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Discussion in 'Support' started by Bloodcinder, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    I released the Postbot add-on and the Roleplaying Dice triggers to the XenForo community. You will see a new subforum here in Support where users from outside are allowed to register and test the postbot or discuss new triggers. Don't be surprised by this activity.
     
  2. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    I installed an add-on that I think will be useful for GM's. It provides a bunch of tags that allow you to show/hide content only for specific people (among others).

    For example:
    Code:
    [isusername=Seegtease]This sentence is only visible to Seegtease.[/isusername]
    [isnotusername=Seegtease]This sentence is hidden from Seegtease.[/isnotusername]
    [isusername=Bloodcinder,chefTENGU]This sentence is only visible to Bloodcinder and chefTENGU.[/isusername]
    [notguest]This sentence is hidden from guests.[/notguest]
    Becomes:
    This would be useful, for example, when only some characters in a party can comprehend a certain language or when only some characters notice something in the narrative. It's an alternative to having to send a conversation message.

    It's also useful if there's something you don't want a guest user to see even in a thread that's normally visible to the public.

    There are a whole bunch of other tags. See the help page for more.
     
  3. Seegtease

    Seegtease Merciful Mage of Many Means Administrator

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    It's that thing we never knew we needed.
     
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  4. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    We haven't encountered a lot of language issues in recent games, but there were quite a few instances in the past, and back in Feral Sods I often sent messages for hints and recollections and stuff.
     
  5. chefTENGU

    chefTENGU Does not approve Administrator

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    This is awesome. It's a much more elegant solution for someone like me who tends to get anal about giving out information to the right PCs.

    I haven't been worrying about it too much with Light Warriors, since there's only the two of you playing and you each have two PCs, but in the past I've had to create invisible subforums at UEF in order to satisfy my need to micromanage information dispersal.
     
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  6. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    I've got good news. I implemented a chat add-on. It allows me to insert a chat room anywhere within the forum listings. For example, there could be one on the front page, or one contained inside the Lobby or the Roleplaying hub. They can also be viewed from their own standalone pages and linked into the tab bar at the top of the site.

    There are a few things I need to finish before I can release it for you guys to help test. I would say I'm 65% done, though, and that was the hard part. The rest of the features are just icing.
     
  7. Seegtease

    Seegtease Merciful Mage of Many Means Administrator

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    Icing : dice bot functionality?
     
  8. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    No, things like being able to delete/moderate messages, display certain kinds of BbCode, and maybe play a sound on new messages.
     
  9. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    I'm not nearly done, but it does seem to be stable at the moment (in most reasonably non-ancient browsers). I added a chat into the Restricted Access forum. If you go there, you'll see it at the top of the thread listing. You can also click the name of the chat room in the lower-right corner of the chat interface to view it on its own standalone page.

    (Links are okay, but BbCode is not supported. I'm thinking of not supporting it at all. Think back to the days of IRC. Really, text is enough. If people want to be more elaborate, there's a whole forum of threads at their disposal. Prohibiting BbCode in the chats would actually beautify them by conforming to the design of the rest of the interface, instead of allowing people to color a bunch of shit.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
  10. Seegtease

    Seegtease Merciful Mage of Many Means Administrator

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    But what if I really need to emphasize something?
     
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  11. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    I might add basic *bolding* and _italics_ markers.
     
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  12. chefTENGU

    chefTENGU Does not approve Administrator

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    Will there be a way to get dice rolling involved? This is almost exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for in order to run a game of Blood Bowl over a forum in anything like a reasonable timeframe.
     
  13. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    There may be ways to get the Postbot compatible with it, but it would be a challenge.
     
  14. chefTENGU

    chefTENGU Does not approve Administrator

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    Well, if I have to keep the bot in a thread, that's what I'll have to do. The main point to the chat would be to facilitate moves and resolve a number of actions quickly. If I were to do things strictly via thread, unless I could devise some way for people to be able to update the board themselves, it'd be hard to finish a turn in a timely manner (up to 11 moves per player per turn, with 16-24 turns in a game).
     
  15. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    Ultimately, once I release the chat add-on, people will expect that I make the Postbot work with it. So it's kind of a foregone conclusion. I just have to figure out how to do it when BbCode is not allowed.
     
  16. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    There is a semi-new paid add-on available for member groups with many more features than our current add-on provides. I'm considering migrating to it, especially since it includes an importer to migrate from what we use now. It gives each group its own page with a wall, information, subforums, and custom tabs that you can add to include whatever information. It also centralizes them in a way that makes things easier to find. If you're interested, there's a demo setup here, although you have to realize that it's all demo content so it's hard to curate. I'll be reading through the feature list and I'll keep you informed.
     
