More MLF2 issues found (General)

by Otto @, Monday, October 29, 2007, 18:56 (5102 days ago)

Hi MLF developers,

In the mean time I have extended access to my forum to a greater set of test users. The last weeks, I have gathered a couple of remarks during this period. It has become quite a list, but I hope it could be useful to improve the script.

Old items (repeated for clarity)

- The contact link does not have a description when hovering over the link
- Could it made possible to add a timer which waits let’s say 2 hours before the “self registration” activation e-mail will be sent? It appears that banned persons sometimes walk to an internet café, register them selves and continue to attack the forum. When delaying the auto registration, they have to wait a long time.
- When using categories, then a visitor can select all or one of the categories to show. Could it be an option for registered users that they can select multiple categories in their profile and put them in an extra entry “user preference” in the drop down list?
- The color of the admin’s and moderator’s name stil doesn’t work.
- Moderators should have the possibility to enter a limited area of the admin’s pages like the “spam protection” area, they should have the option to enter banned IP-addresses, user agents, and bad words. Perhaps a “mod” entry in the menu at the right top corner where the admin pages stand in case of an admin login is visible?
- Some contact possibilities for multiple moderators. So, a kind of link which sends a message to all moderators (possibly including the admin).

New issues (found while running builds 15 and 16)

- When adding a category for admins and moderators only, the (for normal users invisible) category still gets a category number. When a clever user discovers the omission of a category, he may try to enter it via the URL bar for example when category 2 is hidden “domain.com/index.php?mode=index&category=2”. Then the result is a page with three “Warning: mysql_fetch_array(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource”type warnings. (Then same error occurs when manually entering non existent categories)
- As mentioned above, when creating a category for mods and admins, the normal users do not see those messages. I would like the possibility that you optional allow that, so users can see those messages, but of course cannot write in that category. In this way mods and admins can write public messages in their own separate category.
- In threaded mode: Could it be an idea to have the possibility to attach a small icon to a category, and display this icon (with the category as tooltip) instead of the name in the message tree?
- In threaded mode: When reading a reply it would be nice to have some indication of at least a small (iconic) link in the message title area to the message to which it replies. (Like it is already done in full thread display with the @ user behind the header of each post). Especially in long threads you get easily lost and finding back the current message in the tree is quite a job.
- When users register themselves, could it be possible to include the login name and password in the activation mail sent to the new user? Many users keep such kind of mails in their archives for the case they lost their password. I know, that they can request lost login data their selves, but less experienced users would probably contact the admin first.
- Some users find the statistical info on the user area (Registered, Last login, logins, logins per day, postings, postings per day) privacy related, and I can agree with their arguments. Could those items optionally made hidden (or only visible for moderators and admins)?
- When in user area, I miss some kind of search for a user. Especially when the user list is large, you have to browse to all the users to find the searched one.
- Could it made possible to delete own postings (provided that no reply is already been done)? Sometimes a user accidentally replies on the wrong post. It would be nice if he could correct this by himself. At this moment he can edit a message, but cannot remove it.
- When thread is displayed in linear mode, the order of the posting is still hierarchical. Could it be possible to change the sort order in linear mode to chronological (youngest posting first), with the exception that the original posting stays on top?
- When choosing to display messages form a category, the thread list changes to showing only the messages in that category. However the recent messages in the sidebar keep showing messages from all categories. I think it is better to let the sidebar also show only the recent messages in the chosen category.

Continued in reply...

More MLF2 issues found

by Otto @, Monday, October 29, 2007, 18:57 (5102 days ago) @ Otto

... continued due to size limitation of 5000 characters

- Could an option been made that guests can post messages, but these massages are not directly posted, but sent to the mod or admin for approval? Then it works similar to registering via admin/mod. So, when an unregistered user posts a message, he gets a response like: “thank you for posting a message, your message will be placed on the this forum after approval by a moderator. This could take some time, please have a little patience”. In the mean time, the a message is sent to the mods/admins of the kind: “xxxx has submitted message [link] to the forum, please reject or accept”.
- Option to display avatar only in profiles and not in messages. For example in forum settings: Avatars: () show in profiles; () show in profiles and messages; () disabled
- Proposal for new policy for uploaded images. In many cases the file size is the key motivation to reduce uploaded images. Although, the width and height of the image is also important for keeping the screen layout clean. I have some problems with the current upload policy for uploading images. For photographs the current system works fine. However for other pictures the system flaws. Especially on technical forums, often illustrations like: schematic diagrams, screen shots, scans from book pages, etc. are used. Those types of images have often very small file size, because they are compressed efficiently. But when they are scaled to lower W x H, they quickly become unreadable. I think it would be better to change the policy of pictures to facilitate the use of illustrations better. I propose to compress files larger than max file size, to meet the file size limits. Then the images are not compressed to lower W x H but are only displayed in lower resolution by using the WIDTH="max width" and / or HEIGHT="max height" attributes of the IMG tag, and also make the picture clickable. When clicking on the picture the user get the full resolution of the picture (for instance in a separate window). Maybe a tooltip text “click on the image to view the full image” could also be added.
- The display policy could also be used for images from external URLs. (Provided that you can determine the W x H parameters of an external picture).
- Security issue: One of my test users managed to post a reply on a closed thread. I will send you details by mail.

