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Replying to:  Forums by morpheus83   Dec 25, 2003, 3:36 AM

Re: Forums

by Rich Brome (Moderator)    Dec 25, 2003, 11:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback!

I know it's a little more time-consuming, but it was an intentional choice to do it this way.

The main reason is the hierarchical, or "tree" structure, where each message either starts a thread or is a reply to one specific other message. It allows active threads to split off into multiple tangents and still make sense. With a linear format, (like most other forum systems,) when several issues are being discussed at once, it gets confusing quickly and it's sometimes hard to tell who's replying to what.

So with this structure, multiple messages per page gets very tricky quickly. There are ways to do it, but they tend to be much harder to understand and use.

There are other reasons, too. Originally, I didn't have my own forums - I just offered a web gateway for the USENET groups, which are also structured this way. When I switched to my own forums, I wanted to keep some continuity.

Also, I wanted to offer something different. I didn't see much point in just throwing up another phpBB or vBulletin forum, when perfectly good forums like that already exist. By offering something different, I thought I could offer people a choice. If you're really partial to the vBulletin format, try HowardForums.com. Don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to say "go away"! Wink I mean he has a great site also, and I highly recommend it!

With that said, I realize this forum system is hardly perfect. It was built from scratch just a couple months ago, and it's still kind of a work in progress. I'll probably keep the structure the same, but there are plenty of improvements planned. A "search" feature is first on that list - hopefully I'll have time to work on that in the next few weeks.

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