  17. Seegtease

    Seegtease Merciful Mage of Many Means Administrator

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    Seems to me you'd use something totally separate (the posts wouldn't be made by the same bot account) and like those old IRC bots. Do people still use IRC?
     
  18. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    People still use IRC, but not like they used to.

    The postbot isn't really associated with an account. The forum spoofs whatever user I assign. There's no reason it couldn't use the same user in chat. Basically, it's an illusion that there's actually an automated user.

    However, behind the scenes there would be a lot of differences in the code. Double however, making the postbot work with chat would be very easy compared to how hard it was to make it work with threads. With a bit of restructuring I could make it work with both.
     
  19. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    The Xenforo add-on we use for networks and hubs has long been abandoned by its original developer, after he sold his assets to another company and that company deprecated the ones they did not want to support and made them open source. However, I don't have the time or skills to maintain such an open source project.

    There is an astoundingly popular alternative for Xenforo that I am considering buying. It supports migration/importing from the add-on we currently use. It has way more features than what we currently use as well. In this new add-on, members can create at-will groups that belong to administrator-created categories. Each group acts as a landing page with its own tabs that can feature a wall, a newsfeed, multiple subforums, custom pages, image and file galleries, events calendar, staff-only notes, and so on. In addition, each group has individual privacy and permission controls and the ability to subscribe to all content in a group for purpose of notifications, which is something we do not have currently.

    It costs money and there is no free to install demo, so I'm looking into whether I want to make the leap. I do want to stay with Xenforo because I know how it works well and it's easy to develop for and it's better than any other forum software, but making this leap would I think improve things greatly, even if there's only four of us.

    You can see a demo of what the groups add-on looks like here, keeping in mind that it's a basic install with default configuration and you'd have to imagine what that would look like in our forum with our content. Let me know what you guys think about such a transition. I think it would be a strict improvement, but I don't want to do it if it's unfavorable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  20. chefTENGU

    chefTENGU Does not approve Administrator

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    That's a lot of flexibility.
     
  21. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    Yes. It's not the case that everyone needs that, but it sure is nice to have the option. It's also more comfortable for making private general purpose discussion groups, like how we use FaceSpark now.
     
  22. Seegtease

    Seegtease Merciful Mage of Many Means Administrator

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    It looks nice, but like many things we see that look nice, I ask the same question: "do we really need that?"

    I mean, being open source, is anybody else going to work on our current addon? Or is it going to eventually stop working?
     
  23. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    I am also going to install the Xenforo Resource Manager, which allows you to create "resources," which can be files or links to files or standalone pages, each of which is paired with a discussion thread. Then I can concert the References & Manuals forum's threads into resources. The practical advantage is that resources support updates and versioning and can be organized by category and tagged and all that sort of stuff and they pair with a discussion thread that prevents discussion from cluttering the resource itself.

    Our current groups add-on has broken a couple of times and I had to fix it. It still has some problems, and nobody is ever going to fix them. It will eventually break in a way that I won't be able to fix due to some Xenforo update somewhere in the future. We don't explicitly "need" to upgrade, but I'm pretty sure it would be an improvement.
     
  24. Seegtease

    Seegtease Merciful Mage of Many Means Administrator

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    Well if the break is inevitable (or the fixes have been taking more time than you want to devote), and you think this one will keep support for the foreseeable future, then it seems the switch is a good idea.
     
  25. Bloodcinder

    Bloodcinder Bird Bird Bird Developer

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    Yeah, that's my feeling.

    As an example of the Xenforo Resource Manager, here's a link to my released add-ons on the Xenforo site. Click on any one of those to view its resource page (Alert Count and Slide Out Poll are especially good examples of what resources provide). In this case, they're being used for and about downloads, but you can also live-link to an external resource (like an SRD page or a dice rolling page or a free PDF from Wizards) or just use it for an article without any kind of download. So they're great for things like Kevin's D&D summary articles but also for the common resources we typically share, and they're more convenient than having to create and lockdown individual threads or link forums in the admin panel. They can be posted by anybody or they can be curated by staff. There are full permissions available.

    The only thing resources don't do is have multiple pages or posts. I mean, the discussion does. But conceptually a single resource should be a single article. So, for example, if we were to take this thread of Kevin's then (minus the first two posts) each post would get converted to an individual resource article, and each class spell list would probably get converted completely separately. The advantage is that it would be easier to browse and find the content you're looking for, and there could be individual feedback as well as a discussion thread for each different class's spell list, for example, in case a person of a particular class needs to ask a clarifying question.

    I mean, these are all just examples, but I want you to get an idea of what the XRM would provide. This is an entirely distinct upgrade from the Social Groups add-on I was talking about above. First, the XRM is officially part of Xenforo and made by the Xenforo developers, so it will never be deprecated. Second, because it's standardized, a ton of other add-ons have been released to tweak or enhance it.