Best regards,
Otto

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More MLF2 issues found

by Alex ⌂ @, Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 01:42 (5102 days ago) @ Otto

Hi Otto,

thank you for this detailed feedback! However I think some of these issues have to wait until version 2.1. ;-)
To get 2.0 final released soon I think we should particularly focus on bugs, security issues and code optimization. Let's see...

The contact link does not have a description when hovering over the link

OK, not all links have a title - what should it be?

timer which waits let’s say 2 hours before the “self registration” activation e-mail will be sent?

Who should tell the script after 2 hours to send the activation key? This could IMHO only be done by a cronjob. Isn't the option enough that new accounts can be locked after registering?

multiple categories in their profile and put them in an extra entry “user preference” in the drop down list?

No bad idea. Maybe for 2.1... ;-)

The color of the admin’s and moderator’s name stil doesn’t work.

OK, the setting "admin_mod_highlight" is needless. You can just modify span.admin and span.mod in style.css instead.

Moderators should have the possibility to enter a limited area of the admin’s pages like the “spam protection” area

Hm, a matter of taste...

Some contact possibilities for multiple moderators.

Not very important for me, but I'll think about it. You can contact every user (and moderator) who makes his e-mail address contactable and there's the contact link to contact the responsible person of the forum.

category for admins and moderators only, ... a clever user ... may try to enter it via the URL bar ... Then the result is a page with three "Warning: ..."

OK, should be fixed but isn't a security issue.

I would like the possibility that you optional allow that, so users can see those messages, but of course cannot write in that category.

You can use the lock feature for that (OK, mods and admins always have to unlock the thread before and lock it after adding a reply).

possibility to attach a small icon to a category, and display this icon (with the category as tooltip) instead of the name in the message tree?

For which reason?

In threaded mode: When reading a reply it would be nice to have some indication of at least a small (iconic) link in the message title area to the message to which it replies. (Like it is already done in full thread display with the @ user behind the header of each post).

OK, I'll think about it.

When users register themselves, could it be possible to include the login name and password in the activation mail sent to the new user?

No, because the password isn't stored in the userdata table (only the md5 checksum).
EDIT: OK, it's possible to send it directly with the activation key.

Some users find the statistical info on the user area (Registered, Last login, logins, logins per day, postings, postings per day) privacy related, and I can agree with their arguments. Could those items optionally made hidden (or only visible for moderators and admins)?

To do it quickly just modify the template user_profile.tpl.inc.

When in user area, I miss some kind of search for a user. Especially when the user list is large, you have to browse to all the users to find the searched one.

Yes, good idea.

Could it made possible to delete own postings (provided that no reply is already been done)?

Maybe a good idea as well. ;-)

When thread is displayed in linear mode, the order of the posting is still hierarchical.

In linear mode the order is by time (latest posting at the bottom).

youngest posting first, with the exception that the original posting stays on top?

This sounds quite strange to me!

When choosing to display messages form a category, the thread list changes to showing only the messages in that category. However the recent messages in the sidebar keep showing messages from all categories.

Yes, because latest postings are latest postings in which category ever.

Could an option been made that guests can post messages, but these massages are not directly posted, but sent to the mod or admin for approval?

Many things are possible! ;-)

Option to display avatar only in profiles and not in messages.

Good idea.

Proposal for new policy for uploaded images.

I already thought about inserting thumbnails but it's a little bit tricky - particularly with remote images.

Security issue: One of my test users managed to post a reply on a closed thread. I will send you details by mail.

Yes, must be fixed! So far there's no verification whether the thread is locked ore not after submitting the form.

Alex

More MLF2 issues found

by Otto @, Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 21:08 (5101 days ago) @ Alex

Part 1 (due to text size limit)

thank you for this detailed feedback! However I think some of these issues have to wait until version 2.1. ;-)

:D Of course, I do not expect all remarks to be implemented immediately :-)

The contact link does not have a description when hovering over the link

OK, not all links have a title - what should it be?

