font used for code block in final post is badly mismatched with regular text font size.  A
    [Sam] On our backlog to be fixed immediately after we release

    Moderation:
    - Split command should move only one post.  B
    [Sam] It’s by design to split it and it’s children, do you have good reason to not split responses to itself?
    - Deleting a proposed answer takes far too many steps.  B
    [Sam] 2 steps isn’t it, unproposing then undeleting?  How often is this done?

    Debugging leftovers:
    - Refreshing My Forums once produced a msgbox that read
      0:
      /Forums/en-US/user/mylinks
    - Filtering My Threads by Proposed answer once produced a msgbox that read:
      0:
      http://ctp.social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/user/threads?user=nobugz&filter=general&
      sort=repliesdesc&since=2009-03-13T13%3A27%3A20.6300000Z

    General:
    - Error messages still lousy.  "Unexpected error" doesn't help me provide you a diagnosis.  A
    [Sam] Fixed in some areas, but in general this is the fall back if it’s something we don’t expect, we’ll need to work on this some more.
    Sam Jarawan Social Platform Forums - Senior Development Lead
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 12:00 AM
  • Big backlog.  Thanks, it sure looks like you know what I was talking about.  Some responses:

    - Collapsed state not preserved.  I've already made my own "My Forums" with bookmarks.  Used collapsed state to cast a wider net.  If you don't want to restore behavior (it got broken a lot), you might want to hide the collapse arrows.
    - My Forums Threads.  I just don't see the difference with My Threads.  I'm probably missing something.

    - Tag clouds jump/auto-changing name list.  I can't speak for everyone but I'd be surprised if there is anybody that actually likes the rotator.  Don't think a setting is necessary but please provide one if there's anybody that wants to keep it.
    - Tags in tag cloud not filtered.  This has never worked right, afaik.
    - Awkward to open a long thread.  Opening a thread to answer (or moderate, required) in another tab is my preferred approach.  The only way to do that is to scroll back to find the thread heading.  Getting the weirdo post editor by right-clicking Reply is part of the problem.  Very awkward, there was feedback on this on the early 3.x version too and you fixed it then.

    - Unusable post editor.  Not sure if it makes sense to open a non-js editor in a js-enabled browser.  Users will be mystified.
    - User proposing answer not identified.  This is going to create an enormous amount of flak.  You'll need to disable self-proposing until you've got the fix.  Everybody hates it anyway.

    - Automatic Updates enabled should be different.  Right.
    - My Threads only accessible to moderator.  That's the way Forums 2.x worked.  Posting at these forums are almost exclusively done during working hours.  My Threads makes it too easy for employers to monitor their employees.  That is a privacy concern.

    - "Post this to" should be cleared.  It doesn't get cleared when OP changes his mind and selects another category.  The amount of off topic posts in BCL (first on the list) is stupendous.

    - FF spell checker doesn't work.  Yes, a *very* simple fix.  Toolbar spell checkers won't work either.  You'll get massive flak over this.
    - HTML editor doesn't break on <br />.  FF as indicated.  IE doesn't insert <br/>
    - Unexpected error.  Duplicates are a chronic problem.  Use transactions.

    - Split command.  Users have no indication whatsoever what specific post they respond to, they tend to click the last one.  Splitting a post with its children causes posts to be moved that should not be moved 80% of the time.  Threaded view is not a fix, there's no way to correct the relationships.  As long as this is a fundamental limitation, only moving the selected post can avoid the 80% odds of getting it wrong.  Right now, nobody is splitting.
    - Deleting proposed answer.  No: unmark, refresh page, delete.  There's just no point in slowing it down when it can be done anyway.  A few chronic self-propose abusers out there.



    Hans Passant.
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:30 AM
  • re: the Split issue - how about a "split" and a "split with children".  That way the mod can use their judgement.  Oftentimes somebody resurrects an ages-old thread, and any responses to their post genuinely should be split off.

    re: Propose as Answer - I use this to "nudge" the OP if they haven't responded to possible answers within a couple of weeks.  Sometimes alerts don't work, and this sends another alert without me having to post something asinine, like "did this work for you?".

