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WishList for Java ranch

 
salvin francis
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Hi,

This is just a suggestion list that I wish to share for a better code ranch experience:

1. Homepage
When a newbie types http://www.coderanch.com/, he is greeted with a rather ugly page that asks him to go to the javaranch or coderanch/forums page
for a better experience I would suggest redirecting http://www.coderanch.com/forums page.

2. Search before posting
It would be a lot better if, while creating a post, a user is dynamically shown the questions related to the one he is asking,
A good example of this is stackoverflow.com, when you type a question and go to the description section, it automatically shows you previously asked similar questions

3. Age old posts
Many times we do not see the dates of a post and start replying to it,
It would be a good experience to display just posts with a different color / Heading
eg: "This Post is 4 years old, and has no recent activity since Jan 1 2006"
this would avoid a lot of wake the zombies

4. Admin messages
A lot of times we come across messages by admins such as
"user XXX, please check your private messages for an important administrative message"
while it makes perfect sense to the poster, it makes no sense to rest others,
this is be a lot better:
"user XXX, please check your private messages for an important administrative message, Please do not use abbreviations such as 'coz' in your sentences"
Maybe provide admins a gui to specifically post such messages ?

5. Edits
It would be a lot better if it were possible to view previous edits made for a post [both by user as well as by admins]
however it makes perfect sense to disallow this in events such as deleting a ready made code by a user or foul language.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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You should see posts in age order; it would require several pages to find a 4-year old thread.
 
fred rosenberger
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:You should see posts in age order; it would require several pages to find a 4-year old thread.

unless one does a search like "how do i do X". I am not sure of the order of this hit-list, but it is easy for the top one there to be very old.
 
Andrew Monkhouse
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There are a lot of great suggestions in here Salvin, thanks for the thoughts.

salvin francis wrote:1. Homepage

I agree that something should be done with this, however there is a good argument for this page to replicate/replace the JavaRanch home page. There is more to JavaRanch than just the forums, although the forums are the most active part.

salvin francis wrote:2. Search before posting

Interesting. Sounds like a great idea.

salvin francis wrote:3. Age old posts

There are times when it makes sense to DontWakeTheZombies (where by don't we really mean do) - take a look at the wording on the FAQ to see our current thinking.

salvin francis wrote:4. Admin messages

This is something that we have an alternate solution planned that will provide a better experience for everyone involved.

We would prefer not to publicly state what the administrative matter is, as experience has shown that talking to a person privately about an issue generally resolves it faster and with less stress than when it is done publicly.

salvin francis wrote:5. Edits

Most edits are fixing typos / correcting formatting. I'm not sure that there is a benefit in showing them. And - as you pointed out - there are times when a solution is provided to a homework question and so the post gets edited to remove the solution, and we would not want the edit to be viewable. I think there are fewer cases where someone edits to remove something nasty, but I am sure it does happen.

All of which is my way of saying that I personally am not seeing where viewing the edited information improves our site, especially considering the negatives. Care to expand on why you think this is a benefit?

Please keep the ideas coming. We are all volunteers here, so it may take a while for anything to get through to production, but it is still good to get the ideas and plan for them.

Regards, Andrew

[Edit: case in point with the edits: I edited this post to fix a URL that didn't come out properly. I don't really see how seeing my edit would help anyone, other than helping people to realize that I am a doofus! ]
 
W. Joe Smith
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Re: edits:

I have seen a couple threads lately (don't have a link to either, unfortnuately) where the original poster either totally wiped out the first post or replaced it with something like "Problem solved.", rendering the rest of the topic somewhat disjointed. I know it isn't a common occurence, but when it does happen it can become a major detriment to anyone that has a similar question. Perhaps an option to view the previous version of the post? I know that wouldn't be a simple solution to implement, just spitballing ideas.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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W. Joe Smith wrote:Re: edits:

I have seen a couple threads lately (don't have a link to either, unfortnuately) where the original poster either totally wiped out the first post or replaced it with something like "Problem solved.", rendering the rest of the topic somewhat disjointed. I know it isn't a common occurence, but when it does happen it can become a major detriment to anyone that has a similar question. Perhaps an option to view the previous version of the post? I know that wouldn't be a simple solution to implement, just spitballing ideas.