Err, I thought of something like "E-mail Admin for questions, remarks, or complaints about this forum".

timer which waits let’s say 2 hours before the “self registration” activation e-mail will be sent?

Who should tell the script after 2 hours to send the activation key? This could IMHO only be done by a cronjob. Isn't the option enough that new accounts can be locked after registering?

Your right, but if the forum is relatively busy it could also be done by the script itself. Every time the script runs, it could check the user list for new entries. If there are enough page views per hour it should work. But for now it's not that important. Maybe for version 2.1 :-)

multiple categories in their profile and put them in an extra entry “user preference” in the drop down list?
No bad idea. Maybe for 2.1... ;-)

Okay :D

The color of the admin’s and moderator’s name stil doesn’t work.

OK, the setting "admin_mod_highlight" is needless. You can just modify span.admin and span.mod in style.css instead.

Okay, I will try it.

Moderators should have the possibility to enter a limited area of the admin’s pages like the “spam protection” area

Hm, a matter of taste...

I will try to make a list of items which I think could also be done by moderators. I think a moderator could do more than just delete or modify postings. I think some moderators could also do management of users, edit banned IP’s…

Some contact possibilities for multiple moderators.

Not very important for me, but I'll think about it. You can contact every user (and moderator) who makes his e-mail address contactable and there's the contact link to contact the responsible person of the forum.

The reason I ask this, is because my forum has a team of moderators. Each moderator moderates during one week, then the other takes one week, etc. The users have normally no idea who is moderating at a moment. So if someone wants to contact the moderator, to whom he has to mail? Therefore, I thought a message to multiple contact could be useful. Maybe also something for version 2.1…

I would like the possibility that you optional allow that, so users can see those messages, but of course cannot write in that category.

You can use the lock feature for that (OK, mods and admins always have to unlock the thread before and lock it after adding a reply).

No, I mean if I add a category “forum announcements”, then only mods and admins should write messages in that category, and normal users can only read them. In your suggestion I can lock a message, but users can then create their own “forum announcements”, since it is still a public category.

possibility to attach a small icon to a category, and display this icon (with the category as tooltip) instead of the name in the message tree?

For which reason?

Aesthetics :) Now you see after the date of the posting an icon for “show preview” then an icon for “open whole thread”, and then (category). But it is not that important to make it an issue…

In threaded mode: When reading a reply it would be nice to have some indication of at least a small (iconic) link in the message title area to the message to which it replies. (Like it is already done in full thread display with the @ user behind the header of each post).

OK, I'll think about it.

Okay.

When users register themselves, could it be possible to include the login name and password in the activation mail sent to the new user?

No, because the password isn't stored in the userdata table (only the md5 checksum).
EDIT: OK, it's possible to send it directly with the activation key.

Thanks.

More MLF2 issues found

by Otto @, Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 21:10 (5101 days ago) @ Otto

Part 2

Some users find the statistical info on the user area (Registered, Last login, logins, logins per day, postings, postings per day) privacy related, and I can agree with their arguments. Could those items optionally made hidden (or only visible for moderators and admins)?

To do it quickly just modify the template user_profile.tpl.inc.

Yes, I have done that, and it works :)

When in user area, I miss some kind of search for a user. Especially when the user list is large, you have to browse to all the users to find the searched one.

Yes, good idea.

Could it made possible to delete own postings (provided that no reply is already been done)?

Maybe a good idea as well. ;-)

Okay

When thread is displayed in linear mode, the order of the posting is still hierarchical.

In linear mode the order is by time (latest posting at the bottom).

Oh, I didn’t noticed that. I’ll check it out.

When choosing to display messages form a category, the thread list changes to showing only the messages in that category. However the recent messages in the sidebar keep showing messages from all categories.
Yes, because latest postings are latest postings in which category ever.

I know, but is it technically difficult to let it also follow the category?

Option to display avatar only in profiles and not in messages.

Good idea.

Okay…

Proposal for new policy for uploaded images.

I already thought about inserting thumbnails but it's a little bit tricky - particularly with remote images.

I think you should handle uploaded and remote images differently. People that use remote images are mostly the more experienced internet users, so they should know how there images are shown on the forum. Maybe an extra BB code “thumbnail” could be created. This allows the experienced user to show large remote images in a reduced view. For the uploaded images, we can then use an own thumbnail scheme.

Otto

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pagebrowse

by Micha ⌂, Saturday, November 03, 2007, 14:31 (5097 days ago) @ Otto

Hi,

don't you think, it will be better to count the pages downwards? In this way, the content of e.g. page one is still the same.

best regards Micha

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