    Great feedback, Hans!  It must have taken you a day to compile it all.
    Aaron Alton | thehobt.blogspot.com
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 3:58 AM
  • re: Tags in tag cloud not filtered by forum.

    As I recall, the idea behind the tag cloud was that it is an orthogonal way of navigating. It's an alternative to browsing by forum, not a filter within a forum. Clicking "C#" in the cloud is supposed to return all threads with that tag, regardless of forum.

    Of course, I also recall that we went back and forth on this a few times. Many of us intuitively saw it as more of a "filter", but I'm pretty sure the "navigation scheme" crowd won out.

    Matt

    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:37 PM
  • Sam:

    How are OP's supposed to know that they can Edit their post by going to Thread View? Maybe a link for OP Edit could be on the Forum page, next to the Title, or the line below (where there will always be room). This would lead to the situation obtained by clicking Edit on the Thread View.

    EDIT: On second thoughts I do not see why OP Edit cannot be done on the Forum View, with the Edit button in the same place as for other posts. The only difference in the display would be the ability to modify the Title (and the post type, see below).

    Also, Delete is not available for OP. Maybe it never was. Should it be?

    Also, it is not possible for OP to change the type from start a discussion to ask a question. This was definitely available in V3, though not so easy to find. In V4 the radio buttons could be displayed to the right of the modifiable Title after selecting OP Edit.



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, March 27, 2009 1:27 AM
  • Sam:

    I see the window of opportunity closing now that V4 is live and others are posting comments, but were you going to go through my list? If you do, use the one where I re-organized it by number, not the one that Brent retrieved from the V4 CTP. [I am still adding to this list by editing the post...]
    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 10:25 AM
  • Sam:

    I see the window of opportunity closing now that V4 is live and others are posting comments, but were you going to go through my list? If you do, use the one where I re-organized it by number, not the one that Brent retrieved from the V4 CTP. [I am still adding to this list by editing the post...]
    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP

    Hey David,
    Actually we did go through your list, but since we were releasing this week I didn't get a chance to respond back yet.  I need to log a few bugs before I respond as well.  We have a few high pri fixes planned for next week and then the others during our regular monthly release in April.

    I'll try and get a better response to your issues to you by Monday morning.
    thanks again for all your feedback.

    Sam Jarawan - Senior Development Lead - Server and Tools Online
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 5:51 PM
  • Thanks David great stuff here, check out my answers below: 
    Thanks, Brent. I may play around some more in the CTP, but I will be sure to post actual comments/suggestions here.

    Overall I think it looks really good. For the first time it looks like a well-thought out application, rather than something kind of thrown together. Congratulations!

    For me the real biggie is the dramatic improvement in the posting experience. The My Settings page is a good feature also, though I think there might be more things on it.

    Let me reorganize/streamline my somewhat rambling list of comments/suggestions a bit:

    1. Maybe these browsers are not recommended, but there are a lot of display problems on IE6 and FireFox 2 (and therefore SeaMonkey 1.x).
    (Sam) Understood, we'll keep trying to make improvements in these browsers as time goes on

    2. I am disturbed to see the large number of HTML errors still present on the pages. I would have hoped that the new interface would be an opportunity to clean up the code.
    (Sam) Rob Johnson already answered this one, and iit comes down to mostly be due to content not our UI code, we'll continue to ensure our code is properly formed

    3. The FireFox spell checker now no longer works by default (though you can activate it by right-clicking on the composition window). Following some research, I think you will find that there is a setting in TinyMCE that can rectify this. Please fix it if you can!
    (Sam) Fix coming for this, hopefully at the end of next week.

