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RFC: Road Ahead Comments...
Squishdot Posted by Harry on Monday November 22, 06:40AM, 1999
from the next version suggestions dept.
Based on the current work with the Squishdot product, here's some suggestions of what modifications, additions, and enhancements I'd love to see in a next revision (v0.4?).

* In the OPTIONS section, either label the 'color' fields appropriately, or provide a separate breakdown of 'color1 = background color' on the same page.

* In the OPTIONS sections, provide additional color fields for:
- Header/Bar text color - Main body text color - Linked text color - provide the ability to also include additional HTML (like FONT names) in these fields.

* In the manage_postings area, invert the sort order of messages, newest at the top.

* Display an icon for EVERY icon/posting in the list, instead of 'summarizing' icons like it does now on the top row (in other words, EVERY post gets a top icon, or at least make that a selectable option ('Summarizing icons yes/no')

* Obviously, the system has the option to notify a user if there are replies to their posting/responses - make setting that option more obvious, as I sure can't find it (it's there in the code: )

That's it so far - more as I plow further through.


P.S> HINT: It's a good idea to update the current running instance of Squishdot with the latest version - not just to show how the latest version runs, but also to enbale previews of postings.

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  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
    ( Reply )

    Further ideas
    by Bruce Atherton on Wednesday November 24, 09:21PM, 1999

    • Make "Postings" able to insert paragraph tags on blank lines, as "Replies" does. There should be some automatic HTML tagging to simplify life for posters.
    • Make the dates in the "Older Stuff" box link to a version of the Squishdot as it looked on that date (the way that Slashdot does).
    • Allow the left-box items to link to any URL. The options right now are a) within the Squishdot, and b) within the ZOPE.
    • Allow the Advert at the top of the main page to be replaceable. I still haven't gotten this to work. I specify my own image and it displays as a black box, in both Netscape and IE. If I click on the "View Image" menu item in Netscape, the image shows up!
    • Better support for tiny tables. There are many lists that could be kept in them, including the links in each of the right hand boxes and the right hand list when displaying the "Read More' page.
    • Control over the minimum number of posts to display as well as the maximum. Right now it is automatically set to 1/3 of the maximum (is that documented anywhere) but I'd like better control over this.
    • Proper support of User customization. I'd like my users to be able to select which boxes show up on the right, for example, and to control their own minimum and maximum postings to display.
    • User moderation of posts. Even meta-moderation. This would include scores for comments and comments could automatically be opened or not opened depending on their score and the user preferences.

    BTW, I have to say that I don't like the idea of showing all icons. I have about 20 messages on my page with more than 10 different icons. I like the design of showing only the last 5 unique icons.

    Anyway, all of these are just suggestions I'd like to see. I really like the program as it is now.
    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: RFC: Road Ahead Comments...
    by Lalo Martins on Thursday November 25, 04:06PM, 1999
    > * Obviously, the system has the option to notify a user if there are replies to their obvious, as I sure can't find it (it's there in the code: )

    It is quite obvious now. But, you have to have a Mailhost object somewhere along your acquisition path, and point Squishdot to this objetc in the Options pane.

    Otherwise, I like your list.

    I could add that some more (1 or 2) demos would save us some time (if you plan to make the site publicly available, you first install then spend some days getting away from /. look). Perhaps one based on CSS?

    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: RFC: Road Ahead Comments...
    by AMK on Sunday November 28, 11:07PM, 1999
    I'd like to see the list of articles abstracted out, so you can replace explicitly entered articles with ones automatically pulled from a database.
    For example, you could take a feed of articles and pipe them into Squishdot, automatically creating discussion threads for them without human intervention.
    Perhaps the storage mechanism for articles and postings could both be abstracted out, making it easier to store postings in an SQL database or some other mechanism.
    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: RFC: Road Ahead Comments...
    by Dave Walker on Monday November 29, 07:51PM, 1999

    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.


    Dave's Page

    [ Reply to this ]
    color renaming patch
    by Justus on Wednesday December 01, 09:01PM, 1999
    Here's a patch that renames all the color variables to something perhaps more meaningful.
    [ Reply to this ]
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