I'm in the process of building a site based, at first, primarily upon slashdot. I've also noticed a few glaring productivity burning features which could be cleaned up in later revisions.
The color selection is an obvious one. You might possibly build a color selector page with a standard palette to allow selection. Only the standard colors, and allow text input as a secondary option.
Another one was what I found in building my categories. If the topic image was uploadable with the creation of a new subject, and modifiable from the subject management page, it sure would make subject creations easier.
This paragraph is only to remind you that topic and subject in the above paragraph are interchangable.
User tracking is a must. I understand this thing is still early in its development, and appreciate ALL work done to improve it, but this is one feature that would open a treasure trove of features to site owners.
Incorporate the banner feature into the squishdot core. Another one for later, of course, and banner still needs a little work (overflow ads, priority, count_up ads, very basic logging and reporting).
Incorporate a rotating quote. I already had one written that I dropped in, but would have downloaded one if I hadn't. Should be easy to add.
I had to add another color option in order to fix a display problem when I went from a black background to a white one.
Wouldn't hurt to comment just a little for text being output in some of the base html files. Editing in a text window through your browser sometimes has drawbacks, and one of them is text searching.
A side article feature would be a nice addition. The focus being on the page, rather than on discussion. This would allow database style management of feature articles, while allowing display of only the article.
Another good idea for the above purpose would be to allow the manager to designate certain articles as having different options than the rest of the system. Perhaps an override for the individual articles to turn the discussions off in this case.
If those user permissions are manager or better, display the "admin" option, otherwise no.
Article review change to newest first. Yes. Even better would be to have it selectable by user.
Real management for subjects.
I LOVE Squishdot. I've really enjoyed working with it, and hope to go online with my website within a couple months.
If I'm able to make any of these changes myself, of course, I'll submit them right along :) I do understand that time is limited, and users ask for everything.