    4. Font in the composition window is too small (for me). Maybe this font size could be a setting in My Settings?
    (Sam) This was fixed so font matches the size it is posted as

    5. As in V3 I think that the Ask a Question link should be something agnostic like New Thread . The subsequent radio button with Question as the default is good.
    (Sam) This was done to simplify for beginning users, we'll have to figure out a way to do this that doesn't confuse novice users that may not know what a "thread" is.

    6. Edit and Delete are not available for original post. Why not?
    (Sam) they are, you just have to go into the thread page for those. These 2 are different than the post edit/delete,  Edit allows you to edit the title and delete will delete the whole thread.

    7. If I Edit a post, and then go to Edit it again, I get an HTML display in a monospace font. Even the first time, this view sometimes flashes before the regular composition window appears.
    (Sam) I'll have to investigate this one, I don't see this, does it still repro on our new release yesterday?

    8. On Forums Home, the  Threads/Messages/Questions/Answers display is not nicely formatted  (it's ragged). Surely this could be easily improved with simple HTML or CSS formatting?
    (Sam) This may be related to #1

    9. Could we have Forums Home on the Navigation Links on the right? Right now, as in v3, you have to pick it out of the breadcrumb at the top. Or am I missing something?
    (Sam) Notice there is also a new "Tab" at the top that you can click on to take you home, does the suffice?

    10. I miss the V3 Close button for closing up a thread being "previewed". Now you have to scroll back up to the top of the thread to close it up (unless I am missing something). Idea: would it be possible to put expand/contract on the context menu when you right-click anywhere between the top and bottom horizontal lines of a thread. (I'm big into context menus...)
    (Sam)  Fixed for next monthly release

    11. The rotating Recent Answerers/Moderators... display is even more annoying than before, now that it is not possible to manually select the displayed list. Also, the display with the avatar on the left is rather untidy because the avatars are not all the same size. Actually, could we have the option to get rid of this altogether in My Settings, as we can the Tag Cloud?
    (Sam) We should have this option to turn off in our next monthly release as well, plus we'll try to cleanup, problem is Avatars can be different sizes

    12. As in V3, I would like to request an additional Most Recent Action (or Most Recent Activity ) item in the Sort criteria. This would include things like Editing, Marking, etc.
    (Sam) Are you saying you'd like one for each action?  I don't think i've heard this asked for by anyone else yet.

    13. Auto-link of pasted URL's still does not work on Mozilla browsers, even FireFox 3.
    (Sam) I'm not sure if our editor support that, we'll have to investigate.

    14. C/C++ is missing from the list of languages in the code window.
    (Sam) That's planned, it should be available within the next release or two.

    15. It is confusing whether I am signed in or not. In V3 there was an indication on the page itself when the signed in status became stale. No there is only the entry at the top right above the banner. When I am logged in it says: davewilk Sign out . When my status becomes stale, it says Sign out . Should it not change to Sign in ?
    (Sam) We'll have to investigate this one.

    16. On my screen (with my eyes) there is very little difference between "real medals" and "virtual medals". It looks as if everybody has five medals. Why do we need to show all the medals anyway, why not just display the earned medals?
    (Sam) I think the point was to show how many medals are possible, we'll ask our designers if they can fix these to look more different

    17. It is not possible for OP to edit post to change the thread type (question or discussion), Erroneous initial choice is not as common as before now that we have the radio buttons (with question has default), but it still happens.
    (Sam) I think you know how to do that now from the thread page, since you posted about it in another thread.

    18. It is not obvious (unless you know) that OP can edit the original post by going to Thread view. Why cannot this edit be done on the Forum view like other edits? The only difference is the presence of the modifiable title (and thread type, id added per #17).
    (Sam) I agree, that's something we can add in the future, I'll get it on our backlog.

    19. If you delete a post from the Forum view, you get taken to the Thread view, where the deleted post is shown "struck out". This change of context is confusing. This does not happen if you Edit in Forum view.
    (Sam) Yes agreed, we'll get this on our backlog

    20. The "Edited by" information is not diplayed in either Forum view or Thread view. Wasn't it there in the CTP? Personally, I do not really approve of editing (at least after a reply), but if it is done there has to some visible record that it happened.
    (Sam)  We had a last minute change to only show to moderators, this will be fixed in the next monthly release.

