Message Board Improvements
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This wiki article was created in response to community feedback from the official Liferay forums http://forums.liferay.com. Following are some improvements suggested for the Message Board portlet.
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PLEASE resist the temptation to add feature requests willy-nilly; let's have a collective sense of ownership over these requirements and make them as clear and convenient as possible. That will increase the likelihood that the feedback contained herein will be absorbed and implemented by the Liferay engineering team and its community. Thanks!
Suggested Improvements - new as of 9/2009 #
- Improve supression of Categories, Threads, etc. to which the user does not have access. Displaying the title and just disallowing access isn't accepable! (Post)
From RoK, Sept, 16th 2009 http://www.liferay.com/web/guest/community/forums/-/message_boards/message/4033150. These functions are derived from the functions you can find in Moodle Forums.
- Improve the way community admins can control the subscription to categories.
- community admin can set "subscribe all community members" and can set a) "members can unsubscribe", b) "members can not unsubscribe".
- Provide a better formatting for the email messages that people get in their mailbox from the message board (see forum post for a description).
- Introduce a 30 minutes time delay before sending messages out to email in order to prevent dublicate/triplicate messages send out to the subscribers because the author corrects the message several times.
- ability to see a "list of users subscribed to this forum" (Dai Griffiths after discussion with RoK)
- HTML editing as an option (like in the Wiki creole/html) (Created ticket: LPS-72)
- Search and View Options
- Default limit on date range of forum entries viewed (can be modified by end user if administrator allows)
- Configurable defaults for numbers, dates, times
- Configure hiding / revealing email addresses, signatures, and avatars
- Login with 'invisible' mode so you don't show up in the chat portlet or in the "Whos browsing"
- Icons for topics you've posted to.
- Show new replies to your posts.
- Ability to allow or disallow your users to select their own theme.
- Ability to reset some or all of your members to a certain theme. This is particularly handy if you remove a theme and need to change all of those users back to the default.
- Ability to set all posts as "Read"
- Ability to set default view of a given thread or category to only show unread posts
- Advanced Search functions - by date, by poster, by keyword, by thread, by category, etc.
- List all topics that have new replies since your last visit or give them a special icon
- See who is browsing the same boards or topics as you.
- Topics that span multiple pages have the page numbers listed as well as an "all" link.
- Users should be able to hide all personal signatures when reading threads
- Users should also be able to hide avatars when reading threads
- Ability to configure the order of Categories without forcing alpha order post
- Question/Answer capability in forums (this was implemented at some point then removed) post]
- Moderation Options
- There needs to be a built in forum moderator role.
- Word censoring
- Warning system from admins and moderators to offending users. Warning system should log what the offending action was and which moderator issued the warning.
- Ability to prohibit posting in certain Categories for certain user roles (e.g. regular User cannot post in Liferay English but has to pick a thread)
- Moderation log which shows moderation activity. Keep in mind that mods can be problematic, too!
- Locking Threads. Being able to lock a thread so that people can view but cannot post. Something simpler than changing permissions for all threads that a moderator wants to lock. A Lock Thread button. Message Boards "Lock Thread" Feature Request LPS-4991
- The ability to configure a time for auto-locking. This will stop "necroposting" - (e.g. the practice of posting on ancient threads in order to gain karma points)
- Ability to change subject title from split thread. While splitting a thread the moderator should have an option to change the subject title of the newly split thread. Message Boards "Split Thread" Improvement Feature Request LPS-5381
- Community Options
- Community Karma. We are going to implement something similar soon
- Ability to charge for membership
- Reporting (coming in 5.3 and thereafter)
- Creation of "Shadow" categores that get automagically pruned at a given date
- Ability to mark a post as "Solved" and then have those threads appear at the bottom of the category
- Admin Options
- Go to Industry Standard nomenclature for items. Call a Category a Category and a Thread a Thread... its much less confusing to people who aren't used to Liferay
- Editable User registration agreement (don't we have this already? - Yes, but this should be done from the GUI)
- Configurable settings for posting photos (file type, size, dimensions)
- Ability to add custom user fields to the profile and require them during account creation (what's shown in the forum; we do have custom user attributes in the CP - Yes, but it's not easy to set them up.)
- Configurable minimum password length and email options (re-activate after email change, require admin approval to delete account)
- Ability to prune the message boards
- Ability to add smiley sets that users can then choose from
- Ability to create private forums to house things like inappropriate posts, threads and archives
- Package manager to install community driven mods to forums
- User Options
- Optional polls in a thread (at admin or mod discretion)
- Members can choose which smiley set they wish to use (or none.)
- Spell Check
- Email Notifications either per topic or category (for new threads)
- Optionally allow users to change screen name (but they can do this now in the Control Panel?)
- Personal Signatures
- Should be comprised of data element(s) from the User Profile
- Should be configurable (what shows up)
- Users should be able to hide all personal signatures
- Users should also be able to hide avatars
- Hide the real name of the users and display the screen name instead to avoid privacy issues and "Samuel L. Jackson" users. post
- Liferay Options
- Threads and categories need to be able to be "pulled" from the forums on someone's page to a group page and maybe even a community or org page.
Suggested Improvements - Implemented #
- Mechanism to report inappropriate messages (this is now available in 5.2)
- Ability for moderators to lock threads (i.e. to prevent further replies and edits). I guess this could be achieved by removing various permissions but it would be easier if it was presented as a single "lock thread" function. See [http://support.liferay.com/browse/LEP-4547|LEP-4547]].
- Ability for moderators to split threads (i.e. turn part of a thread into a separate discussion). See LEP-4521. This has been implemented in Liferay 4.4.0.
- Visual tracking of read/unread messages. This would show whether the user had already read a particular category/forum or thread, whether it was completely new or whether they had read some of the messages or replies. See LEP-4549. This is currently implemented using bold/unbold text.
- Ability for users to auto-subscribe to messages that they post. This could be a user configuration option (probably default to no). It would also be nice to be able to choose to subscribe to a thread when you start it (i.e. as an option on the page where you enter the message text). See LEP-4550.
- Ability to specify an absolute ordering of categories/forums (currently only orders alphabetically). See LEP-4551.
- Ability to specify the number of attachments allowed per message and the maximum size of an individual attachment. This could be a portlet configuration option. See LEP-4552.
- Display the main message boards page in a more "expanded" view. Having sub-categories/threads listed on a single line comma-separated makes it hard to quickly find the category/forum that you want. The description, # categories, # threads and actions button could be displayed against each sub-category. This could be a portlet configuration option and potentially it could be possible to specify the number of levels of category/forum to display on the home page (though just displaying the top level categories/forums and their immediate children would be fine). See LEP-4554.
- Wording of the "Post New Thread" and "Reply" buttons is confusing on the page where you enter the message text. Some users find it confusing that you have to click two buttons with the same text in order to post a thread or reply (e.g. "Post New Thread" to go to the page to enter the message text then "Post New Thread" to submit the new thread). It might be preferable if the button on the page to enter the message text was simply labelled "Post Message" or something like that. Having both buttons with the same text implies that they will both perform the same action where as one is to go to the page to enter the message text and the other is to submit the message. See LEP-4553. This has been implemented in Liferay 4.3.6.