We have already made some changes to deal with this; we hope this will no longer be a problem.
 
Henry Wong
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W. Joe Smith wrote:
I have seen a couple threads lately (don't have a link to either, unfortnuately) where the original poster either totally wiped out the first post or replaced it with something like "Problem solved.", rendering the rest of the topic somewhat disjointed. I know it isn't a common occurence, but when it does happen it can become a major detriment to anyone that has a similar question.


Interestingly, the change that probably stopped much of this is the cause of you seeing this. Prior to JForum, users were allowed to delete posts, and for the OP, the whole topic would be deleted. Now, that is not possible. So, what you are seeing are only the OPs who don't really care that people know that they delete their questions.

Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:We have already made some changes to deal with this; we hope this will no longer be a problem.


Agreed... There is "hope".

Henry
 
salvin francis
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hmm, ok, mabe my edit feature is controversial...
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:
W. Joe Smith wrote:Re: edits:
. . .


We have already made some changes to deal with this; we hope this will no longer be a problem.
I am afraid it is still a problem.
 
salvin francis
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Another idea whose implementation i do not have in mind....

6. Partial quote...
We we press the quote button, the entire text comes as a part of the quote, it would be amazing if there was a GUI to quote only partial text...
I do not have a solution for this, but maybe provide a textarea where user would select text to be quoted and then presses quote button,
if I am not mistaken it is possible to obtain selected text of a textarea... just a thought..



@ 1. Homepage
yes www.JavaRanch.com redirection too would be great.

@ 3. Age old posts
I am not against waking the zombies, I suggest just a different coloring scheme or a header mentioning it is an age old post.
This too may be controversial as some may think that highlighting may again deter people from answering, its just a suggestion

 
Campbell Ritchie
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A warning that your post is 6 months old might be useful. I think we moderators have discussed that, but can't remember what the conclusion was.
 
Christophe Verré
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6. Partial quote...

I like that idea.
 
paul wheaton
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:A warning that your post is 6 months old might be useful. I think we moderators have discussed that, but can't remember what the conclusion was.


There was something running for a short while. I asked that it be removed.

Frankly, I think waking zombies is more often a good thing. So any kind of discouragement, IMOO, usually does more harm than good.

 
salvin francis
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Christophe Verré wrote:I like that idea.

thanks
 
salvin francis
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eagerly waiting for advances towards the suggestions,

I do have more suggestions in mind,

keep up the good work guys
 
salvin francis
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This is a minor one:

7. login field gets focus automatically when login page is opened
This saves user a click and he directly starts typing the username, this is a feature present in many sites.
 
Vikas Kapoor
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8. The List UBB tag can be improved. It would be great if we can select all the options (separated by new line) and list gets applied. Right now if I have ten options I have to do listing 10 times.

I would be more than happy if I can help.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Vikas Kapoor wrote:8. The List UBB tag can be improved. It would be great if we can select all the options (separated by new line) and list gets applied. Right now if I have ten options I have to do listing 10 times.

I would be more than happy if I can help.

You can :-) ... and it shouldn't even be particularly hard. What's needed is JavaScript code that grabs the selected text from a TEXTAREA, adds UBB list tags as needed (taking linebreaks into account), and finally replaces the original text by the changed text. If you can get that to us we'll find a way to add it to the Saloon.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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salvin francis wrote:login field gets focus automatically when login page is opened

That's a good idea. It'll be in the next release.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:
salvin francis wrote:login field gets focus automatically when login page is opened

That's a good idea. It'll be in the next release.

This is now done.
 
salvin francis
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Hi Ulf,

A suggestion i had posted a long time ago:

1. Homepage
When a newbie types http://www.coderanch.com/, he is greeted with a rather ugly page that asks him to go to the javaranch or coderanch/forums page
for a better experience I would suggest redirecting http://www.coderanch.com/forums page

Check out Andrew Monkhouse's comment on that too...

Though some of my other suggestions are not that great (and one was controversal) i would still suggest to look out this one...

Thanks for listening to my other suggestions. I appreciate the efforts taken...
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
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