    21. I have asked for this before, but could we separate the Sticky threads from the "real threads" in the Forum view? Some forums, e.g. Visual C++ General, have a lot of Stickies. Could they not be displayed above, with the Announcements?
    (Sam) This one I'll have to ask our PM about he'll have to talk to all our partners and see what makes sense. 

    22. If you Edit or Reply in a long post, and then scroll up or down to look at one of teh previous posts, it's not so easy to find you way back to the composition window. It just doesn't stand out too well. Could we perhaps put a heavy border around the composition window?
    (Sam) That shouldn't be too hard, i'll get it on our backlog

    [I may add to this list if I see other things.]

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP


    Sam Jarawan - Senior Development Lead - Server and Tools Online
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 11:09 PM
  • Sam:

    Thanks for the responses. You guys are working hard this weekend!

    Some clarifications:

    [I have not tried IE7, or IE8 final, but I have tried IE6 (briefly), FF2/SeaMonkey 1.x, FF3/SeaMonkey 2, IE8 in Windows 7, Chrome]

    Numbers refer to items in my previous post, and your response.

    2. Actually, the HTML errors do not seem quite as bad as when I looked during the CTP, though I think it should be possible to reduce the sheer number of them. I suppose there is no possibility of going through all the legacy posts and correcting them? While you were at it, you could get rid of all the font (and perhaps color) changes that folks used to put in their posts. I just love the way that TinyMCE is able to give a uniform look to the thread.

    4. Although the font in the Editor is bigger than in the CTP, I still think it is rather small. Would it be possible to have a setting in My Settings to control this? Maybe one for the whole page, also.

    5. There is just something illogical about giving the New Thread link the name of just one of the options that appears when you click it. It's like the Edit->Edit/Delete dropdown in V3.

    6. Yes I see Edit on the Thread page when I am OP, but I do not see Delete. And when I click Edit I do not see option to change the thread type. [see #17]

    7. I still see this anomaly on all the browsers I have tried. If I Edit, and then immediately Edit again without collapsing the thread, I do not get the normal composition window. [If it matters, I am using the threaded view, not the flat list view.]

    8. No, I see this on all browsers. The checks and question marks do not align vertically. No big deal.

    10. If context menu does not work, I still think we need ability to close thread from anywhere within the thread. For a long thread, both the top and the bottom can be a long way away. How about close button (or up arrow) to the left of every post? BTW, I think the existing expand/collapse button is too small (and not present at all on FF2/SM1).

    9. I see the Forum link now, but I think you need something on the page. I do not really regard the MSDN header as part of the forum page. Also, I think that if you put the Forum Home link in My Forum Links, you could have a setting in My Settings to say which brand you want. Or you could have a link to the home page of all the forum brands.

    12. I just want a sorting category such that if anything at all happens in the thread, it gets moved to the top. In particular, if someone marks one of my posts as answer, I want to know about it. Right now, if the OP just marks the answer without responding then there is no indication. [I do not use Alerts]

    13. Why does auto-link work on IE and not on FireFox?

    17. See #3

    23. [This one is new] I think it would be good if, when a thread is expanded, different kinds of posts could be distinguished:
    • Old posts
    • New posts since last expansion of thread
    • The post being replied to
    • The actual editing window itself (which does not look much different from a post, now).
    This could easily be done by changing the border color or weight.

    Distinguishing the new posts would be very useful when you are using the threaded view (rather than flat list view) because then the new posts are scattered through the thread.

    [Note that NNTP accomplishes all these automatically, because it has a different (better IMHO) model for displaying the threads.]

    Thanks!
    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    • Edited by davewilk Sunday, March 29, 2009 12:15 PM additions
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 1:40 AM